Friday, April 22, 2016

Slimy

One of my favourite characters on Sesame Street was Slimy the worm.  As I have plenty of time on my hands, today I decided to make him.


Slimy is made from yellow and orange 8ply yarn, crocheted with a 3mm hook.  He is filled with polyester stuffing and has a wire armature so that I can pose his body and mouth.  The inside of the mouth is maroon and pink felt.  They eyes are two 4mm black glass beads.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Today I Made a Rabbit

It's been a while since I crocheted anything. After a super busy contract, that had me (and the rest of the team) working through Christmas, I put down my hook and didn't pick it up again. Until today. 


This little gal is made using Nerdy and Crafty's bunny pattern. I added a fluffy tail, because I like pom-pom tails on rabbits. 




It is a nice easy to follow pattern that only took a few hours to complete. Make sure you add a few washers in the base, with such a big head, it's a little top heavy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2015 Melbourne Show

This was not my best year at the Show.  Despite entering three categories the best I could manage was a Third place.  I've been told that you learn more from failure than success, so here are the things I have learned this year:

  • I need to improve my blocking.
The blue one with white is mine.  As you can see it's hanging unevenly. 


With proper blocking it should look like this orange one.  Nice and even.


  • I also need to remember to attach the yarn tags.
This was a sponsored category, which means I had to use a specific yarn and pattern.  I forgot to attach the tags to prove I used the right yarn.  Marks were deducted.

(I also had marks deducted for having ends visible.  I'm choosing to ignore this because I had to sew in about 400 more ends than any other competitor.  Those white segments aren't easy.) 

  • Quantity beats quality for amigurumi
I know judges decisions are final, but I'm not sure about the judging for the Amigurumi category.  It seems like the more work has gone into a project, the less they care about consistency. 

Too be fair, the winner was pretty cool. Such neat stitching.



Second place was also very detailed. Embroidering a pretty face is a real skill and I really like the hair.



But Third place made me wonder.  



I'm not sure about all the different thread weights.  The cockatoo is made of much finer yarn than the other critters.  For my money, if you're going to make a set, make them all from the same sized yarn.  

At least this one didn't win. 



That is either a giant clownfish or a tiny seal. Extra points though for crocheting the ground.

  • Amigurumi are bigger than I thought
My understanding of amigurumi was that they were small and cute (under 10 cm).  Whilst the winners were cute they weren't small, about 20 - 25 cm in height. For reference here is my Sherlock and Watson sitting with the other amigurumi sized amigurumi.  



Much cuter. Check out that tiny violin.

  • Colour choice matters
In hindsight making my doily in sunshine yellow probably wasn't a good move.  I think it was a bit too much for the judges.  Instead the judges went with much more traditional colours.

First place



Second place



On the plus side, at least I managed a Third.


For an experiment maybe I should enter the same design next year in a more subtle colour.

Anyway enough with the whinging.  Here is the Best in Show a crochet blanket showcasing every stitch imaginable.  


Keeping it all one colour really shows off the variety of the stitches.  Pretty cool. 




Friday, July 3, 2015

Handmade Gifts.

When I woke up on Christmas Day, (yes I know that was six months ago, but I've been busy), the first thing I heard was the DJ trying to get people to call in. His topic: Has anyone handmade a gift this year, and has anyone received a dodgy handmade gift? This topic pissed me off. It implied that handmade gifts are inferior and nobody likes getting them.

As a crafter this really annoys me. I agree not all handmade gifts are great, but they are usually made with love.  Plus the time taken to think about and make a handmade gift is usually much longer than it takes to go shopping for a gift.  Even if you are shopping during the busy Christmas season.  

I guess the real challenge is matching the gift to the recipient. The key is knowing what they like.

Do they have a favourite band?


My Brother-in-Law really likes Regurgitator, so I made him the band for Christmas. (Some of you might remember the Month they spent living in a dome at Federation Square) This is what I imagine they looked like.

Do they have a beloved pet?



My friend was moving overseas and had to leave her beloved cat behind.  So I made her a cat she could take in her pocket.

Do they have a favourite movie?





My work colleague really likes Star Wars in general and Lando Calrissian in particular.  When his birthday came around, there was only one thing I could make.

Do they have a favourite comic book character?



Another work colleague enjoys cos-play.  Her favourite character to dress as is Wonder Woman.  A little crochet Wonder Woman was just what she wanted.

Do they like chickens?

 

Mum has always liked chickens.  Her family had some in the garden when she was growing up.  When Mum and Dad moved to a new house I made this tea-cosy as a housewarming gift. 

Do they secretly want to be Batman?

  

One of my colleagues was leaving for a new job.  I knew he was a massive fan of Batman, so I made one for his toy collection.  As an extra surprise I made the cowl removable, and matched the hair colour to my friends hair.

This isn't to say that every handmade gift I've made is a winner.  I'm pretty sure there are some cross-stitch embroideries I've done that are hidden in spare rooms.   However if you put some thought into it, the time and effort of hand making a gift is often appreciated.  


Thursday, October 30, 2014

2014 Melbourne Show

This year for the Melbourne Show craft competition I got a bit more ambitious and entered three classes: Amigurumi, Homewares and of course, Doiley. 

I'm glad they've introduced the Amigurumi competition.  Now this little guy doesn't have to compete with tablecloths.


This is the first time an Amigurumi of mine has even placed. 

Speaking of tablecloths, I finally made this.  The convolvulus Supper Cloth (designed by Mary Card).



The edge is a huge amount of filet crochet (around three months.) Then it took about a week to get the fabric centre fitted. Of course I was rushing to do everything before it was due. Did you know that you can get blisters from hand sewing? 


It's all worth it in the end. Apart from finally crossing this off my craft-to-do list, I also have another blue ribbon.

The doiley took a lot less time to make, but was probably more annoying.  So many long chain loops and stitches into chains. I got lost more than once.  


Worse when I finally pinned it out for blocking, I found two mistakes.  One was fixable but only by cutting out a section and crocheting in a patch. The other is small enough that I got away with it.


It won first place in the Doiley Class and Best Exhibit Crochet.

For those of you counting that's three years in a row for Best Crochet.


(That is the same prize, I don't know why the ribbons are all so different.)

One step closer to world domination.







Sunday, October 26, 2014

2013 Melbourne Show

The last 18 months have been kind of busy.  So busy that when I sat down to post my 2014 Show results, I realised I hadn't posted last years.  I almost didn't get anything made in time.

I planned on entering two pieces, a Round Doiley and a Star Wars Hankie.  Due to work commitments I didn't have time to actually make the Star Wars Hankie.  Fortunately I had a standby hankie to enter.


It's a little known fact that the Emperor had a specially trained squad of attack squirrels.  At least the judges didn't mind.


Now my sister is the proud owner of a prize winning hankie. 

I nearly didn't get the Round Doiley finished either.  I was up until midnight waiting for the starch to dry. Fortunately those big pointy spikes make pinning it out much easier.


The judges really liked this one. 


Not only did it win best doiley it also beat every other piece of crochet in the competition.

Of course I don't know what the competition was like.  I was too busy to actually get to the Show.




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

50th Anniversary Doctors

Last year I went and saw the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. It was awesome! It had Daleks, explosions, aliens and heaps of little things just for the fans. Best of all, there was a new Doctor. So on f course I had to crochet him. 

 I present John Hurt the War Doctor (or 8.5 if you prefer) 


 It was also pointed out by Wondra, that I'd missed a Doctor. There was a movie version of Doctor Who staring Peter Cushing. In the interests of having a complete set, I made him too. 

 The Movie Doctor 



 I don't know where he comes in the official chronology, so I've chosen to place him between 3 and 4.  


With all the Doctors in one place time was bound to go a bit wibbly wobbly. 

 There is still one missing, but I'm waiting to see the new Doctor in action before I start crocheting.