Eee! I can't believe I won! All the entries were so great! Thanks so much, everyone, I can't wait until Christmas when husband unwraps his present and I can tell him that Feathers is a Craftster Challenge winning amigurumi!
For those of you who want to try making a Feathers of your own, he really isn't that difficult, you just have to be willing to do a little trial and error sort of crocheting. I did a fair amount of ripping out and reshaping while freehanding this guy. I started out with some reference photos of Feathers which I placed a grid over, so I could get a more solid idea of proportions. From there I just started at the top of the head, crocheting in a spiral (I think I started from 6 stitches in a loop, but this will vary depending on the weight of your yarn and size of hook), and making increases and decreases to get that gourd-like shape. His legs are just tubes that cover a U shaped piece of wire that hooks through his bottom. He also has simple triangle shaped wire frames in his feet. Anyway, if anyone is making a Feathers and wants some tips, please let me know, I'll try to help as best I can.
Feathers was crocheted freehand, I was watching The Wrong Trousers one day and realized that he was the perfect shape for amigurumi, all roundy-like. Thanks to some fairly heavy gauge wire (think coat hanger wire) in the legs and feet, he does stand, but rather tenuously.
Thanks everyone for the info! The wheel itself seems to be in pretty good shape and I can get it to spin pretty smoothly. The flyer, unfortunately, is starting to seem beyond help. The little cap bit that goes on after the bobbin doesn't sit flat, I think the threads inside are messed up, so it starts screwing on straight, but partway down it starts to go crooked. The bobbin doesn't seem to sit properly inside the flyer, the edges get caught on the inside curves... er... the bobbin is supposed to spin freely, right? Here's a better picture of the sad flyer:
Also, I was wondering about the oriface, because I had read about it on some spinning sites, and I can't find one on my flyer - the metal shaft that goes through the middle is just a solid piece, no holes... It'd be nice to get this to a working state, but even if it doesn't, it's definitely been worth the $4.
Can some of you more experienced spinners tell me if this wheel can be saved?
I know absolutely nothing about spinning, although I've had an interest in it for a few years... I picked this one up on a total whim for $4 at a garage sale. From what I've read on the web, I know I need a drive band, and my flyer is broken (can I just replace the whole flyer?), but I'm not sure what else I should be looking at. I'm reading about tension and tpi and I'm starting to get scared... Thanks!
My husband did indeed quietly say to bender, 'bite my shiny metal... uh... crocheted wooly a$$' He took bender to work yesterday, and apparently got a lot of compliments, and a request for me to make and sell another bender. Upon hearing this, I ran away and hid under the bed.
Cara, I made bender up as I went (part of why it was so painful and took so long). Have you ever done any amigurumi? Bender could almost be considered a more complicated amigurumi - lots of crocheting circles and in rounds. I didn't make any notes while I crocheting, so I have no exact numbers I can give you, do you think you could figure it out if I just gave a general overview of it?
Bender stands just over a foot tall, maybe about 14 inches or so? He took about a month and a half to complete, but a lot of that was staring blankly at the parts I had, wondering how I would tackle the next step.
I somehow tangled myself into a semi tradition of giving my husband some sort of homemade cartoon character toy just about every year - felt was my original material of choice (gir is all handstitched felt parts, except for his head which is felt glued to a portion of bottle), but after learning crochet, it seemed like a good direction to try.
I have to say, the photos are very kind to Bender and don't really show his uneven crocheted-ness and how his body warped. However, I do have to say that after a good night's sleep without thoughts of 'omg, how am I going to pull this off', he does look better to me this morning.