It's been a LONG time since I've been here. I came back because I realized no one on Facebook would even have a clue as to what I was talking about (Lisa makes cute things, friends are notsocrafty.) and then it didn't seem right on the company blog... So I came back here.
I plushed. Yup. I made a plush version of a figgy pudding. And while the results look good, I learned so much. The hard way. The pattern design, I think, was the the easiest part. But I screwed up on my time estimate. I have a toddler, and they ALL have ADHD, so I had to stop OFTEN. Sometimes every three seconds it seemed. Cutting, estimate correct. Sewing the base, estimte correct. Sewing the holly leaf, a little longer than I estimated, the holly berries... I am surprised I did not run my head through the sewing machine. I made the original, put it on my personal facebook page, and then my sister wanted one (free, of course) and then my niece wanted one (free, of course), then she wanted one for her friend (said she'll pay me later)... then the friends started buying, and then I needed to make more for the shop... well, you can see the basis for the pain of the holly berries. UGH.
Little round balls. Little round balls of fleece. No bigger than an inch in diameter. For the prototype, I tried to machine baste it. That FAILED miserably. Not to mention that when you step away, your child 'adjusts' the little knobs and gives her version of precision tension... which leads to crying by the adult. And the head/desk thing. Then a headache.
SO I turned to hand-basting and gathering, stitching a little circle after I stuff to hide the opening and some of the gathering. Yeah, that's a fine idea for ONE, not 15. I did 6 that way before I attempted to find an alternate. Next variation, I snipped it into a tapered plus sign and machine sewed the edges, but still needed the needle too much afterward. Next time I think I have a fix, but I won't know how much of a win/fail it will be until I test it.
I did feel that after 45 red berries, they were now clown noses.
BUT after the berries came the even 'funner' part... attaching the berries to the pudding... with a SHORT needle. Don't know why that one didn't hit me at the store. Hmm, yeah, a short needle would be so much fun (so much fun that I confused my fingers with thimble wearing fingers.). Next day: Doll needle, strong thread...
The faces were the easiest since I've been doing them for 5 years now, just on a much larger scale this time.
Have I even mentioned that in reality, I can't even stand figgy pudding. But the plush, he's cute.
I finished up three critters and haven't had time to talk about the poor little guys.
First up is my cougar, version 2.0... sometimes when you work with such a small area, you don't get it quite right. My original cougar had stripes a bit to close to his nose. This guy seemed much better (the defects - and I have a bunch- are getting shipped to my sister and niece, the home for not quite ready for the public felted knit oddities). I had to look at a ton of cougar pictures to decide whether or not to round the ears, so slightly-rounded ears won out. He stands at just under 4 inches tall and even though he is hiding his paws, he is ready to pounce any yarn ball or human that wonders into his path.
Crawling in slowly at number two, is my trusty little turtle. This little guy has a removable shell and a two-stroke engine hiding in there, eager to beat any hare that gets in his face. Also hides some ninja skills. He stands 3-1/2 inches tall and weighs in at 3 ounces of love-filled turtle. A new wool yarn color I have used for the shell is what I now refer to as "mossy stone."
And last but least weasel, is the sleakest, sneakiest cutie ever to cross your path. With his body taller than any backyard critter to come before him, he can see you coming and wobble (hobble, bounce, what ever those little things do, like a ferret or otter). A feature I like is the white on the body, as it is knit as a flat piece and really curves well to his little body. This weasel is sneaky, but the only thing he wants to do is steal some hearts and lovin'.
But I had to move. NJ to Georgia. And, well, that was, um, FUN. But I'm here in Georgia, loving it and getting back to designing more patterns (because that's what it's really all about - knitting up 1,000,000 animals and creepy crawlies)
This time around, it's a small felted knit amigurumi turkey, sheep and American buffalo (or bison, if you want to be technically correct, which I like to be when I'm PMS'ing, but I'm not, so you could call him a yak with a nice haircut or buffle-oh no)
Oh, and you KNOW I have a crazy animal story in there (because I prefer a live model). Which animal? why, that'd be Mr. Buffalo... or Mrs., because the ladies have horns too, which are black-ish, if you look close, which I did, but I didn't breathe, not because I was scared (yet) but because, well, you know...
My parents moved to loverly and warm Florida. Not where you'd expect big fuzzy buffalo to be roaming, but they are. Anyhoo, while I was visiting the lovely community in which they live, we went by GOLF CART, yup, to see the buffalo roam. Or pant, cuz it was too hot to wear a fur coat on that day.
So we got off the golf cart and walked up to the fence where the buffalo were standing. And after a few minutes, I'm not sure if the one buffalo just got annoyed or spastic, but he (she) hit the fence and somehow we ended up at least 15 feet away, kinda in a jump, of sorts. An oh, shit, can this fence hold him (her) back... kinda jump.
But anyway, did you know you can knit up a buffalo with some buffalo yarn, cool, huh?
And you can knit up a sheep with wool.
But don't knit up a turkey with um, turkey feathers I guess... I mean you could try, but I don't think it would felt well.
AND, this has nothing to do with anything, but I got to hold a two year old alligator. He was so dang cute, but he felt like he was made of rubber.
My brain has turned mushy - I have an upcoming move to Georgia and I feel stress balls smacking the sides of my head. But I made some new felted critters! (In my new place in Georgia, I will finally have a place to put all 40 or so animals on display!)
But anyway, I made an alpaca, donkey and a bull. My roommates didn't even know what an alpaca was, which obviously shows that they know nothing about yarn.
No, my alpaca is made with wool, not alpaca. Yes, my alpaca is having an identity crisis. But I do have a wooly bully... wooly bully... wooly bully. Matty told Hatty...
I just had to celebrate finishing another craft besides knitting! I think I've been around way too much wool... baaa'd
I made an owl keychain based on my knit designs. It's made of stitched canvas, stuffed, painted and varnished. I started making this style of keychain about two years ago but didn't have a direction. The originals had a colored border around them (the keychain was an almost generic shape), but I didn't want that here - I just wanted critter.
Another difference from the last time is that I retro-antiqued the original (instead of antiquing with brown or black, I used an almost complementary color scheme of the background color and it gives a 50's/60's feel to canvas - making the canvas look like worn vinyl) and then wax coated them. I'm not sure about the wear and tear, so I switched to varnish.
But anyhoo, here's my squishy little owl keychain:
he's about 1-1/4" wide by 2-1/4" and 1/2 inch thick.
why, yes, yes I was. I was hatched... oh, shut the door?
I have finally finished three new critters. These critters were in my mind since day 23. Way, way back before bugs and shellfish ruled the crafty alien world. But I put them off. Why? Because shaping a horse's head is much more difficult than a horse's ***. And when I have a challenge like that, I need space. Space to think, space to get distracted, and of course, space to let the problem solve itself. When you overthink something, those poor little synapses start misfiring. But anyway, a horse's head was born. (And again, the most difficult is again my favorite of the bunch)
And to settle the age old question of which came first, that would be the chicken. I've had an egg design which I have finished as of yet. But that chicken crossed the road and the egg is just a little thought in my mind. I decided to just go with the comb(over) and leave the wattle at home.
And, well, this little piggy that I did, did not yet go to market, but I did do a fast redo on his face. I replaced snout A for snout B, and piggy had a fast face lift. And he's got a little curly tail too.
Ah, a tale that crept up from the little waves that hit your feet and pinch those toes!
In the spirit of memorial day weekend fast approaching, I have knit up a set of ocean critter cuties!
In real life, I am actually allergic to these little buggers. In fact, on my 13th birthday, I chowed on lobster for the first time and ended up looking like a balloon. So I made them cute, so YOU wouldn't want to eat them too. SO the next time you get a lobster on your plate, you'll think of my little guy and how bad wet wool tastes. : P
And this time around, I learned that YES, you can over felt. In fact, my octopus fits in the palm of my hand and the legs do not go beyond that little palm-rimeter. To give you a bit more perspective, I always say to leave an 1'1/2 opening at the back of the head for stuffing - after felting, I had just over half an inch to work with when I normally have over an inch. Eek! I made a micropus. : (
And I'd like octopi to have one to three legs because 8 is monotony I tell you!
But my pride and joy was my clam shell. The most pain-in-the-butt-ous thing to design always becomes my favorite. I actually really liked the clamshell before I felted it, which never usually happens - I always question my sanity and design before I felt.
Agh! Let me tell you, furry critters are so much easier than things with thoraxes (sp?) um, thoraxi... segmented bodies, exoskeletons, stingers and more legs than the rockettes!
Objective: make bugs cute!
ANTS... they've invaded my room. So I knit one up. And the I fell in love with the darn thing. I made mine brown so I could see his cute little eyes. Since my insects needed legs (as opposed to my furry guys, who have no arms and legs, and therefore, in the real world would have a BIG disadvantage) to make them all not worms or winged worms, I took away their mouths.
I need to make a big one, because i love my ant. I flipped my lid. ; )
Enter the ladybug. In my parents house I lived in a room that I had to share with about a dozen ladybugs. Mostly orange ones. Quiet, sweet and not so long lived. I didn't have ladybug food in my room, so they should have gotten a ladybug sized fridge or something.
My ladybug is fat to make up for my starving ladybug roomies. Cute, but definately chubby. This is not your South Beach Diet Ladybug.
I'm finished working on a bee. But I'm not sure if the strips should be Black-yellow-black-yellow-black or the other way. I have a cute bee, but when I photographed him, I am not sure YOU the viewer know he's a bee, or just a black thing with two white petals (as my non-ladybug roomie said)
EDITED: Now it looks like a bee.
And when I pick up the bee to show people, I can't help but move him in sharp lines, going bzzzt, bzzzt. And my other roomie had a stuffed plush flower. And what did I do? My best imitation of a bee pollinating a flower, sound effects and all.
Of course, I had one of those superfat bees flying outside my second story window so I could see his "V" shaped antennae, which are NOT on my bee.
Non-human creatures of the earth, please STOP pointing out my errors and omissions. It's FREAKING me out!