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1  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Espeon Amigurumi **with pattern modifications** on: August 31, 2010 05:47:09 PM
I'm pretty proud of this one ^_^ I used this pattern by WolfDreamer:
...and modified it to make my hubby an Espeon plushie for his birthday. It's finally finished -- ten days late, but hey, at least it's done. Wink

I really don't think my execution does her justice, but the Umbreon pattern is absolutely fantastic, with beautiful face and body shaping. I always mess up the legs somehow, so she looks a little bowlegged. And of course a TRUE Espeon is sitting, not standing. But who cares?? Here she is!

Here's a close-up on her face. The eyes and "jewel" are just bits of felt. I couldn't find a deep purple felt for her eyes, so I improvised by embroidering around the eye-shines in purple. My embroidery skills are somewhat less than stellar. *lol*

Would you like to make an Espeon plushie, too? Wolfdreamer has given me permission to post my modifications here so you can make one for yourself!

For Head, Body, and Legs, follow Umbreon pattern. You can find it here:

Make magic ring and join yarn into it as usual (preparing to sc). [Ch3 and then sl.st into first ch] forming sl.st picot. Work 3 sc in magic ring. Skip over sl.st picot to begin Rnd 2 in first sc, pushing picot to outside.

Rnds 2-10: Work from Umbreon pattern, ignoring directions to change colors.
Rnd 11: sc in next 2 sc, dec, around (9)
Rnd 12: sc around
Rnd 13: sc in next sc, dec around (6)
Rnd 14: sc around
Flatten ears with your sl.st picot pointing up (it will naturally curl in one direction or another) and sew to head.
**NOTE: I realized after the fact that my Espeon's ears taper a bit more than they should to be true to character. If you feel this is so, go ahead and just sc around for rounds 12-14, skipping the last round of decreases.***

Ch 8.
Sl.st in second ch from hook. Sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc, sl.st in last 2 sts.
Ch 5.
sl.st in second ch from hook and in each ch back to beginning. FO.

(You'll make two separate tips, then join them together. Sorry if it's confusing!)
R1: 5 sc in ring
R2-5: 5 sc,
FO. Leave a long tail for later.

Repeat R1-5 again. Do not FO.
R6: SC into first stitch of R5 on first tail tip. sc around. When you run out of stitches, pick up the first st in R5 of second tip and continue around. (10)
R7: [sc into next 3 sts, sc2tog] two times.(Cool
R8: sc, dec, sc, sc, dec (6)
With a yarn needle, use yarn tail from tip #1 to close the small hole between the two tips. Weave in tail. Stuff joined area lightly.
R9-?: remove stitch marker and continue to sc around until tail is desired length. If desired, insert a blunted pipecleaner or wire to make the tail poseable. (I recommend this if you're not making this for a little child. Since Espeon is standing, her tail gets pretty floppy without a wire.)

Follow most steps as in the Umbreon instructions. Sew the tail on nice and high, sew the ears on (a little further back than I did, and be careful, they're hard to fix if they're in the wrong spot!) and sew the tufts just in front of the ears, overlapping just a little bit. They should not have any space between the ears and tufts. Embroider a little tiny nose and use felt shapes to form the eyes and forehead jewel. I recommend googling "espeon" under Images to get a good idea of how she looks before putting the head together.

I hope that helps!! Smiley And I hope you like her!
2  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Crochet baby jellyfish + tutorial! on: December 20, 2009 09:14:48 AM
I can't believe I've never posted any of my crochet projects here! I've learned so much from Craftster. Time to come out of the shell a bit and give something back. Smiley

I made this little guy last night whilst putting kids to bed and watching Star Trek: TOS. All told, about 2 hours. (Pardon the iPhone pic and plaid jammies.)

The technical info:
I used a size F hook (3.75mm) and Sugar n' Creme 4-ply cotton yarn. He has 8mm black safety eyes from PlanetJune.com. I saw a somewhat larger jelly on Etsy which brought it to mind, but I did not eyeball any specific pictures closely nor use a pattern to create him. I went based on memory of things I've made in the past. His body is about 1.5" tall, and with the tentacles he's about 4.5" long.

I'm sure there are patterns aplenty for jellyfish, but here's roughly how I made him. (This is a rough pattern which assumes you already sort of know how to make amigurumi -- my first tutorial, so be kind!)

Baby Jellyfish Tutorial
Rnd 1: Magic loop with 6 sc. (6)
  --alternatively: ch 2; 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
Rnd 3: sc in next st; 2 sc in next sc; repeat all around. (18)
Rnd 4: sc in next 2 sts; 2 sc in next sc; repeat. (24)
Rnd 5-6: sc in each sc around. (24)
Rnd 7: sc in next 2 sts; sc2tog (18)
Rnd 8: sc in next st; sc2tog (12)
**Add safety eyes and stuff firmly! At this point, if you wish to make an ornament loop, you can pull the starting tail through the magic-loop and tie it. I chained mine and tied it very clumsily. You might wish to use a cute ribbon or something instead.
Rnd 9: sc2tog all around (6).

At this point, I sort of slip-stitched each 2 stitches together until the hole was closed. Tie off, leaving the thread to dangle.

This is probably not the right way to do it, but after the ball was complete I realized my jelly had no ruffle! Unacceptable!

Step 1: sl-st to attach yarn to one of the posts (I picked one that was front-and-center. Not recommended. Start in the back if you can!). You'll bury the tail later.
Step 2: ch 2
Step 3: dc twice on same post.
Step 4: sc on next post.
--repeat rnds 2-4 all around, then sl.st and tie off. Leave a long tail, then use a yarn needle to pull it into the body and down through the bottom somewhere. You'll see why.

CURLY TENTACLES (make 2-4, I was lazy and made 2 of these):
-ch 16 (roughly; you can make longer legs if you wish)
-hdc twice in each ch for 11 ch's (until 4 remain)
-hdc in next 2 ch
-sc in final 2 ch and tie off, leaving a long tail to attach to body

Less-curly tentacle for dangle-length variation (I made 1):
-made as above, but only hdc twice in the first 4-5 ch's. Thereafter, hdc once in each st, sc in last 2 sts.

-Use a yarn needle to attach each leg. Jellyfish are very imprecise, so don't worry too much about spacing them evenly, just try to fill up the empty spaces on his bottom. If your tails were long enough, you can simply leave them to dangle as shown in the pic, or bury them inside the body if they're too short.
-Once all 3 legs are attached, if he still looks a little uneven or unfinished, take longish strands of yarn, fold them in half and hook them through onto the posts (like latch-hooking, but without the latch).
-Trim up the dangly pieces of yarn so they're even (or sort of uneven) and you have some trailing man o' war-style tentacles!

And you're done! Use him as a keychain, an ornament, or a decoration! Smiley
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Making a binky-leash/pacifier clip on: January 30, 2009 12:42:15 PM

I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me out. We are constantly going through binky-leashes, which is incredibly frustrating considering how simple they are in design and how expensive they are for even just one. I'm always eyeballing cute ribbon, thinking how nice it would be just to replace the ribbon when it gets nasty. So I want to make my own.

My issue is this: Where oh where do people get the little clips to attach the leash to the clothes?? I see binky-leashes in Etsy shops all the time, but I'm sure there's an etiquette rule against asking for the name of someone's supplier. Not to be rude, but if I can't afford to pay $5 a pop for a store-bought leash, I can't pay $8 on Etsy either. I found one site that sells what I'm looking for: http://www.lanyardfactory.com/badge-clips/fabric-strap-plastic-badge-clips-sc-002-14.htm but I have no idea if this is a reliable place to buy from or not.

Can anyone clue me in?
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Sherbet the sock monkey on: August 19, 2008 01:23:50 PM
This is Miss Sherbet, the sock monkey. She was a gift for my mother-in-law at the beginning of August. I'm told the dog loves her. *lol*

She's made of socks from Target and two navy-blue button eyes that MIL picked out without knowing what they were for. *heehee* She loves rainbows and things-that-are-blue, but this was the best I could do on short notice. Thankfully she also loves raspberry sherbet and is easy to please.  Grin
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / My first FIVE Poppets! (Long and img chunky) on: August 19, 2008 01:07:20 PM
Finally, after months on the Poppet-along, I'm ready to post my first 5 poppets! I would have posted sooner, but I didn't want to post them naked, and I made the clothing last. There will always be more to do for them -- making undies, more clothes, shoes, etc -- but they are now officially what I'd call "gift ready" -- dressed, faced, and mildly accessorized. The first, big Poppet has been claimed by my three year old son, the rest are Christmas gifts for my sister and her three girls.

General info: All five dolls were made out of a tan-colored fabric called "Buttersuede" that I found at Hancock's. It's similar to Alovasuede, but I think it's a little less stiff. The "necklaces" are actually toe rings I found on major sale at Fred Meyer. ($3.50 for 10 of them!)

For more Poppet-y info, take a look at the Poppet-Along. It has tutorial links and info for getting the pattern if you want to make your own. ^_^

Poppet #1 -- Maydi (pronounced MAY-dee -- my son named her)

Maydi was the first Poppet. She is full-size and is not needle-sculpted. Her shoulder joints are lower than they're supposed to be, and her nose is stuffed with a Q-tip. She's my oops-version. Her eyes do not have lashes, as I hadn't bought them yet and was too impatient to wait. Maydi has variegated blue-and-purple yarn hair, which was first glued to her head and then sewn. It's slightly crinkly because it was yarn I crocheted with and pulled out several times. She sports a tiny hairclip at the temple. Cheesy She is the only Poppet with eyebrows, as I don't really like how they look and think they're just fine without. Her mouth is purposely crooked, as if in a half-smile.

(The names for the rest of the dolls are temporary and color-related; their new owners will give them proper names.)

Poppet #2 -- Scarlett

Scarlett is a Christmas gift for my sister. She is 80%-sized and was the first one of this size (so contains many mistakes). She has amber eyes, variegated lipstick-red hair, and a saucy look. Her fingers and toes are needle-sculpted, as are the rest of the smaller dolls. Her nose, and the rest from this point, uses Sculpey clay to stay firm and properly positioned.

Poppet #3 -- Neela

Neela has variegated blue-purple hair like Maydi, but it's nice and straight. She has dark brown eyes that give her a thoughtful, sweet look. She is a gift for my 12yo niece, who loves green. I couldn't find a decent green yarn for her hair, so she got a green dress instead. Her necklace is a pretty green-stoned flower with a silver stem. It suits her, I think. (She's my favorite.)

Poppet #4 -- Skye

Skye is a gift for my 7yo niece. She has teal-lavender variegated yarn hair and light blue eyes. Hers is the most elaborate of the hairstyles. There is one chubby braid on either side of her face, and two pigtails that are actually braided together just a little bit before tying (detail shown above). I may add a couple of those cute little clips to the pigtails (like Maydi has).

Poppet #5 -- Rosie

Rosie is a gift for my 5yo niece. She has variegated pink and purple hair and pale blue eyes. I'm not really satisfied with her face. Her eyes came out with a sort of depressed look, so I wanted to give her a half-smile to make her look cleverish. Instead, her mouth just looks crooked. I may pull it out and redo it.

So those are the girls!! Thanks for looking!
6  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Secret quilt for DH -- advice needed :) on: August 17, 2008 11:02:13 AM
Hey there!

I'm about to undertake a quilting adventure -- and when I say "about to," I mean sometime in the next year, and when I say "adventure" I mean I've never made a REAL quilt before -- I used to think making a quilt meant tying two cute prints together with batting in the middle! Ha, boy was I wrong!

Anyway, the quilt I'd like to make would be a gift for DH. He loves the old Mario sprites -- you know, original NES, only 8 colors, fun like that. I want to do it in blocks, with each pixel being a square of its own. I've made this tiny mockup. Picture each pixel as an inch:

So you see, the quilt would be like a queen-sized bedspread, with Mario being in 2-inch blocks and the other sprites in 1-inch blocks, with a 2-inch border between squares. My questions:
1. Am I nuts to want to try this?
2. Would it look better to do each pixel as its own square, or would it be easier to do long rows of color (such as the top of his hat) as a long rectangle?
3. Any tips to make this process easier? I know how to do the quilting part, it's the gettting-the-top-together part I've never done.
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Cutesy flower wallet~ on: June 23, 2008 12:28:14 AM
I used the easy peasy snap wallet tutorial to make this. This is my first wallet/purse type project, and hence my first post in this section. Smiley

It's just a very simple wallet, about 5" wide. It's made to hold a credit card or two, perhaps some spare cash when you don't feel like carrying around a whole purse or something. The pattern was just for the wallet part; I added the tether thing myself to snazzy it up. Not sure if that was a good idea or not.

It's khaki on the outside (compliments of an old pair of my hubby's pants, which were actually nice and soft and worked wonderfully) and a pretty, quirky brownish-gold on the inside that actually has flecks of metallic-gold paint here and there. On the front, I embroidered around a little flower, then used my needle to split the threads of fabric apart for that raggy/ratty look that's in style right now. The button in the middle of the flower came from a tiny sewing kit my mom gave me years ago; just a random button that was in there, but it suited the project perfectly! It's a creamy-gold color, so it matches well.

I may still trim some of the fringey edges of the flower. The wallet came out a little crooked on the inside. And I forgot to do the velcro before sewing it all up, so I used velcro dots, which are technically for smooth surfaces. I don't know how that will hold up, but oh well. This is a gift for someone, and I'm not sure whether it's her "thing" or if she'll actually use it.

On the positive side, I love how the wallet turned out and may make one for myself, if I can talk myself into it. *lol* I gave myself a lovely blister while ironing it flat -- not from the iron itself, but from the STEAM. Ouch.
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Baby Sock Kitty on: June 22, 2008 12:59:34 AM
This is a first-birthday present for my nephew. In case it's not obvious, he is a sock kitty -- made from 6-9m baby socks! I got them for $1 at Target and I just fell in love with those stubby little legs! They're the kind of socks that just have a very short ankle, which leads to short legs and arms (obviously). Started on the 18th, completed tonight, probably a few hours to do it all in, counting stuffing time. Would have been faster if not for my super-slow handsewing skills.

Front view:

Side view:

Weird lighting, but here's my hand in there for perspective:

I sewed him on the machine a bit first, following the guidelines of the sock monkey tutorial, but sewing almost to the edge of the sock at the top cuff (the kitty's toes and hands) because I didn't want to lose any length. I didn't bother to round off the edges, either.

I made his ears out of the extra toe and then hand-stitched on some of the leftover stripey stuff. In future sock-kitties, I may just machine-sew on the inner ears and let the edges fray a bit. Might look cute. His face was hand-embroidered, but I still don't know how to do that properly so it came out a little wonky, and the nose and mouth were smaller than intended. The whiskers are growing on me, but I'm still not sure I'm happy with them. In future projects, will try to get myself to use actual embroidery thread instead of regular Gutermann machine-thread for the embroidery (it was on hand and I'm lazy, what can I say?).
9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Pouch sling and removable-panel Mei Tai on: June 16, 2008 09:54:02 AM
Hello all~ this will be my first post on this board. Nice to meet you!

I have a heavy new baby (20 lbs at 4 months!), and between him and my three-year-old, I just can't get by without something to help me hold him! When he was a month old, I made a pouch sling to carry him in. It's quilting-cotton on one side and blue Kona cotton on the other. If I had not messed up the ONE seam it has, it would be reversible. But I had to resize it, and did it badly, so the inside seam is a mess. I made this for about $6:

Well, he quickly outgrew that, so a month or so later I started looking for Mei Tai patterns. An actual Mei Tai will run about $80 (and after making one I can see why!!), but I ended up paying about $17 in materials for this one, including thread. I found a nice, heavy, navy pinstriped twill on sale for $5/yd and used a fat quarter for the middle panel. It is set in with Velcro, so if I get sick of that bright green I can swap it out for anything I like better. Smiley The straps are lightly padded (a little too lightly, I think) as is the curved headrest. I cobbled the pattern together from several different online tutorials, most of which can be found here.

Close-up so you can see the pretty pinstriping (which made it SO easy to cut straight lines!!):

Thanks for looking~ hope you like it!
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Clumsy forays into toymaking on: June 16, 2008 09:38:49 AM
(First project post, hurrah!)

I discovered Craftster about a month and a half ago while looking for some inspiration and patterns to make little toys for my three-year-old son with leftover fleece scraps. I'm so glad I found it! I have discovered my inner craftster, and have been dabbling in all sorts of projects since. I have learned so much since the first few things I've made!

I started with a simple fleece ball. I didn't know the ladder-stitch or that you should put the stuff-hole in a side seam and not at the top of the ball. I stuffed it with cut up fleece scraps, so it is kind of squashy and moldable.

Next I tried to make a little "friend" for my son to sleep with. I cringe and laugh at this guy simultaneously. When I saw how he would look stuffed, I almost scrapped the project, but my son loved him and made me finish him. He sleeps with him every night. *lol* He has two clear buttons for eyes, firmly but incorrectly sewn, and a crooked grin. I didn't know yet that you could lose the thread inside the stuffie, so he's got an ugly frayed knot at one end. And a big scar on his back where I stuffed him -- not on a seam or anything, didn't close it properly.

I made a bunny next, with inspiration from the toys here and the making-monster-stuffies Flickr tutorial. She has a slightly-less-awful embroidered face, a crooked heart on her tummy (lavender fleece with pink thread) and again, a scar on top of her head where I stuffed her.

Next I decided to try my hand at a sock monkey. This one turned out MUCH better than the rest, though still not great. I perfected my ladder-stitch getting his arms, ears and tail attached. He has blue safety eyes. There's odd "embroidery" above his eyes, where I had to repair the sock because I had cut it to get the eyes in, and it was splitting open. Note to self: next time, figure out a different way!

His tail is also very fat, and his arms too skinny. Next time I will cut that a little slimmer. I didn't realize he'd be so big!!

Last, I made a tiny kitty using a pattern from the book "Sewing Tiny Toys" by Carolyn Vosburg Hall. Handsewn out of felt in about two or three hours (hard to tell; it was split up between naptimes and free moments here and there). She is about 3" long and her tail is crooked, but my forgiving little boy thinks she's cool beans.

That's it for now! I hope your eyes don't hurt too badly, and I promise my next toy posts will be a bit less clumsy. Smiley
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