Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Amigurumi Crochet Doll

I've been making quite a few animals and dolls lately.  This is a doll I made recently for my daughter's friend Emily for her birthday.  I thought this doll was so cute with her little ponytail & maryjane shoes.  You can find the pattern for free on the Bernat yarn website here.  Of course now my daughter wants me to make one for her too. :)

The pattern calls for Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.  I used Caron One Pound in Off White and Red Heart Super Saver yarns in Chocolate and Spring Green just because that's what I had here in my stash already.

I pretty much followed the pattern, but for the doll part I skipped the joining step at the end of each round and just crocheted a huge spiral, marking the beginning of each round with a safety pin.  Yes, you can buy those split-ring stitch markers, but a safety pin or a piece of scrap yarn works just as well and costs quite a bit less.  The pattern didn't specify when to put the head on, so I decided to do that last to make it easier to get the dress on the doll's body.  I also made the dress all one color instead of doing the ruffle in a variegated yarn.  I think I may do the ruffle in a coordinating variegated yarn the next time I make this. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Amigurumi Crochet Panda

My niece and nephew happened to be at my house when I was working on the amigurumi frog that's for sale in my Etsy shop and of course both asked me to make them a stuffed animal for their birthday.  My niece asked for a panda and my nephew asked for a lion. (I'll be posting the lion as soon as it's finished.)  So here is the finished panda.  She LOVES it!

You can find the pattern for this adorable panda at Darncat Crochet here.  I pretty much followed the pattern but made a few changes for this one as follows:

I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn in white and lavender.  Since I was out of safety eyes I used buttons for the eyes.  I also crocheted each part as a spiral and skipped the step of joining at the end of each round.  That way there isn't a seam running down the back.  The pattern says to make the head and body separately and sew them together, but I just took out a row at the neck and made them in one piece to avoid having to do another seam.  (That's my least favorite part about making these - can you tell? lol )  I also made the arms and legs each a row shorter than the pattern calls for and attached them as shown so the panda is sitting instead of standing.  So have fun with this and modify it as necessary to fit your needs.  Happy crafting!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Custom Curtains For The Trailer

My husband's family owns property in Northern Minnesota that we spend quite a bit of time visiting in the Spring and Summer.  When my husband, daughter and I visit we stay in the old travel trailer that my husband's grandparents used to own.  

The trailer is pretty cozy and comfortable, but let's just say the curtains could use some help.  Ok, they were almost 40 years old and falling apart.  I finally decided to do something about it and have been busy making new custom curtains for the trailer windows.  The picture here shows the before and after.  The orange curtains on the right are the old ones and the beige ones on the left are the new ones I just made.

Since the curtain rods have clips to hold the curtains on, I didn't need to make any rod pockets so the construction was pretty simple.  I just needed to make rectangles cut to size and hem them.  In case you'd like to make some of your own, this is how I did it.

Measure the width of the windows, adding a couple inches on each side.  Then measure the height of the windows from the curtain rod to a couple inches below the window.  Then decide how much of a hem you want to have at the sides, top and bottom. 

For these curtains I purchased cotton duck fabric since it's durable and machine washable.  Also, with this fabric I didn't need to add curtain lining.  These windows just happened to be about the right size to do 2 panels of 44/45" fabric for each section, so I only had to cut the length and not the width.  Then I folded over about 3/4" on each side (enough to fold over the selvage edges) and stitched them in place.  For the top hem I folded over 1/2" to the wrong side of the fabric, stitched it in place and repeated.  For the bottom hem I folded over 1/2" and stitched in place, and then folded over 1 1/4" and stitched in place.  And voila... A completed curtain panel!