My Crochet Doll Complete!

I am done! Done with this project I started way back in February! The truth is that it really didn’t need that much time, but true to all crafters, I was bouncing around different stuff and was back and forth with this.

And what happened after I posted a photo of the completed doll online? My mother choped (reserved) it! Yes! She asked me to make one for her but since my brother is coming to visit me soon, I figured why not give her this one anyway. After all, Mothers’ Day is coming right? 🙂 She’ll probably end up making one herself too since she can do some basic crochet as well.

Had lots of fun putting the doll together. The pattern creator had suggested putting wires into the limbs and body so that the doll can stand on its own and be posable. But I wasn’t sure in the beginning if I was going to give this away to a small child or not, so I was concerned that the wires might end up poking out and hurting someone. Next round I will try with the wires!

The toughest part I must say is the hair! It’s very very time consuming to cut and attach the hair to the head. And I kind of regret making the hair so long as it added a lot of weight to the head. Had to add quite a bit of reinforcement stitches to the neck area so that her head didn’t flop around. It still does unfortunately. Will experiment with shorter hair and a different hairstyle next round.

This doll is certainly not difficult to make but it is for sure not a beginner’s type of project. At some points, I did have to reread the pattern a few times to get at what it is trying to say. Also spotted some minor typos here and there in the book, so there was some guess work that needed to be done to figure things out. Again, not a biggie but needs a more experienced crocheter to find  a workable solution.

 

Overall, this doll is really such a pretty one. Love her cute little face with the big eyes and sweet nose. She has no mouth, like Hello Kitty! Love her yellow jacket and striped sweater. I decided to knit (as opposed to crochet) her scarf too so that there is more variation in the pattern. It looks much nicer too!

Now that winter is almost over (I say almost because it actually snowed last week!!) and spring is on its way, it’s probably time to get started on a spring looking doll no?

Destash Hand Warmers

Every crafter has the dreaded stash hanging around the house. It is when you have overstock of whatever materials you work with. In my case, it’s mainly yarn though I have like ribbons, felt, zippers and cloth lying around as well.

I had gotten rid of a lot of my stash since moving but they have slowly accumulated again. eeks. I had tried to curb my yarn buying by quite a bit already. Used to step into Daiso and go crazy upon seeing the cheap stuff. Then I’ll walk next door to Spotlight if I was in Plaza Sing and grab even more. Usually the multi coloured and unusual looking type.

This mustard coloured yarn was the leftover from this scarf that I did some time back. I had bought extra balls, just in case there wasn’t enough to complete my project. Buying yarn can make you rather paranoid. You buy more because you fear that you won’t have enough but when you’re done, you usually have too much. And then you go abit batty again thinking about a destashing project and whether there is enough material for the 2nd one.

These were fun to make but the weather isn’t really right to use them just yet. The hand warmers are quite long so the nice pattern is covered up under the puffy winter coats I wear now. And it isn’t exactly clever to go out in fingerless gloves these days. Maybe they’ll be just nice for Spring. But am perfectly fine to give it away if I meet someone who might want them too. If you know me in real life and reading this, let me know. 🙂

My 1st knit toy – An Elephant

My love affair with crochet started almost 4 years back when I stumbled upon this totally adorbs book on Japanese amigurumi. I still remember that the book was part of a traveling library that visited the office one day and I JUST HAD to pick it up even though I knew nothing about the craft. But a desire to make something so intricate and so cute really spurred me to find out more and learn how to actually do it.

I would never have picked up crochet otherwise because who seriously needs so many sweaters, scarves and woolen winter wear in humid Singapore? Making stuffed toys was definitely a more fun and practical option. It has since become my favourite hobby and has brought many a happy face when I gift my creations.

The grey bear was my first ever amigurumi work and it shows. (Amigurumi is a Japanese term and generally refers to crochet stuffed toys) The stitches are uneven and the body parts fairly disproportionate. But it was my first work and a proud accomplishment no less.

As I got better at crochet toys, I started wondering about the knit versions. Both versions are cute but I’ve always felt that the crocheted versions were more childish kawaii kind of cute while the knitted versions had a more old fashioned but endearing look to it. Unfortunately, I had a long time mental model of how difficult knitting would be, so I never tried learning and hence could only admire the knitted toys from afar.

Things have changed of course as I gamely clock hours in honing my knitting skills by trying out new patterns. So ta-dah! This measles looking elephant (I love to veer away from solid colours in my work) is my first knitted stuffed animal. Like the crochet version, it is done by knitting different body parts and joining them up together. Took me about a month to complete it. Mainly because I got a little bored after a while and decided to do other projects as well.

Am quite proud of this since I have been thinking of doing it for so long. But…

this elephant is soooo BIG!!! I’m not used to making toys this size. I usually make small palm sized versions or cuddly ones that my baby recipients can hold while they sleep (approx 6-8 inches) but this one is like more than double. Rather overwhelming.

So my plan of presenting this to a yet to be born baby girl here has been canned since it’ll be a rather unwieldy gift. I’m also not so sure I’ll be knitting toys anymore since all the knit patterns seem to be of finished products in gargantuan proportions. I will probably stick with my amigurumi in the end.

Incidentally, as I was typing this, I got distracted and started surfing on Amazon. Ordered 2 more pattern books as it was irresistible! One on The Wizard of Oz (my favourite story of all time) and another one where you can make customised dolls. Can’t wait!

Norwegian Totoro Mittens

I was instantly intrigued when I saw this particular pattern that I found online. Am not really a huge Totoro fan but I knew that I really wanted to try this pattern because it was so cute and I was itching to try knitting more complex patterns with more colours. Also sent the pattern on quickly to Ms. Zentrek because she is a much better knitter and a much bigger Totoro fan than I am.

Anyway, I did attempt it in the end but it didn’t exactly turn out how I would have liked it.

The biggest thing I didn’t like was the colour choice I made. Normally, a grey and yellow combination would have looked pretty fab but my learning point from this is that you need very contrasting colours for the design to really stand out. The main character Totoro was very hard to see. I even tried switching the colours around to see if Totoro could be seen more clearly but it didn’t work out either. A red and white would probably work much better.

I have lots to learn about tension too because the stitches are not very even and there are some holes in different parts of the mitten. The mittens are also one big one small :D. Being the kan cheong crafter, I am pretty guilty of knitting quickly so that I can see the finished product sooner. Need to practice more mindfulness and patience to have a nicer final product.

This is a craft fail in my books. But having said that, this pattern was no doubt fun to do, knitting in colours is not THAT difficult and actually addictive. And I love the little Totoros even on the thumbs and the word Totoro at the bottom of the pattern. Even though it’s not what I consider my best work, the mittens are pretty warm and I wear them whenever the temperature is right.

I’m done with the socks!

I’m done with my first pair of knitted socks! Looks very pro doesn’t it? Like I used multiple colours and came up with a pattern or something.

Actually, the yarn is a “self-stripeing” version that creates stripes automatically as you knit. I can somewhat wrap my head around how it works but it still amazes me how it turns out so nice and uniform. Makes me look very clever, but really it was a no brainer and idiot proof.

Didn’t take that long to finish them, maybe just under 2 weeks. Still, my classmates in my knitting group were very amazed at my speed. My crochet fundamentals certainly helped a bit but I just think I am way more impatient than them in wanting to see a finished product.

In fact, made a huge mistake at one stage and actually had to cut up one of the socks to redo the toe portion. Had to figure out the colour sequence because of the self striping yarn and later how to join and salvage a cut up knit work. Must say that it was good practice and not very difficult. Am glad I learnt this the hard way, have always been more of a hands on kind of learner. Trial and error though frustrating at times works better for me in mastering anything.

Haven’t worn them yet though, the weather is too cold and these socks are too thin to keep my feet toasty. Also kind of regret making them in stripes since the cable pattern I was aiming for can’t really be seen.

Shall do more socks then. They are really fun to do and think will make great gifts this season.