Posts Tagged ‘amigurumi’

FO Friday

No new FOs since last time

I haven’t finished anything since the Eyeball hat, but I hope you’ll appreciate these projects I made during my blog hiatus.


The Sea Otter amigurumi, a free pattern by Donatella Principi

This was a get well gift for a friend of Dottie’s.

I finally finished the Hirshorn shawl (the Illustriation shawl by Wooly Thoughts:


It only took nine months.  I gave it away.

I made another Nora’s Fish – this one out of fingering weight yarn, and it makes a great cat toy.

Happy Mini

Happy Cat 2.gif

Not exactly cranking things out, but stuff got made.

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

I didn’t win the Knitter’s Pride shawl blockers.  I didn’t enter any new giveaways this week.

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Here’s some more detail on the assembly of mantis limbs.  The first trick was to work the ‘chenille stems’, i.e. pipe cleaners, down to the very tip of the whip stitched end.  This was a bit tricky, and would have been much more frustrating if I didn’t have a pair of needle nosed pliers on hand.  The jewelry making tool set I have served me in good stead here.

I probably could have gotten away with just the pipe cleaners, but since I already had the 16 gauge copper wire, which I had used on the legs before, I added that as well.  This makes the pincers as strong as the legs are.  I’m planning to use the wire (but not the pipe cleaners) as a backbone for the body as well.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Ravelry book giveaway, and Cincinnati has guaranteed that I can’t win the March Madknits yarn giveaway.  On the other hand, I joined the Simply Sockupied Yarn Giveaway from knitting daily (30 March), and the Fandom Yarn giveaway from bluetooth toaster (8 April), and a pattern from Classic Cable Knits (26 March)

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I haven’t wound the brown skein of Cascade 220 into a ball for the Mantis yet.  Instead I’ve been merrily knitting away on the green bits.  Click on the picture at left for a (much) larger image, showing the stitch texture and the sheen of the yarn.

I’m currently ‘stuffing’ the legs, which means whip stitching them closed over both chenille stems and the 16 gauge copper wire I mentioned before.  I’m liking the results both for texture and stability, and holding the two together while I stitch is much easier than trying to ‘thread’ them through the finished legs would be. The same method would probably work really well for flower stems, should I ever be so inclined.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

Didn’t win the Patons Divine. I entered A Year at the Wheel’s March Giveaway (31 March) for a couple of skeins of Knitpicks Suri Dream.  She’s also got fiber up for grabs, but I’m so slow at spinning…  I also signed up for another Phat Fiber giveaway, this one for Wandering Wool sock yarn. (26 March) Not a blog contest, but Celeena Cree Creations Etsy story is giving away free patterns to people who blog about their store.

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After reading through the Ravelry notes, I’ve picked up some 16 gauge copper wire for my mantis.  I also got a set of beading pliers and cutters and some stretchy beading cord.  I decided not to get the aluminum or silicone jump rings this time.  I’m holding off on another row counter until I can get hold of number beads, but one is in the future I do believe.

Past Projects

As I mentioned in an earlier post on Where’s George I had been having a little bit of trouble with the currency tracking project.  I invested in a couple more stamps, and got some less beaten up bills, and it’s going much better now.  At least, it’s going better when judged by the clarity of my stamps.  I’m still not getting a great record for actually tracking currency.

In Other Blogs

Vanessa has posted about an awesome Oriole FO, and how hard it can be to accept compliments.  In Cast-On, Brenda brought my attention to the Government Free VJJ Campaign. This led to some interesting conversation with DD#2, who is a bit of a prude at times.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

No news on the  Countess Ablaze yarn drawing yet.  The name the button contest has been extended until the 22nd.  I’ve entered the Ravelry library tour giveaway for 25 books (22 March deadline), and I’ve filled out my bracket for the March Madknits giveaway, and now that play has started I can say with some confidence that I’ve found my place in the middle of the pack.  I’ve also entered the All Free Crochet Bernat Mosiac giveaway (deadline March 28) as well as Truly Myrtle’s  homemade handbag giveaway. (March 23) and Phat Fiber’s Dawning Dreams spindle giveaway (March 26)

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I had so much fun making the hermit crab for my friend Colleen that I just had to play around with a couple more of these little guys.   So now that he’s done there are a couple more knit amigurumi in the pipeline.  So I suppose it’s time to do a book review.

The Book

The source book for these little guys is “Amigurumi Knits” by Hansi Singh.  As I said before, these projects are all skill enhancing, they work on middling small needles with worsted weight yarn, and there’s plenty of fiddly bits involved. There are lots of different processes covered here, in a great deal of detail.  As I mentionGutsy Wormed before, there is only one type of short rows detailed, and no description of kitchener for ribs, but that’s actually a pretty minor issue.

All of the patterns are written for smooth yarns in worsted weight, but it’s not actually that hard to use something with a little bit more interest to it.  Here is my go at the Earthworm, which I knit up in two days using some of my own (rather primitive) handspun yarn.  I think he turned out just fine, although he’s definitely more ‘fuzzy’ than slimy looking.   I’m giving him to my mother for her birthday.

The earthworm is one of the easier patterns in the book, it being a straightforward matter of short rows and grafting.  The hermit crab, which also involves picked up stitches, ‘chenille stems’ and sewing several parts together is labeled as being more challenging.  It was certainly more time consuming, but doable.  I’ve just started my third knitted amigurumi project, the praying mantis, which is listed as the most difficult project of the three.  We’ll see how he comes along.

I’d recommend this book for the adventurous knitter who wants to focus on small projects and who thinks that realistic, multi legged (or leggless) critters can be beautiful (or at least cute) too.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I entered a drawing for 3 skeins of Patons Divine Yarn from All Free Crochet Afghan Patterns. (20 March)  One for the Munchkinland Socks pattern and skein – believe me, the pattern is every bit as exciting as the sock yarn.  I also joined a name the button contest at Nichols Buttons (deadline 18 March)

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My Sister-in-Law and her new husband gave me a gift certificate to JoAnn’s this past Christmas.  I already knew that they only sold yarn-ball-winders online, so I decided to see what else they carry that isn’t available in their brick-and-mortar store. I discovered that they sell a lot of books which are definitely worth checking out.  I fell in love with Hansi Singh’s Amigurumi Knits, and apparently so did Comet –

The cat used it as a pillow, along with the WIP

Apparently the book is as cuddly as the project

The book has a “top 10 list” of reasons to love Amigurumi knitting. #4 is that it “helps you become a precise, highly adept knitter”. This seems to be the case, as I’ve never been much for Kitchener before, but look at this seam –

The seam really does look like another row of stitches here.

I impressed myself with my awesome grafting skillz

Now that the shell is done I’ve started on the chelipods (claws), which use a lot of short row shaping.  I did the first one as written, but since I’m knitting with two different yarns (Wendy Aran with Wool and Filatura di Crosa Baby Pom Pom) held together this got a bit tricky.  So for the second claw I used a yarn over short row method, which I like doing a bit better but is still a bit awkward and I don’t think the results are as polished.

YOs to mark short rows

Here is a sample before closing the gaps. The novelty yarn makes short rows a particular challenge.

I’d like to try the Japanese short row method next, but I don’t know if I have enough split ring stitch markers on hand…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Phat Fiber yarn giveaway, but that’s OK, as I put in for this week’s Sample Box giveaway. I entered Yarn Lover’s bumper sticker giveaway (7 March)

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Since I’m on a posting jag, and I have some yarn giveaways to follow up on (and new ones to link to) I think it’s time to get all my readers caught up on my current project list.

What I’m Doing Now

Yarn Work


Yes, it was used in the wedding.  Yes, it was beautiful.  No it’s not ‘properly finished’.  Yes, this is another example of me being lame…

As you can see, it was light enough to be caught by the wind, which was a good thing.  Now I just need to finish putting the little flower motifs between all the bigger ones.  Not difficult, but it’s large enough to be unwieldy and unportable.

Hopefully I can give it to them on their first anniversary!

Hermit Crab Amigurumi

My friend Colleen has hermit crabs.  Last fall, when she went on vacation, she asked DD#2 to crab sit.  She gave us all the instructions, and an isolation tank to use if one of the three was unwell or being bullied.

We ended up using it when “Wonton” began to bury himself.  Poor DD kept digging him up, and was eventually convinced that he was dead, but kept misting him daily because she didn’t want to admit defeat.  When Colleen came back she was impressed that DD had nursed him (successfully) through a molt!  I am making her this little guy,

It’s the Hermit Crab from Hansi Singh’s Amigurumi Knits (it’s a Goodreads link, you can use the Amazon link from within Ravelry and give them the referrer’s cut…)

Unfortunately, the tight gauge makes my hands hurt, and it’s definitely not driving knitting anyway, so I’ve got a third project.

Les Miserables Shawl

I’m using the  Old Maiden Aunt “Moody” laceweight yarn I won in a giveaway from Knitting Pipeline back in 2010, and I’m knitting Les Miserables (by Cynthia Parker, published in Handheld Knitting).

Useful Resource

I’ve found that the amigurumi knitting is both physically and mentally intensive, so that I can’t do it for too long at a go without my hands complaining.  So far I’ve just switched to the less intense shawl project, but thanks to a post I found at Knitfreedom, now I have 5 Stretches to Relieve Knitting Pain.  Of course, I first read this as “5 Stitches to Relieve Knitting Pain”, which was even more exciting, but I’m still happy to have found it.

Other Projects

March is National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo).  Since I finished NaNoWriMo last year I’ve signed up for it.  Here’s hoping that in April I’ll have a draft I feel confident in showing to others…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Retrobaby giveaway, or the Twist & Twine giveaway, but Earthmama 101 has a giveaway which will be of interest to parents of young children.  Natalie Servant Designs is giving away a wonderful skein of yarn hand dyed by Indigodragonfly, but I’m not sure I can write a limerick for yarn, so I’m holding off on this one (I’ve tweeted about it though, that’s worth something, right?).  Also followed up on the Knitfreedom handspun giveaway and free pattern. I entered the Red Heart Yarn of the Month giveaway as well (after checking out projects made with it on Ravelry)  If I actually had any Malabrigo I’d join Mr. Yarn’s Malabrigo March giveaways – but you have to have some to win some.  😦

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