It’s all mine; knitted amigrumi snake

I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw Bentley with his knitted amigurumi snake. It seems they’re getting along famously right?

Would you look at that face? I can almost hear him saying… Mine!

It looks like I had nothing to worry about, his old snake has been replaced.

 

Don’t even think about taking my snake!

This amigurumi snake pattern can be found in the book, Knitted Wild Animals by Sarah Keene. This is my first knitted amigurumi project. I’ve made several crochet amigurumi. All the knitted amigurumi projects within the book are knitted flat, and then seamed. I worked this amigurumi snake on my circular needles. If I use this pattern again, I’ll convert it to a circular pattern using my DPNs. Yes, yes, I know I can use magic loop, yes I know how to do them, but I much prefer doing small circular work with my DPNs. For larger circular projects, I’m all about using my Knit Picks circular needles.

 

 

Sites I’m linking too…

  1. Tami’s Ami’s
  2. Wisdom Begins in Wonder

 

It’s Alive!

Yesterday, during my free time, I found myself knitting this project.

Knitting Amigurumi doll pieces
Can you tell what I’m knitting?

It might be hard to figure what I’m making… currently, it’s just a bunch of knitted pieces, but eventually this will be a knitted amigurumi doll.

I chose not to knit in the round since I wanted to add extra stitching details to this knitted dolls body, which is definitely doable knitting circular, but not as easy. Also I’ve never crocheted or knitted a flat amigurumi project… first time for everything, right?

It’s my first time knitting an amigurumi doll, and surprisingly enough I’m liking it more than the crochet amigurumis dolls I’ve made. Shocking indeed, since I didn’t think that would happen. Of course this means I’ll be making my own knitted Coraline soon. And as much as I loved crocheting Coraline, I wondered at the time how she would look knitted.

While knitting this doll, I felt like Victor Frankenstein, prepping my little beastie that I’ll eventually bring to life, and of course I became inspired to knit another doll, that one will be undead.

As a child my mother couldn’t understand my fascination with the darker subjects such as the occult, horror, etc., and banned me from reading such material. I still managed to read those books. It’s one of the few times I secretly defied her. That fascination has continued to this day, but these days I write stories, or put my ideas into sewing. It’ll be nice to expand that to crochet and knitting.

Knitting amigurim doll
Putting the knitted amigurumi parts together

And while this knitted doll is only body parts, I’m loving her! I’m not sure you can see her little lumps on her upper torso; those will be her boobs. The knitted increases were put in the right place, so the only thing left is to give them a bit of a “lift”.  Also, I’ll be adding a navel. Guess what? When you flip her over, there will be an actual butt, not just some shapeless thing. But that’s as far as I’m going with being anatomically correct. I wanted this knitted doll to be similar to my daughters Monster High dolls.

Of course, I’m using my Knit Picks Options circular needles for this project. Circular needles aren’t only for knitting things in the round (socks, hats, etc.)

Because this doll is knitted flat, there will be a lot of seaming. Since I love sewing (especially hand-sewing) I don’t avoid implementing it into my crafts. You know, I was content to start seaming when all the parts were knitted (I still need to knit the feet) I have an impatient nine-year old daughter who wanted to see at least one seamed body part.

Knitting making a dollhand
Seaming a knitted hand…

And so, last evening before she went to bed, I seamed a hand.

You know… I should have been working on a crocheted doll for my daughter’s best friends birthday party (which is tomorrow) and I promise I’ll do that… today. But yesterday the knitted doll idea I had spinning in my head, was begging me to make her, and so I listened.

Gothic Knits by Fiona McDonald

Where can I find the knitted doll pattern?

My inspiration for the doll came from Fiona McDonald. This particular pattern is from her book, Gothic Knits, as with patterns I follow, I deviated from the pattern; sometimes a little, often a lot. I’ve been a follower of Fiona’s artwork for quite some time.  I was intrigued that with many of the dolls made by her weren’t knit in the round.

With my next knitted amigurumi, I’ll knit in the round, and include a lot of details that I’ll be adding to this doll. Knitting this doll has brought back many fond memories of the numerous dolls I sewed from the age of seven on into my teens. I never played with them, but I sure loved bringing them to “life”.

One of the songs playing through my mind, while knitting this doll… I love Rob Zombie’s music.

Amigurumi: Crochet Coraline; almost complete

 

I’m happy to say that my crocheted Coraline was finished in time for my daughter’s birthday.

Wait, I take that back… She was complete, until I decided to go in a slightly different direction.

Crochet Coraline 05 22 12

In the book Coraline by Neil Gamon, Coraline raves about these day glow green gloves that she sees at the store. Her mother was taking her shopping for school uniforms. 

And could I have Day-Glo green gloves to wear, and yellow Wellington boots in the shape of frogs?” asked Coraline.

Coraline’s intrigued by the gloves, and keeps pestering her mother for a pair. After all she’s looking for individuality, a way to stand out from others who’ll be wearing the same drab uniforms. In her mind, these gloves will do the trick. I’d have to agree. By the way, in Coraline the movie, the gloves are multi-colored. 

Crochet Coraline 2 05 22 12

The more I thought about my daughter’s crocheted Coraline; the more I realized she would definitely choose lime green pants over black! And while her mother might not have allowed her to have such a bold color, I would…

And so I frogged the black pants, and crocheted lime green pants.

I read Coraline years ago, so I’d already created my own image of her years before I saw other artist’s interpretation of Coraline. While I think other artists have made some amazing Coraline’s, I wanted to add my own spin.  

Crochet messenger bag 2

In Coraline the movie, she wears a messenger bag, and so I crocheted this one. I wanted to crochet a backpack, but my daughter was insistent that it be a bag. So, I listened to her request. I’d wanted to make something for her in bright pink, since I think Coraline would be all over that, but my daughter said, No!

This was a very simple bag to create, and it reminded me of a messenger bag that I’d made in the early 1990’s. It wasn’t knitted or crocheted, but I did sew it. Odd, that I haven’t thought of that bag in years. Then again, I’ve designed/sewn hundreds of items. There’s no way I’m going to remember every single item I’ve made. That sewn messenger bag was my favorite “go to” bag. It was made out of corduroy, velvet, and strips of leather. I carried it everywhere, and it received a lot of compliments. I wore it so much, that it eventually wore out, and I had to toss it, but not before I saved a scrap to use in a pillow I was creating.  I have lots of great crafting memories.

Regarding my crocheted Coraline, I opted not to do crochet individual fingers, this time… Time was a huge factor, but I will be making crocheted fingers with my next crocheted human amigurumi.

I still have a few minor additions to this Amigurumi Coraline…

My daughter is insisting that I add freckles; I believe I’ll embroider them on her face. I’m also going to add something to her hair. I’m just not sure what. I’ll most likely have to reread parts of the book, perhaps then Coraline will tell me what she wants. 😉 And… I’m wanting to add extras to the messenger bag; I have a few ideas that involve embroidery and beads, so we’ll see what happens.

If you want to make your own crocheted Coraline, please visit Sharon Ojala of Homemade Obsessions and  check out her free crocheted Coraline pattern.

Amigurumi Coraline; work in progress wednesday

This week is flying by, hard to believe its Wednesday already. Not too many work in progresses to show today, that’s because most of my projects are complete!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to feature them and my amigurumi Coraline in Finished Object Friday. I’ve missed the past two.

But, back to Work in progress Wednesday…

Coraline is one of my favorite books by Neil Gamon

By the time I discovered Coraline, I’d already read numerous books by Neil  Neverwhere, MirrorMask, American Gods, Angels & Visitations… are just a few that I read. I love his writing style, and although Coraline is considered a children’s book, the dark plot kept me hooked, so much so that I finished it in one sitting.  That’s not the first time I’ve done that with one of Neil Gamon’s books.

Amigurumi crochet Coraline daughter book

Towards the end of last week, I did a search for amigurumi and Coraline. Makes sense, right? I’ve only been making a ton of amigurumis over the past few weeks. Might as well start checking out amigurumis based on some of my favorite book and gaming characters, right? My search led me to Sharon Ojala’s lovely site, and her crocheted amigurumi Coraline. More on Sharon, including links to her free patterns, at the end of this post…

I really loved Sharon’s Coraline, and started making my own… uhm well my daughter’s  amigurumi Coraline towards the end of last week. I wanted to deviate from the free Coraline pattern, but my daughter requested it be similar to Ms. Sharon’s, ok I can do that…

Since my daughter was enamored by the Coraline she saw, I dug up my worn copy of Coraline and gave it to my daughter to read. She loves the book, and has almost finished reading it. Since she started reading it, she now carries the unfinished Coraline with her, when I’m not working on it.

I was really excited about starting this amigurumi project, making amigurumi animals, isn’t new to me, but I am new to making amigurumi dolls. Because of that, I’m having fun making Coraline. To be honest, I could have had this doll finished a lot sooner, but I’m taking my time with her, savoring the experience, and learning some brand-new techniques such as crocheting the legs in a different way than I’m used to, and crocheting actual fingers!

Thus far, my favorite part has been creating the face, and rooting her hair. I’ve done plenty of hair rooting, but this is my first time to hair root an amigurumi doll.

Amigurumi crochet Coraline 2 05 09 12

And here’s a closeup of Coraline. I wanted to embroider the eyes, but my daughter wanted buttons, and so buttons it is.

Coraline is almost finished. Coraline’s hair needs to be trimmed, and I need to complete her legs, boots, and create the arms, and fingers. I’m looking forward to crochet fingers, since I’ve never done that before.

Hopefully I’ll have this completed by Friday, perfect timing for us to watch Coraline the movie, again!  Yesterday, my daughter was sick, so she stayed home from school. We watched the movie, instead of waiting until Friday.

Will I make another Coraline? Of course, I adored the book, and have had fun creating the first Coraline for my daughter, but I want one for myself.

With my crocheted Coraline, I’ll be making some modifications with the Coraline I create; different hair, outfit, facial expression, I’m looking forward to making one for myself.

Where can I get the free pattern for amigurumi Coraline?

This pattern is a free design by Sharon Ojalo, if you haven’t checked out her website, Homemade Obsessions, you should. Sharon’s extremely talented, and friendly. I’ve enjoyed chatting with her via Facebook. In addition to the free amigurumi pattern for Coraline (which also has a video tutorial) Sharon also has numerous other free amigurumi crochet patterns, so stop on by her site, and check out what check out her amigurumi patterns.

Sites I’m linking too

  1. Tami Amis WIP
  2. Yarn Along
  3. Frontier Dreams
  4. Crochet Addicts CFS
  5. The Crochet Way

Pattern Testing; Cuttersaur is complete

About a week ago, I mentioned that I was testing a crochet pattern.

Shortly after I started crocheting I joined the Free Pattern Testing group on Ravelry. Of course, I wasn’t planning to do anything with it at the time, but I did want to stay in the loop with the designers. Here’s what users see on that forum…

This group is for helping budding designers and willing testers to come together and help each other in an open barter system. Testers get the benefit of getting free patterns and designers get the benefit of free testing.

What a perfect way to keep tabs on budding designers, by hanging out in the pattern testing forum, right?

But back to my first pattern testing project..

Not only was this my first time testing a crochet pattern… It’s also my first time using a super bulky yarn for an amigurumi project and creating a hat this way. I thought, this could be interesting…

What’s great, is the pattern turned out how it should.

Here’s the thing…   If I’d tried this pattern a few months ago, parts of it, would have been a bit confusing. Why? What’s obvious to someone whos experienced, won’t be obvious to someone who’s either new to reading patterns or brand-new to the craft.

Part of being a pattern tester is alerting the designer of mistakes, and perhaps offer suggestions to make the pattern more readable.

Pattern Testing Cuttersaur 1

When I sent my survey questions, I mentioned that it might be a good idea to explain parts of the patter better. My reasoning was that people new to patterns or crochet, might not understand some of the vague terms. I also gave suggestions. With those changes, I believe the pattern can be created by most of your newer crocheters.

Guess what? I’m still new to crochet. It’s only been about five months now, but I have learned a lot, crocheted numerous projects, devoured forums, and literally hundreds of crochet videos, so I have indeed come a long way with crochet. The beauty is, there’s still so much more to learn!

Initially, some crochet patterns were quite frustrating since the details were vague. I had to do internet searches to find out what they were talking about, because the designer assumed the user would be able to interpret those vague instructions; not so…

I ended the email, by thanking the designer for allowing me to try out her pattern. I also told her that my daughter has now claimed this Cuttersaur for her own. Which is true. My daughter has named it “Mob” (why I have no idea) and has it perched on her nightstand.

Ravelry users can check out her patterns by clicking on Babbling Bats designs. She only has three patterns listed. Perhaps she’s a new pattern designer? You can also follow her blog. She writes about cooking, crafts, and freelance writing.

Pattern Testing Cuttersaur 2

 

Will I use this crochet pattern again?

I most likely will make this pattern again, with modifications. I’ll use a worsted yarn; possibly a furry yarn? I’ll also embroider the eyes. I wanted to embroider these, but due to the super bulky yarn, it was slightly difficult.

The bottom line, testing a crochet pattern was a good experience; even if I were a bit frustrated with using super bulky yarn… initially.  I love my worsted yarns for my amigurumi projects. More important, the crochet designer did a great job responding to people through her pattern testing thread. I appreciated that.

Oh by the way, the scarf wasn’t part of the pattern, I decided a teeny tiny swirly twirly scarf was in order for this little critter, and decided to whip one up quickly to accompany this little amigurumi. I also decided to weave yarn into the hat, and tie it into a bow. My daughter loves bows.

Crochet Amigurumi: Coraline update

The Other Mother Coraline

The Other Mother, is a character that I’ve enjoyed in Coraline, sometimes I forget and refer to the book as “The Other Mother,” since that character was seared into my brain.

Over time, Coraline and The Other Mother have occasionally swapped roles when it comes to my favorite character from Neil Gamon’s book… The Other Mother was a bit off the rails with her approach, and she’s definitely evil, but even with those glaring flaws, I found her appealing.

With my old site; VeganMomma. I knew a blogger who went by the same name; The Other Mother. Of course… she was also a Neil Gamon fan, and as I recall, it’s something I asked when I first made a comment at her virtual home. By that time, I’d read many of Neil Gamon’s books. And so began our online friendship.  We visited one another’s blog, chatted via email, and clued each other on various authors during the time we corresponded; but that came to a halt, and I never knew what happened to her.

I wish I could remember her real name, but I can’t. I do know she lived in New Orleans, and I know her blog became silent shortly before Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana.

Whenever I think of  the book Coraline, or the character, The Other Mother, I do think of my blogging pal and wonder if she, her son, and her husband are fine. Some didn’t survive.

Amigurumi Crochet Coraline unfinished face 2

Crochet Coraline head

This afternoon, I had a chance to work on my amigurumi crochet Coraline; I didn’t get to improvise as I’d like, since the first Coraline that I’m crocheting, is being made for my daughter.  “Mommy, I want you make it just like Ms. Sharon’s!”

As mentioned in my earlier post, Sharon Ojala of Homemade Obsessions is the one who created this free pattern. So yes, with this first crocheted Coraline, there won’t be too much deviation.

I’ve always liked to root dolls hair, but this is my first time rooting a crochet amigurumi doll. The technique used is similar to what I’ve done in the past. I used a crochet hook to attach the “hair aka yarn.”

Amigurumi Crochet Coraline unfinished face 1

Crocheted Coraline: rooting Coraline’s hair

The face, is always the fun part for me, because I get to add a bit of personality to my crochet amigurumis through their facial expressions.

I really enjoyed embroidering the eyebrows and the nose.

It’s a shame you can’t really see the detail of the nose. I worked on that to make it look like a normal nose. I wanted to embroider Coraline’s eyes, but my daughter wanted them to be, “just like the pattern!”  So we used buttons. No worries, I’ll be making my own crochet Coraline, very soon.

Next up is embroidering the mouth, I’ll print out a few photos taken from Coraline the movie, and see whether any additional features need to be added before I start stuffing Coraline’s head.

Resource: Free coraline crochet pattern by Sharon Ojala of Homemade Obsessions

Amigurumi: Crocheted Coraline

Coraline will be my first crocheted amigurumi doll. It seems appropriate, after all, I’m a huge fan of Neil Gamon’s work,  and have read Coraline many times.

Coraline Neil Gamon

When my daughter was five-years old, I read Coraline to her. It’s a children’s book.  Part creepy/part goth, with a twisted adventure that kept me consuming the pages, until I reached the end.

By the time I’d read Coraline, I’d already read many of Neil Gamon’s adult books. I was pleased that I enjoyed this “children’s book” so much.  What’s funny is, even though parts of the book scared her, she still wanted to hear the story. She’s definitely my daughter, she already loves horror,  and loves Stephen King’s books.

Speaking of King, I read my first Stephen King book, The Shining, when I was seven or eight-years old. I purchased it at a local five and dime store, tucked it safely in my book bag, and brought it home. I still remember the price; it cost me 0.25! The year was 1977 or 1978; and that was a lot of money for someone who received a meager allowance. But even at that age, spending my allowance on books was worth every penny!

And so began my fascination with horror, and I read through countless stacks of horror, along with other genres throughout my life. It didn’t take long for me to become jaded, and horror books or movies no longer scared me, but that still hasn’t stopped me from reading them.

But back to Coraline…

Last evening, I’ve printed the free crocheted Coraline pattern from Sharon Ojala website; Homemade Obsessions. If you crochet, you should check it out. Go on… it’s free!

When my daughter saw Sharon’s free pattern, she got excited and asked (quite nicely, I might add) if I would start working on her, and I did. I didn’t have any peach colored yarn, so I used white.

Amigurumi Crochet Coraline unfinished head

As you can see, Coraline’s head is almost complete.

I’m doing things a bit differently than Sharon, since my next step is to add her facial features; eyes, nose, and mouth. That’s always the fun part, for me, since I get to embroider. Perhaps, I’ll add the hair too, instead of waiting. I’ll be rooting the yarn, to Coraline’s crochet head. Just like I’d root for a regular doll. I was pleased to see that Sharon uses this technique too. After that’s completed, I’ll start working on the body. Who knows, I might have my crocheted Coraline completed before the weekend is over.

I wonder if any Neil Gamon fans read this site, at some point, perhaps a Coraline doll would make a nice giveaway?