Saturday, 31 December 2011

A free pattern for 2012

Another year is coming to an end, and I want to thank all of you for following me and encouraging me to keep up my blog. When I started it almost two years ago, I never imagined I would still be crocheting and writing new patterns today. I wish you all a very happy and successful 2012.

I know there are already lots of owl amigurumi patterns available, but I like to think that this one is a little different. Its oval bottom gives it a nice cushiony shape, great for cuddling. And the crocheted eyes cannot be pulled off. It's made from the bottom up and the wings are crocheted in as you go. I tried several yarns for this pattern, but the best result by far comes by using a 4mm hook and aran yarn (the owl on the right). I particularly love the Debbie Bliss eco aran yarn and will be buying some more of it to make lots more owls that I hope to sell at our local organic market

Organic yarn and the fact that this pattern does not use any buttons or beads makes this a suitable toy for babies and young children. I always line my amigurmis to stop any stuffing from escaping, and the organic owls have a lining made from a recycled cotton sheet.

-- Note added on 10th July when I found someone had copied this pattern and said she had written it herself:

Please do not sell this pattern. Do not post this pattern to any website, but link directly to my blog. No file sharing of this pattern.

Are you ready? Here's the pattern:

Stitches used:

sc single crochet
ss slip stitch
dc double crochet

I recommend Debbie Bliss 100% organic cotton eco aran fair trade yarn and I used a 4 mm crochet hook for the main body. For the eyes and beak I used Debbie Bliss ecobaby 100% cotton fairtrade yarn and a 3mm hook.

You can can use one, two, three or several colours for your owl. Just remember to make the wings before starting on the rows in the body of the owl using the same colour so that you don't need to cut off and start over again! I'd even suggest you make the wings first, so that's what I'll begin this pattern with.

Wings (make 2) (using aran yarn)

Rnd 1 - ch 14, join to first ch with a ss to make a ring.

Rnd 2 - 2ch, 1 dc in each chain to end , join to the top of 2 ch (14 dc)

Rnd 3 - 1 sc in each st (14 sc)

Rnd 4 - [sc2tog, 1 sc in next 5 st] twice (12 sc)

Rnd 5 - [sc2tog, 1 sc in next 4 st] twice (10 sc)

Rnd 6 - sc around

Rnd 7 - sc2tog 5 times.

Finish off leaving a tail of yarn, weave the yarn through the last 5 sts, pull tight to close.  Weave in ends.

Eyes (make 2) (using baby yarn)

Rnd 1 - With dark colour, sc 6 into a magic circle, don't join with a slipstitch

Rnd 2 - Join light colour and slst into first sc of the magic circle, then work 2 sc into each st  (12 sc)

Rnd 3 - *2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next st, rep from * to end. Fasten off, leaving a long tail of yarn to sew the eyes on to the owl's face.

Pull the ends tight so that the "pupil" looks OK.

Beak (using baby yarn)

Rnd 1 - make a magic circle,  ch 3 and then work 5 dc into the magic circle, join with a slst to the top of the 3 ch

Rnd 2 - * 1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, rep from * to end  (9 sts)

Rnd 3 -  1 sc in each st around  (9 sc)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail of yarn to sew the beak on to the owl's face.

Body (worked from the bottom up)

Rnd 1 - ch 10. 1 sc in 3rd chain from hook (and mark this st), 1 sc in each of next 6 ch. 3sc in next ch, then work down the other side of the length of ch, with 1sc in each of the next 7 ch and 3 sc in the space made by the 2 missed ch you started with. (20 sts)

Rnd 2 - * 1 sc in each of next 7 sts, 2sc in each of next 3 sts, rep from * once again (26 sts)

Rnd 3 - * 1 sc in each of next 7 sts, [2sc in next st, 1 sc in next st] 3 times, rep from * once again (32 sts)

Rnd 4 - * 1 sc in each of next 7 sts, [1 sc in each of next 2sts, 2sc in next st] 3 times, rep from * once again (38 sts)

Rnd 5-16 - sc around, changing colours at rnd 14 and 16 (optional)

Rnd 17 - sc 14, join the first wing with 7sc, working through the two layers of the wing and the layer of the body, sc 12, join the second wing with 7sc (the 5th , 6th and 7th sc are the first three sts of the next rnd). Make sure the 1st st of the rnd is still marked.

Flatten the body to make sure that the wings are symmetrical (there are more stitches at the front, for the owl's tummy, than at the back, this is normal).  If it's not symmetrical you might have to add or remove a sc before of after starting the 2nd wing.

Rnd 18-22 - sc around

Rnd 23 - * 1 sc in each of next 5 sts, sc2tog, continue from * to end

Rnd 24 - sc around

Sew on the eyes and the beak now.

Flatten your owl to make sure that when you join it at the top it will look right. If necessary, sc 1 or 2 extra stitches.

Line (optional) and stuff your owl.

Rnd 25 - (working through both layers of the top of the owl) ch 2, 1 dc in next 2 sts, sc to last 3 sts, 1 dc in each of last 3 sts, fasten off and weave in ends.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I have made any mistakes. I always read all comments so don't hesitate!

And I would very much like to see photos of your owls!

Here are some more of mine:

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Robins and an award and a new pattern preview

Now that the little robins have been received by their new owners, I can at last blog about them :)

I made them using this easy pattern from ravelry: 

Except that I made the wings differently. But then I found the wings were a bit too big and bulky, so you might be better sticking to the designer's original wing pattern too. I sewed on the beak instead of gluing it, and also sewed on some lovely goggly eyes.

If you want to get to the pattern, you'll need to have an account on Ravelry. And I oh so much advise anyone who is a crochet fiend like me to do so!  There are zillions of patterns, including more than 24,000 free crochet patterns.  Yes, over TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND. That's a lot of free patterns. Go on over there and join! It's free and really well worth the time it takes to create your account.

I also want to say a huge thank you to Barbina at Little Things Made with Love who has awarded me the Liebster Blog award! Thank you so much Barbina, it's my first ever award and I am so happy to receive it!

The award goes to lovely blogs with less than 200 followers, the rules are:
1Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3Post the award on your blog.
4Bask in the love from the most supportive people in the blogsphere - other bloggers.
5And, best of all – have fun and spread the Karma.

I would therefore like to pass the award on to the following bloggers:

Madison from Madison Makes
Joy from The Craft Frog
Christelle from A voir, etc.
Kathmeymac from Petites créations aux fils des temps
Kristin from Brysselpyssel

Wishing you all great fun in your future blogging! 

One last thing before I go... I've been very busy the last few days preparing a new pattern to share with you all. I'm not quite ready to post it yet, but here's a little preview.  

Be back soon!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Thoughts about starting and finishing

Hmmm... I just realised I had another photo of my beloved pouffes and armrest cover that I hadn't shown to you, and as I didn't really know how to illustrate this post, here they are.

Other than that, I've been having a thoughtful day today. 

My favourite thing is starting wonderful new crochet projects.  I love doing it so much that I start many, many, many new crochet projects. I get all excited about some new crochet pattern that I find, or an idea that I have.

Just today a friend talked about name labels to put on her childen's Christmas stockings, and as I walked home I was having lots of ideas about the different ways of making such labels, the best material to use, whether embroidering the letters would be best, or if it would be better to make them from felt. It did make the walk home enjoyable and quick, but I did decided I should give myself a talking to.

Much as I love to start things, my friend didn't even ask me to make any labels! We were just chatting about it. Luckily I didn't offer to make them either. But before I got home I did realise that I must, must, must try to finish things off before I start on something new!

This is easier said than done. Since we moved house I've started... at least four new projects. They are all sitting half-done in my Work in Progress bag. In that WIP bag there are:
  • One pair of gloves
  • One granny ripple blanket
  • One decorative curtain thingy
  • and two robin decorations
The robin decorations are nearly finished. They'll be going to a new home very soon. But the other things are moving  v e r y   s l o w l y .

To get some inspiration, I looked back again at this page where I wrote my last list of WIPs, and here it is again with some notes
  • the second pouffe cover (finished!)
  • lip balm holders (finished!)
  • a yet-to-be-named amigurumi (half-made and wherever did I put it?)
  • a snake finger puppet (not started)
  • a pastel drawstring bag (finished!)
  • a felt house door-stop (not started)
  • a felt bag keyring (three-quarters made and wherever did I put it?)
So I suppose there is progress. I did manage to finish three out of seven projects. 

Please tell me I'm not the only one with such a list of unfinished projects.  What do you have in your WIP bag?

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Moving, moving... moved!

Well hello there! Would you like some tea from my lovely new teapot?

It's been a long time, hasn't it? Almost three months since I wrote my last blog entry. Since then, lots of things have happened.

First of all, we've finally finished moving. Gosh was it hard work! Despite our early start, despite the large-scale decluttering, it was still hard work. But we managed! We managed to move everything ourselves in our car (with most of the seats removed). I even managed to loosen the strong emotional ties that tied me to my old bed and give it away. We managed to move all our belongings from a big flat to a smaller one (and a spare garage for storage, thank goodness).

Then about a week after moving, I had to go on a work trip to Tunisia, but I'll tell you more about that another day.

For now, I'm just going to tell you what hooky business I've been up to!

First news - I finished the second pouffe! So now I have a matching pair, except that I didn't want them to match exactly so they're not twins, just sisters.

And... I don't know if you noticed it on that first picture, but I've also made a matching armrest cover for our rather beige sofa. The sofa is getting a bit old and the armrests are a bit grubby, despite cleaning them with upholstery shampoo. So these armrest covers have the double role of hiding the dirt and making everything look a little bit brighter.

And lastly (for now) I've made a new little swirling bag, a bigger and more pastel version of this one. Cute, eh?

And I did want to all a HUGE WELCOME to my new followers, who followed despite me absence (Thank you!). I promise I'll be back sooner next time.