*Edit last post*

Unfortunately we had to cancel our trip to Switzerland. I’m a bit fed up with it but at least it had one bright side. Because we stayed home, my boyfriend saw a cat playing with a mouse in our front yard. He ran out, chased of the cat end grabbed the little mouse. The little fellow was completely in shock. We took him inside to see if he looked okay enough to put him back outside and he seemed to be. So we let him free in our, ‘cat-less’ backyard, at a sunny and sheltered spot so he could dry. He was covered with cat drool. Here’s a picture of him. (I love rodents so of course we took a picture of him)

"rosse woelmuis"

In this picture his back looks a bit strange but it was okay. He was very scared and not sitting comfortable. On the outside it’s hard to see if the mouse had internal injuries, but seeing how he moved and acted it looked good. And, after a few hours he was gone! He survived a cat attack, let’s hope he lives to be an old little mouse! He’s a dwergmuis, dwarf mouse in English?

Now, back to crochet for the next post!

 

A little update

Tomorrow I’m going to Switzerland for a week. To go hiking and enjoying the beautiful Alps! For the evenings I’ve planned to finish the little crochet bear and the pattern, so I can post it as soon as I’m back. I promise!

Here’s just a picture I took a year ago, of my second Amineko (pattern by Nekoyama), the cat that got me addicted to amigurumi.

"amineko crochet cat"

What will come

An update about what’s coming:

"preparations for  Starfox amigurumi"

A Starfox, Fox McCloud amigurumi! I already bought yarn for the project, beautiful Letit Lopi, Icelandic wool, in a great store in Zwolle, Astrid’s wol.  I love the beautiful warm colours the Lopi yarn comes in. After that I’m going to make a crochet Valais black nose sheep.

"Sketch for crochet valais blacknose sheep"

I got the idea last year when we where in Switzerland. They’re so cute and I needed to make a crochet version of one. This yarn also comes from that shop in Zwolle.

I also want to make a red panda amigurumi. But first I’m making these two, of course after I’ve finished the little bear. And for all these projects, I will post the patterns here!

I’ve got a lot to do!

 

Paperclip as stitch marker!

This post is about my alternative for a stitch marker, a simple thing. It starts with a story about my opinion on being a good artist. The stitch marker is not really a good example for what I’m saying though, but it fits somehow.

A thing I’ve always believed, is that you don’t need expensive materials to create beautiful things. For instant, when making my drawings and paintings, I always use basic materials. Not the cheapest, that IS mostly crappy, but certainly not the most expensive. Some people claim they can only work with the ‘best’, expensive materials, because that gives them the best results. Really? A good artist can make brilliant things with the most basic stuff. Like a beautiful, touching picture with a mobile phone camera, or a vivid painting with basic paint. It’s all in the mind and moment, and real talent brings it out no matter what you use. It can help you of course, but it isn’t necessary!

Ok, I know, a stitch marker is a kind of different example. It’s not really an expensive material and it doesn’t  have much influence on the end result of an amigurumi. But it is fun to think of a simple alternative for it. When making my first amigurumi, I found out I needed a stitch marker? Never heard of it. What else would come in handy I thought, of course, a paperclip! How simple. I bet I’m not the only one using it as stich marker, and there are other alternatives, like a peace of yarn in a different colour, but I thought this was a good post in my tips  & tricks category.

Always with a picture, here it is, the multifunctional paperclip or paper-clip!

"alternative stitch marker"

Maybe some of you haven’t thought of this yet!

Good night.

 

Yarn experiment….

….while making my little bear pattern.

I’m working on a crochet pattern for a little teddy bear amigurumi. It’s a pattern I’ve worked on before and there are already a few little bears. To finally get the pattern right, a new bear must be made. That creates a nice opportunity to try out some special kinds of yarn. This is the yarn:

Wol voor beertjes

The colours are very autumn, really my favourites! It’s Phildar yarn, bought in a local shop, in Haren, near Groningen in the Netherlands.

I have an image in my mind of how I think and hope the bears will turn out, but have no idea if I’m correct….not kitschy I hope. This evening I’m starting crocheting, so in a few days I’ll know! When the crochet bears are done, there will be pictures and the pattern of course.

See you soon.

 

Sheep special

A tribute to sheep, providers of the wool I love to use.  When looking through my pictures, I ran into some beautiful pictures of sheep, taken in different countries and in different seasons. When looking at these pictures I got the idea to add the sheep special.

In the pictures you can see different races of sheep. Some pictures are kind of crappy, but the sheep in them are very beautiful. (Click on the pic to enlarge.)

Alternative animal eyes

Animal safety eyes and other nice looking animal eyes can be hard to find. When I started making amigurumi, I couldn’t find stores where I could buy them, so I had to come up with an alternative.

I went to my local hobby store to see what they had to offer. There I found something very suitable, called brads. They come in all kind of sizes and shapes and the black round ones make perfect eyes. The one thing that wasn’t perfect, they aren’t shiny. I had to make them shiny myself then. The first thing I thought of was transparent nail polish and that actually did the job very well. A few layers of it and an afternoon of drying made the eyes perfectly shiny and smooth.

Here are some pictures of the brads and how they look as eyes on a crochet animal. There’s also a picture of another way to make particular eyes. Below the images I’ll explain how it works. (You can click on the image to get a larger version.)

 

The last image is of normal safety eyes with a felt patch behind it.

How does it work?

First, pin the brads to a pin cushion or something else you can put them into, so they stand up steady and you can nail polish them. Attach a layer of nail polish. If the first layer looks perfect, it’s good, if it’s not smooth enough yet, add another layer when the first layer is dry. When you’re satisfied, let your brads dry for a while, I let them dry for a night before using them.

Make sure the nail polish is completely dried out when you attach the eyes, otherwise you’ll damage them. At first only the upper layer is dry and not very steady. When it’s perfectly dry, it should stay undamaged even if you scratch it. If you like, you can paint various coloured eyes with nail polish, like a blue eye with a black pupil. And my advice, polish a bunch of eyes in advance and keep them safe till you need them.

When you use brads as eyes you need to make sure the paws won’t stick out of the crochet ‘skin’. If you crochet very tight it might not happen but you can also add a piece of paper(board) or felt between the paws and the inside of the piece, so when the paws are spread they only touch felt or paper.

To give more character to some eyes, you can add a piece of felt behind the eyes on the outside. In the crochet bunny picture you can see I used brown felt behind the eyes, and the Link amigurumi has white felt behind normal safety eyes.

Another tip:

If you use felt for characteristic eyes, you can dye it first with acrylic paint, to make it more strong. I did that with the Link amigurumi’s eyes. Because without the paint the felt fell apart when I cut it in the right shape. Whit the paint on it, it stayed felty but much stronger and easier to cut.

One last note:

I do NOT think the alternative eyes are safe for little kids toys, so use safety eyes if you make them for a little kid.

I hope this post comes in handy, good luck!