Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Free pattern - Soren the baby dragon

A while ago, I wrote a pattern for an amigurumi dragon...and I've decided to share it with everyone for free! So much of what I crochet is based on free patterns so I figured it was my turn to give something back. Enjoy!

Using yarn colour A
Row 1: ch 2, then 6 sc into the first chain.
Row 2: 2sc into each of the sc (12 stitches)
Row 3: [2sc into the first sc, sc into next sc] repeat around (18 stitches)
Row 4: [2sc into the first sc, sc into the next 2 sc] repeat around (24 stitches)
Row 5: [2sc into the first sc, sc into the next 3 sc] repeat around (30 stitches)
Row 6 to Row 10: sc into each sc around (30 stitches)
Row 11: [sc2tog, then sc into the next 3 sc] around (24 stitches)
Row 12: [sc2tog, then sc into the next 2 sc] around (18 stitches)
Row 13: [sc2tog, then sc into next sc] around (12 stitches)
Start stuffing the head as firmly as you can, you're just making a basic ball as the face and eyes will be attached later.
Row 14: sc2tog around, cut and finish off leaving enough yarn to sew the hole shut. Weave in loose end.
It should look like a perfect little round ball.

Row 1: ch 3, then 3 sc into the first chain from hook, sc into the next sc, 6 sc into the next sc. Turn
work around 180 degrees so that the bottom of the row now becomes the top row, and sc in the next sc, and 4 sc into the next sc (14 stitches)
Row 2: sc into the back loops of each sc (14 stitches)
Row 3 and Row 4: sc into each sc (14 stitches)
Row 5: [2 sc into the first sc, sc into the next sc] repeat around (21 stitches)
Row 6: [2 sc into the first sc, then sc into the next 2 sc] repeat around (28 stitches)
Row 7: [2 sc into the first sc, then sc into the next 3 sc] repeat around (35 stitches)
Row 8: sc into each sc around (35 stitches)
Row 9: [2 sc into each sc] for the first 15 sc, then sc2tog around (40 stitches)
The face should have a flatter, broader side on the top half and a curved rounded part on the bottom half.

Make two of these! Use yarn colour A. Alternatively, you could use yarn colour B for an interesting contrast.
Row 1: ch 2, then 6 sc into the first chain. Join with a sl st, then finish off and weave in all the ends.
They should look like 2 tiny flowers. The safety eyes will go through the little hole in the middle. Next, the eyes are attached onto the snout/face and the backs of the safety eyes are then attached onto the back of the snout/face. So it should be layered, from the outside in it will go: safety eyes, eyebrows, snout/face, then safety eye backing. If you aim to have the centres of the eyes line up with the outer edge of the nostrils, it should be about right, but you can play with this depending on how you want your little guy to look.

Using yarn colour A
Row 1: ch 2, then 6 sc into the first chain.
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 stitches)
Row 3: [2 sc into first sc, then sc into the next sc] repeat around (18 stitches)
Row 4: [2 sc into the first sc, then sc into the next 2 sc] repeat around (24 stitches)
Row 5: [2 sc into the first sc, then sc into the next 3 sc] repeat around (30 stitches)
Row 6 to Row 8: sc into each sc around (30 stitches)
Row 9: [sc2tog, then sc into the next 3 sc] repeat around (24 stitches)
Row 10 and Row 11: sc in each sc around (24 stitches)
Row 12: [sc2tog, then sc into the next 2 sc] repeat around (18 stitches)
Start adding stuffing at this point, make sure it's packed in as firm as possible.
Row 13 to Row 15: sc into each sc around. (18 stitches)
Row 16: [sc2tog, then sc into the next sc] repeat around (12 stitches)
Row 17: sc into each sc around.
Finish off, making sure you leave a long enough piece of yarn so you can attach the head later. Add more stuffing and shape the body in your hand so there's no lumps or ridges.

Make 2 of these!
Starting with yarn colour B (the contrasting colour)
Row 1: ch 2, then 6 sc into the first chain.
Row 2: 2 sc into each sc around (12 stitches)
Row 3: sc in each sc around, break off yarn colour B (12 stitches)
Row 4 to Row 5: Join yarn colour A, then sc in each sc around. (12 stitches)
You'll need to add a little bit of stuffing at this point, the little legs get narrow and it gets too hard to
poke it down into the foot part.
Row 6: sc2tog around (6 stitches)
Row 7 to Row 8: sc into each sc around. (6 stitches)

He'll need 2 of these, too, in yarn colour A.
Row 1: ch 2, then 6 sc into the first ch.
Row 2: sc in each back loop only (6 stitches)
Row 3 to Row 6: sc in each sc around (6 stitches)
Cut and finish off, making sure you leave enough yarn to sew them onto the body.

Use yarn colour A.
Row 1: ch 2, then 4 sc into the first ch.
Row 2: sc into each sc around (4 stitches)
Row 3: 2 sc into the first sc, then sc into the next sc, repeat. (6 stitches)
Row 4 to Row 6: sc into each sc around (6 stitches)
Row 7: [2 sc into the first sc, then sc into the next sc] repeat around (9 stitches)
Row 8: sc into each sc around (9 stitches)
Row 9 to Row 10: [2 sc into the first sc, then sc into the next 2 sc] repeat around (16 stitches)
Row 11: sc into each sc around (16 stitches)
Cut and finish off, leaving lots of yarn to attach it to the body. Weave in the loose end from the tip of the tail. Stuff with polyester filling, making it fat at the open end. The narrow tip of the tail
should be left unfilled, so you can pinch it and shape it as you like.


Start with the snout/face and head. The head should have one side that looks neater than the other side, so use the neater side as the back of the head (you'll see the back of the head but we're covering up the front with the face). So with the less neater side facing you, lay the snout/face over the ball like a mask. Stretch it and play with it until you're happy with the position of the face. Then stitch it onto the head using the yarn you left attached for this purpose! Weave in all loose ends.

Next, attach the head to the body using the length of yarn left on the body. You may need to play
with the angle of the head a bit and be careful when attaching the head, so that the face is straight and facing forward. Weave in any loose ends.

The tail goes on next. It should be placed low down in the very middle of his back so that it sits
level with what is essentially his bottom! Sew it on then weave in loose ends.
Next are the little legs. They should be attached low down on the front of the body, face forwards
and angle out a little bit. If you look at the bottom of the dragon, the feet and the tail should make a triangle shape – this balances him so that he can sit up on his own. Getting there! The arms are the last little appendages to attach, they should go on his body about 1cm (half an inch) under his neck. They should be on the same angle as the legs. Weave in all the ends.

All that's left now is his spines. These are stitched directly onto his body using contrasting colour
yarn B. To do this you will need to crochet a foundation chain from the tip of his tail up to the top of his head.

Row 1: Insert hook into a stitch on the tip of the tail. Yarn over and bring it through, chain 1 then sc along the length of the body. Try to space them fairly evenly, don't worry about an exact number of sc because you'll need to make the sc where ever they will fit!
Row 2: Turn him so you will now work back towards the tail. Ch 3 then sc back into the same place so it makes a little ridge.
[sl st into the next sc, sc into the next sc, ch 3 and then sc back into the same place] repeat the
length of the body.

Cut off and weave in loose ends. You should now have a completed dragon with little spines!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This is one you can eat!

Look at these tasty little things! Cupcakes that look like mini burgers...mmm sugar-loaded!

I made these on the weekend for my friend's 30th birthday. Being a guy, it's hard to know what to get (or make) as a gift for him, so the last 2 years it's been a food gift. Last year was the bright yellow Super Mario star biscuits/cookies, and this year I did these cupcakes since we were going on a picnic.

Now I'm not claiming the idea is mine, far from it. I saw pics on Flickr and thought, hey that's super cool! So I ran out and bought stuff to make them without looking up a recipe or anything. It's pretty easy, just "involved" in that there's a few different things you need to do. I had a friend ask how it was done, and since I wrote it out for her I thought I would copy/paste here in case anyone was interested in making them for themselves.

BURGER CUPCAKES - A vague "how to"

I bought 2 basic cake mixes, one chocolate and one vanilla. I made them up as the directions said and made the vanilla mix into cupcakes. I used baking paper circles on the bottom of the non-stick muffin trays instead of the cupcake papers (you know what I mean, right?) because the baking paper makes the bottom smooth and the paper cups give it that funny edge when you peel it off.

I made the vanilla cupcakes as the packet said and cooked them. I made the chocolate cake mix as the packet said, but instead of making them into cupcakes I put them in a long shallow pan lined with the paper (lamington pan/brownie tray). I cooked that and when it was done, I took it out and used a small round cookie cutter to make the "meat patties" while it was still warm and flexible. It gets too crumbly when it's cool.

So then I cut the vanilla cupcakes in half with a bread knife and let them cool.

While all the cake was cooling, I took a bowl of shredded coconut (the longer, thicker stuff, not the dessicated stuff) and coloured it with green food dye. I ended up "massaging" the dye into the coconut with some gloves on because it was sitting on the surface of the coconut and not actually going into it. Then when I was happy with the colour of it, I spread it out on some baking paper to dry.

Next I used 1 can of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and I used about half for each colour of the frosting "sauces". I used a whole buttload of the red food dye for the ketchup, with a drop or two of green to take the pinkish-ness out of it. I just smeared that on the bottom half of the vanilla cupcake, and stuck one of the choco-meat patties on it. I used yellow food dye for the mustard, and I actually had a clean, empty mustard squeeze bottle that I put the mustard-colour frosting into. I traced a circle around the edge of the choc-meat pattie and squeezed some more in the middle just for good coverage, then sprinkled the shredded coconut-lettuce on top. After that I stuck the cupcake top back on, and brushed a little milk on top so I could sprinkle the sesame seeds for the "bun" effect, and actually have them stick.

So that's it. Pretty straight forward, just a lot of steps in it. And it blew everyone's mind at the picnic. My friend's sister apparently wants to marry me now, which is great but my husband might have something to say about that...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Oh, didn't I mention?

I made another quilt!

I was sitting on my bed a few weeks ago, thinking about what pattern I was going to use for the queen size quilt I wanted to make for my bed. It's going to be in red, black and white with a bit of grey mixed in. I was there pondering the delicious fabrics I had and their light and dark values, and realising I may need some more light value stuff I pulled out the bag of fabric and started to sort. In the middle of this sorting, I realised I have some totally gorgeous fabrics in colours OTHER than red, black and purple, and wondered if I could make a nice quilt without using these 3 colours.

Starting with a cute Moda fabric that had green and blue birds eggs on it, I started to build up a little pile of complementing fabrics. Beige, brown, greens, blues...even an oriental fabric in tan and teal with metallic gold highlights. I decided that I wanted to give the "string" style of quilt blocks a go, so I cut the fabric into strips and got stuck in. The first block was great, so I did more.

After a while, I ran out of patience. I liked the piecing on paper thing, but it was pretty time consuming and I tend to lose interest if I haven't made discernible progress after a few days. So instead of the original idea I had of making a wavy chevron style pattern with the squares, I made the quilt much smaller and made 9 big blocks instead. I had to buy the chocolate brown and solid teal fabrics as I didn't have them already, but I loved how these colours look together and may use them more in the future.

This quilt is small, about 140cm square, which is big enough to have it on the couch and just snuggle under or use as a pillow or what have you. (Mostly, it's just beautifying the couch, the suede is very unforgiving but it was a freebie so hey, I shouldn't complain!) I really like how it looks, the only problem is I made some of the seams too small and there are a few little seams that have popped open already after the boys "rough-housed" on the couch the other day. I'll fix it, soon, it's just too bloody hot at the moment to have it on me. And then next time, I'll just make it with a bigger seam allowance. Problem solved!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This month, it's quilts.

Yep, it's true. Crochet has been put on hold for a while as I indulge my love of fabrics. I've always looked at quilts and thought, "Wow I'd love to make one of those...but it looks hard!" I guess that's because I hate measuring and calculating and blah blah blah. I'm not so fantastic at maths but I go all right, it's just that for some reason I seem to screw things up when I'm trying to be precise. You know that saying, "Measure twice, cut once" (shut up, it IS so a saying!) well in my case it's more like, "Measure thrice, cut once, measure again then swear like a sailor since you're just that little bit under as to make a total hash of it". Ok that saying will never catch on but eh, that's what happens around here.

Anyways, it all started with the quilt that I gave my mother for Christmas:

I'd cut up the squares for myself originally, with the intention of making a queen-size quilt for my bed. Ambitious for a beginner, I know, which is why it landed itself in the "unfinished objects" pile after I sewed together about 20 squares. There it stayed for the best part of a year. Then with Christmas approaching I thought, "Hey that'd make a nice little lap quilt! I'd just have to back it with something..." and not long after I saw a polar fleece throw at Ikea for about $6. So I bought one, sewed it onto the squares with some shiny metallic thread, and before I knew it - I was in love with this little guy! Of course, from that love was born a new crafting obsession.

So my brother-in-law's girlfriend got one for Christmas too. As did my son, his was different - my first attempt at a proper 3-layer quilt with wadding. He chose colours, I just put it together:

I went with a simple pattern for ease, yet somehow I managed to screw it up too. The squares aren't all perfectly square, I blame my hand-cut fabric for this. I have now invested in a rotary cutter, a few quilts too late I think, but my "slicie" as I've been calling him, is my new friend. He helped me create this quilt for my best bud's birthday:

I really like this one! Originally, I didn't like it so much. There was none of the black sashing and all those fabrics together just looked way too busy. So in the fashion of pretty much everything I make, I had to change something at the last moment to rescue it from the brink of ugliness. I think I achieved that goal.

Very little of what I make ends up like I originally planned. I think in this way, my crafting has helped me to adapt better, and go with the flow. I'm usually an all-or-nothing kind of person, where it has to be a certain way or I want no part of it. Control freak, I hear you say? I'm not so much of a control freak, as someone who has a vision and can't rest until it's realised. But making something with my own hands...I guess it shows me that even when something is in my control it still doesn't always go how I expected. A very good lesson that translates into life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Long time, no...something.

Hey y'all,

It's been a while since I blogged last. In fact, over a year. Oh. Well anyway, lots has happened in the last 12 months so instead of trying to go back and talk about everything I've done since then, I think I'll just start from now and refer back to things I made last year.

Prepare to embark on a crafting voyage!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Soft squishy friends

I don't know what's happened to me recently, but I look at the toys around for kids and think, "What a load of garbage!" It could be that they really ARE garbage, what with their one intended use that allows minimal imagination, the likelihood that they're made in China with lead based paints, or the fact that I am slowly turning into a cross between the mother from Malcolm in the Middle and an angry Nana. Take your pick, they're all in some part true.

Anyways, I decided that I'd make a few soft toys for Christmas for the kiddies. Here's my first few toys:

The pirate kitty - looks kinda like a little devil!

"Peanut Girl"

Pillow-y dollface thingy


I like them, they're different. And squishy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just like Nana used to make!

I've finished a few more presents for Christmas, these ones are of the old school "Nana crochet" variety. No, they're not tea cozies but almost as good as.

First up is an Aussie football scarf. Look at that green and gold goodness! The funky tassles! This is crochet as it's been for generations...well, at least the generations that support football. Yay team! I'm not a fan of tassles, but this was a gift and it was requested that they be added.

Ok, this is classic Nana crochet, but for good reason. How useful is a hanging hand towel? All right, no need to answer, it was meant to be rhetorical. Anyway, I love these things and I reckon they make a perfect little gift for someone, especially as a housewarming present. I see a lot of them at craft markets, but they're made with tea towels cut or folded in half. I like to use the thick, high quality cotton face washers, they're very absorbent and soft (tea towels can be quite scratchy) and come in some awesome colours. I bought some face washers with the printed jaquard pattern on them (you know, cut away in the shape of a flower with a flower printed over the top, giving it a 3D effect?) so that I can make some ultra-retro funky ones.