Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Ghost Doily

If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you know that I’ve been engrossed in crocheting Halloween-themed amigurumi.

For those just joining us, those posts are: The Three Amigurumi and More Halloween Amigurumi.

Anyhoo, I had one final Halloween project on my hook. The pattern is Boo! by Marsha Glassner.

Angled view of off-white crocheted cotton ghost-motif doily on a dark background.

I used undyed Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet (Size 10) and a 2.25 mm (B) hook. I had just as much fun with this table topper as I did with the amigurumi.

The pattern worked up quickly. The directions were a bit unclear to me in a few spots; that may reflect my level of crochet (in)expertise rather than how the pattern was written. In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the ghosts emerge as I crocheted.

Top view of off-white crocheted cotton ghost-motif doily on a dark background.

I think I can now say that our home is well-decorated for Halloween. And we still have one more day to enjoy everything before we pack it all away for another year! I’m ready to get back to the other projects that have been languishing while I indulged in these whimsical decorations.

Oh, but I just saw that Marsha Glassner designed a Santa doily. Christmas will be here before we know it ...

Monday, October 28, 2019

More Halloween Amigurumi

Last week, I was having fun crocheting amigurumi Halloween decorations. I’m still at it!

Four amigurumi spiders lined up on a white background. Each has a different colored body - red, green, blue, purple - with black pipe cleaner legs and black crocheted web.

I started with the Sheep(ish) Spiders pattern by Allison Hoffman. For the bodies of the spiders, I used Lion Brand Bonbons from the colorway Crayons, held double, with a 3.5 mm (E) hook. For the web, I used some sport weight black yarn from my stash with a 5.0 mm (H) hook.

The web is a loosely crocheted chain; I attached a piece of black yarn to each spider then tied them onto the web. I left a long end where I connected the yarn onto the web, then wove and tied the yarn end at angles to make it more web-like.

Purple amigurumi spider with black pipe cleaner legs and loosely crocheted web on a white background.

I had a little trouble at first getting the pipe cleaner legs through the spider bodies. Maybe I stuffed them too firmly? What I found worked best was to poke the crochet hook through the spider, bend the end of the pipe cleaner over the tip of the hook, then pull the hook and pipe cleaner back through the spider.

As I was finishing up the spiders, my daughter requested a bat. She chose the Spooky Batty Bat pattern by Crafty Bunny Bun.

Amigurumi bat made from dark gray yarn with hints of metallic sparkle on a white background.

I used Red Heart Shimmer in Pewter, which has a hint of metallic sparkle, with a 2.75 mm (C) hook. And, oh, what a challenge! Between the subtle fuzziness of the yarn blurring the stitches and the dark gray seemingly absorbing all of the nearby light, I struggled to see the stitches.

While this was a simple pattern, it was the fussiest of the amigurumi patterns I crocheted because I had to make the ears and wings separately then sew them on. And totally worth it, based on my daughter’s reaction when it was done!

As I write this, there are a few days left until Halloween and I have one last spooky project on my crochet hook. Will it be finished in time? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Three Amigurumi

Halloween is almost here, and we have a shortage of decorations. Over the years, pieces have been broken or lost. It’s time for a refresh!

I looked in a few stores, but none of the decorations spoke to me. Then I realized I was going about it all wrong — why buy decorations when I can make them?!

That’s how I found myself going down the rabbit hole of Halloween project ideas on Ravelry. Oh, so many ideas!

I started with two amigurumi patterns by Josephine Wu: Baby Ghost Ornaments for Halloween and Halloween Candy Corn Creatures.

Three Halloween amigurumi in a row on a white background: a candy corn, a ghost, and a green monster.

First up was the Baby Ghost pattern on a 3.75 mm (F) hook with Red Heart Super Saver white yarn. Even though I used an Aran weight yarn instead of worsted, the stitches are more open on the lower half of the ghost due to the nature of the crochet decreases. With white yarn on white stuffing, it’s not very noticeable — and if a little fluff pokes out, it gives the ghost a wispy look. But if I make this again, I’ll probably go down a hook size.

The ghost’s pink cheeks are from a touch of eye shadow rather than fabric paint. We’ll see how well it holds up.

Next, I crocheted a candy corn with the Candy Corn pattern and a 3.75 mm (F) hook. For the yellow and orange, I used DK weight acrylic Lion Brand Bonbons from the colorway Crayons. I have some white Caron yarn in my stash that’s the same weight, so I used that instead of the Red Heart for consistency. Each of the yarns was held double.

Finally, I used the same pattern to make a Frankenstein’s monster. Appropriate to the subject, this piece is made from an assortment of scraps. The green at the bottom is from the same Bonbons pack as the candy corn colors. However, I used a single strand of the yarn this time, which led me to choose a 3.5 mm (E) hook.

The dark green is an Aran weight yarn, leftover from a needlepoint project. For the top of the monster, I held a strand of black yarn with a strand of black and green eyelash yarn. I started with Aran weight black, leftover from the same needlepoint project, and when that ran out I used a DK weight black.

I added black stitches to one side of the monster’s forehead, but forgot to add bolts to the sides of his head. The more I look at him, the more I like him without the bolts.

I had so much fun making these little projects, each between 2.5 and 3.5 inches (6 to 9 cm) tall. I was briefly stymied by a lack of safety eyes; otherwise, they were all quick and easy. I want to make more! At the same time, I want to try some of the other patterns that I found.

Good thing there are almost two weeks left until Halloween!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Hexagon Project: Block 24

Such optimism! The last time I wrote about The Hexagon Project, I was excited to get back into a hand sewing routine with English paper piecing after a six-month lull.

At least the latest break was only ten weeks.

Angled view of an EPP hexie block in dark brown, orange, light purple and off-white on a white background.

This time, however, I think I really am getting into a new routine. I started a new job, which means I’m back to stitching on my lunch breaks — and that’s a good thing, because I’m too tired in the evenings to touch any of my other projects.

I’ve only made one new EPP hexagon flower block so far, but I’m confident that more will be coming soon.

Top view of an EPP hexagon flower block in dark brown, orange, light purple and off-white on a white background.

This color combination is one of my favorites. I made a queen-size quilt from these fabrics, but with soft gray accents instead of dark brown.

The bright cheeriness of this hexie block seems appropriate for my new wave of optimism!