Friday, 8 February 2019

Amigurumi Award Pattern

We're right in the middle of awards season now, so if you've got someone in your life that you think deserves an award, I've got just the pattern for you! Some time ago I was asked if I could design a crocheted award statuette, so I decided to give it a go.

It was an interesting challenge. Normally when I make a human figure, it's very stylised, but I wanted to make this more realistic, with a lot more definition. It's still simplified, a bit like a wooden artist's mannequin, with shaping for the body and joints that bend. In fact, you could just make the figure and adapt it if you want a more realistic-looking amigurumi.

The golden figure holds a sword, but you could change this. The pattern includes details on how to make a laurel wreath instead of a sword, or you could make anything you want for the figure to hold, depending on what you're using it for. Sports equipment for a sports award, a bottle of champagne for a celebration, maybe even a crochet hook and a ball of yarn for an epic crocheter!

The pattern is available now on Etsy and Ravelry.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Accidental Hexagon Blanket

Way back in July 2017 I was ordering some yarn online to make amigurumis, buying a selection of colours from the yarns I favour, Sirdar Hayfield Bonus DK and Robin DK. I was looking for any other brands that might work well to crochet toys, and so I also ordered some Scheepjes Colour Crafter to try it out.

When it arrived, it looked very nice, but unfortunately it was much thinner than the brands I normally use. This difference in thickness may not show up when you're making a garment or a blanket, but when you work in the round it's obvious, as you can see in this photo - the shape on the left is made with Sirdar Hayfield Bonus DK, the one on the right is Scheepjes Colour Crafter.

So, I had eleven balls of yarn that I couldn't use to make amigurumi. Luckily, all the colours I had chosen were various shades of green and brown with an autumnal look, so I decided to use them to make a blanket. Given that it was summer when I started doing this, I thought it would be best to make motifs that I could sew together at the end (preferably in the winter) so I wouldn't get too hot working under an ever-growing blanket. It would also give me a project to work on in-between patterns that I was designing - I get quite agitated if I don't have some crochet to work on in an evening watching the TV!

I chose to make hexagons, using a slightly tweaked version of  Attic24's pattern (I made larger bobble stitches in the second round). Having eleven colours wasn't going to work out very well, so I found a ball of green yarn that I'd bought sometime in the past and added that to the selection. I divided the colours into three sets of four to make the hexagons, then after I'd made a few I'd swap the colours round and make a few more, to be sure I used up all the yarn equally.

I worked on these on and off until last spring, when I used up most of the yarn, having made 261 motifs. I blocked them in batches then put them all away over the summer. I've been busy all autumn working on a new book (details to come soon!), but when I finished with that just after Christmas, I realised it was a great time to put all those hexagons together.

Weirdly, I really like sewing things together. I know most people hate it, but I find it rather relaxing. (I worked over all the ends of the different rounds as I was making them, but I wish I'd sewn them in now, as they keep poking out. Oh well, I only made this for myself, so it doesn't matter too much.) I decided to sew the blanket with fifteen hexagons wide, seventeen hexagons long, meaning I had a few motifs left over. It took quite a while deciding the order I was going to sew them, trying to mix up the colours in a random-looking way, but I eventually came up with a system that worked.

Of course, once I'd finished, I realised that I hadn't given any thought to a border! I hunted through my stash and found a couple of green yarns that matched with the other colours I'd used, and did a couple of rounds of dc (UK tr) and one round of sc (UK dc) around the edges, and that seemed to work fairly well.

Rather nicely, this blanket that I ended up making by accident matches well with the decor in my sitting room, so I'm very happy with the end result!

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Darth Maul Amigurumi Pattern

I'm carrying on with making Star Wars characters from the Prequels, and after making Jar Jar Binks I've now created the pattern for Darth Maul. In The Phantom Menace the Sith apprentice was a character that didn't say much but was an excellent fighter, with a double-ended lightsaber. It seemed like he was dead when Obi-Wan cut him in half and he fell down a big hole at the end of the film, but apparently not. The character has since appeared in the animated series' Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, and even made a very brief appearance at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Maul has red skin that is tattooed in black patterns, which is quite hard to replicate in a small crochet figure (he's about 10 cm/4" tall). Making his head is relatively complicated, with colour changes and popcorn stitches to make his horns, and then the tattoo designs are sewn on to his face - I've included lots of photos in the pattern to help with that.

He comes with a separate hooded black robe, and his famous lightsaber, and the pattern is available on Etsy and Ravelry.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Knitwits Exhibition

Where I live, in the market town of Horsham, West Sussex, we have a lovely little local museum that regularly puts on all sorts of exhibitions. I recently saw a notice saying that they were planning an exhibition about knitting, crochet and other yarn crafts, and they were asking for items that people had created to include in the displays. I sent them photos of some of my things, and they asked if they could borrow a few, including my Daleks, alpacas, bigfoot and yeti, and my Roman soldier. I took them in a couple of weeks ago, and the other day I went to see the exhibition.

It was very entertaining, with a variety of items on display, but here are the things that caught my eye. They had four copies of famous artworks recreated using knitting, crochet and fabric, created by a group called The Materialistics. The group had made Klimt's The Kiss, Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe, The Great Wave by Hokusai, and The Scream by Edvard Munch. They all looked amazing, each was made by several people, and it made me wonder if I could create something similar.

There was a collection of beautifully detailed moths, knitted by Max Alexander, which must have taken forever to complete. Much as I'd love to own one, they're a bit out of my price range, but she does make some lovely jewelry at more affordable prices, which you can find on her website Maxsworld.

The museum had various vintage items on display, ranging from booklets about knitting and crochet, patterns, gadgets, and pieces that had been made through the years. I particularly liked this coat which had been crocheted from raffia in the 1950s.

Of course, it was fun to see my items on display (even though my alpacas needed their hair sorting out!), along with other knitted, crocheted and needle felted pieces, including the traditional knitted toilet roll cover!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Crochet Story

I went to see Solo: A Star Wars Story at the weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was exciting, full of humour, action and double-crosses, and it was great to see younger versions of Han, Chewie and Lando (not to mention the Millenium Falcon).

Inspired by this, I decided to crochet those characters as they appear in the film, tweaking the patterns in Star Wars Crochet and Star Wars Even More Crochet.

Han was pretty easy, I just made him with a black shirt, rather than the cream shirt and waistcoat he wears in Episode IV. Then I crocheted him a brown jacket, using the pattern for Finn's jacket. I made it one row shorter and added black sections on the shoulders (it wasn't until I saw the film that I realised that the black panel extends along the back, so I'll have to change that).

Chewbacca doesn't wear much, but the bandolier he slings over his shoulder is a bit different, and has an extra section over the other shoulder. I basically crocheted less of the grey bobbles on the main strap, and did another smaller strap, again with less grey bobbles.

Lando is always a snazzy dresser, in fact in the film you will see that he has a whole room just for his capes on the Falcon! I made him with a yellow shirt and orange belt, and sewed a black triangle at the neck of his shirt. His cloak is black, and he has a thin black scarf round his neck. I gave him a tiny beard as well as a moustache, sewed little sideburns coming from the edge of his hair, and sewed a line into his hair to give him a parting on his right.

I hope you enjoy the film too, just let me know if you need any more info on the changes I made and I'll try to write them up for you.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

GDPR - New Data Protection Law

I'm sure you've all been seeing lots of information about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), a new regulation in EU law that aims to improve data and privacy protection. As a microbusiness (it's just me!) selling crochet patterns I still have to comply with it, so below you will find my privacy policy in detail. To summarise, I sell my patterns in PDF form on three sites, Etsy, Ravelry and Loveknitting. Loveknitting send me no personal information about the people who buy the patterns. Etsy and Ravelry (and Paypal for Ravelry sales) send me an email with each sale which contains the buyer's email address. I only use this information if necessary to deal with any problems regarding the order, and then I retain the email for tax purposes. I do not send any unsolicited emails, and do not run a mailing list.

Privacy Policy:

Information I Collect
To fulfil your order, you must provide me with certain information (which you authorised the site you are ordering from to provide to me), such as your name, email address, postal address, payment information, and the details of the product that you’re ordering. You may also choose to provide me with additional personal information, if you contact me directly.

Why I Need Your Information and How I Use It
I rely on a number of legal bases to collect, use, and share your information, including:
- as needed to provide my services, such as when I use your information to fulfil your order, to settle disputes, or to provide customer support;
- if necessary to comply with a legal obligation or court order or in connection with a legal claim, such as retaining information about your purchases if required by tax law; and
- as necessary for the purpose of my legitimate interests, if those legitimate interests are not overridden by your rights or interests, such as providing and improving my services. I use your information to provide the services you requested and in my legitimate interest to improve my services, and to comply with my obligations on the platform I am selling from.  
Information Sharing and Disclosure
Information about my customers is important to my business. I share your personal information for very limited reasons and in limited circumstances, as follows:
- Etsy. I share information with Etsy as necessary to provide you my services and comply with my obligations under both the Etsy Seller Policy and Etsy Terms of Use.
- Service providers. I may engage certain trusted third parties to perform functions and provide services to my shop, such as delivery companies. I will share your personal information with these third parties, but only to the extent necessary to perform these services.
- Business transfers. If I sell or merge my business, I may disclose your information as part of that transaction, only to the extent permitted by law.
- Compliance with laws. I may collect, use, retain, and share your information if I have a good faith belief that it is reasonably necessary to: (a) respond to legal process or to government requests; (b) enforce my agreements, terms and policies; (c) prevent, investigate, and address fraud and other illegal activity, security, or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property, and safety of my customers, or others.

Data Retention
I retain your personal information only for as long as necessary to provide you with my services and as described in my Privacy Policy. However, I may also be required to retain this information to comply with my legal and regulatory obligations, to resolve disputes, and to enforce my agreements. I generally keep your data for the following time period: 7 years.

Your Rights
If you reside in certain territories, including the EU, you have a number of rights in relation to your personal information. While some of these rights apply generally, certain rights apply only in certain limited cases. I describe these rights below:
- Access. You may have the right to access and receive a copy of the personal information I hold about you by contacting me.
- Change, restrict, delete. You may also have rights to change, restrict my use of, or delete your personal information. Absent exceptional circumstances (like where I am required to store data for legal reasons) I will generally delete your personal information upon request.
- Object. You can object to (i) my processing of some of your information based on my legitimate interests and (ii) receiving marketing messages from me after providing your express consent to receive them. In such cases, I will delete your personal information unless I have compelling and legitimate grounds to continue using that information or if it is needed for legal reasons.
- Complain. If you reside in the EU and wish to raise a concern about my use of your information (and without prejudice to any other rights you may have), you have the right to do so with your local data protection authority.
How to Contact Me
For purposes of EU data protection law, I, Lucy Collin, am the data controller of your personal information. If you have any questions or concerns, you will find my contact information by going to my Etsy shop:
You will find the privacy policies of the sites I use to sell patterns at the links below:


Monday, 21 May 2018

Jar Jar Binks Amigurumi Pattern

When I went to see the Phantom Menace back in 1999 I loved it. I loved that we were getting new Star Wars films filled with lots of new, exciting worlds and characters. I came out of the cinema, and the first thing I did was to buy a Jar Jar Binks cuddly toy, because I thought he was a fun character with an interesting design. All my friends enjoyed the film, but over the years there's been a lot of negativity about the prequels, and much of that negativity has been focused on Jar Jar.

Now, I do think the original trilogy is better than the prequels, but I still find them entertaining. When I shared my love of Star Wars with my kids, they enjoyed all the films, and they liked Jar Jar Binks. He's a fun, endearing character, who makes a lot of mistakes, and is in contrast to the highly-skilled Jedi.

So, if you or your children love Jar Jar, maybe you'd like to make him in mini crochet form. My new pattern is now available on Etsy and Ravelry and lets you make the friendly Gungan in the same scale as my other Star Wars characters. He's one of the taller characters, and will be approximately 11.5 cm/4.5 tall when finished.

On the other hand, if you're one of those fans that really hates Jar Jar, you can always make him and use him as a pin cushion!