Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Fantasy Creatures Design Contest

Amigurumipatterns.net are holding a competiton to find the best cute fantasy amigurumi, and I've entered several of my patterns. I'd love you to vote for any of them that you like (or any of the other designs in the contest if you like those better). You get 10 votes so you don't have to choose just one.

Here are the designs that I've entered, just click on the 'Vote' link below each picture to go to the voting page with that pattern as the first one listed. If you want to vote for more than one of my characters you will need to stay on the same page and scroll through all the patterns. Voting ends at midnight on 10th December (UTC + 1), and everyone who votes gets entered in a raffle to win 100 Must-Have Minis yarn balls by Yarn and Colors.

Yeti and Bigfoot Families: Vote

Cuddly Dragons: Vote

Little Dragon Hatchlings: Vote

Tiny Baby Dragons: Vote

Chubby Gnomes: Vote

Bumble the Brownie Troll: Vote

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Making the wings for the Fierce Little Dragon

My Fierce Little Dragon pattern is one of my most popular patterns - since I made it available on Ravelry in 2011 it has been downloaded over 90000 times! However, it's not necessarily a pattern for total beginners, as there are some more complicated elements, in particular the wings.

I'm happy with the basic design, which is different from the normal bat-wing look of dragon wings, and was somewhat inspired by Wayne Anderson's illustrations for The Flight of Dragons.

I used front post stitches in the wings to make ridges that give them stiffness, but as the pattern stands the two wings aren't totally symmetrical. This doesn't show very obviously when they are sewn on, but I had a bit of a play with the design and came up with something that makes the wings a bit more symmetrical. I have updated the pattern with the new details (so go and download it again to get them) and I decided to make a little tutorial to show the more fiddly parts of making them. Whenever you want to make the dragon, read through the pattern for the wings, and follow this tutorial to help.

So, here are the new, improved wings. Upper side:

And lower side:

For many of the stitches (sc, hdc and dc, in US terms) you will be working around the 'posts' of the stitches, which is the main body of the stitch, rather than through the two loops at the top. With front post stitches (fpsc, fphdc and fpdc) you insert your hook from right to left around the back of the post, and that makes a ridge at the back of your work.

Working around a double crochet (dc) stitch, it's quite easy to see where to put your hook. Here are the dc stitches from the previous row:

Here's an arrow to show where your hook should go:

And here's the hook being inserted (after doing a yarn over hook):

You work around the hdc and the sc stitches in the same way. It can be a bit harder to see where to put your hook with the sc stitches, but once you have done it with the larger stitches you'll start to get the hang of it. Here's a photo showing how you do an fpsc around the last sc on the row:

At the end of the row, you then work an sc into the top of the last sc you worked around. This stops the edge of the wing ending up sloping to the right. This is what it looks like when you work into the last sc:

You then ch 1 and turn, here's what the wing looks like when turned (I undid the ch 1 as it's hard to count the stitches in a photo otherwise):

For the next row, you miss the first sc and instead work around the second sc. This is part of what stops the edge forming a slope. Here's where your hook should go:

And here's a photo showing the hook inserted:

I hope this helps, just ask if you have any other questions about the pattern, and have fun making your dragons!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Firefly Amigurumi - Jayne Cobb

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on a series of Firefly amigurumi characters, and the next one is now ready. The pattern to make Jayne Cobb, the Hero of Canton himself, is now available in my Etsy shop and on Ravelry. He's the same size as Mal, about 16cm/6.5" tall, and he comes with a removable gun in a holster, and his famous woolly hat.

Apart from the hat he's quite a simply dressed figure, and he has straightforward hair, but a lot of character in his face is created with his eyebrows and beard. I didn't give him a smile, because he's a tough-guy sort, but you might want to make him looking happier when he's wearing that hat!

I experimented with two versions of the hat, one made the normal way round, and one made inside out to give a different texture that maybe looks a bit more like knitting. I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so you can choose which you prefer.

I'm also selling the Mal and Jayne patterns together at a reduced price if you want to make them both, on Etsy and Ravelry.

I've got a couple more projects I'm working on right now, but soon I'll get on and design the pattern for another Firefly character - I think it'll be Kaylee next.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Firefly Amigurumi - Captain Mal Reynolds

After making a Mal Reynolds amigurumi as a gift, I have now developed the crochet pattern and it is for sale in my Etsy store and on Ravelry.

Mal is the captain of the spaceship Serenity in the SF show Firefly, played by Nathan Fillion. He's heroic and good-hearted, though he generally operates on the wrong side of the law. My crochet pattern lets you make a cute version of him, about 6.5"/16 cm tall, with a removable coat and gun in a holster.

I am now working on another Firefly character, Jayne Cobb, so the pattern for him should be ready soon. Let me know which other characters you'd like me to design.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Mini Pets in Eggs - Dragon Hatchling Amigurumi Patterns

Dragons are generally portrayed as fearsome monsters in the myths and legends in which they appear, but I was always more attracted to them as magical creatures that humans could form a bond with. As a child I imagined finding an egg and hatching my own dragon friend, which is why I wanted to create these little dragon hatchlings and their eggs.

I have designed three different dragons, all of which can be made with minimal sewing together. The small size means that legs, horns and spines can be made as you crochet. The smallest is the Tiny Dragon Hatchling at 1.5”/4 cm tall, a cute, chibi-style dragon with tiny wings (that are also made as you crochet), and a cheeky smile. 

The other two Dragon Hatchlings are slightly larger with a more classic dragon shape and larger wings. One has little horns and is long and thin (about 5”/12 cm long), and stands on four legs. The other has horns and ears, sits up on its hind legs with wings instead of front legs, and is 2.5”/6 cm tall. 

Included in the pattern are details to make eggs to fit each of these dragon hatchlings in a choice of designs. You can make a simple egg in one colour (or use a variegated yarn for a more interesting look) for the Tiny Dragon Hatchling.

Or you can use two colours of yarn to make eggs that are a bit stiffer, and in two sizes to fit all the smaller and larger dragons. You can hold the two colours together to give a speckled effect, or follow the pattern that uses spike stitches to make an interesting mottled pattern, a little like scales. 

There's even a pattern to make a solid mottled egg.

These dragon hatchlings will make great presents for anyone who loves dragons, especially anyone who is a fan of the Dragonriders of Pern books, with their little firelizards. Or if they're a fan of the magical world of Harry Potter, or of Daenrys from Game of Thrones and her three dragons. They would be great to make as gifts for children’s parties - having an egg to open adds an extra layer of excitement - and would be good alternative Easter presents. They’re not just for children – I have a couple of dragons perched on my monitor, and a Tiny Dragon Hatchling would look great turned into a keychain.

They only use small amounts of yarn, 5 - 10g in total, depending on the size, and the eggs use about the same, so you can make lots of them, in lots of different colours. The pattern is available to buy on EtsyRavelry and LoveCrochet. Have fun, and let me know about any that you make!