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!