crafty things · crochet

January Temperature Blanket

I’ve liked the concept of temperature blankets and scarves ever since I first heard about them. The idea is you crochet (or knit I guess) one row for each day of the year to a color guide showing the change in temperature. What I didn’t care for was the straight red, orange, yellow. . . to blue color scheme. Not that I don’t like those colors, but I didn’t think I’d like a huge blanket in those colors. Or at least, I didn’t love the ones I saw.

Then sometime in December last year I saw one where they had decided they too would like a temperature blanket, but one that would match their room. So they used, I think it was a lot of reds, burgundy, tan and some greys. It was very pretty. So I decided I’d make one and use my favorite colors instead of the traditional choices.

This is January. Greys are the coldest, you can see the warmer week there of greens and that strangely weirdly warm day in pink. Yesterday warmed up again into that green row at the top. When we get into the warmer months it will move into the pinks and browns with maybe some yellow if we get the super hot days. I was prepared to go into maybe a purple if we ever got colder than the dark grey zone I made, but it doesn’t look like we’ll probably go there.

So far I am happy with these colors. I worried I’d get bored with something I needed to keep up with every day. So far I’m still having fun with it, but there are day’s I’m too tired, so I do two rows the next day or three the day after that. But I’m generally keeping up without it feeling like a chore so far. We’ll see how that feels in the heat of summer to work on a big heavy crochet blanket.

I’m using the moss stitch because I read it was a good choice to keep it from getting too long. 365 rows is a lot. January measures at about 7 inches so the finished length would be around 84 inches witch sound like a good size to me, although I’ll probably add a boarder at the end so the edges look cleaner. What color the boarder will be is a big question. . .for another day.

crafty things · crochet

Bonus Christmas 2020 Amigurumi – this Pitbull Turned Out Better!

One of the doctors I work with had a beloved pitty named Panda who recently passed away. I decided to make a little doll for her as a gift, but I had a lot of other tings going on, so it was taking a long time. Then she announced she would be leaving our hospital at the end of 2020 to work at a specialist practice. So on top of finishing the three pokemon I was making for the kids, I needed to finish Panda ASAP. Luckily, I had an extra week after Christmas to get him completed, and had him ready to give to her on her last day with us.

This one turned out better than my previous attempt at making a Pitbull amigurumi and I figured out why. When I made that first one, I was on the wrong page for the type of muzzle I thought I was making. That’s it. I was using the wrong pattern. I love the AmiguruMe Pets book, and that’s what I used. It has patterns for various head sizes and shapes, different bodies, legs, tails, ears, etc. so you can make any breed you want. I just turned to the wrong muzzle page and didn’t notice. This one used the appropriate face pattern for a pitty. Much better.

crafty things · crochet

Christmas 2020 Amigurumi #3: Umbreon

Last but not least, is Umbreon. This was for my youngest kiddo. I liked (and they did too) that I gave them Umbreon and Espeon together. The kiddo added the bow, and I didn’t want to take it off since she was loaning it back to me for the photo.

While I love the way it turned out, and I think it looks really great, making this one has made me vow that I’m not making anything out of black yarn again for a very long time. If ever. It is so hard to see the stitches. The lighting in my room is not ideal, and I was trying to make it in secret, so nights would have worked out better. Except it was hopeless to see well enough at night. This was made in many sessions on my lunch break at work, sitting in my car.

As with the other two Eeveelutions, the pattern is from Shea Crochet.


The Child (Baby Yoda) Amigurumi

I think it turned out pretty adorable. I used this pattern from Danielle Holke at Knit Hacker (there is a link to their Raverly to get the actual pattern.) It made up very quick. My little Yoda arms look different, maybe a little bigger than the pattern to me and that makes the scarf part sit a little differently too. Perhaps I overstuffed. I tend to stuff very firm, and that isn’t always the best choice.

I will now be embarking on my Christamas Amigurumi Projects. I keep coming up with new ideas, and I still have another co-worker that I’m trying to make a amigurumi version of their dog for them, so I’m beginning to worry about running out of time. With the big time commitment that is NaNoWriMo, the overwhelm is starting, when really, all of this is supposed to be fun.

I’m good at that- taking relaxing hobbies and making them stressful. But I have 5 1/2 weeks until Christmas, so I will do some thinking and decide what I can handle and go from there. For now, I’m off to get me NaNo word count in for today!

crafty things · crochet

What was supposed to be a Pitbull amigurumi

I tried to make an amigurumi version of my co-workers dog. A sweet little Pitbull. While I think the dog I created is cute, I am very disappointed in it because it looks nothing like her. I wasn’t happy with the yarn I had. Everything was too brown or too grey, and she is somewhere in the middle. I just couldn’t find anything that was right. Next, her nose is way too long. it doesn’t look like a pitty at all. My next project was going to be another pitbull, so I decided I would have to change that from the pattern I was using (from AmiguruME pets – a wonderful book) and stop sooner to shorten it. As I was looking up the right parts to use to start over, I realized I think I used to completely wrong recommended nose pattern for a pitbull. I don’t know how I did it, but once I started on the wrong nose, I just finished that pattern and never noticed I was on the wrong page, maybe? Gah!

My co-worker said they loved it, but of course they would say that. They are a kind person, but I wish it had turned out to do the real life doggie justice a little better.

AmiguruME Pets: Make Cute Crochet Animals
crafty things · crochet

Among Us Amigurumi

We celebrated yet another socially distanced birthday in our household over the weekend. The kiddo wanted to play Among Us with the family. It was much more fun than I expected it to be, and while the grandparents had some minor problems with the technology involved, there was more laughter than frustration, and it all ended with “we should do this again”. So I see why the game is so popular. I got killed a lot and never got to be the imposter, but by the time we quit, I could at least find my way around the ship better.

To go with the game, I made the above Crewmate amigurumi. With the popularity of Among Us, there are lots of patterns to choose from. I used this one from Tiffany at Cafe del Craft. It worked up very quickly so I had time for the dead crewmate too, which seems morbid, but gave the kiddo a giggle.

crafty things

Learning to spin cotton

My first cotton yarn (and Panther in the background)

While I do actually have a full spinning wheel, it hasn’t been used since we moved, many years ago and is not exactly in operational condition. Also, from what little spinning experience I have, I learned that spinning cotton is more difficult than spinning wool because of how much shorter the fibers are. What I found when I researched the topic, was the recommendation to use a spindle called a tahkli for spinning cotton.

I’m a disaster at using a drop spindle, but the tahkli sounded different. It’s a supported spindle, so it spins on a surface – in bowl or on a desk, or against your leg, etc. It doesn’t dangle. That sounded like it might give me more control, and it was a new crafty thing to play with so I ordered one from Etsy. There are all kinds of very fancy, very beautiful ones available, but I just needed functional, and hopefully, affordable so I ended up ordering this one. It really spins like a little champ!

While I was super proud of that yarn in the photo when I did it, it doesn’t look so great to me now. Although compared to my very first attempt that can’t be photographed because it’s just a pile of broken pieces of cotton with the occasional twisted section included it is a huge improvement. Considering the photo was my second day’s attempt, I think my learning curve maybe isn’t too bad. There is a lot to learn – how much to feed at a time, how much to spin, how to balance everything, how to wind it up when it gets long, what the best angle to hold the cotton at, etc. More than I had expected to have trouble with. I’m honestly still not sure what I’m supposed to be doing with the hook at the top, but since some of the videos I’m learning from don’t have a hook, I guess I will continue not to worry about that.

The Etsy seller I bought my tahkli from included some pretty cotton samples, and some more raw but nicely carded and prepared cotton so that’s what I learned on. It was very nice of them because I was afraid of messing up my own cotton so it helped me feel okay with making a mess in the beginning as I learned. thought I’m saving that pretty cotton they sent for when I know what I’m doing.

My next step is to learn how to set the twist and how to ply my spinning into a 2-ply yarn. My understanding is that these steps are important for cotton yarns, but I don’t know how. Luckily, I like to learn things. Expect more photos when I get it all figured out.

crafty things · garden

Harvesting Cotton

My cotton is starting to pop open and be ready for harvesting. I’m such a proud little container gardener! I was looking something up about cotton, and learned that these five-sectioned boils are less common than the four section ones. So I had to check my plant, I found one boil with four, but it looks like most of mine will be five. Maybe some varieties have five more often? I wonder if there is a reason. Something more to research I guess!

I spent a chunk of time picking the seeds out of this boil, and that was more work than I expected. I already have more seeds now from one boil than I bought to start with. I have a nice handful of fluffy cotton now as well. I want to try and spin it, but my understanding is it is harder to spin than wool due to it’s shorter fibers, and my wheel needs some love before it will be operational, so I ordered a spindle called a tahkli cotton spinning spindle to try out as well.

I’m nervous about messing up and ruining my pretty cotton, but I’ll need to get over that because the only way to learn is to try, and mistakes are likely. I can always grow more, and in fact, I have at least a dozen more boils out there on my cotton plant that haven’t opened yet. Still, if any experienced cotton spinners are out there, I’m open to advice!