crafty things · crochet

Christmas Amigurumi #3 – Fruit Bat

Amigurumi Bat by Kara Hartz

I can’t believe I forgot to show off this guy! It was a lot of work; probably the most difficult project I’ve tried so far. There are wires in all the ‘fingers’ and toes and arms and legs and it is brushed to make it fuzzy. It also uses 2 strands of yarn at a time which is not something I’ve done before and it didn’t feel natural to me.

The pattern is from Critter-iffic Crochet. While I am not a fan of having to watch a video to follow instructions, the linked video in the pattern was a life saver for understanding how the toes came together and the complicated assembly. So, due to the complexity and size, I actually didn’t finish this one in time for Christmas, which might be why I forgot to post it when I did finish it earlier this year.

Amigurumi flying fox by Kara Hartz

The kiddo who received a bag full of not quite done parts was super paitent as I completed it, and loves it now. They have gotten very into bats over the past year so this guy was worth the wait to them.

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.

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Christmas Amigurumi 2020 #1

I decided to go back to the traditional route for my Christmas amigurumi this year. The first several years I made these, they were always Pokemon. For Mother’s Day, my sister got me several eeveelution patterns from Shea crochet. Maybe it was the Mother’s Day before last. Honestly, time has become meaningless, hasn’t it?

Anyway, I had been wanting to make them, and now was the perfect opportunity. They all turned out more time consuming and more complex than I had anticipated, or really had time for, but once I get an idea, I have trouble letting it go. So I plowed forward.

For my niece, I made Vaporeon. It was the easiest just because I didn’t have to hide it from my kids, and could work on it openly. It took me a little while to get the eyes and mouth to look the way I wanted. The face is so important to the finial doll. I also feel the side fins on her head are not as tilted up as they should be. It isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with the end result and she got a big hug when she was unwrapped (that I got to watch over Zoom. Thanks pandemic.)

crafty things · crochet

Hank the Sheep

Hank the sheep made by Kara

My daughter gave me the book: Edward’s Menagerie for Christmas. Every single critter in it is adorable so it was tough to pick a first project, but I settled on Hank. Making the wool was a new technique for me, so that was fun to learn.

Edward's Menagerie Book by Kerry Lord

My Hank looks a little different then the one in the book, but I just used basic acrylic yarn that I had on hand instead of the fancy natural alpaca yarns all the samples in the book are made with. Plus I think I stuffed mine more firmly than recommended. The book mentions stuffing lightly to make the critters softer and floppier. I think less firm stuffing would have also made putting the wool on a little easier. It was difficult at times to get my hook into the body stitches because it was so firm there was nowhere for my hook to fit, and it sometimes pulled a little stuffing back out with it.

crafty things · crochet

Cocker Spaniel: Bonus Christmas Amigurumi

Cocker Spaniel amigurumi made by Kara Hartz

I joined in the ornament exchange at work this past December. The co-worker’s name I drew likes crochet, but doesn’t do much of it herself. So I knew I wanted to crochet her ornament. After looking at a lot of patterns for more traditional ornaments, I had the idea to make her a Cocker Spaniel, as she is a big fan of the breed and has one of her own. I used the book Amigurume Pets to make it. This is a lot like the book AmiguruMe (and written by the same person) in that it has different head types, body types, legs, etc. that you combine to make a pet that looks the way you want. There is even a table to help you figure out what pieces to use to make various dog or cat breeds. Unfortunately, a Cocker Spaniel is not in that table. I used most of the recommendations for the Beagle, substituting a docked tail for whatever the Beagle tail was.

The other thing I did was used a more fluffy, kinked type of yarn for the ears and legs to hopefully make it look the way Cocker Spaniels look when they have been nicely groomed. Crocheting the fluffy yarn (I used Lion Brand Homespun in Pearls color) with tight amigurumi stitching took away a lot of the fluffyness but I think the effect still mostly looked good. It was super difficult to crochet tight with that yarn though and I will probably try to avoid using it for tight work again.

Cocker Spaniel amigirumi by Kara Hartz

My co-worker loved it though, so it was all worthwhile.

crafty things · crochet

Tales of Orasai: Christmas Amigurumi #3

Dragon made by Kara Hartz based on character created by Anna Hartz

My daughter wrote and illustrated a comic book for her digital art class last year. For her Christmas amigurumi this year I thought she would like one of her original characters made into plush form. This little dragon is one of the main characters and I think it turned out pretty well considering I really had no pattern at all to go on for this one. It is a character that doesn’t exist outside our home yet after all.

The kiddo gave me permission to share some of her art showing the character so you could judge for yourself how well I adapted the drawing to crochet, but I’m apparently not tech savy enough to take a single page from her PDF file and post it here as a picture. We are having other issues with the PDF file as well. She made the comic in Adobe Illustrator – she had access to a student subscription to do the work last year, but we no longer have that access. The file she exported at the end of class also somehow changed the order of a few pages so the story isn’t in order anymore. That’s been a problem for trying to have it printed to share with family. If anyone has advice or can direct me to where I can learn to alter PDF files to make these corrections I’d love the help. Google is not helping me so far.

Anyway, he’s cute and looks a lot like his drawing and you’ll just have to trust me on that.

Edit to add: Here are some photos of her comic: it’s so cute. I originally forgot the little poof on the tali tip, but I’ve added that on now.

Tales of Orasai cover by Anna Hartz
Tales of Orasai panel
crafty things · crochet

Coran from Voltron: Christmas Amigurumi #2

Coran from Voltron Amigurumi by Kara Hartz

My youngest is all about the Voltron Reboot on Netflix. I’m working my way through the series myself because she loves to talk about it and I’m really enjoying it as well. She talked a lot about the character Coran, so I decided that’s what I’d make her for her Christmas amigurumi. The problem I ran into is that I couldn’t find a pattern for him. Was I up to the challenge of making a character like this all on my own?

Well, I did find very cute patterns for the other main characters – the Voltorn paladins from a shop named 53stitches on Etsy. I bought the pattern for Pidge because I thought her hairdo was closest to what I was going for with Coran. The outfit was a lot more difficult. You can see from my picture that it is far from perfect, his jacket is wonky and uneven, but my daughter was still thrilled with him. He has been riding in the side pocket of her purse/backpack since Christmas. I hadn’t really tried anything like this before, altering a pattern so much, and I didn’t really know where to stop and start my color changes. It was a fun learning experience. I do love the Pidge pattern too and plan to make a Pidge eventually as well.