Show and Tell

These are basically the show notes for Episode 3 of the podcast but I thought I’d do things a bit differently and write them in the form or a proper blog post instead of just show notes.
That way I get to ‘chat’ to all of you blog readers, who might not want to watch the podcast, too.

I hope you like this, in fact I would love some feedback on the show note posts, as well as the podcast from you.

So, this week on the podcast I mainly shared new acquisitions with you, hence the title show and tell 😉

I did have a few FO’s and WIPs to show.

My first FO is the Fall in Love cowl, a pattern by the lovely Regina of the Herbstblatt Regina podcast.


The cowl is knit in the round and then grafted together using the Kitchener stitch. I made this cowl as a test knit for Regina and thoroughly enjoyed it. The cables are easy and it was a lovely knit. I was a bit daunted by having to Kitchener 100 stitches but I did work out how to do it and it was fine.
I’ve now written the Kitchener formula down. That way I won’t have to find a YouTube video for it in the future. (Yarn: Nurturing Fibres Too Soft For Socks in the Ma Cheri colourway,  3.75mm needles.)

My second FO is another pair of socks… my third for 2016! I think I have an addiction!

These were supposed to be Mina Philipp’s Vida socks but I placed the decreases and yarn overs in the wrong places, so they ended up looking like they do in the photo. I don’t mind, I like them as they are. They are now my ‘non-Vida socks’ 😉
(Yarn was Malabrigo sock in the Indiecita colourway knit on 2.5mm Addi Lace circulars two-at-a-time).
I used a Fleegle heel instead of a Fishlips Kiss heel.
You can find the Fleegle heel in the Time Traveller Sock pattern, which is a free Ravelry download.
This is what the heel looks like.


Wips of the week are my Cathedral Window Throw, which I added a few squares to while watching Maleficent (which I really enjoyed).


And then there’s a few design projects I’m working on…

The first is a second version of the Lunar Eclipse shawl I’m designing for Vinnis Colours in Serina yarn.
I’m making a second version to check the pattern.


And my Briochet (crocheted brioché) project.


Finally…
Here are my acquisitions.

First is this super awesome Tardis sock-sized project bag from YarnTasia.


Isn’t it AWESOME?!

Then there’s yarn, yarn yarn…

I received some lovely Hartlam sock yarn from my mom for Christmas (my aunt brought it back with her from South Africa when she visited in February).

And some more lovely Hartlam sock and lace yarn from Sally (Wooldiaries), as well as some lovely chunky Nurturing Fibres yarn, and cute stitch markers.

The photo also shows the two skeins of Madeleine Tosh I received in the 2015 #getyouryarnwishesgranted initiative on Instagram.
Lastly, I participated in a swap with an Instagrammer from the USA and this is what I received from her…


The yarn is from Hauteknit Yarn and is sock weight. I’m really happy about receiving this yarn because I follow the dyer on Instagram and I adore her colour choices. I think I’m definitely going to buy from her again!
I thin kthe rest of the package is pretty self explanatory. Eliana immediately confiscated the Hello Kitty pencil case and Minions pin 🙂

That’s all for this instalment of the podcast. I didn’t do a tutorial because there haven’t been any questions.
So, if you have a crochet question please do ask it by leaving a comment.

<3

 

09. March 2016 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: The Podcast | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Episode 2: Less Yada Yada

Hello!
For those of you who haven’t heard yet… I recently started a podcast and these are the show notes for the second episode.
If you would like to watch the podcast simply follow THIS link to my YouTube channel, and please subscribe if you like what you see.
The first episode was quite long, about 1.5 hours! This second episode is just over 60 minutes, but it does include a tutorial at the end, which you don’t need to watch, if you’re not interested 😉

Now for the show notes:

Welcome:
Hello, my name is Stephanie. You can find me on Ravelry, Instagram and Facebook as a bag full of crochet (the links are in the left side bar on the blog). The show notes can be found on my blog (abagfullofcrochet.co.za) and in the Episode thread of the designated Ravelry group.

Wips:
1. The GREG mystery CAL blanket, designed by Shelley Husband of spincushions, Scheepjes Wol Invicta and Regia 4ply sock yarn with a 3.5mm hook. I explained how I want to change it into a rectangular blanket, instead of a square and that I am thinking of getting a fifth colour for the Bob’s, as well as finding the perfect red for the join.

2. The Fall in Love cowl test knit I am doing for Regina of the Herbstblatt Regina podcast. Yarn used is Nurturing Fibres Too soft for socks (sadly the yarn is discontinued) in the Ma Cheri colour way with a 3.75mm circular needle using magic loop. It’s a lovely, simple cabled cowl worked in the round. The pattern will be released on Valentine’s Day, Sunday 14. February.

FOs:

  1. Emma‘s PJs, Vinnis Colours Nikkim with a 4mm hook. The photo shows them still missing a button.2. Knitted cabled socks in Drachenwolle’s Himbeerschnute colourway and 2.5mm Addi Lace 100cm circulars. Knit two at a time with magic loop.

    3. Donna’s Mandala, a new pattern I designed using Nurturing Fibres Eco Cotton and a 4mm hook.

    The featured design is my overlay crochet heart, which was the first tutorial posted on this blog.

    OverlayHeart_00

    New design project:
    I’ve been seeing quite a bit of crochet ‘brioche’ recently but to me it’s not true brioche since it’s not reversible and doesn’t look the same on both sides.
    I’ve been playing around with a technique which I’m quite excited about but not ready to share yet, since I want to finish a design idea first. I am using CascadesYarns Superwash yarn, which I’m not very impressed with. It’s quite plastic and splits really easily.

    I was gifted a few things by Regina, whom I met up with in Braunschweig a few weeks ago when we went to visit a Playmobil exhibit with Eliana.

    Regina and I have also decided that we would like to start a monthly craft meet up in Braunschweig, so if any of you would like to join please let me know.


    I also received a lovely package from Julia of  The Happy Knitting Podcast, which I wasn’t expecting. Well, I was expecting the green and pinky/orangy skein of her handspun but the rest was a lovely surprise. The two other yarns are her first handspun from her spinning wheel and Vietnamese cotton.


    The featured yarn of the week is Nurturing Fibres’ Eco Cotton.

    Lastly, the tutorial explains the crab stitch (UK) or reverse single crochet.
    If you would like to skip ahead to the tutorial please feel free to do so, it begins at 52:53 minutes.

13. February 2016 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: The Podcast | Tags: , , , , | 3 comments

Episode 1: Introductions

I’ve wanted to start a podcast since we moved to Germany but I just hadn’t gotten around to it because moving is hard.

However, I have just recoded my first episode and thought, what better place to share the show notes than here?
That way, those of you who don’t want to watch the podcast can still get a small overview of what happened in the episode. If you would like to watch the podcast please follow this link.

So, show notes:

Episode 1 Introductions

This episode ended up being split into 3 parts due to its length.
I’ll work on making them shorter, I promise 😉

About me:
Hello, my name is Stephanie. You can find me on Ravelry, Instagram and Facebook as a bag full of crochet (the links are in the left side bar on the blog). The show notes can be found on my blog (abagfullofcrochet.co.za) and in the Episode thread of the designated Ravelry group.

A bit about myself:
I’m German, but spent the last 31 years of my life in South Africa. I’m married and this year Conrad and I celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. We have a four year old daughter called Eliana.
I’ve been crocheting since I was about 10, so for almost 30 years, since I’m turning 38 this year.
I am almost entirely self taught. I am left handed and my mom battled to teach me. She basically taught me how to chain and single crochet and then handed me a pattern book with stitch instructions and told me, if I wanted to continue I would have to do it myself because she was breaking her arm trying to teach me.
So, that’s what I did!
About two years ago I also started knitting properly and I really enjoy it now.
I had a bit of a knitting phobia thanks to my handcraft teacher, who didn’t know what tension was. I say this because I knit so tightly that I couldn’t move the stitches off the needles. If she had just told me to use a slightly larger needle size maybe I would have been able to do it back then. But I guess it’s the reason I started to crochet, so I won’t complain 🙂
In 2012 I started my blog and through that made contact with a well known South African women’s magazine called Your Family magazine. I designed for them in 2014 and that same year I also started designing for Vinnis Colours yarn, one of South Africa’s premier cotton and bamboo yarn manufacturers.
You can find the links to may of the magazine patterns and the Vinnis Colours patterns on my Ravelry page, they, as well as some of my independent designs, are free Ravelry downloads.

Aims of the podcast:
-The prdominant focus will be crochet but there will be some knitting in my wips and fos.
-I also plan to highlight one of my past designs in each episode, since I think that some of you many not know any of my  designs yet.
-Of course I will also show you recent acquisitions and gifts but I also would like to highlight some of the gorgeous South   African yarns which I brought to Germany with me.
-Lastly I want to include a tips and tricks/ q&a section, so if you have general crochet related questions please feel free to   list them in the designated thread in the Ravelry group.

WIPs:
1. The Emma doll and the pyjamas I am currently making for her using Vinnis Colours Nikkim with a 4mm hook.
2. The Cathedral Window Throw, also Vinnis Colours Nikkim and a 4mm hook.
3. The GREG mystery CAL blanket, designed by Shelley Husband of spincushions, Scheepjes Wol Invicta and Regia 4ply sock yarn with a 3.5mm hook.
4. A circular shawl design I’m working on with custom dyed Electric Carnation ombre yarn and a 3.5mm hook.
5. A pair of two at a time toe up socks with a simple cable on the outside edge of the foot (my own idea but worked        according to the sock recipe giving in the Fish Lips Kiss Heel instructions), Drachenwolle, with 2.5mm cabled needles.

FOs:
1. The 2015 advent mystery CAL creatures were briefly discussed and some shown, Vinnis Colours Nikkim, 2mm hook.
2. Eliana’s cabled birthday coat, Vinnis Colours Nikkim, double stranded with a 7mm hook.
3. Raglan pullover for Eliana with remnants of Scheepjes Wol Linen Soft (Heron pack) and Vinnis Colours Nikkim, 4mm hook.
Also mentioned were my 2013 Scheepjes mystery CAL Succulent blanket (Vinnis Colours Serina, 3.5mm hook) designed by Marinke, the Colour Your Mind cowl, my design to commemorate Marinke, Karoo Moon HomeSpun, 10mm and 7mm hook and the Winter is Coming shawl, designed by Sally Jane Cameron, yarn: Hartlam sock in the colourway Sashimi with 4mm circular needles.

Featured design of the week:
The Summer Beach Dress designed for Your Family magazine. Vinnis Colours Serina and a 4mm hook.

Aquisitions:
Malabrigo sock yarn in the colours Eggplant 811, Arco Iris 866 and Indiecita 416, Malabrigo Lace (100% Baby Merino wool) in the colour Pearl 036 and Madeline Tosh, 100% superwash merino wool, DK in the colours Medieval and Great Grey Owl.
The featured yarn:
Hartlam’s Darling Lace, a 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere yarn in the colour Street Racer.

This week’s tutorial explains and shows two different join as you go methods for Granny squares.

Podcasts mentioned:
Herbstblatt Regina
The Knitting Expat
WoolDiaries
Pink Hair Girl
Yarn in a Barn
and
YarnderWoman

 

I also mentioned Kathryn Vercillo, who is the author of the Crochet Concupiscence blog, as well as several books on Crochet for depression and anxiety.
Kathryn has just joined Patreon, which is similar to Kickstarter in that you can donate money to Kathryn but different in that you are not funding a specific project but rather you will be supporting her in an ongoing fashion. If you would like to support Kathryn on Patreon you can follow this link to her profile.

The 3rd part of the podcast is a tutorial about joining granny squares as you go.
I show two different methods, one using single crochets and chains/slip stitches and one using only slip stitch.

27. January 2016 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: The Podcast | Tags: , , , , | 1 comment

Door 24: Fabien the fox

AdventMysteryCal

You didn’t think I forgot about the fox, did you?
He’s my favourite forrest creature so of course he had to be part of the CAL.
I actually designed him early on but decided he would make a great finale.

He is going to take a little bit more time, like Dotty and Stephan but I think he is worth it.

24AdventAmigurumi_FabienTheFox
Today you will need orange, beige and black yarn.

Don’t forget your 2mm hook, fibrefill, a tapestry needle and scissors, and, if you battle finding the end of the round, a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker you can use a paper clip or safety-pin instead.

All the CAL tutorials  are written in US terminology, if you need to convert to UK terminology please look at my Stitch Index.

Today’s abbreviations are:
ch -chain
dc – double crochet
dec – decrease
hdc – half double crochet
inc – increase
picot – picot (ch3, slst to 3rd ch from hook)
sc – single crochet
slst – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)

It is advisable to read the directions before starting, just so you have an overview of what’s happening.

To make the head
Use of the second colour (orange) is signified in bold.

Begin by making a magic ring with beige yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the ring, close the ring (5 sts).
Round 2
Inc, 1 sc in the next st, sc in same st to complete incinc x 2, sc in the next st, sc in the same st to complete inc (10 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in the next st, inc, 1 sc into the next st (inc, 1 sc in the next st) x 3, inc (15 sts).
Round 4
1 sc in the next two sts, inc, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st, inc, (1 sc in the next two sts, inc) x 2, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st, inc (20 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next five sts, 1 sc in the next twelve sts, 1 sc in the next three sts (20 sts).
Round 6
1 sc in the next five sts, 1 sc in the next twelve sts, 1 sc in the next three sts (20 sts).
Round 7
1 sc in the next five sts, 1 sc in the next twelve sts, 1 sc in the next three sts (20 sts).
Round 8
1 sc in the next two sts, dec, 1 sc in the next st,1 sc in the next st, dec, (1 sc in the next two sts, dec) x 2, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st, dec (15 sts).
Round 9
1 sc in the next st, dec, 1 sc into the next st (dec, 1 sc in the next st) x 2, dec (10 sts).
Round 10
1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next three sts (10 sts).
Round 11
1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next three sts (10 sts).
Round 12
1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next three sts (10 sts).
Stuff the body quite firmly. Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.

24AdventAmigurumi_FabienTheFox2
To make the head
Use of the second colour (orange) is signified in bold.

Begin by making a magic ring with beige yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the ring, close the ring (5 sts).
Round 2
Inc, 1 sc in the next st, sc in same st to complete incinc x 2, sc in the next st, sc in the same st to complete inc (10 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next st (10 sts).
Round 4
1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next st (10 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next st, inc, 1 sc in the next st, inc, (1 sc in the next st, inc) x 2, 1 sc in the next st,  inc (15 sts).
Round 6
1 sc in the next four sts, 1 sc in the next ten sts (14 sts).
Round 7
1 sc in the next fifteen sts (15 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the body quite firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 8
(1 sc in the next st, dec) x 5 (10 sts).
Round 9
Dec x5 (5 sts).
Cut the yarn with a good length and close the opening as explained in Part 3 of Amigurumi Basics.

The front legs x 2
Begin by making a magic ring with black yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the ring, close the ring (5 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Change to orange yarn.
Round 4
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 6
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 7
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).

The back leg
Begin by making a magic ring with black yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the ring, close the ring (5 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 4
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).

Now make a magic ring with orange yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the ring, close the ring (5 sts).
Round 2
Inc, hdc-inc x 3, sc-inc (10 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in the next st, inc, (1 hdc in the next st, hdc-inc) x 3, 1 sc in the next st, inc (15 sts).

24AdventAmigurumi_FabienTheFox1
The tail
Make a magic ring with black yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the ring, close the ring (5 sts).
Change to beige yarn.
Round 2
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 3
Inc x 5 (10 sts).
Round 4
1 sc in each st around (10 sts).
Round 5
(1 sc in the next st, inc) x 5 (15 sts).
Change to orange yarn.
Round 6
1 sc in each st around (15 sts).
Round 7
1 sc in each st around (15 sts).
Round 8
1 sc in each st around (15 sts).
Round 9
1 sc in each st around (15 sts).
Round 10
1 sc in each st around (15 sts).
Round 11
Dec, 1 sc in the next thirteen sts (14 sts).
Round 12
Dec, 1 sc in the next twelve sts (13 sts).
Round 13
Dec, 1 sc in the next eleven sts (12 sts).
Round 14
Dec, 1 sc in the next ten sts (11 sts).
Round 15
Dec, 1 sc in the next nine sts (10 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the tail  firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 16
Dec, 1 sc in the next eight sts (9 sts).
Round 17
Dec, 1 sc in the next seven sts (8 sts).
Round 18
1 sc in each st around (8 sts).

The ears
Make a magic ring with orange yarn.
Ch 2, 1 dc, picot, ch2, slst to magic ring. Yo the tail end and pull it through the loop on your hook, now pull the magic ring closed. Cut the yarn leaving a long tail to attach the ear to the head.

To make the ears symmetrical make the second ear as follows:
Make a magic ring with orange yarn.
Ch 2, picot, 1 dc, ch2, slst to magic ring. Yo the tail end and pull it through the loop on your hook, now pull the magic ring closed. Cut the yarn leaving a long tail to attach the ear to the head.

To assemble the fox:
Begin by whip stitching the head to the body making sure to line the beige arts up properly.

Attach the ears to the top of the head, six rounds from the magic ring and two stitches apart.

Whip stitch the front legs legs to the side of the body where the beige meets the orange yarn, two rounds down from the head. Sew the underside of the arm to the body so they sit snuggly.

Attache the tail to the back, two rounds up from the colour change and in the centre of the round using whip stitch.
Bend the tail to the side and sew it to the body to keep it in place.

To attach the back leg sew the black part of the leg to the orange part making sure that the hdc stitches are facing up. Before attaching the two pieces make sure the orange piece has the right side facing out.
Use orange yarn to attach the black piece then start whip stitching the orange piece to the side of the body so that the hip and leg sit on the ground. Once there’s only a small opening left stuff the hip and once stuffed close the opening completely.

Cut a length of black yarn, double knot it and thread the other end onto your needle. Insert into the body and use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside.
Exit the needle at the head and embroider an eye two rounds in front of the ears across the ‘v’ part of the stitch.

Then exit the head through the magic ring and embroider a ‘v’ as the nose. Insert the needle under the ‘v’ and re-insert in the same place you just exited. This will pinch the ‘v’ at the top to create a solid black nose.

24AdventAmigurumi_FabienTheFox0

And your very own Fabien the fox is complete.
Please share him on Instagram with #adventmysterycal2015 so that I can see your creation.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas and I will see you in the new year.

 

24. December 2015 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Door 23: Tony the tortoise

AdventMysteryCal

Sometimes a design just makes itself. I have a clear picture of what it needs to look like and it comes together quickly.
Tony was like that, and isn’t he just the cutest?

23AAdventAmigurumi_TonytheTortoise
Today you will need beige and green yarn, as well as a tiny bit of dark brown yarn.

Don’t forget your 2mm hook, fibrefill, a tapestry needle and scissors, and, if you battle finding the end of the round, a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker you can use a paper clip or safety-pin instead.

All the CAL tutorials  are written in US terminology, if you need to convert to UK terminology please look at my Stitch Index.

Today’s abbreviations are:
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
dc-cl – double crochet cluster (*Yarn over, insert hook into designated stitch. Yarn over and pull through stitch. Yarn over and pull through two loops*. Repeat from * to * twice. Yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.
dec – decrease
hdc – half double crochet
inc – increase
sc – single crochet
slst – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)

It is advisable to read the directions before starting, just so you have an overview of what’s happening.

To make the shell
Ch 7 with green yarn and turn.
Row 1
(Dc-cl into third chain from hook, 1 dc in the next ch) x 2, dc-cl in next ch, ch2, turn (5 sts).
Row 2
(Dc-cl into third chain from hook, 1 dc in the next ch) x 2, dc-cl in next ch, ch1, turn (5 sts).
From now you will be working in the round.
Round 1
1 sc in each st of the five sts of the row, 4 sc along the next edge of the piece ending at the corner, 1 sc into each of the five ch of the row, 5 along the next edge of the piece ending at the first sc, slst round closed (17 sts).
Round 2
[(Hdc-inc, hdc in next st) x 2, hdc-inc, 1 sc in the next four sts] x 2, 1 sc in the next st, finish with an invisible join as follows:
Leave the hook in the loop made by the last stitch. Cut the yarn with enough length. Now pull the loop which is on the hook up by moving the hook away from the work. This will pull the yarn end out of the stitch. Don’t worry the work will not unravel!
Thread the yarn end onto the tapestry needle. Insert the needle through the first stitch of the round, from the front of the stitch to the back. Finally, insert the needle between the two loops of the last stitch made. You should now have something that looks like a proper crochet stitch.

Make a magic ring with green yarn
Round 1
Ch2, 9 hdc into ring, slst into second ch of ch2 to close ring, pull ring tight (10 sts).
Round 2
Ch2, hdc in second ch of ch2, hdc-inc, dc-inc x 3, hdc-inc x 2, dc-inc x 3, finish with an invisible join as described above but cut a very long length of yarn to join the two pieces together.

23BAdventAmigurumi_TonytheTortoise
For the head
Make a magic ring with beige yarn.
Round 1
6 sc into the magic ring, pull ring closed (6 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in the next two sts, 1 dc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next two sts (6 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in each st around (6 sts).
Cut yarn with length.

For the legs (make 4)
Make a magic ring with beige yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the magic ring, pull ring closed (5 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Round 4
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Cut yarn with length.

For the tail
Make a magic ring with beige yarn.
Round 1
6 sc into the magic ring, pull ring closed (6 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in each st around (6 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in the next four sts, dec ( 5 sts).
Round 4
1 sc in the next three sts, dec ( 4 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next two sts, dec ( 3 sts).
Round 6
1 sc in the next two sts, dec ( 2 sts).
Cut yarn with length, neaten up the remaining stitches and weave the end into the tail.

23AAdventAmigurumi_TonytheTortoise

To assemble
Take the bottom piece of the shell (worked in rounds) and the head. Thread the yarn end from the head onto your needle and attach the head to the shell on the wrong side. Make sure the dc stitches are facing up. Hold the shell so that you are attaching the head on one of the short sides. Attach the head by weaving the yarn through the back bump of the stitches on the shell. You don’t need to attach it very firmly, it’s just to hold the head in place.

Repeat with the tail on the opposite end and then with the the legs, two on each side, spaced equally apart.

To attach the top part of the shell thread the long yarn end from the bottom of the shell onto your needle. Hold the top part of the shell over the bottom piece with the slightly wider short side at the front by the head, and insert the needle through the closest stitch on the top part of the shell. Insert the needle through the next stitch and out through the bottom piece. You will be working in a continuous serpentine motion: up, down, up down. When you reach one of the body parts push the piece slightly further into the body and then insert the needle through the pieces of shell as well as through that body part at least twice to secure the piece properly. Work your way around until you have only got a small opening left. Insert stuffing into the shell so that it is firm. Use the back of a pencil to push the stuffing to the inside.
Once the shell is properly stuffed finish sewing the two pieces together. Weave in the end.

To embroider the eyes and mouth
Thread a piece of dark brown yarn onto your needle and double knot the other end. Insert the needle into the head and exit on the front of the face before the dc round. Embroider two tiny eyes and then a long smiling mouth across the front of the face.
Weave in the end.

Well done on completing your Tony!
Please share him on Instagram with #adventmysterycal2015 so that I can see your creation.

I’ll see you again tomorrow for Door 23.

23. December 2015 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Door 22: Olly the otter

AdventMysteryCal
Do you love otters too? I think they are adorable. This morning I saw a video of two otters holding on to each other while sleeping. So very cute!

22BAdventAmigurumi_OllytheOtter

Today you will need dark brown and light grey yarn, as well as a tiny bit of black yarn.

Don’t forget your 2mm hook, fibrefill, a tapestry needle and scissors, and, if you battle finding the end of the round, a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker you can use a paper clip or safety-pin instead.

All the CAL tutorials  are written in US terminology, if you need to convert to UK terminology please look at my Stitch Index.

Today’s abbreviations are:
ch – chain
dec – decrease
inc – increase
sc – single crochet
slst – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)

It is advisable to read the directions before starting, just so you have an overview of what’s happening.

Use of the second colour (light grey) is signified in bold.
Begin by making a magic ring with dark brown yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the ring, close the ring (5 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in the next st, inc, 1 sc in the next st, inc, 1 sc in the next st (7 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in the next two sts, inc, inc, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the same st to complete the inc, inc, 1 sc in the next st (11 sts).
Round 4
1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next st, ch2, slst in the second back bump of chain from hook, 1 sc in the next four sts, ch2, slst in the second back bump of chain from hook, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next two sts (11 sts).
You’ve just created the ears. Make sure you pin them forward in the nest round so that they stand up on the outside.
Round 5
1 sc in the next st, dec, 1 sc in the next six sts, dec (9 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the head quite firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 6
Inc, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next six sts, inc ( 11 sts).
Round 7
1 sc in the next two sts, inc, 1 sc in the next seven sts, 1 sc in the next st (12 sts).
Round 8
1 sc in the next four sts, 1 sc in the next eight sts (12 sts).
Round 9
1 sc in the next st, ch5, slst in each back bump of the chain starting from second chain, 1 sc in the next two sts, ch5, slst in each back bump of the chain starting from second chain, 1 sc in the next nine sts (12 sts).
Round 10
1 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Round 11
1 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Round 12
1 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Round 13
1 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Round 14
1 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Round 15
1 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Round 16
1 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Round 17
1 sc in the next three sts, ch5, slst in each back bump of the chain starting from second chain, 1 sc in the next two sts, ch5, slst in each back bump of the chain starting from second chain, 1 sc in the next seven sts (12 sts).

22AAdventAmigurumi_OllytheOtter

Round 18
1 sc in the next eight sts, dec x2 (10 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the body quite firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 19
1 sc in the next three sts, dec, 1 sc in the next three sts, dec (8 sts).
Round 20
Dec, 1 sc in the next six sts (7 sts).
Round 21
Dec, 1 sc in the next five sts (6 sts).
Round 22
1 sc in each st around (6 sts).
Round 23
Dec, 1 sc in the next four sts (5 sts).
Round 24
Dec, 1 sc in the next three sts (4 sts).
Round 25
Dec x 2 (2 sts).
Cut yarn with enough length to weave in the end. Neaten up the closure and sew the end in.

22AdventAmigurumi_OllytheOtter
Thread a length of black yarn onto your needle and knot the other end. Insert the needle into the body and pull the yarn to the inside. Use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside.
Manoeuvre the needle to the head and exit in front of an ear at the point where the two colours meet. Embroider a small eye in this spot and repeat on the other side. Carefully weave the end in on the underside of the body.

Tread a length of dark brown yarn onto your needle and knot the other end. Insert the needle into the body and pull the yarn to the inside. Use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside.
Exit the needle through one of the stitches on either side of the magic ring in line with the eyes. Embroider a nose across the magic ring covering the stitches entirely. It should take three stitches.
Exit the needle through the magic ring and embroider a mouth in an inverted ‘v’ shape under the nose. Weave the end into the body.

And you’ve just created your very own Olly the otter! Well done!
Please share him on Instagram with #adventmysterycal2015 so that I can see your creation.

I’ll see you again tomorrow for Door 23.

22. December 2015 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 comments

Door 21: Tori the toadstool

AdventMysteryCal
Let me take a moment to explain my pattern making process for this CAL quickly.

Initially when I decided on making these critters for Eliana’s advent calendar I wasn’t thinking about writing down the patterns, never mind sharing them with you. It was just a thing I was doing for Eliana, mainly because I’m not a fan of chocolate advent calendars.
Anyway, after thinking about what type of creatures to make I eventually decided that you all might like to crochet along too, so I wrote the patterns down while making the critters.
Please understand that I am usually only one or two days ahead of you in making each creature, mainly because I can only work on this project when Eliana is not around.
Therefore, if you find an error in any of the patterns please let me know so that I can correct them! Thank you to those of you who have already done so.

Ok, now that that is done, lets make Tori.

21AdventAmigurumi_ToritheToadstool

Today you will need red and light grey or white yarn.

Don’t forget your 2mm hook, fibrefill, a tapestry needle and scissors, and, if you battle finding the end of the round, a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker you can use a paper clip or safety-pin instead.

All the CAL tutorials  are written in US terminology, if you need to convert to UK terminology please look at my Stitch Index.

Today’s abbreviations are:
dec – decrease
hdc – half double crochet
inc – increase
sc – single crochet
slst – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)

It is advisable to read the directions before starting, just so you have an overview of what’s happening.

Begin by making a magic ring with red yarn.
Round 1
10 hdc into the magic ring, slst to close round, pull magic ring tight (10 sts).
Round 2
Hdc-inc x 10 (20 sts) finish with an invisible join as follows:
Leave the hook in the loop made by the last stitch. Cut the yarn with enough length. Now pull the loop which is on the hook up by moving the hook away from the work. This will pull the yarn end out of the stitch. Don’t worry the work will not unravel!
Thread the yarn end onto the tapestry needle. Insert the needle through the first stitch of the round, from the front of the stitch to the back. Finally, insert the needle between the two loops of the last stitch made. You should now have something that looks like a proper crochet stitch.

Change to light grey/white yarn.
Round 3
Sc-dec x 10 (10 sts).
Round 4
(Dec, 1 sc in the next two sts) x 2, dec (7 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in each st around (7 sts).
Round 6
1 sc in each st around (7 sts).
Round 7
1 sc in each st around (7 sts).
Round 8
Inc, 1 sc in the next six sts (8 sts).
Round 9
Inc, 1 sc in the next seven sts (9 sts).
Round 10
Inc, 1 sc in the next eight sts (10 sts).
Round 11
1 sc in each st around (10 sts).
Round 12
Dce x 5 (5 sts).
Cut the yarn with a good length and close the opening as explained in Part 3 of Amigurumi Basics.
Weave the remainder of the tail into the top and make haphazard dots on top of the toadstool cap.

Now you can add Tori the toadstool to your growing collection.
Please share her on Instagram with #adventmysterycal2015 so that I can see your creation.

I’ll see you again tomorrow for Door 22.

21. December 2015 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Door 20: Simon the skunk

AdventMysteryCal
Can you believe there are only four days left of the CAL?
Thank you for all your lovely comments about the cal and to those of you who are taking part.

Now, lets make Simon the skunk.

20BAdventAmigurumi_SimontheSkunk
You will need black and light grey/white yarn, as well as little bits of dark grey and red/pink yarn.

Don’t forget your 2mm hook, fibrefill, a tapestry needle and scissors, and, if you battle finding the end of the round, a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker you can use a paper clip or safety-pin instead.

All the CAL tutorials  are written in US terminology, if you need to convert to UK terminology please look at my Stitch Index.

Today’s abbreviations are:
blp – back loop
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
dec – decrease
inc – increase
sc – single crochet
sk – skip
st(s) – stitch(es)

It is advisable to read the directions before starting, just so you have an overview of what’s happening.

Use of the second colour (light grey) is signified in bold.
For the head and body:
Begin by making a magic ring with black yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the magic ring, pull ring closed (5 sts).
Round 2
(1 sc in the next st, 1 inc in the next st) x 2, 1 sc in the next st (7 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in the next st, 1 inc in the next st, 1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next st, 1 inc in the next st (9 sts).
Round 4
(1 sc in the next three sts, ch2, slst in second ch from hook using the back bump) x 2, 1 sc in the next three sts (9 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next st, dec, 1 sc in the next three sts, dec, 1 sc in the next st (7 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the head quite firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 5
Inc x 2, 1 sc in the next three sts, inc 2 (11 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc i nthe next five sts, 1 sc in the next three sts (11 sts).
Round 8
1 sc in the next st, ch 5, slst in each back bump of chain starting with second chain from hook, 1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next five sts, 1 sc in the next two sts, ch 5, slst in each back bump of chain starting with second chain from hook, 1 sc in the next st (11 sts).
Round 9
1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next two sts (11 sts).
Round 10
1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next st, inc, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next two sts (12 sts).
Round 11
1 sc in the next st, inc, 1 sc in the next two sts, inc, 1 sc in the next three sts, inc, 1 sc in the next two sts, inc, 1 sc in the next st (16 sts).
Round 12
1 sc in the next st, ch 5, slst in each back bump of chain starting with second chain from hook, 1 sc in the next two sts, 1 sc in the next st, inc, 1 sc in the next three sts, inc, 1 sc in the next two sts, inc1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next two sts, ch 5, slst in each back bump of chain starting with second chain from hook, 1 sc in the next st (19 sts).
Round 13
1 sc in the next three sts, (sk 1, 1 sc in the next two sts, dec), 1 sc in the next three sts, (sk 1, 1 sc in the next three sts) sk 1, 1 sc in the next three sts (15 sts).
Round 14
1 sc in the next st, dec, 1 sc in the next st, dec, (1 sc in the next st, dec) x 2, 1 sc in the next st, dec (10 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the body quite firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 15
Dc-dec, 1 dc in the next st, (sc-dec) x 2, 1 dc in the next st, dc-dec (6 sts).
Round 16
Dc-inc, 1 dc in the next st, (sc-inc) x 2, 1 sc in the next st, inc (9 sts).
Round 17
1 sc in the next three sts, inc, 1 sc in the next four sts, inc, 1 sc in the next three sts (11 sts).
Round 18
Dec, 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next st, dec (9 sts).
Round 19
1 sc in the next two sts, 1 dc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next two sts (9 sts).
Round 20
1 sc in the next two sts, 1 dc in the next six sts, 1 sc in the next two sts (9 sts).
Round 21
Dec, 1 sc in the next two sts, dec, 1 sc in the next two sts, dec (6 sts).
Round 22
1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st, dec, 1 sc in the next two sts, sc (5 sts).
Round 23
1 sc in each st around (5 sts).
Cut the yarn and close the opening as explained in Part 3 of Amigurumi Basics.

20AdventAmigurumi_SimontheSkunk

For the eyes
Cut a length of dark grey yarn and thread it onto your needle. Make a double knot on the other end and insert the needle into the head from the underside. Use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside, if need be.
Embroider two tiny eyes in front of the ears.

For the nose
Cut a length of red/pink yarn and thread it onto your needle. Make a double knot on the other end and insert the needle into the head from the underside. Use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside, if need be.
Exit the needle through the magic ring and embroider a ‘v’ onto the upper part of the face to make the nose.

For the stripe on the head
Cut a length of light grey yarn and thread it onto your needle. Make a double knot on the other end and insert the needle into the light grey part of the body. Use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside, if need be. Exit the needle between the ears, making sure its central, make a long stitch down the middle of the face covering two rounds. Repeat, if need be make a small stitch around the top part of the two stitches to keep the ends together. That way it looks like one stitch instead of a long ‘v’.

20AAdventAmigurumi_SimontheSkunk

And you have finished your Simon.
Please share him on Instagram with #adventmysterycal2015 so that I can see your creation.

I’ll see you tomorrow to reveal what’s behind Door 21.

20. December 2015 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Door 19: Sally the snail

AdventMysteryCal

Some people don’t like snails….
I’m not one of them and I hope cute little Sally will convince you that snails can be quite adorable 😉

19AdventAmigurumi_SallytheSnail

Today you will chestnut and beige yarn.

Don’t forget your 2mm hook, fibrefill, a tapestry needle and scissors, and, if you battle finding the end of the round, a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker you can use a paper clip or safety-pin instead.

All the CAL tutorials  are written in US terminology, if you need to convert to UK terminology please look at my Stitch Index.

Today’s abbreviations are:
blp – back loop
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
dc-2-tog – double crochet two together (begin as with a regular double crochet but only finish halfway, yo, insert hook into next stitch and complete as normal, working off two loops at a time.)
dec – decrease
hdc – half double crochet
inc – increase
sc – single crochet
sk – skip
st(s) – stitch(es)

It is advisable to read the directions before starting, just so you have an overview of what’s happening.

For the body:
Begin by making a magic ring with beige yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the magic ring, pull ring closed (5 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in the next st, 1 dc in the next three sts, 1 sc in the next st (5 sts).
Round 3
1 sc in the next five sts (5 sts).
Round 4
1 dc in the next st, 1 sc in the next three sts, 1 dc in the next st (5 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next five sts (5 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next five sts (5 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next five sts (5 sts).
Round 8
sk 1, 1 sc in the next four sts (4 sts).
Round 9
sk 1, 1 sc in the next three sts (3 sts).
Cut the yarn and close the opening as explained in Part 3 of Amigurumi Basics.

For the feelers
Ch4, turning the last ch into a knot after cutting the yarn. Make two and sew onto the head two rounds from magic ring.
Make sure that the snails body is facing up with the first set of dc sts at the top.

For the shell:
Begin by making a magic ring with chestnut yarn.
Round 1
5 sc into the magic ring, pull ring closed (5 sts).
Round 2
Inc, (blp-inc) x4 (10 sts).
Round 3
(1 blp-sc in the next st, blp-inc) x 5 (15 sts).
Round 4
1 blp-sc in the next two sts, blp-inc) x 5, ch2, TURN (20 sts).
Round 5
(dc-2-tog) x 8, ch1, TURN (8 sts).
Hdc-dec x 4 (4 sts).
Cut the yarn with a very long length and close the opening as explained in Part 3 of Amigurumi Basics. Don’t be put off by the fact that you haven’t got a complete circle to work with, simply follow the same method, do not change direction.

Stuff the shell firmly and then sew onto the body using whip stitch. once the shell is attached move the needle to the head and embroider two tiny eyes in front of the feelers. Use a new length of yarn, if you haven’t got a long enough end left on the needle.

Your Sally is complete.
Please share her on Instagram with #adventmysterycal2015 so that I can see your creation.

Another side note: I do apologise, I posted Poppy without the instructions for embroidering the eyes, nostrils and stripes. They have been added now.

I’ll see you tomorrow to reveal what’s behind Door 20.

19. December 2015 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Door 18: Poppy the piglet

AdventMysteryCal

I don’t know about you but I squealed when I finished Poppy.
Isn’t she adorable, she looks like she wants to jump around all day.

18AdventAmigurumi_PoppythePiglet

Today you will chestnut and tiny bits of beige and dark brown yarn.

Don’t forget your 2mm hook, fibrefill, a tapestry needle and scissors, and, if you battle finding the end of the round, a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker you can use a paper clip or safety-pin instead.

All the CAL tutorials  are written in US terminology, if you need to convert to UK terminology please look at my Stitch Index.

Today’s abbreviations are:
blp – back loop
ch – chain
dec – decrease
inc – increase
sc – single crochet
sk – skip
st(s) – stitch(es)

It is advisable to read the directions before starting, just so you have an overview of what’s happening.

Begin by making a magic ring with chestnut yarn.
Round 1
6 sc into the magic ring, pull ring closed (6 sts).
Round 2
1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in blp only in the next four sts, 1 sc in the next st (6 sts).
Round 3
Inc, 1 sc in the next five sts (6 sts).
Round 4
(Inc, 1 sc in the next st) x 3, 1 sc in the next st (10 sts).
Round 5
1 sc in the next four sts, (ch2, 2 sc in the second bump from the chain), 1 sc in the next two sts, (ch2, 2 sc in the second bump from the chain), 1 sc in the next three sts (10 sts).
Round 6
1 sc in each st around (10 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the head quite firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 7
Inc x3, 1 sc in the next st, dec x2, 1 sc in the next to sts ( 11 sts).
Round 8
1 sc in each st around (11 sts).
Round 9
1 sc in the next two sts, ch7, slst in the back bump of each chain starting with the second st from hook,  1 sc in the next two sts, slst in the back bump of each chain starting with the second st from hook, 1 sc in the next seven sts ( 11 sts).
Round 10
1 sc in each st around (11 sts).
Round 11
1 sc in each st around (11 sts).
Round 12
1 sc in each st around (11 sts).
Round 13
1 sc in the next two sts, ch7, slst in the back bump of each chain starting with the second st from hook,  1 sc in the next two sts, slst in the back bump of each chain starting with the second st from hook, 1 sc in the next seven sts ( 11 sts).
Round 14
1 sc in the next five sts, dec, 1 sc in the next four sts (10 sts).
At this point you want to stuff the body quite firmly.
Use the back of your crochet hook, or a pencil to pack the stuffing in tightly.
Round 15
Dec x 5 (5 sts).
Cut the yarn and close the opening as explained in Part 3 of Amigurumi Basics.

To make the tail insert your hook through the side of any stitch on the closing round, pull up a loop and chain 8.
Pull the yarn end through the last chain to create a knot and cut the yarn close to the knot.

For the eyes and nostrils:
Thread a length of chestnut yarn onto your needle and make a double knot on the other end. Insert under the head (use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside if necessary) exit in front of the one ear. embroider a tiny eye. Repeat in front of other ear.
Move the needle to the inside of the ridge formed by the stitches you made only into the back loop and embroider two little nostrils.

For the stripes:
Thread a long length of beige yarn onto your needle, make a double knot on the other end and insert on the underside of the body (use a crochet hook to push the knot to the inside if necessary). Exit the needle on any stitch on the side of the body at the head end and make long stitches stretching to the back of the body, creating the stripes across the back and to the other side of the body. Position the stripes as you see fit.

Have fun with little Poppy.
Please share her on Instagram with #adventmysterycal2015 so that I can see your creation.

One a side note: there was a small error with Brad the badger but it’s fixed now.

I’ll see you tomorrow to reveal what’s behind Door 19.

18. December 2015 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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