Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top-Down Colorful Monkey





I like making projects with as little sewing as possible… sometimes when I sew the head onto the body of a critter, it doesn’t turn out quite the way I want it to. So, for this pattern, I wanted to make the head and body one piece. I start at the top of this cute little monkey with  the curl, and work down to the bottom. I crocheted the arms on while making the body, but wasn’t 100% happy with the way they sit. I think with my next colorful monkey, I will sew the arms like as I did with the legs.
I used worsted weight yarn and a size G hook.  I had partial skeins of green, blue, pink, lavender and tan from another project that I used on this (and I still have an ounce or more left from most skeins). I’d say you need 2-3 ounces of each color.
This was  my starting sketch for color choices: 


I made the mouth and eyes first, so I could sew them on before stuffing the head. 

Mouth: 
The mouth is worked in continuous rounds without joining
Chain 12
SC in 2nd chain from hook and next 9. 3 SC in last. Working on opposite side, work one sc in the next 9 starting chains. Work two more sc in original stitch. Place a marker (my scrap of tan yarn in the picture below) to remind yourself which end is your starting end.

Round 2: 2 sc in next stitch (corner), sc in next 9 stitches, 2 sc in next (corner), sc in next two stitches, 2 sc in next stitch (corner), sc in next 9 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch (corner)
Rounds 3-4, sc around with 2 sc in each corner
(I found it easier to embroider the smile and nostrils at this point, before I started working the even rounds that make the mouth cup up.)
Rounds 5-7 sc around, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Eyes: 
Large colored part (make 2):
Chain 5
SC in 2nd chain from hook and next two stitches, 3 sc in next, sc in the back side of the chain for 3 stitches.
Ch 1, turn. sc in three stitches, 2 sc in each of the next three stitches, sc in next three stitches. Finish off, leaving long tail to sew on. 
Black part:  (make 2)
Make 5 sc in MR. Tighten ring, but do not join.

Sew black part onto colored part. Sew onto face over rows 8-12. Sew mouth centered below eyes, stuffing as you sew.


Head: 
Starting at the top with the color you have chosen for the head. Head and body are made in continuous rounds without joining at the end of each round.

Curl + Round 1
You start with the little curl on the top of the monkey's head: 
Chain 12
3 sc in 2nd chain from and and next 9 chains. In last chain, do 6 sc. 

Round 1: Work 2 sc in each of the 6 sc you made in the last stitch, being careful to keep the curl on top of your work. (12 stitches)
Round 2: sc 1, inc in next stitch, repeat around (18)
Round 3: sc in 2 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (24)
Round 4: sc in 3 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (30)
Round 5: sc in 4 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (36)
Round 6: sc in 5 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (42)
Round 7: sc in 6 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (48)
Round 8: sc in 7 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (54)
Round 9: sc in 8 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (60)
Rounds 10-13: sc around (60 stitches)
Round 14: sc in 8 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (54)
Round 15: sc in 7 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (48)
Round 16: sc in 6 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (42)

Round 17: sc in 5 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (36)
Round 18: sc in 4 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (30)
Round 19: sc in 3 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (24)
Round 20: sc in 2 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (18)
Stuff while the hole is still big enough to get the stuffing in! 
Rounds 21-22: sc around (18)
 Change to the top color you will be using for the body

Body
Round 1: sc in 2 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (24)
Round 2: sc in 3 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (30)
Round 3: sc in 4 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (36)
Round 4: sc in 5 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (42)
Round 5: sc in 6 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (48)
Round 6: sc in 7 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (54) 
Round 7:  sc in 8 stitches, inc in next stitch, repeat around (60)
Rounds 8: sc around (60)
Change to middle color you will be using for body
Rounds 9-16: sc around
Change to bottom color you will be using for body:
Round 17: sc in 8 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (54)
Round 18: sc in 7 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (48)
Round 19: sc in 6 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (42)
Round 20: sc in 5 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (36)
Round 21 sc in 4 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (30)
Round 22: sc in 3 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (24)
Round 23: sc in 2 stitches, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (18)
 Stuff while the hole is still big enough to get the stuffing in! 
Round 24: sc in 1 stitch, dec over next two stitches, repeat around (12)
Round 25: dec around (6)
Finish off, leaving tail to sew the opening closed. 

Arms: Make 2
Round 1: 5 sc in Magic Ring. Pull tight
Round 2: 2 sc in each stitch around (10)
Round 3: 1 sc in next stitch, inc in next, repeat around (15)
Rounds 4-5: work even 
Change color
Continue to work even until the arm measures 8" long, stuffing as you go.

I attached the arms around Round 3 of the body, crocheting through both layers of the arm while doing Round 3, but I think they might look better sewed on.

Legs:Make 2
Round 1: 6 sc in Magic Ring. Pull tight
Round 2: 2 sc in each stitch around (12)
Round 3: 1 sc in next stitch, inc in next, repeat around (18)
Rounds 4-6: work even 
Change color
Continue to work even until the leg measures 10" long, stuffing as you go.

Tail: 
 Round 1:
4 sc in magic ring. Pull tight
Round 2: inc in first stitch, sc in each stitch around (5) (use a stitch marker to show start of row)
Round 3:  inc in first stitch, sc in each stitch around (6)
Round 4:  inc in first stitch, sc in each stitch around (7)
Round 5:  inc in first stitch, sc in each stitch around (8)
Round 6:  inc in first stitch, sc in each stitch around (9)
Round 7:  inc in first stitch, sc in each stitch around (10)
Round 8:  inc in first stitch, sc in next four stitches, decrease over next two stitches, sc in next two stitches (10)
Continue to repeat row 8 until the tail is desired length (8 - 12"), stuffing as you go. Every few inches you can skip the decrease to make the tail a little wider. I think overall I ended up with fourteen stitches by the end of the tail.
(increasing on one side and doing a decrease opposite it will give the tail a curve)

Ears:
Start at the center of the ear with your accent color: 
Round 1: 6 sc in magic ring. Pull tight
Round 2: increase in each stitch around (12 stitches). Change color to the one you used for the head.
Round 3: Sc in first stitch, increase in next. repeat around (18)
Round 4: Sc in first stitch, decrease over next two stitches, repeat around (12)
Round 5: Dec around (6)
Round 6: Dec around (3)
Finish off, leaving a long tail to sew onto side of head.


 




Friday, May 15, 2015

Pudgy Purple Car pattern

A few days ago, I made a little toy car from a pattern I found on Ravelry.




It turned out cute, but the pattern had so many little pieces (18 in all) that it drove me crazy. As I was sewing things together, I was thinking that it would be so much easier to change colors to put in the windows, or the bumpers, and those tires could be one piece instead of two...

And so I played. I deliberately didn't do an exact copy of the pattern, with color, eyes, size... I just played with making a car with as few pieces as possible. My Pudgy Purple Car has eight pieces instead of 18, and many of them were sewed on before stuffing to make things easier (at least I think it's easier).

My finished car is about 5-1/2" long, 5" high and 5" wide, just right for little hands to hold. There are two main pieces: the car's body and the roof. The bumper and windows are "built in" through color changes, and wheels and headlights are made separately and sewn on.

Uses Size F hook
Worsted weight yarn - about an ounce and a half of main color, small quantities of white, gray and black for details

Headlights (Make 2)
With white, make 8 SC in a magic ring. Pull closed and join with slip stitch. Finish off, leaving tail for sewing on.

Tires (Make 4)
Round 1: With gray, 8 SC in magic ring. Pull tight. Join with slip stitch. Change color to black.
Round 2: 2 sc in each stitch around (16 stitches)
Round 3: sc in each stitch around (16)
Round 4: dec around (8 stitches)
Round 5: dec around (4 stitches)
Finish off, leaving tail for sewing on.

Body of car:
Round 1: With gray, chain 10. 3 sc in 2nd chain from hook. SC in next 7 stitches, 3 sc in next stitch. Working along bottom of chain, work a sc in the next 7 stitches, joining with a slip stitch to your first SC. Change to main color. (20 stitches)
Round 2: 2 sc in each of the first 3 stitches, SC in next 7 stitches, 2 SC in each of the next 3 stitches, sc in the next 7 stitches (26 stitches)

I like to sew my headlights on around this point, while it's still easy to access the front bumper from the back.

Round 3: 2 SC in each of the first two stitches, SC in next two stitches, 2 SC in each of the next two stitches, SC in the next seven stitches, 2 SC in each of the next two stitches, SC in next two stitches, 2 SC in each of the next two stitches, SC in the next seven stitches  (basically, you are doing double increases at each of the four corners) (34 stitches)

Work even on those 34 stitches for 17 rows (about 3").
Decrease row: work 3 decreases at each "corner". Change to gray for back bumper.
Work one row of SC with gray. Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
Stuff lightly and sew up back bumper.

You can either sew the tires on before stuffing (a little easier because you can get to the back of where you're sewing), or sew them on once the body is stuffed. I sewed mine on before stuffing, and the wheels don't quite touch the ground. Oops.

Roof:
Round 1: With main color, make 8 SC in magic ring. Pull tight.  (8)
Round 2: 2 SC  in each stitch around (16)
Round 3: 2 SC in stitch, SC in next stitch, repeat around (24)
Round 4: 2 SC in stitch, SC in next two stitches, repeat around (32)
Round 5: 2 SC in stitch, SC in next three stitches, repeat around (40)
Round 6:
 SC in first three stitches, change color to white, SC in next 10 stitches, change color to main, SC in next 3 stitches, change color to white,  SC in next 4 stitches, change color to main, SC in next 3 stitches, change color to white,  SC in next 10 stitches, change color to main, SC in next 3 stitches, change color to white,  SC in next 4 stitches

In other words... you are doing SC around with color changes to put in the windows
3 purple, 10 white (windshield), 3 purple, 4 white (side window), 3 purple, 10 white (back window), 3 purple, 4 white (side window)

Repeat the window round 2 more times, then do one round  of main color. Finish off, leaving a tail to sew on.

Center the roof on the top of the car's body and sew on three sides... lightly stuff through the opening, and then finish sewing it shut.
These are my pattern notes... aren't you glad I typed them out for you?

Monday, April 27, 2015

The May Penguin Pail

But it's  not May yet! Yes, I know, but I finished my April list early and want to get going on next month! I will outline my basic list here.

Some of this  month's  patterns

1. Giraffe

2. Monkey (started 5/3)
Sketched out the color combos

Starting at the top of the head with his cute little curl.


3. Elephant


4. Puzzle ball - started 5/17, finished 5/19


There are three "puzzle pieces" that fit together to make the elephant




5. Fancy Owl


6. Owl bag (started  4/27)
Thursday night - at start of movie night.

Thursday night - at end of movie night.







Took the basic idea of the owl bag and downsized to a little girl purse... sorry about the picture. Finished late at night, and haven't had a chance to get some good daylight pics yet.


7. Minion Tissue box cover, design try #2 (Supplies are loaded in a bag to work on during my daughter's dentist visit this afternoon)

8. Plane - started 5/14 and ran out of fiberfill... should finish up 5/15



9. Car
 The problem with some of these projects is that they're so much fun, I want to make another rather than moving on to the next project...

Yup, made another one...



10. Minion Doll


So, there is the list. Some are from existing patterns, others done from pictures, others made up as I go along.

5/8 Update - so, the month is about 25% done, and I'm about 25% done with my list... on track! Hoping to finish up two projects this weekend!



5/10  Update - 1/3 done with the month, 40% done with the list. I'm ahead of the game! 

5/14 Update - Almost halfway through the month, and 60% done! Just need to finish Monkey, puzzle ball, airplane and Tissue box
8 down, two to go!


1   2  3   4   5   6   7   8  9   10
* = in progress
Strikeout = DONE


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The April Penguin Pail

March was busy... crazy busy. I got my biggest ever special order, and it kept me busy for a couple of weeks! That pushed everything else from March's Penguin Pail to the back burner.

So, for April, I am just carrying over a lot of March's list. I need to restock some Minion items for two craft shows in April, and I just want to finish up some of the projects that have been languishing in my basket for a while!

This post looks so boring with no pictures, but I plan on knocking these projects (and more) out in rapid succession, putting up pictures of finished items!

1. The Mermaid lapghan
Done on April 27!


Making progress!

2. Rainbow  Monkey
Finished 4/21


3. Elephant
ELEPHANT  #2

Finished 11:30 PM on April 1st - I love this little guy! I want to make another one! (So I did...)


The first elephant was a special order that needed to be finished for Easter. I liked the pattern, but he was rather small, so I tried making another one with three strands of yarn together, and a larger hook. That's Elephant #2 above.


4. Shark Pants - after making a couple of pairs of monster pants, somebody suggested shark pants. I'm making these up by playing with another pattern.

Almost done. Needs yarn teeth rather than paper.

Baby shark shorts done  


5. Grady Blue Owl


6. Minion Gloves - started 4/21, finished 4/23
Not the best pic... late night, dim lighting. Will get a picture on some hands in daylight soon!


7. Minion Doll - started 4/23





Update #1 The month is more than half done, so I took accounts of what I had in progress... three projects in the works on Saturday, April 18th. Focusing on those projects, I made some very good progress on two of them! Shark shorts and the Rainbow Monkey should be finished this week!

Saturday  4/18 - 3 WIP



I took a break from my Penguin Pail to make this headband for my youngest daughter. She saw the pattern when I printed it out and said if I made one, she would wear it. She went with me on a trip to Hobby Lobby and picked out the yarn color. I lost track of my row count and made it too big. I had to adjust the button three times before it was snug enough to stay on the way she wanted. Note to self: next time, count the rows!


Since I finished up the Rainbow Monkey last night, I have hope that I might actually FINISH my Penguin Pail this month!

4/25 update:

Having  a very slow day at a craft show, so got in some design time. Made these up as I went along:


April 27 update - DONE!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The March of the Penguin's Pail

Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.

So, February wasn't a very good month for meeting goals. I only finished 15 projects, using about 4-1/2 pounds of yarn...about one-third that of January.

March is going to be crazy... three craft shows, including a new one for me, a Mommy Expo that promises to have THOUSANDS of customers. Yikes! (Didn't  go well, only 6 customer purchases.)

In light of that, I don't really plan on a lot of new projects. Just finishing up what I have going, working on a few custom orders, and making some best-seller items.

So, here is the basic list. Let's see how fast I can fill it up with pictures!

1. Mermaid Tail Lapghan (in progress)
Using this pattern

My color scheme
2. Finish Baby Dino - I ended up frogging this (rippit, rippit), to use the yarn for another project - since I couldn't find a matching blue yarn for the Thomas the Tank Engine I started, despite visiting Joanne's, A.C. Moore and Hobby Lobby.

3. Minion Hat (best seller)


4. Minion Gloves (best seller)

Done!

5. Minion Scarf (best seller)

Is a Ninja Turtle scarf close enough?

6. Finish Rainbow Monkey
Using this picture as a guideline


7. Monster Pants - make a new pair - or, if you're having so much fun with the crochet pattern, make two... or three.





8. Thomas the Tank Engine stuffed toy (custom order)

Sunday 3/15 - about half the pieces  done

Thomas finished 3/27
My Penguin Pail plans changed when I got a second order for Thomas the Tank Engine... for Easter. Everything else went into the "work on it later" basket!

9. Elephant (custom order)

Okay, nine items... ready, set, GO!

Oops...
10. Basketball baby hat for Coach & his wife (at left in picture), expecting their first baby in August.In his second year of coaching the girls' team, we are league champions for the first time in about ten years. My daughter is one of the captains holding up the trophy (#14 on the right).

Getting started as soon as I find the end.

Finished . ...about an hour before the banquet