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Samuel Koala

Boris the red squirrel proved to be just too tricky.  I can’t seem to get the color change in the cheeks to look right on his face.  As of now, the squirrel is in pieces in a bag awaiting the day when I am better able to make its head.

Next up on the menagerie was Samuel the Koala.  Granted my mom would say I need to make another Dorset sheep so I stop taking the one I made her.  But I really wanted  a koala.

Samuel is a level 2.  So it was just a simple color change for his nose and a light color to trim his ears.  Like before, I used Red Heart super saver yarn and a size H crochet hook.

 

 

Dishcloths

I really should have been working on making a squirrel from the Edward’s Menagerie, but I really wanted something that I could complete in a day.  Instead, I pulled out Leisure Arts 6254’s booklet on dishcloth.

I started off with the first pattern in the book, Spiral.  I used a G hook (4.25) and cotton yarn (Peaches and Cream if I remember correctly).  The pattern was easy to follow.  I just crochet very slow, so this one took me a couple of hours on Saturday and a couple more on the Sunday to finish.  I really like the finished dishcloth.  It looked and felt fairly substantial.

Then, as I was still putting off the squirrel, I went head and started the lacy dishcloth.  This time, I went ahead and used the hook I got with the Crocheted Animal pals kit since it was a 4.0mm and the same ball of cotton yarn.  The lacy dishcloth took about the same amount of time as the spiral.  In the end, it doesn’t really look like a dishcloth.  I think it is all the “holes” in the dishcloth that make me think that.

 

Hank the Dorset Sheep

For a mother’s day surprise, I decided to make another animal from Edward’s Menagerie.  Flipping through the level two critters, Hank the Dorset Sheep stood out.  It was one which I could use the left over yarn from Emma the Bunny.

Like Emma, Hank was created with a size H hook.  All the pieces (head, limbs, tail and ears) are created separately using either the general form instruction or critter specific instructions and sometimes a mix of both.  After all the pieces are made, then you sew the pieces onto the body.  The hardest part of putting together the animal was sewing the legs on.  I was able to get Hank’s legs on in the first try.  I used two straight pins and pinned the legs  on.  Then after waiting for thirty minutes to make sure the sheep could sit, I attached the two legs.

The fleece is chain loops.  It took me a little while to get all the fleece completed.

 

Emma the Bunny- Edward’s Menagerie

Since I really enjoyed making the animals from the “Crocheted Animal Pals” kit, I decided to look for another Amigurumi sort of book.  I happened across the Edward’s Menagerie book from Kerry Lord.  The book contained 40 different animals in it.  The animals are divided up into levels.  Level one which has Emma the Bunny are the simplest to make.  Level two has more details like simple stripe color changes.  Level three are the hardest and have complex color changes and loop stitching.  The book does recommend working your way up in complexity; so I decided to start with Emma as my first animal.

I did have a little difficulties in shopping for supplies.  The yarn descriptions in the book of worsted, sport and bulky didn’t seem to match what I was seeing in a store which was a number scale.  I ended up with a Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Aran Fleck which is a 4 (medium).  After finding an on-line yarn chart on my phone, this matched up with the large yarn weight in the book.  I bought the recommend amount which put me at 4 balls.  I was able to make my complete rabbit with less than a whole ball of yarn.  A more complicated animal may have taken all 400 grams (not a measure I work with often).

Emma was created with a size H hook.  All the pieces (head, limbs, tail and ears) are created separately using either the general form instruction or critter specific instructions and sometimes a mix of both.  After all the pieces are made, then you sew the pieces onto the body.  The hardest part of putting together Emma was sewing the legs on.  The first time I did that, she wasn’t able to sit up on her own.  The legs were cut off and then I tried using some straight pins in order to help me be able to get a rabbit that will sit up.  At least now Emma will sit up about half of the time.  Definitely try straight pinning the legs before sewing.

 

The instructions in the book are clear.  It does use the British terminology, so the double crochet means single crochet in American terms.  Edward’s Menagerie does have sufficient detail for the instruction on sewing and stuffing your animal.  Also the website has a series of videos in order to help you make your animal which were very helpful.  I personally watched the one on stuffing and sewing the animal together.

In fact, my mom adored Emma so much that she wants one of her own.  I couldn’t even talk her into a different animal.

Spanish Fan (#S-897)

dsci0144After making some doilies for my mom’s Christmas, I decided to start one for my craft/ guest room to put on the pattern file cabinet (but then was sidetracked with the crochet animals for a month).

I originally started off with another pattern from the Coronet from Coat’s & Clark’s #197 (same book as my grey Brocade doily).  I only got to row seven then was stuck.  The row really didn’t look like the picture at all.

So abandoning the Coronet, I searched through the other crochet patterns I had and settled on the Spanish Fan (#S-897) from Coat’s & Clark’s #324 Priscilla Doilies to Crochet (circa 1956).  The main deciding factor was that the caption above the picture stated “The elegance of simplicity… a charming design that is easy to crochet, even for beginners”.  It didn’t hurt that there were also, 5 other doilies listed in Ravelry.  At least I knew others had made it.

I used Aunt Lydia’s Classic crochet thread size 10 in coral instead of the size 30 thread requested in the pattern.  I also used a B sized crochet hook (2.25mm).  In the end, my doily was about 21 inches wide.

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This is one time I may have to agree with the pattern book.  This was a fairly easy doily to crochet.  I had the first 5 rounds completed before Christmas.  So when I recently re-picked up this project I did have a little trouble trying to figure out where I left off at. But after that was sorted out, I was able to follow the pattern very easy.  I didn’t complete round 34.  I did start the round which has picots in the chain between the double crochet stitches.  My picots looked so messy that I decided it was best to finish it at round 33.

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Upcoming crochet projects include a doily for my mother for Mother’s day and making Emma the bunny from “Edward’s Menagerie”.

 

 

Crochet Animal Pals Review

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I will always go put a potential craft project in Google to see what others have made (I even Googled Kit’s overalls before making).  It doesn’t stop me from making what ever the project is if there isn’t a review.  The kit my sister gave me “Crochet Animal Pals” for Christmas was no different.  I couldn’t find any reviews for this kit.

The kit includes 3 balls of yarn (plus some dark brown for the face embroidery) for one animal, a 4 mm crochet hook, a tapestry needle (which may be a little small for the thick yarn), and a book of instructions for 5 animals.  The animals include a bunny, bear, fox, cat, and elephant.  If you follow the instructions to the letter, the included yarn can only make a bunny or a bear.  The instructions tell you all materials included in the kit for bear and bunny.  Otherwise, materials are listed out for the other animals.

I was torn as to whether to start with the bear or the bunny.  In the end the bunny won out, but I started and figured I had up to round 19 to decide.  The basic pattern for the body and head is very easy to follow.  I didn’t have any troubles at all.  Just be sure to count stitches as you go and to mark down which round one finishes.  Flipping back and forth in the book, you find the instructions for the arms, legs, ears and tail.  All those instructions were easy to understand also.

In the end, I didn’t have enough tan yarn to make my entire bunny.  I would have been short 1 ear and a tail.  So that is why the one ear has grey and tan and the other ear is solid grey.  I also tried to sew a couple of grey spots on the body so that the grey ears and tail didn’t look out of place.  Also, I didn’t have enough stuffing for the entire rabbit too.

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I really wanted to make the bear also.  So right after finishing up the rabbit, I got the supplies for the bear (using the other patterns to estimate how much yarn I would need).  This time I used Premier Yarn’s Deborah Norville Collection’s Serenity chunky.  After finishing up the bear and weighing the amount of yarn (cream) left from making the bear body, I had just 0.8 oz of yarn left.  Doing the math, I determined the bear used 85 yards of yarn to make the bear.

I really didn’t like how the bear’s hat is done.  It was sort of confusing when it came time to make the brim of the hat.

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Now time for the one I made my mom.  She decided on a bear also with a striped sweater.  But I decided I wanted to use the hat that went with the elephant instead.  I have double checked my math and I believe there is a typo in round 9 on the elephant’s hat.  The total I come up with is 36 stitches at the end, not the 41 in the book.  My hat does look like the one in the book.  I have e-mailed this to Sterling Publishers but have not heard anything back yet.  I will up-date the blog post if I do.

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I just finished the third one for my mom over the weekend.

I really enjoyed the kit and will keep using the patterns in the book.

 

 

Brocade Doily

dsci0036Here is the latest doily that I made. This one is from Coats & Clarks #197 “Priscilla Doilies”.  I made Brocade #A-792.  It was originally published in 1969.

As this is doily number 4, this time I used a thinner thread (size 10) and a smaller crochet hook (size C). The finished size is 20 inches.  It is bigger than I had wanted for the center of my dresser but I am still learning.  If I had used the pattern’s recommend size 20 thread and hook, it would be 15 inches.  I decided that I will just put it at the edge of the dresser then drape the excess off behind the dresser.  My lamp, two cedar boxes and a couple of bottles of perfume will look nice on it.

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The pattern wasn’t really hard to follow. There were a couple of rows that reading the directions didn’t make sense.  So I would start out the row and then compare what I was doing to the picture included in the book.  The picture was detailed enough that you could see what the pattern was.

This is it not starched.

 

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