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Ethel the Kiwi

As I was ordering Edward’s Menagerie Dogs book, I realized I never made anything from the Birds book.  Thus the next crochet project was a bird.

Ethel the Kiwi is a level one.  I picked out this one since it was simple and the embellishments of loop chains is easy and similar to the sheep I previously made.  Like before, I used a size H crochet hook and Red Heart yarn for my bird.

 

The birds are definitely more tricky than the original menagerie.  The legs are very challenging.  I had never had to split a round before and that is the method used to make the toes.  Also, the thin 6 stitch sections made it hard to stuff the knee of the birds.

The body and head are constructed as a single piece.  I was afraid of over stuffing my kiwi that before I was doing the loop chains, I went back and added stuffing to it.  It is possible after the piece is closed up.  I used a pencil eraser and small amounts of stuffing and pushed it through the stitches up near the neck of the bird. That was where the lack of stuffing was the most noticeable.

I think I prefer the original menagerie over the birds and am not sure if I will make another bird.

Right now, I am working on several skirts and finishing up a new outfit for Kirsten.  With nicer weather coming soon (hopefully), I should be able to get a few projects that are lacking pictures taken to share on the blog.

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Doll Poncho

I have been working on a crochet blanket since September but progress on it is very slow.  I needed a break and decided to crochet my dolls a poncho.

I used the K-sized crochet hook and the left over Red Heart yarn from my koala and sheep.  I really liked that Yarnpirations had a video that I could follow along when I needed it.  It was simpler than I had thought it would be but I think that is because I was able to watch the video to see it being done.

Since I was using left over yarn, the collar is only 9 stitches wide.  The collar is sort of awkward size, if I had it to redo, I probably would have used 6 or 7 slip stitches.  9 stitches does not fold over as nicely.  I guess I can always hand stitch the “corners” of the neckline down to get a nicely folded collar.  Also, the sides are only 4 slip stitches wide.

 

 

 

 

http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/poncho-for-you-and-me.html?id=200055

 

 

 

 

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”.