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.
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.
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.
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.
After 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.
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.
Upcoming crochet projects include a doily for my mother for Mother’s day and making Emma the bunny from “Edward’s Menagerie”.
My mother absolutely adores doilies. In fact, she said the best Christmas present my grandmother ever gave her was a set of three hand crocheted doilies.
Actually the Sea Shell Ruffle doily is the third doily I have made. For it I used Aunt Lydia’s Fashion 3 in Plum and Ecru. I used a size H hook. This doily took a whole ball of the purple thread.
This took a couple of tries to get started. Most of that is just lack of experience. After that, the pattern was pretty easy to follow except for the final row. I didn’t quite understand what was going on from reading the instructions. So I made up a pattern and kept it up through the whole round as the final border. I made sure to note it down on a post it note and put inside the book.
Next doily will be A-792 Brocade from a Coats & Clark book (1969) for my bedroom dresser.
I decided to give up on the Belmont boot cuffs. I have been struggling with them for a while now. The next crochet project that I had materials for was the Bonnie beret from Rachael Oglesby’s book “Crochet Boutique”.
The first try was with the recommended hook size (11.5 mm P hook). After row five, my hat’s diameter was around 9 inches. The pattern listed 11 inch diameter for the finished hat. I knew row 6 was the decrease so I decided to rip everything out and try again with a larger hook.
So after getting my 15mm hook out; I tried to make the hat again. I think the larger stitches were confusing me when I started with the larger hook and I messed up several times. It took about four more tries to get the hat started. About three of those times I was trying to watch “War and Peace” with Lily James. Distractions definitely didn’t help me get started.
After getting started in a non-distracted environment, the hat was fairly easy to crochet. There is only nine rows. After I got started, it probably took about 2 hours on the first hat. Then I went ahead and made my mom a hat also. I think I was able to finish her hat in about an hour.
Note, the ruler in the pictures is metric so the tick marks are in centimeters and millimeters.