Saturday, February 25, 2012

What Am I Making?


Let's play a game - it's called, "What in the Heck is Cat Making Now?" Look at the photo above and see if you can figure out what I'm making. Yes, those are granny squares but it's not your typical granny square blanket. So what is it? The only hint I'll give is that I've completed six out of twenty-seven rows, and the bottom row in the picture will be the bottom row in the blanket.

Leave your guesses in the comments and if I've already told you what it is, please keep it to yourself. If no one gets it, I'll continue to post more photos of my progress until someone figures it out.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

IT Crowd Dolls: Moss, Jen and Roy

Moss, Jen and Roy Dolls
Moss, Jen and Roy from The IT Crowd
Back in January I made a felt doll of Moss from the British sitcom The IT Crowd and now I've made his office mates Jen and Roy. The dolls are "cute" versions of the characters (the geek part of me wants to use the anime terms "chibi" or "super deformed"). I got my husband to use his fancy camera to take a bunch of glamor shots of them for me. Scroll down past the photos for construction information.

Maurice Moss. It's hard to see, but he even has wrinkly socks made out of panty hose.
Jen Barber, with the too-small red shoes she squeezed her feet in to in "Calamity Jen."
Roy Trenneman, who always needs a shave.
I used a very simple method to make these dolls.
How I made the pattern:
  • I started with a blank doll body and sketched the clothes, hair and face on to it by hand.
  • I scanned the drawing in to the computer, cleaned it up and colored it, then used the color drawing as my pattern.
  • I had to do a little bit of adjusting to make the clothes fit over the stuffed body (usually just scaling them up a few percentage points on the computer) and the shoes required their own patterns, which I have included below.
How I sewed the doll:
  • I used a whip stitch for all of the stitches.
  • The fabric was sheets of synthetic felt, available for around thirty cents a sheet from most craft stores.
  • Roy's stubble and the stripes on Moss' shirt were drawn with colored permanent markers.
  • Using the blank doll pattern, I cut out the body from two pieces of felt. I embroidered the face on, attached the eyes then sewed the two pieces together around the edges, leaving the top of the head unsewed. I stuffed the body.
  • I cut out the hair and sewed it to the head, stuffed the head, then sewed everything closed.
  • I cut out the clothes from felt, added any details and sewed them on over the body. They're not removable.
  • I made the shoes using the patterns below. Originally I tried to make the shoes flat like the rest of the clothes, but they didn't look right. After a lot of experimenting I came up with the sneakers and high heels patterns below.
Here are the drawings I used as patterns, the blank body patterns and the shoe patterns.

Moss drawing
Jen drawing
Roy drawing
Blank body - male
Blank body - female
Sneaker pattern (sew together the two sides marked "sew" then sew the sole to the shoe)

High-heeled shoe pattern (sew the toe and the back together, sew the sole to the bottom of the shoe then sew the top of the heel to the bottom of the sole)

I hope to make dolls of two more characters, Douglas and Richmond, at some point, but it is very likely we'll be moving in the next few months so we'll see how soon I get around to it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Amigurumi Nativity: Crocheted Angel Pattern

Here are the previous nativity patterns: Mary and baby Jesus, Joseph.

Angel Amigurumi Pattern

Notes on this pattern:
  • My patterns are free and may not be sold. Please do not reproduce or repost patterns or instructions from without my permission. For information on selling items created from my patterns, please view the FAQ.
  • Most of this pattern is continuous crochet and there are a few color changes. The wings are crocheted flat.
  • I like to make all the accessories first so they are ready to be sewed on when I make the body. That's why they're listed first in the pattern.
  • The finished size of the figure is 5 inches.
Materials needed:
  • Bulky weight yarn in a flesh color, white (for body and wings) and brown (for hair). I used Lion Brand Jiffy. Optional: you can also a fluffy or feathery white yarn for the wings.
  • Optional: gold embroidery floss (for decoration on sleeves)
  • Wired gold cord or floral wire and unwired gold cord (for the halo)
  • Thread that matches the hair color
  • Size H (5.00 mm) crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Stuffing
  • Optional: Bean bag plastic pellets. Putting some of these in the bottom of the Joseph figure can help it balance better. Make sure the pellets are large enough that they won't work their way through the crochet stitches. Pellets are not recommended if small children may have access to the figure.
Abbreviations used in this pattern:
  • Rnd = round, when doing continuous crochet
  • Row = row, when doing flat crochet
  • sc = single crochet
  • st = stitch
  • sts = stitches
  • ch = chain
  • slp st = slip stitch
  • sc2tog = single crochet two stitches together, aka a decrease. (I recommend using falwyn's invisible decrease.) sc3tog = single crochet three stitches together.
The pattern:

Angel's Hair
Use spiral crochet with the brown (hair color) yarn to make the wig cap:
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring (6 sts).
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Rnd 3: [2 sc in next st, sc 1] six times (18 sts).
Rnd 4: [2 sc in next st, sc 2] six times (24 sts).
Rnd 5: [2 sc in next st, sc 3] six times (30 sts).
Go to my amigurumi wig instruction page and follow Steps 2-5 to add hair to the wig cap.

Angel's Wings 

Make two. Crocheted flat using white yarn (the same yarn as the body or the optional fluffy/feathery yarn). Leave a long tail at the start to use to sew the wing to the body.
Row 1: ch 9. sc in second chain from hook. sc in each chain 7 more times (for a total of 8 sts).
Row 2: ch 2. sc in second chain from hook. sc 7 (for a total of 8 sts). ch 1 and turn.
Row 3: sc 5. slp st 1 and turn.
Row 4: *sc 4. ch 1 and turn.
Row 5: sc 4. slp st 1 in earlier row and turn.
Row 6: *sc 3. ch 1 and turn.
Row 7: sc 3. slp st 1 in earlier row. Bind off, leaving long tail to sew to body.

* When doing a single crochet after a slip stitch, do not do the single crochet in the slip stitch. Instead, skip over the slip stitch and do it in the next single crochet (see video).

Angel's Arm
Make two using spiral crochet. Begin with flesh color:
Rnd 1: 4 sc in magic ring (4 sts).
Rnd 2: [2 sc in next st, sc 1] two times (6 sts).
Rnd 3: sc around (6 sts).
Color change to white:
Rnd 4: sc around (6 sts).
Rnd 5: [2 sc in next st, sc 1] three times (9 sts).
Rnd 6: sc around (9 sts).
Rnd 7: sc around (9 sts).
Rnd 8: sc around (9 sts).
Rnd 9: sc around (9 sts).
Rnd 10: sc around (9 sts).
Bind off, leaving tail to use to sew arm to body. If desired, used gold embroidery floss to decorate the sleeves. Stuff arm.

Angel's Head and Body
Using spiral crochet. Beginning with flesh color:
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring (6 sts).
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12 sts).
Rnd 3: [2 sc in next st, sc 1] six times (18 sts).
Rnd 4: [2 sc in next st, sc 2] six times (24 sts).
Rnd 5: [2 sc in next st, sc 3] six times (30 sts).
Rnd 6: sc around (30 sts).
Rnd 7: sc around (30 sts).
Rnd 8: [sc2tog, sc 3] six times (24 sts).
Rnd 9: [sc2tog, sc 2] six times (18 sts).
Rnd 10: [sc2tog, sc 1] six times (12 sts).
Color change to white:
Rnd 11: sc around (12 sts).
Rnd 12: [2 sc in next st, sc 3] three times (15 sts).
Rnd 13: [2 sc in next st, sc 4] three times (18 sts).
Rnd 14: [2 sc in next st, sc 5] three times (21 sts).
Rnd 15: [2 sc in next st, sc 6] three times (24 sts).
Rnd 16: [2 sc in next st, sc 7] three times (27 sts).
Rnd 17: [2 sc in next st, sc 8] three times (30 sts).
Rnd 18: [2 sc in next st, sc 9] three times (33 sts).
Rnd 19: sc around (33 sts).
Rnd 20: [2 sc in next st, sc 10] three times (36 sts).
Rnd 21: sc around (36 sts).
Rnd 22: sc around (36 sts).
Stuff the head. Sew the wig to the head (see Step 6 here). Sew arms to body underneath head. Sew wings behind arms. Stuff the upper part of body (stuffing it partially now is easier than trying to stuff the whole thing as you are closing it up).
Rnd 23: [sc2tog, sc 4] six times (30 sts).
Rnd 24: [sc2tog, sc 3] six times (24 sts).
Rnd 25: [sc2tog, sc 2] six times (18 sts).
Rnd 26: [sc2tog, sc 1] six times (12 sts).
Stuff the rest of the body. Add plastic bean bag pellets if desired.
Rnd 27: [sc2tog] six times (6 sts).
Bind off, closing hole and weaving in tail.

Step 1 if you do not have wired gold cord: cut a 9 inch length of regular gold cord and a 11 inch length of floral wire. Run the floral wire through the middle of the gold cord until one inch of the wire is exposed on either end of the cord. Go to Step 2.
Step 1 if you do have wired gold cord: Cut an 11 inch length. Remove an inch of the cord from each end, leaving the wire exposed.
Step 2: If needed, use glue or Fray Check to keep the raw ends of the cord from unraveling.
Step 3: Holding the ends together, twist about two inches away from the ends to create a circle. Twist all the way down to the wire ends.

Final Construction
Trim and style hair. Place halo on head by sticking the bare ends of the wire into the head. If desired, sew the angel's hands together in prayer. Pair with Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus and enjoy your nativity!

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