Kitty Princess II

It’s taken me quite a while to get around this post (and the next one I’ve planned). Partly because I don’t like to post on Blogger anymore (the editor is too fiddly) and partly because I’ve been extremely busy with school this semester – even more than I thought I’d be. Anyway, you’ve all seen this before, in my crafty summary of last year, but I thought I should make a separate post about it anyway πŸ™‚

So here she is, the new and improved Kitty Princess!
There are not many changes to the pattern itself, we’re only talking about an added round to the neck and tail, but the written instructions and the layout is all new. More pictures! I’ve wanted to remake this for a long time, and last fall I finally did it. Made in thicker yarn this time – the same kind I use for my Dudes – which is a lot more comfortable for me to work with. It also means she’s a lot bigger than the first version. And fresh colors, as you can see πŸ™‚
The pattern is updated with the new file on Ravelry, and I’ve relisted it with new pictures on Etsy. It was on Etsy in the beginning, but I let it stay expired for a long time because it didn’t sell. But now it’s all better πŸ˜€


Craftiness of 2011 :)

First of all, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I know I’m a little late, but we’ve had our family visiting for Christmas, and after they all left, I kind of collapsed and haven’t done anything productive for days. But I’m back now, rested and ready for the new year ahead. Will have lots of studying to do this spring (taking an extra class to make up for skipping one this fall), but hopefully I’ll be able to blog a little as well πŸ™‚
To make up for neglecting my blog the past months, here is a summary of the craftiness I did last year πŸ™‚ I didn’t think I’d accomplished much, but looking back, I realize that I’ve done quite a lot! Starting with my own designs in chronological order:

Nesting Love Birds, a free pattern for Valentine’s Day.

Three Cute Little Bear Dudes, all made after the original bear pattern (Forest Dwellers vol.1)
Cute Little Dudes – Forest Dwellers vol.4. All birds πŸ™‚
Cute Little Dudes – Alien Invaders.
In April I got a smart phone, so I knitted a protective purse for it as soon as I could. Important not to scratch the touch screen! πŸ™‚
Great Big Wasp.
Great Big Aphid.
Finally got round to finishing the Great Big (male) Firefly (to the left). Sorry about the pale picture, I’ll never take photos in bright sunlight again! No pattern yet…
Great Big Crane Fly. Longest bug legs ever! Pattern will be done soon, I promise πŸ™‚
My aunt asked me to make two little bugs for her, so I made these. Mini versions of the Great Big ones. I’m working on the patterns, but I have to remake them to get proper pictures. Hopefully the patterns will be done before Easter πŸ™‚
Cute Little Dudes – Trick or Treat! vol.1. I had another set planned, but ran out of time (too much school work!). Will save the second set for next Halloween πŸ™‚
A friend of mine wanted me to make a great big dragon that he could give to a kid for his birthday, so I made this. It’s huge! Arms and legs are jointed. I was told the kid’s birthday was in October, so I rushed to finish it, but then it turned out the day was not until November. Oh well. At least the kid was happy. From what I heard, the dragon was being fed dinner as soon as it arrived. That’s a good sign, right?
Crocheted and felted witch’s cauldron, a free pattern for Halloween. I had originally planned to make up lots of creepy stuff to put in it (eyeballs, severed fingers, bat wings, etc.), but once again I ran out of time. Will save the ideas for next time πŸ™‚
As a Christmas present, I made this heart (from my free heart pattern) that I filled with nice smelling things and put in a pretty bowl with some pretty white stones.
And the very last thing I finished last year was a remake of the Kitty Princess, the first pattern I ever made and published. Gave it to a cousin for Christmas. I am in the process of rewriting the pattern and adding new photos, and hopeully it’ll be done before school starts in about two weeks πŸ™‚
So. That was all of my designs. I did some other things too, but a lot of the projects I started last year are still in progress, so I have no pictures to show you… I will post the few that I have, though πŸ™‚ Again, in chronological order:
In the beginning of January I took out Rose Langlitz’s book Tasty Crochet and started crocheting some food. I was obsessed for a while, but I only managed to complete two things, a pear and a salami/lettuce sandwich:
I have more half-finished food items lying around, but no pictures…Β 
After that I knitted a new bag for my rpg dice, the Dice Bag of Doom! Pattern free for download on Ravelry.
My next obsession was bugs, as Lesley Stanfield’s new book came out, 75 birds, butterflies & beautiful beasties. I made a black slug, plus some butterflies and caterpillars that I pinned to a cork board:
Then I moved on to Hansi Singh’s bugs. I started with a praying mantis that never got finished, but I made earthworms, a sea slug, Kraken (giant squid) and a Blackdevil anglerfish:

Again, I have lots of WiPs that hopefully some day will be done. They are just too pretty to be stashed away in a bag…
During the summer I got started on June Gilbank’s dinosaurs. I think I’ve started about five of them, but none are done yet. It’s just silly, really. On one (the Parasaurolophus), all that remains is sewing on one last leg! Sigh. I think I have an aversion against finishing things :/
I found this really cool knitting pattern on Ravelry, of a dancing goddess figure:
The pattern itself is very simple (knit in the round, and it consists of only two parts, so very little sewing is required), but I wasn’t quite happy with my knitting (uneven stitches and a few holes – I’m no good at knitting in the round on double-pointed needles!), so I decided to felt it. Unfortunately I felted it after stuffing, so it almost didn’t felt at all. It just became sort of lumpy and disproportionate. I wanted to make more of these, but I’ll have to do it differently next time.
The last project I finished last year (not counting the Christmas presents) was this little dice bag:
The pattern is Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag, found HERE. Well, to be honest, it isn’t actually 100% finished, since I haven’t made the cord yet. I just got so tired of knitting with that stupid yarn that has absolutely NO stretch what so ever, I just tied it with a piece of yarn to be done with it. Love the pattern and the bag, though. Plan to make more some time, when I can get my hands on some lovely multi-colored Noro, which the pattern is designed for.
And that was all. Whew! Longest post ever… (It’s taken over four hours to write!) Well. My plan now is to finish the patterns for the things I made last year, preferably as soon as possible. I’ll have a lot less time once school starts, and I think that if I don’t finish them now, I probably never will. So one of my new year’s resolutions is to finish all my Bugs, Dudes and any other patterns before I start any new ones. Have lots of projects going right now, but no new Bugs or Dudes before the others are done. Period. Will try to post again soon πŸ™‚

About my patterns

Yesterday I got a question about one of my patterns, if it was simple enough for a beginner. While considering what to say I realized that I didn’t really know how to set the difficulty level of my patterns. When I learned to crochet around two years ago I started by making amigurumi and learned the stitches as I went, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that amigurumi is easy or suited for beginners to crochet. I had my mother, who has been crocheting doilies for more than 30 years, test one of my amigurumi patterns, and she failed miserably (sorry about that, but it’s true). It’s difficult for me to judge what will be easy or difficult for others, as I’m not even sure where my own skill level is.
For example, I find it very hard (or at least very troublesome) to have color changes in the middle of a row when working in the round. I have no idea where to put the yarn that’s not in use. If I carry it along it shows through and if i don’t carry it I’ll have to cut it for each round, which leaves about a million ends to tie up :/ So, I try to avoid having those kinds of color changes in my patterns. Simple stripes, however (like on the bumblebee), is no problem.
I posted my question on Ravelry, and this is part of the reply I got from Stacey Trock (author of Cuddly Crochet, read her blog):
Below, I’ve pasted what the Yarn Council says [link HERE], and then in Italics, what I’ve added as guidelines for my own patterns.
  • Beginner: Projects for first-time crocheters using basic stitches. Minimal shaping. My easiest patterns. Includes working in the round (because most amigurumi are), but the basic shapes are just circles. No fancy stitching required.
  • Easy: Projects using yarn with basic stitches, repetitive stitch patterns, simple color changes, and simple shaping and finishing. Simple color change for me means just needing to change color once or twice, but not enough to make a pattern with the color changes. I put patterns here if they have more decorations/details than a beginner pattern.
  • Intermediate: Projects using a variety of techniques, such as basic lace patterns or color patterns, mid-level shaping and finishing. β€˜Mid-level shaping’ means a non-circle shape. And color patterns, such as an animal having a white tummy, makes an animal go in this difficulty level.
  • Experienced: Projects with intricate stitch patterns, techniques and dimension, such as non-repeating patterns, multi-color techniques, fine threads, small hooks, detailed shaping and refined finishing. I have very few patterns here, usually only if you need to follow a chart for color changes.
When I began making the Cute Little Dudes, I wanted to keep them as simple as possible, but still get them to look somewhat advanced. I decided to try and make all the parts with single crochet in the round (no working flat pieces in rows, which I find can be hard to count sometimes), and as few color changes as possible. I think I have accomplished that, except for the hedgehog, which of course was the pattern in question… The spikes are made by chaining a few stitches and then slip stitching back to the beginning, repeat about a thousand times. The rest of the hedgie is pretty straight forward if you know how to work in front, back and both loops.
I also realized that people may be interested in more details about the patterns, like what stitches they would need to know to be able to make the critters, so here it is:
Great Big Bugs:
* All parts except the eyelids and the legs are made with single crochet in the round
* No shaping (increases and decreases are evenly spaced in the rounds)
* A few simple color changes (a few more on the bumblebee)
* A little embroidery (mouth)
Stitches you need to know:
Chain, sl st, sc, inc, dec, dc, hdc
Cute Little Dudes:
* All parts are made with single crochet in the round
* Almost no shaping (a few muzzles and belly patches are not completely circular, but they can be if you want them to)
* A few simple color changes (some dudes have none)
* A little embroidery (nose & mouth on all dudes, some have spots as well)
Stitches you need to know:
Chain (only for dudes with “hair”), sc, inc, dec, sl st, BLO, FLO
Kitty Princess:
* All parts are made with single crochet in the round
* Some shapingΒ 
* No color changes
* A little embroidery (nose & mouth)
Stitches you need to know:
Sc, inc, dec, sl st, BLO, chain, hdc, dc
You can read the Ravelry discussion HERE. I guess my answer to the question about the hedgehog is that unless you’re a complete stranger to crochet and the basics of amigurumi, you will be able to make it πŸ™‚ It looks complicated, but it’s really just about placing the spikes and being patient (there are a lot of them!). I hope this has been helpful πŸ™‚

Great Big Bumblebee pattern & more

I managed to finish the patterns sooner than I thought (I e-mailed the documents to my aunt who converted them to PDF and sent them back to me), so I actually listed the Bumblebee pattern yesterday. And I’ve made a sale already, can you believe that? I almost don’t πŸ˜€ You find my Etsy shop HERE.
Oh, I forgot to mention in the post yesterday that the body of the bumblebee is brushed to make it furry and fuzzy and cute like a real bumblebee πŸ™‚ The pattern is actually based on the Buff-tailed Bumblebee, which is the most common species in Europe.
I edited my old Kitty Princess pattern and relisted it.
Also, both patterns are now found in my new Ravelry store πŸ™‚ I decided to try it because selling patterns on Ravelry is a little cheaper than Etsy, since there’s no listing fee…

One final thing… I really could use some help with this, both me and my boyfriend are stuck trying to come up with a name for this pattern set:

The pattern is as good as ready, I just need a name for the little creatures. Now, I feel like I can’t call them critters, because that would make them too similar to CraftyAlien‘s very cute knitted & felted ones. Calling them Something-something Friends also seems a little used… They are fairly small, with a flat bottom that allows them to sit up straight, and fit perfectly in you hand:

I plan to make a lot more of these sets, and not only forest animals, so I need a general name for all of them, and then the individual sets will have more specific names added to that. *sigh* Hate it when I’m stuck like this…

Ooh, I just had an idea… If I get any suggestions (as comments to this post), the winning suggestion will win a free copy of this pattern! I have a few thoughts myself, but I’m still undecided, so you have a fair chance of your name suggestion being picked πŸ˜€ (If I come up with a name myself you can still get the pattern from one of my stores..)