Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Adventure Time with Finn and Jake

I recently started watching Adventure Time on Cartoon Network UK with my boys (I only just found out we could get it on our subscription). It's a great show, suitable for kids (maybe not very young ones) and adults - the humour's fun and weird but not mean. It's set in a colourful, fantastical post-apocalyptic world with Finn, a 12/13 year old boy (the only human we know of) and Jake the dog, who is capable of stretching or shrinking to almost any size or shape. They have all sorts of adventures - Finn is pretty handy with a sword - and sing cute little songs.

I joined in with an Adventure Time swap on Craftster and made Finn and Jake for my partner (I think I'll have to remake them for my boys!).


Part of the reason I like the show is the design of the characters, and they have great shapes to crochet. Here are the originals to compare:


Finn is about 13" tall and has a backpack that opens and closes with a small button.



Jake is about 8" tall, roughly in proportion to Finn in his normal shape and size, where he still has quite long arms.




Since they both have such thin legs, it's hard to make them stand up, so I took them outside to pose them a bit. Finn's off on an adventure and Jake's hanging around in a tree.



I hope you like them, and if you haven't watched Adventure Time, give it a go!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

All the Totoros!

I love the Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli film My Neighbour Totoro, and the Totoros themselves, adorable monsters with features reminiscent of rabbits and cats, that come in three different sizes and colours. A giant grey one about twice the height of a person, a blue one about the size of a cat and a small white one about half that size. If you haven't seen the film, I urge you to give it a try, it's totally delightful.

A few years back I made a blue and a white Totoro, and wrote up the patterns on my livejournal (White Totoro , Blue Totoro ). Since then I've been wanting to make a grey one, and to perfect the original two patterns. In the end I did that, and also adapted the pattern for the white Totoro to make a small blue one to go with the grey one, and a tiny white one to complete the set.

This might be easier to explain in photos!

Here's the large grey Totoro, which is about 9" tall, with the small blue Totoro (4.25" tall) and the tiny white one (1.75"). To be honest, the two smaller ones aren't quite to scale with the grey one, but it would have been too difficult to make a white one small enough without changing the type of yarn, which I didn't want to do.


These are the updated blue and white Totoros. The blue one is about 8" tall and the white one is 4.25" tall. When I started remaking them I changed them quite a bit - I obviously crochet a lot tighter now that I did when I made them originally. The grey Totoro and this blue one have a similar pattern, the grey one is a bit taller but the ears are shorter.
The white Totoro and the small blue one are the same pattern, just with extra elements (tummy, arms) for the blue one.


Here you can see the two different sizes of blue and white Totoros, I'm happy that I got the scale pretty much right for both sets.




I also made a little leaf for the grey Totoro, to help keep off the rain.



You can download the patterns free from Ravelry:









Tiny White Totoro (the leaf pattern can be found with the Grey Totoro)



You can also download the patterns from Craftster 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Mini Crochet Creatures - Tiny Two-tone Turtle


These tiny turtles are great to use up scraps of yarn, and can easily be made as keychains. Using two colours and spike stitch makes a really pretty design on the shell. Why not make lots of them! For general instructions and abbreviations, please check this earlier post

Tiny Two-tone Turtle



You will need:
Small amounts of yarn: two colours for the shell (C1 and C2) and light brown for the body.
Black yarn for eyes and mouth.
Small amount of stuffing.
Small split ring approx 1" (2cm) diameter.
3.5mm (E) hook.

Special stitch instructions:
3 dc pop: popcorn stitch for legs. Work 3 dc into 1 st, take hook out leaving loop, put hook through 1st dc & pull loop through.

Spike stitch (spike st): instead of working the sc into the top of the stitch in the previous round, work it right over that stitch and into the stitch from the round before.

Start using C1.
Round 1: Ch 2, work 6 sc into 1st ch - 6 st.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around - 12 st.

Change to C2.
Round 3: [2 sc in next st, spike st over next st] 6 times – 18 st.

Round 4: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 5 st] 3 times – 21 st.
Change to C1.
Round 5: [Sc in next 2 st, spike st over next st] 7 times - 21 st.
Change to light brown yarn.
Round 6: Work in BLO for whole round: Sc in next 2 st, (*tail: ss in next st, ch 2, ss in 2nd ch from hook, ss back into original st), sc in next 2 st, 3 dc pop in next st, sc in next 3 st, 3 dc pop in next st, sc in next 2 st, [head: 3 dc in each of next 2 st, take hook out leaving loop, put hook through 1st dc & pull loop through], sc in next 2 st, 3 dc pop in next st, sc in next 3 st, 3 dc pop in next st - 20 st.
Round 7: Sc in each st around - 20 st.
Round 8: [Sc2tog] 10 times – 10 st.
Round 9: [Sc2tog] 5 times – 5 st. FO, leaving a length of yarn.

(*To make tail with split ring attached: ss in next st, ch 3, put split ring onto hook, ss over split ring in 2nd ch from hook and pull split ring over the end of the hook. Ss into next ch, ss back into original st.) Continue with round 6.

Use black yarn to sew eyes and a tiny mouth on the turtle's head, stuff and use length of brown yarn to sew up hole at bottom.

Mini Crochet Creatures - Baby Octopuses

Using any colour of yarn you like, make these cute baby octopuses. Choose between one with long wiggly legs, or one with short stubby little legs. For general instructions and abbreviations, please check the previous post.


Baby Octopuses

You will need:
Small amount of yarn, any colour you like.
Small safety eyes, buttons, or yarn for eyes.
Small amount of stuffing.
3.5mm (E) hook.

Special stitch instructions:
6 dc pop: popcorn stitch for short legs. Work 6 dc into 1 st, take hook out leaving loop, put hook through 1st dc & pull loop through.

Round 1: Ch 2, work 6 sc into 1st ch - 6 st.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around - 12 st.
Round 3: [2 sc in next st, sc in next st] 6 times – 18 st.

Round 4: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 st] 6 times – 24 st.
Round 5 - 8: (4 rounds) Sc in each st around - 24 st.
Round 9: [Sc2tog, sc in next st] 8 times – 16 st.

To make an octopus with long legs, follow the rest of the instructions for rounds 10 to 13 here:

Round 10: Work in FLO for whole round [Ss into next st, ch 9, miss ch next to hook, sc into next 8 ch, ss back into original st, sc into next st] 8 times - 16 st.

Fit eyes now if using safety eyes, and start to stuff.

Round 11: Sc in each of the back loops left from the previous round - 16 st.
Round 12: [Sc2tog, sc in next 2 sc] 4 times – 12 sc.
Round 13: [Sc2tog] 6 times – 6 sc. FO, leaving a length of yarn.

To make an octopus with short legs, follow the rest of the instructions for rounds 10 to 12 here:

Round 10: [6 dc pop in next st, sc in next st] 8 times - 16 st.

Fit eyes now if using safety eyes, and start to stuff.

Round 11: [Sc2tog, sc in next 2 st] 4 times – 12 st.
Round 12: [Sc2tog] 6 times – 6 st. FO, leaving a length of yarn.

Both variations: Finish stuffing. If you aren't using safety eyes, sew on or embroider eyes now. Use length of yarn to sew up hole at bottom.

Mini Crochet Creatures - Wee Sheepie


Happy Easter! I've just written up a few patterns to make some tiny little crochet animals - a little sheep, a tiny turtle, and two versions of a baby octopus. Below are a list of abbreviations and some general instructions that will help with all the patterns, and then the pattern to make a Wee Sheepie. I'll put the patterns for the other animals in the following posts.

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
st = stitch or stitches
sc = single crochet (US), double crochet (UK)
dc = double crochet (US), treble crochet (UK)
hdc = half double crochet (US), half treble crochet (UK)
BLO = back loop only
FLO = front loop only
tog = together
sc2tog = decrease by working two sc together
FO = fasten off

General instructions:
Work in rounds unless otherwise stated and do not join rounds unless told to. Use a stitch marker to mark the start of a round - a small piece of different coloured yarn placed under the stitch at the start of the round will do. To start a round, you can use the magic ring method, but I prefer (ch2, work 6 sc into 1st ch). If you work the 6 sc over the tail of yarn as well you can use that to pull the hole tight.

Work through both loops of stitches unless otherwise indicated.

 
Wee Sheepie

You will need:
Small amount of cream yarn.
Small amount of black yarn.
Small amount of stuffing.
3.5mm (E) hook.
Special stitch instructions:
4 dc pop: popcorn stitch for ears and legs. Work 4 dc into 1 st, take hook out leaving loop, put hook through 1st dc & pull loop through.
Start using black yarn.
Round 1: Ch 2, work 6 sc into 1st ch - 6 st.
Round 2: [2 sc in next st, sc in next st] 3 times – 9 st.
Round 3: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 st] 3 times – 12 st.
Round 4: Sc in each st around - 12 st.
Round 5: Sc in next 4 st, 4 dc pop in next st, sc in next 3 st, 4 dc pop in next st, sc in next 3 st – 12 st.
Round 6: [Sc2tog, sc in next 2 st] 3 times – 9 st.
Change to cream yarn.
Round 7: 2 sc in each st around - 18 st.
Round 8: Sc in each st around - 18 st.
Change to black yarn.
Round 9: 4 dc pop in next st, (change to cream yarn) sc in next 2 st, (black) 4 dc pop in next st, (cream) sc in next 14 st – 18 st.
Round 10 - 11: (2 rounds) Sc in each st around - 18 st.
Round 12: Sc in next st, (black) 4 dc pop in next st, (cream) sc in next 2 st, (black) 4 dc pop in next st, (cream) sc in next 13 st – 18 st.
Round 13: Sc in each st around - 18 st.
Round 14: [Sc2tog, sc in next st] 6 times – 12 st.
Round 15: [Sc2tog] 6 times – 6 st.
FO, leaving lengths of black and cream yarn.
Embroider the eyes making patches using cream yarn with a dot of black yarn on top. Stuff and use length of cream yarn to sew up hole at bottom.