50 Amigurumi Summer Challenge

It is (almost) summer!! It is so close to the actual end of the school year, that my brain is already on summer vacation, at least on the weekends. Usually about this time I make a summer “to-do” list, just in case I get bored with my time off. I never actually do get bored, since I have staff development, summer camps, and conferences that I attend. I do have some free time, and I like to have goals and ideas to fill it. Also, lately, I have been re-inspired to crochet after taking a bit of time off from it. I have made 5 Amis in the last week, and I hope to keep that momentum going for a while. So, I am officially instituting the “50 Amigurumi Summer Challenge!” I am super excited about it! You can join in, or just follow along with me. I will try to post them with stories and captions here, and will also post on my facebook and my pinterest board, as well as on instagram, #50amichallenge.

I am really stoked about this, so even if you don’t join in, feel free to follow along and comment on what I make. If you join in, use #50amichallenge! So here are the rules:

1. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, make 50 amigurumi.

2. Post pics and use #50amichallenge on any of your social media! Link back to this post to get others involved.

3. If you use someone else’s pattern, credit them for their work.

4. Have fun and be creative!

I look forward to seeing what everyone makes!

With that said- Here are the first five of my amis for the #50amichallenge!

My school’s mascot is the Eagle! So, I made a couple of eagles to sell at the craft show in the fall. Here are number 1 and 2:

Eagle #1

#1 Eagle

The second one came out a little taller. Since these are a school mascot, I will probably make a few more, but I won’t count any more towards the challenge.

Eagle #2

#2 Eagle

Then I made a cutie, big-headed tiger.

Tiger

#3 Tiger

#4 is a minion from the movie, Despicable Me. They are freaking adorbs, and he will not be the last one of these I make! I love them!

#4 Minion

#4 Minion

The last of this group is a cute little baby chicken.

#5 - baby chicken

#5 – baby chicken

I hope you enjoyed the first of this series! What do you think? Also, what Amis would you like to see me make?

Wrapping Up the Holidays

Happy New Year, everyone!

I love the idea of the new year being a time to set goals, get organized, and get a fresh start. As my DH and I go through the closets and the house, cleaning and donating anything we don’t use or need anymore, I am reflexive about the holidays. I had a great holiday this year, and want to share with you some of the things I am doing to reorganize, and especially some of the crafts I made over the break!

Here we are wearing all the scarves that were hanging on the coat rack I cleared off. I donated a few, but kept most of them (I get really cold!)

Wearing all of the scarves!

Wearing all of the scarves! #Scarfie

I made a batch of freezer meals for those nights when cooking just seems impossible. I am going through my craft stash and organizing. All of the Christmas gifts are given, and so I put away the monstrous pile of yarn and fabric I had out to finish everything. That took almost a whole day. The house feels fresh and clean with the clutter of holiday decorations now gone. I am not under pressure to fill orders that were needed by December 23 AT THE LATEST!!! (that is a direct quote from a customer, lol), so, I can craft at my leisure. I do still have a couple of orders to fill in the next week or so, but they are not high pressure. I will start and (hopefully) finish them this week.

I did not take too many pictures of the gifts this year, but will share what I have 🙂

Here is a TARDIS inspired hat. I will make a couple more to troubleshoot the pattern, and then hopefully share it here.

TARDIS

TARDIS

I also made this really cute bow scarf for my sister. She really liked it, and, thankfully, took a picture of it after Christmas so I could share it with you. The pattern for this one is not my own. I got it from the ladies at Top It Off Threads. They are on Facebook, and make really cute stuff. They graciously shared their pattern for this scarf when I met them at the craft fair last October.

Bow Scarf

Bow Scarf

My friend had a fancy dress party for New Year’s Eve, and it was loads of fun! There was music, great food, fun games, and even a photo booth!  I made the skirt I wore to the party, and I am really proud of how it turned out.

NYE skirt

NYE skirt

I successfully stitched in the ditch, inserted a zipper, and added a hook and eye.

Stitch in the ditch!

Stitch in the ditch!

zipper/hook and eye

zipper/hook and eye

Since it is a plaid, I lined up the pattern. It always bothers me when the pattern does not match on ready to wear clothes. It is just a basic A-line skirt, but the fabric drapes really nicely.

NYE

NYE

I was also very careful when doing the hem to make sure the fabric lays flat on the right side. It is not a perfect fit, because I am still not sure how to properly figure ease, but I think it turned out just fine. I really like it, and will definitely wear it again! I also think we definitely rang in 2015 with style and class!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2014 holidays have come and gone. Food and gifts were shared, laughter and merriment ensued, and a good time was had by all! I really tried to enjoy every moment of this break, and with such great family and friends, it was easy. Thank you, kind readers, for sharing 2014 with me, and for your continuing support. I look forward to another year of sharing with you all and being inspired by you. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

New Garland and Then Some

I am inching ever closer to creating 100 items from my stash!

#91 – August Garland – “I Wonder If It Will Be Friends With Me” – This is a tribute to my favorite author and book – Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In case you can’t tell, it’s a set of sperm whales with little bowls of petunias.

August Garland

August Garland

The whales are felt and embroidery, as are the bowls.

IMG_2384

Felt whales

I crocheted the tiny petunias with embroidery thread.

Tiny Petunias

Tiny Petunias

I think it turned out really cute, and I am so excited about it.

#92 – Gray Fingerless Gloves – My sister-in-law works in an really cold office. She asked if I would make her some fingerless gloves, so she could have her fingers free and still keep from freezing. I LOVE the look of cable knitting, but since I have still not gotten the the hang of knitting, I thought I would see what I could find for cable crochet. I found this pattern through Ravelry, and gave it a try. It was a great pattern, and I really enjoyed working it. My SIL loved the gloves and I hope they keep her hands toasty!

Cable gloves

Cable gloves

I really love how the cable turned out, and I am super thrilled to have learned this technique! I look forward to trying this in some other patterns and designs!

I have a few more things, but have not had a chance to get pics of them. I am painfully close to finishing, and then I will show you some back-to-school crafting I have been doing! Thanks for stopping by!

Getting Closer and Growing as a Crafter

Summer is such a fun time to craft. I am 16 projects away from my goal of making 100 items from materials I already had on hand, and really getting excited about finishing. I am also learning quite a bit. Recently, I found my self at the local craft store, and thought I would be really tempted to buy something. As I was looking at supplies and yarn and fabric, I found myself thinking “What will I use this for?” When I could not think of something, I put it down, and moved on. Before this challenge, I would buy fabrics or yarns if I like them, just in case I could use them later. Now, I want to buy with purpose. I am excited about this change in my crafting perspective.

#78 and 79 – Wallet and small zipper bag – My wallet broke. The zipper came right off. I had probably not constructed it correctly, since it was my first wallet ever, and I am not too sad about it breaking. It gave me the opportunity to learn how to correctly line a small zipper bag, and how to correctly install a zipper so that none of it is exposed. I made 2, accidentally. One is too big to be a wallet. I guessed on it. For the second version, I actually took a couple of credit cards out to make some measurements. That really helped to get the sizing just right. The fabric is one of my favorites. I found it and immediately bought one yard of it because I loved it so much. Something about windmills really makes me happy. I also really like how the little keyring worked out.

Wallet and Change purse

Wallet and Change purse

#80 – Owl Hat – This is a WIP that I have been holding for a while. It was complete except for the beak. I just could not find a shade of yellow that worked with the green and pink. I knew it had to exist, so I set this aside until I could find it. Turns out, when you clear out most of your yellow stash, you find the tiniest ball of the perfect shade of yellow!

Owl hat

Owl hat

#81 – Tiger hat- this is another WIP that I found needing attention. I guess another advantage to cleaning out stash, is that you eventually find WIPs you had completely forgotten existed. This one needed ears, eyes, and mouth. Luckily, I had put the orange and black yarns inside the hat, so I could match the hat precisely.

Almost finished!

Almost finished!

Adult Tiger Hat

Adult Tiger Hat Selfie

#82 – Earbud bag – I am always getting my earbuds tangled up, and then I have to spend an eternity (maybe a little less) untangling them, and by then, I no longer want to go on a walk or listen to whatever it was that made me want to get them out. That is, until I made this little gem. I found this tutorial on Pinterest. It is perfect. It fits in my purse. I learned about installing zippers, lining, sewing curves and how much thickness my sewing machine can handle. I also love the owl and zig zag fabrics I found for it.

Earbud pouch

Earbud pouch

closed earbud pouch

closed earbud pouch

#83 – Giraffe Amigurumi – This is one of my number one sellers. I just think he is so cute and fun to make. His face is just so expressive. He is one of my favorite patterns. I have never written it down, however. Perhaps I should do that and share with you soon 🙂

Giraffe

Giraffe

#84 – Cowl – I found one skein of this yarn sitting in the back of the yellow bin. It is a nice soft yarn, but more of a roving, so not very good for amis. I decided to make a twisted cowl with it. This pattern is a basic granny stripe, all in one color. I made a large rectangle, then twisted it and sewed the ends together. It is cute, and looks attractive as a mock turtleneck. Since it is particularly warm, I think it will be a great accessory this winter.

Twisted Yellow Cowl

Twisted Yellow Cowl

That brings us to 84 items out of 100! Only 16 more to go. I cannot wait to be finished, but I have learned a lot about myself and my crafting habits from this challenge. I have also busted quite a bit of my stash, which clears things out, helps me to stay organized, and makes room for more!

Memorial Day Weekend Craft Share

It was just Memorial Day weekend, and I was able to craft a few more things to share with you today!

I recently joined a fun game on Ravelry (only the best online fiber arts resource in the world!) called the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup Challenge. When you join, you get sorted into one of the Harry Potter houses (I got Gryffindor!!!), and you submit projects for each class based on a prompt given by the professors (other crafters who have volunteered for the job). Each term is 3 months long, and you have to submit a minimum of one project each month. They also have extra-curricular acitivites such as quidditch and Maurader’s map missions, as well as OWLs, NEWTs, and other aspects of HP brought to you through a knitting/crocheting perspective! I am having a really great time with it, meeting lots of new people, and I anticipate several of my next crochet projects will be centered around the prompts for this!

#66 – Double Six Blanket – This blanket was crafted for the Divination class for May. The prompt was to be inspired by the double six domino, as dominoes are used to divine the future in some cultures. It was basically about creatively grouping and counting your project in sets of six. I made six granny squares, each with six rows, and then did a border with six rows as well. I think it is perfect for a stroller or car seat blanket.

Double Six Blanket

Double Six Blanket

six row granny square

six row granny square

Six row border

Six row border

#67 – Tiny Fairy for Potions class. The prompt was to make what ever the given potion would make, or to make something inspired by the ingredients. The first ingredient is fairy wings, so here is my fairy to fit this class.

Tiny Fairy

Tiny Fairy

#68 – This one is a favorite of mine. I REALLY wanted to make it fit into one of the HPKCHC prompts. I could, alas, not make it work. I am very excited about this one, because it really used up a LOT of my stash! I bought several (18) skeins of yarn a couple of years ago in an effort to make a blanket of some sort. It came in a kit, but I never made the project. I really love the color, but I had no idea what to do with ALL the yarn. 18 skeins is quite formidable! Then the idea hit me, why not triple them? So I got my giant crochet hook out, tripled the yarn, and got to work. It is just double crochet, but it looks so cool because it is done with an S hook, and triplicate yarn. It is about a full size bed, and about 5 feet long. I love the snuggliness of it 🙂

Thick and cozy

Thick and cozy

double crochets in triplcate

double crochets in triplcate

lush and yummy

lush and yummy

End of Year Wind Down

I am seriously in the homestretch, and feeling it! Three weeks until summer vacation and I am almost 2/3 finished with the 100 craft challenge! It has been a super busy couple of weeks, so I have several new crafts to share!

#60 – Penguin – This little ami is so fun to make, and so CUTE!! I have made three of them so far, and I am sure I will make more.

Cutie Penguin

Cutie Penguin

#61-64 – Mug Rugs for Mother’s Day – I am fortunate enough to have 4 mothers to celebrate: my mom, my mother in law, step-mother in law, and grandmother in law. I think the world of all of these women, and I love them all. This year, I made each of them mug rugs – a little mat, large enough for a mug of tea or coffee, plus a little snack.

Mug rugs

Mug rugs

rolled up and ready to gift

rolled up and ready to gift

I found this really cute note on a website, but now I cannot find it again. I cannot take credit for someone else’s work, so if you know where this comes from, please let me know, and I will link it. Thank you to the original author for the cuteness!

#65 – bias tape! I am REALLY excited about the next one! I have started making my own bias tape. This first one is 1/4″ double fold bias tape made from some really cute orange gingham. I will be making more bias tape, in different sizes. Can’t wait to use this one, and it is super easy to make.

 

Orange Gingham bias tape

Orange Gingham bias tape

Craft Challenge #51-54

Here is the next bunch of crafts I have made from my stash. I am once again inspired to craft! The last few weeks have been a bit rough, and I have been in a crafting rut. But with the next few crafts (and a bit of leisure time this weekend), I am back on track and ready to finish this challenge strong! I am excited to present the next four creations to you:

#51 – Scarf with Pockets: I made this scarf for my sister. She wanted one for Christmas, but it was not in the cards, and time ran out. She was over last weekend helping me build the compost bin, and while she was here, I had her pick her colors out. The colors she picked very much remind me of her. My husband saw me working on it, and without any prompting asked me if it was for her. That’s how much these colors and pattern fit her. We recently had another cold front pass through here, and I was able to give it to her, so hopefully she got a little use out of it this season. I am sure she will get plenty of use of it next year 🙂

Pocket scarf

Pocket scarf

#52 – Ear Warmer: With the leftover bit of one of the yarns from my sister’s scarf, I made this cute head/ear warmer. It will be on my etsy shop soon!

Toasty Warm Ears :)

Toasty Warm Ears 🙂

Ear Warmer

Ear Warmer

#53 – Big and cuddly Princess Leia: This Princess Leia is about 8″ tall, and is super cuddly. Her arms are stretched out and ready to give you a hug.

Princess Leia

Princess Leia

Want a hug?

Want a hug?

#54 – A Tiny Owl: I had some left over yarn (just a little bit) from the basket weave blanket. I used it to make this tiny owl. My husband asked me if I had made an owl recently, and so I whipped this little guy up in about 25 minutes. He is really cute, and I especially loved how his feet turned out. I may just make several more to use up my smaller yarn scraps!

Tiny owl

Tiny owl

Check out his tiny feet

Check out his tiny feet

 

Halfway there! #49-50

I am so excited that I am half way through this challenge!! It has been a bit of a struggle lately, but I know that I can definitely do 100 crafts from my current stash. This week, I have two challenge crafts to share, and one non-challenge project.

First, I have to brag on my students – last week, we brought our 5 middle school orchestras to UIL concert and sight reading competition. For those of you who don’t know, this is the standardized assessment for orchestra. It is intense, and the level of performance, both on stage and in the sight reading (where they see a piece of music for the first time and read it with minimal instruction) is expected to be very high. All 5 of our groups received superior ratings, which is the highest possible. In addition, they were professional and mature, way beyond their years (12-14 years old). They represented us directors, our school, and our program so well. I am so incredibly proud of the amazing kids we teach, and of the countless hours of hard work and dedication they have put into this accomplishment! It was an amazing (and exhausting) experience for me. I am so lucky to do what I do, and to work with such amazing people 🙂 So the last couple of weeks, there has been a small crafting hiatus, due to the intensity of getting ready for this competition, but it has definitely paid off.

Now, down to the real business (crafty business) – I have 2 new projects to share.

#49 – A cute little bear. I have quite a bit of the so-called “mist” colors leftover from making the DC Striped Blanket. I used a bit of the green one in the elephant’s ears from the last post. After using it there, I thought why not a whole Ami made from it? So I came up with this little cutie. I call him Alfred, and he is awfully silly. Here are some pictures –

IMG_1851

Alfred – just hanging about

IMG_1850

Posing for his portrait

#50 – This one has been a bit of a saga for me. I started this blanket 7-8 years ago, and it has a story. My sister had just gotten her first apartment, and she wanted a blanket for watching TV and hanging out at her place. I picked these colors to match the color scheme she had in her living room. So I started to work on it. I decided on a basket weave stitch for the blanket. Something very simple, that looks very complicated. Then I put it down for a few days. When I picked it back up, I picked it up with a different hook (unintentionally); one that was the wrong size. I crocheted several whole skeins into it. When I finally looked at it and measured it, I realized my mistake. I felt so defeated. How was I going to rip out ALL that yarn and do it again?!?! I just couldn’t do it. So, I put it down for 7-8 years. This 100 craft challenge allowed me the chance to pick it back up. I finally had the nerve to pull out all the skeins that were crocheted with the wrong hook. It was tedious, but it was worth it. I figured out the correct hook and tension, and I re-worked them. Then I took the two other skeins of the same yarn, and I worked those in. I have been working on this blanket, a row or so at a time, almost every single day, since this challenge started. Now it is finally finished, and I am so excited!! My sister has since gotten married, and bought a house. And also has a different color scheme. If she still wants it, I will give it to her. If not, I will keep it, or give it to someone else.

Basket Blanket

Basket Weave Blanket

folded blanket

folded blanket

check the basket weave

check the basket weave

So those are my crafts that count towards the 100 craft challenge for now. It is, of course, (as of recently) Spring. That means, lots of work for the garden, planting and pruning, etc. My sister and I got together today and built a compost bin for my house today. It is amazing. It turned out to be a family effort – My one sister designed it and helped me build it (she is so talented!). My mom provided me with the pitch fork I will need to toss my compost. My other sister loaned me her drill to use to make it. It is really amazing, and I cannot wait until it is full of the compost! I love it 🙂 I am super proud of this, since it started with a roll of hardware cloth and a few pieces of lumber. This was an awesome experience!

Here are some pics of the final result. It even has doors to the front of it. They come off for easy tossing.

New Compost bin

New Compost bin

side view

side view

door off

door off

removable doors

removable doors

 

Spring Break Success!!

My plan for this Spring Break was to use the time to craft and rejuvenate myself to prepare for the end of the year. I would say it was a splendid week. I watched movies, both at home and at the theater. I cleaned my house (finally), shopped alone and with my sisters, had lunch with friends and family. I took naps, read books, ran miles, drank fine beers, and ate great food! I made complicated dinners, baked breads and other yummies. It was amazing 🙂

I also made/finished a few things towards my 100 crafts.

#46 – Isaac’s blanket- We had a nephew born at the beginning of the week, a healthy baby boy, on my father-in law’s side of the family. I made him this blanket, which I finished yesterday. It is blue and green for a baby boy. It is a simple pattern of granny squares, joined with a granny join (another row of granny stitch used to join the squares together). I love the way it came together and how the striping ended up diagonally. I cannot wait to get it to our nephew to use.

Green and blue baby blanket

Green and blue baby blanket

#47 – Blanket for my cousin’s baby – My cousin in NY is having her first baby later this year. They are waiting to find out the sex until it is born, so I decided on a rainbow blanket for them. I used some very bright colors, and since it came from my stash yarns, I did not necessarily have the same amount of each color. I made granny squares of each color until I ran out of the most of the skeins. I did not finish the blue or orange, so I will have to make plans for those. Then I laid the squares out, sort of randomly, making sure two of the same color were never next to each other, and also that there were never more than three of the same in a row diagonally. When I was satisfied with the look of it from all sides, I finally put the squares together. I used a single crochet join, and I really love the way it looks. On the front, it looks beautiful and polished with the white stripes pulling all the colors together. On the back, it looks like a seamless quilt. I just love the way it looks and came together. I cannot wait to send it to my cousin.

Rainbow blanket

Rainbow blanket

back of blanket

back of blanket

#48 – Elephant Ami – There was a little bit of blue leftover from Isaac’s blanket, and I used it to make a little elephant ami. He has some green accents on his ears to make him pop. The green yarn is from the DC striped blanket I made for myself (seen here). He turned out really cute, and the best part is, there is only about 1 yard of the blue left. It will go into the scrap pile, to be used as stuffing, or possibly embroidery. I love it when that works out. Also, the elephant is about as cute as possible. I hope you like him, too.

Want to be friends?

Want to be friends?

Side view

Side view

I love his tiny tail!

I love his tiny tail!

I did not quite make it to 50 crafts, but I would definitely call this week a success. I feel rested and refueled and ready to get back to work. I did not make myself crazy trying to meet impossible deadlines, or stressing about school coming back. I definitely made the best of this vacation, and am glad I did. Thanks for stopping by!

Foxy Hats

I have no update on the 100 projects, just yet. I have not had a chance to take pictures of my projects, yet. They will come soon. I did get a special order request through my shop that I am ready to share with you, though. Unfortunately, I did not have the proper yarn to fulfill this request, so I did have to go and buy some, therefore, this project does not count toward the 100 projects from my stash. I will also not add this yarn to my stash until after I have completed the challenge. I was very good and only bought exactly what I would need to finish this project. So with that said, here are the mother and daughter matching fox hats I made:

Mommy Fox

Mommy Fox

The mommy hat is a typical adult size hat (one size fits all). The ears were the toughest part to try to make stand up on such a large scale, but I think that I was successful.

Ear stand up check!

Ear stand up check selfie! 

The baby hat is sized for 6 month old baby, so that the 4 month old it is for can grow into a bit for the remainder of winter.

Baby hat

Baby hat

Something about the eyes being a bit closer together really makes this one especially cute. I love this and plan to make a couple more to sell in the Fall. Next time, I will try to write out the pattern to share as well.

On another note, I shared pics of this on facebook, and got a request to make an eagle hat (my school mascot is the eagles). That should be a fun challenge! What kind of animal hat would you like to see?