Saturday, January 30, 2010
Posted by emosback at 11:47 AM
Friday, January 29, 2010
Posted by emosback at 1:09 PM
I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on the internet researching and utilizing the many wonderful website that exist for crocheters. My obsession began around the time when I wanted to learn how to do stitches other than single crochet and chains, how to read crochet pattern abbreviations and how to find free crochet patterns. I went online and was absolutely shocked to discover an entire culture, a wealth of knowledge and lovely people that were just as (if not more) excited about crocheting as I was!
So, over the past couple years I have compiled this list of wonderful websites, blogs, and other resources on the web I visit almost daily for inspiration, learning, and just plain fun!
1. Lion Brand - it's simply an amazing resource with over 3000 free patterns to use (all you need to do is go through their free register process, and you can download all you want)! Not only that, but there are tips, explanations of stitches, a customer gallery where you can share what you've made and oggle at other's creations, and you can request their free catalog. Basically, I love this site. Almost any amigurumi I've ever made has been from a free pattern, from this site. Thank you people of Lion Brand, you are awesome!
Etsy - This site is all about buying, selling, and loving handmade goods. I love it not just because you can sell your crafts and find some really neat things here, but because, once again, it is a community of people that love what I love! One of my favorite things to do is to type in something that I'd like to make -say a giraffe amigurumi, and see what the sellers have listed. They are all artists with wonderful talent, so I love to just take a look around and be inspired by their creations. If you have never looked at, purchased from, or even talked with anyone who knows about Etsy, I urge you to do it! You will love it!
Crochet Pattern Central - They have an entire library of free patterns, all organized by category. They take any and all free patterns posted on the internet, and organize them into one central location. You can go there and then be redirected to other sites and blogs where the patterns were originally posted. This one is always a little more of a search for me to find good patterns from because 1. they don't have pictures of the posted patterns on the page where all the pattern names are listed, instead you have to go to the link, and then sometimes have to search for a link to a picture posted on yet another page. 2. They don't have "designers" for this site, they simply take what is available and post it. This means, sometimes you get really amateur pattern writers who simply wrote up a little diddy on their blog. They might be difficult to understand, they might not have a picture of the finished project, and sometimes the finished object just looks...weird. Though I love this site, you have to really want a certain type of pattern for free to really utilize it.
There are many more lovely places to visit, but these are my top. I hope you enjoy, visit these sites, learn and most importantly, be inspired!
Free Pattern from Harugurumi Blog- Sleepy Sheep
I can't believe it's that time again! Yep folks, time for the second installment of "Amigurumi Friday"- the series that's all about our favorite crocheted toys!
For this installment, I wanted to talk about everyone's least favorite part of making amigurumi. The sewing together of all those little pieces. I want to offer a few tips that make it a little less arduous and a little more successful using a project I just finished: Lion Brand's Pond Friends Stacking Toy.
That's right! Safety pins and a yarn needle (which you can find at a craft store in the same section as knitting needles and crochet hooks, normally right next to the stitch markers!) I recommend a round yarn needle because they seem to go in smoother than the square ones. If you have a knifty knitter, you'll have a square needle, and those just don't seem to work as well for such tight crocheting.
As you all probably know Valentines Day is coming up so I figured now is a great time to feature some cute "Valentine themed" decorations in my house. This idea came to me because my dear sister just bought a house and now has an amazing built in hutch where she can display her seasonal decor. Her blog "Keep it Simple" featured some of the decorations she came up with (all without spending a dime!) for her hutch and I was inspired. You can see her lovely decor here. So here are my results:
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I cannot believe my niece is already 6 months old! And she's huge!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Yesterday was a fantastic day!
Then, the mail came. Now, just so you understand a little something about me, my husband would say I am obsessed with getting mail. I check the mailbox probably half a dozen times daily. I love getting mail! So imagine my complete elation when I got the mail and received my diploma that I've been waiting for a month and a half to arrive! There's something so wonderful about having the physical proof, the actual document in your hand, to make the accomplishment real. So folks, here it is!
I graduated Summa Cum Laude!
AND not only that arrived in the mail, but the latest Lion Brand magazine arrived! YAY! more pretty patterns and lovely yarns to look at :)
But the wonderfulness of this day did not end there, oh no! Next amazing thing to happen, I got a job!
The school district that I student taught in is hiring me as a sub, and I made an appointment for Monday to fill out all the paperwork to make it official. This is awesome because it means that anything I make from subbing goes directly towards paying off our new car, and then saving for a house!
Then to end my fabulous day, I ate at what I deem to be the best dining experience I have had in months! My husband and some friends and I went to this hole-in-the-wall place some friends had recommended called Laguna Cafe. First off, as we drive into the parking lot, they've got a sign outside that says "Live Jazz tonight," seriously? Could it get any better than good live jazz? It was wonderful :) ...just a little combo, drums, guitar, bass, and trumpet playing some of my favorites like, "My Romance" with such taste and skill! Then we sat down only to have the owner personally seat and greet us, recommend some amazing drinks, and welcome us. We all ordered something different but were blown away by the quality, taste, and reasonable prices of everything. I had a strawberry lemonade smoothie that was the absolute best smoothie I have ever drank, and we all left saying it was an extraordinary place!
All in all, I went to bed wondering if there will ever be a day so unexpectedly lovely like this one anytime soon...
Friday, January 22, 2010
I have decided to start a segment I'm going to call "Amigurumi Friday." And this segment, posted (hopefully) every friday will include helpful tips, tutorials, free patterns, etc. all about and for amigurumi!
All amigurumi's are made in the round. That is, the pattern makes continuous spirals on to the previous round you have just made. Therefore, it is easiest to start off your project actually using a circle instead of the silly Ch. 2, sc 6 (or whatever #) in 2nd ch from loop on hook. Trust me, once you start using the magic circle to begin your amigurumi, you'll NEVER go back!
How do you make a magic circle? Well as much as I could explain it, I think it's best I just show you some of the excellent resources out there that have already done excellent tutorials on the subject!
First, check out this video, or you can visit this site, although I think the video is clearer and a more effective way of learning.
What makes this so wonderful is that once you have your allotted # of stitches in the circle, you simply pull on the tail to close the ring tight, and you're ready to go!
Michael's Arts and Crafts store is having a big sale this weekend!
Get coupons for 25% your entire purchase (including sales items), and 40% off a regular priced item here.
Quick! Go stock up! :)
Posted by emosback at 8:20 AM
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I usually am against purchasing patterns, simply because there are a plethora of amazing free patterns online. My thinking is, if I can get something just as good for free, why pay for it? The problem with my obsession for free patterns is that sometimes, there simply isn't a good enough free pattern online for the object you desire to create. This is the problem I ran into when trying to find a cute-enough teddy-bear pattern. I wanted it to actually somewhat resemble a teddy bear, and it seemed that although there were plenty free patterns out there, nothing looked right. That is until I came upon a pattern on about.com under their crochet section. Sandi Marshall has designed a teddy bear, and a good sized one too that is super cute, and I finally had myself a pattern worth making! (You can find the free pattern here)
My friend's baby Josiah just had his 1st birthday so he was the lucky recipient of this adorable bear! Now all I need are pictures of him playing with it!
This is some of the construction of the teddy bear. I used worsted weight yarn on all his features including his nose and eyes so he is completely baby-safe!