Tuesday, 17 March 2015

From My Draft Archive: Amigurumi Budgie!

When I was rummaging around my blog archive to find this post, I realised that I have quite a few drafts sitting in my blogger account, unpublished and unloved... So I thought that I would gradually pick them up, dust them off, and actually post them! 

So here's another, 'From My Draft Archive'. This was written a little while ago, back before the New Year in fact! I'd been ill over Christmas thanks to the tablets I'd needed to take following a very painful wisdom tooth extraction. After writing it up, I got really shy about posting it, so a draft it remained. But I've decided to go for it and just hit 'publish' -

I had thought I was getting a bit better by Boxing Day, so in the afternoon we went out for a bit. We looked in a couple of shops – I wanted some supplies for making things for my potential stall at the local handmade market, Renegade Handmade, and Adam wanted to look at the Go Pro cameras. Then we went exploring a few nearby places, looking for future picnic spots.

Well, it turned out that I wasn’t that much better, and even this minor exertion meant that I felt pretty ill the following day, and needed another day based at home :(

While I didn’t feel well enough to go out, I certainly felt well enough to feel sorry for myself for being stuck inside unable to do very much! I therefore decided to occupy myself with crochet.

As I was feeling pretty restless, I fancied having a go at something new, and I decided to have a bash at some amigurumi. I have only done a simple ball before, but I was keen to try something more interesting than that.

Feeling inspired by the incredibly colourful birdlife around here, I searched Pinterest for “amigurumi bird”. So many amazing creations popped up!!

Despite there being so much to choose from, it wasn’t difficult for me to decide to make a little budgie. I used to have a little pet budgie called Casper, and I loved her so much! You can’t tell the sex of a budgie when they’re babies, and the pet shop man guessed she was male, hence having a girl called Casper!

For a tiny thing she packed in a lot of personality, and she was really cheeky! I hand-tamed her soon after getting her home, so it was possible to safely let her out of her cage to fly around the room. 

She was out whenever I was around, and she had a few climbing toys that she loved to play on.

I'm no expert, but I think her colour and patterning is called 'Cobalt Spangle Opaline'.

She also liked to peck at the light fittings, which was a less endearing habit as she eventually pecked holes in the ceiling! 

Sometimes she would fly down and perch on your cup to help herself to your drink – I have a photo somewhere, but can’t find it now. A friend looked after her once while I was away too, and found that she liked singing along to other budgies if they played her youtube clips! 

I have so many cute memories of little Casper, and I still miss her.

So for my first proper go at amigurumi, I decided to make a Casper. I had white (well, Cream), yellow (Sunshine) and mauve (Clematis) in my Stylecraft stash, and for the blue I used the Carnival yarn that I had bought at Big W for the original Frozen blanket plan…

I couldn’t find a pattern I liked that was in English – everything I found was written in either Russian or Japanese, which I simply don’t understand!

I was frustrated, but then I decided to just have a go! I knew the basic idea of increasing and decreasing to make a ball, so I thought that I would see if I could apply this to shaping as well. I don’t have any stitch markers (I need to fix that!) so rather than hook continuously in a spiral, as I believe lots of amigurumi is done, I did it in rows so I could keep track by counting.

I was really concentrating, far too much to make any notes! So I will have to make another one with notes so I can make a bit of a pattern, but I’m pretty chuffed with the results!

Please excuse the eyes - I didn't have any proper bits for making eyes!

The head/body/tail are made in one piece, and stuffed with hypoallergenic washable toy filling. The wings, beak, cere (the coloured bit above the beak) and feet were crocheted separately and sewn on, while the eyes are currently black wooden beads – I need to invest in some better eyes though as the beads just don’t look right!

I did manage to add some other details too: I separated the yarn strands out so that I had a single ply with which to embroider (very basically!) some of the barring on the head:

To emulate the patterning on the wings, I made part of the wings with one strand each of the blue and white yarn, which I think gave a good effect:

I wasn’t sure what to do when it was finished, as I couldn’t make another until I have bought safety eyes (as they need to go on before you stuff the item and finish it off) so I went a bit daft and sewed that bit of a bamboo kebab stick to the feet to make it look like a perch... 

...and then hung it in the decorative birdcagey thing I got for displaying my crocheted earrings…

Daft but fairly cute I think!

I hope you agree :)

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