Thursday, 9 April 2015

More Mingurumis!

I'm about to head off for a few days at Airlie Beach, north Queensland, for a little mini holiday as hubby finally has some time off work. Therefore this post is scheduled to appear tomorrow (as I write this), when we will be on the road! I will take plenty of photos, and I may even get round to writing something about the trip - not that I have a great track record for writing about my trips!!

I introduced my own-pattern mini amigurumis here, and mentioned that I had since made even more...  These little critters are pretty quick to whip up, so even this post is now out of date, and I have more still to take pictures of! 

I'm still hoping to (eventually) do a craft stall, and now that I've come with these little guys I'm planning to make a whole bunch of them to sell.

I mentioned that after the success of the bunny and the turtle, that I went on to make a little list of possible new creatures. Well, this was quite a long list really and I'm nowhere near through it, but I have been making more progress! 

To design the new patterns, I choose just a few features that really capture that animal - such as the long ears and fluffy tail of the bunny, or the shell of the turtle. Then I just kind of sit there and think a while, really thoroughly imagining it in 3D, and then figuring out how to achieve my idea with the crochet stitches. Then I just get to work - sometimes it comes together right away, and sometimes it takes a few attempts before I figure it out.

And in this manner, so was born Hatty the Heffalump! I think I am most pleased with this little elephant, as it took a bit of ingenuity to figure out how to do her trunk, and it was extreeeeeeemely fiddly to make, but it worked first time and turned out very very cute!! (The ears on the other hand took several attempts - I thought they would be the easy bit!)

I took Hatty with me to the craft shop to look for eyes, so that I could get the right size, and while we were there I spotted these sweet little heart-shaped buttons. I think a little heart ‘brooch’ suits Hatty rather well, don’t you?

I posted about making another toy for another friend’s daughter (aged 5), the lovely piggy. When this big pig was finished there was a little pink yarn left over – enough to make a little chibi pig in fact! This one looked a bit odd while in progress, but as soon as the ears were right and I’d sewn them on, it looked really cute! I already had the little heart-shaped coconut button, it came on a label on some White Stuff clothes I had bought ages ago, and of course I’d saved the buttons for future use.

The coconut heart button looked pretty cute on my little piggy, I’m so glad I saved it :)

As well as piggy ears and snout, another feature that really says 'pig' is a little curly tail, so for mini-pig I made a mini curlicue, using a smaller hook, a very short chain and hooking double crochet stitches into it. It didn't work brilliantly as a curlicue, but it did make a pretty sweet little tail :)

The tail doesn't show up brilliantly, but I hope you get the idea!

While out shopping for eyes for these little critters, as well as picking up those little yellow buttons I also picked up some grey and brown yarn for more animal amigurumi. So far I have only used the grey, as one of the creatures I wanted to make was a koala!

I embroidered his nose and tried out various ways of making his ears, but in the end the only method that looked right was to make them out of pompoms. I used white and grey to get the colours right, and then forgot how many wraps I had used for the first pompom so the second one turned out a bit bigger… oops! Still pretty cute though I think :)

The eyes I bought for these minis turn out to a: not be very good safety eyes as the backs pop off (unsafety eyes!), and b: not be very good eyes anyway as the backs are bigger than the fronts. This means that when you clip them in place, at first the back part sort of deforms the head shape by pushing out a big circle around the eyes, and then loosens up and falls off... Useless!! I wish I lived somewhere with more options for getting craft materials. 

This all means that I have had to glue the eyes in. This is particularly frustrating, as I bought little round buttons to glue on for the already completed amigurumis. If I'd realised before that I would be gluing the eyes in anyway, I would have just stuck to the cheaper 'unsafety eyes'!

As for glue, you could probably spot from my photos that some of the glue has squidged out from behind the eyes and discoloured the yarn nearby. I'm addressing this problem by buying new glue with a smaller applicator tip (my current one is a bit large for precision application) so hopefully future versions will be a bit neater :)

So, now I have 6 little minigurumi friends all finished and photographed, with a few others not yet photographed and ideas for plenty more. They make a pretty cute group I think, I hope that others agree and that they will sell on my eventual craft stall!