Posts Tagged 'yarn'

Gone Batty

For this, our second installment of Halloweek, I thought it might be fun to make a fuzzy, batty little friend to hang in your window, or to keep you company on your desk.

You will need:

  • Brown, black, or gray yarn, or other color of your choice. There are no rules against a purple bat. Especially if you’re going to Prince’s house for Halloween. (I used worsted weight here, but it really doesn’t matter what thickness you have)
  • Scrap cardboard (poster board, cereal box, sturdy junk mail postcards, etc)
  • Templates for pom-pom maker, wings, and bow (see below) or you can eyeball this and do it freehand
  • 1 felt sheet (in the kids’ crafts section of the craft store) in a coordinating color to make the wings; If you don’t have felt, construction paper/cardstock/foam, or the like, ought to work too
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes (or black and white paper or felt), or black beads so that our little blind creature can “see”
  • Glue (anything that works with fabric or fiber will work; Tacky glue’s a good all-purpose choice)
  • optional**: Red/pink/etc felt sheet (or paper) to make a bow (so that your bat can be a lady)
  • optional**: Metal bristle brush/pet slicker brush to make your pom-pom extra fuzzy

  1. If you like, print out the above templates. Cut 2 pom-pom templates from your scrap cardboard. You don’t really need a template to make a pom-pom maker, or any of the other bat components, but I wanted to offer the option of making a bat the same shape/size of everything as I did.
  2. Please watch this woman’s excellent tutorial on making a pom-pom, and using a metal-bristle brush to make it fuzzy. As you can see from her video, it is not essential that you have a pom-pom maker template
  3. NOTE: When you are tying the central yarn around your pom-pom to keep all of the strands together, make sure you’ve got a lot of excess yarn to work with, and don’t cut off the excess once you have tied your knots. This will be your hanging string so that you can display your friend more easily when you are finished
  4. If you like, brush the pom pom with a metal bristle brush to make the yarn extra fuzzy; The tutorial video shows a brush from a home improvement store, but a pet store will also have a “pet slicker” brush on the pet grooming aisle, if you don’t already have one in your home.
  5. Now, either using a freehand technique (or the above templates) cut out some wings for your bat friend, using either felt or paper
  6. Smear a little glue on either side of one of your wings, close to where it will connect to the body. Choose a spot near the top of your pom pom to attach your wing. Push a few strands of yarn out of the way, bury your wing into the yarn threads, and squeeze some yarn threads into the glue that you have placed on the wing. Hold for a few seconds to secure your wing to your bat’s body. Repeat on the other side
  7. Now choose where you would like to attach your eyes; I used googly eyes, but you may choose to use black and white felt or paper, whatever you have on hand; Place glue on the back of the eyes, wait until it gets slightly tacky, and then glue the eyes to the bat’s body. It helps if you press some threads of yarn into the glue on the back of the eye, and hold for a few seconds to secure.
  8. If you like, now you can make the bow. You can freehand this, or use the template provided above. Glue the bow to your bat in an appropriate and fashionable location, and there you go, all done!

Variations: 1) If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could probably reduce the size of this project, make 2 matching bats, and have a pair of earrings! You can always add little jingle bells to the bottom of the earrings too; 2) You could make a bat family, perhaps a Mommy bat and a few smaller baby bats. Each member of your family can have a little fuzzy equivalent of themselves to display in a favorite location; 3) Try adding hats or other accessories to your new little friend. Perhaps your bat needs a Trick or Treat bag to carry his or her Halloween goodies? 4) If your bat needs some bling, try giving him or her a necklace made of glitter glue; you could also use glitter glue to draw a nice bat-wing-y pattern on the bat’s wings; 5) There are all sorts of googly eyes on the market; Some glow in the dark, others even come with some false eyelashes painted on. Why not have a glamorous bat diva to celebrate Halloween with? 6) If you’d rather just buy your pom-pom ready-made and embellish it to make it “battified,” no harm in that! The craft stores may have variety packs of pom-poms in the kids’ section

Hope you’ve all been enjoying the week so far, and talk to you again soon!

Sickness? Perhaps…

At a certain point, you have to step back and look at a situation with objective eyes…

Take, for example, my ever-increasing yarn collection. Because, see, if I wasn’t me, I’d think that this was insane.

It just never quite seemed to occur to me as I acquired a skein here and a skein there, that I would end up with vastly more yarn than finished projects. You may note that those 3 large balls of gray yarn a little ways down on the left, should be a sweater with owls on it by now…

But I know I cannot be alone in this drive to acquire enough craft supplies to keep me stitching/beading/knitting, etc in the unfortunate event of a worldwide apocalypse. And…it just seemed to make so sense to buy the stuff when it was at a good price….

Really though, I have to institute a moratorium on 1) Attaining any new craft hobbies, and 2) Buying any further supplies for crafts that I already do – at least without using the ones I bought earlier.

So hopefully, this resolve will translate into lots of yarn craft posts over the winter months.

Anyone else want to weigh in on their craft hoarding and make a craft pact with me for winter 2011?

Anyone seen Mulder or Scully?

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much I miss the X-Files. I used to LOVE that show back in the day. My room was plastered with Mulder and Scully posters, lots of my jewelry had little alien faces on it, and, to this day I could still quote you chapter and verse about all of my favorite episodes.

So I thought, what better to post on this blog next than an alien?

If you are interested in making this otherworldly and adorable little guy, please find the free pattern here from Lion I didn’t use the colors noted in the pattern. I used some light green variegated Vanna’s Choice yarn for the arms/legs/antennae (I think it might have been called Seaspray mist?), and just a plain blue TLC or Red Heart blue acrylic yarn for the body. I also used 9 mm safety eyes instead of the 6mm called for in the Lion Brand pattern. And plain pink thread for the mouth.

If you want to see the front and back view of the alien, please click continue reading. Thanks all, and the truth is out there!! Continue reading ‘Anyone seen Mulder or Scully?’

Tray-ed ya!

I don’t know about you, but, when I craft, I completely take over some part of the house. I take my gigantic mass of supplies and just spread them all over dining room tables, floors, couches, or whatever else is handy (or currently empty).

But, while this method may make perfect logical sense to me, it may not always improve relations with those with whom I live.  So, having a portable craft station that’s easy to relocate when I’m ready to take a break can be of tremendous help.

Take for example, the above tray.  It is just about the perfect size for a half-done crocheted hat, a skein of yarn, and an instructional pattern book. And when it’s time to stop doing your craft project for a little while, you can just pick up the tray and you’re off to your next destination. And then people can actually eat at the dining room table.

Also, the tray itself can even BE a craft project. To see how I made the above tray, please keep on readin’… Continue reading ‘Tray-ed ya!’

Let’s sweat!!!

Do you guys ever have projects that don’t turn out precisely how you were expecting? I know that I do. Take for example “Richard Simmons” lion – as he has come to be known – above.

I started out trying to make just a plain amigurumi lion like Tamie Snow’s from her book, Tiny Yarn Animals. I can assure you though that Tamie’s version looked nothing like the famed owner of the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” franchise. But I hardly even changed anything the pattern! I mean, I didn’t make him yellow and pink like Tamie did, and I did add some more hair to his coif. And, I did try doing that “brushed yarn” thing on his “do.” So no, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly as written. I added some ears too…NOT that you have any chance of seeing them behind his hair…

Still, the point remains that none of that was done with the express purpose of going from this (picture courtesy of the back cover of Tamie’s book):

to….well, this…

So, who thinks that I need to make Richard Simmons lion a red sleeveless shirt and some stripey shorts?

Who wants a hug?

So you know those “priceless” Mastercard commercials? Today’s featured project was inspired by one of those. I guess you could call it an “as seen on tv” project. I know that at least a few of you crafters out there will remember the AWESOME “hug creature” from this Mastercard commercial . He’s a smiley little guy who can be found at the little shop of priceless things. I definitely wanted to make one for myself, but I didn’t know how to knit to save my life. Luckily, the internet is filled with people who want to teach me :-) Please see here for example.

I never really wrote down my pattern, but I am sure I could come up with it again if you guys were interested. If you want to know anything about my materials, what size knitting needles I used, etc, please leave a comment here. I’d love to hear from you!

Tiny Yarn Animals Book Review

Hi guys!

I think it’s just about time I came clean. I……am a craft addict. I collect craft books and craft hobbies like it’s going out of style. The thing is, I am sure that many of you guys do too. I think it’s just what we do as crafters. We get inspired when someone else gets inspired. So, I wanted to spread the joy and let you know about a few great books in my collection. The first book in the list today is Tamie Snow’s “Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy.” It was the first book I ever bought on the subject of amigurumi, and I think it was a great step into a really rewarding craft. Please read more of my review at:  Continue reading ‘Tiny Yarn Animals Book Review’

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