Saturday, January 24, 2015

Princess Blankie – Free Crochet Pattern and Tutorial (2)

OK – Part 2!  If you haven’t checked out my tutorial on how to make a Princess Leia Blankie then please do, because the Cinderella and Snow White patterns are pretty much the same except for different colour combinations on the dress and different hair.  

My girl has been watching Cinderella on loop so the first adaptation I’ve planned is a blonde princess with her hair up in a blue dress.  If you make the dress in green and add a pair of wings you’d get Tinkerbell.  





Cinderella Version:
Please check back to the original pattern for full directions as well as explanations of abbreviations.

Head: Make the head as per instructions for Princess Leia.

Dress:
R1 to R5: same as Leia, except use a medium blue yarn.
R6 to R10: same as Leia, use a lighter blue yarn. (or use Sirdar’s Snuggly Pearl DK – they have a sparkly white that would look fab paired with light blue for bodice).
R11 to R12: same as Leia, use white to give Cindy’s dress a white petticoat.

Hair [in yellow]: 
R1: magic ring, 1ch, 6sc into loop, tighten ring, join round with sl st. (6)
R2: 6sc inc (12)
R3: *sc, sc inc* x6 (18)
R4: *2sc, sc inc* x6 (24)
R5: *3sc, sc inc* x6 (30)
R6: *4sc, sc inc* x6 (36)
R7: sc36 (36)
R8: R9: [work fringe] 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, 8dc, 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, sl st, 3ch, skip 1 st from prevous row, 4dc, 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, sl st. [end of fringe]
R9: [work back of head] 2ch, 18dc, turn. (19, counting 2ch as 1 st)
R10: [working on reverse side of hair piece], 2ch, skip 1st, 16dc, 1dc dec. End row and leave a yarn tail at least 20cm long.

* If you’re not familiar with ‘turning’, it just means you flip your work over so you’re working on the reverse side. This allows you to work on Cindy’s fringe before you go onto the back of her head.

Cinderella’s bun [in yellow]: 
R1: magic ring, 1ch, 6sc into loop, tighten ring, join round with sl st. (6)
R2: 6sc inc (12)
R3: *sc, sc inc* x6 (18)
R4: *2sc, sc inc* x6 (24)
R5 – R6: 24sc (24)
R7: *2sc, sc dec* x6 (18), end row and leave yarn tail at least 10 cm long.

Arms [in white and beige] make 2:
R1-R14: same as Leia except in white
R15-R18: same as Leia except in beige.

Making up: 
As per Leia’s instructions, except you should sew the bun on top of Cindy’s head, and tie a blue ribbon on it for super cuteness.



Snow White Version: 
Again, please check back to the Leia pattern for full instructions





Head: same as Leia.

Dress:
R1 to R5: same as Leia, except use a medium blue yarn.
R6 to R12: same as Leia, use yellow yarn.

Hair [in dark brown]: 
R1: magic ring, 1ch, 6sc into loop, tighten ring, join round with sl st. (6)
R2: 6sc inc (12)
R3: *sc, sc inc* x6 (18)
R4: *2sc, sc inc* x6 (24)
R5: *3sc, sc inc* x6 (30)
R6: *4sc, sc inc* x6 (36)
R7: *5sc, sc inc* x6 (42)
R8: 42sc (42)
R9: [work fringe] 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, 4dc, 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, sl st, 3ch, skip 1 st from prevous row, 4dtc, 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, sl st. [end of fringe]
R10: [work back of head] 2ch, 28dc, turn. (23, counting 2ch as 1 st)
R11: [working on reverse side of hair piece], 2ch, 28dc, dc inc, turn. (21)
R12: [now on front side], 2ch, 28dc, dc inc, turn.
R13: [now on reverse side again], 2ch, 29dc, dc inc. End row and leave a yarn tail at least 20cm long.
Headband [in red]: 
R1: 14ch (14)
R2: starting from 2nd ch from hook, 13sc. End and leave a tail at least 8cm long. (13)

Bow [in red]: 
R1: 11ch (11)
R2: starting from 2nd ch from hook, 10sc, turn. (10)
R3: ch, 10sc, turn. (10)
R4: ch, 10sc. (10) End and leave a yarn tail 10cm long.
Using the yarn tail, weave it to the middle of the finished piece, sew the top and bottom edges together, wrap yarn around centre about 3 times, then sew bow onto headband.

Arms [in blue and beige] make 2:
R1-R14: same as Leia except in beige
R15-R18: same as Leia except in blue.
Add pretty details by sewing straight lines on the sleeves with red yarn.

Making up: 
As per Leia’s instructions, except you should sew the headband (which already has the bow sewn on it), onto the top of Snowy’s head.  You can also sew a dark blue line down Snowy’s front to mimic a seam.

There you go!  Have fun adapting!  And if you’ve any cool ideas on how to do other princesses – tips and pics in the comments would be highly welcome!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Addendum to Princess Leia Blankie Pattern

I have a MASSIVE ADDENDUM to my previous post for the Princess Leia Pattern.  It looks the same as the rebel version of the very talented Briana Olsen's Pretty Princess Lovely.  Needless to say I had no idea before I wrote my pattern.


I was inspired to write my own pattern for a princess blankie from AlaSascha's Amigurumi Pattern, the pictures of which I found on Pinterest.  Let me clarify that I have not read either Briana's nor AlaSascha's patterns.  My pattern was an entirely personal creation.


My first attempt was given to my daughter :


And since I'm on a bit of a Star Wars theme recently (check out my star wars Kewpie figures), I wanted to make a Leia Blankie:


I chose a different shape for the head and made the skirt fuller to distinguish mine from AlaSascha's, only to look like Briana's Princesses...

My pattern is smaller and I'm sure the stitch count will be different but I'd like to amend my pattern anyway so I won't look like a total copycat...


To be honest I am not sure what the etiquette is when crocheters create similar designs... Linking back I hope will be sufficient.

So here's the link again: Briana's Lovely Princesses.  I couldn't find a blog for her but if you're reading and you know her details please comment below.  Please check out her stuff, they look super cute.  I have written alteration notes on making Leia look like Cinderella and Snow White.  Luckily they don't look anything like Briana's!  So please check out that post (here).




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Princess Leia Blankie - Free Crochet Pattern and Tutorial (1)


I don't think little girls should grow up wanting to be princesses.  I'd much rather my daughter play with her doctor set or Duplo.  But somehow, "Pink!" and "Princess!" were two of the first words she enunciated with enthusiastic precision.  Damn Disney and their probably harmful yet gorgeously entertaining cartoons...

So for all you Mums of Princess-wannabes, here's a free pattern to feed your daughters' addictions. At least this way they'll appreciate crafting a bit - hopefully.

May these princess obsessions be short and relatively harmless on our girls' development...





Princess Leia Blankie Pattern: (Please read addendum)
It is relatively easy to adapt this pattern to make the princess you’re after.  For the Star Wars fans out there, I’ve included the pattern for a Princess Leia Blankie in full.  Leia can be adapted to become Cinderella and Snow White pretty easily.  Tips on how in subsequent blog post (here).

Materials: 
You can use any type of yarn you like - it isn't too important so long as the different colours you use are of approximately the same weight. I used a light weight yarn and a 3mm hook for a mini princess that measures about 20cm tall.  I find it easier to think about weight and size according to hook size. If you'd like to make a bigger princess, choose a yarn with a bigger suggested hook size.  E.g. using yarn that requires a 5mm hook will make a bigger, more huggable princess suitable as a security blankie for a baby.

Here's what I worked with:
  • approx. 30g of white yarn (gauge 22sts x 28rows);
  • small amounts of beige, dark brown, grey and black yarn for eyes (if using); 
  • crochet hook 3mm;
  • tapestry needle;
  • polyester filling; and
  • scrap-booking brads (if making for older toddlers).

Abbreviations: 
ch                    chain stitch
sl st                  slip stitch
sc                     single crochet
sc inc               single crochet increase, work 2 single crochets into the same stitch
sc dec              single crochet decrease, crochet 2 stitches together
dc                    double crochet (yarn over hook once before inserting hook, then pull yarn through 2 loops at a time, twice)
dc inc              double crochet increase, work 2 double crochet stitches into the same stitch
dc dec             double crochet decrease, double crochet 2 stitches together
tc                     treble crochet (yarn over hook twice before inserting hook, then pull yarn through 2 loops at a time, 3 times) 
tc inc               treble crochet increase, work 2 treble crochet stitches into the same stitch
st                     stitche(s)

( )                     numbers in brackets denote total stitches for that row
*                         when a stitch pattern is repeated several times, it is enclosed by asterisks.
               E.g. *2sc, sc dec* x2 - means single crochet twice, decrease, single crochet
               twice, decrease.

***** Not that this pattern is worked in joined rounds, so each row begins with a 1ch/a line of ch sts, then ends with a sl st into the appropriate starting st. ***** This is written into R1 of every section to remind you to do so.  Please continue for the rest of the pattern.

Dress [in white]: 
The dress is basically one big doily, the centre of which will be pinched up, and the head sewn on. 

R1: magic ring, 1ch, 8sc into loop, tighten ring, join round with sl st. (8)
R2: 3ch, 6tc inc, tc, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts from start (14, counting line of 3ch at start as 1st)
R3: 6ch, *2tc inc, 3ch* x6, tc inc, 1tc into the base of the line of 6ch at the start of this row (see pic), sl st into 3rd ch of that same line of ch sts (see pic). (49)


insert hook into the base of the line of chain stitches


sl st into 3rd chain - turns the starting chain into a treble crochet stitch

R4: 3ch, tc into the hole created by the 3chs from previous row (see pic), 3ch, *2tc into hole, tc into next st, skip 2 sts from previous row, tc into next st, 2tc into hole, 3ch* x6, 2tc into hole, tc into next st, tc into base of the line of 3ch at the start of this row, sl st into 3rd ch of that same line of ch sts (57)



insert hook into the 'hole' created by the set of 3ch stitches from previous row.

R5: 3ch, tc into next st, *2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, tc into next 2 sts, skip 2 sts from previous row, tc into next 2 sts* x6, 2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, tc into next 2 sts, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts from start. (77)
R6: sl st, 3ch, 2tc, *2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 3tc, skip 2 sts from previous row, 3tc* x6, 2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 3tc, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts at start. (91)
R7: sl st, 3ch,  3tc, *2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 4tc, skip 2 sts from previous row, 4tc* x6, 2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 4tc, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts at start. (105)
R8: sl st, 3ch, 4tc, *2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 5tc, skip 2 sts from previous row, 5tc* x6, 2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 5tc, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts at start. (119)
R9: sl st, 3ch, 5tc, *2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 6tc, skip 2 sts from previous row, 6tc* x6, 2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 6tc, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts at start. (133)
R10: sl st, 3ch, 6tc, *2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 7tc, skip 2 sts from previous row, 7tc* x6, 2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 7tc, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts at start. (147)
R11: sl st, 3ch, 7tc, *2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 8tc, skip 2 sts from previous row, 8tc* x6, 2tc into hole, 3ch, 2tc into hole, 8tc, sl st into 3rd ch of line of ch sts at start. (161)
R12: [edge] 1ch, *21sc, sc dec* x6, 22sc. (155) End row and weave in yarn tails at start and finish.

Head [in beige]:
R1: magic ring, 1ch, 6sc into loop, tighten ring, join round with sl st. (6)
R2: 6sc inc (12)
R3: *sc, sc inc* x6 (18)
R4: *2sc, sc inc* x6 (24)
R5: *3sc, sc inc* x6 (30)
R6: *4sc, sc inc* x6 (36)
R7 – R10: 36sc (36)
R11: *4sc, sc dec* x6 (30)
R12: *3sc, sc dec* x6 (24)
R13: *2sc, sc dec* x6 (18)
R14: *sc, sc dec* x6 (12) [now fill the head with polyester filling]
R15: 6sc dec (6). End row and leave a yarn tail at least 10cm long.

Hair [in dark brown]:
The hair piece fits on top of head like a cap.  It is first worked in joined rounds to make a circle, then the fringe is worked before the back of the head is continued.

R1: magic ring, 1ch, 6sc into loop, tighten ring, join round with sl st. (6)
R2: 6sc inc (12)
R3: *sc, sc inc* x6 (18)
R4: *2sc, sc inc* x6 (24)
R5: *3sc, sc inc* x6 (30)
R6: *4sc, sc inc* x6 (36)
R7: *5sc, sc inc* x6 (42)
R8: [work fringe], 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, 6dc, 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, sl st, 3ch, skip 1st from previous row, 6dc, 3ch, skip 1 st from previous row, sl st. (16, counting the lines of ch sts as 1) [end of fringe]
R9: [work back of head] 2ch, 23dc, turn. (24, counting 2ch as 1st)
R10: [working on reverse side of hair piece], 2ch, 21dc, turn. (22)
R11: [now on front side], 2ch, 19dc, turn. (20)
R12: [now on reverse side again], 2ch, 17dc. (18) End row and leave a yarn tail at least 20cm long.

Princess Leia’s Buns ;) [in dark brown] make 2:
R1: 6ch, join ends with sl st to make a loop, 1ch (6)
R2: [from now on, work on single loops on outside edge only] *sc inc, sc* x3 (9)
R3: *sc, sc inc* x4, sc (13)
R4: 13sc. (13) End row and leave a yarn tail of at least 8cm.

Arms [in beige and whie] – make 2:
R1: magic ring, 1ch, 5sc into loop, tighten ring, join round with sl st. (5)
R2: 5sc inc (10)
R3 – R5: 10sc (10)
R6: [change to white] 10sc (10)
R7 – R10: 10sc (10)
R11: sc dec, 8sc (9)
R12 – R18: 9sc (9). End row and leave yarn tail at least 8cm long.

Belt [in grey]:
Work a long line of ch sts until the belt measures approx. 35cm, weave in yarn tails.

Making up:
  1. Fit hair piece onto head, the back hair should reach down to about the 4th row from bottom of head, and the fringe should reach down to about row 7 of head. (see pic) Sew hair on head using yarn tail.
    You can place the hair however you like.  I found it cutest with fringe on row 7.
  2. Sew buns onto sides of head and hair.  It should sit above the place where the fringe and back hair meet. (see pic)
    Bun placement - use it to cover up the gap between fringe and back hair!
  3. Sew head onto dress using yarn tail.  Align the last row of the head with the first row of the dress. 
  4. Sew arms onto dress where it meets the head using yarn tail.
  5. Thread belt through the holes at back of dress around R5, then tie it to the front of dress with a bow.
    Thread the belt through the 'holes' round the back for security, then tie it without looping at the front, that way looks prettier! 
  6. WARNING!!!! If you’re giving the blankie to a child under 3 years old, DO NOT use beads/brads/buttons for eyes – they are choking hazards!  Sew Princess’s features on with thread and yarn, or draw them on with fabric pens.  I’m giving Leia to a 4 year old so I’ve used black scrap-booking brads, with pupils painted on with white nail varnish and smaller pink brads as rosy cheeks. I glued them on with E6000 glue (the best glue in the world btw). I’ve also sewn little flicks just above the eyes for eye lashes.

And voila you’re done!!!  The pattern is easily adaptable, simply by changing the colour of the dress and hairstyle you can make different princess.  Check back for pattern for Cinderella and Snow White in subsequent post here






Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Kewpies in NYC! Resobox Amigurumi Exhibition



Amgurumi Exhibition at Resobox, New York
Finally, Amigurumi as an art form is getting the attention it deserves! With a dedicated exhibition for the cutest of the Japanese arts at the Resobox Amigurumi Exhibition running from December to February at the Resobox Gallery in New York.

Over a hundred Amigurumi artists were invited to take part (me included!), culminating in approximately 4,000 pieces of amigurumi from around the world!  Here are a few snaps of my Kewpie dolls in situ - photos courtesy of Danielle, crochet guru of Lion Brand Yarns.

Here are my Princess Leia and Darth Vader at the Exhibition!
Obi-Wan rocking it. 

Ba-na-na---!
Originally a Japanese concept, Amigurumi (literally - crocheted/knitted stuffed doll) began as a craze where artists would anthropomorphize anything they thought would look cute with a face - (like this for example: crochet peas tutorial).  This often included giving animals clothes or ridiculously cute accessories like handbags etc to make them look even more human.  

As the craze swept around the world however, the term has been used more generally for crocheted works that reflect Japanese kawaii style.  And it is this evolution that the gallery curator, Takashi Ikezawa, wanted to showcase.  He decided to display all the amigurumi in one concentrated installation, in an "Amigurumi Room", to celebrate the concept as a whole, and to better demonstrate how artists around the world has interpreted this versatile and frankly addictive style of crochet.

Every piece at this exhibition is for sale.  That's right - you can take a piece of the cuteness home. Exhibits range from tiny - including 5cm tall Kewpie dolls by yours truly :) - to massive (I hear a half metre tall dragon was going for $1000).  

You can check out some of the artists' own photos of their work at the Resobox Facebook page, which I strongly advice because so much awesome is on there!!! 

Some of the pieces will also be showcased at the Vogue Knitting Live Event.  I really hope some of my pieces will be chosen.

The exhibition will run until 28th February, check them out if you're in town!

RESOBOX Gallery
41-26 27th St. Long Island City, NY, USA 11101
(Between Queens Plaza North and 41 St. Ave.)


Make anything cute by putting a face on it: Experiment No. 2 - Banana Caterpillars

My kids have an uncanny ability to forget their hatred of vegetables/fruit/anything healthy, if I put a face on said veg/fruit/health food.  So I had a go with bananas and raisin bread.


The banana slices became caterpillars, cut-up raisins were eyes and smiling mouth, biscuit sticks became antennae.  The kids were impressed - for about 30 seconds.  Then one of them deconstructed the caterpillar's face, complained that "it's just raisins", then ate all the raisins and left both the banana and bread untouched.

Ingrates.  Bread and water for them from now on.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ever wondered what an army of 100 Kewpies look like? This!




Hahahahah - the baby army has arrived straight from Japan!

Did you know Kewpie Dolls were actually 'born' in Germany?  They first appeared in a comic strip drawn by the American artist Rose O'Neill.  Somehow they migrated over to Europe and were produced as posh figurines in the 1900's.

They're more a Japanese thing now and are made in Japan by Obitsu.  They come in various sizes, all of them unbelievable cute.  Kewpie is a bit of an icon over there, most famous for being the mascot for Japanese mayonnaise.

It isn't only cute-things-worshippers like me who like Kewpie Dolls!  Brainy boffins researching into developmental psychology coined the term: Kewpie Doll Effect, which explains why mums go crazy over babies.  Apparently it's because of their high foreheads and rounded faces which speak to some sort of instinctive urge within us to take care of them.

Well, I'll be taking good care of the babies as well as making them lots of super cute outfits.  Like the Rilakkuma outfit, whose pattern I've just finished writing! Woo Hoo!  I'll be uploading it here for free download shortly (as soon as I've checked there are no mistakes that is!) Watch this space!

video

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kewpie Workshop with Knotty Bicsie!

Very exciting news!!! I'll be doing a workshop at Knotty Bicsie's wonderful yarn shop at Orchard Plaza on 12th October!!!


Knotty Bicsie is one of the doyennes of knitting and crochet in Singapore, having started her home crafting studio more than 6 years ago.  She now conducts lessons and workshops on a regular basis to a loyal following of students.  She has very kindly invited me to conduct a workshop to teach her students how to make two of these babies:






I know I sound like a toddler but I am super excited to be doing this.  Amigurumi style crochet is so easy and fun and useful (my friend's kids love receiving my creations as gifts!), I want to introduce as many crocheters to Amigurumi as possible.  I also think making little costumes for tiny Kewpie babies is the best possible project to get people addicted to Amigurumi!  What else can you think of that embodies all the fun, quirky and uber cute qualities of Japanese style crochet? 

So please come by and check us out if you're local.  If you're not local and would still like to try making a Kewpie Bear - watch this space.  I'll be preparing his pattern very soon then I'll post it for free download right here! 

Kewpie army waiting to be dressed! 


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