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crochet

Wow, time is flying so much!
I really need to come up with a schedule to get my life organized! Right now, my crafting time is consistently suffering from the time I spend volunteering, cooking, cleaning etc.. I don’t really believe in planning creativity, but I really would like to get some sewing done again. More about this planning later!

I’ve been wanting to learn crochet for a while, and materialistically I was definitely ready for it. I tried to teach myself a couple of times, but couldn’t get the right grip, didn’t use the easiest yarn or hook. Yes, all my attempts failed. My whole family at home could probably teach me in no time, but being 6000 miles away, doesn’t really help ;). Also, I’m left-handed (but crochet with my right hand), not sure if that made it easier.

I tried to find classes in my neighborhood, but the only thing I could find was a 3-hour class for $35 at JoAnn. I wasn’t convinced this would actually help me, as I normally need to see things over and over, before I get it. So when I heard of Craftsy.com (seriously if you haven’t heard about it yet, check it out! There are so many great courses, from quilting to couture sewing to knitting to woodworking to bonbon making) and saw the Amigurumi course and got a nice discount by signing up for the newsletter (they’ve reduced all the prices substantially now), I knew this would be the best for me :).

And it’s been absolutely great! :D Stacey from Freshstitches.com explains everything patiently, gives great tips (like, how to stuff a softie without making it lumpy) and is a natural camera talent. The video angles are just perfect. Craftsy also provides the opportunity to ask the instructor questions, but so far, I have none! Everything is just so clear :) (and no, they’re not paying me for saying this, I wish!)

I’ve only finished the Blue bird so far, but I’m really happy with it! You can easily see the progress I’ve made while crocheting the bird. The stitches making up his head are quite sloppy and his belly area looks quite neat, I think.

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bluewings

I was so excited making the bird that I crocheted one wing first, then the body, and only made the second wing after attaching the first. Big mistake! My stitches got so much tighter that the difference between the wings just looked really silly. I ended up redoing the first wing, because even though I tried to crochet the second wing loser and sloppier, it’s hard to do something wrong, when you’ve learned something right.

bluebird3

bluebird4

bluebird5

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I do hope that somehow I can increase my crochet speed, because the making of this bird took me 4 evenings! The bird was supposed to be 6″, but my crocheting is so tight that it ended up being the shortest of the class at 5″. Poor chap!

bluehat2
Spike thought he could be an amigurumi as well :)

Pattern/Tutorial: Moda’s Sewing Room Task Basket, but I made the original 51″ (!) circumferance smaller to fit my cube closet.
Cost: I’m guesstimating around $5, because of the more expensive exterior fabric
Fabric:
Darla Blush by Tanya Whelan and heavyweight interfacing
For:
my crochet yarn and tools ^v^
A first: making and adding piping!

I’m having a hard time to decide what I want to make, because there are so many things that I want to make! I finally decided to go for a practical project first; making a basket for the yarn that I got over Christmas. After all I need something better than a plastic bag to keep it in :).

Someone of course had to steal the limelight while I was trying to make pictures ;)

It was my first time inserting (my own made) piping. Bernina sells a braiding foot (#12), which makes it easier to insert and cover the piping, but I don’t have that presser foot yet, so I used edgestitch foot #10 instead, which worked pretty okay. I do think some parts are a bit sloppy looking (too much fabric around the piping), so presser foot #12 is definitely on my wishlist, especially since reading it’s actually meant for sewing thicker jerseys and sweater knits.

It was also my first time adding a ‘Made with Love’-label, I thought it would look cute :). I’m looking at getting my own neenkster.com-labels produced, but haven’t been able to find a good deal yet, so generic ones work just fine for me :).

The bottom fabric of the basket is stretching a bit, I think the bottom circle may have been too small for the body panel. My mistake!

Santa and his creative elves really spoiled me this year. So much so, that I actually had to get new closet space to fit all my gifts! No kidding! :-O

Here is what I was given over the Holidays:

The Bernina embroidery module to fit my machine, including the Designer v5 software. So pleased with!! However, it’s the most daunting and inspiring gift! The sky is the only limit! When I just got my sewing machine, Maarten asked me if I had already tried it out, to which I answered that I didn’t know how to switch it on. He walked over to the machine, found the on/off button straight away and my excuse was blown :P. I guess him switching the machine on for me was the little bit of encouragement I needed to get started and I may need the same kind of assistance with this add-on!

Wool in every color and texture imaginable! Great for my crochet attempts!

Beautiful scraps and bigger pieces of fabric.

Thread, spools, embroidery thread (really happy with!), snaps in every size possible and the Best Sewing Book by Reader Digest (the earlier better edition :)).

An amount of bias tape, ribbon and ric rac I could only dream of!

A weekly desk calender (although I’m a kid of the internet/digital generation, I can’t handle online calenders); Teach yourself Crochet; a stuffing tool; Amigurimi book and a book about (wool) felting (can’t wait to make felt slippers for my cold feet).

100 patterns for appliques; Embroidered dolls; Ideas for nurseries; Amigurimi&more; 100 flowers to crochet and knit; Sweet plush to crochet (aka Amigurimi world).

Last but definitely not least! A biscornu pincushion made by my grandma in my favorite color! 

Many many thanks to Santa and his elves!!

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