Sunday, December 27

Crochet Stitch Close-ups of Club Penguin Puffle

For amigurumi and toy crocheters who'd like a closer look at the Rare Orange Puffle, here's the starting shape, which you can see here at the base of the toy:
I hope that you can make out that the first rounds of single crochet stitches were worked in a rectangular shape. I did this so that it would sit flat, not wobble or tilt. Also, a Puffle body is not perfectly round.
For the hair I unearthed my old latch hook rug making skills. (I don't have the handy latch hook tool anymore but a simple crochet hook worked fine.) Here's the revealed hairline:
You could really just tie on the yarn pieces with simple overhand knots. (It looks like that's what I did in this photo anyway.) I'm thinking that I should trim the hair slightly shorter. It's a bit too flat'n'floppy.

And here's a close up of the face. Crazy cartoony looking features, huh? I'm proud of the satin stitching of the pupils.

Friday, December 18

Rare Orange Puffle Sighting!

Kids who are members of Club Penguin know how rare an orange Puffle is. I even found a GetOrangePuffle Blog! One day Chippy the cat must have captured one in the wild because look:

The Puffle seems as comfy as Chippy and Bob, so maybe "befriended" is a better word than "captured."

This is a 99% crocheted Puffle, even the eyeballs! The remaining 1% is whatever embroidery stitches I was able to recall on the fly from childhood. I was able to do the Satin Stitch reasonably well for the eye pupils--they came out nicely once I rimmed the stitches with short chained stitches. I watched my fingers do that stitch (for the mouth too) with wonder, because my mind doesn't remember it even though my fingers do!

What do you think of the eyes? I like the embroidery but don't know if I like the white part. My son loves it :-)

Sunday, May 31

Free Crochet Patterns from the School "Mini-Mall"

If kids were crochet designers....we'd just plain have different designs for kids!

Bob the Toy Tester put on his Toy Developer hat last week. He needed to make products for his classmates to buy with class dollars at his school's "Mini-Mall" event.

This is Bob's second Mini-Mall and he was anxious to create something that would thrill enough kids to bring about bidding wars. He had also seen other "vendors" be successful with raffles (he calls them "rambles"), so he needed a special item to feature.

He decided that a '70's hippie theme would have wide appeal. For him this means rainbow colors with beads and peace signs. The key specific items for him were headbands and peace sign necklaces.
I came up with simple, speedy designs which were officially tested and approved by Bob.

The next step was Toy Production. Bob could prep the materials for mass production but by the time we knew what the products would be, I had
to make them myself quickly. I was able to make roughly:

10 headbands

1 peace sign necklace
2 hemp bracelets for certain teachers

10 diamond "Bow-Tie" rings (an idea we had before the '70's hippie theme)

Sales Figures:
100% SOLD OUT.
Under what sounds like extreme peer pressure, Bob took orders for more.

Sales Trends:
Any obvious crowd pleasers? He could have sold 3 times more headbands, and the peace sign necklace was a c
lear sales incentive.

Bob's instincts for what kids will want most were better than mine! I humbly offer it as a free crochet pattern:

Children's Choice '70's Hippie Headband

I-9 (5.5mm) crochet hook
Any cheerfully rainbow-colored and soft medium-weight yarn (I used Universal Yarn's Reef: A slightly stretchy, chenille-like novelty yarn made of 31% Polyamide, 44% Acrylic, 25% Wool.)
2 medium-sized wood beads
  1. Chain 12.
  2. Insert hook in second chain from your hook, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop (1 chain made; place marker in this stitch, or pinch it with your fingers). Yarn over, pull through both loops on hook (1 single crochet made). *Insert hook in marked (or pinched) chain, yarn over and pull up loop, mark that chain, yarn over and pull through both loops on hook (2nd single crochet made).
  3. Repeat from * 43 times (or to fit a child's head comfortably).
  4. Join headband into a ring without twisting: slip stitch in first single crochet and chain at the base of it. Then chain 7 and fasten off.
  5. Slide a bead onto each yarn tail, knot bead in place, and trim tail close to bead.

As promised on my DesigningVashti blog, here is the Hippie Hemp Teacher's Bracelet.

Crocheted '70's Hemp Teacher's Bracelet

1 ball of craft hemp cord available at Wal-Mart or craft stores
I-9 (5.5mm) crochet hook (aluminum is better with hemp)
6 small Jesse James Company's Dress It Up "Tiny Collection Retro" buttons
1 larger flower button (same brand) for clasp
2 small wood beads (op
  1. String the 6 small buttons onto the hemp and then string on the larger button.
  2. Chain 1. Slide up the larger button close to hook and chain 1 so that the button is locked into the stitch.
  3. Insert hook in 1st chain made, yarn over, pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through 1 loop on hook (1 chain made; place marker in this stitch or pinch it with fingers), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook (1 single crochet made).
  4. *Insert hook in marked (or pinched) chain, yarn over and pull up loop, mark that chain, yarn over and pull through both loops on hook (2nd single crochet made).
  5. Repeat from * once.
  6. Insert hook in next marked chain, yarn over and pull up loop, mark that chain, slide up a smaller button close to stitch, yarn over and pull through both loops on hook (beaded single crochet made).
  7. Alternate #5 and #6 until all buttons are used. Then repeat #5 twice.
  8. Chain 3, double crochet in last marked stitch, turn, slip stitch in the chain space you just created. This is the buttonhole. Fasten off.
  9. String a small wood bead onto each yarn tail, knot end to secure bead, clip yarn close to bead.