Crochet · Diverse DIY

Lukas is getting ready for holidays!

This summer I am participating in a Crafts Marathon that In my closet, a greek friend of mine is organising. She is sending us a task every Friday and we have a week from Monday to complete it and post a photo of it. The second week just finished last night and its task was to think of a song that comes in our minds when we hear summer and get inspired by it so as to create something. The idea of the task came from Iwanna be xara, another interesting blogger.

I was discussing the task with my husband during the previous weekend and we agreed immediately to the song that means summer for us! It is the song “Ab in den Süden” from the german reggae group Seeed. At least, we thought that the song was from them. It seems that if I look for the song in youtube, it appears that it belongs to a guy called Buddy and has really really awful videoclips, so here you can hear the song without any videoclip.

Anyway, back to the Crafts Marathon, we have been discussing for maybe even a couple of years now, that Lukas (our mascot) needs to enrich his clothes. So this was a good opportunity, to prepare Lukas for his holidays to the south of Europe!

What is the first things you need when you go for holidays to a warm country? Of course swimming suit, flip-flops, shirt, hat and sunglasses.

Lukas waiting patiently while his swimming suit is being prepared!

The first addition that he got is a new pair of shorts (his swimming suit, as technically he is not really waterproof) and a new shirt. These were easy, as I created the patterns for his clothes three years ago, before our move from the Netherlands. This time I decided to make them a bit more colourful than his old set, For his shorts, I chose a bright and summery orange shade from King Cole Pricewise, called Sorbet (3102), and for his shirt the interesting reddish shade Claret (1123) by Stylecraft Special DK. I usually use Stylecraft Special DK, but as they are getting more difficult to find them in Switzerland, I am trying other brands too. I combined both of them with a bit of Black (1002) by Stylecraft.

His summer shirt and swimming suit

Then he needed some flip-flops. Well, this was a bit tricky. Lukas needs his shoes so as to stand. Already from the previous pair of shoes I did for him, I used a bit of reinforcement so as to make him a bit more stable. So I crocheted two identical soles which i sewed together after including an equal size of carton in between. Surpisingly, the carton is not destroyed yet, after three years of use, but I wanted an improvement in the material I used. So I used pieces of hardened plastic from a packaging and cut it at the size of his soles. The tricky part was how to make the bands of the flip-flops. Lukas can’t hold his shoes and it is a common problem that sooner or later he drops them and if we don’t pay attention he can lose them. With flip-flops the problem would be even more imminent, as they don’t hold on a big surface of the foot. I solved the problem by using hair bands! I crocheted around it while creating the upper part of the sole (I used Black (1002) by Stylecraft) and then attached it two point to the back of the flip-flops, while attaching the two parts of the soles with the plastic reinforcement in the middle.

The three parts that are needed for each flip flop: two identical soles, the top one of which has the hair band attached and an equal sized strong plastic piece

Lukas liked his new flip-flops! Unfortunately his toes are a bit small, so he has to wear them in the middle of his four toes and they can have two modes:

  • the safe mode. It is the mode that they hold a bit better on his foot and he doesn’t risk losing them, but it doesn’t look so nice.
  • the fancy mode. It is the normal way of wearing flip-flops or sandals and he likes this way more.

Now it was time to prepare his sunglasses. In Switzerland, we have a refreshment that comes in a brown PET bottle. What better first material! I got a bit of help in this task from my husband. We cut a round from the bottle and we tried several widths so as to fit around Lukas’ head. Then we shaped it, so as to fit over the nose and around the ears and we used a white marker to make it look like sunglasses. In the end we painted the white part with a watercolour that we liked. This was a really funny process! We were laughing quite a lot!

Lukas’ sunglasses

What else should he pack for his holidays? He already has a hat and a backpack and he needs a passport! In order to make a notebook, all you need is some pages, a piece of carton for the outside, a needle and some thread. I used a dark red coloured carton (close to the shade european passports have) and I cut pieces of paper at a size so that folded they would fit in Lukas’ backpack. I sewed the paper and the carton together and voila!

And now that all the components were ready, Lukas had to have a bath and do a bit of sunbathing. We can’t wear the new clothes without washing first, right?

And now he is ready!!! Doesn’t he look more summery than before?

P.S. Lukas is a bought pattern, but his clothes I am making alone with my own patterns. If somebody is interested in them, I can share them.

Crochet

Basel basilisk: an amigurumi

Sincel last July we are living really close to the city of Basel. The city is proud of its heraldic animal, the imaginary basilisk, and according to the legend, there was one living in a cave that used to exist in the Old town. If you want to find more about Basel and its basilisk check my blogpost about Basel.

It is not a really big animal. The fountain basilisk (shown in the photo below) in the actual size of the legendary basilisk.

A basilisk fountain in the centre of Basel

Do you remember my nice red dragon Temeraire? He is positioned on top of my library, guarding my books. But it has been quite some time now that he has been asking for a friend and what else than a basilisk. I did a bit of searching, but there was no pattern interesting enough for what I wanted. So I decided to make it myself, so as to fit Temeraire. I used as a base the dragon body of Temeraire from the Amigurumi to go pattern. But the head is not the same as a dragon’s; it rather resembles the one of a rooster. That part I created myself. and I am going to offer it to you for free.

The abbreviations I use in the pattern are:

ch: chain
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
dc: double crochet
inc: increase – make two in the same stitch
dec: decrease – combine two stitches to one
[…]: repeat this sequence

What you need is a hook 4.00mm. As I have explained in previous posts, I like the Clover Amour ergonomic hooks, so I used the CLOVER Amour 4.00 mm hook. I made Temeraire with Stylecraft Special DK 1010 – Matador and I decided to make my basilisk black, as the colour of the coat of arm of Basel, so I used Stylecraft Special DK 1002 – Black. for the body.

The coat of arms of the city of Basel

For the head of the basilisk use Stylecraft Special DK 1002 – Black:

  1. Start with a magic ring of 6 sc (6)
  2. [inc] x 6 (12)
  3. [sc, inc] x 6 (18)
  4. [2 sc, inc] x6 (24)
  5. [5 sc, inc] x 4 (28)
  6. [6 sc, inc] x 4 (32)
  7. 12 hdc, 20 sc (32)
  8. repeat row 7 (32)
  9. 1 hdc, 10 dc, 1 hdc, [4 sc, inc] x 4 (36)
  10. 1 hdc, 10 dc, 1 hdc, 24 sc (36)
  11. 12 hdc, 24 sc (36)
  12. repeat row 11 (36)
  13. [hdc, dec} x 4, [sc, dec] x 8 (24)
  14. [2 sc. dec] x 6 (18)
  15. 18 sc (18)
    Start filling the head and keep filling it till the end
  16. [sc, dec] x 6 (12)
  17. [dec] x 6 (6)
    bind off. It is not important to close the hole as the beak will be covering it.

In order to have a proper rooster, we need a beak, wattles and a comb. For these ones I used Stylecraft Special DK 1114 – Sunshine. It is a shade between yellow and orange and it felt more fitting than than either of the two other colours. And here is how I made them:

The beak consists of two parts, the upper and lower one.

The upper and lower parts of the beak, sewed on the head

Upper beak part

  1. start with a magic ring of 6 sc (6)
  2. sc, hdc, 2 dc, hdc, sc (6)
  3. [inc] x 6 using only sc (12)
  4. 2 sc, 2 hdc, 4 dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc (12)
  5. [sc, inc[ x 6 (18)
  6. 4 sc, 3 hdc, 4 dc. 3 hdc, 4 sc (18)
  7. 18 sc (18)
  8. 18 sc (18)
    fill it with a bit of cotton batting, bind off and leave string for sewing

Lower beak part

  1. start with a magic ring of 6 sc (6)
  2. [inc] x 6 (12)
  3. [sc, inc] x 6 (18)
  4. [2 sc, inc] x 6 (24)
    fold the circle in two and close it with 10 sc

Wattles

  1. ch 5, turn, 4 sc (4)
  2. inc, sc, sc, inc (6)
  3. sc, hdc, sc, sc, hdc, sc (6)
  4. 6 sc (6)
    Make two of these and sew them together leaving the bottom open
The comb, sewed on top of the head

Comb

  1. ch 9, 2 sc in the first one, 6 sc, 3sc in the last one, 7 sc from the other side (18)
  2. [2 sc, inc] x 6 (24)
  3. [sc, hdc, inc with 2 dc, hdc) x 6 (30)
  4. 30 sc (30)
    bind off and leave string for seweing

In order to assembly the head you need to see the individual parts on it. The head is rather egg shaped. The magic ring is the back of the head, while the part where the hdc and dc are is the top of it and the sc the bottom. The comb goes on the top of the head and the wattles, once the two parts are sewed together, are sewed on the botton part, opposite to the comb. The two parts of the beak are sewed approximately at the height of the 14th row. Sew first the upper part in such a way that it looks nicely at the front of the egg-shaped head and the bottom part just under the upper part. The bottom part is sewed with the folded side of the circle to the head.

The head of the basilisk

The wings, spikes and eyes are done according to the Amigurumi to go pattern, but there are a few changes compared to the dragon:

  • The spikes stop at the bottom of the head and they don’t continue on the head. I made them with Stylecraft Special DK 1114 – Sunshine too.
  • The head of the dragon is a bit too heavy, so it is better to use some wire for support. This is not a problem for the basilisk. Its head is less prolongated and its barycentre is more centred than in the case of the dragon.

Since I made a basilisk, I embroider a Basel coat of arm on his belly!

How do you like my basilisk? Doesn’t he fit nicely with Temeraire?

Temeraire and Basilisk together!

P.S. Concerning the links used here, please check my Disclaimer.

Crochet

Temeraire: a crocheted red dragon

Today I will introduce you to another of my favourite amigurumis: the fierce red dragon we call Temeraire.

The name comes from a series of  9 books by Naomi Novik, with the name Temeraire, which involves a Chinese dragon. I have not read the books yet, but my husband has and we have been discussing about it. If you are interested, the first book is called His Majesty’s Dragon, but I really like the cover of the 5th book:

Now back to the crochet subject, the red fierce dragon is a free pattern by Amigurumi to go. It is a really detailed pattern split in three parts and accompanied by detailed videos.

I would say that it is a rather medium to advanced project and definitely not a beginners’ one. It involves a combination of single and half double crochet stitches for most of the body and occasionally double crochet for the decorations  (US terminology). In addition, it is a quite big amigurumi: the finished dragon is about 40cm tall.

Admittedly, the detailed instructions and the videos are of big help, but the small details that make the dragon look amazing are a bit demanding.

 

I found the shaping of the wings, the assembling of the eyes so as to look as identical as possible and the spikes a bit tedious and demanding. But as I said, they are the elements that made the dragon look really nice.

2018-03-15 14.34.21 000-20180315_143421
The wing with the pipecleaner around and the two layers

dragon eye
The different steps in sewing the eyes

Temeraire was created during the end of 2016 as a present for my husband who loves fantasy books and dragons. It took me a couple of months to finish him, as I had to work on him when he was not around to see me and while I had a full-time job that kept me outside the house for about 12 hours. But it was worthy and it was a total surprise for him!

Just a couple of days ago, I finished a second dragon, as a dear friend was visiting us two weeks ago and she wants one for herself. It is from this second one that I could get a few photos of the parts in progress.

20180317_163146
Temeraire on the right and his new brother on the left!

I made my first dragon with a CLOVER Amour 4.50 mm hook and as I didn’t like the gaps between the stitches, my second dragon with a CLOVER Amour 4.00 mm hook. For both of them I used my favourite acrylic yarn Stylecraft Special DK 1010 – Matador. Both the dragons have a bit of a support for the head. Temeraire has two pipecleaners rolled around each other, while the new dragon has a bit of medium thickness wire. If you use this kind of support, you need to make sure that the edges are covered and not exposed.

It feels a bit strange to call my first dragon with its name and to have no name for the second one. Well, soon it will be on its journey to find a new family that will like it and hopefully they will find a nice name for it!

P.S. Concerning the links used here, please check my Disclaimer.

Crochet

Lukas

My first post about my own amigurumis is dedicated to my most proud creation. Meet Lukas!

Lukas on holidays
Lukas with us on holidays

He was created in January 2016 in the Netherlands, following the pattern of Dendennis, a dutch crocheter. The original pattern was about an amigurumi in the form of a clown, named Dendennis as a clown. He was intended as a present for my mother-in-law who collects clowns.

Lukas ready to travel
Lukas ready to accompany us on our honeymoon

But, quite soon he became a real member of our small family and we couldn’t part from him anymore…

He participated in important moments of our lives: he was a mascot at our wedding and he came with us on our honeymoon. Of course, for the special occasions he had to get dressed appropriately, so I had to make outfits for him. By that time, I had started to create patterns of my own, so as to cover his demands.

Lukas at our wedding
Lukas and his girlfriend Chioni at our wedding

Lukas is present in most activities my husband and I do. His last adventure in our new home here in Switzerland was to discover snow and you can see the results:

Lukas in the snow

As you can see Lukas is our star! He is adorable, no?

Crochet

Crochet: The Beginning

crocheting-yarn-diy-knitting-162499.jpegI love crochet. No that is wrong, I adore crochet! But let’s take things from the beginning…

I was introduced to crafting by my mom. I started with cross stitching and I was patient and interested in it for several years. She tried to introduce me to knitting as well, but I was already an adolescent! By that time, I had to do my personal revolution, so I found anything related to cross stitching or knitting annoying, boring and not cool.

In October 2010, when I had to moved out of my parental house in Greece and head to the Netherlands to work, I put in a corner of my luggage a canvas for cross stitching.  In the cold and lonely first months of moving there, it was a nice way to spend some time. But then I found friends and became too busy for anything like that.

Then in October 2014 my mom passed away. During that cold winter of my life, I regretted I never sat with her to learn knitting from her. And I tried to make up for that loss with the help of youtube tutorials and my partner who understood them faster than me. Besides knitting, I tried a bit of crochet. And I was hooked!

pexels-photo-207272.jpeg

I started with crocheting small stuffed creatures, known as Amigurumis. A nice example is the small painter mouse in the picture. Unfortunately, he is not a creation of mine. My first amigurumis were neither so sophisticated nor so cute. By now I have completed several projects and have quite some experience. But I still find amigurumis the most interesting things to create and the most fun! I am planning to show you some of my own creations in further posts! Would you like to see them?

Do you have questions about crochet? Do you need help? I am always willing to help more people to discover the magic of it!