Sunday, May 25, 2008

Amigurumi toys!

As you may have noticed, I am obsessed with Amigurumi. It is a Japanese word that literally means "knitted stuffed toy". I am now on Ravelry (add me as a friend! I am "knitting101") and have spent hours looking through all of the awesome patterns out there. I have been buying patterns from "Hansigurumi" on I love her patterns and the shaping is out of this world. Hansi is a fairly new knitter who is definitely making up for lost time. Her creativity and skill amaze me with each new pattern. She currently has 16 patterns on Ravelry, but only a hndful of these are currently being sold on etsy. If you see something you want the pattern for, I suggest emailing her from etsy and she will make it available. I can't wait for her next pattern!

Here are a few things I have been knitting lately.

This is by far the most difficult toy i have knit so far. The Hansigurumi Hermit Crab. The legs are each knit separately, then sewn into the opening of the shell. The face and eyes are done last and sew in on top of the legs. It was sort of a mess the first time I assembled it, so I took the entire thing apart and added pipecleaners to each leg. This allowed me to move the legs into position, so that they lay down correctly.

Next is a jelly. This guy was EASY and so fun. Shaping the bell was beautiful, and the frill around the outside is perfect. I think the next one will have multi-colored tentacles.

This is a teat for me. As a Marine Biologist, of course I have a favorite sea creature. Surprising to most is that my favorite animal is actually a sea slug! They are so beautiful and come in every color of the rainbow, plus their body forms are limitless. Hansi designed this one to be like a "Spanish Dancer" sea slug. I changed the colors to match a lucky baby's new nursery, but the final slug looks pretty close to real life. I love the antennae as well as the external gills that are coming out of the back. Perfect!

I have made Hansi's octopus (last post) so this time I tried her squid. Some of you may remember my giant squid hat from a few years ago, but this little guy is more hand-held toy. I didn't use any pipecleaners, so a baby could play with it and not get poked. More of these will be knit for sure. I used Lamb's Pride bulky ad got a bigger squid. The eyes are great, so exactly what squid look like.

This last toy is an amigurumi but the pattern is not designed by Hansi. This one is from Susan B. Anderson. It is called "Elefante" and I found it for free on A group of my students are also making this one, some are using it as their final project. I chose to do mine in different colors, again for a lucky new baby I have yet to meet. I work with her mom and ned to go meet little Molly soon. I'll take her an elephant.

I have a ton of stuff still to post about, but I want to spread it out to another post. My students are working on their final knitting projects and I will post their work as soon as I get them turned in. Enjoy this 3-day weekend!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gifts I Have Given

I wanted to post some pics of the cutest kids I know. My cousin Kristyn's daughters got a care package of cupcake hats last week, and their talented mom (who is a professional photographer ) sent me some pics.

This is Chayse, the middle daughter.

Brooklyn is the baby.

Big sister Weslie.

Also, Ellery up in Portland (her mom, Jen, was my college roommate and life-long friend) is seen here modeling the roll neck sweater I knit with hand-dyed yarn. Check out the matching hat. I made the hat for Jen, but Elllery thought it looked better as a set.

I have finished some pretty cool new toys. I'll post pics in a few days.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!