Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kitty Cat Tutorial/Pattern .....Part 1

Hi there!
It's been a while!
I seem to have lost my grip on my blogging mojo recently, over a week since a post, so sorry, but I have been trying to create a post that has been niggling at me for a while, and a few nice ladies had asked about this, and it has taken alot of my spare blogging time to figure it all out, but here goes.......

.......... I have finally gotten onto writing a little pattern tutorial for my granny softie I call Kitty Cat.

This is the first time I have tried to write a pattern tutorial post so please excuse me if it is pretty crappy! ( for instance I am looking at the photos I have taken to try and help explain my crochet and can't really figure out what I am doing in some of them!! So I hope I don't confuse you all.)

Having said that, this is a fairly straight forward crochet make and if I could make it I'm sure all you clever people will find it a breeze.

My original Kitty Cat (pictured above) used the Sunburst granny square as the tummy panel, in this example I am using a different square pattern, as I wanted something a bit more solid with less places for stuffing to poke through.

You can use whatever square pattern you like as your tummy square, but I think the ones with less gaps work better for a stuffed softie.

My incredibly high tech pattern writing notebook. Haha. ( I really have been busy!!)

Ok, here is the square I am starting with, this pattern is called Spinner from the Jan Eaton Crochet Squares book, as I said choose whatever square pattern take your fancy and make 2 of them.

The basic construction of this toy is a simple back piece and front piece that are the same, sewn together, with arms and legs sewn on last and the face hand sewn on and embroidered.

I used a 3mm hook and 8 ply wool to make a nice thick piece of crochet to stuff.

How I made it :

Take one square and with right side facing you, join your main colour with a sl/st to any corner stitch of the last round. (above picture)

Round 1 of main colour
: Ch 1, (acts as 1st st), sc in same stitch, then sc in each st around square, with 3sc in each corner st. When you get back to the starting point, sc in same st as ch1 and join the round with a sl/stitch.
(there are now 3 sts in each corner st of the round)

Next round
: ch 1, TURN WORK and working on the back side of the square, sc in same stitch, then sc in each stitch around the square, working 3sc in each corner st.
When back to the start, sc in first st and sl/st to starting 1ch to join the round.
Round 3 :Ch 1, TURN WORK and repeat the first round

So now you should have a square with 3 rounds of sc bordering it.

(Starting body/head) :

You now start working in rows back and forward to make the head.
Ch1, (acts as 1st sc st so miss the next st) ,Turn work so working on backside, then sc in each st across til 1st corner, (end of row) then Ch 1, turn work, miss 1st st, sc in each st back across row.
Continue on in this way til you can count 12 'double rows' ( see photo below to see what I mean)

Making ears:
On 1st 14 st start shaping a triangle by decreasing 1 st at each end of row on every right side row. Like this :
1st ear
Next right side row, only sc 14sts, then ch1 and turn. Sc in each st back to start.
2nd RS row, Sl/st to next stitch, then ch 1 , sc in next 11 sts, (12 sts all up), ch 1, turn. Sc in each st back to 1st ch.
Continue on in the pattern,( the sc in the middle will reduce by 2 each RS Row) until there are 2 st left. At this point bind off.

2nd ear :
Count 14 st from left hand side of work and join wool, ch1.
Make 2nd ear the same way as the 1st.

You can make your ears bigger or smaller depending on how many stitches you start with in your rows (depends on the square you choose to use), So this is really more of a guide, if you have a different amount of stitches and there is a big gap between your ears (I mean your softies ears!! I don't mean your brain space! haha!! I'm not being rude!) you can adjust the number of sts in each ear, just make sure they are the same number. I like to leave a gap of 3-4 st on my cat.

So they should look something like this when done.

Make another piece the same way for the back, and there you have it, the front and back of kitty cat!
In part 2, I'll show you the arms and legs and face details and how it all goes together.

Sorry this is in 2 parts, but it has taken me so long to get just this far that I think you would be waiting for ages if I did it all in one go. I think I'll be able to finish off the 2nd installment for you pretty quickly, and maybe even post it tomorrow!

Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, if you find any problems or inconsistencies with the instructions feel free to let me know and I'll try and fix it! ( this is my 1st try after all!)

Have a great day!

PS. I have used American crochet terms for this pattern, so for you English Ladies, I think that means Sc =Dc

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Get your retro groove on!....

Hi there!
Thought I'd share a bit of retro love today.
My mum came round yesterday with a bag of old crochet and knitting books from an aunt of mine, think they are from the late 70's early 80's ( one has a price of 35 cents on it!!).
Thanks Pat!!

Have a look at that crochet skirt in the photo above, how funny, you can make a skirt to match your blankie!
Reminds me of the dress Kate Blanchett wore to an awards night last year, don't know if I'd be able to carry it off though, I'd probably look like I'm wearing a sleeping bag.

Love those racy girls in there groovy scarves and beanies.....(might be the go for the grid girls at the Grand Prix next year ! hehehe)

.....might have a go at this ripple pattern in some different colours....

.....pure retro gorgeous

.... wish I could see the colour version of these hilarious rainbow tops.....

....I think this scoop neck cardi would actually be pretty cool for me now! ( I am a bit of a fashion nightmare though, so have no idea really)

....this motif is pretty cool. I might make a couple up in some different colours and hook a blankie like this (not too fond of the black edges that were everywhere in the 70's)

A lot of the actual patterns would look right at home in a current pattern book, it is really the colours and yarns that date these projects, and of course the super 70's styling!!

Hope you enjoyed a little peek into the past, after all, crochet is such a retro hobby, it's good to check out it's roots sometimes and see where all the good stuff originates from ( everything old is new again!!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Creative Space........hats and other things..

oops..... a whole week since my last post, terribly sorry, just had not much to report really, and there's not much today either! Life is pretty predictable and routine at the moment, not great fodder for interesting blogging!
Oh well......

......My creative space to day involves working on these little hats. I made the blue one earlier in the week to see how the pattern worked, and it was easy so i have decided to make some nice stripey ones. The decision was made easier by the fact that I went overboard last time I visited the Bendigo Knitting Mills and bought a tonne of 3ply baby merino in all these beautiful colours just because it looked so pretty in it's basket and was a really good buy. Of course I had no idea what to use it for, but it seems to be working ok in this hat pattern and I will have some lovely cute colour combos to work up. I am adjusting the hook size down and making a size bigger to make up for the smaller ply, and just matching the size to the blue one ( which is made in the right type of 4ply wool)

.....Also still working on the jar project, the row of little soldiers grows.......

.....last weekend we took a drive up to the Dandenongs and bought some new chookies, as you can see they are a bit camera shy at the moment, but seem to be settling into their new home ok. Our old girls were a bit miffed at the new arrivals, but I told them all to play nice and they are kind of friends now, hopefully our egg production will start to increase soon.

..Also been doing a heap of this.
Cripes, my boys can eat! ( although only food that passes their strict guide lines, anything too healthy is rejected with scorn)
I have been baking my little heart out, trying to buy less processed food for us all, but still have something yum in the cupboard. I have joined weight watchers (again) , so I am happy for them to rid me of temptation.

I also have to admit one reason I haven't been blogging much is that I have found the scrabble app on my phone. Words with Friends. It is soooo much of a time waster, but so alluring at the same time! I find myself mulling over my letters at odd times of the day when I should be doing something much more productive. I tell myself I'm keeping the Alzheimer's at bay, using the old grey matter, but it is a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Any hoo, I hope you all have a fantastic day, I'm off to play Scrabble!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Creative Space...bit of this, bit of that.....

Today my creative space will be trying to weave in all the ends of these crochet jar covers.

I am really having fun doing these, all the possible colour combos to play around with, and they don't take too long which suits my snatches of creative time at the moment.

I just got a bag full of empty jars from my mum, so there will be lots more of these I can see!

It is freezing here today so I am going to make a fire and soup for dinner and warm the place up.
We're out all afternoon in a frenzy of after school activites, but all least we will have a warm, cosy home to come back to!
Hope your day is going fabulously.
Other creative types to be found here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mum's day ( happy day!).....

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all you ace mums out there have had a lovely day, spoiled rotten and lavished with love and attention! haha!

I have to say my boys did well today, spoiling me with a great CD (Adele - 21, very cruisey), a fantastic cookbook (Leon -Naturally Fast Food), and a slab of my fallback drink Diet coke (I drink way too much of this stuff)
I swear I didn't give them too many hints and reminders! (Although I did tell Max that the cookbook I wanted was called Leon, like the main character in Resident Evil, a game I know they have played a fair bit - I think he did well to remember)

We had a lovely lunch at my sisters place with my mum and dad, everyone had a nice afternoon I think.

And this is the little potholder I have been working on the last few days, it was fun to make and I think it has turned out really nicely. I gave it to my mum today to use in her kitchen, I think she liked it. I made it with Bendigo Knitting Mill Cotton.

I found the pattern on a great crochet blog called Delights-Gems, she has some other great patterns and tutorials on her site, it is worth checking out!

I think I will make a few more of them for a wall hanging display, they always look so good in other peoples houses, I want one too!

Enjoy the rest of your day ladies, it's back to the grind stone tomorrow! haha

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My creative (on- the -go) space...

Well, I didn't get my little project finished last night as planned, too many distractions and interruptions, so today hoping to do a bit of hooky on the go at the boys basketball game.
I bought this lovely farmers market basket today (and a bigger one) and it is perfect for the travelling crochet, as well as the odd bit of fresh produce!

If all else fails, I am going to my first "needle and hook" night tonight at our community centre, so I should get a chance to get stuck into it there.

Hope there is plenty of creating at your place!

Have a looksie over at Kirsty's place for lot's of other/better creative places!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Little project...

Hi there!

Just a quick post tonight, I am busy trying to finish this piece of crochet as a little something special for my mum on Mother's Day on the weekend. hopefully I'll get it done tonight and can show you tomorrow!

I think I'll be making a few of these, I am having a lot of fun with it!
Talk soon!

PS. Thanks to all the people who have checked out my little shop, it is exciting looking at the visitor count and seeing someone has actually been past and had a look!

Monday, May 2, 2011

weekend.... and something quite exciting!

Hello there!
How was your weekend?

It was a pretty big weekend around the world, with the Royal Wedding happening and all the partying associated with that, kind of makes me wish I was in London!
And I just heard on the radio about an hour ago that the USA have found and killed Osama Bin Ladin, now that is some big news!!

Our weekend was a tad quieter than that, just the usual events, golf, computer games, good food, a tennis match, lots of washing, taxiing teenagers to their outings; you know the sort of weekend that just seems to disappear!

I did manage to do something quite exciting (for me!), I pinned my son down to help me get my little online shop up and running! He made me a nice banner which I uploaded without any problem, I fiddled around with colours, I took photos of my things, we uploaded the photos, then had to resize them all as they were too big, ( I am really getting into the computer techy stuff now!), It all seemed to take aaaages, but finally I now have one brand spanking new shop !!!
Yay! Yay!
That is at least one New Year's resolution that I've been able to keep!

So now I just have link it to here so you can all have a little peek!
It is called Little Woollie Makes.... so have a look and tell me what you think, I'd love to get your feedback!

(It's funny, but I feel a bit self conscious, putting my creations up to sell is always a confronting experience for me, and I feel kind of embarrassed and excited at the same time. It's how I feel selling at face to face markets too, but this is weirder as I don't get to see any of you guys!)

Have a great day and talk soon!!