Sunday, 17 August 2014

Working weekend

Gosh I'm tired. I haven't moved much in the last 48 hours but I have that lovely feeling that my work is nearly done.

This might not look very interesting but this has been my weekends work. There are three different magazine projects in there just waiting to be sewn up. I used to start and finish a project before I started on the next but as the commissions are coming in thick and fast I've found this is the best and quickest way to get everything done on time.

I can't say much more about these projects till they are printed but see if yu can work out for yourself what that little lot is going to be.

The most challenging thing this weekend has been working with boucle yarn.

This is a textured yarn and so its really difficult to see your stitches and where to go next. Its been a right pig to work with and I've got quite grumpy with it at times. I've been asked to write a tutorial on how to crochet with textured yarn to go with this project so I'm going to try out some tricks to make it easier to explain how to work with it. I think this is a good enough excuse to use the left over yarn to create some more patterns for my etsy shop. I I really want to make a llama pattern :)

My cats Cassi and Cal have been watching over me as I work. I've had a lot of problems with them wanting to sit on or next to me while I'm doing my crochet work. I love them and would be happy for them to be there but they seem to think the yarn, my hook and whatever I'm making are all toys. Somehow I don't think my editors would be happy if  the yarn used to create one of my amigurumi designs has flossed a cat first.

Luckily my tower boxes of yarn have come to my rescue as they now take it in turns to sit on top and watch me.

Cal on Saturday
and Cassi today.

I have now built another pile of boxes so they both have a tower to sleep on so there is no fighting.

 I have another free pattern coming soon. This jam jar cosy will be available next week via Craftseller online (i'll add the link when it goes live).
There is going to be quite a lot of new patterns coming soon and a lot of them will be free. If you have any requests please leave me a comment. I'm always looking for new ideas. (Mum if your reading this I know you want your beaded lace milk jug cover, I've not forgotten, I'll be working on it soon xxx)

My other little pet project is this space invaders inspired cushion. Its made from little squares each about 3cm sq. I've a way to go as it takes lots of squares but they only take 4 mins each to make (I timed myself). Its gonna be a big floor cushion. I'd like to make a set of three but that might be pushing my spare time at the mo..

So that's it from me this week. Its time for a well earned glass of wine and a cuddle with my kittys, while I hop over to handmade monday and catch up on my fellow crafters blogs

Monday, 11 August 2014

Kitty Kats

Time for a little catch up.

Things are starting to settle into something more like a routine here at amigurumi HQ. For the first two weeks of the month my work load is quite light, I am able to catch up on things and make time for friends. The last two weeks however are full on work and crochet becomes not just a full time job but a 24/7 takeover of my life.

I was once again honored to be asked to design a projects for the cover of Love crochet magazine. They asked for two cute cats. With such a wide brief I send of two very different designs for them to choose from. I was quite shocked when they reply came back and they wanted both, one for the July mag and one for the September issue.

This was the first design

Two little cats playing dress up. I really wanted to go to town on the cute factor and couldn't resist having hearts for noses and feet pads.

Finished they looked like this...

They are a simple design but I've used some interesting techniques that make them really fun to make and give a great finish. I love how the ballerinas tutu looks so perfectly ruffled, and that's all done with the crochet, no sewing is needed to get that effect.

 Bow and Belle such sweet names. I'm really happy how the colours of the Rico baby cotton has turned out in the magazine, that jade green is one of my favorites at the mo and it works really well with yellow.
Here they are looking lovely on the cover of Love Crochet magazine. This is my 10th cover projects and each one just makes me happier and happier. Maybe I should get them framed?

Did I tell you Love Crochet magazine are now on Facebook if you follow this link you can find and like their page and even get sneaky peaks of whats coming up in the next issue

It was defiantly a cat themed month as Craftseller also wanted cats, but they wanted alley cats :)

I got a long list of strange and interesting things they would like me to crochet to go with a scene of three cats. Bins, fish bones, apple cores tin cans and more. This was gonna be great fun to create.

This was the sketch I sent off. There is the top cap on his veg crate and his silly friend in the bin. I thought it would be fun if the third cat was a house cat who was friends with the gang and brought them a fish from home when he came to play. It was decided to keep them all as street cats so I changed his shiny collar to a funky neckerchief.

I used the lovely DMC natura yarn as it's a 4ply so I could get all the detail in it with it.

Deconstructed there were I think 50 or so components that were individually crocheted to create this scene. That might seem a lot of work and yes some of them can be a little bit fiddly to make. Actually each piece only takes a few mins to make and you get a wonderful sense of achievement when you completed the set.

 Here they are before they when off to the magazine for their photo shoot. The brown one in the bin is still my favorite, he looks like he'll be a lot of fun.

I really like that Craftseller magazine push me as a designer to be more creative and come up with new and really interesting  designs. I had a ball making these guys, there was lots so problem solving and quick thinking to get the shapes and create all that trash but it was so much fun. I think this will always be one of my favorite patterns :)

Here they are in the magazine, don't they look great xx

That wasn't all Craftseller magazine had in store for me this month as they also wanted a pair of slippers.

This was a much more simple design. I'd made a few pairs of slippers before for myself and while I had a pattern scribbled in my note book it needed a bit of refinement before I could let it go to the magazine.

This pattern is created using the classic toe up method which means they can be easily adjusted to fit any foot size. I've kept the design simple with just a few flowers for decoration. I think the combination of teal and lilac works really but really you could go for any colour combo and get a great result.
I used another DMC yarn for these, their wooly range which is a 100% merino and is super soft against the skin.

Both Love Crochet and Craftseller are in the shops now so if you want to have a go at any of these patterns you can grab a copy at any good newsagents or supermarket.

In not crochet news I took a day off and when with my Mum, sister and nephews to the Railway museum in York. My nephew Lucas is train mad and a great time was had by all

This is me in front of the royal train.

Me and Lucas by the Mallard.

Well I'll leave it there for now and head over to Handmade monday to catch up with all the other lovely craft bloggers