From drawing to Amigurumi

I have been crocheting for many years now and most of my creations have been inspired by Pop Culture characters or generic Amigurumi animals such as dogs and cats that I crocheted spontaneously or without preparation. Most of the time I didn’t know what the end result would look like. I was the queen of improvisation until I went to the DesignerCon convention last November.

DesignerCon is an annual art and design convention that includes collectible toys, customs, plush, designer apparel and pop art of all kind. I was blown away by the talent and creativity of all the artists and it really inspired me to go beyond what I have been doing for the past few years. I decided to learn to draw characters and use my imagination to be more creative. I started with online beginner tutorials that helped me understand the basics and crocheted a doll based on the Manga Monster drawing tutorial I learned from artist Christopher Hart.

Using a drawing I made from a tutorial was a good first practice. I have learned a lot in the process and even though I ended up with a few mistakes along the way I am very happy with my first try.

I had no problem making the body but the real challenge came when I started crocheting the head. I was afraid to make it to small or too big. I ended up making it a little too narrow (if you look at the drawing, the face is a bit wider on the sides). It’s no big deal since it’s for practice, but I did learn that I shouldn’t be afraid to crochet on a larger scale!

I named this little monster Olallieberry, which explains why its main color is purple (I picked the name before deciding on the colors). I added the blue and pink based on color combinations I found on google.

I had intended to put the ears a little further back but I forgot myself for a second and glued them closer than I intended. It still looks cute, but I was a little mad at myself because the main purpose of this practice was to make a replica and…Oh well… Live and learn! lol

I had a lot of fun doing this, and I intend to continue in that direction this year. I hope to learn and improve my skills by doing this, and I can’t wait to make my second doll using this new process.

I will still make Fan Art dolls because my love for Pop Culture will never fade, but I am going to focus more on my own creations because I really want to use my imagination and see what I can do.

I can’t wait to start on my next one!! Stay tuned for the next episode (I can’t wait to show you what I have in mind).

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Crocheted Chimmy

My love for dolls and plushies have no boundaries, as you know I love crafting cute or creepy Fan Art and this one is no exception. Chimmy is a part of the BT21 Kpop collection associated with BTS. The first time I saw it I thought it was the cutest thing I ever saw. The entire collection is adorable, but this little yellow hoodie dog just stole my heart, and soon became an item on my never-ending list of characters I wanted to crochet because, well, I have an incurable case of OCD (Obsessive Crochet Disorder).

Beside my OCD, I really wanted to take this opportunity to improve my skills in crocheting hoodies. This doesn’t look like much work compared to the Ryuk I made recently but replicating the head was a challenge. You cannot really tell on the pictures but his face is not round, it curves out at the cheeks and that didn’t make it easier on me. I could have got away without the curves but since the purpose of making this doll was to learn new techniques, it wouldn’t have made sense to skip that part.

In order to do the hoodie, I started with a chain around the head. I crocheted the back of the hoodie first, then the front (The body is seamless but the head was made separately.)

Did you see my doll? Did you see my doll?

It is my dream to make a collection of dolls of my own creation, for that reason, I found the BT21 dolls very inspiring. I saw a series of behind the scenes videos that involves the creative process behind that collection, it really made me want to draw and try to crochet my own. That will be my next project, actually!

I am very happy with my crocheted interpretation. This doll is so cute that I had no problem taking pictures of it, every single photo looks adorable. For that reason I had a hard time picking them out, I liked all of them!

Here, one more pic just because….

Seriously, my collection of Fan Art dolls is becoming so big, soon it will need its own closet. I will make sure that I will not put my crocheted Chimmy next to Ryuk, he’s way too scary for that little thing.

Happy crocheting!

Ryuk from Death Note

I am a big fan of Death Note. If you are not familiar with this manga, then you might have not heard about Ryuk, a very bored god from the Shinigami realm. He is a tall and skinny character that could give your nightmares with his sharp teeth and bulgy yellow eyes. He is not exactly evil, he is just a very bored supernatural being that will do anything that serves his own interest and amusement… Yeah, that can be evil.

I wanted to make a crocheted version of Ryuk for the longest time but it looked so challenging that I gave up on the idea until now. I started to work on the legs last December and just finished putting on the last accessories one month later.

I love crocheting Fan Art. Replicating fictional characters from movies or video games allows me to challenge myself and learn new techniques in the process. Ryuk was not easy to make, it took a lot of patience but I am really glad I tried. I love my Shinigami.

One of Ryuk charateristics is that he loves apples. He would do anything for apples, he’s a cheap date. Good thing I always have apples around the house!

Ryuk carries “Death Note” notebook on his side with a skull on it. He has a lot of accessories that I hard to find so I had to think outside the box to replicate his belt, rings etc… His body has wire inside, it allowed me to bend him into his grotesque crooked shape.

You can’t really tell on the pictures, but he is quite tall (about 20 inches). I was going to keep it for myself but decided to give it to my little nephew who is a fan of the Death Note anime series… I am such a good aunt!

My journey with Ryuk was very inspiring. I am amazed at the creativity and imagination of the artists that create these characters, they are super talented and I can only hope to be that creative someday.

Baby Captain America

It’s already the end of the year and I just finished my last doll until 2019. A friend of mine asked me if I could make her a baby version of Captain America and I immediately said yes, I was very excited to start this project. I started two weeks ago and just finished it today. Here is the result:

I used a pattern by Mariya Kozlova – Baby with Dummy to make the base. It’s a free tutorial to crochet a baby doll which is well written and easy to follow. I only had to make a few adjustments and color changes to turn it into Captain America.

I crocheted this doll with Red Heart Super Saver and a 2.75mm hook.  The stars, the A letter, and wings are cut in white felt. I did make the head a little smaller than instructed on the pattern because I was afraid it would be too big with the mask on top of it.

The mask was my biggest challenge because I had never crocheted one before. My first attempt was a fail, I had made the holes too wide and too loose. It took me three tries to get it right which is not too bad considering that I had no idea what I was doing.

I considered making a pacifier that looked like his shield but opted otherwise after realizing it would be too much going on. It had to be one or the other and I can’t imagine Captain America without his signature shield. No pacifier for this baby, he’s a tuff one anyway!

I had a lot of fun crocheting this little Captain America, I couldn’t have finished the year on a better note. I am really looking forward to next year for new exciting projects. I have a long wish list!

This is my last post of the year so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. See you in 2019! 🙂

Christmas Owl Ornament Pattern

It is already the end of the year, Christmas is right around the corner. This year has gone by so fast I cannot believe that 2018 is almost over! It has been a while since I posted any free pattern so today I am going to write a tutorial to make a really cute owl ornament for your Christmas tree. It has been requested on my Facebook after I posted pictures from last year. So here it is, I hope you will enjoy it. The finished size is 3.5 inch/10 cm. I suggest making a few of them using different colors for fun.

  • Materials you will need for this project: 
  • Brown, cream, green and white yarn (I used Red Heart Super Saver)
  • 2.75mm hook (you can use a larger hook, your owl will be bigger)
  • Beige and orange felt
  • 12mm brown or black safety eyes (you can opt for googly eyes)
  • White glittery pompom
  • Fiberfill for stuffing
  • Yarn needle, and a glue gun (or fabric glue)

Abbreviations: 
Rnd = round 
Sc = single crochet
Inc = increase
Dec = decrease
st = stitches

Body:
With brown yarn, make a magic ring
Rnd 1: 6 sc in center of the ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: [1 sc, inc] 6 times (18)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times (24)
Rnd 5: [3 sc. inc] 6 times (30)
Rnd 6 to 10: sc in each st around (30)
Change color to light brown
Rnd 11 to 14: sc in each st around (30)
Hold your work to work on the eyes
Cut two oval shapes in a piece of beige felt. Make a little cut in the center and insert the safety eyes. Attach the eyes to the body by inserting them between row 10 and 11.
Row 15: [3 sc, dec] 6 times (24)
Row 16: [2 sc, dec] 6 times (18)
Stuff the body with fiberfill and continue along the way
Row 17:[1 sc, dec] 6 times (12)
Row 18: dec 6 times (6)
Fasten off, and leave a long tail for sewing the rest of the stitches together to close the hole.

Glue the off-white felt part of the eyes to the body (this way they will remain flat).
Cut a small triangle in orange felt and glue it between the eyes to make a beak.

The eyes
Make sure the eyes touch in the middle.

Wings (make 2):
With brown yarn, make a magic ring
Rnd 1: 6 sc in center of the ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3 to 5: sc in each st around (12)
Fasten off, and leave a long tail at the end. Sew the wings on each side of the body.

The wings.

Hat:
With green yarn, make a magic ring
Rnd 1: 6 sc in center of the ring (6)
Rnd 2 to 3: sc in each st around (6)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 2 times (8)
Rnd 5: sc in each st around (8)
Rnd 6: [3 sc, inc] 2 times (10)
Rnd 7: sc in each st around (10)
Rnd 8: [4 sc, inc] 2 times (12)
Rnd 9: sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 10:[1 sc, inc] 6 times (18)
Rnd 11: sc in each st around(18)
Rnd 12: [2 sc, inc] 6 times (24)
Rnd 13: sc in each st around (24)
Rnd 14: [3 sc, inc] 6 times (30)
Rnd 15: sc in each st around (30)
Rnd 16: [4 sc, inc] 6 times (36)
Change color to white
Rnd 17 to 18: sc in each st around(36)
Fasten off, and leave a long tail for sewing. Sew the hat around the head using the stitches of the last row. (You can opt to glue the hat to the head instead)
Put a dot of glue on one side of the hat and bend the top to glue it to the bottom half.

The hat before…
and after.

Hook:
I have a cool trick to make the hook with yarn. Follow the instructions in pictures:

1. Insert your needle in a top stitch and through the back
2. Insert into the closest stitch and back to where you started. (don’t pull your yarn completely through, leave a loop hanging)
Make a double knot. Now you should have two loops, one on top and one in back. Pull your yarn down until the knot disappears into the hat. (don’t pull too much or it will go out on the other side)
Pull the top loop on the other side. Voila!

I hope you enjoyed this pattern and that it will be a nice addition to your Christmas tree. Don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions.

Happy crocheting!

Another doll, another challenge

Phase two of my “improving my skills” with my latest challenge: a doll and her bear. Last year I went through a creativity crisis that put me into a funk for a while. It is during this phase that I started sulking in front of the TV and became addicted to a reality show from Japan called Terrace House. If you are not happy about your own life, lose yourself by watching over people live! Ironically, this reality show was my inspiration to get back to what I love to do and break the wall that kept me from improving. Terrace house is a dating show but it also involves people who use that bridge to find out what they want out of life or achieve their goals. They were my inspiration to turn off my TV and work harder. Lauren Tsai in particular, a talented artist who spent most of her time drawing and focusing on her passion, is the one that motivated me the most. This doll is the product of that inspiration, I am in love with making toys again.

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Now let’s talk about the doll. I used mercerized yarn to make this doll. Mercerized yarn is mostly used to make dollies but it is also great to crochet small amigurumi toys. I really liked working with that type of yarn and I think I will use it a lot more in future projects.

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I embroidered the eyes but this time I used a different technique that made the task much easier than my previous attempts. Still, I found it very hard to embroider eyes on a small head, there isn’t a lot of room to do your stitches and you are not careful you can end up with eyes too big for the face.

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The bear and the hat was a last minute decision. I had intended to just make the doll with her bag but since I am in challenge mode I thought I might as well try to add more. I am glad I did because it turned out really cute.

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So if you ever get into a creative hole and need to find a way out, I recommend Terrace House. It’s a great distraction to stop thinking about yourself while vegetating in front of the TV. You might find the inspiration to get back to what you love to do like I did!

Happy crocheting!

New doll

I have been crocheting for years and even though I get a lot of compliments on my work, the feeling that I haven’t reached my full potential yet has been frustrating lately.  At this time of the year, I usually get ready for the Christmas fairs and events that take place during the winter season. Not this year, this time I decided to solely focus on learning new techniques to improve my skills and just practice.

My first challenge was embroidery. My Rurouni Kenshin was my first attempt in embroidering eyes and I was very happy with the result. For my next step, I was going to make a shapeable doll with clothes, and shoes made separately. I also wanted that doll to have a body shape to look a little bit more realistic. For this task, I used this Catwoman tutorial to help me with the steps (this pattern was probably translated from another language because there are a lot of terms that do not make sense, I had to guess a lot).

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First steps: arms and legs

I normally use Caron Simply Soft yarn to crochet dolls but since this was an experiment I tried a yarn with a different texture, the more sturdy Sugar’n’ Cream. I am not sure I will use it again to crochet the body because I like the softer texture of Caron better. I do like the sturdiness of the clothes, I think I will use that brand for that exclusively.

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It took me three weeks to make this doll, I had no problem with it until I reached the torso. It was the most difficult part, I had to redo it three times. I am still not happy with the shoulders but with practice, I will figure it out.

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I had never made clothes separately so it was quite a challenge, especially the shoes. I wanted her to wear sneakers but I couldn’t find a pattern small enough to fit her size. I used this baby sneakers tutorial as a base for the shoes and improvised to make them smaller. The skirt was the easiest part of the entire doll, surprisingly. I loved how it turned out, very casual and sporty.

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Like I mentioned earlier, this is my second time embroidering the eyes. This doll was more challenging because the head is quite smaller than my Himura doll. I also embroidered the lips for the first time, it was quite easy.

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Now that I am a little more familiar with this type of pattern I am ready to crochet another one. I think I will crochet a smaller version of this doll in different clothes. The more you practice the more you learn!

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I hope you enjoyed this post and that it will give you the inspiration to try new challenges in your crochet adventures. I will post about the next doll I am going to make and talk about what I did differently and what I learned from my mistakes. Also, stay tuned because I am going to post a really cute tutorial to make a really cute owl ornament. So many projects, so little time!

Happy crocheting!