Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Work in Progress Wednesday:  a day to show off what project I'm in the middle of :)

I thought I'd just let you guess at what I'm making now. Here's a hint:

Who has fuzzy red legs? Hmmmm?

Now that I think of it, that is sort of a trick question

I need to have this project done soon (in a week or two) and I'll post the completed project (and thus answer the "who") then!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sonic the Hedgehog

One thing that amazes me about my three children is just how different they are from each other. They may share the same squinty eyes, freckles and long piano playing fingers but their preference in food, say, just highlights my point.  For instance, my first born loves spicy meat: pepperoni, sausage and tacos. My girl has a sweet tooth and would prefer hot tea (cream & sugar, please) with graham crackers. My youngest would eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches morning, noon and night.

I love to find that their differences show up in their play as well. My eldest is fairly well-rounded: he loves riding his bike, writing stories, playing sports and video games. My girl is a bit more focused: it's all about animals with her, but any and all animals will do. My youngest, however, is even more singular. When he likes something, it is utterly and completely exclusive. He has gone through a few phases in his life. First there were cars. This phase started with chubby cars his little fingers could maneuver and grew to the smaller hot wheels and finally the Disney Pixar Cars.

Then came Mario. Oh, Super Mario! With his dazzling invincibility star and awesome fire power, this character bordered on obsession with him. The games were just the first of it. Soon after he was dressing like Super Mario, overalls, mustache, gloves and all. Then it was the figurines and plushies that thankfully coincided with the retail Mario craze so many things were purchased at birthday and holiday times. But his focused fixation changed this past year.

It's not Mario anymore. It's Sonic. Move over Nintendo, Sega is taking over. But, alas, I have found that either we are ahead of the craze or the Sonic thing is just not going to make as big a splash with retail. What's a Mom to do when birthdays are coming and there is nary a Sonic to be found? Peruse the web and land on Wolfdreamer's website, of course! She is amazing. If you haven't happened upon her website, you must stop everything and go here now. The woman is a magician with amigurumi. The things she has created from scratch and put up for free almost single-handedly inspired my blog. She is a perfectionist and her capabilities seemingly have no end. Just check out her pattern list. It is nothing short of incredible. It is in her wealth of creativity I have often found solace to my restless hook hand when I need a character to crochet. It is here I found Sonic the Hedgehog.

Crocheting the pieces was simple enough with her easy to follow patterns. Putting the 24 seperate pieces together was what took the majority of my time and energy. I followed her tips and made sure to pin first. Then there was the repositioning and repining and looking at it for days at a time until I couldn't stand it any longer and finally decided to start stitching. I was quite pleased with the end result! My only tiny addition were the buckles for his shoes that are chain stitches sewed onto the shoes in a rectangular shape over the white stripe.

My baby got his Sonic on his birthday and his face let me know that I had done well. He now sleeps with his store bought Mario plushie and his mommy-made Sonic, one in each arm reminiscent of Andy with Woody and Buzz. I wonder what the two rivals do when he's off to school and they are left on his pillow?
You got it ace, let's race!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

International Yarn Bombing Day Has Arrived!

1 a.m.
Director Park

I feel like a ninja, dressed all in black save my signature fingerless gloves. Five bombs in hand. And a hook. I'm ready.

trying to figure out the best way to quickly secure the bomb

Tim drives me up to the park and I jump out having spotted the 5 lamp posts that would be the lucky recipients of my flowers. No sooner do I figure out how to attach the bomb than Tim warns that I have a police coming straight for us. Confident that I can persuade the officer that all is on the up and up,  I continue my work. "What's going on here, guys?" he asks accusingly. I look up and see that it's a night security patrolman. I explain we are decorating for the Grand Floral Rose Parade and Tim clarifies: "It's called yarn bombing," he says. And to smooth it over he adds "It's just crochet, I guess it's the new thing to do." Mr. Patrolman nods and walks away, leaving us under his watchful eye from across the plaza to dress the other 4 light poles. A few drunken people walk by making a lot of noise, but no one else approaches us. 

the tag
 It's funny how I had things planned this all out in my head and how different I ended up reacting! I had made the joining strip too long on purpose, figuring if I had measured incorrectly it's easier and quicker to undo rows than to make them. In my perfect vision I would calmly undo the rows and then fasten it up, however, in the heat of the moment I just wanted to be in and out of there as fast as possible so I just left the extra in a bunch near the back. I only hope they were secure enough on the smooth lamp posts to endure the night to be seen today.

working as fast as I could
We drove away after taking a few pictures and I said a quiet goodbye to the roses I know I'll never see again. I just hope they were secure enough to endure the night and not slide down the poles.

final result
First Ever International Yarn Bombing Day: Whoo-Hoo!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


A couple of months ago, I was commissioned to make a dark blue Yoshi. I adore Yoshi. Those of you who grew up playing Super Mario Bros, as I did, will likely understand. The faithful little riding buddy to our hero plumber, Mario, Yoshi was a great addition to the series. He makes the cutest noises during game play. I can't help but smile when he gulps down the Yoshi fruit. I love how on all the Yoshi levels the trees dance. His hovering power is rather useful and seeing his little legs run in the air makes me happy. He's just a great character!

I set out to accomplish this challenge with eyes wide open - it was to be my first multi-pieced character (as opposed to the one-piece amigurumi style). Most of Yoshi is amigurumi, but with over a dozen pieces to connect it felt a bit like a jigsaw puzzle where the right location for each pieces kept evading me. But I preserved and after several days of looking at him at different angles with pieces pinned, adjusting and looking some more, readjusting and looking some more, I finally made the plunge and sewed him together. I was pleased with the end result. It was, indeed, a labor of love and I couldn't give him away with stealing a few hugs and quality time with Yoshi all assembled. Also a photo shoot was necessary.

Most of Yoshi came from an amazing pattern from robotrish. If you need to make a Yoshi, check out the pattern here. I made a few adjustments according to what I preferred Yoshi to look like. You are welcome to use them if you like them, but you have to hit up robotrish's website for her entire pattern.

Using the same hook size you started with...

Tummy/Lower mouth (white)
I liked the look of horizontal stripes down Yoshi's tummy, so this part is done in short rows. Be sure to ch 1 at the end of your rows (unless otherwise noted as the first few rows), turn, and start your next row in the second ch from hook
Ch 4
R1: sc across (3), ch 2
R2: sc across (4), ch2
R3: sc across (5), ch 3
R4: sc across (7), ch 3
R5: sc across (9), ch 2
R6: sc across (10), ch 2
R7: sc across (11)
R8-R17: sc across (11)
R18: sc across (11), ch 2
R19: sc across (12), ch 2
R20: sc across (13)
R21: sc across (13), ch 2
R22: sc across (14), ch 2
R23: sc across (15)
R24: sc2tog, 10 sc, sc2tog (12)
R25: sc across (12)
R26: sc2tog8 sc, sc2tog (10)
I love his big nose!
R27: sc across (10)
R28: sc2tog, 6 sc, sc2tog (8)
R29: sc across (8)
R30: sl st, 6 sc, sl st (8)
sl st all the way around
F.O. and weave ends
Assembly tip: Attach securely to body piece leaving the bottom "lip" of mouth loose like he's gonna gobble up a yoshi tree fruit. Use rose colored chalk to color in the inside of the mouth for his tongue.

Check Spots - make 2 (white)
I preferred flat cheeks that were slightly larger around. This section is done in the round.
Magic Circle (6)
Rnd 1: 2 sc in each st (12)
Rnd 2: *sc, 2 sc in next st* around (18)
Rnd 3: *2 sc, 2 sc in next st* five times only (20)
F.O. and weave ends
Assembly tip: Match up "flat side" of circle to mouth/tummy strip and sew on.

Boots - make 2 (start with light brown)
I wanted a two-toned shoe and chose a rounder shape over the fold over boot. This is done in the round.
Magic Circle (6)
Rnd 1: 2 sc in each st (12)
Rnd 2: *sc, 2 sc in next st* around (18)
Rnd 3: sc around (18)
**Change to darker brown color**
Rnd 4: sc back loops only around (18)
Rnd 5: *2 sc, 2 sc in next st* four times, 6 sc (22)
Rnd 6: *3 sc, 2 sc in  next st* four times,  6 sc (26)
Assembly tip: Insert small cardboard circle to make the bottom of shoe "flat"
Rnd 7: 26 sc (26)
Rnd 8: 3 sc, sc2tog, *sc, sc2tog* around (18)
Rnd 9: 3 sc, sc2tog, *sc, sc2tog* around (12)
F.O. and weave ends
Assembly tip: match up 12 st of boot to the 12 leg st and crochet together with dark brown

Following robotrish's pattern up to R3 then my changes made it a slightly larger saddle...
R3: (still using red yarn) ch 1 and sc in same st as sl st, sc around adding 22 in the middle of rows and around edges. F.O. 
R4: (switch to white yarn) sc around front posts tightly (creates a bit of texture and bump in saddle. F.O.

Finish Yoshi following robotrish's assembly directions and you'll have anadorable Yoshi of your very own!

photos courtesy of
Sitting down this Yoshi measure about 11" in height.