Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cherry blossoms


Last weekend the cherry blossoms started to bloom, so I went out several times over the past week to take pictures. Seeing this sight every spring is one of my favorite things about living here, plus it was a good opportunity to play with the new lens I bought.


Cherry blossoms



Plenty more cherry blossom pictures in my Flickr set!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Winter accessories, just in time for summer

My Nessie amigurumi consumed most of my attention during the week I spent working on it, but then after finishing it I suddenly checked three other things off my list. First, I finished my semi-secret project, a pattern from Beth Doherty's Amigurumi Super Happy Crochet Cute. No pictures or details at this point because I'm thinking about making it a present, but I will say I'm happy with how it turned out. Right after that, I finished off the Eternity Scarf I started as a bus-trip project... and put it on, and promptly realized I have no idea how to wear a bulky cowl. Fortunately I have about eight months to figure it out, since this winter seems to be pretty much over.

I also finally got around to blocking something! This is my Bias scarf, which I finished in December but never wore because it needed blocking. So yes, it did take me three months to get over that small hurdle, and of course it was a pretty simple project. I do think I needed to be a little more aggressive with the blocking, because I want the scarf to look more like mesh than ribbing. But, with the ridiculous summer weather we've been having, getting a scarf ready to wear is not a priority.

And of course, I just started and finished a hat in the past few days (another project that will have to wait for next winter to get any use). More about that later.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nessie, completed

I finished Nessie a few days ago, and mailed her off to my friend who requested her. It was a little hard to part with her - my very first, from-scratch amigurumi! Plus, since I crocheted it all in one piece, I had to put the eyes in very early on. The eyes are what turns crocheted shapes into something alive and adorable, and Nessie had eyes almost the whole time I worked on her. Very hard not to fall in love.

I wrote down the pattern as I went along, so I'm planning to crochet it again, both to test my pattern and to make myself my own Nessie. It's been very rewarding to discover that I can, after all, make my own successful amigurumi without a pattern. Since I like following directions and was pretty unsure of my design skills, I've been happy using patterns, but I've always had the sense that I should at least try to do something on my own. Now that Nessie is done, I feel more confident about trying a few ideas I've been sitting on for a while.

UPDATE, February 2015: I have decided to make my design available, free of charge, as a PDF download. You can get it on Ravelry, or download it right here! Please note that this pattern has not been tested or tech edited. It is intended for crocheters who already have some experience making amigurumi. If you have any questions, suggestions, or corrections, please contact me!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


The past few days of warm weather and blooming flowers made me feel like spring is definitely here, and now, even though it's quite a bit colder today, I still feel like I should be outside. But, I also want to be doing something productive. If I had a yard or a garden, I would be all set, but as it is, I'm inside despite the sunshine, working on a new project.

That's not to say that I'm not loving what I'm working on. A friend of mine asked me to make her a little Loch Ness monster and after trying to find a pattern that looked like what I had in mind (and could handle - we both love Hansi Singh's Loch Ness monster but I'm not up to that yet), I realized it was time for me to move away from the safety net and come up with my own pattern.

It's been a surprising process so far. I breezed through the parts I expected to find difficult, and have been stuck on what I thought would be simple for two days now. What's challenging me is getting the body to be both the right shape and the right size, which is taking more math and visualization skills than I was ready for. I think (I hope) I've got it now though!