May Roundup of Recent Projects 2015

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Hello there, fellow crafters! It’s been quite awhile, hasn’t it? 

I’m excited to reveal a bunch of smaller projects I’ve completed over the past few months, so this will be a longer post than usual. I’ll try to include as many pictures as possible for those of us who are more visually-inclined and likely to skim-read (it’s okay, I do it all the time). But for anyone planning to settle in and read the whole way through, thank you so much in advance! I tip my hat off to you in respect.

Note: Please click each image to see the full-sized version.

Free Sorda Cat Amigurumi Crochet Pattern by Jennifer Wang BearsIn my last entry I introduced my free Sorda Cat pattern – a pattern which took much longer than it should have, and was actually quite a struggle for me to complete (not because it was particularly difficult, but because I wanted it to be perfect).
I ended up making over ten cats, and finally got to the point where I just wanted the whole thing over with so that it would STOP dominating my every waking moment. If you asked me how I felt about the pattern now, I’d say I wished I’d finished it sooner. Not that I’m complaining! I’m just surprised at how long the process actually was.

Example Free Sorda Cat Amigurumi Crochet Pattern by Jennifer Wang BearsWIP Free Sorda Cat Amigurumi Crochet Pattern by Jennifer Wang Bears

Oh, Sorda Cat, how you’ve kept me busy…

Since then, I’ve completed four projects – all of them being gifts with set deadlines for completion (a birthday, Mother’s Day, etc). I have to say, it was much easier and far more motivating for me to make something for a specific person rather than a larger, unknown audience. I was more productive, I felt happier and I actually felt excited when it was time to give the items away (consequently, this also meant I was rushed to take photographs the morning before mailing some of my items, so please excuse the poor lighting in some of these photos).

Crochet Bleuette Amigurumi Doll by Jennifer Wang Bears (original design by Beth Ann Webber)The first is the finished Crochet Bleuette project which I began about two months ago (free “Crochet Bleuette” pattern by Beth Ann Webber).
For the longest time after completing this lovely doll I couldn’t pluck up the courage to finish crocheting an outfit for her. Although Beth Ann Webber’s website provides free patterns for an underwear set and some lovely dresses, I honestly found the whole process intimidating, and I sure didn’t want to stress myself out fiddling with tiny hooks to make some fancy panties

 

In the end, I eventually talked myself into taking a shot at designing some duds, eventually free-styling my doll’s entire outfit over three days before mailing her to my mum in Adelaide.

I guesstimated the fit for a pair of shorts and a clip-on strapless top, the shoes being a basic repeat of the foot with an added row of single crochet (for a more detailed set of notes on how I made the clothing, please see my corresponding Ravelry project page). I also made a little clip-on bag and a long scarf. I wish I’d taken more photos, but doesn’t she look so much more… normal?   She definitely has some spunk, and I think the simple outfit has given her more of a child-like appearance.

Once I stopped stressing and was just willing to go with the flow, I actually managed to conquer my mini fear of clothing (thanks, high school Home Economics) and also have a lot of fun in the process. Yay!

The last three items are scarf projects for my mum, husband and sister respectively:

Now, let’s be clear, I’m no scarf expert, and the resulting scarf attempts were only made after my internet scan for the simplest designs possible using the yarn most readily available to me (‘cause I’m brave like that).

If you’re wondering, yes, that’s my hubby in the pictures above! I asked him ever so nicely to model the scarf for me before heading off to work.

  • My sister’s scarf was made using the African flower hexagon motif in rows of three (a detailed tutorial for this motif is available on Heidi Bears’ website)

African Flower Arteest Crochet Scarf by Jennifer Wang BearsThe project which took by far the longest, and actually turned out to be the least wearable was the African Flower scarf I made for my sister. I didn’t use a pattern for this and just kept adding the motif in groups of three, with a total of 57 motifs and 19 rows (whew!).
The main problem, as I later learned, was my choice of hook. I chose a hook size which was smaller than I needed (I’m still in “tighter is better” amigurumi mode), resulting in each motif becoming stiff and heavy, thereby resulting in a stiff and heavy, non-stretchy cotton scarf. Boo.
Lesson learned: match your yarn and hook to your project!

The good thing about my mistake was that I learned a LOT about making the African flower design, weaving in the ends to display both sides cleanly, and perfecting the join-as-you-go method (JAYG). I even added a tweak to start each hexagon motif with a magic circle instead of chaining five, meaning that I can now add an extra circle of contrasting colour to the inside of each motif if I want to – huzzah!

I’ve been swooning over the 3D African flower designs by Heidi Bears, and would love to make a mini version of one of her patterns using split strands of cotton and a teeny tiny hook (I used my dainty 1.00mm steel hook for the first time the other week, and it made me feel like such a boss).

African Flower Arteest Crochet Scarf by Jennifer Wang BearsAlthough it’s not perfect, this last project has been such a good starting point for future inspiration.

So, that’s all I have for now. I guess my main motive for sharing these projects is to encourage myself, more than anything, to keep going and to keep growing. I now understand a bit better how others must feel who crochet items for the people they love, and I know this is a not a new feeling for others, but it definitely is for me . I’m just happy to be a part of the club, and I hope my husband doesn’t mind all the yarn love I’m planning to throw his way! kaos-pinkusagi17

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