Thursday, 24 August 2017

Firefly Amigurumi - Captain Mal Reynolds

After making a Mal Reynolds amigurumi as a gift, I have now developed the crochet pattern and it is for sale in my Etsy store and on Ravelry.

Mal is the captain of the spaceship Serenity in the SF show Firefly, played by Nathan Fillion. He's heroic and good-hearted, though he generally operates on the wrong side of the law. My crochet pattern lets you make a cute version of him, about 6.5"/16 cm tall, with a removable coat and gun in a holster.

I am now working on another Firefly character, Jayne Cobb, so the pattern for him should be ready soon. Let me know which other characters you'd like me to design.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Mini Pets in Eggs - Dragon Hatchling Amigurumi Patterns

Dragons are generally portrayed as fearsome monsters in the myths and legends in which they appear, but I was always more attracted to them as magical creatures that humans could form a bond with. As a child I imagined finding an egg and hatching my own dragon friend, which is why I wanted to create these little dragon hatchlings and their eggs.

I have designed three different dragons, all of which can be made with minimal sewing together. The small size means that legs, horns and spines can be made as you crochet. The smallest is the Tiny Dragon Hatchling at 1.5”/4 cm tall, a cute, chibi-style dragon with tiny wings (that are also made as you crochet), and a cheeky smile. 

The other two Dragon Hatchlings are slightly larger with a more classic dragon shape and larger wings. One has little horns and is long and thin (about 5”/12 cm long), and stands on four legs. The other has horns and ears, sits up on its hind legs with wings instead of front legs, and is 2.5”/6 cm tall. 

Included in the pattern are details to make eggs to fit each of these dragon hatchlings in a choice of designs. You can make a simple egg in one colour (or use a variegated yarn for a more interesting look) for the Tiny Dragon Hatchling.

Or you can use two colours of yarn to make eggs that are a bit stiffer, and in two sizes to fit all the smaller and larger dragons. You can hold the two colours together to give a speckled effect, or follow the pattern that uses spike stitches to make an interesting mottled pattern, a little like scales. 

There's even a pattern to make a solid mottled egg.

These dragon hatchlings will make great presents for anyone who loves dragons, especially anyone who is a fan of the Dragonriders of Pern books, with their little firelizards. Or if they're a fan of the magical world of Harry Potter, or of Daenrys from Game of Thrones and her three dragons. They would be great to make as gifts for children’s parties - having an egg to open adds an extra layer of excitement - and would be good alternative Easter presents. They’re not just for children – I have a couple of dragons perched on my monitor, and a Tiny Dragon Hatchling would look great turned into a keychain.

They only use small amounts of yarn, 5 - 10g in total, depending on the size, and the eggs use about the same, so you can make lots of them, in lots of different colours. The pattern is available to buy on EtsyRavelry and LoveCrochet. Have fun, and let me know about any that you make!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Star War Even More Crochet is here!

Guess what turned up today, specially delivered from the publishers via FedEx? Yes, I got my copies of my new book (and kit), Star War Even More Crochet, which has just come out in the US.

I think the box looks really good, I love seeing how nicely my figures photograph when the professionals do it, the design on the front and back looks great, and then you can see a photo of each character around the edges.

Inside the box you get the book with all twelve patterns, and then the yarn and everything else you need to make the Jawa and BB-8 - that includes a crochet hook, the eyes, a yarn needle, and don't forget to look under the packaging to find the stuffing.

For anyone else who's got or is going to get it, I've added the list of yarn I used to the post I wrote about the first book, Star Wars crochet - yarn used, hopefully that will help you find the yarn you will need for the rest of the characters.

I hope you have fun with it!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Firefly's Mal Reynolds

When it was my sister-in-law's birthday recently I couldn't decide what to get her for a present. I had a look around my local shops, but I just couldn't see anything that seemed right. So I decided to make her an amigurumi version of a character from one of her favourite shows, Firefly. I went for the captain, Mal Reynolds, since I love Nathan Fillion too, and I thought he would be fun to create.

I based the figure on my Elf pattern, tweaking the proportions a bit to make it a tiny bit shorter (and I think cuter), and had him wearing one of his regular outfits, brown shirt and cream trousers with braces (suspenders). Of course, I had to give him his famous brown coat (Firefly fans are known as Browncoats), and I even made a tiny gun and holster to go on his belt. It was a bit of a challenge to get his hair right, but I think I succeeded in the end.

I was quite sad to send him away, though hopefully he was a successful present. I think I'll have to make one for myself now though!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Free Animal Amigurumi

A few months ago I designed a set of six animal patterns for LoveCrochet. This is a site that started off selling yarn but now also sells patterns (you'll find most of mine on there), and has now started selling their own brands of yarn. One of those is Paintbox, which comes in a really good range of colours. I used the Simply DK for these animals, which is an acrylic yarn perfect for amigurumi, but they also have acrylic yarn in aran and chunky weights, and cotton DK yarn.

I designed the animals to be (hopefully) cute and cuddly, and fairly simple for anyone new to making amigurumi. They include Zachary the Frog, Alfie the Duckling, Amelie the Mouse, Jamie the Kitten, Sam the Puppy and Tilly the Piglet. They're all free for you to download at LoveCrochet, just click on the name to go straight to the pattern.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Blackberry the Badger

I've just finished work on my latest crochet pattern, to make Blackberry the Badger. He's a cuddly little guy, about 28cm (11") tall, and you can make him with or without a nice snuggly sweater. I gave him a rich dark maroon one, the same colour as blackberry juice, but you can make it any colour you like.

Designing his face, with the two black vertical stripes, was an interesting challenge. When you crochet, each stitch ends up slightly to the right of the stitch you work into. So, when you work in the round and try to make vertical stripes, they will end up leaning to the right. I was also trying to shape the head and have the stripes get wider as they went up the head. It took a lot of experimenting, but by increasing and decreasing in the right places I managed to make it work.

There are various different species of badger, and Blackberry is based on the European badger. I've never actually seen one myself as they are nocturnal, but they are popular figures in children's literature, such as The Wind in the Willows. In stories and folklore they are considered to be home loving creatures, sensible and hard-working, generally kind and friendly but fierce when necessary, relecting the behaviour of the real creatures. This must be why they are the symbol of Hufflepuff house in the Harry Potter books. Make a yellow and black scarf for Blackberry and he'd make a great Hufflepuff mascot!

I made Blackberry using Stylecraft Alpaca DK yarns, which gives him a nice natural, fuzzy look, and he matches with my Bracken the Fox pattern.

You can buy the Blackberry the Badger pattern on EtsyRavelry and LoveCrochet, and you can buy both that and Bracken the Fox patterns together for a reduced price on Etsy and Ravelry.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Yarn party, and ideas for Christmas

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to LoveKnitting/LoveCrochet's Flock launch party, a get together for various craft bloggers. You can find more information about it here, but basically it was a great chance to meet the lovely people at LoveKnitting and other designers and bloggers - a real treat for someone who works at home, getting to chat to people who love crochet and knitting. Oh, and there was lots of prosecco!

That's me, checking out all the lovely yarn samples, chatting about crochet, and drinking prosecco!

I've been impressed with LoveKnitting as a company - they sell yarn and all the accessories you need to knit or crochet, but they also sell patterns, (you can find all of mine on there, just search for 'Lucy Collin') and now they've produced their own range of yarn, Paintbox.

Paintbox comes in acrylic DK, aran and chunky, and cotton DK, and all of them in a really good range of colours that makes them perfect for making amigurumi. If you want to try out the acrylic DK they are currently selling an advent calendar with a 10g ball of yarn behind each window (get it here in the sale that ends tonight). They had jars full of these tiny balls at the party, and I think everyone who saw them immediately squealed with happiness at seeing them, they look so cute! They very kindly let me have some to try out, and I really like the feel of the yarn for making amigurumi, soft and smooth.

The cute little mini balls with a 100g ball for comparison

You might be wondering what on earth you can make with such tiny balls of yarn, but apart from the free patterns you get with the advent calendar, I've got loads of free patterns here that would be perfect. There's a full list of my free patterns on the right, but here are a few that you will be able to make with one of those tiny 10g balls, with some of them you'd only use half of one, or even less. Of course, you could just use any scraps of yarn that you have.

Since the point of an advent calendar is to lead up to Christmas, any of my Christmas amigurumi patterns would be perfect to make as decorations, including my Little Christmas MouseTiny Crochet PenguinMini SnowmanTiny Christmas Robin and Mini Father Christmas.

Other cute little things to make, maybe as stocking fillers, would be my mini TeddiesFrogsMonkeysOctopusesElephants and Turtles.

Hopefully these little things will be quick and easy to make in the 24 days before Christmas. Have fun!