Friday, June 29, 2012

The Basics, Yes Really - Cont.

Apologies for taking so long to get Part II up for my readers.  Some pressing issues in addition to some weather phenomenon has kept me far too busy (and stressed) to concentrate of writing up a tutorial accurately.

So, now that we understand how to make a single crochet, how to increase with one and the importance of Stitch Markers when working in rounds - and before you get into any sort of stitch variations, it's important to learn decreasing of single crochets.
After all, what goes up, eventually will need to come back down.. right?

Well, yeah, sure - you could always make 2 halves and sew them together - but as one who detests sewing ANYTHING - I'd rather toss in a few decreases and make life simpler.

So with that in mind - there are at least 3 ways to decrease single crochet stitches.  There's the standard method, the "invisible method" and the ... hmm.. "invisible (invisible) method"?
Let's begin with the Standard or Basic Method (since you need to understand that before you can even attempt one of the invisible versions)

Single Crochet (SC-DEC) :  The single crochet (Dec) is the 2nd most common stitch in any amigurumi project.  Single Crochet Decrease is completed in a 5-step process.
1 - Insert hook into the instructed stitch (in most cases, the next stitch)
2 - draw up a loop and pull it through the stitch - placing the hook back on the side closest to you (2 loops on the arm of the crochet hook)
3 - Insert hook into the next stitch (to the left of the one you just finished working in)
4 - draw up a loop and pull it through the stitch - placing the hook back on the side closest to you (3 loops on the arm of the crochet hook)
5 - yarn over (bring your yarn over the hook) and pull yarn through the 3 loops that are on the arm of the crochet hook.
You have just completed a "Single Crochet Decrease"


** The photographs in this tutorial are worked on flat stitches, however, decreases are made with the same steps - mattering not if the object is 3 dimensional or flat. 
Now, I did say there were 3 ways to decrease a single crochet didn't I?

Hmm..  they are more like "variations" 
based on the "Basic/Standard" method of decreasing - the 1st.  So before attempting the variations, make sure you understand the basic (it is very easy of miscount a decrease using methods 2 & 3, simply because the decrease stitch will be 'pulled')
The 2nd, the "Invisible Decrease", is to only insert your hook into the FRONT LOOPS of the both (all) stitches to be decreased (
instead of the entire stitch that you are decreasing), without drawing up a loop until the last stitch is added, and finishing from there just as you would normally to decrease a stitch.

This creates "less bulk" and therefore seems to make the decrease less 'visible' or even 'invisible'.
and The 3rd, is utilizing the 2nd method joined with the same techniques I shared with you for the "Invisible Increase" in Part I of this tutorial - spacing out those Decreases so that they do not line up and create the 'decrease seam'.

All very easy.. yes?
and certainly not to be confused with the "skipping" of a stitch to 'decrease' in an area.



Stuffing

Stuffing depends on availability, more so than desire sometimes.  Here in the states, I have 2 brands of fill that I use:  Morning Glory fill and Polyfil fill.  
Morning Glory is a cotton ball-y like textured fill that works GREAT for feet and small items which need to be firm and supportive for the overall functionality of the project.  
The Poly-fil, is more like stuffing with air.. light and fluffy, which makes for squishy bodies and hugable friends. 
No matter what type of fill you use.. always, ALWAYS.. separate it/fluff it, before just cramming a big wad into your piece.  Take the time to adequately prepare your fill - or it will show in your finished work as 'rolls' or 'lumps'; producing a finished item that you will be less than satisfied with.

Stuffing is NOT about speed - it's about adequately filling your piece to IT'S potential.

Now, I do not care what anyone says... when it comes to stuffing a project, it is a matter of 'personal' tastes as well as style.  Many of my clients are amazed at just how heavy my amigurumi is compared to others they have purchased.  
I tend to stuff my pieces very firmly (over-all) because I have a very tight hand (gauge) while crocheting (which means that the stitches are very tight together and I can really get a lot of fill in without it showing through the stitches).  This comes from years of working with thread.  So feet and body are often weighty on several of my dolls which are more for show than play
, such as Maximus and Lu .
Others, have a very loose hand (gauge) and therefore, the stitches have more spacing between them, so they cannot use as much fill without it peeking out between their stitches.

You want to stuff a project completely - meaning, you want the belly or head or arm/leg to look full and not con-caved, bumpy or limp.  The most important items on your amigurumi are going to be your focal points - usually the HEAD and the FEET!  You can sort of .. fudge the body because arms, dresses and even colors.. can deflect attention from it, and still allow you to have a not perfect, but fully stuffed base, without throwing off the overall look of your project.  However, an incorrectly stuffed head or foot is going to stick out like a soar thumb!  Take your time when stuffing these areas especially!

When stuffing feet, that are going to be the foundation for most amigurumi projects and needed to help your amigurumi stand unassisted - ALWAYS use a hard surface such as a tabletop or floor.  You will need the bottoms of those feet to be entirely flat and stuffed firmly - therefore you are going to need something that is NOT going to give into you pushing against it, while inserting your fill.  
If you stuff too lightly, your piece will not have the support it needs and therefore, you will have a finished item that may/may not be able to stand alone or function as intended.

When you are stuffing your head, use small amounts of fill at a time.  A smaller head can be 'molded' in the palm of your hand while you are working to help keep it 'round' or even oval.

Don't be afraid to do some 'shaping'.. it's only fiber and filling.. it's not going to bite you.  Depending on what type of 'fiber' you've used, some slight help in the shape department might be absolutely necessary.
Stuffing is a skill which will come with practice, patience and TIME.  

There is no perfect measurement that can be given to adding stuffing.  It's not some mathematical formula which can be written down to calculate exactly how much you will need for each piece.  
Your first amigurumi is not going to be (most likely) a perfectly stuffed piece - it takes time to get the feel, the right feel and overall look, that you will want to have for YOUR pieces.   There are times, when even the 'experts' - take it out, re-fluff it up and re-insert their fill...  persistence and patience are the key.



Chain 2 V.s. Magic Circle
I was asked if I planned on working the "Magic Circle/Adjustable Ring" (more specifically the "Double Magic Circle") Start for amigurumi projects into this "Basics Tutorial".

No, I am not getting into the whole 'magic loop' Vs Ch-2 start. I was taught to use the ch-2 start when applicable, and I do not have "holes" in the beginning of my work - so I've had little interest in retraining myself in this method.  The magic circle is not comfortable for me and therefore, I do not feel educated enough to write about it.  However, there are many wonderful tutorials written online and even videos which you can watch if this is the method you'd like to pursue.  
When I write out my patterns, I always make sure to include those who prefer to use the 'Magic Circle' methods by stating: "Using either the [ch 2, begin work in 2nd st from hook] or [magic circle] method to begin project..."  It is simply a personal preference.



Now.. let's put all this into practice with a little 'exercise' yes? Utilize the information you have gained from this tutorial to make a bang!  (If all this is old news to you, well you can just make a free project, if you'd like!) Either way, a little holiday fun for you from FiberDoodles by K4TT.
On to the workout...


For this exercise, I used a Size G/6 - 4.25 Crochet Hook (US) and Red Heart Worsted Weight Yarns in Red, Black and White


I do not use 'stuff here' indicators.

Body (Make 1):
with Red,
___ Rnd 1: Using either the [ch 2, begin work in 2nd st from hook] or [magic circle] method to begin project, 6 sc  (6 sts)
___ Rnd 2: [Inc in nxt st] 6 times  (12 sts)
___ Rnd 3: [sc in nxt st, Inc in nxt st] 6 times  (18 sts)
___ Rnd 4: [sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Inc in nxt st] 6 times  (24 sts)
___ Rnd 5: [sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in nxt st] 6 times  (30 sts)
___ Rnd 6: in BLO, sc in ea st around  (30 sts)
___ Rnds 7-8: sc in ea st around  (30 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 9: [sc in ea of nxt 8 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 3 times  (27 sts)
___ Rnds 10-11: sc in ea st around  (27 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 12: [sc in ea of nxt 7 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 3 times  (24 sts)
___ Rnds 13-24: sc in ea st around  (24 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 25: [sc in ea of nxt 7 sts, Inc in nxt st] 3 times  (27 sts)
___ Rnds 26-27: sc in ea st around  (27 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 28: [sc in ea of nxt 8 sts, Inc in nxt st] 3 times  (30 sts)
___ Rnds 29-30: sc in ea st around  (30 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 31: in FLO, sc in ea st around  (30 sts)
___ Rnd 32: [sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 6 times  (24 sts)
___ Rnd 33: [sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 6 times  (18 sts)
___ Rnd 34: [sc in nxt st, Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 6 times  (12 sts)
___ Rnd 35: [Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 6 times  (6 sts)
Finish off, weave tail into FLO of Rnd 35 to close opening and hide tail.


Eyes (Make 1):

with White,
Chain 4, 
___ Rnd 1: Inc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in nxt st, 4 sc in end ch st - turn piece to allow you to work up the other side of original beg chain (as if a flat round), sc in nxt st, Inc in last st. (10 sts)
___ Rnd 2: sc in nxt st, 3 sc in nxt st, slst in ea of nxt 2 sts, 3 sc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Inc in ea of nxt 2 sts, sc in nxt st.
Finish off, leaving sufficient tail remaining to secure eye base to body.  
Using black, outline and split the 'eye base' to create 2 separate eyeballs.
Add a pupil with either a small bead or black yarn.


Arm (Make 2): *Model's Arms are NOT stuffed at all
with White,
___ Rnd 1: Using either the [ch 2, begin work in 2nd st from hook] or [magic circle] method to begin project, 6 sc  (6 sts)
___ Rnd 2: [Inc in nxt st] 6 times  (12 sts)
___ Rnds 3-5: sc in ea st around  (12 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 6: [sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 3 times  (9 sts)
___ Rnd 7: [sc in nxt st, Dec nxt 2 sts tog] 3 times, changing to Black on last st (6 sts)

with Black, 
___ Rnds 8-14: sc in ea st around  (6 sts/ea rnd)
Finish Off, leaving sufficient tail remaining to secure Arm to Body.
You can add finishing touches by sc around color change to create the appearance of a glove cuff and/or creating a 'bobble' stitch thumb.


Foot (Make 2)
with White,
Chain 3,
___ Rnd 1: Inc in 2nd ch from hook, 4 sc in end ch st - turn piece to allow you to work up the other side of original beg chain (as if a flat round), Inc in last st. (8 sts)
___ Rnd 2: [Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Inc in nxt st] twice  (12 sts)
___ Rnd 3: [sc in nxt st, Inc in nxt st] 6 times  (18 sts)
___ Rnds 4-6: sc in ea st around  (18 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 7: sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, (Dec nxt 2 sts tog) 3 times, sc in ea of nxt 9 sts  (15 sts)
___ Rnd 8: sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, (Dec nxt 2 sts tog) 3 times, sc in ea of nxt 7 sts  (12 sts)
___ Rnd 9: sc in ea st around  (12 sts)
Finish off, leaving sufficient tail remaining to secure foot to lower front of body.

Fuse: with Black, Chain 18, slst in 2nd chain from hook and in ea ch remaining.  
Secure to center top of Body.
You can add another 'Bobble' or 'Popcorn' Stitch, to create a nose. Add any other special features to create your own Amigurumi Friend.



By utilizing this tutorial and the pattern contained within, you agree and are bound by the following.  
Please remember that all patterns from FiberDoodles by K4TT are protected under US Federal Copyright Laws. Reproduction and/or distribution is strictly prohibited unless specifically authorized. This includes, but is not limited to, any form of reproduction or distribution on or through the Internet, including posting, scanning or eMail transmission. Reverse engineering and/or derivative works created using this pattern is also strictly prohibited under the law.
Users may not redistribute, resell, and/or translate pattern into another language for any reason.Permission is granted to print patterns for personal use only.   You MAY NOT sell finished items based soley on this pattern.
Every effort has been made to ensure that all instructions are accurate and complete. FiberDoodles by K4TT cannot, however, be responsible for human error, typographical mistakes or variations in individual work.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Severe Weather is Annoying Me..

The lovely skies photograph above was taken by a neighbor 2 nights ago..  the clouds and storm rolling in looked like something out of a Steven King movie.. this photograph has not been altered in any way - just goes to show you how beautiful and spectacular Mother can be.
Although I guess it could be worse.. we could be back into the dreaded heat.. 
oh, wait, that returns for a visit this weekend.. ugh..

Well, all this stormy, rainy weather has done wonders for my plants..
My Pink Roses are looking absolutely beautiful!
and a Bleeding Heart which I saved from the clutches of a Walmart dumpster has been granted a second chance at life..  (Yes, I often take the throw a ways and try to 'bring them back' rather than allow them to die.  Most of my foliage was 'trash'.)


But I also discovered a little bugger that I did NOT plant.. nestled comfy cozy right outside the garden's brick edging...
Introducing.. Chomp the Carnivorous Plant... more commonly known as the "Venus Flytrap"
This poor little bugger was having a dandy of a time with the flies today.  One landed right on his bud and sat there, without moving for the longest time.. never daring near those dangerous 'teeth' or mouth.
I've taken a cutting from him so that you can plant your very own Chomp.
Chomp will be available for you to start your own little toothy garden, Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

I have a Confession to Make...

This is my "Swear Jar".. (ya'll thought I was kidding on that 'Ravelry Question' didn't ya?)...
It was a pretty rough start to the year.. and as you can see, it's got quite a few ... swear penalties inside.
(It's a quarter a swear word - and in my house, just about anything derogatory is a 'swear' including "stupid" and "jerk".. not to mention the real hum-dingers...)
So this is what my swear jar looked like from roughly Dec 2011 until June 2012...


Then... we had the past few days.. and here's what it looked like this morning... after 3 full days of blood-boiling heat...



The heat and I are truly not friends...
I'm not 20 anymore and find no interest in trying to take pleasure in slowly baking my skin to a golden brown.


I am getting fully back to work - we had severe thunderstorms this morning which kept playing with the power.  (So badly, that the Hub had to stay late at work tonight.) and there may be more thunderstorms tomorrow... BUT....
at least it has finally cooled down!! Hopefully for a while!  (Well they said that Saturday also - with funnel clouds looming right down the road and a 'twister' supposedly lightly touch the Mall where I get most of my doodle supplies - but the heat just crept right back in...)

The 2nd part of the Tutorial is coming soon along with an "exercise" to show off those techniques.





FYI (for those interested) - The Swear Jar Money (which is usually only change and gets cashed in once the secondary catch is full - been 2 yrs now ) will treat the People to ice cream and a movie next weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Basics - Yes, Really.

Although I am sure that 99.9% of my clients are familiar with the basics, please indulge me these next series of posts.

It has come to my attention that many NEW to crochet are picking up a hook for the first time and trying to complete not only 'Doodles' but other designer's designs as well... and these crochet newbies are not getting much help.  

Sometimes, it is a simple language barrier that gets in the way.  Many absolutely gorgeous designs are created and sold by non-native 'English' speaking designers and rapidly bought up by English only speaking consumers.  
Although generally, there is no trouble in the pattern itself, often when a question about the pattern is asked, the communication between buyer and designer gets a little fuzzy.  This leads to hard feelings or worse yet, negative outcomes and the feeling of wasted finances.

But many more times it's the 'Franken-Designer' - (those designers who take others designs, alter it/modify it and lay claim to it - relying on the original designers' works to hold up on it's own) - who cannot adequately help anyone's questions relating to the instructions - because they have no idea how to instruct someone who's run into trouble or why the original design was created the way it was.  

There are many qualified and ethical designers out there who will take the time to assist you - after all, you have paid them money for a product... if there is a mis-communication with the product instructions; then the product is, itself, useless to you.  It is in their best interest to assist you - not berate or ignore you, no matter how simplistic the question appears to be.

FiberDoodles by K4TT believes that the ONLY "stupid/dumb question" is the one left unasked.  I have fielded questions from the most basic relating to types of yarn used (not everyone has access to Red Heart) to what size plastic eyes to use (even on doodles which do not make use of plastic eyes) to walking clients through back loops, front loops, single crochet, decreasing and even will try to answer "why" I did things the way I did them.  
I treat each question with the same tenacity as if I had written pattern instructions inaccurately.  This is because my clientele is important to me.

My final thought on this - as a customer, I would not want to deal with a person or business who didn't value me or my return business.  Remember, without YOU - a business will fail to thrive.  A designer relies not only on the sale of an item - but also the word of mouth from a satisfied client.


Okay - without further adieu.. some basics...
(the Red text illustrates how I use the abbreviation in my own patterns)

Single Crochet (SC) :  The single crochet (sc) is the most common stitch in any amigurumi project.  Single Crochet is completed in a 3-step process.
1 - Insert hook into the instructed stitch (in most cases, the next stitch)
2 - draw up a loop and pull it through the stitch - placing the hook back on the side closest to you (2 loops on the arm of the crochet hook)
3 - yarn over (bring your yarn over the hook) and pull yarn through the 2 loops that are on the arm of the crochet hook.
You have just completed a "Single Crochet"



Working in the Round:  Now that you understand the Single Crochet stitch, know how to best utilize it.  True Amigurumi is going to be worked 'in the round'.  
This simply means that rounds are not going to be easily identified with the more familiar slip stitch/ch-1 method, it's going to be a sort of never-ending spiral that works from start to end - with NO obvious breaks in the work.  This makes keeping track of where you are, a little more challenging.
For pattern writers to keep track of where and when to increase, decrease, change colors or even for how long to continue single crocheting - instructions are broken down into "rounds" (rnds).  Rnd 1: instructions, Rnd 2: instructions, etc.

When working in the round - it is really a good idea to utilize "Stitch Markers", especially when doing multiple rounds of the same size.
A stitch marker can be anything from a scrap of yarn, to a safety pin, to a piece of plastic that has been specifically designed to mark stitches purchased from your local craft store - anything that marks the first stitch of the round, is a stitch marker.  Here is an example of the most common stitch-marker here - the scrap of Yarn :



It is NOT important what a stitch marker LOOKS like, it's function is the ONLY important factor!

**Note - In FDbyK4TT written instructions, M/M refers to "Moving the Marker" - which simply means that your round is done, so you insert the Marker on the first stitch of the new round.  I only use this particular instruction when the stitches involved in any round extend past where the round should naturally end.  However, there are a few designers who use this (or like) term at the end of each round, to help remind their clients to make use of stitch markers in their work; so that it is easier to follow the instructions and keep their place.

For example, from FDbyK4TT Spencer the Sunflower : 
___ Rnd 18: sc in ea of nxt 8 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog, sc in ea of nxt 5 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog M/M (14 sts)
This is most commonly done to place a decrease, increase, for shaping or in preparation for where stitches will need to be placed, in the round you are about to work.  The above was done to make sure that both of the decreases done on this round were positioned in the 'back area' of the doll - giving him a slight 'bump' on one side of the doll and not the other - unfortunately where Rnd 17 ended included 1 stitch of where the placement of the Dec had to be, to achieve the look I was aiming for.  (Okay for those doing the mental math in your head - that is a different lesson - yes, there are technically a 'total' of 15 sts made in the round - however, because you are using stitches already 'counted' - it doesn't count.. LOL - don't confuse yourself yet.. we'll get there!)


Single Crochet Increase (INC) or (SC-INC) :  The single crochet increase (Inc) is completed by placing 2 single crochet stitches into the same stitch.  Designers will utilize the single crochet increase when they want a round to grow larger. Each Increase adds 1 to the Round.  So if you Increase 6 times on a round that already contains 12 stitches, you will end up with 18 stitches at the end of the round. 12 (original count) +6 (increases) =18 (total stitches)  (Although you are making 2 stitches, remember that 1 stitch has already been counted in the round.)


the Single Crochet Increase is completed in 2, 3-step processes.
ONE:
1 - Insert hook into the instructed stitch (in most cases, the next stitch)
2 - draw up a loop and pull it through the stitch - placing the hook back on the side closest to you (2 loops on the arm of the crochet hook)
3 - yarn over (bring your yarn over the hook) and pull that piece through the 2 loops that are on the arm of the crochet hook.
TWO:
1 - Insert hook into the same stitch you just worked.
2 - draw up a loop and pull it through the stitch  (2 loops on the arm of the crochet hook)
3 - yarn over and pull that piece through the 2 loops that are on the arm of the crochet hook.
You have just completed a "Single Crochet Increase"




Now, more advanced crocheters like to "Hide" the Single Crochet Increases.  This is not as complicated as it sounds, however, you will have to know :
a) if you can utilize the method without altering the project.  (Are the increases placed in a certain area to help create the shape? Are the increases uniformly spaced?)
and b) simple Math.
To understand the Single Crochet Increase it is best for you to see the difference between the 'standard method' and the 'hidden method' :

Standard Method:

Invisible Increase Method:



So Math?
Have you come across a pattern which tells you to "increase evenly 6 times" but doesn't tell you how many stitches you need to place between the Increases?  (Pet Peeve!! I hate when designers do that!!  You are paying for instructions - not designing/math lessons!!)  None, the less, it happens.  So, you need to employ a little mathematics.  
Say you need to increase 6 times for a round, and the starting point is 12.  Okay, so you are adding 6 to the 12 you already have, for a total of 18 stitches.  
NOW, divide 18 by 6, which gives you 3.  2 stitches are going to be together (this accounts for the increase) so there is 1 left over.  This means that you will single crochet one time, between each increase for your even spacing.

EXAMPLE: So if you are starting with 20 stitches and you are instructed to increase evenly 4 times.  How would you do it?

...


20+4 = 24
Since you are adding 4 to the round, DIVIDE 24 by 4 which gives you 6 - remember that 2 stitches will be worked in the same stitch, so 6-2= 4.
4 stitches will be between each increase on the round.

Okay.. so what does that have to do with an "Invisible Increase"?

Invisible Increases rely on EVEN numbers mixed with ODD numbers.
Odd numbers plus an increase on a round - you simply follow the count - example had the question been 24+4 giving you a total count of 28 you would divide 28 by 4 giving you 7 (7x4=28) and 7-2(the increase) = 5 (5 stitches between ea increase) you would work 5 single crochet then your increase.  in other words - [single crochet(1), single crochet(2), single crochet(3), single crochet(4), single crochet(5), increase (6&7)] would be done 4 times for an end total of 28 stitches

BUT.. because in our original example you have a total of 4 stitches between each Increase - 24= 6x4  then 6-2 = 4 .. to work the Invisible Increase you would divide the even number in half, so that you have even (same) numbers on BOTH sides of the increase. 
... so each 'grouping' would look like this - single crochet(1), single crochet(2), increase(3&4), single crochet(5), single crochet(6).  
Now, when you are working the round, the only difference will be at the beginning and the end of the round.  
For this example, you single crochet in each of the next 2 stitches of the previous round, then increase.
Now for the next "3 groupings" (making it a total of 4 times that you add the increases), it will be "4 single crochets" between each increase - however after the 4th increase you will only need 2 single crochets to complete the round.

Now before you say.. OMG that is too confusing - it's really not.  It's only written differently than you are used to seeing it - in practice, it will be perfectly clear..  (in many cases designers will not 'tell you' to work your rounds like this - it's one of those "if you know it, you know it" things.  The instructions will most often be written in their simplest form.
Go a head and try it!

ODD rnds will be in blue to help you concentrate on only the Invisible Increase Rounds - 

start with 6 single crochet however you would normally begin a crochet round.
___ Rnd 2: increase in each stitch around for a total of 12 stitches
___ Rnd 3: [single crochet in the next stitch, increase in the next stitch] 6 times for a total of 18 stitches
___ Rnd 4: [single crochet in each of the next 2 stitches, increase in the next stitch] 6 times, but use the INVISIBLE INCREASE METHOD = (sc, inc, 2sc, inc, 2sc, inc, 2sc, inc, 2sc, inc, 2sc, inc, sc) for a total of 24 stitches
___ Rnd 5: [single crochet in each of the next 3 stitches, increase in the next stitch] 6 times, for a total of 30 stitches
___ Rnd 6: [single crochet in each of the next 4 stitches, increase in the next stitch] 6 times, using the Invisible Increase Method (2sc, inc, 4sc, inc, 4sc, inc, 4sc, inc, 4sc, inc, 4sc, inc, 2sc) for a total of 36 stitches.

See that wasn't hard.. was it?


TODAY'S THOUGHT:
It is absolutely near impossible to exactly replicate another person's handmade work.  No matter how well the pattern/instructions are written - the finished items are not coming off an assembly line or 'template' and therefore things can and will change. 
The way YOU hold your hook, the yarns YOU choose, the tension within YOUR grasp are just a few of the reasons that creating a carbon copy is not a realistic goal.  
You are an individual, and thus, your work will be a one of a kind piece.  Sure, it may look close to the original - but most designers will even have slight variations in their own replications of their own works.  (My attorney makes me submit multiples of my work for copyright applications. While they look nearly identical - there are always slight variations that, perhaps, only I notice.)  

NEVER consider your work "less than" or "not as good" simply because you have not made a mirror copy of a pattern you have purchased.  
I have seen many of my own doodles - where the client has thought theirs was not as good as the model, simply because a color change made it look different or perhaps they did not contain as much stuffing as the model.  And the truth be told (although I have already told them) many times, I think the variations LOOK BETTER THAN THE MODEL!
Handmade is about individuality - it's about the love that goes into completing a project and the pride in what you've created.  If each project looked exactly the same, then it wouldn't be handmade!


It takes considerable time to make a tutorial.
If you have found this tutorial useful, I am pleased - I've achieved my goal.  I will continue from here - hopefully tomorrow, but I cannot guarantee how quickly they will get done, I will continue to post just as quickly as I can to assist anyone who may need it!  - Please be respectful of this work.

Friday, June 15, 2012

So NOT My Fault...

Just moments ago I received the following message from etsy.com



No, it wasn't blue - I guess I highlighted the message accidentally when I took the screen shot.
BUT - etsy will be inaccessible for some time tomorrow.  And, knowing computers and servers as I do - you can count on a few "bugs" creeping up even after it's 'back up and running'.

I know some of you prefer etsy.com, and/or do not belong to Ravelry.com - but you can ALWAYS purchase pattern directly from this blog via your already existing secure PayPal account.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Rockin, Roarin' Little Handful

Perhaps I was moderately influenced by one of my "sister designers" love of Aerosmith front-man, Steven Tyler...
but when I created the latest Little Handful, I couldn't help but to think of Mr. Aerosmith and those wild, multicolored locks.

It certainly didn't hurt that I had just shared with her, a recent photo of Steven - taken last summer when the 'patron' became part of the show and saved this town's Heritage Days Festival festivities .. 
Yup, once again, the RAIN decided to attempt to spoil a good time.

Introducing Handful of Lion.  Just as wild as Rock and Roll and ferociously lovable!  This little handful is bound to be King of the Toybox!  Intimidated by LoopStiches?  You can enjoy making an adorable little Lion Cub by following the directions and some omitting!



A Handful of Lion is the 3rd in the line of quick projects.  
Ready in just hours, these cute little handfuls make the perfect gift for any occasion and as always; designed to give you the absolute freedom to customize as you wish - creating your very own personalized handmade and heartfelt gift. 


A Handful of Lion contains 8 pages of pattern instructions, with detail oriented photographs and instructions to help you bring this majestic, 8 inch little Lion together.


Purchase Handful of Lion on Etsy.com

** WARNING ** Young children, toddlers and infants should ALWAYS be supervised when playing with this toy. There may be small pieces that a child can dislodge and there is potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries. Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. Broken toys can develop small parts which may present the potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries. A toy that cannot be repaired should be thrown away immediately. Please remember to use a yarn which is safe, as young children are likely to put toy in their mouth.

Pattern:
 

Materials Used in Model:


Red Heart® Classic® WW 4-Ply Yarn in 0320 Cornmeal, 0313 Aran, 0336 Warm Brown and 0256 Carrot
9mm Plastic Safety Eyes
poly-fil fiberfill
Size US G/6-4.25mm crochet hook
Crochet Needle for sewing
Long Straight Pins for positioning


This pattern is written in English, using US Crochet Terms.
Patterns are sent in PDF form as an attachment to the eMail address that you have on file with PayPal, within 24 hours of your payment. You will need an Adobe Reader, or like software to view written materials.  You can visit http://get.adobe.com/ to find out more about Adobe and it's products.


By ordering any product from FiberDoodles by K4TT, whether by clicking over the internet, telephone, facsimile or otherwise, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of the FiberDoodles by K4TT End User Licensing Agreement or qualification.
Purchasers may not redistribute, resell, and/or translate pattern into another language for reselling. Questions regarding sale of finished items is answered on this FiberDoodles by K4TT Blog, under the heading of EULA.

Please note that there may be certain orders that FiberDoodles by K4TT is unable to accept and must cancel. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to refuse or cancel any order for any reason. FiberDoodles by K4TT may also require additional verifications or information before accepting any order. You will be contacted if all or any portion of your order is canceled or if additional information is required to accept your order. If your order is canceled after your credit or debit card has been charged, we will issue a credit to your card in the amount of the charge.

Due to the format and ease in reproduction, patterns are non-refundable.

All patterns are sold in good faith. Every effort has been made to ensure that all instructions are accurate and complete. FiberDoodles by K4TT cannot, however, be responsible for human error, typographical mistakes or variations in individual work. If you should find any errors that you feel need attention, please notify me.

All patterns purchased from FiberDoodles by K4TT are protected under Federal copyright laws. Reproduction/distribution, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited unless specifically authorized. This includes, but is not limited to, any form of reproduction or distribution on or through the Internet, including posting, scanning, "Crochet-A-Longs" and/or eMail transmission. Each pattern is encrypted with identification unique to each individual purchaser.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pardon My Silence...


Well, not just my brain - our town and surrounding areas.  Saturday it began raining and didn't let up until yesterday (Hmm, that is unfair.  In truth, what rain we had yesterday was merely a drizzle... but it still counts!)  We didn't know to ready the pumps or prepare an ark.  And the winds played havoc with my power - in and out.. in and out..

Anyone who lives near any body of water during a 'rain event' can appreciate the fact that excess water causes problems with waters overcoming their natural boundaries...
such is the case with my town and towns around me.
We even made the news.. 



It's put me a little behind schedule, but there are still many patterns on their way to you :)
Including Bea - a real honey of a bear.
Back to work I go, but keep an eye on FiberDoodles :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

CROCHET PATTERN: K.I.S.S. Fox


Introducing, the K.I.S.S. Fox.  Such a sly little rascal, he is bound to steal your heart in an instant!  Although he enjoys hiding among the chives - he's actually quite social and loves to play!  
In fact, your little cub will enjoy frolicking all day long, without this little fox getting tired or bored!

The K.I.S.S. Fox contains 10 pages of pattern instructions, with detail oriented photographs and instructions to help you bring this cunning little cutie into your backyard.


Order your copy of the K.I.S.S. Fox today and customize him with different colors to create all his cousins to create your very own litter of canines.


Purchase KISS Series Fox on Etsy.com

** WARNING ** Young children, toddlers and infants should ALWAYS be supervised when playing with this toy. There may be small pieces that a child can dislodge and there is potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries. Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. Broken toys can develop small parts which may present the potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries. A toy that cannot be repaired should be thrown away immediately. Please remember to use a yarn which is safe, as young children are likely to put toy in their mouth.

Pattern:
 

Materials Used in Model:

Red Heart® Classic® WW 4-Ply Yarn in 0256 Carrot, 0313 Aran and 0365 Coffee
Fiberfill
Size US G/6-4.25mm Crochet Hook
Crochet or Yarn Needle for Sewing
Long Straight Pins for positioning


This pattern is written in English, using US Crochet Terms.
Patterns are sent in PDF form as an attachment to the eMail address that you have on file with PayPal, within 24 hours of your payment. You will need an Adobe Reader, or like software to view written materials.  You can visit http://get.adobe.com/ to find out more about Adobe and it's products.

By ordering any product from FiberDoodles by K4TT, whether by clicking over the internet, telephone, facsimile or otherwise, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of the FiberDoodles by K4TT End User Licensing Agreement or qualification.
Purchasers may not redistribute, resell, and/or translate pattern into another language for reselling. Questions regarding sale of finished items is answered on this FiberDoodles by K4TT Blog, under the heading of EULA.
Please note that there may be certain orders that FiberDoodles by K4TT is unable to accept and must cancel. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to refuse or cancel any order for any reason. FiberDoodles by K4TT may also require additional verifications or information before accepting any order. You will be contacted if all or any portion of your order is canceled or if additional information is required to accept your order. If your order is canceled after your credit or debit card has been charged, we will issue a credit to your card in the amount of the charge.
Due to the format and ease in reproduction, patterns are non-refundable.
All patterns are sold in good faith. Every effort has been made to ensure that all instructions are accurate and complete. FiberDoodles by K4TT cannot, however, be responsible for human error, typographical mistakes or variations in individual work. If you should find any errors that you feel need attention, please notify me.

All patterns purchased from FiberDoodles by K4TT are protected under Federal copyright laws. Reproduction/distribution, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited unless specifically authorized. This includes, but is not limited to, any form of reproduction or distribution on or through the Internet, including posting, scanning, "Crochet-A-Longs" and/or eMail transmission. Each pattern is encrypted with identification unique to each individual purchaser.