Friday, January 28, 2011

Amigurumi Ducks - Free crochet pattern

This class of duckies all have embroidered eyes to make them safe for youngsters. The pattern below uses black craft eyes if you prefer.

I've had a few requests for a pattern for these amigurumi ducks I made. Actually, it's a modified version of another free pattern from here:

I modified the pattern by shortening the neck and making a bigger beak. Here's the pattern if you'd like to give my version a try. Enjoy!

Amigurumi Duck
(My version) 6/20/09

Materials used:
Lily Sugar and Cream Cotton Yarn
G crochet hook
2 safety eyes
polyfill for stuffing

6 sc in a magic ring
2 sc in each sc around (12 sc)
1 sc, sc inc in next sc repeat around (18 sc)
sc around (18 sc) for 4 rows
sc inc in the first 9 sc, sc in last 9 sc (27 sc)
sc in first 6 sc, sc inc in next 6 sc, sc in last 15 sc (33 sc)
sc around (33 sc) for 3 rows
sc in first 9 sc, do 3 sc dec, sc in last 18 sc (30 sc)
sc in four sc, sc dec repeat around (25 sc)
sc in 3 sc, sc dec repeat around (20 sc)
sc in one sc, sc dec repeat around, end with 2 sc (14 sc)
Position eyes and attach
dec around to close leave long tail.
I used tail to close and then to shape bottom so duck would stand even. Pull the yarn up through the back of the duck and back down to pull in bottom. Repeat on other side of duck.


6 sc in a magic ring
1 sc, sc inc in next sc repeat around (9 sc)
sc around (9 sc)
slip stitch into next sc and leave long tail for sewing
smash down and sew to body in a curved upside down “u” shape between rows 5 and 6.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tabi Sock Bunnies

I was inspired by the shape of those Japanese bunnies, you know the ones shaped like a round ball with some ears on it? I decided to try to make some out of my supply of Japanese tabi socks. It's a little tricky figuring out how to pull back the ears (divided toe part of the sock) and I learned how to embroider some decent looking faces on them. It seems like there is a lesson in every new project!

Here's a side view of one of the bunnies:

And here's a back view of one. I really like this tabi sock with the bunny design!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Year in Review

Gertie's taking a siesta on our deck

I swear time goes by faster as you get older. The new year comes in a blink of the eye and you wonder if it's enough time to do anything. What did happen anyway?


Well, I never thought that Gertie, our outdoor stray cat would top the list, but she gets top billing for events of 2010. Last summer, we noticed this very small cat drinking water from the gutter and that may have been the biggest event of the year. From there we befriended her, trapped and neutered her, and released and lost her for a few weeks. It was JOYFUL when she returned to us. We chased bully tom cats from her many times a night and built a small house and a large condo for her outside. We bought her a heating pad to keep her warm at night and now my husband can even gently scratch her head when she comes for dinner.


This year I finally got into my first craft fair and had a favorable response. I love it when I hear people come by, pick up my creations and say "OH HOW CUTE!!!!!". Also, I love when kids come by, eyes wide and then run off to retrieve mom or dad. Many people ask me what my amigurumi are for, what is their purpose? Is it a pincushion? My answer is, I make them to make you smile and they agree that they do make them smile. This makes me happy. I did a few craft fairs this year and it's been a learning experience for sure. I'm on the board of our Craftmen's Guild this year and have met some nice people.


I stopped making veggie deliveries this year to concentrate on my crafting hobby. I'm still gardening for myself and have a lot of healthy greens growing right now. Instead of traditional lettuces, I've been eating mizuna, shingiku, arugula and Italian dandilion in my salads and they are delicious. I'm also growing sweet pea flowers which I hope to sell at my spring craft fairs this year. The past few months we've had a lot of rain, and usually it rains one day and then it's sunny the rest of the week. The past month it's been raining constantly. I think it's a record amount of rain for our area so I never have to go to water the garden and the rain is so healthy for it.


What a turn around. Last year was my worse year, but 2010 was pretty darn good. I really am not putting much effort into tennis, but am lucky or just getting good partners because it was a very good year and my USTA senior team even went to Nationals in Palm Dessert. It was an awesome experience to meet such nice people from all over. The weather happened to be gorgeous (one of the weekends with no rain). I really should get into better shape though, and in fact I'm working on it for this year. Really!


Seriously, this Kindle has changed my life. It's one of the best things I've ever gotten for myself and something I look forward to using everyday. After getting it I realized I didn't need all these books cluttering my house so I've been donating them all to the library. I also love that I can lie in bed and surf the internet on whatever topic I was curious about that day. And who cares if you have to wait somewhere as long as I have my Kindle with me, I am happy.


In the second half of the year, my energy level begin to fall. I was really eating very poorly and even now my brain is somewhat in a fog. So I've made a lifestyle change in my diet. Basically I eat whatever I want in moderation, but mostly I'm eating whole foods and less processed carbs. I'm also trying to get some cardio in everyday, either jogging or Wii Zumba and also some strength training. I can't say I'm losing much weight, but I hope I will gain more muscle, endurance and energy. Life is all about energy, right?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Here comes the bride and groom

My cousin asked me to make some wedding dolls as a gift for a friend who has getting married. Immediately I thought about using lace for the wedding gown. I was pretty excited to get started, and luckily, everything fell into place in this project.

Everytime I attempt something new, I never really know how it's going to come out. Sometimes it surprises me what can happen when you put yarn and embellishments together. This was one of those times and I got to try something new with lace and paper flowers.

And I just had to take this picture of the groom after the wedding... Too much champagne?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

If you love your dogs...

My friend wanted a Christmas stocking made for her sister. I suggested we put on them little puppy heads that looked like her 3 dogs, Yuki, Hana and Chibi. They are yorkie, maltese and morkie dogs.

I've never made a Christmas stocking, so now was the time to learn. I used a Lion Brand pattern that I modified to size and improvised the doggy heads. The stocking needed some color so I embellished it with holly leaves and used felt balls for the holly. (Finally, I found a use for the felt balls I purchased).

I'm giving it to her tomorrow, so hope she likes it...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A reason for everything...

A few days ago, I received a request from a customer to make a cat for her daughter. She wanted it to look like their orange cat "Sam". We discussed it a bit and she sent me photos of Sam, who I fell in love with at first sight. She needed a bigger size than I was used to making so I played with my yarn and made a few prototypes until I thought it was just right. I was excited about my "ball of fury Sam" and posted it on Etsy for her to purchase. Unfortunately, my customer decided to give the assignment to someone else who could make a bigger, more life like cat for less money. I was dissappointed to say the least, but I wished her well and took Sam with me to my mom's bowling league where someone purchased her on the spot!

Every time I work on a special request, it's challenging and time consuming but I usually learn something from the process of being pushed beyond my boundaries. I have been thinking about writing up a new pattern, and I think Sam will be perfect for the project. So now I'm off to making more of Sam's litter mates for the pattern photos. Oh, I think I'll make a black cat, and a grey cat and a calico and.... Oh how fun!

Always look for the silver lining in every situation! :D

Friday, November 26, 2010

Keep those hands clean!

These little purses hold travel size bottles of hand sanitizer. They look simple enough, but it took me many prototypes to come up with this idea. First of all, a friend put a bug in my ear that it would be nice to have a holder for her Purell because she keeps losing it in the bottom of her purse. So I decided to take on the challenge. I had a hard time finding little bottles of Purell around here so I had to buy a case of them online. Next, I played around with different shapes for the holder and decided to make it so that the bottle could be used without removing it from it's holder. I liked the look of these "mini purses" and embellished them with sequin and ribbon flowers. What do you think? Are they cute?