Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Trick or Treat?

How about a FREE pattern? This is a fun Halloween pattern I wrote for Michaels Stores that is quick to work up. Get started now, and you'll have several done in time for your favorite trick or treaters!

 Kids love to dress up, especially at Halloween, and one of the hardest decisions they have to make all year is what costume they'll wear for the big night! This little amigurumi kid comes with three options: a witch (or wizard), a superhero, or a jack o'lantern. Dress him or her up and put the little treat bag into place for some pretend trick or treating. The doll can be customized with different flesh tones and hair color to match the lucky little kid that gets to keep it.

Dress Me Up Trick or Treater
Materials List
Caron "Simply Soft" – Bone (A, 1 skein) for flesh tone, Black (B, 1 skein), Mango (D, 1 skein), Grape (E, 1 skein)
Lion Brand "Woolease" -- Paprika (C, 1 skein) for haircolor
Caron "Simply Soft Party" -- Red Sparkle (F, 1 skein)
Crochet Hook, Size 3.5mm (US E)
Yarn needle
9mm safety eyes
Pink embroidery floss
Embroidery needle
Black felt
Craft glue

Doll, hat, and pumpkin costume are worked in the round in unjoined spirals. Use a locking stitch marker if necessary to mark the beginning of each round. When you complete a round, move the marker to the loop on your hook and continue crocheting.
Gauge is not important for this project. Use recommended hook or hook that enables you to crochet tightly enough to prevent large holes in the fabric.

Keep reading for the pattern!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday FAQs -- Skin-toned yarn

Every Friday I'll be posting a Frequently Asked Question that deserves a good answer!

Question: What yarns do you recommend using for skin tones?

Answer: In my book I went over some different yarns I like to use for skin tones. When I make dolls I tend to use a lot of the main color skin yarn and it is surprisingly really difficult to match skin tones!

(Are you listening, yarn companies? YES I'm ready to help you come up with a line of multicultural yarns for skin tones!)
So, like, THIS, in YARN!

Lots of the yarns I end up using are beige, tan, brown, and variations of those. In my never-ending quest for peach caucasian toned yarn, I have found some winners and some losers. Unfortunately lots of peach yarn you can find is neon-ish and hurts my eyes. Doesn't work for skin.

It's fairly easy to find brown tones for darker skin. I love using Red Heart "Soft" yarn in Toast, Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn" in Toasted Almond (available in store only, apparently), and Bernat "Satin" in Sable
 (lighter still).

For a peach complexion, I love using Caron "Simply Soft Yarn" in Light Country Peach, which is getting increasingly hard to find and I have to order it online, and a new one for me,  Hobby Lobby "I Love This Yarn" in Light Peach.

What yarns have you found that work well for skin tones? I'd love to hear!

What FAQ would you like answered next week? Please post below!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Don't Forget the Details! Part One: AmiguruME Shopping Bag

Welcome to my new series, "Don't Forget the Details!" In this series I'll be showing you a tip about how to bring your AmiguruME to life with little accessories or techniques to make your dolls shine.

Sometimes I finish a doll and think, "What's missing?" I try to think hard about the subject of my doll and add in elements of that person's personality. Sometimes its a musical instrument, sometimes its a facial expression, sometimes its jewelry, or a hat, or a t-shirt.

**Make sure you let me know what you'd like to see featured in "Don't Forget the Details!"**

I've got an idea for you this week that doesn't require any crocheting at all! Does the person you're making a doll of love to shop? Are they always buying stuff from Target, or running to the Apple store for the latest iPhone, or hanging out at Barnes and Noble? How cute would it be to make them a little shopping bag from their favorite store for the AmiguruME to hold?

Instructions after the jump!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Martha Stewart's American Made Awards

I just got some amazing news! I'm a FINALIST in the Martha Stewart American Made Awards! From the website, "American Made spotlights the maker, supports the local, and celebrates the handmade." Maker? Check! Local? Check! Handmade? Check! Yes I love all three of these things and I'm so loving Martha for celebrating them. 

Here's a little confession. In order to even be up for this award, you have to nominate yourself. I felt weird doing that. I had to come to terms with describing myself in the third person, answering lots of questions about why I do what I do and how I'm celebrating the maker within. Is that weird? I guess it all boils down to that weird thing about talking about yourself and tooting your own horn! Why is it so hard for us to do that? Well, I thought it was worth it and went ahead and filled out the form and sent in my nomination. Lo and behold, a few days ago I got an email that I had been selected as a Finalist! 
Out of all the Nominees, Finalists are chosen from several categories (Crafts, Design, Food, Style) and from the Finalists, Award Winners are chosen. 

So now I'm up for voting. You can vote up to 6 times a day from now until October 13, 2014. After that it is out of our hands and into the judges.

Do you feel I'm worthy? Do you think I represent the qualities of an American Maker? I'd love your vote! Click on the images above and cast your vote 6 times a day until the deadline. Share this on Facebook! Tweet it! Email your entire address book! (OK maybe not...)
Me and Martha go way back you know, and I'd love to get back in touch...

Here's when I gave her her very own mini-Martha!

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