Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crochet Eyelids for safety eyes

Ok I've had some questions about how I made the eyelids for the eyes I use for my toys. So here's the exact pattern used for the eyelids for the frog.

The basic construction is the same for anything. You just vary the stitches you use from slip stitch to single crochet to trebles depending on how big the eyes are and your yarn in relation to them. For big eyes and thin yarn use taller stitches. Depending on how prominent you want the eyelids to look you can also add a third round. I recommend decreasing another stitch or two if you add another round to keep the eyelids snug against the eyes.

Eyelids for frog
dc =double crochet
trbl = treble crochet
dc/trbl-inc = dc or trbl as noted twice into the same stitch to increase one stitch.
dc x2 just means dc in the next two stitches

Pull magic loop closed after the first round but not completely, you want to leave room for the shank of the eye.
Repeat instructions inside the ( ) as many times as noted

Start with a Magic loop
Round 1. dc in loop 14 times, slip stitch to join into round.
Round 2. ch 3, (trbl, trbl-inc) three times, dc x2, dc-inc, dc x2, dc-inc, dc x2 slip stitch to join.

Cut yarn leaving a long tail, thread through eyelid and when you attach the eyes take it through the head of the frog and sew the thread down. You don’t need to sew the eyelid to the head the washer and eye will hold it on pretty tightly, but you can if you want.

And that’s it. This will give you a slightly more prominent eyelid on one side, when you attach the eyes put that bit at the top of the eye.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Mold Sprite
Originally uploaded by the loireag
I've been busy with several non craft things lately but I have finished one fun thing.

His name is Squilch the mold sprite.
Squilch is the faerie in charge of making sure that things mold and rot properly. A very important task. He’s the one that ensures the all that food in your fridge gets used. Because if it’s sitting in there for too long then obviously you aren’t using it and it shouldn’t go to waste. Fungus and molds spring up everywhere he touches. He loves to leave fuzzy footprints around your shower or bathtub when you haven’t scrubbed in a while. And he likes to touch fruit that has been left sitting out for days to see if it’s still tasty. Unfortunately there is no way to keep Squilch away completely but he wants everyone to understand that he is helping. If he weren’t here you wouldn’t pay attention to all the good stuff you’ve got. He’s a reminder to enjoy things, because they don’t last forever.

Mold Sprite
Originally uploaded by the loireag

I had lots of fun with the mold designs and I'm really tempted to make lots more moldy items. Preferably things that aren't fuzzy already since the hairs of the green yarn made it tough to embroider nicely.
I think a line of fruits and vegetables that have started to go bad would be a lot of fun. Maybe later.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Various things

I've stalled on the Doozer pattern till I can get a boot that I like the look of.
I've got an idea for something that will need a small cage as part of the design. I haven't been able to find anything that will work with my concept so I think I'll be making a small bent wood cage soon. A few other things have been finished since I disappeared to work on the dragon.
I made a frog from a new Hansigurumi pattern. I really enjoy her work they are so much fun to make and come out so nicely.
It was done with Koigu sock yarn and 18mm hand painted safety eyes. With my crochet eyelids mod I've used on many other things.

There is also a very small fish that I haven't gotten a photo of yet. And a few other bits and bobs.


Originally uploaded by the loireag
The Fantasy Creatures swap is done and now I get to post about what I made.
Dragons seemed like the most fun of the choices my partner listed of her favorite creatures. And a nice change from the person shaped stuff I had done in the last two swaps. I only crocheted one thing this time. Everything else was done in other mediums.
It came out pretty cute. I had to do a lot of odd shaping to get what I wanted so I didn't even keep notes on anything but the legs.

I really don't feel like posting anything while I'm working on swap stuff. Having to keep things secret tend to make me go quiet on everything rather than beat around the bush to avoid giving anything away. Hopefully now that this swap is done I'll post more. I'm going to stick to my resolution not to join any swaps for the rest of the year at a minimum.

I do have some fun new things planned and I've got some items in the works that I can get back to now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I signed up recently for another swap. This time it's Fantasy Creatures. Lots of fun options there. And I've already made fair progress. It's the last one for a good long while no more till next year at least. I'm missing out on one I really wanted to do. A Jim Henson/Muppet themed swap. But it's kind of a good thing, I think I would have had a harder time than usual letting go of a creation with that one. As a consolation I'm making up a doozer. It's simple enough that I can work on it in between the fantasy swap stuff without feeling like I'm shirking my responsibilities.

And I'm hoping that I can get a pattern made up since I think it won't have some of the impossible to explain elements a lot of my work seems to include.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Originally uploaded by the loireag
This guy evolved out of a conversation about patience. A trait I do not happen to possess. So obviously I needed to make some. And Patience must be a rare and elusive creature and not an attitude. So I went in search of Patience. I found this fellow sitting on a monument, quite quietly it's no surprise most people overlook him. You'll notice that he has no arms. The reason is very simple. He doesn't need them, for all things come to those who wait.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Embroidery experiments

Originally uploaded by the loireag
Along with knitting and crochet I've been playing around with embroidery for a while. I've thought embroidery was pretty but uninteresting for years. For some reason it never occurred to me that it didn't require a pattern. Yes I am that dim. But in my defense most of the things I had seen were made from the old iron-on patterns. And following a design by someone else just wasn't very interesting so I never gave it any further thought. I finally caught up to reality about a year ago when I wandered into the Embroidery section on Craftster and saw all sorts of amazing original work posted there. I immediately had to give it a try. And I'm so glad I did. For something that might seem tedious from the outside it is a lot of fun.

Originally uploaded by the loireag
I've not produced very many things that could be considered "finished" at this point (I have a tendency to get distracted) but I am rather pleased with these two. Both based on sketches I'd done a while ago. Happy monster and his balloon have shown up in a few other things I've made but he is at his cutest here. As for vine mouth, honestly I'm not sure what he was meant to be, I think when I first drew him I had been watching Mirrormask. So probably nothing more than a random oddness. I do like how the vine came out though.

Cyclops Kitten

Originally uploaded by the loireag
Her name is Una.
One of the more recent projects. I've been wanting to make this for ages but have been waiting on ordering the eyes I needed. I finally got my act together and made an order from Eyes and More for a bunch of sizes in bulk. Aside from some small black eyes they are all clear so I can paint them to match the project they will be used for. So much more versatile and fun. It adds a tremendous amount of character to design the eyes to fit the creature. It's hard to tell from the pictures but the eye for the cat is two shades of red (one translucent and one more opaque) for a bit of texture with a layer of gold painted over the back you can just see the shine of the gold through some of the red. Definitely more fun than a plain red eye.

And just in case it matters to any one who reads this I was very happy with my order from Eyes and More. Quick, great prices and very good service. I'll definitely order from them again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I really love cephalopods. They are such beautiful creatures. And Hansi Singh has some of the best patterns for them I've seen. Quite a while back I made a little squid out of sock yarn using one of her patterns and I've been wanting to make a larger version that incorporated several changes and enhancements since. I finally got one made. And it came out pretty nifty. If I do say so myself.

Aside from altering a few things about the shaping on the squid itself there are two big changes. The first is the eyes. Instead of knitting them I used 24mm hand painted safety eyes. They're just about an inch across (huge!) and I added some crocheted eyelids because I think it gives them a bit more character. The second addition was embroidering suckers on all of the tentacles. An enormously time consuming endeavor but well worth it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Studio Ghibli

Finally finished my part of the Miyazaki swap. I had a lot of trouble with this one but I think it came out really well.

It's Howl from the movie Howl's Moving Castle. This is how he looks in the beginning of the movie. He is holding the fire demon Calcifer

I also made a little white Totoro carrying a leaf, a painted box and a few other little things

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce the Goblin King.

Labyrinth was such a huge part of my childhood and it was tremendous fun to make Jareth. I've had the idea floating around the back of my mind for a while to make some Labyrinth stuff and having an excuse was all the encouragement I needed.

Usually it takes a lot of failed attempts to get things right but this one was smooth sailing through calm seas. Well maybe not all the time but still smoother than usual. I did keep notes as I worked (I'm trying really hard to do better at keeping track as I go along) but it was mostly for the parts where I had to make matching pairs. The documentation got a lot sparser on the rest of him. I'm thinking I'll make another eventually. I really liked how he came out and having him around was fun but it will probably be a while. I do want to make a pattern for him available eventually. But I'll have to go through and make another to flesh out the notes and figure out how to explain some of the more idiosyncratic methods I used to make him. Which I'm not looking forward to.

The rest of the photos are here

This little guy (these little guys?) was the other item made for the swap

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Notable lack of progress

Since I don't have anything interesting to report on the current project front (things continue they just aren't interesting) I thought I'd try writing about something a bit older.

My inspiration process tends to go something like this. !Interesting thought of some sort!-"I wonder if I could make that? Let's see"... And then I fool around till it works or I give up and go play with something else. Which tends to result in odd things because often for me the greater interest is figuring out if and how I can make something. Like a pear with teeth.

I've been a fan of Ursula Vernon for years, and her work often jump starts that "I wonder if I could?" feeling but I've refrained from making things based on her art because it feels a odd to play with someone's toys without their ok first. And I'm terribly shy about talking to people, so sending an email asking permission makes me want to hide in a hole for a week.

The only thing that has overcome that hesitation so far is insomnia. At one point I was getting an hour or two of sleep a night long enough for it to be unpleasant and unbelievably dull.
I was sitting around looking at the yarn stashed everywhere and I had an idea. Make the Biting Pear of Salamanca. And it was the kind of blinding flash that includes specific instructions and detailed schematics and I thought, "I have to make that right now".

And so the amigurumi biting pear was born.

I'm really glad I went ahead and I made him I learned a lot that has come in handy with later projects. But the best part has been the reactions people have had. And it's tremendous fun to see who recognizes it as the Biting Pear and who knows it as the LOL WUT Pear. I even dredged up the nerve shortly after it was done and wrote to Ms. Vernon and she was really lovely about it. If she had minded it never would have seen the light of day so I'm especially glad she liked it. An amazing artist and genuinely nice to boot.

The pear on the other hand can be rather rude. But perhaps manners for fruit are different than amongst humans.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I've finished the stuff for the Labyrinth swap and will be mailing the package off tomorrow. Which means that soon I can write about the specifics of what I made. And I get to post pictures! Yay. I'm so pleased with how the whole thing came out I can hardly stand it. It was so much fun to make stuff for Labyrinth. I actually had a list of about thirty possible items that would be neat to make. Paring it down to just a few was really hard. And I'm probably going to play with a few of the other possibilities eventually. I'm also thinking of making the big item again just to test out the notes I took. I used a variation of one part for another project and that bit was fairly reliable so I'm feeling kinda confident of the notes themselves (although my idiosyncratic way of working might make them quite difficult for anybody else to use), but I skipped documenting some of the steps and I'd like to fill that info in before I completely forget what I did.

The Studio Ghibli swap is still giving me fits on occasion but I restarted the big item and I am much happier with the progress I've made since then. I had been pushing myself to accept what I had made before and it was the wrong move. If I'm not happy with what I'm making the process becomes so miserable. I should have scrapped the first design well before I did. Wasted a lot of time. I did finish more neat things for this swap, well one is nearly finished, the painting is done it is just waiting on a sunny day so I can seal it. Lost several days to a driving trip and crochet in the car makes me nauseated so I got nothing accomplished. And I'm closing in on the mail out deadline but I think I'll be able to get everything done in time. Now that I've got a better design things should go more smoothly.

And I've just cursed myself with that bit of overconfidence haven't I?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Technicolor Chameleon

This guy is from the Chameleon pattern by Hansi Singh of Hansigurumi. Made out of Noro Kureyon. Which looks pretty good but was a terrible pain to use. Slubby yarn with a tendency to pull apart knitted at a tight gauge is not fun. The pattern was impressive it's very cleverly put together. And not a terribly long project this took about a week of working on and off in the evenings. The next time I make one of these I think I will change the eyes a bit. And pay more attention to where I pick up stitches for the head. On this one I picked up the stitches too far back so the neck doesn't have quite as much definition as it should. Still cute though.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I've been working on several things lately. I signed up for two swaps on Ravelry that both finish at the end of May. One of them is based around 80s scifi and fantasy movies. Each person chose their favorite movie from the period and their partner crafts something based on it. My partner in that swap selected Labyrinth. Which I was delighted about, that was one of my favorite movies growing up and still holds a place in my heart. And the crafting for that swap went wonderfully. Inspiration carried me all the way through and I'm still enthusiastic about it. The big item for that swap turned out almost perfectly as I envisioned. And I kept notes on much of the process so I think I can duplicate it if I choose.

The second swap is themed on the films of Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli. This one has been fighting me. I got a few minor objects made but the major component has been a terrible battle. And the frustrating thing is that it is well within my abilities to make. The basic design is quite simple it is just the details that make it unique. But nothing wants to cooperate.

As a result I've been playing around with other projects in hopes that if I leave it alone for a bit things will start flowing again. I've made a fairy and I'm almost completely finished with a Chameleon from a pattern by Hansi Singh. And I've started several other projects that are in the beginning stages and not worth mentioning. None of which has helped me get back on track with the Ghibli project. In fact, now I am desperate to work on another project I've been thinking about for a while. Tepoz from the webcomic Wapsi Square. He's complicated enough to be a lot of fun to make.

Obviously I need to bite the bullet and go back to work on the "Miyazaki thing" (which is a secret till my partner gets her stuff).

That's Moss the Fairy over there hanging out in the pear tree.

Trying something new

Ok I'm giving this a try. Assuming I can get this to work. If it's easy enough, I'm going to use this for all my crafting stuff. So here is something to get started with. He is a voodoo doll. Made for a swap, my partner asked for a lizard to be a part of the design. In addition to the lizard he also has a vertebra from a mink in his hair, a small bone circle, a feather from a green cheeked conure, and an agate eye bead.