Sunday, 9 December 2012

Free Crochet Amigurumi Pattern - Santa's Sack & Christmas Gift Decorations

After making my Christmas Santa Amigurumi Pattern, I decided there was one important thing missing...Santa's Christmas Sack! So I came up with this pattern to crochet Santa's sack and minuature giftboxes to fill your sack too.


This is a really easy pattern and you should be able to finish it in one night. I made these as decorations to sit around our shop, but you could also add loops and hang these little decorations from your Christmas tree.




Materials
Dk 8 ply yarn in your chosen Christmas colours
4mm hook
Polyfill
Cardboard - to help maintain shape of gift boxes.

This pattern is written with US terminology. Work in continuous rounds. The weight of yarn and hook size are a guide only. Pattern gauge is not important. If you change the weight and hook size, just keep in mind your sack and gift boxes may be larger or smaller than mine. Using the above yarn and hook size, my sack measures approx. 7 cm high and the gift boxes just under 3cm height.

Christmas Gift Box Decorations
Before stuffing I added a small square piece of cardboard at bottom of box. I then added another small piece after stuffing, just before finishing last round. This isn't essential but it helps maintain the cube shape of your gift box.

Rnd 1  Work 6 sc in Magic Circle
Rnd 2   2 sc in each sc around  (12)
Rnd 3   *sc in next 2 stitches, 3sc in next stitch* around (20)
Rnd 4-11   sc around [7 rounds]
Rnd 12  * sc in next 2 stitches, 3sctog* Stuff (12)
Rnd 13   2sctog around (6)
Close up hole and Fasten Off   
 Wrap a ribbon or piece of yarn tie around the box and tie a pretty bow.  


Santa's Christmas  Sack
 
Rnd 1  Work 6 sc in Magic Circle
Rnd 2   2 sc in each sc around  (12)
Rnd 3   *sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch* around  (18)
Rnd 4   *sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch* around  (24)
Rnd 5   *sc in next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch * around  (30)
Rnd 6   sc around in back loop only (30)
Rnd 7   *sc in next 14 sts, 3sc in next st* repeat twice (34)
Rnd 8   sc in next 15 sts, 3sc in next st, sc in next 16 sts, 3sc in next st, sc in last st (38)
Rnd 9   sc in next 16 sts, 3sc in next st, sc in next 17 sts, 3sc in next st, sc in last 2 sts (42) 
Rnd 10   sc in next 17 sts, 3sc in next st, sc  in next 20 sts, 3sc in next st, sc in last 3 sts (46)
Rnd 11   sc in next  15 sts, put hook through the next st, skip 5 stitches and put hook through next st, (so you will have hook going through 2 stitches), sc the 2 sts tog,  sc in next 17 sts, put hook through next st, skip 5 sts and put hook through next st, sc the 2 sts tog, sc in last 2 sts (34)
Rnd 12   sc in next 6 sts, 2sctog, sc in next 7 sts, 2sctog, sc in next 6 sts, 2sctog, sc in next 7 sts, 2sctog [4 decreases] (30)
Rnd 13   sc around
Rnd 14   *sc in next 3 sts, 2sctog* around (24)
Rnd 15-21   sc around [7 rounds] (24)
Rnd 22   *sc in stitch, ch1, 2sc in next st, ch1* around (36) 
Fasten Off

Weave a piece of string or yarn in and out of the chains and tie. I used a ribbon meshed yarn to give it a bit of a rustic look, and I was pleased with how it turned out. I kind of cheated too and stuffed my sack with polyfill and added one giftbox on top, but no one can notice unless they decide to raid the sack. See...

I hope you enjoyed this pattern and please show your support by leaving comments and feedback. 
 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Christmas Amigurumi Crochet Pattern - Santa, Mrs Claus and Elf






The pattern for Santa, Mrs Claus and Elf is easy to understand, and is suitable for beginners or experienced amigurumi makers. The dolls are fast to make too, and I completed all my dolls over just one weekend! I'm really pleased with how they turned out. I made a set for our shop window and they have been receiving a lot of attention and wonderful comments. The pattern is only $4 for all three dolls, and includes detailed and easy-to-follow instructions, and photos to demonstrate various steps. I'm also willing to offer you assistance, should you need it. The pattern is available for instant digital download (pdf file) at my Ravelry store, or you can purchase it from my Etsy shop Roaming Pixies

The much-loved Santa


The delighful Mrs Claus





The cheerful Christmas Elf


Merry Christmas!


Make the whole set! The pattern for snowman and his girlfriend are available at my blog for free here.
Thanks for reading, and as always, I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Monday, 3 December 2012

How to Join Different Colour Amigurumi Pieces

I had no intention of writing amigurumi tutorials for this blog, as there is such an abundance of great free tutorials already available on the Internet. However, I struggled to find a tutorial that explains how to hide the stitching when joining two amigurumi pieces of different colours together. June Gilbank over at Planet June has an excellent tutorial on how to join amigurumi pieces together and I highly recommend that you check out her website and all her helpful tutorials. I always use Planet June's technique when joining amigurumi and I think it is the best and easiest method. If your amigurumi doll has a scarf or collar around the neck you also don't have to worry about hiding the seam, so in this case I would stick with using Planet June's technique. But in some cases you may need to hide the stitching, such as my Mrs Claus' doll, so this is the technique I used in this case. I do give credit to June for this technique as it was inspired by her joining technique.

Please note - I have only tried this technique on dolls that are for decorative purposes. So even though the joining feels secure, I have no idea whether they'll hold up under the rough pulling of children.  : )

This tutorial is for joining one open (1st) piece and one closed (2nd) piece of different colours.
Hold your pieces together firmly in place. Meanwhile, using the long thread from the open piece, insert the needle into a gap of the 2nd piece, make a stitch through this 2nd piece, working your stitch parallel to the 1st piece. See picture below. It's a little tricky, but you want to work this stitch at the area that will be hidden by the open piece.


 Now, go up through the back loop only of the open piece

Again, make a stitch through the closed piece, ensuring you work across, parallel to the 1st piece.


Continue stitching like this around your piece. Finally, weave in ends. You can visit June for excellent method for finishing your piece. Here is an example of the completed join on my Mrs Claus doll.



Remember, the trick is to work in the back loop only, keep your stitches parallel to the main piece, and try to work as close as possible where the two pieces meet.

Hope you find this tutorial useful, and I would love to hear your comments, suggestions and feedback.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Free Crochet Amigurumi Pattern - Christmas Snowman & Family


I'm so excited to post my first free crochet pattern. In the spirit of Christmas I made a gorgeous little snowman amigurumi decoration,and then I couldn't help but wonder, why arent' there any snowwomen? So I made a snowwoman too. And then I thought, why not a snow baby too? Ahhh, it's a gorgeous little Christmassy snow family. These amigurumi toys are so easy to make are are ideal for first-time amigurumi makers. They are fast to crochet and make wonderful last minute Christmas gifts. I hope you enjoy this pattern and please ask, if you have any questions.



Snowman and Family Pattern

Materials
4mm Hook
Dk (8 ply) Yarn - White, Red and Green
Eyes - I used 7.5mm Black Safety Eyes for the bigger dolls and embroidered the snow baby's eyes.
Cardboard (optional)

Gauge not important

Pattern Notes
I placed a thick piece of cardboard at the base of my amigurumi dolls to help with stability. This step is optional.

Work in continuous rounds, and place marker at 1st stitch of each round


If you are new to amigurumi and don't know how to do a Magic Circle, then you can replace this step with the following:ch4, join last chain to 1st chain with ss to form circle, 6sc in the centre of the chain circle.Otherwise,there is a great tutorial on how to do Magic Cirle over at Crochet Spot. It's really not that hard to learn and it's definitely worth learning, as it closes up the hole created in the beginning circle.

 

Body
Rnd 1  Work 6 sc in Magic Circle
Rnd 2   2 sc in each sc around  (12)
Rnd 3   *sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch* around  (18)
Rnd 4   *sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch* around  (24)
Rnd 5   *sc in next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch * around  (30)
Rnd 6:  *sc in next 4 stitches, 2sc in next stitch* around  (36)
Rnd 7    sc around in back loop only (36)
Rnd 8 - 10  sc around (36)
Rnd 11 *sc in next 5 stitches, 2sc in next stitch* around (42)
Rnd 12-14   sc in each stitch around (42) 
(Optional) Place cardboard circle piece at base of amigurumi doll
Rnd 15   *sc in next 5 stitches, sc2tog* around (36)
Rnd 16-17   sc around (36)
Rnd 18 *sc in next 4 stitches, sc2tog* around (30)
Rnd 19   sc around (30)
Rnd 20  *sc in next 3 stitches, sc2tog* around (24)
Rnd 21  *sc in next 2 stitches, sc2tog* around (18)
Fasten Off leaving enough yarn to attach to head later


Head
Round 1  Work 6 sc in Magic Circle
Rnd 2   2 sc in each sc around  (12)
Rnd 3   *sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch* around  (18)
Rnd 4   *sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch* around  (24)
Rnd 5   *sc in next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch * around  (30)
Rnd 6-14   sc around (30)
If using safety eyes, attach now. I attached the eyes between rows 10-11
Rnd 15  *sc in next 3 stitches, sc2tog* around (24)
Rnd 16  *sc in next 2 stitches, sc2tog* around (18)
Rnd 17  *sc in next stitch, sc2tog* around (12)
Rnd 18   sc2tog around (6)
Close up hole and Fasten Off

Attach head to body. This excellent tutorial by Planet June provides easy to follow instructions on how to attach amigurumi pieces together.

Hat (Stripes)
Round 1  With Main Colour (MC) Work 6 sc in first ch.
Rnd 2   2 sc in each sc around  (12)
Rnd 3   *sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch* around, changing to Contrast Colour (CC) for last yarn over of last stitch (18)
Rnd 4   *sc in next  2 stitches, 2sc in next stitch* around  (24)
Rnd 5   sc in next 5 stitches, 2sc in next 3 stitches, sc in next 9 stitches, 2sc in next 3 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches – changing to MC for last yarn over of last stitch (30)
Rnd 6-7   sc around – changing to CC for last yarn over of last stitch (18)
Rnd 8-9    sc around – changing to MC for last yarn over of last stitch (18)
Rnd 10- 11   sc around
Fasten Off

Hat (One Colour)
Rnd 1   Work 6 sc in first ch.
Rnd 2   2 sc in each sc around  (12)
Rnd 3   *sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch* around (18)
Rnd 4   *sc in next  2 stitches, 2sc in next stitch* around  (24)
Rnd 5   sc in next 5 stitches, 2sc in next 3 stitches, sc in next 9 stitches, 2sc in next 3 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches (30)
Rnd 6-11   sc around (30)
Fasten Off

Scarf
Chain 56
Hdc in 3rd chain from hook then each chain after (54)
Fasten Off



Snow Baby
Note - Snow baby body and head are worked together

Rnd 1  Work 6 sc in Magic Circle (6)
Rnd 2   2 sc in each sc around  (12)
Rnd 3   *sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch* around  (18)
Rnd 4   *sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch* around  (24)
Rnd 5    sc around in back loop only (24)
Rnd 6-7   sc around (24)
Rnd 8   *sc in next 2 stitches, sc2tog* around (18)
Rnd 9-10   sc around
Rnd 11   *sc in next stitch, sc2tog* around (12)
Rnd 12   sc around
Rnd 13   *sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch* around  (18)
Rnd 14-16   sc around (18) 
Rnd 17   *sc in next stitch, sc2tog* around (12)
Rnd 18   sc2tog around (6) 
Close up hole and Fasten Off 

Snow Baby Scarf
Chain 41, ss in 2nd chain from hook and every other chain (40)
Fasten Off 

Snow Baby Ear Warmers
1st Piece
Work 6sc in Magic Circle
Chain 6 
Fasten Off

2nd Piece 
Work another 6sc in Magic Circle
ss in each chain of the 1st piece, then sc in next 6 sc, working on other side of chain, ss in each chain, sc in next 6 sc. (24)   
Fasten Off, keeping one long end to stitch ear warmers to baby's head

Weave in all ends.
I made a cute flower for the snowwoman's hat. There are lot's of free flower crochet patterns on the Internet, like this great tutorial here.
For the rosy cheeks, I just used a pale pink acrylic paint, suitable for fabrics, and dabbed it on lightly.

Thank you for looking. Please do not reproduce this pattern without permission. You may sell products made from this pattern on a small non-commercial scale.

Monday, 19 November 2012

DIY Buttons with Polymer Clay - Free Tutorial -

Make your own buttons!

It's so easy. This free tutorial will show you how to make these cute and colourful buttons from polymer clay or fimo. 

You can use the buttons to make earrings or a beaded necklace, or decorate a cuff bracelet. They are really simple and fun to make, and you can whip them up in hardly any time at all. You only need the smallest amount of clay, so it is an awesome way to use up any leftover or scrap clay. So here is the tutorial and I hope you have fun with it


Tools
2 colours of fimo or sculpey polymer clay
Needle for piercing
Oven for baking

Note - When working with clay you may like to wear latex gloves, to avoid getting your fingerprints on the beads. It is also good idea to use a seperate pair of gloves for each colour so you don’t get any other colours bleeding into each other.


Step One
Select the two colours for your button. Condition your clay by rolling and squashing between your hands. When your clay feels nice and soft and doesn’t crack, make two little balls. As the white clay is going to be the base it needs to be a little big bigger than the red top colour.


Step Two
Press down each ball firmly with your thumb. Make the white clay about 3mm thick and the red clay about 1mm thick.


Step Three
Place the red clay on top of the white clay and push down firmly without losing the shape of the button.


Step Four 
Pierce two holes with a needle, ensuring your needle goes all the way through to the other side





Step Five
Bake your button/s for approximately 15 minutes (130 degrees celcius). Check your packet directions for exact time and temperature requirements, or go here for sculpey and here for a general guide on several other different polymer clay types including fimo.

That’s it. So all you have to do now is find a way to use your buttons. They are great as clasps for any of your handcrafted work, or perhaps you may want to make a bead and button necklace like the very talented Don Mae from This Years Dozen. I made a girls button bracelet simply by stitching them onto a basic beaded peyote stitch bracelet.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Beaded Spiral Pearl Bracelet - Free Beading Pattern

Spiral Stitch is great. It's a very easy stitch to learn and also very versatile. Using the basic foundation of the stitch you can create a lot of different looks. You can alter the size and style of beads you use or you can change the amount of beads used per stitch. Through experimentation you can create an abundance of beading possibilities!  Here are some examples of my work, all created using spiral stitch.

Hot Pink and Lime Green Freshwater Pearl Bracelet


Garden Bracelet with Swarovski Crystalised Pearls, Czech Leaves and Flowers


Lapis Lazuli Beaded Necklace with Galvanised Miyuki Beads


Large Loop Earrings with Miyuki cubes and Galvanised Beads

I'm delighted to share with you my spiral freshwater pearl bracelet pattern. Keep in mind, that you can adapt this pattern however you like, replace the pearls with cubes, wooden, leaf or ceramic beads...whatever takes your fancy!
 
Freshwater Pearl Spiral Bracelet Pattern


Materials
Approx. 2-3 grams of size 6 green seed beads A
Approx. 5 grams of size 11 ceylon purple seed beads B
(I generally like to use Japanese seed beads but you can use cheaper seed beads if you like - Just try and use beads that are similiar in size)
18 Dark green freshwater pearls C
18 Lime green freshwater pearls C
36 Dark purple freshwater pearls C
2 silver plated bell cones
2 silver plated eye pins
2 silver plated jump rings
1 silver plated lobster clasp
Thread
Needle
Round Nose Pliers
Pliers

Method
Step One
Thread your needle with a stop bead leaving about 20 cm (8 inch) of thread.
Add four (size 6) green seed beads (See Diagram 1).

Diagram 1












  
Step Two


Add another (size 6) green seed bead, two (size 11) ceylon purple seed beads, one dark purple freshwater pearl, and two more (size 11) ceylon purple seed beads. Now pass the thread through the last three beads you stitched on in step one, and the very first green bead you picked up in the beginning of this step (See Diagram 2).

Diagram 2

Step Three
Once again, add one green seed bead (size 6). Then add two ceylon purple seed beads (size 11), one lime green freshwater pearl, and another two ceylon purple seed beads (size 11). Next, pass the thread through the four green seed beads to form the base. You do this by picking up three of the size 6 green beads from the previous steps and the one size 6 green bead you just picked up in the beginning of this step. (see Diagram 3). Pull your thread, so the purple seed beads sit on top of the base lime seed beads and push the purple seed beads and freshwater pearls to sit beside the other beads sitting on the outside of the base.


Diagram 3

Continue to add one (size 6) green bead, two (size 11) ceylon purple seed beads, one freshwater pearl* and again two (size 11) ceylon purple seed beads. Pass through four green seed beads to form the base (passing through the three green seed beads from the previous steps, and also picking up the green bead from the current step).

*To achieve the colour pattern of the bracelet, alternate the freshwater pearl colours with each step. As follows
One dark purple (as in step 2)
One lime green (as in step 3)
One dark purple (step 4)
One dark green (step 5)
Repeat these step till you reach your desired length, keeping in mind the extra space you'll use for clasp. For a bracelet I work about 17 inches of spiral stitch, leaving about 1 and half inches for the clasp area.


Here is a summary of steps for this Spiral Bracelet:

1st step only - Thread: 4 x A, 2 x B, 1 x C, 2 x B, pass through all four A beads to form base
Every step (except the first) - Thread: 1 x A, 2 x B, 1 x C, 2 x B, stitch through 3 A’s (already in base from previous steps) and 1A from this step.



Finishing off your bracelet
When your bracelet has reached the required length attach an eye pin to the end of the piece with your thread. Do this by wrapping the thread around the eye pin and tying knots. Repeat, this many times – stitching the thread back into the bracelet and tying knots and wrapping around the eye pin. You should wrap the thread until the eye pin is securely attached. The eye pin may still move a little but do not worry. Finish the thread by weaving into your work and tying a final knot - seal knot with a little nail polish. Now, add a good dollop of clear nail polish or pvc glue, over the tied knots on your eye pin. Let dry, then place your silver plated cone, over the eye pin (see Diagram 4).

Diagram 4






Next, trim the excess length from your eye pin leaving enough to curl. Curl end so that the bell cap fits securely on the end of the bracelet. Remove stop bead from other end of bracelet and attach eye pin in same way as other side. Attach jump rings to the ends of the eye pins. Finish off your bracelet by adding lobster or toggle clasp (see Diagram 5).

Diagram 5



Changing Thread
I usually use enough thread (about 1.5 metres) so I only have to change the thread once throughout this project. When you have about 13cm (5 inches) of thread left, weave it back into the base beads. First weave back through two of the base beads. Tie a knot. And weave again through another two. Tie another knot. Seal your knots with clear nail polish or pvc glue.
Add new thread by weaving it in about five beads prior to where your works ends. Weave through two beads. Tie knot. Weave through another two beads. Tie knot. Weave through one more bead and you should now be ready to continue your work. Seal knots with clear nail polish and trim ends. As you will be passing your thread through the same section where your old thread is finished, be careful to not undo this prior work. Also, aim to tie your knots in alternative placement to where you tied your knots in finishing your thread, as this helps to keep your work neat.

I hope you enjoyed beading and please show your support by leaving comments. Thanks : )

Easy Beaded Two-Tone Earrings - Free Beading Pattern

In the Ten Minute Lantern Earrings Pattern I showed you an easy and fast way to utilise Lampwork Accent Beads. Here is another simple way to make pretty two-tone earrings from these gorgeous lampwork beads.



Materials

2 Peppermint green small lampwork beads
2 Aqua blue lampwork beads
6 Peppermint green swaroski crystals
4 Cool mint blue swaroski crystals
18 Small silver plated balls
1 Pair of sterling silver earring hooks
2 Silver plated eyepins
6 Silver plated headpins
2 Silver plated jumprings

Method

Place one silver ball, one bead, one green crystal, one peppermint green lampwork bead, and
another silver ball on an eye pin. Curl end.
Place one silver ball, one green crystal, and one silver ball on a headpin. Curl end. Repeat.
Place one silver ball, one blue crystal, one silver ball, another blue crystal, and finally one silver ball on a headpin. Curl end.
Add the beaded headpins to the jump ring - short, long, short.
Attach headpin to the eye pin with the lampwork beads.
Repeat for second pair.
Attach to earring hooks.

And here is some other colour schemes you might also like to try...






 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Ten Minute Lantern Earrings - Easy Free Beading Tutorial








I wanted to write a tutorial to make something very simple and very quick. I also wrote this tutorial to show you one of the ways you can use accent lampwork beads from my bead inspiration kits, available in my Etsy shop at Peachy Lane. These beads are made from the finest quality Italian Moretti and Vetrofond glass. If you are unfamiliar with these glass manufacturers, in short, they are both produced by the Moretti family who are considered one of the best, if not the greatest, glass-making family in the world. Their glass is sought after by many renowned glass artists, and works made from their glass, features in many of the world's finest galleries and museums. The glass is considered a soft glass and  the Moretti family have produced a vast range of glass types and opacities. It's important to know, that the mass-produced beads (mostly made in China) are not made from this same quality glass, and these beads lack the lustre and beauty of the Moretti family glass, that makes Tom's lampwork glass beads so special.


Most of Tom's amazing lampwork beads have sold, but I still have some of his never-before-seen work in my shop. I hope you get a chance to take a look. Tom has retired from lampworking to focus on his music career, so all the items in my shop are the very last of his work.


MATERIALS
6 Small Lampwork Beads
12 silver-plated (or sterling silver) balls
1 pair of sterling silver earring hooks
4 silver plated eyepins
2 siver plated head pins
Pliers
Round Nose Pliers


Method
Place one silver ball, one lampwork bead, and another silver ball on an eyepin. Trim excess eyepin with pliers, leaving enough length to curl. Curl using round nose pliers. Repeat four times.
Place one silver ball, one lampwork bead, and another silver ball on a head pin. Trim excess headpin with pliers, leaving enough length to curl. Curl using round nose pliers. Repeat two times.
Link two beaded eyepins, and one beaded headpin to form the hanging lantern. Ensure the headpin is at the bottom. Repeat for other pair.
Attach to sterling silver earring hooks.

That's it. Finished. 
 

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