Since the UK went into lockdown last year (A whole year? Weeping inside) I have had to find some alternative activities to keep me occupied while I wasn’t allowed outside.
When I was a kid I learnt how to crochet, but I had never made anything more complicated than a blanket, so I thought I’d give 3D a go.
There were a couple of things I had to learn to turn a flat shape into a stuffable shape: how to increase and decrease the number of stitches, but I also have never made anything that wasn’t a treble, so I also had to teach myself single and double stitches and how to follow a pattern.
Youtube, as ever, has been really helpful for all this. And I had a small sample that I would teach myself the stitches on before unravelling it and teaching myself something else before I committed to trying a whole project.
The first creature I made was this
LLama Alpaca, who I’m told has been named Alfred and is much loved by the recipient.
This did tech me about the importance of the size of the crochet hook though. I needed around double the quantity of wool because I hadn’t used the size of hook on the pattern, and he turned out massive!
Next up I had a request from a friend to make a dinosaur because his son is obsessed. Having invested in a new hook set so I had all the size options I needed, this one got done much quicker and to the appropriate scale.
The additional challenge with this pattern was the horns, they were so small and fiddly! I probably didn’t help myself by selecting a smooth yarn type that kept unwinding and didn’t really bond to itself in any way.
I also invested in some safety eyes (from Etsy), as I wasn’t super happy with the “embroidered” ones I did on the alpaca, which I think does make it look a little more professional.
I also decided to time myself on this one to see how much I would have had to charge to make it a viable income stream. If I were to pay myself minimum wage for 20 hours + materials, it would have come out at £186! So if you’re ever gifted a hand-made item- really cherish it!
The Third animal I have made over the year is this Orangutan.
I had a couple of issues with this make, doing each finger individually is incredibly fiddly and there were a number of times I had to walk away and try again later. I also didn’t like the way the legs were supposed to be attached to the body, I felt the body wasn’t stable enough to support the legs in that way, so I sewed them on in a similar way to the arms instead.
I wish I had been able to get a hold of the eyelash yarn that the pattern suggests, as I think this would have made it look a little more orangutan and a little less monkey, but in the UK it seems it’s only possible to buy it in bulk, and I didn’t want 8 balls of it, so I made do with a suitable colour.
If you would like to try any of these animals here are the patterns:
What have you guys been crafting during lock-down?