M is for Macarons.

In this case (as for llama too) I had no difficulties picking out what to make. In no time I choose macarons as one of my favourite sweets. It was a really fun and fast making that takes very little yarn so you can use almost all the yarn ends.

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I used really different yarns for this one. Some of them really were the last bits of the yarn. I used pima cotton, organic cotton and mercerized cotton, also a cotton-acrylic blend. I really love how soft pima cotton is and that organic cotton is almost as soft. The mercerized cotton is really different with a smoother look and a shinier finish and is a tad stiffer to touch. The acrylic blend yarn was one of the last bits of it as I’m looking for more natural fibres lately. Again I used my 2.25 mm hook and stuffed them with wool. The pattern is from Yarnspirations. I like making my own but I also love use others if they fit my vision – no need to invent another bicycle as they say!

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Although you can’t see them from the pictures, I also attached ribbons to the macarons so one could use them as accessories on a bag or as a key chain or why not as a Christmas decoration. The ribbon can also be replaced with a chain.

As they really came up so fast I just couldn’t stop with one, they needed to be in different colours (flavours). Also pictures-wise one macaron wouldn’t have looked half as nice as this pastel rainbow here. This is also the project, that some may or may not have figured, that used the yarn selection and was on a sneak-peek picture on Instagram.

Would you like a macaron? Or a few? Which flavour would you choose? Would you use it as a key chain or some other decoration/accessory?

 

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L is for Llama.

Here I go again to continue with my amigurumi alphabet. I am determined to finish however long it takes. This time I’m not so sure how clear it is, when you look at the animal, who I created this time but I still think it turned out adorable.

Once again I used my almost traditional base and crocheted a llama. I really like llamas! I even considered a different version and even did a little sketch but making characters all in one shape has become a challenge on its own.

It has the classic base with white head and brown body with white hands and brown legs. I also added a white muzzle and brown tail and two ears with one of each colour. Last but definitely not least is the fluffy mane. I had really fun making and arranging it later on. Endless possibilities with the haircut here! Of course it also includes 6 mm safety eyes and nose. Yarn is 100% organic cotton and it’s stuffed with pure wool. I used a 2.25 mm crochet hook.

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In this case, as of many others, there is actually so many possibilities and variations for the colours. I googled a bit and found one fellow with white front and brown behind with a mixed-coloured head. I think it looks fun although I’m not completely settled with it. I’m thinking if it needs any changes but not sure if or what. What do you think? Does it look like a llama enough?

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In the past I’ve had problems with my characters sitting properly. Sometimes they tend to fall sideways. Lately I’ve been trying to pay more attention on legs and tail placement to improve it but as you can see this one is still not really leaning on it’s tail, although it sits nicely anyways.

Next up in the amigurumi alpahbet is M. What could it stand for?

K is for Koala.

Time for the next letter in alphabet – K. For this one I attempted on making another animal based on the same form as my thesis. The body and limbs were simple and standard as I make them for anyone. Interestingly enough I found out that Koalas have no visible tail, not even a small one. The main part of the ears (grey) was also pretty basic but adding the white was much trickier than it seemed. It tended to be too much or too little and in the end they are not completely identical but in such cases I figure this is nature, it doesn’t always have to be the same.

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This fellow was also one that I took into a shop for sale among some other older ones that you have already seen (i.e. donut, two monkeys etc). We’ll see and hear in some while how it went and if anyone had interest in them. I really like the grey, black and white combo here and the fact that the grey is also somewhat speckled, gives it a more natural feel.

Black yarn I used for the nose is organic cotton, grey is recycled cotton and the white fluff is made of organic cotton and silk blend. The last one I also brushed a little to give some extra fluffiness. Crochet hook I used was 2.25 mm, safety eyes 6mm and safety nose 7 mm. It’s stuffed with pure wool.

How do you like him? I’m looking forward to making other animals and creatures on my amigurumi base, I love experimenting like that. What kind of characters would you like to see? What else would you like me to make in addition to amigurumi? Let me know in the comments! (:

School Summary

As I have mentioned multiple times, I went to school for the last two years to study textile works. During most of the time there I was not sure at all that I would finish but now that I did, in some sense I feel more accomplished than I did graduating university six years ago.

First year was overall much easier than the second. One thing being that sessions were  about once every 1.5 months but last year they were every month. It was intense, we had lots of practical homework and I fell behind. As the youth centre I worked in was going through some major structural changes and many of my collegues had left due to that, I had started thinking of finding something else too. Part of because the lack of motivation, part of to find some more time for school.

In October I found what I thought to be a nice easy job in a cafe in Tallinn Airport. I went there to try it out the first time for about 3-4 hours and it felt good. For the first month I was scheduled to work sometimes in the mornings (starting at 4 am), sometimes at evenings (finishing around midnight). From there on I was put only for the mornings and I realised it didn’t work for me. Waking up at 3 am for such long periods of time is not sensible because there will be no routine as on my days off I’d always sleep longer. Plus it felt sad to go to bed at 7pm the night before. The schedule of my first month made so much more sense and felt more humane. My boss even mentioned that they used to have it like to weeks of mornings and two evenings but some didn’t like that. My guess is that was the evening shift.

Another reason was that for the first time ever I had to take a sick leave. Which iin itself is nothing but it was because something I never had before. Horrible dizziness, felt like I was going to pass out. The best was just to lie down and not to move. Plus a strange rash around my eyes and some stomach problems. Last I’ve had before but it hadn’t felt as bad for ages. Perhaps it was the stress or some allergy (one of my collegues caught a bad one) or both or neither. It’s long gone now so I guess we’ll never know. During the sick leave they kept calling and checking if I felt better and could come to work. I can’t say it helped with the stress! Not sure if it’s the norm for when on sick leave but I would have called if I was going to end it, which I eventually did!

At the beginning of February I filed my application to leave the job. It was just too much with all the night shifts of 10-12 hours (which may stretch!) and the school and the health problems. First couple of days after quitting I felt the dizziness and then it was it. Nothing like it before or after working there.

I dedicated all my time for school and graduating. I focused on finishing all the stuff I had fallen behind with and working on my thesis. For the session in April I managed to do everything but the ones that for meant to be done by May (some finished them in advance as well). Plus the thesis of course! I also did  some job searching but as nothing caught my eye, I decided to at least finish my thesis first.

My thesis consisted of 16 amigurumi charachets, 14 animals and 2 birds and the instruction manual for them. At first I was thinking of making only one bird but then the official name had it plural in it so I made two. At one point I was even thinking animals only but my teacher and classmates loved it and after some alterations I did too. All of the characters were worked on the same body that I had made a bunny of a few years ago. This old one looks and feels so much softer and looser but I still adore her! Oh yeah, the flower is also gone now.

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Crocheting them all took a lot of time, writing the patterns down took a lot of time, plus writing the thesis and designing the pattern book. It was a very stressful period and I’m sure that attempting it while having a job also would have been a failure. Including the fact that of my first years classmates (I was the only one who choose sewing and not loom weaving) only one other than me graduated, everyone else took an academic leave. I was also quite close to that.

In my head I had thought everything out and even started to imagine the characters all in one shape. I even managed to put some sketches on paper. In reality it was much harder and for some more than others it demanded quite an amount of unraveling and starting all over again. The sketches helped with visualizing and I even wrote some notes to the side of them specifying the colours etc.

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I used mostly organic cotton yarns but also some recycled cotton ones in the weight of 50g/~100m. My crochet hook was a 2.25 mm one and I stuffed them with wool. In addition I used 6 and 10 mm safety eyes and 6 and 7 mm safety noses. For the sewing and details I used large eyed blunt needle. This is what I got: mountain hare, ringed seal (baby), European hedgehog, Eurasian lynx, Ural owl, roe deer, red fox, red squirrel, great tit, gray wolf, European badger, European mole, beaver, moose, brown bear and wild boar. I’m thinking of making more birds in the future and perhaps some domestic or more exotic animals too. There is tons in the wilderness to make!

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As I was really in a hurry I designed my pattern book in  MS Publisher. I tried to find a template to make it even more easier but as nothing worked I started from blank. Overall I am pleased how it worked out. Every pattern has a photo of the character as well as one of an actual animal and a short description of it. Of course if I really want to publish it, I need to tweak it a bit more. Also I want to translate it into English. Would of you buy a book like that? Or perhaps a single pattern? What would be a reasonable price range for you? The title reads “Crochet Estonian Birds and Animals”.

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To defend my thesis I also had to put together a portfolio of my two years works for assessment at the time that I was giving my speech. You will see the works included here in the future if you haven’t already, plus some that didn’t make it there. My portfolio had a short description of me and my impression of my work and studies and this kind of a ‘table of contents’ of sort. I was nervous about not writing anything next to the photos as everyone else did but how big was my surprise when our teacher and main tutor for the thesis brought it out as an excellent example! I was so chuffed and relaxed at the same about it! My little brother helped me with the pictures that I’m on. (:

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The defending speech was supposed to be 5-7 minutes and as I practiced I got 5 exact, when reading very calmly and slowly so I was nervous about that too. I scratched some text off and wrote some new on the last minutes, listening to others and was not sure at all what it would do to the overall length of it. I was extremely nervous on my turn but everyone said it didn’t show and the committee gave me a really positive feedback! The nervousness was not at all reasonable!

In the end of it all they gave us an hour to decide and grade everyone fairly. We were graded in numbers 1-5 with 5 being the best. In reality it took about 1.5 hours. Although my overall feeling was good I kept thinking about the rumour that others said about everyone not getting the best grades as someone needs to be lower. It felt a little jittery during the whole waiting time. In the end I found out I (amongst most others) got 5 as the highest possible grade I was so happy! I did it, I graduated and I got a good grade and a level 4 vocation as a textile work  apprentice. Plus many wanted to buy my book that doesn’t even exist yet! How cool is that?!

Chuffed to bits!

Looking for a job.

PS! One thing that I do regret regarding school was that picking sewing instead of loom weaving (because I don’t own a loom nor have a room for it, it didn’t make as much sense) I fell into a group that had chosen optional courses that I had the least interest in and due to that I missed leather work and ancient craft techniques which were kind of why I choose the school in the first place. It’s a pity but well, that’s something for the future, I guess.

H is for Hot Dog.

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Organic (the bread), recycled (the hot dog) and a bit of regular (ketchup) cotton yarns.

Some stuffing.

1.75 mm crochet hook.

Made up the pattern.

The sausage colour might be a little off but as I have mentioned, it’s knid of a stash-buster project so I’m only allowed to use the yarns I already have.

***

H nagu hot dog.

B is for Boletus.

Last week I was basically working alone so I had my hands full and didn’t have much time to get a break. This week we are all together again after a long time and it has been crazy. Not that it’s anyone’s fault, it’s just that there is so much that had to be done and so much that really got done.

We had a team meeting on Monday and found out soon that we could get rid of some junk in the house that had been lying there for quite a long time (mostly old and broken furniture). We got a truck that took it all away today. There was much more of that than anyone had imagined and it took a lot more time to get it all out.

I have also worked a bit longer this week so regarding all that I feel rather exhausted. I should probably go to sleep already but I decided to have a quick write here. I’m not sure if I’ll have more time in the weekend (if I do then you’ll see the next post rather sooner than later) so here it is.

Next letter is B and it stands for boletus.

IMG_8296This is made of a pattern I accidentally stumbled on. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to give it a try. I love mushrooms and this one looks so much like the real one. Maybe not quite but you really can tell it’s a boletus, can’t you!

I used organic cotton G-B Wiolle Bio-Baumwolle for the stem and bamboo (60%) – cotton (40%) blend Katia Bamboo yarn for the cap. I used embroidery floss for the details and filled it with pillow-stuffing. The hook was I think a 2.75 mm. I’m happy with the results. (:

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Eelmine nädal olin sisuliselt üksi tööl, mis tähendab, et käed-jalad olid pidevalt tööd täis. See nädal saime esimest korda üle pika aja meeskonnaga kokku, ning aeg on möödunud ulmeliselt. Mitte, et asi oleks inimestes, lihtsalt teha on nii palju nüüd ja ka tehtud on juba päris palju selle lühikese aja jooksul.

Meil oli ka väike koosolek kohe nädala alguses. Saime teada, et lõpuks tuleb konteinerauto ja saame suurest sodist oma majas lahti (põhiliselt vana ja katkine mööbel). Auto tuli täna ja kõik ebavajaliku minema. Kõike seda oli palju rohkem, kui ettegi võis kujutada ja aega selle majast välja tassimiseks läks samuti rohkem, kui oleks võinud arvata.

Lisaks kõigele olen ka tööd teinud see nädal vähe pikemalt, mis tõttu tunnen ennast juba üsna väsinult. Tõenäoliselt peaksin juba magama, aga mõtlesin, et kirjutan siia ikka kiiresti ära. Ma ei ole eriti kindel, et mul nädalavahetusel selleks rohkem aega on (kui siiski, siis tuleb järgmine postitus juba üsna pea), seega siin ta on.

Järgmine täht on B nagu puravik!

See on tehtud mustri järgi, mille ükskord kogemata leidsin. Kohe siis sain juba aru, et pean selle järele proovima. Mulle nii meeldivad seened ja see on ju kogu oma lihtsuses nii realistlik. Võib-olla mitte päris, aga on ju aru saada, et see on puravik!

Jala jaoks kasutasin orgaanilist puuvilla G-B Wolle Bio-Baumwolle ja mütsi jaoks 60% pambuse ja 40% puuvilla segust Katia Bamboo lõnga. Detailid tikkisin peale mulineega ja sisuks on padjatäide. Mulle mu seen meeldib. (:

A is for Apple.

With this line in the tile I always remember a song from my teens “A is for apple, B is for balloon, C is for crayons, D is for drums!” and then it goes off. I’m sure many of you know it too. ^_^ Although my ‘song’ here starts with the same, that’s pretty much where the similarities end as well.

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As I have had some trouble every once in awhile on picking the ideas on what to crochet, I decided to get myself a little help – the alphabet. I’m trying to make everythin from A to Z. At first I was thinking on adding a topic to it as well (ie animals or desserts etc) but then I decided just an alphabet will be just fine. This project might also work a bit for learning words wether in English or in Estonian. 😀

I have actually managed to crochet up stuff until F and G is a WIP so there will be others here soon. It’s just that I tend to take photos of a bunch of things rahter than everything in separate right after I finish them (although that’s what I’d like to do more).

The other reason I put this project in the making is that I’m trying to use the yarns that I already own. Usually when I get asked to make something or have a specific idea of my own I can’t find a suitable yarn in my stash and there is actually quite a lot of yarn in there! So I decided I needed to do something for that and a project like this is going to help me at least somewhat (amigurumies don’t usually take up too much yarn at all).

At first I was thinking on making my alpahbet in kawaii or putting a face on everything for extra cuteness but then I decided to leave everything as is, all ‘natural’.

Technical stuff: the yellow is a 100% cotton that says “COTTON” on the label. I don’t know the manufacturer or anything but it feels rather soft and nice. The green yarn is also 100% cotton a yarn called “Løve SOFT” from HP Garn (it’s Danish). I know I bought them both from the same store and I even might have an idea for the green one as I have two of that but I have no idea any more.  The stem is I think from Schachenmayr nomotta Cotton Eco that I used the very last piece of for making it. I used the 1.75 mm hook again and filled with some pillow stuffing.

Do you have any ideas what would be the next to come up? I already gave a few hints on what they’re not. 😛

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A nagu Õun! Kõlab loogiliselt, eks!? Tegelikult ma seda projekti alustades mõtlesin pikalt, kumba tähestikku kasutada, aga otsustasin siis inglise keelse jaoks. St jäävad ära kõik täpitähed, aga tulevad sisse mõned meie jaoks võõramad tähed. Nagu näha ka sõnad sellest tulenevalt on võetud eeskujuks inglise keelest. Aga see polegi ju kõige olulisem? Tähtis on see, mis välja tuleb ja tõtt-öelda, ma täitsa tahaks juba tervet seda tähestikku valminuna näha! ^_^

Kuna mul on tihtilugu olnud raskusi leida järgmist projekti, mille kallal töötada või siis nende paljude ideede seast selle õige välja valimisega, siis tuli mõte võtta endale abiline – tähestik. Nagu öeldud on ta siin inglise keelne, tähed A – Z. Alguses mõtlesin, et võtan lisaks juurde ka teema (loomad, magustoidud vm), aga lõpuks leidsin, et lihtsalt tähestik on täiesti piisav. Lisaks kõigele muule aitab see projekt ka sõnu õppida, inglise ja eesti keeles! 😀

Lisaks õunale on mul tegelikult valmis tööd kuni F täheni ja G on hetkel pooleli st varsti on siin juba järgmisi ka näha. Asi on lihtsalt selles, et ma kipun töid pildistama hulgakesi koos, mitte kohe pärast valmimist, nagu mulle tegelikult rohkem meeldiks.

Teine põhjus, miks see projekt käiku läks on, et vähendada oma lõngavarusid. Pisikesed amigurumid ei ole selleks küll kõige kiirem variant, aga algus seegi. Tavaliselt kui keegi palub mul midagi teha või tuleb endal konkreetne mõte, siis sobivat lõnga ju kunagi kohe olemas ei ole. Olgugi, et tegelikult on mul seda lõnga juba üsna piisavalt kogunenud. Ühesõnaga otsustasin midagi ette võtta ja selle projektiga algust teha.

Korra oli ka mõte kõik kawaii-stiili teha ehk siis eriti nunnu nägu kõigele ja kõigile peale panna, aga lõpuks otsustasin, et mitte, see kord on kõik nii, loomulik. 

Tehnilisest poolest on kollane lõng 100% puuvillane nimega COTTON. Tootja kohta ei ole seal midagi kirjas, kuigi iseenesest on tegu üsna pehme ja mõnusa lõngaga. Roheline on samuti puuvillane, nimega “Løve SOFT” HP Garnilt. Mõlemad on kunagi Karnaluksist ostetud, rohelise jaoks võis mul kunagi isegi mingi idee olla, kuna seda on mul tervelt kaks tokki, aga enam ju ei tea. Vars peaks olema Schachenmayr nomotta Cotton Eco lõngast. See oli kõige-kõige viimane seda tooni antud lõng, mis mul alles veel oli. Konks oli ikka see hea 1.75 mm.

Mis arvate, mis järgmiste tähtedega tulla võiks? Paar vihjet juba andsin, mis nad ei ole. 😛