Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cupcake Tricks



After you crochet a lot of things you start to develop your own tricks of the trade. Here are some of mine.

I really like to crochet cupcakes to give at birthday parties. Since I have made quite a few of them now, I have found different ways to make them better. If you are making a cupcake, here are a few of my tricks to use. First, birthday cupcakes need a candle. Here is a candle pattern:

Candle:
Use two strands of yarn and an f hook
sc 5 in a circle
sc around until you get the height of candle you want. I sc around 5 times.

Flame:
I used a yellow fur yarn to make it look like flames.
sc 5 in a circle
sc 4, decrease 1
Cut yarn and weave it through the remaining stitches to make a point. Sew it to the top of the candle. Sew the candle to the top of the cupcake.


I like to use this cupcake pattern on Bittersweet. You could use any crochet cupcake pattern though.

My second trick is, a stiff bottom. I want my cupcake to stand upright, even after lots of use. Using plastic lids from butter tubs I cut out two circles to fit the bottom of the cupcake. You could use any plastic lids, like the ones on top of nuts or whipped topping. Make a second bottom from the cupcake pattern. Tack the second bottom on top of the lids to the sides of the cupcake. This will keep the stiff bottom in place and help the cupcake stand upright.

My third trick is a rattle. I like to give these cupcakes to little babies when they turn one. Little babies like rattles so I add a rattle to the cupcake. My rattle is a cat toy sew into a little bag of fabric. I put it in the fabric in case it breaks. I don't want plastic to stick out of the cupcake and poke the cute baby.

My final trick is I use scrap pieces of yarn to fill my cupcake (or any of my amigurumi). This way I feel like I am not wasting any of my thread. I keep all of the little pieces of yarn in a little bag so they are convenient for stuffing into my next project.

Here is a cupcake I made a long time ago without my 'tricks'. You can see it has been well played with.




Here is my new cupcake.




The stiff bottom



The cat rattle



The colored filling.



Do you have any tricks you use when crocheting? I would love to hear about them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cardinal


I have always thought about making one of these. Now I have! This one is little. (just right to hang on the tree or set within its branches)

Head:
Rnd 1: sc 4 in a circle
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (8)
Rnd 3: sc around (8)
Rnd 4: 2 sc in next sc 7 (9)
Rnd 5: sc 8 then 2 sc in next sc (10)
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next sc, sc 9 (11)
Rnd 7: sc 12, 2 sc in next sc (12)
Rnd 8: switch to black, sc 6, switch to red, sc 6 (12)
Rnd 9: sc 1, switch to black, sc 4, switch to red, sc 7 (12)
cut thread, leave tail to sew to body
I did a few stitches in the crest of the head to make it curve a little bit.

Body:
Rnd 1: sc 6 in a circle
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc 1, sc 2 in next sc* repeat around (18)
Rnd 4: *sc 2, sc 2 in next sc* repeat around (24)
Rnd 5-7: sc around (24)
Rnd 8: sc 1 in front loop, ch 8, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sc 1, dc 5, sl st in original front loop, sc 23 (24)
Rnd 9: *sc 2, decrease* repeat around (18)
Rnd 10: *sc 1, decrease* repeat around (12)
Rnd 11: decrease around (6)
Cut thread and weave through to close up hole.
Fold tail in half and sew together two sides.

Wings: (make 2)
Rnd 1: 5 sc in a circle
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around
Rnd 3: dc 3, sc 1, sl st 5. Cut thread leave a tail to sew to body.

Put eyes in head. Sew the head to the body. Sew the wings on. Then make the beak.

Beak:
I tried to make a bunch of beaks and they were all too big, so instead I used orange yarn and wove it in over and over through the face until it was beak-like. Experiment until you get the perfect beak for your bird.

This is what the body looks like with the tail unfolded (I haven't finished the last round or stuffed or sewed it up yet in these photos)


And the tail folded

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ninja





Sorry for the long wait. I have made a bunch of versions of this one and finally settled on a pattern to put on here. I hope you like it. My boys want me to do some in orange and blue and white and on and on. My little girl wants me to make a pink ninja. I think I prefer the black though.

Use an f hook throughout.

Head:
Rnd 1: sc 5 in a circle
Rnd 2: sc 2 in each sc around (10)
Rnd 3: *sc 1 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (15)
Rnd 4: *sc 2 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (20)
Rnd 5: *sc 3 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (25)
Rnd 6: *sc 4 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (30)
Rnd 7: *sc 5 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (35)
Rnd 8: *sc 6 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (40)
Rnd 9: *sc 7 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (45)
Rnd 10-14: sc around (45)
Rnd 15: Switch to tan and sc 15 in back loops only, switch to black and sc 14, sc next st in front loop only, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next st, dc in next 2 st, sc in next st, sl st in beginning st, sc in next st on rnd in both loops, sc in next st in front loop only, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next st, dc in next 2 st, sc in next st, sl st in beginning st, sc 13 (45)
Rnd 16-18: Switch to tan and sc 15, switch to black and sc 30 (use back hoops behind ties for Rnd 16) (45)
Rnd 19-22: sc around (45)
Rnd 23: *decrease then sc 7* repeat around (40)
Rnd 24: *decrease then sc 6* repeat around (35)
Rnd 25: *decrease then sc 5* repeat around (30)
Rnd 26: *decrease then sc 4* repeat around (25)
Rnd 27: *decrease then sc 3* repeat around (20)
Cut thread leaving a long tail for sewing. Put in eyes and stuff.

Nose:
Rnd 1: sc 5 in a circle
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (10)
Rnd 3: dc 3, sc 2, dc 3, sc 2 (10)
Cut thread and sew to face.

Body:
Rnd 1: sc 5 in a circle
Rnd 2: sc 2 in each sc around (10)
Rnd 3: *sc 1 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (15)
Rnd 4: *sc 2 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (20)
Rnd 5: *sc 3 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (25)
Rnd 6: *sc 4 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (30)
Rnd 7: *sc 5 then 2 sc in next sc* repeat around (35)
Rnd 8-22: sc around (35)
Rnd 23: *decrease then sc 5* repeat around (30)
Rnd 24: *decrease then sc 4* repeat around (25)
Rnd 25: *decrease then sc 3* repeat around (20)
Rnd 26-28: sc around (20)
Cut thread and stuff.

Legs: (make 2)
Rnd 1: 6 sc in a circle
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc 1 then sc 2 in next sc* repeat around (18)
Rnd 4: *sc 2 then sc 2 in next sc* repeat around (24)
Rnd 5-12: sc around (24)
Rnd 13: *decrease then sc 2* repeat around (18)
Rnd 14-18: sc around (18)
Cut thread leaving a tail to sew with and stuff.

Arms: (make 2)
Rnd 1: sc 6 in a circle
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc 1 then sc 2 in next st* repeat around (18)
Rnd 4-7: sc around (18)
Rnd 8: *sc 1 then decrease* repeat around (12)
Rnd 9-18: sc around (12)
Cut thread, stuff and leave tail to sew to body.

Thumbs: (make 2)
Rnd 1: sc 3 in a circle
Rnd 2: sc 2 in each sc around (6)
Rnd 3: sc around (6)
Rnd 4: decrease 1 then sc 4 (5)
Cut thread and leave a tail to sew to hand.

Belt:
Use a thick yarn and loop it around him and tie it or crochet a thick chain and wrap it around him. I just used a dowel for a staff. If you have a little play sword it would look great too.