These are the jokes…I apologize for them in advance. I did say I was a major nerd and Tim Burton’s Batman was definitely one of the defining moments of cinema as I was growing up. But, it also is the truth.
Patterns, Patterns Everywhere
As I’ve prepared to officially announce the business side of my Luvvies, I’ve had many friends asking if I can make this or that. And because I think I was a glutton for punishment (lol) in a previous life, I always want to see what I can find. Of course that requires hours of scouring the inter webs to find different patterns. I’ve already asked one of my besties to take my Etsy account away from me. There are so many creative and fun patterns available on Etsy – for reasonable prices. As with when I go to comic conventions, I don’t want to know what I’ve spent on patterns recently…I just know it is a lot, and I really regret nothing.
However, what’s been even better (?) has been the free patterns that are available. There are gorgeous amigurumi patterns available for free from different sites including Ravelry, Craftsy, and of course Pinterest. The only thing I have noticed with Pinterest is that some of the patterns there are links to are either to Etsy links (d’oh), or they are patterns that someone else has purchased and is sharing – which makes me a little uncomfortable, but I’m weird that way. Plus there are a ton of great Web sites like amigurumipatterns.net (one of my favorites) that have patterns listed for free and for a small fee.
However, with the abundance of patterns available, my brain sometimes goes into overload. So many patterns, so little time, and of course I want to make everything I see right this second.
Narrowing the choices
What I’ve found is I really have to give myself pep talks. I have to convince myself that pattern, which is now safely stored in my iBooks library, will be there tomorrow and the day after that. I don’t need to throw over the pattern I am working on currently to make something that I just found. This logic works about 70 percent of the time. However, I find that if I’m working on a project that has been giving me problems, I find it easier to leave that on the hook and move to something else. Sometimes that break is good – it gives me a chance to work on something different and see that progress. The break also gives me a chance to overcome whatever blocks caused me to really need the break.
My most recent example was a stuffed koala I was making for one of my friends.
The pattern really was nothing I hadn’t done before: Lots of single crochet, some slip stitches, and some half double crochet. Everything seemed easy breezy; this was going to be so awesome to work on. Then I hit the ears and met a brick wall.
The stitch called for something called a loop stitch. I had never heard of this before. I read the instructions – and because I am a more visual learner, those really didn’t help me. I started scouring You Tube, which truly is a modern crocheter’s best friend: Everyone seemed to have a slightly different technique for how to do this stitch, and my brain just could not figure out what they were talking about. Put the hook, where? The more I watched, the more frustrated I became until I decided to take a break and play with a kitten pattern.
(By the way, Kallie Kitty is still in progress because I got distracted…again).
As I started working on the kitty and making progress, I kept watching videos on loop stitches. I was determined to learn this technique…although I really could have adapted the pattern and have done the ears without the loop stitch, but I can be stubborn and I wanted it to look as close to the pattern as possible.
So after making progress on the kitty, I came back to my koala.
I kept trying, and although the stitches still weren’t perfect, they were so much better than before. I was proud of myself and that gave me the final push I needed to finish the koala, whom I named Miller in my head.
The funny thing is when I got to the ear-roadblock, I was almost ready to assemble Miller – almost all the other pieces had been crocheted.
Including this lovely nose that I had to wear like the dork that I am. This is why I can’t be out in public and that having a Web site probably will scar so many.
In this case, my crochet ADD helped me get over a hurdle. I was able to get back to stitches that I felt comfortable with and got to see progress on another project while still trying to learn techniques to get me over the hurdle and back on to my main project.
Assembling the koala
After I finally learned everything I needed for the ears, I was able to finish Miller the koala. The funny thing is, at one point I looked at the unstuffed body and head and said…it looks like I just came home with an empty shell from Build-A-Bear.
The unattached, unstuffed pieces
Progress on the head…looking more koala like
The Build-A-Bear stage: You can see some of the interior yarn ends peeking up through the body’s opening.
The finished koala: He’s not perfect, but I’m rather proud of him.
I really need to go back to my cat and get her finished. The problem is, I found about 20 new patterns last night as I was finishing up Miller and getting ready to post this, and I may already have a new project on my crafty hook.
Whatever gets finished next, I look forward to sharing my progress with you, and I’m sure my family and Facebook friends will be happy they don’t have to get all the play-by-play updates the same way they have to this point.