My son had this hat that he wore ALL THE TIME. It was his signature look...buffalo plaid with ear flaps. Hey, you know, whatever floats your boat, he rocked his hat and he rocked it hard. So, when I was browsing to make him a new snuggle blanket for his bed, this Fireside Afghan seemed the perfect match. My son is only 4-years old, though, so he is a little guy. I crocheted the full width of the blanket but only half the length, which kept the proportions correct for the blanket but made it a much more manageable snuggle size for my son. (Note: The original width becomes the length of the blanket and the length the width…if that makes sense.) The finished dimensions were 30” x 48” and it was perfect for him. And he was so patient. Even half the size took me a strangely long time. I think somewhere in my head I convinced myself the crocheting was somehow faster than knitting. That is entirely not true, especially when making such a dense, squishy cloth as this.
That leads me to the stitch. I learned a new one! This blanket is created with what is called the star stitch. It is a little more complicated than your basic stitch collection in crochet, but can be easily mastered with a few practice swatches. The stitch itself is lovely, making an almost waffle like texture over the blanket. Also, the wonderful thing about the 3D nature of a crochet stitch is that you carry all of your colors through your current stitches. This does two things: it completely hides your color floats and it really adds some nice thickness to the fabric of your blanket. I chose to crochet this blanket in acrylic because it was for a small child and will likely need to take numerous journeys through the wash. However, this would be a very warm blanket if it were made with wool. Oh, and perhaps the best thing of all is that there are no tails to weave in when you are finished! I know, right? Miracles do happen.
The color scheme of this blanket is modeled after a traditional buffalo plaid, mimicking the warp and weft relationships beautifully with the black, wine and red colors. However, this can be accomplished with many color combos, so you should not feel limited to this traditional palette. You simply need a light and dark of the same hue and black (or grey) to create this shadowed, pure color alternating plaid motif. You could also go with tints instead of shades and couple two tints of a color with white.
Summary: This is not quite a true beginner project, mostly because of the color changes and the length of time it takes to complete. However, I would label it great for an adventurous beginner and beyond. And the finished project is such a wonderful and thick blanket, it would look really at home in a cabin or lake house...or on your 4-year old's bed.
I do not crochet, unless I do. There are occasions that call for me to put down my needles and pick up a hook, and this little Yoshi was one such occasion. My son recently acquired the Nintendo game "Yoshi's Wooly World," which is a fiber inspired adventure of little knitted and crocheted creations. (Perhaps it makes me a bad parent, but it was the only way I could get him to sit on the potty long enough to poo. Now the opposite problem is true and I have to set a timer so he doesn't stay on the potty indefinitely.) My son, hands down, loves this game. Mostly because it is just a fun, well-made game. However, he also enjoys that it is yarn themed. Sometimes he leaps off the potty to run and show me some new yarn creature or puzzle he has found.
Well, now, how could I not find a pattern to make him his own yarn Yoshi? A quick search on Ravelry produced this gem. My son got to pick all of the colors for his own, custom Yoshi. He went with an orange body with blue and yellow shoes. I stuck with the traditional red shell and white accents. However, as it often happens when you want to do something fairly fast, the yarn colors he wanted were not available in the prescribed yarn weights...so I went up a size to worsted weight with a bulky weight white. My Yoshi probably sits about 4.5 inches instead of 2.5 inches in height. I was sort of bumbling around to figure out what hook size would then be appropriate, and I think I might have chosen wrong. I went with a 6.00 mm size J hook. This was right in the middle of the recommended hook sizes for the yarn I purchased.
While the Yoshi is still adorable, I think the crochet holes (I'm not sure what to call them) are a little big. If you look closely, you can see the stuffing. I think had I chosen a smaller hook, it would have tightened up the stitch and made a more solid Yoshi. This is good to know, my son wants more Yoshis in different colors now...I'm preparing to create a rainbow Yoshi army.
The project itself was very fast. I finished the Yoshi in two days with only evening, casual crochet sessions. This is pretty good, considering I do not crochet. This means if you do crochet, you could probably whip up this little guy in no time at all! I know there are mistakes on my Yoshi, but I think, by and large, it turned out really well. (Really well meaning you can tell he is Yoshi.)
Summary: This was a quick, cute crochet project with a solid set of written instructions. As I have said many times, I do not crochet, so if I could create this little cutie, you have to know the designer did a good job explaining how to put this Yoshi together. If you have a Nintendo fan in your family (or you yourself enjoy Yoshi) this is a great, fun project that is sure to make you smile.
Yoda - Star Wars Mini Amigurumi
The pattern is not available for individual purchase. You can, however, get this pattern, along with 11 more of your favorite Star Wars characters, in a crochet amigurumi kit. It is available on Amazon for $18.48.
This project was a departure from my usual. I do not often crochet, and while I have made a few stuffed animals, I have never made an amigurumi. With that said, I have to say this project was a lot of fun! Amigurumi, for those of you who might have read that word with some confusion, is a style of knitting and crocheting small stuffed yarn creatures. It is a Japanese style of art, and my limited experience has revealed that the creatures often follow trends of pop culture. There are not, however, rules governing the size and look of a creature. While it has been a popular style in Japan for decades, it has only recently found its home here and is still growing in popularity.
This little yoda stands a proud 2.5 inches tall. The details the designer added are quite delightful. The robe is removeable, there are toes (even though you can't really see them here), the little belt holds the robe closed, there is an under garment color that adds authenticity...really, Ms. Collin must have had a blast when she was designing this master of the Force. I received the box kit as a surprise from my husband. He was at Costco, and is often the case when he shops there, he impulse buys. He saw it and thought it was cute, especially since we are both huge Star Wars fans. (I say "huge," with the understanding that there are people out there that are much bigger fans than us. Perhaps I should just say we enjoy Star Wars quite a bit. We are not yet at the level of cosplay, though that looks like fun.)
The kit comes with instructions for 12 Star Wars characters and the supplies to make Yoda and a Storm Trooper. I used the supplies given, but I will say they are not of superior quality. That is to be expected, I do not fault the kit for it. I just know that Yoda might have looked better if the yarn was a little nicer. (I had trouble with it fraying and the yarn thickness seemed to vary quite a bit, especially for an acrylic yarn.) You can see a definite difference in the yarn from the pictures (and stitch definition) in the instructions from the yarn you are given to use. I never knew it would matter so much, but I felt it made an appreciable difference. Also, the shade of green seemed a little off. However, like I said, I am not a crocheter, so a lot of the faults in my yoda rest squarely with me. The instructions were clear, but sometimes I got lost in the counting. Do you count the stich on your hook? Does the slip knot count? These are all things that will become easier with practice.
One thing I did not like, however, was that the pictures did not always line up with the instructions next to them. For example, on one step, the picture illustrating the instruction was on a previous page! This sometimes could be a little confusing, but nothing major. The whole stuffed creation took me three casual nights of television watching. The time consuming part for me was in creating all of the little parts and sewing them together. The head and body are stitched as one piece, but then there are two ears, two arms, the robe, two sleeves, and a belt. It is this attention to detail that really brings the charm, though. This little yoda is on Ravelry, so for fun, you can see all the cute projects made from this pattern. It appears as though people have a lot of success with this one.
Summary: If you are new to amigurumi, or even to crocheting, this pattern was great with very satisfying results. If you are not new to amigurumi, I feel like this pattern could also be an awesome launching point to even more amazing Yodas. I think I will try this pattern again with nicer yarn and better eyes. The instructions were great, though, even if the kit supplies were not. So no matter what, you will get a cute Yoda.