WARNING! This will be an Image-Intensive Post! I’m sorry for any slow downs on your computer!
So while looking for more Crochet/Amigurumi Blogs on WordPress, I found a post on Hookabee‘s Blog about something called an Ami-Along, hosted on Ravelry. Far as I know it’s running all through August and July so there’s still time if you want to participate. :3
That said, I DID decide to participate. There weren’t many ‘free’ patterns to choose from that were approved for the Ami-Along, but I found one that looked quick and relatively easy in the Timmy the Tiny Lion Pattern. I figured I could finish him in a day or so.
Um, well, not exactly what happened but I’m still pretty pleased with the time. :3 Personal things got in the way a bit, time-wise. Now, on to the Full-Project post! This is the Second Project on this blog, and so everything’s going in one post, instead of like the Sonic the Hedgehog Pattern, which has updates as I go.
First up was making the pieces. Here I have the Body, the Head, and an Arm. I hit a snag on the Arm section of the pattern (and later on, the leg as well!). The Pattern says to ‘fold in half and go through both sides at once’. I sat there for a good hour or so going ‘what in the worlds does THAT mean…???’ and trying to figure it out. The pattern Download included a few pictures, but nothing to help with the arm. I did finally figure it out though, and I took some pictures with a color-change yarn to help anyone else attempting this pattern.
Here’s the color-change yarn as it would look after you finish the Arm and are at the ‘fold in half’ part, this also applies to the Leg Section so keep this in mind when making your own Tiny Timmy Lion.
Here’s the color-change yarn with the hook through it. This is the ‘pinch’ part (First image) and how it would look without the ‘pinch’ (second image). I reccommend NOT pinching until you get the top of the arm on your hook, as you see above, that way you know you are getting both sides evenly. Once I had my yarn like you see, I used a Slip Stitch to secure the two sides together, then went into the next pair of stitches in the Arm and did the same thing over again for the total number of stitches the pattern called for. I used this same technique for the tops of the legs as well. The LAST slip is the hardest, because you have no room to see if you got both sides evenly. Don’t worry, Go into the first set at an angle ( / ) INTO the Arm or Leg and you should be fine for finishing off that piece.
Here’s the Head Piece seen from the side. See how the nose tips down? that means your Lions head is right-side up. It might be a good idea to put a contrasting yarn of some kind in the top of your Lion’s head (as shown) so you don’t have to worry about it later on if your lion’s head is upside down or not.
Here’s the Lion’s Body, from the Side and the Top. The Pattern calls for sewing the body closed entirely once it’s finished. I chose NOT to do this, and instead used the tail of the yarn the instructions called for to remember which side is the BACK of the Lion, for use later when attaching the Head and Tail. If you want to sew it closed up completely, then do so, but like the head it might be a good idea to place a marker of some kind there first.
I chose to connect the head to the body at this point. Looking good! It looks a bit weird without the mane though. We’ll get to that later on. Next thing I did was the Lion’s Face
I used some Black Yarn, the same ply as the yarn I was using for the rest of the Lion, and a yarn-sewing needle. I started with the nose, tying a knot in the yarn and wrapping it around the end left over to form the nose. I went around on the nose 4 times I think. On the end of the 4th time I went back using the same piece of black yarn and did the mouth, twice around on each side of the mouth to make the little cat-mouth look. Still using the same piece of black yarn (yes I cut a very long piece!) I ended with the mouth thread inside the Lion’s head, I used this to my advantage by aiming it to make the eyes. Three times around for each eye. Again finishing inside the head, I pulled the remaining black yarn out from the VERY BACK of the Lion’s head and knotted it. You’ll see this is another picture later.
Now that the head and Face were in place, I finished up the rest of the limbs and stuck pins in them to help me plan where on the body each piece would go.
See the bit of black in the second picture there? that’s where I tied off the black thread from the Lion’s face. That green bit is one of the pins I’m useing, in this case it’s to plan where the shoulder will attach for the arm.
Pinning peices in place is very helpful, in my oppinion, when your making dolls or toys. You’ll be able to tell if your toy will look lopsided before you do the connecting and save yourself a lot of trouble later on if you need to fix something.
Here we have the Arms attached completely. I see they’re still kind of lopsided, something I didn’t catch in the pinning process. Lesson learned; double-check your pins after each limb is attached! In my case, when I attached the first arm, I didn’t check the other arm (the one still only pinned) to make sure the yarn of the body hadn’t shifted from attaching the other arm. Save yourselves this problem and double check your remaining pins BEFORE finalizing the attaching process! I made this mistake with the Legs as well. T-T Twice on one toy!
One all the Limbs were Attached, this is what Timmy the Tiny Lion looked like. He’s propped up using his tail at this point, which is why you can’t see it.So far I’m pretty happy with how Timmy’s turning out, mistakes and all. 😀 But here comes the part I absolutely hated x.x;
The Mane gave me the MOST trouble, mostly because there’s no Written Instructions for the Main! Just Pictures! The Pictures were fine and all but they didn’t help me START the mane, place it, or anything! it was basically a ‘See this? Do it’ Set-up. This is NOT something that makes it easy on people creating your patterns. If you design your own patterns, please, Write out EVERYTHING, your creators will love you for it later.
The Mane gave me so much trouble that sadly, I had to behead Tiny Timmy Lion to even get started on the mane.
Because I had to take Timmy’s head off to do the mane, I put Contrasting Yarn scraps at the places where I was going to Reattach the head to the Body later, so I could leave that spot Bald. then the hardest part, starting the Mane.
To START the mane, I did a slip stitch in the color I wanted the mane to be RIGHT IN FRONT of my contrast-yarn marker for the head-attachment.This is so you have a bit of the Lion’s Mane in-front of the neck and helps it really look like a lion.
I started my mane pretty close to the eyes and face. In retrospect I would have gone a row farther away from the eyes and face. Once the first slip-stitch was in place I did a Single Crochet to Secure the Yarn in place, and as the pattern called for, I did 7 more in a chain. This might seem to long at first, but what you’ll end up doing is you’ll fold the chain in half and do ANOTHER slip-stitch in the NEXT spot over, going across to the other side of the head. This second Slip-stitch will hold the chain in half so it’ll be just the right size.
Once the Second slip stitch is in place, do another Single to secure it, and then chain 7 as the pattern calls for. Keep doing this over and over until you hit your contrasting yarn marker near where your mane first started. At this point, use the Tail from that very first slip stitch to secure your last chain of 7 and to start your next row.
Basically, the tail from that first slip stitch will help anchor the start of the second row of your main. It’ll get knotted tight as the second row’s anchoring stitch, and Row 2’s slip stitch (the tail from the very start of your mane’s row 1!) is used up, do the chain-7 with the yarn from your yarn ball or skein. this secures row one and anchors the start of row two and you can now continue as you have been for row one.
What I did was, after Row one was completed, and before I started row Two, I pulled out the yarn from the skein on the chain-7 for the last of row one’s mane, and set to work reattaching the Head to the Body of my Lion. This is where those contrasting yarn markers really helped, as I attached the head back to the body I pulled the markers out. I did this so I could figure out what to do to go around the neck for the mane.
To go around the neck for the mane, starting with row two of the mane, you’ll go from one side of the head to the other, from neck to neck, and when you hit the other side where the head is connected to the body, you want to jump back a row for your chain-7 mane. Do this all the way around the back and bottom of the head so your ‘circle’ is bent to follow the curve of the lion’s head towards it’s back.
I really wish I had pictures to show you guys for this part, but I didn’t think to take any at the time. Instead I have pictures after the fact. I hope you guys can see what I’m trying to explain. The Picture with the Red Dot there shows where Row One Started (See the black yarn from the nose and mouth?) and how Row Two moved behind it once Row one finished. The other pictures I hope you can see how Row two becomes a Deformed circle as you move around the ‘neck’ of the Lion and into row three of the mane.
Thinking back on it now, it’d be a LOT easier to ‘zig zag’ across the head, Going from one side to the other and back again, instead of in circles. @.@
For the tip of the tail, the fur there, I did the same thing I did with the Mane, the only difference is I chained 5 instead of 7 and started in the middle. For both the main and Tail, when your completely done with them, you can knot your yarn off and hide the ends inside the body (or tail) with your hook. Ruffle the main a bit and you’ll see the black knot for the eyes and finishing off the main both disappear.
Tadah! That’s It! One Finished Timmy the Tiny Lion! There’s things I wish I had done differently but he still came out pretty good for a first try at this pattern! I hope my explaining and Pictures help someone else working on Timmy, and I hope you guys have fun if you decide to join the Ami-Along!