Sunday, 15 January 2017

Niffler

People always give me suggestions for what to make. Most of them are good and I file them away as ideas for later. Some however I have to make straight away.

That is exactly what happened when my Cosplaying friend Ashley-Rae suggested I make a niffler from the new Harry Potter film, Fantastic beasts and where to find them.

If you haven't seen the film or read the books, these are creatures hunt for buried treasure. Very cheeky little beasts they are too. They look like a combination of a mole, a beaver and a duck.

I knew I wanted to make mine about life-sized (can you have a life-size for something that fictional?). There is something wonderful about an amigurumi that is large and cuddly just fits in your arms. 

I needed some chunky yarn and I found the sirdar hayfield bonus for just £1.99 a ball at Wool warehouse  I order two of the chocolate and one of the light natural.

I wasn't 100% sure how I would go about creating the pattern. I knew I wanted it to be life-like rather than changed into a more amigurumi style. The one thing I did know, was there was no getting around creating all sixteen of the fingers and toes. I could have made hands and feet that make the fingers as they were worked but I wanted this to be a very simple pattern and combining can get over fiddly. So I made the fingers and toes first. They are a little bit fiddly but the chunky yarn helps. Once they were done they would show me how big my finished design was going to be.

From there I worked on the legs and arms. These couldn't be straight forward ether and I had to leave them half made and work on the head and body so I knew they would be the right length.

We had a bit of a distraction at this point as Cal (who was in a goes inside and goes under mood, she currently under my laptop, under a blanket at the mo) decided to try and get inside the niffler body.

It wasn't big enough but she did run around with it on her head for a bit before I got it back. Silly cat.

Finally I manage to get all the piece finished but about mid-afternoon yesterday. I had just about judged the length of the legs right and the arms needed a bit more. Sixteen fingers and toes, two legs, two arms, body, tail, pouch, snout and two eye patches, not a bad mornings work.

I have put detailed instructions on how to put it together into the pattern but I won't go into it here.

I did manage to finish it that day but I'd lost the light for a good photo.


 This one at least shows his size and all those fingers and toes.

This morning I typed up the pattern. Made him some coins to go in his pouch and took some brighter photos.





The pattern is available here - Niffler crochet pattern

Not a bad weekends work.

I've also updated some more patterns

 Georgina the giraffe has been updated. she is £3.50 (excluding VAT) and can be found here - Georgina the giraffe crochet pattern
 Rusty the dog (named after my sisters dog Rusty) has been updated. This is an intermediate pattern so if your looking for something interesting to try, give this one a go. Its only £3 excluding VAT you can get it here  Rusty dog and bone crochet pattern


 My nativity. I know Christmas has passed but this pattern is still selling well. Maybe we are all being super organized. This is a long project so it is a nice one to start well before the holidays. Its just £5 for the full set and is available here - Nativity crochet pattern
I have also committed to doing an extension pack to this set with angels, camels, donkeys and more.

Thats it for today.

happy crocheting
Liz x






Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A new Twist

I'm starting as I mean to go on this year and being super productive. I'm secretly hoping that if I do lots and lots of work and sell lots of lots and patterns, I can get a holiday this year. I haven't had a true break away for the past 7 years, so I'm going all out to get my goal.

I starting out by doing some of the things that were on the to do list for 2016 but I just never got around to doing.

I've updated lots of patterns so far in my Etsy shop

Now I'm starting on some new patterns.

Or some old ones...

When I started this blog is was mainly to show off my first cute creations the Omnipoms. I had never planned on writing patterns for these, but then a couple of years ago I created the Halloween Omnipoms pattern for a giveaway with suncatcher eyes.

After writing that set of patterns  I decided to write more Omnipom patterns but 2 years later I haven't, until now.

I decided to recreate some of my old designs but make them completely crochet patterns with just a bit of embroidery work.

 I've started with Twist as she is my favorite.

I've changed the blanket to a granny square with a bobble trim and updated the bunny booties to a full crochet version. The pattern has already been released into my etsy shop at only £3.50 (excludingVAT)
Its on the new simple, beautiful and easy to understand, printer friendly format and as an instant download it can be yours in moments.

I am also going to be selling sets of accessorizes of these patterns. They will include the hand painted eyes, felt, fabric, beads and the tiny buttons - all things that make an Omnipom an Omnipom. I'll have them in the etsy shop soon (I'm just sourcing some more of the fabric) if you are wanting one of these packs comment below or message me on Etsy and I'll be in touch when I have them ready.

I have another omnipom on the hook at the moment so there will be more patterns like this coming soon. I have got a holiday fund to build after all :)

Happy crocheting
Love
Liz x



Sunday, 8 January 2017

Playing with patterns

high on my list of goals for this year is re-formatting my patterns.

I have a standard way of writing patterns which is much the same as I would write this blog. I start at the top of the page and keep writing. This has worked out fine. Most of my patterns go off to a magazine before I get them back. each magazine has their one template so I keep my patterns as simply laid out a possible and then the magazine can put them into their own format.

What the copyright of a pattern is returned to me I tend to just take off any copy that refers to the magazine, turn the file into a PDF and pop it snugly into my etsy pattern shop

I knew my patterns had a simple layout but I am very proud of the patterns themselves and was quite happy to leave it there.

Last year I had a few different projects starting with a collection of designs I did for James C Brett yarns.




 For these designs I had to present the pattern in the James Brett pattern format. It took a bit of doing but I was really happy with the way they looked when I'd finished.

It got me thinking maybe I was doing my own patterns a bit of a dis-service leaving them in such a simple layout. I have over a 150 patterns in my etsy shop and another 100 or so that I need to add so the though of changing them all wasn't that much of a fun idea. It was a nice idea maybe but not very do-able when I'm snowed under with other crochet work.

Later in the year I started to teach amigurumi at the wonderful York Makery  
For this I printed out my patterns to take to the classes. I realized they used a awful lot of paper and I was quickly running out of ink. I decided to reformat the patterns so that they fit better on a sheet of paper print easier.

From then on it I knew that I was going to have to start the process of reformatting all my patterns.

turning them form this ...


To this ...


Please note they are just screenshots and don't show the whole patterns.

I am so in love with my new template.

I managed to get this one down from 17 pages to just 8.
That not bad for 15 patterns. you can find my fruit collection here it £5 for all 15 at the mo (not including VAT)

It going to be slow going changing them all. I'm announcing the updated patterns on facebook and Instagram @lizwardcrochet but I'll try and keep a list of links on here too.

So far I've done

my most popular pattern the hedgehog family still only £3 (not including VAT)


The rainbow caterpillar also £3 (not including vat)


The fat friends which is £10 for a set of all 10 or £2.50 each. These will all be on instant download too.

Also note there will be another set of these coming this year. Defiantly another 5 but I'm hoping it'll be 10 in the end.

My lovely party chihuahua is also £5 for him and all his accessory's 

Finally for this weekend at least my alley cats just £3.50 for the whole collection. (I'll add a link when I've set up the listing, I need to take some better photos of these first)


 I hope you enjoy my new patterns. I have really put a lot of work in getting them looking as good as they deserve. I'll try and update the rest as fast as I can, but for the rest of today I want to get my hands off a keyboard and back on my crochet hook.

lots of love
Liz

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Happy new year

Well goodbye 2016. Its been one busy year.

That is just some of the 72 original patterns I had published in 2016. If you count the ones I completed in 2016 that won't be published till 2017 I created well over a 100 new designs.

It was a bit chaotic to be fare and lots of things I wanted to get done, didn't happen. I haven't updated the blog as often as I liked.

So I'm gonna write a list of the tings I want to do in 2017

1- Go through all my old patterns and reformat them into my new printer friendly template.
This will mean that instead of needing to print off 7-8 pages for each pattern I will be able to reduce it to 2-3 page. Plus my new format is really hot and easy to follow. It makes me happy. I will announce on my Facebook page when each pattern is updated.

2- beginners amigurumi course.
This will continue and combine the amugurumi tutorial I started in 2015. It will take a beginner through all the process of learning amigurumi and understanding written patterns. I will produce patterns to go along with every stage of the course so with everything new things thats learned there will be fun patterns to try.

3- Avengers
This is a pet amigurumi project that I've been wanting to do for a while. I will produce a full set of Avenger inspired patterns. Staring soon with Iron man. I will be blogging the process of these patterns as they will not go to magazines and will only be published in my etsy shop. You can also find the photo of this project when it gets started on Instagram I'm @lizwardcrochet

4 - tea cosy calendar
This won't be an actual calendar but it will be a collection  of 12 seasonal tea cosy patterns. I've already made three.

5 - amigurumi
This is hardly unusual for me but I really want to make some cute stuff this year. There is a mental list of ideas but I am defiantly going be doing some more nursery rhymes, a corgi, armadillo, toucan and an alpaca. I'm going to be playing with scale again so there will be normal size, micro and mega amigurumi. I seriously want to make a huge fluffy unicorn, the world needs one :)

6 - stash buster project.
I have a huge amount of yarn in my house  and some of it I can never use for published projects as its been discontinued. I think a big blanket and some cushions is on the cards. I haven't decided if I'm going to make squares or do a big stripe blanket but I'll Instagram this project as and when it gets started too.

Also on the plan is to have an away holiday at some point. I haven't had one for 6 years I think its over due. 

So bring it on 2017 my crochet hooks are ready to go.



If you have any suggestions for new amigurumi projects please add a comment below. Happy crocheting xxx


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Mollie Mkes advent part 2

its the last day of the Mollie makes advent calendar today so I though I'd do an update so we have pictures of all of them here.

So last time we got up to day 3. Day 4 was my sausage dog

While this was day 4 on the calendar it was actually the last one I made.  I must admit doing that much micro crochet in one go hurts your eyes. By the time I got to this guy I was just hoping and wishing to be finished. He still had a lot of love go into creating him, I just wish I'd put a bobble on his hat.



I think its was this day or the day before that I had an idea. Mollie Makes had asked me to make 12 designs but there are 24 days in advent. Why not make 12 more. This is quite possibly the most crazy idea I have ever had. I had week to make another 12 and these guys are fiddly. More on that later.

Day 5

Polar bear. I've made a few of these now in different shapes and sizes so this one was pretty easy to figure out. When I've done micro stuff before I've used beads as eyes, I've never been entirely happy with the result. I knew I'd have to sew the eyes on this collection. french knots did not work, far too bumpy. I ended up just over sewing a stitch a few times. It is fiddly though.

Day 6

The smallest of the collection. This is teeny tiny and adorable. I think I'll make another and turn these into earrings when they come home.

Day 7

Swan. I think this is a bit hard to see in this picture. Its a very simple design that was originally going to be more elaborate but I liked this so much I decided it didn't need more. Also make this in pink and make some legs and you've got a flamingo.

Day 8


It all went a bit crazy on unicorn day. So many comments and likes. I think this guy has a pretty large fan base for his tiny form. This is my favorite of the first set.

Day 9 was a little snowman. Making top hats are one of my favorite things to crochet so I'm always happy to whip up a snowman. Hes one of the larger ones in the set and used nearly a full reel of the top-stitch thread. We had run out of the white thread at duttons so I was a bit worried I'd have enough to finish the rest of the makes. There is a lot of white in this set.

Day 10
Penguin, not much to say about this one. I was rushing to get them all done by my deadline and I didn't even think, I just made. He came out alright, he's very plump but there is nothing wrong with that for a penguin.

Day 11

Christmas pudding. I've done a Christmas pudding before but I wanted to simplify it for this collection. The dribble of icing doesn't really show up in this photo but it goes all the way around. You can't have Christmas pudding without all the trimmings can you.

Day 12
Sugarplum mouse. This one is ridiculously cute. Its tiny and perfectly formed. It did take a long time to make as it was one of the first and I still wasn't in the groove for micro crochet. I'm more than happy with the results.


So that was it the Molliemakes advent calendar over. The plan had been to encourage people to purchase the patterns they had missed and so support independent designers.  I had a right rush reformatting and posting all the patterns in my etsy pattern shop so they were available on the 13th. Long days sitting in fount of a computer is not my idea of fun but hey ho, they are all done and you can go have a look here.

I had a short deadline and getting this first 12 made was really hard work but it was enjoyable at the same time. When I was finished I needed a real rest from micro crochet and so I stuck a sticker on my workbox saying Do not open till 2017.

Only a few days later I was making a gift and decided it needed some tiny crochet flowers. I opened the workbox. The I had been making some snowflakes for The York Makery window display and I decided to try making a micro crochet snowflake. I finished that and started making a tiny stocking. this crochet lark is very addictive.

So I had two new micro crochet designs and the Advent calendar was on day 4 and going well so I thought, well I only need to make another 10 and I can complete the 24 days of advent.

Well that there was the the most stupid idea I have every had. Its really not easy making 12 micro crochet designs in week and it will send you blind. I was so used to concentrating on the tiny crochet that when I looked up my world had gone pixelated. I'd committed myself to it so I just battled on.
It was worth it in the end the second set are just as lovely as the first. I'm just gonna dash through as this post is getting really long.

 Elf
 Tangerine :)
 Festive owl. This was going to have a harry potter theme but I didn't have a burgundy thread. I need to invest in some more topstitch colours.
 Present
 Reindeer. I know, cute right x
 Robin
 Santa
 Snowflake
 Sprout - can not tell you how much it made me giggle when I made this. I am such a child.
 Stocking
 Whale - I know not Christmas, but the first set had a swan and a unicorn and I though a whale would be cute, and I had a half made one but I still had to remake it cause I was using a different hook size. So anyway a whale.
Wreath


All together.

All 24 patterns are now in my etsy pattern shop a single pattern is £2.50 this is the cheapest I can make it because of listing fees. A set of 12 is £12.50 and you can get the full set of 24 for just £20, Thats less than £1 a pattern.

Enjoy. Have a nice Christmas xxx