Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crochet Update: Meet Shirley the Alpaca!

I finished my latest animal!
Everyone, this is Shirley. Shirley, everyone :) I broke down and just had to buy Stacey Trock's book Crocheted Softies and this was one of my favorites in the book so I had to make one for myself. I mean, they are all really cute (and now I'm having trouble deciding which should be next), but just look at her hair! By the way, I named her Shirley because she has a total poodle doo and I know I've met at least 5 Shirleys with similar hair :)
And my favorite part about her is her cute little mouth. I like to keep it positioned so it looks open :)
And here's the back view.
And just for technical purposes, the bottom.
I will admit, this one was a bit of a challenge. I had to learn how to do the loop stitch, which basically means I had to teach myself a different way to hold my crochet hook which was no easy feat. I've gotten pretty good at loop stitch now though.

My only problem I had was with my gauge. The loop stitch area was really loose and my single crochets are really tight. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but when I got to the bottom (just before decreasing to close it up) I noticed that the face was kind of leaning down - the tight stitches were causing it to curve. To fix that I pinched the neck from the inside and basically sewed a back neck seam and that did the trick. Then I noticed that the bottom of the single crochet section was a lot shorter than the loop stitch section. So, to fix this I just added 2 extra rows across the front making sure to go the same direction as the other stitches so they all looked the same (i.e. crochet 1 row, fasten off, go back and start next row in the same place as the first). Honestly to look at it though you can't even tell I did anything. Those loop stitches hide it all really well.

So, I would definitely say you don't want to make this as your first crocheted animal, but after you've gotten the hang of them in general it's not very hard at all. And isn't the result worth it? I think so!
Here are all of my animals I've made to date :) I think my next will have to be the raccoon so I can say I've completed the Amigurumi Woodland Animals Class on Craftsy :) Ah, the sweet feeling of finishing a class, don't you agree? I can't wait!

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