Friday, November 4, 2016

FO: Birthday Pokéballs for Luke

So... being the cool aunt that I am, I make my nephew gifts for his birthday each year. Usually I crochet them, but sometimes they involve sewing. Past gifts have been themed with shows and characters he likes (or his parents like). This year, he's turning 4, and he is mildly obsessed with Pokémon. He goes on Pokémon hunts with his parents and he loves to catch them. So we had the idea that I could make him some crocheted Pokémon. This was a little while ago - I had planned on a few characters and looked up patterns or started devising my plan of attack for patterns I would have to improvise. All good intentions here. Then life happened. I found myself 2 days before his birthday with nothing to give him, and the next day was Halloween so I certainly wouldn't have time to make anything then. I settled on making him a handful of Pokéballs. It's not as technically exciting as the characters I planned to make, but they were probably the part he would've used most out of a set anyway. So I went with it and just made as many balls as time would allow on Sunday night.
I started off with this free pattern from Nichole's Nerdy Knots and I made them a little bit bigger. Her pattern has you increase to 30 sts around, plain sc 2 rows red, 2 rows black, then 2 rows white, and decrease from there. When I increased to that 30 sts I decided they were just too small (I wanted closer to baseball size), so I kept increasing until I like the diameter I was getting. I ended up increasing to 48, plain sc 3 rows red, 2 rows black, 3 rows white, then decreased down. Easy peasy. That's the nice thing about such a simple pattern - it's so easy to customize. I kept the "button" piece the same and I like the proportions. I ended up with just slightly bigger than baseball sized balls. I also feel pretty clever for attaching the button piece on top of the color jogs on the ball, so this baby looks perfectly seamless :)
Can I just say how much I've missed the quick and satisfying feeling of making crocheted amigurumi? I've only crocheted 1 animal this year and that was a mystery spread over several weeks, so I haven't had this feeling of instant gratification in quite a long time. I had all 3 of these balls don in about 2.5 hours. It now makes total sense why I made so many animals a few years ago - I liked the feeling of finishing a project often :) I made sure to stuff them a bit more firmly then I normally would because I know these will be tossed and squeezed and thrown, all of which cause the stuffing to condense and not puff up as much over time. They aren't hard enough to hurt anyone, but they will stay puffed for quite a while.

I gave Luke his present on Halloween (the day before his birthday) because I thought he could use them for his costume. He was Pikachu! And my sister and her husband were going as Ash and Misty. This way they would be able to carry around the balls if they wanted when they trick or treat tonight.
I made sure to use all washable yarns for these since I anticipate them being chucked into some interesting environments. The red and white yarns are both I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby in fire red and antique white and the black is Premier Everyday Soft Worsted.
And now to force you to look at my cute nephew :) This was the big moment, lol.
 And then I had to get a few posed, happy shots. At least it seems that he enjoys them :)

And now Luke is ready to catch 'em all! Happy 4th Birthday, Luke!

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