Friday, February 19, 2010

My one day old baby

Some better pictures:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm a grandma!!!

My two spoiled feathered children, Tito and Moriela hatched their first egg today. The process has been stressful - Tito is not too bright and Moe is rather picky - so we didn't think this would ever happen. But we now have one ugly baby bird chirping away.

The process:

1. Sitting on the eggs:

(Tito is the dark grey, Moe is the cinnamon)

2. Three eggs layed over 9 days:

3: A few weeks later we hear the cheep cheep of one very ugly naked baby:

(If you look under Moe's wing you can see a baby)

Once Tito and Moe got it all cleaned off it was a fluffy white baby, so I think the yellow is just from being in the shell.

I'll update with more pictures as more babies hatch (hopefully) and they grow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Secrets secrets are no fun...

Unless they're shared with everyone!

I hate surprises.

No, adjust that...

I hate surprises when I know about them. If someone were to come to me and say "I'll have a surprise for you tomorrow" they would never get the chance to give it to me. I will go insane wanting to know long before the time comes. If someone shows up with a surprise, I act like un-dignified and un-23-year-old-ish and do a happy little dance.

The point? I can't wait to post my pattern. I'm just so proud of it. Without further ado,



Small amount of white yarn
Hook appropriate to yarn (for amigurumi use a hook smaller than what the yarn lable calls for)
Miscelaneous decorative pieces (envelope, rope, beads, etc)
Beads, safety eyes, embroidery floss (your choice for eyes)
Black yarn for feet and beak
Polyfill or other stuffing

NOTE: Amigurumi is worked continuously. Do not join each round and chain, just keep stitching.


Create a ring of 6 sc, using the “ch. 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook” method or Magic Circle.

ROUND 1: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
ROUND 2: *sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * around (18)
ROUND 3: Sc in each sc around (18)
ROUND 4: *sc in next sc, sc 2 together, repeat from * around (12)

This is a good place to add the eyes if you are using safety eyes or beads. If you plan on embroidering the eyes, feel free to wait until you have stuffed/completed the entire owl.

ROUND 5: *sc in next sc, sc 2 together, repeat from * around (9)

At this point I chose to attach the beak since my owl is carrying a Hogwarts letter (see below for tips on making a “parchment” envelope). Using ww black yarn, stitch a “V” in between the eyes. If you are using an envelope, stitch through one corner before the bottom part of the “V.”

Begin stuffing firmly. Use small bits at a time rather than one large piece. Continue stuffing as you go.

ROUND 6: 2 Sc in each sc around (18)
ROUND 7: *Sc in each of next two sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * around (24)
ROUND 8: *Sc in each sc around (24)
ROUND 9: *Sc in each of next 2 sc, sc 2 together, repeat from * around (18)
ROUNDS 10-12: Sc in each sc around (18)
ROUND 13: *Sc in next sc, sc 2 together, repeat from * around (12)
ROUNDS 14-15: Sc in each sc around (12)

This is essentially your last good chance to stuff. Make sure everything is stuffed firmly.

ROUND 16: *Sc 2 together, repeat from * around (6)

To finish, use a tapestry needle to pick up remaining 6 sc and pull tight to close. Weave in ends.


Ch 2
6 sc in second chain from hook (6)
ROUND 1: *Sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * around (8)
ROUNDS 2 - ?: Continue to sc in each sc around, working until wing reaches desired size.

Turn work, do not ch 1, sc in each of next 4 sc.

Bind off, leaving a long enough tail to sew to body

(make 2)

Sew wings to body using tail yarn. The longer flap is the outside/top of the wing and the shorter side is the inside/bottom of the wing.


The tail is worked back and forth, not in the round
Ch 5
Sc in second chain from hook and in each sc across (4)
Ch. 1. Turn. Sc 2 tog sc 2 tog (2)
Ch. 1. Turn. Sc 2 tog (1)

Bind off.

Weave in ends and sew long side of tail to body

To make your owl a snowy owl/Hedwig, use a black eyeliner pencil to trace small black dots and a q-tip to rub the dots into the yarn. I HIGHLY recommend practicing this on a swatch first rather than going straight to the owl, if you mess up eyeliner doesn’t come off.

To make a parchment envelope...make yourself a cup of tea (using a tea bag). Enjoy it. Amigurumi is relaxing. On a white piece of printer paper drag the used tea bag back and forth to stain the paper an off white color. Allow to dry completely. Cut a square and fold the corners into the center. Secure with glue or a drip of red wax if you want to go all the way with it (being the nerd I am, I of course chose option 2).

COPYRIGHT: Please respect my rights and the rights of other designers. Feel free to make as many snowy owls as you would like but do not sell the pattern or claim it as your own. I'm all for charity options so if you would like to make the owl for charity please do. If you would like to sell the finished product you must contact me first. I will consider each item on a case by case basis.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I just had my first frogging experience. It was a sock. Sort of. I had the heel in the wrong place. More specifically, I had the decreases for the heel in the wrong place. Only someone with a seriously misshapen foot could have worn that sock.

I felt the rest of the world should know about this.

Monday, February 1, 2010

1/12 of the way through the new year... (is it really new any more?)

Although I would like to say the new year brought about some huge changes in my life, I can't. But it has brought many many small ones, and they are all for the better.

1. I've decided since I'm not thrilled with my current station in life I'm going to change it. I know so many people have it so much worse than me, and one day I will help them better themselves, but the only thing keeping me where I am is me.
A note on where I am:
I work as a waitress, which isn't a terrible job, but with a BA from the University of Illinois I should be able to get something a little more..ummm..*REAL JOB*-ish.
I live in Champaign, IL. Again, not terrible, but I miss my family in Chicago and everything else.
My boyfriend and his sister live in my apartment with me. I HATE living with his sister.
I usually feel like I don't have many friends or anyone to just go grab a cup of tea or some lunch or anything...

After a little reflection I realized every one of these things is in my control. I don't have an illness or something else I can't change. I can get a new job, move to a city, and be a little more outgoing...problems solved. (Yes, I know this shouldn't have come as a huge revelation, but it kinda did). My problem has always been doing things for other people and not for myself. I stayed in Champaign after graduating from college for my boyfriend. I said his sister could move in with us because it seemed to mean a lot to him. I kept my job in Champaign because my boss depends on me for a lot of errands and I don't want to screw him over. Not once did I think "You know, Anna, these choices will probably come back to bite you in the butt in a month or two..." So, I'm staying in Champaign because I'm here now, but I'm putting job applications out in Chicago. I've let the boyfriend and the sister know that moving is inevitable. And for once, I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

2. Since my New Year's Resolution was to make new friends, I joined Ravelry. It's beyond amazing. After being a member for a month (2 weeks?) I feel like I'm a part of a group. People talk to me and respond to me; I can have lighthearted conversations and just meet people from around the world. And it's about fiber arts so what could be better?

Annnd I just realized I sound like a stupid lost puppy: "People love me...hooray, who's gonna pet me next?" Oh well...the joys of having a blog that I write (and, as far as I know, nobody reads)... I can sound pathetic and it's nobody's business but my own.

3. I designed my first actual pattern. It's not too much more complicated than my dryer ball idea, but it's awesome and I made it. And it has to do with Harry Potter, one of the many loves of my life. I'll post it soon, with pictures, but right now I can't. You see, I'm in a Ravelry swap and my swapee can't know what I'm making (although the swapee doesn't know who I am, so maybe it's not as big of a deal...meh, surprises all around are much more fun anyway).

As soon as my package is recieved I'll post more info.

As always,

Monday, December 7, 2009

A first pattern...albiet a sad one...among other things

My name is "A" and "M," no space (through my 23 years of life this has become one of my defining traits...sad, but true). I love all things crafty, but recently have taken a special liking to knitting and crocheting - I can accomplish both of these with relative success while talking, watching tv, or otherwise "multi-tasking."

Recently my crocheting has taken me into the world of amigurumi, and I think I've found my if I could only make a living off of it. ...sigh...

I completed my first two attempts from patterns on Fiber Doodles: "Chi Chi Kitty" and "TOBi," both are simple and wonderful for practice, and look absolutely adorable when completed (even when completed by a beginner like me).

Once I figure out this blog thing I'll post a picture or two of each project :)

UPDATE: I figured it out!!!

We call him the "Stubby Little Alien"

And the Chi Chi Kitty

Although I say my projects came out successfully, I think I need a little more practice before attempting the millions of new creatures I've found in the past few days. At first I made's a good way to practice the technique and works up quickly... but now I have about 20 random little yarn balls and very little to do with them. Now I make dryer balls...I still have dozens but they at least have a purpose!

So, without further ado, the point of this post:

Amigurumi Practice Dryer Ball "Pattern" (for those of you like me who want to practice your amigurumi, or want dryer balls without paying exorbitant store prices for them)

Anything wool (not superwash - you need to felt it)
- I used 1 ball of Lion Brand Wool in "Ocean Blues" and had plenty for many many dryer balls
Size F crochet hook (or a hook a few sizes smaller than what the yarn calls for)
Washing machine

Not important, just make sure your stitches are tight


**Note: Amigurumi is worked in spirals, not rounds. Don't join at the end of a round, don't chain or turn, just keep working into BOTH loops of the next available sc**

Ch 2
Row 1: 6 sc in second chain from hook (6 sc total)
Row 2: 2 sc in each chain around (12)
Row 3: *sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * til end of row (18)
Row 4: *sc in first sc, sc in second sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * til end of row (24)
Row 5: *sc in each of next three, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * til end of row (30)
Row 6: sc evenly around (30)
Row 7: *sc in each of next four, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * til end of row (36)
Row 8: sc evenly around (36)
Row 9: *sc in each of next five, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * til end of row (42)
Row 10: sc evenly around (42)
Row 11: *sc in each of next 6, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * til end of row (48)
Row 12: sc evenly around (48)
Row 13: *sc in each of next 6, dec across next two sc, repeat from * til end of row (42)
Row 14: sc evenly around (42)
Row 15: *sc in each of next 5, dec across next two sc, repeat from * til end of row (36)
Row 16: sc evenly around (36)
Row 17: *sc in each of next 4, dec across next two sc, repeat from * til end of row (30)
Row 18: sc evenly around (30)
Row 19: *sc in each of next 3, dec across next two sc, repeat from * til end of row (24)

Begin to stuff FIRMLY, using small bits of stuffing at a time, as opposed to one monster handful, will make it more round - trust me, I learned.

Row 20: *sc in each of next 2, dec across next two sc, repeat from * til end of row (18)
Row 21: *sc in next sc, dec across next two sc, repeat from * til end of row (12)

Another note from experience: After 12 sc remain, it's really hard to fit more stuffing. This is pretty much your last chance to fill it.

Row 22: *dec in next two sc, repeat from * around (6)

Pull the yarn tight. You can use a yarn needle to sew in ends, or, since felting hides imperfections, use your crochet hook to poke the excess yarn through to the inside.

For best results in your dryer, I'd make at least two. I like three.

Turn your washer on to the hot wash, cold rinse, and throw the completed balls into the wash without detergent and push start.

I am not claiming this pattern as "original" - it's a ball. There are hundreds of "ball" patterns out there and they all probably follow the same basic formula. I'm simply providing an idea and explaining what I did to practice some new techniques. However, respect my rights and the rights of others - do not claim this idea as your own.