For the uninitiated, Hyperbole and a Half is one of my very favorite blogs. Dear Roomie and I have spent many an hour reading and re-reading her stories aloud to each other, sobbing with laughter.
One of my very favorite posts is “The Alot is Better Than You At Everything.”
I’ve been looking for a good excuse to make an Alot, and now I have one.
One of my cousins is beginning his third year of teaching high school English, and I just introduced him to the Alot this summer. Obviously, he needs one for his classroom.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
I spent last weekend chaperoning a group of girls from my old church at camp. Probably the worst part of moving was leaving behind that congregation, because they were there for the vast majority of my formative years and are therefore family. By that measure, the girls are effectively my little sisters, and what do you do when you’ve spent too much time away from favored young’uns? You bring them presents, of course!
In all honesty, this started out with a request from one of them last year to make this Pichu Plush, and I just wound up taking so long to finish it that I figured I’d wait and give it to her in person rather than shipping it around Christmas. But then I had to come up with something for the other two, because it wouldn’t be fair to have something for just one of them.
Shucks! I had to make more cute things for people I love.
I gave the Pichu project a little extra challenge: I did not allow myself to diverge from the pattern at all. It was shockingly difficult, given my propensity for ad-libbing more or less every project I touch, regardless of the quality of the original pattern.
Here is the finished Pichu, in all it’s adorable-ness:
You know you’ve done it right when you look at the unattached, unadorned head mid-assembly and have a sudden attack of Cute.
Now for the other two munchkins…
Munchkin #2 has had a long-standing love for all things Star Wars (I trained her well), and has yet to grow out of it. Several years ago I made her an amigurumi Yoda, so I thought she needed another beloved character:
Yes, I finally managed to crochet something with eyelash yarn. I don’t think that will ever be happening again.
The third and final munchkin and I have this ongoing joke about finger puppets that came in a book of crochet patterns she gave me a couple of years ago. There is a set of four patterns: a witch, a wizard, a white owl and… a baby walrus.
Yeah, one of these things is not like the others – unless it is a magical baby walrus, which… clearly, it must be.
Anyway, I made her the walrus for her birthday last year, so I figured he needed some other animal friends to keep him company:
I finished the finger puppets while I was in Houston with my sister-in-law and niece, and of course my niece took an instant shining to the bird, so I made one more before I left for camp:
She naturally came up with a fun new game for it immediately:
Watch [mommy, grandpa, grandma, auntie] wiggle the bird. Grab for the bird. Pull the bird off the wiggling finger. Drop the bird on the floor. Watch [mommy, grandpa, grandma, auntie] pick the bird up off the floor. Repeat.
It is a very good thing this child is so freakishly cute, because she is evil.
…and I am so proud.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Seriously – the stuff gets all tangled on itself if you look at it wrong. But the doll is going to a very dear young friend of mine, so it has to be done.
I have to start with another “na-na na-na boo-boo” for all my friends back in Texas:
The sky has cleared, the mountains are now visible behind the trees, and we topped off at just shy of seven inches of light, fluffy snow. Local officials strongly recommend everyone stay off the roads today. With a view like this from the warm comfort of my parents’ living room, why would I possibly want to go anywhere else?
With that out of the way, on to the crafting!
Bright and early on the morning of December 1, Dear Roommie hits me with another unusual request:
can you crochet a squid?
(Why a squid? For a Secret Santa gift. Naturally. That’s all I got from her. I’ve learned to stop asking.)
me: What color?
Roommie: squid colors?
(Apparently in Roommie-world, squids are purple and blue.)
me: How big?
maybe like 8″ with tentacles?
it would mostly be tentacles
(TENTACLES! …see, this is funny because there’s this spoof that someone did that’s Fiddler on the Roof, but about Cthulu… Yeah, that’s one’s pretty obscure, isn’t it?)
Yet again, I set to work and knocked the thing out in one night, because really what could be more fun to make than a blue and purple squid?
There was a good sale on Vanna’s Choice a while back, so I now have a sizable stash of yarn that is ideal for amigurumi. I similarly stocked up on doll eyes and stuffing at some point last year. The idea was that I could just make critters whenever the mood struck me, and this was an excellent proof of concept. I didn’t have to buy any new supplies for this project.
The real trick was figuring out how to make all those legs. I finally landed on an inspired little idea. I made a grey base in the round, starting with 8 stitches. The second round was 16 st (2sc in each st), and the third was 24 (2sc in one st, 1 sc in next). The next row was where all the magic happened:
1sc in st, ch 20, turn
1 sl st in each chain back to base, 1 sc in st from the original round
1sc in st
repeat that pattern around a total of 8 times (to make 8 legs)
Then I built the rest of the body from there starting with a sc up and down the top of the legs. The two long tentacles, purple fins, and eyes were added before I finished off the body.
Dear Roommie squee’d in delight upon first view of the unfinished bottom portion. I actually worried briefly for her health when I presented the finished product.
I think I’ll be making some smaller versions – maybe some anatomically simpler octopi – for general sale in the new year. We were discussing a little octopus with a tiny red bow tie for Valentine’s Day. Adorable, yes?
My cousin’s youngest is a very precocious 4-year-old redhead, who seems to think that she is Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
Clearly, she needed a Flounder.