Hippos of the Rainbow

As many of you know, I have made dozens of hippos. They are a huge hit and my best seller in the shop. (Giraffes and penguins are second and third, I think.)

Just last night, I finished an order for a red hippo  — my first boldly colored hippo ordered in a long time. I was really excited for this one, because I think the hippos can look good in any color, but don’t get an opportunity to stray outside of standard colors very often. The red makes me think of that game Hungry Hungry Hippos from the 80s — anyone remember that one?

In the end, he turned out so handsomely! Check out this good-looking fella:

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I have my eye on other kinds of dolls to try out but in the meantime, I’ll keep going on the hippo train!

Do you make crochet or knit animals? Do you have any suggestions for others I could try out? Leave a comment below!

The Cuddliest Snowman

Well, folks, we’re getting down to the last week of 2017! (Hurrah!)

While I usually mourn how quickly a year has gone by, this one I am ready to bid adieu so I can say, “Hello, 2018!”

I am still working on a project here and there, and it’s possible I’ll finish up one or both before 2017 gasps its last breath, but my most recent finished project is too cute not to share and celebrate.

The pattern is from The Crafty Fox Crochet. I saw this snowman in my Instagram feed a lot in the last month; it was a really popular creation amongst crocheters this year. I decided to try my hand at it and I really liked making my inaugural cuddly snowman!

The color options are endless for the scarf, hat, and pom-pom, though I find poms are more of a yarn commitment, since it takes so much to make one. My first one fell apart and I was very squinty about the waste of yarn before I finally got the second one to work (pictured).

I ended up using this snowman as a giveaway gift in a white elephant holiday game, but I think in the future, I’ll reserve making them for those who really treasure these kinds of gifts.

I hope your holiday season is going well, friends. Happy jolly merry holi-daze!

 

Big Red Fox

img_9645I’ve been making efforts to make projects that I like and would get enjoyment out of, even if there is no intended buyer (or person to give the item to just yet). Working a full-time job means I crochet in my spare time. I’ve discovered that if I start something and put it down, even for a little while, it will easily turn into months before I pick it up again or find the motivation to finish it.

(Case in point: Sepp the Seahorse, my first Lalylala doll, has been a work-in-progress since June of 2016 — yeesh!)

I bought this red fox pattern a couple of months ago and finally got around to making it. I tracked my progress on Ravelry and was surprised I finished it in five days. That is pretty quick for me, but I also realized afterwards that I prioritized it over other projects. I’m glad I did, though, because it kept the momentum going, and this handsome fella came out of it!

This pattern from Kristi Tullus calls for using joints, which I did not use. I labeled it as easy or medium-easy on Ravelry, but I would say that this pattern is definitely meant for an experienced crocheter and/or amigurumi-maker. I had to do some very careful sewing since I wasn’t using joints, and I made some mental notes about what to do for future foxes.

I do love the long limbs, and using Vanna’s Choice yarn was a great “choice,” since it yielded a bigger doll, even using a 4mm hook. Plus I just love that rich orange color, don’t you? The colorway is called Terracotta, for anyone who wants to use that. The pattern calls for using a dark brown but instead I used a Lion Brand yarn, colorway Smoky Mountains, which is dark gray and wisps of silver. I thought it gave the paws and accents a bit more depth.

All told, Big Red is 15″ from the top of his head to his tippy toes.

As much as I love the fox, I decided to list him in the Etsy shop because I feel like he could make a kid (or collector, whoever) very happy. So he is officially for sale! And I threw in free shipping, just ’cause. **Edited to say he sold!**

Here are some photos for your enjoyment! And if you have any questions about the making of the fox, please do comment below or send me a note at zavvycreations {at} gmail dot com.

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Shop on Vacay!

Vacay

I wish I really were at some tropical location where I was enjoying views of the water and sand with nothing more to do other than relax, crochet, stream shows on Netflix, nap (and repeat), but alas, I had to put the shop on vacation for a completely humdrum (but exciting in its own way) reason: I’m moving!

Moving is one of those sucky parts of adulthood where the process of it totally sucks but the end result feels amazing. I’m actually going to have a dedicated space for my desk and craft things and I’m completely over-the-moon thrilled about it.

That means I put a halt on fulfilling any orders for the rest of the month, but I’ll be back in action in just a couple of short weeks.

Hope the handful of folks out there who read this are having a lovely summer. Only one more month before it’s officially autumn–eep!

 

Finished Orders from DioneDesign Patterns

There are a few “go to” amigurumi designers I keep at the top of the list when I receive custom orders and need to find that perfect animal for a baby shower gift.

One of those designers is DioneDesign, who has a shop on Etsy. She has a fabulous array of animals and does a terrific job of using increases and decreases to achieve specific shapes that make her animals more lifelike (her hippo is one of them and I have made countless of these).

My two most recently completed orders were requests for the triceratops and the bear (sans flower) from Dione. I was a little nervous about the triceratops because it is a more advanced, sewing-heavy project, but I was ready to roll up my sleeves and try it–it was just too cute not to go for it.

I don’t make a lot of bears, teddy or otherwise, so I was hoping that my experience with Dione’s patterns would carry me through the execution. I was not disappointed.

I took my time with both of these projects, as they were larger and more detailed, and particularly when there is a lot of sewing or you’re going for a specific look that the design calls for, exercising patience wins the day.

In the end, I was thrilled with how both of these turned out. Keep in mind, there are so many factors as to why dolls turn out how they do in each particular crocheter’s hand, be it tension, the type of yarn, placement and/or size of eyes, etc.

My tweaks were using slightly smaller eyes on the dinosaur and not putting spots on its back (I liked the blue body on its own), and then not adding eyebrows or paw lines on the bear. Just my personal artistic style.

If you have been making amigurumi for a while and want a fun (and slightly challenging!) animal to try, I highly recommend finding something in Dione’s shop. If you are also a fan and have made some things, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Triceratops profile

 

Triceratops from the back

 

Dino with Cupcake

 

Bear Amigurumi - Seated

 

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Bear with Balloons

Celebration! zavvy creations is Two!

My little Etsy shop has been open for two whole years. Wow!

This has been quite the experience ever since I picked up a hook again in late 2013: lots of trial and error, consuming books and patterns galore, connecting with new friends, and filling the spaces of my home with lots…and lots…..of yarn and fiber. Mmm.

I have completed dozens of orders through word-of-mouth and the shop itself, on top of experimenting with countless different projects and giving things away. I’m so excited to see what I will accomplish in 2016.

In honor of the anniversary, I am holding a special where any order of $12 or more will receive free shipping** through January 16, 2016! This includes crochet and photography items. Free shipping provides a sliding scale discount–the bigger the item is, the more you’ll save!

Just use the code TWOYEARS in the shop on any qualifying purchase. Can be used on custom orders, as well! Simply click the button on the home page of the shop that looks like this:Request

I hope to hear from some of you!

😀

** I have recently been made aware that international shipping is exceedingly expensive. As in, it doesn’t make sense for me to ship my creations abroad when the shipping will cost as much or more than the item itself. Of course, if there is an item someone is dying to have that they can’t get in their own region, a custom order could be created with agreed-upon shipping.

 

Irregulars (Misfit Toys)

Sometimes I whip up an amigurumi just for fun with no other purpose than to just hang out in my home until I can give it away or sell it.  (And sometimes I end up keeping them. I have a baby whale and a finished cupcake that adorn my home office that are too sweet to give up!)

Then sometimes there are those toys or items that are complete but are just a little….off. Sometimes the “offness” is only noticeable to me but sometimes it’s more noticeable.

(And other times, I make something and for whatever reason, maybe that crochet is an insanely competitive market? it doesn’t sell.)

Take, for example, this cutie patootie baby owl.

Irregular Baby Owl Amigurumi
Designed by one of my favorite designers, Little Muggles, I had to try it. Even though there were nine separate parts to crochet, I liked how the soft pastel yarn looked with the baby yellow yarn. And those eyes!

Sadly, my inspired idea to give him blue eyes didn’t work out too well because the backs to the eyes took some extra oomph to fit. My husband had to use pliers and a lot of strength I do not possess to force the eye into the backing. Unfortunately, both eyes were scratched in the process. (Note to self: will not be purchasing from that supplier again.)

This little guy has sat in my little pile of growing “misfit toys” for a few months, waiting to be played with. He now bears the Irregular label and is sitting in my shop, waiting to see if someone wants to take him home.

Another example is this lop-eared baby bunny. It’s actually executed perfectly. Nothing is “wrong” with it except that the weight of the bunny is not evenly distributed, which happens, and so one of the hind legs comes up as the bunny rests on its front paws. It kind of looks like it’s in mid-jump. But since it doesn’t sit nicely, in it goes to the Misfit Toys bin.

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The point is, because of these small irregularities, they shouldn’t render the toy homeless useless. But to help entice others to adopt these little misfit creatures, I went ahead and created an Irregular section of my shop so I can pass on the savings and keep my closet from filling up with perfectly lovely adoptable creatures!

I’m a little giddy about this new section of my shop–I hope others are, too!

Weekend Showcase

Usually weekends are a busy time for me, crochet wise. If I’m not making something, I’m researching what I want to make next, poring through patterns and ideas online with Pinterest, Ravelry, Etsy shops, crochet blogs, or going through my books for ideas.

By and large, the weekend is my time to be able to sit and quietly work on things without the stress of a work day looming.

My real accomplishment for this past weekend was this sweet little thing:

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The pattern for this lamb can be found on Etsy through a shop called Bowtykes. My previous lamb pattern yielded something very small, soft, and cute, but not quiiiiiite what I was looking for with the end result. Plus, I had to tweak it too much for my liking:

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Kinda looks like a guinea pig with horns.

What I love about the Bowtykes pattern is that you can easily change the size of the animal by adjusting your hook size. In this case, I used worsted weight yarn and an E/3.5mm hook, yielding a solid stuffed animal that you can hold in one hand, but it’s not tiny. Perfect for cuddling if you’re a kid.

If I were to have used a 4mm or a 7 hook (4.5mm), it would have turned out even larger. Changing one’s hook doesn’t always easily make for a larger item but in this case, it does. Plus, the designer did a great job in writing out her pattern so that no matter what yarn you use, you’ll get the little fluffy clouds on the body that represent the wool.

I used an extra fluffy yarn in two colors. I could have brushed the body if I wanted it to be fluff on crack, but I opted to leave it alone since it looks cute without having to brush. I also used weighted filler to help steady the doll since otherwise the head can become too heavy and pull the body forward.

I tried putting in black plastic eyes instead of embroidering them, as the pattern suggests, but it really does look better with the “sleepy” eyes and sweet embroidered nose. And voila!

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I feel confident that this sweet amigurumi will make a perfect addition to a nursery or brighten someone’s day. It did for me when it was just sitting in my living room!

On Making and Selling: A Repost

Because the last few posts I wrote about having an Etsy shop were created on Zoe Says, I thought it would behoove my few/new readers to bring at least one of those posts over here in order to relay a better history on how I got where I am at present with making my little crocheted things–and also selling them.

Please note: the sale I was having back in February is no longer taking place but there will be more promotions–cross my heart!

On Making and Selling.