Thursday, December 17, 2009

WIPs, Christmas, and a Crochet-along!

Last year with some Christmas money, I bought myself a wonderful crochet book called "200 Crochet Blocks" by Jan Eaton. I must tell you, I LOVE this book! I don't buy books on any sort of craft very often (I rely on the Internet, the Library, and my own trial and error usually), however this book is simply one of the best I've read.

Her designs are really great, and she provides a ton of a helpful suggestions with colour, arrangement, matching blocks, and other things like specific stitches and such.

This brings me to the Crochet-along Let's Make 7, wherein you crochet 7 specified blocks before the end of January! Should I start another project with all the things (including PRESENTS) that I have going on? Probably not.
Am I going to anyways? You betcher hook.
Here's where the info is at. If you can get this book and want to just crochet some fun blocks to use for a cushion or later on, a blanket, go for it!
The Flickr group is here:

Speaking of Christmas presents, boy do I get myself into things (see above). I really enjoy it though, so I guess that's okay.
I'm only crocheting a few presents total; one isn't even if or Christmas! It's for my sister's birthday which falls four days after (she usually gets hers combined :< ). At the risk of my hard work going to naught for her finding out, I won't say it just yet, but rather say it's in the fall issue of Interweave Crochet magazine.

And WIPs! Many of them! Let's see, so far I'm working on a Free Spirit doll, from the pattern by the most excellent Beth of By Hook, By Hand. That's been in the works for... months, actually. *ashamed*
There's Kamden's Elephant, who is 85% completed. I'm still working on the ears, they're giving me trouble. I don't like anything I've come up with thus far. However after that, he should be done quickly! The initial purpose of the design was to make a stuffed elephant for a friend's new nephew.
During this summer (yes! The SUMMER) I made a fox design that I was really rather attached to, and even went so far as to start making a duplicate to test the pattern but... well you know the story. It's on my list!

Here I dig myself all these crafty holes, yet somehow, I enjoy it :/ <3

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A bit late, but my sentiment's there!

Having mentioned that, I thought I would also mention something else non-crochet related.
(Except in the case of my previous project, the crocheted Murloc Murky.)
The Murlocs, they are dying. If you've ever played World of Warcraft, if you've ever quested around Azeroth, seen them murdered... well, then you know these noble creatures are in danger.

Won't you please help?

... This inspires me to work on my Murky some more, and refine that pattern. Ah, to add to the list!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm still sick x_x I think, oddly enough, this is related to dentist work I had done less than a week before all this started...
I KNEW they were no good!
More later, as I'm working on a new friend<3

Oh, and there's a long needed update on my Awesome-peeps list!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Once a week! Once a week.

I'm sick :( It's not so fun. It's amazing, really, they don't even know what I have, so for the time being I'm to stay home. Going back to the doctor Monday though. At least I get some time off and can crochet a little!
I have been keeping busy, haha. For Halloween, we all went as pirates! We stormed the bowling alley and Village Inn, h'yarr. For the fiancee, I made a lush velveteen pirate coat; it's very nice, I think. Not quite done though since I didn't have time aforehand to do the buttons, but I'm GONNA finish it, and I'll post pics when I do.
For my friend who was just deployed, I made these:

He likes werewolves so I thought they'd make a good choice haha. Also they were related to a gaming session I've been running, so that's part of it.
He liked them :3 I got them from the book Hello, Cupcake! which is downright fantastic. I DEFINITELY suggest you take a look at it, even if you don't think you can cook cupcakes (which I certainly can't very well)!
The designs are just too awesome, and I can't wait to make more! There's also really helpful tips in there.
My sister already wants me to make her penguin cupcakes for her birthday, haha.

On the crochet front, I'm working on a few different things. I made myself a pair of oversized mittens so that I can line them with fleece, nice and warm! Also working on a massive blanket with my friend Angela, and some things for a baby on the way in her family.

And, we got our first snow today! It took forever, I'll tell you what. We actually didn't have snow Halloween night, which is a first as far as my memory goes.
But now it's here!
When I'm not coughing up a lung, I'm gonna go outside to play in it with the dog<3
Though that probably won't be for a long while yet...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Knot tutorial and Elvis

This year at the Fair, I bought myself a tiger marionette. There's a lady who sells them made out of pom poms, and they're so fluffy and cute... I fell in love with him right away.
His name is Elvis, due to a humorous thing with a friend of mine just beforehand (she got herself a Hippo marionette as well and named him Presley).

It's so hard to not play with him, whenever I look at him I wanna make him dance around! Or climb things or hold things or shake hands...
My dogs really aren't quite sure what to make of him.

Also, I was asked by someone to clarify how I tie the knots when using yarn scraps for the ScrapCats, so I made a little tutorial. I hope it helps anyone who needs it! You can find the large version here.

And now, to go and try hard not to get distracted by crochet. For I have a Japanese test tomorrow, and really need to study! XD

Saturday, September 5, 2009

ScrapCat! Free pattern

Yay! I finally finished writing up my first pattern! Whew, translating even a simple pattern from Claire-crochet-shorthand babble to a sensible plan is tedious work. Hopefully with time it'll get faster. Does that mean I should make more patterns?

I got the idea, out of boredom, a while back to use up some of my basketful of yarn scraps and make it into a colourful Ami, which produced ScrapCat! The first one was Pheobe.

She's watching me from above my computer. Along with Groucho, the second Cat I made (So named for his abnormal dark eyebrows)
The rest are on my Flickr page,

Their messy look just makes them cuter, I think. Each one is different thanks to different scraps used to make them, so their unique personalities can be endless.

If you find any errors or run into any problems, I'd be happy if you commented or emailed me. This is the first one I've ever written up for other people to follow, so I hope I did a good job!

Here you go!

Scrap Cat Pattern

A free pattern to make, with love!

This pattern is free for making, giving, sharing, selling the products of, etc. I only ask that you let me know when you sell things from it, and don't claim it as your own.


G hook (H can work, but G is better for tightness)
Worsted weight yarn scraps. A good three handfuls, each scrap 5 inches or more is allright. You can use non-scrap yarn, too. That's just an approximation, so don't be afraid to use other yarn you may have.
Embroidery floss
Needle (and yarn needle, obviously)
Pipecleaner (optional)
2 buttons for the eyes. Or use your respective eyes. I like buttons for them because it suits the scrappy feel.

*If you REALLY want to be thrifty, just stuff it with more scraps!

sc-single crochet
inc-increase (2 single crochet in one sitch)
dec-decrease (single crochet 2 stitches together) (invisible decrease is best, and easy to learn with tutorials online. Planet June and Gourmet Amigurumi have good ones.)


There should be a good two to three handfuls of scraps. Anything longer than 5 inches is allright. Note that shorter scraps will only show a few stitches, and longer ones will show much more. To obtain the "scrap yarn", take two strands and place them end to end, and tie a 2-strand overhand knot as close as possible to the ends (leaving a little bit of tail). Pull tight to make sure it won't slip out. Repeat as you go so that your scraps form yarn just enough length to work with. Remember to leave a good amount for sewing the piece to the body! A longer piece there is best.
The knots won't show through your crochet. If, when you make a stitch, they're showing on that side, tighten it or pop it through to the other side. Undoing the stitch and making it again only tighter can solve the problem too.
I realize this might be kind of a weird way to work, so if there's any problems or you have any trouble, just email me and I'll be happy to help!

This is worked as Amigurumi. Do not join rounds, work in a spiral instead. You don't have to do it in this order, but I make notes along the way as to assembly, so it's probably a good idea. It's also easier to do some things before others.
Have fun!


Make a magic ring with 6 stitches. (or CH2, and make 6sc in first ch if you don't know the magic ring technique)

r1: inc in each st (12)
r2: *1 sc in next st, inc in next st. repeat from * around (18)
r3: *1 sc in next 2 st, inc in next st. repeat from * around (24)
r4: sc in each st. (24)
r5-7: repeat r4. (24)
r8: *1 sc in next 2 st, 1 dec. repeat from * around (18)
r9: *1sc in next st, 1 dec. repeat from * around (12)

Fasten off and pull tail inside the head.
Stuff well.


Using embroidery floss, sew an upside down triangular nose and mouth onto the middle of the face. Sew the buttons on for the eyes along the same line as the nose. Using the same colour floss as for the mouth, sew semicircle eyebrows.
*a note about the eyes:
I loved the buttons but didn't like the way they looked in the end with the thread I sewed them on with. So I took fabric paint (also known as puffypaint, great stuff) and filled in the buttons, with white dots for the shine. You don't have to, it's just something I felt like doing.

EARS (make 2)

Magic ring with 6 st.

r1: 1 sc in each st. (6)
r2: *1 sc in next st, inc. repeat around. (9)
r3: 1 sc in each st. (9)
r4: *1 sc in next 2 st, inc. repeat from * around, (12)
(If you want longer, tall ears, do one more round of sc in each st, for a total of 12 sc)

Fasten off and leave long tails for sewing.

If you want, choose a solid colour for both ears (make sure you have enough!) and sew it onto one side of each ear, to make the inner ear colour.
Fold them flat and sew the ears onto the top of the head, bending the sides in slightly to create a concave effect.


Magic ring with 6 st.

r1: inc in each st (12)
r2: *1 sc in next st, inc in next st. repeat from * around (18)
r3: *1 sc in next 2 st, inc in next st. repeat from * around (24)
r4: sc in each st. (24)
r5: repeat r4.
r6: *1 sc in next 2 st, 1 dec. repeat from * around (18)
r7: sc in each st (18)
r8: repeat r7.
r9: *1sc in next st, 1 dec. repeat from * around (12)
r10: sc in each st (12)
r11: repeat r10.

Fasten off with long tail.


Magic ring with 6 st.

r1: sc in each st (6)
r2-4: repeat r1.
r5: dec, sc in remaining 4 st (5)
r6: sc in each st (5)
r7-15: repeat r6.

Fasten off. Fold pipecleaner in half and push the folded end into the tail. There should be some still outside of the tail. Place the tail at the base of the body (where, when sitting, it will be sticking outward) and push the remaining end into the body and fold one end one way and the other end the opposite way, to anchor the pipecleaner in place.
Sew the tail onto the body.

Stuff the body completely, adding a penny or two to the bottom for weight, if desired (not necessary).
Now, sew the body to the head, making sure that you fasten it to where the tail is behind (and when looking down on it, between) the two ears.

ARMS (make 2)

Magic ring with 6 st.

r1: sc in each st. (6)
r2-9: repeat r1.
(this is when a stitch marker really comes in handy. You can use a paperclip or hook earring if you don't have one.)

Sew the opening closed by fastening off with a long tail, and threading the tail through the outer loop of each stitch and pulling closed.

LEGS (make 2)

Magic ring with 6 st.

r1: inc in each st (12)
r2: sc in each st (12)
r3-6: repeat r2

Fasten off and stuff.

Sew to the body, each leg at an angle towards the front (not directly below the ears, but angled inward). Make sure it's at the base, same as the tail, so your ScrapCat can sit without falling over.

Sew the arms onto the body just below the neck.
For a Maneki ScrapCat (the raise-paw good luck cat), Sew the left arm on upwards. You can sew the paw down in a beckoning motion, and tack on a bell or fake coin as well.

That's all! It's finished! I hope you enjoyed this pattern and had fun with it!

If you have any questions, comments, or want to share your ScrapCat, just let me know!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our State Fair is a great state fair~

*hums showtunes*
So much! In the next two weeks, so busy!
I've started school, so that's part of it. My schedule at work changed two times in the past week, and it'll change again soon. It's confusing, because I have two schedules to remember; they change every other week due to mandated furlough.
Then, the state fair! The Alaska State Fair is the biggest event of the year, there's so much to do! I'm going up both this weekend and next.
Friends have been coming here and back from their various schools too, and that's been fun.
But even then, I've found time to crochet! I'll post as soon as I can take pictures (one piece I've had for a few weeks or more -_-;; I need to try harder at the whole "taking pictures quickly" thing! Perseverance, fortitude...), including a pattern for everyone!
A major update before another lull? I hope not.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Should've posted this a while ago...

I finished this a good month or two ago, actually, but was reluctant to put her up because I wanted to fix a few things, take better pictures... I let time get away from me! I really should be more pressing when it comes to things like this or it'll just fall off my list of things to do haha.
Since a kid I've been in love with horses (which I guess most every girl is at some point? Or so I'm told) and always wanted to make an Amigurumi horse. But not just any cute horse.
I love the ones that are pudgy or simplified, but I didn't want that to be me for this. It was way more of a challenge for me to try and make it stand and look like a horse with the same proportions.
Ah! But I'm being wordy. Here's Ceres, my first (of MANY I assure you!) Amigurumi horse!

I really put a lot of effort into shaping her legs and body, though the body needs a LOT of work and the legs are a bit wonky. Standing was alright before the saddle and stuff, but after that it got too heavy. I bought some white pipecleaners to use in the next one to give added support. They're surprisingly sturdy on their own, though...
Her back legs aren't joined to the body, but rather the back legs form the thighs, which join to each other, and then the body stops at the stomach and is joined there. Can you tell?

The mane and tail were fun :3 I used the fluff technique that I've fallen in love with (it makes things so FUZZY CUTE!).
Not very happy with her saddle and accoutrements, but that's okay. In case you're wondering what the yellow things are, I put felt stars (and a moon on her tail) and gold ribbon throughout her hair. Ceres is the dwarf planet near Earth.

So as not to fill up the page with pics, there's more at my Flickr stream including detailed pics of her legs.

I've done a few more things since then, believe it or not. Here's to a resolution (in the middle of the year, what?) to being more prompt about things!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Guys! My Amigurumi Murloc got featured in's Fandomestic World of War-Crafts list!
Oh I'm so happy, he's one of the first real challenging things I ever tried to crochet, and I was rather please with how he came out. I'm super glad other WoW-fans like him too :3

Go check out the list, there are some wicked awesome crafts there!

Orcs! And so far from Orcland...

Of course, this has nothing to do with orcs (I just finished actually WATCHING the first Lord of the Rings, the extended version).
Rather, piggies! Er, one, at the moment.
His name is Pierre, and his pattern's rather simple so I may write it up and post it one of these days.
At the same time as this, I am also working on uploading one of my favourite things I've ever done. It's the reason I named this blog Carousel Cute, to give you a hint. She's all done, but I have to work on the pictures some before I can upload them.

For your enjoyment, Professor Pierre Piggleton!

In other geeky selfrelated news, I'm on book three of the Harry Potter series! Yes, I've never read them, for various not-my-own reasons. However, I've been told by several of my friends that I'm not allowed to watch the new movie until I read at least up till book six. I'm getting there!
I have to say, the books are definetely worth a read if you're even remotely interested in the series. I've never been one to focus on writing but you can't complain about it; they are after all geared towards kids.
Speaking of which, I may get a new job! It's nothing super new than what I'm doing, it's mainly an increase in hours and pay and benefits at a different location. Just an increase in tasks though. I could really use it right now, so I'm crossing my fingers and praying hard; I have an interview on Thursday for it, so wish me luck!

Monday, June 8, 2009

It so has not been a month.
Augh! It's gone by so fast! Nothing new to post, though I've been working on a few things.
I took an extra side job delivering phonebooks to pay for a mini-vacation recently, which was nice :3 It'll probably be our only vacation for a loooong time, but that's okay, we had fun<3

Oh! I discovered that a store in town has safety eyes! The only problem is, they're expensive. They're far more than I would pay for everyday 'gurumis, but I may buy a few sometime for some special ones I have planned. Here's hoping in the next few I can upload some cool projects! And if not at least put up a record of WIPs.

Friday, May 8, 2009

At long last!

Took me a while to update this, but I didn't want to ruin the surprise, since I'm horrible at keeping presents a complete secret (I love to see the look on people's faces when they're happy) XD My latest ami was a large (12" tall) tiger! He was made especially for my fiancee, as a good-luck friend for his first day at a new job just a few days ago.
The guy suprised him by hiding in his car, the little devil. Fiancee was pleased though! Good reports.
Oh I had fun making him, over a period of two weeks on and off an hour or so each night. I sewed on the stripes on the back, tail and legs, however when I got to the head... I was tired of sewing :(

His pendant says "Best Friends". It's one I've been saving for the right ami, I think he was it :3
He's got jointed arms and legs which, after many MANY attempts and re-dos, finally are the way I'd like! They're still a bit more floppy than preferred, but they do their job.

All in all, I like the way he came out. His face-fur is fun, too, so fluffy! It's a technique I heard about from a couple of different sources and decided to try, with awesome results.
The other thing I wanted to talk about was the new Star Trek movie that just came out.
I went to go see it tonight and I cannot CONTAIN my joy at the AWESOMENESS! I won't spoil it for anyone, heaven forbid, but aside from the one "wtf" it is truly an epic movie. There's just no other way to describe it. Even if you're not a trek-fan, I sincerely urge you to go, it's that great. And if you ARE a trekkie, like myself, then you will enjoy it immensely! Overall, they did a FANTASTIC job.

My new query for myself is, what to work on next. Other than the things I HAVE to get done (which are many), I'm thinking of revisiting a dragon design I was working on, which if it turns out I may turn into a pattern. It's just a small dragon but it's cute and easy to make, a nice friend.

That's it for me, gotta take the sis to school so must nap aforehand. Peace!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

On a different note

I'm currently working on a secret project, crochet-wise. I say secret, it's not a huge thing but a present for someone and I'm so bad at keeping hints to myself that if I just don't say anything, it should remain a suprise haha.
I hope to someday be good enough to put up patterns of some of the things I make, so we'll see how that goes.
The main news, however, is Cindy!
I welcome Cindy (or Sandy) the 7-month old stray golden retriever to our family! <3 AH she's so cute! She's an enormous pile of fluff and grins and cuddles.
So here's to puppies :3

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Maura, amigurumi doll of cute-flower-ness!

Since I started amigurumi, I've been making animals. I love animals and they're tons of fun, but I've always wanted to work on a doll. So the past few days, for a few hours each day, I've been writing up, erasing, re-writing, drafting and crocheting up a pattern for this girl, who I named Maura. It finally all came together! I think she looks okay, if I do say so myself...
(except for the blurriness, please pardon! I'm working on that. My camera is a dorkfish >: )

<3! I didn't do much with her face, mostly because I was trying to figure everything else out first, but I love the way her dress came out! That was a random quarter-yard I bought at a fabric store just for the heck of it haha. Her eyes aren't actually safety eyes, since I can't really buy them up here and don't like ordering a lot of craft stuff online (I guess I like to hold it in my hand first... is that weird?). They're just black plastic beads, which come in TONS of sizes and are really versatile, and inexpensive!

The hair was really fun, too, because I'd never done anything like that before. I made a skullcap and sewed it all on, and it seemed to work really well. (I'm not quite sure why I chose blue...)
Ah, and her feet. She seems to have two toes? Well that's on purpose, for her at least, because I knew I wanted her to have flip-flops. However, for another doll I would probably just make it one solid foot. She has fingers, though! That was fun~

I hope you like her!

Monday, April 20, 2009

An introduction!

It's usually the way to start off something new isn't it? Haha.
I decided to start a craft blog for a number of reasons, mostly because it'll help keep me on track, and I want to share what I come up with.
So greetings! I'm Claire, or Piston as it may go. I live in Alaska, am a major geek, and love almost anything crafty <3 Amigurumi struck me as one of the most awesome things ever when I saw it, I got so excited haha. I've been crocheting (ami included) consistently for about... half a year I'd say. I've been drawing much longer than that.

I hope you enjoy my creations, and I look forward to any comments or tips you may have!

Hrm, to wrap up, maybe I should let you know a bit more about me?
Allright then!
A somewhat unorthodox introduction conclusion!

Piston's List of Five Random Facts About Meself
1. I can't sleep with socks on. It freaks me out.
2. I took tap dancing for a little bit when I was a small kid.
3. Watermelon is awesome, but watermelon flavoured stuff NEVER tastes like watermelon!
4. I like peanut butter and bacon sandwiches (no really! they're delicious! try 'em)
5. I spray painted the Hylian Crest on the hood of my car (yes in gold, my car's green. His name is Ganon, and he acts like him, too!)