Kittens – Amigurumi #41

Kitties!!!

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Mad Hatter’s niece, Lily, turned three in June. She likes kitten stuffies, particularly purple ones. Due to some weather related issues, we ended up skipping the beach party (sad!) and going straight to Lily’s house instead. (Happy!)

These kitty patterns were designed by the talented designers over at Lilleliis. It was easy and clear to follow along. When worked on a larger sized hook, these kitties end up being the perfect cuddle size, for a small child like Lily. The only thing I don’t understand, was why the girl cat didn’t have a shirt.

dsc_13261On the right, is a picture of what the kitties were going to look like, before Mother Top Hat lent me her cross stitch equipment. It was cute, but sadly the kitties’ faces didn’t quite match enough. I liked embroidering the faces better, because the thread was fine enough to give the girl cat eyelashes.

These kitties gave me a chance to hang out with Cassie again. She covered Soft Kitty, and Adele’s Hello.* Cassie liked the cats. Cat-sie.

This is how the kitties stand upright:

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No bones, no bones, no bones…no tail?

Me: “Duchess, what do you think of the cat?”
Duchess: *sniff sniff sniff*

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Mad Hatter got a job at a prestigious company! Which company is it? That’s a secret. But it means the winds of changes are brewing stronger than ever. We must remind ourselves, that we are not just stagnating. We are working and grinding to save money, learn skills, and build relationships. It will also mean fewer trips to see the cats. This is why Mad Hatter must work hard to make lots of money, so he can adopt his own cat.

This pattern is credited to Lilleliis. For this pattern and more, click here to visit their website.

Because Lily is a minor, I will not show her picture. Just imagine a cute little girl, sitting on a Pika’s lap, with a Mad Hatter beside them.

Do you like cats? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

*Spadina and Bloor is an intersection in Toronto.

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Umbreon – Amigurumi #31

At long last, another ami! This was made from a pattern by Wolfdreamer Off The Hook.

I’ve finished watching Inu x Boku: SS. It’s a nice, light series you can watch while doing something else. It’s kind of like Fruits Basket, but instead of animals, they turn into supernatural beings. And why not set the mood with a dark-type Pokemon? It’s Umbreon!(Click image for pattern link)

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Oof. This turned out a lot bigger than it looked. Guess I missed the part where it said the ami would be approx. 8 inches. I attempted to work on this during the trip to FanExpo, but fat lot of good that did. The yellow felt was a much darker shade than the yellow yarn used on the ears and tail, so instead I made crochet rings. I ended up gluing them anyway, due to laziness. u_u

It can stand on its own pretty well.

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Pondering life

img_20160917_194656318-1The shape of the head and body give me an idea for future Eevee-lutions. Have you noticed that all the -lutions have the same general face shape, while Eevee has a chubbier, more square-shaped face?

I hope Pokemon Go will be successful enough, to include gen 2. Umbreon is a solid evolution, but Espeon is cute too. Anyone else here still not have the update? *raises hand*

 

Ah… smart, half-asleep Val broke the yarn needle again. That meant poor Umbreon was just bits and pieces until we finally heaved the mattress.

Unfortunately, we were too late to submit Umbreon to Knitting and Crochet’s August Contest. Though I doubt this would’ve gotten very far (ain’t nobody got time for 10 deviations…) but it was still nice to finally post an ami after so long. Plus, it doesn’t feel right to submit a pattern I didn’t create. Maybe we can try making smaller versions of the other -lutions?

Oh my goodness… this is happening in Texas now. How exciting! Someone in Texas is also making the world plush. Poke-plush, to be exact. I wonder if we could bring this to Ontario?

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Skinny legs club

What’s your favourite Eevee-lution? Or do you just like Eevee? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Napstablook (Undertale) – Amigurumi #30

<_<
>_>
Is February gone?
Yes?
Okay.

…ahem… *puts away tumbleweeds*

I’ve mentioned before that the best way to get out of a slump, is to work on easy patterns to get your motivation back. And since I spent a chunk of reading week playing Undertale, what better way to get out of a slump than with Napstablook?

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You encounter Napstablook early in the game, during the tuTORIEL. *zooms in on Sans, badum tss* Later on, you can join him in lying on the floor. I personally prefer to lie in my bed.

Warning: Napstablook plushie may start running snail races.

When I found Napstablook again, he said he would just weigh me down. Aww no, Napstablook. You wouldn’t weigh me down. I don’t think you’re physically capable of doing so. Here, let’s lie on the ground together and feel like garbage.

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IMG_20160312_135636The bottom was the most difficult part. At first, I thought of working through the front loops, like I did for Clara’s frill. However, Napstablook’s bottom is not frilled. It is straight down and static, like the ghosts

UntitledSo why have I been MIA? Eh, for the same reason as before: school + work + homework + life. Oh yeah, I’ve been trying to learn Krita. I drew this Napstablook while making a sprite sheet. He looks like one of the PacMan ghosts.

Sigh. Pixel art suddenly reminds me of my weeaboo phase. Oddly enough, that was the phase during which I picked up a lot of my current hobbies. I recently visited my old deviantArt account for sprite inspiration, and realized how those characters have changed. Their names, their physical designs, and even their stories are so different. As I’ve grown and learned, so have they. It’s like looking at a mini time capsule of the past 10 years.

Yeesh. Glad I’ve grown since then. Things that seemed cute and fun at age 14, are cringe-inducing today. Kind of like Temmie.

Napstablook and I are gonna go lie on the ground, listen to music, and contemplate life now. A lot of people have asked for a Papyrus plushie, and I want to make a Sans plushie for Peck Peck. I also wanted to make a Chimchar plushie for him, but look how well that turned out. .-.

Have you played Undertale? Oh wait, silly question, of course you have. Everyone on the internet has. Right?

Which Undertale character would you like to see next? Do you like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage? Comment below!

Pika, “not really feeling up to it right now~”

Boot Cuffs – DIY #5

Happy New Year 2016! You may have read the blog posted on December 30, 2015. I posted a reply to that blog on Sunday, which you can read here.

It’s time to start the new year off right: with some much anticipated craft posts. Whatever your reason for lack of motivation, completing quick ‘n easy projects get the creative juices flowing again. Now that we finally have snow and winter chill, why not try making these boot cuffs?

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50% of girls on social media have a picture like this. 100% of those girls think it’s artsy. That being said, I call this one, “Waiting for You.”

Here is the tutorial I followed:

For this project, I used the now-discontinued Bernat BlackLites yarn in Cherry Chill. I also possess a ball of Cowboy, which I would like to use for longer cuffs.

Bernat BlackLites in Cherry Chill, left, and Cowboy.

Bernat BlackLites in Cherry Chill, left, and Cowboy.

If you already know how to knit, this project should be a breeze. Your fingers are the knitting needles!

The girl in the video cast onto her dominant hand, but I started by casting onto my non-dominant hand. I found this easier, because I could count the rows as if they were on regular knitting needles. The first row is the “right side,” while the second row is the “wrong side” in stocking stitch.

Regardless of the size of your calves, 20 rows should be enough to wrap around. Thanks to the wide stitch, you don’t need to make buttonholes! I made the buttons using a smaller crochet hook than the yarn’s recommended size. They measured about 3/4″ (2 cm) in diameter.

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boot socksFinal Verdict: My boots have never looked so stylish! And my calves are nice and warm, without having to wear baggy pants. I want to make more cuffs, using actual knitting needles next time.* I wonder if they could be worn long, like the ones on the right?

Humph. The yarn became frayed. No wonder it was discontinued. Still, I like the colour design of black mixed with red, white, and pink. Here’s to hoping the blue ones will look great, too!

I finished my first pair, the night before seeing Kitty and Bear. That almost rhymed.

The next few months will be quite a challenge. Not only will I be returning to school, but I will return to school AND work a part time job at the same time. It may not be so bad, though it means M and I will have less time to chat and hang out. But at least we will have time in between classes for lunch. This week, we went skating and ate chilli. For all the bad luck I’ve had so far this year, it’s reassuring to have a positive M at my side. M says I worry too much.

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Staying warm, on and off the ice!

Top: Finger knitting, 8 sts cast on. Bottom: Size 11 needle, 16 sts cast on.

Finger knitting, 8 sts CO vs. Size 11 needle, 16 sts CO.

*After a bit of experimenting, I discovered that swapping to knitting needles may not be such a good idea. Finger knitting creates wide, open stitches, while size 11 needles (the size recommended on the yarn label) create tighter stitches. My fingers ended up creating stitches twice as wide as the needles!

You can design a needle-based pattern for long cuffs using this pattern. Simply multiply the rows you worked in finger knitting by 2. For example, the video tutorial showed 20 rows. 20 x 2 = 40 stitches cast on. From there, work until the cuffs are as long as you like. Make button holes as you see fit.

The adjustable stitches mean that the excess will stick out. Try adding a third button, beside the top button, to keep things in place.

And so ends the first official craft post of 2016! What other crafts and DIY would you like to see here? Have you tried making winter accessories for friends, or family, or yourself? What projects would you like to complete this year? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

 

Luna and Artemis (Sailor Moon) – Amigurumi #28

October has been a quiet month here at Pika’s Penguin Production Company. It’s incredible how you can go from an entire summer of free time, to a whirlwind of commitments in the fall. According to my neglected deviantArt account, Deku Link won second place in dAKnitters’ July contest! I may have mentioned this in the past, but well… everything’s happening all at once. So yay! Second place once again! 😀

So now that we’re back in action, what’s happening today? Well of course… KITTIES! And not just any kitties: (faceless) sailor kitties.

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Waiting for Shoonie to take them to their new home.

Time to let the cats out of the bag.

Time to let the cats out of the bag.

These kitties were made as a request for Shoonie’s friend, who also requested Navi and the Deku. Would you believe our luck: the Raichus (my parents) went through my Pika Cave (room) and threw stuff into plastic bags. And guess what else ended up getting tossed in there? Naturally, I found them moments after Shoonie went home.

 

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Click for Laure’s Instagram page

These kitties are now at their new home. They were modelled after the designs from Instagram user Laure Lafey. From what I gather, she uses a lighter yarn and smaller hook, which allows for fine details and small plushies. I use thick yarn and a standard H (0.5 cm) hook, which works well for my heavy-duty, less detailed, chibified designs. For more crocheted cuteness, feel free to visit her page at laurelefay.

I’m in my 20’s, and you will rarely find a girl my age who doesn’t say Sailor Moon was her childhood. I am one of those rare girls; Sailor Moon was one of those shows you watched just to fit in with your best friend. It grew on me after a while, (the Pure Heart story arc was my favourite, for some reason) and I would recreate a lot of the episodes with my Barbie dolls. Sometime’s I’d make up my own episodes. But like many childhood favourites, the show ended and we grew up. By the time Sailor Moon Crystal came out, my interest faded. Crystal looks nicer, but that’s about it. We all know the story, we all know the characters, and it doesn’t add much else to make this show “fresh.” But on the plus side, at least it’s easier for the new generation to get into it, right?

I’ve received requests to make additional kitty plushies on Etsy. Here is a sample of what the customer asked for. (Original source unknown) :

Original source: Unknown

Original source: Unknown

What did I do for Halloween this year, you ask? I worked at my part time job. This was the first year of being a childless adult on Halloween. Not sure how I feel about it. Maybe one day, I can write a list of annoying things about working in retail.

Do you/have you watched Sailor Moon? Do you prefer cats or dogs? What did you do for Halloween? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Nyan Cat Headband – Amigurumi # 27 / DIY #4

Yes, I am counting this as an ami.

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So this project took longer than necessary. I originally tried knitting this headband and changing the colours vertically. It looked great at first, but it quickly became a nuisance with all those colours getting tangled and shifting apart. I finally gave up and ripped it out. Summer was starting, so I didn’t bother with it again.

Until now. Oh Moogly, bless you and your blog.

Moogly posted this blog with links to 10 free headband patterns. It just so happened #8 was perfect! The band is worked horizontally, and has a cute cinch in the middle that makes it look more like a giant bow. And the “wrapper” to cover the cinch looks just like Nyan Cat’s body! Time to bust out the colours once again.

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Boo!

This headband was super easy and fun to make. Now that we’re getting into fall weather, this band will be great for keeping your ears warm and your hair in place, without the bulk of a hat. If you tend to work slowly, start now so you’re ready for the full cold blasts!

You can also try variations of Nyan Cat:

Next project: get better quality pictures.

Do you prefer hats, headbands, both, or none? Do you like original Nyan Cat? Tac Nayn? Taco Cat? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Pika’s Soba Noodle Soup!

“Hey Pika, where have you been all month?” – Nobody

Regardless of the length of summer vacation, everybody seems to wait until August to do the really fun things. Maybe it’s because the weather evens out by then, maybe it’s because they spent July saving up money for August frolicks, but whatever the reason, August is the time of all the fun things. Case in point: I just got back from Washington, DC. I saw the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, two landmarks that I’d only seen in movies and TV shows. On the way back, we did some shopping in Grove City. Shoonie got a little green bow. BOW!!! |>o<|

And today… just feeling bleh. How to describe the feeling… it’s when you have more on your plate than you thought. Or when you take work with you on a trip thinking you’ll get it done, but you don’t because it’s a vacation. Or when you miss somebody. Or you remember the red Navi is coming soon. Whatever it is, it can be temporarily healed with comfort food!

Guess what I bought today? Soba noodles! These are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat. The ones I bought come in a pack of 6 individually wrapped bundles. Each bundle makes one serving of noodles. Genius! Why can’t we package spaghetti like this? In Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility, you can cook buckwheat noodles with egg. That was the inspiration behind this improvised recipe, along with my Naruto-esque love for ramen. So, without further ado, let’s get comfort cooking!

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Ingredients

IMG_20150829_2013115901 bundle Soba (buckwheat) noodles

2 cups water

1 chicken flavoured bouillon cube

1 egg

2 sticks of imitation crab

Chopped chives for garnish

First thing’s first, boil the water and dissolve the cube to make your soup stock.

IMG_20150829_201710Crack the egg into a bowl and beat lightly. Set aside.

IMG_20150829_203043Then, take a bundle of soba noodles and pop them in the pot. Do not break the noodles! These are soba noodles, not spaghetti. They may look like cardboard, but they cook in about 5 minutes.

IMG_20150829_203423Meanwhile, chop up your imitation crab into bite size pieces. I don’t care what people say; imitation crab is tasty and convenient. But if you would rather have stronger tasting protein, you can substitute the imitation crab for ham, hot dogs, bits of cooked chicken or beef, or tofu if you’re an alie—-er, I mean vegetarian. 😀 Whatever you decide to add, make sure it’s cooked. This way you can simply toss it in to thaw and warm up.

Pour the beaten egg into the noodle soup, stirring constantly to disperse the egg. Look familiar? If you frequent Asian restaurants, it should; you’ve just made egg drop soup!

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Finally, add in your chopped crab meat. Turn off the heat and let the soup “rest” for about a minute before serving.

Pour into a bowl, top with a few chives, and you’re done!

Final Verdict

Tasty and comforting! This is a very versatile soup. Don’t like crab? Try ham. Think egg drop looks gross? Maybe poached is more your style. I think next time, I will try a meatless approach by substituting the crab for sautéed mushrooms, and instead of egg drop just hard boil and slice the egg.

Eww… these noodles turned out a bit slimy. I guess that’s why the package said to rinse the noodles after cooking. Basically, cook noodles separately, drain, rinse, and add to prepared broth. I wish I had read this blog post before hand. Also beware, egg drop soup does not keep well. It will leave a gritty feeling in your mouth when eaten cold, and congeals the next day. Bring a friend, or at least a large appetite!

I would definitely eat soba again, and in different ways. I said before that these are not spaghetti, but maybe I will try using these noodles instead of spaghetti sometime.

Have you tried soba? Do you eat your noodles with self-confidence? How do you prepare your soba? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~