Arm Candy Bracelet

See my Arm Candy Bracelet in the summer 2015 issue of Interweave Crochet. Show off your crocheting in the summer! (Photograph courtesy of Interweave Crochet/Harper Point Photography)


This issue also has a lot of wedding related crochet, all quite beautiful--makes me wish I could get married all over again. To the same wonderful man, of course--Happy 21st Anniversary, Peter, my sweetheart!

The first amigurumi pattern in America!

Okay, I've been researching this for a while, and I'm pretty sure it's true, so unless I'm challenged:

While amigurumi* were popular in Japan for a little while, the very first amigurumi pattern published in English in the United States was featured in Knit.1 magazine in the fall of 2006, designed and written by yours truly! The first and only time in my entire life when I anticipated a coming trend.

(*Amigurumi: super-cute little crocheted dolls)

Hounded

"Call me a cat person..." is the first sentence in a book I am working on with amigurumi characters. The cat/narrator is afraid of dogs, and the book will illustrate how she overcomes her fears. I wanted to use humor and crochet to tell the story.

It's been a struggle, but working on this has been helping me with my severe dog phobia--yes, crochet heals! Keep posted for more amigurumi dogs and some crocheted dioramas.

Mighty Ugly!

 
Make It Mighty Ugly: 
Exercises & Advice for Getting Creative 
Even When It Ain't Pretty 
by Kim Piper Werner

I love this book! It's a great one to use when you are feeling stuck, feeling like this creative process is just too hard. This book helps you by encouraging you to make something as ugly as possible. I can't describe to you how liberating this is--you will just have to try it yourself!

 


Moon pillow

Here's a pillow I made for a co-worker for his new baby.

I  made it as an update of some pillows I designed for Crochet Today! Magazine in 2008:
The pastel ones are made in Red Heart's Moon and Stars yarn, a nice terrycloth type texture when crocheted, but unfortunately the yarn was discontinued. (Why discontinue such a nice yarn?) For the new one, I used Isaac Mizrahi's brand new Carlyle yarn in a lovely grey ombre called Pierre. It's a soft, bulky yarn, with a tiny bit of metallic. Good night, Moon, indeed!

Steampunk Soiree!

In case you didn't catch the write-up for the back page of the fall 2014 Interweave Crochet, here's more info for my Steampunk Soiree:

The stuffed animals and amigurumi I make are decidedly anthropomorphic, and I started making up narratives for them. It was natural for me to start putting groups of them together and making dioramas. I got interested in Steampunk at the same time, so making up a Steampunk scene was the next logical step.
 
“Steampunk” explores what the past would be like if the future happened sooner--imagine a Jules Verne world set in the Victorian era, women hiding gamma ray guns in their corsets, pirates in airships, and mad scientists with time machines. I imagined a group of amigurumi animals getting together to plan their next grand adventure.
 
The animal bodies are all made in the same yarn to keep a cohesive look. I used Rowan Felted Tweed in grey mist (discontinued color), a DK weight yarn, because I like the feel and look of it, especially when using a small hook for a very firm fabric. In order to keep the Steampunk theme going, I chose metallic yarns for the clothing and accessories: Vanna Glamour by Lion Brand, and Stardust from Red Heart. I had fun seeking out and repurposing items for their accessories.
 
I like jointed limbs on stuffed animals, so instead of buttons, I used real watch gears, another acknowledgement to the Steampunk motif. Pipe cleaners in the arms and legs make them very poseable--especially the octopus!

Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree, designed by Donna Childs

The octopus’ name is Professor Octavius Cephalopod, a deep sea treasure hunter. He sits upon a chest filled with the latest finds that will finance the group’s endeavors. His goggles are jewelry findings, and he holds a tiny compass (a button with a real compass imbedded into it). His underside is studded with textured washers to represent suction cups.
 
Madame Rowena Lapin, the rabbit, is a sponsor of the arts, a suffragette, and quite possibly a spy. Her clothing consists of a corset, with a bustle that nicely sheaths her bunny tail. Her hat has slits to accommodate her long ears, and it’s topped with the requisite goggles (jewelry findings). She carries a parasol (a repurposed cocktail garnish) and a heart-shaped key--her secrets are locked away.


The elephant, Captain Eli Maximus, is a military man. His whistle (a working jewelry charm) is at the ready to call the troops, and he’s not afraid of getting into the battle himself with his trusty sword (canape pick).
 
Baron Peter Scurday is a squirrel--a flying squirrel. Along with his bomber jacket and flight scarf, he wears an impressive set of wings (painted wooden pieces, gears, and rhinestones), as well as a propeller cap (top of a vinegar bottle and jewelry findings).
 
Dr. Maxwell Wallaby, the kangaroo, doesn’t like to be called a “mad” scientist, but his experiments can get messy. He wears a lab coat, and his apron has a big pouch--of course. His still (light socket, clock gears, tubing, rhinestones) is cooking up either an absinthe cocktail, or an ice cream float. He holds a bottle with something bubbling over (real glass bottle, glass beads, mohair yarn). His cap is made from a salt shaker top, tiny lightbulbs, and springs from a ballpoint pen.


I am currently hard at work on a book-length allegory with a different theme. Check back on this blog for my progress on this latest project!

Designer Contest at CGOA

My little Steampunk Soiree won second prize in the Crochet Guild of America's designer contest in the category of Artistic Expression:

Steampunk Amigurumi Soiree, designed by Donna Childs

They will be featured in a crochet magazine article--stay tuned for more details!

For more winners check this LINK. I am honored to be chosen as a winner--the entries are some of the most extraordinary pieces of work you'll ever see.