Friday, July 2, 2010


This is Lumpy T (and Fat Bill, because she loves to get in the middle of project photos.)

Lumpy T was the first thing I'd ever semi-successfully crocheted.  My mom is a champion crocheter and has made many delightful things for me that I never appreciated enough as a kid.  Thanks, Mater.  Despite my mom's crochet aptitude I was never able to do more than make a chain.  I had some sort of weird mental block when it came to single crochet, let alone any of the other stitches.

Then a few years ago amigurumi hit big in the craft world and I Wanted it.  So.  Bad.  My life was incomplete without anthropomorphic food made of yarn and what not.  So, I decided to put on my big girl britches and set to learning how to crochet after 20 something years of failing.

Oh, the determination.  I hid my knitting needles from myself so that I'd be forced to use a hook.  So many tangled messes.  A metric butt ton of chains.  Squares that stretched the geometric definition of 'a shape' let alone 'a square.'  I jumped into making circles, thinking I could use them as coasters, pot holders, funky outfit accessories- the possibilities seemed endless.

Serious increase failure resulted in several tubes closed on one end that I dubbed 'toe cozies' because they fit over my big toe perfectly.  I may have failed spectacularly but I invented a new article of clothing.  Because I don't know about you but there have been many times when just my big toe has needed an extra layer of warmth.  Ok, that's a lie.

Still, it eventually came together and I felt confident enough to try my hand at an amigurumi pattern.  Enter Totoro (pattern available for free here.)

Several things about my so-called crochet skills here: I was pretty much consistently crocheting into the back loop only, I didn't understand that for stuffed animals you want a dense fabric so the stuffing won't poke through, and I had never sewn anything together before.

And thus, Lumpy T took shape.  I ran out of polyfill while stuffing the body and so he's pretty floppy and lumpy, hence the name.  Because of my deep, deep lack of understanding about gauge he ended up rather on the huge side.  And because I had never sewn crocheted fabric together before he has those crazy pinwheel eyes.

He was supposed to be my niece's Christmas present but she rejected him pretty firmly.  He lives at my house at the bottom of her toy box except for when I need a model because Lumpy T can stand still for as long as it takes me to remember how to use the camera (a long time), never judges the amount of photos I have to take to get one that's reasonably in focus, well-lit and has a minimum of my finger in it (a lot), and never blinks or makes funny faces.  Seeing as I have a compulsive need to screw up my face and act like I'm picking my nose when someone tries to take a picture of me this is a definite plus.

Yes, Mater, I know my face will freeze that way.

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