Happy New Year Wishes for You!

  
Best Wishes for you this year. I wish you all the best in all you endeavors and adventures.

Also wishing you lots of monkeys to take over your bad habits from you!

Thanks for reading the Spendy Pencil and here’s to another year of sharing and learning from each other.

I’ve also gotten rid of Candy Crush games from my phone so that’s one goal done. Thanks Mock Sonkey the Sock Monkey!

CODENAMES: ARGYLE & ALBION. Or Argie and Albie.

argievsalbie_sketchI had several glorious pairs of pure wool socks. Eventually, they stretched and lost their ability to stay on my feet, plus got quite worn in the heel. Their lives as socks were over. But I loved their color and pattern. How to save them?

I like sock monkeys but I already made one and these socks just didn’t strike me as monkey material. I went to my trusty sketchbook and tried out a couple designs.

20140621-101733-37053833.jpgArgie was pretty easy. Inspired by a pair of dragon earrings by Clio Blue and Dr. Seuss, he’s fun but has a kind of elegance. He’s two flat pieces sewn together. The stuffing gives him the volume. The wings were a bit tougher to make. Stitching along the seam once I turned them right-side flattened them and gave them a bit more structure. The necklace and key charm were fun to add. Argie has the key to your heart. It took a long time to decide on the eye style. I thought about simple button eyes but ever since the movie Coraline, I feel a little creeped out by the four-hole button style. I needle-felted the eyes. I like them but maybe he needs eyelashes. Maybe someday but he is done for now.

20140621-101723-37043163.jpgAlbie was a lot tougher since I wanted to try a more 3-D style. I had a paper mockup but decided to YOLO halfway through. It was challenging to fit my pattern within the limited fabric amount. In the end I compromised by using some felt that I had in the house. I considered needle-felting the mouth parts but decided that was too much work. For the eyes, I played with a lot of buttons I had. I like the pink flower buttons because they balance reptilian aura of the blue yarn slash with cute, pink flowers.

Materials
Argie Albie
2 pairs old socks
Polyfil
Plastic beads
Thread
Felting wool: black and white
Ribbon
Key charm
Clasp
2 pair socks
Poly fill
Plastic beads
Thread
2 pink flower buttons
Navy yarn
Felt: red, blue, white

INFLUENCES  for Argie and Albie
Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton: I love their sense of whimsy and curly design elements.
20140621-204325-74605511.jpgClio Blue: these are my favorite earrings. Also, they have that curly thing.
Ikamura: a previous plushy I made using similar curly style and sewing method for Argie
Godzilla, Pacific Rim: The movies inspired the post name and naming style.

Hanging Out With Kitijiro Nekowski

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‘Nuff said!

Froggio Froggeddabaddit

Froggio Froggeddabaddit is based on a La Drougerie pattern with a few modifications. The pattern is very similar to the one I used for Kitijiro Nekowski so it was really easy to make this one up.

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The first modificiation is in the feet. Sewing up the fabric for the footpads really annoyed me. It was the least fun part of the cats and Froggio so I made my own needle felt footpads. I put the number 2 and 9 on the feet because the 29th is my birthday. If you notice the back paws, the dice show two and a nine as well.

The second modification is the addition of a mouth. My favorite part of a frog is that the tongue can lash put and nab an unsuspecting bug. And the fact that the long tongue fits in the mouth? Any frog of mine had go have a tongue that could go in and out.

I had some scrap pink fabric and made a little sack. I made a needle felt tongue, sewed it into the mouth then sewed the sack inside the frog. The tongue rolls up and fits inside the little sack or can stick out and be long. I toyed with the idea of putting Velcro on the tongue but since Froggio is made of easily snaggable wool, I nixed the idea.

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I still made some little felt bugs for him to eat. There is a little pocket for the belly where his dinner goes.

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They ended up being a little larger than I originally envisioned. They just became fun to make.

These are two bugs I needle felted for Froggio.

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Doubty Dragon: With or Without Wings?

This is my newest plushy creation, Doubty Dragon. His real name is Doubtful Dragon, both because when i started out to make this, I doubted it would look like anything, and because I was using crochet for stress management when thinking about some problems. My husband started calling him Doubty and it stuck. This was my second crochet project so I hadn’t got the crochet technique down yet. When i started, i didn’t have any pattern, just freeform crochet with no purpose. Gradually the idea of a dragon emerged while doing the main body– a dragon or a blue lightbulb. I started in November but Doubty languished for a while at the sewing up stage.

The texture seems odd but I find it interesting despite the error in technique. I ended up doing the spine and the whites of the eyes a couple of times because I didn’t get an effect I liked. It was really hard for me to get the triangle string for a spine. I never found a pattern for it so had to make it up. More experienced crochet people probably find it easy, but it was really challenging for me. I didn’t realize until I sewed the spine on that I should have starched and ironed it first.

The only sticking point for me now is if I should put wings on or not. I’m not a fan of these wings. They seem too small and the shape is blah. I used a leaf pattern. Rather ironic considering his name.

So should I leave the wings off, add them, or try to design new wings?

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Kitijiro Nekowski Eats Chawan Mushi

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I finished knitting a fourth cat from the yarn and pattern from La Droguerie. I changed it a bit to have shorter limbs and no collar. It’s a bit large in the body, too. Took it out the other day to practice shooting with my Christmas (bought in January) camera, the Eos M. I’ve decided to call the cat Kitijiro Nekowski.

I’ve been knitting a lot this past month more than anything else. Planning on an Eos M review after another week of use.

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