Comfort Turtle <3

With aching muscles, as I get closer to my due date, I’ve been using a sock full of rice, warmed in the microwave, to soothe the tension. But lately, I couldn’t help but want to improve on it. Make it bigger and flatter, and maybe cute?

Then it hit me: make it a turtle.

Just fleece, sewn together and filled with dry rice.
Just fleece, sewn together and filled with dry rice.

Cute, right? And the process is really simple. After all, we’re not looking for a perfect stuffed animal, just something that’ll soothe the aches.

here are my pattern pieces (I just drew them on notebook paper, but you can use wrapping paper, whatever is easiest for you)
here are my pattern pieces (I just drew them on notebook paper, but you can use wrapping paper, whatever is easiest for you)

As you can see on my pieces, you want 2 circles (the piece is a semicircle, but I cut them on the fold) 3 small semicircles, 8 little rectangles, and 7 hexagons.

  1. When you’ve cut out your pieces– pin. Leave the hexagons alone for now. Pin together TWO of the semicircles, and pin the rectangles together in pairs, making sure that any irregularities in cutting line up. (After all, if they’re going to be uneven, you might as well line up the unevenness to make it even again. Or something like that…) Take the remaining semicircle (this will be your tail) and lay it down with the round side facing you. Fold the corners down, along the middle of the shape, like your basic paper airplane. Fold them down again, and pin it like that. This should give you a nice, fat little tail, which you won’t have to stuff or sew two itty bitty triangles together to make it look right.
  2. Start sewing your turtle together, beginning with the legs and head. What you want to do for these is just sew all the sides, except for the one where it’ll connect to the body. You’ll want to leave one of the short ends of each pair of rectangles open, as well as the flat side of the pair of semicircles. When you’ve sewn the rest of the sides shut, turn them right side out, and fill loosely with dry rice. (You can also use dry popcorn kernels, dry beans, dry peas, dry wheat– whatever you have that you won’t miss a turtleful of.) Hand-sew closed. (You can try machine sewing little sacks of rice, but I wouldn’t advise it. I’m picturing a messy, possibly broken sewing machine.) Make sure to leave a seam allowance wide enough for your machine’s presser foot for when you attach it to the main body.
  3. Take one of your circles, and arrange the head, tail, and legs where you think they should go. Keep a hexagon shape in mind: the head across from the tail, the legs diagonally across from each other. You’ll want to place the seam allowance on the outer edge of the circle, with the round edge of the head and the tip of the tail pointing to the middle of the circle, so that they’ll sew in place correctly. Take the other circle, and, without disturbing the way you’ve arranged  the turtle bits, pin the second circle to both the turtle bits AND the bottom circle.
  4. Carefully Sew all pieces together, leaving an opening big enough for the head to fit through.
  5. Turn the beast right-side out! Check the seams for any gaps, make sure all limbs are present and correct, and then fill the circular part with rice, using your handy opening.
  6. Once you have a loosely-filled turtle shell, hand-sew the opening closed, leaving no gaps big enough to let rice escape.
  7. What about the hexagons? Take those little things, and hand-sew them on its back in a lovely turtleshell pattern. To do this, place one of them in the center of the circle, on whichever side you deem “up”. (You might want check which side of the tail has folds, and make that the bottom.) Pin it in place, and then arrange the other 6 hexagons around it, so that the sides are parallel to the center hexagon. What I did was point one of the corners toward the head, and one toward the tail, and then put the other hexagons’ shapes parallel to its sides. I pulled the opposite edge of the surrounding shapes as close to the circle’s seam as I could, pinned them all in place, and hand-sewed around the edges.

 

Crafting for two <3

So, between making stuff for me (since the weather is getting pretty cold), making stuff for the upcoming baby, and the holidays, I completely neglected to blog about any of the stuff I’ve been doing.

See? I made stuff.
See? I made stuff.

 

We begin with the burp cloth! (That’s the rectangle on the bottom, there.)

Burp Cloth:

  • J hook, Sugar ‘N Cream cotton
  • ch 31, turn and hdc in 2nd from hook, hdc 13 rows, go around the edge with 2dc “shells”, doing 2 of then in each corner to keep flat. Cut & weave in.

Newborn Shell Beanie:

sl=slip stitch, ch=chain, dc=double crochet, tc=treble/triple crochet

1 “shell”=4 of either dc or tc.

G hook, 2 strands of unknown fluffy purple yarn (it was a gift from someone else’s yarn stash, sans labels… 2 strands equals about the same thickness of your regular Red Heart Supersaver, not including the fluff halo.)

  1. magic circle, dc 12, join with 1 sl.
  2. dc 6 shells, doing one in every other stitch. Join with 1 sl.
  3. ch 2 for the first dc in the shell, shell 12 total. Join with 1 sl.
  4. ch 3, tc 12 shells. Join with 1 sl.
  5. ch 3, tc 12 shells. Join with 1 sl.
  6. ch 3, tc 12 shells. Join with 1 sl.
  7. ch 3, tc 12 shells. Join with 1 sl.
  8. ch 3, tc 12 shells. Join with 1 sl. cut off, weave in ends.

And now,

THE DRAGON!

Dunn dun DUNNNNN!

Dunn dun DUNNNNN!

Isn’t it the cutest. I love this thing. All I did with this adorable beastie was:

  1. draw out a silhouette of your basic long-necked dinosaur (whether you call them brontosaurus or brachiosaurus)
  2. cut out 2 of this shape in fleece. (make sure the neck isn’t thinner than 1&1/2 inches, mine was tough to turn out)
  3. draw a symmetrical leaf-shape (the kind that’s pointed on both ends) that reaches in length from the breastbone of your “dino” to the base of its tail, from tip to tip.
  4. Then, trace the shape of the legs, and add the silhouette to the leaf shape.  You should end up with a leaf with 4 nubbins sticking out. Once you have your leggy leaf shape, cut out 1 of the fleece. *I can’t really provide a link for this one, obviously.*
  5. draw a bat wing shape, and cut out 4 of these from the fleece.
  6. stack up your wing shapes in pairs. Sew the tops together (you know, the sides with only one point?) and keep as close to the edge as possible. When you get to the end, just sew right of the edge. Start again at the central point of the wing, and sew a line from there to the tips of the serrations in the wings. This should give the effect of the ribs of batlike wings. If necessary, go over these lines more than once.
  7. Trim the fabric as close to your wings’ “ribs” as possible.
  8. Sew the “dino” shapes together, starting at the point on its breastbone, where the leaf shape will go, and up the front of its neck, around the head down the spine. When you get to where you want the wings to go, insert both of the completed wings directly into the seam, serrations toward the tail, and sew them into the back seam of the “dino” pieces. *You may need to go slowly here, depending on your machine’s strength, just make sure you keep the wings where they should be.*
  9. Finish sewing the “dino” shapes together, down to the point under the base of the tail that you’ve started the leaf shape at. *it helps to put a pin at these spots, so you don’t forget where it is*
  10. Sew the leaf shape to the almost all the inside of the legs and belly, leaving a space (preferably on one of the belly seams) to turn it all right-side-out. *Make sure to line up the right legs with the ones you traced, so they match up correctly.*
  11. Once you have the dragon right side out,  make sure you’ve poked out all the legs, tail, and nose as they should go. (It helps to use a chopstick or the end of a thicker crochet hook in order to get these right.)
  12. Stuff the beast! You may want to use a chopstick to get the stuffing down into the smaller spaces.
  13. Once you have it stuffed (it should look like it’s almost overstuffed), hand-sew the opening in its belly closed.
  14. Embroider eyes, or sew on buttons for its eyes.
  15. For the spine scallops, blanket stitch along the spine seam, from the crown of its head almost to the end of its tail.
  16. Then, crochet shells of 4 dc each, with 1 sc between each shell, in the structure provided by the blanket stitches. I used crochet thread, and a D hook.
  17. Enjoy your cuddly new monstrosity! 😀

Keeping Warm

I don’t know about the weather anyone else is having, but we’ve been having such bitterly cold, windy days.

And what do you do when it’s cold outside?
That’s right, you stay inside, wear your warm pajamas, and drink hot cocoa.

But besides that?
You craft, of course!

A muffler! (And a super toasty muffler it is, too.) The wind may just cut through whatever else, but at least my face and neck are warm. ^_^

Reindeer Tracks Muffler:

(sl=slip stitch, ch=chain, dc=double crochet, tc=treble/triple crochet)

J hook, less than 1 skein of Vanna’s Choice Lion Brand Yarn

  • ch76, join ends.
  • ch3, dc 2 in next stitch. ch1, dc2 in same stitch that you already did 2 dc in. This makes a sort of split shell, or “hoofprint” pattern, as I like to call it. Then, skip1, tc1, skip1, repeat the hoofprint.
  • Do this pattern of hoofprint/tc for 16 rounds(including base chain), joining with 1 sl, and chaining 3 as a stand-in for the first “tc” of the pattern in that new round.
  • Cut off, and weave in!

This pattern makes a muffler with a 26″ circumference. If you want to make a smaller muffler, simply reduce the base chain in multiples of 4.

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As the weather took a turn for the chillier, we started to have this icy draft get in under the doors. So I made a pair of these little guys:

We call these cute little reptiles our “draft snakes”. They keep the cold out, and look adorable to boot.

I had a lot of lime green fleece hanging around, so I decided to make ours, but all you’d have to do is pick up a stuffed snake (or two, or however many drafts you’re dealing with) at the dollar store toy section. Making them was super easy, though. I measured how wide our door is, and then made sure the snake was longer than that. It only takes 1 long, skinny piece of fabric, cut on the fold in the basic shape of a snake (I’ve seen these made out of old ties, too) with the fat part of the snake, excluding the head, long enough to run along the bottom of the door (you could also put these in windows). I filled mine with dry beans, but they could also be filled with regular poly-fil.

They’ve drastically cut our heating costs, since the weather’s gotten colder. Ours is starting to get pretty grungy, since he lives on our floor, so I’ve decided that someday soon I’ll pick open a seam and move his inner beans into an old nylon stocking for a liner, so the outer snake can get washed periodically. Maybe a velcro closure, so the insides are removable for cleaning.

Dirty cute snakes aside, it’s been a HUGE cost-cutter for us. 😉