Striped Koala anyone?
When I first started crocheting, I didn't do the regular small, easy projects. Instead, it was a headlong jump into amigurumis!

The amigurumi pattern was a Koala pattern that I happened to come across when I was first researching crochet and the things you could do with it. The pattern was featured on Woman's Day.  Something about that gorgeous grey, cuddly bear got me excited to start the project.

There were so many things that were wrong about my first project - bad yarn, tough hook for a beginner, rudimentary stitching skills and so much more. However, it got me 'hooked'!

Brown boy Koala hanging with his animal pals

I made 2 versions of the Koala. By looking at the pictures, you can definitely figure out which was which. (Hint: The misshapen one with a crochet ring was the first).
My first attempt at the Koala Amigurumi
Here are my learnings from the experience
1. Amigurumis are fun! Find your perfect project on the web. I like searching on Ravelry.
2. Don't be afraid of using a thin hook. It helps you learn faster.
3. Gift the amigurumis. They are small and make such awesome gifts! Emboldened by my efforts I went on to make more of these and have received requests from friends for quite a lot more!

Below is my Ravelry listing for the project.

Koala by Tamie Oldridge


Me, friends

2.5 inches

    Needle and yarn

    1.75 mm

    The one with a ring is the first amigurumi/crochet article I ever made.
    The second one was obviously better and easier.
    EDT: I was unhappy with the weird eyes, so i stuck on crazy eyes. I like it much better now. Reminds me of Professor Calculus from Tintin. Hence the name.

    August 21 2011
    September 1 2011

    The Lazy Shawlette

    South Bay Shawlette by Lion Brand Yarn



    Needle and yarn

    5.0 mm (H)

    Dark Peacock blue

    I don’t have mohair, but i’m using a very thin wool blend.
    Colour of the scarf is this dark peacock blue/green, though it is not really evident from the picture.
    Done with the scarf. Now, i just have to block it!
    Edit: I finally got down to blocking it on March 24th. And, it is gorgeous! Planning to wear it for Easter.

    Pink flowers Doily

    Cosmos Doily by American Thread Company



    Yellow Lemon Tree Pouch




      Needle and yarn
      I used lemon yellow and black held together. It has a triangular base though. I couldn’t think of a suitable flap, so I made it a drawstring pouch.

      no lining

      Created in the round.

      The CanCan pouch
      This year I've vowed to make as many gifts as I can. Not only is it more personal, it is also a gift of time and energy (at least that's what I think). 

      Last weekend when I'd gone shopping with her for my grandmom, I showed her my version of the Swag Bag that I'd made for my grandmom’s birthday. She loved it and tried very hard to get me to give to her, but finally she relented after I promised to make her one too. She loves the colour red and the red & black combination is her favorite for clothing items/accessories. Her choice of colours? Red and Black! No surprise there!

       This year is my grandmom's 70th birthday and I decided to make her a present rather than buying her something as firstly she is very finicky and usually wants to exchange presents and secondly I was out of ideas for new presents. 

      I chose the Swag bag by Marcelle's Creative Crochet as my bag, as it looked small and I thought I could modify it to suit my grandmom's tastes. The bag has been purposely kept free of other embellishments as my grandmother is very particular about colours and may not appreciate too many doodads on it.

      The pouch when the drawstrings are tied.
      During the previous year's Christmas enthusiasm, I was planning on making small pouches to give away some of our gifts, but the inexperienced crocheter I was, I underestimated the time it would take to finish the pouches.

      To start with, I chose the wrong crochet thread for my pouch - it takes a lot of time to crochet a decent-sized pouch with cotton crochet thread! I also got caught up with stuff and couldn't even begin it in time!

      So, instead, I decided to make it for myself. No hurry at all, though when it was almost over I couldn't help trying to finish faster. The gestation period was just so long!

      In the end, it has come out rather nice, and has interesting texture. I am including a basic pattern that can be modified as you go along.

      Purple = mine!
      As mentioned earlier, I used to love playing with beads. I was looking for a way to marry my love for beads with my new-found love for crochet, when I came across this Easy Beaded Crochet Technique by Amy Solovay. I used that technique and created a few necklaces of my own.

      Materials used:
      Nylon thread for the base
      Crochet thread for the accent
      Appropriate crochet hooks

      The 'V' is only prominent in the light. Perfect for a guy.
      Before I took up crocheting, for a very long time I was an avid beader. I haven’t done much beading in the past few years, but still carry my bead box wherever I move. My projects were usually based on patterns and I’ve made a bunch of earrings, chains and bracelets and even a few purses. I’ve even made a few original chains which I shall put up pics later.

      Anyhow, to the topic at hand: We had people visiting in Jan this year and with only one week to go before they left for home, I realized that while I spent considerable time and effort for the kids’ gifts, I hadn’t really given the couple anything!

      The finished scarf

      The final in my series of animal inspired scarves is this beautiful Weiner Puppy Neck Warmer by Randomheartx at Craftster. After seeing this scarf, I was actually inspired to start making scarves for my nieces. (I am including my modified pattern in the post.)

      I love puppies and thought this was just cute!
      However, I can rarely do something without adding my own twist to it. And that’s just what I did. Though, my final scarf looked a little like a mouse. The intended niece even asked me if it was a rat. I managed to convince her that it was a puppy because of the collar!

      I’ve largely followed Randomheartx’s pattern, but just added a few more rows and changed stitches a little bit for texture.
      Ready for the wearer!
      After making those scarves for my nieces, my husband requested that I make him one too. Considering all the running around he did with me while we bought materials and approved/rejected designs for the earlier scarves, I decided he ought to be rewarded. The fact that we were currently going through a cold wave also helped things in his favour.

      He ideally wanted a simple single crochet scarf (yes, he sort of knows the difference!), but I wanted to experiment.

      After a lot of searching I settled on the Paul's "Sweet Guy" Scarf at Wolfcrochet!
      I am finally putting down the pattern for the kitten scarf. It is very similar to the piggy scarf I’d posted earlier. I’m still waiting to get better pictures of the scarves as I have already gifted them.
      Before ends were tucked in

      Feel free to point out any mistakes that you find.
      The pattern is listed below:

      Craft: Crochet
      Level: Beginner/Easy

      1 skein of yellow 8-ply wool (Main colour; MC)
      1 skein of orange 8-ply wool (Contrasting colour; CC)
      button/safety eyes for the eyes
      A little bit of black wool/thread for the whiskers/mouth
      5 mm crochet hook
      Fabric glue
      tapestry needle

      Note: You can use any weight of wool/yarn as you like. Local shops here do not really know the different types and stock them mostly as 4-ply/8-ply etc.

      As I'd mentioned earlier, I decided to do the piggy scarf after being unsatisfied with the final material of my earlier scarf. The piggy was so adorable that I just had to make it! When I was done I was almost tempted to keep him for myself.

      My completed scarf
      This is my first pattern. So, if something doesn't work out, please ask. Feel free to point out any mistakes that you find.
      The pattern is listed below:

      Craft: Crochet
      Level: Beginner/Easy

      1 skein of light pink 8-ply wool
      A little bit of darker pink
      button/safety eyes for the eyes
      5 mm crochet hook
      tapestry needle

      Note: You can use any weight of wool/yarn as you like. Local shops here do not really know the different types and stock them mostly as 4-ply/8-ply etc.

      My version of the puppy scarf
      I recently met my nieces for the first time this month. They're 9 and 2 and amazingly share the same birthday!

      My husband and I had never met the younger one, while the elder one was a preschooler when her parents moved to the US. As a fledgling crocheter, I was looking for projects to hone my skills, while also coming up with personalised gifts for them. We decided to make scarves for the kids as they are easy and can be used even later. My pictures aren't very good as our cameras are horrible! Note to self: Buy a proper camera.

      For the elder one I came across this lovely Wiener puppy scarf by randomheartsx on crafster (Click here for her pattern). I modified the pattern a little bit as I wanted to try out different stitches and give it a little more texture.

      I recently quit my corporate job after spending about 5 years working as an editor. Before I even think of taking up something else, I'm rewarding myself with a few months of 'me' time. I hope to finish a few projects that remain unfinished since my wedding, besides showcasing a few new ones.
      It feels so good to really put down your own words instead of just modifying someone else's!