Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Charm Exchange: The Teeny Tiny Crochet Continues

Crochet Kokeshi Doll Charms_Squirrel PicnicI have been looking forward to working on the charms for Alexandra’s charm bracelet since the beginning of this exchange, because I’ve been dying to try out the kokeshi doll pattern in Sara Scales’ book Mini Amigurumi.

It was so much fun to crochet these! For the first time, I feel I am starting to get the hang of mini amigurumi. The learning curve is greater than I originally expected. I mean, it’s crochet. I can crochet, so why is this so hard? Well, here is what I’ve learned…

It takes a lot more patience, dexterity, and keener eyesight than regular crochet. Good lighting really helps too. You have to be very conscious of your tension. Because I was working with fine thread (No. 8 crochet thread), I found it a little more difficult to get the same grasp I would with yarn. I wanted my tension to be tight enough that you wouldn’t be able to see the stuffing through the stitches, but not too tight that I would have to struggle to insert my hook into the stitches. I also discovered that invisible decreases don’t work as well with thread or maybe with this scale. It created larger holes than a standard sc2tog decrease.

So now that I’ve had a few months of practice, I’m ready to try out all the mini amis in Sara’s book. They are all so cute! But first, follow me as I show you how I made these kokeshi doll charms. Continue reading


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Charm Exchange Part 3: Coming Together

Our group of fabulous jewelry-making artists met at Axios Estiatorio in Denver on a rainy October Sunday to exchange charms and enjoy some really fantastic Greek food.

Annie started us off by showing the eye and heart charms she made for Sylvie’s “Eye Adore You” necklace. Using mixed media that includes beaded embroidery, felt, hand-stitching, and some very unique statement beads, Annie’s charms are truly eye-catching (excuse the pun).

Sylvie's Necklace October

Sylvie’s charms for my Coral Reef bracelet included a mermaid and a jellyfish. A tiny model mermaid rests inside one of Sylvie’s signature “deviled eggs” – miniature dioramas that are truly delightful! The jellyfish was made with long plumes of yarn in a variety of colors and textures that really capture the look of tentacles.

Jennifer's Bracelet October

For Annie’s Birds & Flowers necklace, I crocheted two small birds based on a pattern I found at Attic 24. Using DMC floss and a size 10 steel hook, I crocheted three rounds, then added a tail before fastening off. After folding the bird in half with the tail at the back, I sewed up the bottom. Then I added a crocheted beak and stitched on the eyes and wings. The large flowers at the bottom are made from felt buttons (the same ones I use in Podge’s hair).

Annie's Necklace October

Alexandra explained that she experimented with new tools to work with fimo on her charms for Rosalind’s Garden of Earthly Delights bracelet, adding that she loves using the tiny ballpoints on the tool to make the pieces stick. She was surprised at how the rose head didn’t cause too much trouble — she made the head, stuck on the hair, and added petals around where needed.

Rosalind's Bracelet October

Our charm bracelets and necklaces are really starting to come together. Don’t they all look great! Join me next month to see how I go about crocheting a kokeshi doll for Alexandra’s bracelet. It should be a lot of fun!

Check out previous posts in this series:

Part 1: Make Jewelry, Make Friends

Part 2: Working on a Small Scale Poses a Big Challenge