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Last year after I discovered crochet and went nutso making stuff, I searched for an outlet for all of it, and came across swap-bot.
Swap-bot is an online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals. Swap-bot takes the hassle out of participating in group swaps by organizing all of the participant information and doing all of the partner assignments. On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world. Give it a try!
I made lots of stuff, and sent it off. Got lots of really cute stuff in return, a couple of less-than-cute things, but in general it was a good experience. I got a good rating, but eventually I just got bored with it and preferred making things for friends.
However, I did get something pretty amazing out of this: my crocheted starfish. I participated in the Octopus Amigurumi swap sponsored by Octopus Revolution. The idea was for everyone to start with a really basic pattern, and give it their own twist. The octopus I received was a super-cute Japanese geisha-octopus with little origami paper crane buddies. It was also stuffed so tightly, I don’t know how people do this and crochet the toys closed! I guess it might be the type of yarn because I always use natural fibers which stretch more than acrylic.
So the octopus I made was green, made with Cascades Pastaza llama yarn, and I designed a little starfish buddy for it.
Everyone who saw this loved it, and I was asked where I got the pattern and if I could make more. So this is what inspired me to make starfish in a whole bunch of colors and to make more octopi, but with longer legs.
Here’s a photo Karyn took of me selling my wares in my very first craft fair, ever! I sold about half of my “stock” that day at the Kid’s Trunk Show at the Workroom. You can now get your own starfish in one of 8 colors, at my etsy shop, thanks again to the Workroom and City of Craft for giving me my start!
(looking at this photo reminds me that I really should make more of the albino starfish!)
So when I first learned to crochet, I kinda went nuts. After the blue bunny and the happy poo, I realized I could basically crochet any shape I wanted, and started crocheting all kinds of things. My friend Chris asked me to make him a bearded cap like the one made by Vik Prjonsdottir.
The beard caps refer to a traditional cap called “lambshed-hood” which was used in Iceland by farmers who in heavy snowstorms had to walk long distances between their sheds and to the neigboring farms. The cap covered both head and neck and had only a small opening for the face.
The thing is that Chris is vegan, so he chooses not to buy wool (sorry Iceland sheep farmers!). I told him to find some appropriate animal-free yarn and I would make a bearded cap for him. Well, months passed and summer came and went, so I finally bought some brown 100% cotton yarn and got on with it! I created my own version of the bearded cap, and crocheted a separate cap & detachable beard with mustache. This way, Chris could use the hat all the time, and the beard only when he felt like putting some extra fun in his day, or some extra warmth on his face. The beard has a small mouth-hole and two buttons, and the hat has two buttonholes just above the ears. There is also a built-in mustache, but now that I look at it, maybe it should have been a little bit bigger!