We went to Vancouver for a couple days last week and I made these “Granny Stripe Headbands” as gifts! Aren’t they pretty, especially with the layered flowers as embellishments? Working on these granny stripes reminded me of the “Granny Square Blanket” that I had so much fun making for Myla last summer :) You can find the free pattern for the headband HERE on “Tangled Happy”. I absolutely adore this free flower pattern HERE, and it’s a great way to dress up a hat or headband!
I’ve traveled to Vancouver many times throughout the years as I have family who live there. This, however, was Myla’s first trip and I was a bit nervous… She did very well on the flight though!
I thought I would share about some of the delicious food we ate in Vancouver! Ryan and I always LOVE stopping by the food court at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond for some of our favourite dishes, so we went as soon as we arrived. The crispy chicken wings are incredibly flavourful and piping hot as they make them fresh each time- we saw many tables enjoying this dish. The Hainanese Chicken is so moist, tender and delicious with the special rice. We always get these two dishes whenever we visit this food court!
We love shaved ice, and I am so happy we decided to try out “Frappé Bliss” (also in the Aberdeen Centre food court) that specializes in Taiwanese shaved ice! The first time we went we customized our own dessert with milk shaved ice, coconut milk, condensed milk, and rice balls. This was sooo good and it was my favourite dessert of the whole trip! We went back towards the end of our trip and ordered “The Garden of Eden”, consisting of mango shaved ice, mango ice cream, strawberries, kiwi and mango. This shaved ice is especially delicious because the ice itself is flavoured (without adding extra syrup or flavouring) and so finely shaved that it is very light and fluffy!
We always stop by Daiso when we visit Aberdeen Centre as well. I stocked up on cute packaging as I love giving away crocheted goodies in these adorable bags :)
That night our friends took us to “Sushi California” for some well-priced, delicious sushi! Look at how thick those slices of sashimi are! Vancouver never disappoints with its variety and freshness of sushi!
The next day we went for afternoon tea at the “Truffles Café” in the VanDusen Botanical Gardens. I looove going for high tea as it’s always such an elegant affair. The sandwiches were delicious and the view was lovely- I imagine this place would be very popular in the Spring and the Summer when the flowers and trees are all in bloom!
In the evening we went to “Sura” for some delicious Korean dishes! This was some of the best Korean food I’ve ever had, and the decor inside was beautiful. The chab-che and grilled beef were sooo yummy…
For lunch the following day our friends took us to a little French place called “Salade de Fruits”. It reminded me soo much of the French restaurants we visited in Paris last year! The waiters, waitresses and much of their clientele were all speaking French, so we knew this place was very authentic! I had their mussels and fries and they were very tasty. As you can see, there were generous portions as well!
After lunch we took a stroll towards Granville Island. Vancouver is known to be quite rainy, but we are very thankful that it was sunny and clear for most of our stay!
We enjoyed this beautiful view with our strollers :)
We ate dinner at a wonderful restaurant called “Sandbar” on Granville Island, and it was situated under the Granville Bridge! I had the most delicious ahi tuna that I’ve ever tasted, but I didn’t get a picture of it unfortunately…Myla started crying so we had to eat quickly!
The next day we visited “Bella Gelateria” for their world-famous gelato! I had the salted caramel gelato. I wore this beautiful cape sweater that I bought the first day we arrived in Aberdeen Centre- I really love its beautiful pattern and design! It also pairs very nicely with my Momzelle nursing tank that I blogged about here!
For our last meal before we headed to the airport, our friends took us to “La Brasserie” for oysters! They were so fresh and tasty….I knew I wanted to eat oysters on this trip, and this definitely hit the spot! The Brasserie Burger that I ordered was also very good :)
Here are some other shots that Ryan took of beautiful Vancouver…
Vancouver Convention Centre
Granville Bridge (Ryan calls this photo “Daddy Long Legs” ;P)
Seagulls on Granville Island
Waterfront SkyTrain Station
We are so thankful to our good friends in Vancouver who brought us to all these wonderful food spots! They are big foodies and are always in the know of new restaurants popping up in their diverse city. Our friends have babies as well, so most of these restaurants were stroller and baby-friendly (“Salade de Fruits” and “La Brasserie” were the only ones that didn’t fit our strollers since they were smaller establishments). We had a great little trip to Vancouver full of good food and wonderful company :) Vancouverites, have you been to any of these places? What are your favourite food spots?
Here is a matching mommy & baby “Knotted Headband” set I made as a gift! You can get the free pattern for the adult version HERE. For the newborn version, I followed the same basic pattern but chained 45 in the beginning (increase this number for older babies with bigger heads) and made 3 rows of double crochets. For the knot, I chained 7 and made 4 rows of double crochets.
If you’ve always wanted to make my Knotted Headband, now is a great opportunity as it is the March Crochet-Along project on “The Curious Pug”! You can participate by visiting Alycia’s blog HERE to link up your finished projects and see how everyone else’s turns out! Can’t wait to check back and see all the finished Knotted Headbands at the end of March too!
It’s been one month since we released our Chinese New Year Snake pattern, and it’s been wonderful seeing your versions! Thank you for sending us pictures and for the warm feedback :) We wanted to include all the ones we’ve seen so far, so this is the biggest Crochet Corner post yet with a whopping 16 Snakes! Let’s take a look at some of the amigurumi Snakes who’ve been slithering around the globe!
Jing from New York City was the first one to show me her Snake on Instagram less than 24 hours after I posted the pattern! I was astounded by how quick she was- her little Snake looks great! You can see her other crocheted creations on her blog here.
BeaLee’s Jewellery & Craft from the United Kingdom made this adorable Snake! Love the long slithery tongue and the great shapes!
Amigurumi Wizard from the Netherlands made this little cutie! I love how he is tilting his head looking up :) I really admire Amigurumi Wizard’s work (he decorated his entire Christmas tree with amigurumi ornaments!) - you can check out his blog here and even purchase some of his super cute creations here.
Fishmamma from Taiwan made this little one! She used yarn for the tongue and scales and felt for the eyes, making him more child-friendly :) He’s wider than other snakes I’ve seen, but this makes him super cute!
Jennygurumi from Ohio made her own version of my Snake too! Love the beautiful detailing she did :) You can check out her other crocheted creations on her cute blog here!
Kawaii Cuteness chose a vibrant blue colour for her Snake! She also crocheted the tongue too!
Monet from Wisconsin also used blue yarn for her Snake! I love to see that people are thinking outside the box and using different colours than your traditional green!
Ania did a phenomenal job with her Snake! I love the head positioning, the big eyes and the beautiful detailing. She said she had a lot of fun making him, and he turned out great!
Phaikki tagged me on Instagram to show me her latest creation named Ular-larr…I love it when people name their amigurumi ;) She just started making amigurumi at the end of last year and since then has become addicted! Your Ular-larr is super cute, Phaikki! Glad you’re enjoying your new hobby so much!
Carmen of Crafty Queens from Holland made this delicate little brown Snake! Looks like he’s indulging in some sweets with his long tongue!
Vy from Illinois made a Ms. Snake with a flower atop her head! What a way to personalize your own Snake :)
Kim-Hoa from California made this little guy to help celebrate Chinese New Year too! He looks so well-made as she did a great job with all the details, from the beautifully-stitched body, to the nose, the fangs and the tongue. He’s soaking in the California sun near the window :)
Crystal from Toronto stumbled upon my blog through Pinterest a few months ago and has made several items from my patterns, including her own Snake! And is that a crocheted basket I spy behind her Snake? Crystal has definitely been a busy crocheter!
Rebecca was inspired to make her Snake Slytherin-style for her friend who was born in the Year of the Snake and is a big Harry Potter and Slytherin fan! Rebecca used black felt for the tongue and grey felt for the belly. It’s neat how everyone adapts my pattern to make it their own!
Peggy from New Jersey made this little guy as a Chinese New Year gift for her 5 year old daughter! He looks great, and I’m sure her daughter loves him!
Rachel from Australia made her own Snake using Chinese New Year colours! Rachel took her little Snake out for some Chinese New Year festivities and snapped some photos along the way- some tourists saw her and asked to take some photos with her little Snake too since they found him so adorable! How cute is that? My Graduation Teddy was Rachel’s first real amigurumi, and since then she’s made many more, including my Despicable Me Minion! You can check out her crochet projects on her blog here.
Hope you enjoyed seeing all these friendly little Snakes from around the world! If you’ve been inspired to make your own after seeing all these little guys, you can access the free pattern HERE and see the story behind him HERE! Thank you for sending me your pics, everyone! Keep sending me pics of your work through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook, Twitter (@AllAboutAmi) and Instagram (@AllAboutAmi)! You can also check out my other “Crochet Corner” posts HERE!
Do you have any super bulky yarn from previous projects that you would like to use up? I had a quite a bit left over from making chunky cowls for myself and for my friends this winter. After looking through the Ravelry database, I came across this adorable baby hat pattern by Catherine Wiggins. These super bulky newborn hats work up extremely quickly with only 8 rows and a 10 mm crochet hook. I love the addition of the ribbons to finish off these hats- the ribbon bows give a very sophisticated and polished look! Get the free pattern HERE! You may recognize these yarns since I used the pink yarn to make my “Long Double Crochet Cowl” and the beige yarn to make my “Chunky Double Crochet Cowl”!
And for all you nursing mamas and mamas-to-be, don’t forget to enter my $30 Momzelle giveaway (closing February 28) and access the discount codes for Momzelle nursing clothing and beautiful nursing scarves called CoverBoos in my blog post HERE!
Once again, this blog post is somewhat of a departure from what I typically blog about (crochet, baking, travel), similar to when I blogged about “My Maternity Fashion” here. At first I was hesitant about whether I should blog about this, but I decided that other mamas and mamas-to-be might find it helpful, so I decided to go for it! I will highlight two Canadian companies that have made items that I’ve loved so far as a new mama :)
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed Myla from the very beginning because of all the health benefits for both Myla and I (not to mention it also burns 500 calories a day!). I must say that I’ve really been enjoying it for the past 4 months and I’ve found our nursing sessions to be precious bonding time. After getting the hang of it in the comfort of our home, I was nervous about taking our little newborn out and having to feed her in public settings.
I knew that wearing certain clothing items and outfits would make nursing in public very cumbersome, and I hadn’t even thought about how my wardrobe would now be somewhat restricted since I was breastfeeding (I thought I was already past the “wardrobe limitation” phase of being pregnant!). Button-down shirts, v-necks, and tank tops + cardigans were now the way to go as I would scan each item in my closet and assess how easy/difficult it would be to feed Myla in it. I decided to research what different nursing clothing options were available to facilitate breastfeeding in public.
I came across a Canadian company based out of Montreal called “Momzelle” that was founded by a mom named Christine Poirier. Christine made her own nursing top after having her baby daughter and started Momzelle after all her friends were asking about her tops. As I browsed the different Momzelle clothing items, the items that stood out to me were the tank tops. I knew having a nursing tank top would be a good investment since I could layer different pieces ontop of it (cardigans, shirts) in addition to wearing it on its own. I ended up ordering two black tank tops: the “Original Nursing Tank Top” and the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top”.
I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived shortly in the mail. They felt like they were very good quality! These two black tank tops are made out of 94% cotton and 6% spandex. One of my tank tops was made in Canada while the other was made in Peru. Momzelle states that all of their nursing clothing is ethically made.
Both tank tops have these openings for discrete breastfeeding. It makes breastfeeding a lot easier as you do not have to lift your entire tank top or shirt up to feed- your belly and back remain covered and the baby has easy access for feeding! If you would like to see photos of some Momzelle tops in action with nursing moms, click here. For you “Dragon’s Dens” fans out there, Christine was actually featured on the show and got funding for Momzelle- check out the clip here!
I was excited to try them on right away as it’s always a little scary ordering clothing online as you can never guarantee a perfect fit. I was so happy that I had chosen the right size as they fit me very well! Both tank tops were incredibly comfortable and had a sleek look. This is the “Original Nursing Tank Top”!
You need to wear a nursing bra with these tops and I love how the thick black straps of the tank tops cover the bra straps. There are nursing tank tops available on the market that have built-in bras, but in my experience, I found them to either be too low-cut, less supportive or less comfortable. The flaps are quite discrete, especially since these tank tops are black and when items are worn ontop of them. This is the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top”!
I am particularly happy with the “Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top” as it can be hard to find tank tops of this length, especially a nursing one! It’s nice having a tank top that doesn’t ride up with such great coverage (perfect for extra tall mamas too!). I’ve worn this top so much ever since receiving it in the mail, and it’s stretched a bit since it is 6% spandex. Overall though, it’s held up well. I thought I would show you how I styled some of my outfits featuring this long tank top…
Here I paired it with an oversized cardigan, a scarf, and jeggings!
For a bit of a dressier feel, I paired it with my peach blazer and jeggings. A simple black tank top is so versatile…
I absolutely love wearing leggings since they are so comfortable. I practically lived in leggings while I was pregnant and I wanted to continue wearing them post-partum, particularly since I still could not fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans! This long tank top works perfectly with leggings, and I am so happy that I don’t have to lift up my long tunics or tops in order to feed Myla. Here I layered a chambray shirt and long cardigan overtop my long nursing tank top with leggings and a colourful scarf. This has been a perfect winter outfit on those cold days. Keeping all the layers open facilitates easy access to the nursing tank top and easy breastfeeding!
Haha, we happened to go grocery shopping this same day we were taking these shots, so I thought I’d show another typical outfit I’ve worn out and about. Here is my Xtra Long Nursing Tank Top paired with my high low sweater, jeggings, circle scarf and over-the-knee boots. I really love the length of this tank!
Here is a picture of my sweet baby girl Myla and I at a baby shower! I am wearing the same long tank top paired with leggings and a crocheted sweater ontop. Both this sweater and the above sweater are light and can be easily lifted away for breastfeeding. I just love Myla’s big smiles and adorable laugh…melts my heart!
I wear my “Original Nursing Tank Top” with shorter cardigans, like these two below:
Did you notice the feathers scarf in the above outfit? It’s no ordinary scarf….it’s actually a nursing scarf!
CoverBoo Couture is a line of nursing scarves from Edmonton, founded by a mom named Maria who wanted to nurse discretely in public. These scarves are perfect for moms who want more coverage while nursing or for those who have distractible babies! Just how does this scarf turn into a cover? Let me show you!
You can wear the CoverBoo doubled up like I am here, knotted, or as a long circle scarf. It’s neat because these scarves serve as a fashion accessory in addition to a nursing cover, and it’s very convenient whenever you want to nurse since you are already wearing your cover! They can be easily stored in your purse too since they are so lighweight.
When you’re ready to nurse, you unwrap the scarf…
So that it’s a single layer like this!
Then you look for the neck hole…
And slip your head through it!
Pull your arm through…
And you’re ready to nurse your sweet baby! You get great coverage and baby is less distracted by what’s going on around them :)
These CoverBoos are all designed and manufactured in Canada, and they come in an array of patterns and fabrics. Their lightweight, airy feel are perfect for the upcoming spring and summer months, and Maria just released her Spring Collection last week! These nursing scarves look very different than the other nursing covers currently on the market, and they are such a clever and simple design. They don’t offer a rigid neckline as others do (see here), but you can always lift the opening at the neck hole to peek and make eye contact with your baby!
I love that both of these companies are Canadian and founded by real moms who were making products to help them on their breastfeeding journeys. I also love scoring good deals, and I managed to purchase all of these products when they were on sale! Momzelle had a great Black Friday sale (tops up to 40% off with an additional 10% off) and CoverBoo Couture had an amazing Christmas Eve sale (50% off all CoverBoos). Thus, if you are interested in any of their products, I highly recommend liking their facebook pages so you can get their notifications and keep up-to-date with their products! You can find the Momzelle Facebook page here and the Coverboo Couture Facebook page here.
I approached both companies and told them how I would be writing about my positive experiences using their products. I asked if they could provide any discounts for my readers in case they were interested in purchasing their products right away! Both companies replied incredibly promptly and were very generous.
Maria of CoverBoo Couture is offering a 15% off discount for readers of “All About Ami” with the coupon code “AMI15”, and it expires on February 28 (Canadian shipping is $5, international shipping is $10, and free local pick-up is available if you live in Edmonton). Check out the CoverBoo Couture website HERE and see if you want to order any for yourself or for your friends!
Momzelle is offering a $5 discount for readers of “All About Ami” with the coupon code “AMIGRMI5” (no expiry date) and a $30 gift card as a give-away! ***To enter, please leave a comment below stating which nursing top you would buy if you won the $30 gift card!*** Check out the Momzelle website HERE. This giveaway is open worldwide until Thursday, February 28. I will randomly choose a winner and announce who it is on my facebook page HERE. For your information, shipping is $5 per order in Canada and the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) and is pricier to other countries (see shipping costs here). [NOTE: The giveaway is now CLOSED: Congrats to Sarah Clymer, the winner of the $30 gift card!!!]
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my nursing fashion and how these products have made it a lot easier to breastfeed my baby girl. I think the nursing tops and nursing cover are a good investment, especially if you consider how long moms breastfeed for and if there are plans on breastfeeding more children in the future. The tank tops and cover also work well together for those who want a lot of coverage while nursing in public as absolutely nothing is exposed. They would make great gifts for your friends or family who are expectant or new mamas who are going to nurse (particularly the CoverBoos since they’re one size fits all!). Thank you to Momzelle and CoverBoo Couture for your great products and for providing us with coupon codes too! I love how they both made the coupon codes based on “amigurumi” [the Japanese art of knitted/crocheted stuffed animals, which is what my blog is all about in case you’re new here!]. I had fun putting together these outfits and showing you my style and how I’ve adapted my wardrobe in my new role as a nursing mama!
Please feel free to forward this post to your pregnant or mama friends as well so they can enter the giveaway and access these awesome discount codes too :) Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you think about this post!
~ Stephanie ♥
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d do a round-up of special Valentine crocheted projects that you could make for your loved ones or for yourself to celebrate ♥ The free patterns are available for all of these projects (click through the links to access them)!
Row 1: Valentine Teddy by me (my second ever original design!), Hearts by Little Birdie Secrets (I LOVE using these hearts to embellish cards- see here and here), Valentine Popsicles by Jennygurumi (her first original design!)
Row 2: Lovebirds by Lion Brand (a cute set that you can personalize with your own special colours, a hat, or maybe initials), Amigurumi Hearts by Roxycraft (perfect if you want a 3-D heart instead of the 2-D ones above), Sweetheart Bunny by me (my Valentine project from last year!)
Row 3: Heart Box of Chocolates by Red Heart (How amazing is this? These chocolates will last forever…and are calorie-free ;D), Valentine Envelopes by Lion Brand (such a cute way to send a special letter or photo), Chocolate Truffle Scarf by Twinkie Chan (super kawaii for chocolate lovers to wear proudly!)
Hope these give you some ideas of how you can add some crocheted touches to your Valentine’s Day! They’re a fun take on your traditional chocolate, flowers, and stuffies that are typically gifted for the occasion! Much love to you all ♥
It’s the Year of the Snake this year! Crochet this cute, friendly snake complete with fangs, a slithery tongue and scaled body to celebrate! Snakes typically have a bad rap as sinister villains, but this little guy is determined to break the stereotype :)
Note: I worked in continuous rounds (vs. joined rounds).
***PLEASE follow along with my blog post HERE to read about the background story of this Snake and to see more step-by-step photos!!!***
[We are working from the bottom of the head to the top of the head in order to get a flat base.]
Using green yarn,
R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 3. 3 sc in next sc (which is the first ch). Turn and Sc 3. 3 sc in next sc (this is the fifth chain). [We are making an oval by crocheting around the chain]. (12 sts)
R2: Sc 4, 2 sc in next sc, Sc 5, 2 sc in next sc, Sc 1. (14 sts)
R3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 7 times (21 sts)
R4: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 7 times (28 sts)
R5: *Sc 3, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 7 times (35 sts)
R6: *Sc 4, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 7 times (42 sts)
R7-13: Sc 42
Position safety eyes and embroider nose on short side of oval. Nose is embroidered by making two “L” shapes.
R14: *Sc 5, dec 1*, rep 6 times (36 sts)
R15: Sc 36
R16: *Sc 4, dec 1*, rep 6 times (30 sts)
R17: *Sc 3, dec 1*, rep 6 times (24 sts)
Cut oval shape out of cardboard and place on bottom of head. Begin stuffing head.
R18: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 6 times (18 sts)
R19: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 6 times (12 sts)
Stuff head firmly.
R20: *Dec 1*, rep 6 times (6 sts)
Fasten off and weave in end.
Using green yarn,
R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 7. 3 sc in next sc (which is the first ch). Turn and Sc 7. 3 sc in next sc (this is the 9th chain). [We are making an oval by crocheting around the chain]. (20 sts)
R2: *Sc 4, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 4 times (24 sts)
R3-R11: Sc 24
Fasten off and leave long end for sewing. Stuff body firmly. Attach body to head, aligning back of body to back of head so that body is leaning back slightly.
Overall, we will be crocheting the wide part of the tail (in the shape of an oval) by picking up stitches from the back of the body and then crocheting towards the tip. See this video HERE to learn how to pick up stitches. The tail should appear like a continuation of the body and be placed approximately where the faded oval is:
We will be crocheting the bottom “U” shape of the tail first:
Using green yarn,
R1: Hold Snake’s head and body so that the back is facing towards you. Starting from bottom right side, pick up a stitch. Chain 1. Pick up 7 more stitches along bottom row. Ensure that Snake will stand by himself at this point. (8 sts)
***I picked up the first stitch between Rounds 3 and 4 of the body. Choose an appropriate first stitch so that the 8 sts of Row 1 are centered along the back of the body.
R2: Sl stitch to one stitch above and slightly left. Turn and sc 8. (8 sts)
R3: Sl stitch to one stitch above and slightly right. Turn and sc 8. (8 sts).
R4: Sl stitch to one stitch above and slightly right. Turn and sc 8. (8 sts).
R5: Sl stitch to one stitch above and slightly left. Turn and sc 8. Sc 1 above (left side of oval). Sc 4 by picking up stitches along top of oval. Sc 1 down (right side of oval). (14 sts)
R6-7: Sc 14 (14 sts)
Stuff tail lightly.
R8: *Sc 5, dec 1*, rep 2 times (12 sts)
R9: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 3 times (9 sts)
R10: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 3 times (6 sts)
R11: Sc 6 (6 sts)
R12: *Dec 1*, rep 3 times (3 sts)
Fasten off and weave in end.
- Cut out below shape from beige felt. Drape it across Snake`s body and tail to make sure it is the correct length. Sew felt piece onto body. Add lines of tan embroidery floss down the felt piece for the scaled body.
- To make the fangs, pinch a corner of white felt together. Add a drop of glue from a glue gun to hold the sides together. Snip the corner off. Make 2 fangs.
- Cut out a long narrow piece of red felt and snip a “v” at the tip for the tongue. Glue two white fangs and red tongue in place.
Have a very Happy Chinese New Year, and have fun making this friendly little snake :) He would make a perfect gift for expectant mothers whose babies will be born in the Year of the Snake, or for friends who were born in the Year of the Snake as well! Once again, please check out my full blog post HERE to read about how this little Snake came to be and to see more pics of him! Post your finished Snake pics on my Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram or e-mail them to me (email@example.com) so we can all enjoy them :)
This pattern is an original pattern by Stephanie of All About Ami (February 2013). Please do not claim this pattern as your own. If you wish to share this pattern, you may link to this pattern but please do not reprint it on your site. You may keep a copy for your own personal use but you may not sell or distribute it, or sell items made from this pattern.
Can you believe it’s almost been one whole year since we released an original amigurumi pattern/design (Snuggles the Penguin)? Thank you for being so patient with us, particularly since this blog is called “All About Ami [gurumi]” yet we haven’t made many in recent months. Being pregnant for most of last year meant that I crocheted mostly baby-related items, and I had almost no time to crochet during the first couple of months after Myla’s birth! I wondered what our next original amigurumi project would be and was a little nervous about it since we hadn’t embarked on our typical process (sketch, figuring out shapes, writing up pattern) in a very long time!
Once again, Ryan was the great encourager as he said we HAD to make something for Chinese New Year since it was our tradition. The Chinese New Year Doll was our very first original design and last year Ryan was the one who encouraged us to make a Chinese New Year Dragon even though it seemed challenging. Who knew that Dragon would become our most popular amigurumi!
When we excitedly looked up what zodiac animal the year 2013 was, we found out it was the Year of the Snake. There were other amigurumi snakes out there (your typical long, slithery snakes), but we wanted to try to make a cute chibi version that looked different. Making a cute snake was another great challenge as snakes seem to be typically sinister villains in popular culture! Thinking of snakes conjured up images of Voldemort and Slytherin, Orochimaru from Naruto, Kaa from the Jungle Book and Snake Jafar! We knew we had our work cut out for us… We looked up different images of snakes and Ryan came up with this initial rough sketch:
We wanted our snake to have really big eyes, so we even stuck the 12 mm safety eyes in the sketch so we knew approximately how big the head and body needed to be!
After putting Myla to bed, we began working on our Snake in the evenings! I started off with the head, crocheting around a series of chain stiches to get an oval shape. Typically I crochet my amigurumi heads from top to bottom, but we worked from bottom to top to get a very flat base with a domed top.
We placed the eyes on the short side of the oval…
To get a very flat base, Ryan cut an oval shape out of cardboard and placed it on the bottom of the head before stuffing it!
Here is the finished snake head all closed up after the eyes have been positioned, nose has been embroidered (two “L” shapes), cardboard has been placed and head has been stuffed!
Next up was the body! Once again, I crocheted around a series of chain stitches to get an oval shape. As I was working on it, Ryan said it reminded him of the sock cell phone cozies I made a while ago!
We then stuffed the little body and attached it to the head so that the body was aligned with the back of the head (not in the middle). We wanted the head to be leaning back a bit and not standing straight up at a 90 degree angle.
Once the body and head were attached together, it was time for the tail! This proved to be the most frustrating/challenging part as we had to redo it multiple times to get the correct shape and placement. We wanted the tail to be approximately where the faded oval is in this pic:
Instead of opting to crochet a separate tail and then attach it later, I decided to use the technique of picking up stitches from the body and then crocheting outwards for a more seamless transition so that it appeared that the tail was a continuation of the body. I learned this technique from FullMetalPiglet when I made Luigi. If you’ve never picked up stitches before, you can watch this video here.
With the Snake’s back facing towards me, I started picking up stitches from the right side and went along the row towards the left. I checked to make sure that Snake could sit by himself at this point just with this row of stitches.
I then crocheted back along the new row, slip stitching along the sides (more detailed instructions will be in the pattern post). As you can see, the oval is forming.
I did this a couple more times to get a solid base so that Snake would be leaning back with this tail…
Then I could finally complete the oval by picking up stitches along the sides and top. From there, I continued crocheting around the oval, decreasing along the way to form a pointed tip.
Here are some different views of the tail protruding from the body! Snake is kind of looking like a little green worm here!
And here are some close-up’s of the tail so you can see the exact shape and approximately where I picked up stitches…
Next up was the detailing! Ryan cut out the shape below out of beige felt and draped it across Snake’s body and tail to make sure it was the correct length.
Then he sewed this beige felt piece onto Snake’s body and tail. After that, Ryan added lines of tan embroidery floss to the beige felt for the scaled body, reminiscent of little Dragon’s scaled body!
To make the fangs, Ryan pinched a corner of white felt together. He used the glue gun to add a drop of glue to hold the sides together and then snipped the corner off.
He also cut out a long narrow piece of red felt and snipped a “v” at the tip for the tongue. Ryan then glued the two white fangs and red tongue in place!
After all the detailing was complete, here was our finished product! May I present to you…*drumroll please*….our Chinese New Year Snake!
We showed little Snakey to Myla, rocking him back and forth making fiss fiss noises ;) Myla was definitely intrigued about who this little guy was! We also thought it was neat that the stitches kind of look like scales!
Here are all of our Chinese New Year amigurumi so far :) First we made Chinese New Year Doll carrying a little bunny for the Year of the Rabbit in 2011. Last year we made Dragon for 2012 and of course this year we have Snake for 2013! I know Dragon was a popular gift for many expectant moms in 2012 as they were all having Dragon Babies….including us as Myla is a Dragon Baby! If you know any expectant moms, if you are expecting a baby in 2013, or maybe you yourself are a snake or who have friends who are snakes, our little amigurumi Snake could be a popular gift :) After all, the Year of the Snake won’t come around for another 12 years!
Haha, we just had to pose our tiny bunny with Snake!
Lil Bunny: “You’re a friendly snake, right?…Riiiight?…*shudder*”
We are very pleased with how this little guy turned out! We tried our best to create a cute, friendly chibi snake that went against the stereotype ;) It felt good to go about the whole amigurumi designing process again after such a long time, and we hope you enjoyed reading about it!
We wish you a Happy Chinese New Year (officially on February 10th this year)! Does anyone have any special plans to celebrate? We will be having hot pot and eating yummy rice cake (or lian gao, one of my fave desserts)! Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful Year of the Snake!
***The FREE pattern for this amigurumi Snake and more detailed instructions and photos can be found HERE***
I have some exciting news to share with you all! “All About Ami” has been awarded 3rd place in the Ninjamatics’ 2012 Canadian Weblog Awards for Crafting :) This is our first major award and Ryan and I were thrilled to hear the news yesterday! Thanks for your love, support and constant feedback about our work, and we are incredibly thankful to God for the opportunity to express our creativity and love of crafting through this blog! Check out the list of winners and some other great Canadian blogs HERE!