January 25, 2021

Tontu from Hilda

Boy I have been making quite a few Hilda inspired things lately. Today's post is on Tontu, a nisse or house spirit from both the first and second season. As a character I was not sure I liked him at the start but he's grown on me, and his design is too perfect for crochet to not have made one. The tricky part was finding the right yarn.

I used Bernat Pipsqueak in Chocolate with a J 10mm hook for the head and tail. This yarn is kind of hard to work with but the fact that it's a big circle made it easier since you basically have to feel the stitches and not actually see them. The softness and fluffiness was too perfect though, and the color was close enough.

The body and nose are done in Red Heart Soft in Off White, 4mm hook. The slight sheen and tight wind gives it a nice contrast to the head fluff. For the sweater I chose Big Twist Soft in Gold, 4mm hook. 

Most of my patterns start out with a very basic shape sketch, that way I can plan how I want to build the parts. I started with the legs since that would be a good way I though to get the size right. I've done these kind of feet and arms so often I didn't even write the pattern out. It starts with a short chain and working an oval around it, two rows of 18 around that oval or so. Then three rows with a decrease toward the long end so that the leg is 12 sc around... I worked two legs then joined them together in the middle and working around the outside of both so that they would be seamless into the body. 

The arms are simple tubes, a magic circle with 6 sc, then 12, two rows of 12, then one row with a bobble stitch as the thumb and sc around with a decrease. Arms are 10sc around up to a shoulder then stitched shut and sewn onto the body. From the legs through the torso is a simple working around, then up where I wanted the shoulders to be I did a few decreases on the outsides to try to get a slope to shoulders into the neck, which I left pretty big so his head might not be too floppy. (It is anyway.)

The tail is again a long tube shape, think it was 8sc around. I made the tail bulb end separately. That is also a small circle and in the middle I did four bobble stitches to try to get that sculpted poof look. Not sure that was too successful, but it's better than a basic ball for sure. I used the fur yarn to sew the head onto the body and same with tail bulb to tail, helped make that seam hidden and fluffy. 

The sweater was a total fluke. I have not made any clothing that fit anyone as of yet. Shawls totally don't count cause they don't have to be fitted. I picked Big Twist Soft yarn in Gold, also using a 4 mm hook. 

I had one real goal with the sweater: get that knit look. I cannot knit, so I used the "waistcoat stitch" to get it close. You work into the vertical legs of the sc stitch to get that V shape. I made three tubes, one for the body, and two for the arms. Then I joined all three pieces together like I did with the legs, but at each join area I did a decrease on the front and back to get that sort of raglan taper. I worked two rows of back loop double crochet on the ends of the sleeves and sweater and did four rows around the neck. The back loop gives it that horizontal lined look, which I thought contrasted nicely and made it look really finished. 

Obviously this didn't fit over his head, but the neck was wide enough to get the tail, legs, and finally arms into it. Sure he has to get dressed weird, but it looks great.

I really love the scale he came out to be... as I feel its pretty close to "life" size.

Difficulty: Intermediate (to hard if you have trouble with fur yarn)
Time to complete: 12 hours

PS. Super cool that I can share stuff like this with the creators... 

January 11, 2021

Look Alive Hat

 As soon as I saw the album cover for Look Alive, I knew that I needed to make up a silly hat to match. 

I spent a little too much time making this... next time darker yarn, at least twice as many spines.

Doing a search on Ravelry, I found this Ribbed Winter Hat pattern by Nea Creates. With the very distinct front and post double crochet ribs it looked perfect. I made one small change and added three rows of single crochet around the base, as I like a little edging on my hats. I used a 4mm hook and Redheart Soft in Guacamole.

After that it was a mindless sort of task to add the spines. I tried at first with two colors of embroidery thread, but not only did it quickly fall off, but I ran out super fast. Then I found a brand new skein of yellow crochet thread. I cut about 4 inch lengths and held two together to make a simple tassel with a knot at the base to keep it secure. I did every other vertical rib and every other stitch so as to not be too knotted.

I trimmed them all down once done to let them stick out a little better more like spines. I also added a bit extra around the brim as the album art does seem to be dense around the edge. 

Time to Complete: 6 hours
Difficulty: Easy