A Quick Beaver Project

I think beavers are one of the neatest, cutest animals. So I spent the day writing and making a simple animal pattern – which, now that I’ve tried it out, I think I’ll try improving and adapting it to other animals as well. :)

The baby beaver in the picture above looks a bit like a squirrel or a chipmunk with its tail up, don’t you think? Eep! It’s a beaver, I swear! I didn’t realize until editing these photos that the baby’s tail does flip up a little bit. Must fix…

Anyway, I realized partway through sketching my ideas beforehand that I was settling on an image from when I was little: how my mom first taught me to draw animals (and how I often still do when I want to leave a quick message or doodle!). She taught me to draw a circle, draw the animal’s face and ears on the circle, and then add legs, arms, and a tail which appeared to float above the head/body. I also blame my love for “squat” things on this method of animal drawing – the squatter the animal, the better. In fact, maybe this is why I think beavers are so cute!

This design really makes for some simple crocheting. The body is a sphere-ish shape with a separately made flat base, and all the rest were details – little ears, arms, and legs (which were all the same shape), some big ol’ buck teeth of course, and a tail which is like a flattened, tapered tube.

I had a bit of trouble getting the beavers to sit flat. They don’t really want to, but I want them to! No amount of squishing them onto the table really helped, either. The bases were indeed flat circles when I made them, but my need to stuff my plushies to the hilt so that they’re firm puffed them out a little. I’m thinking about trying some backing on the base or something to keep it straight.

Apologies for the blatant white cat hair (or possibly scrap of polyfill?) on the nose in the picture above! Unfortunately, kitty hair finds its way onto everything unless I’m careful.

I ended up very happy with the baby beaver – she’s just the right size! I like the mama, too, but she looks a little bit too plain from the sides/top. I definitely would need to play around with the larger pattern some more to get the look I wanted.

All in all, a fun experiment! More animals to come!

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A Quick Owl Project

About a week ago, a good friend of mine sent me a cute photo of some little plushie owls with the message “I love owls!” Oooh, what a better excuse to come up with a cute owl pattern of my own to give to her?

I’m just starting to explore creating my own patterns – something that still intimidates me but is also really fun and exciting. I love being able to create something that starts as a whim, which grows into an idea and a sketch, and eventually becomes a (hopefully) cuddly little thing. Sometimes this ends up solely as a “learning experience” (AKA thing that doesn’t turn out quite right), but the owl wasn’t one of those. Phew! Good thing, because I saw this friend the next day for lunch and I was dying to present her with a cute little owl buddy.

I basically started crocheting two “body” parts, which you can see above in the not-so-great-quality photo I took with my phone. I used some leftover yarn that I’m using fairly heavily in a different and larger project – Aqua by “I Love this Cotton.” I really do love this brand of yarn; I feel like they almost always have the colors I’m looking for, the stitches come out looking nice and crisp, and the finished project is soft and flexible enough to be snuggly but sturdy enough to hold its shape.

After the two body parts, I made the eyes, beak, and breast fur from wool felt from Prairie Point Junction. If you haven’t browsed this website – go! I love it, and it’s where I order all my felt. I also made a “strip” to connect the two body pieces and give the owl some extra depth.

After all of that, applying some safety eyes, filling the owl with some pellets & stuffing, and sewing her up, the finished owl emerged…

I’m pretty happy with her! You can see that I opted to not include the wings that were in my original sketch – partially because of time constraints and partially because I couldn’t decide on the best approach (felt? crochet? what colors?). The felt breast is a little crooked, and the hand sewing took a bit of tedious time, but overall she turned out how I had imagined! I had a hard time giving her up the next day… :)