Monday, November 14, 2011

One off my (Charlie) Bucket List!

You all know by now that I'm obsessed with making dolls of famous people and then giving them to said famous people, right? That is the biggest thrill to me! Well, when I made characters from Willy Wonka I never really thought about giving those dolls to the real people from the movie, until this weekend!

There are some movies that I've watched since I was really little that I can pretty much recite line by line. The old Rankin-Bass "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer", "Pee-wee's Big Adventure", and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" are three that come to mind. Willy Wonka is just one of my favorite things. I've made amigurumi Oompa Loompas, a blueberry Violet Beauregarde, and most recently Willy Wonka for Inside Crochet magazine. The others are sketched out in my notebook but have yet to be realized in yarn (all of which I've already purchased)!

I heard about the Austin Comic-Con last Friday. When I googled it, the first thing I read was that the Wonka kids were going to be there, along with the guy that played Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, and Jake Lloyd, who played little Anakin in Star Wars. I knew the whole family had to go!

On my way out the door, I grabbed a handful of business cards and the Oompa Loompa and Violet Beauregarde I had made. I was so sad I didn't have a Charlie Bucket, Mike Teevee, and Veruca Salt!

As soon as we entered the Convention center, the first tables we walked past were the Wonka kids! We walked right up (why wasn't there a line?!) and I told Paris Themmen (Mike) that I had brought gifts. I handed the dolls to him and he laughed out loud and thought they were really cute. In turn, he signed a picture for me and he and Peter Ostrum (Charlie) took a picture with my Oompa Loompa.

Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca) was at the next table. She was really interested in the dolls and told me she was a "ferocious knitter." I told her she needed to learn to crochet too! She posed for photos and took a little video with the dolls. Ignore all my nervous giddy laughter and excitement!

Denise Nickerson (Violet) wasn't there when we first got to the show so I went by later. She told me she just loved the dolls and had gotten so many compliments on them. I blabbed on and on about how we all love the movies so much and how I loved her in the Brady Bunch (she had a part as Pamela, the daughter of one of Mike's work associates--I'll get into my Brady Bunch obsession another time).

These were some of the sweetest people! All of them were so nice and answered all of my dumb questions, posed for pictures, and were so genuine. Hooray for spreading the Amigurumi Love!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Free Pattern Friday! Squeeze n' Sniff Pumpkin Pie

Squeeze n' Sniff Pumpkin Pie

November is here! And finally we are getting some cooler weather down here in Texas! It's not a snowstorm or anything but when we're below 70 it's fall!
I love Thanksgiving: the food, the singing (yes, my mother has us all sing Thanksgiving songs together!), the naps, and oh yeah, football, if you're into that sort of thing. It's also a good day for planning some Black Friday shopping (and oh yeah, I AM into THAT sort of thing)! 

This year make dessert weeks in advance (and you don't have to clear out any room in your freezer).

I made a pumpkin pie! It is absolutely void of calories, fat, and carbohydrates. The whipped cream is optional (but how could you eat pumpkin pie without whipped cream?!).

This pumpkin pie has a secret. Tucked inside is an easy to make sachet filled with pumpkin pie spice so that your Squeeze n' Sniff Punkin Pie smells like the real deal!

You will need...
Yarn (all worsted weight):
  Burnt orange

  Size E/3.5 mm (or your favorite!)

  Black safety eyes (10mm)
  Polyester stuffing  
  Yarn needle
  Plastic canvas circle measuring 2 3/4" (or cardboard)  Embroidery needle
  Black embroidery floss
  Scrap of fabric
  Pumpkin pie spice

BLO: crochet into back loops only
ch: chain 
hdc: half double crochet
inc: increase within the round the number of times indicated
rep: repeat
sc: single crochet 
sl st: slip stitch
st: stitch 

Rnd 1: With gray yarn, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, and sc 6 into ring. Pull closed. (6)
Rnd 2: 2 Sc into each st (12)
Rnd 3: (2 Sc into next st, sc into next st)* rep to end of rnd (18)
Rnd 4: (2 Sc into next st, sc into next 2 st)* rep to end of rnd (24)
Rnd 5: (2 Sc into next st, sc into next 3 st)* rep to end of rnd (30)
Rnd 6: Working into BLO of each st, (2 Sc into next st, sc into next 9 st)* rep to end of rnd (33)
Rnd 7: Working into both loops of each st, sc into each st, inc 1 (34)
Rnd 8: Sc into each st, inc 1 (35)
Rnd 9: Sc into each st, inc 1 (36)
Fasten off. Leave tail very long for assembly later.

Top of Pie:
Rnd 1: With orange yarn, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, and sc 6 into ring. Pull closed. (6)
Rnd 2: 2 Sc into each st (12)
Rnd 3: (2 Sc into next st, sc into next st)* rep to end of rnd (18)
Rnd 4: (2 Sc into next st, sc into next 2 st)* rep to end of rnd (24)
Rnd 5: (2 Sc into next st, sc into next 3 st)* rep to end of rnd (30)
Rnd 6: (2 Sc into next st, sc into next 4 st)* rep to end of rnd (36)
Change color to tan at the last stitch of Rnd 6.
Rnd 7: Working into FLO (front loops only) of each st, sc into each st around (36)
Rnd 8: Working into both loops of each st,  (6 hdc into next st, sl st into next 2 sts)* repeat to end of round.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Whipped Cream:
Row 1: With white yarn, ch 7, leaving a long (10") beginning tail. Working into BLO, work 2 sc into the 2nd ch from the hook, sc into the next 3 ch, sc2tog (6)
Continue in BLO.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog, sc into next 3 st, 2 sc into last st (6)
Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 2 Sc into first st, sc into next 3 st, sc2tog (6)
Row 4-9: Alternate Rows 2 and 3.
Row 10: Ch 1, turn. Line up Row 10 and Row 1. It will be on a diagonal. Sl st the rows together. You will form a tube. 
Fasten off and leave a long (18") tail. Thread the tail onto a yarn needle and weave the tail through the row ends at the top of the tube you've just created. Pull the tail tightly to close up the top of the tube. Insert your hook into a nearby stitch and pull up a loop of the tail. Ch 3, then sc into 2nd ch from hook and next ch. Sl st back into where you started. This has created the "peak" of the whipped cream. Fasten off and weave in the ends. Use the beginning yarn tail to sew the whipped cream to the top of the pie in the center. Stuff sparingly as you go.

Create a tiny sachet to make your pie smell sweet! Fold the rectangular scrap of fabric in half and seam two edges either by hand or machine sewing. Fill the sachet with pumpkin pie spice (I used almost a teaspoon) and stitch closed. 

Insert the safety eyes into the top of the pie as shown. Embroider mouth using two loose straight stitches in a "v" shape.
Insert the plastic canvas (or cardboard) circle into the bottom of the pie. 
Place the Top of the Pie onto the Pan and stitch into place using the Pan's gray yarn tail, stitching into the unused back loops of Rnd 7 of the Top of the Pie. Before you close it up, stuff with polyester fiberfil and insert the sachet. Continue stitching and fasten off, hiding yarn tail inside pie.

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