Pattern – Basic Fitted Crochet Top for Neo Blythe

In all honesty, it would probably be faster to just sew this top using fabric and thread. But if you’re like me, and you can’t sew to save your life, here is a pattern I drafted for a very basic boat neck top. This is the first pattern I’ve ever posted anywhere publicly! Hopefully it’s easy to follow (and if not, please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification).

Some ideas of how to use this pattern

  • You can make the top longer by repeating row 2.
  • You can use this piece as the top of a dress by sewing a skirt to it or crocheting a separate skirt and whip stitching the two pieces together.
  • You can add sleeves or picots to the arm holes.
  • You can add scallop edging.

Materials used

Crochet Thread 10
1.65mm hook

Stitches used:

Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Double Crochet (dc)
Single crochet increase (sc inc)
Double crochet increase (dc inc)
Single crochet decrease (sc dec)
Double crochet decrease (dc dec)
Griddle Stitch – This is the name of the stitch I am predominantly using. To create the griddle stitch, simply alternate between sc and dc. On the following row, alternate between sc and dc, making sure to sc in a stitch that was a dc in the previous row, and vice versa. It’s easier if you work with an even number of stitches, that way you will always start with a sc and end with a dc. In this pattern, every row begins with a sc and ends with a dc.

Notes:

  • Always chain 1 and turn at the end of each row.
  • I like making one back piece longer than the other, that way I create an allowance area to sew snaps.
  • I am kind of partial to using the griddle stitch because the rows aren’t so apparent when the top is complete. This stitch also gives the piece an interesting texture.
  • This pattern looks ginormous, but it’s only 9 rows!

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Chain 10 (back) + 4 (side) + 12 (Front) + 4 (side) + 8 (back) (38 stitches). Chain 1 and turn.

Row 1: (sc, dc) x 19 (38 stitches). Chain 1 and turn.

Row 2: Griddle stitch to end of row (38 stitches). Chain 1 and turn.

Row 3: (sc, dc) until stitch #10. dc increase in stitch 10. (sc, dc) until stitch #15. sc increase in stitch #15. (dc, sc) until stitch #26. dc in stitch #26. (sc, dc) until stitch #31. sc increase in stitch #31. (dc, sc) to end of row. (42 stitches). Chain 1 turn.

Row 4: Griddle stitch to end of row (42 stitches). Chain 1 and turn.

Note: If you’re not sure if you’ve used the correct stitch to make the griddle stitch pattern, it’s alright. The beauty of this stitch I find is that it’s quite forgiving, so long as it’s only a few stitches that do not correctly alternate between rows.

Row 5: Griddle stitch until stitch #10. dc increase in stitch #10. Griddle stitch until stitch #16. sc increase in stitch #16. Griddle stitch until stitch #25. sc increase in stitch #25. Griddle Stitch until stitch #31. dc increase in stitch #31. Griddle stitch until end of row (46 stitches). Chain 1 and turn.

Row 6: Griddle stitch until stitch #9. Chain 10 and skip 4 stitches. Griddle stitch starting from stitch #13 until stitch #32. Chain 10 and skip 4 stitches. Griddle stitch until the end of the row. Chain 1 and turn.

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Row 7: Griddle stitch until stitch #10. dc decrease in stitch #10 and into the 10 chain. (sc, dc) x 4 into the chain. sc decrease into the 10 chain and into stitch #15. Griddle stitch until you reach the other 10 chain.Repeat the dc decrease, (sc, dc) x 4, sc decrease to the other 10 chain. Griddle stitch to the end of the row. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 8: Griddle stitch is used for the entire row, save when you insert a decrease. Insert decreases before and after the start of a sleeve (the hole formed by the 10 chain in row 6), at the very top of the sleeve, and the center of the chest. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 9: Repeat row 8.

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I made a visual pattern!

Click to enlarge!

Click to enlarge!

Please do not sell this pattern or claim this pattern as your own. Feel free to sell items made using this pattern or share this pattern on your own blog, but please make sure to credit me and my blog. Thank you!

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Crochet Therapy

For me personally, crocheting can sometimes be a way for me to sidestep the stress of the every day – whether it’s a bad at work, worries about the future, or generally negative thoughts. I am someone who struggles with anxiety in varying degrees. It’s not so bad now, and I’m glad to say that for the past two years, I’ve had more good days than bad (which is definitely more than I could say about the period of my life prior to that. #darktimes #sorryIcouldnthelpmyself #neededtoinsertjokehere).

I didn’t expect crocheting to be therapeutic in the least. I picked it up on whim when my best friend asked me if I was interested in learning how to crochet with her. We sat down in her living room with our newly purchased hooks and yarn, and proceeded to watch a handful of Youtube videos explaining how to chain, single crochet, half double crochet, and double crochet. And then, my hobby turned into something of an obsession (OR maybe I should refer to myself as an extreme hobbyist, because it sounds slightly cooler and less unstable).

I’m not that good at crocheting. It takes me a while to complete projects, because I’m so finicky about mistakes (in that there must not be any) and my hands aren’t very nimble. When I’m working on amigurumi or a new pattern especially, I tend to concentrate very hard on the pattern and the hook and yarn I have in my hand. On the rare occasions when I attempt to freehand a project, I get lost in thought trying to picture where the increases and decreases should go in my row. When I really get into crocheting, my mind is so focused on what my hands are doing – making sure I don’t drop stitches unintentionally, making sure I don’t suddenly have more or less stitches, checking the gauge, and keeping track of my rows. This activity doesn’t really leave much room in my head for worries that shouldn’t be worries to the extent that I build them up to be.

I had a point to this post. …

I wanted to share the tops I’ve crocheted!

collage

I must say that having a spare body is terribly convenient. This particular body is a stock Takara body that came with Finley. The top on the left was worked from the bottom up, and the one on the right was worked on from the top down. All of them need snaps, except the dark red and white striped top at the bottom. I plan on sewing skirts to one or two of these tops. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out though! It took some hemming and hawing on my part trying to figure out where to put the increases and decreases and how to finagle the arm holes, but totally worth it ^^. (I’m considering sharing the pattern here or on ravelry, but they’re pretty simple so I’m not sure if I’d really be adding anything to what’s already out there).

Much needed weekend

I decided to make the most of this weekend, what with my family out and about doing their own thing. Saturday was a day of reading book 4 of the Outlander series (sooo gooOOood), drinking rose wine, crocheting, and cuddles with the cat ^^. I also made it out to Michaels – I went thinking I’d buy a glue gun, but I ended up leaving the store with a giant skein of brown/rust multicolored yarn and yellow felt.

Behold, the fruit of my labor.

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Pokemon Hoppip Amigurumi: This pattern was easy to follow and not too complicated. I think the creator of the pattern also has a video tutorial of how to make this amigurumi. The only problem I have with making amigurumi is that it’s not really the type of project where I can focus on other things while I crochet. I always need to check the pattern and keep track of my rounds.

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Pusheen Amigurumi: This one went relatively fast, but then again, it’s a pretty small plushie. I didn’t have grey yarn on hand, so I made this little guy light blue and white. The amigurumi kind of looks derpy (not sure I captured the essence of Pusheen), but it’s still really cute. This pattern was also easy to follow, and the pieces were not hard to put together.

I’ve finished up two skeins of yarn so far, and I’m close to finishing a third. I’m making granny squares with yarn balls too small to start a new project, but to big to discard. One day, I will have a giant granny square blanket of  clashing colors, just because waste not want not.

I also got some dolly mail in the past couple of days!

Rawr

My BJD’s wig came in! It’s a tad big on her but not terribly so, though I definitely need to use a silicone wig cap. The wig cap prevents the wig from sliding off Potpourri’s head. I commissioned this wig from the Etsy store Belinda’s Lock. It’s a soft pink alpaca wig, and it is so freaking soft I can’t even. Ahhhh I love alpaca! The wig totally completes Potpourri’s look! I need more alpaca in my life.

desserts

I also won a listing on eBay for Alicia Cupcake’s stock outfit. Bryn doesn’t have much clothing (save the crocheted dresses I’ve made for her), so I thought a middie stock outfit would make a good addition to her wardrobe. The shoes and the blouse should prove handy. The dress/jumper is cute in a costume-y way and the headband is ridiculous (it doesn’t stay put very well and the bow doesn’t look all that great). 😀 I crocheted the little cupcake next to her feet recently as well.

I’m on the fence about bringing Bryn to Blythe Con. On one hand, the Middie is the official doll of Blythe Con Chicago. And if I decide to get a custom doll at Blythe Con from one of the vendors, I wouldn’t have to worry about toting two Neo Blythes. On the other hand, I think a Neo Blythe is more fun to carry around!

Now, I’m just waiting on: Kuma Nendoroid (I expect this in about 2.5-3 weeks) and Blythe front and back face plates (This currently reached the ISC sorting center… I have no clue how long it will stay there),

Tomorrow I expect I shall be cleaning, crocheting, and reading some more ^^. How I wish weekends were 3 days long instead of 2.

Negative buying experience and some Nendoroid Fun

So I will not be adding Sally Salmagundi to my dolly family after all. There was some trouble with the seller not responding to my messages, and I received a message from eBay saying the listing I purchased was removed from eBay. I was a bit concerned, so I investigated and found that the seller had deleted her account and she had received several negative feedbacks for her other listings. What’s a person to do?

  1. Be really disappointed. I almost got a NIB Sally Salmagundi for $100.
  2. Open a case on eBay to get my money back.
  3. Search furiously through facebook to see if anyone else was similarly scammed.

I wasn’t the only person who purchased from this seller and failed to receive their doll. I feel lucky though, and thankful that my opened case was resolved almost immediately (I feel this extra layer of security when purchasing from eBay using paypal).

Luckily, I received a refund from eBay almost immediately, with the comment “After reviewing the seller’s recent activity, we decided to expedite your refund.”

Ah well. I’m not worse off from the transaction failing. I’ve actually run into some problems with my laptop, and I may have to replace it if I’m unable to repair it myself ( 😦 My expensive gaming laptop), so any extra savings is helpful.

Now onto a happy subject!

I took my Madoka Kaname Yukata Version Nendoroid out with me while I went to the post office the other day. I only managed to take one photo outside, because for some reason a lot of people must have decided to take the day off and walk around in my area. I find it a bit difficult taking photos of my nendoroid because no matter where I put her, everything seems enormously out of scale (duh, Olive. That’s because the Nendoroid is 4 inches tall.).

  
 After taking the photos, and trying to use a photo editor to erase Madoka’s stand, I realized two things.

  • I need a better camera than my iPhone6.
  • I stink at editing photos. For anyone who’s curious, I mainly use Pixlr and Pixlr Express to edit my photos. They’re free and easy to use.

I cannot wait for my Nendoroid Kuma to get here!!!

And so the low-buy begins

A while ago, I had watched this video by AliceAlicaArisu where she answers a BJD prompt (if you haven’t watched any of her video’s, I think they’re fun. She’s animated and eloquent I think). The part of the video which most applies my post today is her advice to “Enjoy the dolls you have.” My doll collection has seen some rapid growth from zero dolls back in February to a total of 5 expensive dolls (expensive to me because I don’t often spend large sums of money on one item)… and if I really have to think about it – that’s one doll per month almost (I don’t like to think about it, though granted, I did pay less than retail value for the dolls and the Yeolume was a gift from my friend).

Quick Roll Call!

Finley – Neo Blythe Cadence Majorette (2014 release)

Bryn – Middle Blythe Oski Tebya Lyubyu (2014 release)

Potpourri – Dear Mine Dear Pet Dorothy

Summer – Pullip Yeolume Podo

Rosaline – TBL+ (I believe) Fake Blythe

On the way

Neo Blythe Sally Salmagundi (2015 release) – Hasn’t shipped yet, but hoping she does soon.

I suppose shopping and hunting are also significant parta of a collecting hobby and one that I particularly enjoy. However, restraint and patience aren’t things that come easily to me. … Sometimes, I’ll see an item or doll on eBay that I don’t particularly want but think would be nice to have, and bid on it if it’s going for a good price. I develop a weird sensation of half hope that someone will outbid me so I don’t spend money on something I don’t really want and half hope that I might win the bid because the item is a steal. … This is how you end up with 5-6 dolls in the span of half a year.

I am officially on a hobby low-buy until BlytheCon Chicago is over ^^. Til then, I still have a ton of projects I haven’t started/are in the middle of.

Sewing doll clothes – I still haven’t started this. I have all of the materials including a sewing machine (which I don’t know how to use). I don’t really have any excuse. I could probably at least try making some skirts.

Yarn stash busting – I’m currently working on a Hoppip pokemon amigurumi.

I want to make some more beanies for my blythes,  some crocheted tops that I can attach fabric skirts to, and some more amigurumi (though what I will do with them, I don’t know). I actually have 12 skeins of the same color sports yarn that I purchased thinking I would make myself a cardigan. NOPE… maybe I’ll save that for the fall? Or I might just work on a giant cowl with a hood.

Make beads and small figurines out of Polymer Clay – I’ve never done this before, so it should be interesting

Water color pencil coloring – I purchased a Jetoy Choo Choo Coloring book at the anime convention I went to earlier this month. I kind of want to keep the book beautiful, so I will probably do some research on how to best utilize the water color pencils (which up to this point, I’ve only used on repainting).

Personal goal – reach 10K steps per day.

One last thing ^^ – I received the Twiggy Twiggy Pull Rings from Etsy! I purchased the Peach Glitter Pull Rings and the Sizzling Cinnamon Jelly Pull Rings.

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The jelly pull ring was actually a lot more neon than I thought it would be, so I’m glad I purchased the peach glitter one as well. I’m not sure if I’ll further modify Rosaline. I kinda mucked up her backplate screws by wearing down the shape of the head of the screw, making them harder to remove.

Some photos, dolly dieting, and a Mail Roll Call

Finley, Bryn, and Rosaline

Bryn – “Obviously, I wear this hat best. I think you two should go change.”

Summer

Summer doesn’t get enough face time.

I use a spending tracker app on my iphone – something I don’t recommend if numbers and money bums you out. It summarizes how much I’ve spent in each category, and since the beginning of the year Food and Hobby have been going toe to toe in the contest of On What does Olive Spend the Most Money On (Food is undefeated). So, I’ve decided to go on a low-buy/no-buy of sorts in both categories. I will be packing lunch from now on and brewing my own coffee in the morning. Also, no more adding to my shelf of dolls until either My Melody comes out or if I am able to make it to the mecca known as Blythe Con Chicago.

That said… the doll  budgeting comes a bit easier knowing I did some damage in the past few days. Here is my mail roll call:

  • Twiggy Twiggy pull rings (2 sets) – waiting at my local post office
  • Nendoroid Kuma – I couldn’t help myself. I think he’s a 2013 release, and I felt that he’d only get harder to come by and more expensive  the longer I waited. I’ll probably be seeing this guy in a month, as I ordered from eBay and the figurine is coming from Japan via SAL.
  • Neo Blythe Sally Salmagundi – I have a terrible weakness for bargains. I saw her selling on eBay NIB for a good price, and I made an offer. When she first came out earlier this year, I thought she was kind of cute with her purple pirate themed stock and her special purple eye chips, but I didn’t really look twice at her as during that time, At the time, I had just gotten my first blythe, a Cadence Majorette. I hope her abundance of curls isn’t too hard to manage.

I’m thinking of naming her Lucy after Luffy’s colloseum alias in One Piece, or Merryweather (to be shortened into Merry).

  • Blythe Face plate and back plate – I only really needed the front face plate, but on the off chance that my next carving turns out magically adorable, I might go ahead and make a girl out of parts. I have Finley’s stock Takara body in my closet, so I would just need a scalp and dome, an eye mech, and screws.
  • Pink Alpaca Wig for Potpourri – This has finally shipped! I can’t wait to try it on my BJD.

I can’t wait for this stuff to start making their way to my mail box one by one.

Crochet in Miniature – A Blythe Beanie

I have difficulty with scaling patterns to Blythe doll proportions. Actually, I find scaling any and all patterns, whether it’s for crocheting, sewing, drawing, etc, HARD. I recently had some success in shrinking one of my favorite hat patterns down to fit my girls, and I thought I would share ^^. I actually made matching hats for me and Rosaline for when we went to Anime Expo last weekend.

Here is the original pattern: Danyel Pink Design’s Super Slouch Hat

And here is the one I made for Rosaline just now!

rosaline1

The yarn I used for this hat is Bernat Dippity Dots in Pink. The hooks I used were a 5.5mm hook, a 4mm hook, and a 3.5mm hook. I wouldn’t say that having all three of these hooks is necessary, but for this pattern I’m basically playing around with the gauge. I pretty much followed the pattern (linked above and here), with a few minor changes.

Round 1: Using the 5.5mm hook, I did 8 HDC into the magic ring.
Round 5: I switched to the 4mm hook here.
Round 7-9: I switched to the 3.5mm hook here.
Round 10-12: I started the hat’s band here and switched to the 4mm hook.

There is a tiny bit of slouch to the hat, which I like. I think if I use a finer yarn, I can probably make this beanie even slouchier. For the hat that Rosaline wore at Anime Expo (the Where’s Waldo hat), I used Caron’s Simply Soft yarn, and probably only the 4.0mm and 3.5mm hooks.

I love this pattern both for my dolls and for myself because it’s super easy, quick, and very cute.

Rosaline’s OATM (Outfit At The Moment):
Beanie – Crocheted by me
Dress – Reve de Rui
Shoes -Qmagicdoll

Edit: for the hat, decrease tension if you want a looser fit, but keep stitches fairly tight for the band. If you find the band is not as snug as desired, try using the 3.5mm hook for the band. Also, the more rows (prior to the band) that you do, the slouchier the hat is.