Monday, March 8, 2010

gorgeous gull

Gosh, this gull was easy!Well, easy, once I'd figured out what that chart was trying to tell me.

I was confused, a bit, at first. But then, I saw the light; and now, I'm going to share.

First helpful hint: you're starting at the bottom of the gull, not his head. If I'd only known that from the get-go, I might have made one of these months ago.

The first 7 rounds were easy, no problems there. Increase rounds just like other circular stuff.

But then came the mystery of round 8. If I decrease to 12, how in the world am I going to get anything like a gull? Let's look at the chart. What it says next to that 12, is not -12. No, it's just 12, followed by a bunch of characters that mean...I have no idea. But I needed to figure out what it was trying to tell me, or I'd never have a gull. And I needed to have one - look how cute it is!

What could it mean? I'd like to say I researched this, looked in Japanese ami books that had been translated to English, compared notes, that sort of thing. No, I didn't. I stared and stared at the picture of their gull, and at the diagram next to the numbered rows, which has even more characters I don't understand, and suddenly wondered if it meant I was supposed to skip those other 12, just leave them unworked, and go on from there.

So I tried that, working in the first 12 sc, and starting the next round on top of the first stitch from round 8, basically ignoring the other 12 sc. I continued to the end, and look what I got:Yup, a semi-gull-shaped sort of thing (maybe also a snail sort of shape...hmm). Which is when I figured out, after looking VERY closely at their pictures again, that I probably would have figured this out sooner if I'd only realized we were starting at the bottom, and not the head. Which I then realized I should have known from the order of the rows in their chart, and the diagram next to it. Except, for all I know, they all look like that, even when you start from the top or center of something. And maybe they do, and maybe all of them start at bottom. Makes sense.

Anyway, from there, so very easy.

Except, he ends up a little top-heavy. How to make him sit up?

He's a tad small to put a little nylon sack of pellets in, as the knotted bits of the nylon would over-stuff him. And you've got to contain those plastic pellets, or they'd just leak out between the stitches. Something else heavy was needed.

A little rummage through the tool box, and I came back with a heavy bolt, which looked like just the thing.Stuff his head first, all the way up in there. Then a little down his "neck" towards his back. Then tuck that bolt in there with some stuffing,put a little more on top of that, and stitch him up.See? he sits up!

Now for that face. Not much help there, from either the pictures, or the drawing next to his charts and diagrams. Here's what I was finally satisfied with, after three tries:Centered on his "face", eyes roughly centered between top and bottom of his "head", with about 5 stitches between them, worked over two rows, stitch over them twice. I used brown cotton yarn, same weight as the yarn used to crochet. His beak is yellow cotton yarn, same weight again, and stitched over two sc, across the center of the row between his eyes. I tried it lower, like the drawing shows, but it wasn't working for me cuteness-wise.
Then I made the wings, and of course, forgot to take pictures of wings. But this part of the graph was really easy to read, since American crochet graphs are just the same. The little oval = ch, X = sc, T = hdc, and the T with the extra line across it = dc.
Translated, this graph would read:
ch 7, starting in second ch from hook and working one st in each ch, sc 2, hdc 2, dc 1. In last ch, (dc, ch 1) 3 times, dc. Now, working on opposite side of chain, dc 1, hdc 2, sc 2. Join with slip stitch to first sc.
See? pretty easy. Make two of them, or he won't be able to fly very well.
Sew one to each side of gull. I sewed them starting from the first dc at the top, around to the tip of the wing. I didn't sew the top of it, I left that open. Sewing the wings on seemed to help him sit up a little straighter, too.
And there you have it!

Your very own, very quick, gorgeous gull.
He's about 2.25" tall. I used a size E hook. Yarns used for my gull: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in White and Lake; scraps of brown & yellow for his face, pulled from my baggie of yarn scraps, probably Lily Sugar N Cream. The bolt used to weight him was 3/4" long, and fairly hefty.
I think he's a keeper. Even without the little flower on his head.
Maybe he needs a friend, of the female persuasion, and she can have a little flower on her head.


Rocky O said...

Awww that is adorable! And that is wonderful you figured out how to make the gull. Thanks for sharing your journey! :]

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much... I was stuck on this FOREVER!