For this week’s craft post, I thought I would share some photos of Veggie Tales toys that I crocheted for my nephew. If you are looking for patterns, or beautifully crafted crochet, close this now and go search Pinterest.
If you are looking for some ideas to jump start your own designs and want to see how certain features work out in real life *before* you’ve spent your own precious time on them, then scroll down and have a look at the finished products.
If you’re interested in hearing some musings on crochet and a tip or two about making the designs in the photos, read on.
Why I like Crochet
I first learned how to knit when I was in first or second grade. I loved the multicolored yarn I picked out and the endless combinations of colors that the garter stitch wove together.
The colors are probably what kept me working at that project, because I had a tendency to grip the knitting needles so hard and knit so tightly that my hands would hurt afterwards. I was also continually dropping and adding stitches by accident, so my fabric grew in a weird trapezoidal pattern.
When I was in 7th grade, there was another 7th grader, a boy, whose mother (bless her) had taught to crochet. He would make up all kinds of things with crochet.
He crocheted around an empty tic tac box to make an “electric razor” for one of the high schoolers. He made crocheted snakes and other oddities. I still have a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal that he made for me.
I immediately wanted to learn how to have that kind of control and flexibility with yarn that was unattainable (I thought) with knitting. Best of all, compared with knitting, you only worked with one stitch at a time!
I still knit occasionally, and I have since learned a better style of knitting and a looser grip. I have to agree that to some extent, knit stitches look better than crochet stitches.
Nevertheless, I prefer crochet. In the modern world, another reason to like crochet is that you can take crochet hooks on airplanes and in courthouses and other places where knitting needles are not allowed.
The Veggie Tales Toys
I made these Veggie Tales toys to be fun to throw and painless to get hit by. They are stuffed with regular fiberfill stuffing (no beans or beads).
The only skills needed to make these characters (with the possible exception of Jr. Asparagus) are basic crochet: single crochets, double crochets, increases and decreases. I think it is almost easier to make these up as you go along rather than follow a pattern.
I often choose my crochet hook and stitch in a way to make a project go faster. In these examples, I used double crochets, and as a result, more of the stuffing shows through than I like. Maybe by looking at these results you can decide whether single crochet would look better for your project. (“I made the mistake so you don’t have to”).
I also crocheted the facial features separately and sewed them on with yarn. That was a pain, but I didn’t want to have buttons or glass eyes that could easily come off and be a choking hazard.
I think I did Jr. Asparagus’s hair with multiple crocodile stitches. Junior is also different in that he has a flat underside. To leave a more definite “line” between the bottom of the stalk and the sides, I started off by crocheting a disc the diameter I wanted him to be. Then I did the first row “upwards” by crocheting only in the back loops of the last row.
Hope this post can encourage beginners to plunge ahead with their own designs. You don’t need a confusing, multi-page pattern to start crocheting the ideas in your head.
But of course, you experienced crocheters already know that.