Ok, so it has taken me a looooong time to get around to this – my brain is not firing like it used to (a newborn, toddler, threenager, and schoolboy will do that to you), and I’ll begin by apologising in advance for any strange inconsistencies, mistakes, weirdness, and general loopiness that is bound to pop up. Again, blame the baby brain.

So we are all here today to see how my ‘Tilly’ is made. First, there are couple of things that are important to know about Tilly’s story.
I had only read and made one Amigurumi pattern before Tilly was created. She is the product of some pretty random tinkerings – not expert crochet pattern making. So to anyone reading this who knows a fair bit about crochet patterns and such, please ignore anything that is not typical of crochet or Amigurumi or whatever. I make to attempt to look like some fancy professional, I’m just fuddy duddy ol’ me.
Also, I want to point out that I had been doing the double crochet stitch incorrectly for years. Oops, very embarrassing. But I’m over it. So, seeing as I didn’t actually realise this until after I had designed Tilly, you’ll have to use my weird made up stitch in order for the pattern to work. I’ll explain it, don’t worry, it’s not complicated, just not the proper stitch.

So here goes!

What you’ll need:

Some polyfill
Some lovely 8ply yarn (I used 100% wool)
3mm crochet hook
Wool needle for sewing
Thin pink ribbon bow
Black embroidery thread
Stitch marker

* My daft double crochet stitch (Lets call it ddc) is made by only pulling the yarn through one loop on the hook instead of both, and then pulling another loop through both loops on the hook to finish.
So you’ll insert hook into stitch, catch yarn, draw it through the stitch (you’ll have two loops on the hook now) yarn round hook, draw through ONE loop on hook, yarn round hook again and draw through both loops on hook.
Yep, that’s how I thought a dc was done. And that’s how Tilly was made so please bear with me!
**I start each body part by making a magic ring. If you have never made one before, check out Youtube for a tutorial.
***Some pieces are made up in joined rounds, others are continuous spiral rounds. The joined rounds require you to join the last st to the first stitch by slip stitching into the second chain that you began the round with. For continuous rounds you don’t join at the end: you simply work the first stitch of the next round into the first of the last round. Use your stitch marker to mark the beginning of a round.
****Chain 2 at the beginning of a round counts as a ddc/stitch.

The Head:
{work in continuous rounds}
RND 1- make a magic ring and work 6ddc. Pull ring tightly closed. [6ddc]
RND 2- (2ddc in next st, 1 ddc in next st) 3 times. [9ddc]
RND 3- 1 ddc in next 9 sts. [9ddc]
RND 4- (2ddc in next st, 1ddc in next 2sts] 3 times. [12ddc]
RND 5- (2ddc in next st, 1ddc in next 3sts) 3 times. [15ddc]
RND 6- (2ddc in next st, 1ddc in next 4sts) 3 times [18ddc]
RND 7- ddc in next 18sts. [18ddc]
RND 8- (ddc in next st, ddc next 2sts together) 6 times [12ddc] Start stuffing with some polyfill.
RND 9- (ddc next 2sts together) six times [6ddc]
RND 10- (ddc next 2sts together) 3 times and tie off.

The Body:
{work in continuous rounds}
RND 1- make magic circle and 6ddc into ring. Pull tight.
RND 2- (2ddc in next st) 6 times [12ddc]
RND 3&4- 1ddc in next 12sts [12ddc]
RND 5- (1ddc in next st, 2ddc in next st) 6 times. [18ddc]
RND 6- 1ddc in next 18 sts. [18ddc]
RND 7- (1ddc in next 2sts, 2ddc in next st) 6 times. [24ddc]
RND 8 to 12- 1ddc in next 24sts. [24ddc] Tie off leaving long tail for sewing. Stuff with polyfill.

The tail:
— Work 3ddc into a magic ring. Pull tight.
— 1ddc in each st in continuous rounds until tail measures approximately 8cm in length. Tie off leaving long tail of year for sewing.

The arms (make 2):
— Work 4ddc into magic ring. Pull tight.
— 1ddc in each st working in continuous rounds until approximately 3.5cm in length. Tie off leaving long tail of yarn for sewing.

The ears (make 2):
RND 1- work 10ddc into magic circle. Join.
RND 2- ch 2, 1ddc in same st, 2ddc in next 9sts join. [20ddc]
RND 3- ch 2, 1ddc in next 17sts, skip 2sts, join. [18ddc] Tie off, leaving long tail of yarn for sewing.

The bottom:
— work first 2 rounds for ear, tie off leaving long tail for sewing.
And so basically, you just sew everything on! It’s pretty straight forward I think, and once everything is joined nicely don’t forget to thread the loose ends in.
Then, I make her a sweet little face using the embroidery thread. I am a pretty terrible hand sewer so there wasn’t much point showing you this step. I like the closed eyes look, but you could do anything you like really. I’ve been imagining a soft pink tip on her nose (using the wool needle and pink yarn) and even some teeny tiny itty bitty glasses to sit on her nose!
You can tie a sweet pink ribbon on her ear, or perhaps you would like to get super creative and make her a tiny hat. Maybe even a teeny scarf?

Either way, I sure hope this post makes enough sense so Tilly’s can be born all across the globe! Before you do get crackin’ though, please promise me that you’ll remember to give me pattern credit if you decide to show off your Tilly, particularly if selling. It’s just really nice :)

Eeeeek I can’t believe I am posting this now, I hope it’s not just a giant embarrassment! Please let me know if I need to change anything! And enjoy!

Much love, Jac xx


An explanation…

The first beanie I ever made - must have taken me about a week!
The first beanie I ever made – must have taken me about a week!

I like to pop ©IssyInspired on my photos. I promise I don’t do it because I am some snob who thinks she owns all crochet beanies or something. The truth is, anything I copyright is my intellectual creation and is not a copy of somebody else’s work. It means I didn’t use someone else’s pattern, I made it up myself.

It also means I sat down, for hours on end, figuring out how to make the piece by myself – it involves a fair bit of patience, a lot of trial and error, and even a few complete fails. Copyright is automatic, and you aren’t required to put a fancy © symbol or declaration with your work. However, and understandably, I like to give myself not only the full credit for my hard work, but also the protection from it being cheaply ripped off.

This is just the way I find joy in my work.
Don’t get me wrong, I have used patterns from other people before, and I will use more as time goes on. That’s what they are there for, after all. And gee there are some AMAZING patterns out there, just taunting me to try them out.
But as far as the bulk of my work goes, I find the most pleasure in experimenting and coming up with little creations or designs of my own. It makes me feel clever.

Here is a little bit of writing from a great PDF I found…
“Works are only protected by copyright law if they are ‘original’ works. A copyright work will be considered original if it is the product of the creator’s own intellectual effort and has not been copied from another person’s work.”
( http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtections/Documents/ShortGuidetoCopyright-October2012.pdf )

I am not clever enough to fully and thoroughly define copyright or what a ‘copy’ is etc, so if you’d like to read up for yourself, for some actual information to hopefully explain why I do what I do, then here are a couple of links: (I hope I did it right)

I must add, because I can’t help myself, a lady once pinched a product photo from my facebook page by downloading it and then uploaded it onto her facebook page, into an album which (in its description) informed fans that any item in the album can be recreated for a price…. That was not ok. Not ok at all. And the only reason I found out was because another lady saw the photo, with my watermark on it, and contacted me to let me know.

Needless to say, the album was taken down after I got grumpy at her….

One week to go…


That’s right, one week until I am officially opening Issy Inspired for all orders!

Excited. Why? Because I LOVE making things! Receiving every order is such a beautiful compliment, and each time I complete one and package it all up I feel a great sense of achievement. It’s an honour. A joy. To be able to share a cherished hobby with so many people is a true blessing.

I’m just a little nervous of course, just a little…

I made a pretty website for this season. And a pretty blog hehe. There are some new designs too, and I’ll be designing more as the year goes on.

What else would you like to see this year? Any requests?

xx Jac

How it all began…

253432_1838831848661_4976550_nIt all began with a headband.
One evening, I was a bit bored, found a lovely tutorial for a crochet headband and decided I could do that! So I did! I used some Cleckheaton wool that I had been using for a granny square blanket (which I still have yet to finish oops) and popped it on Issy’s cute little four month old noggin the next morning. She was all dressed up pretty for our Sunday church meeting, so of course I took some photos because I like to show off all my pretty things!
That same evening, or maybe the next morning, I shared the picture with a group of ladies on Facebook. I met this group online through Babycenter.com, in the December 2010 birth board. We had been chatting and sharing our experiences since falling pregnant with our December babies. They loved the headband so much, that many of them wanted to buy one! I was truly flattered. Then they encouraged me to make a Facebook page because they were certain their friends would also love to get their hands on one too!
So, by the Tuesday evening, I had made myself “Issy Inspired”, all thanks to tutorials and generous online friends.
I worked out how to make a beanie, people loved it and ordered. So that gave me the confidence to tinker around some more, and then I made a few more beanies. And then some more, and clippies, and photo props, and bonnets! I didn’t even know how to read patterns until just recently!
Networking with other crafty ladies on Facebook has been a real blessing. The advice, support and encouragement is priceless.

So with the support of my online friends (that most certainly includes YOU) and from my family, real life friends and very patient husband (hehe) I am here today, blogging about it!

It makes me happy. I’m proud of myself. Very proud.
I’ve learnt some big lessons along the way, and I know I have many more to learn.

That’s it really! All blogs start of with an intro, right? How’d I go?

xx Jac