Monster Mash

 

In our special Interweave Crochet Home 2015 issue, you'll find the Monster Love Mobile, a delightful creation by Brenda K. B. Anderson.

Brenda is a monster maven—really, making monsters is her day job. So she shared some tips with us for infusing your monsters with just the right personality.

You can size up the monsters with a larger hook and thicker yarn—or go in the other direction and use a smaller hook and thread for a mini version. For the purposes of clarity, Brenda worked up some bulky monsters for this blog.

She used Knitpicks Brava Bulky and a J hook to make monsters about 9" tall, which is about twice the size of the monsters in the mobile. She made three monsters following the Stripey Monster instructions and gave each a distinct personality. One of the monsters has size 24mm safety eyes as directed in the pattern; the other two monsters have other types of eyes, including Angry Eyes!

Monster 1 shows off his safety eyes. Without his mouth, he looks like anime. To make the mouth, use worsted weight yarn and a G hook to chain the desired length.

 

Pin the mouth into a slight curve on the monster's face. 

Then stitch right through the middle of the chain using the yarn tails.

 It can be challenging to create a smooth line with embroidery because the crocheted fabric is always so bumpy. Creating a chain and sewing it on was Brenda's way of solving that problem–the stitches blend right into the chain, making a nice smooth line.

Monster 2 has button eyes. Begin by using a pin to mark the placement of each eye center. Insert needle through the fabric at marked center, taking a small stitch, and pull almost all the way through. Then you can tie the thread in a knot, to itself to anchor the beginning of the thread. This is much sturdier than relying on a knot at the end of your thread, which will likely pull right through your fabric.
Monster 2: Sewing on the buttons. Stack a black button on top of a white button and stitch them in place (using a needle and thread) for each eye. This is a nice trick if you don't have access to safety eyes, or maybe you just prefer the handmade-look of the buttons.

This monster gets a mouth AND eyebrows*. In this test-drive placement, Monster 2 looks a tad concerned, even sheepish. 

*using worsted weight yarn and a G hook, make a chain the desired length of the eyebrow (6 ch in this case) then add a chain to use as a turning chain (so 7 ch total). Then, beginning with the second ch from the hook, work 1 sc into each st across and fasten off.

 

 

With this placement of the same features, Monster 2 is showing his true #getoffamylawn personality. To capture this annoyed look, slope the eyebrows downward to the center of the face. The mouth, worked the same way as Happy Monster 1, is placed in a frowny way. For the eyebrows, pin them in place and stitch on using the yarn tails.

If you are giving this toy to a small child, you'll want to avoid buttons, and for extra security, skip even the safety eyes and use embroidery instead to avoid any sort of choking hazard.

Brenda sketches out the desired facial features, then uses embroidery floss to map the features out on the face using the sketch as a reference. These can be as simple as the French knots for eyes, and lines for a mouth (like the Aitches, also in the Home 2015 issue).

Or you can go more elaborate, as in Monster 3.

 

When Brenda is happy with the outlines, she fills them in with satin stitches of embroidery floss. When the sections are filled in, she stitches around the features to  create an outline and make the features really pop!
Three monsters. Three totally different personalities. We can't wait to see the personality of your monsters!

 

 

 

If you liked these tips by Brenda, you will love the abundance of amigurumi tips she gives on her DVD 3D Crochet. Check it out! And be sure to check out the Home 2015 issue, where you'll find more Brenda creations: The Aitches and the incomparable Mister Whistle.

Crochet and be happy!

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