So now that I've posted about how it all started, I figured I may as well post some pics of the projects that have come since.
The Koala was my first attempt at brushing a knitted item. More common on crocheted items brushing is an old technique that involves making the pieces of the item and then brushing them with a wire pet brush (like these ones from petsmart).
For example, here is the knitted body of the koala with all the seaming done except for the bottom seam where it'll be stuffed later.
Here's the body after it's been brushed and stuffed. You then repeat the process for all the parts of the amigurumi. If you're adding safety eyes, you want to brush that area first. For embroidery if you want it solid (like this guys nose), wait until after you've brushed it to do your embroidering.
Sew all the pieces together and you have a cute lil furry friend, without having to use actual fur material or the hard-to-knit with furry/feathery yarns. This koala was done in fairly cheap acrylic yarn. As you can see his fur isn't as smooth and fur-like as it could be, and you can still see the knit stitches behind it in some spots. I have read that 'natural' fiber yarns work much better for this process. Real wool, alpaca, or bamboo are supposed to be the best. I've been trying to find some bamboo yarn to try but haven't had any luck yet. When I do I'll be sure to post a comparison.
Another hobby of mine is painting acrylics. I'm not nearly as good as I'd like but I find it relaxing and fun. I thought I'd paint a little underwater painting for my nephew's room (once he's old enough and my sister moves into her own place and he actually has a room....). It isn't done yet. I've been procrastinating. Ok. Ok. I've been obsessed with knitting fun little things instead of painting. But anyways...here is how it's looking so far.
this one. It was the first time I'd knitted on DPNs in a long while. BTW, DPNs = Double Pointed Needles. You use 3-4 small needles with points on each end instead of the 2 long knitting needles used in most patterns. I personally prefer using the 2 straight needles and having to seam up pieces after. But sometimes you just can't beat them. Especially for small 'tubes' of knitting like this lil guys tail and snout. I don't think he turned out too badly, though I wish I'd made his tail longer.
this site with great step by step instructions for making an adorable mini bunny. I used safety eyes again instead of embroidering. My mother cooed over this lil guy sitting on top of her Easter basket.