My Makes · My Neighborhood

New alpaca amigurumi + market visit and walk

My new alpaca basket buddy is finished. I just put the final stitches into him last night, and he is ready to hold pens, hooks, or odds and ends. From toe to tail, he is about 20cm (8 inches). Compared to most other amigurumi I’ve made, this one was technically a little tricky – not because of the stitch itself, but because of the yarn I used, which is primarily Drops Alpaca Bouclé (80% alpaca, 15 wool, 5 polyamide).

Bouclé means a yarn or fabric with a looped ply. Because of the loops, it is challenging to find the distinct stitches in one’s work. A recommended solution is to use a hook size slightly bigger than one would use for yarn with a smooth ply. For this one, I elected to go really big with the hook – the initial recommendation was 3.75mm, but I ramped it up to 5.5mm. The resulting figure is bigger. I had to make some decisions about where to adjust my stitches, so it wouldn’t grow too much. In any case, he came out well, and I think he will appeal to a child (certainly the child in me).

The ears, snout, bridle, basket, and tassels are made from 100% mercerized cotton yarn of various brands, mostly Phildar Coton 3. To give him some weight, I used old nylon footies and filled them with small garden pebbles (see above), to stuff the base. The rest of his stuffing is polyfil. His eyes are 1.00mm safety eyes, and there are tiny false eyelashes at the corners.

I have wanted to make this alpaca for some time now. I hope to make a standing one in the near future.

In other crafting news, I visited Seomun Market on Saturday, and picked up some trinkets there. I didn’t find everything I wanted, though. I was looking for some good linen fabric, but the crowds were such that I decided to cut my trip short and return mid-week. I did come away with a big bag of Korean snacks, though, which I always look forward to getting when I visit. I also grabbed a hot-from-the-fryer hoeddeok (호떡), a delicious cinnamon pastry stuffed with sunflower seeds.

The Lunar New Year celebrations will begin next week, so it makes sense that crowds are starting to swell, as people ready their larders and gift baskets with treats. The upcoming year’s presiding animal is Rabbit, so I’m beginning to see rabbits everywhere. I will be in Hanoi, Vietnam during these days, and will definitely share a peek at the goings-on there. Can you find rabbits in any photos above?

VIDEO: Busy Saturday at Seomun Market, Daegu’s biggest traditional market. Merchandise is packed to the rafters in this cramped space.

As an antidote to the crowds, Bo and I took a forest jaunt yesterday and looped around Pip’s pond. It’s now frozen over, and two boys were having a great time sliding along it with wooden boards and sticks. I hung around for a spell to make sure they didn’t fall in (it was oddly warm yesterday), but all seemed fine.

VIDEO: Ice gliding looks like such fun. Neighborhood kids at Pip’s pond. “Bali” means hurry.

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