I haven’t really done very many crochet projects, even though I learned the basics when I was young… long before I learned to knit. I think the farthest I got then was half a scarf, because when I ran out of yarn, I gave up. The concept of pulling loops through other loops to make the stitches helped me learn to knit though, and since I’ve been knitting, I sometimes use crochet to add a border, or make the curls for my pixie dolls. But lately my kids have become absolutely obsessed with all things Pokemon, and have been begging me to make them Pokemon characters. Unfortunately, almost all of the patterns out there that I could find are done with crochet, which is the norm for amigurumi characters in general. This blogger is exceptionally prolific with giving out free patterns for Pokemon and other characters, and their creations are amazing: http://wolfdreamer-oth.blogspot.com/ so I decided to start there. I thought it would be a good experience for me to learn to crochet toys, after all they are pretty darn cute, and any abbreviations I didn’t understand, I could Google.
I started with a simple one, a PokeBall, (pattern here) and I think it went pretty well. I really like how easy it is to make nice neat circles and globes with single crochet stitches:
I then started on something more complicated. Jonah’s character he really wants is called Glaceon:
Yeah, that looks pretty easy… not! Fortunately, I happened to have just the right colors in my stash though. Wolfdreamer doesn’t have a Glaceon pattern, but they have a similar pattern for another character, Umbreon, and I then found another blogger that made a Glaceon pattern modified from Umbreon, so I’ve been going back and forth between the two patterns. I finished the body and the head, and then somewhere in the middle of the first leg I got totally lost trying to make the diamond shapes. Also, the Glaceon patten for the shoulders didn’t work out right, and the diamonds looked pretty messy, so I asked Jonah if it was OK if I just made them half dark teal, and half light teal. He agreed.
Then I discovered a bigger problem. Crocheting these tight stitches on these tiny parts has been causing me to grip with my fingers very tightly, and with all of the twisting of the hook, my wrists started Killing Me. I already have carpal tunnel syndrome that comes and goes, and now it feels like it’s moving to the top of my wrists as well… tendonitis??? Yuck! I tried taking a break for a few days from any crochet or knitting, then I tried knitting again, which didn’t seem to bother my wrists as much, probably because I’m more used to keeping them relaxed, and there’s not as much twisting… as long as I’m using good posture and wearing my glasses. Then, a few days later I picked up the Glaceon leg again. It only took a few rounds for my wrists to start screaming at me. So now I feel stuck. I’ve been crocheting about 1/2 a leg every other day, (only a few rounds!) and it’s all I can stand. I have one leg left, but then I still have the ears, and the tail, and the earflaps and hair and diamond accents! Jonah doesn’t want me to continue if it hurts too much, but I hate to quit now, when I’m halfway done! I’m considering toughing out the final leg, and then trying to make up the other parts knitted instead… perhaps in garter stitch, so the stitches aren’t too different looking, but I’m thinking that it still might look odd to combine the two. Thoughts? And for you crocheters out there, any tips on how to keep my fingers/wrists relaxed while still keeping a firm tension?