Hey there! This week, I am going to show you the Nintendo themed pillows (pictured below) I made for a friend of mine, and the process I took to create them.
2016 was the year that everyone seemed to move to different locations in Minnesota. My friend Reed moved down to southern Minnesota to start a teaching job, and I thought, what better house warming/birthday present then something I could create myself. So, I decided to go on the journey of making him two Nintendo game themed pillows. Needless to say, these pillows were his Christmas gift, which is 4 months after his birthday. On the top left, we have some various Kirby sprites. On the bottom left, is the Triforce from Legend of Zelda. The right side features two Mario characters, Dry Bones and Toad.
I have made a fair few projects in this style already, and have now developed a process of how I get these created. I start by looking up perler bead patterns of the object I am trying to turn into a crocheted item. Perler beads are those round, plastic beads that are flat on both sides. I used to do perler bead projects when I would go to Girl Scout camp. You would then take an iron and some wax paper and heat the beads up so they would stick together. They really have that pixelated looked that I am looking for when I work on crochet projects.
The next thing I typically do is take the perler bead patterns and chart them in a graph paper notebook that I have for these projects. As you can see, a lot of the time I have to cut some pages so I can add rows to the page I am working on. I try to make it so it can fold up easily, but this last project was so involved, that I got a little lazy with it. With the Kirby side of the pillow, my original idea was to do a tile affect with the Kirby sprites across the back. I came to learn that it was going to take way too much time and effort, so I stuck with the three in the middle.
I just had to get Jack, my Black Lab/Bassett Hound mix, to pose for this shot. He would not stop bugging me while I was trying to line up all the skeins, so I thought he deserved to be in the photo. Also, I fill like a lot of his dog hair probably ended up in the final projects, so he is a piece of the project. Anyone that crochets and has pets definitely understands this.
Then it was time to start crocheting! I went online to KnitPicks and placed a massive order for the yarn I was going to use, Brava Worsted. I wanted all the pillows to match color and style wise, and I also really enjoy using worsted weight yarn for many of my projects. I really tried to match up the colors that I had used in drawing the patterns with what I ordered online. If I had to change one thing about my yarn color choice, I would have gone with some lighter browns to look like a more natural skin color for the Toad pillow.
I will go through the colors, starting with the top left: Black, Cobblestone Heather, Dove Heather, White, Sienna, Brindle, Almond, Cotton Candy, Rouge, Red, Canary, Custard, Dublin, Celestial, and Denim. You can find all of these exact colors if you click on the KnitPicks link in this post.
I started crocheting the Zelda side first, with the green yarn. I used a size I (5.50mm) hook, and just single crochet. With the charts that I make, I think of each square as one stitch. So, we would start with a chain that is 86 across. Adding the yellow is a little tricky, and many people have different ways of doing that. I will try to explain how I like to do it as simply as I can. When I approach the last stitch before the color change, I will start the single crochet, but I will not pull the final loop through to finish it off. Instead, I take the new color that I am adding in, and pull that through to finish off the stitch. I continue forward with the new color, and I run the old color in the middle of the stitch, so I don’t have to cut it off, and add it back on a little bit later down the row. I have not had issues with this way of doing it, I just have to remind myself to make sure to leave an extra long tail, so I don’t accidentally pull it through, losing the stitches I had made.
This was a lot harder once I got to the Kirby side, because of how many colors I had involved. I decided to keep certain strands of yarn for each section. Even though all three Kirby sprites had the same colors, I decided to keep a set of each color with it’s sprite, and add on more strands once I got to the next sprite. It was a tangled mess for a while, and this side was probably the most difficult, but I did get through it.
Once both sides of the larger pillow were completed, all there was left to was make sure all of the extra strands were on the inside, and sew the whole thing together. There is no need for hiding the extra strands you have at the end, since they will end up on the inside of the pillow, which no one will ever see. I also tie loose ends together, to make them a little more secure before I start sewing. For the edging, I did a single crochet around the whole entire pillow, so it would have more of an edge, but I didn’t want the edge to look too fancy. The main focus of the project is what is on it.
Once only one side of the pillow was still open, I started stuffing it with polyfill. There isn’t a specific brand that I use, and I really don’t have a preference. I had some that I friend of mine gave me that was his grandmother’s, so you can really tell that I have no preference. I like to stuff pillows so they start off pretty firm, because over time the polyfill will relax and soften the pillow. I get about 3/4 of the way full, and I start finishing off the final side. Once I get half way across, I start to fill it again. I pack it full this time, so when I close of the corner, and can try and shift the extra stuff into the empty corner.
Then I was done! Well, with at least one pillow. The other pillow was a lot smaller in size, so it took me a lot less time to work on it. I went through the same exact process that I did with the bigger pillow. Working one side before the other, and then sewing and filling it.
Once I was finished with everything, I decided that I wanted to convert my paper copies of this pattern, into an electronic format, so just in case my book got damaged, I would always have the projects I made. I will leave links to PDFs of the charts that I created, so you can check them out if you want to make them on your own. I put in an extra row with numbers, so you can keep track of where you are, if need be. I do it a lot when I am working on a pattern, because I always seem to lose my place.
That is all I have for this week! If you do end up making these for yourself, please let me know how yours turned out! I am sorry I didn’t have any photos of the process of me physically making them, but I thought about making this blog post about them, after they were all completed. The next one will definitely have more in depth photos. Let me know if you liked this post, and if I should continue to talk you through the crochet patterns I have done. I hope you all have a great week, and I hope you come and visit my blog next week!