Sunday, 27 October 2013

Fashioning the Fab Four (Part 8): Tools of the Trade


All ‘musos’ need good ‘axes’ so while I was waiting for inspiration on the amigurumi Fab Four's hairstyles, I got started on the Fab Four Amigurumi Instruments.

Designed by Monica Rodriguez Fuertes, the pattern for the instruments did not appear in the Crochet Today magazine–you can download it from Crochet Today’s website  or you can email your postal address to letters@crochettoday.com to have the pattern sent to you.

For more information about Monica Rodriguez Fuertes, please refer to my Fab Four Designer Profile http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/fab-four-designer-profile-monica.html where you will find links to her other projects and online shops.

The Fab Four Instruments pattern is three pages long with a difficulty rating  of “Intermediate” (Skill Level 3)* and consists of patterns for the following:

·         “Big Drum” (bass drum)

·         “Medium Drum” (floor tom)

·         “Small Drum” (snare drum)

·         Cymbal

·         Seat for drum kit; and

·         Electric Bass Guitar

 

The notions list includes extra materials for crafting the legs of the drum stands, cymbal stands and seat and drumsticks.

In March 2013, in Part 3 of Fashioning the Fab Four, I advised  Read thePattern”. This is particularly important for this pattern, especially if you have never done other crafts besides crochet.

It is important to understand how each of the extra notions are going to be used. If you know this, you can substitute other materials for the same purpose if you cannot find exactly the same in your local area.

Sometimes the notions list is not comprehensive or has errors and omissions.

I noticed that the notions list includes “black felt” yet I can not find its use described anywhere in the pattern!  I suspect it is meant for cutting out the shapes of the band’s name to stick on the front of the bass drum because the instructions call for “black letters” but do not specify felt.

Furthermore, the pattern calls for cardboard circles to be used as stiffeners for the drums, yet cardboard is not listed at all.

Other useful items not listed are tools for cutting and manipulating wire–various snips and pliers which you can find at hardware shops, or you can buy a complete toolkit of smaller pliers with different shaped heads which are designed specifically for beading.

These are important things to list for those crocheters who have never done beading before.  I suppose if you are going to be totally responsible, it would also be wise to recommend the use of safety glasses when cutting wire because there is the potential for small sections of wire to flick up into the air.  No one wants eye damage from wayward wire fragments.

By September 2013, I was eager to get started on the instruments, starting with the “Big Drum” (as described in the pattern, but I will refer to it as the bass drum).

The pattern provided a gauge measurement of 14 sc x 12 rows with a 4 mm hook which was the same as that listed for the Fab Four dolls. The pattern also stated that “gauge is not critical for this project” so I didn’t worry about swatching for the instruments. Enthusiastically I grabbed the DK yarn and my 3.5 mm hook (the same as used for the dolls) and started immediately. 

Making the bass drum
 
Instead of starting with ch 3, I used an adjustable loop (also known as a magic loop). I like the way it closes the centre of a circle right up–a drum skin won’t work if there is a hole in it!

The pattern required some cardboard to stiffen the shape of the drums. I didn’t like that idea–the finished product needed to be washable. Cardboard will not do. What else could I use? 

Perhaps a plastic ice cream container?  It is thick but not necessarily straight….hmmm <cue ‘thinking’ music>.

Template plastic !   I knew of its existence through quilting friends, but had never handled it myself.  I figured it was meant for craft templates so it should be sturdy enough for my purpose with the benefits that it is transparent enough to trace shapes and it is easy to cut.

I used polyester fibre fill to stuff the drum firmly, a little bit of silver wire to help it stand up and voila, a bass drum!



 

*Further Information

Fab Four Amigurumi: The original pattern for the dolls was published in the January/February 2012 issue of Crochet Today magazine. The pattern is now available as a free download. Check the links below.

Skill Level 3 'Intermediate': These projects use a variety of techniques, such as basic lace patterns or colour patterns, mid-level shaping and finishing.

 

Pattern Information
Pattern specifications
My specifications
Hook
4.00 mm
3.50 mm
Yarn
Aran/worsted/10-ply
DK/8-ply
Finished diameter of bass drum
5” / 12.5 cm
3” / 7.5 cm
Filling
Non-allergenic Fiberfill (sic)
Hobby Fill fibre filling
Wire
Gold wire 12 gauge (2 mm)
Thin wire 24 gauge (0.5 mm)
Silver wire 24 gauge

 

 

Links



Craft Yarn Council of America: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com

Crochet Today magazine: www.crochettoday.com

Difficulty Ratings/Skill Levels according to the CraftYarn Council of America: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/skill.html



 

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you think so because I tried very hard to make it look as authentic as possible. In so doing, I had a few issues with scale which I will discuss in a future post soon.

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