Chester the Extreme Crochet Cat

Inspiration for Chester

Chester first became an idea when my sister-in-law, Liz, had a go at amigurumi.  She's a quilter really but a few of us got interested in crochet and I did a beginners crochet course so we would get together each week to help each other out (we called ourselves the Happy Hookers!).  Liz bought a book called 'Hello my name is Amineko' by the author Nekoyama and started crocheting these delightful little cats.  Amineko is Japanese for 'crochet cat'.
At the same time I was just beginning to explore the idea of extreme crochet (big hooks and multiple strands of yarn).  Then I had an idea ... a 'ping' moment .... why not crochet a big Amineko!  I had no idea how big he would turn out, but the largest hook I had at the time was 12mm.  5 strands of yarn seemed to sit comfortably on the hook, so this is what I chose to use.

Using the pattern in the book, I decided to start on the largest bit of him first - the body. It grew quite quickly and I got rather excited as I had no real idea of how big he would turn out!




The yarn I used is carpet yarn, about dk or aran thickness.  I used two strands of grey, each a different shade which came on individual 500g skeins.

Providing they are placed over chair legs to stop them becoming tangled you can use them directly from the skein.  Try to use them without doing this and you soon end up with an unuseable birds nest!  Believe me I speak from experience!



The other colours were chosen randomly and came in chains like the one below.  I had to pick out 3 strands of yarn at a time from each chain - not as easy as it sounds.  They were strewn all over our lounge floor for days at a time until I had finished using my chosen colours.


The body grew and grew!  The picture below shows the body at the point where I started decreasing for the shoulders.  I had completed just 46 rows!


Look at this!  He has a waist of 42" without his stuffing!












'He' I here you ask?  Shouldn't he have a name?  Well by this time that was what I was thinking!  So after much deliberation 'he' was named Chester!

Here, you can see Chester's body finished and I was eager to start the next bit.  Now .... what will that be?




I decided on the head next.  Actually the head had more stitches around than the body, but luckily not as many rows!




The head finally finished, I needed some way of keeping it's shape whilst I took the photo!  Mmm what to use?  You guessed it! My OH!

I was getting rather excited now to see what Chester was going to look like with head and body attached! 

Stuffing, that's what was needed next!

Not the easiest of tasks as you can imagine!

After much consideration, cost, weight, where to buy I decided to use bean bag beans for the body and the head.  We had some bean bag chairs taking up room so thought I would use the beans from these.  That presented another problem!  The very nature of crochet leaves small holes between the stitches, so unless I want little bubbles oozing out of Chester I was going to have to make a 'bag' for the body beans and one for the head beans!  and all the time so eager to get him stuffed to see him start to come to life! Aaargh!!

Well bags made, this is where the fun started!  From previous experience I new the beans stuck to everything!  And I mean everything!! (When I went to bed I found one stuck to my tummy!)  Enlisting the help of my ever suffering OH we used a jug to transfer the beans from the chair to the body, and another jug full ... and another jug .... and another .... then the head ... another jug .... then another ... and another!!!  Finally full, I sewed him up quick to stop any leakage!    This was surprisingly theraputic!


And here he is!


I thought the photo on the right added a bit more scale to him.

Getting even more excited now!  What bit next?  Well all the large bits have been completed so arms and legs I think.  These crocheted up quite quickly in comparison to the head and body (thankfully) as I was getting a bit impatient by now.


I was quite surprised to find the arms were longer than the legs!

Now, I came across a problem?  All the time I was crocheting the arms and legs I was wondering how I was going to stuff them.  As soon as I started the paws I realised I really should stuff those bits first, as they are a bit larger than the rest of the arm or leg, but being impatient thought "no, it'll be fine".  Ok, legs and arms crocheted - now what!  Er ... beans, er ... polyester type stuffing, er ... , er ... mmm!  Not sure!

After consultation with a few people and finally my sister-in-law we decided on an old single duvet!  You would not believe, but it took a whole single duvet to stuff the arms and legs.  I had to think big here!  Just as you would perhaps use a knitting needle to poke stuffing into a tube, how was I going to get the rolled up duvet in?  I split the duvet into four and stitched two lines of stitching between each one, then cut up between them.  I rolled them into 'sausages' and then started poking them into the arms and legs - using a broom pole.  Told you I had to think big!


Nearly there!  Chester's looking really good!

Now for the ears! Easy peasy after everything else! And the nose!


I decided to make the nose and eyes from felt and stitch them on separately.  The nose was fairly simple but choosing the correct position and shape for the eyes was a different matter.  Each very small change altered the look of Chester's face, quite dramatically. 

OK!

A drum roll please!

Are you ready for this?

Chester's coming!

...

.......


Chester where are you?!

Hooray! He's here!



56 comments:

  1. I can't believe that I am the first to leave a comment.What a talented person you are.I found your blog via ravelry and am so pleased that I did.Tragically, mylovely niece commited suicide recently.I was beginning to think that nothing would ever make me smile again.Chester did.Thank you.

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    1. So sorry about your niece. 💕 Glad this made yo smile it did me too I just love it.

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  2. I'm very sorry to hear the tragic news about your niece but I am delighted that Chester brought a smile to your face. Thank you so much for leaving this lovely comment. If you look under the post archives for March you will see some more pictures of Chester under the post 'Chester Goes Topless' that's if you have not found them already! I do hope you will find other things to make you smile and that these will eventually become more frequent.
    :) Please find attached a return smile from Chester to help you on your way x

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  3. Truly Amazing... You are very talented. How long did it take you to make Chester???

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    1. I started him just after Christmas and finished him sometime around February, so about 2 months really. Glad you like him :)

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  4. wow, Chester is amazing!! Thanks for sharing him with the rest of us!

    Sharon XO

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  5. Sue from The Crochet CrowdFriday, June 15, 2012 4:31:00 pm

    Fantastic job! He is adorable!

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  6. Replies
    1. The pattern is the large pattern from the book 'Hello my name is Amineko' :)

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  7. WOW he is very awesome. I would love to try making one as big as him.

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  8. I would love to make one of him one day.

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  9. do you remember how many rows or inches around the head was?

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    1. I'm sorry I can't, but I did it as it said in the pattern except that I used the larger hook and multiple strands of yarn. All I can remember is that the head was wider than the body which surprised me at first!

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  10. OK thanks anyway. I got the book and am having fun making it for someone. I love to make things for people and see their faces. It makes me happy to see them happy. Thank you again for showing this and giving the ideas.

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  11. I'd love to see a picture of him when he's finished. Are you on facebook?

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  12. yes I am. Beth Brown. So far I am trying to make it big and I will see how big it gets. I might not make it as big as Chester. And the friend I am making it for is picking out the colors so it may be strange colors but in the long run it will be fun to make. Again I love to make things.

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  13. Wow, Chester looks really cool! And what a huge task making him, but the result is smashing!

    Didn't you have problems with the weight of the yarn and hook while making him?

    Thanks for sharing his pictures!

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    1. Not really the bit that caused the most problems was the stuffing of him!
      You may find a few more pictures of him in my blog archives 'Chester goes topless' has a couple of nice ones. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. This is brilliant!!! What a fantastic and unique project :-)

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  15. wow, I had to read this post, after seeing Chester in your latest blog. It is amazing what we crafters do - nothing is imposible !

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  16. Unbelievable!!!!!In the mean time your chester is famous all over the world I think!!!!In any case to people that crochet (an Amineko)all over the world I think,ha,ha...really great and nice you wanted to share this with us!I made my Amineka last time fro a pattern from the internet,here she is
    http://mijneigenplekkie.blogspot.nl/2012/07/zonder-aminekao-hoorde-ik-er-niet-echt.html

    But just a question?Are there more than one patterns in the Amineko book(for a big and nano one?)ore not?I would like to make a big and a nano one once

    greats from Holland
    Angeline
    www.mijnplekkie.tk

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    1. I love Amineka! She is very pretty. Thanks for commenting on my blog and glad you like Chester. I used the 'large' pattern in the book named 'My name is Amineko'. I used a 12mm hook and 5 strands of double knitting yarn at a time and this is how Chester turned out! Hope this helps :)

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  17. This is superb!
    I am glad you commented on my blog as it meant I was able to find you and to meet Chester.

    Being a crochet guru, I was surprised you didn't leave your thoughts as to why my square was not square.

    I will definitely come back to visit Fiddly Fingers again.
    Thank you
    D

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    1. I'm glad you like Chester! I don't count myself as a crochet guru though!! Really pleased you'll be coming back. See you soon :)

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  18. WOW!!! I just found a like to Chester on another Dutch blog.. I love it.. how great you could make it.. love it!!
    You really have a great blog.. love al your big things!!!

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  19. I demand a book...

    Seriously, a children's book/how to crochet book. I'd buy it! (Fab blog post).

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  20. That's a lovely idea! I wouldn't know where to start!

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  21. WOW, this is the coolest thing I've ever seen. I can't believe how big Chester is and that you persevered with finishing him. I just discovered that Amineko pattern is free on Ravelry and was looking through all the other completed projects. That's how I found yours. Truly amazing!!! I'm looking forward to making one for my little girl for Christmas, but her's will be definitely much smaller :)

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  22. Oooh I shall have to go and have a look on Ravelry. Crocheting Chester was the easy bit, stuffing him was what caused the most problems. Good luck with the one you are doing for your daughter. I'd love to see a picture of him when he's finished :)Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

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  23. wow, i love him, if i didn'thave four kids and a million craft projects taking up space i'd make one too, maybe when the kids leave home and the place seems empty - i'll keep it in mind.

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    1. Chester would make the perfect friend as he is quite happy to give you a cuddle and doesn't question anything you say to him. Lol!!

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  24. HEY! He can replace my ex-husband in my bed now!!!!

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    1. Lol! He'll be far less trouble than a husband :)

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  25. That is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I`ve been crochetting for years And have not made anything that big!!!!!!!!!
    I do have a pattern for a family of bears and the dad is 52 or 54 inches tall.Have not made them & had it for years. How tall is Chester?

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    1. Chester is at least 6ft tall (72") maybe a little more. I'm so glad you like him. I would love to see a picture of your pattern for the family of bears. I have thought about making a large teddy bear but have to think of where I would keep him! Thank you for your comment :)

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    2. I`ll try,have to send it to my email address first then put it on my FB profile.It`s a family of 7.

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    3. That would be wonderful if you can manage it. You're commenting as 'annonymous' so you will have to let me know what your fb is :)

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  26. OH My GoodNess!!! this is totally AWESOME!!!!!!! I love him...
    Janice

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  27. I love this story about Chester. You are a great story teller and I could see a a children's book made from it. You are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing. ♥♥♥

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    1. I would love to do this, but have no idea where to start. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  28. Bwaahahahahaha !!! This is just AWESOME - made me laugh so hard I had tears !! Chester is brilliant :-)
    I wouldn't have had the patience..... just finished my first Amigurumi and it's only 6" high :-D

    Hugz
    IKE xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  29. So glad you like him and he reduced you to tears :D There's time yet for you to create a BIG one Lol!

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  30. Chester is one bit cat :) Did you hands ever get tired? For only 2 months to complete, that is impressive. Great job.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Kathy. It's surprisingly easy crocheting with big hooks, just needs a slightly different technique :)

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  31. You are very creative FANTASTIC!
    Delicious beautiful cats! I love!
    The world must know your creativity!

    Eres FANTÁSTICA y muy creativa!
    Hermosos deliciosos gatos! Me fascinan!.

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  32. Just found your blog.I LOVE Chester,my you are a very talented lady,WOW.

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    1. Thank you so much, he was a lot of fun to make :)

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  33. Just found this!!! What an awesome idea!!! I just love this!!!

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  34. Thank you, didn't realise he would turn out this big when I started him :)

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I really appreciate all the lovely comments you leave so thank you for taking precious time to do this.