Posted in blankets, Commissions, crochet, pattern, yarn

Hey Commish! Alternative Title: God my hands hurt.

Last Thursday a friend of mine asked if I would mind crocheting a blanket for her sister’s baby shower. She has yarn and a pattern picked out. Now I’m the kind of person who, when a friend asks me to do something like this I’m usually willing if they pay for the yarn, my friend went one step further and said she’d pay for the labor as well as the yarn. Well damn, an offer like that never comes along so I, of course, said yes.
She needs it by next Saturday.

Continue reading “Hey Commish! Alternative Title: God my hands hurt.”

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Posted in babbling, crochet, presents, Thoughts, yarn

The future of Otakraft

Happy New Year! Time to make up some new excuses for why I did practically nothing last year!  Hmmm, let’s try honesty, I was lazy and didn’t put in the effort.  Oh, except a shawl I was working on for my mother for Christmas, let me tell you how that went… Just not well at all.

I started it in September, put it down for a month (because I’m into messing myself up) so when I picked it up again I didn’t remember the pattern quite right.  I, of course, didn’t notice for some 10 odd rows, which was….so much, like a foot, maybe more, of row progress.  I ripped it back.  Now this yarn is an alpaca blend, so I’m sure you can guess how much it likes ripping back.  And this wasn’t the only frogging rodeo the yarn went on.  There were some occasional mistakes that were pulled back, but by the time you get to the place with the mistake (and it’s lace so it’s SUPER obvious), you’re pulling back an entire row. It’s physically painful for even non-crocheters to watch (Like seriously, it was funny the first time I pulled back a row in front of this teenager who’d watched me find a mistake.  He was horrified when I told him it would take about an hour to do back up). And I just keep messing up. I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I just kept making really ridiculous counting mistakes that should have been.  Ripping back was getting harder and harder and then it happened, the continuous line of my lace weight yarn broke.  I tried to carry on, but it wasn’t the last time I was suffer another break. It just became too much and I knew I wouldn’t be able to salvage it for Christmas.

So ultimately I’m trashing the original yarn (more accurately ripping it back to figure out something else to do with it, because it was 40 damn dollars and I am poor) and I picked up a new skein of Freia Ombré Lace Weight, this time in Dirty Hippie.  I’ll be trying again for Mother’s Day this time instead of Christmas.

I have some other projects planned for this year, including some home improvement work like sewing curtains, a shower curtain, finishing up the hidden cat box I’ve been working on, and some other things.

I’ve gotten part of the hidden cat box done, I’ll probably make a couple posts with pictures of my progress until it’s finished.

I’m going to try and go back to updating weekly with projects I’m working on, but I’m also going to add in some reviews of products I’ve used.  I’m also working on the scripts for a crochet tutorial that I hope to upload to YouTube later this year.

Posted in crochet, spinning, yarn

What Am I Doing?

Excuses waste time and I’ve wasted enough so let’s get down to brass tacks.  What am I doing?

I’ve finished full single ply from an entire batch of fiber.

72314d9d-a0cf-486f-ae84-514324bf2edb

It’s made from the cotton candy colored mystery fiber I picked up at Upcycle Trading Company, sadly now closed.  I really enjoyed spinning it up though it took me a while and I’m looking forward to plying it.  Because it’s all a continuous single ply I’ll be plying it back on itself, which will be an adventure because I’ve never done that before.  >.>  I have done a little plying, but it was on a wheel and with very different yarn.  I’m thinking I might actually film myself plying for the first time on a drop spindle for laughs because I’m sure there will be plenty of that as well as cursing.
I also completed a headband, basically the sister to the one I made my sister.  Yes that one from forever ago.  I misplaced the yarn for a while, then I moved (remember when I bitched about it endlessly?) so it was really misplaced, not that they were large balls to begin with.  Anyhoo I found the yarn again, the lovely cria, $10 per 90 yd skeins and finally made my own headband.

I rather like the way it turned out using the Harlequin Check pattern.

If you’ve followed my other blog you’d know about my love for You Are Umasou and Umasou specifically.  I’ve been working on a crochet pattern for him (unique shaping challenges there) that I think is coming along nicely. As it progresses I plan to post updates to twitter and tumblr (BTW, I know my tumblr theme is a hot mess, I’ll sort it out soon).  Anyone who follows me on tumblr probably knows it’s been pretty scarce on the DIY/crafty and geeky side lately and I’m going to work on fixing that.

In other news I’m going to be casting on my first pair of socks this month.  I know basic casting on and how to knit and purl a stitch so I figure I might as well jump into the deep end!  You’ll definitely see video of that attempt as well.

 

 

Posted in babbling, life, yarn

The Snarl

While I can’t claim that ALL my attention has been on moving, it has taken up large portions of my time of late and as you can imagine after I’ve worked all day then followed up with several hours of moving heavy things I just don’t have much left in me for crochet. I’m also a bit waffle-y between projects right now because I’ve got a bunch started, several I really want to finish but am having trouble for one reason or another (usually it’s issues with getting more of the yarn).  My Infinity Scarf and my Diana Shawl require more yarn that I can either order online or go to the only store I know that carries it which is out in the middle of nowhere.

My prepster jacket is kind of just sitting there unfinished because it frustrated me into a time-out until I’m not mad at it anymore.  The Tetris Blanket is going, but it’s always been slow because I kind of just work off a few squares at a time and they slowly accumulate.  I’ve been working on a frog pattern, but that’s requiring some pretty serious rework.  I’ve got a bunch of other projects I’m supposed to finish (to say nothing of the tons of weird WIPs I’ve recently unearthed during the move)

 and here I am contemplating a new one to start!  Depending on how things go I think I might try and work out a pattern for a pair of ShisaKomainu, or another set of guardian animals so I have some good vibes working for my new place.

But I’m mostly still sorting out things and packing them and the other night I decided tackling the stash was a good idea at 10pm. 9_9

 I can’t tell you why I thought that would be a good idea.  An hour later I was still untangling skeins that have gotten jumbled with various moves and stash reorganizations.  I was repacking totes full of yarn, separating out yarns I no longer wanted when I come across an old grocery bag.  It was tucked up under a bunch of other bags of yarn and fiber, bits of cheap acrylic peeking out not just standard worsted weights, but eyelash yarn and fun fur as well.  I pulled it out to peek inside it and THERE IT WAS! Snarl
It looks far less menacing now because I’ve cut it off and salvaged what I could, but at the time this Snarl was doing it’s level best to eat at least a dozen bobbins and small balls of yarn tangled together alongside a bunch of random amigurumi pieces; ears, limbs, and a stray torso or two, all while nearly filling a standard sized grocery bag.  I tell you, it’s a good thing I found this Snarl when I did otherwise it might have moved to snack on the rest of my stash.  Luckily they’re lazy hunters and tend to concentrate on one area at a time and aren’t prone to moving much.  Still I’m glad I didn’t overlook it and accidentally dump it in one of my totes because I’m sure the Snarl would have happily started absorbing any other yarn it could be introduced to.  As is it seems this was the only serious case I had to remove, all the others were more Snarlettes than full fledged Snarls and I was able to actually exterminate them with out amputation.

I don’t have any new projects to report on for obvious reasons, but I’m looking to have something to post on Friday.

Posted in crochet, design, yarn

Scarfing it down

I’m actually pretty proud of my work this week, both as an active crocheter and a procrastinator.  I’m proud to announce I haven’t touched my damn jacket since last I posted about it.  I was getting too frustrated with trying to make it look nice and was pretty close to doing some actual harm to the garment.  So for the moment it’s in one of my baskets until I’m on speaking terms with it again.  But honestly setting aside a project when it’s too challenging is probably a good thing.  I haven’t given up on it, but I don’t feel good about continuing at the moment which seems like a sign.

In other news I’ve made some real headway on the scarf I started.  If you’re really observant you’ll notice it looks a little different and that’s because I ripped out and recast it several times, fiddling with the stitches until I was satisfied.

IMG_1333(Mmmmm, scintillating work literature….)

The above was a few days ago and at this point it looks like this.

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It’s hard to see all the color changes at a distance.

IMG_1334

The Tandem yarns really are super nice to work with and I highly recommend them, they are heavy-ish but have a great drape.

In news that will excite ridiculous cat owners like me, there is an adorable book of knit and crochet patterns I recommend called Cats in Hats!  The patterns are easy and straightforward, she includes diagrams as well as a written pattern, and they work up really fast.  And I’m absolutely making a hat for my cat as we speak.  I’m not following a set pattern right now, I’m pretty much mashing a knit and crochet project together.

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The white part is the actual hat, I’ll be adding ties to it.  I’ll be making either a unicorn horn or a multicolored mohawk out of the neon, I haven’t decided which yet.

IMG_1337

 

I’ve also finally made it out to Michaels to pick up the missing ingredients for the Mew I was working on as well as finding some yarn in the right color for my Tetris blanket!

 

<———– *\(^o^)/*

So I’ll finally be able to get back to work on both projects.  I’m actually getting scary close to finishing the Tetris blanket, which will be weird considering I’ve been working on it off and on for a few years now. XD

I have another weekend full of house/apartment hunting so I don’t know exactly how much I’ll get done, but I’ll definitely be finishing up the cat hat and I’ll make sure when I post the finished product it will be on a model… He’s so looking forward to it. Ψ(`▽´)Ψ I’ll also try and figure out a program I can use to type up the pattern I’m making up for my scarf.

Until Monday!

Posted in crochet, design, pattern, yarn

Usually I’m Trash (bag), but today I’m Produc(tiv)e bag

So I thought I had Sunday off turns out, as with many things in life, I was very wrong.  Luckily this was pointed out to me by a coworker on Saturday (Yes, I worked all weekend.  I’m actually staring down 9 straight days in a row.) instead of me getting a really panic inducing phone-call on Sunday morning that would have left me irritable and possibly put my job in jeopardy (I’m still in the probation period where they decide if they want to keep me… PLEASE KEEP ME!) So I didn’t have as much time to dedicate to the noble art of hooking what with also needing to look for housing and stuff, but I did get a little done.

Here is the promised pattern for my mesh market bags.  They’re basically the same pattern, they have different starts.

Round Bottom Bag:

Materials:

Worsted yarn in cotton (I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream)

H (5 mm) hook

Scissors

Abbreviations & Special Stitches in order of appearance:

MR= Magic Ring

ch= chain stitch

dc= double crochet

ss =slip stitch

st= stitch

For this pattern inc= dc, ch 2 twice in same stitch

Pattern notes: For the purposes of this pattern chains are not counted as stitches unless otherwise noted.  Do not turn your work, this pattern is worked in joined rounds.

Rnd 1: MR ch 3 (counts as first dc) 7 dc, ss into third ch of first st (8 dc)


Rnd 2: Ch 5 (counts as first dc+ch 2) dc+ch2 in each st around (8dc) 
Rnd 3; Ch 5 (counts as first dc+ch 2) inc every other st, ss in 3rd ch of first dc (12dc)

Rnd 4: Ch 5 (counts as first dc+ch2) inc every other st, ss in 3rd ch of first dc (18 dc)

Rnd 5: Ch 5 (counts as first dc+ch2) inc every other st, ss in 3rd ch of first dc (27dc)

(Ignore that last increase row in the picture, I realized later it made the bag WAY huge)

Rnd 6-19: Work even (27 dc)

(At last we pay attention to those poor neglected chain stitches!)

Rnd 20: Ch 4 (counts as first dc+ch1), dc+ch1 in every other stitch, including chain stitches.  It doesn’t work out completely even as you’ll have to skip two chains to ss into the 3rd ch of the first dc. (41dc)

Fasten off

Tie:

Row 1: ch a 20 inch length

Row 2: Turn and sc back

In first end ch 3, dc, ss, repeat 3 times around the edge of the end. fasten off

Thread tie through the last round of dc by the unadorned end, once threaded through repeat embellishment at other end.

Square(ish) bottom bag

Row 1: Ch 21, turn and sc back (20 sc)

Rnd 2: (Do not turn) Ch 5 (counts as first dc+ch2), work two more dc+ch2 in first stitch working around, dc+ch2 every other sc, working 3 dc+ch2 in opposite end, ss into 3rd ch in first dc (22 dc)

Rnd 3: Ch 5 (You know the drill) inc in first st (that ss) 10 dc+ch2, inc, 10 dc+ch2 in each dc around (24dc)

Rnd 4-21: work even (24dc)

(Again, finally giving those neglected chains some love!)

Rnd 22: Ch 4 (counts as first dc+ch1), dc+ch1 in every other stitch, including chain stitches.  It doesn’t work out completely even as you’ll have to skip two chains to ss into the 3rd ch of the first dc. (36dc)

Fasten off

Tie (this one’s a little different):

Row 1: ch an 18 inch length

Row 2: Turn and ss back

In first end ch 3, dc, ss, repeat 3 times around the edge of the end. fasten off

Thread tie through the last round of dc by the unadorned end, once threaded through repeat embellishment at other end.


I’m sorry if those patterns are hard to understand, any questions I’ll be happy to answer.  Both the bags are really customizable and I recommend playing around with the number of increases or starting stitches to get a bag the size you want.

I haven’t gotten any work done on the Prepster jacket (read all my attempts have ended in failure), but I did get started working with some lovely yarn I’ve had around, Tahki Stacy Charles Tandem yarn in Northern Lights (it’s beautiful, sorry my lighting is terrible).  I picked a shell pattern and I’m going to make an infinity scarf out of it.  I’ll be interested to see out it turns out after a few more rows.