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.

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Posted in crochet, design

The Cat in the Hat, not just a book anymore

Ta-da!  As promised the cat in the hat I crocheted!  All things considered I like to think it’s turned out well.  I got a few quick picks right after I’d finished hooking in the bits for the mohawk and then one when it was finished.

 
My cat is really thrilled that I got this book, you just don’t know.


I’ve got about 15 inches of the scarf and I’m trying to decide if I want to guy more yarn or just turn it into a cowl and give it some buttons.  I’ll play around with it and figure it out, though I don’t have any current pictures of my progress.  In other news I’ve taken up my Tetris blanket now that I’ve got the cyan and the squares are working up quickly.  Once these are done I think I’m going to get all my squares together and kind of start piecing the blanket out so see if I have enough.  I’ll take a picture sometime of all the finished squares thus far.


I have really high hopes for this month including getting some patterns finished up and posted!  We have a pairs theme for this month in the Amigurumi Army and I think I want to tackle a matching Nidoran♂ and Nidoran♀ pattern set.  Those would be free, of course.  I’ll also be finishing up the prepster jacket this month and I plan to get some spinning done as well.  I’ll make sure to keep posted.

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.

IMG_1335

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.

IMG_1336

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 amigurumi, crochet, design, presents

Christmas Gift Update

Surprising no one I didn’t actually finish either of the gifts I was working on this Holiday season.  The French Market Bag I’ve been working on for my sister I don’t feel that badly about because I’d explained that the handles I’d originally planned to use wouldn’t be suitable and I wanted something with a big more heft for when she’d loaded it down with produce.

french market bag ufo

It’s coming along well, the crochet body is nearly complete and I’ll definitely be able to finish it because guess what I got for Christmas?!

sewing machine

I’ll be sewing up some straps that work down the body with this and I’m really looking forward to it.  I need to get a case so I can take it around easily without fear of knocking parts off, mostly because I’d like to be able to take it to the MakerSpace at the main library to get a crash course in sewing.

I was also working on a Mew using Wolf Dreamer’s Pattern.  It’s nice and easy to follow and it’s been working up pretty quickly with the Red Heart Super Saver I had laying around.

mew ufo.jpg

My nephew really appreciates the toys I crochet him and he’s been super into Pokémon.  When asked what Pokémon he’d want to travel with like Ash travels with Pikachu and he said Mew so Mew it is!  I’d originally brought the WIPs to my parents to work on them while I was there for the Holiday, but in the past I’ve worked hard to finish presents, but at the expense of actually socializing with the people there (I spent and entire Birthday Party like that one year).  I wanted to make sure I actually spent time with the people I had come home to see, so I put aside the projects and while I didn’t finish anything I had a good time with loved ones which I think is worth prioritizing.

That said I have every intention of actually finishing the Mew out before the end of the year.  I also need to update my list of Projects owed to people, because it’s terribly out of date so expect that around the New Year as well.

Posted in amigurumi, crochet, design

Monsters and Bad Ideas

A friend of mine is pregnant with her second kid and I, of course, promised to make something for the new arrival.  The first baby was a baby blanket.  My first blanket ever, actually.  When I asked what she would like this time around, my friend asked for a hat.  Turns out the theme is monsters for the second kid.  A little monster hat is easy enough, heck you could just add an eyeball and call it a day, but I didn’t want to do that.  I wanted to make something a little more personalized.

So thinking about it I decided to go with an Oni motif.  I’m a huge fan of mythology and Japanese mythology in particular.  An oni is a Japanese spirit, they usually Earth spirits found on mountains and are large an imposing.  The best European equivalent in both looks and attitude is probably a troll.  They’re large red or blue monsters that are often depicted in either tiger stripped or leopard spotted loincloth like skirting and often carry large iron, spiked clubs.  They are also horned.  Traditional portrayals of them are predictably fearsome, but they’re also very popular in cute pop-art in Japan.  I’m obviously running with the cuter depictions.

I’ve already finished the hat, I’m just working on the embellishments, but the horns have been surprisingly hard to pin down.  I’ve made and ripped them back no less than five times. >.>  I think I might actually be satisfied with this incarnation, as little of it done as it is.


I also get a lot of personal inspiration from Megan Murphy, especially her Kawaii Not work, but honestly…. some of the ideas are Bad Ideas.  And unfortunately I made a Bad Idea today.


XD  I rather like how it turned out!  I made it on a whim today so I wasn’t writing down what I was doing while I made it, but it wasn’t terribly hard and I’m sure I can figure it out so I can post a pattern of it soon.  I’ve also gotten more tetris squares done, but as always I haven’t taken any new pictures of them.  I’ll try to get all of the finished squares together for a picture for next time.

I think this coming week I’m going to get started on some long overdue crochet projects I’ve promised several people.  We’ll see who’s I actually complete in a timely fashion. XD

Posted in amigurumi, crochet, design

Let’s Talk about the Birds and the Bees

So I’ve taken a small break my chain chomp design to work on a project that’s been ongoing/stalled out for quite some time now.  You may not believe this, but I’m one of those crochet dare-devils you’ve heard of.  Yes, a yarn bomber! *cackles madly*

As far as “walking on the wild side” goes it’s pretty tame I’ll admit, but it’s just the kind of social deviance I enjoy.  I’m not much of an artist, but I’ve always admired street art.  Adding a textile facet to it was just icing on the cake.  I even have a group, though it might as well be dead for all the attention I give it these days.  IF you’d like to check out the FB, you can find it here.

Yeah, if you followed the link than you know the page hasn’t been updated in nearly two years. >.>  My fault entirely because I was the major driving force behind it though it originated on Ravelry.  If you’d like to check that out it has had a bit more activity in the last 24 months. I’m going to try and be a bit better about it starting with my newest yarn bomb.


These birds (there are seven total) are not just my first yarn bomb in a while, but also a part of the Art Assignment that I’ve posted about before.  This one is for Stakeout.  I’ve done several yarn bombs, some recorded, others (many) not and I’ll get around to putting together an actual gallery one of these days, but I’ve never stuck around to see how people interact with them.  This time I’m going to pick a place to set up where I can see how people react and if they take them.  I look forward to seeing what people do.

This pattern is Caroline’s Birds by Marlo D Cairns, but I find it a bit hard to follow so I’m going to edit and repost it (obviously I will not be taking credit for the design).  I also altered the design a bit for myself so I’l probably post my design edits and the pattern I came up with for the wings.

I inadvertently dipped my toe in cliché town when I also decided to bang out a quick couple of bees to give to The HIVE, a Community Innovation Center located in the Tampa downtown library.  I like how they turned out and I’ll include their VERY quick pattern below.


Bee

Materials needed:

Black yarn

Yellow yarn

White yarn

Preferred hook (mine’s G)

Yarn needle

Body:

With yellow MR 5 (5sc)

Rnd 2: inc around (10sc)

Rnd 3: work even (10sc)

Change to black

Rnd 4: *sc, inc* 5x (15sc)

Rnd 5: work even (15sc)

Change to yellow

Rnd 6-7: work even (15sc)

Change to black

Rnd 8: *sc, dec* 5x (10sc)

Stuff firmly

Rnd 9: *dec* 5 (5sc)

Fasten off and weave in ends

Wings (make 2)

With white

MR sc, hdc, 3dc, hdc, sc (7st)

Tighten ring to form wing, fasten off

Sew wings onto bee’s back

I hope you find the pattern easy and fun, let me know if there are any mistakes.

Happy stitching!

Posted in amigurumi, crochet, design

Shaping Shenanigans

Shaping sucks.

Not so much the action of shaping during crochet that, provided you have good, clear instructions can be quite pleasant because you see what you’re making start to emerge and that’s cool.  No, it’s figuring out the shaping of a new project that’s a royal pain in the patootie.  It all started with this unbearably awesome chain chomp cat bed on Pinterest.  I don’t have the building chops to make anything half so amazing, but it did make me want to crochet a chain chomp.

So I start looking into patterns.  Nothing feels quite right, some looked good to me but they all seemed to have their mouths closed and I really wanted one with the mouth open.  So I decided to tool around and try to figure out a pattern for myself (not a bad idea per se, but time consuming and potentially very frustrating).  I will fully admit that I looked up crochet Pacman patterns to get an idea of how to start the shaping, because I was originally at a complete loss.  I have two approaches I’m going to be trying and I started with the first last night.

The first effort was….well it went so poorly that I ripped it back out immediately and didn’t even bother with a pic of it.  My second effort was slightly better in that it was moving in the rightish direction.  Still came out looking like the chain chomp had an under-bite that would make King Charles II of Spain jealous.  Unfortunately I had fastened him off and hidden his ends so much that digging it all out again seemed like way too much effort.  So I moved on and now it’s a cat toy.

  
In this case the third time wasn’t a charm exactly, but it did look a whole hell of a lot better.  Still looks really awkward, partially because it’s not stuffed and hollow, more because it’s not quite a circle, it’s this really wonky shape that I’m not really sure what to do with.  Hmmm, well I did the thing where I wove in the ends here too, so I’m still not sure if I’m going to rescue the yarn, depends how I’m feeling tonight.

  
I also had to rip back the ENTIRE shawl I’d been doing because I realized that when I “fixed” a problem with the design I was setting myself up to make blocking it out to be an actual triangle difficult if not impossible.  So I’m back to triangle one on that project, but it does work up nicely.

  

Well, those are most of the projects I’ve been working on. When new and interesting things come up I’ll post more.