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.


😄  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. 😄

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, babbling, blankets, crochet, DIY, life

Projects on the hook and more

Ok, on the subject of radio silence I have a really good explanation: I spent the better part of March moving (which was a mess) into an apartment with a host of problems all its own.  Add to this that my phone was stolen recently so I’m actually completely out of a computer and a camera at home for the moment, though at this point I’m going to have to suck it up and do something about it.  If you’d like a more complete version of events check out my other blog, especially Reel Big Fish Everything Sucks and Home row key smashing.

During this time though I haven’t been totally slacker.  I’ve finished two more skeins of squares for my tetris blanket, they’re really starting to add up.  I still need to make the blue and cyan squares but I’ll have to dig through my yarn to find it, most of it’s pretty jumbled from the move.

I’ve also completed the body of the shawl I was working on, I just need to select a yarn for the border and figure out where the pattern went. >.>  Also I need to block it because it’s curling something fierce, but I can’t decide if I should finish it first or block it now before adding the border.

The MLP:FiM pattern is actually in the final stages of completion, I just have to work out the back legs and it will be done!  I’ve already gotten to work on my sister’s long promised Fluttershy.  The line from hock to knee is the tricky bit I’m still working on.

I’ve also started work on the Prepster Jacket from The Happy Hooker, I’ve got one sleeve and I’m working on the other right now.

In other news, because of some design differences in my current place, my cat box doesn’t fit beside my toilet anymore.  I bought a trunk a good while ago to make a hidden cat box from, but haven’t gotten around to it.  The fact that my cat’s litter box is hanging out right in front of my door (one of the few non-carpeted places in my apartment) should be pretty good impetus to actually convert the trunk that’s been sitting empty for a good long while.  I’m also thinking about finally getting around to making a craft closet for myself.  I don’t just want a place to store things, I wanted to build a crafting space into the closet itself and intended to have a shelf at working height inside and a small table I could swing out in an L-shape for extra space.  I have design ideas, but not a lot of experience in the area so I think I’ll invest in a fairly inexpensive used armoire for my first try.

When I actually have some way to record what I’m planning on doing and can get around to it (I have a other problems I need to take care of first), I’ll definitely update things with pictures.

Posted in blankets, crochet

Yarn, new crochet skills, TETRIS!

So this week hasn’t been as productive as I would like it to have been (when is this not the case?), or rather not obviously productive.  I did learn how to broomstick lace crochet (really cool, but tricky at first) and I really have this video to thank.  I needed to learn so I could crochet my sister an infinity scarf.  I’m using this pattern, but I’ll actually twist it to make it a true Mobius.   The yarn I’m using is absolutely gorgeous.  I was originally going to use a spare PVC pipe I had laying around, but I thought the loops looked too big and awkward so I’ve down-sized to a more moderate wooden dowel.  I just need to sand it a bit to make sure it doesn’t snag on the yarn (I had a picture of the dowel, but wordpress has decided it doesn’t like it.  I’ll take another pic when the scarf is in progress).

Aptly named, wouldn't you say?
Aptly named, wouldn’t you say?

Luckily I’m not the one who bought it, because it’s predictably a pretty penny.  My sister bought it on the condition that I’d make the scarf for her.  I’m really looking forward to working with this yarn, it’s so lovely.  I’ve also made some headway on my new tetris squares, look at them all!

Tetris squares everywhere!

I’ve also got blue, but I need to hunt up some cyan and magenta.  I originally thought I could use my lavender Red Heart, but I don’t think the color’s bright enough.  Oh and if case you were wondering about that pile of unraveled squares.  Yeah, I straightened them all out and reattached the yarn pieces together so I could wind them all back into balls.  It was time consuming.

Since I’ll be visiting my family over Labor Day I don’t know how much I’m going to get done, but I figure I’ll bring tetris square stuff and also my Art Assignment work.  Hopefully I’ll have something more substantial by the end of the weekend.

Posted in blankets, crochet

Conquering demons

Hey, so I have recently managed to conquer a particular personal demon: the baby blanket.  Sure, other crocheters churn these out like nothing and like doing it.  Me? I have a notoriously short attention span and when something bores or frustrates me too much I tend to toss it away like a two year-old that needs a nap.  This blanket is for a dear friend of mine’s first baby, so I was greatly invested in completing it.  Which is good because I’ve had other failed baby blanket making attempts for people less close to me.

Pros: it was super simple in design, just a square that kept getting larger in a cute and attractive, but easy pattern.  I successfully watched subtitled anime while crocheting this and didn’t fuck it up beyond recognition.  I just had to keep an eye out for the occasionally split stitch.

Cons: If there wasn’t something else keeping my attention I was bored out of my skull.  It also started to get shockingly heavy and unwieldy at the end.

hours of my life
A baby blanket for a good friend

I’m really pleased with how it turned out and the picot edging looks really nice to me.  I’m inexplicably happy that I got to end on yellow.  Of the three colors I used, I just think the yellow makes the best edging.  Also, I’m basically having to relearn crochet right now because I got acrylic nails and they are messing with me something fierce.

I also have some Pittsburgh Penguins I’m finishing up for my sister (they were supposed to be for Christmas, but I’m chronically late with that stuff).  Those I intend to finish by this weekend as well.

Oh, I’m also going to be teaching a crochet class.  If you’d like to hear more abut it visit my other blog here.