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 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 amigurumi, blankets, crochet

Productive? What’s that?

-_-;;;
I’m sure it comes to no one’s surprise that I haven’t been as productive this year as I would have liked.  Sure, I recently moved, but that’s not really a great excuse anymore.  I haven’t been a total slacker though; I’ve been churning out granny square blocks for my Tetris blanket when I want something to do with my hands while waiting.

Tacheton wanted in on the shot
Progress!

 

Tacheton (my cat) clearly thinks you’d rather have a picture of him and who am I to argue with that face. 😄 I’ve got the acid green and blinding yellow down with some black empty space squares, but I really should get the other colors as well.  I figure I’ll just make ridiculous quantities of squares and then just set them up how I see fit when it comes time to actually assemble the blanket.  I’ve also been working on my MLP:FiM design, though I’m a little stuck on the head.  Show accuracy is really important to me so I’m waffling over which design I like better and would really appreciate an outsider opinion.  So here are my head designs.  For reference the pony in the upper left corner was my main model. The poll will be open for one week, please make your opinion known below!  I welcome comments and criticism.

 

Female Head 1
Female Head 1

 

Female Head 2
Female Head 2

 

MLP:FiM body
I’m also working on the body shaping right now.   I think instead of making the neck a second piece that I have to sew on, I’m going to try surface crocheting it on.  I’ve only had one other experience with surface crochet, I’m sure you remember, so I’ll have to be really exacting on this.  As soon as I’ve got the pattern worked out, I’ll post a copy here and hopefully will be able to work on out as a pdf. *does the I don’t know what I’m doing dance*

Finishing up the basic pattern is my goal for this week, we’ll see.

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.