snowy field image

snowy field image

Monday, August 22, 2016

Handle your shit, Fabious, please.

One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling down is to rewatch funny movies.  One of our favorites is Your Highness.  I've stitched a little tribute to Danny McBride and James Franco.


It's my first real finished cross stitch piece and I'm pleased with it, although it's not perfect.  I finally bought a frame for it last night.  It probably needs to be ironed a bit more but I wanted to get it up on the wall.

I designed the font myself based on the opening credits from the movie and it took a bit of work to get it right.  I thought about including a little something from the scene but I'm not too confident in my stitching skills just yet.

My pattern I worked from with the little drawing included:


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Moroccan Market Tote (free pattern from Moogly!)

I finally remembered to take some pictures of this bag that I finished a few weeks ago.  Not at all too soon, either, as I'm giving it as a timely gift for my boss's Summer birthday.

The pattern comes from mooglyblog: http://www.mooglyblog.com/moroccan-market-tote/ and I won (yes me I won something!) free yarn from her in this contest to make it: http://www.mooglyblog.com/lion-brand-yarn-moroccan-market-tote-giveaway/

The pattern is simple enough once you get the hang of it and it's all repeats, but complicated enough to give you some visual interest in the finished bag.  I chose to add some stripes around the top for an extra detail.  

The yarn is Lion Brand's 24/7 Cotton.  It's a bit of a strange looking yarn because of the way it's plied that makes it look like a little rope, but it was wonderful to work with.  The colors I chose are Ecru (the tan), Magenta (the dark pink), and Pink (the light pink).  (I also got some skeins of the jade, aqua, and grass because I really can't resist those colors so now I have more yarn for a different project!!)  This yarn was really fun to work with and has a perfect combination of sturdiness that I expect from cotton while also being soft and squishy.  I think it's partly how it's plied and spun and partly that it's a mercerized cotton, more like crochet thread than cotton yarn in feel and how it works up.  It is called a worsted weight yarn but it seemed on the thin side of worsted and I think I ended up using a smaller crochet hook than the packaging calls for to make the stitches more dense.





Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Crochet Peacock Feather Earrings Design

This has been on my idea list for a long long time.  I'm trying to work through the list instead of just adding new ideas to it.  It's meant to be a revolving door, not a bottomless pit.

So the basic design for this will use the pattern for a simple crocheted circle, but I'll switch out stitch types to shape it and keep the stitch count for each row the same.  I may add some spike stitches for the light blue row and some longer stitches for the top of the last row to join it into the feather top.  I want to add some of the long dangly feather parts later and I'm thinking of doing them as a strip of broomstick lace like I use for doll hair sometimes.

I plan on using embroidery floss (not sure on the strand count yet) to make it small and intricate.  I may add a piece of wire partway through to add stability but I'll see how that goes.

Considering working in the back loops only to make a more pronounced color change.

I want to alternate each row where the increases are to make it more circular and less angular.

Draft Diagram:

Scrap yarn prototype:

Don't think I followed through on row three with my changes to include some triple crochets, and I'm not sure if the final round is better off with hdc or dc at the widest part.

Written pattern: (possible BLOs throughout for color changes)

  1. 12 DC in ring [dark blue]
  2. (HDC 2 in next)x2, (DC 2 in next)x8, (HDC 2 in next)x2 [darkblue]
  3. Sc 1, sc 2 in next, (HDC 1, 2 in next)x3, DC 1, DC 2 in next, (TRC 1, 2 in next)x2, DC 1, DC 2 in next, (HDC 1, 2 in next)x3, Sc 1, sc 2 in next [light blue] (consider spike stitches at beginning and end of round)
  4. (Sc 2 in next, sc 2)x2, (HDC 2 in next, HDC 2)x2, DC 2 in next, DC 2, (TRC 2 in next, TRC 2)x2, DC 2 in next, DC 2, (HDC 2 in next, HDC 2)x2, (Sc 2 in next, sc 2)x2 [gold or yellow]
  5. (Sc 3, sc 2 in next)x3, (HDC 3, HDC 2 in next)x6, (Sc 3, sc 2 in next)x3 [green] (consider longer stitches at beginning and end of round)
  6. Make some basic broomstick lace in green and add around - attach findings for earrings.
Now I just need to actually find some time and actually make them!

Actually working on something the next day and my mind hasn't wondered off to other projects.  Strange.

Thoughts...
  • I like the colors.  They are I think all DMC.  796, 132A, 581, and 90A.  I have a darker green in 580 that I might use for the tassles.
  • Alternating increases and BLO work has giving it a nice detail.  I also used a invisible color change/join.  I like that except for the first 2 rows, all the colors are done in one row each but I could change that.
  • I used a size 1.10mm hook, mostly because I couldn't put my hand on the 1mm I wanted and the .85 was too small.  I think a slightly smaller hook will make it more compact and professional looking.
  • Not sure on the final shape... the triple stitches don't hold their shape super well.  Maybe some blocking a smaller hook will change that.  I think the gold row could use some more longer stitches.

New version with 4 strands held together:


Thoughts:
  • This is what I get for being so picky - now maybe it's too big - try just 3 strands held together?
  • Spike stitches should go all the way down to the center and maybe add 1 or 2 more?
  • Thing at the top didn't work, need more building up in surrounding stitches - also should I add a point at the bottom?
  • Still using 1.10mm hook and it works much better with more thread.

First and second version together:


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Little Doomguy Doll

Life's tough out there, you know?  Hell portals.. crazy scientists... levers opening up secret doors to ancient graphics... who knows what you're going to find.  That's why it's important to have a friend to help you through it all.


And just between you and me, it helps a lot if your friend has a chainsaw.


Ruuummmm rumm rummmmmm!

I had a tough time deciding when this one was 'finished'.  So many details...  I think it came out alright though.  He stands up on his own, even while holding the chainsaw.  I'm pretty impressed with him.  Good job, fella.  I like to imagine what Toy Story would be like if Andy got this instead of Woody.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kuchi Kopi


My own little Kuchi Kopi from Bob's Burgers!  Once again this is a case of not being able to find an existing pattern for something I want to make so I made it a quick little weekend project of it.

Here's a little pattern so you can make one too! (Let me know if you find any mistakes.)

Yarns used:
  • for the body: Sugar 'n Cream Hot Green (hook size F/5 3.75mm)
  • for the eyes: Patons Grace Snow (steel hook #1 2.75mm)
  • for the bow tie: Patons Grace Aquifer (steel hook #1 2.75mm)
You'll also need 2 black seed beads for the eyes and some stuffing.  I used poly-fil.

The body is worked from the bottom up and the head is worked from the top down and the two pieces are seamed in the middle.  (Leave a long tail on either the head or body for sewing.)  The seam is then hidden by the string for the bow tie.

Pattern:

Body: (Work by joining rows for the flat bottom and then in continuous rounds for the rest.)
  1. 6 sc in magic ring. Slip to first sc. (6)
  2. Chain 1, 2 sc in each stitch. Slip to first sc. (12)
  3. Chain 1.  Sc, inc around.  Slip to first sc. (18)
  4. Chain 1, 2 sc, inc around. Slip to first sc. (24)
  5. Chain 1, sc in each stitch around in the back loop only. Don't slip to the first stitch, from here you will work continuously around. (24)
  6. Sc 5, inc around (28)
  7. Sc 6, inc around (32)
  8. Sc 7, inc around (36)
  9. Sc around (36)
  10. Sc around (36)
  11. Sc 4, decrease around (30)
  12. Sc 3, decrease around (24)
  13. Sc around.  Slip to the first sc.  There will be a bumpy edge that you will match up with the bump in the head. (24)
Head: (Work in continuous rounds.)
  1. 6 sc in magic ring. (6)
  2. Inc around (12)
  3. Sc, inc around (18)
  4. 2 sc, inc around (24)
  5. 3 sc, inc around (30)
  6. Sc around (30)
  7. Sc around (30)
  8. Sc around (30)
  9. Sc around (30)
  10. Sc around (30)
  11. Sc 3, decrease around (24)
  12. Sc around (24)
Stuff the body and head and use the tails to sew the two together.  They should meet nicely where the bumps line up.  Sew about 3/4 the way around and stuff more stuffing in to get the correct amount.

Ears: (Make two)
  1. 4 sc in magic ring. Slip to first sc. (4)
  2. Chain 1, 2 sc in each stitch.  Slip to first sc. (8)
  3. Chain 1, sc around.  Slip to first sc. (8)
Leave a long tail and sew the pieces together at the bottom so they have a flat edge to attach to the head. (Don't stuff.)

Arms: (Make two)
  1. 4 sc in magic ring (4)
  2. Inc around (8)
  3. Sc around (8)
  4. Sc around (8)
  5. 2 sc, dec around (6)
  6. Sc around (6)
Leave a long tail and sew the pieces together at the top so they have a flat edge to attach to the body, just below the bow tie.  (Don't stuff.)  I also sewed the arms so they lie flat to the body.

Eyes: (Make two, working in a continuous spiral)
  1. 6sc in magic ring (6)
  2. Inc around (12)
  3. Sc, inc around, slip to first sc. (18)
With sewing thread, attach a black seed bead to the center of the eye.

Bow tie: (Make a long chain that spans the neck of the doll, then slip into each stitch back to make the string.  Then make and attach the bow tie.)
  1. Chain 2, sc in the first chain. (1)
  2. Chain 1 and turn. 2 sc in the sc from row 1. (2)
  3. Chain 1 and turn. 2 sc in the first, 1 sc in the next. (3)
  4. Chain 1 and turn. 2 sc in the first, sc in the next 2 (4)
  5. Chain 1 and turn. Sc across. (4)
  6. Chain 1 and turn. Dec the first two stitches, sc in the next 2 (3)
  7. Chain 1 and turn. Dec the first two stitches, sc in the next (2)
  8. Chain 1 and turn. Dec the two stitches. (1)
  9. Chain 1 and turn. Sc 1 (1)
  10. - 16. Repeat rows 2 thru 8.
Use the starting tail and the end tail to tie the ends together.  Wrap the ends of the tail around the middle in the thin part to form the bow tie and knot twice on the back side.  Sew the bow tie to the string and attach the string to the doll.

Finishing touch: I like to add a row of slip stitches to the bottom of the doll on the loops that stick out from working in the back loops only.  This acts as a stand so it doesn't tip over as easily.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

All the Dinosaurs Feared the T-Rex!


Here's my little Deadpool rendition of the super popular Timothy the T-rex pattern available from BluephoneStudios' etsy shop.  It's one paid patterns I didn't mind spending money on.  I followed the pattern, using red for the main color and black for the alternate color.  I did not add safety eyes because I wanted to add my own applique ones.  The black part is made by making 2 half circles and then single crocheting around the moon shape and the white is a simple 6sc in a magic ring.  I also started off the hands and feet with black and switched to red about halfway through.

Of course, Deadpool needs his little friend as well.  The unicorn was made from this super cute and simple pony pattern from Allaboutami.  I made a few alterations to this pattern as well.  I wanted a clean color change for the feet so I used a method where you slip around with the new color and then sc in the BLO of those slip stitches.  I also changed the hair to a simple series of curls made by chaining and then working 2 sc in each chain.  I think I chained maybe 15 to start.  The horn is made with size 10 crochet thread and a simple pattern: 4sc in mr, 4sc, then increase once in the next round and work even in the next.  Then you alternate adding one stitch to alternate rounds so it slowly grows.  I worked this part in continuous rounds to avoid a seam.

All done.  Now they are special pals!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Crochet Rose Applique


   

I don't normally buy crochet patterns.  Half the fun is figuring out how to make what I want.  Once in a while, though, I find something really pretty that someone has put a lot of time and effort into.  I found some really beautiful and intricate flower patterns on etsy a few weeks ago and I've been making tons of little rose appliques.  I was really impressed by how realistic her flower patterns are.  They call for very fine thread (size 20 crochet thread) which helps get that shaping.  Here's a link to the pattern that I bought:

https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1122932112

The shop is Happy Patty Crochet and she has tons of amazing flower patterns.

While the pattern is easily accessible, size 20 crochet thread can be hard to find for a good price in the colors you want.  I've ended up trying out a few alternatives.  Embroidery floss and thread for friendship bracelets have turned out to be some pretty good options.  The main benefit of course is the color availability.  Easily hundreds of colors in solids, variegated, metallics, etc, but in order to get the correct size for a 1mm hook, you need to work with just 2 strands held together, so there's a lot of thread separating to do.  For the friendship thread, you need to separate the two strands that are twisted together, which weakens the thread and can cause it to break if you're not really careful.

The rose in the photo above is made with three colors of friendship thread.  In the last picture is the thread before separating the two strands.  Once separated, the strands have a fuzzy soft quality that squishes the stitches together.  I really like how the final piece comes out, but the thread does break a lot so it's a pain to work with.

I love making really small projects and this finished flower is about 1 1/2 inches across.  Really fun!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

How to Crochet Garter Stitch


Like many crocheters, I'm fascinated by crochet stitches that look knitted.  There are plenty of patterns for recreating stockinette but I've never seen one for garter.  I had a happy little accident today and figured out one way to do it.

This is worked in tunisian crochet and is very simple to do.  Chain any number you like and then pick up stitches in the chain back across.  I like to pick up stitches in the bump of the chain.  Work back pulling through 2 loops at a time like you normally would. When you go to pick up stitches in the next row, I pick up the stitches through the back bump loops on top instead of the vertical bars.  This is what creates the look of the garter stitch.  You're always working on the backside of the piece, so you'll need to turn it over to see how it's going.

Here's the crochet swatch next to one that is actually knitted:

Crochet on the left, knitting on the right.
Not exactly sure why I find this so exciting considering I know how to knit as well, but it was fun to play around with.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Fleeb



Everyone has a plumbus in their home, but how do they make the plumbus?  Well I'll tell you: fleeb has a very instrumental role.  It's important that the fleeb is rubbed because the fleeb has all the fleeb juice.  But how do they make the fleeb in the first place?

Today on How They Do It: Fleeb

Body:
For the body of the Fleeb, cotton worsted weight yarn is used.  Make sure your 4mm hook shows up to rub the yarn.  The body consists of single crochets and bobble stitches.  (For these bobble stitches, work 4 double crochets together in the same stitch.  Make 1 body.

  1. Sc 8 into a magic ring.  Slip to first stitch. (8)
  2. Sc in first stitch, sc and bobble stitch in the next.  Repeat around. (12)
  3. Sc 2, inc around (16)
  4. Sc, sc + bobble around (24)
  5. Sc 2, inc around (32)
  6. Sc, bobble around (32)
  7. Sc around (32)
  8. Sc, bobble around (32)
  9. Sc around (32)
  10. Sc, bobble around (32)
  11. Sc around (32)
  12. Sc, bobble around (32)
  13. Sc 2, dec around (24)
  14. Dec, bobble around (16) [Stuff some polyfill in now]
  15. Sc 2, dec around (12) [Stuff to satisfaction]
  16. Dec, bobble around (8)
    Cut yarn and use tail to sew the remaining 8 stitches shut.  Weave in both ends.
Arms:
Using size 3 cotton crochet thread, we'll make the arms out of chains and slip stitches.

Chain 15 (the length of the arm) + 6 (the length of the first finger).  Slip stitch into the second chain on the hook and the next 4 stitches (5 slip stitches).  I work these into the back bump of the chain.  Now chain 6 more and slip back into the second chain from the hook and then next 4 stitches.  Repeat this one more time (ch 6, slip 5).  Now slip into the 15th chain from the beginning which is where the fingers meet the arm.  Slip into all of the rest of the chains.  Make 2 arms.

Eyes:
Using size 3 white cotton crochet thread, we'll make eyes and sew on a red bead for the pupil.
  1. Sc 6 in a magic ring.  Slip to first stitch.
  2. Chain 1, sc 2, sc 2, hdc 2, sc 2, sc 2, hdc 2, slip to first stitch.
Using red sewing thread a 2 seed beads, sew the beads onto the center of the eyes.  Make 2 eyes.

Construction:

The top of the fleeb will be row 1 and the decreases will be on the bottom where the fleeb juice comes out.  Sew on the arms using the two tails. (Thread one of the arms through the body, tie the two tails together and pull the tails through the work and cut.)  I have sewn my arms between rows 13 and 14, about 6 bobbles apart.

To attach the eyes, choose two bobbles in row 13 and push them inwards so they invert.  Place the eyes over the inverted bobbles and pin in place.  Use white sewing thread to attach.

The fleeb is now ready to aid in the construction of the plumbus.