snowy field image

snowy field image

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: and I won (yes me I won something!) free yarn from her in this contest to make it:

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.

  • 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:

  • 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.