Archive for September, 2010

stuffed animals

Stuffed crocheted animals can be called amigurumi, but I wonder what term you use when they’re made by knitting instead.  According to Wikipedia, amigurumi is a designation for both knitted and crocheted animals. but when I hear amigurmi, my only associaton is with crochet.  Oh well..

Anyways, whatever you want to call it, here are two stuffed creatures. One knitted squid and one crocheted cat.

squiddy
Yay for Squiddy! I totally finished most of this two years ago, during my first obsession with knitting. I used Cascade Wool 220, purchased somehwere while I was in Alaska.  Earlier, I had knitted up a pair of Dashing fingerless gloves with the skein, so while this was still in progress, I ran out of yarn.  I decided to hibernate the project, discouraged, and finally decided to just finish Squiddy this week.  So, that’s why this poor squid only has six appendages: two tentacles and four arms.

I tried to do a french knot for the eyes, as instructed, but I didn’t really get how it was supposed to be done, especially since I didn’t have a tapestry needle.  Instead, I made up this weird loopy knot using the crochet hook, and now the right eye is a bit loose. :/  I should learn how to do french knots for real though.  There’re some amazing projects done with them, like this moon. OH, actually THIS MOON is the one that I was thinking about.

jiji
And here’s Jiji the Cat! It’s supposed to look like the one in the Ghibli movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service. It’s not quite done, but I forgot my pink yarn at home, so I’ll have to embroider a nose on later, then stitch the eyes on as well.  I think it still looks cute, despite my crocheting errors.

At one point in the pattern, it mentions to crochet through only the back loop. I didn’t know what that meant, so found this website to explain.  Apparently, the way I’d been crocheting wasn’t normal, and so I had done the whole head and body already entirely through the back loops.  I still wanted to have some distinction at that row, so I instead crocheted through only the front loop. 😛  I wonder if this is the reason why there are all these unattractive holes by the increases or decreases, or if they’re  just my mistakes.

And so, that brings a real close to my summer projects. If I’ve time, I think I’ll actually try to finish and attach the sleeves of ma Cherie Amour, or finish up the DNA scarf…. Or maybe it’ll be another year or so before things get done again. 😛

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end of the summer projects

I’m back in SD, and there’s only about one week left until school starts. Time really has flown! Anyways, let’s take a look at what WIPs I managed to knock off since the last post.

Pokemon Hoodie: I didn’t even take out the box with this project while I was at home. So, the project’s status is still the same. But darn, it would have only taken maybe a day or two to finish this up. Maybe during winter break?

Cherie Amour: Did not complete this, sigh. I’ve knitted up the whole body segment, but still have the sleeves and finishing to go. I’m knitting the sleeves in the round, to avoid seaming. I’m kind of tired of working this lace pattern, and am dreading attempting to join the sleeves with the armholes. Perhaps this project will go into hibernation for another few months.

Central Park Hoodie: haha. What a joke. I still haven’t even cast on for this project. I think that I’m procrastinating, since it’ll be my first actual garment project, and that I really want it to come out well. Maybe I’ll start this after I have a more solid concept of gauge and swatching.

Dragonskin: Started and finished it! I really like the pattern, the subtle arc of the scales, and how it looks so smooth still. But, oops, I think I ruined this with a poor choice in yarn. I tried to use the last of the Lily Sugar n Cream in the Potpourri colorway, but ran out halfway through. Decided to continue with the rest of the Summer Splash colorway, just to finish it off. And ERGH, it came out so awkwardly. Also, made a mistake cabling with the Summer Splash, so they’re reversed. I think I need to do this in a solid, perhaps a deep wineish or burgundy red, or a heather gray. But well, at the very least, it’s a good fit for the DS.
dragonskin front

Ravenclaw Dashing: Yes! I am done with this. I’m not entirely sure about the placement of the stripes, but still, I think that everything came out quite well. The yarn is nice and soft, and since it’s acrylic, it should totally be machine washable too.
ravenclaw dashing 3

Biwa, Mer du Sud: I still don’t know what I want to do with this. If I do a triangular shawl, maybe it’ll become Springtime Bandit or Traveling Woman. But then, I don’t think I can pull off a shawl like that. So, maybe I should turn this into a more regular rectangular scarf, a la Spring Leaves? I really do like these lacy leaf based patterns. But, instead of a scarf or shawl, maybe I could try to do this ProtoPretty DNA Sweater Shell? Since I’m still not done with the DNA scarf, I really want something with that amazing chart. But anyways, I left this cone at home, so all decisions postponed to winter break at least.

Pebble Beach: I found two potential patterns for this, but can’t decide which one to go with! I still really like the Ester shrug, but the charts look intimidating, and I do not get what that “No Stitch” means in the Set-Up row. I think if I actually start, I’ll be able to figure it out, but for now, it’s just scary!  The safer choice I could go with would be the Green Day vest. I get most of the instructions, and it seems like a much faster knit. But then, which one of these would be worn more often? The color and the nubby texture of this yarn makes it challenging to decide.

embroider faces onto GRR: DONE! Actually finished this up at home after finding my plastic needle. I think these came out super cute, with the faces just so smiley and d’awwww. I hope that I secured the embroidery on correctly, and that the faces won’t come loose and get messed up when the washcloth is actually in use!
grrr 1

stuff, sew, embroider Squiddy: Almost done! Gah. I hate running out of yarn when trying to finish a project. Decided to leave the poor squid with only six legs, two of them extra thin, and just finish up the project. Stuffed and sewed it shut, but still have to embroider the face. I might try to felt a bit, since this was done in Cascade 220 wool, as opposed to a cheap acrylic yarn. Hopefully this will come out well!

add findings for crochet earrings: Finished! I tied the smaller crochet circles onto a pair of the sterling silver findings I’d bought from Michaels. They make for a lovely pop of color, not too overstated. The larger ones are a bit too much for me.
crochet earrings small 3

Not too bad I suppose? With so little time before life sets in for fall, I should probably be trying to finish up Cherie Amour, but I’m lacking interest. Instead, I’m trying to finally finish up a crochet project instead: Jiji the Cat. Cast on for this in September 2009, and I’ve totally forgotten what part of the pattern that I’m on. I’ve no idea how to count rows in crochet, but I think I can guess. Also, I’ve totally forgotten how to use the stitch markers in crochet. Yep. I wonder how well this is going to go.

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Inception Totems in Polymer Clay and Obtaining Dice Beads

Spent today making things out of polymer clay. I forgot how fun this used to be!  I don’t want to leave yet! I still want to play around… try and make mini people versions of the characters, in this style.

Anyways, presenting the results of today:
totems copy
Inception totems! Inspired by this lovely poster by neirly@deviantart.

totems all
The whole set! I’m hoping to turn some of these into earrings pairs, and then use the others in a charm bracelet sort of thing.

cobb
ariadne
I’m very happy with how Cobb and Ariadne’s totems turned out! The colors are good, but I just wish that there was more of a metallic flair. PMC is expensive, but perhaps I can paint these over with metallic acrylics?

eames 2
Eames’ came out decently, but really should be a bit more even. Still, not bad for my first try at the millefiori technique. I think next time, work with smaller logs, and maybe add a bit of texturing after cutting?

arthur
Arthur’s die drove me crazy. Why must it be translucent red!?  I tried mixing some of Sculpey Translucent with the red in varying amounts, but it doesn’t come out that clear. White die marks added with the double baking technique. I’ll settle for what I have now, but really want it to be less opaque.

Since translucent clay didn’t really work out, I thought of a few other options. I could try to learn about casting resin, but that would probably come out messy, expensive, and not worth the effort. Glass would be lovely, but I have no idea, no materials, and no tools to work it. So, I thought to buy some dice beads.

I spent a ton of time (probably a couple hours at least) looking up dice beads, but to no avail. First off, almost everything is made from plastics. Mass-produced, poor quality. And then I find these Czech pressed glass dice beads, 8mm. LOVELY. But, it’s just my luck that the item’s already been sold. Cue a tedious trawl through random webpages and eBay results for the supplier. So, most of the Czech glass is for dice cubes, meaning just a plain cube, without the die markings! Great.

Finally, I stumble across this listing for 50 Ruby Glass with White Pips 6mm Dice Beads ($5.99, free s/h). YES, I think, but then, I realize… wait, 6mm!? I’m aiming for something about 1/2 in long, which would be ~12mm. 8mm would be a compromise, but 6mm is going to be far too small. I search the proprietor’s other items, but no, they only have an 8mm size available in white or black.

What is a girl to do? Compromise on the material? The size? Whether its translucent or opaque?! So I have to choose to either stick with the clay dice, or to buy one of these:

  • 50 Ruby Glass with White Pips 6mm Dice Beads: $5.99 + SALES TAX ($0.50), free s/h = $6.49
  • DARICE Assorted mix of plastic dice beads, 12mm, 70pc
  • ETA2: Ruby Czech Glass dice beads, 8mm, 50pc
    • UnCommon Artistry: $5.50 + $2.00 s/h (+$1.70 insurance) = $7.50 ($9.20)
    • Bay Bead@vendio: $5.99 + SALES TAX ($0.50) + $2.40 s/h (+$1.65 insurance)  = $8.89 ($10.54)
      hmm, same vendor as the eBay one listed for 6mm. Do I contact the seller on eBay to ask about this item? Perhaps they’ll make a new listing, and I’d save on the shipping?

I’m leaning towards getting the 6mm glass beads, and coming up with a new way to work it into a design.  Studs? Something like this? A hoop, with it dangling in the center?  But then it won’t match with the other totems, so do I make even smaller mini-versions of those? That would be very difficult. Do I just have to go with the plastic dice then? Maybe it won’t be too bad. Also, a bit expensive for a bunch of plastic junk!

ETA: I feel so smart! I spent all yesterday searching for “dice beads” with all sorts of modifiers (“red, transparent, translucent, clear, czech glass…” the list goes on). Then, just now I found the brand of the plastic dice beads on a website (DARICE), and my google-fu has revealed that Joann’s stocks it! Joann’s is close, so I might as well go and buy a pack tomorrow.

ETA2: Oh search terms! Tried searching for “siam” instead of red or ruby, and YES! I found two suppliers for the 8mm Czech glass beads. Oh, now decisions to make again…

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WIPs and ma cherie amour

Summer, despite all these lazy days, passes by so quickly. There’s only one week left before I go back to San Diego. From then on, I’ll be busy again. I’m looking forwards to a change in pace. (Also, I miss my exacto knife.)  But still, I’m not ready for summer to end. There are so many things that I still want to have done, things that I should have done, and things that I’m afraid to start.

I’m don’t want to leave so many plans or WIPs behind. I think my problem is that I’m too ambitious and find more things that interest me than I am capable of doing.

Anyways, back at SD, I’m (hopefully) going to put the finishing touches on a few other projects.

And here’s the current project in progress.:

cherie amour progress

Hah. I cast on for this in September 2008. It’s been such a long time…. will I finish?

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thank you cards

thank you cards
Set of six cards, cardstock.

Nothing too fancy, but this was fun to play around with weaving the strips and cutting the slits. Some designs are much better than others. I would have experimented a bit more, but am currently out of the black cardstock.  Glue job done rather messily, so a definite overall handmade vibe to this.

Keeping with the same general style of card, a good idea would be changing color combination, angle, length, width, pattern, other sorts of material (ribbon, strings, yarn/thread. magazine bits, newspaper… anything flat-ish!).  And ooh, some of those shiny jewels would not go amiss.

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variegated yarn, part the second.

Ha, I am so easily swayed. So, from cursing these types of yarns in my last post, I am now presenting Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombres and Prints in the ever delightful SUMMER SPLASH :

frogged tissue box
(1×1 knit rib, meant to become a tissue cozy, but I needed the yarn for other projects!)

Oh, even though this yarn is again self-striping, I love how it knits out so brightly and boldly. I’ve used it to finish four projects already. Much love for each of them.

  • belt
    Exhibit A: Linen stitch D-ring belt. MY FAVORITE! I don’t usually wear belts, but this is very convincing.
  • scrunchie
    Exhibit B: Moss stitch scrunchie.
  • crochet earring 1
    crochet earring 2
    Exhibit C: crochet earrings! Still have to attach to the findings…
  • bracelet
    Exhibit D: knit bracelet. I’m making way too many of these kind of funky bracelets. I can’t help it though! They’re so charming and quick to knit up. 🙂

And now, what of the Cool Breeze colorway? I finished what was left of the skein after the earlier disaster by improvising this linen stitch headband. This could be almost cute, but I think again, the color choice is at fault. Also, oops. My thumb is in the way;;
headband

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Schachenmayr nomotta MEGA

Oh, I’ve totally fallen in love. This yarn is simply fantastic.

Schachenmayr nomotta MEGA. Bulky/ 12 ply, 100% wool.
Doesn’t it sound exotic? Amazing color, super soft, shows stitches and texture so well, no major splitting tendencies. I WISH I HAD MORE.

mscs2

Anyways, the point is, I’ve finally finished this project! This Amazing yarn paired with a scrumptious pattern means that I have to find an excuse to wear scarves more often. Winter, hurry fast!

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