Finally made something!

26 Sep

I don’t talk about my depression a lot here, because this is my happy place, and I don’t whine about my troubles in public a lot anyway, which frustrates my friends because they want to be there for me. But I have it, and it’s been particularly sucky lately (for the last couple of years, tbh), and it tends to steal my creative mojo.

However, when your son is going to a Kingdom Hearts meetup at an anime convention, he needs something to wear! I mean, he’s almost 30 now, but you’re never too old to get homemade hats from your mom, lol.

Ta da! Shadow hat!

I’m going to re-do it, though. I only put wire in the … antennae? Is that what they are? They drooped during the day while he was wearing it. I’m going add a wire headband or something to hold it up.

I might be vending at a Harry Potter themed event coming soon, fingers crossed!

 

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Phoenix Comic Fest and Holding Hands with Tim Curry

28 May

“WHAT” I hear you say? I KNOW! If I didn’t have photographic proof, I wouldn’t believe it myself!

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Unfortunately, my scanner is not doing it’s job, so I had to take a picture of the picture.

I can’t afford such photo ops at cons, of course, let alone the “Tim Curry Experience” where you get to spend time interacting with him, rather than just hustling you in & out just long enough for a picuture. (Although, while I was manuvering my wheelchair, I did get to tell Ming-Na Wen that I’ve been a fan of hers since “ER”, lol).

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My roommate makes bank, though, and always gets a lot of photo ops. Unfortunately, his mom fell on Friday night and ended up in the hospital. He drove down to the city where they live, a couple of hours away from Phoenix. I was talking to him while he packed, and wrapping a scarf for his mom; at midnight he handed me his VIP tags and photo op reciepts. I could have cried … from happiness, and guilt because I was so happy while his mom was waiting for surgery. He didn’t want all this to go to waste, though, which is a good point.

He also knows that I was one of those people for whom “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” meant a lot to. Even if you’re not gay or any flavor of queer, back in the 70’s if you were the slightest bit weird, you were an outcast. “Don’t dream it, be it” is always good advice!

He also knows how obsessed I am with “Agents of SHIELD”. I texted Tom to let him know that Ms. Wen is even hotter in person, lol, because I’m kind of a bitch, lol.

Anyway … after I grabbed Mr. Curry by the hand and he didn’t mind, I just started blathering all over him. When I first wheeled in, he said “We’re twins!” I nearly died of happiness right then. I told him what year I saw Rocky, and how many times I had to re-buy his album “Read My Lips” because friends & roommates kept stealing it (“Totally worth it, though”). He asked me what I do, and what my URL is. Then I was even CLOSER to dying of happiness! And since this blog is where my URL takes you, you should wave in case he actually checks it out! (ok, dead now)

I didn’t wear any of the hats or other things I’ve made, but I do appreciate others’ cosplay. I only took a selfie with one of them, though.

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BADASS!!

One thing I am diligently working on is the pictures for the HP scarf tutorial that I promised to add to that post … last Phoenix Comicon. Sorry. I’ve been busy, I promise! Look!

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And now you’ll have to excuse me while I go and moon over my Tim Curry picture some more…

 

 

Happy World Penguin Day!

25 Apr penguin family

penguin family

I should really, really, really make one or two of those cute pengie amigurumi patterns I’ve bought. I have SO MANY patterns, ya’ll. Normal crafters hoard pretty yarn. I never buy yarn except for specific projects – but I still have shelves & shelves of yarn, because I’m a pattern whore. I finally broke down and used the yarn I bought in 2010 for a project that I’m actually doing now. So, progress, lol.

ARGHHH!

23 Feb

Oh dear, I haven’t posted in forever! Um, lots of stuff going on, unfortunately very little of it crafting. I did manage to finish a scarf and a shawl, so yay! I’m currently taking photos as I finish the Harry Potter scarf, so I can update the pattern page to be more of a tutorial for those unfamiliar with double-knitting.

RainbowScarf

Currently making another rainbow scarf (with a black lattice instead of blue), to time how long it takes, so I know what to charge. I’d keep them all, but it hasn’t ever gotten cold enough in Phoenix to wear one. Shoot, I haven’t even worn a sweater. The summer is going to be a nightmare, lol.

 

For my Phoenix Comicon panel: HP House Scarves Pattern

26 May

I know what you’re thinking – yeah, that’s all we need, yet another pattern. Aren’t there a billion of them already? Yes, yes there are, and they all conflict.

Most long-time Potter crafters consider Lauren Kent’s 2003/2004 patterns to be the definitive pattern, but Atypically Knit has been offline for a very long time. The patterns themselves survive on the Leaky Cauldron site, but not the extensive notes before and after the patterns, which include width & length measurements, as well as about how wide the stripes should be, which are important if you’re using a different yarn or needle size – and since the yarn she used is now discontinued, we all are! Her Ravelry page mentions that they’re in the book Charmed Knits, but I’ve never read it, so I don’t know how thorough they are in there.

And fortunately she did list those sizes, because my gauge is a lot different than hers – so my row count is different as well. If you’re doing a scarf for the first movie and your stripe is just over 3″ but your number of rows are different than what’s listed here, make a note of it and change colors!

(I’m also just noticing that this is only the third post I’ve done since the last Phoenix Comicon – I didn’t blog at all about Keen Halloween! I guess since I post a lot on Facebook, I just forget about this place, lol)

However, this actually IS a brand-new pattern. I found an HP bookmark that was knit using the double-sided knit technique, and I liked it so much that I went in search of a pattern for a full-sized double-sided scarf. There were none! Just the regular knit in the round tubes.

I also decided that it was way past time that the stripe patterns for both versions should be in the same place. Right?

Getting the right colors is a huge job as well. Using the lists from several different websites plus all the experimentation I’ve done myself over the years, I know have a fairly comprehensive list. The scarf colors in the first two movies are much brighter and cheerier than in all the clothes starting with PoA, which makes sense because the mood of the whole series takes a turn for the dark at that point. Or “moody” as Kent put it, which is also fitting.

Gryffindor:
(SS/CoS) Main color (MC): Red Heart Classic Cardinal #917,
Secondary color (SC): Red Heart Classic Golden Yellow #1270
(PoA+) MC: Red Heart Super Saver Burgundy #376, SC: Red Heart SS Gold #321

Ravenclaw: (all the rest of the yarns are RH Super Saver)
– Book- MC: Blue #886, SC: Pumpkin #254
– Movie- (SS/CoA) MC: Soft Navy #387, SC: Light Gray #41
(PoA+) MC: Windsor Blue #380, SC: Light Gray #41

Hufflepuff:
(SS/CoS) MC: Bright Yellow #324, SC: Black #312
(PoA+) MC: Gold #321, SC: Black #312

Slytherin:
(SS/CoS) MC: Paddy Green #368 , SC: Light Gray #41
(PoA+) MC: Hunter Green #389, SC: Light Gray #41

Ilvermorny
MC: Blue #886, SC: Burgundy #376

 

 

If you look around at cosplay pics & shops, people mostly use the PoA colors no matter which stripe pattern. It’s what we spent most of the movies looking at, and there are fans out there crafting that weren’t alive when there were no movies at all, just color illustrations of the House crests. It’s your costume/cosplay, you pick what you like!

Before we get to the actual patterns, here are the measurements:
SS/CoA – about 65-70″ long and about 7-8″ wide
Stripes a bit more than 3″ long

PoA+ Scarf should be about 9″ wide and possibly 85″ long
No measurements on the width of the stripes, so I just stuck with the number of rows. There are only three, and it doesn’t appear to make much of a difference in my example.

Here’s my gauge. I usually suggest doing a swatch in the stitch pattern at least 10 sts by 10 rows, just to see how close yours matches up. You don’t necessarily have to make any pattern adjustments right away, it’s just something to be aware of as you go.

Three (visible on one side) sts per inch
Four (visible) rows per inch

That “visible” thing will make sense later, trust me. 😉

And now, we knit!

 

Wizarding World School Scarf Patterns

 

Needed:

Worsted weight yarn in two colors of your choice; the main color (MC) and the secondary color (SC)
Knitting needles, size 8 (5.00 mm)
Yarn needle for weaving in ends.

Abreviations:
St(s) = stitch(es)
Sl st = slip stitch
Sl st Purl-wise = Insert needle into st as if to purl; without yarning over, move the st from the left needle to the right

Original Movie Design Color Blocks

Used in the movies “Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets”

Cast on 48 sts with MC

Row 1: Knit 1, *knit 1, sl st purl-wise*, repeat to the last st in row, knit 1.
Row 2: Sl st, *knit 1, sl st purl-wise*, repeat to the last st in row, knit 1.

Repeat Row 2 for a total of 26 rows (13 “rounds”)

You are basically knitting half the stitches in the row on one pass, then turning the work and knitting the stitches that you slipped before. Two rows equals one “round”.  Always change colors on the side that your cast-on “tail” is at (or use a stitch marker) so that your stripes are even.

I’m not good at counting rows as I go. I own row counters, but I forget to change the numbers and so I end up having to count them on the work anyway. In double-sided knitting, you’ll be able to see half the number of rows on each side. So, if you’ve knit 26 rows, you be able to look at either side, and when you count the rows, you’ll see 13. That’s why I refer to them as rounds … you’re still knitting a tube, but one with nice, defined sl st edges, and ends that you don’t have to sew shut. No need to worry about twisting the scarf as you’re doing the finishing!

Row 27: Change to SC. Continue to repeat Row 2, changing colors every 26 rows/13 rounds, until you have 19 stripes; 10 MC and 9 SC, beginning and ending with MC. Bind off.

Finishing: Weave in yarn ends. For fringe, you’ll have eleven tassels: six MC and five SC, again with MC fringe on both edges.
Tassel: Take 7 pieces of yarn and while holding them all together, fold them in half . Push the crochet hook through both thicknesses of scarf in the first row of knitting at one end, loop the folded ends of the yarn around the hook, and pull the yarn loops halfway through. Using the hook or your fingers, pull the cut yarn ends through the loop end, then tighten the tassel. I find it’s easier to do the middle SC tassel first, then the MC end tassels, and eye the rest.
After attaching all the tassels, lay end of scarf flat, and trim the edges of the fringe so it is even.

And that’s it! Now you’re showing your true colors!

OK, and now for the other stripe pattern.

 

Trapped Bar Stripe Design Pattern

Used in the rest of the Harry Potter movies starting with “Prisoner of Azkaban”

Cast on 56 sts with MC

Row 1: Knit 1, *knit 1, sl st purl-wise*, repeat to the last st in row, knit 1.
Row 2: Sl st, *knit 1, sl st purl-wise*, repeat to the last st in row, knit 1.

Repeat Row 2 for a total of 50 rows/25 “rounds” (until you can count 25 rows on a side)

[for a more complete explanation of the knitting, see first scarf instructions]

Change to SC. Follow this striping pattern:
–  6 rows/ 3 rounds of SC
–  10 rows / 5 rounds of MC
–  6 rows/ 3 rounds of SC

Change back to MC, knit another 25 rounds. Repeat stripes for a total of 14 trapped bars. Bind off.

Finishing: Weave in all ends. Add fringe.
cut approximately 120 8″ pieces of MC yarn. Take 3 pieces of yarn and while holding them all together, fold them in half . Push the crochet hook through both thicknesses of scarf in the first row of knitting at one end, loop the folded ends of the yarn around the hook, and pull the yarn loops halfway through. Using the hook or your fingers, pull the cut yarn ends through the loop end, then tighten the tassel. Place one every two stitches across the both ends of the scarf.
After attaching all the tassels, lay end of scarf flat, and trim the edges of the fringe so it is even.

 

There you go! I’m showing scarf swatches at the convention panel; I’ll upload pictures for the rest of you when I get the scarves finished.

 

 

New Pattern in my Etsy Store

21 Feb

Hi there! It’s been a crazy, crazy, crazy six months or so, with two vending dates tossed in the middle of it, at a teacher friend’s school and at Keen Halloween. Holiday orders, after holiday “buying the stuff I didn’t get for the holiday” orders, getting my autistic son settled in at his new Amazon warehouse job, a new day job for me — crazy!

At my table at Phoenix Comicon this year, I’ll be featuring printed patterns as well as finished items to buy. I won’t have too many complicated expensive items, but I will have a photo album with examples of all my custom work in case people are interested in something for the future.

You don’t have to wait, though – here’s the pattern for my adorable little Splatoon-inspired squid finger puppets! The instructions are rather short, so I also included instructions for some ninja finger puppets, which are very simple, but having a pattern saves you from the trial & error of figuring it out yourself!

Repeat Customers Are Amazing!

24 Jul

So, I’m busy gearing up for Keen Halloween, and I get a message from a customer. “Oh no,” I wonder, always thinking the worst, “did the pompom fall apart?” As I was clicking to read, I was already calculating in my head if I had the yarn left to fix it (I do that for people).

But no – she wanted to buy more hats! It was the lady who saw the Martha tam at Phoenix Comicon, and then contacted me through my Etsy store to see if I’d sold it yet. I had not, so it was hers! She didn’t even realize that it was a cosplay piece, she just loved the hat.

So now, some lucky person is going to get one (in a different color) as a gift! And her child absolutely needs a Rainbow Dash hat, and who am I to refuse such a request. 🙂

If you want to make one yourself, the pattern is listed for free on the Midnight Designs site (there’s also a link to the pattern on her Ravelry). I used the Wool-ease yarn and hook size suggested, and it’s so soft and gorgeous. You definitely don’t need to be a Doctor Who fan to love it!

martha-tam

Of course, this means I have to put my skulls on hold for a bit, but I promise to post them as soon as I can.

 

 

Recovering From Con – Crocheting Lanyards

20 Jun

While getting ready for Phoenix Comicon, I saw some pretty crocheted “tape” patterns at Sheru Knitting, and thought “those would make cool lanyards to hold badges”. After all, so many people wear them with their work IDs as well, so wouldn’t people love them?

My main thought was, “would someone pay hand-crocheted prices for them”.

When I got to the con, a LOT of people were selling printed ribbon lanyards … at double the lowest price I was thinking of selling my crocheted ones for – and they were selling! Maybe in large part because PhxCC went back to putting their con badges in a pin-back holder rather than lanyards. Some people thought it was to force people to buy their branded merchandise, but as a business person I can tell you – once you have to buy over 100,000 of something, every penny counts!

So here’s my first effort, made with this pattern:

1st-lanyard

OK, it was folded wrong and I forgot to add the clip WHILE crocheting, but that’s how we learn, lol. In the pattern she used crochet thread and a 1.5 mm hook; I used a 1.25 mm in this example. I like it, so I’m going to continue to use it.
(I also always use the measurement for the hook instead of the number or letter; I have three “G” hooks that are actually three different sizes if you look at how many millimeters they are. And when doing gauge swatches, there was a difference.)

If you’re going to make some yourself, before you sew the ends together, don’t just guess if it’s going to lay right (like I did) – put it on a model, or yourself in a mirror and pin it (or tie with a bit of yarn or string). When you’re wearing a lanyard that’s a flat ribbon rather than a round cord, you definitely don’t want a weird twist up on your neck annoying you, lol.

Feel free to post your creations in the comments. 🙂 Also check out the SheRu site; she’s got many cords & ribbons, some of them beaded. I’ll have some of them up in my Etsy store by next week.

This time I have an excuse for not posting forever!

19 May

Guess who has a table at Phoenix Comicon this year!!

As you may or may not know, there is a waiting list for booths and tables at PhxCC. I relaxed after the deadline for payment had passed … but apparently, that’s when some that didn’t get paid for become available. I didn’t have the fee saved up, so I had to borrow some of it. One I get to pay back with half of my hotel room, so yay!

I’ve also had to start working furiously to stock up on stuff, lol. Tonight, I’m working on re-formatting my patterns into a half-fold booklet so I can print some up & sell at the con, for those crafty folk who’d love a Pony hat or Splatoon finger puppet, but can make them themselves.

So anyway, if you’re going to the con, look me up at table AA1305

No cupcakes for you, sorry

No cupcakes for you, sorry

Reblocking a cheap hat

25 Feb

I loves me some Agent Carter!!!

I’ve always loved the clothes of the 1940’s anyway, and already have a bunch of dress & pants sewing patterns anyway.

Stetson has re-released the classic red Aviatrix hat that they use on the show, but since it’s made with a fine, classy wool felt, I can’t wear it. I’m not just “eeewww it’s itchy” allergic, it’s more like “oh dang, hives” allergic (and it’s not the lanolin, either, so using super-wash merino or alpaca doesn’t help. Trust me, I spent money experimenting with different yarns. Also, I’m not allergic to lotions that contain lanolin).

So, I finally found an acrylic hat from one of those inexpensive Chinese sites that had the correct size brim. So many hats have the short trilby style look rather than the full fedora!

I was thrilled when it got there! To keep the shipping inexpensive as well, it was shipped rolled up in a plastic envelope. I knew that hats could be re-blocked, but I’d never done it before, so it made me nervous.

To the googles!! The first few sites that I read were very complicated, and used a garment steamer, which I don’t have. Thank goodness I finally found a great tutorial from someone who used a steam iron! She starts right from scratch, so if I ever feel like doing that, now I know how, lol.

trying to keep the flipped-up part in place as it dries

trying to keep the flipped-up part in place as it dries

I’m ridiculously excited about how it’s coming out. I steam the crap out of the top parts until they’re hot, then smooth out the wrinkles with my fingers. It’s working out better than I expected! For the brim, I just ironed it flat, then curled up the brim with my hands. I was blowing on it to cool it down, but then decided to set it down until it dried out. Now, to figure out the best way to form the flipped-down side. 🙂

And yes, if it works well enough, they’ll be in my Etsy store! Not real soon – it takes a while to get to me from overseas, lol.

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