Archive | October 2012

Halloween crochet

First of all, Happy Halloween to everyone! I just love holidays and being festive. Decorations are by far one of the greatest parts of any holiday. They can turn a one day event into a month long feeling of celebration! For this Halloween season, I made two little crocheted projects.

First, I made a Ghost! This pattern came from my Crochet a day Calendar and only took me two days to make. It was so simple! I’ve hung it from a ceiling fan as a little decoration.

Second, I made some Bunny Ears for my sister. She wanted a very simple costume so she could participate but nothing extravagant. We went to the store looking for some ears or a tail or something, but found nothing. (Even a witch hat was too much for her!) So, I quickly whipped her up a last-minute costume! I found the pattern at this crochet blog and made it in only a day. I also made a pompom tail to complete the look. She is wearing the ears currently with some face paint and the tail tied to her belt loop! It’s so cute! She even has bunny slippers!

I’m wearing my Spider Web Scarf today (read about it in my blog here) and I’m not as pleased with it as I wish I was! It keeps twisting up, at which point it doesn’t look like spider webs anymore. I’m not sure why it decided to twist up, because it has been laying straight ever since I made it and blocked it. Maybe if I decided to wear it again next year, I’ll use some fabric stiffener or something. Oh well! At least I didn’t spend too much time on it!

I was hoping to finish my Day of the Dead Hat for tomorrow, but I’m not feeling very well today and it’s a bit of a tall order. I think I can have it finished by Friday. I’ve just begun shaping the crown, but I really do want to spend some time embroidering some colorful stitches onto the skulls.

Once again, Happy Halloween to everyone!!

Lulu in London

I just finished another project! This time, it’s my Lulu in London outfit! It only took me a week this time!!

This outfit has the typical dress and bloomers that the other two outfits (see them here) have but with a few new changes. First of all, the dress is partially crocheted in the round (at the bottom) which makes it much much more wearable. I did in fact have issues with the fit of the first two dresses, which only called for a few buttons to close its entire length, which I found frustrating. This dress doesn’t even use buttons (well, for decoration!). It’s closed with sew on snap fasteners. Way better than button closures!! This dress also has a collar, which I think is adorable. It has a nice trim and even a little “belt” in the back. Very stylized! I’m not sure if this dress was longer than usual, or if I was just fed up with the bloomers not showing (they still don’t show enough to my liking) but I did pull out a few rows of it to get a length I liked better. I didn’t make the pockets (the smaller the crochet, the less it looks like anything at all) because I honestly didn’t know they were pockets until reading the pattern, so I knew I wouldn’t like the look. I do sort of wish I was capable of making them actually look legitimate, because the dress could use an extra pop.

The bloomers were more like those of the Dutch outfit (sewed as one pieces and then folded in half as opposed to two separate pieces sewed together) but without the same trim that both of the previous bloomers had. I regret not using the same style of trim, because it does add length as well as definition to the leg holes.

The hat and bag are super cute! They were very very quick and not terrible. I followed the hat exactly as instructed (maybe not. The instructions did confuse me about how they wanted me to work the sides in the round. There was mention of turning, but I didn’t do that) and I think its very “British”. Once again, I really enjoyed pompom making! The bag was a little altered, of course! First, the pattern instructed me to do both sides of the bag. Fat chance! That required twice the sewing (which I strongly dislike) without adding a whole lot of cuteness. You can only see one side of the bag anyway! Plus, the flag stripes do add thickness to the bag, and doing an extra side would lead to quite a chunky bag. I skipped the extra effort.

My overall thoughts on the pattern? Cute, not super difficult, and a nice break from embroidery (which did drain me on the Dutch outfit). However, I feel like it’s missing something. The Dutch outfit had all this, plus shoes and an apron, and with much more detail and cuteness (making it my favorite). The French outfit had the same four pieces with an additional scarf (the handbag also makes the piece well rounded, as her arms aren’t bare). Maybe a pair of shoes would have really made this one stand out, or even a prop of some sort. (I must admit, I was glad this one didn’t have a silly duck or a goose. Those seemed odd to me and I wouldn’t have made it anyway).

Now that I’m done with the September/October 2012 issue of Crochet Today!, I am ready for the next issue! Before I start the November/December issue, I’ll be making a Día de los Muertos hat, inspired by the ideas of Erssie Major. The gist of my hat comes from her chart on her website, ErssieKnits.com and the rest of the hat construction is very very simple. Using black for the majority of the hat and white for the skulls, I’ve casted on 98 stitches, did a few rows of ribbing, then I’ll do seven skull chart repeats, finish knitting until I like the length, then start decreasing for the crown. I’ve already started the first few rows of the skull chart so I’m whizzing away! I’m sure I can finish in a week and a few days.

Next, I’ll be onto the next issue of Crochet Today!. I’ll be making the Russian Outfit for Lulu. It looks like it has lots of complicated embroidery, which scares me. I’m also nervous about making the matryoshka doll, because I know it will turn out looking like a duck! This outfit also only has four components to it, so I worry I won’t like it as much as the first two. But I am excited to make it! Then, I’ll be making this Poinsettia Afghan but adapting it into a pillow! Using only eight motifs, I’ll make a pillow case to fit on a throw pillow that will give me some festive feelings. Then I’ll make the North Pole Blanket, but only when it gets chilly! All the while, I will continue to knit my Christmas gifts for the season: my Mom’s Vest as well as scarfs for my parents and their significant others.

Dr. Who Scarf

Oh my gosh! I just realized that I never posted my blog about my completed Doctor Who Scarf! I made a draft as soon as I finished it, but it just slipped my mind that I actually needed to finish it. How silly of me!

So, only a few days behind… Here is my completed Doctor Who Scarf!

I finished it on October 14th (exactly a month after I started it), just after finishing my Homecoming Shrug. I stayed up until 11 to finish it!

I just love this scarf. The colors are so great and it was very easy. The worst part about it is all the color changes and the ends to weave in, but it didn’t take me long at all.

This scarf is a homemade version of the scarf worn on Doctor Who, some British TV show my friend, Sarah watches. She’s one of those hipster British TV watching people. Since her birthday is in November, I decided she’d love a knit gift and when I heard about Doctor Who scarves as a “thing”, I thought it’d be perfect. I got my pattern at WittyLittleKnitter.com, which is great. The designer, Tara Carstensen, has all the scarves from various seasons of the show (I picked the shortest) and in a variety of yarns. I REALLY appreciated having yarn choices and colors already selected so that I didn’t have to spend forever trying to figure out what colors I need for a scarf I’m not familiar with but want to replicate. I also didn’t have to look at brand after brand, being only able to find a few of the seven colors. This way, I just took her word for it and had all the colors perfectly matched in one brand. Very very helpful!

I didn’t use all the yarn specified (two of the colors were requested to have two skeins, but I never even touched those), so my scarf is probably shorter than it was supposed to be. I really don’t mind! My friend is a teenage (she’ll be twenty when I give her this scarf!) girl, so she doesn’t need a ten foot scarf. But I stayed true to the colors and stripe count, so it’s perfect.

The scarf is garter stitch so it’s one of those “knit-while-watching-TV” scarves that go by so quickly. It’s very simple and great for any beginner. I know she’ll just love it though!

I spent $36 on all the yarn, which I think is appropriate for a birthday for a dear friend who lived with me for an entire semester, and I still have plenty of yarn left over. My stash is getting quite immense. I can’t wait to make some cute little stash buster amigurumi creatures or something after I’m done with the holidays!

Since finishing, I’ve begun to knit the vest I’m making my mom for Christmas. I’m really liking the texture of the yarn (Loops & Threads Country Loom) and the earthy tones. The construction of the vest looks very simple and involves a lot of “continue in stockinette stitch for [insert number here] inches” which is soo simple and quick. I have to knit it in secret, so she won’t find out of course, but I’ve never liked knitting all alone in my room. It seems very serial-killer-esque. But for my mother, of course I do what I must!

I’ve also started the first of the two outfits for Lulu the Pig I’ve been holding out on. Currently, she is going to London! (Maybe I shouldn’t say currently. The outfit was originally published in honor of the Olympic games, so Lulu is running late…) I’m working on this project while I work out in the open (she is no secret!) so I’ve been getting more of this done than the scarf. So far, I’ve finished her dress (I lied. I need the snaps to close it, so I’ll be taking a trip to the store eventually) and her bloomers. All I have is the hat and bag to go! The hat will go very very quickly because it’s simple with a little pom pom on top. The bag involves a bit of sewing, which I hatehatehate, so I might wind up procrastinating that a bit. I came to the conclusion today that I lovee having a series pattern, but amigurumi is just not my best area. Sewing can be such a pain for someone who doesn’t know how to sew. Also, when I make small things, they never look quite right. It must be a personal problem! But I’m learning a lot and still having fun amongst the struggles. If we all gave up when the crocheting/knitting got tough, the yarn market would plummet.

Homecoming Shrug

Last night, I finished my Homecoming Shrug!

What an excellent day to finish, considering yesterday was my school’s homecoming! I didn’t get to participate in any of the events because I had to work, but it rained all day anyway. Plus, I wouldn’t have gotten to finish my shrug! I wore it today and am planning to wear it again Wednesday to show it off at school.

This shrug comes from the September/October issue of Crochet Today! It only took me a little over a week to make the whole thing because it was so simple and easy to follow. All it is a giant square (referred to as the back square) which is folded to make the armholes (you can see the square in the photo of the back because its corners make little open spaces). Then an outer circle is made around and around to create the part that goes over the back and up around the neck. I’m sure this makes little sense, but don’t worry. It took me a while to figure out what exactly I’d be making. The pattern provides a very helpful diagram which helped me to understand. The whole thing is double treble crochet and single crochet in the back loop. There is a final scalloped edging as well. One of the best things is that it’s completely seamless! No sewing! Except I felt that the armholes were too big so I sewed them up a little and then single crocheted around them in a smaller hook to make a sort of armband. It makes them form fitting and I prefer it that way. Maybe if I were to make it again, I would from the armholes sooner by making the square smaller and adding more increases to the outer circle.

Overall, I love it. The pattern was easy, quick, and easily altered. The yarn feels great and I love the color. After wearing it all day, I can confidently say that it’s comfy and cute!

As for my other projects, I’m almost done with my Doctor Who Scarf. I casted off this evening and began weaving in ends (there are 88 in total!!). After that’s done, I’ll need to put the fringe on. I should finish tomorrow, most likely. After that, I’ll start my next projects. I’m going to begin the Christmas vest for my mom and I’m very excited. I’ll also begin my next outfit for Lulu the pig. This time, she’s going to London! I’m excited to make this one because she has her typical dress and bloomers, but also a hat and bag. And not too much embroidery, which can be tough!

I just love this feeling of checking projects off my to do list and moving on to the next ones. One of the most rewarding parts of knitting and crocheting!

I love yarn!

Happy I love yarn day! I’m actually knitting in public right now (on campus, in the library) in spirit of the event. I also have yarn tied to my pony tail in order to show my support all day. The girl I sit next to in my history class had on a crocheted hat, and I was considering asking her if she was wearing it in honor of today. But then I imagined how it would play out if she had no idea what I love yarn day is, so I silently admired her hat instead.
I’m knitting my Dr. Who Scarf currently because I think scarves are the best to knit in public. They are easily recognized (not just a bunch of legs and circles waiting to be sewn together into an amigurumi piece) and look like the finished piece (but shorter) as I work. I know I should be focusing on my homecoming shrug, if I want it finished near the homecoming season, but its not nearly as appealing to spectators for public knitting. I’m sure I’ll work on it this evening though!

Yesterday I went on a little yarn spree! My sister and I went to Michael’s to get yarn for a variety of projects. First, I needed another ball for my shrug, and just my luck! They had the same dye lot! I was super enthused. Next, she helped me pick out a super chunky colorful yarn for the vest I’ll be knitting for my mom for Christmas. It’s the Michael’s brand (Loops & Threads) Country Loom in an earthy brown multicolor. It was even on sale for $4 a skein, so it’ll be a $20 project, assuming I bought enough! Third, my sister and I bought lots of yarn to make scarves for family members for Christmas. The two of us will be making scarves for three couples: our mom and her boyfriend, our dad and his girlfriend, and our grandparents on our mom’s side. We intend to work on one scarf each per couple. For example, she’ll be making the scarf for my mom and I’ll be making its partner for her boyfriend. That way, we can split up the gift giving without working on the same scarf (how awful would it be to knit half of a scarf?). Our favorite part about buying yarn was that we decided, in store, that each couple should have the same kind of yarn, just a different color. That way, they match in a super cute way but have different colors. It worked out so well! We spent about $25 on each couple, which is super reasonable. We’re just going to do a basic garter stitch scarf (like my Dr. Who scarf) so they’ll work up super quickly. We’re both very excited.

Time for me to get back to work! I have so much for me to do before Christmas! But I love it!! Happy I Love Yarn Day!!

Spider Web Scarf

I’ve officially finished my Spider Web Scarf!

I started it a longgg time ago and blocked it a week or so ago, but I was toying with the idea of making a spider to attach to the scarf. I tried out this Knit Spider Pattern in a worsted weight yarn and big needles to get the right feel. I was considering buying a thin yarn and using sock needles to knit up a tiny spider, but the trouble didn’t seem worth it. When I found a little plastic spider to attach to it, I decided it was plenty cute. Maybe I’ll attach more??

Unfortunately, I lost the body of my practice spider after making a few legs. Darnit! Well, it was good practice! And I really enjoyed the pattern. Maybe I’ll find it and ill finish it then.

You can read more about my spider web scarf in my blog here. It’s just a series of webs based off the video below connected by a rectangular border. The border allows the webs to stretch out (sort of how real webs are always tethered to something) and not look like doilies or snowflakes. In retrospect, I would have made the edging not hug the circles so much. This gives it a scalloped sort of edge. I would have preferred the webs to stretch to accommodate the edging, not the edging curve to accommodate the circles.

I almost forgot to update you all! I got my September/October issue of Crochet Today! (finally!) and have started working up the Homecoming Shrug. It’s coming along SUPER cute and it’s perfectly to gauge. Unfortunately, I’m only a little past half way done with it and I’ve used up all my yarn! The pattern called for two 191 yard balls (that’s 382 yards) and I substituted with one ball of sock yarn that has 438 yards. How could I be so off?! It’s working up the right size and everything. Well, I’ll have to go back to Michael’s, project in hand, crossing my fingers that the change in dye lot will be unnoticeable. Don’t worry though, I still have my Doctor Who Scarf to work on until I get more yarn!