Friday

[crafts] Scrapbooking mess

Working on a scrapbook for my mom for Christmas:

Scrapbook mess

I ordered prints of pictures from our California trip this past summer. I never realized how tedious and time consuming (and glue-consuming) making a scrapbook is. But all the pages are done- I just need to add final embellishments and text to the pages. 

Thursday

[misc] Oh Christmas Tree

It's been a few years since we've had a Christmas tree up. I wanted to get one but I was unsure how Penny (the primary trouble-maker in the house) would react. I envisioned her breaking ornaments, crawling up the inside of the tree, knocking the entire tree over, etc.

Christmas Tree


I brought a tree home anyway. We put it up, I threw on lights and (unbreakable) ornaments. The cats stayed away at first because I ran the vacuum around it a couple times to clean up fallen needles. But as the days go by, Penny gets more and more bold.

Christmas Tree

Uh... oh...

Wednesday

[crochet] Wreath Ornaments - done!

Finished all 8 wreath ornaments:

wreath ornaments


They're so cute!  I tied the red bow in a double knot- so that it wouldn't come undone if one of the ends was pulled. The beads were a little fiddley to tie/attach, but it was worth it.

wreath ornaments


I'm going to get some square jewelry boxes from the craft store to put these in before wrapping.

Friday

[crochet] Christmas Wreath Ornaments

Working on Christmas Wreath ornaments to give out as gifts. I completed one:

IMG_1897

OMG, it's so cute- I can't even handle it. Here's the Ravelry link to the pattern.

The largest size of plastic rings that Joann's had was 1.5 inches, so I used DK-weight yarn (rather than worsted) and a smaller hook. I also added a cluster of three red, round beads to look like holly berries.

Now I'm doing the rest assembly-line style: crochet all the base wreaths (using the two ends to make the hanging loop), add the red strings, add the berry clusters.

The designer of this patten as so. many. cute ornaments made over bone rings like this- snowflakes, peppermint candies, round ornaments, etc. I'm going to make a different one every year to give out.

Thursday

[crafts] Christmas Tags

I had so much fun making Christmas tags last year, I had to do it again this year. Plus, since I had leftover blank tags and my sister gave me a bunch of really nice holiday stickers, this project cost me $0.

Materials:

christmas tags

Finished tags:

christmas tags

christmas tags

Wednesday

[knitting] Red scarf... almost

I wasn't able to finish a cabled, red scarf for the end of November but I did get past the 50% mark. 

IMG_1868


Tuesday

[spinning] Grey Wind Progress

I only have about a pound of fiber left to spin:

Spinning Progress


Need to finish by the end of December! Gah!

Monday

[misc] Murderface (and Penny) Monday

Our bed sits pretty high off the floor. Murderface always had trouble jumping up (he would clutch at the edge of the bed like Gandalf when he says "Fly you fools" before falling down the pit). At the apartment, we just kept a chair at the foot of the bed. At the new house, we were using a plastic tub for a year. Recently I decided to get a more kitty-friendly set of steps.

Murderface uses the steps but Penny loves them the most. She scratches them all the time and likes to hide and wait for MF.

MF and Penny

Poor Murderface.

Friday

[knitting] Red Cabled Hat

Hat


Pattern: Brambles Beret, medium brim, medium length

Needles: US 4, US 6

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Ravelry Red, used much less than one skein

This is the matching (kind of) hat that I made to go with the mittens from yesterday. 

Thursday

[knitting] Red Cabled Mittens

I pulled 4 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted from my stash and wound them into balls. The grand plan was to knit a matchy-matchy set of mittens, hat and scarf. I finished the mittens:

Mittens

Pattern: Eugenia's Mittens (rav link)

Needles: US 7

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Ravelry Red, 60% of one skein

Notes: Good pattern- clear instructions and charted. I opted not to re-created the "mistake" that author made and did three full repeats of the chart instead.

One of the great things about participating in Nerd Wars on Ravelry is that the various challenges they post every month make you think outside of the box. One challenge asked you to use something unusual or non-traditional when crafting a project. This could be making a drop spindle from a CD or knitting something with a couple pencils/chopsticks. I was kind of at a loss... until I saw one of my asian pears. They usually come wrapped in a puffy net sleeve to protect from bruising. Have you ever seen yarn sleeves? They are plastic mesh tubes that hold your yarn together as you use it. My pear-protector is the same thing! 

Mittens

It worked really well! 

Wednesday

[embroidery] More handkerchiefs

I gave Dollar a few new embroidered handkerchiefs for his birthday last week:

Handkerchiefs

More cow bell!

MORE COW BELL

And an amp:

Embroidered Amp

Flames:

Embroidered Fire

I really like the flames- I used stem stitch because the design was all curvy lines. I used three colors to get a tonal effect. The pattern is an iron-on transfer, so I followed the lines with orange, then did yellow and red on either side of the orange. 

I also gave him a couple pairs of handknit socks. And I made his birthday card. I feel a little bad, like, "Here, I made you this crap because I couldn't afford an iPad", but Dollar's the kind of person who likes homemade things better than purchased things. XOXO. Plus, I do enjoy making things for him because he appreciates it the most.

Monday

[knitting] Lace Loop

I recently finished a loose cowl:

Cowl


Yarn is Austermann Murano Lace. It's a nice size- not as long as an infinity scarf, not as tight as most cowls. Got to be a bit tedious to work on but it was a good project to work on during tv or a movie.

Dollar and I recently swapped his office and my craft room. His office area wasn't used much and the space was twice as large as my craft room (where stuff was kind of cramped and crowded). The move wasn't that big of a deal- in one afternoon I was able to take everything out and pile it into the dining room. The worst part of the deal for me was losing the closet. I had that closet stuffed with yarn, yo. Now... were to put it all in a room with zero closet space? I had to go out and get a new armoir and chest/bench. Which helped but... still... yarn... tubs... too much... 

Working on a few different things now. Also need to take some pictures of Dollar's handmade birthday presents this week- can't wait to give them to him!

Friday

[misc] Sick of being sick.

Fantastic, I'm coming down with another cold. I'm thankful it's a three-day weekend; more time to drink tea, snuggle with kitties, knit and try to kick this thing so it doesn't drag out for two weeks like the previous cold early October. I'm blaming the convention that I went to last weekend. I get sick every year after Carnage Con :(

Tuesday

[crochet] Cthulhu Mask

Sometimes it takes me a while to make something because I usually only craft what I feel like making. I did a test knit once and it was a chore getting it done in time. I've made things for deadlines and it's always a pain-in-the-ass, rush-y/stress-y mess that narrowly avoids catastrophe. The only solution is to craft what INSPIRES me and CAPTIVATES me and yadda yadda yadda. It takes a fraction of the amount of time to finish something when you're into it than when you're forced to slog though every single hate-filled stitch.

So, two years after a friend of mine casually asked for a Cthulhu mask, I finally made it!

Cthulhu Mask


Two years. And the sad thing is that I've had the yarn for it in my stash for two years as well. I usually get a request for something, think to myself, "Oh yeah, I can totally do that and it will be awesome!", go out and buy the yarn... then wedge the yarn somewhere into my stash and file the pattern away in a binder (full of women).

I recently reorganized my stash and patterns. This pattern jumped out at me. I've never crocheted a hat or mask before but I know the basics. The only unfamiliar instructions were for crocheted ribbing around the neck of the mask. 

Cthulhu Mask

I did a couple single crochet ridges above the eyes. For the mouth tentacles, I chained 45 stitches, then worked 2 stitches in each chain (all the extra stitches creates the spiral effect). I started with single crochets, then half-doubles, then double crochets- so the tips of the tentacles are more narrow than the ends that you attach to the face. Also, my chains were various lengths- 45 starting stitches was the longest. The shortest (the tentacles at the ends of the mouth) were only 30 stitches to start with.

This project was easy. The only hard part was sewing on all the stupid tentacles and weaving in all the ends.

Monday

[art] Joy of Painting 2

I took another Joy of Painting class this past weekend, this time with my sister. It really is a lot of fun and the time goes by so fast.

Joy of Painting 2

Joy of Painting 2

Joy of Painting 2

Joy of Painting 2

Joy of Painting 2

Joy of Painting 2

Joy of Painting 2

Joy of Painting 2

And the finished painting:

Joy of Painting 2

Plus, my sister won the drawing for the teacher's previous days painting- and she gave it to me! 

Tuesday

[knitting] Bearded Hat

I've been wanting to make a bearded hat for a while...

Bearded Hat


Bearded Hat

I was going to follow a pattern but the only thing that I took from it was to make the hair/beard in seed stitch.

Yarn: Lamb's Pride worsted for the hat. Unspun Icelandic for the beard.

I knit the beige hat normally (from brim to crown). I picked up the back loop of the cast-on row to work the hair/beard. Then I knit seed stitch around, cast off some stitches for the face hole, increased back up, joined, cast off some stitches for the mouth hole, cast off the back hairline, decreased to finish the beard. Knit a little mustache to sew on. I just kind of winged the whole thing.

Bearded Hat

Should keep me warm while I'm shoveling snow this winter!

Monday

[misc] Penny Monday

Hurricane Sandy's coming. Time to get into sleeping bags and camp out inside.

Kitty Sleeping Bag

Kitty Sleeping Bag

Friday

[knitting] Some assembly required

I've got some sewing to do this weekend:

Mystery KAL

Guuuuuuuuuh, I hate sewing. I hates it, my precious. I'm not sure whether or not I should sit down and devote an hour to sewing/stuffing/finishing this thing sober. Or if I should just bring a bottle of something up to the craft room and spend 4 - 5 hours getting wasted and suffering through the sewing. Looking at all those ends makes me want three fingers of Glenlivet, with a little bit of pepper... and some cheese.

I made this as part of a "Mystery Knitalong" in the Knit Toys group on Rav. This was my first time partaking in a mystery knitalong. Each week, you receive instructions and clues. The surprise comes at the end, when you go, "Well look at that. I had no idea what I was making, HAH HAH WHUT FUN."

My thoughts? I'd rather wait for the pattern to be done-done, rather than participate in what is essentially pattern-testing. I still have to rip and re-knit one of the pieces because there was an error in pattern. Also, now that I've seen finished projects, I probably wouldn't have used green as my contrast color- I would have preferred to use a light blue instead. 

Any guesses on what this might be?

Thursday

[crafts] Paint your own pottery

I recently went to Tip Top Pottery in White River Jct. to paint pottery with my sister and a couple of her friends. I don't know why I waited so long to try this- it was so much fun! Thursday night is "Ladies Night" so the studio fee is $5. Then it's just the price of whatever you choose to make. They have lots of 'regular' stuff to paint (mugs, bowls, plates, etc) but also FUN stuff- piggy banks, decorative figures, a few seasonal items (pumpkins, skull mugs). I picked a desktop organizer.

It was pretty busy there but we had someone explain the different glazes, how to paint, what to do, what not to do, etc. My major mistake was putting 5 different colors onto a plate... and not writing down the number of each color. So when I went back for more, I was looking through the bottles like "Uh... Shit." Lucky, I was able to show one of the employees my plate and she could tell what colors I chose.

So, after painting three layers of glaze in different colors over my organizer and decorating it with black details, it looked like:

Pottery

So pastel. But everyone's projects look pastel before firing them. Here's how it came out:

Painted Potters

I like it! There's one spot missing some color. You can see brush strokes here and there. Some of the blackwork is kind of sloppy. (I was kind of rushing to finish toward the end.) But overall, VERY fun and VERY rewarding to do.

I set the organizer on my craft desk:

Using the organizer

Yay, so functional and made-by-me. I've got to go to Tip Top once a month. I think I'm addicted.

Wednesday

[knitting] Handspun Capucine


Knit a quick Capucine- this is my 4th time making this pattern!

Handspun Capucine

Fiber is Lorna's Laces Superwash Merino (received in 2009 as part of a swap).

Lorna's Laces Superwash Merino

Spun into a fairly bulky-weight yarn.

Ocean Blues

Ocean Blues

I added tassels to my past iterations of this hat but this time I opted to braid yarn into long ties. I like it.

Tuesday

[crochet] Maester's Chain

Here's a project that I just finished and submitted for Team Iron Thone in Nerd Wars on Ravelry:

Maester's Chain

It's my take on a Maester's Chain. I crocheted over bone rings with 16 different fibers- a link representing various fibers that I've worked with in the past.

Maester's Chain

From top-most dark blue ring, following the links, the fibers are: merino wool, alpaca, acrylic, linen, cotton, metallic nylon, hemp, mohair, baby camel, bamboo, tencel, plastic, handspun yarn, cashmere, angora, brushed alpaca.

Not really the most trendy fashion accessory in the world but it will be fun adding to it over time with new fibers. Silk is notably missing (really, I can only think of working with silk a few times... and the yarns were always blends). I have qiviut in my yarn stash but I haven't used it yet and there was no way I was going to scalp some to add another ring. And there are always new fibers being introduced- soy, milk, tree pulp. And if I want to get specific with wool breeds, I can add rings for polwarth, wensleydale, corriedale, etc. 

Monday

[misc] Penny Monday

Penny, hanging out with me in the craft room this weekend:

Penny


Friday

[misc] Santana Friday

Santana


Lots of stuff to do this weekend- hope I can finish everything.