Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Boxing Day!

So the big secret about this year's holiday crafting is that I didn't do all that much of it.

I made a thick, chunky scarf, crocheted in five long strands and then braided together.

I attached it to the rug so I could pull on it and get all the strands to end up the same length at the end.
This thing is really pretty chunky.
Like, super chunky. I hope it's not too chunky for the person I sent it to.
The other fun thing I made this year was for my mother. My mother has a longstanding fatwa against any and all slugs. She takes great joy in stalking about her garden and stomping them to death. So when I saw this pattern of course I had to make one for her.

The construction was really easy. Make the body, make the eye stalks, then crochet a little fringe around the body.
Really the hardest part was getting the little eye beads into the openings. The eye beads give him his personality, I think.
A side view showing the sluggy fringe.
Naturally, when The Husband saw it, he demanded one for himself to add to the collection.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

The making of a dragon

Ok! The mystery amigurumi may now be revealed. The child's birthday party was yesterday, so now I can blab all about the dragon.

First, we start out with the body, as described last week.

He pretty much looks like an earthworm at this point.
Also from last week, all the bits and pieces.

Now he has a mouth so he looks slightly less worm-like. The mouth is in two pieces, a top jaw and a bottom jaw.
Then we add some eye ridges, or brows as they were called in the directions.
Next up: horns!
Now a crest along the back. Looking more dragon-like by the minute.
And arms...rawr!
Some fringe along the jaw for added oomph.
A long mustache to make him wise.
And finally, some eyes.
Here's a back view. He stands up much better now that he has legs. Also, the construction of the arms and legs was genius. There's a bump in the middle, created with short rows, that when sewn together causes the legs to bend and have knees. Genius!
And a final front view.
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how this project turned out. It didn't spiral nearly as much as the one in the directions did. I'm not sure whether that's because I'm such a tight crocheter or because I was pushing the turns in the wrong direction when I was going backwards with the left hand. I took my time putting all the pieces on, putting one item on a day for about a week. I'm pretty sure that saved my sanity.

And I fully realize this is not age appropriate for a 1-year-old. His mother can put it on a shelf until he's ready.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mystery amigurumi

I spent the better part of the week working on a new amigurumi project, the final photos of which I won't post until probably next week. I will say that it's been a challenge...I thought I knew everything about crochet, and about amigurumi, but this thing had me sit up and pay attention.

Here's the first 10 rounds or so.

So far it looks like any other amigurumi. At this point it could turn into just about anything.
And here we are at the halfway point.

Those twists and turns? They're accomplished by making short rows, sort of akin to short rows in knitting, and then going back to the beginning of the round, BACKWARDS AND WITH THE LEFT HAND. This took some getting used to. Turns out I'm extremely right handed.
And here's the body, all done. In total, the body is 150 "rounds," although quite a few rounds only went halfway around, followed by the backwards, left-handed part of the curve, which frankly took about three times as long as a whole round. It never really got any easier. Also, it's stuffed as you go, which is unusual with amigurumi. This was fine in the beginning rounds, but as it got longer it was hard to hold the thing because it was so stiff, while at the same time crocheting backwards. Don't get me wrong ... it was fun!

It actually doesn't twist quite as much as it should. Not sure why that is.
And here are all the various bits and pieces that will be attached.

Any guesses?
Finally, I started another little project, but I might not have enough yarn to see it through to the end. Again, it needs to remain a mystery for the moment, so here's a closeup of the tangled mess it currently is.

Perhaps this one is an easier guess.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Secret project revealed

The secret project from last week has been mailed and delivered, so now it can be revealed. It's a hooded scarf. I may make more!

Here it is in the down position, all cowl-like and warm and toasty.
And here it is in the up position, ready to take on any nasty weather.
I also finished the blue bamboo shawl but I didn't remember to take photos before I put it in the mail.

Here it is near the end of weaving.
And, new yarn!

One of my favorite sights.
And finally, I started a new amigurumi. It's going to be super complicated and fun to make, I hope.

The first 10 of 149 rows for the body.

Monday, November 14, 2011

So much progress

My back is killing me, and I slept for 10 hours last night, but it's worth it because I got a whole lot done this weekend.

I got the new warp wound onto the loom.

This was quite possibly the fastest, least problem-beset wind-on I've ever done.
And then in the space of one day I threaded all the heddles, sleyed the reed, and got the thing tied on to the front beam.

Again, with no problems other than a rapidly seizing back.
And then I got it about halfway woven!

My luck ran out at this point though. Something weird happened to one of the shafts, which caused undue pressure on one thread, which then broke. But I fixed it and moved on. Hopefully that's the first and last broken thread.
AND I also finished a Super Sekrit project which I will reveal maybe next week. The holidays are coming so it's possible I'll only be posting pieces of projects between now and January.

I will say this: it turned out well and I may be making more.
And in between all that I also made a batch of killer brownies and watched a ton of football. Not a bad weekend.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Happy Monday!

I actually got some stuff done in the last week.

I finished the bamboo shawl:

Lovely feel and drape.
And looks nice against a black chair!
I started another shawl that will use the same pattern, but in a different color. This time up: blue.

That's as far as I got though.
And I got yarn for a new crochet project! Yay!

It's a lovely purple in merino and ... something else that I forget.
I even did a couple of gauge swatches, something I'm not normally prone to doing. This is with the hook that's called for in the pattern. Way too big.
And here's one hook size down. It probably doesn't look any different, but trust me, the gauge was a good idea.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The best laid plans

I had fully intended to have the bamboo project done and a second one started by now. I'd also intended to have the new chenille cabin project at least threaded.


I wound the chenille on the warping board all wrong, so I think I'm going to have to unwind it and do it over. Which thought makes me tired.


Last week I had three migraines and then did something unspeakable to my lower back, so weaving was entirely out of the question. At certain points in the week even opening my eyes was out of the question.


In the absence of anything new, and because it's Halloween, here's an awesome humongous eyeball I crocheted back in 2005.

Those curly things coming out of the back are the nerve ends.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The power of blocking

I bought myself a sock blocker, which is basically a sock-shaped metal thing that you can hang from a shower rod or door handle. Holy cow what a difference!

Here's a sock freshly soaked and stretched over the blocker.
Here's the newly blocked sock next to its sad, wrinkly, unblocked partner.
And here's the happy couple, blocked and ready to face the world.
After this blocking success, and the more modest success I had with the thread doily, I also tackled the thread runner. I will say again: I need a proper blocking mat.

Soaked, lightly starched, and pinned to within an inch of its life.
Flat and pretty!
And ready to move to a friend's house. I have a tragic lack of flat surfaces.
And in Happy Weaving News: the bamboo project is underway at last. I had plans to spend much of the weekend weaving, but other stuff, including a book that I just simply can't put down, got in the way. But it's moving at pretty good clip so should be done soon.

A moody shot of the warp finally tied on.
And a close-up shot.
And a slightly longer view.