Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Beat Down and Mushroom Scarf Progress

Is this holiday season kicking anyone else's butt? Because I lost another week and have no idea where it went. At least I'm not alone. It's been crazy for just about everyone, I think. 'Tis the season, right?

I'm wrapping up all sorts of projects, but since the projects I'm working on right now are gifts and I'm pretty sure that some of the recipients read this blog, I can't share any pictures. Lame. But, with that said, don't leave just yet, friends!

You see, I have a sanity project* that I'm working on for myself that is coming to a close, so this isn't going to be a completely picture-less post! The project is full of mushroomy goodness and it's definitely one of my favorite projects so far. Hopefully you like it, too.

The mushroom scarf! 

Here it is (with a nice helping of me trying my hand at a teaser picture for my Twitter feed):
Sidenote: The picture seems kind of run-of-the mill as WIP teasers go, though. Going to have to work on that!

The mushrooms are all made and put together. Now it's time for the spots. I'm aiming for a double sided scarf so I'm doing a lot of sewing between the stitches right now. The method is great for hiding stitches, but not so good if you're in a hurry. And since this is a sanity project instead of a working project, it's not a priority right now. Even if I'm super excited to see the finished project, there are holiday gifts and other things that need doing now!!

Update: Here's a better picture

I got the idea for this scarf from TwinkieChan. She crochets all sorts of food related things and is well-known for her cupcake scarfs. They are totally cute but I'm not a cupcake kind of person, so I made one that's more my style. With that said, I think my favorite scarf that I've seen from her is the pepperoni pizza slice. Talk about super creative!! If you have a chance, I recommend that you check out her blog and shop for all sorts of cool food related stuff. And (as though that isn't enough!), if you're up to making some of her food themed ideas, she has a book of patterns out, too! I'm hoping that Santa brings me a copy!! *hint, hint, Santa*

What have you all been making in your free time?

*Sanity project: A mini-project (or not) to work on when the main project is pissing you off or otherwise bores/annoys you. Usually for fun, silliness, and yourself. 

I use these projects as a release for when I'm feeling burned out on a project or crocheting in general.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things that start with the letter P

The theme of today's blog is: Things That Start With the Letter P

And I haven't even been watching a lot of Sesame Street lately. :) Just a strange theme of my life lately.

Let's begin...

The boy is rough on his clothes. He's 2 years old and wears holes in the knees of his jeans like they're made of paper. The jeans are perfectly good otherwise, so I wasn't willing to throw them away. Not with a perfectly good stash of fabric to use for patches!

So, Bubba and I raided the fabric stash and he came out with a totally awesome new look for his previously holey jeaned self:

And I came out with 4 hours less of my life (who knew patches took so long to sew on pants!?!) and a couple of holes in my fingers. But he loves them so I think it's totally worth it.

Mushroom shaped candy. Apparently they're even sort of good for you what with being made with natural ingredients and 25% real fruit juice and all...

Why have I not heard of these before!?! These bad boys are right up my alley. My dentist will be rich!

Purse Pick-Me-Up
My sister gave me a lovely purse for my birthday. She's the purse queen and takes her purses very seriously. So imagine her heartbreak when she realized the zipper on it was off center after I had torn open the wrapping paper on the big day.

I, on the other hand, was perfectly happy. It was a sweet gesture and I had a fabulous idea to make the purse look like there was no defect at all. My sister was skeptical, but she has faith in my crafty abilities.

Here's what I came up with:

I'm working on a small mushroom and some flowers, too. That way I can switch them out when I feel like something a little bit different. Thanks, sis!

So those are a few projects that I've made in my free time lately. What have you all been up to?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I'm making ninja heads like a crazy person. For fun, I made this Christmas version.

What are you making in your free time?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brr...Scarf weather and how to make a crochet pattern map

For those of you that don't know me personally:

I live in Alaska.

Have you ever been to Alaska? You really should visit.

In the summer.

Don't come now. You'll freeze before you even step off of the plane.

As I type this, the temperature is sitting at a nice cozy -27 degrees F. That's -33 degrees C, in case you were wondering and didn't want to do math.

It is this time of year that I wonder to myself, "WHY?"

But the silver lining to this frozen ice cloud is that this just lasts for a few weeks at a time. And if you really want to put things in perspective, we haven't even hit our cold snap yet. That comes in the end of January.

Seems kind of needless to say this now, but I will any way:

This is perfect scarf weather.

Well, as long as the scarf isn't the only thing you're wearing, that is.

Here's my scarf:

It's a prototype of one of my many ninja related ideas. I call it a prototype because I always make up a project like this and then fiddle with it until I like the end result.

My method for mapping out a pattern just takes an idea, some graph paper (or blank paper and a ruler), and a pen or pencil.

For instance, take my scarf. I made the ninja heads first and then made the rest. My stitch pattern map for the ninja heads looks like this:

Except I did mine by hand so it's a lot messier! I also used a different count--the numbers are there for show and not function. This pattern map would make a very small ninja.

I used a simple single crochet stitch and took it row by row working the ends in as I went. Remember, your pattern map is written in pen or pencil--not stone. You can change it up as you go based on how the piece is taking shape. 

Once the whole thing was done, I single crocheted around the outside to give the piece a clean, round look. And since I worked the ends into the back of the piece, it made the scarf single sided.

Okay, I had no idea what a pain in the ass a single sided scarf can be until I wore this one around for a little while. I am constantly turning the faces so they are right side out. I'd much rather make the pattern double sided to avoid that altogether! My solutions so far have left tons of loose ends to work in later on, so I'm still in the figure it out stage of things with the pattern.

Happy pattern mapping!!

Stop back by and share what you've made in your free time. I'd love to see!