Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's true! Today is all about me. Well, OK, not exactly. But in my world most days are all about me anyway, so what's one more?

On the birthday list was a massive body exhausting workout. Oddly enough this was what I wanted. Seriously. Remember, you're talking to a girl who requested a stationary bike for Christmas and got it. (To see a picture of how thrilled I was to get it check

So after a breakfast of whole grain pancakes smothered with chopped apples and a nutella sauce I went straight to my living room and busted out some serious moves. An hour an a half later I can now barely lift my arms and my legs shake a bit as I walk. That was just my resistance training, later I'll do cardio.

Anywho, I'm sure no one wants to hear me ramble on about my various plans for the next year in regards to my personal fitness, instead I know you're all dying to know my crafting New Years resolutions!

First up is to expand on a small granny square (hexagon) "blanket" that I started when my husband and I were first married. I want to double its size. My second is to make a Robot Devil amigurumi. That's all I have for crafting resolutions so far.

This works wonderfully as a cover (usually I tuck under the front end) to my antique cedar chest that originally belonged to my great grandmother.

I think that it has a lot of potential to be a really great bedspread or something. With that in mind I've started making more hexagons.

Maybe I'll actually finish it by our 10th anniversary!

The week or so before Christmas I made my sister a really nice dark grey cowl. It turned out really really nice. Actually, so nice I didn't really want to give it away.  As Christmas day rolled around I opened a lovely gift from my mother consisting of three balls of a very soft almost fluffy yarn. Whats a girl to do with such a gift? Make her own birthday present!

Nice and soft, extra warm, and as pretty as could be. A cowl to call my own.


Also in the week before Christmas I won my first blog giveaway on It's Geek to Me. This is seriously the third thing I've ever won. First, was in the first grade I won a helmet at a bike safety drawing, second was a Mini Cooper towel from the Mini Takes the States 2010 rally, and now a whole bunch of yarn! I'm so happy!

I haven't decided what to make with it all yet, but I can't wait to use it!

Happy New Year to my fabulous readers!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ah Free Time

Well, not that I'm taking a break from crafting nerdy amigurumi and making patterns I've been able to get some other work done.

Behold the mighty cowl and matching hat for my sister and her boyfriend.

Stand in awe as I model the mighty cowl with a dorky expression.

Bow before the cuteness of the fleece baby hat!

 That's about it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Won't you join my slaying tonight?"

I give you Robot Santa!

I've been wanting to make this guy since I first picked up the connection between crochet and Futurama. He, and the Robot Devil, are two of my absolute favorite characters! I'm still waiting for the right yarn to come along for the Robot Devil though.

So what's better than seeing Robot Santa in crochet glory? Being able to make him yourself! I have a lovely little pattern here that I've crafted just for my adoring followers.

With this, however, I think I'm going to take a little time off! Christmas is here and now that Robot Santa is safely tied up and placed on top of my tree it's time to start the celebration.

Pattern: Remember it's untested, but at least it's free!

Body: In red to start
Magic circle with 6 sc.
Increase to 12 sc
inc every other stitch for 1 row
inc every 3rd stitch for 1 row
inc every 4th stitch for 2 rows
inc every 5th  stitch for 2 rows.
3 = rows
inc every 10th stitch for 1 row
2 = rows
inc every 10th stitch for 1 row
2 = rows
dec every 7th stitch for 2 rows
2 = rows
switch to white
2 = rows
dec every 5th stitch on inside half of previous row.

dec every 4th for 1 row
dec every 3rd stitch for 1 row
dec every other stitch, then every stitch, fill and finish closing.

Arms: In red to start
ch 17, attach ch 1 to ch 17
4 = rows
dec every 10th stitch for 3 rows
4 = rows
dec every 10th stitch for 2 rows
switch to white
2 = rows
dec every 3rd stitch twice (not two rows)
dec until closed
Attach to body.

Head: In grey
ch 22, attach ch 1 to ch 22
5 = rows
dec every 15th stitch for 4 rows
3 = rows.
dec until closed OR slip a strand of yarn along the opening and cinch closed. This will be under his hat
Stuff and attach to body.

Legs: In red to start
ch 10, attach ch1 to ch10
3 = rows
switch to black
4 = rows
ch 3, attach straight across the foot to divide heel and toe.
2 = rows on half for toes
sl st closed and sl st back to other open half
dec until closed
stuff and attach to body.

Hat: Totally forgot to write out instructions for the hat, sorry!
ch enough to fit the circumference of his head in red
dec ever 10th or so stitch for a couple of rows, and then decrease more frequently to form a point.
switch to white,  increase for a row and then decrease on the next row to form the ball.
close and tie off.

 Details: In felt
Cut out a long strip of black felt for his belt and sew on. Add yellow for the buckle.
Add a strip of white felt around the brim of his hat and the edge of white on his hands as well as his shoulder joints.
Make two small tubes of grey for his "cheeks" and attach.
Add felt eyes, a layer of orange on top of grey. You can make him sad, angry, or happy!
Add the mouth, a large white beard with jagged "teeth" cut out and yellow behind.
Push small grey felt triangles into his hat for spikes. Repeat with white for his hands.
Sew little black buttons on his chest.

"Oh it might appear empty, but the message is clear: play Santa again, and I'll kill you next year!"

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Tip Junkie handmade projects
As a side note I'm participting in the Tip Junkie Tip Me Tuesday with this post.            

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Sharp Crochet Hook Review

A couple weeks ago I was asked to review a new product called the Sharp Crochet Hook . Now that I'm back from vacation I've been able to experiment a bit!

"With the Sharp Crochet Hook, you can easily crochet a cute edging or border on any fabric you want. There is no need to get it hemstitched or poke holes through the fabric before crocheting." -

In other words the hook is exactly what it sounds like, a sharpened crochet tool which provides you with the ability to put a base edge on fabrics without prior work. I was intrigued by the concept and was excited to work on something!

I picked up a thin handkerchief to experiment on. I didn't use any of the provided patterns, of course. If you've followed my blog at all you know I'm far too lazy to follow patterns! However, I can see where on delicate lace-like edging a pattern could come in handy. My brain doesn't think in negative space very well, so naturally amigurumi are my forte.

The Sharp Crochet Hook is indeed sharp. I constantly pressed too hard through the fabric (because it does still take a bit of effort) and caught my finger or ran its edge along my knuckle as I pulled a loop through. I did develop a rhythm after a bit, but I found a few hang ups along the way.

The hook isn't only sharp on the tip where you push it through fabric, but it was also sharp on the inner portion of the hook which you use to pull the yarn through. I kept accidentally separating the yarn I was pulling and took only half of it, or I would catch it on the fibers of the cotton handkerchief and accidentally make a bigger hole that I needed.

(Stitching that I removed during trial and error.)

The construction of the hook has a very homemade feel to it. The grip is rough and feels a bit like a nail file and my hook has scorch marks from processing the metal. All of which are purely cosmetic, as the hook still functioned as advertised.

I can see where if you spent a lot of time putting edging onto blankets or gloves/socks/cloths/etc. that a dedicated tool would come in handy. Later I want to mess around with an old tank top and see about adding little sleeves or other details, but for now I stuck with the basics.

Overall the hook is great for it's intended purpose, but that's about it. I feel like the construction is still in it's infancy and could use a little more adjusting, but it does work. The site not only offers the hooks at $6.99 with three free edging patterns, but you can also buy a small crochet edging handbook that offers 15 different simple to complex patterns. The sample images are quite stunning and it makes me wish I had the patience to work such detailed projects!

Below is an example of one of the simple edging designs.

As a side note the Sharp Crochet Hook is not intended to use for anything except creating the edging base. Trying to use it otherwise will result in a lot of frustration since, like I said, the hook has the tendency to split the fibers.
The size of the hook is not written, but "The Sharp Crochet Hook will work with size 10, 5, or 3. I like size 3 the best for baby blankets and burp cloths because it is the softest. Some people like to use size 10 because it has a more "lacy" effect." According to the site's FAQ.

So there you have it! Sharp, very sharp according to my fingers. Great for one specific use. May need a little refining. Wish I had patience for lacy work. Perfect for those that do!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cardinal Ornaments

Christmas has taken over my home and my crochet!

Cardinal ornaments for my grandma! It would be super easy to stick a ornament hook through their upper point, but I liked the look of them nestled in the tree. Of course my grandma can do whatever she wants with them! Finished them just in time though because I have to get these mailed off asap!

I like the short little fat one the best. 

But see? They just look so cute!