Sunday, November 18, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Long Awaited Return

The dust has settled. Finally, after several long months, I'm starting to feel my way back into crochet. Remember how I said all my yarn went into storage? Well thanks to a couple of wonderful garage sales I've been able to revive my favorite hobby. Nothing substantial, as I am still technically homeless, but it's a start. Also, you have to check out my Halloween costume, because I'm awesome.

 
Giant canning jar mug cozies. For those times you just need a giant mug of tea.
 
 
Look at my pretty little rug made out of old t-shirts. That's right! Old t-shirts from my husband's various uniforms. I'm most proud of this because I didn't have a pattern, and yet, look how pretty!


Oh and I just realized that the one project I'm super proud of I can't share because it's a Christmas gift to a friend of mine who loves my blog. Sigh. But I can still share my costume!







Monday, July 30, 2012

Reminder

Hey everyone! I just wanted to leave a quick note.

 I've received a lot of requests lately to sell various amigurumi/toothless plushies, and although I'm extremely flattered that people want to buy them I just can't keep up with requests! Not only that but I'm in the middle of moving to a different state for six months while my husband is deployed. My yarn stash is going into storage, so I'll be setting any crochet fun aside until I return.

Don't worry, I'll be back!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ranting, in a good way.

Well, in case you haven't noticed I've been a bit anti-social lately. Er, anti-blog-al? In any case I've been working mostly on crochet rugs from old t-shirts. I've done two small ones so far and am collecting shirts for a large colorful one. It's surprisingly difficult to find colorful shirts that work for making into yarn, but luckily I have a great go to location for such things (huzzah for volunteering at a thrift store!)

I'm now two months away from the move and for some magical reason it became REAL about two days ago. I've been day dreaming and absently planning for it for so long that somehow I forgot it was really happening. I blame Pinterest--not sure why, but I do.

My laptop finally died, another reason for my absence. Add in a few trips out of town and some family visiting and I've been very distracted. I'm impressed that my laptop lasted five years though, especially if you've ever seen me around electronics. We don't usually get along very well.

I have to admit that I'm pretty darn stressed lately. I don't know if it's the realization that my husband is going to be away for six months or that my weight has become a ninja and crept up on me. Now I'm back to my old workout routine--but my food ideology has changed and I can't follow the same meal plan. Not sure if I'm boned or if hope still exists. I would happily write about ten pages on my struggles with food and weight, but I think I'll condense it down to two sentences. I really f*#(ing like to eat. Even going mostly vegan I just eat too much. The end.

Riiiiiight.

Since I'm unsure how I'll react to (yet another) stretch of long distance relations as well as moving back into my parent's basement (no joke) I will make no promises as to my regular blogging. Especially since my husband will be taking the new laptop with him when he leaves....leaving a great void in my life.

Oh Pinterest, how will I live without you? What's that dear? Yeah, yeah I'll miss you too.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Toothless Tutorial

WARNING: I'm not a tutorial type of person. It takes me way too much extra effort just to write down a pattern while I crochet, so figuring out a so-called "tutorial" for sewing a dragon? Yeah--good luck. And that "good luck" really is for you, because if you are going to try and decipher this you deserve a metal.

In any case I have lots of pictures. I deeply request that anyone ask questions in the comments so I can answer them there. That way when the next person goes "WTF is she talking about?" maybe the answer will be below.

PATTERN: I completely redrew the pattern on handy graph paper. Please keep in mind that this pattern was heavily influenced by another on deviant art (which of course I can't find now). However when I first tried that pattern I was so disgusted with the outcome that I made this one instead, so maybe it's a good thing I don't give them "credit" as I may actually be insulting them instead.

I have brief directions on the side, but you need the big version to really read them correctly. I've added them in their original size on their own page.





 
OK below is a general "how I fit together" sketch. If you're not a visual person then this will mean nothing to you.

 

Right, on to the other part....actually putting him all together.


I don't know why but I always start with his head. Take all his head fins and bits and get them lined up! Oh and I started always hand sewing his head. I hate taking all those turns with the machine.



A) All the pieces


B) Sew the jaw pieces to the side of the main head piece, you'll also sew the two front "nose" edges together of the jaw pieces.


C) Make sure the right side is out (so the seam in inside) and sew on the head fins. Just double check that when you turn them inside out the seams are in the right places.



D) Tadaa. A head. You'll sew one of the 5 little bumpy guys in the slit there. 



OK set the head aside.

Wings: 1 - lay two of the wing cuts outs lined up on each other. Sew the outline leaving the indicated space open (see pattern). 2 - Turn inside out. Start sewing the "design" lines for the wing detail.
3 - Tadaa. 4 - Repeat. Follow the same steps for the other fins (side and tail).



Legs: 1 - Make sure you have all the bits. Put the bumpy bit in the two leg pieces. 2 - Sew the two leg pieces together leaving the top and bottom open. 3 - Put in the toe bits and (hand) sew it on (make sure you keep track of which side you sew them to, you don't want 4 left feet!) then sew the circular pad to the bottom. 4 - Repeat until Tadaa.



The "Fun" Part: 1,2,3 - Take the two back pieces and place the back fin and two wings in between them. Make sure the back fin is also between the wings. Sew it together all the way down the tail.
4 - lay all the other pieces out to get a sense of placement for the legs. Decide where the legs will go. 5 - cut out small half moons on the "back" section.
6 - Line up the "belly" piece and duplicate the cuts. 

Carefully sew the "belly" to the "back" making sure to leave the small leg holes open. Don't forget to add the side fins just behind the back leg holes (or wherever you thought they looked best) while you sew the belly to the back. Leave the end of the tail open on both sides by about 2 inches.


Stuff stuff stuff! Stuff the legs first and hand sew them to the body (this way you can be sure they will all point the right way). Stuff the belly! Hand sew the tail fin to the appropriate side and sew everything closed on that end (also makes it easier to add extra stuffing from this side if needed). Now attach the head.

Getting the head on right is the most tricky part. I start by lining up the under jaw piece with the length of the original "belly" piece. From there you'll notice that you have too much left on the head and not enough to attach it to on the back. So here's what I do: I stuff the head and all the little fins, then I hand sew the edges of the fins together down the side until about halfway. That probably made no sense.

 OK I'm just going to zipper that tent closed!


 Then when it looks less like a tent I'm going to sew what's left straight to the neck joining. (OK I'm actually just squishing the piece together so you get the idea here.)



Don't forget to cut out some eyes. Again, I sew eyes on LAST because that's when they come alive! (Don't ask.) I use yellow fleece and some black scraps left over.


Honestly there is no "right way" to do any of this. I'm not even convinced this is a "good way" to do it, but it works for me. You don't see the hand sewn seam for the neck much (if at all really) so just do whatever works for you. You wanna sew everything on the machine? Go for it. Wanna go it all by hand? Hell yeah. You wanna make him out of purple fleece? Why not! I plan to make two more. One a light grey and one white, just so I can have an ombre Nightfury set. Legendary.


Also don't sell the patten or anything obnoxious like that. This is for fun and for private use only. Oh and give me credit where credit is due, it's just polite.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Collection

I gathered my amigurumi today and realized that I don't have as many as I thought! With how many I've crocheted in the last 15 months I figured I'd have an overflowing pile, but I gave so many as gifts and sold a few that I now have only a modest collection.

Still I'm proud of what I have to show for the time I've spent on my crochet.


On the plus side I get to add a "his and hers" night fury to my pile of plushies. The grey one is mine and named "Cinder" after a weird Harry Potter meets How To Train Your Dragon dream I had a few months ago. In the dream I (a witch at Hogwarts, occasionally taking on Hermione's role) discovered an "albino" night fury. Harry, of course, adopted Toothless.


Geez, even my dreams are super nerdy.

Actually, beyond super nerdy. Last night I had a Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games mash up dream. It was pretty much Harry fighting for his life in a magic style Hunger Games. My perspective kept changing too, so sometimes I was just another competitor setting traps and watching out for myself, sometimes I was a game designer watching Harry's progress (this was all set up by Voldemort of course. Does that mean I was a Death Eater? Hmm). Then for about half the dream I WAS Harry.

I think I need to see a shrink.

Ahem, ANYway I'll be posting some more on Toothless soon. You know, like how to make your own and such.

Huzzah!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Plant Hanger


I made this as a birthday present for a friend. It was super simple. Just crochet inside a key chain ring 8 or 6 stitches, then from each stitch crochet out a long chain. Super long if you want a two or three tiered plant hanger, but I went simple here so it was only about two and a half feet long.


Pick a length about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way down the entire length and tie two of each of the chains in a knot (so if you started with 8 you now have 4). Take one piece dangling from the knot and tie it to another one dangling from a different knot about two-three inches down. Just keep doing that until you have four series of knots. Finally take all your chains and tie them together in one big knot to act as the base which will then support your plant.


Something like this if my words made no sense.

                                        (RING)
                                        (abcdef)
                                         abcdef                       
                                     a   bc  de   f                     
                                  a     bc    de      f                
                               a       bc      de          f   - pull over to a          
                        (af)        (bc)     (de)                                 
                        a  f          b  c       d e                               
                      a      f       b     c    d     e                              
                    a          f   b         c d         e - pullover to a                             
                  (ae)        (fb)        (cd)                                       
                a     e        f    b        c    d                                   
             a          e     f       b    c        d                                  
           a              e  f          b c          d - pull over to a                              
          (ad)          (ef)         (bc)                                              
             ad            ef         bc                                               
                 ad        ef       bc                                                  
                     ad    ef     bc                               
                         (adefbc)

              Let the ends dangle free!

Slip a plastic bottle/pot in first to make sure it holds and then go ahead and finish it up!





In other news I have FINISHED my Toothless! Now I just have to put the tutorial together with all the pictures and stuff  in a way that makes sense. Damn. Well, at least I'm trying.

Also I have almost finished writing my blog book! I have one more chapter to write and I'm done! I've also tentatively decided on a title: A Bird in a Tree

This working title was taken from a reveal in chapter 10. If you want to give it all a read check out MostlyNerdyCrochet.blogspot.com




Monday, April 2, 2012

Thank you!!

After posting yesterday I have received such wonderful comments from everyone! I would like to take a moment to say thanks and respond.

Thank you Kate for the idea of a quick project, I have already put this into action and I have to admit, it is awesome seeing a project completed in just an hour or two.

Lena I never even realized that was supposed to be a wine rack! I'll have to keep my eyes open now that I know I won't have to buy a specialty towel rack. And yes, Pinterest is both ruining and improving my life. So many projects...so little time.

Natalia thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one that suffers with lack of inspiration when it comes to projects for myself! It's just way more fun to imagine my friends and family receiving stuff I made especially for them.

Winkieflash I am definitely going to have to look into that tutorial. I've been in a funk in more than my crafts and I'm ready to move on! I also like changing gears, I will have to do that.

Anyway my readers rock.

I also get to accept a blogging award today! Lisa of teaandcraft.blogspot.com has generously awarded me the Versatile Blogger award!


The "rules" are:
  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it
  • Next, select 5 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  • Nominate those 5 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself
Lisa thank you for thinking of me! I may not feel very award worthy right this second, but I am so happy to be given such a boost! I'm all smiles!

Lisa's blog can be found here: http://teaandcraft.blogspot.com.au/ and I would highly suggest checking out her response to the last rule, her cake decorating story is so cute!

The blogs that I would like to award are:

 Root and Blossom http://www.rootandblossom.com/ Not only is Lena a very old friend of mine but she has incredible eye! Now that she's expecting I've even had a dream where she was super pregnant and way too awesome.

Nerd Jerk http://nerdjerk.blogspot.com/ Hilarious and inspiring. Her amigurumi are what got me started!

It's Geek to Me http://lottloft.blogspot.com/ I love her. She's my imaginary internet friend. Don't ask how that works...it just does. Anyway, amazing work.

Happy Home Baking http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/ careful, this place will make you drool. I'm also really fond of the Asian inspired sweets. (Yes yes, I realize this blog isn't "crafty" like the others, but baking is SO an art. Plus I can award whomever I wish. Hehehe.)

Finally a new blog that I stumbled across http://craftdisasters.blogspot.com/ which so far has great patterns and fun projects.


As for the final "rule" eek. Seven things?

1. My husband is in the Air Force. We are currently stationed in Los Angeles.

2. My husband deploys in two months. Possible reason for funk? Probably.

3. I've recently become addicted to yoga, though class today kicked my butt.

4. When I make cakes for other people I purposely make extra icing so I can eat it straight out of the bowl when I'm done.

5. I'm a hoarder my nurture (thanks mom) and an organizer, not-quite-minimalist by nature. It makes me cry inside. A lot.

6. I enjoy calligraphy...but I kind of suck at it. I'm trying to get better.

7. Uh... (10 minutes later) ...I drink extremely sour lemonade?  I skip sweetener entirely.




Alright now that the fun blog awards are done with I promised yesterday that I would post pictures of the shirt I attacked with a bleach pen. It was hard to find the right pressure so that I didn't squeeze out too much. You can tell where I did though since it bled out a tad.




In the awkward event that you can't tell what everything is there's the Cheshire Cat, a key, a heart, spade, diamond, and clover. Taadaa!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

At least it's something!




Happy April Fools!

Hopefully none of you have had to suffer terrible jokes from your friends and/or significant other. We have a very strict non-April Fools day pact. For me it was because I was never at my sister's level and she always found a way to frustrate me more than anything with her pranks. One year I finally put Vaseline on the inside door nob to her bedroom and tied the outer nob to this ancient million pound table. I woke up to a caged half asleep and extremely angry lion who would now have to rush to get ready for school. Yeah, I was like 8 and my first real prank had been too early in the morning to be appreciated. She claims to this day that she doesn't even remember it. Ah the impact I had.

No idea why my husband doesn't like them. We both enjoy tricks and messing with each other on every other day of the year....but not today.

In my long absence from my crafting blog I've been working a bit more on Mostly Nerdy Narrative posting reviews for movies and some random rantings. I've been under the weather and going insane because for a week straight the only thing I could convince myself to do was lay down on the couch and watch TV (Stargate Atlantis to be exact). I'm feeling better, but I'm still not normal yet.

On to the minimal crafting I've accomplished!

Last week I copied a pinterest idea and used a bleach pen on a shirt to draw a design. Smelly work, but super fun. The shirt is in the washing machine right now but I'll get some pictures up later.

Again another pinterest idea (which are starting to take over my life) is a fun little towel holder.

Pinned Image

Pretty huh? Of course this isn't one of the DIY projects that's on there, more of a cool thing to buy and put in your bathroom, but who has the money for that! Instead I starting f*#&ing around with some old hangers. Originally I thought maybe it could work on some of my yarn, but I discovered the perfect use for it instead!


This is now my new "rustic" and slightly shabby cloth napkin holder! It may not be quite as pretty or sturdy as the one designed to be sold, but whatever. I like it, and that's all that's important, right?


Alright well enough of my attempted crafts for now. I've completed Toothless's head (it only took me three months ugh), but I've found that if I'm making something for myself it's just not as fun. The wire thing was fun because I never work with wire (I know you can't tell can you! pfffft) that and if I didn't like it I wasn't going to feel bad about scrapping it. I've just been in a little bit of a crafting funk. I'm sure it happens to all of us. Right? RIGHT?

 I do have a crochet project that I'll post next weekend. It's a birthday present, otherwise I would have posted it today. I hope my friend likes it!

Hugs to all of you!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day!

Ah, hello my distant friend. How long it has been since my typing has graced your "new post" screen? Too long. Too long.

I've done very little lately in the crafting world. Instead I've been slowly cleaning out my place and preparing for the move. Less than three months now!

To keep myself sane I've been going to yoga. Every single yoga class that my gym offers actually (which is only 5). I've been researching on where to go and earn my own certification so I may someday teach yoga. Aaaah yoga. I know there's all kinds of scandals lately, but my yoga practice is very personal and soothing, so I don't care what else is going on because in those moments I'm centered on myself and my body. It's wonderful!

Right, so long story short I needed a carrier for my yoga mat. I was using the mats at the gym, but they are too short! Instead I've whipped up a quick and simple yoga mat strap. My only problem? I needed bigger buttons!








Here's the pattern:

(Depending on the length of your yoga mat you may want to make each piece longer or shorter)

Ch 70
Turn. dc down the length
ch 3 turn, triple crochet down the length
ch 2 turn, dc down the length
 ...
ch 1 turn. sc 6 - repeat until barely long enough to wrap around your tightly rolled mat
ch 1 turn, sc 2, ch 2, sc 2
ch 1 turn, sc 6
ch 1 turn, sc 2, ch 2, sc 2
ch 1 turn, sc 6
ch 1 turn, sc 2, ch 2, sc 2
ch 1 turn, sc 6
tie off
...

Move to other end and repeat between the ellipses making sure both straps are the same length.
Sew on two medium to large buttons (mine are too small and almost slip out of the hole) one on each end at about the middle of the 3rd triple crochet. The slots in the strap should overlap and the button should line up! Taadaa!

Wasn't that just SOOOOO hard?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Upgrade!

So remember almost a year ago when I posted my Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? I don't know if any of you looked too closely, but I was really a bit disappointed in him! He needed to be bigger and, well... better!


I have this laundry list of about ten different crafts to work on, so what do I do? Ignore the list completely and decide to remake Mr. Stay Puft. Interestingly enough the original amigurumi had the most page views out of all my projects last year, reigning in at approximately 6,600 views! For those super professional bloggers who are laughing at such a small number just remember that this blog is supposed to be laid back (or so my excuse goes).

What am I rambling on for? We all know you just came here to see pictures.


Aww, it's like he has a little deformed brother or something.






And so the glory of my time wasting continues.


In other news my life has been turned a good 90 degrees so I'm trying to rebalance. This is why Mr. Stay Puft took me waaaaay longer than usual to complete. If you read MostlyNerdyNarrative as well then you know it has been a month since I posted chapter 8. Luckily chapter 9 is now up and ready so make sure and check it out.

My days have been littered with doctors appointments and my arm is still bruised from having my blood drawn a week ago. I've been working out at my new gym for 1-2 hours a day with the exception of Tuesdays which are my recovery and volunteer days. So see? I'm starting to find my new routine, it's just taking a little work. The hardest part is that I'm still not sleeping very well and my gym classes are exhausting. Naps have become a regular occurrence but they disrupt the flow of my afternoons so I'm less productive in the evenings. I'll figure that part out as well, but it will take a bit.

I'm going to concentrate on some of my writing for the next few weeks. Crochet will never by far from my reach but I really just want to FINISH my current work so I don't have to bounce back and forth in the plot between posting and writing. I'm up to chapter 13 which I estimate to be about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through the story.

As of Thursday I will find out if I passed the first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. My writing critique group is always impressed with my work, but then again they are all quite a bit older and may simply be impressed with my work for my age. It's hard to tell.

Enough rambling. I feel a nap coming on. Mmmm.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Organizing

I'm back! After ten days of playing board games and hanging out with the in-laws I'm back in our sunny apartment... which is full of chores that I, for some reason, felt no need to do prior to our departure. So I wake up on Friday and surprise! Instead of cleaning I joined my super awesome friends for a four mile run with some climbing thrown in (we had to venture down a cliff face and play in the water...we just HAD to). Enter exhaustion.

Friday night, the blissful time for sleep finally came and of course my lovely medication decides to kick into insomnia mode. This has been going on for a while now and it doesn't make me a pleasant person to be around. Anyway Saturday I experimented with a capoeira class... I then spent the rest of the day sacked out on the couch...and then proceeded to sleep ten hours last night. This whole sleep issue has really been disrupting my life.

Luckily with a few extra hours I've had enough energy today to finally do the dishes, sweep, put stuff away, and enjoy a Hawaiian hula class. Naturally after all of that I'm back to being sleepy. Ugh.

Hopefully my wonderfully nerdy readers will understand that my focus has been a bit scattered lately. Between trying to up my fitness level, maintain the household, write, research, and constantly switching meds so I can sleep, I'm afraid crochet hasn't been quite as far up on my list as usual.

I do have a fun project going, it's just going to take me a while to finish it. To be honest I would really like to focus on my writing a bit more. The plan is to finish this crochet project, and then take the time to finish some other things as well, including the book that I'm writing for Mostly Nerdy Narrative.

In the mean time I played around with organizing my yarn this week! I had it in clear plastic totes under my desk (which is actually a kotatsu) which worked fine...until it started to overflow.

The fix? Make better use of the closet!




Just look at all that beautiful yarn waiting to be used. I don't have the color selection that I would like, but when you're buying it second hand you don't always get much of a choice. Still, this makes me happy.

On a super side note I finally got a hair cut. Of course my husband didn't take a very good pic, but whatever. We were waiting for iFly, which is an indoor skydiving place in Tukwila, WA. Most amazing experience ever!

Me=dork.