Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery!

Amy Lynn, of Not So Random Thoughts, used my post on my Black Canary shoes to make herself a fantastic pair of Spider-Man shoes. She went two steps past my shoes–she painted the soles and heels and relined the shoes. The results? Awesome! She’s thinking of doing another round with her Wonder Woman comics, and while I completely agree those would make badass shoes, I did suggest she attempt a bag of badass if she wanted something new.


Another Project Long Completed: The Oath!

I posted way way back when I cross stitched the first part of the Green Lantern Oath, and way back, I actually cross stitched the whole thing:

green lantern crossstich

The alignment is obviously a little bit wonky, but I love it anyway. I’ve not yet gotten it framed (I have an idea for making a picture frame but haven’t tried it out yet). I’m proud of my stitching; I don’t cross stitch much, and I’ve never had the patience for those multi-colored-every-five-stitches-change thread projects, so I like coming up with ways to cross stitch words. I’ve got a list of quotes I want to cross stitch eventually, but they always seem to fall to the wayside.

Road Trip Skirt

In mid-September, The Husband and I began a cross-country road trip to move from Missouri to Oregon. Five days later, having not horribly murdered each other, we arrived. Along the way, I had a lot of things I could have done. I had books to read. I had ideas I could write. I had yarn. In a surprise to absolutely no one on this list, the yarn won over in a big way. In five days, I made most of a skirt. And here’s what it looks like:

Full length shot of Road Trip skirt

Pardon the epic bitchface. I do not self-photograph well.

I made it over five day  with Joann Sensations Boucle, an I-hook and no pattern. The only parts of it I completed once we got into Oregeon proper are the ruffle:



which took entirely too much time, as I did three single crochet in every crochet around, then did a single crochet in each of those, and then did three single crochet in each single crochet, and then the final row was a single crochet in every single crochet.

Got that?

After the ruffle was complete, I added the buttons:



The gaping buttonhole on the bottom just proves that I haven’t yet mastered buttonholes. I have, at least, learned to sew a button on tightly. That is a valuable skill. Just ask The Husband and the slacks of his I have repaired a few times.

You might notice, looking at the button picture, that the buttonholes aren’t quite on the same level as the buttons. This is due to a) my aforementioned lack of buttonhole talent and b) my need to add a second button to the skirt. Turns out that Boucle, while working up in a pretty, striped pattern without my having to do anything, is a bit heavier than expected when it’s in skirt form, and I had to add a second button to keep the thing from literally falling off me.

Overall, I’m happy with the Road Trip skirt. It’s soft. It looks good, and every time I wear it, I’m reminded that The Husband and I made it across the country without horribly murderating one another. Victory on all counts!

It’s fall! Bring on the hooded shrug!

Me in Hooded Shrug

Mmm, cozy.

Please consider the picture to the left to be an example of why I do not usually pose for photos.  I can hold still, but I always seem to bring the bitchface.

My bitchface (and photobomb by the goose) aside, I’m happy with the project. The shrug is you was made from Red Heart Light and Lofty.  I made it with my Q-hook, and winged the pattern.

Winging a shrug pattern is pretty easy once you realize that shrugs are rectangles you sew together.  Once I sewed the rectangle, I added the sleeves, hood, and cuffs.  The red cuffs came to be because I ran out of green yarn.  I like making shrugs from bulkier yarns because, a) they work up fast, and b) it’s easy to do shaping.  With bulkier yarns, you’re usually working about three stitches per inch, so shaping by the inch can be done in a single row or round without getting the slightly triangular shape you get if you decrease too quickly with lighter yarn weights.

And now, a shot of the back:

Back of Hooded Shrug

From the back!

With the contrast from the flash, you can see the joining seam at the curve of my shoulder.  You can also see the open stitch work that comes from working with a bulky yarn and a big hook.  The open stitching makes the shrug easier to wear in chilly-but-not-too-chilly weather.  It’s super comfy and has already been made useful in our new digs in Oregon.  Turns out, it rains here at the drop of a hat and doesn’t get terribly cold when it does.  (I’ve been informed that that will change. Oh , goody.)

A nook for my Nook

Way back in February, before prices dropped on eReaders like nobody’s business, I went out and bought the Barnes & Noble Nook.  I did not, at the time, buy a cover for it because, a) it’d be an extra $30 I wouldn’t be able to spend on books, and b) I had a stack of yarn at home aching to be used in some project.

Sometime in April, tired of wrapping my Nook in a variety of scarves, I finally sat down and crocheted a bag for my new toy.  I used a 100% cotton yarn, light worsted weight, in a really pretty denim blue.  I (of course) don’t recall the name of the yarn, but I know it’s been discontinued because I picked it up off the discontinued shelf at my local yarn shop.  The results were rather lovely, I think:

Nook Cozy -- Closed

Nook Cozy -- Closed

I absolutely love the buttons with that denim blue, and the Nook fits into the cozy exactly.  To get the measurements right, I started with a double-base chain the length of the Nook’s short side and then worked in the round to make the bag.  I kept slipping the Nook in and out of the bag like you’d try on a toe-down sock for fit.  You can see how well it fits in the next two images:

Nook Cozy -- Size Comparison

Nook Cozy -- Size Comparison from the side

Nook Cozy -- Size Comparison 2

Nook Cozy -- Size Comparison with Nook in cozy

There’s enough extra space in the design of the bag to get the Nook in and out easily, but the bag is still small enough that the Nook doesn’t jostle around.

And now, let us pause for a quick bit of button porn:

Nook Cozy -- Buttons

Nook Cozy -- Button close-up

I picked up the buttons at Hobby Lobby ages ago, and I was so happy to finally find a yarn and a project where they worked so well.  The buttons are from Dill Buttons, and are made–the website informs me–of tin.  I had assumed they were silver because, well, they’re silver, so I learned something today.

My only complaint on the whole project is that I got overzealous with the strap, so the bag hits me under my hip, but I tend to do that with bags, so I’m not terribly surprised.

On a final, pre-poll note, I highly recommend the Nook.  All the ereaders on the market are basically the same in regards to software, so do your research on which feels the most comfortable to interact with, and pick one up now. They’ve dropped $100 off the price across the board.

And now, the poll:

Prototype: Mushroom Hat

My general design set-up works as follows:  I sit down with some yarn and a hook and decide I’m going to make something.  Sometimes it’s a purse.  Sometimes it’s a shawl.  Sometimes it’s a hat.  When I do this, I wing it.  I used patterns early on to figure out how to make things, but once I figure out the basics of how to make something, I usually throw patterns to the wind and throw myself headlong into whatever project I’m making.  There’s a lot you can learn from a good pattern, but I learn really well by screwing up and back tracking, so that’s my general way of doing things.

The Mushroom Hat is one of those projects. I had an I-hook, some red heart acrylic, and I wanted to make a slouchy little hat that I could tuck my hair into (as we’re offically in the season of 95 in the shade on a cool day).  Thus, this:

Mushroom Hat -- Side View

Mushroom Hat -- Side View

Super cute, right?  Of course it is!  I worked from the top down, and I made the hat in a spiral (meaning no turns at the ends of rounds), and I alternated between half-double and double-crochet stitches.  I think the basic shape of it is really good.  I can get my hair into it, and it has a place to stay.  The brim is a bit wider than I had intended, but that’s an easy fix if I make the hat again.  I like the little shell stitches on the final round, but I’m very partial to shell stitches anyway.  A couple of more shots:

Mushroom Hat -- Back View

Mushroom Hat -- Back View

It’s interesting to me that from the back, the hat looks a little floppier than it actually is.  Red Heart acrylic is not a soft yarn when you first use it, so it tends to keep its shape pretty stoutly.  If I wash this hat, I know it’ll soften up a bit and probably be about as malleable as it looks in this picture, but for now, it’s a pretty structured hat.

Mushroom Hat -- Brim Detail

Mushroom Hat -- Brim Detail

Last but not least, a close-up on the brim.  Like I said above, this brim is a bit too wide for my tastes, but that’s easily fixable for the next time I make the hat.  I can either take out a round or two of the half-double stitches, or I can switch the entire brim to single crochet, so the brim has the same number of rounds as it does now, but it’ll be a little smaller.

There may be some of you reading this who find the idea of making a hat just to figure out how to fix a hat really annoying.  I like the trial and error process, because frogging can sometimes teach you just as much as following someone else’s directions.  It’s all personal preference, which just reflects the whole point of making things yourself.  You can make what you like, even if it takes a second try.

Confession Time

I am utterly terrible at craft blogging.

I know you’re shocked.  But wait! There’s more!

I’m not just bad at craft blogging, but also bad at all the pieces of craft blogging. I forget to get in-progress pictures, and I forget to get finalized images, and even if I do get either of those, I sometimes forget to post things for months and months.

In short:  I’m one of those bloggers, and while I try to remember to post, things happen, and then I forget.  And when I remember again, I can’t find my camera or can’t remember what project I finished, and I find myself back where I started, with no posts, and huge gaps between new posts.

This is not a promise to try harder. This is a statement of the facts. I’ll post as I remember, and I hope anyone who wanders by is sufficiently entertained. And let it be known that while I may forget to blog, I do read and respond to comments as quickly as possible.