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March approacheth!

So this is going to be a boring blog because I don’t have pics of any new FO’s. I’m sick of the very old and very poor quality camera I have right now and will be getting a new one in the forseeable future. In the meantime I will just ramble for a bit.

I’m stage managing for Prime Stage’s production of Romeo and Juliet, which is performing at the end of April, so that will be taking up a significant amount of my time. I still have plenty of time for crafting though. I’m also working with the guys over at BenzidreamFX studios in the casting dept for the films they shoot. So far so good. I really need to get out of my food service wage job that I have, but I can’t give up the security of that weekly paycheck yet. I think most people have to battle that same issue and never follow their dreams or desires because of the promise of easy and consistent income… If I didn’t have too-little in my savings account and monthly school loan repayments I would be fully self-employed right now.

Hopefully in 6 months I will be able to re-visit this blog and have money flowing in freely from all of the shows that I’m working on and not from the Olive Garden… I’m allowed to be a dreamer :p

In crafting news: I finished not only the Dr.Who scarf (and gave it away before I took finalized pics of course) but I also started and finished my first pair of simple knitted socks! I also just put the fabric lining into the acorn bag I crocheted forever ago and I’m giving that to its owner tomorrow (likely without taking pics first). I will make sure to get follow up pics of the items in action with their new people.

Now that I’ve finished a small but impressive pile of projects I wanted to move onto the next one, but uh oh, what to make next?? I’ve been hunting more and more knitting patterns since I’m comfortable with it. I decided to go with the best of both world and I started a knitting and a crochet project. Both are going to be thigh high when completed. One is a pair of crocheted fishnet stockings, based off of this blog pattern. The other is a pair of light ww striped thigh high socks, perfect for renn faire season, here.

Both are excellent patterns. The crochet fishnets are flying right along because there’s barely anything to them, which is awesome. The knitted thigh highs are barely into the ribbing. I’m always paranoid that my knitting items wont come out the proper size, and yes I’m guilty of not doing a test swatch so it’s my own fault if they’re goofy. They’re also knitted on 5dpn’s instead of 4 so that extra needle in the mix is throwing me a bit. Getting them started is always the hard part and I’m close to the point where I can just knit and go and aside from some minor shaping, shouldn’t be too challenging. Just time consuming I think.

Every time I look at my yarn collection I’m filled with a sense of disappointment. Only because, for years, I have been telling myself that I will stop buying new yarn until the stuff that I have has been used up and sold or given away. I’ve been crocheting for 7 years now and knitting for less than one and I only ever end up with more and more yarn. I’ve tried various methods of storage and ways of encouraging myself to use it more and make projects go faster. But invariably every time I start a new project I never have quite the right color, or the right yarn weight and have to go out to the store ANYWAY to get the yarn I really need. So all the wonderful worsted red heart just sits and sits. And the cones of cotton, and the fancy eyelash yarns, and so on. Everything that just calls out to be something, just not sure what. I can never match a pattern to a yarn I have and want to use. I’m ranting… about yarn… There are starving kids in the world and I’m complaining about yarn. I would knit them hats but it’s friggin hot just about anywhere that is rather poor and underdeveloped.

I think I’m going to hide all of my yarn away from myself while I’m not using it, and then when I begin new projects I will dive into my secret hiding places and pick out the stuff I need, and not buy any more. That way my bedroom, where I keep all of my yarn in hanging sweater organizers on a clothing rack, will not look like a deranged cat lady lives here.

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Sock spectacular!

So a few days ago I sat down with my girlfriend Kat and had her be morale support for the casting on of my first ever knitted sock. So far so good on the quality and progress. I had a friend make a comment on Facebook on one of my pictures of my efforts and said “pretty good for a crocheter who vowed to never knit” it made me laugh and I definately had forgotten and then remembered saying that. Another friend of mine, Danielle was complimenting my efforts but bemoaning the fact that she doesn’t knit and would love to make some funky socks. So I’m dedicating this blog to linking to the top few sock patterns I’ve ever found on the internets.

Now, some of these may be on a website called ravelry and you need to be a member to view them. If you’re a crafter/knitter/crocheter you should become a member regardless. It’s a great website with new content daily and there are some really cool people there.

but first a picture of my humble little sock

Now onto the good stuff, LINKS! :

#1. this is the very first pattern I ever found and attempted when I learned to crochet. I never completed one but it was because I just got bored of making a sock 🙂 http://www.crochetandknitting.com/socks.htm

#2. this pattern is great for people that like to experiment, or at least feel like they are. It’s a basic toe-up pattern and you decide how long or short and wide each section is. It’s a really neat diy guide for socks. I made a great sock from this pattern and only had enough yarn to make one, so it sits in a drawer now… 🙂http://www.crochetme.com/ultimate-crocheted-socks

#3. link to crochetville message boards, cute little ankle socks. http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=71739

#4. I love canadianliving.com I’ve found a lot of neat patterns over the years there and they have a different sock pattern of their own. http://www.canadianliving.com/crafts/crochet/basic_crocheted_socks.php

#5. this is not a specific link to a pattern. Go to ravelry.com and sign up if youre not a member already. Under the patterns tab search for crochet in the craft and socks in the category and it will bring up 17 pages worth of patterns that folk like you and me have posted. Some are free, some you can buy. Some are in swahili but most are in english 🙂

Regardless, happy crafting everyone and I hope that my efforts to help a few people find patterns end up being successful!

Hello dear readers,

I’m not going to pretend like I have any semblance of a regular reader-base but I feel like flattering myself today. In the past month I’ve had a surge in craftiness, mostly knitting endeavors. I’m still working on Dr.Who scarf, which is now taller than me and over halfway done. I’m super excited about that, but that one has been in a pile for a week and a half and not touched because I’ve been distracted by newer and shinier things.

I'm 5'6" for a height comparison 🙂

I started working on a really basic ‘Mark scarf’ like the one worn by mark in RENT, for my friend Justin. It seems however, that the curse for knitted sweaters also goes for scarves. The second I started making him a knitted item, he vanishes into thin air and barely chats anymore. (story behind this one is that he lives 2 hours away, so in reality unless one of us moves it wont go beyond friends that occasioanlly visit and do each other)… But yeah, so I’ve been trying to copy the simple garter stitch of the original, only in a nice chunky acrylic yarn and i’m getting curl like no other, despite the garter stitch edging on either side at the end of each row… he says he doesnt mind regardless, but whats the point of the edging if it doesnt make a difference anyway. One of these days I will figure out what I am doing wrong… not today though.

curling sides are killing me, cuts the width in half

The highlight of my day, however, has been the near completion of a project that I started back in like 2007… a t-shirt/memory quilt for a girlfriend of mine. We had classes and tutored together at the time, I had my machine in my dorm so of course I agreed to take on the project… 3 years later I just started and completed the very simple stitch in the ditch quilting this evening. The reason it took me so long is that I have a very simple beginner sewing machine and despite owning it for years upon years, still dont know how to work it properly all the time. Once I started getting feed and bunching issues I refused to touch it because I didnt want to destroy t-shirts of a good friend that were meant to be nicely preserved forever. Now in 2010, enter the walking foot sewing machine attachment… I HAD NO IDEA THESE THINGS EXISTED!!! It saved my confidence and the quilt, and my machine from being thrown away for a new one. It’s a really super simple quilt, but it’s warm and snuggly (used quilters flannel for the backing) and I think it will be absolutely perfect for her in the end.

All that is left is the binding

Aside from that puppy, I’m getting together with my girlfriend Kat tomorrow to learn how to knit socks on dpn’s and I’m super excited. Knitting is as addictive as everyone said it is, and not nearly as hard as I first thought it to be 🙂 My poor crochet feels neglected and abandoned I fear…

knitting bug

Well, tis the season for everyone to get sick and stress over the holidays, and it isn’t even Halloween yet. Close but no cigar. Makes me thankful I’m not in school anymore, otherwise I’d be a part of the sore-throated masses that are miserable at home right now. Instead, I’ve caught a different sort of bug, and its called knitting. Ever since I’ve gained confidence from working on the Dr.Who scarf I can’t stop myself. I bought a few sets of circular knitting needles. I’ve made a cute headband/earwarmer for my bestest, Elizabeth. It’s insane and just one more obsession that I don’t need…

But its fun 🙂

I’ve also made a pattern for a pouch, that I doubt will be useful to nearly nobody aside from myself. Last Christmas, my local Wal-Mart sold coke bottles in the shape of christmas ornaments. The bottles were really cool shapes, and as a LARPer, my thoughts immediately turned to “wow, that would make an awesome potion rep!” So I’ve had a few lying around for a while collecting dust. I got some nice thick vintage-esque rug yarn from my girlfriend Nikki a few weeks ago with every intention of crocheting it into pouches. Little did I know that it would be a match made in heaven.

I will take pictures at some point and update the blog post, but for now I’m going to post my (poorly written) pattern for a fist-sized belt pouch. Perfect for renn faires and re-enactments, as well as LARPing.

using a 6mm crochet hook and thick bulky weight yarn.

6sc into a magic ring, pull ring to closed, sl st to join

ch1, 2sc in each sc around, join  (12sc)

ch1, *2sc in next st, 1sc in next st*, repeat around, join (18sc)

ch1, 1sc in next sc, *2sc in next sc, 1sc in next 2 sc* repeat around, join (24sc)

ch1, 1sc in next 2sc, *2sc in next sc, 1sc in next 3sc* repeat around, join (30sc)

ch1, 1sc in next 3sc, *2sc in next sc, 1sc in next 4sc* repeat around, join (36sc)

work 4 rounds even in sc, spiral (36sc)

dec. 2sts in next row, spiral (34sc)

dec. 4sts in next row, spiral (30sc)

dec. 2sts in next row, spiral (28sc)

work 3 rounds even sc, spiral (28sc)

dc even for 1 round, join -this is to thread the drawstring through later- (28dc)

1dc in next 8dc, turn

ch3, 1dc in next 7dc, turn – repeat 4 more times

fold strap over on itself and sc across to form a belt loop, weave in ends

ch ~75 for drawstring, weave through dc round and tie into a bow in the front.

Dr.Who Scarf

my dr who scarf oct 13, 2009

my dr who scarf oct 13, 2009

So… I met a boy. Well really, he’s a man. But what man isn’t secretly a boy inside? He asked me if I could knit and at the time I mentioned that I’d done a few sample swatches but never actually completed any of my projects. He encouraged me to start a project for him because he’d wanted one for a really long time: the scarf from the old bbc show Dr.Who…

I’ve been working off and on with it for a few weeks now and it’s beginning to shape up nicely. I decided to go with a worsted weight yarn because I can’t stand dk weight for super tedious projects. I’m using vanna’s choice yarn, which is super easy to knit and has a wonderful soft feel. I’ve been working on size 6 needles.

Now, keep in mind that this is my first knitting project… ever. And I hate to say that I’m catching on. I have my tension fairly uniform, technique is lacking a bit but I can cruise along better than before. I think with some spare yarn I’m going to practice the continental technique, which is holding the feed yarn in the left hand. It seems efficient in ways similar to how I crochet, but so far my attempts have just been awkward and I go back to English style after a stitch or two.

I’m going to be getting myself a pair of circular knitting needles next so I can give hats a shot. I don’t even want to think about dpn’s because they just look scary and are dropped stitches waiting to happen in my world…

In other crochet related news, I have a lot of projects in the queue as usual. I’ve been working on a 9-pointed star blanket in a verigated blue boucle.

this stupid picture...

this stupid picture...

I’ve also been commissioned to crochet an acorn tote bag -of sorts- for a girlfriend of mine that I LARP with. She is playing a squirrel scavenger and has throwing acorns for weapons, and of course needs an awesome carrying bag for them that is shaped like an acorn. I think it’s a pretty awesome idea. She found a picture of a bag on etsy which she sent me a link to: squirrel and acorn bag. I’m making my much bigger version without a pattern, but have been following some simple principles.

squirrelley wrath

squirrelley wrath

Worked from stem to opening, start with dkbrown color and work 8sc into a ring. Work even around in spirals until the stem is about 1.5inches long. Then you begin to work the cap of the acorn. 2hdc in each st around, making sure to join rounds as you go and not in spirals. Then continue working around in the traditional circle crochet method, increasing as you go. I did this around for 14/15 rows and then worked 5 rows even around. Then I added the neat little ruffle detail at the edge of the cap of the acorn by doing clusters of 7hdc every 2st in the front loop only. I then attached my cclight brown and worked an even row of sc the whole way around to attach to the cap. Word hdc even around, joining rounds until the bag is almost as tall as you want it.

Then I plan on doing a few dec rows to narrow the top hole to about 9in and finishing it off with a strap on either side like a messenger bag. it’s really simple and a fun festive fall project. I also plan on doing a lining for the bag so it won’t stretch and warp over time. LARPing is hard on handmade items…

I’ve been in Philadelphia since thurs and I am having a blast. The drive out was long and tedious at times but any 5 hour drive will do that to you. Set up was a new experience. I’ve never been in or to a comic con before so this has been great. I am vending with friends
Of mine, Nikki and norm and they let me set our my crochet items to sell. So far I have been pleasantly surprised.
I’ve met a slew of different people and characters. Got totally and tragically hit on by a super dork… He asked to buy me lunch.
I’ve been too distracted to take pictures but plenty of people have been getting my picture, which kind of rocks 🙂
Journeyman leather is making a custom made leather corset for me and I may end up going to great lakes renn faire to work weekends for them for 6 weeks.
All in all, kind of the best week ever.

Overstimulation!

So this week I’ve been going rather crazy with my crafting. I started like 4 projects and they’re all without patterns and more of the nature of “I make it up as I go along”. This is not a bad thing however. The things I have started working on:

A beaded crochet snood. For those not in the know, a snood is something women used to wear to hold their hair in place in renaissance times up until WWI or so. I’m not a history major so don’t hold me to that statement. But yeah, I’m attempting to make one out of black crochet thread and hot pink beads. It would be awesome if I get it right and can wear it to nero (my live action roleplaying game).

A boucle shrug. I started making this one on the purple knifty knitter loom. I’m using an awesome yarn from joanns in a light pink/light grey combo that Clint’s parents got me for Christmas 2 years ago. It’s light and warm and fluffy, and given the weather today I need to hurry up and finish it so I can wear it soon.

T-shirt quilt. Yep, I got the fusible interfacing for the thing finally but I haven’t done any ironing yet. It has kind of falled to the side and been replaced with piles of reading, paper writing, classes and work. I know that once I get into the groove it’ll go quickly but I haven’t gotten that far yet. It’s for a friend of mine so I need to get cracking on it soon. By December I want to have it completed.

Stamped cards. Yes, I got my hands on some stamps and ink and caught the stamping bug as well. So I’ve been working on those a lot from my collection. My goal is to make a few sets and sell them on my etsy site. So keep your eyes open for when I post some. 🙂

In unrelated news, I have grand plans for the evening. I’m going to, with the help of Candy, be putting blonde highlight/streaks into my hair. The goal of this is twofold. One, I want them to be nice-ish highlights that are relatively natural looking. I also want to get enough contrast in my hair because after this weekend I’m dyeing all of my hair a hot pink color. I want the highlights to be brighter pink. So there is a plan. We’ll see just how well it goes. 🙂