Friday, August 8, 2008

Ravelympics 2008

So the Ravelympics 2008 has officially begun. I am knitting the Daisies Shawl for myself in KnitPicks Shadow Jewels Heather. My plan is to keep updating this single post with my progress and pictures.

Day 1/Opening Ceremonies:
48 rows. I've gotten lost in the pattern a couple of times, and while you can see where the mistakes are, it's not really a big deal since I still have so much more to knit.

Day 2 - 6 rows, 54 total. August 9th is my birthday, so I was out with my family the entire day. We went and saw Cirque du Soleil Kooza instead of staying home and knitting. I still have a couple more days off coming up so I'll be able to make up for lost time.

Day 3 - 10rows, 64 total. I spent most of today at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, and only got to knit after dinner. Holy cow was the Men's 4x100 Freestyle Relay exciting to watch!

Day 4 - 22 rows, 86 total. Today was my day off to stay at home and clean around the apartment and knit.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Simple Summer Kerchief

Earlier this month my younger brother, my husband and I carpooled together to attend the wedding of a family friend in our hometown. My brother offered to drive both ways, so I had plenty of time to knit. With my hair the shortest it's been in over a year and a half (I cut off 14 inches in May) I decided to knit a simple kerchief to help hold my hair back while working around the apartment.

The basic design of this kerchief follows the pattern for diagonal dishcloths.

And now on to the pattern!

Simple Summer Kerchief

Size 6 knitting needles (I used both a 16" circular and 2 DPN's
Approximately .75 ounces of cotton yarn (With one ball of most dishcloth cotton you can make 2 kerchiefs)
Yarn needle to weave in ends

Cast on 3 stitches
Row 1: K1, Kfb, K1 (4 stitches)
Row 2: K2, Kfb, K1 (5 stitches)
Row 3: K2, YO, k to the end of the row
Repeat row 3 until there are 80 stitches on the needle, or as wide as you would like for the kerchief to be

Break yarn, leaving live stitches on needle

CO 3 stitches on separate needles and work an I-cord for approximately 9-12 inches, depending on how long you would like the ties to be.

I-Cord bind off:
*K2, knit last stitch of I-cord and 1 stitch of live stitches together. Slide stitches to right side of needle
Repeat from * until all 80 stitches are bound off.

Continue working I-cord until it measures the same as the first tie.
Bind off.
Weave in ends.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

ADD to the Rescue!

I've slowly been making progress on the Fox-squirrel. The tail is done and I've started on the ears. Eventually I'll make this in both knitting and crochet, but I'm working on the knitted version first.

My other problem is that I keep coming up with ideas, and while I will write them down, I often don't do anything with the idea. I want to do so many things, but I end up not doing them (both in the craft world and in real life) because I usually convince myself that I won't do a good enough job.

But, hopefully things are changing for the better. I have a new job potentially lined up (I find out for certain on Monday), and while I only have 3 days of work next week I will be okay because that means more time to craft and to actually get things done.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Post ACen Progress

Well, technically I finished this hat before ACen, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. My co-worker Abel commissioned this from me, and the logo is from his favorite Mexican soccer team the Pumas. It is based on the House Color Hat found in Charmed Knits. This was also my first time using the double knit technique. It was fun and interesting to learn, but I'm not certain if I will make another double knit object in the round. My tension when purling is much looser than knitting, and it impacted how the hat looks on the yellow side.

You can kind of see the change in gauge on the yellow side above the logo, which is where I switched from working in double knit to separating the sides of the hat and working them each like a basic stockinette stitch hat. If I write up the pattern for this hat I will be shifting the placement of the image or logo so that it doesn't fall right below one of the decrease points.

I was also able to finish knitting the gloves and socks that Belldandy wears in Ah! My Goddess to go with my costume for ACen. Pictures of these will come an another post.

But now my next project (other than continued progress on the Cozy shawl for my grandma) is designing my first amigurumi. I've decided to make the Fox-squirrel from Nausicaa.

I have the yarn and a couple of test knitters/crocheters lined up. Now all I need to do is get started, which I hope to do either today while watching all of the Indiana Jones movies with my husband (before we see the new one tomorrow) or tomorrow afternoon after my job interview.

And my husband is helping me to brainstorm more ideas for amis. I'm so lucky that he supports my craziness.

Monday, May 5, 2008

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

I keep wanting to design more patterns and make them available, but I keep getting distracted by other projects. I am nearly done with all of my cosplay costumes for ACen, which is good since I have signed up for a couple of photoshoots.

My two biggest projects have been a double knit hat for a coworker and a lace shawl for my grandma. I have been making progress, mostly on the hat, but I wish there were just more hours in the day.

I hope to type up the patterns for a couple of projects that I made when I first started knitting and crocheting. I'm having a hard time deciding which patterns I should offer for free and which ones to sell. Hopefully the answers will come soon. But until then, back to sewing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bitten by the Designing Bug

I seriously have been bitten by the designing bug. Since I posted by dice bag here and started offering my Stargate Earth Dishcloth as a free Ravelry download all I can think about is designing. I've even started a new notebook dedicated to brainstorming design ideas.

Though, I think my only problem is actually following through with all of these ideas. There are certain projects that will probably have patterns written sooner than others, but I have no idea how many I'll actually finish. I will be offering a mixture of free patterns and patterns with a low cost. Dishcloths will cost around $2, Amigurumi patterns will be between $2-6, Scarves and mittens will be between $3-8, Sweaters and shawls will be between $8-15. This is just my best guess for now, as the price won't be decided upon until after the full pattern is written.

I also hope to start dyeing yarn. I've acquired a good deal of clearanced Easter egg dye and inexpensive packets of unsweetened drink mix. It's in the plans.

My mind is so full of ideas!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Basic Crocheted Dice Bag

This is the first free pattern I have to offer. I have made two of these so far - one for my husband (Ryan) and one for our friend JJ. This is so super easy that I'm surprised I haven't found directions for it online. That's okay - means I can write it out and "officially" become a designer.

Basic Crocheted Dice Bag

Materials Needed:
Size I (5.5mm) crochet hook
1 skein of yarn - your choice (you only use about 1/4 of the skein for this project)
Yarn needle

Techniques used:
Chain stitch
Single Crochet
Creating Eyelets

Chain 56
Slip stitch to join into circle. Place stitch marker if desired to mark beginning of round.
Rounds 1-24: Single crochet in back loop of each single crochet.
Round 25: *Chain 3, skip 3 single crochet, 4 single crochet in the next 4 single crochets, repeat from * until the end of the round.
Rounds 26-28: Single crochet in back loop of each single crochet.
Finish off.

Sew bottom edge closed with either whipstitching or a running stitch and weave in ends. Turn bag right side out (sewing is now on the inside).

Either purchase cording or make two braids measuring 18" long.
Weave one cord through the eyelet loops. Tie ends together
Starting on the other side, weave the other cord through the eyelet holes in the opposite direction. Tie ends together.

And you are finished! Just pull on the ends to keep your roleplaying dice or other small trinkets safe. Happy gaming!

Pattern Edit: After getting some feedback about this pattern (especially with crocheting it in the round and then seaming the bottom), another way to start the dice bag would be to chain 28 and to work both sides of the chain to create an oval with a total of 56 chains. This would eliminate the need for seaming.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The mushrooms are finished and Ryan is thrilled, so that makes me happy too. I really like it that he understands my need to make things, and that he supports me and is always thrilled with what I make him.

I think as soon as I finish everything for my cosplays and things that have already been ordered I'm going to make something for myself. I haven't really tried lace yet, and I found a beautiful pattern through Ravelry that I think will be easy enough for a beginner.

With work being slow as molasses (so far only 10 days of work in 3 weeks) I have all the time in the world to knit and crochet, but no extra money to do so. At least I have enough of a stash to get me by for now, and Ryan's schedule has been enough to help us get by, but it's still not easy.

I keep wanting to put myself out there and start my crafting business full time, but my fear of failure keeps holding me back. I have so many dreams and ideas, but I very rarely do anything about it. Maybe it is just a dream. Maybe I can make it a reality, but sometimes I really doubt that I can do it. Unfortunately the pessimistic side of me tends to do most of the talking lately.

But I should probably get off of the computer and run the errands that Ryan wants me to take care of before he gets home from work. My younger brother is stopping by tomorrow with some things for us, including the Serger sewing machine my grandma no longer uses and is giving me. I had offered to buy it from her, but grandma wouldn't listen.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

In a rut

Now that Claude the Cactus is finished and sitting on my desk I've started to develop a little bit of project apathy. I have so many things that I want to or need to work on, I just don't have the drive to do it right now. This probably has to do with this being the second day of Spring and having like 4 inches of snow on the ground. Bah! I hate winter-type weather, except when it's not blocking my driving.

On my project to do list:
Mushrooms in red, green, and purple for Ryan's ACen Shyguy (Mario games) costume
Fingerless gloves and Yoga socks for my Belldandy costume
Belldandy dress and accessories
Finish Robin coat
Fix Robin pendant
Grandma's Shawl (hopefully done in time for her birthday in August)
Gryffindor Hip House Scarf

And that's just the short list of things to finish within the next 5 months.

My queue on Ravelry has over 250 projects that I want to make (3 will be moved from queue to projects once I finish the short list.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Procrastination is Fun!

I still haven't finished typing up the pattern for my dishcloth. Too many fun things to distract me.

I'm still plugging away at my cosplays for ACen. I should have my Robin coat finished in the next day or two.

But most of my attention has been taken by an adorable crocheted cutie named Claude the Cactus (pattern available for free via Ravelry and the designers blog). Too much fun, but crocheting that tightly has really hurt my hands, so the original designer has given me permission to develop and publish on this blog a knit version of the cactus. First I just need to finish my own Claude.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I have finished modifying the pattern for my Stargate dishcloth and test knitting it for a second time - and it is perfectly square! Yay! I'm so excited in so many geeky ways!

On to a picture:

Later today while my husband is at work I hope to get the pattern typed up and converted to a PDF. Then I will be off to design more geeky dishcloths! Or working on cosplays. Most likely working on cosplays.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thank goodness for test knitting

Well I've finished up test knitting my Stargate dishcloth, and I'm really glad that I did before posting the pattern. It is so not a square dishcloth. The way I wrote the pattern originally it came out shorter than expected. I've found a couple of spots where adding a couple of extra rows will help to make the cloth closer to square and to add more definition to the symbol itself.

When I haven't been knitting I've been researching reasonably priced yarns to make striped scarves (a-la Harry Potter) featuring the school colors of local schools. I'm trying to offer the scarves in a variety of yarn types (wool, cotton, acrylic, etc.) to accommodate preferences, temperatures, and allergies. All while keeping the end product affordable. Which is why I will be getting a circular knitting machine (most likely a NSI Innovations) when my husband and I receive our tax refund.

Though, my attention is currently taken with working on my cosplay costumes for ACen 2008 in May. I'm really hoping I get the days off of work, though if it comes down to it I might just beg my manager.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New design!

I've wanted to try my hand at designing for awhile, but I've been afraid of trying and failing. I tend to do that. I have a deep seated fear of failure. But enough emoness - on to design goodness!

I have been in love with Stargate SG-1 since 2002, shortly after I met my best friend Amelia. For my graduation party I had a pillow case for people to sign messages for me, and Amelia wrote "Never forget how to Dial Home" and drew the Point of Origin symbol for Earth from Stargate. While you actually need the six symbol address for Earth and a different planet's Point of Origin to dial Earth, it was the thought and the idea that touched me.

For her new apartment gift I knit the Stargate Pillow in my Ravelry projects page for her. And I designed this new dishcloth as an extension of that idea.

I am in the process of test knitting it to make certain that it looks right. Keep an eye out for the finished product and possibly the free instructions.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Blog

I've decided to start this new blog with a new host because my other blog tends to be more rants about work or neighbors or general blah-ness. My hope with this new blog is that I can post new designs for my knitting business as well as the occasional free pattern. Today is my second day off this week, which means knitting and designing time! (with a brief visit from my younger brother).