Dec 16, 2008

First cross stitch project!


I will admit that this took longer than expected - but that doesn't matter, because the process was fun :) The panda is based on some super adorable pixel art from a Japanese website, and I found it because someone had posted a picture on flickr of another panda she had found there.
I decided to leave out all the shading, and changed the text to say "KITA" which means something like "awesome" in Japanese. If you ever watched "Densha Otoko" (the tv-series) you'll know why this phrase came to mind.
It's not really crooked, the red background was just a bit uneven.
What I'll use it for? A patch on my bag! I can't really think of that many uses for cross stitch, but I'm sure some will pop up eventually.

Dec 14, 2008

Best birthday gift ever?

Wouldn't this be the best gift ever for someone who just started playing around with embroidery and enjoys it a lot? (that'd be me, I hope husband is reading this :p) The box even has another layer, with even more stuff!

Dec 4, 2008

Excited!

Since I can't knit or crochet these days, somehow the idea of cross stitching popped up in my mind. I've never done much of it before, but all the neat video game inspired stitchings everywhere made me want to try! I've ordered a few needles, pretty scissors (purple!) and some aida cloth, and will get embroidery thread tomorrow - I'm all excited about this :)
Hopefully it will allow my arms to get better too, it being a completely different movement and all. That, and I won't be tempted to knit all the time with something else to do. Yay!

Dec 2, 2008

In which the lazy superhero(ine) admits to being lazy and heroic (psst, need more chocolate, powers... failing...)

Here comes a long overdue post. If I was a superhero, my name would be THE PROCRASTINATOR! It has a certain ring to it, don't you think?

I haven't been able to stay off crafting completely. It's as addictive as any drug (be careful with those knifty knitters, they're the perfect gateway drug for the little ones), but at least I've tried to do other things than knit. In this case, I did some naalebinding again and made myself a cuff. Actually I made two, but this one is prettiest. I'd make hats, but never get around to buying enough wool yarn, so I end up using scraps all the time.



This, now THIS! Is made of win and awesome. My friend, Eumi (follow link to her etsy-store, she makes tasty-looking stuff) sent me this adorable CHIBI-ARPIE! Yes, that must be in all caps. Purple hair, rainbow necklace, even a knitted kitty hat! Not everyone gets to have a mini-me, so I feel very special. Ok, so I don't have green eyes, but in my imagination, I do! Because purple hair and green eyes go so well together.

A while ago I signed up for the flying tawashi swap over at Tawashi Town. It's a very fun swap, where a package with 6 (-ish, the number keeps on increasing, I think they're multiplying in there!) tawashi travel around the world. Each recipient takes out two favorites and add two new ones, along with a post card. The other day it was my turn to receive the package, and this is what I took:
Yes, I know I took three. The rules are bendable, simply replace the ones you take, and maybe don't take all. Don't worry, I added a nice little pile, must get them out of here somehow! Damn tribbles, only trouble with them ;)


Hover Cat says: Take care, and hover responsibly in your boxes!

Nov 12, 2008

Lack of updates

Sorry for the lack of updates the last couple of months. My arm is giving me trouble again, so I can't knit or crochet (the horror!)
I try to focus my energy on other things instead, but they're not as blog friendly.
Expect some new patterns to show up, at least. Now that I can't make new things, I have plenty of time to make sense of my notes and write out the patterns properly :)

Oct 25, 2008

Nearly invisible join of the last round - crochet

If you're like me, that last slip stitch join when you crochet something in the round drives you nuts. I don't want to see where the round begins, especially if it destroys the symmetry of an object.

This is how I do it. Note: For this to work, the rest of your project has to be crocheted with joined rounds. You can do it without joining rounds too, but it sort of defeats the purpose, since then it won't be symmetrical no matter what you do.

Ok, here we go:
Instead of joining the last round with a slip stitch, do as follows: After working the last stitch, cut the yarn. That large loop you see in the image is the last loop on your hook, the one you pull on.
Pull the yarn loop all the way through the stitch.

Find your trusty darning needle. Thread needle with your yarn tail, and poke it through the two loops of the first sc of the round.

Then turn your work so the wrong side faces you. Push needle through the two loops on the back of the last dc of the round.
Now pull yarn through, and this is what it will look like before you adjust the tension to match the rest.
Finished view. Weave in ends, and there you go. Now your flower can look perfectly symmetrical :)
This can be adapted to a number of different stitches. I love using it on hats, among other things.

Oct 15, 2008

Sneaky Snakes - pattern


Here's the pattern for my pink hat, as requested.


I just want to add that although it was inspired both by the Gemma beret and the Slouchy Lace Hat by Just_A_Girl over at Craftster, I still feel that this hat is different enough to justify posting the pattern :)

Oct 2, 2008

A little bit of everything

You know, this is kind of embarrassing... I started the socks for Jeff about... a month ago, I think? Then I promptly proceeded to work on all sorts of other projects, for no good reason, only random urges. So far I've finished a sweater (it's blocking now), made a gazillion of the small flowers I posted a pattern for, made some other small tiny washcloths for removing makeup (they're really cute, simple and colorful), crocheted a coaster (actually I made 3, but I only like one of them), and, let's see... yes, I also crocheted a couple of tiny, cute mushrooms that must go in a Halloween-decoration or something. Add to that a couple of tawashi that I haven't seamed yet, and you can see that I have been sort of busy, despite it appearing otherwise.

Now, I only have pictures of a couple of these projects. No excuse, aside from laziness and not wanting to put anyone through picture overload. Mostly laziness.

I also became a mod over at Tawashi Town (because I spend so much time there anyway, hah), so at least now I have an excuse to hang around.

Oh, and I started a blog in Norwegian.

Now I want to knit more washcloths, because my brain likes the utter lack of concentration needed - and the suspense when knitting with a variegated yarn: "Ooooh, how will these colors mix? What if I mix two different yarns? What if I add a couple more stitches? What if I make a really tiny washcloth with one solid and one variegated?" I can entertain myself for hours...

Sep 18, 2008

Because I don't have anything better to do right now

A couple more pictures of the flowers I made the other day. Some of them are slightly smaller than the final version, I made a whole bunch before it occurred to me that adding a row of sc after the color change would make it look neater.

I ran ouf of yellow, so this one is more sunflowery than the others.

Smaller flowers, first version. You can't see much of the lack of neatness here because I cleverly disguised it with non-Euclidian geometry and such (so don't stare at this one too long, you might just go insane)

Lots and lots of colors - and I even forgot the red one because it was hiding in my bag.

Sep 14, 2008

Super simple tawashi flower

...or flower applique, or small coaster if you're so inclined!
These are great for little makeup-remover pads. I must admit it never occurred to me to crochet something like that, but then I saw someone on ravelry who had done it, and hey, it IS a great idea. Reusable means less waste, and money saved which in turn means - you guessed it - more money for YARN!

I've been crocheting up a storm with these! Each takes no more than 10 minutes to finish, so the pile grows fast.

Use worsted weight cotton yarn and whichever hook you're comfortable with.

The finished tawashi in the picture measures ~3" across, I use a 6mm (J) hook because I have a bad habit of crocheting too tight.

With your center color, start with the famous magic ring.

Round 1: Chain 3, crochet 20 dc in ring (I don't count the ch 3 as a dc, because it's so clumsy to join to it), change to petal color, slip stitch to first dc to join.

Round 2: Chain 1, sc around, join to first sc.

Round 3: Chain 1, sc in same stitch. *skip 1 stitch, 7 dc in next stitch, skip 1 stitch, sc in next stitch* repeat between * 4 more times, 5 petals total. Join to first sc, weave in ends.

Add hanging loop if you feel like it - personally I think they look better without, I just toss them in the laundry after use anyway.

No rights reserved, although I do enjoy being credited :)

Sep 10, 2008

Fall is here, why am I not knitting something warm?

Actually I am, just not for me. I decided to be unselfish and nice and all that, so now I'm knitting socks for my husband. Hoping they will fit, because I did not do a gauge swatch. Want to know a secret? I rarely do. I guesstimate, and usually it turns out fine *crosses fingers*



A while ago I saw this adorable hat on ravelry. (You have to be a member to see it, sorry).
I fell in love with it, but didn't feel like ordering a book from Japan just for one hat. After postponing it because I was lazy, I decided to try to make one anyway. It wasn't too hard to figure out at all. I decided to go with twisted rib instead of the 2x2 since I love the way it looks, and instead of only working the pattern up until the decreases, I kept it going all the way. It's now my favorite bad-hair-day-hat ever, and I use it all the time despite having at least 5 others. What does that say about my hair... oh, never mind ;)
I used Elann's Coto Canapone, which is a blend of hemp and cotton. It shed a lot while I knitted with it, but not at all when I'm wearing the hat. Which is good, because linty hair is not really my style.


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Aside from that, I've been knitting dishcloths. Lots and lots of dishcloths. I got tired of having to waste paper towels on cleaning the counters (and we always forget to buy it anyway), so here are the very environmentally conscious companions of my tawashi. I will be making a lot more, they're fun to knit in different colors. I decided on the standard granny pattern because it's my favorite to use and clean. Besides, it never gets boring with variegated/striped yarn!


My next project (aside from the socks, of course) is to knit a swiffer cover. We bought a swiffer years ago, but never used it after the initial package of disposable wipes ran out. It just seemed like too much of a waste, and they weren't very good anyway.

Sep 1, 2008

Sneaky cats!

In the pattern I posted yesterday, I mentioned some possible uses for a miniature boob. One of my suggestions was to give it to a cat for a slightly disturbing cat toy.
Now, I didn't give one to my cats. Nonetheless, today I heard Sally making her little growl that she does every time she has stolen something and proudly carries it around in her mouth.Who can resist a thief like that? I know I can't.
Oh, and ignore the mess... The cats run amok every single night, making any attempt at keeping the shoes and carpet neat completely futile.

I think Sebbie noticed the new toy too... despite Sally's attempts at hiding. Right after this photo was taken, Sebbie made a jump for it and managed to steal it for a while. This is no small feat, imagine 20lbs of cat jumping like a kitten!

Aug 20, 2008

Because the rain killed most of the strawberries this summer

Seeing as how I'm completely obsessed with strawberries these days (guess what I'm having for breakfast!), a strawberry tawashi was bound to emerge from the needles.
I really love how it turned out, and as soon as the pattern is ready, it will be for sale in my etsy-store along with the other tawashi.

Aug 18, 2008

Procrastinating with dishcloths

Getting tired of working on the "Scala" hat, because 5397308402 rounds with tiny cables on every other round is just painful. I like my knitting mindless most of the time, that's what happens when you get too used to multitasking.

I might be the last person in the known universe to try this, but here's my little ballband dishcloth. It's not the full-sized one, but rather the smaller, double version from candy coated rose petal's blog.

For this I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton, which is the only cotton yarn available to me locally, which is fine, because I actually quite like it. The yarn sheds like there’s no tomorrow (I have to remove a layer of fuzz from my hands every ten minutes or so), but the end result is so wonderfully soft that I don’t care.

I love how this dishcloth is just the right size, and really thick. Nevertheless, now I'm considering making some larger ones to use as potholders. I guess that would be the original ballband dishcloth, but double.

When the time comes to make another one, I’ll try to make the edges more tidy - not that they look bad now, but I’d really like to find a way to use an i-cord as edging instead of the crochet. The thing I hate about single crochet edgings is that they never look quite as nice on the wrong side - and the whole point with this dishcloth is to have it fully reversible!

Sorry about the over-exposed photo. It's hard to take decent pictures at night, and at the same time night is my creative time. Good thing I'm not a professional photographer!

Aug 12, 2008

Summer hat

Here is one of my new summer hats! For some reason, it ended up being pink. Don't ask me why, I usually go for purple or black. I guess my subconsciousness decided pink was the color of the day.
The pattern is simple. I just modified the eyelet-pattern from the Gemma beret, and then decreased a lot to make it slouchy.
The hat is made with Bernat Handicrafter cotton, which is actually very soft compared to Sugar & Cream, but sheds like a bitch. Don't knit with your laptop on your lap... just trust me on that one. Unless you don't mind the keyboard being covered in fuzz, that is.

This is the first time in.... 20 years or so, that I've actually worn pink voluntarily. It might be a sign of my brain degenerating as I get older, but I prefer to see it as "yay, color". ;)

Next task up should be making pyjama pants with the skull fabric I received for last Christmas. Because pink and skulls go together perfectly. Or something.

This entry brought to you by Death - Zero Tolerance.

Aug 6, 2008

This summer is like a scene out of Blade Runner!

...by that, I mean that it's been raining all the time.
Hi! It's been a while since I updated. It's not that I haven't been knitting, I just haven't been able to take good pictures of anything.
Right now I'm working on the "Scala" hat by Woolly Wormhead. I'm using Elann Coto Canapone, which is actually very nice to work with. I had to add a pattern repeat, since I'm using smaller needles than recommended, and the cotton/hemp yarn seems to be thinner than the worsted weight it is supposed to be.
Can't wait to finish the hat, it should be very soft and nice. Hopefully there will be some nice weather so I can take a picture of it outside when I'm done!

Of course I do lots of other things at the same time. Someone asked me if I would make an acorn tawashi, so I did. It took me quite a few tries to get everything the way I wanted, but now it's done, and a pattern will be available soon.

I've also tried mastering the garter stitch graft, but can't for the life of me get it right. I follow the instructions, look at pictures, try everything - no matter what I do, it ends up being stockinette graft. I'm ready to give up on the instructions and just fiddle around on my own until it looks right.

Jul 22, 2008

What I've been doing aside from working

(not much)

Sheesh, this working thing is exhausting, isn't it? Good thing I get yarn money in return, at least!

Here's the result of something that definitely is more pleasure than work - can you guess what?
Tawashi, of course. After all, I have a bag full of tawashi yarn I need to use!
I'm getting very ready for a larger, wearable, SOFT project, though. I'm thinking a sweater is on the horizon. First paycheck, I'm looking at you!

Oh, and before you get to see the pictures: I love my new crochet hooks! (rakuraku by Hamanaka) If you have problems with wrist pain while crocheting, you definitely should try these out. They allowed me to alter my grip, so while before I could not crochet at all, now I can go on for at least an hour or two. I learned my lesson and stop BEFORE I feel pain this time around.
From top to bottom: Happy flower, happy frog and a happy orange. Sense a theme here? These are all patterns from a Japanese tawashi book called "Enjoying 4 seasons".




Jul 10, 2008

Latest loot

Click picture for larger version - it sure helps if you want to read the text!

Isn't it awesome how all the tools match?

If there's anything in this photo you want to get your hands on as well, just contact me and I will let you know where you can find it :)

Jul 9, 2008

New cravings (but not for food)

Suddenly I found myself with the urge to make headbands. Large amounts of headbands, in different neat prints and fabrics. This might have something to do with the fact that I just started working in a kitchen, so I need to keep the hair out of my face - and by the second day, I figured out that a hairnet line across the forehead at closing time isn't very sexy.
Hence, the headbands. But I like variety, and I can only wear my skull patterned one so much before I go crazy.

I need small amounts of different fabrics - there must be a way to get this? I can't buy it locally, the one fabric store nearby deals mostly with upholstery of furniture.

When I DO get my hands on pretty fabrics, I'm going to use my two favorite patterns to produce many, many headbands/wraps/scarves. There are three more versions available there, but the wide ones fit my needs perfectly.

Jul 6, 2008

An eventful week!

Two days ago, I woke up to Jeff telling me that I might want to clean some of my clothes and jump in the shower, because in two hours we'd be going to Quebec City!
Turns out he had arranged with a friend to go there for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city. They were going to have crazy huge pretty fireworks, a Van Halen concert and probably lots of other thing that we didn't have time for.

I'm not really a fan of Van Halen, but it was nice getting out of the countryside for a while. There were 75 000 people at the concert, and they all wore little red blinking lights (that was the festival pass). After the concert, we went to a hotel the friend's cousin was the director of, and guess who checked in while we were there? David Lee Roth, with a huge perma-grin stuck on his face.

The fireworks were really great too. I took a bunch of pictures, but my cam isn't very suited for pictures at night. Still, I think some of them came out ok. It lasted for half an hour, with so many explosions you wouldn't believe it.

400 000 people were out in the streets that night to see the fireworks. We had to walk for 1 1/2 hour to get to the car, because all the buses were full and the streets were crowded. I actually enjoyed the walk! Way better than waiting in line with a car for 2-3 hours just to get out of the city, that's for sure.

I almost forgot the most important news, though: In the car on the way TO Quebec City, the cellphone rang! The call was for me (whoa, that hardly ever happens), and just like that, I got a job. I had stopped by at a local thai-restaurant with my CV the day before, so on thursday afternoon, the owner called and asked if I could start working the very next day. Of course I said yes! Today was my second day at work, and I think I'm doing quite ok. I've never worked in a kitchen like that before, but it mostly consists of running around like a madwoman to get everything done :p
I'm really happy about this job, because I love thai-food, and now I will actually learn how to make it the right way! Besides, the owner (and chef) makes me delicious food every time I work. Oh, yeah, did I mention it's one of my favorite restaurants? And now I get food there for free! <3

Please excuse me if I don't update a lot for a while - this job thing is quite exhausting, and I don't think I will have a lot of time off. I CAN get some time off if I ask, but at the moment I just want to earn some money so I can save for moving, a new computer and other fun stuff.

Jul 2, 2008

New pattern - bellflower tawashi

Two versions this time - one that uses both crochet and knitting, and one that is knitting only.
The knitting only version is in the bottom picture. They're both included in the same pattern.
 


 

$3.50

$1.50

Jul 1, 2008

Small update

Today the rain finally stopped for a while. Long enough for me to take some pictures of things I've made lately. The last 3 weeks have been very grey and wet, which is why I haven't updated much. I've spent my time crocheting, knitting and watching movies (and old episodes of MacGyver!).

A while ago I ordered crochet hooks from Japan, hoping they would make for easier crocheting. Turns out they do! I lovelovelove them. They're called Raku Raku, and are made by Hamanaka. The rainbow colors are of course a huge bonus ;) I will post pictures of them later, when I receive my darning needles and stitch markers - my tools really needed an upgrade, I've been using old stuff from my mother and Jeff's grandmother so far. Which is fine, except the metal needles/hooks made my hands hurt, I had no stitch markers, and I lost my darning needle. So yay for good tools!

Since I was able to take pictures outside today, I will soon update with that other pattern I've been trying to finish for quite a while. But while I'm working on that, here are some other pictures of cute tawashi! These are all from patterns in "Magic Scrubber", which is a collection of the most popular patterns from the 4 first Magic Scrubber books. If you like cute crafts and can read charts, I highly recommend it!

Jun 14, 2008

Lilacs!

Today I spent half an hour outside just smelling the lilacs. I usually stay away from the garden where they grow, because of hordes of tourists and insects, both equally annoying.

But today I went there. I just stood there, smelling the flowers and taking pictures.
Some day I want a garden just for my family, surrounded by lilac trees.

Jun 13, 2008

New pattern in progress and also new-old haircut

After having had my natural hair color since about Christmas, I just couldn't stand it anymore. Nothing against blond hair on others, it's simply not for me. I don't feel like myself. At the same time, my head was well past the point of looking like a shaggy mess, so to the hairdresser I went (BEFORE dying my hair so the poor woman wouldn't get purple hands, purple combs, a purple chair and purple stains on the floor. Yes, our bathroom looks great every time I shower).

I was armed with pictures to make sure she understood what I wanted This is a rural area after all, so I didn't expect her to have any idea what I was talking about. This is the same hairdresser I went to last summer, then I wanted an a-line bob, and she did an ok job with that - so I figured I'd be in safe(ish) hands. To my surprise, she didn't even blink an eye when I told her what I wanted, she simply asked how much to shave. I've never had this done by a hairdresser before, I always used to do it myself, but our current bathroom is dark and small, with a tiny mirror, so I didn't want to take the chance. Besides, I felt lazy.

She put the hair I wanted to keep in a bun on top and started shaving. I was not entirely sure I could trust her, because she did it very fast and it was all over in less than 15 minutes, the whole time of which I had an audience consisting of one old lady who stared at me like I was insane. 5 minutes before they had been discussing how beautiful my hair is, then I shave most of it off?

Hairdresser finished, I paid and went back home. The first thing I did was to check in the mirror to see if it was straight (uh-oh)...
Turns out she had cut quite a large chunk at one side that was not supposed to be cut. Yay! I obsessed about it overnight, tried telling myself I could just start growing that little spot out. Yeah, right.
The next day I grabbed a mirror, went to the bathroom and made my undercut a little higher, just so the missing chunk of hair got eliminated.

Long story short, maybe I should just trust myself when it comes to hair...

P.S. The hairdresser is awesome though, she's so friendly and nice. She's just not used to the kind of haircuts I ask for, I think she deals mostly with older women.

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If you stayed all through that long hair story, here's your reward. I'm writing up a new tawashi pattern, just have some pictures left to take and clean up my notes.

Isn't the bluebell pretty? I think it needs some knitted bumblebees to go with it. That might end up being my next project, even though I have so many tawashi now, I could start a shop (if I could part with them, that is). They're just so fun to make :)

I spent a good half hour outside, hanging knitted bellflowers on random plants and taking pictures. The neighbours must have thought I was even weirder than usual.

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Oh, oh, one more thing: I'm getting these shoes in the mail soon!
I feel giddy like a 5-year old (and will soon look like one as well).
Even though I don't own one single piece of clothing that will go with them, I don't care. I will wear them with all black if I have to, that's how awesome they are!
I was lucky too, the very largest size available is my size. Apparently Korean girls have small feet.

The image is shamelessly stolen from the seller.

*dances*