Thursday, February 18, 2010

What an Eye Sore

So I have an eye infection. No, it's not pink eye, it's just an eye infection. It's not a full blown infection, but it's still swollen and unpleasant to look at.  So, I decided to make myself an eye patch. I have some small skeins of Yarn Gang form Loops & Threads, which is a super soft blend of cotton and acrylic, so I thought that'd be perfect on my face. Also, seeing as I have a thing for writing up patterns, here's the pattern.

Eye Sore
Yarn: 1 skein gray Yarn Gang
Gauge: I never really know
Hook: G
Needles: US7

Start out with using the crochet hook and chain until you get a length long enough to be the base for the patch. This will be the tie to the patch, so make sure it fits around your head with enough extra to tie it (I like to tie mine into a bow). Fold this length in half and count 11 stitches to the right.

Switch to knitting.
Pick up 22 stitches from the back of the chain stitches, and work in stocking stitch.
On your knit rows, decrease on both ends.
Work until you're down to 14 stitches, then cast off all the stitches until you have the last one on the needle.
Change back to the crochet hook and chain 15sts, then ss into a parallel stitch on the original chain. Slip stitch into this chain a couple more times for security's sake. Then cut the yarn and attach on the other side of the patch and repeat this on that side.

Hide all your loose ends and there you are! Something to help cover up why you're so miserable.



Ta-da!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shout Out for Another


cancer
Originally uploaded by EmilyLounsbury
My friend Emily is an artist that's just discovered the joys of posting and selling her work online. She's got a real talent for painting and drawing and her focus is something that most people can really get behind. Emily's favorite subject to paint is of course breasts, but not in the way that'd get her in next month's Playboy. Her work looks at painting the woman's body in the way it's meant to be seen, natural and gorgeous just the way it is. She doesn't just stop there, though. She also has several pieces that really speak to both women and men, such as "cancer", that got me impressed enough to write this post.

She's still in the process of setting up her Etsy account (ArtbyEmilycom), but I'd bookmark that link if I were you. If you want to take a look at some of her other work, check out her Flickr account.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Babushka!

My latest swap partner had an adorable Babushka Doll set in her wish list. It didn't look too difficult to recreate, and I've been making a point to try and reproduce items best I can without a pattern. I figure this'll make it easier for me to make my own patterns based on anything in the future. The first one is a little special.. but I think I figured out a general pattern.. and here it is!

They're worked in the standard ami spiral, started with the Magic Ring technique.
Babushka Dolls
Yarn: Vanna's Choice Worsted in different colors for the bonnet and pants, white for the body.
Hook: 3.75 (F)
Gauge: Not really important for this one

Big One:
Start with bonnet color.
Round 1: 6sc into Magic Ring, place round marker in last stitch
R2: 2sc in each
R3: *sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R4: *sc, sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R5-R12: sc around in each stitch.
R13: hdc in back loop of each stitch.
Cut yarn and change to white.
R14 - R15: sc in each stitch
R16: *sc, sc, sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R17-R26: Cut yarn & tie off.

With bottom color,
R1: 6sc into Magic Ring, place round marker in last stitch
R2: 2sc in each
R3: *sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R4: *sc, sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R5: *sc, sc, sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R6-R7: sc in each stitch
Sew bottom two pieces together, stuffing the dolls before finishing them. For extra weight, put poly beads in the bottom.

Attach bonnet color again to bonnet edge with a sc.
ch4, sc into 2nd stitch, sc, ss, sc, ch4, sc into 2nd stitch, sc, ss.
Tie off and admire!

Medium One
Start with bonnet color.
Round 1: 6sc into Magic Ring, place round marker in last stitch
R2: 2sc in each
R3: *sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R4-R9: sc around in each stitch.
R10: hdc in back loop of each stitch.
Cut yarn and change to white.
R11: sc in each stitch
R12: *sc, sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R13-R19: Cut yarn & tie off.

With bottom color,
R1: 6sc into Magic Ring, place round marker in last stitch
R2: 2sc in each
R3: *sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R4: *sc, sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R5: sc in each stitch
Sew bottom two pieces together, stuffing the dolls before finishing them. For extra weight, put poly beads in the bottom.

Attach bonnet color again to bonnet edge with a sc.
ch4, sc into 2nd stitch, sc, ss, sc, ch4, sc into 2nd stitch, sc, ss.
Tie off and enjoy!

Little One
Start with bonnet color.
Round 1: 6sc into Magic Ring, place round marker in last stitch
R2: 2sc in each
R3-R6: sc around in each stitch.
R7: hdc in back loop of each stitch.
Cut yarn and change to white. You'll work the next round on the front loop of the R6.
R8: *sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
R9-R14: Cut yarn & tie off.

With bottom color,
R1: 6sc into Magic Ring, place round marker in last stitch
R2: 2sc in each
R3: *sc, 2sc in each, repeat around from *
Sew bottom two pieces together, stuffing the dolls before finishing them. For extra weight, put poly beads in the bottom.

Attach bonnet color again to bonnet edge with a sc.
ch4, sc into 2nd stitch, sc, ss, sc, ch4, sc into 2nd stitch, sc, ss.
Tie off and grin like a bandit!

Finishing Off
For the faces, cut felt circles to a size you feel best for each and stitch on in the center of the bonnet. Draw whatever expression you'd like on with a fine tip marker. To create the hair, cut a piece of yarn about 10 inches and sew with darning needle on in the style you like. I left one end of the hair poking out to create a tuft effect that I think makes them even more adorable.

For their clothes, I just messed around with different ideas for each. The large one I created a "flower" with a simple ring and some increasing, embroidering the leafs on. The star and fan is also just something I randomly thought of. Feel free to play around with different techniques for this part, this is the part of the pattern that will make these dolls distinctly yours.

When all's said and done, sit back and admire your work.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Intro, of Sorts

I had to make an "intro" video at work that best presents me. I'm not huge about being on camera.. but Ichi is! So my intro video was clips of her. Here's to hoping it's a hit...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Year, New Swap!

At the end of last year I decided that I wanted to participate in a Magic Yarn Ball swap over on my ever trusty Craftster.org. For those of you not in the know, here's a description of what a MYB is from a swap over on Swap Bot.
"A magic yarn ball is a gift-filled treasure, made for another person. This sweet, simple project comes from the book The Children's Year (Hawthorn Press).

Basically, you wrap cool little treasures up in a ball of yarn, with a few beautiful gifties peeking out at the edges, and give it as a gift. As the recipient crafts with the yarn the treasures fall out one by one, and they discover the fun as they knit or crochet."
After weeks of finding no Magically Amazing Yarn Ball swaps on the listings pages, I decided that I would step up and organize my own. It was to be my first time organizing a swap and I was bound and determined to do it right. I read through all the documentation, checked all my qualifications, surfed the other swap pages and made sure that my idea was going to float. Little did I know that I would be creating the largest and most successful MYB swap Craftster had ever seen...

Just imagine, little ol' me, taking on my first swap as organizer, sitting here figuring out dates and details, thinking that I would have to struggle to get enough swappers. I settled on a 4 week sign up period and a 4 week crafting timeline, opening the flood gates on December 1st, 2009. At first I was practically begging for people to sign up, posting pictures of Ichi left and right to try and coax them in. I'm not sure if that's what really did it or if Magic Yarn Balls are really just that tempting, but I didn't have to worry about getting swappers within a couple of days.

In just a week we had 22 swappers sign up to participate, blowing my original limit of 20 out the window. I had to enlist co-organizer, as per Craftster swap rules, when we reached 24 swappers (a day later). I set a joking limit of 40 swappers after the first week and amazingly enough, I had to impose it with a 10 days remaining in the sign up period. We reached and passed the 40-cap while I was driving from California to Colorado for Christmas. 42 swappers applied, were accepted and placed into my spreadsheet to be sorted and paired. My spreadsheet was a living tome to the swap that I made in Google Docs to help me list everyone and their interests out all in one place. When it came time to assign partners I printed out the sheets and spent an afternoon on the floor in my brother's living room, making matches and petting puppies.

The send out date for the packages was yesterday and in true fashion of this swap, we've already had a handful of people ship and receive early. I actually got my package from my partner Sarah yesterday and spent most the evening unwinding and squealing like a two year old. I've already posted all the gleeful news about my package over in the Swap Gallery, but here are some pictures of all the loot for your general enjoyment.