accessories, crochet, Hats and other stuff

I’m back, bitches!

For a short while, anyway. Japan was absolutely amazing, I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to go there again some day. And yes, I did buy a little bit of craft stuff…but I was a good girl, so I didn’t buy too much. To be honest, I had a little bit of trouble finding these magical craft stores of many levels everyone talks about online…the only native Japanese speaker I know isn’t really into crafting, so she couldn’t help much, and it’s so hard to find stuff on the internet, because, well, it’s all in Japanese 😛 But I did find a Yuzawaya, which is a chain craft store, and I got some *very* pretty fabric, and a needle-felting kit to make kitty cell phone straps. I was also kind of limited by luggage space and budgetary concerns, but not to worry – not getting much this time gives me a reason to return (like I needed another reason!)

I’ve been easing myself back into crafting – it took a little while to get back into the swing of things, but I’m not working now until we go to the USA, so I have plenty of time on my hands! I chose a small crochet project that I knew I could finish, and that I would use, to start me off – I chose one I’d been eyeing off for a while on Ravelry, the Divine Hat. I did the body in Sean Sheep Rockbank, a wool/soy mix, in hibiscus colour. It’s a self-striping yarn, very cheap (it comes from Big W!), and I liked working with it. Others have complained that it’s splitty and the dye rubs off on your hands, but I didn’t experience either of these. I did the band in a random purple yarn I bought off Ebay – supposedly it’s hand-dyed and spun, but it came from China, so who knows! All I know is that it was cheap, it’s a beautiful purple colour, and feels really good to work with. The end result? A hat that looks cute on me, and hardly took any time to finish. Yay!

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accessories, Amigurumi amp; Plushies, craftster swap, crochet, Hats and other stuff, sewing

Back from the dead

Yes, I do realise it has been well over a month since I last updated this blog, and I sincerely apologise for that. I started full-time work at the end of July, and quickly realised that there really isn’t time for much else once you’ve been to work, come home, cooked dinner, done the housework and spent time with a sorely neglected husband. Still, I haven’t stopped crafting! In fact, before I quite realised what the impact of a job would have on my spare time, I entered into 3 craft swaps on Craftster (!!), which was probably something of a mistake, but oh well.

Despite my continued crafting, I don’t really have that much to show for the time I’ve spent. This is because I’ve been crafting solely for other people, and like the dill I am, I forget to take photos of the finished object before I give it away and never see it again. However, I did remember to take photos of some of it, so here we go:

This is Chewbacca, as you may have guessed. I made him for a guy at my new workplace, who really loves Star Wars. I made him Han Solo, too, but I forgot to photograph him. Don’t ask me how I remembered one and not the other. I bought the pattern from Ebay, and it was my first attempt at brushing a crocheted object.

Next, I made this adorable little fellow for my Dad on Father’s Day. He’s rather partial to foxes, you see. He does have a slight chunky missing under his tail, where I got a little too enthusiastic with the brushing, but other than that, he turned out fine. I also sewed my father-in-law a glasses case, but I forgot to photograph that.

Let’s see, what else. I’ve tried my hand at stencilling a few t-shirts – I did a metallic blue Transformer for my stepbrother Jordan, a white-on-black Placebo t-shirt for my brother-in-law Bill, and a black and orange hand on a white t-shirt for my brother, Duncan. Each one was significantly better than the last, so at least I’m getting better at it. I’m also currently working on a hoodie for a Craftster swap that involves a fair bit of stencilling, so fingers crossed that looks okay.

I made this tea wallet for my stepsister for her birthday – I got the pattern from this website. She loves tea, so I figured it would be perfect for her. I also made her a necklace, which I didn’t photograph.

I’ve also made 3 headbands for another swap on Craftster, but I won’t post the photos of those until they’ve received them – I don’t want them to stumble across this blog and have the surprise spoiled!

I’ve still got a heap of stuff to work on, even after getting all that done – I’m crocheting an Iron Man figure for a guy at work, I still need to finish knitting the scarf I’m making for my husband (it was meant to be a July birthday present…oops!), I’m crocheting myself a cardigan (although who knows when that will get done), plus a myriad of other things for other people that I was meant to have done ages ago. I’m also meant to be making the Christmas crackers for Christmas this year.

I don’t know how frequently I will be able to update this in the coming months – I don’t want to bore anyone with details of my life, but I’ve just taken on a second, evening job in addition to my daytime one, so my time will be extremely limited until March next year, when my husband and I are taking a two month holiday to Japan. I’ll try and keep you all updated, though, and post photos of everything I finish 🙂

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accessories, bag lady, crochet, Handbags

A crocheted bag, WIPs and ideas a-plenty

I’ve had the pattern for the Nordstrom hobo bag in my Ravelry queue for ages, and after enlisting the adorable Katu to ship me some Wool of the Andes yarn from Knitpicks and sourcing some cute bag handles, I was finally ready to start! It took me far longer to line the bag and sew the handles on than it did to actually make it – although at first I found the pattern somewhat confusing. I don’t know whether it was my fault interpreting the pattern, or whether the pattern isn’t written very well, but I had to frog the first three rows about three times before I got the hang of it. And the instructions for lining the bag are very vague and not very helpful – if I hadn’t already had some experience lining bags, I would have been in real trouble. But all that aside, I’m really proud of how it turned out!

I’m going to do another one in red (crimson, actually), but not before I’ve finished everything else I have queued up at the moment. I have a lot of projects on the go, including but not limited to:

  • Two pairs of crocheted legwarmers
  • The Noro Plaid Scarf
  • A Japanese-style bag
  • My husband’s birthday present
  • My brother’s birthday present (I won’t put what it is here in case a miracle occurs and he shows an interest in what I do with my time)
  • A super-secret afgan design
  • A Totoro costume for myself to wear to this year’s AVCon. Fingers crossed I have enough time to do it in!
  • A couple of amigurumi patterns I have ideas for
  • A bag for my Mom to keep her cross-stitching bits and pieces in
  • A pink Reddit Alien for my mother-in-law

Phew! Still, it’s nice to be kept busy. This weekend I will be descending upon the annual Salisbury Craft and Hobby Fair in search of yarn bargains and other bits and pieces to help me with my sewing and crocheting endeavours. I hope everyone has a good long weekend!

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accessories, crochet, etsy, Hats and other stuff, scarf

Scarves and a welcome

First of all, a big welcome to all those who have come to check this blog out after seeing my neckwarmer pattern at Crochet Pattern Central! I hope the pattern was to your liking 🙂

Second, I have put two new scarves up on my Etsy store! They are Maiden’s Blush and Tropical Sunset respectively, and I hope they do well 🙂 The Maiden’s Blush is a delicate, pale pink scarf that is 10% cashmere, so it’s wonderfully soft and has a beautiful drape. Tropical Sunset is 100% high quality wool, and has gorgeous vibrant hues fading into each other. If you’re in need of a scarf for winter, check them out!

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accessories, crochet, Hats and other stuff, scarf, tips

Scarf mathematics

Just finished off a scarf for a rather nerdy friend of mine’s birthday! It’s a Fibonacci Scarf! A Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical sequence of numbers that’s special for some reason. No, I don’t know why, and I don’t particularly care. The point is, my nerdy friend will appreciate it. You may have noticed that the pattern I linked to is a knitting one – I don’t know of any crochet versions out there. However, since I am fundamentally incapable of knitting, I just tweaked the pattern and crocheted it instead, entirely in single crochet. I started with a chain of 30, and then just followed the row numbers on the original pattern. I had no idea if it would work or not while I was working on it, but it ended up looking pretty good!

Another thing about my nerdy friend is, he’s a vegan. This meant I had fewer options when it came to yarn selection for this project, and was quite troublesome. I know in theory that there are probably hundreds of various acrylic, bamboo and cotton yarns out there – they’re just not in any of the Spotlights in South Australia 😛 Every time I found a nice, soft acrylic, it was only available in unsuitable, odd colours. I was looking for navy blue and red. These are not unusual colours. I would imagine they are quite popular colours. Apparently, the yarn manufacturers disagree. I saw all manner of oranges, pinks, teals, purples and multicoloured yarns, but the only brand that had both the colours I needed was a brand called Thorobred, which unfortunately is not known for its stellar quality. In fact, when I crocheted the first section of the scarf, I was about ready to throw it in the bin. It felt like a scourer! Luckily, my homies at the crochetcrochet community on Livejournal introduced me to the art of “killing” acrylic. I did try washing it with fabric softener before resorting to murdering it, but all that did was make the scarf smell of apples. Not bad, certainly, but not helpful either.

“Killing” acrylic is basically blocking it, except it’s an irreversible process. There are a couple of methods, I chose to pin it to the ironing board, cover it with a damp cloth and press it with lots of steam, and that worked just fine. It’s really, really soft now, and it grew a bit in length as well, which is always handy! I’m really pleased with how it turned out in the end, it far exceeded any of my expectations.

Now, to make a pi plushie and I’m all set for his birthday!

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accessories, crochet, Hats and other stuff, patterns, scarf

Blueberry Dreams Neckwarmer

I am very happy to introduce you all to my very first pattern! It’s ok, you can stop applauding now. It’s a neckwarmer, which is kind of like a mini-scarf – a scarlette, if you will. It’s super warm and comfy, and looks pretty stylin’, too! The pattern is really simple; it’s great for beginners who want something easy to make that still looks good. So without further ado, here is the pattern! The stitches you need to know are single crochet and double crochet – that’s it! I use US terms for my patterns, just fyi.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 50g skeins of worsted weight yarn. I used Araucania Rehue Multy, which is an absolutely stunning yarn, hand-dyed in Chile. I got it on sale at yarn.com, for an insanely cheap price. I needed 2 skeins of this yarn because there isn’t much yardage to a skein, but I think you could easily get away with 1 skein of a less fancy yarn.
  • A 5mm crochet hook
  • 2 buttons of your choice
  • A needle

Method:

Ch 25. If you want a wider neckwarmer, chain more. This pattern is very customisable, as you’ll see.

Row 1: Sc across (25)

Row 2: Ch 2, dc across (25)

Row 3: Ch 1, sc across (25)

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you get to row 71, which, if you’ve been following the pattern correctly, should be a row of single crochet.

Row 71: Ch 1, sc 7. *Ch 2, skip next 2 ch, sc 7* twice. These are your button holes. If you’re using tiny buttons, you might only want to ch 1 and skip 1 ch. I recommend you use large buttons though.

Row 72: Ch 2, dc across (25).

Row 73: Ch 1, sc across (25).

Row 74: Ch 2, dc across (25).

Row 75: Ch 1, sc across (25).

Row 76: Ch 1, skip 2 stitches and dc into the next stitch 5 times. skip next stitch and sc into the next stitch. Repeat until the end of the row. Finish off and sew in ends.

Try the neckwarmer on and see where you need to sew the buttons on. This is really personal preference – I just placed the buttonholes where I thought they seemed good on the opposite end of the neckwarmer, marked the places and sewed the buttons on there. Then I tried it on to make sure it wasn’t too tight/too loose. Voila! You now have your very own neckwarmer for the upcoming winter! **NEWLY ADDED** Click here to download the pattern in pdf form!

If you have any questions about this pattern, feel free to email me at kirsty [at] whimsicalkitty [dot] com and I will reply as soon as I can!

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accessories, crochet, etsy, Hats and other stuff

Finally, something to put in my store!

So recently I’ve been experimenting with different yarns and patterns to make something to put in my Etsy store 🙂 I’ve decided on a range of headbands to begin with, because they’re cute and I love wearing them myself, so I hope other people will too! They’re being put up slowly at the moment, because I am trying to utilise my Dad’s super awesome Nikon camera for the photos because they end up looking SO much better than mine. Unfortunately, he’s only available sporadically so I have to make as many as I can and then stalk him until he has a free moment 😛 So far, I have this pretty magenta coloured one, with a little pink heart button in the middle:

Magenta Flower Headband

And this black sparkley one with silver sequins in the middle:

Black Sparkle Headband

Good thing I don’t have dandruff, right? ;P I have a couple of others waiting to be photographed, which I’ll put up later on. I found this absolutely fantastic ribbon yarn, which is a bitch to work with, but the results are totally worth it. I think the ribbon one looks the best of all! I wore the black sparkle one out yesterday and got complimented on it, which made me happy. So check them out on my Etsy store and see what you think! If you become a fan of me on Facebook, I’ll even give you 10% off your first purchase 🙂

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