April Fools!

birdunderpants

Several prototypes

I have some exciting news…I’ve decided to focus all my attentions on my true passion. I’m going to be opening up an etsy shop called Polly Wants Panties: Artisanal Underpants for Discerning Birds. I’m so excited to embark on this new chapter of my life!

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Crochet Sputnik Amigurumi

So this past October 4th marked the 58th year of Sputnik 1’s launch into orbit! I guess I’ve been thinking about Sputnik recently because I just visited former East Berlin. Also, who doesn’t love the early space age? So exciting! Anyway, to mark the happy occasion, I made my own little Sputnik:

littlesputnik

He’s so cute! If you want to make your own fuzzy Sputnik, I used this pattern for his body (specifically the row 14 sphere), sewing on the face and filling him with stuffing before closing up the ball. I made up my own pattern for the legs.

Leg pattern:

Starting: Magic circle, ch1, sc 4 into the magic circle, slst to ch1
Round 1: Ch1, sc in each sc on the outer loop, slst to ch1
Rounds 2-25: ch1, sc in each sc around, slst to ch1

I used a 3.0 mm crochet hook for the legs since I wanted them nice and thin. I poked a bit of stuffing into them before sewing them onto the body.

Anywhooooo, I have been busy working on some other things in the past few months. I’ve been toying around with the idea of opening up an etsy shop (and got a commission!), but I ended up getting an Adult Person job, so I’m not sure if it will happen.

Hammerhead Shark: My First Crochet Amigurumi

hammerheadcrochet
Drink umbrella for size. And shade.

In honor of Shark Week, I made my first amigurumi! I named him Sharkie Shark (but he does not hang out with the funky bunch). He likes hanging out under tiny drink umbrellas in the sand and collecting seashells.

So, I actually really love sharks as an animal, and hammerheads are one of my favorite sharks. While I like the concept of Shark Week, I am really not a fan of Discovery’s programming (I think its filled with unscientific fear-exploiting garbage that just harms the reputation of sharks). But I wanted to make a little amigurumi shark to celebrate the wondrous toothy creatures anyway!

I’ve never made an amigurumi before, and I found it to be a fun and quick experience! I worked from a pattern in this book. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it though– the instructions were a bit unclear and the fin pattern was a complete mess. I ended up creating my own pattern for all of the fins (tail, dorsal, and pectoral) and changing the eyes (why use french knots in yarn when you have beads?).

Bonus pictures:

sharkie2

sharkie1

Crochet Garden Flowers Shawl

springflowersshawl

*Drumroll* I finally finished my shawl that I have been working on for…..a million years? Okay, maybe just a year. Life got in the way! The timing is at least good…it’s finally spring!

It is made up of 39 individual flowers that were then joined together continuously. I had some issues with the pattern, so I’m going to post some of my corrections here.

The pattern: here it is! 

flowercenters

Oh my Ford, I approached this like an assembly line. I made all the little centers of the flowers first. Here is a nice little pile of them (but obviously not all of them).

stackoflowers

Then, of course, I did the petals on the flowers. Here is a picture of a stack of about half of the flowers I made.

Okay, here is where things start getting tricky. The pattern for the flowers themselves was great. The pattern for joining the flowers…less so. Honestly, it was riddled with issues. Why, you ask? Let’s take a look:

flowershawldiagram
Source.

Here is the diagram in the pattern for joining the flowers. It’s great except for one glaring problem…

flowershawlissue

Following the pattern exactly as it’s written will result in those gaps in the border (in the darker blue) in between the flowers! Compare the first row of flowers (wherein I followed the pattern exactly) with the second row (where I made some corrections). One clearly looks much better.

In order to get the border around the entire flower and also join it in two places, you will have to backtrack over some of your work. (Is this starting to feel like a weird middle school math problem yet?) I’m really not much of a pattern writer at all, but I did make a little diagram to help make things clearer for anyone who would like to do this pattern with corrections:

flowerinstructionsnumbers

So, loosely following the diagram from the pattern, this is what you will have when you’re ready to go around the bottom of a row of flowers. They will be half joined on top. Following the numbers in the picture:

1: continue working the pattern as written– (sc, ch 3, sc) in ch-1 sp, ch 5, sc between 2 sc, ch 5, repeat.

2: again, continue working the pattern. (sc, ch 3, sc) into the ch-1 sp, ch 5, sc between 2 sc, ch5. But then slip stitch into the ch-1 sp.

3: Slip stitch along the chain joining the two flowers and slip stitch into the ch-1 sp on the other flower. You should now be on the other flower.

4: Once in the ch-1 space, ch 5, sc between 2sc, ch 5.

5: Sc in ch-1 sp of the flower you are working on, ch 1, sc into ch-3 sp of opposite flower (you made the ch-3 sp on step 2, and this joins the two flowers), ch1, slip stitch back into ch1 space.

6: Ch 5, sc between 2 sc, repeat pattern as written with these corrections.

Hopefully some of that is coherent? It results in the most consistent-looking joins at the petals. Anyway, here are some more pictures of the finished shawl:

foldedshawl1

All folded up.

foldedshawl2

Folded in half because why not, I guess?

flowershawlfull

All laid out so it looks like the joining diagram!

springflowershawl3 springflowershawl2

Garden flower shawl in action! Disclaimer: it is beautiful but not particularly warm.

The Legend of Korra Crochet Gloves

korragloves

Wow, it feels like I haven’t completed a crochet project in approximately 5000 years. I’m close to finished on several larger things I’ve been working on, but I took some time in between to make these gloves!

So, I’ve been (obsessively) watching The Legend of Korra. I finished Avatar: The Last Airbender and didn’t know how to go on, but then I discovered that Korra is actually the better show (sorry Avatar fans). I especially love its design and the titular character. I was watching one day and thought “hey, her armband and bracers would make some wicked gloves!”

Korra_The_Legend_of_Korra
Source.

So I set about making them! Given how narrow the triangles are and the constraints of working with yarn, I had my work cut out for me. My first wristband featured fat triangles that were just too big.

firstwrist
Too big!

So I tried again and came up with a better pattern for more slender triangles:

triangle1 triangle2

To the left is the initial part of the triangle and then to the right is the finished triangle with a border of single crochet. It gives it a little bit more substance and makes sewing them together a lot easier.

wristunfinish

Here are all the triangles sewn together but not yet sewn into a circle. I decided to go with a raised blue bauble (instead of just a flat circle) on the white triangles because…well….I liked how it looked better. It gave it that extra razzle dazzle! Once the triangles were all sewn together and joined into a wristband, I crocheted the easy part– the dark blue glove.

Lest anyone think otherwise, the hardest part of this whole endeavor was modeling the gloves. I have a rather heavy DSLR camera and taking one handed pictures with my left hand is easier said than done. And I have photographic proof!

Glove photoshoot outtakes:

outtakeglove2

Nope, I totally missed.

outtakeglove3

Okay, we’re getting closer now.

outtakeglove4

Almost….!

outtakeglove1

Welp, there’s pretty much no excuse for this one.