April Fools!

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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:

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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

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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:

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Crochet Garden Flowers Shawl

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*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! 

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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).

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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:

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Source.

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

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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:

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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:

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All folded up.

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Folded in half because why not, I guess?

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All laid out so it looks like the joining diagram!

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

The Legend of Korra Crochet Gloves

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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!”

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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.

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Too big!

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

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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.

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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:

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Nope, I totally missed.

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Okay, we’re getting closer now.

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Almost….!

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

Little Crochet Projects

I have many a crochet work in progress at the moment. These are smaller projects that I pick up between the larger (read: blanket) projects.

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Here is a shawl near completion that I made using this pattern. Unfortunately for both me and the shawl, I think I might unravel it and use the yarn for something else. I was making it as a present for my sister, but I’m really not happy with it for a variety of reasons, namely that it’s way too small. The pattern suggests using a size J hook, which I did. So to anyone who plans to try it out…you’re gonna need a bigger hook.

This failure lead me to this…

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Spring flowers (made with crochet hooks and not April showers)! I’m not going to link the pattern (which shows the finished object) quite yet, because I don’t want to give away what it will be. Spoiler alert: it will be awesome.

And finally, I’ve had some fun with baubles. Personally, I love baubles. They’re happy, fun, and super easy to do! But what can you do with baubles? A couple of ideas instantly came to mind…

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Source.

Bubble shooter! Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I love this game. I grew up playing it on the computer as a kid, and I downloaded it as an app the minute I got a smartphone. We won’t talk about all the times I was up until 4 AM trying to get three stars on each level.

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These (unlike everything else in this post) are actually finished. I had a good time making them. Depending on which bubble shooter game you’re playing, the colors of the bubbles sort of vary, so I just went with the colors I already had and thought looked best together.

Remember candy buttons? Of course you remember candy buttons. They were only the best candy ever made!

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Source.

I love them so much that I crocheted a candy button scarf years ago. It was the second scarf I ever finished! Well, I’m currently working on some matching fingerless gloves:

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Glove! Obviously I only have one so far, but the other will be along forthwith. And I shall try not to nibble on them when I wear them.

Crochet Teabag Label Bookmark

So I was bored this past weekend and decided to start on a project that popped into my head a few weeks ago. Here is the final outcome:

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Kindly ignore the horribly depressing words of the book, Into Thin Air.

I’ve been chugging crazy amounts of green tea lately, and one night I looked at the string/label and thought it would make an adorable little bookmark! So I made one! Here are the materials I used:

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So, we’ve got off-white yarn, green yarn, red felt, off-white felt, a sewing needle, different colored sewing thread, and black thick thread.

First using the white yarn, I crocheted a chain as long as I wanted/thought looked good. I then single crocheted in the second chain stitch from the hook and in every chain stitch after. I then broke off the yarn.

Moving next to the green yarn, I made two identical label pieces. I chained 10, then single crocheted in the second chain from the hook and in each chain across for a total of 9 stitches. I then chained one and single crocheted into each stitch for eleven more rows to make a rectangle. On the thirteenth row, I began decreasing stitches at the ends. This means I single crocheted two stitches together to make one single crochet stitch on each end (for symmetry). I did this for three rows until I ended up with three stitches. I then broke off the yarn.

There ends the crocheting part! Everything after this involved sewing (yaaay, my favorite…). I cut out a piece of white felt and a heart on the red felt. I first sewed the heart onto the piece of white felt. I then used the thick black thread to embroider the word “tea” onto the white felt (by far the worst/most difficult part). Once that was finished, I sewed the white felt onto one of the green crocheted label pieces. I then placed the long white chain between the two green label pieces and sewed them together! And there you have it, a cute little bookmark.

More pictures:

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Bookmark in a closed book.

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Public service announcement: never use books as coasters!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I’m chronically single, but I still like Valentine’s Day because it’s cheerful and has awesome candy. I was bored and made a little heart out of some loose leaf flower tea I have and these little cinnamon candy hearts that I love more than anything, including feeling in my mouth. Every year I eat enough to lose sensation in my mouth, and every year I don’t care. One day I’ll learn! (Only no, I probably won’t.)

So what do I love…

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Tea, of course. I’ve been drinking a crazy amount of green tea recently. The Scrabble cup was a Christmas gift. No, there is no “Z” anywhere in my name…but if I’m picking out letters, why wouldn’t I want a letter worth the most points? I also just like Z as a letter. I’m one of those people who crosses my Zs (and my 7s). I think I picked the habit up in French class. You know what goes well with tea?

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Sweets! My mum also surprised me with a happy little donut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe my northeasterness is showing, but there is no better place for doughnuts (and yes, I’ve had Krispy Kreme).

And no discussion of love is complete without mentioning my biggest habit…

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Me, standing on my current project that is (almost, kind of) near completion! I painted a heart on my toe with nail polish because, wouldn’t you know it, of all the paint that I brought home with me, I don’t have any red! The color I’m wearing on my toe nails is Zoya’s Tobey. It can only be described as Barbie World pink.

 I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Crochet Tree of Life Blanket

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*Trumpets sound, angels sing* My second blanket is finally done! …Actually, it’s been done for maybe two months, but taking pictures of it is difficult because of the raised trees. It looks awful with flash, so you need enough natural light (read: a sunny day) to take a decent picture. But it looks beautiful in person in any kind of light, of course!

ANYWAY, for those interested, I used this very free pattern on the Lion Brand website. I changed it a little bit to suit my tastes. I added more room between the thistles/flowers in the middle because I thought they were spaced too closely together. It threw off the square shape of the blanket, but I don’t really mind. I also changed the border.

Here is a detailed view of a tree:

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Tree!

I actually really enjoyed making this blanket, especially the trees. I hadn’t learned that stitch before (the back post and front post stitch), and it was super fun!

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Progress pic.

It went surprisingly fast. This is after about a month or so of working on it very sporadically (thanks a lot, law school!).

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Taken with flash.

This was a border I was going to add but I thought it was a bit too much. I think with the trees and the flowers/thistles and the multicolored raised border, it is fine as it is. It’s important to have an editing eye.

Anyway, I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s my second blanket overall and my first blanket that isn’t worked in the round/comprised of squares to be put together. I encourage everyone interested to try the pattern! It looks overwhelming and challenging but once you get started, it’s really not that hard (I promise)!