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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First Circular Knit: West Desert Hood

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I finished my very first circular knit just in time for fall! I used the absolutely fabulous West Desert Hood pattern.

A note on the ribbing– I found that using a 8 ply yarn with US size 8 needles made for some very loose and rather sloppy looking ribbing. I had never done ribbing before so I learned this the hard way, and it involved a lot of ripping out my work while making an angry monster face. SO after much trial and error, I ended up using US size 6 needles for the ribbing and then transferring it over to the US size 8s for the rest of the pattern (until the final ribbing). I suppose it’s a matter of taste; I prefer tighter looking ribbing.

I didn’t get any in-progress shots, but it’s really quite a fun and simple pattern!

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I used Malabrigo Mech in Archangel, which is just the most gorgeous yarn, with its blend of reds, oranges, and purples. I discovered it in a little yarn shop in Maine, and I’m absolutely hooked!

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Bonus cell phone selfie! It was about 80 degrees outside when I took this and it’s quite a warm cowl, so that might account for the crazy eyes.

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.

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 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)!

My First Gloves: Iron Man Gloves

So I did not know how to make gloves until last summer. I was quite content working on blankets and scarves, but my friend saw some Iron Man gloves on tumblr, and I agreed to make her a pair. I worked off the picture and this pattern. (I ignored the ‘thumb area’ part.) Here is what I ended up with:

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These will turn you into Robert Downey Jr. Oh god, I wish.

However, I found some issues with the pattern. I changed both the number of stitches (as needed for sizing and thumb comfort) and working in the round.

Corrections:

Work off the linked pattern above (ignoring ‘thumb area’ section) and the picture for color switching.

Glove

Round one: Once you’ve made the cuff, working on the ends of the cuff, sc around X times, then join with slst to first sc. Ch1. TURN WORK.

Round two: Sc in each sc around and slst to first sc. Ch1. TURN WORK.

Once you’ve made the thumb hole, keep turning the work with each round so that you’re alternatively working the wrong side and the right side of the piece. This is because if you don’t turn the work when making this part of the glove, the stitch pattern will look inconsistent throughout the glove (since you’re forced to turn to make the thumb hole). I discovered this the hard way. Learn from my mistakes!

Finally, you just need to make a very basic circle and sew it on (the worst part, by far). I just messed around and freehanded the circle until I got one that was the best size. It’s very easy!

My friend was very pleased with how they turned out (as was I). And they set off my obsession with making gloves. I am unapologetic in my absolute love for fingerless gloves. I’m from New York, so I know they do absolutely nothing for you in terms of warmth, but they’re so cool. 

Springtime Crochet and Flowery Work in Progress

Spring has sprung! Spring is the air! Etc.!

So I made myself a springtime scarf, even though DC weather seems to ignore spring and just launch right into an oppressing summer heat right from winter. I’d seen Queen Anne’s Lace (and its variants) floating around the internet, and I wanted to give it a go! This pattern was my favorite of all the options, and I figured that if I used a big enough enough hook, it would transform from a bookmark to a scarf. I ended up getting the yarn for a dollar because it was the last one in the bin and was missing its tag. I was so pleased with myself (and the cashier)! Anyway, it was a fun and quick little project between my bigger projects.

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The results. 

I think the pattern worked really well with the variegation of the yarn!

Anyway, I have a lot of other crochet projects in the works, but they’ll probably have to wait for a while since finals (!) and then the bar exam (!!!!) are coming up. I am, however, slowly working on a bigger project with this pattern and some freehand work using a picture I found as a guide. I’m really excited about it!

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Happy little puffy flowers!

It’s going to be a present for my sister. I’m hoping it turns out like I think it will.