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1  Re: Summer Nerd Games 2015 --June 1, 2015 - August 31, 2015-- ~Join Anytime!~ in Craftalongs by Smeddley on: July 12, 2015 04:28:49 PM
Research Project Name: With an Untangles Skein
Team: Textbook
Event: Craftology
Bonus Points: Engineering... so much engineering
Project Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439967.0
Brief Description: In a nutshell it's taking rolls of crochet cotton (huge inner empty spaces) and making them small and manageable and storage-able!  Many many many more details in the post.

Project Picture:

I still have one research project going, now that I have room to work on it... I'll think of another here... oh, wait!  Yes!

Research Project Name: Sophie's Universe Afghan
Team: Textbook
Brief Description:  It's an afghan pattern I found when a swap partner pinned the beginning mandala.  I made the mandala for the swap, and started saving the crochet-a-long sections with the intent to make it out of scrap yarn.  Then I'll have two yarn-stash-busting research projects going!
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2  With an Untangled Skein - Yarn Organization (many pics) in Completed Projects by Smeddley on: July 12, 2015 04:22:05 PM
Let's start with the pretty picture!

This is what I've been working towards, and while I could skip to the end... I'm going to start with my failures - well, not failures, but just things that didn't work for me.  Your mileage may vary, and to be honest, my other ideas were a LOT cheaper.  I ended up spending over 6x as much to organize my auction steal of a deal than I spent on the actual cotton. 

First off, I got one big bag of crochet cotton for $4 at a local junk auction.  It had some unopened balls, but also a few almost used balls.  And here's where I had to wonder - why such GIANT, SPACE-HOGGING cores?!  Okay, it keeps the cotton from developing a bend, whatever, space is at a PREMIUM in my craft room because, well, I have too much stuff.  So to keep my score, I though, at least for the part-used ones, I needed to condense.

So I started off just rolling the small balls on an improvised nostepinne (a pen) and that worked fairly well, if being time-consuming.  Later I would find that they did tend to come unraveled a bit when tossed into a bag, but that could be because it's the first time I ever hand-wound yarn like that (I have rolled them into balls, but I have a yarn winder for my regular yarn - its core was almost a big as the crochet cotton, though, so that was useless).

I put a rolled paper core inside, because unlike the fluffier, regular yarn, this did not smoosh in to fill the void.

Then I thought, well, what about using cross stitch bobbins?  Maybe I could even make giant ones... somewhere on the internet I'd seen that...

Then I went back to the auction, and got one box for $2 and the other box given to me...

That... was going to be WAY too much to wind by hand.  New thought!  What if I would them onto spools?  Like thread?  Heck, half of it isn't much thicker than quilting thread, anyway!  Why oh why did I throw out my old plastic spools?  Not that I'd have had enough, but still...  Hey, I can make some!

Here's the process:

1. Cut open, then down a toilet paper tube (I went with 2")
2. Roll tube fairly tightly, but leaving an open space in the middle (more on that later!)
3. Completed tubes
4. Cut circles for ends.  One side will need a hole in the center.
(not shown - glue circles to ends of tubes)
5. Tape a bobbin to the open end of the spool.  This is necessary on my machine because the spindle for the bobbin sticks up through the bobbin, and I needed room for that nub.  Your machine may be different.
6. Place on sewing machine, and spin away!
7. Completed spools, MUCH smaller than the originals (behind).

I was happy!  Sure, making the spools wasn't easy, but it was free, and it was working!  At first I had used some super-think cardboard from the back of a pad of paper for the ends, but it was incredibly difficult to cut and... I went to some thinner stuff.

That turned out to not be a great idea.  This one was in my bag and I think the edge got caught and flexed and ripped.  It may also be the glue I used (E6000) or that I didn't get enough pressure on them as I was gluing them.  Either way, sadness.  But then!  Inspiration!

Well, my first idea was to buy spools, but none were big enough.  Then I thought... I'll make them!  All I need is a dowel and some wooden circles with holes in them, yes?  Then I could... I don't know, find some way to spin them... tape TWO bobbins together?  Make a machine they'd sit in with wheels to spin them?  Something!

*Lightbulb Moment*

Or a drill... if I... but would it work?  Could it work?  Yes, yes it could!

1. The bits - a dowel and two wooden toy wheels
2. Assembled!
3. Mark the INNER edge of one side of the spool (you could use a pencil, but I just held my nail there)
4. Place a cardboard disk at that point (cut to the size of the wheel) - see the nub sticking out?
5. Put that in your drill and tighten
6. Place drill in lap (I'm sitting cross-legged on the floor and it's on my knee) - we'll get to what to do with the yarn later...
7. DRILL!  My right hand is powering the drill and the left is gently guiding the thread.  You might think this would stretch or stress the yarn too much, but it's actually wrapped on there fairly loosely... which makes the next steps very delicate...
8. Remove from drill
9. CAREFULLY remove cardboard disk.  DO NOT SQUEEZE the spool in the thread area, it will SMOOSH and come off the end.
10. Pop the other wheel on the end!

You may want to glue the wheels on, I found most fit pretty tightly (some I had to use a hammer on) and I also figured this would mean I could reuse them... you know, in a hundred years when I work through all of this...

This method isn't without some issues... drills do not stop cold the minute you let off the trigger, so some tangles are going to happen...

Common problems include - tangles when feeding, the thread getting between the disk and the drill, the thread getting into the back part of the chuck, massive mishaps when the entire last chunk of the thread comes off at once.

Sooooooo... what is the best way to feed the yarn?

If, like some of mine, it's wrapped around the outside of a core, a toilet paper stand works well...

...until it doesn't.  There was a snag and it yanked the holder over and smashed it into the back of my hand (remember, drills don't stop fast!) and left an enormous bruise.  Half the back of my hand is black and blue.  But it does work, if you're careful.  For the others, I just tossed them in a box and let them rattle around.  They'd usually settle down and feed smoothly for awhile, then rattle around a bit more, then settle down.  That really worked quite brilliantly.

I did also make some tiny spools, because... well, tiny!

Here's the pile of empty cardboard tubes:

I think, even flattened and smashed into a box to take out for recycling, they take up MORE room than the finished spools!

And, the finished cart:

The bottom is the ones that are still wrapped, I didn't wind those because... well, they're brand new (why oh why do I have 6 things of size 30 purple crochet cotton?!  I found it in my bin - I also spooled up several skeins I had - what on earth was I thinking?  What was I going to do with it?).  The top is the stuff that came out of my "crocheted snowflakes" bin.  I might spool up those white ones some day, but I'd already packed up when I remembered that bin and added it.  And I'd need more giant wheels for those.

There you have it!  It took a lot of trial and error, some injuries, and a lot of work, but I'm pretty darn happy with it!
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3  Bullshark in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Smeddley on: July 12, 2015 09:40:25 AM
It's the last of Shark Week, and I promise, the last Shark Art for awhile!

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4  Re: 50 Projects 2015 --POST YOUR 2015 Lists in Craftalongs by Smeddley on: July 12, 2015 09:38:52 AM
I love that Tardis Jewelry Box!

Well, Shark Week is over, but I have one final drawing and then... it's on to waiting for Sharknado 3 and Sharktopus vs WhaleWolf!  Cheesy

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5  Re: 50 Projects 2015 --POST YOUR 2015 Lists in Craftalongs by Smeddley on: July 09, 2015 05:13:37 PM
Those shrines are amazing!

Still catching up on posting, still addicted to Shark Week...  Cheesy

First, some blood drops I sent to a friend - Dragon and Unicorn, from Harry Potter:

Pattern here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439930.0

Recycled TP roll book for pressed flowers for the Garden/Outdoor swap:

Post here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439932.0

Also for the Garden/outdoor swap, a crochet flower embellished seed book.  All the flowers are from 100 Lace Flowers to Crochet, which I got from the library and then bought, because I have a mountain of crochet cotton to use up...

and a fairy door...

Aaaaaaaand, for Shark Week....

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6  Re: Summer Nerd Games 2015 --June 1, 2015 - August 31, 2015-- ~Join Anytime!~ in Craftalongs by Smeddley on: July 09, 2015 05:01:41 PM
Prompt: UFO - Recycled!
Team: Textbook
Event: Paperology
Bonus Points: Recycled, Community
Project Name: Pressed Flower Book
Project Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439932.0
Brief Description: Many many moons ago, I saw a project that turned TP rolls into a book, and I started saving and painting them.  I had no real plan, until the Garden/Outdoor swap, and it dawned on me... the tags would be perfect for pressed flowers!

Project Picture:

Prompt: Team Spirit - Wordy
Team: Textbook
Event: Yarnology
Bonus Points: Community, Engineering
Project Name: Harry Potter Dragon and Unicorn Blood Drops
Project Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439930.0
Brief Description: In a small break from the Dr Who fandom (hmmm, what do you think my Team Spirit Fandom project will be...?), I made a Dragon and Unicorn blood drop for a friend.  And I'm happy to say she was thrilled with them!

Project Picture:

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7  Toilet Paper Roll Pressed Flower Book in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Smeddley on: July 09, 2015 04:47:29 PM
I don't remember when I first saw it, but the urge to make a book out of TP rolls was just overwhelming... and when I signed up for the Garden/Outdoor swap, the idea of turning it into a book for pressed flowers gave me the chance to finally make something coherent out of the rolls I'd been saving and haphazardly painting.

And a picture of the tab - I cut up a scrapbook page that had 2" x 2" picture pockets and used Washi tape to secure them to the tags.

(Four leaf clover given to me by a friend at work who has an uncanny talent at finding them!)
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8  Dragon and Unicorn Blood Drops (with pattern) in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by Smeddley on: July 09, 2015 04:37:17 PM
In a break from the Dr Who Blood Drops, I present two Harry Potter Blood Drops!  I didn't see anything that specified what hue/shade of green the dragon blood was supposed to be, and I happened to have this lime green out and thought it looked good.  The only other greens I had were olive drab and true Christmas green, so it was probably the best choice!

The pattern:

Start off with a Bob:

Size F Hook
Worsted Weight Yarn

Round 1: SC 4 in magic Ring (or, ch 2 and sc 4 in second ch from hook).  Join {sl st to first SC, ch1}
Round 2: SC in each st, join (4)
Round 3: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from *, join (6)
Round 4: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from *, join (9)
Round 5: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from * to last st, sc in last st, join  (13)
Round 6: SC in each st, join (13)
Round 7: *SC in first two st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from * to last st, sc in last st, join (17)
Round 8: SC in each st, join (17)
Round 9: *SC in first two st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from * to last 2 st, sc in last 2 st, join (22)
Round 10: SC in each st, join (22)
Round 11: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from *, join (33)
Rounds 12-20: SC in each st, join (33)
(I usually put the eyes in now!)
Rounds 21-23: *SC in first st, SC 2tog* repeat from *, join
(stuff-as-you-go decreases)
Round 24: SC 2tog
(Cram as much stuffing as you can in as youre closing him up, remember, hes there to be squeezed so he needs to be fairly firm.)
Fasten off.

Wings, make 2:

Row 1: Ch2, 2 sc in 2nd ch
Row 2: 2 Sc in each (4)
Row 3: 2 sc in first sc, sc in the next two sc, 2 sc in last sc (6)
Row 4: 2 sc in first sc, sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next 2 sc, sc in the next sc, 2 sc in last sc (10)
Row 5: Sc across (10)
Row 6: Ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in first sc, sl st in next 2 sc, *ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook,, sl st in next two sc* rep from * across, then turn and sc across top edge of wing


Row 1: Ch 2, 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook
Row 2: 2 sc in first sc, sc in second sc (3)
Row 3: Sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc (4)
Row 4: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next two sc, 2 sc in last sc (6)
Row 5: Sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next two sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last sc (Cool

Sc around the two sides, putting 3 sc at the tip (Row 1), 4 sl st to middle of Row 5
Ch 10, sl st down the chain, then back up.
Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing to body

Attach wings and tail to body!

I also made a unicorn out of sparkly silver thread, there's no real pattern, I just winged the horn and the tail is basically and un-cut tassel.

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9  Shark Bestie! in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Smeddley on: July 09, 2015 11:39:35 AM
Yeah... I might be going a little overboard with Shark Week this year...

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10  Re: 50 Projects 2015 --POST YOUR 2015 Lists in Craftalongs by Smeddley on: July 07, 2015 07:21:52 PM
I'm sorry to just pop in and photo-dump, I've had an awful plague for a month now and it took all I had to finish my swaps...sadly, yesterday was my last day of antibiotics and I'm already coughing more today.  Noooooooo...  But I did manage to do a tiny bit of crafting before I got sick and I just started again.

Weeping Angel Blood Drop:

Pattern here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439810.0

Circus Swap things....


Tattooed Woman Doll:

Mini Top Hat:

Shark Week Picture!

It has a post: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439901.0

Even More Pet Rocks...

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