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1  Ice cream on your head and Mario on your bed: March 2009 Featured Projects in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by antarcticraft on: April 03, 2009 04:01:51 PM
Craftster crocheters were busy in March - we've got a bunch of fantastic projects* to titillate your eyes and get your creative juices flowing. Some of them might even make your mouth water and your Nintendo thumb ache! A lot of these are by newcomers to Craftster, too!

Aaargh, Matey! ohmeohmyoreilly is new to Craftster, but obviously not to crochet. It was hard to pick a favorite to showcase for March, but his Crochet Pirate Bearded Beanie disguise was an obvious favorite:



I love items that are crafty in the true sense of the word - handmade, beautiful, and functional. princesspimp81's Crochet Cake Treasure Boxes definitely fit the bill! These look good enough to eat!



And how about the deliciously cute Ice Cream Sundae hat by randomheartsx? I can't wait to see what she cooks up next!



For those of you who embrace your inner child, I'm sure you loved mama24boyz's Spongebob and Patrick winter sets! Though I doubt it's possible to love them more than these guys did:



In the event of an amigurumi alien invasion, you can fight off the bad guys with woo_work's adorable-but-deadly Raygun!



You think you know cute? You haven't begun to understand yarn's capacity for cuteness until you've see this adorable pair of Baby Dragons by Mousica:



Though it's possible that they have a bit of competition with mrsflibble's baby Sea Monster toy, who apparently eats electronics but makes little godsons laugh:



In the Crochet As Art category, we have a beautiful Freeform Crochet Scarf by Carlafibers. It's amazing what you can do without a pattern or a plan!



Bringing us more wearable art, former Featured Hooker meekssandygirl shared a gorgeous array of crocheted necklaces- my personal favorite are these lovely lemons:



By far and away the most "This Rocks" hits and comments and general awe came in response to Gege's jaw-dropping work of dedication and geeky-craftiness, the Super Mario Obsession:






*These are chosen via a magical algorithm that combines "This Rocks!" hits, number of comments, originality and creativity of the project, and detail and information in the posts. I also make an effort to present as wide a range of project types, styles, and members. Preference is given to posts shared in the Craftster spirit (not for sale, helpfulness, information shared, etc.).

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2  Meet April's Featured Member: Rheatheylia! in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by antarcticraft on: April 03, 2009 02:57:52 PM
For April's featured hooker, we have a Craftster whose crochet philosophy is one after my own heart. Rheatheylia's wonderful creations often recreate textures and patterns common in knitting, but seen less often in crochet. She's especially known for her hats (which I've seen on many wists, including , including the classy Flapper, the adorable Lattice, the classic Cable, and the ever-popular Divine. And did I mention that she makes wonderful patterns?

Meet Rheatheylia!


Crafty Bio: My real name is Sarah Arnold. Most people assume my name is Rhea because of the whole Rheatheylia thing, but Rheatheylia is really an mix of my two favorite names, Rhea and Ophelia. I live in Ohio with my wonderful husband and our extremely silly, adorable catchild Rogue. Right now I cook, clean, play videogames, and of course craft (I could do without the cleaning, but the rest is great). My mom is an amazing crafter, and the most talented crocheter I know (I keep trying to get her to post on Craftster, maybe she'll read this and finally join!) so I grew up crafting and was always encouraged to make stuff myself.


Q: When did you first start crocheting? Why? Do you remember your first project?

I tried to learn a few times when I was younger, but failed miserably. Then one day about four years ago I learned about amigurumi and was bound and determined to get it right. My mom is left handed so she couldn't really teach me, but she helped a lot by telling me I was slip stitching instead of single crocheting, ha! The first "real" thing I made was this tiny day-glo orange bear, it was horrible, half the limbs were inside out, but I was so proud of it.

Q: What do you usually make? Do you have any favorite kinds of projects, or projects you don't like to do?

I like to make amigurumi the most, I have a soft spot for adorable things, but it seems to work out that I make more hats than anything else, probably because they're fast, easy, and I like the challenge of trying to work a flat stitch pattern so it increases circularly. I'm all about instant gratification, which is why I don't like tedious long projects that are all one stitch. I wish I had the patience to make some of the gorgeous afghans I've seen, but I'd have no hope of ever finishing the project.

Q: What is your "crochet philosophy?"

Hmm, I really like at looking knit hats and figuring out how to do it crochet, so I guess it would be "whatever knitting can do crochet can too" there are so many gorgeous knit hat patterns out there while it seems like most crochet hats are, well, really granny looking, as in my granny actually made hats like that, lol. (shh, don't tell anyone it's actually because I'm totally unable to master double pointed needles so I have to figure out how to do the hat in crochet)

Q: Do you have any crochet favorites (stitches, accessories, yarn, designers, etc.)?

I love my Clover soft touch hooks, they've spoiled me for any other hook. I got a yarn ball winder for Christmas, I can't believe how fast it winds balls! It's like I was living in the dark ages before. As far as yarn goes I've been given loads of old acrylic by relatives so I usually just use it for my amigurumi, for hats and stuff I prefer Simply Soft, cheap, easy to care for, and gorgeous colors (I am so not a yarn snob). While I don't have any favorite designers specifically I love looking at all the crochet projects here on Craftster, some are just so creative and well done I find myself wondering how they managed to do that with yarn!

Q: Do you do any other crafts besides crocheting?

I love to make stuff, no matter what it is, chances are I'm up to trying it out. I love to cook, sew, fix stuff, I enjoy painting and drawing though I'm not very good at it. I recently tried freezer paper stenciling a shirt for Justin, so I'll probably do more of that in the future. One thing I've always wanted to do but never have is soap making, one of these days  Wink

Q: Is there anything you'd like to try crocheting in the future that you haven't done before?

Clothes, real clothes, I've made a few shrugs before, lots of hats, but I'd really love to make a nice sweater or skirt. Something delicate with a tiny gauge, and then actually stick with it to completion. I'd also love to make an afghan, I'm pretty sure that's like a crocheter's right of passage, and I've never even made a baby one  Shocked

Q: Do you have any advice for new crocheters, or hookers who want to start designing their own projects? You make really wonderful patterns - any advice on pattern-writing?


There's two ways I go about making patterns, the first is what I use for amigurumi. I usually do a little doodle of what I want, then make the basic shapes. It's really pretty simple once you get the hang of how to make certain shapes, how to increase for a circle, cone, etc. The next is what I use for hats, I find a stitch I really like, then try to work out how to work increases into it so the pattern is seamless throughout the hat (I really can't stand hats where the crown is just straight double crochet until it's increased enough and then the pattern starts) This involves lots and lots of drawing and both involve lots and lots of pulling things out, maybe other people can design patterns without frogging tons, but not me  Smiley

Q:What is your favorite crochet project that someone else has posted on Craftster?

Oh man, there are so many amazingly talented crocheters on Craftster, I'm absolutely in awe of the amazing tunisian stitch afghans I see on here, such as the ones by pesky pixie and the recent one by Gege (which appeals to my gamer's heart since it's Mario) I can't imagine the time and patience that goes into making one of them!

Q:What are some sources of inspiration for you as a crocheter (television shows, designers, nature, etc.)?

Knitting, cause I can't knit as fast as I can crochet so I just try to convert everything to crochet, heh. A lot of my inspiration comes from people asking for something, whether it's an e-mail about a certain type of amigurumi that strikes my fancy to make or my sister showing me a picture of a designer hat she wants, I'm not the best self motivator, so if I feel like I'm doing something for someone else I'm more likely to finish it.

Q: Where do you usually crochet (coffee shops, the couch, craft room)?

My couch, usually, sometimes I'll sit at my computer and either look at stuff online or type up my pattern while I'm working , but usually I'm sitting on my couch trying to keep my cat from pulling my yarn halfway across the house (which she does whenever I leave a project sitting out  Tongue ).

***********************************************************************

Thanks for the interview, Rheatheylia! We look forward to seeing more of your fantastic creations and patterns (and maybe I can convince you to host some on Craftster someday!  Wink ). I'm especially interested to see what you can come with for an afghan!

If you've got a question that wasn't answered here, or would like to pay our featured hooker a special compliment, feel free to do so in the compliments! If you have any suggestions for future Featured Members, feel free to PM me! Thanks!
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3  The Rook Hat - Easy, self-striping Noro project! in Crochet: Completed Projects by antarcticraft on: March 18, 2009 01:38:47 PM
As soon as I saw Sophia Kessinger's Rook Hat, I knew it was perfect for my friend's February birthday gift. By happy coincidence, my LYS had just started carrying Noro Kureyon. I picked out a skein in colors I knew she liked, and a couple of hours later, I was done:





It's super easy and quick, requiring just single crochet, and a double-crochet "spike stitch" (DC two rows below) whenever the self-striping yarn changes color. This hat is infinitely variable, depending on your yarn and the way the stripes are positioned in the skein. I increased two extra rows, basing on my own head size (which is a bit big), and continued until it covered the ears:



The result used a little over one skein. Spring is here, but I'll definitely be making one for myself this fall (in different colors, of course).
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4  March Featured Hooker: WIBIT! in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by antarcticraft on: March 16, 2009 11:20:28 AM
If you've been a member of Craftster for very long, you've probably seen wibit's fantastic creations here in Crochet. Brie is famous for her amugurimi animals (which often come with wonderful patterns!), including a meerkat, red-eyed tree frog, and a giraffe. You should also check out her Athenian Scarf, her Owl Sleep Mask, and her crocheted version of Pass the Pigs


MEET WIBIT!


Crafty Bio: I live in Scotland with my partner and our little Pomeranian Twinkle. I love nothing more than spending a day surrounded by yarn crocheting furiously. My blog Roman Sock acts as an outlet for my crochet projects and my general musings. It is named after the first ever suspected crocheted item a roman sock. I have a growing interest in photography and like taking pictures of amigurumi in the wild as well as the occasional picture of breathtaking Scotland.

Q: When did you first start crocheting? Why? Do you remember your first project?

I started about two years ago, and it took me several attempts to learn crochet. I think it is one of those crafts that can be hard to get your head around initially. Finally when I came back to it, it just clicked and I felt like a duck on water. My very first project was a little red dragon, and I was very pleased when I finished it as it really was just what I had imagined in my head.

Q: What do you make? Do you have any favorite kinds of projects, or projects you don't like to do?

I love making amigurumi because they are quick and very creative; I also like accessories, particularly bags. I have yet to try a proper piece of clothing. I am very intimidated by the sizing and the large stretches of fabric. I have made a couple of blankets and really enjoyed it, but they are very time intensive.

Q: What is your "crochet philosophy?"

You can make anything you imagine. I dont like rules and think innovation is born out of just trying stuff out, no matter how silly it seems or if it goes a little wrong. I also like to use the best quality yarn I can get my hands on: alpaca, angora and cashmere may be expensive for a sweater or a blanket, but it goes so far in a little amigurumi.

Q: Do you have any crochet favorites (stitches, accessories, yarn, designers, etc.)?


Like many, I am a yarn junkie and am constantly looking for luxurious yarns that are dense enough for amigurumi. At the moment, I am obsessed by Artesano Alpaca, and Debbie Bliss cashmere is also amazing (and you only need a wee bit so it is not too expensive!)
I make a real effort not to look too much at others peoples work because I want my work to have its own distinct identity, so I like wild life programs and books instead.

Q: Do you do any other crafts?

I do like to do a bit of work with fimo, I think it offers many of the same benefits as crochet, as it is so sculptural. I am also a disappointed drawer, painter, silk painter, knitter, and sewer.

Q: What are you interested in crocheting in the future?

I am very into practical things at the moment, I think something that is both cute and functional is completely the way to go. It also means you can be surrounded by amigurumi and have an excuse.

Q: Do you have any advice for new crocheters, or hookers who want to start designing their own projects?

I think the first port of call is to start with a drawing. Break that drawing down into shapes, and spend some time considering how you would create each shape.... then get going! Always keep track of the pattern as you go so when you try to recreate it you have all the basic elements.

Q:What is your favorite crochet project that someone else has posted on Craftster?

I have to say the infamous Cat Wig post will always be my favourite I am still not sure if it may be a little cruel, but it is definitely hilarious!

Recently I have also loved Planet Junes lemmings.

Q:What are some sources of inspiration for you as a crocheter (television shows, designers, nature, etc.)?

My two favourite books are Rainforest and Reef. I love the colours and the creatures: they are just truly inspiring. I love the BBC nature programs and I am a flickr obsessive! I can spend hours just following strands of thoughts on flickr.

Q:Where do you usually crochet (coffee shops, the couch, craft room)?

I am a couch potato and I crochet on my couch with acres of yarn all around me much to my other halfs chagrin.

***************************************************************************

Thanks for the interview, Brie! We look forward to seeing more of your whimsical creations.

Do you have a suggestion for a future Featured Member? Drop me a PM! You can also read past interviews in the archive.
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5  February '09 Featured Projects: yarn mustaches, your very own Oscar, and more! in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by antarcticraft on: March 16, 2009 10:28:04 AM
February is definitely a source of inspiration* amongst Craftster crocheters! Valentine's Day inspired a number of projects, including this super-cute Sweetheart Scarf by Starcee:



It was also Oscar season! If your favorite film or actor wasn't picked, you can always send them one of pickled_peppers' Amigurumi versions!



stopthefacades definitely expanded the idea of wearable crochet with her hilarious Hyneman and Savage mustaches!



Bored with scarves? Why not try a Loop D' Loop instead? Nomsa reminded us that "simple" can also be elegant, hip, and cute! And these awesome "not-scarves" are infinitely customizable and beyond beginner-friendly:



Speaking of cute wearables, djonesgirl unveiled her latest creation - an anime-inspired Kyo Mini Backpack!



ewushka deserves a standing ovation for her gorgeous, epic Granny Blanket. It's 320 squares of Awesome!



Remember the game Lemmings? Even if you don't, you'll love these adorable, diabolical little critters, captured perfectly in amigurumi form by planetjune:



Also popular in the ami projects were sunshineravioli's amazing WALL-E and Eve - and she gets extra props for including awesome patterns!



Another amigurumi favorite was Maggielove's Abby from NCIS, complete with punk-rock choker! You can hang out with Abby, too, because Maggielove also included a pattern!



And last, but not least, meekssandygirl gave us a glimpse into her studio with a tutorial for her beautiful yarn-scrap Brooches! These innovative pieces are wearable works of art!




*These are chosen via a magical algorithm that combines "This Rocks!" hits, number of comments, originality and creativity of the project, and detail and information in the posts. I also make an effort to present as wide a range of project types, styles, and members. Preference is given to posts shared in the Craftster spirit (not for sale, helpfulness, information shared, etc.).
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6  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 42 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by antarcticraft on: February 26, 2009 05:57:20 AM
I'm glad you liked the package, addicted2knitting! My boyfriend teased me about the sign, saying no one would get that the "POW!" was a symbol for "fights." I wanted to make something that was a bit bigger, and colorful, but that wouldn't take four thousand years (hence my dropping my original embroidery idea). For those that don't know, addicted2knitting requested a sign for her office with an anti-bully message, which was too fun an assignment to pass up!

I designed the brooch myself, intending the leaf to dangle when worn - though it could be altered if you desired.



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7  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 42 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by antarcticraft on: February 21, 2009 06:03:22 PM
I received two fantastic packages from pinkleo and frosty722 - seriously, they made my month, if not my year!

First, from pinkleo:



The most amazing woolly mammoth pin cushion! I love mammoths, and even study them in grad school, and this pin cushion is incredible. It's going to take a lot to stick pins in him, because he's super cute. The craftswomanship is amazing - he even has little weighted feet to stand upright, and adorable little hair on his head and tail.





Second, she made me this gorgeous bookplate. I have hundreds of books and am always lending them out, and so this is really going to come in handy. It's wist-inspired and couldn't be more perfect:



And just in case you're not jealous yet, here's an amazing felt green apple brooch, also wist-inspired:



Thank you so much, pinkleo!!

And now, from frosty722, this wonderful bag:



She and I share a love of Victoriana, and she's not only got mad seamstress skillz, but also has a great eye for fabric. This bag is really well made - the pleats are perfect, and it has a magnetic clasp inside. Check out the awesome lining:



I've been putting brooches on the outside of the bag, for embellishments. It's seriously really addictive!



This wonderful, wist-inspired checkbook cover lives inside the bag, too:



Didn't I tell you frosty722 has amazing taste in coordinating fabrics? Cheesy



Thank you so much, frosty722!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE all my wonderful OWS 42 packages. Thank you all so much! I can't wait to see what round 43 brings!
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8  February Featured Hooker: Meet meekssandygirl! in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by antarcticraft on: February 11, 2009 08:49:53 AM
Each month, Craftster Crochet will be featuring a new member.  If you have suggestions for members you'd like to see featured here, please PM the crochet moderator, antarcticraft (that's me!).

To start us off, this month's special stitcher is meekssandygirl! Sandy Meeks has been a member of Craftster for less than a year (since May, 2008) but has already inspired us with her colorful, whimsical creations, like her Heart Mansion, Mushroom House, Guitar Hero Scarf, and her Wedgewood Easter Eggs.



Hello, meekssandygirl!


Crafter Bio: I was an art major in college when I met my husband in 1992 in our painting class (he too is an artist). We have 2 children, age 13 and 2. After running a local business for many years I am now a stay at home mom to my 2 year old. Art and music have been a passion of mine since I was a small child due to growing up with a creative mother and a father who had toured all over Europe and saw the most famous and historic art and architecture in the world. My mother is an excellent seamstress, always creating different things through sewing, crocheting, embroidery, quilting, you name it she can do it. Their influence led to create the artist that I am.

Q: When did you first start crocheting? Why? Do you remember your first project?

My mother tried to teach me as a small girl but I couldn't figure it out. It wasn't until I was 25 I asked her to show me again and it just clicked. I am now 35 years old. My first project was a loopy terribly crooked blanket made for a friend, it was just awful, all 4 edges were just as crooked as can be!

Q: What do you make? Do you have any favorite kinds of projects, or projects you don't like to do?

I like to make 3-d type things, sculptures, I tend to like to make things that have a lot of adornment.

Q: What is your "crochet philosophy?"

To show people that when you say "crochet" it is not just about granny square blankets and doilies.

Q: Do you have any crochet favorites (stitches, accessories, yarn, designers, etc.)?

I collect and recycle cashmere yarn, it is my favorite.

Q: Do you do any other crafts?

I have pretty much tried everything when I was younger, I didn't like sewing too much, i was always afraid of sewing my fingers together! LOL! I won't even touch my mom's serger!!!

Q: What are you interested in crocheting in the future?

To continue my 3-D sculptures.

Q: Do you have any advice for new crocheters, or hookers who want to start designing their own projects?

Have fun, don't get discouraged, keep trying. Sometimes I have to rip something out over and over again until I get it right.

Q:What is your favorite crochet project that someone else has posted on Craftster?

Gosh there are soo many great projects, it would be hard to choose, I am so inspired by soo many people on here.

Q:What are some sources of inspiration for you as a crocheter (television shows, designers, nature, etc.)?

I am an artist, it is anything and everything around me.

Q:Where do you usually crochet (coffee shops, the couch, craft room)?

On my couch.

*************************************************************************************************************

Thanks for the interview, meekssandygirl! We look forward to seeing more of your fantastic creations in the future!

Craftsters: Feel free to ask your own questions, or just say hello!





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9  January 2009 Featured Projects! Eyballs, tattoos, cuckoo clocks, and more! in Crochet: Discussion and Questions by antarcticraft on: February 06, 2009 09:47:13 AM
We're off to a fantastic start in 2009, with some amazing crochet projects posted by our members.*

We started off the New Year with a very timely (hah!) project from wibit- a seasonal Cuckoo Clock!



PerachYafeh's beautiful-and-functional Latte Pincushion Ring was an inspiration use of mixed media in crochet:



Continuing on in the functional-and-cool theme, sprocketfish came up with a brilliant interpretation of the Tardis from Dr. Who:



Sunnychoppers is helping to refute the stereotype that there's nothing new you can do with granny squares - and check out the awesome lining job on this Granny Purse with Owl Lining (she also gets a gold star for sharing a pattern!):



Kitten Wrangler's Crocheted Tattoo was a huge hit, and is a safe way to help you decide whether to get that chest piece of bluebirds and hearts you've been debating:



New member WooWork has been awing us with his clever designs and whimsical photographs - like his Koi Fish - (and it's always great to see another guy hooker!):



mama24boyz shared a fantastic tapestry afghan that's practically photo-realistic, based on a portrait of her grandparents:



You don't even have to be a Twilight fan to love AprilDraven's amigurimi Edward Cullen (complete with glittery "skin" and fantastic eyes):



binchen showed us that you don't need yarn OR hooks to crochet, with this incredible, jaw-dropping Eyeball Rug:



Freeform crochet has been regaining popularity, and cathiphop's Circle Blanket of Insanity is a fantastic example:




Thanks to all our fabulous hookers for sharing their work - you're all a terrific inspiration!



*These are chosen via a combination of "This Rocks!" hits, comments, originality of the project, and detail and information in the posts, with the effort to present as wide a range of project types and styles as possible. Preference is given to posts shared in the Craftster spirit (not for sale, helpfulness, information shared, etc.).
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10  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 42 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by antarcticraft on: January 22, 2009 06:42:24 PM
I've received three claims so far, starting with:

CJKJ's fantastic "dirty laundry" travel bag and lavender sachets!

The bag has a handle and a drawstring:







I travel a lot, and I've always wanted a bag to put my laundry in so my clean clothes and suitcase didn't smell like old socks. I can't wait to try it out in April when I go to Vegas (for a conference)!

ribbitingboutique sent along two books from my list. I've already used the Crochet Answer book three times!



And last, but not least: girlosun_9 made me a couple of reusable coffee clutches and some coasters! I LOVE the fabric - I don't think she knew that my living room has red and brown accents, so these really tie the room together:









Thank you so much, everyone! I love them all, and they're already being put to good use!

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