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1  Big Barda cosplay (4 images) in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: September 23, 2014 06:22:48 PM
I made a Big Barda cosplay for Rose City Comic Con this past weekend, and it came out great! I got a lot of compliments, and I only sweat moderately. (Note to self, it doesn't matter how much you like the blue yarn for the legs and torso, worsted weight is not con-friendly).

With the exception of the hexagons, I didn't use any patterns.

Legs, torso, and gauntlets are crocodile stitch. The cape is triple crochet. The rest of it is half-double. The megarod (my totally not-phallic weapon) is single crochet with bubble stitch on the top and the buttons were stitched on separately.

Let me know if you have any questions! I actually got some in-progess shots for this one!

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2  Corner-start jacket in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: December 23, 2013 09:49:27 PM
It was supposed to be a shawl, but then I figured out if I seamed two of the corners, I'd have sleeves. So, I did that (because lazy), and then I added the pink edging to give it some length and sewed on the button so it'd close. It's a perfect, lightweight bit of cuteness to help cheer up the gray days that will hit you up in the Pacific Northwest.

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3  Corner Start Leaky Roof Scarf in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: December 11, 2013 10:17:31 AM
A little over a year ago, I was six months out of work, deeply frustrated, and broke as hell. A friend of mine found herself in possession of a huge storage container of very nice yarns and, not being a crocheter or knitter, gifted the entire container to me in an act of friendship. I insisted, if she was going to just give me all this yarn, that she pick out whatever yarns she liked the most, and I'd make her some items. I've managed to use most of the yarn she picked out to make her scarves and hats and hand warmers (she loves outerwear).

This scarf is another use of yarn she picked out (Rowan felted tweed, the lighter blue) with the addition of some unlabeled darker blue that I thought really popped. It was going to be her Christmas gift, but then she mentioned she'd rather not exchange gifts this year, so I gave it to her as a just because gift. She tried to argue that it was clearly a planned Christmas gift, but I pointed out that it came from the yarn she'd picked out the year before, so really, it's not anything but a thank you for all the yarn in the first place.

Corner-start with color changes done randomly. I was really just looking for an excuse to do color changes, and I wasn't certain it looked quite right, but my friend specifically mentioned she loved it, and that's all I was going for.

Close-ups of the whole thing piece by piece:

(And I just realized the end pics are flipped the wrong way. Whoops.)
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4  basketweave and post stitches hat (with very brief walkthrough) [6 images] in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: December 04, 2013 10:19:07 AM

The hat, in all its finished glory. Please ignore my creeper eyebrows; they just do that sometimes.

So, this hat came together because I wanted to practice the basketweave stitch and some basic front post and back post stitches. It was originally going to grow up a be a scarf, so it started as a flat object:

And then I got impatient, as sometimes happens, and I was right at the point where the strip would wrap around my head comfortably, so I pulled the short ends together and slip stitched them to make a circle:

It looks like it Im working unevenly, but that was just how the fabric was curling as I was working mixed with my questionable photography skills. I matched it up end-to-end repeatedly to make certain the seam was straight.

Once I was certain the seam was straight (only had to backtrack twice!), I did a chain one at the top of the seam and started double crocheting in the side of the stitches that made up the brim:

Ive done this sort of style a few different times. I like it because it allows me to make a really interesting brim and throw a nice, simple stitch on the crown of the hat without having to work in the round the whole time. My best piece of advice, if youre working like this, is to remember that even when working with taller stitches like double crochets, you still only need one stitch per side stitch to keep your work evenly shaped. It can be tempting (as Ive learned through practice) to worry that youre not going to have enough stitches and add in extras that end up giving you a lumpy hat.

Anyway, thats my tip. Back to the fun stuff!

So, I worked my way around, and I put post stitches every six stitches because I knew it would give me even distribution even with turning. I alternated between front post and back post stitches every round:

You can see how nicely the front and back post stitches stand out against the fabric and how they give the crown a nice pop of interest. Im actually really fond of how the decreases turned out at the top because I kept doing post stitches until I just couldnt anymore, and I got a nice, gathered look:

As soon as I saw it from the top, I realized it would have made a really great spider hat, but thats a project for another time.

I like how this came out, but Ive got some notes to sharpen up the overall look. I think the brim sections where I alternate between basketweave and post stitches are all a little too long, so Id like to shorten them, and Id also like to try this pattern with a few different yarns, just to see how the fit varies. Its a good thing its cold out. Everyone I know right now is scrambling for hats.

Let me know if you have any questions. I think this one might become a pattern, so knowing if theres stuff that needs explained is always good.
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5  corner start blanket + scrap scarf (5 images) in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: November 25, 2013 10:07:40 PM
So, I think the corner start project and I are going to be friends for a little while. I like how it works up, and it hasn't gotten boring to watch the stair-step nature of it turn into a square or a rectangle, so it's a pretty boss stitch.

I made a blanket using yarn I found at a liquidation center and bought by the literal basket full. I thought I'd gotten the same number of skeins, but either I was wrong, or I screwed up when adding the blue to the pink because I ended up a few rows short, so my fun color block blanket because a snowtopped blanket. Whoops.

These are the only in-progess photos I thought to snap (I get in the zone when I start), but you can see the stair-step pattern you get when you work the corner-start, and the second one shows the close-up where I'd started pulling my stitches in. The very top pink stitch in the bottom picture is the full width of the blanket. Those blue stitches across show you how far I'd decreased at that point. The entire time I was working the blue, the blue corners only got two rows above the pink corners because I was working the other half of the square at a diagonal.

Finished shot (pardon the mess). That's a queen-size bed, to give you an idea for scale. The top corner in cream is Lion Brand Jiffy, and I'm glad I had some lying around as I think it compliments the other colors nicely.

Super basic "action" shot for funsies. It'll make a perfect lap blanket as the weather gets colder up here. The blue and pink yarns are pretty heavy, so it has a nice weight but still manages to drape beautifully.

Speaking of drape, I found myself with a skein and a bit extra of the Jiffy and the last bits of the blue and pink lying about, so I whipped up this:

Same corner-start stitch, just a much smaller scale.

I'm hoping to learn basketweave soon, but I just had a friend ask for a corner-start scarf of her own (not this one), and as she picked out the yarn for anything I wanted to make her months ago, I am honor-bound by rules of being the crafty friend to make it in a stitch I know she likes. More practice, says I!
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6  Stripey Poncho in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: November 21, 2013 02:18:32 PM
So, it was supposed to be a baby sweater, but I fail at baby sizes, and after being informed it was gonna be way too big for a baby, I realized what I'd made fit over my head and figured I'd take a shot at making a poncho.

It's all double crochet with an I-hook, worked top down. I worked joining rounds without turning and increased on every round until it was wide enough to fit around my shoulders with some ease.

The front/back post dcs in the bottom half came about due to some boredom with just working the same stitch over and over and over again. I've never really done f/bpdcs, so getting some practice in was nice.

It's made from Red Heart Soft, and I'm looking forward to throwing it through the wash to see how it softens up further. It's a bit tighter in the arms than I intended, and not as flowy as I was expecting, but I made a poncho to figure out how to make a poncho, so I've got some ideas for the next run.

It's warm, and that's all I was going for in the end besides the practice.
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7  A very quick scarf in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: November 19, 2013 03:52:30 PM
I'm trying to learn a few new stitches right now, so I decided to give a corner-start scarf a go. I got the basic instructions for corner start from this pattern here:


I actually looked at a few different blogs before using this pattern. The pictures are slightly blurry, but I found this explanation the easiest to use because it showed the shape of things before you matched corners, and that was a huge help for me.

The scarf is made from mystery yarn and an L-hook, it hits just above my waistband and fits very comfortably into my jacket. I think the yarn is a wool blend.

Getting started was the hardest part; once I made the first few rows, this thing went quick.

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8  Itty Bitty Galoshes (with link to pattern) in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: November 11, 2013 10:18:33 PM

Baby booties designed to look like they're galoshes, which are the perfect baby gift up here in the Pacific Northwest. I found the pattern on ravelry:


It calls for an e-hook with worsted weight yarn, and once I got used to the intentional stitch tightness, they worked up exactly as the pattern said they would. I had some issues with the design of the pattern on the page--the design choices in the written patern; not the instructions--and got frustrated a few times because I found the pattern hard to follow at times because of how it was laid out.

I will say, once I got them done, I was very pleased, and now that I know the design of the written pattern has some visual tracking issues for me (I kept skipping rounds because of inconsistent spacing that made me think certain rounds were the rounds I'd always worked), I think the next pair will be less hook-snapping frustration.

Oh, I used Red Heart soft, by the way, which seemed to work up exactly like the Caron Simply Soft used in the original work.
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9  Green Lantern Costume in Halloween Costumes by gaylefrancis on: November 05, 2013 04:08:23 PM
I am a huge Green Lantern fan, specifically of Guy Gardner, who is this awesome guy (heh, guy) right here:

And I wanted to do a half-tribute to his costume, bringing in some of the elements while also making a costume that would be comfortable and fun to wear to a party. I ended up deciding on a micro-mini dress because I figured I could throw leggings on if needed and they'd look similar to Guy's trousers. I also stenciled the back of a jacket I had lying around to bring a little more of Guy's personality to the whole shebang. Let's go to the action shots:

The dress was crocheted, working from the bottom up using only single crochet. It was worked in the round with the white yarn switched in as needed to create the borders for placements of the circular motifs to create a version of the Green Lantern symbol:

Motifs were created separately as follows:

  • Small motifs (at the top and bottom of the dress) were created by chaining six, joining, and then working a round of double crochet stitches.
  • Large motif (at the belt) was created by chaining 12, joining, working a round of double crochet stitches, then turning and working a round of half-double crochet.

Motifs were then hand-sewn into place with the same white yarn, which had a bit of sparkle in it because Green Lanterns generally glow when their rings are active, and that was enough reason for me to buy sparkly yarn.

Dress shoulders were made as pointy as possible to create a sort of fun, retro-future vibe that fits with the whole idea of Green Lanterns as space cops running around the galaxy. I got the lift on the shoulders by single crocheting the front and back armholes together and then going over it with the white yarn. That white bit at the neck and shoulders is all one piece, worked in the round.

The jacket itself was not made by me. It's a cheap thing I picked up on clearance and has been sitting in the back of my closet because the lining is shredded and the seams are starting to go.

So, perfect jacket to possibly ruin for a costume.

The "Jordan" being told off on the back of this jacket is Hal Jordan, the first Green Lantern of Earth, towards whom Guy still holds a grudge because he could have been first Green Lantern. It's a friendly rivalry for the most part, but Guy is not the classiest.

I started by laying down a very thin layer of paint as sloppily as possible so the jacket would have a sort of punkish vibe that matches Guy's personality. Then, I cut out letters in cardboard to make stencils, then I placed them on the back of jacket like so:

and painted over them using cheap acrylic paint. The jacket ended up being a bigger pain than the whole dress as I had too much paint on my brush a few times, so paint got under the letters. I fixed this by cleaning up the spare paint with q-tips, and then once everything dried, I colored in the letters with black marker.

The costume was a big hit, and I think I'm going to pop off the motifs and make Christmas light motifs to line on the white "cord" come the holidays. All together, the whole project probably took about 30 hours, the massive majority of that being the amount of crochet required to get the dress made. Thank goodness for Netflix and binge watching TV.
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10  Green Lantern Dress Halloween Costume in Crochet: Completed Projects by gaylefrancis on: November 01, 2013 10:09:40 AM
I've been a Green Lantern for Halloween three times now. All three times I've crocheted at least part of my costume. The first time, I crocheted the skirt (which I still wear). The second time, I crocheted an entire dress, but it had some fitting issues and has never been worn again, and this time, I decided to go for a dress again. This decision got made two weeks ago because I forgot how calendars work, so the whole thing was put together on the fly. I think it came out all right in the end:

The entire body is single crochet. The green is Caron One Pound, and the white is Simply Soft with little glittery bits in it. The white stripes were crocheted into the garment as a color change, and then I attached the white circles separately.

The white circles were chains that were joined, then I double crocheted around once for the small ones, and double crocheted and then half-double crocheted for the big one. The circles and stripes are meant to be the symbol of the green lanterns:

The colors are inverted because color change is not my forte, and I didn't want to worry I was gonna blow the whole thing by trying to do the white circle with the symbol in green. Maybe next year.

The shoulders came about because of a lack of time to fix mistakes and the fact that I started my arm holes at the wrong place, so I stitched them together with single crochet and added the white trim to give it sort of a retro-future space dress vibe. Green Lantern costumes can look like anything, so we're calling that one a personal touch.

Bonus shot of the jacket that goes with the dress. I'm specifically dressing up as Guy Gardner, as he is my favorite Earth Green Lantern, and he and Hal Jordan (the silver age lantern, aka Ryan Reynolds) have a rivalry for a long list of reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture. Just know they sometimes get along, they sometimes don't, and Guy's one of those people who likes to poke you with a stick:

It says "Suck it Jordan" I used cardboard cutouts of letters, painted with acrylic for the outlines, and then filled in with sharpie.

The party this whole costume is for isn't until tonight, so I still have time to decide if I'm covering my legs. As the pictures make clear, there ain't a lot of skirt on the dress, but as I just finished it last night, I haven't had time to move in it to decide if leggings are required or would just be nice.

Questions and comments and stuff are always welcome. I need to see if I can hunt down my pics from Halloween's previous.
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