i received my package a while ago, but finally got the chance to photograph it. here's my awesome package from crazyda79:
clockwise from top: minion stickers, dr. who/tardis ribbon, a picture frame with the house rules from the house of night book series, a steampunk hat memo holder, gilbert and sullivan portrait potholders, a breakfast foods key chain, and a pi/pie eco bag.
this is the christmas present i made for my friend maria. it's all her fault, really. you see, we both work at a craft store. she does all sorts of spiffy doodles. one day, she doodled a cthuloid sock monkey, and left it on my register. when i went to cash out a customer, i saw it. i then had to explain to the customer why i simultaneously laughed, choked and turned funny colors...
speaking of turning funny colors, here's the dye i used.
and here are my hands after i used they plastic gloves included in the box, instead of the tighter-fitting latex gloves i bought.
and you thought i was joking in my signature...
i dyed two pairs of blue rockford red heel socks. i was actually surprised when the red heels were still red after i rinsed the dye. i totally expected them to be brown. i realize my dye job is irregular, to say the least; i usually dye yarn.
the first pair is used as per the usual red heel sock monkey pattern, except i left off the mouth, ears and tail.
front. the tentacles are formed by taking three chenille stems and twisting them together. i then cut the legs of the second pair of socks as if i were making arms, but cut each leg into four pieces instead of two. i couldn't decide how to style the tentacles for initial photos, and ended up curling them all up short.
back. yes, i realize the red heels sorta form a face...
the wings.... ohhh.... how i agonized over the wings. i made paper mockups. i was originally going to scallop the bottom edge. and i agonized some more. and then i got up and got some distance from the project.... and realized i was overthinking the whole dang thing. when i cut the legs off to make tentacles, i left a few extra inches above the heel. i cut the toe off, leaving the same amount of fabric as there was above the heel. i then sewed the end and inserted chenille stems, prepared as for the tentacles, and sewed them into a channel.
standing side view. this gives a better view of the wings. or maybe he just really wants a soda...
maria fixed the tentacles when she got him. he looks a bit cuter this way. in keeping with the traditional sock monkey aspects of this project, his eyes are buttons. creepy red buttons. but buttons all the same.
he really was the life of the party. here he is opening the plate of cookies maria brought.
for christmas, i made my mom a bracelet and some earrings from jewelery workshop's chainmail kits. i did the japanese 6-in-1 (actually doubled 6-in-1, but i'll call it what they call it. ) bracelet and earrings sets.
japanese 6-in-1 lattice earrings
japanese 6-in-1 flower earrings. these are depicted on the package as each having two flower units, but i was halfway through the second flower on the first earring and realized it would be too long and too heavy for my mom's usual taste in earrings.
doing the one flower motif per earring also helped because, even though i had the kits since october, i was putting them together two days before christmas.
double flower earrings. these weren't in the kit. however, these kits provide enough rings that one may adjust the size of the item one is making, so that i had a lot of rings left over. yeah, the small rings were a tight fit, but the doubled flower pattern is one of my favorites for jump ring jewelery.
i also made the matching japanese 6-in-1 bracelet, but i don't have any pictures of that, as i finished it up right before i had to wrap it. yup, i'm such a slacker.
i bought a best buy gift card for my friend for christmas. i was going to buy a card to put it in, but none of the cards i found were quite right - they were too sappy, too offensive, or contained cats. my friend doesn't like cats. i told her i couldn't find one, and she said that i should make one. so, here it is, my first attempt at a handmade card.
er... please excuse the mess. that's the post-christmas-crafting chaos on my crafting desk. and my tardis.
front of card: here, one thing is immediately obvious - i can't cut a straight line with a ruler. there likely isn't a straight line or square corner on this whole darn thing. i tried. i really did. i measured twice. three times, even. and it still ended up all silly. note to self - buy a cutter. no more of this scissors nonsense.
i had quite a bit of fun with computer-printable vellum - i made the sentiments on both the inside and outside of the card in microsoft word. the pretty swooshy things are clip art i found by searching for 'swirl.' the left one is the same as the right, but i flipped it around.
now, i wasn't sure of the right way to attach vellum, so i just got out my trusty glue stick and stuck it down real well. i suspect there may be a better way to do this, and i'd like to know.
so, i stuck the vellum to the kraft brown cardstock, stuck that to the holiday-themed green cardstock, and stuck that to the kraft brown card. i then got some of the jesse james papercrafting doodads out of my stash and glued two snowflakes to the front with my trusty aileen's tacky glue.
inside of card, and more craft table chaos. yes, i know, i really need to try to keep my fingers out of the glue.
left inside. the festive holiday hippos are made from the template i made for a gift box for some lovely merino mittens i made. they're cut out of the same holiday cardstock i used on the front of the card. i cut a piece of the holiday cardstock the same size as the gift card and snipped off a corner to make the gift card pocket. the hippos were stuck down with glue stick, and the gift card pocket was stuck down with more aileen's tacky glue, hence the gluey smudges.
right inside, and more festive holiday hippos. names have been removed to protect the guilty. just like the front, i made the sentiment in microsoft word and printed it on printable vellum, cut it out and glued it with my trusty glue stick.
ok, so this was my first attempt. any advice for my next card?
i work in a craft store, and we had a handmade secret santa exchange. my coworkers tried to guess who was making what for whom, based off of our purchases. too bad for them i was on a self-imposed semi-craft-supply-diet at the time, and was making my secret santa project from stuff i had in my stash.
a few years ago, i took part in a handspun competition, and came away with a handspindling goodie bag, including ~3oz of merino in fall colors. now, the person i ended up drawing for the secret santa happened to say in a random conversation both that she wanted mittens, and that she loved fall colors. as i had already spun the wool into yarn to make her mittens, i thought this was a good sign.
when plying, i tried to match up the colors as best as possible, resulting in the semi-striping in the finished mittens.
the pattern is of my own devising. it's more guidelines, actually. the fingers of these are pointier than i like - i've remedied this in my subsequent pair.
i wracked my brain to think of a good way to wrap the mittens. i finally decided that i would make the packaging part of the gift.
see, this is why it was only a semi-craft-supply-diet, and not a regular one. the box was $1.99 retail, and the two sheets of scrapbook paper were $.59 each retail, so, with my employee discount, i spent about $2.50 on the entire project. the ribbon for the tab came from my stash, as did the paint, markers and mod podge.
of course hippos are festive! haven't you ever heard the christmas classic, 'i want a hippopotamus for christmas'?
i made the hippo stamp myself out of craft foam, and i used acrylic paint instead of ink. looking back, i probably should have put the improvised inkpad on something soft, like a piece of craft foam, instead of just putting it on my desk.
i went back after the hippos were dry and outlined them with a sparkly black marker, and also gave them facial features.
i covered the interior and exterior with scrapbook paper and mod podge hard coat, which dries with a non-tacky satin finish. i love love love it! since i cannot draw (or cut) a straight line with a ruler, the exterior edges ended up a bit wonky. i cut out bits of grey origami paper, to tie the hippos in to the rest of the box, and decoupaged them over the corners.
my signature, with a scrapbook paper hippo, just to pull the whole thing together.
my coworker loved it. and only one of my 15 coworkers guessed who i had. yay for sneaky crafting.
this is the second of three baby afghans i've had to make lately - the first was in early august, the baby this one is for is due next week, and the third one is due in early february (i still need to come up with a design for that one).
this is made in worsted-weight acrylic: red, yellow, blue and green - bernat super value purple - red heart classic orange - possibly discontinued caron yarn
i have the feeling that with each successive afghan, i come up with even more eye-rending designs. well, i hate pastels, so i tend to make baby afghans in rainbow colors. maybe the next one will be a little more sedate. or not.
a closeup to show the color transitions. please ignore all cat hair and loose ends - these will be removed before the afghan is given away.
i am overly fond of finishing afghans with reverse double crochet. i love it so very much! in fact, i can't remember the last time i used an alternative stitch to edge an afghan (or pillow - it joins the two sides of a pillow while giving the appearance of piping. )
here are two scarves i made for aids rochester's red scarf project. these scarves will be auctioned off, and the proceeds will go fund aids rochester's programs. a coworker of mine has been making scarves for the project since its inception four years ago, and she asked me if i wanted to make one. i thought i'd only have time to make one, but then i found the tweedy red yarn, and felt compelled to make a second.
the first scarf is a 3x3 rib made with lion brand's wool ease. it's about 49" long.
and here it is with the ribbing stretched.
the second scarf is a drop stitch pattern in ny yarns' olympic. it's 53" long. i had this yarn in my stash, and this scarf used both balls, almost exactly. i had less than a yard left when i was done.
this is the second time i've used the fibonacci series in a scarf - the first time i made a striped scarf; i figured i should do something a little different for this scarf. i do love me some knitted geekery. i knit 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 55, 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1 rows, with a drop stitch row in between each set of rows, hence the lacy appearance of the ends.
this event happens every year, so i'm hoping to have time to make more than two scarves for next year's auction. i'm already hoarding red yarn and picking out patterns. maybe next year, i'll do some cables.
so, in short, charity knitting, knitted geekery and stash busting. so many good things in one place
i have to say, this is not my usual project, and i generally don't work in these colors (well, the burgundy is ok.) but i saw the moorish mosaic afghan in the fall '09 interweave crochet, and knew my grandma would love it. i wasn't sure, however, if i'd love the octagonal motif the afghan uses. i'd hate to commit to a project to find part of the way in that i hated it, so i figured i'd make a few of the motifs, make a pillow out of them, and give it to my grandma for her birthday.
so, i made the first two octagonal motifs, and they worked out pretty well. i joined them with reverse double crochet in aqua, the pattern's mc.
grandma loves it. so now it's full steam ahead on the afghan. with luck, it'll be ready for christmas.
here's the thing, though. the pattern says that gauge does not matter. oh, i heartily disagree! you see, he's supposed to be 21" tall. well, i'll have to show you the problem here...
angelica, on the right, is 21" tall, which is the standard sock monkey height. this means giant monkey is, well, not.
oh well. this just means that there's more monkey to love.
i've seen some feedback on this pattern, and one person said they had to fiddle with the neck a bit, as there wasn't enough shaping in the pattern. i didn't have that problem. here's giant monkey, without his jaunty red scarf, just to show the neck shaping.
yes, my embroidery skills leave much to be desired. i'm just telling people that giant monkey has an ironic smirk.
giant monkey, from the back:
from the side:
ooh! what's this?
yes, for those of you who are more traditional monkey fans, giant monkey also loves bananas.
giant monkey was made with bernat super value in oatmeal and taupe, with a smidgen of berry. his jaunty red scarf is bernat super value in berry. i made foundation single crochets until the scarf was long enough, then crocheted it until it was wide enough. and fringe makes everything better.
i realize in these pictures, you can see giant monkey's stuffing. i think that's mostly the effect of the flash. except for one arm, and the top of his tail (where i got a little carried away with the stuffing) his stuffing isn't visible through the stitches.