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1  Another Tetris Afghan in Crochet: Completed Projects by Malica on: July 09, 2010 12:42:42 PM
For a dear friend's wedding I wanted to make her a geeky afghan, but a little more subtle than my last one. After buying and flipping through Crochet Stitch Bible I got it in my head to stick to one or two colours and play only with texture and raised stitches, so this is what I came up with:

I had intended to make the brown boarder bigger so that the afghan would be a good size for two, but my procrastination got the better of me and as it was I had all the fans in the house trying to dry it out from blocking and weaving in the ends the morning of the wedding. Oh, well. I'm still happy with it, and hope she was too.

It's made from Lion Brand Fisherman's wool. The raised stitches are various combinations of post stitches in the right places (I think that's what you call them - where instead of going into the normal part of the stitch you go around the post either from the front or back, depending on which side I was working). I had a lot of fun coming up with this (especially since I don't do well with reading patterns still) although I think I'm going to do a few smaller projects next which don't take as much time. Smiley
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2  Cake Pops in Dessert by Malica on: July 17, 2009 06:41:23 PM
After stumbling across Bakerella's blog after seeing her hamburger and fries both here and on cake wrecks, I really couldn't help myself when I saw these Smiling Cake Pops

The premise is simple enough - make a cake, crumble it up, stir in a can of frosting, roll them into balls, jab lollipop sticks into them then dip them in melted chocolate, and I needed to bring something to a family event I figured I'd give them a try.

A few disappointments with them though:
1. Not all edible markers can write on chocolate. Chocolate is oily, the markers I got were not suitable (Wilton's FoodWriter Edible Color Markers - the only ones at my local Michael's). It was like trying to write on a sheet of wax paper with a ball point pen, so only 2 got faces on them. I was really hoping to take the markers and let the kids draw on their own faces, but it wasn't meant to be this time.
2. Instructions say to pop them in the freezer to firm them up. I'm pretty sure that's why about 1/4 of mine ended up getting big cracks in the coating (warm coating + cold cake ball =  Sad )

Still though, they were pretty easy once I got the hang of how to coat something in chocolate. I've got my baking friends now on the quest to find me markers that will write on chocolate in Canada because I know I'm going to make these (or the animal variants) again sometime.
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3  Pocoyo in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by Malica on: May 31, 2009 07:28:25 PM
We thought we'd be smart and get our daughter 'hooked' on only TV shows that we don't find annoying. Unfortunate, we didn't realize that Pocoyo merchandise is nearly impossible to come by these days so I bit the bullet and decided to try to make Pocoyo for her:

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, although this is actually about the 3rd body and 4th head before I got his top right or his head (somewhat) proportional to his body. I'm not very experienced in crochet at all (3rd project), so it was certainly a learning experience.

Here's what I mean about not getting things proportional (that's the same body, different head):

I also couldn't figure out why my camera wasn't focusing until I found someone's little tiny fingerprints all over the lens.

Daughter enjoying Pocoyo:

She loves the camera a bit too much to get any good shots because she'll drop whatever she's doing if she sees the camera and tries to either put more fingerprints on the lens or see the picture of herself. Like this:

For those who don't know this wonderful little show, this is Pocoyo and his friends:
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4  Re: Amigurumi help -- curling under in Amigurumi: Discussion and Questions by Malica on: April 06, 2009 04:10:32 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Are you working even? If it's supposed to stick out just a bit, you may want to use subtle increases towards the bottom instead. For instance, you could do one increase per round or even one every few rounds if you really want it to be subtle. It's a bit hard to understand what the problem really is though. A picture of what you have so far and also a reference image of the character itself would help a lot.
Yes, I increased and the base (body) under decreased, so it should have worked but the last row just wanted to curl under like this:

I think part of the problem was the top was a little snug on the body which compounded the curling problem. I made a second attempt with more give to the top over the body though and that last row still curled under more than I liked. What I ended up doing was doing one row backwards at the bottom so a little curl in plus a little curl out made it all work out in the end:

You can always block it when you are done - it is the best way to go.  I never used to block but after seeing a demonstration on it blocking - even blankets, scarves, hats, whatever isn't stuffed is really the best way to go.  It will hold its shape even after washing.
I've never blocked either. Even with 100% acrylic? I thought blocking was for the natural fibres.

Hopefully I have the right colour thread in my very very sparse stash to sew the eyes on tonight. My daughter came down with the stomach flu last night and could use some serious cheering up. Sad
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5  Tetris Afghan - my first completed project in Crochet: Completed Projects by Malica on: March 02, 2009 07:50:33 PM
I learnt how to crochet about a year and a half ago, but despite starting a few projects I've never actually finished any crochet projects before now (unless you count completing *one* slipper a completed project. lol).

I'd wanted to make a knit or crochet tetris afghan for even longer than that, and even had all the yarn bought (all Vanna's Choice stuff), but couldn't figure out how to do it nicely without having to do a ton of seams (something that I've never been good at with the little knitting that I've done) but still would give a nice solid and clean edge through either knitting or crochet.

I never figured out a way to avoid making it in pieces and having a ton of sewing to do, and I don't know if what I did was any sort of proper technique for sewing them together, but I'm pleased with the results regardless.

Here's the backside, which isn't as pretty as the top. I never figured out a way to make it completely reversible, but all in all not too bad?

Thanks for looking! Any advice appreciated too -- especially about doing seems although after sewing all of those together I think I'm going to make a scarf or something simple next just to go back to avoiding them again!  Grin

Edit to add: My hubby saw this and asked why he didn't even get a foot note. His hours and hours of tetris experience paid off -- I asked him to come up with an arrangement of tetris bricks such that no two like pieces are touching and that all the pieces are used. If I ever did this again, I'd consider dropping a few of the pieces so that there wasn't so many colours to worry about though.
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6  Space Invader Mittens in Knitting: Completed Projects by Malica on: January 02, 2008 07:49:50 AM
After "earning" my Brownie knitting badge over two decades ago (and by "earning" I mean my mom "helped" me probably a bit too much) and not touching a pair of needles since then, I've suddenly got some sort of strange nesting thing going since the arrival of my daughter a few months ago. I couldn't remember more than just straight knitting, but thankfully there are so many great resources on line to reteach casting on, purling and so much more that I'd completely forgotten or never even knew in the first place.

I'm still learning a lot -- and this project was a lot of firsts for me. It was my first time knitting with more than one colour, first time knitting with anything other than bargain basement acrylic yarn (I used Alafoss Lopi for the outside -- there's an inner lining too made of some sort of wool/silk blend which is softer on the hands and keeps fingers away from all the messiness from my first attempt of two colours), and pretty much my first remotely gift-worthy project.

My husband is a geek, and our winters are very cold here in Canada, so he loved them enough to forgive me that they were two days late for Christmas.  Grin

The space invaders chart is from Knitty Spring 2007 and the mitten pattern is a bit of adaption of this.
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