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1  Re: The End of Harry Potter Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by xamonster on: May 14, 2007 09:05:11 AM
I'm back at work today, so here are pictures of what mint sent me! 

I got home yesterday to find a package from mint waiting for me!

I took pictures, but I don't have my camera cord handy, or more batteries for the camera itself. Those will have to wait until Monday when I'm back at work with my, er, the office card reader.

The spoils! Look at all this awesome swag!

The piggy bank, metallic Sculpey, and awesome flowery drawstring pouch.

The beautiful buttons for my calorimetry (pictured in the top picture, lower right).

Radish detail, from the back of the totes.

And finally ...

Thanks again, mint! You rock!
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2  Owl-orimetry, with pattern! in Knitting: Completed Projects by xamonster on: May 08, 2007 08:37:09 AM
I enjoyed the Calorimetry pattern from the Winter 2006 issue of Knitty greatly. So much, in fact, that I decided to make lots of my own. I only followed the pattern to a T the very first time around. After that, I was inspired by all sorts of craftsters, many of whom had altered the pattern themselves. I threw in cables, I made it narrower, I made it much wider.

So when I saw a hat with adorable owl cables recently here on Craftster, I thought that another Calorimetry was the next logical step. So, dear craftsters, I bring you Owl-orimetry.

Look at how pretty I am! Too bad it's not actually in focus.
Of course, when I adapted the owl cable pattern, I forgot to take the spacing between the cables into account when I figured the initial stitch count and pattern. This left me with uncentered owls and giant holes, as I didn't feel like short-rowing the whole way. I did, however, like the way the little tabs looked on the ends, but didn't leave them in for the second go-around, when I figured the spacing correctly.

The owl cable pattern isn't mine, by the way. I found it on the world wide internets. Also, this pattern assumes that you're already familiar with the original Calorimetry pattern, and that you know how to do the accompanying short rows.

Owl cable pattern
(11+3 st rep, beg WS)
1: Work one row of reverse stockinette (purls on the right side).
2: [p3, k8], p3
3: k3, [p8, k3]
4: [p3 c4b, c4f], p3
5-11: alternate rows 2-3, beg and end with row 3
12: [p3, c4b, c4f], p3
13: k3, [p8, k3]
14: [p3, k1, p2, k2, p2, k1], p3
15: k3, [p1, k2, p2, k2, p1, k3]
16-17: rep rows 1-2
18: [p3, c4b, c4f], p3
19: k3, [p8, k3]
20: Work one row of reverse stockinette (purls on the right side).

Important note: as you work the twenty rows with the owl cable, you will also incorporate shaping. I did this with short rows. On each row, short row 1 stitch per side, to avoid gaping holes (like the top photograph below).

Short rows are worked on the first 5 of the 9 stitches on the outsides of the markers. Also, these 9 stitches are worked in garter stitch. To make the fun little narrow tab-like ends, the first short row on either side can be worked over 4 stitches, and the rest of the short rows over 1 stitch.

Cast on 98 sts. (I like the cable cast on; you can see directions on
Knitting Help, about halfway down the page).

Work two rows of garter stitch. On the second row, place one marker 9 stitches in from either end. (The space between these two markers is where your owl cable pattern will be. From the marker to the end of the row is where the shaping magic will happen.)

Begin owl cable pattern. At the same time, start your short rows. (In other words, work your reverse stockinette to the last stitch, wrap and turn, and start row two.)

RS: Sl wrapped stitch, knit to marker, sl m, begin cable pattern for 7 repeats, sl m, knit to last stitch, wrap and turn.

Continue through cable pattern, wrapping one stitch per row. Once you finish row 11 of the cable pattern, you will have wrapped (short-rowed) 5 stitches on each end. Start increasing your short rows, picking up the wrapped stitches you left behind.

Work final row of owl cable pattern. You should be ending your last short row here on this row.

Work two rows of garter stitch.

Bind off. I used the k2tog method: k2tog, *sl st from RH needle to LH needle, k2tog.*

You should have both of your yarn ends, from the cast on and the bind off, on the same side of your FO. Draw each of the ends through the opposite side, and tie them in a bow. Pop it on your head, and go out on the town! You're now just as stylish, if not more so, than xamonster!

My first edge, with a squished owl and a hole.

The new edge, sans hole.

By the way, this pattern is typed up from the scribbles in my knitting notebook, so mistakes are possible. Let me know and I'll fix it up!

Thanks to sundayafternoonhousewife for requesting clarification. Sometimes I'm garbled.
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3  Re: Neil Gaiman Swap Round 3 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by xamonster on: April 26, 2007 10:40:35 AM
Howdy. I wanted to let y'all know how much of a rockstar zkitten is. She angeled for me, and I just got the spoils yesterday. Check this out!

Check out that Mirrormask!

One side of the slide bracelet

The other side of the bracelet

Look, it's Delirium! I'm so glad she stopped to stay with me! (She's going to live on the pirate shrine, or maybe next to Fezzik.)

And this book is awesome. I love the way the silver in the spider web shines! And the fiber is the same kind that Delirium has for hair, just in purple. Now what to write in it? Secrets, I think.

Thank you so much, z, for taking time to craft for me! I really love everything. Especially that bracelet you soldered just for me?! Cheesy You really are a rockstar.

Thanks, halfelvenwriter, for hooking me up with an angel. I enjoyed this swap, despite the flakage.
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4  Re: Fill-a-Matchbox SUPPLY Swap R1 (Send Feb 28) in The Swap Gallery by xamonster on: March 05, 2007 06:48:55 PM
Howdy all! Since I have a little time right now, I thought I'd post a pic of what I got from princess*of*capri today ...

Fantastico, no? I combined the contents of all three of the matchboxes I received from princess*of*capri, tristitia, and Scary Teri ... into a large matchbox. They fit perfectly! I should've taken another photo.

Thanks again, gals, and thanks to our co-organizers! Great idea! Now if only I could go home right this minute and craft ... Cheesy
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5  Re: Hogwarts Houses Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by xamonster on: March 05, 2007 06:43:51 PM
At the requests of both my partner liebschien and our organizer fyberduck I'll post this photo ...

Few people know that Captain Jack Sparrow was sorted into Ravenclaw ...

Hugs and bunnies!
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6  Another newbie joining the fun in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by xamonster on: March 05, 2007 09:11:21 AM
I just posted my first triptych, "Fly Away Home," over in the March challenge, er, spot. I thought I'd share some of my other ATCs with y'all, and maybe get some feedback. I hope you like them! (Photos are clickable, by the way, to see a bigger version.)

My first one, Sea Turtle, was made completely of office supplies. I had a crap corner rounder then.

Nautical Delight; notice the kraken devouring the ship.

A tryptich of Six-Word Short Stories, which I read in this article sometime last year.

The individual cards in the above triptych (okay, really it's a set instead of a triptych, but whatever) can be seen following these links:
Machine. Unexpectedly I'd invented a time -- Alan Moore
Easy. Just touch the match to -- Ursula K. LeGuin
He read his obituary with confusion. -- Steven Meretzky

Hope you like them!
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7  Fly Away Home in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by xamonster on: March 05, 2007 08:49:34 AM
So ... I've done a total of eight or so ATCs. In the past week. And in my life. I thought it would be fun to enter this challenge. I borrowed one of my mom's many butterfly stamps to create it. I plan on giving the set to her at some point. She loves scrapbooking and altered items, and I thought it would be nice to share some of my first ATC work with her.

First, the set:

And (really big photos of) the individual cards:

You may not be able to tell, but only half of the butterfly is glued down on any card. I wanted them to have a flight-ish quality, so I left one side free.

I'm pretty proud of them, for my first try. I hope you like them!
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8  Re: Hogwarts Houses Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by xamonster on: March 03, 2007 08:39:13 AM
I am so incredibly glad you liked everything I sent, liebschien! It was a complete accident that it perfectly fit your waterbottle, let me tell you ... that cozy started life out as an armwarmer! I tested the fit on an empty Rolling Rock bottle, and it looked biggish ... I'm so glad it worked out!

(And superhooker, the secret to my success was actually Red Heart. The LYSes didn't have any colors that would work as well as these. And bonus: washable! Oh, and for Firefly/Serenity fans, they're the same colors that I've used for a Jayne Cobb hat, plus an orange shade.)

But now it's time for me to post my spoils. (And Gryffindors, if you think you made out like bandits ... wait until you see liebschien's awesome stitch-witchery!)

All the spoils!

Brainiack Snacks! (They're actually Wheat Thins in disguise. So clever! You sure you're not in Ravenclaw, liebschien?)

An amazing owl pillow! Isn't the stitchery just perfect?

An awesome machine-knit scarf! In book colors! I'm the envy at my house right now, believe you me.

A pennant to show my Ravenclaw support at Quidditch games! Look, I caught the snitch!

And lastly, a two-year calendar with a fab Ravenclaw cover! How did you know I needed a new one?
All of the photos are clickable ... you can see them on my Flickr page. (There are a few extra photos, including gratuitous kitten shots.)

Thanks again, liebschien! I'm really, really blown away. I'm so glad you decided to attend Craftwarts School of Stitchcraft and Knittery! Cheesy Tee hee!

And thanks to you, fyberduck, for being a fab organizer! Huzzah! *happydance*

I'm never taking off this scarf!
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9  Re: You know you're a craftster when... (part TWO!) in Discussion and Questions by xamonster on: March 01, 2007 08:46:09 AM

...you're nearly late to work and couldn't care less about some fold-out ATCs you just started. (Yes, jumping on the ATC bandwagon now ...)

...you wish that, since schools are closed today due to an impending blizzard, work could be closed, too. To get back to the ATCs, of course.

I live roughly below the center of the first E in Des Moines.

Look at all that potential crafting time!
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10  Re: Fill-a-Matchbox SUPPLY Swap R1 (Send Feb 28) in The Swap Gallery by xamonster on: February 27, 2007 06:48:49 PM
As promised, photos!

From Scary Teri

From Tristitia

I spread out the contents on a Gladware lid. I tried to make the photos as all-encompassing as I could as far as matchbox contents. (You can see the ribbon was trying to escape a little bit in the top photo.) Click the photos to see the awesome contents even huger.

Fun stickers, letter tags, paper ephemera ... I love it! Thanks, Tristitia and Scary Teri! I'm pumped to get my ATC on with all the great doodads you sent.
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