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1  Re: The Long Awaited Poppet-Along in Craftalongs by catladysarah on: March 15, 2008 12:48:50 AM

Wow, this took forever!  I got the pattern three and a half months ago, but in the meantime, we moved and worked on adopting my nephew, so things have been pretty insane.

The fabric she's sitting/standing on is going to be a dress tomorrow, but I just worked for twelve hours nonstop to make her, so I think she's good for now.

You can't read the embroidery on the heart very well because it's in metallic thread, but it says "Will" (my nephew's name).  It's going to be his birthday present in a couple of days.
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2  1337 Hat Redux (with full pattern) in Knitting: Completed Projects by catladysarah on: December 01, 2007 01:53:43 PM

-5x DPNs, size 7
-Worsted-weight yarn in two colors (I used leftover Caron Simply Soft for the black and some bright green mystery yarn for the letters)
-Yarn needle

I made the outer hat first and then went back and added a liner.  If you're comfortable working from the top down, you could make the outer first, and then just keep knitting and do the whole hat backwards for the liner.  If anyone's interested, I can post a pattern for doing it that way.
For more help working in two colors, see here, here, and here.


CO 20 stitches on each of four needles.
Rnd 1-12: Work in 1x1 ribbing
Rnd 13-25: Knit in stockinette stitch
Rnd 26: Knit the first 23 stitches, then, working right to left, work the bottom row of the following pattern into the hat.  (I don't carry the yarn all the way around the hat; rather, I work one row across and then clip the yarn and start over on the next round.  You end up with more little tails in the back of your work, but you can just tie them loosely to other nearby tails when you're done to secure them and it'll all be hidden by the liner.) Knit 22 stitches.

Rnd 27-34: Continue to work in this manner, reading the pattern from right to left and from bottom to top, until all of the letters are knitted in.
Rnd 35-47: Knit in stockinette stitch
Rnd 48: *K2tog, knit 8* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 49: *K2tog, knit 7* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 50: *K2tog, knit 6* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 51: *K2tog, knit 5* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 52: *K2tog, knit 4* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 53: *K2tog, knit 3* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 54: *K2tog, knit 2* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 55: *K2tog, knit 1* Repeat from * to * to end of row.
Rnd 56: *K2tog* Repeat from * to * to end of row.

Clip yarn, leaving a long tail (8" or so).  Thread through remaining loops, pull tight, and tie off.

Pick up 80 stitches over four DPNs from the bottom of the outer.  There should be a round of loops just inside of the first row of ribbing, between the stitches.  You can use these to pick up your new stitches.  Tuck the yarn tail (clipped fairly short) from the first hat's cast-on inside of your work, and you won't even have to bother weaving it in.
Repeat the pattern for the outer, excluding the design.  It'll look like you have some sort of weird Siamese twin hats, joined at the brims.
Invert the liner so that it's inside of the hat.  Look how much finishing you just avoided!
Take the yarn tail from the top of the outer, and thread it onto a yarn needle.  Poke it down through the middle of the outer hat, and out through the middle of the liner.  Tie the two yarn tails at the tops of the inner and outer hat together securely, and then thread them both through the yarn.  Go back through the top of the liner, and lose the tails between the two hats.  Yay for not weaving in ends!

As always, if you've got questions or I screwed something up royally and you want to correct me, make sure to tell me so.
Thanks for looking!
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3  All Glam, No Bird: Vegan Boa (with tutorial!) in Knitting: Completed Projects by catladysarah on: November 14, 2007 10:12:54 PM

When I made this scarf, I was trying to mimic a feather boa, in knitting form.  It uses a combination of three different styles of yarn to try and accomplish this.  The super-bulky helps to give the scarf the fluffiness of a really nice boa, the eyelash creates a more feathery texture, and the crochet thread allows me to string paillettes into the work (which are mostly to add more glam.)

-Red Heart Bright & Lofty -- I used two skeins, one in a hot pink and the other in a sort of mint green.

-Neon pink crochet thread -- I don't actually remember the brand.  It's sort of a nylon affair from Hobby Lobby

-Neon pink eyelash yarn - Again, I don't remember exactly what kind it was, but it's sort of a frizzly business from... maybe Hobby Lobby?

-Size 11 knitting needles

- 1-2 bags of holographic paillettes (Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart.  They're like little plastic/foil discs with sparkle on them, and a hole at the top so you can string them on thread.  It's probably $2-3 for a bag with a few hundred.)


***This can be a little tricky, because working with three yarns, there's a tendency for them to get wrapped around each other and snarled up.  It really helps before you start to re-roll the yarns into tighter balls and then put each one into a yogurt carton with a hole punched in the lid where the yarn can run out.  This way, they can't get too tangled up or roll away from you when you're working.  The exception is the crochet thread, because it's already tightly wrapped around a cone.***

First, I strung a whole package of paillettes onto the crochet cord.  This is the most tedious bit.

Next, I cast on a row of nine stitches, holding all three pink yarns together.

To knit the rest of the scarf, I used a strategy similar to this one: ie, "* K1 but do not drop st from left needle, bring yarn between needles to front of work, take it twice around left thumb and back between needles, k same st and allow st to drop off left needle, lift first st over second st and off right needle; rep from * to end. "

However, instead of alternating between loop rows and purl rows, I would knit a loop row, then do two rows of garter stitch, followed by another loop row.  The combined yarns were so bulky that it seemed like if I made any more loops, the thing would be so huge it could never be worn (not to mention weighing a ton!).  

Every couple of loops, I'd randomly pull up a paillette and catch it in a loop.  This takes a little practice, but I think it's actually easier on a project like this than it probably would be on something where the stitches are tighter.  

After about a foot of working in the pink, I switched from pink to green Bright & Lofty, but carried the other yarns along.  I worked about four inches in green before switching back.

***If you run out of paillettes (which is unlikely - I kind of overshot when I was stringing them on), you can always just break the crochet thread, string on more, and then tie it back on as though you were joining a new piece of yarn to change colors or something.***

When I picked the color scheme, I was thinking a lot of pink lawn flamingos and those stucco birthday-cake-looking houses from the 1950s. And Muppets, of course.  For some reason, these are far more recurring themes in my artwork than anyone would probably imagine...

Now, though, I'm thinking of adding on to the scarf, with additional colors.  Next, I would do an equal amount of work in blue and orange, and then the same in purple and yellow.  At that point, I'd have the most insanely long, festive, bird-free boa ever.

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4  Jester hat (with pattern!) in Knitting: Completed Projects by catladysarah on: November 11, 2007 11:54:58 AM

A jester hat pattern of my own design, made using cheap Red Heart acrylic left over from another project.  Outer and liner are knit as a continuous piece, avoiding all but the most superficial of finishing.

*5 size 7 dpns  
(You can actually make these from a dowel, if you bring your needle gauge to the woodworking aisle.  Using a hacksaw, cut the dowel into about 6" lengths and then sharpen the ends with a pencil sharpener, and rub all over with a rag soaked in cooking oil.  Leave them overnight so the oil can soak in before you knit with them)

*Worsted weight yarn
(I used three colors - two black, one red, and one white point, and a black liner and band)

*4 medium-small jingle bells

*Stitch holders or waste yarn

*Yarn needle

Hat peaks (make 4):

CO 60 using provisional CO
Divide the stitches out so that there are 20 to a needle, and use a fourth to knit.

rnds 1-35: stockinette stitch
36: *K2 tog., knit in next 5 sts.*  Repeat from * to * until end of round.
37-41: stockinette stitch
42: *K2 tog., knit in next 4 sts.*  Repeat from * to * until end of round.
43-47: stockinette stitch
48: *K2 tog., knit in next 3 sts.*  Repeat from * to * until end of round.
49-53: stockinette stitch
54: *K2 tog., knit in next 3 sts.*  Repeat from * to * until end of round.
55-59: stockinette stitch
60: *K2 tog., knit in next 2 sts.*  Repeat from * to * until end of round.
61-65: stockinette stitch
66: *K2 tog., knit 1*.  Repeat from * to * until end of round.
67-71: stockinette stitch
72: *K2 tog*.  Repeat from * to * until end of round.
73: *K2 tog*.  Repeat from * to * until end of round.

Cut off yarn, leaving a long tail.  Thread through last three loops and pull tight.

If hold all four points together at once, it should look something like this from the bottom:

Each point makes a rough triangle, with 40 stitches on the inside and 20 stitches of each making up the outer circle; 80 stitches total.

Undoing the provisional cast on from the bottoms of the points, move the inner 40 stitches of each to stitch holders and transfer the outer 20 of each point onto a dpn (stitches on four needles total).  Use the fifth needle for knitting.  
Graft the inner stitches to one another using a Kitchener stitch, and then using the outer 80, knit in 1x1 rib stitch for 28 rounds.

Continuing with the stitches already on needles, knit 35 rounds stockinette stitch.  
rnd 36:  *k2tog, k in next 8 stitches.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 37:  *k2tog, k in next 7 stitches.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 38:  *k2tog, k in next 6 stitches.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 39:  *k2tog, k in next 5 stitches.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 40:  *k2tog, k in next 4 stitches.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 41:  *k2tog, k in next 3 stitches.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 42:  *k2tog, k in next 2 stitches.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 43:  *k2tog, k in next stitch.  Repeat from * until end of round.
rnd 44:  *k2tog.  Repeat from * until end of round.

Break off yarn, leaving 6-8" for finishing.  Run the remaining yarn through the last four loops and pull tight.

Flip the liner inside the hat, and thread the yarn tail through a yarn needle.  Draw the yarn through both the liner and the outer hat and make a stitch securing the liner inside the hat.  Tie off the yarn inside the hat and weave the excess into the liner.
Using the yarn tails on the points, tie 9 yarn strands together.  Use the remainder of the yarn tail to secure a bell.  Take another length of yarn and tie it securely around doubled-over bunch of yarn about 1/2" from the end.

I also went ahead and single-crocheted a row around the bottom of the hat (there should be about an equal amount of ribbing on the inside and the outside/ either side of the crochet.  This tightened up the brim a bit and gave the hat more of a finished look.

I think that next time I make this hat, I'll use wool, leave out the liner half of the project, and then felt the crap out it.  This is what I had, though, so this is how it happened.

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5  Blackhearted Koala on my Back (IMG heavy) in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by catladysarah on: November 08, 2007 03:58:52 PM
Anybody who's read the Tank Girl comix remembers Camp Koala.  If you don't, then you should.

I have my own Camp.  When I first got him, he was hardly more than a kitten (or whatever the Koala equivalent of that would be).  Just your generic child's backpack, hanging out in the thrift store, waiting for someone who would see him for the beauty that he was and take him home.

When we met, it was love at first sight.  He immediately became my favorite backpack/purse/stuffed toy/weapon/friend, and has stayed in that position ever since.  Being the punkrock homo that he is, he gradually assumed a physical appearance to match.

With his "tattoos"

The pins are a rainbow-colored "go by bike" and a coat hanger with a line through it.  He, like myself, supports safe and legal abortion and eco-consciousness.  The thing on his wrist is a coin purse for bus fare.

He had me put the safety pin in his eyebrow one night when we were kicking back a six-pack together.  I told him it would hurt, but he's hardcore, and didn't care.

Sadly, the years haven't been so easy on my poor Camp.  First his zipper broke, and I had to replace it.  Then he had a really nasty ulcer and stuff started leaking out of his stomach and into the surrounding abdominal cavity.  Eventually, he lost all of his internal organs (i.e. lining) when they were ripped to shreds by his annoying tendency to carry overly large, heavy things inside of himself.  After a really rough night out, he woke up with a splitting headache and the realization that he'd gotten himself not one, but two gashes across his lower midsection:

With pins holding him together.

So, being his steadfast companion, it was my job to make things right.  First I sewed up the nasty holes where his seams had been split (bar brawl, he tells me).  Then, I set to work making him a new set of insides.

I found part of a t-shirt, an old flannel, and some felt:

We talked it over, and agreed it would only add to his punkrock-ness to be made of old concert t-shirts and flannel.  I took his.. er... internal dimensions, and made a pattern from a grocery bag.  I sewed the parts together outside of his body first.

Then, I took the flannel and gave him a spine and a heart (black, of course - he's a big Joan Jett fan), using more grocery bag for the patterns.  They're appliqued on by hand with embroidery floss and blanket stitch.

Then I turned everything right and hand-sewed it into place, using a couple of strands of thread and backstitching:

Now he's better (and softer) than ever.  We went out shopping today, and he held a wallet, phone, iPod, library book, half-pint of agave nectar, jar of bath salts, funnel, keys, and three herbal tea combinations.  (He's like a Tardis in there, seriously.) The nice thing about these materials is that they stretch instead of tearing.

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6  Landladies of Colfax project in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by catladysarah on: November 08, 2007 03:18:15 PM
For those who don't live in the Denver metro area, I guess this takes some explaining:

Until pretty recently, the Capitol Hill neighborhood had gotten pretty rough.  East Colfax was especially known for its crackheads and ladies of the night.  Obviously, this made keeping apartment buildings around that area a pretty monumental task.

In a state of semi-inebriation (hey, it's cleaned up, but it's not that cleaned up =P) I agreed with a friend of mine that we should really do something nice to salute those Amazon warriors of domestic security, our very own Landladies of Colfax.

So, being the oddly socially responsible hooligans that we are, we came up with a plan to make gift-baskets and play ding-dong-ditch outside of our building supers' apartments and offices.
The gift packs have inflatable bath pillows (couple dollars each at the grocery store), fresh-baked cookies, soaking herbs, and homemade bath "tea" bags:

The top loop goes over the water faucet, the bag gets filled with a couple spoonfuls of herbs, and then the other ribbon ties it off.  Hot water runs over the bag as the tub fills up, and makes a lovely scented bath.  You can even scrub with the bag while you're in the tub.

The bag is just two layers of cheesecloth and two layers of tulle, folded in half and sewn up.

Bath soak (all dried):
1 part lavender
1 part rose petals
1 part chamomile
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7  Adult Costume: Flapper in Halloween Costumes by catladysarah on: October 28, 2007 06:55:06 PM

I took a sparkly sequined old-lady shirt from the thrift store, and resewed it into a 1920s-style dress, adding fringe to the bottom.  Then I made garters and a headband out of stretch red sequined trim material and clipped one of my feather barrettes on the side (I make a ton of these).  The beads are from the Wal-Mart notions department - the kind that come on a big spool and you buy them by the yard.

Close-up of one of the garters

The wig was the closest thing to an appropriate hairstyle I had around after my hair refused to stay curled, the purse is also from the thrift store (it's really glittery) and the stockings are the backseam type.
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8  "She is wearing rags and feathers..." (super image-heavy) in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by catladysarah on: October 12, 2007 07:43:55 PM
Barrettes!  Lots, and lots, and lots of barrettes!

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9  Good Riddance to Bad Wiggage (EGL extensions + tutorial) in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by catladysarah on: October 12, 2007 07:39:06 PM

1 waist-length Wal-Mart Halloween wig
some loose jumbo braid Kanekalon (like this)
foam hair rollers (medium size)
pot of boiling water
old t-shirt
french-style barrette clips (4)
hot glue
needle & thread

First, I skinned the wig by seam-ripping the tracks of hair away from the base:

Then, I cut the hair into inch-wide strips, and wrapped them around foam rollers.  For the loose Kanekalon, I just wrapped about an inch-thick strip of hair around rollers.  I don't have a freakin' clue what happened to my picture of this, but if you've ever put your hair up for spiral curls, you can imagine the idea.  Just start by getting the end damp and sticking it down on the curler, then wrapping around and around while keeping the hair relatively flat and even.

After this, I dropped the rollers into boiling water for about thirty seconds, and scooped them out with a slotted spoon.  After letting them drain and cool off in a colander, I laid them all out on a towel to dry thoroughly.

Once unrolled, they looked like this:

They weren't terribly even, but that didn't matter much in the end.

Next, I cut out round-ish pieces of t-shirt fabric, about five inches in diameter.  To these, I sewed rows of curls, running a row of small, straight stitches through the middles:

When that was done, I hemmed the borders of the shirt material, pulling the excess fabric in so that you wouldn't see it under the curls.

Next, I glued clips to the back, one for the top and one for the bottom:

This way, the wearer puts her (his?) hair up in two buns on the top-sides of the head, and the fabric part of the falls acts as a bun-cover, with a clip securing the fall to the scalp above and below.


(Yeah, I needed to clean up my undershave in that picture...)

Ta-da!  Floofy custom dolly hair for less than ten bucks.  Using all Kanekalon, it would have been even cheaper than that.  I had a wig around, though, so it was more cost-effective and efficient this way.
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10  1000 seed beads + too many hours + really tired eyes = in Beads: Completed Projects by catladysarah on: October 10, 2007 11:10:35 PM

Now I know tubular peyote stitch.  I worked around a piece of cotton cord (think sweatpants drawstring, 'cause that's what it was).  It added some structural stability and also helped to keep the tension a little more even.  
It's not the best, but I'm slowly building steam.  Someday I'll have this beading thing figured out!

I also freehanded this with some 24 gauge craft wire:

This two-dimensional one's from a bead book, Glass Bead Artistry.  Sorry for the poor image quality.
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