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21  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Chakra on: November 02, 2007 10:43:12 PM
The idea for this hat hit me like an epiphany, and I was so excited about it that I finished it before the challenge had been officially announced.  I've been working on the pattern for a bit, and have plans to improve it and make the hat even better.  I have made the pattern available in my craft journal.  If anybody knits this, PLEASE let me know!  This is my very first pattern and I want to make sure it's easy to understand, plus I'm excited to see projects made from it.   Cheesy

Inspired by a work by Alex Grey...

This was my first fair-isle project, and I knit two of them while writing the pattern (the black hat was "proof-reading").  The yarn is Bernat Satin, which is soft, warm, and CHEAP!  I had a great time working on this hat for this challenge, and I can't wait to see what everybody else is coming up with!
22  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Lace-up Armwarmers (with pattern) on: October 30, 2007 01:31:27 PM
I made these for the Ongoing Wish List Swap, and since the Delivery Confirmation shows that she received, I'm posting!  These are not something I would normally make, but I'm pretty darn proud of them.

UPDATE  More info on the hat I'm wearing is available in this Craftster post and the pattern is available in my craft journal

The yarn is Bernat Satin Solids in Mai Tai, and I knit these on size 8 needles.  I used Ysolda's Lace-up Opera Gloves pattern, but I modified it a little bit.  While I was knitting these, I realized that the pattern was written more complicated than it needed to be, and despite getting gauge and the pattern being One-Size, they were WAY too tight even on my tiny arms, so I wrote the pattern in a more accessible way, and I fixed a mistake I noticed.  Please note that I take no credit for this pattern, I just wanted to edit it a little bit.   Wink

Materials / Tools: 
   Approx 120 yards of worsted weight yarn (I used one skein of Bernat Satin to make yours)
   Approx 4 to 5 yards of ribbon (Ysolda used 1 wide, I used 3/8 wide)
   1 pair size 8 needles, 1 set size 8 DPNs
   Two stitch markers
   Scrap yarn
   Tapestry needle

Gauge: 16 sts x 24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Stitch Patterns:
* Starting on row 6, slip the first stitch of each row. 
Eyelet Row: sl1, k1, yo, k2tog, k to 4 sts from end, ssk, yo, k2
Thumb Shaping: k to marker, sm, m1, k to marker, m1, sm, k to end
Eyelet + Thumb Shaping: sl1, k1, yo, k2tog, k to marker, sm, m1, k to marker, m1, sm, k to 4 sts from end, ssk, yo, k2

CO 24 sts
Row 1: k all sts
Row 2: p all sts
Row 3: k2, (yo, k2tog to last 2 sts), k2
Row 4 (and all even rows): sl1, p all sts
Row 5: k across, picking up and knitting CO sts with each k stitch
Row 7: Eyelet Row
Rows 9, 11: k all sts
Repeat rows 7 12 twelve more times (13 eyelet rows), ending with a p row


Row 1: Eyelet Row
Row 2 (and all even rows): p all sts
Rows 3, 5: sl1, k2, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3
Row 7: Eyelet Row
Row 9 (RIGHT HAND): sl1, k3, m1, k to last 5 sts, m1, k2tog, k3
Row 9 (LEFT HAND): sl1, k2, ssk, m1, k to last 4 sts, m1, k4

Row 11 (RIGHT HAND): sl1, k6, pm, m1, k2, m1, pm, k to end
Row 11 (LEFT HAND): sl1, k12, pm, m1, k2, m1, pm, k to end
Row 13: Eyelet + Thumb Shaping
Rows 15, 17: Thumb Shaping
Row 19: Eyelet + Thumb Shaping
Row 21: sl1, k to marker, remove marker and place 12 thumb stitches on scrap yarn, remove marker, CO2 (back loop method), k to end
Row 23: k to end
Row 25: Eyelet Row
Row 27: k to end
BO knit-wise from WS

Place thumb stitches onto 3 DPNs and slide CO sts above thumbhole onto end DPNs, so that two DPNs have 5 sts and the other has 4.  Beginning from right side of thumb hole, knit 5 rounds, pulling tight at CO sts.  BO purl-wise

Use the yarn tail on thumb to tighten up holes by CO edge.  Weave in ends, lace ribbon through eyelets.  Burning ends of ribbon or using Fray Check is recommended so ribbon doesnt unravel.
23  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Bunny Eye-patch? on: October 20, 2007 05:41:00 PM
Just in time for Halloween, my Dutch rabbit turned into a pirate.  I'd like to make her an eye-patch, but I'm not sure how I would work the strap to stay on her.  She's got ears that point straight up and stand very close together, if that makes any difference.  I've seen eye-patches for dogs and cats, but never rabbits.

Any suggestions?
24  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Yarn of the Month Clubs on: September 26, 2007 12:17:55 PM
I'd heard about yarn of the month clubs a couple times, but never really considered them much.  Recently, I was wondering about them a bit, so I went to one of the websites for them to see what they were about.  I don't know about everybody else, but I really like getting surprises in the mail, and I sure do love yarn, but it seems that you don't really get that much yarn from the yarn club I looked at.

They send you 4 samples of yarn, and only enough to knit a 4x4 swatch.  I would have thought that a yarn of the month club would send out a little more than a sampler, but then it would make sense if the point is to try out new yarns.

I know this isn't the only yarn of the month club, and that there are some that send you enough yarn to make a pair of socks ("sock of the month clubs") but I was wondering if anybody has experience with yarnofthemonth.com, and if so, what your impressions were of it.  Is it really worth it?
25  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Octopus-embellished beanie on: September 13, 2007 05:57:06 PM

I'm so stubborn I wouldn't even follow the pattern for my first crochet project.  I started off following the boy beanie pattern from the Happy Hooker, but decided against the stripes and instead pulled an octopus embellishment out of my head.

The beanie is all done in dc, and the octopus is a sc circle with 8 one-row dc chains.
26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beaded Octopus Earrings on: September 13, 2007 05:48:05 PM
I made some octopus earrings for a swap, and I am absolutely in love with making these now.

I used earring pins with a loop on the end, and strung beads onto thin pose-able wire for tentacles.  The head is one giant bead with two smaller ones hot-glued onto it.  I know there are only 6 tentacles, but they were starting to get a little heavy and I didn't want to damage anyone's ears.
27  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Giant Octopus Stencil on: September 13, 2007 05:41:19 PM
One of my favorite things about swaps is they manage to get me off my bum and actually try new things!  I've been wanting to stencil for a VERY long time, and it took a swap to actually get me to do it.  One of the consequences is I make things I'm really proud of but never get to keep.  At least I still have the stencil this time!

I used regular acrylic paint with a fabric paint medium, and cut my stencil out of a couple giant pieces of tag board.  I had two layers, and after a lot of trial and error, I succeeded! 
28  COOKING / Dessert / Vegan Piggy Cake (w/ semi-tutorial) on: August 10, 2007 05:43:30 PM

A luau-themed birthday party is getting thrown at our house. The birthday-ee is into cake decorating, and made a lego-cake for the most recent birthday in the household.

I couldn't help myself.

I turned this:

into this:

I had a bunch of leftover fondant, so I made lettuce to hide my powdered-sugar mess:


   1. Get a cake mold vaguely resembling what you want to make and make a cake. I bought some pretty good cake release from the craft store, and it made it REALLY easy to get the cake out. In fact, all I had to do was turn the mold upside down and it just slid out. Instead of greasing and flouring the pan, just squirt some cake release in and brush it around.
   2. When the cake is done being baked (and this will probably take A LONG TIME if you have a deep mold), let it cool for about ten minutes, then cut off the curved top. This top is going to be your bottom, and it needs to be flat to sit right.
   3. After the cake has cooled, carve your shape. My cake ended up being in the oven for about an hour and a half, so it was nice and hard and easy to carve. Try to be as neat as possible.
   4. Ice it! All the "cake decorating" instructions I found said to use butter cream. I don't even know wtf butter cream really is, I just made some icing: 1/4 cup margarine, 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, and about 2 TB soymilk, along with a splash of vanilla extract (since I was making vanilla frosting). Use a thin layer, and spread it as evenly as possible. Use the icing to smooth out any cake blemishes.
   5. While letting the icing set, get your FONDANT. You can get sugar fondant from a craft or baking supply store. I bought white, because I wanted to color it myself, but you can buy it pre-colored. A little bit of coloring goes a long way, and all you need to do is knead it in. When the fondant is the right color, get a rolling pin and roll it out so that it's slightly bigger than the surface of your cake (include the sides when measuring), and so that it's about 1/4 inch thick. Use powdered sugar to "flour" your surfaces so the fondant doesn't stick.
   6. VERY GENTLY place fondant on the cake. Smooth it out, make sure you don't have any air bubbles, all that good stuff. When you have the fondant on your cake all nice, carefully cut along the bottom to get the excess off.
   7. Use the excess to make embellishments, and use your icing to "glue" them to the cake.

Don't let this seem overwhelming if you want to give it a try!  I'd NEVER done something like this before, and without even a tutorial it was pretty easy.  Fondant is VERY forgiving.  So if you want to try, DO IT!  Cheesy
29  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 20 ENTRIES / Blossom: Recycled Jeans-Bag on: August 01, 2007 12:36:19 PM
I'm not experienced with stencils (yet!) and whenever I try to decorate things, they end up looking cluttered and scary.  So I went for simplicity with this project:

My friends know I'm crafty, so before they head off to the thrift store to donate old things, they ask me if I want to dig through their stuff first.  This was a pair of capris, lined with some fabric my grandma gave me when I was learning to sew about 15 years ago, and an old 1970's button I swiped from my mom's sewing kit when I was little.  The strap is the leftovers from a leg that I narrowed up and sewed to the sides.

Don't mind the wet spot, I was a little impatient to take a picture after ironing on the DIY patches!

Close-up of the flower.  I cut the shape out of two pieces of fabric and sewed them together onto the bag through the button.

These bags are fun, fast, and easy to make, and most of the hard work is already done for you!  Just sew the bottom of the jeans together at the crotch, make the strap and sew it on, and then add the lining.  Viola!  You've got a recycled bag complete with pockets!
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Denim Corset on: July 21, 2007 12:59:03 AM
I FINALLY put the placket on that corset I made somewhere around 4 or 5 years ago.  A long time ago, my mom had gone to the store and found some denim drapes on sale and figured I'd like to use them as fabric.  I did!  I used one of them to make this, now that the placket is on, I can WEAR it!   Cheesy  I made this when I worked in a costume shop, and this was my first corset, and I was lucky enough to have the help from a wonderful teacher.  I was able to alter the pattern to fit me better, and all that bias tape and the string?  I made it from scrap fabric.  Yay!

I used the leftover fabric to make a jean skirt I wear all the time, but I don't have pictures of it yet.  I'll definitely post some once I get them!  I used Simplicity 5726.
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