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11  Star Trek: The Next Generation t-shirt in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: May 25, 2009 10:24:46 AM
My boys are 5 1/2 and 3 1/2. They love Star Wars. I think they're ready for me to introduce them to Star Wars' nerdy, cerebral cousin named Star Trek. I think they'll dig it, too. And I'll dig it even more if they start wearing these around:

I cut a black t-shirt and a red t-shirt, then patched this shirt together. (Note: If you do this, MAKE SURE the t-shirts are as close in size as possible. I bought these (same size, same brand) shirts on the same visit to one store -- they were probably even manufactured within minutes of each other. And yet there was significant variation after a pre-project wash and dry. Could make a woman cah-razy. Sheesh.)

I tried to embroider on the communicator pin, but it turns out I don't embroider as well as I thought I did. So that's made out of yellow fabric, silver fabric, some interfacing, and Heat N Bond:

Thanks for looking!
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12  Rolling Stones iPod case in Needlework: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: May 18, 2009 06:54:49 PM
My girlfriend has the broadest musical knowledge of anyone I know. She is obsessed with her iTunes playlists. Strangely, she does not have an iPod. Even though she can mix a great CD with everyone from Holly Near to Atmosphere, the Rolling Stones have always been her favorite. She loves (loves loves loves times infinity) the Rolling Stones. So when I thought, "I want to get her an iPod," I knew I had to make her this to wrap it in.

I stitched the image onto a separate piece of fabric so that it could be sewn on like a patch. Someday she'll want a new iPod with different dimensions, and this way I don't have to restitch it on a new case. (I'm sweet, but I'm also a bit lazy.) I made the pattern from the Minipop Rolling Stones: Modern version (http://www.flipflopflyin.com/minipops/index.html).

Here's the front. Vinyl windows, opening at the bottom, velcro tab at the top.

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13  Ewok village in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: December 16, 2008 09:27:00 AM
My boys (5 and 3) love Star Wars. They haven't seen all the movies yet, because some are waaaay too scary for little guys. I finally let them watch Return of the Jedi (I watched it with them, and we skipped some scary parts). Predictably, they fell in love with Ewoks. Predictably, I ended up making make this for them.  Smiley

(I gotta say, it looks a little less rough-and-shoddy in person.) The trees are PVC pipe topped with foam leaves. The hut doors are Sculpey. The platform is corrugated plastic (the kind from political lawn signs). It all got primed with plastic primer, then painted. I got a yard of forest-y fleece to spread out on the floor.

We also made a nifty elevator out of a vitamin container, but that got stuck behind a couch before I could get a picture.  Undecided  When the Ewoks and their friends gather in the center of the platform, we use an LED votive light for a campfire.

Has anyone else made anything like this -- either an odd playset, or anything with PVC or corrugated plastic? I'd love any advice you have before tackling another one.

Thanks for looking!
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14  Doll dress in Crochet: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: December 11, 2008 10:47:25 AM
My sister wisely suggested a $5 limit on gifts for nieces and nephews this Christmas. You know, it's really hard to find something that befits my status as Favorite Aunt for $5 at the store.

Wait! I'm crafty! My niece is two, and she has a doll she loves! Sweeeet! This stashbuster cost me nothing.

I didn't have a pattern -- or the doll. (It's in New York and I'm in Minneapolis.) My mom in South Dakota, though, has the same kind of doll at her house, so she sent me the measurements and I made a cardboard dressform. I sent the dress down for my mom to try on her doll, and it fit! Phew!

Now if only my nephews played with dolls ...

Thanks for looking!
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15  Coffee cozy for organic chemistry professor in Crochet: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: September 05, 2008 07:25:19 PM

I made this for my organic chemistry professor. After I finished two semesters of o-chem, she met with me during the summer to help me prepare for the Dental Admissions Test. She refused any kind of payment, but I know she has a weakness for fancy schmancy coffee drinks, so I sent this to her.

I made the buttons out of Sculpey (red for oxygen, blue for nitrogen, which is how most molecule model kits represent them). The professor knew the molecule immediately (it's caffeine!).

For the inside of the cozy, I crocheted a simple rectangle that would cover up (and protect) all the embroidery guts, and I sewed that inside. I hope that will make it last a long time.

Thanks for looking!
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16  Tiny Jabba the Hutt with special guests in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: July 08, 2008 01:36:40 PM
Just another day at Jabba's palace:

Then Boushh the bounty hunter arrives.

But Jabba sees right through her little ruse!

I made this as a going-away gift for a friend of mine. I got a small metal box from a craft store, and I sewed in some magnets on the bottom side of Jabba. That way he won't roll off. Leia and Boushh each have a magnet on their base, too. I made the figures from Sculpey. I cut a few layers of this random foam I had to make the box lining so they wouldn't bang around in there.

The friend keeps it on his desk at work.

Thank you for looking!
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17  Battlestar Galactica: President Roslin and Admiral Adama in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: July 08, 2008 01:18:57 PM
The Lords of Kobol really dig crochet. So say we all.

This was a gift for my son's preschool teacher. She and I talk about the BSG episode every week when I drop the kids off, and all the other parents look at us and no doubt think, "You're chatting about a show about genocidal robots? At a preschool? Really?" The show is taking a break until January, so I made Teacher Ruth these dolls to get her through the withdrawal.

I'm not crazy about how the Admiral's hair turned out (a little black helmet, for crying out loud), but I was pretty happy with the method I used for Laura Roslin's hair (a method I first encountered in "Creepy Cute Crochet"). I went sort of a minimalist route with details. I mean, Roslin wears a black mini and a jacket, and pumps -- no problem. But Adama's uniform? I could totally have gotten carried away with trim and the belt buckle and the boots ... but then I never would have finished!

Thank you for looking!
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18  Star Wars amigurumi: Jabba the Hutt in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: March 14, 2008 01:50:08 PM

"This amigurumi is my kind of scum: fearless and inventive."

No, wait -- that's what Jabba says about Princess Leia. Anyway.

This took a while to finish! But not because it's all that big -- I just couldn't settle on how to make it. First I thought the way to go was with two strands of yarn and a larger hook, but all that did was consume vast quantities of yarn. Then I started over using a G and Sugar 'n Cream sage worsted weight. Then I tried to make him as all one continuous piece, starting at the end of the tail, so that I didn't have seams, but his head area never looked right. So then finally I realized a seam wouldn't look bad if I sort of hid it under his lumpy torso. (Heck, that's why you can't see seams on MY body, either. They are hidden under my girth.) It ended up looking a little "gathered" as I stitched it all together, but I can live with that.

The other end -- the end opposite his tail -- wouldn't snug up very well, so sometimes there's that bump. Argh. Makes it look like Jabba has contracted some sort of abdominal goiter.

For scale:

(The blue nails were not my idea. Well, not THIS time, anyway.   Smiley)

I would love feedback! Thanks for looking!
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19  Um ... let's call it early for next year! 16-piece nativity set in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: February 04, 2008 02:00:17 PM
In December, my son's daycare director saw a little Santa doll I made for my 2 year old. She asked my partner, "Oh, do you think she'd make us a nativity set for the kids to play with?" "Oh, sure!" my partner said, "DeAnna just knocks these things out left and right!"

(Did you all just cringe with me? Thank you.) But I was actually quite happy to do it, and so of course this turned into a project that has taken over my life over the past four weeks. I have probably spent 60 hours on this -- a couple hours here and there in the evenings and MANY hours each weekend. I'm delighted with how the project turned out, but not as happy with the photos. I think I need to make a light box to do it right.

So here is the story:

As shepherds

were watching their sheep

(I may make a few more so they have a respectable flock)

an angel appeared before them

and said, "Go see the baby. And his mom and dad."

"You will know them by their very tired donkey."

"You will find the baby lying in a manger lined with Fun Fur."

Three kings arrived.

I guess they could all fit on one camel.

They brought gifts.
(I made a box of gold (Glitterspun yarn), a silver bucket-y type thing, and a lame basket of some peach yarn, as if frankincense is peach ... I think I'm going to re-do the lame basket, so just picture something cool. What I made isn't as cool as what you're thinking of.)

And then a giant attacked!

I've never done a big project like this before, and I would love feedback! Thanks for looking!
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20  Re: Darth Vader amigurumi [EDIT: Now with SUPER long and SUPER lame pattern on p3!] in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by mplsdeanna on: December 01, 2007 08:52:49 PM
Whos ready for a voyage into Untested Pattern Land? Ive opened a bottle of wine and found my notes, and Im eager to try to get this down. Its my very first time writing down a pattern, so please bear with me. This is my basic pattern for figures, how I have made almost every member of my Star Wars family, mostly by varying the colors to make the clothes (black boots and navy pants for Han, gold Glitterspun yarn for C-3PO, etc). Add some embroidery or other details, and youre set.

Im not entirely sure I have these stitch counts right. If it starts to feel wrong, go with your gut. If anyone has any advice at all on writing up patterns, I would LOVE to hear it!


Make two of these:

If you can do the magic loop thing, then rock on! I cant, so I start by chaining 3, slip stitching into the first stitch, and then using that little ring Ive just made as my not-so-magic loop. Also, I work in spirals because I can never join a round without it looking stupid. So do it however you like.

1: 6 sc into the loop (total: 6 stitches)
2: 2 sc into each of the 6sc (total: 12 stitches)
3: [1 sc into the 1st sc, 2 sc into the next sc] x 6 (total: 18 stitches)
4: Work 18 sc
5: [2sc dec] x 2, 1sc into each of the next 15 sc
6: [2sc dec] x 2, 1sc into each of the next 13 sc.
7: [2sc dec] x 2, 1sc into each of the next 11 sc
8 - 15: Work 13 sc. (more for taller guys, like Chewbacca)

If youre going to change color for boots, this is a good time to do it. I always switch at the back of the leg so its less noticeable. So change colors, then make another 10 rounds for the thigh. Leave a long enough tail so that you can sew the leg onto the body. Stuff.


Make two of these:

Chain 3 and join into a ring, or use a magic ring.
1: 6 sc into the loop (total: 6 stitches)
2: 2 sc into each of the next 6 sc (total: 12 stitches)
3: Work 12 sc
4: [2sc dec] x 6 (total: 6 stitches)
5: Work 6 sc

If youre going to change color from skin to clothing, this is a good time to do it. Then make another 8 rounds for the arm. Maybe one or two more for Chewbacca. Leave a long enough tail so that you can sew the arm onto the body. Stuff.


Chain 3 or make the ring.

1: 6 sc into the loop (total: 6 stitches)
2: 2 sc into each of 6 sc (total: 12 stitches)
3: [1 sc into the 1st sc, 2 sc into the next sc] x 6 (total: 18 stitches)
4: Work 18sc
5: Work 18 sc
6: Work 18 sc
7: [2 sc dec, 5 sc] x 3 (total: 15 stitches)
8: [2 sc dec, 2 sc] x 6 (total: 12 stitches)
9: [2 sc dec] x 6 (total: 6 stitches)
10: Work 6 sc
11: 2 sc into each of 6 sc (total: 12 stitches)

Now heres where you have to endure my inability to figure out exactly what I did. The head needs to be bigger than the body, but if we increase evenly around the shoulders/torso, then were going to end up with sort of tubular-looking figure. Imagine a ping-pong ball for a head, and a cardboard tube for the body. I love tubular as much as the next person, but lets try to give this figure shoulders. This means we only increase at the sides. See how Han Solo below has shoulders:

I usually figure that I end a round at the back of the figure, which means Im working across the figures back from left side to right side, then from right to left across the front, and then across the back again. (Imagine the figure lying down on the table in front of you, face up. You are lined up to look at the top of the figures head. I work counter-clockwise from that view.) So to get us around to the first shoulder area (the right shoulder), we need to make 2 sc.

Now 2 sc into each of the next 2 sc. This is the beginning of the right shoulder area.
Now work 4 sc. This takes you across the front of the chest and over to the figures left shoulder area.
Now 2 sc into each of the next 2 sc. This is the beginning of the left shoulder area.
Now work 6 sc. This will get you across the back and at the right shoulder area again.
2 sc into each of the next 2 sc. If my counting is right (dear God, please let it be right, amen), we are now increasing into the stitches that we had increased in the last round, making the shoulders spread out.

Okay, my notes stopped making sense right here, but can you see how it is? Work sc into sc all across the front at the back, and when you reach the sides (where youve increased the previous round), you sort of figure out the two stitches that are on the outermost edges, and make 2 sc into each of those.

I think I only did this for three full rounds. Once youre happy with the broadness of the shoulders, stuff the head, and then just work sc into sc for the length of the torso, or about 17 rounds. Chewbacca is going to be taller, so another round or two for him. Leave a long tail. Stuff and sew shut at the bottom.

NOTE: One thing you might notice is that the figure seems a little barrel-chested. Eventually I decided to do one decrease on the front of the chest (think sternum) and one decrease on the back (think spine) in the round right after I finished broadening the shoulders. You might want to try that.

Holy crap! Thats it! Sew it all together and add some details like hair, face, belt, etc. Darth Vaders details include a small square on the front with some colored lines, and a belt (which was just a long chain, then scd into each loop) with some colored lines.

This I did NOT work in spirals. I tried, but then it turns out all lopsided. So for this, slip stitch to join the rounds. (Again Im just not positive Ive got the stitches counted correctly. If it seems wrong, it most assuredly is.)

Chain 3
1: 6 sc
2: 2 sc into each of 6 sc (total: 12 stitches), sl st to join
3: [1 sc into the 1st sc, 2 sc into the next sc] x 6 (total: 18 stitches), sl st to join
4: Work 18 sc, sl st to join

So far weve made the top of the helmet. Now we need the back part that flares out.

5: Work 10 sc, ch 1, turn (this is not a round; now youre working in rows)
6: [2 sc into first sc, then 1 sc into next sc] x 5. (total: 15 stitches) (This row makes it fan out.)
7: [1 sc into next sc, then 2 sc into next sc] x 10 (total 20 stitches). Ch 1, turn.
8: Work 20 sc.

Sc around the entire thing. Try it on your Vaders head. If you like it, sew it on. If you dont, try putting a little bit of stuffing or yarn between Vaders head and the helmet. I found that helpful. If you totally hate the helmet, try to figure out where I led you astray, and adapt the pattern accordingly. Its pretty easy to remake the helmet, and thats the coolest part of the figure, so you want it to turn out well.


This was totally trial-and-error-and-rip-it-out-and-try-again. See how his cape is attached around the back and sides of the neck, but then sort of sweeps back to follow the shoulders and reveal the chest panel.

I wish I could find a simple way to do this, but crochet (at least row after row of sc) doesnt drape very well. So start with a chain that fits around the side, back, and side of his neck, and then start increasing as needed. Once you get down past the belt or so, though, its just straight working sc into sc.

Again, Id really like to hear your advice. And if you end up making one, please post! Id LOVE to see it!
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