April 1, 2012

1-up and Jayne

So, I've learned a couple of things about crochet recently, as with knitting, there is a right and wrong side to the fabric. My first few things were all wrong side out, oops. So I made another 1-up mushroom, and it's right side out.
Cody is going to love this.
The second thing I learned is that like knitting, you need to check gauge if you're making a garment. It wasn't an issue since I finally figured out knitting gauge, and the hat should fit its recipient correctly. I also learned that crochet hats are amazingly quick and I will be making some to sell at conventions. But that's an entry for another day.

And similarly, Phil (my former stepfather) is going to love this.

March 29, 2012

Back from Hiatus

So, if you were wondering about the 3 month hiatus, I was doing a couple of anime conventions. I was also suffering from a terrible case of second sock(glove) syndrome, so I still haven't actually finished Cody's second glove. I also have to make a Jayne Cobb hat for a family friend, and then all those things for my friend Alyssa, which I've mentioned before. However, I took up crochet yesterday, as I could no longer stand not knowing how to make half the cute amigurumi out there. There's a terrible bias towards crochet plushies over knit ones. And, on this, my third attempt at learning, it finally clicked and now I've made a tomato, a pig, and I'm halfway through a one-up mushroom. Crochet is so much faster, three projects in 2 days, I wouldn't have been able to do that many in a week with knitting. I'm going crochet the Cheshire set and doll for Alyssa, instead of knit them. Then I'm going to make things for conventions as well, as one of the things Dex Studios Designs sells are crochet plushies. Also, that is the art studio I've joined, with my friend Becky, and we go to anime conventions to sell things. That's what I was doing all this time, preparing for Shuto-con, which was a couple of weeks ago.

So, I suppose I should change the blog name to 'Nevyn's Narrative' since I won't be exclusively knitting anymore. Now, here is the piggy I made for my mother.
His name is Wilbur and yes I know his eyes are crooked.

And here is the Mario mushroom I made for my boyfriend and ended up giving to my cousin Manny for his birthday.

Anyone who loves one of my craft pieces as much as my cousin did, deserves to have one.

February 2, 2012

Deadlines, they bother me.

I hate deadlines. Passionately. I have a rather long queue at the moment, and all the pieces on it have deadlines. I have to finish the second Locust glove in time for Valentine's day.
This only took 3 weeks because I can't focus for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Then, I'm having my friend Alyssa, who's skilled in several kinds of craft, including glass making, make a pendant of the Locust symbol, which I also want to give Cody for Valentine's day. In payment I'm making her a doll meant to look like the one in this picture.
See the cute little William T. Spears doll on Grell's bag? I'm making that.

Then we have another trade going, I've already mentioned I'm knitting her a Cheshire set in exchange for sewing my cosplay, and that needs done by mid-March, in time for Shuto Con. Then I'll finally be free to knit whatever I want, and while I'm dying to make some socks, (These ones, in fact.) I have to make a Narwhal for my good friend Zaphy, she's awesome and amazing and she bought me the pattern and the yarn. Then, a couple of dishcloths for my Grandma, and freedom will truly be mine.

January 20, 2012

Forays into design, a free chart.

I adore cats, like in a way that's practically unhealthy.  When I noticed that there wasn't a chart available on Ravelry with kitties making a heart with their tails, I whipped one up. I can draw, but charting is new stuff to me, so this is a simple chart. It would make a great dishcloth, or look cute on a hat or bag in a contrasting color.

PDF download here

Have fun knitting kitties!

A dishcloth with kitties!

January 18, 2012

Glove update

I had my first real frustration as a knitter recently. I noticed as I was making the glove it had a dropped stitch 20 or so rows back. Not only that, but it was turning out too large. Cody is not a size large glove despite what he thinks. I had already gotten nearly halfway through my colorwork when I realized I would have to frog it. Needless to say, I was devastated; I lay about feeling glum and lethargic for a few days before perking up and casting on again yesterday. Also, this time I'm taking progress pictures.

Here's my progress so far, I've a few more rounds to go and then I'll be done with the thumb gusset.

Hurray for re-purposing my piercing earrings as stitch markers.

As for the baby hat, it's hibernating. I made the gloves top priority because I'm far more excited about them. I might frog the baby hat entirely since it won't fit the baby it was intended for by the time I do get around to finishing it. The yarn would make cute socks though.


As of today, February first, one glove is knit up and the embroidery on the back of the hand started.
Left glove is mostly done, duplicate stitch takes forever though.

January 10, 2012

A book review, yarn worship, and my adventures in design.

I recently purchased my first knitting book, Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. I'm so glad I got it, it has the simplest patterns for common projects in different sizes and gauges. It's easily readable with little charts so you can easily keep track of which size and gauge you're working on. It has mittens, gloves, hats, socks, and sweaters, all the basic garments any knitter will want to make, written in a simple manner with suggestions for different edgings. This book is a must for any knitter who wants to get a little creative with design, yet who has neither the skill nor inclination to make up a pattern completely from scratch. I decided to start with making the gloves, as I had worked up a simple pattern to put on the back of simple gloves.

This is my design, the symbol for the Locust from The Gears of War games.
I'm working the gloves at a gauge of 7, men's size L for my darling boyfriend, Cody, who was generous enough to spend $50 on the yarn for the project. The yarn is Simplicity by HiKoo, owned by Skacel Collection, Inc. The yarn is 55% merino wool, 28% acrylic, and 17% nylon. It feels fantastic to work with and I love how it feels after it's knit up. It's my new favorite yarn. I'm using the Gypsy Red for my MC, and Black and Seattle Sky for my contrast colors. I'll be working the pattern in intarsia, my first time using the technique in the round. Planet Purl has a how-to video demonstrating how to work intarsia in the round.

The baby hat is still half finished, the small stitches in the lacework pattern are a bit tricky and my hands get sore if I work on it for long stretches. I decided to take a break to knit the gloves, since I've been wanting to make gloves for a long time, and I feel like I am definitely ready, now that Ann Budd has explained gauge to me in a way I understand.

January 5, 2012

Baby hat and other news

Well, the holidays are over and I took a little longer to update than I thought I would, I'm sorry. The holidays are a big deal in my family. I haven't knit any new owls, but I probably will shortly because my friend just had a baby. I'm knitting her a hat first, Mandie Harrington's Swirl Hat with Bernat Baby Jacquards, in rosebud. I'm knitting it on size 2 needles, and to get the size right I opted to follow the 12m-2y size instructions, since I like the look of the very fine stitches for a baby hat.

My baby hat in progress.

I'm undecided yet whether I should follow up with matching booties or perhaps an owl or small teddy bear. I never liked teddy bears much myself.

Then next in my queue, I have to do a few things for a trade with a friend. I need to knit her a small doll that she can have as a keychain or phone charm. I'm thinking a very simple and easily modified pattern like this one will be best. Then I need to knit her some cat ears, a tail, legwarmers, and a scarf for her cosplay as Cheshire Grell, from the anime Black Butler.

This is Cheshire Grell, though I don't believe this is an official artwork.

So I'll likely update this post with pictures of the finished hat, and do an entry dedicated to her cosplay.

There's a few things on my list after that, like making a pattern to knit a Kikwi from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a Totoro pouch and a Narwhal for my friend Zaphy, and a sweatervest for my man's birthday in September. (I fear no sweater curse, we are planning to marry.)

Also, I got my first knitting book, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, by Ann Budd. I'll actually get my hands on it tomorrow when my friend (the one I'm knitting the cheshire set for, actually) drops it off, since she was so kind to let me use her Barnes&Noble membership and have it delivered to her house. I expect I'll review it when I'm finished with it, if I can find the time.