Sunday, November 4, 2012

Unexpected Hiatus

I did not expect to have a longer than a month hiatus in blog posts. I actually wanted to write MORE often once I got back to school. However, I was completely unprepared for the amount of work I wash going to do this year as a chemical engineering major. I've barely even had a chance to start a job search for the winter yet. I have been writing posts, but I have either not finished them, or I haven't published them. But never fear- I will post again soon, starting with the fun details of my new apartment (that's now two months old). I have several projects lined up that will definitely be posted in the next few weeks. Keep reading everyone!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Stitches

After making an enormous blanket at the beginning of the summer, I decided that I don't want to do large knitting or crochet projects in the heat anymore, because it was just too hot for anything that heavy to be on my lap. So I found this charity online, called Knit-A-Square International. This non-profit company accepts donations of 8 inch square (of either knit or crochet) and they sew them together into blankets for children in Africa who need them. Here's a link to the web site if you're interested in finding out more.

I recently joined Ravelry (if you haven't heard of it, totally check it out) and I found all kinds of cool stitches that I wanted to try. So I decided to make these squares and donate them to this charity. That way I get to learn fun new stitches and it goes to a good cause. Here are my first four:

Tunisian crochet- tutorial here

This is my own special blend of bamboo stitch and garter stitch. Alternate between the types of stitches every two rows. The border is two stitches of garter stitch

This is the V-stitch crochet. I can't find a tutorial on this, so maybe I'll make it my first video tutorial

Stockinette stitch- find a tutorial here
The first and third of these pictures are crochet and the second and last are knit. I like to switch it up between the two to keep from getting bored. These were super easy and quick to make, and they're going to a really good cause.

Please let me know if you're inspired to knit or crochet for charity, I would love to hear about your projects.

Melted Crayon Art

I have been waiting all summer to try this out. Using a hairdryer to melt crayons on poster board has been all over Pinterest and I decided I wanted to try it. Here's what I got:

Here's the crayons before I melted them

And here's the final result
I had so much fun doing that one that I decided to do a more complex one. I saw a picture somewhere (I can't remember) of an acrylic painting of the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon cover. This painting had the colors all blending into each other and I thought that would be perfect for melted crayons. So I bought another piece of poster board, and I gave it a coat of black paint (I used some tempera paint my mom had). My next step was to line all my colored crayons up in the standard ROYGBIV rainbow on an angle, and tape them down. I then melted them. It took about 3 coats for the blue and green to be visible, and the purple is still really difficult to see. Then I took the colored crayons off.
After that I stuck a white crayon on the opposite side of the board at the same angle. I melted this one making sure to spread the goo in both directions. I actually used two white crayons for this (the one pictured is a third, unmelted crayon). I decided to leave the white crayon on the finished product because it looks like it's exploding and I thought is was awesome. So I glued it down.
I found that the more times I let the crayon dry and remelt, the brighter the color (or white) came out.
For the tail of the white strip, and for the triangle outline, I used white acrylic paint. I am so happy with the way this came out, I am totally putting it on my dorm room wall when I move in next week!

IT'S SO COOL!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hat

Yep, I made a hat. A cabled classic WWII watch cap that is super warm and enormous and so comfy. I think I'll make about 10 more. Here it is, on my head.


Pretty cool, huh? If you're interested, the pattern and all the instructions can be found here. A warning might pop up about malware, but I promise it's not a virus. I've had it up on my computer for days. This hat took me about 2 days to make, it was so quick and easy. The 2x2 ribbing on the bottom was a bit tedious, but it give the hat such a pretty edge. And now I have a great hat to hide my bad hair days. :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Flower Blanket- FINISHED!

My main goal this summer was to crochet a blanket. While doing all of the other projects on this blog, this is the one I was constantly working on. This blanket is my pride and joy now. And here it is.



and here's a close up :)

Updated Unicorn Amigurimi

Let me tell you a story about my 9-year-old neighbor. Kyra loves stuffed animals. So when I made a stuffed unicorn for my sister Clare, Kyra went nuts for it. She was constantly trying to sneak into my room to play with it, which drove my sister crazy. So I decided to make another for Kyra, but this time on a larger scale.

I used a size 5 hook for the entire project, and this time I did it in a much more mathematical way. I wrote up a chart for all the body parts. Here they are, super easy to follow.


Body

Row
Directions
1
double crochet 8 stitches in a circle
2
increase every stitches (16 total)
3
increase every stitch (32 total)
4
increase every other stitch (48 total)
5
increase every other stitch (72 total)
6
increase every third stitch (96 total)
7 - 23
16 rows of regular double crochet
24
decrease every fourth stitch
25
decrease every third stitch
26
decrease every third stitch
27 - end
decrease every other stitch until finished



Legs

Row
Directions
1
double crochet  8 stitches in a circle
2
double every stitch (for a total of 16)
3
double every other stitch (total = 24)
4
double every third stitch (total = 32)
5 - 7
double crochet for three rows
8
decrease (skip) every fourth stitch
9
start using white here and double crochet
10 - 16
double crochet for six rows
17
decrease every fourth stitch
18 - 21
double crochet for four rows
22
attach to the body using a closed join

Head

Row
Directions
1
double crochet nine stitches
2
increase every stitch (double crochet)
3
increase every other stitch (double crochet)
4
double crochet the entire round
5
increase every fifth stitch
6
double crochet the entire round
7
increase every fifth stitch
8
double crochet the entire round
9
SWITCH TO WHITE- double crochet 12 stitches, increase every other stitch for 13 stitches, double crochet the rest of the round
10
double crochet the entire round
11
double crochet 16 stitches, increase every other stitch for 13 stitches, double crochet the remaining stitches
12
double crochet the entire round
13
double crochet the entire round
14
double crochet the entire round
15
decrease (skip) every fourth stitch
16 - 19
decrease every third stitch


Horn

Row
Directions
1
double crochet 6 stitches in a circle
2
increase every other stitch
3 - 6
double crochet for three rows
7
increase every third stitch
8
double crochet two rows
9
attach to the head 


Follow these directions, and your unicorn will come out looking like this:


Here's a side view so you can see the mane and tail

A whole heck of a lot better than my last one.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friendship Bracelets

I recently saw a post on Pinterest that claimed to be the fastest friendship bracelet ever made. And I laughed and laughed and laughed. Because in my youth I spent many an hour making friendship bracelets, and this is truly the fastest ever created.

And now, you too can make bracelets at the speed of sound. Yes, you can make a bracelet in under a minute. The first thing to do is gather your materials. You'll need: scissors and embroidery floss. You can use as many or as few threads and colors as you want, the more you use, the thicker it will be, and the less you use, the skinnier it will be.

Here's my scissors and the three strings I'm going to use

Cut the thread to about three times the length of the wrist or ankle you're making it for. This will give you some left over, but better safe than sorry.


The next thing you want to do is tie all the threads together, as shown below. There's nothing special about this knot, and it will be cut off later, so don't worry about how good it looks.


Once you have this , start twisting them together until the strings are tightly wound all down the length. Here's a tip from a pro- hold the knot in your teeth while you twist to free up your hands.


Next fold the string in half. I usually fold it around my thumb, like in the picture below.


And allow the two sides to wrap around each other. Adjust so the twists are even.


Now, tie another knot at the length you want the bracelet to be. Cut the excess off. The twists and fold make a loop for the knot to fasten into, so just insert the knot into the loop, and proceed to wear your brand new bracelet.


Then make another two or three dozen. Variations on this bracelet include repeating the folding, changing the colors, and changing the number of strings. Here are some of the others I've made.



Here they are on my wrist

I've been making friendships all my life and I've gotten pretty good at it. I might post some more about the different types of bracelets I've made.