February 27, 2013

Sarah the Plane

So I have made a lot of toys for children, but even moms need a little fun too. The mother of the two children who I made the monkey's for, requested an airplane for her very own. She is pilot herself so it only made sense.

Happy to have another crochet project, I set about looking for a new pattern to use. I found this one on Etsy for Red the Airplane by Melissa's Patterns. I had wanted a pattern for a plane that looked a little like it could have come from the movie Cars, so it worked well.

I used a different color scheme than showed since I wanted it to be a girl airplane. I used a blue color from Bucilla yarn that I had inherited in a large bag of yarns. It looked like a full skein and I liked the color (which the label said was called "7") so I used it for the entire body and top parts of the wings. I used a light gray that I had leftover for the under side of the wings and the outside of the turbines. For a little detailing on the eyes, the rudder and the turbines, I used Lion Bran, Cotton Ease in Charcoal. A little white yarn for the eyes and a pair of black safety eyes (these a bit larger than the ones I normally use) finished out the list of items used.

Shapes finished. Some assembly required.
For the most part I followed this pattern verbatim because it was so easy to follow. The few changes I made were cosmetic. On the rudder, I used three colors rather than two. And when changing colors, I used a back loop single crochet rather to make the color lines cleaner. I made the tops and bottoms of the wings separate colors.

Under carriage.
I also used only two turbines because it seemed ok with just the two. I also decided to ditch the eye shape from the pattern to make one more like in the movie. The main body pattern is such a good shape. It has a visible slant to the area for the eyes and decreases in a really logical way.

My eye shape pattern:
chain 14, turn and skip first chain from hook, sc in next 13, chain 1, turn
sc in each, chain 1, turn (13)
sc in each, chain 1, turn (13)
sc, hdc, dc, 3dc in one, dc, hdc, sc, hdc, 2dc in one, 3 tc in one, 2 tc in one, dc, hdc
then I kept going with slip stitches around the outside edge of my work from the end of the eye row all the way to the other end. Fasten off.
I then attached the charcoal yarn to where I fastened off and did a few slip stitches and a few single crochets over where the eyes were placed to give it a kind of eyelash/brow look like from the movies. Kind of wish I had only done sc, but it's too late now.

Another note, instead of stuffing the wings and rudder, I cut up a tissue box and inserted wing shaped cardboard pieces in between the two crochet pieces that formed each part. If this was for one of her kids, I would not have done this, but she said it is mostly to sit on her desk at work and be cute, so I am not worried about her having to wash this toy.

Time for departure.
Overall, this pattern came out super cute and was fun to make!
Total project time: 10 hours
Pattern level: Easy

February 15, 2013

Boz's Doggie Sweater

Boz belongs to some good friends of mine. He get shaved on the body since that is the grooming standard for the miniature schnauzer mix that he is. Guess that can be cold sometimes. After I put out a call for projects on facebook, they asked for a sweater for him. They had been having trouble finding a sweater that fit him right in stores, so hopefully this will work.

I found this dog sweater pattern from Bernat, it is free, but you have to make an account with them to download any of their free patterns online. It is a v-neck pattern with ribbed sleeves and a striped body. I decided to nix the stripes for my own sanity. I chose to use Vanna's Choice Lion Brand Yarn in Grey Marble. It is a very handsome gray yarn that had a little wooly texture with gray and brown and black flecks. It should hide dirt well and is both machine washable and dry-able which is a HUGE feature since dogs are not really known to walk around a nice pile of dirt that needs digging in.

Here is an important thing to know: What you might think is the right way to do something, even though it seems logical, look it up to be sure. I was wrong about which is the correct way to measure a dog's chest. Here is an excellent page which shows how to measure your dog, for the purposes of making clothes that fit. The measurements for Boz are in between two sizes, but much closer to the large size than the medium, so I am using a slightly smaller hook than recommended, which gets me really, really close to their gauge after testing a swatch. Maybe that will help make it a bit smaller but still have enough room to get him in and out.

I was a little hesitant about this pattern because when I read it over, I had a hard time visualizing in my head what it would look like. So I took pictures along the way in case I ever need to make this again. It is actually pretty simple and the entire thing is pretty much one big piece that you then seam up along the bottom.  That first hanging piece is just like the rows before it except you don't go all the way across or do any increasing.

This is the neck ribbing, body section and "shape leg opening: first side" (pattern terms)
To get the center section and "second side" you just attach your yarn in the stitch indicated and keep going like before.

Outside edges will get seamed together and be on the underside of the body.
 Then you have a row to join all the pieces back together to keep going down the back.
At this point I kind of had to stop, because if it did not fit around the body right, then there was no point to keep going on the back part or finish the holes to be sleeves. So I had to wait until Boz came to visit to give him a test fitting. At the test fitting I was unable to really keep him still long enough to try it on properly, but I did think that it would fit around his chest nicely.

After that I kept going through the pattern and soon realized that if I followed the pattern as stated, the sweater would end up being 22 inches long. When the measurement I had for his length was 14 inches. That is a pretty darn large difference. So where it said to continue in even rows from this join row on for another 10 inches, I cut that to 6 inches. Then I followed the next set of instructions for decreasing over 12 rows (6 inches) for the back covering portion as stated. Then where it said to keep increasing to 22 inches long, I just stopped after 4 rows (2 inches). That put my measurement from the arm holes back at the 14 inches that I was given.

12 rows from arm holes, plus 12 rows of decreasing and 4 rows at the end. Should be 14" or so.
 I then made the two arm sleeves and sewed them onto the body. I turned my work inside out to do the seam up the bottom of the neck and body part, that way it looked cleaner when turned right side out again. The finishing touch was to put a row of single crochet around the back side of the belly covering up and around the back covering. That cleans up that back edge nicely.

The row of sc around the back opening really makes it look finished.
Done. This project, due to stopping and trying to figure out fitting and starting again took maybe 20 hours. It took three full skeins of the yarn, which also bogged me down, because I had only bought two and then of course all the stores around stop carrying that color.

I still think it is going to be way too long, but I will have to wait and see until Boz gets a chance to try it on again. 

UPDATE: Finally got to give it to them to try on him finished. The fit around the chest was fine, but like I thought, it was pretty long. I almost did not need to do that whole back part after the belly. Hopefully it might shrink a little if they wash it.

February 8, 2013

30DC-MG: Day 22: Feline Girl

I really think the internet is full of enough cats and cat girls for that matter. But at least there is one kind of cat girl that is not just total fan service. I really love The Cat Returns. Wish I could be queen of all cats and just lay around in the sun and take naps and eat food.

February 6, 2013

30DC-MG: Day 21: Canine Girl

Even though I love dogs... I just didnt get into this one. Looked a lot of pictures of Huskies though, which always makes me happy. They are just so cute when lounging about but then suddenly hear something and are all aroo? I guess I could have drawn her yodeling or something since mine does that every time she hears an ambulance.

February 4, 2013

Crazy Rufio Spikes

I like to make things for new additions. Makes me feel like I did something a little more than just go get something off a shelf, that maybe only I can do.

So when I see people looking on Etsy for crocheted items, I feel like I have to step in and save them the exorbitant prices that some people charge for a few hours of time and yarn.

So this couple has a thing for silly hats and thought it might be cute to take pics of their newborn girl in a hat of her own. I offered my services. They have these two hats:

They are so darn cute together it makes me nauseous. :P
I thought it might be cute to try to merge the hats... and Rufio's hair from Hook is what came into mind... in rainbow colors it might be even crazier and awesome.

Made a basic beanie following this basic pattern and after learning about the generic measurements for baby heads. After finishing it, I still feel like it is too big, but maybe she can grow into it and they can take a silly Christmas picture with all of their hats or something.

Beanie with braids, sans mohawks.
I switched colors every 5 rows, which I feel now was a mistake since I was trying to get all the colors into pink on the hat, but then it would have been way too long. The purple row is the brim and is one double crochet row, rather than two single crochet. As it is, it might be too long and too wide. Guess I should have gotten a babydoll to try it on or something.
Top mohawk has longer pieces and matches the color rows. Shorter ones are slightly offset color wise.

Maybe I should have made the three farther apart...
Gave it dangly braids kind of like theirs have, and made three mo-hawks on top for the spikes.
Cute, if a bit ridiculous I think. Best part is that I used leftovers of other yarn I had lying about and only about 8 hours of time to save them $40 or so; heck yes.

February 2, 2013

Hourly Comics February 1, 2013

Hourly Comics.
So I guess it is always the first of February, and I have seen it the last few years, but this is my first time giving it a go.

Things I have realized:
1. I draw myself slightly differently every time it seems.
2. If I am going to keep doing this I am going to have to work smaller, and less detailed.

While I was at home I bothered to try to block out some panels...

I look a bit like Anne Burrell until I comb my hair.
in case you can't read it, first panel says: you could make a cat out of all the dog hair.

Perspective is hard. Might help if I used some guidelines, but meh.

That German torture art was cool... they also had one showing a witch being dunked in a lake in a cage.
My dog is the best dog. Also, I'm breaking in a pair of hiking boots, so that's good.
Song is: Love Letter to Japan by The Bird and the Bee
These were like I mentioned, done on the floor in a gym and at a bar... My husband's students are all pretty great.
Aaaand back where I started.

Now time for a nap, or I am going to be useless for the baby shower and party later today...

February 1, 2013

30DC-MG: Day 20: Satyr

Watched Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 the other night. Mainly watched Fantastia because I had last watched it as a young kid and wanted to see if there was anything new that I might get being older. I did a good job of recalling all the images and songs. Fantasia 2000 was laughable. Especially since they got different stars to do the narration. I liked the closing piece to Firebird (a piece of music I am pretty familiar with since it was Nolan's Band piece this year) but I did feel like it was a touch like ripping off a certain Studio Ghibli film...

Anyway, what if a Satyr sucked at music and couldn't play those silly pan flutes? Guess if it was a girl she would try like mad to make it work to fit in. Course she should just go find some other instrument and rock their sock off. (Hmm, should have drawn a satyr girl with an electric guitar and giant amp..)