January 31, 2014

Goblin Week and Witchsona Week

So Evan Dahm started a thing called Goblin Week a few years back. Basically you draw goblins, whatever that means to you, and post it on tumblr. I've been lurking around and looking at it for a while, but have never done anything for it. This year, I really wanted to, but never got off my butt. So I have a few sketches but most are too rough to post. So I thought I would post the one I got furthest on.

Since they live in caves, figured there must be a team that goes out and maps new areas to be expanded into. Girls are smaller than the guys so they get the jobs of exploring the smaller passageways. She's got a colander helmet with a flashlight strapped on and a necklace of glowing crystals. A winch harness to lower and raise herself. A dagger just in case of ROUSes. Hogs-hair bristle brush shoes to gently move down walls so as not to damage the cave. A large glowing crystal dangles below attached to the bottom line to light the way down.

Female Goblin Spelunker

Another kind of "week" recently surfaced on my radar as both Kate Leth and the girls from Chaos Life have participated... Witchsona Week. You draw yourself as whatever kind of witch you might be. Sounded fun so I did a little doodle for it too. Which turned into an inked drawing, which I then colored with colored pencils and scanned.

Yarn Witch
If I was a witch I might be a Yarn Witch. I really loved how in the book Howls Moving Castle that Sophie might have been a little bit of a witch since as she made hats in her shop she spoke to them, and they in turn were sold to the exact type of people she envisioned. It's like her words and hands and focus on creating, put little spells that gravitated the finished hats to the right people. That kind of magic seems very real. Since I do so much crocheting lately, I hope that each item I make carries a bit of the love and time and focus that I put into making it. I would have a magic wand crochet hook that is able to become any size I need, as well as magic ball of yarn that changes color as needed and never runs out. My necklace is pendant yarn cutter I have and some stitch markers. My familiar would be my Dragon Hat come to life. Since I put so much more time into that project than any other, and wear it so frequently, the magic rubbed off onto it over time and now it protects and keeps me warm. Also those are tabi socks, because I love weird socks and am wearing some today.

Anyway, creating objects, where before sat a pile of yarn, is pretty magical all by itself.

January 20, 2014

Viking Hat

My fourth Sir Knight hat, is again a base only. I used the pattern for the extra large and did it in black once again, but this time it is for my husband. (though I might wear it too) The idea is to do a Viking style, and not the Knight look. The Vikings are the mascot of the school where my husband teaches.

Once I completed the base, I did a border for around the brim in gray with popcorn stitches to make it look like it had that metal bolt rim. Since the widest part of the hat is 68 stitches, I made the brim part 70 to make sure it fit over the base and didn't constrict the head. You could probably also just do 68 stitches and then do it in one hook size larger as well...

Bolted Brim: in Gray
Row 1: Chain 70, and connect to first chain with a slip stitch.
Row 2: Chain one and do 70 sc around, connect to first with a slip stitch
Row 3: Chain three and do *6 double crochet, one popcorn stitch*, repeating around, connect to first with a slip stitch
Row 4: Chain one and do 70 sc around, connect to first with a slip stitch. Bind off.

*Popcorn stitch: Work 5 double crochet into the next stitch. Remove the hook from the loop (scary, I know) and insert it into the first of the double crochet you just made. Pick up the dropped loop and draw it through the first double crochet you stuck your hook into. Then secure it with a chain 1, which will be the top of your popcorn stitch for the next row.

I sewed down the brim along the top of the eyebrow row of the hat so that neck part of it does come out below the brim, like it should. This was a mistake, because by sewing it down, it made it unable to stretch which is why the hat fit my husband... so I had to un-sew it. I then tried tacking down around each popcorn, but leaving the rest unattached. It stretches better and the tension keeps the band on right. Next time just do the brim rows as the last 4 rows of the hat base before the neck part... duh.

Next I made some horns for the sides. These start with white at the point, than grow larger and curl (hopefully) and then will have a gray studded band at the base. Stuff them as you go along, and then sew them on. Helps to have a model try it on and then mark where you want the horns to be.

I used this free pattern for horns from Cheyenne Crochet as a base pattern, but changed quite a few elements to get the look I wanted. I rewrote the pattern to have the same kind of base on the horns as on the brim. I also used the front loops only on the sc to give my horns a spiral, ribbed look.

Tip: Front loop is the one facing you as you work, back loops are on the back of the stitch.

Another reason I rewrote the pattern was because some of the rows made no sense to me, like the original Row 5 which reads: 4sc, m2 x2, 4 sc, s2g. To me that adds up to 13 not 10 stitches. Unless I am counting wrong or misunderstanding the x2 instructions... Where you see an "m2 x2" I did an increase (or 2 sc in one stitch) and then another increase in the next stitch, so there are two increases in a row, over two stitches. Not sure if they meant do 4 stitch increase in one stitch, but it was confusing me… Hopefully this is as clear as mud to you, as well. :P

Horns with Band
Row 1: magic circle, sc 6 - 6st. - try to leave a tail of about 8 inches out the tip 
-- From here on sc is in front loops only -- (forms a spiral ridge on outside)
Row 2: m2, 5sc - 7st.
Row 3: 1sc, m2 x2, 2sc, s2g - 8st.
Row 4: 3sc, m2, 4sc - 9st.
Row 5: 4sc, m2, 4sc - 10st.  (can also be 3sc, m2 x2, 2sc, s2g)  
Row 6: 4sc, m2, 5sc - 11st.
Row 7: 4sc, m2 x2, 3sc, s2g - 12st.
Row 8: 5sc, m2, 6sc - 13st.
Row 9: 5sc, m2 x2, 4sc, s2g - 14st.
Row 10: 6sc, m2, 7sc - 15st.
Row 11: 6sc, m2 x2, 5sc, s2g - 16st.
Row 12: 7sc, m2, 8sc - 17st.
Row 13: 7sc, m2 x2, 6sc, s2g - 18st. 
Row 14: 8sc, m2, 9sc - 19st.
Row 15: 8sc, m2 x2, 7sc, s2g - 20st.
Row 16: 9sc, m2, 10sc - 21st.
Row 17: 9sc, m2 x2, 8sc, s2g - 22st.
Row 18: 10sc, m2, 11sc - 23st.
Row 19: 10sc, m2 x2, 9sc, s2g - 24st.  
Row 20: switch to gray, back loops only, sc around 24st., slip stitch to first
Row 21: chain 2, 5 dc, popcorn stitch*, repeat around 24st. (will have 4 popcorns)
Row 22: sc around 23st. Bind off. Leave tail for sewing to hat. 

for the horns, since the band is a little smaller, make your popcorns with only 4dc instead of the 5dc like on the brim band.
Top with tied down tail for curve, Bottom not yet done.
To get a more pronounced curl to the horn, take the tail from the tip and pull it along the inside of the curve, inside the horn. Then pull tight to desired curve and secure it at the base of the white section of the horn. 

Note to self: make a set of horns, in tan, without the band, to add to the chinese dragon hat.
Finished Hat

It's too big on me... maybe next time I'll put the horns lower, too.

Total time for the Viking hat, about 7 hours, most of the time in the horns as I wanted to get them right.

January 17, 2014

Hats and Masks Pt 2

I did not anticipate a part 2, to my last post, but here it is anyway.

The self made IronMan mask part, as I suspected, did not really fit right. So, instead I made a second knight hat in the colors of Iron Man with input from the recipient. As I mentioned before, this Sir Knight hat pattern is really fast and having done it once before, albeit a larger size, meant that I only needed to glance at the pattern. This hat took about 4 hours total.

It is a child size, with a red base, gold blade, gold mask with red vents. I also added on the Iron Man ear things from that helmet, but since they sit about the place the buttons to attach the mask should be, I sewed them down in place and attached the button through both the round ears and into the hat. It should fit much better, even though I'm not sure it looks like IronMan at all now.

After this hat was done, they loved it. I then set about using the base of the Sir Knight pattern another time, but that will be next post since it is kind of long... It is a viking hat!

January 10, 2014

Hats and Masks

I recently received a very large box of free yarn. Along with it came a request for a few items to be made.

A friend saw a picture online of a crochet Knight helmet and asked for one. I looked around for a pattern on Etsy and decided to buy the Sir Knight Helmet pattern by Martina Gardner. I chose it for a few reasons, one, it looked well written and, two, it came fully written out for multiple sizes.

As my friend is a fire fighter, he asked for one for himself in black, red and gray. He thought it would be perfect to wear on those cold days on a scene of a fire after he has taken off his real helmet.

The pattern itself worked up very quickly. I would say that from start to finish it took about 10 hours, maybe less to get it all done and sewed together. Probably faster for people better at sewing. I had absolutely no problems following it at all, which is awesome. The extra large adult size fit on my husbands head perfectly, as he was my mannequin, and he has a very large head indeed. He was so happy with the way it felt that I have to make yet another one for him, but that will be another post. Overall the pattern was fantastic and the design is perfect for those colder nights.

Finished Sir Knight Helmet
After I finished the Sir Knight helmet for my friend, I moved on to make another base of the helmet in the Child size, for his son, who wanted an Iron Man hat.

After I finished the base from the Sir Knight Helmet pattern, I made up my own pattern to put over it like the mask, but in an iron man mask shape.

I used the number of stitches for the forehead of the child size knight hat as my base measurement so I was sure the Iron Man mask part would fit over it. My initial idea was to use the same button hole attachment idea so that the mask could be raised and lowered over the face like the real mask closes in the movie, but after making the mask part I realized it was just too soft to really work that way.

This iron man face vector by Dotgfx on Deviant Art was really helpful in understanding the shape.
The Iron Man face piece worked up very strangely, but it was the only way I could wrap my head around how to get it done... I used the Mac version of Excel (Numbers) to make a grid the size of the gauge of the pattern. Then I used X's for half double crochet, D for double crochet, T for treble crochet, S for single crochet and s for slip stitch to lay out how my pattern should work.

The top of the eyes is at the fore head line of the helmet since the helmet pattern comes down pretty far onto the forehead and over the ears and a bit of the neck. It's a deep hat!

I started a chain of 22 at the row where you see the #1. The pipe and V is to show which direction I went. Chain 22, then 2 more for a turn and then hdc 22 across. Next row is 2hdc in one, 18hdc, then another increase. Always chaining 2 at the end for turning. I went from that forehead place down since the third row of 26 stitches has taller stitches in the center to give him that ironman eyebrow ridge. At the end of that row I then did a little section of 3 rows of 3 at the end to start moving down around the eye.
Kind of looks like a Ronin helmet right now. Section 1, 2 and 3 done. Not 4.
The next step #2 was to go back to that initial chain of 22 and work up to get the head column shapes. I attached my yarn one stitch in and did a row of 7 hdc. Then I turned and did a total of 6 of those hdc 7 rows. The last row has a few taller stitches towards the center of the face to make the arched shape.
#3 Attached on to the other end and did another in the mirror pattern so the taller stitches were to the center.

#4 I then went back to finish the eye section and added a same section of 3 rows of 3hdc on the other side to match.

#5 section is the rest of the face from the bottom of the eyes down to the top of the mouth. I wasn't sure about how to get the bottom of the mouth done since it sits below the chin and I didn't want to add a chin guard part to the helmet base. So this face ends at the pointy looking top teeth part. I attached on to section 4 and did three hdc and then chained 20 and attached it to the other end of the three hdc. Then I turned and did 26 hdc across to stabilize that chain space. Then decreasing on the end stitches of each row I gradually tapered the face down. The final row of 14 stitches (2 dc in one, hdc, sc, 6 slip stitches, sc, hdc, 2dc in one) makes the two little pointy teeth part.

(#6) Now you might notice a section of DC in the center of the bottom of the chain for the bottom of the face. I did that part next. I went and added it on to give a bit of a nose ridge and to have a space to attached the triple crochet dip of the forehead to. Those broken lines show where to sew up the treble stitches to the nose row of 8 DC. It is important to sew the treble crochet on top of the dc to keep that brow ridge showing.
I tried to mark out each section on this image. 
To finish the face, I did a slip stitch in the tops of the head columns and on the bottom teeth row and did a sc around all the rest of the piece to give a clean edge.

I then decided to sew down the whole top section, so from the brow ridge, down parts of section 3 and 4 and around the top of the head column shapes. So it does not do the cool opening and closing, but at least it looks right.

You cant see in the pictures, but I also added two red circle pieces (flat increase till the edge is 24 stitches) one on either side of the mask for Iron Man's ear thingys...
Finished Iron Man Mask... gotta tuck in the ends though.
The iron man, sir knight, child size helmet base took about 3 hours to make. The face part was a lot of trial and error and I'm still not super happy with how it turned out. It took about 4 hours, but if I had to make another, now that I have a method it would be less. I'm also a little concerned that it might be too big, but it was really tight on me so it might be ok for someone smaller.

It was pretty fun trying to figure this shape out. Now to work on another for my husband... Viking themed! Stay Tuned.

January 6, 2014

Tiny Planes

Now that my friends have kids, I get to start going to their birthday parties. Which is a little odd when you arrive to a house full of toddlers and their parents without one of your own. Anyway.

Sarah the plane has two kids, who I have already made monkeys for, but since her little girl was turning one I decided to make her a little plane of her own.

I used this Amigurumi plane pattern by Marika Uustare.

The pattern is short and sweet and took me about 2 hours total to make. That in itself is amazingly cool. I loved how the face is integrated into the pattern and not just sewn on to the body after. That face part was the only bit that gave me a little trouble. I was not sure which direction to move once attaching the white yarn to the round before, so that there were more stitches on one side of the face than the other. In later rounds you make up for that by decreasing on one side and not the other. On this first plane I think I got it wrong and decreased on the already short side. However, in the end it didn't really show since I stuffed it firm.

Keira the Plane
I used a variegated yarn I had lying around and a matching shade of blue for the nose cone. I think it matched too closely though since you can't really tell that there is also a stripe of blue on the left wing.

Since I figured it might not be cool to see both your mom and sis with a cool crochet plane, I also made a second one for her older brother, who is 2, so everyone can play.

Tristan the Plane
That is the same light blue nose cone as his sisters, but the stripe shows up much better against the dark blue body. This time I was careful to make sure the decreasing was on the same side as the more stitches from the face round and I think it made the tail stand up in the right way better in the end.

Overall, great pattern. Fast, easy, good for scrap yarn consumption.
Total time for each was 2 hours.