February 28, 2014

Coraline Fan Art

I follow Laika House on Instagram to get peeks at the upcoming movie Boxtrolls and everything else they work on. As I have expounded before I am fascinated by the handcrafted quality of the work that goes into their movies.

So when I saw a post where they were calling for submissions for Coraline fan art, for the 5th anniversary of it being released, I knew I had to enter. Prize is a pair of the limited edition Nike shoes from the 2009 release which I also tried to win at that time.

the reference picture
the sketch with inks
the finished watercolor
Submission was sent on February 6th... we will see what happens. FINGERS CROSSED

Bonus: Me and my little me.
UPDATE: So the submissions are voted on to win. I dislike that, since it's basically a popularity contest and not a random chance to win now. Oh well, at least I had a good time being inspired to make something fun and got to continue to work on my watercolor skills.

February 24, 2014

Striped Slouch Hat

So I mentioned that I recently went on vacation with my mom and sister, and that I was making one of those cupcake hats for my sister. I of course managed to forget to bring my own hat, and of course, so did my mom. So the only person who had a hat for the cold weather in Santa Fe was my sister.

So, while I was in Houston for a tradeshow before our vacation I made both my mom and I hats. Naturally it turned out that hats were unnecessary since it was warm and sunny the entire time we were there.

The tradeshow was 4 days, after which we would be flying out of Houston for Albuquerque. I needed a pattern that was fairly simple and used few colors. I decided to try the free pattern by Moogly called the All Grown Up Striped Slouch hat. I hat clipped it into my Evernote crochet notebook a long time ago but had not yet needed to make one.

So, the first day I managed to find a Michaels near the place we went for dinner and went and picked two colors of yarn, a blue and a gray like the pattern called for. Love those colors anyway.

This pattern was fast. Once you understand the two rows directions it was easy to get into a groove and not need to directly reference the pattern. I love ones like that. 

I love the little tiny stripe that is created by using the back post. Really makes it look detailed. It also gives the hat great texture and makes it feel thick and warm. But the really best part is that since there are only two rows between the color switching you carry the yarn along and never cut the colors. That makes it so fast and eliminates a lot of cutting and attaching. 

The ribbing at the bottom threw me for a little bit of a loop. I got all the way to the end and realized that I had made a mistake since instead of being a brim, I had made a flared skirt. What I had done was instead of skipping I made the up and down ribbing on every stitch, essentially doubling the amount of rows on the brim. So I of course had to rip out the entire brim and start again, but it was much faster the second time around. Duh.

Here I should also mention, that since I wanted my brim to be in the blue color, I added an extra row of the gray to make it a bit longer and slouchier and still allow me to read the pattern right.

Looks really cute on. Not sure if it is because the original image is taken on a mannequin head with no hair but it was not quite as slouchy as I had thought it would be, even with my extra row. I made the small adult size. 

You can tell mine looks a little longer than the one in their picture, due to that extra row. I have since added a little felt pin right above the brim of a little bird and it looks super cute. Total time I would say was about 7 hours for this pattern, but would be less if you didn't add the extra row, and make the brim mistake. I can easily see this in a lot of other colors, so give it a go!

PS: I only bought one skein of each color, and had enough left of each to make my mom a cupcake hat out of the remainders. Check the cupcake hat post to see a picture of that blue and gray cupcake hat. 

February 12, 2014

Cupcake Hats

My brothers girlfriend is pretty cool. She's a little bit weird and gets our humor really well, but also really smart and structured, which is a good influence on him. Anyway, so we were discussing things I have crocheted over dinner. She has seen the Alot, BananaShark and Dalek that I have made for my brother, and she asked if I could make her a cupcake hat that she saw on Pintrest.

I said of course, having seen many images of them on the internet. And a quick search on Etsy will give you a ton of patterns depending on how you want your cupcake to be frosted and decorated. I decided to get this Cupcake Hat pattern from the shop CrochetSpotPatterns. I picked it for two main reasons: I liked the swirl of the frosting and also loved that it comes in different sizes. I can totally see making some of these for friends children...

She asked for a brown or tan wrapper, white frosting, rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top.
I love this hat because I can use up those half skeins of colors I have lying around for this job.

The pattern was simple and quick. The top of the hat worked up really fast if you are familiar with making circles and using back loops. The only part that took a longer time for me was the wrapper part around the head. I had to re-look up stitch tutorials to make sure I was doing the front and back post crochet correctly, but after that it was a breeze. I did add an extra row at the bottom where the pattern ends because I like my hats to cover my ears. So I simply added a row of regular double crochet all the way around. I think it looked nice and like the bottom of the cup...

Two things to note on the cherry part... I used the first row as my topside, and since I started with a magic circle I used that tail to poke out the top for a stem on my cherry. Then I had the full tail on the smaller decreased end to sew it down to the hat with. I also stuffed mine with some leftover red yarn scraps.

A cherry.
As it usually happens with these things, I ended up making another one as well for my sister. My mom, sister and I are going to Santa Fe in late February and since it will be cold we will of course need hats. My mom has one I have made already, and I of course have my dragon hat, so my sis would be the only one out. Can't have that.

She liked the picture on the pattern, so hers is brown wrapper, pink frosting and a cherry.

 For the top you leave a loop open...

...to make the icing swirl! Might try a shell stitch for icing next time...
Finished hats...

The white frosted looks better with rainbow sprinkles.
Super cute. Like I said, didn't need a full skein for all any of the colors. Even for both wrappers I didn't use even half a skein of brown. Great yarn consumption project. Total time for each hat was about 5 hours, only because of the wrapper part.

UPDATE: Made a hat for my mom out of leftover skeins from my upcoming slouch hat post. Not sure it reads a cupcake-y as the others do because of the colors. Also the soft yarn made it have a slightly melty shape as opposed to the coarser red heart or standard cheap yarn.