Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Big Bang and a Blueberry

Apparently all I really needed to do to amp up my productivity and creativity was to quit working and get obsessed with craft swaps! :) Okay, maybe it's the time of year, or the fact that I'm not stressed out and exhausted all the time, or maybe I'm just enjoying it more, I don't know, but I've been doing a lot of knit and crochet projects lately. Not least of which is the awesome Big Bang Theory crocheted dolls for the awesome rubylynns, who you may remember I did a craft swap with earlier this year.

She found this awesome pattern for making all the characters of the show out of crochet (Amigurimi for those of you up with the lingo!) but she is not yet a crocheter, and yes, the patterns were a little bit complicated with the color changes and crocheting in the round, etc. So she asked if I could make them for a friend of hers who loves the show. Enter some experimenting and a lot of scrap cotton yarn, and you have.....

... totally awesome crocheted dolls of Leonard and Sheldon. I'm really pleased with how they turned out, especially considering that this was my first "real" Amigurimi project (I had made the bats for my halloween craft swap, but that was basically just a stuffed ball with stuff sewn on it.) I also had do do some adjustments to the pattern... I'm not sure what was up, but the pattern for Leonard's torso was totally weird, so that it looked like his body was twisted. Weird.

On to the Blueberry part of this post.

I found this GORGEOUS blue chunky yarn when I was in Sioux Falls, SD over Thanksgiving:

I've used the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick before, but I have NEVER seen this beautiful blue before, so I snatched up 3 skeins. It was a little bit expensive, but totally worth it for the results of the project I made with it.

I envisioned a gorgeous chunky mesh scarf kind of like the Vesta scarf from Paula Purls. I started with her pattern, but quickly diverted and changed the whole thing. Oh well, I feel like patterns are there to inspire more than to be followed, anyway! :)

Here is the scarf in progress. Aren't my knitting needles gorgeous. I found them on sale for $3 marked down from $20. Love the Rosewood!

Because the yarn is so bulky and the pattern so simple to repeat, this scarf knitted up really quickly. And because it only took 2 skeins for the scarf, I used the third skein to make a matching hat.

And here they are on:

I really need some models who are not ME. I hate trying to take good pictures of myself wearing my stuff. Meh.

If you like this hat and scarf set, check out my etsy site for this and many other lovely knitted concoctions! :) Nothing beats shameless self promotion!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cozy on up to the Jar

Okay, so my title is a little bit lame, but "Jar Cozy" just doesn't say all it needs to for this awesome project! I've seen "patterns" for jar cozies all over the web, and a few, even, that I put in my queue to try. However, I got a wild hare last night, and decided to just wing it and see how difficult it was.

Difficulty level: EASY PEASY for a semi-decent crocheter. :)

What you need:
  • Scrap yarn (I chose this yellow bamboo because it looked like mustard and I thought I was being funny)
  • Empty, clean jar (I just recycled an old mustard jar... that's why it's funny... get it?)
  • Any size crochet hook (I used a G hook)
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.
I used the magic loop method, which is my method of choice when working in a circle. I cast on 7 double crochet stitches and joined.
I worked in a standard circle until it fit the bottom. It was one row of double crochets (2 stitches in every stitch of the row before for a total of 14) and one row of half double crochets (2 in first stitch, 1 in second stitch, repeated around for a total of 21). Then it was just a matter of working those 21 stitches in some sort of a pattern until reaching the top.

I kept trying it on to make sure it was going to fit on the jar. I did one row of HDCs all around, and one row of chain 1, skip one, DC repeated around.

I, again, kept trying it on as I went to make sure it wasn't too big or too small. It's a very forgiving project, so it doesn't matter too much if your crochets are perfect. I think it sort of looks like those Chianti bottles with the basketry on the bottom.

Continue in the pattern until you reach the top. Then, skip one in between HDCs around, to tighten it at the top.

Weave in ends, and place with another cozied friend made the night before!

This project is so easy and yields a nice product. Perfect for this time of year with last minute gifts, gifts for those you're not sure what to get, or just for yourself if you need something new to store pens in on your desk, or a new vase for some flowers (or something to put your longer knitting needles in!)