Monday, September 19, 2011

Quick wedding present

My fiance and I are attending the wedding of a friend of his next weekend. About a week ago, I suddenly realized that I didn't have a present for them. I have been on a big crochet kick lately, so I figured that I would find something that would be quick and easy to make, yet be a good wedding gift.

I came up with this pattern:

http://michaels.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0463.html

I had never made something with 3 threads at once before, and I have been wanting to try it out. I ran on over to the hobby store and bought the 3 colors I had decided on. This blanket uses "I Love This Yarn!" colors Pale Denim, Stonewash, and Dark Denim. These colors (and the throw itself) turned out quite nicely. I am very pleased with it, and I have already planned another throw!

Here is a picture of me crocheting with the huge size Q crochet hook and the three colors.



I had never used such a large hook and had such a loose weave previously. It was a bit disconcerting at first.

I finished the throw quickly (although not quite in 5.5 hours as the pattern mentions). Here is the finished throw.


More detail.


Here is a picture to give an idea of the size.


My next project is going to be an experiment with this throw, but using a blending technique. I have already purchased my supplies, I'm ready to go!





Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Words of Wisdom

I was looking through the sprites on www.spriters-resource.com to see if I could find some good ideas for another project, when I saw that there were new sprites added for Spy vs Spy. I checked them out, and as I was looking over them I came up with a great idea for another entry into the Back to School/Life Lessons challenge that I had previously entered the Oregon Trail binder cover for.

I quickly came up with a pattern and ran to the local hobby store to buy a few supplies with the last few dollar I had until payday. This only took me a week to make and it came out pretty awesome. It was made on 18-count Aida with 2 strands of floss.

Here is my progress on day one:



Day Two:





Day Five:





Finished!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Studying with Oregon Trail

My favorite crafty website, www.spritestitch.com, was having an August challenge to come up with a video game craft with the theme of "Back to School". I tried to come up with something along those lines. My mind started going toward school supplies. Originally I was going to make a folder, but I ended up making a cover for a 3-ring binder instead.

Then came the hard part, trying to come up with the theme. Going along with the back to school again, I started thinking of the games that I used to play in school. My favorite was always Oregon Trail. So, I got the sprites that I could, came up with a pattern, and made this: an original Oregon Trail binder cover!


 I think it came out great. I don't like the contrast between the gray and the brown, I wish the words showed up better on the front. This picture really makes it look unreadable, but in person it does look better. Otherwise, I am very pleased with it.


This next part was one of my favorite parts of the game. It was always frustrating to me to only be able to carry back 100 pounds of food, though, even though you had shot 1200 pounds worth. Come on! Like I couldn't have made multiple trips or gotten the rest of the family to help carry some!


To hold everything together, I just took a whole sheet of plastic canvas, cut it to the right height and then just cut it up the middle, then connected each piece to each edge to hold the cover on the notebook. 


On either side of the spine, I double stitched the "hinges" to give it more support and so it won't wear out as quickly. I have a series of in-progress pictures for this that I will add shortly. 
Don't you want one now?



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bubblegum Blanket

I love to visit my local craft stores. So often when browsing through the aisles, I come across inspiration for my next crafting project.  My inspiration for this project came from one of the free pattern fliers seen throughout the store. I thought this blanket was so cute, that I had to have one. I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to talk my mom into making one for me, so I had to make this one myself.

The only crochet item that I had made in the past was a baby blanket made with primary colors from a Vanna White pattern for a friend of mine when his wife had a baby. I knew that this project would be quite a bit bigger and more difficult. I ripped off my own copy of the pattern from the booklet, gathered up the supplies that I needed, and headed home to begin.

Once I got home, I instantly realized that this pattern is for a child-sized blanket. That was not such a big deal, though, since this blanket is made up of individual squares. All I had to do to get a bigger blanket is to make more squares than called for. So, I just had to go back to the craft store for more supplies.



As always happens when I begin a big project, I got bored with it and set it aside. I just got so tired of making all these squares. I'm not even sure how long it took me to finish this blanket. I got to a point where I was so tired of these squares, that I just stopped where I was and left it as it was. It ended up larger than the child's size it was originally supposed to be, but smaller than the full, large adult size that I had originally intended. It ended up being 11 x 8 squares.
As it is, I am quite happy with it. It is an awesome - and bright - blanket.


Here is a link to the pattern online, in case you want to make one for yourself! http://www.purplekittyyarns.com/afghan-patterns/bubblegum

 Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My first big project: Monopoly!

Up through high school, whenever I would do crafts it was always small items, nothing very big. One day I when shopping with my mom at a local craft store, and I came across the pattern for a cross-stitch Monopoly board. Instantly, I was hooked and I spent what little money I had (I was a poor college student at the time) to buy the supplies I needed to work on what would be my masterpiece.

OK, I've mentioned it before, but I'll remind you. I have a hard time working on something straight through from start to finish. I worked on this project on and off over the course of over 2 years. When I finished it, though, I was sooo excited. This was my first big project that I not only attempted, but finished as well. I've had it framed and put under glass. Now whenever I want to play Monopoly, all I have to do is take it off the wall!

I don't have any in-progress pictures, as this was completed 12 years ago, but I have several pics of the finished product.  I must note that I did make a few changes from what the pattern had. Instead of putting the Parker Brothers copyright info underneath the Monopoly logo in the middle, I substituted my name and the year that I completed the project.

Enjoy!




Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pixel Hobby Star Wars Stormtrooper

While browsing through the forums of my favorite crafting website - www.spritestitch.com - I came across a thread for a craft I had never heard of called Pixel Hobby. I was intrigued, so I pulled up the US website for them - www.pixelhobby-usa.com - and started to look into it.

It looked remarkably easy! And there are so many shades of color that you can make almost anything at all. I bought the supplies that I needed for a project I had in mind. It was so easy to do that I started thinking of other things I could make with it. On the website, there is a place to download some software that will make the pattern out of an imported picture, so there is no limit to what you can make.

 I started browsing through pictures trying to find the right one to strike my fancy. Finally, one did. My boyfriend, now fiance, is a huge Star Wars fanboy, so this was the perfect project for me to make for him. I bought all the supplies and started working diligently on my gift.

I didn't tell him what I was making, only that it was a gift and he would see it once I had it completed. This project takes up 16 baseplates, so I could work on it right in front of him and he had no idea what I was making.  Here is a picture of one of the plates as I was working on it:



Finally, after working on this for about a month, I had completed it. I took the plates and assembled them to show my fiance. He loved it! It did turn out pretty awesome. He wouldn't let me put away the plates for the rest of the day so he could look at them from time to time.

I still have to mount the plates onto some kind of board and I'm thinking of framing it, but for now, here it is.


It is truly awesome. The picture doesn't do it justice. It even looks 3 dimensional like you can reach out and feel the contours of the helmet.
Hope you like it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mario Tissue-Box Cover

While packing for a vacation to Las Vegas, I came to the conclusion that my current craft projects would not be good to take with me on a plane. The chain-mail belt would be too heavy, and my Pixel Hobby project isn't very portable. I had to quickly come up with something that I could carry around with me, but wouldn't be too heavy or take up too much space.

I started looking online for some inspiration. I came across a picture of a plastic canvas Super Mario tissue box cover. Aha! It was perfect. I already had some yarn from making the huge Mario latch-hook, so I needed very little in supplies. After a quick trip to the hobby store, I was good to go!

I started while in the airport, waiting to board the plane. I worked during the flight and got this far by the time we were there.



While there I grabbed some time here and there to relax and work on it. I didn't get much done at the time, but -hey- I was in Vegas on vacation!




When I got home, I ended up setting it aside while I started working on another project for my fiance. After a couple weeks, I came back to it and started working again.


While reading on some forums, I noticed that someone had the idea to take pictures every 2 hours of their project. I tried to do that, too.


I couldn't keep track of time very well, though.






Then, I finally finished it all and put it together. It ended up so cute! I'm toying with the idea of creating more patterns for other characters possibly from other games as well. If I do end up making it, I will be sure to post it up here!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My almost-finished belt

I love doing so many different crafts. When I find a new project, I get so excited motivated to work on that project. There is just one problem with that: I usually am either in the middle of a project at the time.
All my enthusiasm goes toward this new craft or project, and so I end up putting aside what I have been working on in order to move on to the new thing. I love starting crafts, but I usually have problems finishing them. Having finished my Mario latch-hook is honestly a miracle. Even then, I ended up setting it aside a few weeks in the middle then had to force myself to finish it.

After finishing Mario, I was browsing one of my now-favorite sites for crafting ideas, http://www.spritestitch.com/, and I came across a MegaMan chainmail inlay tapestry. Oh, Wow! It was totally awesome. I started getting more ideas in my head for more crafts and projects.
I began the research period of learning how to make chainmail. I found a few very awesome sites that were chock full of information and ideas and one in particular that has excellent tutorials on not only the tools and how to create the rings, but there were great step-by-step tutorials on more weaves than I will ever make in my lifetime.
To try out this new (to me) craft, I followed the advice in one of these tutorials and went to a local hardware store. I bought some basic inexpensive tools and some wire with which to begin making my own rings with.


Once I got home, I immediately began making coils and then cutting them into rings. Once I had a medium sized pile, I then started another pile of rings that were already closed.


It took me a little while to get the hang of it, trying to connect the rings in the right way and in the right place to get the weave pattern. At this point, I was just trying it out, but I didn't want to waste all this effort that I was putting into this first project, so I needed to think of something to make with it.
After scouring the forums on things I could make with the limited supplies that I had, I came across the idea for a belt. Now, I'm not really one who wears belts a lot, but this sounded perfect, especially since the sample I had made so far was already the perfect width.



Once the belt started getting longer and longer, I started thinking about what I could use for the buckle. I went to a local craft store, but I wasn't happy with the few options that they had. One day, though, I was working on my belt outside in a public area and a woman came up and began speaking with me about my project. She suggested that I look at a thrift store for an old, used belt and take the buckle from it. I felt stupid. This was such a wonderful (and cheap) suggestion that I almost felt dumb for not thinking of it myself.


I now have most of my belt done, I have the buckle ready to go, and I even looked up the steps on how to put larger rings in the middle for the belt buckle to attach to.
But, unfortunately, my enthusiasm started to wane...
I'm stuck at this point for now. I'm sure I'll go back to it and finish, but for now I'm working on bigger and better things!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Mario Journey

My Mario Journey

One day I stumbled across the Mario Obsession crochet blanket online and I absolutely fell in love! I can crochet, but I am not very advanced and I didn't want to learn how to do the Tunisian crochet just to copy and make myself a blanket just like it, so I put that project to a side burner in my brain for a while to think about it.

About a week later (or so), my sister-on-law came to visit and she was working on a Disney latch-hook. Watching her sit there and work on it made me want to pick up a latch hook project myself. This was something that I knew I could do! I started looking around online at kits and patterns when all of a sudden the light bulb in my brain flipped on as I made the connection. I could make a latch-hook version of the Mario Obsession blanket!!

I immediately started scouring the internet for information or patterns. I was crushed when I discovered that a pattern was actually not made. How could something so epic not be preserved in pattern format for all to create and enjoy?! It was at this time that I came across spritestitch.com. Lo and behold, it was a treasure trove of just the information and know-how that I needed. It was perfect. With all the wonderful tutorials ideas from others, I decided that, Yes! I could come up with the pattern on my own, then make it into the latch-hook creation that I envisioned.

I started small. Beginning with the first panel/square in the top left corner, I began to create the pattern I needed. Using the KG-Chart for Cross Stitch program along with the individual photos of each square on the blanket, I began. The first one took a while to create. I wasn't very familiar with the program and had never tried creating a pattern myself, so I was actually coloring each individual pixel on the pattern to be the color I needed. Imagine my sense of accomplishment when I was done, though... I had just created my first pattern! Woohoo!

The pattern was only the beginning. I had seen pre-cut latch-hook yarn for sale at the hobby store, so I figured just for my first project I would go ahead and buy the cut yarn I needed. I bought all the supplies I needed and headed home to start my own epic journey.

Creating the first panel went a lot quicker that I thought it would. It looked so cute that I wanted more, More, MORE Mario!


For my next project, instead of the logical progression of moving to the second square next to the one I had completed, I looked to the one that I like the most. I was in total agreement with the original creator. I LOVED the battle scene at the end. I just HAD to make that one.

I knew that I would need to cut my own yarn for this one as it is 6x bigger than the small one I had done before, and the pre-cut yarn would get just too expensive. As it is, it took 2 full skeins of black yarn and most of a red one. I cut my own yarn for the black, white, red, light grey and dark grey. For everything else, I bought the pre-cut yarn since I could buy that in smaller quantities.

I started at the bottom with the red and made my way upward. The bottom part of the picture up to the bridge got monotonous and I got bored with the same thing over and over. I ended up setting it aside.




After a few weeks, though, I knew I needed to work on it some more and drive myself to the finish.



The more I got done, the more it became unwieldy and difficult to work on. I had problems carrying it around because it wouldn't fit into my bag any longer. I ended up having to buy a bigger bag for me to cart it around in.

Then, finally!, that great day arrived when I finally attached the last piece of yarn and finished it!


I'm taking a break from working on the rest. In fact, I think I may end up working 6 of the smaller panels at a time all on one piece of canvas rather than individually, which will make everything easier to put together once I'm all done.
What do you think?