April update and secret project

I guess you’re tired of hearing me talking about the thing I can’t talk about? πŸ˜› Well, now I’m done and the recipient has received the thing and everybody’s happy πŸ™‚

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Ta dah! This is the thing I made. Pretty big!

It started when a friend of ours mentioned that he should have a tardigrade on a banner for his family (because of word play reasons), and he suggested a slogan and everything. It was said kind of in passing years ago, so I don’t think he expected it to happen. But then another friend suggested we all chipped in and had one made since his 40th birthday was coming up this year. I said I could make it because it sounded like a fun project, and here we are πŸ™‚

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I drew the tardigrade by hand, cut it out from yellow fabric and machine sewed it to the black bit. Same with the yellow letters on top. They were a pain to cut because of the size and angles (the fabric Β is coarser than it looks, and frayed a bit even with the iron-on sticky stuff on the back). Then I stitched the details on the animal by hand, and finally the words on the bottom.

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Look at that face! πŸ˜€

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Claws

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Tried some stem stitch for the words on the bottom

I’d never done free hand embroidery in my life, so this was a bit of a learning experience! I think I managed fine πŸ™‚ It was fun experimenting with different stitches πŸ˜€

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After the front was all sewed, I made four loops for the top, and sewed the whole thing together with a gray fabric for the back. I would’ve used black, but I didn’t have enough, and the banner was going on a wall anyway.

The banner is about 50 cm wide and 125 cm long. Biggest thing I’ve ever made πŸ™‚

And as for my temperature blanket, that got neglected while I worked on the banner, so I never got round to fixing the ends that were left from last month… Which meant that I had a month and a half of ends to weave in once I managed to catch up on the hexes. That only took me three days or something, but I’ll be weaving in ends for weeks :/

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Anyway, here’s April πŸ™‚ Had a few warm days during Easter, which was nice. Don’t really need it to get any warmer, though πŸ˜›

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All the ends… So many ends…

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Crafty highlights of 2014

Instead of doing a Finished Object Friday today, I though I’d post my annual review of the year that passed πŸ™‚

In January I knitted myself a hat, for the first time ever.

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I think I liked it better like this, before felting, because it felted a little bit too much and became very thick and less floppy than I’d hoped :/ But I couldn’t wear it like it was because it was too wide, so… Next time I think I’ll measure my head better first πŸ˜›

In February I was very excited to get my copies of the book that has two of my Bug patterns in it:

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I finally finished the pattern for a new set of Cute Little Dudes, this time from Australia:

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And then the Sochi Olympics came along, during which I finished a whole pile of things:

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Crocheted unicorn (pattern by Stacey Trock), knitted Nessie (pattern by Hansi Singh), crocheted stegosaurus (by June Gilbank), Great Big Fly (my pattern), nalbinding hat and wristwarmers.

In March I made a tiny pink bunny, a really simple little project that’s made in one piece πŸ™‚ During Easter I made three more of these colorful little guys:

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In April I finished another crochet pattern, also a thing that had been in the works for ages. An Axolotl! I love these guys, and I really want to make more some day πŸ™‚

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During my Easter holiday, in addition to the horde of bunnies, I also completed two more knitted Hanisgurumi, the cuttlefish and starfish, which had both been in progress for years:

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Then summer and work happened, and I didn’t knit or crochet much for a couple of months. I got some sewing done, though. First I made an oven mitt as a birthday present for my aunt:

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And then I made a case for my newly restored Nintento DS Lite, with room for one GBA game:

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When school started again in August I didn’t get anything finished for months. I started knitting on a giant pokemon that I still haven’t posted about other than a few photos on Instagram (that don’t really show much). Still working on that thing, and I’ll share it as a wip later, when it’s all stuffed and closed up. As it is now, it’s just too difficult to move around to get any good pictures of… You’ll just have to wait and see πŸ˜›

In October I finished this pretty Gracidea flower (also a Pokemon thing) that I gave to Bollan for Christmas:
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She’s so pretty! I don’t have a pattern for it yet, but it’s on my list of things to do this year πŸ™‚

I got my sewing machine out again and made a bag for the bokken (wooden sword) that I borrowed from the boyfriend for Aikido and Iaido practice:

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And finally, some Christmas presents that I made:
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An owl and a candle holder for my cousins, and a scarf for my aunt:

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And that’s it. I felt like I didn’t do anything last year, probably because I only published three patterns, but I see now that I actually did quite a lot. Hopefully there will be more Bugs and Dudes and other patterns coming out this year πŸ™‚

Bokken bag

I think I mentioned in another post that I’ve started doing Aikido this semester, and part of our training is with weapons. So far we’ve practiced mainly with jo, which is a 4-foot long staff, and a little bit with bokken, a wooden version of the samurai sword.

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As it happens, my boyfriend used to do Nin-jutsu years ago, and he had an old bokken lying around that I could have. So now I have my own! And of course it needs some protection from the elements when I travel, so I made a bag for it πŸ™‚

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It’s a very simple thing, just one long piece of fabric folded in half and a shoelace to tie it together a couple of inches from the top. To close the bag, I just fold the opening down and wrap the shoelace a few times around and tie it up.

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I made it long enough to hold a jo as well, in case I ever get one. I didn’t make any straps for carrying the bag on my shoulder, because I figured the placement would change depending on the length of the things inside. But it’s not heavy at all, so it’s just as easy to just carry it. Maybe I’ll figure something out later, like an adjustable crochet strap or something.

(For anyone who’s following this blog, it might seem odd that a post published in October suddenly pops up now, but I had uploaded the post and somehow saved it as a draft instead of publishing it, and I didn’t realize until now. So here it is, better late than never πŸ˜› )

Oven mitt

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Recognize the fabric? πŸ™‚ I’m pretty proud of this one, but somehow I completely forgot to post about it!

I finished it more than a month ago, but it was a birthday present, so I had to wait to blog about it. The birthday was more than a week ago, and then I just forgot.

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My aunt used to have this oven mitt with a heat proof fabric on one side, and it was the best oven mitt ever. But eventually it was so worn out that the heat resistance was pretty much gone. She looked everywhere for years and couldn’t find any one like it. So then I got the idea to search the internet for that kind of fabric, because if I could get some, I could just make her a new mitt! I found the fabric here before Christmas, but I never found the time to sew then, so it became a birthday present instead. And I think it was a huge success πŸ™‚ She tested it and said it worked great, so I’m happy. I might use what’s left of the fabric for some new potholders for us later.

I made the mitt in two parts and with a double layer of padding in between. Naturally the opening on top was too small to fit around the sewing machine, so I had to do the final seam by hand.

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Not too shabby, though, I think πŸ˜›

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Nintendo DS Lite case

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As you may know by now, a new big obsession of mine is Pokemon. So much so that I’ve worked my way back through the generations of games. And then I came to the really early ones, which is where this project became problematic, because these games can not be played on my 3DS… I considered a Gameboy or Gameboy Advance, but I ended up getting a DS Lite instead, which I think is the best solution. It plays both regular DS games and GBA games πŸ™‚ (For the very first games I’m going to need a regular Gameboy or a GBA, but that’s a problem for another day.)

I bought a used DSL off eBay, very cheap because it had a broken hinge, and I got a new shell for it, a new hinge and a pair of special screwdrivers (because Nintendo isn’t too happy having people messing with their stuff), all for less than $30! A couple of YouTube videos and a few hours later, and I had myself a brand new toy πŸ˜€

Now there was another issue: how to keep my new baby safe from bumps and scratches. I found some cases that I liked, but none were just right… Then I remembered this really cool fabric that I bought last year, and out came the sewing machine. That beast… Not best friends with my grandmother’s sewing machine, and in the end I had to dig out my old machine, the one I ditched because it kept messing up and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and how to fix it. Eventually, after days of procrastinating and measuring and planning, I had this:

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A fairly sturdy case with a pocket to hold one GBA game (because the game sticks out of the DS so leaving it in is not an option). And I’m pretty happy with it πŸ™‚ The only problem I had was when I tried to sew the two parts together at the front, it kept wrinkling up because the lining was smaller. Then the thread got stuck in the machine and I got furious and gave up… before I picked it back up (literally – the thing was on the floor across the room at this point) and did the final seam by hand:

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A little bit crooked, and I’m still debating if I’ll bother doing a machine seam over it or not. We’ll see. Knowing myself, it’ll probably stay like it is for a long time. At least the thing is in one piece now, so there’s no rush πŸ˜›