New pattern: Moray Eel :)

Surprise, I have finished a new crochet pattern! 😀

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I started this thing a long time ago. According to my Instagram, I thought I would have this pattern ready in March last year. But for various reasons that didn’t happen, and this cool fishie sort of got lost in the shuffle. Didn’t take me long to finish him now, though 🙂

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The pattern is up on Etsy and Ravelry, and I’ve decided that this will be the pattern of the week as well. So this is currently listed at a lower price and will continue to be on sale for a week. Get it now if you want to save 😀

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Pattern of the week

I’m trying something new!

Every week I’ll pick a pattern that will be discounted for that whole week, starting right now (Sunday night), and lasting until next Sunday, when it goes back to its normal price and a new pattern will be discounted. Sounds exciting? I’m excited 🙂

This week’s pattern of choice is the Compass Jellyfish!

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The price has been lowered both on Etsy and Ravelry, but due to Etsy’s new VAT rules, the price you see in the shop may vary depending on where you are in the world. If you’re not from the US, it’s most likely cheaper for you to buy from Ravelry, where you don’t even need to be a registered user to buy patterns, as long as you have the direct link 🙂

(Just this once, here are the countries that charge VAT from the buyers: Countries in the EU, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, South Africa, India, South Korea and New Zealand.)

2013 craftiness

Finally. I promised I’d make this post, and I better get to it while it’s still the beginning of the year, right? 😛

For some reason it feels like I didn’t really get much done last year. There was a lot of fiddling about with new things and few projects and patterns were actually finished. School kept me pretty busy, and otherwise I guess I was just distracted and somewhat uninspired. Let’s hope 2014 brings more time and motivation to get things done 😀

On New Year’s Eve last year a friend showed me the basics of nalbinding, which I’d wanted to try for ages, and after watching some videos on YouTube I got the hang of it pretty quickly. My boyfriend gave me a needle for my birthday and I immediately started a pair of slippers. They aren’t done yet, because I sort of stranded at the heel. They are both missing heel and toe at the moment, but I hope I can finish them soon because our apartment is so cold… After I gave up on the slippers I moved on to some wrist warmers, but I had the brilliant idea to knit some fur edges on them with a mohair yarn or something, so naturally, they aren’t finished yet either. Sigh.

After that I dug out my sewing machine and made this cute little sleeve for my new tablet:

wpid-IMAG1033.jpgAnd I finished the bag for my boyfriend, the one I’d been working on since summer:

wpid-IMAG1130-1.jpgNext I finished and posted the pattern for a crocheted Man-o-War:

wpid-IMAG1082.jpgAnd I made a brown slug for Fresh Stitches’ slug-along:

wpid-IMAG1140.jpgPlus I had to make a case for my nalbinding needles:

wpid-IMAG1132.jpgIn February I made two of PlanetJune’s awesome cephalopods, a nautilus and an octopus:

IMAG1215When the school semester started for real I didn’t do much of anything. A couple of stitches here and there on various stuff that was never finished. Oh, except for two bugs I made for a book! But more about that later 🙂

After my exams I was really exhausted and just wanted to do something silly and simple for myself, so I crocheted this fat little grub:

wpid-IMAG1938.jpgDuring the summer holiday I finished two new patterns, first a Great Big Honey Bee and then a Tardigrade:

IMAG2285In August I finished another Great Big Bug I’d been working on for a while, but sadly the pattern for it is still not ready. I have another one I want to make before I publish the two patterns together. But here, have a teaser:

IMAG2632I also did a new set of Dudes, the first in a series of Australian animals. No pattern yet, sorry. I really need to sit my butt down and finish it…

IMAG2555Before Halloween I made this set of alien critters, basically as a test to see how the safety eyes I’d just bought would look. Free pattern available on Ravelry:

20131003_151148And finally I made the third and last set of Halloween Dudes:

20131018_151108After that I started making Christmas presents, which is why I couldn’t blog much about what I was doing… First I made a Minion (from the movie Despicable Me) for a friend to give to her son. As far as I know he was really happy with his present 🙂

20131121_162040-1I finished a soccer fan doll for my aunt, one that I actually started a few years ago for her birthday but never finished. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out, even though blue and orange is probably my least favorite color combo:

20131203_130253Also since October 12th the new Pokemon games were out, and they kept me busy for quite a while. So yeah, I found myself a new obsession 🙂 And of course I had to try and crochet one! This is my slightly odd version of Espurr, one of the new ones from these games (it’s kind of a cat):

2013-11-22 16.51.13I made a bunch of flowers and leaves to put on a bag for my grandmother (here’s the post):

wpid-20131209_100254.jpg wpid-20131209_100611.jpgI’d wanted to try plastic canvas for years, but none of the local stores here had even heard of it. Then finally it dawned on me to check eBay (duh!) and I made a lightning bolt bookmark for my boyfriend (the David Bowie/Aladdin Sane thing again):

20131211_200812And a small box for my mother to keep her new row counter in to keep it from counting while in her bag etc (also found on eBay lol):

20131216_210215And that’s about it, I think. Well. I thought I hadn’t done much, but it seem I’ve been busy enough 🙂 I just haven’t published a lot of new patterns… I’ll try to work on that this year 🙂

Man-of-war!

Alright, so I didn’t finish the pattern yesterday like I promised, but now it’s all done and posted on Ravelry and Etsy 🙂

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Another jellyfish! The Portuguese man-of-war has fascinated me since I was a little kid and read about them in a book. I think maybe it was the name that got my attention and made me remember it.

Did you know that the man-of-war is not one single organism (like true jellyfish are), but four different species? So they are not really jellyfish, but something called a siphonophore, which is basically a colony of different creatures living together, so specialized that they can’t live without each other. The long stinging tentacles is one kind, the floater is another, and the two types of shorter polyps are used either for feeding or for reproduction.

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I’ve had the idea to crochet one for ages, but the first I tried to make (years ago when I was still learning to crochet) was such a failure that I gave it up. Then, as I was finishing the compass jelly, it suddenly occured to me how the problem could be solved 🙂 It was mainly the sail part of the floater that gave me problems, I did so many versions before I found a solution… I initially tried to make the sail and floater as one piece, but found it too difficult to get the shape right, so I made it as two parts. (Just to clarify: The whole body part of the jellyfish is commonly known as the sail, but since I made to separate pieces, I called the upper part the sail and the lower part the floater.)

Finally I decided to make the sail in solid white, but the real ones can be really colorful, so feel free to experiment 🙂 You can either crochet lines in between the ridges or sew them on afterwards. The sail pattern uses many different stitches, so I’ve drawn up a chart to make it easier to follow. Hopefully the written instructions will be understandable as well, but the chart is there just in case 🙂

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This jelly is pretty big. Even though the floater is no more than 21cm from front to back, the longest tentacles measure about 55cm. The jelly has a total length of 70cm from top to bottom! The live ones are about the same size as mine (up to 30cm), but their tentacles will grow much longer, up to 50 meters! Quite impressive 🙂 The sting is painful, but usually not lethal unless it causes severe allergic reactions.

Well. I think this will be the last pattern from me for a while. School has started again, and in an couple of weeks my schedule will be absolutely full of assignments and lab classes. If I manage to get my laptop fixed, there might be a new pattern up before Easter. We’ll have to wait and see 🙂

Jellyfish pattern!

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I did it again! I finished a crochet pattern when I didn’t think I’d have time. Just finished with the first two of my three exams this year, and I guess I didn’t really prioritize the second one. Heh. But the pattern is done, and I am now ready to focus on chemistry 🙂

Anyway. About the pattern. This thing was actually so complicated that for the first time ever, I had to make a pattern chart. I just hope it’s understandable. If not, please contact me and I’ll try to explain with written instructions as best I can 🙂 It’s mainly the color changes on the bell that cause problems, the construction itself is fairly straightforward. Because of the stripes I had to move the increases around so that the red lines wouldn’t get all crooked, and some of the increases are even made in two colors. For this reason I rate the pattern as intermediate, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you are comfortable with a lot of color changes 🙂

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The tentacles were a challenge for me, both because I had to make so many of them and because I had some trouble getting them right. This kind of jellyfish (the compass jellyfish, Chrysaora hysoscella) has four ruffled arms and twenty four really long tentacles. I decided to make only sixteen of them, as I felt it looked crowded enough and twenty four crocheted tentacles would be too much. You always have the option of using yarn strands if you don’t want to crochet all those tentacles 🙂

I think I started working on this some time this summer, so it’s taken me quite some time to finish. In the beginning of November I visited Berlin for a week, and I brought this along because I can’t go anywhere without something to work on. Didn’t get much more done while I was there, but to my great joy I actually got to see these jellies up close and alive at the aquarium! It was really cool, I’m still excited about it 😀

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Berlin zoo 120

See, aren’t they pretty? They might not look very much like the one I’ve made, because I modeled mine after a picture and a description in a book I have. Later, after I’d made most of the parts, I realized that they vary greatly in color, and the placement of the 24 tentacles is very different. The book (and Wikipedia) says that the tentacles are placed on groups of three around the edge of the jelly, but the pictures on Google shows that that’s not necessarily true. So I don’t know. I had to make a decision about the design, and this is what I ended up with. You feel free to experiment with the pattern 🙂