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 🙂

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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 😛 )

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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 🙂 (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 😀

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 🙂 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 😛

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 🙂

Flower bag

Earlier this year my mother decided that we should get together and make a bag for my grandmother for Christmas. She’d get the bag and I’d make the flowers to decorate it.

I knew I had a bunch of flowers that I crocheted a few years ago, and I sent my mother searching for them in my grandmother’s attic where I stash most of my finished (and half-finished) projects, but it turned out they only covered one side of the bag. Here they are all laid out on the bag as a test:
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Obviously I had to make more to cover both sides, and I crocheted some more flowers and a few leaves.
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I shipped the flowers off to my mother so she could block and attach them to the bag, and here is a photo that she sent me last night of the (almost) finished project:
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We’re really quite pleased with it, and I think my grandmother will be really happy 🙂

Ziggy bag in action

Just thought I’d post a picture of how the Ziggy bag looks in use and in a more normal light.

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The boyfriend is off to band practice 🙂

Also, I have now learned that the lightning bolt is not exactly Ziggy Stardust, but more an Aladdin Sane thing. Whatever that means 😛