Thursday, November 18, 2010

Octopider? Arachnopus?

Whatever you call it, it's safe to say this is a major fail. And it's one of those bloody infuriating fails - the time-intensive ones where each attempt to fix it just makes it worse and worse and worse.

I got Amigurumi Knits for my birthday and immediately started planning which cute little critters to make. I decided on the octopus, and wanted to make it more baby friendly. The octopus itself wasn't a problem - easy peasy and totally adorable (I'm ignoring the bit about cotton being a major pain for Amigurumi - not enough give for such a tight gauge and all those short rows - and I'm pretending like I did whatever you're supposed to do with all the short-row wraps to hide the ugly bars).

My plan to make it baby friendly was to leave out the pipecleaners and to sew it onto a little blanket so it'd be like those teddy bear lovie toys - you know, the ones with the bear head and a soft fluffy blankie instead of a body. No problem.

ahh! it's got me!!
Except who knew a blankie was such a problem? Right now it's a knitted blankie (ok, yes, a dishcloth). This is actually the 3rd version. The first was in the same yarn as the octopus, and I ran out of yarn. The second was this Pi Dishcloth pattern, and used yarn overs to add stitches, so it was lacy looking and full of tiny finger-catching holes (it's quite a nice dishcloth, though). The third (oh, wait, there've been 4 versions so far) was this crazy hex dishcloth, and I couldn't figure out how to double the size of the pattern, so I went back to the Pi dishcloth and settled on a knit-front-and-back increase and simple garter stitch.

And apparently I made a spider web instead.

So now I'm going to painstakingly remove the cloth from the octopus and hope I don't cut the octopus in the process. I'm planning to make a square blanket out of some cream-colored fleece and bind it with blue satin, the sew the octopus on it.

see, the binding's already a hit
I'm hoping the square instead of circular blanket will keep the octopus from looking like either a spider or one of those hideous angel Christmas tree toppers or like an octopus wearing a dress.

lovely, isn't she? you can get her at wal-mart.
What do you think? Can I salvage this mess, or will I just end up putting the toy away until Mr. T is old enough not to choke on the legs?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stained Glass

I wish we could have real stained glass in our house! Almost a year after moving in, I'm finally getting around to decorating like we'll be here a while. We may, we may not, but even a temporary home deserves pretty windows, right?

This is just that vinyl film by Artscapes. The bathroom windows are an odd size, so it's taking some slicing and dicing to piece together something that fits and makes aesthetic sense. Luckily this is no-adhesive stuff so I can peel and re-place as much as I need to, and all four panes are the same size, so now that I've figured out an arrangement it should be easy to duplicate. Hopefully I can finish this weekend - it's a window weekend since Mr. T's blackout shade came in and I got rods to hang the porch curtains! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop 

p.s. I'd love to find someone who will custom-make these kind of vinyl window films. I searched Etsy but didn't find anything for glass and honestly was in a bit of a rush when I was looking. Anyway, if you know of a shop, leave a comment!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Finished Mobile and Biplane Pattern

As I mentioned two (! has it been that long?) weeks ago, I've finished the mobile for T's nursery. We chose airplanes (and one helicopter) because Chris loves aircraft and when I was planning the nursery, we couldn't agree on dinosaurs or airplanes, so we went with both. Chris has a special affection for biplanes and dreams of owning one someday, so I had to include a biplane on this mobile. I couldn't find a pattern for one, so wrote this one.

We went for a ride in a biplane a few years ago. Fun, but kind of scary!

The bomber and the tiny jet came from Ravelry (but those are non-Rav links), and making those planes helped me get my patterns set in my head. My dad made the framework for the mobile out of walnut scraps leftover from the bookcase he built, and I hung the toys with nylon thread and used Elmer's glue to secure them.

I used Lily Sugar n Cream yarn, bamboo fiberfill and a size H6 hook.

sc = single crochet
sc inc = single crochet increase
sc dec = single crochet decrease


Round 1: 5 sc in ring, join, ch1, turn
Round 2: 5 sc around, join, ch1, turn
Round 3: 5 sc inc (10), join, ch1, turn
Round 4: 10 sc, join, ch1, turn
Round 5: 2 sc, 5 sc inc, 3 sc (15), join, ch1, turn
Round 6: 15 sc, join, ch1, turn
Round 7: 5 sc, 5 sc inc, 5 sc (20), join, ch1, turn
Round 8-16 : 20 sc, join, ch1, turn
Round 17: 20 sc tbl, join, ch1, turn
Round 18: 2 sc, sc dec 5 times (15), join, ch1, turn
Round 19: sc, sc dec around (10), join, ch1, turn
Round 20: sc dec around (5). Fasten off.

Wings (make 4)
Ch 6
Rows 1-5: 6sc, ch1, turn
Row 6: sc around two long and one short sides of wing. Fasten off (leave tail for attaching to plane)

Tail (make 3)
Ch 2
Row 1: Make 4 sc in 2nd chain from hook (4)
Row 2: sc around (4)
Fasten off.

Propellor (make 1)
First, crochet a tiny button to go between the prop and the nose of the plane.
Round 1: 4 sc in a ring, join, ch 1, turn
Round 2: sc, sc inc around (8), join, ch 1, turn
Round 3: 8 sc. Fasten off.

Then work the propellor:
Ch 2.
Row 1: sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc, ch 1, turn.
Row 2-3: sc inc, sc
Row 4-5: 4 sc
Row 6: sc dec, 2 sc
Row 7: sc dec, sc
Row 8: 2 sc
Row 9: sc inc, sc
Row 10: sc inc, 2 sc
Row 11-12: 4 sc
Row 13: sc dec, 2 sc
Row 14: sc dec, sc
Row 15: 2 sc
Sc around the edges, fasten off.

Attach the pieces firmly with yarn.

Download a PDF version of the pattern from Ravelry!
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