Styna, Munchkin and Bones!

Styna, Munchkin and Bones!
Mischief Managed!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Starbuck's Mandala Hat

This is the second of the two hats that I made as a trade for the beautiful artwork created by this lovely lady (the first hat being Ma Cobb's Firefly Hat). This one continues the science fiction theme and is based on the beatutiful mandala mural that Starbuck (of Battlestar Galactica, of course) had painted on the wall in his quarters. The pattern was designed by quirkyknitgirl and lives here. It's a really great pattern - beautiful colours, gorgeous yarn and a simple but striking basic lace pattern, which shows up beautifully in the Cascade 220 yarn (which I sourced from the lovely people at PaviYarns).

I've not come across Cascade before, which is surprising given what a lovely range of yarns they make - and I'm really impressed with Cascade 220: the colours are stunning and it holds the pattern well without being too fiddly. The lace pattern is so simple and so effective - a basic moving 6-1 pattern - and very satisfying since it looks way more complicated than it actually is. Originally it was written as a circular needle pattern but I have problems with circs when it comes to maintaining an even tension, so I decided to work it on dpns, since I'm much more confident with them. It's a great hat pattern for someone who's mastered either dpns or circ's and wants to try something slightly more complicated, or someone who's mastered flat basic lace and wants to try something three-dimensional.

It's a brilliant hat and was great fun to knit - and another work-in-progress ticked of my list! Thanks again to Limlight for agreeing to draw my characters for me and challenging me to knit this hat!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Gigantic PomPoms

Just a quick shout out to YesJess Knits over on Flickr who has made a really easy to follow how-to on gigantic pompoms (and if you know me and pompoms, you'll understand how easy). POMPOMS AHOY!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Guest Post - Rubber Stamp Carving, Part Two

... and, in conclusion: part two of Krystyna's rubber stamp carving post (part one lives here).

So, first off you'll need some materials, I have here a Rubber (just a standard eraser from the shops, this one came from Wilcos I think), a Pencil, a Cuticle Tool (as above) and an ink pad or marker pen.

Next, I draw around the rubber so I know how much space I have to play with. This time I decided to use the largest side. So in my sketchy little box I draw what I want to stamp. As I've been reading a lot of Potter themed things lately this little doodle seemed appropriate.

Then I press the rubber against the image so it transfers across, not always terrifically clear, but we can go over the lines with our pencil to make the image clearer and easier to work with. In this case I think I altered the image a little bit in the transfer but it still looks good.

Now we go to work with our cuticle tool, it's fairly easy going, just try and make the longest runs you can to keep your lines nice and clean. Just apply light pressure and let the tool do the work, remember, you can always take away but you can't really stick rubber back on if you take too much.

We're getting there, nearly done now really. So lets colour our stamp in with the marker or ink pad.

Looks good, so lets do our first stamp!

So we can see here where I need to take off a bit more rubber. Some at the top and a little at the sides. Re-ink and re-stamp and see what we've got.

And there we have it, one stamp, one rather pretty stamp if I do say so myself.

Northern Craftoholic signing out.

Guest Post - Rubber Stamp Carving, Part One

Over to Krystyna!

Ok, so, Hi! It's me again :D

Hrm... where to start. At the beginning I suppose.

So my beloved and I are organising a group trip to Cardiff at the end of this month (ARGH! Panic! Battle Stations! and the like) for our Aikido buddies, it'll be a week of training and boozing, erm, socialising, yes, socialising and one of the many jobs I'll have while we're there is registering people at the training sessions, for this we give each person a little A6 card with their time table on and we stamp each session as they arrive. All good.

Oh Noes! We don't have any stamps! Whatever shall we do?

I know! I'll make some! Only one thing, those carving tools are pricey and hard to find in the UK, probably have to order them from the interweb and that costs even more, but WAIT! What's this? A cuticle tool in the bottom of my make-up bag (2 actually but they were free with some stuff I bought a while back) no idea how to use it on my cuticles and that's a kind of scary prospect anyways but it looks very much like a stamp carving tool.

So how hard can it be? With some shaky nerves and a lot of nervous lip biting I managed these.

Of which, I am infact quite proud.

You're curious you say? To see how they came to be? Well it just so happens that I was asked to write about them, so I've made a little how to, to share my discovery with the world!

To be continued... (here!)

Northen Craftaholic

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Ma Cobb's Firefly Hat

So, it's been a while since I got around to posting on here. It's been a hell of a couple of months, let me tell you! As soon as I'd got into the swing of having a job, I lost it, so I'm back to being impoverished - but that doesn't mean I've not been busy, oh no. Not too long after that, we found out that we had to move house at short notice, which was pretty annoying since we'd just signed the new lease - landlords, I don't know - and it took us a while to find the new place. As you can imagine, crafting and blogging was rather put on a back burner, not least because all my crafty stuff was thereafter boxed up ready for the move.

Then, around three weeks ago, my stupendously awesome and wonderful Granddad passed away. One of those things that turns your life upside down. So in the middle of moving house - in fact, the very same week - I was in an entirely different county helping sort things in the house and organise the funeral and such. The Lovely Amanda and my Mr had to do all the moving themselves (which I still feel a bit guilty about).

Anyway, that's where I've been - hope it's been a bit less fraught for you lot *peers out of the screen*.

A while back I coralled all my partially done projects into a box and posted them here. The ones at the end of the list - but funnily enough with the highest priority - were a couple of sci-fi themed hats for my good friend Limlight (who has a home on Blogger here), in exchange for some of her beautiful artwork. She created two pieces for me, based on my Harry Potter fanfiction, Dreams and False Alarms: this one, of Hermione and my OC Amelia being all cousinly, and this one of Amelia, Lupin and Snape, upon whom she has something of an impact. You'll have to read it to find out what impact, of course *grins evilly*.

Right, the first of the two hats was based on the hat the formiddable Ma Cobb sends Jayne in the (amazing) sci-fi series Firefly - and if you havem't seen it, I'd highly recommend it. My Mr made himself one of these hats a few years back in slightly more muted colours (a picture can be seen in the WIP post above), and that turned out pretty well, so I knew it would be a blast. Limlight provided the pattern, which was created by Emisanboo over on Craftster, and it was really straightforward to follow.

The yarn (Alafoss Lopi), which I eventually tracked down here, initially felt quite scratchy for a hat, but it was surprisingly soft when I knitted it up. I used one skein of each of the following: Gold, Rust Red and Orange; Lopi are delightfully uninventive with their colourway naming, which was something of a relief after trying to hunt down some obscurely spelled laceweight, I can tell you. It knitted up beautifully, and showed off the stitches nicely without looking too neat - the idea being to match the rustic style of Ma Cobb. It was also fairly quick to work since the yarn was giant (well, giant considering I'm mostly using sock yarn at the moment).

The pompom proved tricky (which is why there's no image of the completed hat), mostly because pompoms are one area of craft that I have absolutely no clue about (I know they're supposed to be easy, everyone keeps telling me - I think I must have a pompom shaped mental block somewhere in my brain). Fortunately my Mr came to the rescue in flying colours - here he is, crafting said pompom and looking surprisingly gollum-like...

If you're a massive geek like me you'll love this hat - and it's such a satisfying make!

Pictures: Hat body: achieved!; Alafoss Lopi - I love this stuff!; My preciousssss pompomsssss.