Friday, October 24, 2008

autumn items.


today's project.
Originally uploaded by slothmuffin

I bought this bright pink yarn from a clearance bin a few weeks ago with the thought of making a pink-and-black (a colour combination I love, even though I'm not a big fan of pink on its own) headband. Today, I finally got around to it. It was almost weird to crochet the standard back-and-forth way after working on stuff in the round. I didn't use a pattern, and my finishing techniques need work, but it was nice to just start and finish something. I may have made some sort of excited squeaking noise when I was sewing the button on and it went from being a little rectangular blob to a functional thing.

I took this picture in a nature preserve type place near my house where I went for a walk today, and where I failed to take any pictures that showed how gorgeous it was. I really need to see if I can get a Photography for Dummies book at the library or something. It gets so frustrating to not be able to make the camera see what I'm seeing. There were so many beautiful trees with bright yellow or red leaves, and a patch of very interesting prehistoric looking ferns (ferns always make me think of dinosaurs) and my pictures of them just came out a pixelly mess.

It was just so nice to be out stomping through the crackling leaves, though. And I got to pet two dogs, which is a sure sign of a good walk.

Monday, October 20, 2008

secret-gurumi, revealed!


Originally uploaded by slothmuffin

Presenting Patrick the desk cactus, made from a modified version of a pattern in Amigurumi World, which I highly recommend, the patterns are beyond adorable and easy to follow. Now that he's arrived at his destination, he can be introduced to the internet. (The original started-cactus that I posted a picture of last week was just too big, so I started it over with fewer increases. The first one is now a beret for my cat.)

I've already started another one of these, but even smaller, for some reason. I may keep it to use as a pincushion. I'm going to need some more and crocheting-in-general help before I can move on to other patterns, I think. This one was pretty easy, it didn't involve any particularly complicated techniques (e.g. stitches I haven't learned yet...) or a ton of sewing.

I'm just happy to have finished it at all. Apparently, abandoned projects are in my blood. We're cleaning out my grandmother's house and wow, did she start things and then not finish them. If I wanted to learn to knit baby sweaters, or make 70s dresses in polyester prints, for example, I'd have dozens lot of already-begun examples to work with. (How did anyone ever wear all that polyester? How did I ever wear polyester? I was crazy about my mom's handmade vintage shirts when I was in ninth grade.)

For now, though, I feel much more interested in making [cute] objects than clothing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

secret-gurumi.


Originally uploaded by slothmuffin

I've thought that amigurumi are adorable for years, and I'm finally attempting one. What it is, exactly, is going to remain a mystery for now, because it may end up being a present for someone who's probably reading this. Anyway, so far, so good. (Except for the part where it's turning out much larger than anticipated. I'm hoping that that's just because the pictures that accompany the pattern aren't taken next to a ruler for scale, and not because I'm doing it wrong.)

Crocheting is one of those things that makes me boggle at my brain's storage capacity. My mom taught me the basic stitches when I was about nine years old. I never really made anything---I think I started a hat at some point? But every time in the intervening years that I've picked up a crochet hook (and that hasn't really been often), it's right at the front of my mind, how to hold the hook and yarn and make a chain. This also works with the few guitar chords I can play. (C, G, a modified G7, E minor. My mom was trying to teach me to play Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning," which accounts for the first three. E minor I always remember because it only takes two fingers to play, but sounds impressively sweet and melancholy. ) It does not work with, say, long division, but I never really understood how to do that in the first place. How I got out of third grade is kind of a mystery.

I think this will be my first finished crochet project ever, actually. Uh, provided I finish it...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

some arachnid love


spooky spider, II.
Originally uploaded by slothmuffin

It probably helps a lot that I've never been bitten by one (...knock wood!), but I love spiders. It also helps that we're not swarming with the poisonous kind here in southern New York, so I can view them without wondering if they'll attack me and turn my flesh necrotic with their venom, etc. There are always smallish spiders inside and outside my house, but over the past week, there have suddenly been a crop of huge ones (all much bigger than a quarter, and all fortunately outside) setting up shop and building webs. It must be Spider Weather, or maybe they want to help me decorate for Halloween, who knows. I enjoy having them around (I like to think they're catching lots of mosquitoes*), and I've been wandering around and checking on them every day. It's like having a handful of very low-maintenance pets. Kind of.

I've also been wandering around trying to photograph them, with mixed results. And then I decided to photoshop the results in a Halloween-type-fashion, also with mixed results, which are viewable here. Things I need to learn more about include: how to use a camera properly; photoshop.

*Did you know that you have to add an 'e' when you make 'mosquito' plural? I didn't. This message brought to you by Firefox's spell checker.