Friday, October 21, 2011


Today's yet another post-and-run type day, but I had to introduce you to the Owl of the Week---Bruno, Zombie Owl 2.0.  I initially envisioned him as being like...creepier than Petunia, and even gave him differently sized eyes to try and channel that weird-cute aesthetic, but I think it tipped over onto the "cute" side more than I was expecting.  Look how inquisitive he looks, like he's tilting his little decaying head and hopefully chirping brains?

And an only-semi-FO.  When I saw this "Scary Blackberry" Kool-Aid in the supermarket (and I hope they still have it, because I would so get more while it's still around for the season!), I couldn't resist.  I dyed a little bite of yarn half in the blackberry and half in a combination of pineapple (which smells amazing) and blue-lemonade, and added a dab of Wilton's orange for extra Halloween-ness.
I started swatching it into a little basic amigurumi circle because I had to see how it would work up. I like how the blackberry is almost forming a spiral!  I'm not sure what it wants to be yet, though.

As always, check out other people's amazing work at FO Friday.   I'm off to the store to see if there's more Scary Blackberry Kool-Aid to be had.  :D

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spooktacular Squee.

Today's squee is all about beautiful weather (which I sadly wasted a little as I got caught up in a crocheting project---my first crocheted cables!  More on that later this week.) and Halloween decorations.  Halloween is my absolute favourite holiday, and every year I swear it's going to be the year that I really go all-out with the decorating, but it just...never is.  I'm pretty much okay with that by now!  I did, however, get this cool spider tea-light-holder thing (not pictured: two other sparkly-spiders mounted on the stake!) on uber-sale at Joann's.  I think I'm going to have to buy those lame fake tealights for it, as real ones would just get blown out since the spiders, awesome as they are, won't offer much of a shield from the wind.  (I insist on real candles for jack'o'lanterns, though.  Fake ones would just be wrong.)

I also adorned the ugly hedge in front of my house with some fake spiderwebs and orange and too-blue LED ghost lights.  Much better.

I ended up in a dollar store by accident on Thursday, and came home with this guy (...and a box of mini Moon Pies, another source of tasty and evil squee).  I may go back there later for more of them---they had smaller ones that came hung on a garland, I don't know if I can resist.  Not to mention the actually-kind-of-creepy gummy eyeballs.  And super-cheap votive candles that might do for this year's jack'o'lanterns!  And Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...

I generally scoff at my dad's weird affection for and/or obsession with dollar stores, but I think I've just been reminded of the appeal.  This is probably bad.

But awesome dollar store finds aside, I think the most fun Halloween stuff is handmade.  These guys are another accident---I found a tutorial that said you could create little felted balls by just sort of...shaking wool roving around in a sealed container with warm, soapy water.  It didn't work out for me (it didn't help that the container I was using wasn't particularly watertight, so I got tired of shaking it and getting damp really quickly), but I ended up with these cool creepy-wispy shapes that I decided to needle felt into ghosts. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

FO Friday: the One-Third Faceless Edition.

A bit of a cheat for my first FO this Friday.  This guy---Wonky the Tortoise, my mom's birthday-gurumi this year---was an FO last week, just sadly unphotographed.  Wonky is so dubbed because my lack of sewing skills and the fiddliness of this pattern mean he's...well, wonky.  But still freestanding, as a testament to the pattern's awesomeness.  I knew he'd be fiddly and wonky when I began him, I've made Enough Ami to Know Better, but I couldn't resist the pattern.  My mom loves a happy turtle, and this is one of the happier turtle amis I've ever seen.  The way the face is designed is an ends-weaving-in nightmare, but worth it!

Especially when you can plunk him down in front of a plate of salad and hope the camera shifts into macro mode correctly, and end up with a photo where it almost looks alive. :D  (I so enjoyed eating this salad after I took this photo.  This is something turtles and I have in common.)

This week's Owl of the Week (available here!) is Petunia, the weirdly cutesy-poo zombie owl.  (...Zombowl? No, probably not, that just makes it look like "zom-bowl," which isn't a bad idea, really.)  I wasn't planning on a pink-and-green zombie-owl, but when I was sifting through the eyelash yarns, this one just called out to me to go with the ghastly-green-fleck I was using for the body.  Next up, a non-cutesy zombie-owl.  I'm not sure how I like the effect of the coloured safety eyes rather than the solid black, but Ms. Petunia was clear that she NEEDED MOAR PINK, so I complied.  You don't want to argue with a zombie-owl.  Her little beak (in slightly-sparkly green with very subtle baby pink swirls!) is pretty sharp. 

And the FO I'm most excited about this week, my Camille shawlette/scarf/whatever.  This is a crocheted version of the beautiful and popular Saroyan (and it totally tickled me, as a Bones fan, to be making a pattern named for/inspired by a character from the show!), and while I don't usually like crocheted adaptations of knitted designs that much---crochet and knit have such different properties, and often trying to reproduce elements of one crafting method in the other just...doesn't work for me---I think I might like the crocheted leaf-border better than the original knit version.

You guys know me.  I don't do big projects.  But the Knitting and Crochet House Cup nudged me into this one by having a 200 yard requirement for a task, so I started perusing Ravelry's crazy wealth of patterns and this sang to me right away.  The yarn I used wasn't a match made in heaven for the pattern, for two reasons.  One of which I knew going in:  it was the wrong weight.  This is a worsted, and the pattern calls for DK, but I was seduced by this colourway (Bernat Mosaic in Medusa), so I went ahead anyway, and the resulting shawl is a little too big-and-blocky for me to wear in a pretty way, and it obviously has zero drape, but it's nice and cuddly scrunched up as a scarf.  I don't know if I'm going to keep it or give it as a gift.  My initial instinct was gift, but then I wore it for hours the other day, so... 

I love the way the colours worked up...sort of.  The striping-ness of the yarn combined with the long rows of the shawl's midsection made for some too-bold striping on the leaf border.  So I've learned a twofold lesson about what to do with the next one. (Because there's going to be a next one.  This pattern is amazing, I definitely recommend giving it a try---even just swatching the first couple repeats to see how the leaf border just...makes itself, all pretty, is a really cool and worthwhile crochet experience.  I've already swatched the beginning of the shawl two or three more times to see what it does in different yarns!)  Lighter weight yarn in a more subtle-variegated (as opposed to self-striping) yarn.  I'm thinking something in a peachy orange, maybe...

Check out some other amazing proejcts (some by much more experienced and impressive shawl-makers than I!) at FO Friday and Fibers on Friday!

Friday, October 7, 2011

FO Friday: Everything Has a Face! Even Hats!

Possible excuses for my complete lack of blogging mojo lately:  brain slugs.  I made the first of these guys (the big one on the far left, done in cotton) from this super-simple pattern for International Crochet Day.  I decided that for once, I was going to start and finish something simple, without modifying and adding details and generally complicating the process until a three-inch-tall brain slug ends up taking me several weeks to make.  It was fun to just sit down and make something in like, an hour, and totally fitting to celebrate International Crochet Day with the joy of Instant Crochetification, I think. :)  So I made more---the one in the middle is wool and felted (I felted him by taking him in the shower with me, hah) with his eye needle-felted on, the one on the right is made from sparkly yarn.

I also did another monster---I'd been meaning to make more freeform monsters since the birth of Bothersome the Slumberless months ago, and I ended up with Melody (that's a link to her page on Ravelry, which has some details and more photos).  I made her as part of a team effort for Care of Magical Creatures class (Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup = still the best thing ever), and got inspired by one of my teammates' photoshoot of their knit monster on the beach, so I gave Melody a beach photoshoot of her own.  I love that she almost looks animate in the photo above, like she's poking at the shell with her little tentacle and going oooOOOooo.  Melody may end up starring in a Halloween giveaway a little later.

And what's an FO Friday from me without an owl?  This is Cressida, the astronomer owl.  I made her little telescope from polymer clay, and completely failed to photograph her adequately.

Reginald the gnome (made from a pattern you can find here) fared somewhat better in the photography department.  Inspired by the success of the shower-felted brain slug, I took Reginald into the shower with me, too, and then dried him off by popping him in the oven set to "warm" for a while because he needed to be finished on a deadline!  I needle felted his beard and then, because I can't leave well enough alone, sewed some washers onto him for visual interest.  His hat is made in my own Kool-Aid dyed yarn.

Are any of you guys members of Craftsy?  I am, although I haven't really had time to explore the site fully yet.  But I did have time to read their email about a drive they're running to make chemo hats for Kaps for Kendall (oh, how it pains me to type "kaps" with a k...), and when I saw this silly yellow terrycloth yarn, it screamed rubber duck!! to me, and this hat was born.  The hat itself is sloppy (it is impossible to see your stitches very well in yarn like this, especially at night) but snuggly, and the face (all improvised after doing a quick google for "rubber ducky" to see what their eyes look like) makes me giggle, so I hope it'll cheer up the person who ends up with it.

I also did my first Tiny Bunny Drop after being alerted to the existence of the Tiny Bunnies Movement by Contessa.  This is Bronwen the Book Bunny, crocheted up while I watched Body of Proof (which is one of my favourite shows-to-crochet-to, for some reason, I guess because it has the perfect balance of and ignorableness?) nestled under several blankets (why so cold already, October?  please stop.).   I left her on top of a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the library in hopes that someone awesome will find her.  Today I think I'll make one to drop off at a Starbucks, maybe in a lighter brown, and I can name her "Mocha" and then reward myself with a latte...

Other good rewards-to-self: looking at the prettiness on FO Friday and Fibers on Friday!