Sock Yarn (the Other Kind)

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The sockalypse has come! My husband and I bought new socks to replace our pairs that are wearing out. He HATES sorting socks, so he insists that he own only one kind of white sock. What to do with all the socks that he no longer wants?

Sock yarn.

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Yep. You didn’t think I really meant “all kinds of yarns,” did you?

Simply cut each cotton sock into one long strip. This could probably done in a spiral fashion, but I prefer to snip it into strips one direction, not cutting all the way to the end, then slit each strip in half from the opposite end, again not cutting all the way to the end. This results in a long zig-zag of sock. Give the thing a good stretch, and it’s ready to work with.

The possibilities of sock yarn are limited. After all, who wants something made out of old socks? But this would be great for something like a bathroom rug. It makes a cushy, absorbent fabric when crocheted.

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I need to finish up a wedding present and my Hufflepuff scarf before I can invest any more time in this, but the upcycled sock yarn rug will be a thing. I assure you.

Happy Yarning!

This Is Not Knitted

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While my Hufflepuff scarf gradually grows, I’ve been practicing with color. I can now keep two separate strands tensioned on my left fingers while I crochet. Yes, the above swatch is crocheted! Tunisian knit stitch makes for a bulkier textile than I usually like, but it looks very neat. Rather than the “k”s of Tunisian simple stitch, it makes “v”s!

And Camp NaNoWriMo is going swimmingly. I’m even a bit ahead of schedule and having bunches of fun with my lovely cabin mates.

Things Have Been Rather Yellow and Black Recently

I don’t tend to do a lot in yellow or black, but by coincidence both the hat I crocheted last week and the scarf I’m now knitting are in those colors.

The hat was a present for my nephew.

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And the scarf is for me.

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The scarf has a story. It turns out four members of one of my writing groups are all in different Hogwarts houses (according to Pottermore). Back in elementary school and junior high I liked to think I was a Gryffindor, in high school I prided myself on being a Ravenclaw, but I have recently come to accept and embrace that I really have been a Hufflepuff all along. If you will, I’ve come out of the Hufflepuff closet.

On an unrelated note, Featherfolk is gliding along!

Happy Yarning.

Simple Crocheted Baby Hat Pattern

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There are lots and lots of cute and simple baby hats out there. Here’s one that I made up.

Hat for 2-4 month old baby:

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5mm hook, light weight yarn.

Rnd 1: ch 2, sc 6 in second ch from hook (6)

Rnd 2: sc 2 in each sc around (12)

Rnd 3: [sc 1 in first sc, sc 2 in next sc] repeat around (18)

Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 sc, sc 2 in next sc] repeat around (24)

Rnds 5-9: continue this pattern, increasing by 6 each round until you have 54 sc around

Rnd 10: sc in each sc around (54)

Rnds 11-23: repeat previous row 12 times (Optional: crochet rounds 15-16 in a different color)

Rnd 24: (For boy’s hat, omit this round and do one more repeat of Round 10) sl st into first sc, ch 3, dc 2 in same sc, dc 3 in each sc around (Optional: crochet this round in a different color)

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

It’s so easy to change this pattern to fit any head or work with any yarn. Just add more or leave out some increasing rounds and even rounds.

Happy Yarning!

Completed: Amigurumi Amumu

I finished Amumu in time for Christmas! My husband found him in his stocking yesterday morning.

(See my previous post about making Amumu)

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Amigurumi Amumu is so cuddly. Maybe he won’t be sad anymore.

Happy Yarning!

Big Changes

You may or may not have noticed I’ve posted nothing about writing for a while. Truth be told, I allowed myself a hiatus from noveling the last several weeks. It’s been good for my stress levels.

But besides going on a crocheting and knitting binge, I wrote a few flash fiction stories and ran them by my writing groups. I have one piece awaiting review over at Daily Science Fiction. We’ll see if that ends up being its home. I’ll keep you posted on my submission journeys.

Now that I have a newborn, we’ll see how much time I can find for creative pursuits, but I expect I won’t be able to stay away from my novels too much longer.

For sure I’ll continue to update this blog Tuesdays and Fridays.

Happy Yarning!

Amigurumi: Clothes!

Here she is in a simple skirt and shirt.

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I made them both on her, just working in the round off the stitches at her waist and neck. I threw in color changes here and there to lend the outfit some style.

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The sleeves on the shirt were the only tricky part. I ended up skipping four stitches of the round at each shoulder, chaining four under each armpit, and continuing around and around the body of the shirt. Afterward, I worked the sleeves around her arms.

One tip I discovered about making clothes attached to dolls: do the hair after the clothes. Especially if your doll will have bushy hair. It really gets in the way sometimes.

I’ve learned a lot from fiddling around with this doll, which I’ll be able to apply to future dolls. But for now, I think it’s time to try amigurumi animals!

Happy Yarning.

Amigurumi: Facial Experiments

I looked about for different ways to do eyes and settled on one I could do without going out to buy more things. I crocheted them out of #10 crochet cotton and sewed them on. I think this method has a lot of potential for different shapes and colors and styles, all resulting in flat, secure eyes safe for anyone to chew on.

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Then I looked at hair. I loved one tutorial using yarn fringe (link), but I wanted to try out the look of crocheted locks. So I made lines of locks and sewed them on in four layers, starting at the bottom and working up to the part on top.

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Her hair is beautiful, but rather heavy. It’s certainly not for the faint of neck.

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Her mouth is just a wee line of embroidery with #10 crochet cotton. I’m not sure about the shape and may try again.

Next: to figure out some clothes!

Happy Yarning.

Amigurumi: Test Subject 1

Here’s my first stab at an amigurumi doll. I think she turned out fantastic!

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I did the head and torso in one piece and each of the limbs separately, because I wanted lots of flexibility in the shoulders and hips. I mostly made up the pattern as I went along, BUT I wrote it down so I could tweak it for future iterations. For example, with my next doll I’ll see how a more proportional head looks. Also, changing colors at different points would be an easy way to put clothes on her.

Next: to figure out who she is and give her a face, hair, and clothing! This will be a great way to use up stash scraps.

Happy Yarning!

Edit: I made a .pdf of her pattern: Basic Big-head Amigurumi Doll Pattern. It may be a bit slapdash, but I assure you it is more intelligible than the original version. Enjoy.

Learning Amigurumi

I tried amigurumi (the craft of crocheting stuffed toys) before I knew there was a term for it. In college I crocheted several dragons. Here are the two I still have: Stewart and St. Elmo. Poor St. Elmo spent a lot of time living on our car’s dashboard and got sunburned.

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Each of my dragons had shaping issues, probably because I tried to make them in one piece rather than sewing several pieces together. Now that I’ve seen so much adorable amigurumi online, I want to learn real techniques and give it another shot.

Yesterday I started with some basics. I found allaboutami.com, where I learned the magic circle starting method and the invisible decrease, and then I tried out a sphere (following one of the ideal sphere patterns found on mspremiseconclusion.wordpress.com).

Ta da!

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I can totally do this. The only question is what should I make first?

Happy Yarning.