Temperature Scarf: July

Hey you guys! I finally got to break out my lavender yarn because we’ve had a day under 10 degrees. I know, exciting!
Temperature Scarf JulyWe also had the warmest July day ever, or in 40 years, or something. That’s the green there, it was 24 degrees. Overall though, much like June – pretty blue from day one. And also the random row lengths are becoming a genuine feature.

Scarf January to July

July however is less flabby than June, so that’s something. I’m still happy with the colours, they’ve matched the temperatures well. I maybe should have used the darker blue for 10-14, but if you think I’m frogging it now you can.. go away. Insane person you are!

The other thing I’ve been doing this month is beta testing the 1 Second Everyday app on Android. Not technically crafty as such, but there’s a bit of crafting in it, so here’s July, one second per day.

I’ve also made a pincushion, but I’m not showing it to you because my blanket stitch is terrible.

Rainbow Unicorn

A while ago I was whining on Plurk about how I didn’t know what to make. My friend Evie was all “Pfft, make a unicorn for me!” so I did.
UnicornI really should set up a proper place to take photos that isn’t just the kitchen table with the newspapers cleared off the end. I also, in the future, should wait for all spiders to vacate the area (you can see him on the left). I am nothing if not professional with this blog. Wait, no, I meant nothing like professional. I get those mixed up.

Anyway. Unicorn! He came out pretty well, even if I do say so myself. The pattern is the horse pattern from Woolhalla. I chose it over other possible horse patterns because it has an actual horse shape to the legs, hooves and back – I grew up around horses so I appreciate the little details such as the form of the back legs. It did have it’s fiddly moments – popping the diamonds in at the front and back was a bit of a fiddle and I didn’t do the head straight. I think it’s okay though, he just looks a bit like he’s seen something interesting to the side. Unicorn Head

I pondered for a considerable amount of time about how to add the horn. I made several out of felt in various methods but nothing really worked. Then I remembered I have bags of roving for felting, so I did that. The horn is wet felted which was quick and easy. Then I sewed it in place. The eyes, as you can see, are beads because my embroidery skills are not so hot and I wanted him to look somewhat even. It also took me a while to decide which colour to do the blanket stitching in until I remembered I had a couple of skeins of rainbow thread for some long forgotten project.

The felt I used is from Winterwood Toys, an Australian store selling all sorts of dyed loveliness (and are actually quite close to me I discovered. Once I’m employed again I will certainly run at them waving my debit card). I don’t plan to make this blog a “Buy things here!” sort of thing, but the quality of their felt is excellent, the colours are glorious and the shipping is quick. So you know, buy stuff there if you’re looking for nice felt and other things to make things with. I also got some of their “sea dragon” felt, which is the most delicious shades of orange with just enough pink to not be too pink.

Mr Unicorn is currently tucked into a Postpak on his way to Evie, who hopefully will love him even though he’s slightly wonky.

Postcrossing Teddybear

For the last 5 years I’ve been involved in a thing called Postcrossing. This is a postcard exchange project where you send a postcard to a random member, and when it arrives your own address goes to someone else to send you a postcard. I’ve sent over 1,400 cards to date, and of course have received as many back. It’s a lot of fun if you’re a snail mail person, a postcard person or just a “spreading random cheer” person! The project itself has just turned 8 years old and the Postcrossing Team ran a small contest asking people to celebrate Postcrossing creatively. So, of course, I did. May I present to you Mr Postcrossing Bear (not the snappiest name in the world, granted)
Mr Postcrossing BearThe Postcrossing colours are red and blue (which I’ve always assumed is from the old Air Mail envelopes, but I might be wrong), so Mr P. Bear here is done in  both. I wondered for a while about doing each section in different colours (so each arm would be both red and blue, for example) but then decided it would look neater just split down the middle. The seams match pretty well, though you can see the snout twisted a little bit in stuffing. This is an easy technique – you join your two fabrics together, then cut the pattern piece from the joined fabric, placing the colour change where ever you like.

Bow Tie

To stick with the Postcrossing theme, his bow tie is printed with a scattering of postcards, and includes the Postcrossing Logo. His belly, foot pads and inner ears are printed with postmarks and vintage writing. These bits were all done with printable fabric, which is fabric you can feed through an inkjet printer. It’s nifty stuff and produces quite a good print, but can be fiddly to work with (or at least the stuff I used is). It’s an openish weave, so it frays easily and it’s very thin so the belly is actually  backed with more fleece so the stuffing wouldn’t show (and to make him squishier – I like a squishy bear).

Very pointy darts

The fabric, though thin, is not really made for shaped work and you can see here the leg darts are a lot pointer than they should be. Part of this might be the fleece behind it, but I don’t feel like the printed fabric shapes well. It’s really designed for adding panels to quilts, bags and clothes. It works well enough.

Anyway, Mr Postcrossing Bear has won me a little something from the contest, so pointy darts be damned, I’m pleased with him. I don’t know what I’ve won, I’m presuming it’s postcards. Lots of very creative people did some awesome stuff, you can see a slideshow of the entries at the Postcrossing Blog.

The pattern I used for this bear is from The Funky Friends Factory. Designed by Pauline McArthur in Queensland, Australia, Funky Friends patterns are an absolute joy to sew. The patterns come with clear, step by step instructions which make them a breeze to complete, and the designs are entirely adorable. This bear is “Izzy Insomniac” from the instant downloads section.

Socktopus

Having just bought a pattern for a felt horse from Etsy, I was poking around on the internet in order to put off actually starting the horse (it has small bits. Fiddly) and ended up at Pintester. Just in time for round two of the Pintester Movement, my timing is so awesome. This time around, the very important rules are that you need to re-test something the lovely Pintester has already tried. So I looked at every single post and was able to rule out a lot quite quickly:
– Not having anything resembling nail polish in the house, I’m unable to play with the nail projects.
– Having just cut off all my hair (with kitchen scissors, thank you) I can’t really do the hair projects without some kind of wig based assistance.
– Being exactly entirely uninterested in the Kitchen Arts, the food stuff was out. Also I’m a vegetarian.  Also kind of too lazy to wash a million dishes for a mug full of potentially toxic cake.

Craft it was. To narrow it down further, I wanted something either really cheap to make, or something that I already had all the materials for. Socktopus it was!

Socktopuses

On the left in purple stripes is the original Socktopus tutorial over at The Hatched. On the right with the cold dead eyes is the Pintester version. Indeed.

I had a spare sock from the Stupid Sock Creatures phase I went through a couple of years ago (which I might revisit, they’re mad fun to make). I’m sure leopard print is a perfectly natural pattern for an octopus. I did actually take a photo of the sock, pre craft. However I have decided I will print and frame this, for my own collection of photographs of socks I once loved. So here’s the finished Socktopus.
Leopard Print SocktopusHe looks kind of sad. Perhaps wistful. Pondering his reason for being, probably. I followed the tutorial from The Hatched almost exactly, but as I don’t trust glue on fabric I sewed the eyes together instead. This added considerable time to the project (and therefore considerable time to the “I’m making a horse, honestly” procrastination).

Socktopus EyesYou  might be able to tell that one of the blue bits is blanket stitched on, and everything else is whipstitched. Can you believe I actually forgot how to blanket stitch after doing the one eye? I can’t, but it happens to me a lot. I can do it, then I suddenly cannot. Odd how my brain works sometimes. You can also see where the white thread went all loopy in a couple of places. I call these “features”.
Stuffing PoopMy thread around the bottom of the stuffing was slightly too high and too loose, so if you were to turn Mr Socktopus over and have a look between his legs (you might, I don’t know what  kind of person you are) you’d see he’s pooping stuffing. Maybe that accounts for the wistful look in his eyes.

Temperature Scarf: Blue June

June Temperature Scarf

Oh hey Random Increases, welcome back! Sure is nice to see you again. Makes me feel at home. Anyway! June. Blue June. It stayed between 11 and 19 degrees for the whole month. This is maximum temperatures, of course. It surely did get under 10 a few times. Surely did (no idea where that came from, I’m just going to run with it). I’ll weave the ends in at some point maybe.

Scarf up until June

And the whole thing. Since we’re halfway through the year it’s about a half as long as it will be. Quite, quite long. I should be able to wear nothing but this scarf and still not violate any decency laws. It does look a bit … flabby at the June end. I don’t know how many increases ended up being done, but apparently it’s a few.

Now, if you’ve been here before you’ll  know that not terribly long ago I conquered The Granny Square (dun dun dunnnn). Since then I’ve pretty much not stopped, hauling out all the balls of yarn I had stashed away to throw them all together into a shawl. It’s not done yet, but here’s how it’s looking at the moment.

Granny Square ShawlThat row at the bottom needs sewing on, and I’ve a pile of grannies waiting to be sewn into rows. Although this was “designed” as a stash busting project, I have bought some more yarn in solid colours. Variegated yarn looks grand for a round, but two different kinds doesn’t look so hot to me – the form of the granny is lost in the random colours. So I’ve been limiting the variegated to one type per square. Of course, being me, I mostly only had variegated so I picked up some cheap solid colours at a discount shop. Also some more black. You can see in the photo the blacks are not entirely the same.

So that’s where I’m at at the moment – up to my eyeballs in yarn most of the time.