26 October 2013

FO: Cheshire Cat Scoodie

"Oh, you can't help that", said the cat. "We're all mad here!"

Done! Well in time, too! My sister and her Cheshire Cat costume are well on their way to having a mad time at her Halloween party tonight!
Sis was extremely happy with the end result, she loved the stripes and the full hood!

The only thing that gave me issues was, as was expected, the ears and the placement. As you can see, for some reason, the left ear is flopping to the side and leaning forward. Oddly enough, though, when I put it down on the table, the ears are perfectly aligned. I don't get it. It's silly. A silly scoodie.

Or should I say, a 'mat hat'? *badump-tshhhh*

I also did her make-up tonight (before she made the drive over to her friend and the party, so we were almost hoping she'd get stuck in traffic so she could flash her grin at unsuspecting drivers). Isn't it awesome? I think it turned out pretty good! All in all, sis was very happy with her costume and promised me home made baked goods as a thank you in my near future!

22 October 2013

WIP: Cheshire Cat Scoodie

I'm on a bit of a crafty binge, aren't I? Like I found my lost mojo, all of a sudden. I'm not complaining, mind!

My sister called me last week with a request for a Halloween costume item: a scoodie, inspired by the Cheshire Cat from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I had never heard of such a thing. A scoodie, that is. The Cheshire cat may be one of my favourite cats in literature. A scoodie, in case you're wondering, is a scarf with a hood attached. My sister found an image of such a thing and wondered if I would be able to recreate, or in any case create, such a thing. I'm always up for a crafty challenge, so we scoured the internet for some more images and patterns.

(Top left: image from Alice in Wonderland. Bottom left: kirimoth.tumblr.com. Right: mooglyblog.com)
The bottom left image, as it turned out, was the same image my sister had found. She's going to do the face paint, and create a costume, and I was going to make her the scoodie. I chose to go with a crochet version as it's far quicker than knitting, make it slightly wider than this version, and attach a hood and ears much like the image on the right. I hope that by using a big hook and thick yarn, I can make the hood slightly baggy like the inspiration picture. We're leaving the pockets and the paws off, though.

The scarf was a breeze thanks to the extremely thick yarn I've chosen. It's Katia Alaska, 100% acrylic and fuzzy as hell, so I was covered in little fuzzies from top to bottom before I was even halfway. It's super soft though, very pleasant to the touch. I ran into some issues ordering it, as I had ordered it online at a shop I have used before but somewhere between my order getting through and the order arriving at their queue, the computer had bugged out apparently and my order got lost in limbo. I called them on Friday after not getting response on my email, and they figured out that it had indeed not gone through, grabbed my yarn and sent it out as fast as they could, boosting me up to the more expensive shipping option to compensate for the delay. It arrived on Saturday morning! Project saved, as well as my regards of that shop. (crafty Dutchies: because I love to enable. They've got a ton of the cheaper brands like Phildar and Katia, as well as Scheepjes and Rico. They've got acrylics as well as nice, soft merino yarns (the yarn for my Maroo mitts also came from this shop. And they're (usually) very quick to ship!)

I hope to get the hood finished this weekend too, so I can get going with the ears and my sis can get to work on the other bits of her costume! And get her to send me pictures when she's all dressed up, of course. Mrow!

15 October 2013

FO: Sunshine shawl

Done! I actually am done before Autumn is over! Who would have thought. I blocked the sunshine shawl and it came out as a lovely little shawlette, large enough to comfortably wrap around your neck and tuck into your coat but not so big that you can't close your coat up properly. Just warm enough that it protects you from the wind, but not too thick, so it's perfect for a chilly Autumn day!

I'm happier with how it turned out than this picture makes me look, I promise. (smile, Stef, smile! Come on! You can do it!) (I also discovered that I really need a tripod for my camera because I can't balance this one on a jar like I did with my old point-and-shoot! I got three good shots out of a whopping 15 because the camera wobbled!) I'm almost disappointed I had to give it away as it's so squishy and soft and nice.

As I had never really blocked knitting before, especially knitting with lace elements, I was surprised how it turned out. The fabric seemed a bit bouncy before blocking, the picot edge very scrunched up, but the resulting fabric was very supple and smooth and the picot edging really opened up and made the thing come together. And to think that I almost left it off because I was afraid of mucking it up! Yay for trying scary new techniques!

My friend was very happy with it and is now going to make sure that her still-to-buy winter coat will at least match the colours. Present well-received, I'd say.

Now I can finally really start on my Maroo mitts. I bought the needles and even started once, but I messed up on the fiddly first round of k1p1 before messing up because those DPNs sure can get in the way when you're trying to wrestle ribbing onto one of the needles. So I frogged in frustration and tossed it aside. It'll get picked up soon enough, though!

1 October 2013

almost FO: Sunshine shawl

The Sunshine shawl is off the needles! Yay! It took me forever but the shawl is finally at a stage where I can see completion in its near future. All that's left is to weave in the ends, block the everloving hell out of it, and bring it over to its recipient.

I hemmed and hawed over how to finish this shawl as the instructions say nothing about an estimated length needed for the bind-off, so I kept weighing my leftover yarn and finally decided at about 8, 9 grams left that I needed to get going with the bind-off. In the end, I have so much yarn left, that I probably could have added another row or two... But oh well. Lesson learned for the future, I guess. Figure out how much yarn you need for the bind-off before you get to that stage!

It would have been nice if the designer had included something about that in the pattern, as it's marketed towards the absolute beginner in shawl-knitting and if the comments section on the pattern page is any indication, I'm not the first to have encountered this problem. However, from the look of things, this is actually never really mentioned in a pattern at all. I'm guessing it's because you can't really put a number down as a designer as it depends heavily on the yarn, your gauge, if you're a loose or tight knitter, and the type of bind-off.

The bind-off I used was the recommended picot bind-off. It's a fun little bind-off, the end result has a bit of a Fifties-feel to it. And it was surprisingly easy to do! The knitted cast-on threw me for a loop for a minute or so, and the first time I read through the instructions I was ready to bail on the idea and to just do a regular cast-off, but Youtube helped me through the instructions and after a cautious beginning (fiddly stitches on slippery needles, you know the drill), I motored through the bind-off and got it done far quicker than I had anticipated!

The blob of knitting doesn't look like much yet, and I do hope blocking it heavily will let it grow quite a bit still because as it is right now, I can hardly get it around my neck! It is supersoft, though. And I really hope the recipient will love it!