Friday, August 27, 2010

Not Quite Summer


I have been having one of the best days I have had in a while. It is the first day of school here at my dear college, and something quite marvelous has happened. I really really really absolutely and truly LOVE all of my classes! It has been a bit hectic this week, moving back to college home rather than hometown home after only a week of vacay, but there are so many good happy feelings floating around that I wonder my heart is able to take it. I missed so many of my friends so much, and it was fantastic to be reunited with them!

I am taking Statistics, Economics, Japanese Pre-Modern Literature and Culture, and Advanced Japanese... and I only signed up for Japanese Lit last night at 11:30. But it all worked out! I think perhaps I have hit the right balance of math, quasi math, language and writing that is a lot of work but not repetitive or boring. If anything, I would be worried about the statistics, but the teacher is a really funny Indian woman who peppers her lectures with hilarious anecdotes and asides that make it hard to doze off. HURRAH! The only catch is that my 3 finals (not Japanese language) are all on the same day of finals week with only a half an hour break in between, but I can live with that, I think.

The weeks ahead promise lots of productive busyness, including rush this weekend. Yes, the sorority kind. A lot of people who know me personally are sort of surprised when I say it, but I just want to check it out, meet people and have fun! Everyone is smart here, so hopefully I will find people who are like me! Speaking of kindred spirits... I couldn't believe my eyes when I was walking home from an already lovely day, but this is what I saw.
Real live Knit Graffiti in my town! I was so excited, of course I rushed over like a crazy woman to take a bunch of pictures. And I MEAN a bunch of pictures...
It was such a burst of gorgeous color in my day!
If you can't read the address there, I believe it is streetcolor.wordpress.com.

Another activity I enjoyed quite a bit which I would like to do more often is: yesterday I finally went to church. While I understand that church is not for everyone, it was such a grounding and encouraging thing for me. The mini youth sermon was all about getting out of our comfort zone, trying new things, being courageous and trusting that even when you don't have it all together things will be alright. It was about experiencing God in new ways, appreciating the fantastic opportunity of going to a really good four year college and getting the most out of our time here, and seeing how beautiful the world is every day. Somehow, it hit all of those points without being cheesy or making me feel guilty, and it was so invigorating and uplifting. It is a reminder now, and throughout the semester that I am a very lucky person to be living where I am, and how I am, crafting and studying and loving life so so much.

On that note, even more things that made my day so so happy::
Gorgeous new school supplies for taking lots and lots of thoughtful notes
New lovely mixing bowls from Target (minus the yellow one becos it was in the sink)
Working on my endless hexagon blanket, which promises to be absolutely preposterously bright
Delicious cereal with a friend
And finally, a bit of ta-dah! Yes, the slouchy hat is complete, and the curse of the hat is broken (for now). I really love it, and would be wearing it lots and lots if it wasn't crazy hot here. The wind and rain and fog will be back soon enough, and I am ready for it. (High fashion bathroom photography provided kindly by my ever patient roomie A.)

I don't know how soon I can promise another pattern, but I really will try. This fantastic yarnbombing project is inspiring me to consider yarn bombing around my apartment, and I have another finished project to show off that must remain secret for the time being. I hope that although it isn't quite summer, these few early weeks before school really gets hectic are a time of happiness for you all as well!


Merry fall-mas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adorable Owl Amigurumi

Could it be!?

Yes. The long promised owl post is finally here.


Adorable Owl Amigurumi (Sachet)

Supplies:
1. 4.00 mm hook
2. Worsted weight yarn in two colors. (I used Impeccable Grey and Brown.)
3. A small piece of felt
4. Two small black safety eyes.
5. (Optional) Lavender, or whatever other sachet herbs or potpourri you wish to use, in a small bag or pouch that has been sewn shut.

TUMMY:

Chain 2, in alternate color (grey)

Row 1: Sc 6 into furthest ch from hook, join with a sl st (6)
Row 2: Sc 2 into each st around (12)
Row 3: *Sc 1 in first st, sc 2 in next stitch.* repeat from * to * around. (18)
Row 4: *Sc 1 in first 2 stitches, then sc 2 in the 3rd stitch. * Repeat from * to  * around. (24). Bind off, and weave in ends.

WINGS:

Chain 2, in body color (brown)

Row 1: Sc 6 into furthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st. (6)
Row 2: Sc 2 into each st around. (12)
Row 3: *Sc 1 in first st, sc 2 in next stitch.* repeat from * to * around. (18)
Row 4: *Sc 1 in first 2 stitches, then sc 2 in the 3rd stitch. * Repeat from * to  * around. (24)
Row 5: For a cute wing accent as pictured, switch to alternate color here. Then, sc half way around the circle. Bind off and weave in ends. (30)

Fold wings in half to form semi-circles. Sew around the semi circle to hold it in place. 


EYE CIRCLES:

 Chain 2, in alternate color (grey)

Row 1: Sc 6 into furthest ch from hook, join with a sl st (6). Bind off and weave in ends. Make 2.


BEAK: Cut a small triangle out of felt.

BODY

Chain 2, in body color (brown)

Row 1: Sc 6 into furthest ch from hook, join with a sl st (6)
Row 2: Sc 2 into each st around (12)
Row 3: *Sc 1 in first st, sc 2 in next stitch.* repeat from * to * around. (18)
Row 4: *Sc 1 in first 2 stitches, then sc 2 in the 3rd stitch. * Repeat from * to  * around. (24)
Row 5: *Sc 1 in first 3 stitches, then sc 2 into the 4th stitch. * Repeat from * to  * around. (30)
Row 6: *Sc 1 in first 4 stitches, then sc 2 into the 5th stitch. * Repeat from * to  * around. (36)
Rows 7-8: Sc in each st around (36)
Row 8: *Sc 1 in first 5 stitches, then sc 2 into the 6th stitch. * Repeat from * to  * around. (42)
Rows 9-19: Sc 1 in each st around. (42)

At this point, the owl’s body should be over half finished. If you haven’t made the other parts of the owl yet, now is the time to do them. I recommend sewing them onto the body with a needle and thread at this point in the body because it is so much easier than doing it later.

Row 20: *Sc 1 in first 5 stitches, then sc2tog in the 6th stitch. * (36)
Row 21: Sc around. (36)
Row 22-End: Sc 1, Sc2tog around. Repeat until the hole at the top of the head is closed.

The ending above is a little bit sudden, but I am always so impatient to be done! If you want your owl to have more of a rounded head than the one pictured, you can instead crochet as follows:

Row 22: *Sc 1 in first 4 stitches, then sc2tog. * Repeat from * to  * around. (30)
Row 23: *Sc 1 in first 3 stitches, then sc2tog. * Repeat from * to  * around. (24)
Row 24: *Sc 1 in first 2 stitches, then sc2tog. * Repeat from * to  * around. (18)
Row 25: *Sc 1 in first stitch, sc2tog. * repeat from * to * around. (12)
Row 26: Sc2tog around (6)
Row 27: Sc2tog around. (1) Bind off and weave in ends. Done!

hey
 Hey Ravellers! I know you are probably here to just grab the pattern and scram, but I hope you might consider checking out some of my other posts to see what I am all about, and if you like those, consider following my blog. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Very Lucsious Week!


This week of relaxation is the tops. My very glamorous schedule so far has included::

Monday: Get nails done with and have delicious lunch with (while speaking (broken) Japanese to) one of my dearly missed host sisters from Japan. It was so nice to catch up after what I can't believe has been two years. She also brought me a ridiculous number of awesome presents...


Including: Cute japanese stickers, cute japanese pencils, a scrumptious looking cheese biscuit thingy, candy, really pretty butterfly earrings, and a Japanese mirror! The magazine was a real treat. (Actually there were two of them but the other one is in my room so not pictured here.)


Japanese magazines are jam packed with so much awesome stuff compared to American ones, with fashion and style tips galore, although I am fairly sure I can't get away with most of the hair styles.  The pages are so much bigger, and there are fewer ads too.


Cute tote bags! WANT.


And manga too! It is everything needed for survival. I was so overwhelmed by all of these things, but fortunately I had planned ahead for a present in return...


Here is a picture of her holding my somewhat clumsily crocheted Totoro! The pattern is available here.


Tuesday: Get a fantastic new haircut from my favorite salon including, for the first time in ages, bangs. And I had a really lovely lunch with my Mum, followed by going to the gym. I felt very effective, though tired.


Wednesday: Get a skincare and makeup makeover from my mom's friend who is a Mary Kay beauty representative! I still feel so much more gorgeous and taken care of than I have in absolutely AGES thanks to this morning's lovely makeover. As an early birthday prezzie, my Mom got me a bunch of stuffff! I really haven't been washing my face lately, or taking care of my skin, or putting on make up really... essentially I have been sort of in default sweatpants hag mode. Now I am going into posh sophisticated university woman with an edge mode? Let's hope it stays that way. And now, for econ reading and more work on the hat in progress seems to be what is in store for me...

Until we meet again...
Adieu

Monday, August 16, 2010

Free at last?

After all of the mayhem and scurrying about of last week, I am so so happy to finally be back in my hometown for a few days.  It isn't as long as I would like, but long enough that I can really relax in a place that I can truly feel comfortable. It will not, unfortunately, be all fun. I forgot I had a ton of Economics summer reading I had been putting off...(Free! Free! Fre- oh wait... I still have all of that reading.) but good news abounds! I got a good grade in my impossible summer class, and I finished my finals week crochet project as well.
This, my lovelies, is a crochet hook case. But it is not just ANY crochet hook case. It was crocheted using Tunisian crochet.  Although this was my first encounter with the strange love child of knitting and crocheting, I really got into the swing of it. I think it helped that I was desperate to do anything that didn't require me to think.
I think I made the loops of yarn that go around the buttons a little too short, due to project almost done-ness excitement.
If you look carefully, you can see my painstakingly hand carved hook on the far left!
 So of course, now that I have this snazzy new crochet hook holder to hold all of the crochet hooks I already have, I need to get MORE crochet hooks right? I simply couldn't resist, though, since my local thrift store had a special deal. Each hook or pair of knitting needles was only 50c each! Ah, sweet indulgence.
My favorite one may be the furthest right, a really pale matte pink that is a G hook, I believe. ::Gorgeous::
And then of course, some of the knitting needles looked so perfect that I just had to snap them up too even though I haven't knitted in ages. Maybe I will find some inspiration in these lovely vintage aluminum needles? Crochet just seems so much more versatile at the moment...
In other hooky news, here is a bib I made for a friend's mother's baby. (Who has already been born, but I haven't sent it yet... ehehehe. Never too old to drool, right?)
I probably ought to block it... blerrr. And finally, a preview of things to come!
 Here is my latest WIP: a hat. Stay tuned for updates, since I tend to have a case of chronic hatfail.
Hoo, me? Yes, a pattern is in the works for this adorable little fellow who has been a WIP since May embarrassingly enough. Finally finished though, and soon to be patternized.

Til then :: eat, drink and be merry.

P.S. Check out my treasury lists on Etsy! Etsy is a website for busying and selling handmade and vintage items, and treasuries are collections of similarly themed items. Read: excuses for pottering about on Etsy for far too long.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Whittling, Yarnbombing, and Sewing


Salutations! I know that is rather depressingly Charlotte's web of me, but there it is. I can't say that I have been getting up to too much crochet-y mischief lately, but I have been doing some internet craft oohing and ahhing, some sewing, and some... whittling? Here we go.

I know that one should be careful about spending too much time drooling over other people's internetly acheivements but this one is really cool!

Awesome, no? Apparently, this is part of a "subversive crochet" movement called yarn bombing, in which people knit or crochet "tags" or pieces of woven art that they then set free into the world as you see above! Check out http://yarnbombing.com/ to see more awesome pictures and explore the world of yarn bombing. I am quite intrigued, but don't know if I would have the strength of character to put so much time and effort into something, and then leave it at the mercy of the wind, rain, and other people. (Picture above is from yarnbombing.com)

Another hilarious, though controversial, website that I am now hooked on is Regretsy. It is a website which finds the most heinous and ridiculous Etsy products, and cleverly lampoons them. While I understand that some artists (prounounced ar teeeests) are very sensitive about being featured on a website like Regretsy, I think they are weenies and should suck it up and either stand by their art and not care, or admit that what they are selling is ridiculous, and that is part of its appeal. Here is an example of their fine work...





Hilarious. Go check it out! (Images are from Regretsy. com and Etsy.com)

And now, on to my own acheivements that have transpired in the interim since my last post. I was struck after stumbling upon A Crochet Ninja with the idea of carving my own crochet hook. It isn't the first time I have ventured into this genre of DIY, but the last one I tried to make ended up unfinished and not very functional. Here is how my latest try has been going:
 I definitely want to do more shaping around the throat of the hook, because the size it is right now makes crocheting very difficult to do quickly and smoothly. I also need to get beeswax finish at the hardware store to make it look really polished and usable.

Adventures in cooking this week include... PIZZA! It turned out alright, and it all got eaten, but I wasn't a huge fan of the dough. It was very yeasty and puffy, while I prefer a more bread flavored thin crust.

Ooh la la! You may remember these napkins from my "The Eagle has Landed" post, but they are napkins no longer!! My friend S and I had a very jolly holiday type day a few weeks ago (yes, that is how late I am updating...) including walking around the Marina, and all the way home, stopping at thrift stores and art stores on the way. Then, to make a really fun day even better, S helped me make my 1 dollar Ikea tea towels into a super cute tote! And when I say helped, I mean she did all of the planning and sewing really, and I cut and sewed next to nothing. But, all is well that ends well because for some odd reason she said I could KEEP the bag. Marvelous. Here are some pictures from the walk...
Well, that is about it for the last couple of weeks of backlogged posts! There are lots more patterns and recipes in the works, never fear. Next week I have a ton of final related work, but after that a week of sweet freedom awaits! Until then, stay crafty my friends.

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Song of the week: Mad World, covered by Gary Jules
TV show of the week: Murder, She Wrote (There are 10 seasons on Netflix!!!)