Sunday, March 24, 2013

Slouching into Hats

My mom will be happy to know that I've been getting into hats lately.  It started when one of my friends wanted to know if I could make them a beanie.  I hadn't tried making one so I looked up a pattern on ravelry and got started.

Side note, I crochet really tightly.  So if you notice my patterns or anything not working out for you, that might be why.

Anyway, I tried making an R2D2 hat for my brother and it wasn't working out for me at all. It was so small even though I had already added a few more stitches.  Luckily, my brother has a small head, but even then it fit him barely.  So my first hat was a bust and, discouraged, I looked for another style of beanie.  I found a pattern for a slouchy beanie and decided to try and put a design on it. Since my friend wanted a Tako Luka hat (an octopus worn as a hat I guess would be the best way to describe that), I tried to put Luka's face on the beanie.  When I had finished the base hat and added the character's face, I tried it on and it went all the way over my head!  I was happy it fit but then I noticed that when it went over my head, the eyes were kind of where my eyes were and, BOOM, I had a new obsession. Slouchy beanie masks.

Tako Luka hat as hat:

Tako Luka hat as mask:

So I've started to make a bunch of them.  I've done a few pokemon like



And I'm still working on Iron Man:

But I think they're really fun.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Black Lagoon

Update from this year's kon. After a week of stress, the cosplay from Black Lagoon turned out really well. The idea grew from one friend's costume to being a group of 5.  A few things didn't work out in the last week but, I think, overall they looked really good.

Here are some pictures from the anime:

The two costumes that needed the most work was Revy (with the purple hair and tattoo) and Shenhua (with the Chinese dress).  Luckily for the Revy costume, we found most of what we needed at a Goodwill after weeks of searching.  The wig was bought online and styled by my roommate and the tattoo was drawn on by me using random designs that look nothing like the original but got the idea across.

For Shenhua, I was really worried about making the jacket.  I'm not so good at making sleeves and collars so when we found something similar at Ross's, I jumped at the chance to take a short cut.  We bought the jacket, took off the front lapels and tags in the back and sewed on the gold/yellow bias strips all along the edges.  For the earrings, we found some pearl look alike earrings for cheap, painted them gold using nail polish since the gold paint didn't work (which was a brilliant idea courtesy of my friend) used red tassels that we found at a fabric store and rolled them into the finished product tassels that turned out to be very light.  The shoes were also a trial but I ended up using fabric glue and a yellow string.  I had to sew the bows on so that her foot could fit, but it looks really good in pictures which I found amazing since it didn't look so hot up close.

For Mr. Chang and his minion (Chang has the scarf) we were lucky that they had those outfits.  My brother had a trench coat which was weird and awesome and we bought three yards of the off white material which I didn't have to end up cutting because my friend is that tall.

Our Rock (blue tie) didn't have hair because although we did get a wig, it wasn't a very good wig and it looked like a hair band gone wrong.  He wasn't in a lot of pictures, unfortunately, because he went to go play in a 40K (which is some kind of table top game that is really complicated) tournament.  He did win though so... CONGRATULATIONS!

And here's the final product.

We're already planning the costumes for next year, or at least bouncing around ideas.  This is always how it happens though.  The stress from this year makes me vow to never let it happen again, but it comes down to that last week and the sewing machines are at full throttle.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sir Octo and his minions

Haven't been crocheting much because of kon stuff but I've been working on a set of evil birdies that are my original characters. It started out when my friends and I were playing that game where one person scribbles a line and someone else has to draw a picture from it. It turned into this unknown blob that we all had different ideas for. My idea was that it was an evil birdie with a skull on its head and it turned into these. I have three more to do.

The octopus was from when I was learning to make amigurumi and I only just finished his face.

Up at two doing kon stuff. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kon Killer Week

Next week will be the Anime Convention in my area. Around this time is the time that all the real work for costumes goes down. Every year for the past couple of years I've been making costumes for my friends but all the work gets put off until the very last minute and this year is no exception. Since I have nothing to show yet for this year, I thought I'd put up some stuff from last year.

Last year was a pretty good year for cosplaying because we had a pretty good group and a good idea for the cosplay. A bunch of my friends agreed to go as a group from Avatar the Last Airbender and since I was making the costumes from scratch, I decided to dictate that they'd go as the Fire Nation set of the costumes so I could reuse a bunch of the colors.

By the end, my mom, my room mate and I ended up making five costumes in the last month. We were lucky that we had two sewing machines and often times were making full use of them both. It was pretty crazy with super late nights in the last week.

The pants were all made kind of like pajama pants with elastic waist bands and some had elastic on the bottoms to hold them up. The tops were pretty generic tops too with only some of them being slightly more complicated with the gold edging. I used binding tape for the gold and the maroon parts. I think the most difficult top was the Prince Zuko one because I had to add the gold in the middle of the maroon (second from the left). The armor was a heavier fabric with interfacing to make it stiffer. It came out a little bulky but had the overall look that we were going for.

The characters are from left to right: Azula, Zuko, Sokka, Katara, and Ty Lee

Set up for picture:


It came out looking pretty good overall, I think, but by the time we went to the convention, all I wanted to do was to sleep.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Carbuncle FF (Finally Finished) 8

I've been working on this Carbuncle from FF8 for weeks now. I had a hard time with it because I saw all these shapes that I didn't know how to reproduce like the legs or the shape of his head. I ended up free handing the whole thing which created a lot of trial appendages that ended up looking really odd. It's about a foot tall. I think the finished product looks close to the original and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Carbuncle FF8

MC: Magic Circle or however you like to start.
SC: Single Crochet
INC: Standard increase (two single crochet in one stitch)
DEC: Invisible decrease
CH: Chain
()*: Repeat whats in the bracket all around the row


body color
1. MC5 (5)
2. (INC)* (10)
3. (SC)* (10)
4. (INC, 1 SC)* (15)
5. SC, INC, 2 SC, INC, 2 SC, INC, 7 SC (18)
6. 2 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 7 SC (21)
7. INC, 2 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 2 SC, INC, 4 SC (26)
8. SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 4 SC (31)
9. 2 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC (36)
10. 3 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 4 SC (43)
11. 4 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 4 SC (50)
12. 5 SC, INC, 7 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 5 SC, INC, 7 SC, INC, 4 SC (57)
13. 6 SC, INC, 8 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 6 SC, INC, 8 SC, INC, 4 SC (64)
14. 6 SC, DEC, 8 SC, DEC, 7 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 3 SC, INC, 7 SC, DEC, 8 SC, DEC, 3 SC (65)
15. 5 SC, DEC, 7 SC, DEC, 7 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 4 SC, INC, 6 SC, DEC, 7 SC, DEC, 3 SC (66)
16-26. (SC)* (11 rows)

Insert eyes and stuff
Spike 1: 9 SC, SLST with opposite chain, 9 SC
5 rows of head color, 10 rows of green
2 rows (1 SC, DEC)*
DEC all

Spike 2&3: 8 SC, SLST with opposite chain, 8 SC
5 rows of head color, 10 rows of green
2 rows (1 SC, DEC)*
DEC all

Spike 4: Remaining stitches SC
5 rows of head color, 10 rows of green
2 rows (1 SC, DEC)*
DEC all


body color
1. MC 6 (6)
2. (INC)* (12)
3. (1 SC, INC)* (18)
4. (1 SC, INC, 1 SC)* (24)
5. (3 SC, INC)* (30)
6. (2 SC, INC, 2 SC)* (36)
7. (5 SC, INC)* (42)
8. (3 SC, INC, 3 SC)* (48)
9. (7 SC, INC)* (54)
10. (4 SC, INC, 4 SC)* (60)
11. (9 SC, INC)* (66)
12. (5 SC, INC, 5 SC)* (72)
13-14. SC all (2 rows)
15. (9 SC, DEC)* (66)
16-17. SC all (2 rows)
18. (4 SC, DEC, 4 SC)* (60)
19-20. SC all (2 rows)
21. (7 SC, DEC)* (54)
22-23. SC all (2 rows)
24. (3 SC, DEC, 3 SC)* (48)
25-26. SC all (2 rows)
27. (5 SC, DEC)* (42)
28-29. SC all (2 rows)
30. (2 SC, DEC, 2 SC)* (36)
31-32. SC all (2 rows)
33. (3 SC, DEC)* (30)
34-35. SC all (2 rows)

Legs (Make 2)

body color
1. MC 6 (6)
2. (INC)* (12)
3. (1 SC, INC)* (18)
4. back loop SC all
5-9. SC all (5 rows)
10. 9 SC, (1 SC, INC) x 4, 1 SC (22)
11. 9 SC, (1 SC, INC, 1 SC) x 4, 1 SC (26)
12. SC all (1 row)
13. 2 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
14. 19 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
15. 18 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
16. 17 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
17. 16 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
18. 15 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
19. 14 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
20. 13 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
21. 12 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
22. 11 SC, SL ST, CH 1, turn
stuff firmly and sew into place

Feet (Make 2):

start with body color
1. Pick up 14 stitches on the bottom of the legs
2-3. SC all (2 rows)
4. (1 SC, INC)* (21)
5-9. SC all (5 rows)
switch colors to green
10-19. SC all (10 rows)
stuff very firmly
20. create 3 toes of 7 stitches
SC all 2 rows, DEC until closed

Ears (Make 2)

start with dark blue
1. MC 6 (6)
2. (INC)* (12)
3-5. SC all (3 rows)
6. (1 SC, INC)* (18)
7-8. SC all (2 rows)
change colors to body color
9-12. SC all (4 rows)
13. (2 SC, INC)* (24)
14-18. SC all (5 rows)
19. (3 SC, INC)* (30)
20-24. SC all (5 rows)
25. 1 SC, 2 DEC, 13 SC, 2 DEC, 8 SC (26)
26. 2 DEC, 5 SC, DEC, 4 SC, 2 DEC, 7 SC (21)
flatten and sew to the head.


start with body color
1. pick up 17 stitches where the tail should be in a square shape. SL ST with first stitch to join. (16)

2. (INC)* (32)
3-12. SC all (10 rows)
13. (7 SC, INC)* (36)
14-18. SC all (5 rows)
19. (4 SC, INC, 4 SC)* (40)
20-27. SC all (8 rows)
change colors to green
28. SC all (1 row)
29-30. flatten the tail and separate into top and bottom half. For the top half back loop only and bottom half, front loop only. SC all (2 rows)
31. (3 SC, INC)* (50)
32. separate into 5 spikes of 10 stitches.

Spike 1&5:
1. SC all (4 rows)
2. DEC until closed

Spike 2&4:
1. SC all (6 rows)
2. DEC until closed

Spike 3:
1. SC all (8 rows)
2. DEC until closed


start with cream
1. CH 16
2. INC, 13 SC, INC switch to the other side of the chain, INC, 13 SC, INC (34)
3. 2 INC, 13 SC, 4 INC, 13 SC, 2 INC (42)
4. 4 INC, 13 SC, 8 INC, 13 SC, 4 INC (58)
switch to body color
5. 4 INC, 21 SC, 8 INC, 21 SC, 4 INC (74)

sew onto belly

Arm (Make 2)

1. Pick up 12 stitches in a circle SL ST with first stitch to join
2. (INC)* (22)
3. SC all (1 row)
4-5. Flatten and separate into top half and bottom half. Top half only stitch in back loops, bottom half front loops. SC all (2 rows)
6. SC all (1 row)
7. (9 SC, DEC)* (20)
8-10. SC all (3 rows)
11. (4 SC, DEC, 4 SC)* (18)
12. (7 SC, DEC)* (16)
13. (3 SC, DEC, 3 SC)* (14)
14. (1 SC, DEC)* until closed


use red
1. CH 7
2-7. 6 SC, CH 1, turn (6 rows)
finish off

1. CH 5
2-5. 4 SC, CH 1, turn (4 rows)
finish off

sew together then onto forehead.

I also worked on a few side projects to keep me sane. I have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cozies and will move on to the Alice in Wonderland ones next. I have a few ideas but the characters have distinct features that I feel might not translate well onto cozies. I also made the Labbit which is a rabbit with a mustache. I weighted the feet with nickles so if I am ever in desperate need of 20 cents, I may need to take it apart. I also tried to do a Bavarian Square because I thought it looked really cool. It ended up looking odd, but I'm going to learn how to do Granny Squares from a friend (hopefully soon) and have an idea for a mat that we need for the front of the apartment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

JLA vs. Avengers

Just finished the Justice League of America.  Really like how Flash came out. Batman's ears are a little floppy for my liking but they look alright.

I only had these cans...

Also finished the Avengers.

Comic versions of everyone except for movie Fury because he was easier...

I still like the JLA better.

There were a lot of loose ends in the back for the color changes but half way through I used a technique that I learned for Fair Isle knitting for colors that were used close together in a row, like in Hawkeye's mask, where you twist the yarns around each other in the back.  It greatly reduces the amount of loose yarns though you do end up using a bit more yarn.

Another thing, the rows move in a spiral pattern so you have to adjust the design for that. I often offset a row in between in order to keep things straight.

Other than that, this made me realize how similar people's costumes were to each other.  I basically used the same colors over again.

I've run out of ideas for cozies but I might try a few more designs. I got a request for Alice in Wonderland and Ninja Turtles.

I'm hoping to go to the yarn store tomorrow so I can stock up before I find my next thing to make.  Let me know what you think and ideas are welcome.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cozy Crazy

Went a little cozy crazy this week.  Made the Totoro one for my friend and she took it to her office.  The next thing I know, I'm making a ton!  I started off with the Cthulhu one because I was familiar with making tentacles.  The next day I had an order for a Doraemon one.   

The formula I use is one that I adjusted from Denton's Inventions.  I use the Red Heart yarn mostly so I found that my cozies weren't big enough.  The pattern is pretty forgiving and I mostly just freestyle the designs on after doing a rough approximation on graph paper.

Currently working through the Avengers.  I wanted to do the JLA since I love love love DC way more than Marvel but sadly, I'm lacking a few colors.  I still have to do Hawkeye and Fury.  I've been doing comic versions of the cast but can't decide whether to make Fury comic version or movie version.


1. CH 40, SL ST with first chain
2-4. SC all (3 Rows)
5. (9 SC, DEC, 9 SC)*
5-7. SC all (3 Rows)
8. (17 SC, DEC)*
9-10. SC all (2 Rows)
11. (8 SC, DEC, 8 SC)*
12. SC all
SL ST to end

All detailing was done with yarn, except for Totoro's eyes which were made with buttons.

Cthulhu Tentacles:

Coil A: CH 16, (2 SC, INC)x5

Coil B: CH 13, (2 SC, INC)x4

On Row 12: 15 SC, Coil A, SC, Coil B, SC, Coil A, SC, Coil B, SC, Coil A, 15 SC

For all extremity items like the wings and ears, I wove the long finished end through the outer edge of the wings/ ears to help them keep the shape.

Captain America's Wings:

1. CH 4, Turn
2. 3 SC, CH 4, Turn
3. 3 SC, 3 HDC, turn
4. 5 SC, CH 4, Turn
5. 3 SC, 5 HDC, Turn
6. 6 SC, CH 4, Turn
7. 3 SC, 6 HDC, finish

Totoro Ears:

1. CH 4, turn
2. 1 SC, INC, 1 SC, CH 1, Turn
3. 1 SC, DEC, 1 SC, CH 1, Turn
4. DEC, finish

Any ideas of what I should do next?