Another $10 spent

March 26th, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

I decided that I would make 2 amigurumi dolls. I want to enter each of them into a different county fair. Last year I entered a doll and the wonderful thing won first place. The hope is for something similar this year… but I also want people to see what I can do.

The thing is, I’m not following a pattern per se. I’m improvising. I’m no artist, by any means, but I have a love of color. And so this entire process has been months in the making, months in the planning and a few days ago I started working. Two arms. Two ears. And a head, and I found myself stuck at the eyes. I had only one style of acrylic eyes in the correct size. Well, I guess this little bunny is getting amber colored eyes. I found myself back on CR’s Crafts looking up doll eyes again. The last time I found myself on that site, I had just purchased Elizabeth Doherty‘s book Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute and really wanted to make one of the dolls. Not just the cute other stuff that is in the beginning of the book. I wanted to bypass all of the smaller projects and jump right into the big elaborate dolls.

I found my eyes, and this time I found more eyes in the size for the dolls I want to make (and a few extra, just in case).

I find myself buying a lot of little things here and there. I stopped at Michael’s the other day ready to find exactly what I needed because I had a plan!! Except my plan backfired on me and I wasted the money from a Xmas gift card. Ah well, it was a lesson learned.

Does it mean I’m stealing? Using bits that I like from each ami designer? Deciding on the clothes I want to make… having nothing to do with any of the other designers and authors? I have a hard time understanding at what point it becomes “mine” instead of a copy of theirs. I guess when the time comes I’ll figure it all out.

Back to the doll… I’m at a point where I need to make decisions about colors. What color to make the undies. What color to make the sweater. What color to make the shirt, the underskirt, the shoes, etc. And while I can imagine all of these colors in my head, so far nothing is going quite how I expected it to. I had other plans for the sweater… AND the shirt. If there’s a way for a person who can’t draw to be at a drawing board, I’m that person. I now need to try to figure out how to get this all worked out. Design clothing, too. I don’t design clothes! Not only am I going to have to figure out how to design clothing, but I need to do it on a much smaller scale!

So here I am. Wondering what to do next. *heavy sigh*

There was a long pause…

February 13th, 2010 | Tags: , , , ,

It was more like an abated breath. At least that’s what I’m going for.

Life has decided to dish out the dirties to me this year. New Year’s weekend I got stuck with that cold/flu thing that basically sucks. Anyone notice that all of the cold/flu things going around lately pretty much suck? That it seems there’s no end in sight and your friends and family members decide that sharing is caring? Yeah, well, I’ve about had it with getting that gunk.

In other news, I have found myself in the possession of a nook. I only received it today, but already I’ve plowed through half of a book. Alright, it doesn’t really count as a book since it’s a tiny little thing. I imagine the physical copy is a quick read and that I could have just sat down in a bookstore and read through it, but I’m sure I’ll find the information invaluable as time goes on. I have yet to put any of my own content on there (PDFs or otherwise) so we’ll see how that turns out after I get to that point. I need to find my other microSD card… one is in the camera and the other is… well, I’ll find it eventually.

The nook was quite sluggish at first, which I expected from all of the reviews. I also knew that there was an update that helped with this little problem. It has and it did. I’ve never played with a Kindle, so I have no point of comparison, but I love it already. I’m enjoying how easy it is to read on. I like that I was able to take it to the gym, prop it up on the little shelf in front of me, set the font to the biggest it goes and read while running/walking on the treadmill. This in and of itself satisfies my multi-tasking ADD self. Okay, I don’t really have ADD, but it really does help. Makes me feel like I’m getting to do something WHILE at the gym. And reading books are on the agenda of “Things to do More Often”.

I’m happy with the purchase, even if my car decided to take a digger and cost me $700 to repair. I don’t regret the nook. I do, however, need to set myself a budget so I don’t over spend on books. Like $20/pay period or something. Or only buy a book after I’ve read one. Who knows what I’m going to do. I do have a ton of them on my computer to upload, so we’ll see how that goes.

In other news, I’ve decided to take my ever growing ass to the gym. I keep gaining weight, which makes me more depressed about being overweight, which causes me to stop at Chipotle, In & Out, and McDonald’s far too often. I need to limit this to once a week or less. I need to make hitting the grocery store a bigger deal.

Spring is starting to make it’s way here, and losing my car yesterday and being stranded meant that I walked to the gym and walked back. I also walked the mile or two to pick up my car. It was good for me and I needed it. I didn’t, however, need the honks and catcalls. I mean really people, grow the hell up already.

In other crafty news, I’ve started working on a pair of socks from Wendy‘s older book, Socks from the Toe-up. I have been wanting to make socks from this book for a very long time, but I’m such a self-striping/hand-painted yarn whore that I never picked up any skeins of sock yarn that were less… variegated. I have picked up some wool yarn from KnitPicks as well, so that I may start on some new amigurumi projects.

I’ve had bad luck with patterns, and I think I’m going to start working on my own patterns before I invest the time in another ami doll. There’s just too many variables that don’t seem to fit. Numbers that are off, stitch counts that don’t match when having to put pieces together. Ah well. Photos of the new doll are after the cut. They’re kind of fuzzy. 🙁

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When Disaster Strikes

January 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Whenever something catastrophic happens in the world I obsess about the details and worry myself over how many are hurt, how many are dead, how many are missing, etc. My problem is that because of my lack of much disposable income the ability to donate much time or money is non-existent.

Today I have a little bit of disposable income. So today I will be buying patterns on Ravelry**. Specifically I’ll be buying patterns in which either a portion or all of the proceeds will be going to help with Haiti fund raising organizations.

This ends up being a 3- (or even 4-) fold benefit to all.

First, there’s the obviously selfish one in which I get a pattern out of it. Sure.
Second, I’m supporting indie designers by buying their patterns.
Third, The obvious one is that whatever amount of money I spend, there’s a portion of it going to help with the relief efforts.
Fourth, It gives me more patterns to make for others! (this one is a stretch, I know).

I could easily just donate some money, sure. And I’d feel good about being able to do that, without a doubt. But it’s really the support of the designers that I’m interested in as well. These people are giving up a portion of their livelihood. There’s always a bigger picture, I swear.

As I browse there are 77 pages worth of projects. That’s a lot of stuff and a lot of patterns to choose from. So I encourage the handful of crafty folks who might be reading to go take a look. Even if you get only one pattern, it’ll still be helping.

** When you’re logged into Ravelry, click on Pattern. In the upper right hand corner there’s a link for Haiti donation patterns.

EDIT: For those curious, I’ll link the patterns that I went ahead and purchased today, not in any particular order. These are all Ravelry links (which means it requires an account to be able to access them).
A Little Something by Samantha Roshak
Argus Shawlette by Wendy Johnson
Lasa Set by Jenna H.
Varese Hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio
Heirloom Treasure Baby Blanket by PurpleSage

And now for some photos!

October 5th, 2009 | Tags: , , , , , ,

So… I’ve been having some issues with getting some of the WordPress plugins to work. Particularly The WordPress Flickr Manager. For all intents and purposes, it absolutely looked like it was working properly. Except when I tried desperately to add a photo to an entry. Then it would just reload the lightbox pop-up (used for inserting into the entry) and do nothing. I thought it was the browser (Chrome) but it was happening in Firefox too! So I went looking for a working plugin, and had to do all this crazy nonsense to get that one to work. Only, it wasn’t for what I wanted, which was to be able to include just one or two (or 4) specific images to a post. I didn’t want to have to link and entire set/gallery. This isn’t a photo blog (and let’s face it, I’m not the best photographer anyway).

The “other” flickr manager thing required me to do all of this high tech mySQL database conversion stuff. It was kind of terrifying. Mostly because it’s been years since I’ve done that kind of stuff, and I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of how WordPress does it’s thing. Dreamhost ends up doing all of the updates for me automatically anyway, so it’s not really me that looks all high tech and fancy. It’s them. No joke. Not me. So I ended up getting the databases all converted from latin1 to UTF-8. Sounds exciting, but now my little Flickr widget is broken. *sigh* Ah well.

So of course, I’ve been doing all of this and getting no where. Getting frustrated was inevitable, but really? I can’t just put A photo in my blog? Just one? I don’t want to have to upload the same damn photo eleventy-billion times in fourteen different places. I use Flickr almost exclusively for my photos. It’s because I can email them from my iPhone and share. It’s just easier that way. So why all this running around (on the internet) and backwards nonsense to share A single photo?

Oh well. It seems there was some kind of weird change when WordPress updated to 2.8. The author submitted  a fix for the lovely Flickr Manager plugin I already had installed, but it hadn’t been approved yet and you could download it directly. So I did. I could have saved myself a ton of headache and confusion and database backup-ing and terrified I’m going to break something to beyond fixing. Y’know how it goes.

And so here I go with the photo sharing. Because after all this nonsense I better start sharing some damn photos, right??

Sweater Hoodie Thing

Here is the first attempt at Sweater Hoodie thing. It’s technically called theApres Surf Hoodie, but I like my name better. It’s easier for me to say outloud when I talk to myself while knitting/blogging. The pattern calls for you to make two halves, the back and the front, and piece them together. I started the back (which is what you see pictured here) when I found some blog posts somewhere on the internet regarding doing it in the round (I cannot for my life find the link where the girl mentioned how she did this, but if I ever do, I’ll link it!). So I frogged (took the whole thing apart, for you non-knitting/crocheting folks) and started again. And started again. And again. And again. And again. No really. I started it over 5 different times before I finally decided on starting it on DPNs (double pointed needles; usually used for making socks and other items in the round) and after a few rows transferred it to the circular. The “invisible” start cause some issues with starting ON the circular needle (aka frustration!). I’m about 2 rows away from starting the lace part (the body), which took me DAYS to do.

Side note: Because I can now work this all in Stockinette Stitch, I can continental stitch all of it, meaning that I knit 4 times faster. Having to “throw over” all of the purl rows (when going back and forth) meant I got the first 26 rows (of both the front AND back) done in less than a day and a half (of knitting in between Wintergrasps (WoW speak ftw!) this weekend). This should technically take me a whole helluva lot less time to finish. Yay!

Tribal Skein - White Background

Also to share, because I’m in a slightly obsessed phase, is some yarn I dyed. Because, like I said, I’m slightly obsessed. This one is called Tribal. It’s Brown, Teal and Orange. I used Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye. This one makes me happy and I love it.

Odyssey - Skein

I call this one Odyssey. No reason for the name, but it’s Kool-Aid and Wilton’s Cake dye as well. I love the colors on this one.

And thus concludes my photo sharing entry of the day.

I’ve got my fingers crossed!

January 15th, 2009 | Tags: , , ,

As I am wont to do when I am deathly bored at work, I decided to go on a yarn “window shopping” spree. Just in case I come into some strange money windfall and I have loads of extra to play around with, I can buy some. I’m actually looking to knit up some lacy stuff. So I’m constantly looking for some lace/sock yarn that would look pretty all done up in something lacy.

So I’ve been following WendyKnits on Plurk for a fair bit, and enjoying her blog posts about all sorts of things, and lately, my life has been all about knitting and crocheting, though more knitting than crocheting.

Anyway, whenever I go searching for new places to seek out yarn, I remember Wendy talking about Loopy Ewe. So I head there and find out that they’ve got their Sock Club for 2009 open. I signed up for the lottery and I’ve now got my fingers crossed that I get picked. I’m rather excited about it actually.

I’m also thinking of ways to blog more. Thinking of things that I could blog about so that I’m doing a bit more writing, which is what any aspiring writer should be doing, right??