Rocking Pillows

Waaay back in the day when I was still at uni, I had a fantastic Earth Science teacher. He’s a bit crazy, super fun and very knowledgable. He’s also known to fake his birthday on Facebook to confuse the world. So when I found out when his actual birthday was last year, I had the plan to fix him a gift. In the end I failed, but this year the stars aligned and all the things I wanted/needed were easily available.

See, this teacher has a couch in his office. He is (as far as I can tell) the only one with a couch in his office. He also wears hats a lot and quite likes rocks. Clearly I wanted to make him rock pillows for his couch. Last year I couldn’t find the perfect fabric but this year I found it, it was the right size and it was half price off. No beating that right? I also owned some clay that claims to have a ‘stone’-look once dried. This would be perfect to make stony buttons from, right?! Last but not least, the fabric was exactly wide enough that if I bought a 40x40cm pillow insert, it would fit exactly. I wouldn’t have to do a lot of cutting at all!

So off I went to make the buttons. They are simple round ones with four holes made by a toothpick. I made eight, because I figured on making two pillows. So far I’ve completed only the one, but I figured I’d write about it anyway before I forgot. There are four left over, and four on the pillow.

Buttons

Pillow detail

I think they look quite nice. The process was really simple. I cut a 40 by 90 cm piece of fabric, folded over the short edges twice and stitched. Then put pins at 8, 16, 24 and 32 cm along a short edge, sewed the four buttonholes and slit them open. I folded the short edge over by 20 cm and folded the other short edge over too, right sides together*, such that the width would be approximately 38 cm in total. Pinned it and sewed it. I turned it inside out and put pins through the button holes without the pillow in it. I sewed on the buttons in the right places and voila!

Pillow back Pillow

*The long edges were already finished in my fabric, but if they wouldn’t have been, I’d have put the short sides over wrong sides together, sewed the seam, turned it outside out  and sewed it again to make a French seam.

A rocking pillow! I hope he likes it, but if not, I’ll have a new pillow..

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Knitted Plesiosaur!

Last Christmas I got the book “Gebreide Dino’s” by Tina Barrett (“Knitted Dinosaurs”).
The patterns are quite fun, although they do not always resemble the original dinosaur that much. For some reason I decided I wanted to knit something fun last Saturday, so I decided to grab the book from my shelf and choose the one I liked the most. That turned out to be the plesiosaur. Now, I like the idea of the book, but either my version is crappily translated, or the patterns don’t match the pictures that well. I documented my problems on ravelry, here. But I’ll also state somethings here.

My dinosaur is 50 cm long from head to tail, the pattern indicated that it should be about 27 cm. However, I did make some changes that influenced its length and I think my translation caused some problems. From other people’s versions, I’m fairly certain that some part of the in- and decreases for the back are supposed to be in every row, but my pattern didn’t say that. I also wanted it’s head to be a little longer, so I added twenty rows to the neck. I also wanted it to have a more pointed tail, so I added some rows between the decreases there. Below a picture of me with Plessy, for scale.

Scale

Some of the bits have been in contact with sand. On Sunday I decided I wanted to knit the light green back fins in another location. So I put on my rollerskates and skated to the beach, where I proceeded to get some weird looks, but finished the back fins. I did modify the back fins a little. The picture with the pattern shows that the back fins are much smaller than the front fins. However, following the pattern the back fins would just be 2 rows shorter, without any other changes. I decided that would not do and knit the back fins until (non-existing in my pattern) row 13.

Back Belly

The instructions wanted me to add sequins to the back, but sequins and I are not friends. I decided so cross stitch some spots on his back with the belly yarn. I like this effect.

View a Front

So while the instructions also state to sew the body first and attach the flippers afterwards after they’d been stuffed. This seemed like a stupid idea to me, so I attached the flippers to the body first and then sewed all around the outside. This worked really well, and I think it looks a little better.

Looking up

I chose to stitch the eye-whites on as my fabric glue wouldn’t stick very well. I also used safety eyes, not buttons. I think it has the cutest face. I did want it to have a slightly more upward pointing neck, so I added some stitches in the neck to pull it together. If I put a glass under it as I did above, it almost looks like Nessy. As I’ve now finished my first dinosaur, it’s on to the second. The friend who gifted me the book is in love with the pterodactyl, and I just happen to have the perfect yarn already! But last and most certainly not least, that face!

That face!

 

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Cheapskate Makes Cute Mugs

What do you do when you walk around the shops looking for awesome mugs, and there are either a. none fun available and b. the semi-fun ones are more expensive than you are willing to pay.

You buy cheap plain ones, grab the glass and porcelain pen that you bought years ago for this purpose and start drawing! No, first you browse the entirety of pinterest only to find that you suck at drawing and that rules out the first ideas you had (this, can’t draw symmetrically, this, can’t draw tails, this, can’t draw cats, this, can’t draw the lines in proportion or this, mug has the wrong shape). I was smart enough to try these ideas on paper before committing to my mugs. In the end I found this page via pinterest and I decided that I would actually be able to draw those. Especially since it doesn’t matter too much if the legs of your zebra are a little to wide etc.

All animals have their butts towards the handle, and they are split up in groups that are semi logical together. Semi because I didn’t think about it beforehand and just started drawing. The first one has an elephant, antilope and zebra (African plains). The second one has a bizon, a bear and a raindeer (Nordic (ish?)). The third one has a rabbit, an armadillo and a fox (Small and cute). The fourth and last one has a giraffe, a camel and a rhino (Africa-ish again?). So without further ado:

Mug backs

Mug fronts

Mug sides

I think they are super cute and they even go together, magical! Once they go in the oven they should also be dishwasher safe. Even if I don’t have a dishwasher (yet). I liked this project and I now also have enough cups to have a teaparty for four!

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Christmas Ornament

Yes, I am aware of the fact that it is August, I haven’t skipped four months in my head. What I am aware of, though, is that fact that making things takes time. If you want to have a nice Christmas tree full of hand-made ornaments, it’s better to start in time right!

So what did I make? I knit a ball, in a yarn that varies between light silver and black, that’s why the colours aren’t even in the pictures. It’s supposed to be put in the tree, but it’s a little overly large I’m afraid. It’s bigger than my hand..

Ornament Ornament comparison

So for the next one I’m going to adapt the pattern to make it a little (lot) smaller. You’re supposed to knit it on 4 needles, but I’m incapable of doing that. I also don’t have four small needles anyway. So I decided to use a needle for knitting in the round, and this worked just as well. Started with 12 stitches in provisional cast on and in the middle it was 64 stitches, knit on 4.5mm needles. The next one will be more black, as that’s where the yarn’s at now.

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Cycle Top

On Thursdays the market square is home to numerous stands with all kinds of different things, from cheese to fruit, from leather to bicycle stuff and from post-card crafting to fabric. You understand that I like the fabric stands best. There’s one that always sells coupons, cuts of about 1.5-2.0 meter in all kinds of different fabrics for between 3 and 10 euros a piece. A while ago I got home laden down with five of those pieces. One of these was a very light weight something, dark blue with white cyclists and walking people on them.

Close up

As it’s been almost continually raining for the past five or so days, it clearly was time to make myself the light weight summer top I’ve been dreaming of since the heatwave. I cut it out last night, loosely cutting around a blue knit shirt I made some time ago. Folded over the neckline twice, folded over the sleeve hems twice and stitched those. Then I French seamed the remaining bits and lastly I cut a semi-high-low-hem and folded that over twice and stitched as the hem. Yes, I am wearing my pyjama bottoms in the pictures. No, I have no shame.

Front Back

The fabric was an absolute pain in the bottom to cut out as it was shifty as hell. I figured this out before when I tried cutting out a shirt from an actual pattern. I first spray starched the entire cloth, and now understand why one shouldn’t use it on floors as I currently slip and slide all across my living room… Sadly I was an idiot, and didn’t check twice before I cut, so that shirt is currently balled up with a front that is too short for me too wear. I will probably just attach a band along the front to solve the problem, but that’s for a later time. Especially as this fabric is also a hellion to sew, as things keep shifting. I needed something with the fewest pieces possible to keep my sanity yesterday and it worked! Now off to see if I also like wearing it.

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High-High Waisted Pants

As I mentioned before, I made pants! I made, what I consider to be the prettiest pants I’ve ever made. Sadly, not everyone agrees with me and apparently I look like a hillbilly. I will be ignoring the nay-sayers and continue to wear my fancy pants.

Anyway, these were fashioned after a free pattern. The pattern is called the Helena Culottes by Ralph Pink and can be found here. The pattern looks to be shortish pants, but when I made a muslin they already reached the halfway mark of my calves. I decided I wasn’t going to wear long pants anyway, so I added one A4 to the bottom and decided that that should be long enough to wear. It turned out that I was right!

Front Back

The pants were made from a red thin wool fabric. It feels like I’m wearing pyjamas that hug me the entire day. It’s wonderful. I especially like the side view. The second picture is the front, with three covered buttons on the front. These buttons are just decoration, they are not functional. In the original pattern, the flap wasn’t supposed to have the fold over that my version has, but I’m too short waisted apparently for the original pattern.

Side Front

The amount of closures is quite large. The first layer is a waist stay to keep the pants up (the beige thing). There are also zip ties in the darts for a bit of stiffening. The waist stay has two sets of hook and eyes. The next layer is the zipper that closes the pants, and te hock and eye at the top of the zipper. The last layer is the snaps. There are two large snaps attached to the waistband and eight small ones to keep the flap flat. There are also two pockets in the front and two double welt pockets in the back. The welt pockets only took 3 times each side, I was staying up too late to work on those. However, they did work out wonderful, I’m also not scared of making them anymore.

Closures Pocket

In my opinion, pants don’t usually fit me this well, so I’m planning on adapting this pattern to become a multitude of different things. I’m going to try to make ‘normal’-waisted pants, a playsuit and maybe a swimsuit? But that’s all future talk. First I’m going to try to finish a long sweater, a scarf and a shirt with little vintage people on it. Wish me luck!

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Interrobangs and Cats

A while ago, I was browsing the internet (and pinterest) looking for interesting earring inspiration. I found a few pins that I really liked, namely this one, this one and this one. And some others, what the heck, here’s my entire board of crafty things. Anyway, a friend of mine had her birthday a while ago and I still wanted to give her a small present. So I delved into the fimo stash and produced ‘inspired’ by earrings from the three pins above.

Let’s start with interrobang. The interrobang is a symbol used to ask a question in an exited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or to end a rhetorical question. It was a marketing idea in the sixties and never really took hold (Wikipedia), but I for one love both the name (BANG!) and the idea it expresses. Nowadays, the interrobang still isn’t used, but we do use the two symbols the interrobang is composed of separately. Say what‽ or She’s pregnant?! (Again Wikipedia). I came across the name at some point in the past when I was reading a post about (potentially) useful punctuation marks. That might also be where I learned that the &-symbol is called an ampersand. Which is information I actually regularly use in my day-to-day life.

So, I didn’t make the interrobang, I just really wanted to talk about it. I did make earrings with a loose ? and !, one for each ear. Black & Metal, a good combination right? I deviated from the original by putting the pin through the question mark completely. I actually like this maybe better? Anyway, here they are:

 Bang! Hanging Bang!

The second was an adaptation from the other two pins, one for each ear. So one dangling cat, and one graceful jumping cat. Well, my cat faces aren’t nearly as nice as the inspiration, but I still quite like them. The friend did say they were heavy, so we’ll see if they work out. It was mainly for fun anyway. So the pictures you’ll see will have a plastic cookie box in them. My ears aren’t pierced and I couldn’t find anything that would work well to show they were supposed to look, so a pierced cookie box it was.

Front Side-ish

 Side Butts

I also need to improve on cat faces and I still want to try the biting shark, and maybe mix it with a surfboard or something. For now though, I liked the results and I think my friend was somewhat interested in them. I had to wait until I’d given them to my friend before I could post them, you understand. On a different note, now I can already tell you that my next installment will be about the pants I finished yesterday and test-wore today. Very high waisted, woolen red pants. I love them.

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