Wednesday, December 31, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Double-Knit Bigfeets and A Yarn Review

I've been meaning to get around to double-knitting a bigfoot hat. I finally - actually - did manage to get started. I had a bunch of leftover Paton's Metallic, which I bought for another project a while back and I decided to put it to use (I'll share said project one day when I think about it and decide to pull it out). 

Paton's Metallic: I Hate You

Let me ramble a bit about this yarn. Yeah, it looks neat, but I absolutely hate working with it. It is definitely not my favorite. I think it would be fine for crochet, but I'm continually losing my mind knitting with it. There's also a chance I'm just incompetent, but that aside...

(I might totally crochet some stuff with crocodile stitch with what I end up having leftover. I think it would make great crochet armor.)

Firstly, it claims to be medium weight (4). When I bought it, I got it to pair with some other MEDIUM weight (4) yarn for some colorwork - this did not work because it was so much more fine, so I got some sport weight to go with it, which worked much better and didn't create a lumpy, totally uneven mess that looked like it was made by a person with no damn hands. As if to continually screw with me though, it tends to get weirdly fat in places. It's basically black yarn with this mesh metallic sheath and it ends up just looking uneven and discombobulated no matter what needles I use and even when I use yarn of equivalent thickness. It still just looks funky if you look closely at the stitches.

And speaking of needles, I am forever stabbing through this yarn instead of catching it with my needle. Then it creates this little, very fine fiber fuzzies. You can see them in these pictures, I'm sure. Those aren't cat hairs. I have been working in a cat-free environment. Those are yarn fuzzies. 

In Conclusion

I'm sure this'll be a cool hat when I'm done. Check out the pics of it with the flash off and flash on. It's basically a prototype so I can work out the pattern and update the FREE Bigfoot Hat Knitting Pattern post for folks that want a snazzy double-sided sasquatch beanie. 

I've also got some nice variegated pink yarn and blue yarn that I've been meaning to use and I'll probably use it for some more double-sided bigfeet after I finish this first one.

Some More Stuff

I have lots planned for 2015. Check back this weekend for the updated Bigfoot hat pattern and then check back more often for an UPCOMING CONTEST, more free patterns and charts, and also some new designs that I should be unveiling soon. I also have some cool personal projects that I'll be sharing with the fine people of the Internuts. XD

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Making Gifts and Blah Blah Blah

Long time, no update. Here I am. Alive!

I finished up the Misfit Christmas Stocking! It was a gift for my illiterate little brother. It went over well, only taking him a few minutes to decipher what it said. He hung it on this dragon head because he's ultra-classy (sorry for the poor lighting, he doesn't have lights in his home anymore?). It took me forever to make, but was a ton of fun! Thanks go out to Siouxsie Stitches for the pattern!

I also tried out some of Redheart's new and exciting REFLECTIVE YARN! I made this manly hat for my dad. The yarn is super soft and it's bulky so the hat took no time to make and holy shit! Look at it with the flash!

I also made a Fun Fur infinity scarf for my grandmother. She pretended to like it and will probably never wear it, but least I found something to do with the obscene amount of Fun Fur that I impulse bought. lolol

Happy holidays! I'll be back after Christmas with some new free charts and patterns and other cool crap. I'll be starting on my CROCHETED Sailor Saturn cosplay after the New Year, which I am stupid excited about.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

LIMITED TIME Bigfeet Hats Available Right Now!

Ever since I posted the free bigfoot hat pattern I've gotten non-stop custom requests for all sorts of bigfoot hats! This was super surprising and I took a moment to whip up four different versions and they are all ready-to-ship! They're also on sale because I'm apparently in the holiday spirit like some sort of jolly Dickens character. Head to the shop and order one!

I don't have plans to make more of these once they're gone (unless it's a custom order), so snag one while you can. I'm not taking any more custom orders until after Christmas because I gots to make some presents for my lame-o family. ;-)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Twin Peaks and...Daleks?!

I'm hella excited for Season 3 of Twin Peaks in 2016. I don't make plans for my life that far in advance, but I'm totally planning to watch the long-awaited third season of one of the greatest shows to ever grace television. 

I've been trying real hard to clear out my mighty yarn stash to make room for new yarns and I ran across a little of this beige and a little of this bronze. They seemed to serve no other purpose except to make a double-knit Owl Cave hat (that I'd been meaning to get around to for ages)! Get it here.

Reversible! Double-sided! Twin Peaks! OMG!

I also whipped up a couple of Baby Dalek hats for the holidays! The red and green ones are all part of the RED N GREEN SALE, so they're $5 off. Unlike the prototypes I made when I was creating the pattern, these are made of extra-soft premium acrylic yarn instead of regular ol' acrylic. 

And don't forget...
The Yellow Adult-Size and Blue Adult-Size are also available for purchase. 

A limited number of bigfoot hats, new DRAMA LLAMAS, and some all-new original designs are also on the way. Along with some Dark Tower Beam scarves! XOXOX

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

WARNING: This Blog Post Contains Selfies

I did a blog post last week about Handmadeology's Shop Unique. Shop Etsy For the Holidays promotion and I mentioned a handful of my favorite Etsy shops that everyone should check out. I also made a couple of purchases for myself because I'm such a great salesperson that I found myself compelled to buy some shit after writing about it.

I snagged a pair of custom cat earrings in MIRROR CHROME from SouthPaw Engraving. They're shiny as shit and awesome. I also got a pair of his Black Kitten Earrings. He can make these cats in like every color ever except sparkle purple (which is what I originally wanted, of course). Here are some selfies of me looking rough but sporting these snazzy earrings.

They go great with cat apparel as well as nautical headgear. He's also got some awesome prop/cosplay stuff for sale here.

Then I also got a custom-made, hand-embroidered Sailor Saturn merit badge from Illumine Artisan Works. It is hella cute and beautifully crafted. When I feel like sewing, I'll get around to attaching it to my good ol' backpack.

On the topic of the Sailor Scout of Destruction...My favorite Sailor Scout has always been Pluto actually, but Saturn has a special place in my heart. I believe I mentioned it in passing in some other post, but I do have some vague plans to cosplay Saturn for Dragon*Con 2015. Speaking of soon as I get seriously started on that business you can expect lots of cosplay WIP posts.

If you're still in need of doing some holiday shopping then you should obviously poke around those two shops. Also check out:

You can also visit my Etsy shop too. Duh. I have a wide assortment of hats in stock and I do take custom orders, but I'm taking a very limited number leading up to Christmas. I'm working on a bunch of bigfoot hats, some Dark Tower stuff (yeah, Beam Scarves) and other odds and ends.

If you're a craftsy person and more into making gifts, I have lots of free charts available here and I've got a few Dolla Patterns too. MooglyBlog always has awesome free patterns and you can also get some cool gift ideas from Siouxsie Stitches!

Happy crafting! Happy holidays! So on and so forth.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Star Trek Starfleet Insignia Hat + Scarf Combo + FREE COLORWORK CHARTS

I finished up the Starfleet scarf, which was part of a special custom order (along with the matching Starfleet hat). Both are in navy blue and gray heather. The beanie is crochet while the scarf is double-knit. There are more images over on Facebook! Go check them out and like the page while you're there to keep up with all of the random stuff I make.
I used the same chart for both items (the one that is 25 st wide), but I also made a second chart that I was planning to use for the scarf until I decided to double-knit with worsted. It would've been way wide, but it would be great for other projects. The second chart shows a bit more detail. 

Fellow crafters, you are welcome to both charts below for whatever you want. If you make something cool, feel free to share it on my Facebook page and please give a shoutout back to this post or the Etsy shop!

Friday, December 5, 2014

FREE and EASY Crochet Pattern - Oversized Square Hats

** Some of these Hogwarts hats are available from the WRC Etsy shop and some are even part of the RED 'N GREEN SALE. I can also churn out custom ones for your favorite sportsball teams or whatever too! But...

What? I Can Make These Too?!

If you are are craftsy person then you can totally make your own. No joke, these are the easiest things to make and they're a fabulous beginner project. It's also a breeze to adjust the sizes for kids or if you don't want a huge, hilarious hat for some reason. I've made normal sized ones too and the big ones are way more popular.

This pattern isn't particularly proprietary and I'm sure there are other square hats out there, but one more free square hat pattern couldn't possibly hurt, right? Feel free to make any sort of changes or adjustments to this pattern that you want!

The pattern here will make you a hat that is roughly 13" across and 11" tall with two pom poms. Yeah, that's not actually a square, but "Rectangle Hat" and "Quadrilateral Hat" really don't have the same ring. You can make your hat a perfect square if you want, it's not against the rules. I've found that most people like to fold up the brim anyway, which if it is a square will make it not a square.

If you don't have a pom pom maker then don't fret. Here is a great tutorial for making a pom pom maker out of cardboard and you can even use plain paper if you don't have cardboard.

  • worsted weight yarn in one, two, three, or however many colors you want - you could easily make a rainbow hat
  • size J crochet hook
  • pom pom maker (optional)
What You Do
  • ch 101, join with sl (about 75 st will make a not-huge hat)
  • dc in each st around, join with sl, ch 3 and repeat for 12 - 15 rows (or whatever, go crazy)
  • sl the top seam shut and weave in any ends
  • attach pom poms in corners
  • wear hat, get compliments
Glorious Variations

The hats with wider stripes are 3 rows of each color, the other hats are a 3:1:1:1 ratio. You can do each row a different color or alternate colors each row. If you want to do this hat in sc you'll need about 30 rows and this will allow you to do a tapestry crochet design if that's your thing.


P.S. If you make one of these silly hats then feel free to share it with me and everyone else on my Facebook page!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Littlefinger Mockingbird Pin: The Scarf + FREE Colorwork Chart

Here are a few pictures of the finished Littlefinger scarf! There's some more over on Facebook, so go check 'em out.

OMG! Free Colorwork Chart!

And for any other Westeros knitters and crocheters (maybe even embroidererererrs), you can use my colorwork chart for your own projects because I'm so darn nice! Feel free to make any needed tweaks to it as well. I actually added an additional row in the neck area to elongate the bird's neck a bit since double-knitting make him a little more stout on the scarf. Mockingbirds are sort of scrawny fellows.

The chart is obviously 35 stitches across and my scarf is 25. I started the chart on my scarf at the 5th column. Do ur maths.

As always, if you make anything super cool with my chart, I'd love to see it! So feel free to share it on my Facebook page! Also please link back to this chart to share it with others and give a shoutout to my Etsy shop. If you want free charts I gots to pay my bills, guys. When I can't pay bills I get mad and then I don't share things for free.

If you're interested in commissioning one of these scarves from me, I am willing to make another. They're extremely time-consuming though (probs like 25-35 hours of work and I CANNOT make another before Christmas). Contact me through the 'Custom Request' button on Etsy or a Facebook message. I'm usually nice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WIP (Scarf) Wednesday!

Have I mentioned how much I love love LOVE when people ask me, "Can you make a ____?"

It gives me an excuse to make new colorwork charts and take a little break from making bigfoot hats! ;)

Last week, I had a friend ask me if I could make a Littlefinger-inspired scarf. Then I had another friend ask for a scarf with the Starfleet insignia. I got to work on both of these scarves over the weekend and I'll be finishing up the Littlefinger scarf today! Both of my pals gave me a fair amount of artistic freedom with both designs, and that's always exciting too. So here's a look at these pieces so far! Please ignore my messy desk.

Littlefinger Mockingbird Scarf

Petyr Baelish wears a rather recognizable mockingbird pin on Game of Thrones. I decided to make the design for this scarf based on his pin because the sigil of House Baelish isn't very cool and the show hasn't revealed Littlefinger's modified Baelish insignia yet (or has it?). Is that a spoiler? I don't want to bore anyone with Westeros trivia or give spoilers. He likes mockingbirds. It's, like, symbolic and stuff.

This scarf is double-knit in black and grey heather and I must confess that the mockingbirds came out looking a bit like chubsters - this is due to my slightly chubbier gauge in dk when working with worsted weight yarn. It's a double-sided mirror image and I still think it's pretty cool. In the center I did a transition with a gradient pattern, which turned out cooler than I anticipated. I'll post some pictures of this scarf completed tomorrow and also share the chart for both the mockingbird and the transition.

Star Trek Starfleet Insignia Scarf

Another dk scarf! This one is navy and the same grey heather. I'm going to be doing some similar gradient action in the middle of this scarf too because I liked it so much. I'm not too far along, but I hope to wrap it up by the weekend so it can go to its new home. I'll also share the Starfleet chart when I'm done. This scarf goes with the crochet beanie I made over the weekend. Hat and scarf combo! Awww yeah!

Maybe I'll take some scarfies! lololol

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shop Unique. Shop Etsy For The Holidays.

Hey Internet, 

Handmadeology (Facebook page here) is doing a neat promotion called Shop Unique. Shop Etsy for the Holidays. If you didn’t know about this already then you should totally check it out. There’s lots of cool handmade stuff out there, you just have to find it. If you're a fellow crafter then you should support your fellow starving artists for sure.
Here are a couple of my favorite Etsy shops/shops of my pals to feast your eyeballs on:
SouthPawEngraving (Facebook) - He makes a lot of earrings, but he can pretty much do anything from pendants for necklaces to Christmas tree ornaments. He also make things he’s already made in a million other colors. He's the dude behind Jarman Props too and he's making a limited number of Skyrim Iron Shields, which would be great for cosplay or decoration.

Illumine Artisan Works (Facebook) - Cute as shit hand-sewn merit badges. Need I say more? Also manga covers.

Lily Moon Crochet (Facebook and Tumblr) - If I slept on a bed of money I would buy all of these crochet squids and octopi for everyone I know and myself. I would then sleep on a bed of crochet cephalopods.
RatherBeCrocheting - Who doesn’t need a crochet loofa made with love and yarn?

Playroom Rd. Gifts - Ask this girl about custom, hand-painted magnets.

And like my Facebook page. XOXOXOX

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving + Black Friday + Some Updates

Happy Black Friday! I hope everyone's having fun and had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. I spent it watching Cheers and feeding turkey to the cats. Today I'm putting on my knitting pants and getting back to "work."

I've been real busy with custom requests lately! I've gotten so many people in need of bigfoot hats that I'm going to take a moment to make a handful of different ones for the shop. They'll be on sale for the holidays too! I totally associate yetis with Christmas and yetis are northern bigfeet, right? Right. So keep your eyes peeled for those. There will be some Lorelai-style ones (gray and white) as well as other colors too.

I'll also be making a few more Dalek hats, for the Whovians. INCLUDING Baby Dalek hats made with actual baby yarn.

I'm going to be getting started on some other neat custom items this weekend first, including a Game of Thrones-themed scarf and some Star Trek patterns. Yay, Trekkies! For the month of December I'll also be sharing a bunch of new colorwork charts, which is something else to get excited about. Such excitement!

Dark Tower fans, I've not forgotten you! I'm going to make more Beam scarves soon! I just got bogged with those custom requests. I'll be restocking the entire Dark Tower section of the shop with new Unfound and Crimson King hats. And listen, once I've made one of each Beam at least I'm going to write out the pattern and make a nice PDF containing all of the Beam Guardian colorwork charts and the rest of the scarf pattern. It'll be available on the cheap, of course.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red & Green Sale HAPPENING NOW!

Head on over to the Etsy shop and check out the featured items and also be sure to check in each shop section for more items that are part of this festive, holiday sale. It's not even Thanksgiving, but I don't care.

Friday, November 7, 2014

UPDATED Bigfoot Hat - Free Knitting Pattern

UPDATED on 1/9/15 - scroll on down for a crapton of variations...!

I've now made three awesome Bigfeet...Bigfoots...Sasquatch hats (and I'm working on a fourth) using the chart I made a while back. I made a few minor tweaks to the chart after the first hat (shown below). Here's the COMPLETE PATTERN, including that honeycomb-looking business at the top, which I also refined after the first hat. I'm fairly certain the original hat that Lorelai wears on Gilmore Girls is using DK yarn. It's the only way to get the appropriate number of hairy hominids around (I believe there are six). I used worsted weight yarn for all of the hats I've made, so the hat isn't completely identical to the one on the show and it has four mythical beasts.

Feel free to making any tweaks and adjustments to this pattern that you'd like. For the third hat I actually flip-flopped the two colors for the crown of the hat to mix it up (the blue hat below). If you make a hat or two, don't hesitate to share it on the Facebook and please give a shoutout as a link back to this page, tumblr or the Etsy.

What You Need
  • size 8 circular needles
  • size 8 DPNs, set of 4
  • yarn needle
  • stitch marker (optional)
  • worsted weight yarn in 2 colors

Gauge: roughly 4 st per inch makes a hat for average, adult heads

The Pattern

CO 96 stitches using your preferred cast on method in your MAIN color. This color will also be the color of your bigfeet as well as the top of the hat and obviously the brim. Join to form a circle, ensuring none of your stitches are twisted.

Brim: 5 to 7 rnds of K1P1 ribbing...more if you want a wider brim. Do whatever floats your boat. I'm not here to cramp your style. I used 6 rnds. To give the brim a finished look, switch to your second color, the BACKGROUND (BG). K all the way around in BG and then P all the way around in BG.

Work this chart 4 times, from left to right using knit stitches for your regular ol' stockinette.

Top and Decreasing: Here's where things might get tricky. You can just make a solid top part if you want, I won't shame you. 

After the final round in MAIN at the top of the chart, you need to begin working the following pattern:

You can shift it to the left or right a bit to position the honeycombs differently, but be sure to maintain the 12 sts. Repeat the first rnd of this chart 8 times around the hat. Begin decreasing in the second rnd of the pattern (I marked each rnd where you need to work decreases in the lighter gray, work even for the other rnds). You need to work the decreases between each honeycomb and it'll work out, I swear.This is a great time to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each rnd.

For the first rnd of dec - K10, K2TOG around;

K all st in the rnd;

K9, K2TOG around;

K all;

K8, K2TOG...this is the first sort of tricky rnd. The first st will be in MAIN, followed by 7 st in BG, K2TOG in MAIN, then repeat and you'll end up with 2 st between each honeycomb.

Continue this pattern until the honeycombs are done.

I kept the hat on my circulars until I finished the honeycombs then switched to DPNs and carried on, alternating dec rnds with rnds of K until I had 8 sts left. At that point, whip out your yarn needle and close that hole. Weave in your ends, so on and so on. Add a pom pom if you want. I used a 3" one of these for the hats that have one.

Happy knitting!

GLORIOUS VARIATIONS (added on 1/9/15)

5-Squatch Hat (Thanks go out to WireMonkey for getting to this before me. Go now and check out her Ravelry page!)

Lorelai's hat had five bigfootsies on it, so you'll want to do this for the most accurate Gilmore Girls-inspired hat. Just drop your needles down to size 6 and use DK yarn. CO 120 and repeat the bigfoot chart 5 times and the honeycomb chart 10 times. Add length to the brim to make a longer hat.

3-Squatch REVERSIBLE Double-Sided Child and Adult Hats

**Siouxsie Stitches created what is basically Double-Knitting for Dummies. Go there and look at it if you want to get started double-knitting. It really helped me wrap my brain around it. Double-knitting colorwork just requires doubling the number of stitches in your colored sections and maintaining the alternating knit and purl stuff...if that makes any sense (this is totally why I don't make tutorials explaining actual skills). It's not as hard as it sounds, I swear.

For a kid's (or small adult) hat use size 5 needles and cast on 144 sts in DK/sport weight yarn. This gives you the 3 bigfeet on either side (72 sts per side). If you need to add length then I recommend making the brim longer. After doing a brim of at least 1" or so you can either create the different texture ridge by swapping your knits and purls or just do a rnd in your alternate color. Then begin double-knitting the bigfoot chart and then you'll need to double-knit 6 of the honeycomb chart (if you want them).

For an adult hat use size 6 (or 7) needles and again CO 144 in DK or sport. You'll need at least a 1" brim. I went with 1.5" because my gauge changes pretty substantially when I double-knit. The needle size you need depends a lot on your double-knitting gauge and your yarn.

I chose not to do the ridge above the brim on the handful of double-sided hats I've made. I also chose to leave off the honeycombs on the crown. Personal preference - nothing more. Both are still possible with double-knitting. You can even still have a ribbed brim.

Woo hoo! As usual - happy knitting! Show me your bigfoot hats on the Facebook page and don't forget to share this pattern with your pals!