Thursday, August 27, 2015

Saruman's Beverage Sleeve - FREE KNITTING PATTERN - Includes Colorwork Chart

After a slightly intoxicated Facebook discussion, a friend of mine suggested I make him a beer coozie with the Hand of Saruman on it.

As usual, I said, "Ok. I can do that."

Then I did it.

This rad beverage sleeve was made with bottles and cans in mind, but it can be easily modified to be a coffee sleeve. It will fit your typical 12 oz cans and regular-shaped bottles. Feel free to also use it for soda or those weird cans of Dasani water that taste like garbage. Also feel free to use the chart for other projects (including crochet), but I appreciate credit in the form of a link back to this pattern or shoutout to my Facebook page or Etsy!

I made the sleeve flat and then seamed it so I could get a good look at the hand and make any necessary tweaks to the chart. You can also make it in the round using magic loop or DPNs. Instructions are the same, just, you know, use your preferred working in the round technique.

What You Need

  • worsted weight yarn in black and white (or other colors, whatever)
  • size 6 needles of some sort for your preferred method
  • yarn needle (optional, for seaming if you work flat)
What You Do
  • CO 36 sts with your preferred CO method, join if you're working in the round
  • 2 rows of k2p2 ribbing, more if you want a longer sleeve
  • work this chart:
  • 1 row of stockinette
  • 1 row of k2p2 ribbing with dec worked after every 4th st
    • e.g. k2p2, k2tog, k, p2, k, p2tog, etc. etc. - use your mathbrain
  • k2p2 ribbing matching up accordingly with the previous dec row
  • seam if necessary
  • put on drink
  • drink
To the right is a crappy picture I took before I seamed it.

You can leave out the dec row to make more of a coffee sleeve. The coozie I made was decently stretchy, but snug and I intended the dec part to sit at the neck of the bottle/top of the can.

Happy Middle Earth crafting! XOXOX

p.s. If you want one of these from me, just send me a custom order request on Etsy! $10 + $3 shipping (US only - sorry international, pals)

p.s.s. Next week is DragonCon and I'll try really hard to churn out another free pattern early in the week before I depart for the great unveiling of Sweater Saturn.

Friday, August 21, 2015

FREE Terrier Dog Colorwork Chart - Suitable For Knitting or Crochet

I made this chart for a sort of slouchy knit hat. I suppose this dog is some sort of terrier. I was shooting for a Scottish Terrier, but it looked way bad. The hat I made was a late birthday present because I am the worst friend in the world. 

I wanted to try out some Caron Simply Soft Ombre and the end result on the dogs was pretty ridiculous. imo, but it looked cool for the rows of argyle above and below the dogs. Maybe use a solid color for your dogs.

This chart will work for other knitting projects as well as crochet. I put some stitches between each dog on the hat I made, but the chart will work with no stitches between (but it'll look like the dogs are sniffing each others' butts). Do what you want with it! Check out some other free charts and patterns here!

And as always, give my Facebook page a like. If you make anything feel free to share it there and buy things in my shop because this girl has gotta pay bills. 

XOXOX - happy crafting!

Friday, August 14, 2015

FREE Yurikuma Paw Print Motif Crochet and Knitting Chart

If you've seen the bizarrely wonderful anime Yurikuma Arashi you surely remember the paw print motif that was all over the place. Well, unless you're someone that doesn't notice recurring patterns. It was on the Wall of Severance and also in the background during each Kuma Shock.

This chart -should- be continuous on all four sides if my brain was working correctly when I made it. Line it up. Stack it. Repeat it however many times. I haven't tested it at all, so it might end up a total disaster and I may have just lied to you. If you work it in the round for a hat or something you need to be mindful of the jogging at the start of each round for sure because it'll be right down the middle of a paw.

Enjoy! And if you make a thing with this chart, feel free to share it on my Facebook! Also like my Facebook as it's the cool thing to do.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Finishing Up Nisha + Full Costume Test Session

After DragonCon I hope to get back in the grove of Free Pattern Friday for real - at least a colorwork chart each week if not a complete pattern. I wrapped up both of my cosplays this year way early, but I've mostly just been working on stocking the shop for the impending hat season(!). This means I'm not really making any new or interesting things at the moment. I'm taking it easy until after the con, you see.
Following this year's adventure, I'll be doing a full write up for both Sweater Saturn as well as Nisha for my main website for those of you interested. I personally enjoy reading about other peoples' processes for ideas, etc. etc. My write-ups are pretty fun because I screw up a lot and they often contain many hilarious DO NOT DO THIS LIKE I DID tips. lololol
Until then, here's a quick summary of the final parts of my Nisha costume and a few shots from a quick test session. 

You really should always put on all of your shit and run around your house. This is a great way to make sure you're durable for when falling down drunk in costume and, for Nisha, it revealed a few parts that needed paint touch-ups (inside of the jacket and the drop shadow around my class mod). Also, if you get everything that's going to break o break before a con you can fix it in the comfort of your home so everything stays together once you leave home. I also had to add more velcro to my belt because my grenade is oddly weighted and was screwing up my pants.

I also did a full-ensemble Sweater Saturn test run with a dorky photo session. See that stuff on Facebook!

PROPS FROM TRASH: A WoollyRhino Specialty

I love recycling. I love making things out of garbage. Even if I were rich and swimming in money to buy things, I would still make things out of trash. It's fun, like, super-fun. Fun to the max. It can be a challenge. I love a good challenge and waste is stupid.

My Maggie revolver is made out of an old USPS box and I used the leftovers to make my class mod as well (and the boot details). The bug candle has nothing to do with anything except I used it to weigh down cardboard parts as the glue dried.

Last year for my Zer0 suit, I made a grenade out of yogurt containers. I'm using that same yogurt grenade this year. I hope no one cares that I am totally going to have a BL2 grenade and shield for my BL:TPS cosplay. I simply did not feel like making all new props and I didn't have any suitable trash. I made so much stuff out of trash that I ran out of trash. Note that I also use a Chinese take-out lid for a paint pallet. 

And...I love side-by-side progress pictures! You can see the progress! My Maggie is totally flat! Isn't that rad?! I had also wanted to put lights in my class mod, but they were an afterthought and I couldn't fit the battery pack for my LEDs inside of it (plus I also only had blue lights on hand and I really needed purple or pink), so I just painted it. That was my bad. I made the mod a little thinner than it should be because I didn't want too much crap sticking off of my body. ARTISTIC LIBERTIES, BITCHES. I take them and I am proud of it.


I turned an old pair of generic white uggs into Nisha's boots. Ok, ok. They were so old they were off-white. See:

I cut out and glued on pieces of the VERY SAME box that I used for my gun and class mod. I used all of that dear box. I made a minor error in judgement when attaching the parts for the left boot and they're sort of crooked. The boots were rather misshapen from being in the bottom of my closet and I failed to take that into account because I am sometimes extremely incompetent. You can't really see it until I get the boot onto my feet and they're in their proper form.

The glue I used, which I now swear by and worship as the Most Holy of All Glue - Jones Tones Fabric Glue - held my screw up on so firmly that I just left it. I couldn't fix it. The glue was just too incredible (and it's also very cheap...imo it works better than tacky glue for sticking paper shit, etc. together). It is not just a great fabric glue, it is a great multipurpose glue and I also used it to make my gun and class mod, mind you. It worked wonders as filler in the spaces where I joined the cardboard as well and it's easy to paint over too. My God, you would totally think I was a spokesperson for this glue, wouldn't you?

After the glue dried I took the boots outside and blasted them with black plasti-dip. I didn't do a great job because I was running low and I mainly concentrated it on the rubber soles of the boots. They were my main concern because I didn't want the color to rub off at the con. I also wanted to get sort of a base-coat on the cardboard parts so I wouldn't have to do it in my paint, which by this time was running low as well. lulz

Then I painted them. Ignore the wild cankle shit happening in that one picture. I did not inherit very much from my family, but I was definitely shafted with unfortunate calf-ankles. Shhhh.


I don't seem to have taken a picture of the finished pants. This is them at a pretty early stage. I love cell shading. The end.

I'm sorry if this is disjointed and riddled with typos, but I really needed to write a post this week and I also really want to play Heroes of the Storm, so blasted through this at lightning speed and I don't feel like proofreading because I am super lazy and I am human and I just do not care anymore. 

XOXOX HAPPY CRAFTING no matter your preferred craft. :D

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sailor Saturn Crochet Boots Tutorial

Poof = yarn and time

NOTE: This is not a pattern because...

I really enjoy finding excuses to use this picture. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I didn't write down numbers of stitches nor numbers of rows for ANYTHING. I wrote down measurements and more measurements. And drew pictures. With measurements. Then did a whole lot of measuring. Crochet a row, stop, measure, decide if I need any increases or decreases, repeat. The boots were marginally more simple, but equally time-consuming.

What Is This Then?

This is me explaining to you what I did to make my very specific boots and how I made them to fit my specific feet. Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to extrapolate this mighty knowledge to create your own boots. Sailor Saturn's boots are unique among the scouts. Different scouts have different shoes. Know yer shoes, kids! 

You should be able to do this with pretty much ANY shoes of ANY size. Mars' shoes would be easiest, followed by Venus and Neptune. Uranus and Jupiter wear ankle boots, which wouldn't be too insane. Sailor Moon, Mercury and Pluto wear knee-highs that all have boot cuffs. Saturn's boots have no cuff, but they have laces.

What I Used:
  • size F crochet hook
  • yarn needle
  • Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn in Passion, Plum Perfect and White
  • a pair of cheap knee-high boots with no heel in US women's size 7 
  • Jones Tones Stretch Fabric Glue
  • time and patience
Stitches I Used:
  • chain stitch
  • single crochet
  • single crochet increase
  • single crochet decrease
  • slip stitch
Literally the most basic crochet stitches! The toes of the boots required a good deal of shaping, which I suppose makes this for intermediate crocheters?

What I Did (With Pictures!):

I bought these boots several years ago from eBay. I believe they were $10 + shipping. They were for a Miranda Lawson (Mass Effect) cosplay. They've been sitting in my closet ever since, and it occurred to me that I could use them for Sailor Saturn.

Cheap boots - you can see some of the seams and pieces that compose these boots.

After poking around the internet for yarn-covered shoes, I found a bunch of posts on Pinterest (which I can't even find again now) where people would just make crocheted chains and then take 800 years gluing them to their shoes individually. That didn't make sense to me and would use an awful lot of glue, but it was a starting point. Then I thought, "Why don't I just yarn-bomb my boots and only use glue where absolutely necessary?"

I took a look at the boots and noticed that they were themselves made of a number of different sections that are sewn together, and then the sole. There is a front toe portion, heel and sides of the foot, and two large pieces that make up the bulk of the boot.

What I did was just crocheted each of the sections in single crochet. I made each section roughly the same size and same shape as the ones that make up the boots. This would also make the colorwork easier and I wouldn't have to carry the secondary color behind the entire time (saves yarn). SC provides plenty of stretch, so that was that.

Look closely and you can also see the shape of the part making up the toe of the boot and top foot portion.
I copied that shape with crochet.

I began with the toe because I imagined it would be the most complicated due to the shape.

Every few rows I would hold up the crocheted panels to the boots and decide if it was time for increasing or decreases or if I could just keep working even. It was a lot of stop and go, but not difficult by any means. I then slip stitched around each panel to clean up the edges. I did not crochet a cover for the sole because I did not want to slip and fall on my ass.

In this picture you can see each of the different shaped panels and how I began joining them. First I made the foot and then the leg then connected foot to leg.
What About That Colorwork?

As with the rest of the suit, I just winged the colorwork. I decided that the back and sides of the boots would be "shadowed." At the top of the boot I used decreases to make the triangular shapes that form the V at the knee. This part extended above the top of the original boots. I then made the same shapes and slip stitched them to the front part in order to ensure that the shapes would stand on their own, not flip or curl over. I also crocheted two rectangular pieces that extended above the top of the original boots, which would fold over to the inside of the boot to create a clean look around the top of the boot.

The second boot was easier than the first because I just used the panels from the first boot as reference.

I waited until I'd made all of the parts of both boots before seaming them together using my yarn needle and your basic invisible seam that everyone likes to use for granny squares.

I waited to seam up the back so I could lay it all flat and determine where to put the laces more easily.
The laces are tight chains and the bows are actually separate from the bulk of the laces. The bows are attached where they are forever and the laces going up the boot are semi-functional in that I can loosen and tighten them to get the boots on and off. I left enough dangling on the ends not to tie the bows, but to wrap and knot around my knees to hold up the boots.

With the covers finished, I just slid them over the original boots, got them into place and used fabric glue just above the sole. Clamps would have been helpful, but I just put each boot between my thighs and held it for 45 minutes while the glue cured enough to hold the crocheted parts to the boot.

I was careful not to get glue on the yarn and kept it in as thin a line as possible, right up against the sole.

The following day with the covers attached very securely to the bottom of the boot, I put the boots on and positioned everything. I folded over the flaps I made and applied fabric glue under them. Then I wore the boots all day until the glue dried because I felt like it and it ensured that everything would stay in place where it needs to be when I wear the for reals.

Here's a look at the top inside of the boot:
I got a little sloppy with the glue and you can also see where I applied a bit to the lower back part of the triangle parts.
And that's it!

It's hard to gauge how long this whole process took because I actually ran out of yarn about halfway through and used that as an excuse to take a break. My best estimate, including actual glue-drying time where I needed to be holding the glue in place, is probably 35+ hours or thereabouts? Smaller shoes will need less crochet to cover them so they'll obviously be less time.

What About The Boot Cuffs?

If you're trying to make boots for Moon, Mercury or Pluto, I would recommend making the cuff separately and then stitching it to the boot with your yarn needle. Making the cuff a little bit tighter would be a great way also to help hold up the boots. Or am I the only person that has issues with knee-high boots sliding down?

Happy crafting! I hope this cleared some things up and you can at least use it to get started! I'm glad to answer questions (Facebook is easiest)!

p.s. The Sailor Moon fonts I've been putting on everything are here. I did not make them. But they are certainly the bomb-diggity.