ratcreature: Who needs talent? Enthusiasm is fun!  (talent/enthusiasm)
I made a baby penguin amigurumi from the same book I used for the dog earlier. It is this one on the authors website.

This being my second one, I had an easier time with the basics, but I accidentally bought the black cotton yarn a thickness of 0.5 mm less than the gray and the white, so it would not fit together when I worked according to the pattern and I had to adjust it by trial and error to make the black fit over the white, and it still doesn't look quite right. (I feel really disgruntled at the yarn store, because these were on shelf area all next to each other, seemingly all different colors of the same type of cotton yarn for crocheting, only the black not really it turned out! Next time I'll know to read the fine print *grumble*)

I am not sure I understood the instruction for the feet and the schematic picture that supposedly illustrated it further was wholly incomprehensible to me. I assume it was some sort of crocheting notation, but the book never explained how to read that, even though the intro chapter even explains all basic stitches, like how you make a single crochet stitch (if you're curious, it looks like this). In the end I managed something that looked vaguely feet like, and I left it at that. I also did not use two types of gray and I didn't have a wire brush to comb the surface fluffy and frizzly, but IMO my penguin still looks cute.

pictures of my result )
ratcreature: Who needs talent? Enthusiasm is fun!  (talent/enthusiasm)
I made a small polar bear from yarn pompons. I followed instructions from a book for the pompons, but they used something called "chenille wire" for the ears (which I didn't have -- it seems like pipe cleaners in different colors made for crafts?) so I used small felt pieces, and I didn't have a bigger pearl for the nose either, so I used a fabric covered button, which was slightly larger and also blue rather than black. The eyes are also blue wooden pearls because I didn't have black. I didn't want to buy a bunch of new craft supplies to use up leftover craft supplies. It turned out okay and quite cute, I think.

pictures of the result )
ratcreature: Who needs talent? Enthusiasm is fun!  (talent/enthusiasm)
Crocheting an amigurumi dog turned out harder than I thought, even though I picked a pattern labeled "easy" in the instruction book I used. It does only use simple stitches, but you have to count stitches a *lot*. I lost my place several times and had to unravel stuff, even though I used a marker ring. And the whole thing took a lot longer than I expected.

But I got to a dog in the end that mostly looks like on the pictures. (It is this dog on the author's website.) I didn't bother adding the tiny barrel.

pictures of my result )

crafts

Feb. 4th, 2015 00:36
ratcreature: Who needs talent? Enthusiasm is fun!  (talent/enthusiasm)
My current messenger bag is becoming threadbare, and I actually have several pair of jeans in my closet that don't fit me anymore, but that don't have holes, so I decided to try out this tutorial for turning old jeans into a bag.

For the lining I used an old duvet cover, that my former rats had chewed on a while back, but it had still hole-free areas that were large enough work. (Side benefit of this crafty project: for once I actually reused something chewed on that I kept despite the damage, instead of just thinking stuff might still be good for something.)

The end result isn't a particularly pretty bag, and it has the disadvantage that the bottom area is not shaped to be naturally broader, but for the same reason it is simple to sew. Overall it worked out okay, though mine still ended up a bit lopsided, probably because I didn't measure or even ironed anything.

Something I changed from the tutorial is that I added another pocket behind the zipper area, because I loathe pointless "decorative" zippers, so in my bag the retained zipper opens into an extra pocket. Also I didn't sew the strap on, but just hooked it into the belt loops that were already there with snap hooks.

a photo of my finished bag )
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
With the basic stitches, what is "rechts verschränkt" called in English? I know that "rechts" is "knit" and "links" is "purl" in knitting terminology, but how do you name that other difference, i.e. whether you sort of twist the stitch -- a "rechts verschränkt" stitch is one where (assuming right handed knitting) you have the yarn behind the needles and insert the right needle from the right into the stitch when you knit the next, whereas a plain "rechts" is when you insert the needle from the left. "Links verschränkt" meanwhile means that the yarn is in front of the needles and you insert the right needle from the right and behind the loop of yarn on the left needle, whereas plain "links" has you insert the needle from the right too but just through the loop (without that twist). I tried looking up the symbol in English language knitting charts, but it seems the knitting symbols aren't normed internationally. In German patterns usually "rechts" is a black square whereas "rechts verschränkt" is a black diamond shape.
ratcreature: Flail! (flail)
I'm reading a sewing instruction, that says it is suited for beginners, and it really doesn't look all that complicated, and has lots of photos for the steps. So that is promising.

However, first there are still a bunch of words that I have no idea what they mean (though I have used a sewing machine before so my knowledge is actually not zero), also it omits crucial information in the steps, like it doesn't even say what stitch it is they are using for the seams (though at least I can see that on the photo, and I think I recognize it), it says that you need to leave an opening to turn the piece, but doesn't say how large that needs to be to be turned easily, and so on and so forth.

I think since I need to return some library books anyway, I'm going to come back with a basic sewing book that has a glossary, or "sewing for dummies" or something like that.

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