Status Reports

Status Report #1: Wait, what?

Hang on…didn’t I post something last week? Why is something happening again so soon? Did I enter an alternate dimension in which I post on the weekly? What is life?

So…yeah. I’ve been wanting to do more status report type posts for a while now. Posts that, rather than showcasing a thing I made, kinda talk about the behind the scenes stuff, like things I’m working on, what’s going on with the shop, stuff like that. I’ve also been thinking about increasing the frequency at which I post, because biweekly is kind of infrequent. So I thought, why not combine the two? And then I did. So from now on, every other week there’s going to be these status reports. Yay!

Okay. First order of business. This year, I’m doing a thing called #stitchingsanta, which is kind of like a secret santa for crafters. There’s two categories—sewing and crochet/knitting. I, somewhat predictably, signed up for the crochet/knitting version. So basically, I get to prepare and send some other crafter (I know who they are, but maintaining anonymity to maintain the surprise) a nifty yarn box. Unfortunately, because college, I’m not going to make much actual progress on this for a few weeks, so I figured I’d share my game plan for getting this swap together. Ahem.

    1. Wait until Thanksgiving Break. Because college.
    2. Go to nifty yarn shop in the French Quarter and acquire sufficiently nifty yarn.
    3. Make something? This might end up being step 1, depending on if a bolt of inspiration hits me. What, exactly, I plan on making is another surprise.
    4. Wrap all items in pretty paper, and put whole thing in a box.
    5. Mail everything in the first week of December.

So, yeah. Not very specific, and it does have me getting everything together in a solid two weeks, but, hey, that’s just how life works sometimes.

Um…there was going to be more to this post, but then I had to spend most of the day working on homework. Because college. So I’m going to leave it here. Bye!

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Amigurumi · Crochet · Free Patterns · Patterns

Tiny Crochet Coffee Mug

I made a thing! Isn’t it cute?

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Little Vampires mug included for scale

So seeing as my blood has been almost completely replaced by coffee at this point, I thought it was about time I made a coffee themed pattern. So I made a coffee mug. Of course, the reason my blood has been replaced by coffee is the sheer amount of coursework I’ve been doing. So I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on this. So I made the coffee mug tiny.

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Depending on the size of your screen, this picture might be to scale.

I wanted to make it into a little keychain, because I think that would make it even cuter. But then I found out that my keychains are in New Mexico, and I am definitely not, so that’ll have to wait for winter break. Until then, I’ll just have to be content with this tiny crochet mug full of tiny crochet coffee.

If you would like to make your own tiny crochet mug, the pattern is here. Expect more crochet coffee stuff in the future, when I have a little more brainspace to work on it. Or not. I’m not really sure. But either way, this will still exist. So…yeah.

Crochet · Other People's Patterns · Wearable

Bat Wing Hair Clip

Here’s something a little bit more spooky to finish out Halloween month. BATS!

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Well, actually, a singular bat. I had intended to make more bats, maybe in a few different colors, but then I remembered that I’m a college student and it’s midterm season, so one bat would have to do. But it hides in your hair, so it’s super spooky.

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See? That’s, like, the definition of spooky.

When I got the idea for a bat-wing hair clip, I originally wanted to design my own. But then I remembered that I’m a college student and it’s midterm season (funny how these things work sometimes), gave up on that dream in favor of keeping my sanity (well, as much as is left), and found a cute pattern on Etsy. Yes, this pattern is copyright E.D’Angel’s Designs and you can buy it from them for a very reasonable $4.00 at this link. Normally I don’t go for paid patterns but this one was almost exactly what I had in mind, and $4 is a low price to pay for the convenience this offered.

I did make a few minor adjustments to the pattern. Most notably, I wanted bat wings and working the pattern as written results in an entire bat, so I completely removed the bat’s head. I wanted it to kind of mimic a crochet hair bow, and I think I mostly succeeded. However, I might go back and make a few more adjustments to help exaggerate the effect.

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Oh, and I hot glued a barrette to the back of it. That seems pretty straightforward.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. It’s a great pattern, and I think it looks super cute in my hair. Unfortunately, I managed to glue the barrette on such that the bat is upside down if I wear it on the right (as in not left), which is where I usually put clips like this. I’ll have to be more careful about that in the future. But I kinda like wearing it on the left, so it all works out. Anyway, I need to get back to studying. I’ll see you guys after Halloween is over.

 

Amigurumi · Crochet · Other People's Patterns

The Spookiest Halloween Month Post Ever

Happy Halloween month everyone! I’ve mentioned before that I adore Halloween. So, in light of the holiday, I’ve decided to start the month off right with something truly terrifying. Muffins!

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WITNESS THE HORROR!!!!!

……

……..What?

Okay, so I haven’t had a lot of time to crochet these past few weeks. This made up really quickly.

Crochet food kind of fascinates me, and I’ve honestly been meaning to do something like this for a while. My original plan was to design my own crochet muffin, but after a few failed attempts, I decided it wasn’t going to happen right away, so I had planned to table it until I had a little more free time.

But then Hurricane Nate happened, and while it fortunately didn’t end up hitting New Orleans at all, I found myself making these delicious gluten free apple muffins on Saturday in case something happened that left me with out a ready source of food. And then I found this cute and simple pattern for crochet muffins at NyanPon.com, which I was able to make almost start to finish while the edible muffins were in the oven. And then I gave it a face. Because why not give it a face.

So…yeah. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that. I’ll probably have something a little spookier for next week. Next next week? Two weeks from now. The next post will happen in two weeks. See you then!

Crochet · Other People's Patterns · Wearable

Dragon Wing Scarf

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Okay, so this is another one I started over the summer. So it was my last day at the Farmers Market before heading back to college for the semester, and I had brought along some yarn so I could work on tiny octopi while I was there. You know, like you do. I got there, however, and realized that I had forgotten to bring safety eyes. Or stuffing. Both of these things are integral to making a tiny octopus.

But I did have yarn and a crochet hook so, not wanting to sit around doing nothing for the next four hours, I took to Ravelry to find something else to work on. And that’s when I happened across this pattern by Jessie at Home and was like, this looks like fun. I’m gonna make this.

And then I did. Kind of.

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Ta-da!

See, the original was made using DK weight yarn and a 4.5mm hook. And while I did have a whole bunch of DK weight yarn, the only hook at my disposal was 3.5mm. And I didn’t think to make up for the size difference that would cause until after I finished the scarf, so it wound up pretty short.

No big deal, though. See, this scarf is actually a crochet version of another Jessie at Home pattern, called the Dragon Wing Cowl, which is a knit pattern, and quite a bit shorter. The cowl features three buttons seen to the skinny end that serve to hold the cowl in place. So, I borrowed that idea and affixed two little pink buttons to my scarf. And it worked beautifully.20170925_104404

I’m not much of a fashion person, but I think this scarf makes for a nice accent piece for a simple outfit. It features these raised braid things that look kinda goofy when you’re making it, but really give the piece character when it’s done. It’s a little different than most of the things I make, and I found making it to be a nice break from the usual grind.

Crochet · Other People's Patterns · Wearable

Welcome to Night Vale Scarf

“Regret nothing, until it is too late. Then, regret everything. Welcome to Night Vale.”

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I regret everything.

Okay, so I started this project over the summer because I wanted a change of pace from the tiny octopi I was making to keep my physical stock up. I found a chart for a knit scarf (on Tumblr of all places. Here’s the link) based on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and I was like, “That looks cool. I’ll just make it in crochet. It’ll be fun.”

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What a fool I was.

So I actually really like intarsia pieces like this, and crocheting it was really fun. However, I decided to use this piece to experiment with bobbins (I’d never technically used them before). And I made the horrible, horrible mistake of just leaving all the individual strands I was working with completely loose, rather than wrapping them into balls or, you know, actually using bobbin holders. I also made the horrible, horrible mistake of not planning ahead and measuring out how much yarn I needed for each bobbin. So at the end, I was left with a tangled mess of really long ends that needed to be weaved in.

I hate weaving in ends. It’s the bane of my existence.

20170911_103421In the end, though, the scarf turned out pretty cool. I mean, I need to block it if I ever want it to lie flat, but seeing as I don’t have an easy way to do that at school, that’s not going to happen for a while. Besides, it looks fine when I’m just wearing it as a scarf, so mission success in my opinion.

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Super awesome selfie powers activate!

Incidentally, the quote I started off with is from Welcome to Night Vale (Episode 10, entitled “Feral Dogs”). The podcast itself is hard to describe, but if you like the Cthulhu mythos and/or unabashedly surreal fiction, I think it would be worth checking out. I rather enjoy it, for what it’s worth. Here’s a link to their website, and another to the first episode, just for good measure.

So, yeah. Until next time, Goodnight, Night Vale. Goodnight.

Crochet · Other People's Patterns

Super Awesome Stashbusting Floor Pouf

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So classes started yesterday. Yay? And with a new school year, comes a new dorm room. This year I’m in an on-campus apartment featuring a shared kitchen and living room. Yay. However, the living room looks kinda drab and boring on it’s own because, well, college dorm room, so I decided to brighten it up a little by making this super amazing floor pouf. Yay!

 

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I also made the pouf as a stashbuster to use up the extra yarn from the Partly Cloudy super scarf I made last year. And it worked! It worked so well, in fact, that I ran out of yarn and wound up busting some of my mom’s stash to finish it. Which is where the white, black, and red parts come from. Also there’s red on the bottom.

20170827_135912The pouf itself is super soft and squishy, and it works great as a footstool for when you’re just hanging out in the living room. I used a pattern from MJ’s Off the Hook Designs (obligatory link), and if you want to make one yourself, I would highly suggest checking it out. Overall, I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and I think it really helps to make the room feel more like someone lives there.

 

Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki · Not So Free Patterns · Patterns

Matoki Part VIII: Completion (Finally)

I finally finished the pattern! Yay!

Okay, so first some business. If you would like to buy the pattern, you can find it on my Etsy shop by clicking here.  If you only want to make one or two of the matoki, the individual patterns are for sale on my Ravelry shop.

If you are not of a crafting way, but still want one of the matoki, they are also for sale on my Etsy shop. To celebrate the release of the pattern, they are half off for a limited time. This sale will run while supplies last, so if you really want one, now’s the time to buy. The direct link is here.

This pattern is a freaking behemoth. It is 43 pages long and contains not only crochet instructions, but also printable pattern pieces for all the sewn-on felt parts and detailed assembly instructions for each individual matoki (because it’s different for each individual matoki). The assembly instructions also contain a lot of pictures, making them as easy as possible to interpret. It may go through a few more tweaks (particularly where Joko’s mask is concerned) but for the most part it is finished.

Which, honestly feels kind of baffling to me. I mean, I’ve been working on this pattern since December of 2015—longer than I’ve been running Entropy Creations. When I first designed this pattern, I had no idea it would be so difficult, and it is incredibly more complex than anything else I have designed. It’s also, in essence, the first pattern I have ever designed. The proto-version of this pattern—the original Kekemato, who had stuffed ears—predates the first pattern I put on this site by a good seven months, and it’s been growing and changing ever since. It feels really weird to just be done.

It also feels really good to just be done. Making the matoki has frustrated me to no end, and I was not thrilled when I realized I had to make another whole set because I’d forgotten to take pictures. That said, making the second set did help me tweak the pattern and fix problems I hadn’t realized existed.

So, as a way to wrap up the series, I wanted to go over each matoki individually and share some final thoughts. (Incidentally, in the following pictures, the new matoki is always on the left.)

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Shishimato

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Picture credits: www.aminoapps.com and presumably one of their Instagrams before that…

Did you know that Bang Yongguk has an identical twin brother? On the left, I’ve included a picture of them with their older sister, for reference. This doesn’t have much to do with the matoki, but it amused me while I was making the second Shishi.

 

That said, I think the newer Shishi is an improvement on the old. Shishi is forever doomed to be squishier than the other matoki, but the new one has tighter stitching and is a little more firmly stuffed, making it so he’s a little smaller and isn’t quite as inclined to slide down whenever I try to prop him up against something. I also managed to accidentally enlarge the nostrils on his mask, but I like it better, so I kept it in the new pattern.

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Jokomato

I don’t really have much to say about Joko. I did get to spend more time on his mask, and I think it looks a lot cleaner and crisper because of it. Ultimately, though, he’s one of the easiest matoki to put together—-if not the easiest—and both times I’ve made him he’s been a welcome change of pace from making the others.

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Tatsmato

I realized when I was reading through my old posts that I made both Tats and Dada before Skydive came out. This is somewhat relevant because Skydive was when I really started to pay more attention to B.A.P as a group of musicians, and also people with personalities, and not just as that one k-pop group that had the really cute mascots. It also marks the point where my bias member changed from Himchan to Jongup, and with it my favorite matoki changed from Tats to Dada.

So, yeah, I have no idea how new Tats’ head ended up so flat. It’s a little hard to tell in the picture, but his head is a lot wider and more disc shaped than it should be. I kind of feel bad for Tats, because one of the reasons I actually wanted to go back and make a new set of matoki was to have a version of Tats that used the same base pattern as all the others. I also wanted to have another try at his arm tattoos, which are significantly more complicated than the simple empty explosion I use. Ultimately, however, his tattoos proved more than my modest embroidery skill could handle, so they were left blank.

Once I’ve taken a break and gotten some distance from the matoki, I think I might take another shot at Tats. I want to be able to take my time and get things right. However, I don’t think I’m in the right state of mind for it right now.

 

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Kekemato

Keke has, hands down, my favorite design out of all the matoki, but he is a pain to make. I had assumed that a lot of the frustration that came in making him stemmed from the design process, but it turns out that the design part was comparatively easy, and I actually had to stop working on the project entirely for about a week this summer because Keke proved too much for me to handle.

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Photo taken from Pinterest.com

While I was making Keke III, I realized that a large part of what makes Keke so difficult to, well, make, it that he was designed for a two dimensional medium, and that design just does not translate well when brought into a three dimensional space. This is most noticeable in images like the one on the right, where the part of the hood below the zipper magically disappears when the hood is lifted. This is in stark contrast to my matoki dolls where the bottom part remains in place even when the hood is off, like some sort of fashionable white cowl.

A sane person might have solved this dilemma by simply attaching an unusable hood to the back of his neck or ignoring the fact that Keke is a pink rabbit alien wearing a black suit, but I am nothing if not stubborn and Keke Prime had a usable hood, so this Keke has to have one too.

Griping aside, I do think Keke III turned out better than Keke II. I took a lot more time on the assembly and, with a few exceptions, I think it worked out for the better. I’m especially proud of the addition of a separating zipper for his mask, which makes wrestling him into and out of his hood significantly easier.

 

 

 

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Totomato

I didn’t realize how floppy original Toto was until I put him next to new Toto. For some reason I didn’t stuff his head as much, and firmly stuffing the head really helps the ears to stay up.

Also, new Toto was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier to put together than the original. I had expected that to be the case, because many of my problems with the first Toto came from translating his markings into a physical space. Once the pattern pieces were made, however, that problem completely vanished. Which is good, because I had a solid two days to make him if I wanted to finish the matoki before the end of the summer.

 

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Dadamato

When I made the new Dada, I was prepared for it to take a while to sew on all the felt pieces. I was not, however, prepared for new Dada to be slightly bigger than original Dada, thereby rendering my pattern piece for the treads useless. It wasn’t as bad a setback as it could have been, as I just had to lengthen the center tread piece and revise the pattern to accommodate multiple possible sizes, but it was still kind of disheartening. That said, I am happy with the way new Dada turned out, so overall I’d call it a win.

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Photo taken from: myname2011.blogspot.com

Also, Moon Jongup makes me happy.  I mean, just look at that face. How can you not be happy when you’re looking at that face. (For context, Jongup is the member that Dada is based around.)

I keep bringing up B.A.P because, no matter how hard I’ve worked on the matoki, they are still, ultimately, fan art. They were created as a mascot for a k-pop group and it’s impossible to dissociate them from that group. For all my talk about the challenges of formulating the pattern, or the admittedly bare-bones lore surrounding the matoki, I’ve never really mentioned the actual group they were created for. Which, when I think about it, is pretty odd.

I mean, I know why it happened. When I listen to music, I don’t really get swept up in the backstory or lives of the people who make that music.  B.A.P was no exception. When I started making the matoki, I didn’t know anything about B.A.P, the k-pop group, other than they had some songs I kind of liked. B.A.P is a hip-hop group, and hip-hop is one of my least favorite genres of music, so while I liked some of their more lyrical album tracks, I was ambivalent to the group as a whole.

However, I was immediately enamored by the matoki. The whole concept of a group of highly trained alien warriors who also happened to be adorable anthropomorphic rabbits is a goofy one, but one that I could get behind. It also helped that B.A.P initially doubled down on the concept by claiming to actually be highly trained alien warriors who were attempting to conquer Earth. And by conquer Earth, I mean collect the elated screams of millions of fangirls to send back to their homeworld, thereby solving said homeworld’s energy crisis. It’s a weird story, but it’s the kind of weird story I really enjoy, and it ultimately lead to me becoming a fan of the group.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best person to tell you all about the members of a boy band and why you should care, and frankly, I’m fine with that. That’s why I run a craft blog instead of a fandom blog. But if you’ve been following these posts, like the matoki, and don’t already listen to B.A.P, I’d strongly suggest checking them out.

Crochet · Free Patterns · Patterns · Wearable

Tiny Crochet Hat

I love tiny hats. This might be kind of obvious, seeing as my first instinct when confronted with a pattern for tiny octopi was to put little top hats on them. As such, it was only a matter of time before I came up with a tiny hat pattern for people. And I think it turned out pretty cute.

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This was a pretty last minute project. I’ve been working on a few longer pieces, but none of them would be finished on time, and this has been rattling around my head for a while. It literally took, like, an hour from start to finish. I think the hardest part was figuring out what color ribbon to use. Oh, and figuring out how best to affix it to someone’s hair. I ended up sewing two barrettes to the bottom of the hat, which seems to hold it pretty well.

So…yeah. I don’t really have much to say about this one. The pattern is here. See you in two weeks!

 

Amigurumi · Crochet · Other People's Patterns

We Bare Squares

Story time!

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Okay, so it was near the end of my first day at the Farmer’s Market, and I was chilling at my booth. At the time, I had two square bears for sale—a brown bear and a panda. So this little kid and his mom walked up to my booth and started looking at the bears. After a minute, his mom asked, more to him than me, “Where is Ice Bear?” in reference to We Bare Bears, a cartoon featuring a grizzly bear, a panda, and a polar bear. I, of course, immediately responded by saying that I simply hadn’t made him yet. To be honest, I made the square bears before I knew We Bare Bears existed, and didn’t make the connection between the show and my bears until they pointed it out. So naturally, I decided to make a square polar bear to complete the set.

 

Now might be a good time to mention that I’ve never actually seen any episodes of We Bare Bears…. I should probably go watch some of the show, so I know what I’m talking about. Be right back.

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All screencaps from imdb.com

………..

……………….

……………………..What the heck did I just watch? That was strangely endearing…

Yeah, so anyway, I made Ice Bear. Here’s a picture:

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Isn’t he cute?

If you want to make your own square bear, I used a pattern by Lion Brand Yarn, which you can find here. The bears are super easy to make, and if you’re new to amigurumi, it’s definitely a pattern I’d suggest checking out.

So…yeah. That’s about it. I leave you with this picture of all three square bears hanging out by the log in my backyard.

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