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.

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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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Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki · Patterns

Matoki Part VII or How NOT to Write a Pattern

So it’s been, what, two months since I finished Keke? I should probably address this whole pattern nonsense. Yeah….

Okay, so, I know I’ve written a few patterns before, and generally the design process (the part where I figure out how to make the thing) is the hardest part, with the actual writing of the pattern being relatively easy. However, the matoki pattern has two things my previous patterns did not. The first is pattern pieces for the mask and several of the markings. The second is assembly instructions. Let’s address them one at a time.

The pattern pieces were relatively easy to make. I’ve been saving the paper versions of all the pieces, and it was a simple matter of scanning them into the computer and using Gimp (like Photoshop, but free and harder to use) to outline them. This was easy. And boring. So I put it off for a few weeks. But I got it done. Two weeks ago.

Writing assembly instructions, however, proved to be much harder. More specifically, I found it difficult to explain how to assemble any specific matoki without relying heavily on pictures. So I decided to add pictures. The only problem was that, while I was designing the matoki, I neglected to take pictures.

Yeah.

So, long story short, I decided to make a new set of matoki, explicitly for the purpose of taking pictures. I will be finishing one every week starting two weeks ago, and as soon as I finish each matoki, I will be posting their individual pattern to Ravelry. If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I just implied that two of the individual patterns are already on Ravelry. You would be correct. Here are links to the patterns for Shishi and Tats.

Thank you all for your patience, and for following me through this project. I’ll have one more post on this when all of the patterns are up.

Amigurumi · Crochet · Free Patterns · Patterns

Tiny Kitties

So I adore cats. I think they’re awesome and I want one. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to adopt one right now….So I made one three.

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They’re like chess pieces with tails!

I really like the sleek, minimalist design. It has just enough elements to make clear that they are cats, while still being small and quick enough to make that I can easily create a small army.

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The octopus is a size reference.

Not only are these kitties adorable, I actually designed them myself! They were relatively easy and fun to design, although there were a few challenges. The tail especially gave me a lot of trouble. I originally tried to make it a thin tube, but that wound up looking really weird, and a little too fat for cats this tiny. Ultimately, I made the tails just one long row of single crochet, which had the added bonus of naturally curling around itself, giving the tail a little more character.

 

The other problem was in trying to get them to stand up. The proto-cat I made (no pictures, sorry) didn’t stand on it’s own very well, and I didn’t want them to be restricted to lying down or leaning on other, sturdier things. The obvious solution was to give them a flat base—which is how they got their cone-shaped bodies—but that wasn’t quite enough. To make it work, I had to stuff the bodies very loosely, so that the base would lay flat.102_8828

Anyway, here is a PDF of the pattern: Tiny Kitty. If you choose to make one yourself, send me a picture. I’d love to see it! For those that aren’t craft inclined but still want one, you can buy them here. Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Summer, Matoki, and General Updates

So, as a full time computer science student, I normally wind up basically ignoring the business side of Entropy Creations in favor of making sure I don’t, you know, flunk out of college. However, finals are over, and I’m home for the summer with nothing else to do, so for the next few months, Entropy gets to be a full time job. Yay!

Naturally, this means I’ve been crocheting. A lot. And what have I been making? Well…octopi.

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They’re seasonal!

And also, like, a veritable garden of hair flowers.

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Pictured: a garden of hair flowers

Both of which are things I’ve already posted about. I’ve been making so many of these because, while I’m here, I’m going to be selling product at the Farmers and Crafts Market in Las Cruces, NM. And I kind of needed physical items to put on the table. And I already had a lot of everything else on my Etsy shop. (Quick reminder that I do, in fact, sell things on Etsy. Here’s a link to my shop.) Well, everything except the matoki. I’m not mass producing those. They take too long.

20170508_201521Speaking of the matoki, they’re on Etsy! You can buy one now! Yay! Here’s a link to the listing.

I wasn’t originally going to sell physical matoki because, as you can see if you click the link, they’re kind of expensive to make. But, after a lot of people started giving me disappointed looks when I said they weren’t for sale, I finally relented and put them on Etsy. As for the pattern…I’m working on it, I swear. I just need a few more weeks.

So…yeah. That about does it.  Just a quick update to share what I’m doing, crochet-wise and reaffirm that I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet. Yay!

Crochet · Free Patterns · Patterns

Mason Jar Pin Cushion

20170521_130719This seems like it should be pretty self explanatory….It’s a mason jar with a pin cushion on top. Here’s the pattern: Mason Jar Pin Cushion. I made it myself.

For the past few years, I’ve been using a pin cushion that came in a cheap sewing kit my mom gave me. Those pins that are pictured were also from that sewing kit. However, recently I’ve been having a few problems. Firstly, a few weeks ago I discovered that the head of one of my straight pins had snapped off, leaving the long metal poky bit stuck firmly inside the pin cushion. Which was bad. I had to pull it out with pliers. Clearly I needed a more secure way to store my pins.

The other problem was actually unrelated to my pins. For the past year or so, I’ve been struggling to find a way to store my darning needles that wouldn’t result in me losing them or in them stabbing me. Recently, I’ve had them loose in my sewing kit, which isn’t particularly conducive to either goal.

Since I’d been meaning to replace my pin cushion anyway, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make one with a space underneath where I could put pins and needles. Which is why I hot glued it to the top of a mason jar.

This pattern is a lot simpler in design than most of what I make, but I don’t think it really needed to be anything fancy. It was a bit of a challenge putting it all together at the end, especially when I tried to attach the pin cushion to the lid. I also wound up adding a ribbon around the edge of the lid to make it look more polished/professional. In the end, I think it turned out pretty cute, like a little blue mushroom.

Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki

Matoki Part VI: Kekemato

Guys, guys, I did it! I finished Kekemato! I can’t wait to show him to you. Wait…where did he go? Keke?

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Gah!

Darn it, Keke! Come out and sit properly so I can take pictures of you.

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Thank you.

Yeah, so Kekemato is the last of the matoki, and he’s a ninja. He’s also bright pink, has really nice eyelashes, and always wears a black full body suit (pictured on the left) because he thinks he’s too pretty to be a warrior. Also, being pastel pink probably isn’t super conducive to being a ninja.

Tragically, I did not make Keke a full body suit because I’m not, you know, insane. I did, however, use actual zippers in his construction, and make a fully functional hood that—when you unzip the mask—reveals Keke’s pretty pink head. Because apparently I’m a masochist.20170508_200838

Naturally, creating what essentially amounted to an entire second head but this time hollow and able to perfectly encompass the first head came with its own set of problems. The biggest challenge I faced when designing Keke’s hood was what to do about his ears. I originally wanted to work some sort of crochet magic to make a special hood that had hollow ears and holes inside the mask for said ears. However, not only would that be horrible to try to engineer, it would mean I would have to wrestle Keke’s ears into the ear holes every single time I wanted to put his hood on. As such, I scrapped the idea as needlessly complicated.

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Obligatory family picture is higher up this time. For reasons.

Instead, Keke’s mask is basically a second, slightly larger head, complete with it’s own ears, and it’s own pipe cleaners within those ears. When putting his mask on, I just need to fold Keke’s ears down and shove his head violently through the hole created by the zipper. This model is still hard, but at least it’s actually, you know, possible.

The other major problem I had was with the sheer amount of embroidery involved in his design. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not particularly good at sewing, and unlike with all the other matoki, I couldn’t just make a pattern to either trace or cut out of felt, so I had to eyeball everything. I wound up redoing a bunch of it, but overall I think it turned out really cool.

So that’s it. I’m done. I have finished making every single matoki. Yay! But, while Keke is the last of the matoki, in a weird way, he was also the first. See, I first got the idea to make one of these back in December 2015 as a Christmas present for my friend Dani. At the time, I knew that she was a big fan of B.A.P. (the k-pop group), and that the matoki were not only B.A.P.’s mascots, but also possibly the single most plushable thing in k-pop. So, I asked one of our mutual friends who Dani’s favorite member was, with the intention of making his associated matoki. She said her favorite was Daehyun. That’s this one, incidently:

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Image courtesy of allkpop.com

Armed with this knowledge and a naive confidence that surely it couldn’t be that hard, I set about searching for a pattern and found, to my surprise, that there were no crochet patterns for matoki. So, armed with even more naive confidence, I set about to make my own. And was shocked to discover that it was, in fact, really hard. But I did it! Here’s a picture of the two Kekes together:

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Ta-dah!

Yeah…the pattern has evolved a lot over the years. Keke-prime’s mask also goes on his head:

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Ta-dah!

Aren’t they cute?

So, this is the last matoki post, right? I’m done now. Right?

Well, there’s actually going to be one more. See, since I made Keke prime, I wanted to release the pattern on the internet so other people could use it. However, even though the matoki are done, the pattern still needs to be tested (for typos and errors in the instructions) and polished. So there will be one more matoki post when the pattern is ready to be released to the world. See you then!

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Bye!