Category Archives: Talkin’

Washcloth All The Things!

Two things. Washcloth two things.

And so I’m back… From outerspace… Well, kind of outerspace. The outerspace of my mind? We’ll go with that. Router issues are all cleared up, which… YAY! I missed out on doing the SMS Giveaway this time because by the time I realized that it was probably that time, it was already over. Sadness. So I’ll be doing that again in the spring!

So I finally got these patterns done. Not only done, but done and published up on the intorwebs. I’m a little late (again) with the Christmas one, but it’s Christmasy! December has zoomed on by. The 15th already? For reals?

Anyway. Dishcloths. I’ve done two.


Ooooooh


Aaaaaaah

Patterns can be found on Ravelry!

I will be getting my fabulous uterus purse pattern online soon, just as soon as I get the lining tutorial worked out. Lining a crochet purse is easier than it sounds, and you don’t even need a sewing machine, so long as you can handsew a running stitch.

EXPLOSIONS?

Ok. So I’m a gamer. Wheee! My favorite video game ever of all time (right now) is Borderlands 2. I am hooked. And my favorite character in my favorite video game ever is MISTER TORGUE. I’ve been making noises for a little while about making some just-for-me-totally-for-fun fan-art. So… This happened.

And I have to be honest, I haven’t had this much fun crocheting something in a long time. I was SO EXCITED ABOUT IT (as friends on Facebook could tell you- sorry!). So excited.

I went through my usual, “Uhh, I sure hope this pulls together at the end ’cause I’m kinda not thrilled with it right now,” but it totally did. I LOVE HIM.

For those familiar, yes, there are several detail differences. I blame that on my chosen media and the scale. But I couldn’t wait for the sun to get up high enough this morning to take pictures, I was ALL EXCITED OMG.

So. Mister Torgue. I EVEN MADE HIM A TINY HEADSET!

So excited.

Accidental Vegan

Nothing crafty today, more bake-y.

Ok. So I’ve talked about my dairy allergy, right? If you’re new- hi, I’m Joy, I have a dairy allergy. Anaphylaxis (as my husband says, it’s the best kind of phylaxis!), etc.

So my love of sweet foods has necessitated a lot of my own baking because, just TRY finding things that don’t have, “MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF.” They’re out there, but… Urgh. When I wake up in the morning and go, “I WANT SOME DAMN COOKIES!” it’s easier to pop a tray in the oven than to go and spend half an hour reading labels. And muffins? GOOD. LUCK. I live in a small town in the South. I can’t even find dairy-free notcheese.

So what happens when you go through your ingredients and get to the fridge and go, “UH OH! NO EGGS!”? Side note: A lot of my inner monologue/dialogue is in caps. It really, really is. Anyway, no eggs. Do you sink to the floor, throw your hands up in the air and yell, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Well, you could. Please record it if you do.

OR. You could use egg-substitute. And I’m not talking about eggless egg powder or whatever that REAL vegans use. I am not a real vegan. I’m only an accidental vegan when my refrigerator demands it. I go to Chef in You.

You may or may not have been aware that eggs perform different tasks in different things. Apparently they do. The helpful link describes what different role eggs play in different baked goods and what you can substitute them with. Personally, I have used plant-non-specific vegetable oil in muffins (we get off-brand and it’s mostly soy with “contains one or more of the following”) and cornstarch+water in cookies- both successfully. Big note with the cornstarch! I made oatmeal cookies and the dough was quite a bit looser than I was used to. HOWEVER. They baked up just fine.

I’m Still Here!

I am, I promise. Still here. I am also now 30, which is, well, the same as 29 was. What up, 30! My daughter is now 5, which seems CRAZY to me. School madness starts next year, thanks to silly school cutoffs.

As I mentioned on Facebook, I’ve been CRAZY busy creatively lately, which means I tend to withdraw a little. I’m all, “I COULD go and update Facebook, or I could just CONTINUE MADLY WRITING.” So… That happens.

Sadly, not a lot to show for it. Seriously. I still haven’t finished the hippopotamus. Eye ridges and eyes and sewing the ears on and THAT’S IT. I did get my second hat finished, finally, and it fits way better- YAY. I’ve promised Yoda and Spider-man hats for the children, a Mike (Monsters Inc) for a certain little boy who calls him Broccoli, and I REALLY need to get cracking on some Halloweeny dishcloths- and then Wintery ones. So… All the things. It’s a little overwhelming, which makes it a little less appealing… IT’S THE CIRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE. Just less fabulous.

On the plus side, fall is here. YAY. It’s cooler and less, you know, hotter than hell outside, which is always pleasant. AND I’ve set a goal for myself to have something concrete actually finished by the end of the week. I think I’ve got a pretty good shot, it’s only Tuesday. 😉

Crochet-Along, The Musical!

DETAILS. Details. Those two are so easy to mix up.

Anyway… So there will be a hippopotamus. I’ll be starting on Monday, September 9. This will take place on Ravelry, which requires membership but is totally free to join and they don’t send you spam or anything just for showing up. I’ll be doing the crochet-along in The Craft Frog group.

I will write the pattern and make it into a PDF. It will be available fo’ free for the crochet-along, probably from Saturday the 7th until Wednesday the 11th, after which time it won’t be free anymore. The pattern will be EASY, which means there will be a little bit of shaping and some sewing. You will need to know how to chain, single crochet, slip stitch, and single crochet decrease (which also goes by sc 2 together).

If you want to participate, you can either make it at your own pace and post tons of pictures OR I’ll be posting about (and making) the different parts (head and body, legs, tail, etc) every couple of days and we can do it together. And take tons of pictures.

Stuff you’ll need: YARN. For the pattern, I will be using Charcoal from Red Heart Super Saver and Coffee for the eyes (also RHSS). Incidentally this is worsted weight. I’ll probably make a bright pink one or something through the crochet-along because BRIGHT PINK HIPPOPOTAMUS!!! I will also being using an F-hook. If you’ve never done amigurumi before, I would recommend a G- or F-hook. You will also need some sort of stuffing (I’ll be using Mountain Mist Polyester Stuffing) and a yarn needle. And scissors. Unless you want to cut your yarn with your teeth.

It’s a Ball of Stuffing!

003

Congratulations, it’s a ball of stuffing! So I made a pregnant doll because I couldn’t really find a whole lot of them (or, like, any). There’s not really a whole lot to say about her… She came together pretty quickly and she was fun to make! Pattern available on Etsy and slightly cheaper on Ravelry.

Also, her expectant state is in no way a reflection of my uterus, which is completely empty. 😉

Part of the reason that I’m not coming up with a whole lot to say about her, I think, is that I’m frustrated and cranky. I’ve been battling with the internet all day and apparently my router won’t let me FTP. This throws a HUGE kink in my need-a-website plans. Frustrated and cranky. I do have a pot of coffee on, though, and that should be done soon. Coffee fixes everything.

ALSO. My next pattern I’m working on will be a hippopotamus (won with a vote of 6-4). I will be doing a crochet-along with the hippopotamus. I’ll provide you with a free crochet pattern, we’ll all make it, and it will be fun. IT WILL BE. I’m not sure if I’ll be doing it via blog or on Ravelry, but I’m thinking it’ll be Ravelry BECAUSE it’ll be super easy to dispense the pattern that way. There will be more information as details get hammered out. After all, I do need to write the pattern first. 😀

Tools of the Trade- Writing Patterns

I’ve decided to do another blog serial to review the goodies I use and where I get them. Your experiences may vary.

I honestly have no idea how other people do this, so chances are that there’s a way more efficient way out there. But… Here goes. 😀

First, everything gets written down in MS Notepad, I write down the pattern notes as I go. Sometimes I’ll write very basic notes on my phone (if I’m outside or something) and then transfer it to Notepad later. The free patterns on my blog are basically just pattern notes, with color and finishing instructions added.

For patterns that get converted into PDF, I then copy/paste the pattern notes into a word processor. I just started using Open Office, which is free and really functional. Love it!

After that, I convert it to PDF. I use PDF24, which is also free.

Pictures get taken on my digital camera, uploaded to my computer, and then tidied up in Windows Live Gallery and either Fotofuze (fotofuze.com) or Gimp if I need to even out the background. My backdrop for the pictures is either a piece of folded white fabric (mystery fabric that I got in a mystery bundle and I really need to get something that wrinkles less) or two pieces of swirly brown scrapbook paper.

It’s a Hat!

I am headed out on the town tonight (this is a very rare event for me) and yesterday I was thinking out loud and said, “I wish I had a cute hat to wear.” My daughter heard me and said, “You could make one.” I was all, “I probably don’t have enough time…” but then I logged into Ravelry and started looking at patterns. I was going for a very specific look, like a fedora, and I ended up with this.

There I am, looking very tired. I’m going to see if there will be a better picture tonight of the hat in action, but NO PROMISES!

It’s a trilby. In my hat search, I learned that a trilby is like a fedora, just with a short and more-turned-up-in-the-back brim.

Trilby it is. I’m afraid it’s just a little small. It didn’t take too long to work up, but sadly I am out of that color of yarn, so I may need to order some more from a Labor Day sale of some sort and make another one. Because I love it.

The pattern is here and it is AWESOME. I messed up a little to start with, but that was only due to my lack of reading comprehension. I tweaked the pattern a little because I used an H-hook and it was just a tiny bit smaller than the gauge, and I had to make it fit better.

Patterns, Patterns, Patterns!

I have finally accepted that I just don’t have the time right now to both design *and* crank out finished crochet pieces. So… PATTERN ALL THE THINGS! There will be a lot more patterns coming out again. Including… Different kinds of patterns!

Like THIS! This is a chart.

Charting was a lot easier than I thought it would be, but then again this is just a basic color-changing chart. There will be more of these coming with different body parts. MOAR.
Pattern available on Etsy and slightly cheaper on Ravelry.

Also, I decided just to go with Red Riding Hood and the wolf. Eh… I’m ok about Red Riding Hood, but I’m a LOT happier with the wolf than I thought I would be. You’d think that I’d have learned to trust myself by now, but no. No, I haven’t.
DSCF5800
I love the cape. LOVE. The bread and wine come out of the basket for ease of giving to Grandma.
Pattern available on Etsy and slightly cheaper on Ravelry.

Also. In addition to PATTERNING ALL THE THINGS, I will also be making kits for keychains. It is a pain in the butt (and a little pricey) to track down single keychains, so I’ll be offering kits with hook, yarn, stuffing, keychain thingy, and printed pattern. And quite possibly a yarn needle, because yarn needle. And I’m really thinking about two ambitious new projects, but I don’t know how quickly they’ll come together and they’re pretty ambitious, so I don’t think I’m quite ready to talk about them (and commit to them).

Oh, HI!

My posts seem to have gone bi-weekly, and I want to get back to posting at least once a week, so it’s Saturday… STILL SQUEAKING IN ON THIS WEEK!

This week in The Craft Frog, the kids got sick. And that seems to eat up a lot of time. They seem to have caught little colds from their weekend trip to the lake (WHICH WAS AWESOME, BY THE WAY). They’re still little mucus-factories, but at least they’re now both sleeping for relatively reasonable amounts of time. One of the things no one bothers to tell you when you become a parent is that when kids are sick, they tend to do things like stay up late, wake up every hour or two during the night, and wake up the next day SUPER EARLY.

The lake was awesome and a half. I am an introvert by nature, and I hardly ever go out. And I really mean hardly ever. This is compounded by the fact that there are no sidewalks in this silly town, and I (still) don’t drive. So. Hardly ever go out. But I got to go out and socialize WITH OTHER ADULTS for a while and that was most excellent. Also there was water and swimming and a sun burn (DAMNABLE SUN) and lots of grilled food and it was AWESOME. Awesome.

Today I am finishing up Red Riding Hood. I should be done with her by tonight. I’m kinda “meh” about the doll, but IN LOVE with the cape I made. Picture:

(Crappy picture that doesn’t fully capture the full preciousness of the thing that includes a tiny peak on the hood)
Also, I learned that if I really don’t love things, I just need to put an apron on them. 😉 I will be making two “wolves.” One should finish up SUPER quickly. The other one will determine how long this whole project takes.

I have… Finished Borderlands 2! Well, as much as you *can* finish it, there’s always more to do. But I got a Siren to 61 and killed The Warrior, so that was fun. I also started a Commando. I don’t like the Mechromancer quite as much as I thought I would, but maybe I just need to play her a little more?