02 Sep 2014

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New Project: Fused Filament Fiddle

1H1A5566_back-23D-print a full-size electric violin, then plug in and play. The F-F-Fiddle (pronounced EFF-EFF-Fiddle) is a full-size electric violin, designed in Autodesk's Fusion 360, that can be made on a desktop 3D printer - the fused-filament fabrication (FFF) type. All parts can be printed without support material, and the finished […]

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02 Sep 2014 4:55pm GMT

New Project: Fused Filament Fiddle

1H1A5566_back-23D-print a full-size electric violin, then plug in and play. The F-F-Fiddle (pronounced EFF-EFF-Fiddle) is a full-size electric violin, designed in Autodesk's Fusion 360, that can be made on a desktop 3D printer - the fused-filament fabrication (FFF) type. All parts can be printed without support material, and the finished […]

Read more on MAKE

02 Sep 2014 4:55pm GMT

3D Printing a Life-Sized Elephant for A Good Cause

Printers_3If you happen to be traveling through the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, you might get a chance to see an impressive 3D printing project in the works. World Animal Protection, an animal rights group was looking to raise awareness on the mistreatment of elephants. Often kept in tiny quarters, chained, […]

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02 Sep 2014 2:13pm GMT

3D Printing a Life-Sized Elephant for A Good Cause

Printers_3If you happen to be traveling through the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, you might get a chance to see an impressive 3D printing project in the works. World Animal Protection, an animal rights group was looking to raise awareness on the mistreatment of elephants. Often kept in tiny quarters, chained, […]

Read more on MAKE

02 Sep 2014 2:13pm GMT

Alchemy and Artistry

Colors for these paints come from natural materials.Ancient people have been turning natural materials such as stones, bugs and plants into pigments for centuries. Experience a bit of alchemy and learn how to go from raw materials to paint to art.

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02 Sep 2014 12:01pm GMT

Alchemy and Artistry

Colors for these paints come from natural materials.Ancient people have been turning natural materials such as stones, bugs and plants into pigments for centuries. Experience a bit of alchemy and learn how to go from raw materials to paint to art.

Read more on MAKE

02 Sep 2014 12:01pm GMT

01 Sep 2014

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Pick Up Your Tools and Get Started!

Welcome to the faireA call to action, to pick up your tools and get started making, and to be part of the next industrial revolution.

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01 Sep 2014 7:01pm GMT

Pick Up Your Tools and Get Started!

Welcome to the faireA call to action, to pick up your tools and get started making, and to be part of the next industrial revolution.

Read more on MAKE

01 Sep 2014 7:01pm GMT

New Project: Mini Fridge Soda Fountain

Img_7112bBuild your own personal soda fountain that will refill your drink from across the room.

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01 Sep 2014 6:00pm GMT

New Project: Mini Fridge Soda Fountain

Img_7112bBuild your own personal soda fountain that will refill your drink from across the room.

Read more on MAKE

01 Sep 2014 6:00pm GMT

F Is For Frequency at the Circuit Playground

adabotThe 5th installation of Adafruit's adorable educational series has recently been published. "Fis for frequency". In this one, the ever curious Adabot starts out by asking "why do radio stations all have their own number?". That sparks a lesson in frequency, delivered by a talking oscilloscope. These videos are always […]

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01 Sep 2014 4:01pm GMT

F Is For Frequency at the Circuit Playground

adabotThe 5th installation of Adafruit's adorable educational series has recently been published. "Fis for frequency". In this one, the ever curious Adabot starts out by asking "why do radio stations all have their own number?". That sparks a lesson in frequency, delivered by a talking oscilloscope. These videos are always […]

Read more on MAKE

01 Sep 2014 4:01pm GMT

Cheaper Robotics Through 3D Printing

Robot evolution through 3D printing.Michael Overstreet combines his two loves of 3D printing and robotics by printing his own humanoid robots. His goal is to make robotics affordable by printing as many of the parts as possible. Also, his robots are super fun to watch and play with.

Read more on MAKE

01 Sep 2014 1:39pm GMT

Cheaper Robotics Through 3D Printing

Robot evolution through 3D printing.Michael Overstreet combines his two loves of 3D printing and robotics by printing his own humanoid robots. His goal is to make robotics affordable by printing as many of the parts as possible. Also, his robots are super fun to watch and play with.

Read more on MAKE

01 Sep 2014 1:39pm GMT

31 Aug 2014

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Artist creates tribute to the Lord of the Rings with stained glass lamp

zuW6Jm4Artist designs Lord of the Rings lamp using the age-old art form of stained glass. The lamp has three scenes, with each side but the face representing the trilogy.

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31 Aug 2014 3:01pm GMT

Artist creates tribute to the Lord of the Rings with stained glass lamp

zuW6Jm4Artist designs Lord of the Rings lamp using the age-old art form of stained glass. The lamp has three scenes, with each side but the face representing the trilogy.

Read more on MAKE

31 Aug 2014 3:01pm GMT

30 Aug 2014

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Detecting Electrons with Weekend Projects

I could have used fewer wires to jump from transistor-to-transistor, but I opted to separate each component instead to make the junctions more clear. See the original circuit schematic for comparison.Sniff out electrons and sense static charge with the Non-Contact Voltage Detector. Built it into an enclosure on perfboard or quickly prototype the circuit on breadboard to experiment with this classic Weekend Project!

Read more on MAKE

30 Aug 2014 7:00pm GMT

Detecting Electrons with Weekend Projects

I could have used fewer wires to jump from transistor-to-transistor, but I opted to separate each component instead to make the junctions more clear. See the original circuit schematic for comparison.Sniff out electrons and sense static charge with the Non-Contact Voltage Detector. Built it into an enclosure on perfboard or quickly prototype the circuit on breadboard to experiment with this classic Weekend Project!

Read more on MAKE

30 Aug 2014 7:00pm GMT

3D Printed Foldable Head Mounted Display

[Tony’s] $60 Bluetooth Head Mounted Display is compatible with Android and LinuxThe $80 Head Mounted Display was made with 3D printed frames and component housing modules with the optics bought from eBay. They are fully adjustable and function with Android or Linux-based mobile devices.

Read more on MAKE

30 Aug 2014 5:01pm GMT

3D Printed Foldable Head Mounted Display

[Tony’s] $60 Bluetooth Head Mounted Display is compatible with Android and LinuxThe $80 Head Mounted Display was made with 3D printed frames and component housing modules with the optics bought from eBay. They are fully adjustable and function with Android or Linux-based mobile devices.

Read more on MAKE

30 Aug 2014 5:01pm GMT

25 Aug 2014

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Mini Road Trips

For the last couple of summers, instead of taking one big summer vacation, once a month we rent a car for a long weekend and drive somewhere nearby. We have discovered so many amazing natural treasures within a day's drive of San Francisco.

This month we went to Owen's Valley and saw Devil's Postpile, Panam Crater, Alabama Hills, and (on a whim?!) drove back home across the entire length of Yosemite. Seriously amazing.

full-sized images here

When I first started this sweater I googled the name of the yarn color, basalt. I learned about a spectacular form of basalt, called columnar basalt that is lava that cracks into hexagons as it cools. This is what lead me to name my sweater Fractured.

When I discovered that we had a columnar basalt formation within a day's drive, I knew we had to go see it. That formation is a National Monument called Devils Postpile. We hiked out to it as the sun was coming up. Such a great way to start the day!

The formation is striking from below, where you can see the columns rising up ~60 feet into the sky. Then you can hike up to the top of the pile to see the hexagon tops of the columns. Bonus: there is a spectacular view of the valley below from the top.

Black bears are common at Devils Postpile, but luckily we didn't see any since we had enough black bear sightings on last month's hike to last us a lifetime.

This is a public domain photo of the Panum Craterfrom overhead.

full-sized images here

Panum Crater is an inactive volcano that is around 650-years-old. You read that right, 650-years-old. That means this volcano was erupting around the time the bubonic plague was devastating Europe.

Please note, if you plan on visiting, there is a weather cycle here near Mono Lake which brings 30-mile-an-hour winds around 3 PM. Ask me how I know ... haha. We hiked the entire rim trail (that outer circle in the top photo), part of the crater between the rim and the plug, and the plug. All in 30-mile-an-hour winds. When I wasn't taking phontos, I was literally holding my sun hat with both hands to keep it on. My arms were more sore than my legs after that hike!

The rim is made of loose pumice rocks about the size of ping pong balls. The plug is made of majestic spires of obsidian. Both pumice and obsidian are the same rock cooled at different speeds. In my photos above are some chunks of striped pumice *and* obsidian. So beautiful The floor of the plug is full of broken shards of obsidian so it sounds like you're hiking through broken glass ... and I guess you kind of are.

full-sized images here

Alabama Hills is right outside of Lone Pine, CA. It's otherwordly! In fact, it was used as a set for other planets in the movie Star Trek Generations and the show Firefly. Over 150 movies and a dozen TV shows have been filmed here.

The day we visited, we saw a couple other cars and two people. It was quiet and beautiful. We hiked and climbed and marveled. As you move through the rock formations, they morph and change. So many hidden wonders!

full-sized images here

On our normal route home, we pass through the city Lee Vining which happens to be where the "back" entrance of Yosemite on 120. We stopped to get drinks at the gas station and thought, "Hey, why not drive back through Yosemite National Park?"

I'd never been to Yosemite and Andrew went once about 16 years ago. We'd been avoiding it because you hear horror stories of people in 3-hour car queues just to get into parking lots. But it didn't seem like there were a lot of people driving in and out of the 120 intersection with 395, so we went ahead and drove in.

It was a beautiful day. Andrew convinced me to stop on a couple heart-attack-inducing turn offs that had us perched on the edge of cliffs. We stopped in Yosemite Valley and went for a couple hikes to see Half Dome, Mirror Lake (which had almost no water), and El Capitan. Hands down, it was the best drive home from a trip, ever!

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25 Aug 2014 1:00pm GMT

04 Aug 2014

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Fractured Arms

Just in case you don't already know, this sweater's name is Fractured. :) I didn't want you to worry I'd hurt myself!

One sleeve takes a little more than one skein of yarn.

I have a couple more rows to do of the left arm (the one on the right in the photo). I steam-blocked the body and will try it on after it is dry* to see if I need to frog back to the waist and redo the hip increases sooner. (please. god. no.)

*Or at some time in the future when I have the fortitude to handle the (potential) news that I have months-more work ahead of me to complete a sweater I started in January 2013.

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04 Aug 2014 1:00pm GMT

28 Jul 2014

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Introducing the Lucky Wristlet

There is at least one of you who has been waiting over 7 years for this pattern to be published! There are many more of you that have emailed over the years asking for this pattern. And now, here it is, the Lucky Wristlet, available as a free download.


I can't wait to see all the creative personal twists that you put on the pattern. There are so many ways to customize this using colors, materials, ribbons, etc. Plus it's a very quick project. You could have it done in a weekend. So far, no one's posted a project on Ravlery. Will you be the first? ;)

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28 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

05 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Make a Ribbon Strap for the Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for making a ribbon strap for the Lucky Wristlet.

The tutorial is broken down, step-by-step. Let me know if something isn't clear. I will be happy to help you out.

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. You'll need a crocheted Lucky Wristlet using my free PDF crochet pattern and one yard of ribbon.



2. Find the side of your wristlet that doesn't have a spike crochet "belt loop" for your ribbon. This side has a spike.




There's more! Read the full post -->

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05 Jul 2014 5:01am GMT

04 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Make a Zippered Lining for the Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for making a zippered lining for the Lucky Wristlet.

The tutorial shows, step-by-step how to make a zippered lining for the Lucky Wristlet. Let me know if something isn't clear. I will be happy to help you!

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. You'll need a crocheted Lucky Wristlet using my free PDF crochet pattern, fabric for the lining, and a zipper that is about 3 inches longer (or more) than your wristlet.

CUT FABRIC PIECES

2. To figure out the size of the fabric pieces you need to cut, you need to measure your wristlet. Measure the width of the inside opening. In this photo, my interior wristlet width is 7.5"




There's more! Read the full post -->

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04 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

03 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Crochet a Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for crocheting my Lucky Wristlet pattern.

The tutorial is broken down by each teeny-tiny step. Let me know if something isn't crystal clear to you. I will be happy to help you out.

First things first: download the PDF pattern for the Lucky Wristlet.

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. Gather your supplies: yarn, ribbon, and your crochet hook. I highly recommend doing a gauge swatch, but it's not required. For this project, size isn't a concern, but you might want to make sure the fabric your yarn-hook combo makes will work for the wristlet you're imaging (not too thin, thick, etc).

Don't be confused by the yellow ribbon. I originally thought I'd use the yellow, but I ultimately decided to use the blue you see in the top photo. Luckily, grosgrain ribbon comes in standardized widths in a wide range of colors so it was easy to find the blue I wanted in a 1" width to swap with the yellow.



2. Start the foundation row of foundation single crochet (FSC) stitches. Never done FSC stitches before? Learn how from my FSC Tutorial.

After a I make a couple of FSC, I always put a stitch marker in the top and bottom of the first FSC. In the photo, I have put a pink stitch marker in the top of the FSC and a green stitch marker in the bottom or the FSC.




There's more! Read the full post -->

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03 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

02 Jul 2014

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Making New Habits

I recently came across a bit of advice about forming new habits. I read that to successfully build a new habit you need to make it easy to incorporate into your life. Two ways to do that are:

- do it right before or right after a current habit
- give yourself a reason to look forward to the habit

I've wanted to get up a little earlier each morning to give myself time to relax before jumping into the day, so I tried it out.

(p.s. you're welcome ... I photoshopped out my oatmeal. wow, it looked awful)

Every night, before I go to bed, I measure out the oatmeal and make a cup of coffee and put it in the fridge (I drink my coffee cold). WITHOUT FAIL, I have gotten up at my new wake up time because I look forward to eating the oatmeal. It feels like magic.

A big bonus is that I also have time to read a little as I eat my breakfast. If you like crime novels, I can't recommend Åsa Larsson's series that features Rebecka Martinsson highly enough. Only four of her novels have been translated from Swedish to English and I'm looking forward to the other two coming out here.

I also love my brand new owl mug. Such a cheerful way to start each morning!



Do you have any great tips for creating habits? I'd love to hear them!

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02 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

11 Jun 2014

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Wristlet Pattern Coming

I have finished the photo shoots for the wristlet tutorials I need to accompany the pattern release. I've made a list of all the things I need to get done before I can post the pattern and the tutorials. As long as I stay on track, the pattern should be posted by the end of the month. Woo hoo!

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11 Jun 2014 1:00pm GMT

06 Jun 2014

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Fractured Progress

I've made quite a bit of progress on Fractured.

I thought I had about 10 more rows of body to do before I do a ribbed edging, but it looks like I'm done-done with the body.

But now, looking at these photos, I think I waited WAY too long to start the hip increases. I can see that my waist is about 2 diamonds up from the edge. That's where the slow curve out to my hips starts. I didn't start increasing until the start of the last diamond.

See what I'm talking about? The triangles are the increases. The dotted line is my waist.

Even more troubling is that this sweater isn't blocked at all, so it could grow even more. Wait ... maybe that could make everything A-OK.

Oh, and another thing I'm forgetting - once I add the arms, the whole thing might get pulled up higher. Arm holes on a top-down raglan sweater can stretch out a lot before they have a sleeve attached.

Whew! OK. I'm not going to make any rash frogging or bottom edge decisions. I think the next step is to add the arms and then reevaluate the fit.

My goal is to finish this sweater in June so I can wear it during the chilly San Francisco summer. It would have come in handy this week, for sure! Don't let our highs of 70 F fool you. It might be 70 F for about 5 minutes in the afternoon. The rest of the day downtown is dreary, damp, foggy, blustery, and bone-chilling.

I doubt I'll have it done in time for our mini roadtrip to Devil's Postpile this summer to see columnar basalt, which was the inspiration for the name of this sweater. I'm looking forward to seeing such a spectacular natural formation! I guess I won't need the sweater there, though, since it's normal summer temps once you get out of the city.

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06 Jun 2014 1:00pm GMT

06 May 2014

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Mini Spirograph

I bought myself a new toy - a mini Spirograph set. I've already made several greeting cards with it. So incredibly fun!

I'm also super lucky that my .38 mm pens from Muji work in the holes. Rainbow Spirograph! So much better than just red and blue.






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06 May 2014 1:00pm GMT

22 Apr 2014

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Tip for Knitting Arms

For months, I've been wearing Golden saying, "I wish these arms were one-inch longer. This weekend, I did it!

Knitting Tip: When knitting sleeves, put the sweater in a bag or pillow case.

Sleeves are super-fast to knit and your sweater will be spinning like a top in your lap. The bag will not only protect the rest of your sweater, but it will also make it easier to turn everything.

Once I wash it and re-block*, I'll be ready to take some "finished for real" photos for you guys. :)

*I can machine wash and dry this sweater, which is awesome. Re-blocking is a quick spritz of the edges and an over-night dry on a towel on the kitchen table. Not a big deal at all.

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22 Apr 2014 1:00pm GMT

20 Apr 2014

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Oops!

I accidentally pressed "publish" on an in-progress post last night. Sorry for the goofy post in your feed.

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20 Apr 2014 1:00pm GMT

16 Apr 2014

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Choose Your Own Adventure


One of the highlights of my childhood was reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. If you're not familiar with them, they are books where you are asked at intervals to decide what direction the story will take. At the bottom of the page, you're asked a question, and depending on your answer, you turn to a certain page number to continue reading.

There are two wonderful things about Choose Your Own Adventure books: (1) you are in control of where the story goes; and (2) you can read the book over and over and it will be a new and different experience every time (until you run out of story lines).



So Many Choices

The awesome thing about our online maker community, is that you can participate on whatever level you choose. In essence, you can choose your own adventure here. There are an overwhelming array of venues and technologies you can use to connect with other makers:

- write a blog
- read blogs
- pinterest
- twitter
- flickr
- facebook
- ravelry
- forums like craftster and crochetville
- and a bunch more (add ones I missed in the comments!)

I see (and hear about) a lot of disatisfaction in these venues. People saying they *should* blog more, or *should* post more pictures, or *wishing* they didn't drag their feet when it comes to X, Y, or Z. Sometimes we all have valid gripes. Who couldn't use more time, money, and talent? But when I hear the word "should" alarm bells ring.

Blogging isn't for everyone. Facebook isn't for everyone. Twitter isn't for everyone. Maybe the reason you're disatisfied with your level of involvement is because you are trying to fit your creative circle peg in a square hole. Everyone's needs and desires are different. Just because Person A's creativity exploded into a sky full of fireworks when they started a blog doesn't mean that it will do the same for you.

Maybe you're more of a Flickr person. Maybe you're a tweeter. Maybe you're a lurker. I say, embrace the avenues online that encourage, support, inspire, and ultimately make you feel good about your level of involvement. I say, whatever you choose to do is A-OK.



Things Change

Also, keep in mind that your creative needs and desires will change over time. When I first discovered feed readers (like Google Reader and Bloglines) I subscribed to EVERY blog I stumbled across. I ended up with hundreds of subscriptions. I found checking them everyday was a joy.

But years later, I saw all those subscriptions as a diversion, a chore, and the opposite of inspiring. I had much less free time and keeping track of all those people and projects where keeping me from taking the time I needed to find my own inspiration and complete my own projects. I was also comparing my seemingly tiny crafty output to *everyone else's* crafty output. I'd finish one project and my feed reader would show me 85 even cooler finished projects. It became disheartening.

I ended up deleteing all my subscriptions except for those of my very best blog-friends. My extra blog surfing came in the form of visiting my commenter's blog. Other than that, I didn't get out into the crafty world much. I focused my energy where it was needed most, creating.



Feeling Good Is Different Than Being Comfortable

Feel like I should add a little disclaimer here. I don't want to come accross as saying you should never be uncomfortable or push your boundaries. Being uncomfortable and pushing your boundaries is a great way to grow as a creative person. I never ever in a million years thought I'd have a blog. Never. Ever. Even after I started my blog, I would argue that it wasn't a blog. I was *so* uncomfortable when I first started it, and frankly, it sorta stank, especially the photos.

But after giving it a go, I found that it had a ton of positive side effects for me: I finished projects more often; I took more risks in my projects; I *loved* getting feedback that from people who *got* what I was doing. I was growing as a creative person!

So, this is the disclaimer: You should feel good about your level of involvement in the craft community, but you shouldn't necessarily feel comfortable with it, creatively speaking.



Tell Me About Your Experience Online

I'm curious about your experience in the online creative community. What venues work for you? Why? What venues don't work for you? Why? Have you changed your online habits over time? What made you change?

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16 Apr 2014 1:00pm GMT

02 Apr 2014

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Fractured - Body Update

Decided to stick with one project until it's done. I picked Fractured.

I don't think I mentioned this before, but I had to start ALL OVER.

I know I said in my last fractured post that it fit ... but once I got another inch or so of body done, I realized it was WAAAAAY too big. I'd made an assumption about stockinette-gauge as it relates to dragonfly-pattern-gauge.

As luck would have it, half of a MFing sweater is a pretty fantastic gauge swatch. I did some measuring, I frogged that sucker, and now I'm making the exact right size. And, since I'm knitting about 2/3rds of the sweater I was knitting before, it's going a lot faster.

Woohoo, sweater! It's pretty warm for being 100% cotton, too.

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02 Apr 2014 1:00pm GMT

25 Mar 2014

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Slightly Sinister Easter Eggs

I originally designed the Bad Eggs around Easter of 2006 as a set of four in black eggs with embroidered designs. I was bristling at the deluge of Easter crap everywhere more than a month before Easter. I needed an antidote to all the pastels.

When I saw a call-for-entries from The Anticraft, I updated the idea to be more subversive ... traditionally-colored eggs with non-traditional imagery. They liked the idea so much, my Bad Eggs were included in the Anticraft book (not an affiliate link).

The bonus is that they have now posted the Bad Eggs pattern PDF on their site. Make some and tuck them into your favorite imp's Easter basket.

Here are the four designs you have to chose from ...

Look at that squirting arterial blood! I can't tell you how much I love that decapitated bunny. It warms my heart. I couldn't be happier about how it turned out. The white-on-white embroidery outlining his leg doesn't photograph well, but it looks good in person. His tail is a bunch of floss loops making a 3-D puff.

Ahhhh ... a cute chick with a taste for eyes. Chirp! The eyes filling the basket are made with a tiny sequin and a black seed bead ... and embroidered eyelashes. I do realize that if a chick was digging the eyeballs out of peoples' heads and collecting them in a basket that they wouldn't still have eyelashes, but I think that makes it all the more creepy. :) It totally oogs me out that the chick is holding an eye by the optic nerve.

The other two eggs in the Bad Eggs set are based on the original designs. One is embroidered with 360° flames and the other has evil eyes on each side in alternating warm and cool colors.

Certainly, you could make non-snarky Easter eggs with the pattern ... but why would you? ;)

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25 Mar 2014 1:00pm GMT

18 Mar 2014

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Jacket Cuffs

Used my crafty skillz to do something practical. Andrew had a jacket with too-long sleeves. A little bit of sewing machine and a little bit of hand-burying the threads and ta-da! the jacket is just right.



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18 Mar 2014 1:00pm GMT