Colossus!!

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I celebrated 5 years of dating!! So exciting! We celebrated the way we always do. Wine and cheese with ‘our’ movie A Knight’s Tale. We did some extra stuff this year though like going to see Cinderella, The Big Lebowski (for free at our local theater) and having dinner at Otto’s in State College. It really was a great weekend.

But you guys don’t want to hear about all that. I’m sure you want to hear about the gifts! We kept it small, as always. I got a Cinderella Barbie to add to my collection and I finally finished Colossus! I know you’re thinking, but wasn’t that supposed to be a Christmas gift? Yes, yes it was. But Luke’s gifts always get pushed aside but this one NEEDED to get done now. And that he did. So now I’m going to write about how I went about making him. So warning: this is going to be a long post.

colossus cinderella

First thing I did was grab my copy of AmigurME by Allison Hoffman. I bought this book for myself a while ago because I love the idea of custom dolls but didn’t know what to make first. Luke suggested his favorite X-Men and the rest is history. He’s chock full of suggestions and most of the time they’re really good/right. But ssshhhh, don’t tell him that! After searching for what seemed like months I finally found the perfect yarn! It’s called Purl Essence Sincerely Metallic in Glitter Gray and I found it at Jo-Ann. This color isn’t listed on their website though so that’s a little confusing. Then I looked through the book to figure out what all patterns I needed. Turns out I needed the long and narrow male head, basic top, muscular arms, bare legs and underwear, hi-top/boots, black wig cap, and belt. Plus a couple of my own.

I used this picture and an actual action figure that we have as inspiration

I used this picture and an actual action figure that we have as inspiration

Next I sat down and got to it. Since Colossus is a pretty big character (7’7″ at least when transformed) I decided to use my trusty 4.25mm hook. Thank goodness I did because the end result was on the better half of 15.5 inches. So he’s going to tower over all the X-Men I make. I plan to have an army, so what. First was the head. Followed that no problem. Next was the top/torso. He clearly has that V torso going on so I fiddled with the pattern a little to get that. I started adding increases on round 10. I made the same number of decreases as the book states. This way he got a nice thick neck. At the end I turned it and added some stitched to the back half of the neck so that it met his head easier. I like this better. This only might be because he has a thick neck. Then came the attaching of head to body. We had some shish kabob sticks handy so I just cut one of those in half.

Colossus in Progress Collage

Next came the arms. I didn’t even bother trying to make these thicker. I changed to red on rounds 6-8 to get those wrist bands he has with the least amount of sewing as possible. Worked out pretty well. Figuring out the wire directions where a little hard. I decided next time that I’m going to insert the wire BEFORE cinching the opening close because I think it’ll be a lot easier. But what I did was insert the wire through hand 1, up arm 1, through the body, down arm 2, and out hand 2. With a little help from Luke we were able to get this done in a little bit of time.

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The last part of the body I had was the legs. I made lots of changes to these bad boys. I mean do you see those thighs?! I’d write out what all I did but it’s not going to help anybody unless you already have the book or another one of her patterns. I have it all written out in my notebook so if you really must have it then shoot me a comment or email and I can get those to you. But I added a bunch of increases and decreases in both the front and back of the thighs. The knee area and calf have the same math and the ankle ends up with the same number of stitches that the book states. This is only because I didn’t want to have to worry about messing up the boot pattern. Which I followed exactly! Except I stuffed the very end (so foot part) with popcorn kernels rather than stuffing. I didn’t want it to poof out too much with the stuffing and I wanted a little bit more weight. He’s very top heavy thanks to that giant head and torso.

Now I had to do the actual boot part. I followed the book for the red part of the book but then had to add the yellow section myself. I mean who else really wears boots like this. I see why she didn’t include it. But it wasn’t hard at all to figure out. I think took some Caron Simply Soft in Black to add the details of the top of the boots and called it a day.

Colossus Collage1

Next came the suit. Which I was left to my own brain to figure out. I really did try changing colors on the torso to make it work but it just wasn’t happening. So I was left to making a separate piece and sewing it on after. Which I hate. After a little trial and error I figured it out. First make the yellow part. One for the front, one for the back. Then sew them together at the top corners around his neck. I don’t have pictures but I pinned each side on him and then sewed the corners together. So he’s literally sewn into his clothes. Then came the hard part of crocheting the red edging while it’s on him. And figuring out how to get a nice pointy shoulder area. It wasn’t too hard and Luke was happy with my second attempt which was awesome. After that I used the red tails to sew the suit onto his body up to around his arms. I left the rest open. Looked better that way.

Only thing left was his belt. I followed the book but it wasn’t long enough. Not sure if it’s because I was using thicker yarn, bigger hook, or I over stuffed his waist but it just didn’t fit. That’s ok though because I needed that awesome X symbol. So I made a red circle and then used my trusty black to make an X. Around the edges of the red belt I surface slip stitched some Caron Simply Soft in Autumn Maize to get the effect that’s on the action figure. After lots of finagling to get everything attached, I pinned the belt on him and used the red to sew.

Colossus Collage2

Awesome!! Hair, ears, and eyes left! Hair was tricky. The base gray was slightly thicker than the Red Heart Super Saver Black I was using for the hair. So I had to bump up to a 5.00mm hook for that. It’s not in my notes but I did have to add on an extra round or two at the end to also make it long enough. Other than that the hair and ears were the same. Sewn on, done. Eyes were very tricky. Since he has white eyes and apparently no one makes craft eyes in white or with white pupils I had to make my own. I used some of that embroidery floss that I now have on hand. I made too many versions to count and pictures to go with them. Thankfully Luke ended up liking one of them. It was one where I made the outside black round pointy on opposite ends. They didn’t turn out that pointy after sewing them on but they’re not totally round which is what we were going for.

At this point I started jumping around because HE WAS DONE!!! Until Luke knocked me down a peg by saying “He doesn’t have a mouth” Ugh how could I forget the mouth?! Thankfully Luke only wanted a straight line. So boom bang FINISHED!!! And if I turn his leg so he’s ‘dancing’ like Elvis he stands on his own!! And he’s now sitting on our book shelf next to his Diamond Select Juggernaut and my only opened Barbie. She’s living the life right now I’ll tell ya ;)

Colossus Collage3

Next on my list is Wolverine! Hopefully these two will be able to do the Fast Ball special!! …. I might have picked up a few things while making him…

Flip flops

Last weekend we celebrated one of my closest friend’s 7th annual 21st birthdays! Yes we’re that cool. I didn’t realize how close her birthday really was and I was working on other projects that I completely forgot to make her anything!! Scary because I don’t remember the last time I had to go out an buy a present. But then I remembered!! Leah has a flip flop cup cozy and my friend L LOVES flip flops. She’s worn them in the winter and snow and everything. So I thought this would be perfect!!

After sitting down for maybe an hour tops I had a gift!! I used Leah’s pattern that can be found HERE and a couple of shades of Red Heart Super Saver. To meet her stitch width gauge I need to use a 5.5mm hook and then add on a bunch of rows because mine aren’t high enough. I made this using sc to fit a can. Oh did I mention this is a FREE pattern?! I love all of her cup cozies because they’re all super adorable and really fast to whip up. Like I said. An hour tops.

flip flops graphed drink sleeve

New Tester :)

So, semi-big news. I’m a new tester for Sick ‘Lil Monkeys!! Kelly works with Leah so it was easy to also help her. She’s a big grapher so I’m helping to test her graphs and patterns to use with them.

That being said. Kelly has a new FREE pattern for fingerless gloves that is able to fit any 16×16 graph into them! Works perfect with Leah’s cup cozy graphs. I used her Addy drink sleeve when making mine :)

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Interview by Creative Threads by Leah

Something I forgot to include in my last post. Leah interviewed me and blogged about it!! How exciting!

She has this segment that she calls “Meet My Testers”. I was happy to be next in line for an interview. Now it wasn’t face to face because I live in PA and she’s in Oklahoma but instead via email. I haven’t known her very long, almost a year now I think. She posted on her Facebook page about needing testers, I applied and we became friends in the mix :) I think it has to do with our love of crochet, The Doctor, and other things geeky.

I really liked doing our interview and hope you all enjoy reading it! Here it is!

Happy Anniversary?! And a big update

Soo … it’s been a while. Sorry about that. Holidays and life and what not. And WordPress is telling me that today is my one year anniversary with them. So yay about that! Woohoo. That’s kind of exciting. I’ve also made lots of projects to share with you all. Let’s get to it!!

I tested three patterns for Leah! I did the Pamala Earwarmer, Bowties are Cool Hat, and the Swirling Leaves Fingerless Gloves. This was my first time doing anything from the Pamala and Swirling Leaves lines. Have to say, I love them both!! And of course how could I resist another Doctor Who hat?! What I love the most about the Pamala Earwarmer is the use of a hair tie. It makes a perfect fit every time!!

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I also made two more baby hats! Love baby hats. Mostly because they’re so quick to work up and they’re usually hats I love but would never wear myself :) I made a Clarice the Reindeer Hat and a Cabbage Patch Kid Hat. The Reindeer Hat was super simple to follow. I just omitted the antlers and added a bow to get a female look. And the Cabbage Patch Kid was even more simple! I also taught myself the loop stitch for that hat. Super adorable!

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I also made some more of those Cluster Hats. The ones with the brim and flowers? I had another order from the same lady who got them in baby sizes for a child and adult. And then my mom wanted one!! I haven’t crocheted her something since I believe my sophomore year of college in 2007 or 2008! Yay!

ClusterHatCollage

Of course, there’s the Christmas gifts I made!! Lots of those. One of which is my own design!! Woot Woot! That would be the Steeler beanie I made my uncle. I love it and my sister wants one too! Then there’s the TARDIS I made for my friend’s husband. Yep, another Whovian :) I made the same friend her own Duck Spirit, to match her No-Face of course! And a Market Bag for my sister.  Phew that was a lot! I must confess there were some gifts that didn’t get completed :| I just ran out of time. What else is new. Almost forgot the Spa Set I made for my boyfriend’s cousin. There’s so many people that every year we draw names and have to give a handmade present. I really liked making that. I used cotton yarn for the face scrubbies, wash clothe, and soap holder. What I really liked was the box. I used a 6.5mm hook and a strand of hemp for the box. For the lid I held two strands together. If I make it again I will be using two strands for the box as well because it’s so much sturdier.  Ok, ready for all these pictures?!

SteelerHatCollagev2 TARDISCollage DuckSpiritCollage MarketTote SpaSet

The TARDIS was really fun to make. It took a lot of time though. Each piece of felt was cut out and then hot glued on. Same goes for the signs on the door and lid. Lots of hot glue was used. But I love how big it turned out and that I’m easily able to put my hand in to keep things inside. Going to have to make myself one of these. The spa set was also really fun to make. Like I said the basket is made out of hemp and everything else is cotton. I’ve used the soap holder pattern before for myself. I used Moogly’s star stitch tutorial to make the washcloth. And the face scrubbies I just kind of made in a circle.

Lastly, I finally made myself something!!! Crazy I know. But Luke’s aunt gave me some yarn for Christmas with instructions that it be used for me and the lady at the store said it would be enough for a scarf. So I made myself an infinity scarf! :) A few years back I made my sister a scarf using a V-stitch so I decided to use the same for mine. I really like the way it turned out. I wear it all the time. I love it so much!

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So I think that’s about it for right now. I am of course currently in the middle of several projects. And I’m also testing for another! I should have more information about that next week or so when the pattern is released :) Hopefully I’ll be back on shortly and not a couple months like last time!

On The Hook:

  • Test for Kelli
  • Colossus

First non-family order!!

Last night I completed my first non-family custom order!! I feel so accomplished! The lady works with my boyfriend’s mom but still, non-family!! Her name is Ash M and she ordered two hats for her beautiful little girl. She’s going to be 4 months soon and needed something to help keep that little head warm during the winter.

This was a 100% custom order. She showed me some pictures from the internet that she liked, I tried my hand on some patterns, and she picked her favorite. That happened to be a free pattern from the Caron Design Team that I found on Raverly, but sadly it was only for adults. So I had some adapting to do. I followed the pattern from the beginning but only did 4 rounds of increases. I continued with the same number of clusters until it was the length I wanted. I then added a few rounds of sc. I had to add some stitches to make sure it was still the same circumference. That was it for the cream hat but the white still needed its brim. So I used my trusted newsboy brim pattern.

All that was left was flowers and buttons. Man was it a little hard to find some big purple buttons. And then I couldn’t find one that was an exact match but I love how these two worked together. I used two different flower patterns, one of which I’ve used before. You can find the black one HERE and the purple one HERE. After sewing them on and then the buttons I was FINISHED!!!

Since this was a custom order I wanted to make sure what I was doing was exactly what she wanted. To make sure of that I made sure to send her progress photos and I changed things when they needed changing. Overall I think this all went over very well! Can’t wait to have more of them!

Batgirl and Bumble

I have some finished projects that I can finally share with you all because the recipients have received them!!

First up is the Batgirl hat. I used two patterns for this one. The basic hdc hat is my own. The ears I used Unfuzzy Boutique’s Bat Hero Hat Photo Prop as inspiration. The logo I used Thu Nguyen’s Batman Logo. This belongs to my cousin C and his fiance D’s brand new baby girl M. I think it turned out adorable!

      batgirl

Next up we have the Bumble the Abominable Snowman hat. I used R Solberg’s Bumble Hat pattern for this. I was told this was going to be a Christmas present but with the sudden onset of super cold and snow flurries I guess it couldn’t wait any long. I thought this was cute before hand but it’s almost unbearable on L!!

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I’m currently finishing up an order for Ash M and her adorable baby. Hoping to get pictures of them today because all I have left is to attach the flowers!!

Completed Projects

I know I promised a post two weeks ago. Sorry about that. Things got in the way. But I’m here now and ready to show you all what I did on my visit home and what I did after!

First I gave away all my baby hats! 3 to C and R, 3 to D and S, 2 to C and D. That looks a little confusing. C is my cousin, R is her husband and they’re having their first baby. It’s going to be a surprise so I had to make gender neutral hats. They got the brown bear, dino spikes, and baseball cap. D is my cousin, and S is his wife, and they are having their second girl. They got a pink bonnet (finished that while I was away, picture coming), bow hat, and Flyer’s hat. C is my cousin, D is his fiance, and they just had their first girl! She waited until I was home for 4 days so I didn’t get to see her :( But she’s adorable! They got a Minnie hat and pumpkin hat (pictures coming). My Aunt M (best customer I have) ordered a Batman hat for them as well. Remember that Batman logo sneak peak I posted? I have pictures of the finished hat as well. My Aunt also had me make another bow hat for a friend but this one in purple and white.

Remember that test I was doing for Leah? Well I finished that just before I left and was able to add a nice border while I was away and it was perfect size for Lakyn so I gave it to her. What is it you ask? It’s a Steeler’s Graphed Blanket!! The graph itself is just under 2 feet by just over 2 feet. With the nice border I was able to put on using the rest of my black, it was a perfect toddler sized blanket for her. I made my own graphed blanket a few years ago (Red Raiders) but it was not on this scale. So many color changes in such a smaller graph. Took me forever and gave me a headache. It was originally supposed to be for me with a granny styled border but I got sick of looking at it. I’ll probably still make one for myself though.

The last project I finished while I was away was Eden’s CAL blanket!! The border didn’t end up as big as it was supposed to be because I ran out of time. She was still happy with how it turned out. That’s not Eden in the picture, it’s Marissa. Eden was in the shower I believe and then I just forgot to get a picture of her with it. The pretty kitty is Lola, the baby of the family. I love how it turned out!! Now I just need to finish mine….

I’m still working on some Christmas presents. The one started to give me a bit of a headache so I decided to make myself a present. The last time I made myself something was last year I believe and it was just an earwarmer. Nothing special. Just something done in school colors that I could wear to the football games. So I wanted to make myself something new. And with my fancy Yarn Baby LLC yarn. And I found just the pattern by ELK Studio. It’s her Pumpkin Spice beanie but I think it still looks lovely in these colors. I used a 4.25mm hook for the border and then switched to the 3.75mm hook for the body. I took out the ledge round because when I got to the end I had run out of yarn with a few rounds left to go. By taking out that round I gave myself the needed yarn. I would have added another round in the border if I had more yarn as well. The pom pom I added myself because I felt it needed something a little more. I used Red Heart’s Aran, Perfect Pink, and Heather Gray for that. I thought those colors went pretty darn well together. This was my first time using Yarn Baby yarn. Got to say, I love it!! I used up the whole skein of worsted superwash merino in Vintage Rose. The only thing I didn’t like about the yarn was that all the pink and gray seemed to be on opposite sides. In the pictures you can see the gray is mostly at the top and the pink at the bottom. I got this yarn to go with my gray coat and I think it’s kind of hard to see the gray. Oh well, I still love it! Can’t wait to get some more of this fabulous yarn in a different color!

So now I’m back to making Christmas gifts. Only about a month left!!

I’m back!!

I thought I mentioned I was going away for two weeks but upon looking I can’t seem to see that I did say that. I’m sorry if I didn’t. But my grandparents from Arizona decided to DRIVE to Pennsylvania for a week long visit. Weird that they would drive for 5 days to stay for 6 and drive 5 more. But they’re old and won’t fly so whatcha gonna do about it? Needless to say I HAD A BLAST!! I hadn’t seen them in 3 years so it was great! I spent one week with my sisters and mom following around my grandparents and another week with my cousin and her baby. We also had a typical DiPaul style party on my last night there with my brother who I haven’t seen in who knows how long either. Thankfully he’s done with his Marine stuff and is back home going to college so I’ll be able to see him whenever I want!

I also had a very successful crochet trip. Pictures have been uploaded to Facebook. But I’m going to clean a bit before I sit down for a while and write out the long post that is to come. Til later!

Successful Crochet Day

As promised, here’s my post about all the things I did on International Crochet Day

First thing I did (after showering and eating breakfast obviously) was finish another Christmas gift! This one for my brother. I used Lion Brand’s pattern last year but it turned out too big. This year I just kind of winged it and it’s perfect size this time around. I used Lion Brand’s principle but I’m still calling it Brother’s Beanie.

Then I moved onto my next project to finish, a baby hat. I had made the base part of the hat the night before and had to make the bow and attach it that morning. Turned out lovely if I say so myself. I used Charmed by Ewe’s Wrapped with Love Hat pattern. I couldn’t meet her gauge so I just came up with my own hdc basic beanie pattern. I would have made one at some point anyways so why not now? I did use her bow pattern which was simple and turned out adorable! This one is going to my cousin D and his wife S. I believe they’re the ones due in January and they’re definitely having a girl. I plan to make a third and final hat for them soon.

I decided to start on another baby hat next. This one for another cousin. C. He and his girlfriend are having their first baby next month and I totally forgot!! Thankfully I already have a Minnie Mouse hat on hand (haven’t shown you guys that yet because it was a test for Leah that I started during the dreaded month of July and never finished til weeks later). I plan on making them a hat but this one was commissioned by my Aunt M (my most loving and faithful customer) for her second granddaughter. Yep, they’re having a girl too. I won’t tell you what the hat will look like but I’ll post this little teaser here. I used Thu Nguyen’s pattern. It worked up rather nicely I think.

I then spent the rest of the day working on one project. Can you guess? ….. Eden’s granny square blanket. FINALLY I can say that ALL 20 squares are sewn together!! ::happy dance:: That thing was a pain in my butt (literally) and I am NOT looking forward to sewing all mine together. I might look into another way to join them all. I also then started on the border. I’m about 1.5 rounds into that. This page HERE shows all the blog posts with all different square patterns. You can also find it by searching for LW4132 on their website. There should be a giant pdf that has all the patterns put together. Oh yea, the border will be blue

And then today when I got the mail, I had a package. Cool I thought. Opened it up and it was the fabulous yarn I won thanks to The Philosopher’s Wife. The yarn is from Never Enough Thyme. The color is called Apple Picking and it is a 75% SW Merino 25% Nylon fingering yarn. I’ve never worked with Merino or a fingering weight yarn so I’m pretty excited. Something else to make for myself when I have enough time to. Because do you remember that awesome Yarn Baby yarn I won a while back? Still haven’t used it yet. Maybe after Christmas. Hopefully.

On The Hook:

  • Test for CTbL
  • Eden’s Blanket
  • Christmas gifts (Mom first)
  • Baby things