FO: Wark!

Several years ago, I made some cactuar plushes as Christmas gifts for my brother-in-laws. They were a huge success so I wanted to add on to their growing plush collection this year with another set of iconic Final Fantasy creatures: chocobo!

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Aren’t they so adorable!? They were a little harder to make than I thought they would be, but I’m very satisfied with the finished product. I’m already planning on making a couple for me and T after my fingers recover. (The head feathers were so tiny, I could barely hold them when I was crocheting them. It was actually kind of painful!)

One of the reasons I’m so glad (and relieved) that they came out so well is because I had an accident while making them. I had thought that the pattern called for worsted weight yarn, but it was fingering weight! (Oops!) Since I only had worsted weight to work with, I just went ahead with the pattern. It was too late at that point to buy different yarn or find another project. (I seriously finished these little guys the day before I gifted them. It was a close call!)IMG_3262-1

When I did gift them, they were a huge hit! The recipients seemed super pleased and even took all the family Christmas photos with their chocobo. I was really excited to see how much they liked them.

If you’re interested in crocheting one these cuties, the pattern is Small Chocobo by Joey Kuan on Ravelry. I just used a bunch of yarn that I had sitting in my stash; a combination of Caron Simply Soft in Pumpkin, Sunshine, and White and Red Heart Super Saver in Cafe Latte. Even though the pattern calls for safety eyes, I couldn’t find any in time to attach them so I used bits of black yarn instead.

 

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Christmas 2016

Even though I told myself that I wouldn’t make handmade Christmas gifts this year, I ended up making some anyway. As before, I wanted to share them here since I’m really happy with how they came out.

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First, I made several bath poufs for my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. I packaged them with some facial masks, bubble bath, and bath salts. Unfortunately, the bath pouf in the picture isn’t one of the ones I gifted. I didn’t have time to take pictures of them. It’s the same pattern though!

I kind of hate those plastic bath poufs that you buy at the store. It’s almost impossible to clean and rinse them out completely. Once they mold and start to smell, there’s nothing you can do except throw them away. (And they don’t even clean that well!)

These cotton poufs are awesome though! The texture of the yarn scrubs really well and leaves you feeling super clean. Once you’ve used it, you can just throw it into the wash and they’re clean and ready to go next time.

I guess the argument could be made that you could just make regular washcloths, but bath poufs are so fun! I had to make at least one. (But I really made four.)

The pattern is just called “Bath Pouf“, and I used one skein of cotton yarn for each pouf.

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I’ve been really keen to write a few hat patterns lately, so I decided to make some hats to become more familiar with their construction. This particular hat has been in my library on Ravelry for a while now. I can’t believe I’m just now getting around to it!

One of the coolest things about this pattern is the neat little pin-striping effect you get. I love finding new techniques for unique designs so I think I’ll be trying this on other projects!

The pattern is All Grown Up Striped Slouch hat.

I crocheted it with Caron Simply Soft and Lion Brand Heartland. The colors matched so well, and I feel like the difference in the fiber really added some interest!

Last but not least, my colorwork debut!

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My brother-in-law loves the game Overwatch so I knew exactly what to make for him for Christmas! And he loved it, yay! I know he loved it because he wore it out in public… I know, right!?

Clearly, this is my most successful gift to date!

The body of the hat was made using the pattern Siksak, but I made the design myself and stitched it on using duplicate stitch. It was my first time ever trying duplicate stitch, but I’m in love with it. I never want to knit anything plain ever again!

I used Caron Simply Soft for the whole thing. It came out so fluffy and warm!

All in all, everyone seemed pleased with their Christmas gifts. I was so relieved to see how well they were received.

So, friends, do you make gifts for Christmas? What do you think was the best and/or worst gift you ever gave? Looking forward to seeing your stories in the comments!

Christmas Throwback

Happy new year, all!

I just wanted to put that out there before I start this entry in earnest.
Yes, I know it’s been almost two weeks since New Years Day. Yes, I have been terribly slow at putting out entries over the past few weeks. Luckily things are quieting down after the holiday rush so now I can focus on the important things in life. Like my current projects. 😉

Today, I wanted to show off some of the things I made over the holiday season this year. Some of these things I made to give to others, some of them were made upon request for family to give to friends. I had a lot of fun making all of them though so I’m happy to be able to share them.

I’ve talked before about how bad I am at picking presents for others. I guess I carried that on this year as well. I got a couple “oh, um… nice” reactions and one “what is it?”

Oops? Maybe I need to start adding tags to them that say what they are.

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Pattern: Just try it….

I made this neck warmer for my father-in-law to match the hat from last year. It also happens to match his coat. (The one in the picture is T’s, but they both have the same one.)

I really liked this pattern because I feel like men probably don’t want long scarves trailing from their necks, especially when they’re outside working. This neck warmer fits closely, and it’s folded over so you get double the warmth. Another great thing about it is that you can unfold it and pull it up over your mouth and nose for those extra windy days. I’m about to make one for myself since I don’t like how stuffing scarves down my jacket makes me look puffy, ha ha!

Speaking of scarves, I made a grand total of 3 this season. The recipient of the first one liked it so much that I was requested to make two more in other colors. How flattering!

Unfortunately, I don’t know what pattern this is or where to find it. My friend verbally taught me how to make these when I first started knitting. If I ever find a written pattern, I’ll link it here. If not, I might post the pattern myself later.

These scarves are really quick to work up since they’re made with super bulky yarn and huge needles. They’re great for a beginning knitter or for short notice gifting. It took me about one and a half Star Wars films to finish one, roughly 3 hours, so I was able to finish them up and deliver them pretty quickly while I binge watched the original trilogy.

IMG_1737Those of you who follow my blog may have already seen my boot cuffs pattern, which means you’ll have seen this already as well. For those who didn’t see that entry, these boot cuffs were made for my mother-in-law using that pattern.

Originally, I made these for me, but I ended up gifting them to my mother-in-law. They wound up being too big for me once I started losing weight, which is totally fine. Not complaining one bit!

The next couple of holiday projects weren’t necessarily for Christmas, but my mom asked me to make these right in the middle of my other gift-making attempts. I’ll go ahead and include them since technically they were made during the holiday season.

My mom is way into the Isaac Mizrahi yarn line for some reason. As soon as she saw that Michael’s had stocked his yarn, she wasted no time in grabbing a couple patterns and asking me to make her some pieces.

Now I’m going to be completely honest, one of these patterns was ugly as sin, in my opinion. I tried so hard to get her to give Ravelry a visit because I knew she could find prettier patterns with just a click of a button. My mom is stubborn, however, and even though I felt like she should listen to my obviously expert advice (Hey, I know way more about this than she does!), she insisted on the pattern she picked up.

Part of me is saying this to justify the ugliness of this project, and part of me just wants to get it off my chest because I never told Mom how ugly I thought the pattern actually was. So without delay, I will finally reveal my last two holiday projects.

The pattern on the left is Isaac Mizrahi’s Central Park Knit Snood. I actually liked how this one came out. It was done entirely in mistake rib so it was simple enough that I could watch TV while I worked on it. And it looks great on my mom so yay!

The pattern on the right however… This is the Margate Hood pattern by Lion Brand, and it makes the wearer look like a Sanrio mascot or something. To be fair, it could be because I couldn’t talk my mom into using the yarn called for in the pattern. (Though I was able to reach gauge with the Isaac Mizrahi stuff.) It probably looks completely different when made correctly so maybe it was unfair to say that the pattern was ugly. The finished result was what was ugly.

All in all, I made 7 items during the holiday season. And even though T offered to help with the gift load by buying for some of his family, I still ended up making more than I did last year somehow, ha ha!

At least I can focus on my own knitting desires now that the holidays are finished! I’m excited to share what I’ve been learning recently so please stick around if you want to see more of my work!

Thank you everyone for reading! Again, happy new year! 😀

Just in time for Christmas!

Since I started doing needlework, I’ve handmade all my Christmas presents every year. Not only does it help me get some practice making things I might not otherwise make, but I get to use up a huge part of my yarn stash. And it makes me really happy to see someone excitedly accept a piece I’ve made for them.

My family doesn’t actually celebrate Christmas, so I make stuff for my husband’s family instead. Though I’m probably lucky that I don’t have to make presents for my family since it’s double the size of T’s family, ha ha! (Not to mention that my mom likes to keep me busying making things for her. Learn to knit already, Mom!)

This year T and I had to compromise on gift-giving. I cut down on my gifts to give him a chance to give gifts of his own. (Since I accidentally took over last year. Oops!) I decided to make gifts for just his mom and dad this year so that he could get whatever he wanted for his brothers and grandparents. This is probably for the best anyway since my mom decided to throw a couple extra projects my way this month.

I don’t think I’ll post the presents I made this year until after Christmas, but I thought it’d be fun to post what I made last year. Maybe it’ll give someone some last minute gift inspiration!

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Pattern: Grandmother’s Favorite

Honestly, I’m kind of bad at figuring out what gifts to give for Christmas. In my experience, a lot of people don’t like for you to ask what they want, but that’s my preferred method. Let’s just say what we want so there’s no more agonizing, ‘kay!?

I think I hesitate the most when I’m trying to figure out what to get for other women. I’ve been told before that I’m not very woman-like because I enjoy receiving tools and video games as gifts. (Get me a set of stubby ratchets and a copy of Arkham Knight for PC, stat!) So I have no idea what someone who’s not me wants for Christmas.

I ended up making the above washcloths for both my mother-in-law and T’s Nana. They’re practical. Everyone uses washcloths every day so I knew they’d be used. And secretly I had been wanting to try this pattern. It’s knit from corner to corner to make the diagonal garter stitch, which I thought was really cool. I got to practice a lot of increasing and decreasing.

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Pattern: Super Fast & Easy Unisex Brim hat

This next gift is going to make zero sense without some backstory. It was for my father-in-law… Let me reiterate that.

I made this hat with the cute turtle applique for my father-in-law.

He seemed to really like it too~

Here’s the story in as few words as possible: when I first started crocheting, I made a hat for T that looked just like the iron helmet from Skyrim. His family loved it and his dad asked me to make him a turtle hat. He wanted an actual hat that looks like an actual turtle, floppy legs and everything. I almost made that hat for him, but then I remembered that he’s a mechanic. He can’t drive around making road calls with a crochet turtle head flopping in his face. So I compromised a little by making a turtle applique for this hat instead.

Someday I’ll make the turtle hat for him. Maybe next year.

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Pattern: Final Fantasy Cactaur (Yes, it’s misspelled. Blame the pattern author!)

Last but not least, any Final Fantasy fans ought to recognize these immediately!

These cactuars were gifts for my brother-in-laws. We’re all huge FF fans so I enjoyed the heck out of making them! I almost didn’t want to give them away, ha ha!

These particular cactuars are supposed to be from FF7 and FF8 since those are the favorites of the house. The mustache on Jumbo Cactuar was so hard to stitch on! The sides kept coming out uneven, and I even stitched it on lopsided once. But it was so satisfying when I finally got it right. Made the whole thing worth it~

I got some requests over Thanksgiving for more FF plushies this year, but that’ll have to wait until next year. I found an amazing pattern for a Chocobo. I might just make that for me though, ha ha!

I’m so excited to get right down to the gift-giving! I hope that everyone likes what I made~

If you’re making gifts this year, leave me a comment and tell me about it! Or you can leave a comment if you just want to talk! I’d love to hear some feedback or suggestions!