Showing posts with label Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Projects. Show all posts

While I don't accept a lot of commissions (thanks to a bad experience with an uncouth woman), I do get asked to make something or the other pretty often. If the project won't take too long and is interesting too, I usually agree. 

Recently, when I was out in South Mumbai with a couple of colleagues I was asked to make a cover for a Kindle, I agreed. The requester didn't want a fancy design, just something basic and utilitarian. Here is what was created. 

Copyright: The Anti-Social Butterfly
Nemo's Happy Pillow (right side up)
Clip from the Bond series
Did someone say evil?
A definite mood-lifter on those drab monsoon day is with a little day-dreaming. On those days, I think of myself as a super villain, with an evil kitten resting on my lap. 

I almost got to further that fantasy with 1 of my crochet projects - a cat pillow. It was actually made in 2012, but was only used in 2013 that too not by the intended recipient.

Don't I look pretty?
It all started with a CAL/KAL proposed by my Ravelry Group. One of the things that could be made were pillows. I didn't require any for my home, so was wondering what use to put it to, when suddenly I remembered Nemo, my cat! 
Still excited by the arrival of my kitten, I thought of making one for him. Cos, obviously every super-villain needs a pampered, evil kitty! :)

The pattern chosen was the Pinwheel Pillow by Morgan Forrester.

First 2 colours
It took me a little over a month to complete the project. It was created as a stash buster with a border of black between colours. The material used was good, old acrylic, and crocheted with a 5mm hook.

Since, it was meant for my naughty, naughty cat, the colours chosen were on the darker side. As usual, there was no fixed size for the pillow, with me crocheting till I thought I had reached the optimum width. It was initially supposed to have an opening on the side so that the cushion could be stuffed in. Since I couldn't figure out the way to do it, I decided to follow the pattern and create the cover as 1 piece with a cushion stuffed in from the middle. 

Copyright: The Anti-Social Butterfly
The completed pillow (side with the opening)
The project took longer to finish as I needed to make the round stuffing pillow too. The obstacle came up when after spending almost 2 days looking for just a filler cushion, I could not find one of any size. All the shops had ready-made pillows with a fixed covers. So, armed with my amateur sewing skills and my grandmom's cool  sewing machine, I made one with recycled cloth and fiberfill. It was amazing!

To make it just purrfect for Nemo, the cushion was generously doused with catnip. But, alas, even with all my efforts, Nemo did not take to it and the poor cushion just had his name but no love! 

Wait! There is a happy ending to this story. My new kitten (Pookie - more about her later) loves the cushion, and can usually be seen happily gnawing away at it on most days. 

Do share your similar experiences!

After I quit my job as a corporate drone in 2012, I started looking at options to keep me occupied as I served out my sentence. I had planned to devote a few months to full-time arts and crafts activities as I kept me and my evil kitty entertained. However, as most vacations go, I never really did get as much accomplished, instead using the time to just recuperate and spend as much time bugging my husband as possible.

The list of things to be done were endless and as a start I planned to finish some unfinished projects.

Here's what I finally got done with:

Not many of my friends know this, but I love jigsaw puzzles. I love how a seemingly jumbled series of bits and pieces can somehow come together to become a beautiful picture that has a story to tell.
Mind you, completing a jigsaw is no mean feat. Like every act of love, it requires, attention, concentration and loads of time. I learned this the hard way after it took me just over a year to complete my first puzzle.
Previously, I had played with puzzles as a child and then later on numerous Websites.
With the very first jigsaw puzzle picked up 6 years ago, I was hooked!
Striped Koala anyone?
When I first started crocheting, I didn't do the regular small, easy projects. Instead, it was a headlong jump into amigurumis!

The amigurumi pattern was a Koala pattern that I happened to come across when I was first researching crochet and the things you could do with it. The pattern was featured on Woman's Day.  Something about that gorgeous grey, cuddly bear got me excited to start the project.

There were so many things that were wrong about my first project - bad yarn, tough hook for a beginner, rudimentary stitching skills and so much more. However, it got me 'hooked'!

Brown boy Koala hanging with his animal pals

I made 2 versions of the Koala. By looking at the pictures, you can definitely figure out which was which. (Hint: The misshapen one with a crochet ring was the first).
My first attempt at the Koala Amigurumi
Here are my learnings from the experience
1. Amigurumis are fun! Find your perfect project on the web. I like searching on Ravelry.
2. Don't be afraid of using a thin hook. It helps you learn faster.
3. Gift the amigurumis. They are small and make such awesome gifts! Emboldened by my efforts I went on to make more of these and have received requests from friends for quite a lot more!

Below is my Ravelry listing for the project.

Koala by Tamie Oldridge


Me, friends

2.5 inches

    Needle and yarn

    1.75 mm

    The one with a ring is the first amigurumi/crochet article I ever made.
    The second one was obviously better and easier.
    EDT: I was unhappy with the weird eyes, so i stuck on crazy eyes. I like it much better now. Reminds me of Professor Calculus from Tintin. Hence the name.

    August 21 2011
    September 1 2011

    Pink flowers Doily

    Cosmos Doily by American Thread Company



    Yellow Lemon Tree Pouch




      Needle and yarn
      I used lemon yellow and black held together. It has a triangular base though. I couldn’t think of a suitable flap, so I made it a drawstring pouch.

      no lining

      Created in the round.

      The CanCan pouch
      This year I've vowed to make as many gifts as I can. Not only is it more personal, it is also a gift of time and energy (at least that's what I think). 

      Last weekend when I'd gone shopping with her for my grandmom, I showed her my version of the Swag Bag that I'd made for my grandmom’s birthday. She loved it and tried very hard to get me to give to her, but finally she relented after I promised to make her one too. She loves the colour red and the red & black combination is her favorite for clothing items/accessories. Her choice of colours? Red and Black! No surprise there!

       This year is my grandmom's 70th birthday and I decided to make her a present rather than buying her something as firstly she is very finicky and usually wants to exchange presents and secondly I was out of ideas for new presents. 

      I chose the Swag bag by Marcelle's Creative Crochet as my bag, as it looked small and I thought I could modify it to suit my grandmom's tastes. The bag has been purposely kept free of other embellishments as my grandmother is very particular about colours and may not appreciate too many doodads on it.

      The pouch when the drawstrings are tied.
      During the previous year's Christmas enthusiasm, I was planning on making small pouches to give away some of our gifts, but the inexperienced crocheter I was, I underestimated the time it would take to finish the pouches.

      To start with, I chose the wrong crochet thread for my pouch - it takes a lot of time to crochet a decent-sized pouch with cotton crochet thread! I also got caught up with stuff and couldn't even begin it in time!

      So, instead, I decided to make it for myself. No hurry at all, though when it was almost over I couldn't help trying to finish faster. The gestation period was just so long!

      In the end, it has come out rather nice, and has interesting texture. I am including a basic pattern that can be modified as you go along.

      Purple = mine!
      As mentioned earlier, I used to love playing with beads. I was looking for a way to marry my love for beads with my new-found love for crochet, when I came across this Easy Beaded Crochet Technique by Amy Solovay. I used that technique and created a few necklaces of my own.

      Materials used:
      Nylon thread for the base
      Crochet thread for the accent
      Appropriate crochet hooks

      The 'V' is only prominent in the light. Perfect for a guy.
      Before I took up crocheting, for a very long time I was an avid beader. I haven’t done much beading in the past few years, but still carry my bead box wherever I move. My projects were usually based on patterns and I’ve made a bunch of earrings, chains and bracelets and even a few purses. I’ve even made a few original chains which I shall put up pics later.

      Anyhow, to the topic at hand: We had people visiting in Jan this year and with only one week to go before they left for home, I realized that while I spent considerable time and effort for the kids’ gifts, I hadn’t really given the couple anything!

      The finished scarf

      The final in my series of animal inspired scarves is this beautiful Weiner Puppy Neck Warmer by Randomheartx at Craftster. After seeing this scarf, I was actually inspired to start making scarves for my nieces. (I am including my modified pattern in the post.)

      I love puppies and thought this was just cute!
      However, I can rarely do something without adding my own twist to it. And that’s just what I did. Though, my final scarf looked a little like a mouse. The intended niece even asked me if it was a rat. I managed to convince her that it was a puppy because of the collar!

      I’ve largely followed Randomheartx’s pattern, but just added a few more rows and changed stitches a little bit for texture.
      Ready for the wearer!
      After making those scarves for my nieces, my husband requested that I make him one too. Considering all the running around he did with me while we bought materials and approved/rejected designs for the earlier scarves, I decided he ought to be rewarded. The fact that we were currently going through a cold wave also helped things in his favour.

      He ideally wanted a simple single crochet scarf (yes, he sort of knows the difference!), but I wanted to experiment.

      After a lot of searching I settled on the Paul's "Sweet Guy" Scarf at Wolfcrochet!
      I am finally putting down the pattern for the kitten scarf. It is very similar to the piggy scarf I’d posted earlier. I’m still waiting to get better pictures of the scarves as I have already gifted them.
      Before ends were tucked in

      Feel free to point out any mistakes that you find.
      The pattern is listed below:

      Craft: Crochet
      Level: Beginner/Easy

      1 skein of yellow 8-ply wool (Main colour; MC)
      1 skein of orange 8-ply wool (Contrasting colour; CC)
      button/safety eyes for the eyes
      A little bit of black wool/thread for the whiskers/mouth
      5 mm crochet hook
      Fabric glue
      tapestry needle

      Note: You can use any weight of wool/yarn as you like. Local shops here do not really know the different types and stock them mostly as 4-ply/8-ply etc.

      As I'd mentioned earlier, I decided to do the piggy scarf after being unsatisfied with the final material of my earlier scarf. The piggy was so adorable that I just had to make it! When I was done I was almost tempted to keep him for myself.

      My completed scarf
      This is my first pattern. So, if something doesn't work out, please ask. Feel free to point out any mistakes that you find.
      The pattern is listed below:

      Craft: Crochet
      Level: Beginner/Easy

      1 skein of light pink 8-ply wool
      A little bit of darker pink
      button/safety eyes for the eyes
      5 mm crochet hook
      tapestry needle

      Note: You can use any weight of wool/yarn as you like. Local shops here do not really know the different types and stock them mostly as 4-ply/8-ply etc.

      My version of the puppy scarf
      I recently met my nieces for the first time this month. They're 9 and 2 and amazingly share the same birthday!

      My husband and I had never met the younger one, while the elder one was a preschooler when her parents moved to the US. As a fledgling crocheter, I was looking for projects to hone my skills, while also coming up with personalised gifts for them. We decided to make scarves for the kids as they are easy and can be used even later. My pictures aren't very good as our cameras are horrible! Note to self: Buy a proper camera.

      For the elder one I came across this lovely Wiener puppy scarf by randomheartsx on crafster (Click here for her pattern). I modified the pattern a little bit as I wanted to try out different stitches and give it a little more texture.