Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Knitting and House Elves

There are many times during the day where I'm in the middle of doing something and think a random, craft-related thought. And I think to myself: "Self, you need a crafty friend to tell these things to." Well, as there is a lack of people to text my random craft-related thoughts to, I'll compile them here, on my little-bitty blog, and share them with you! 

First, I'll introduce an important part of me you should know:
I am ultimately obsessed with the Harry Potter series.

There. I said it. Now you know where this post is heading... A Harry Potter talk. 

First, if you've only seen the movies and have not read the books, you do not know even half of the story. I spent the month of October listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as an audiobook. The entire audiobook consisted of 20 hours of reading. The movie takes less than two hours. That's over 18 hours of stuff left out of the movies! But I did learn that audiobooks while driving > listening to the radio.

Second, Molly Weasley knits sweaters for her husband, each of her kids, and even her kids friends. At a minimum, that's nine sweaters to make. Granted, she has magic. But still. Being able to finish projects (especially sweaters!) that quickly would be a serious blessing. 

Third, there is a lot of knitting in Harry Potter. Even Dobby the House Elf knits! I think that's awesome. 

In the spirit of Hogwarts and the Gryffindor house, I leave you with a picture of a Lion Lovey I finished. :) 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Security Blankets

As a crafter, we always seem to go through "phases"-- a bag phase, blanket phase, amigurumi phase, etc. etc. Want to know what mine is right now? 

Security blankets. 

Take a peek:
(All patterns are from BowTykes-- find her on Ravelry or Etsy!)

Well, I've been in a slump the last few days-- currently on day six of being sick; no mind set to study or get school-things done for midterms, and just the overall glum that comes from being in a city that refuses to acknowledge the changing of seasons. 

It makes me wish that an adult-sized security blanket would be acceptable.

Think about it! A giant granny square with a giant owl in the center/on the top.

Crazy idea? Or a clever one? Hmm...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Random Act of Patterns

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep cannot keep it from themselves" - James Matthew Barrie

I believe in the power of kindness. It's an amazingly powerful concept. 

Have you ever had a truly terrible, awful, horrible, no-good, very-bad day? But then someone gives you a compliment or you witness an act of service-- and all of a sudden there's a bit more happiness in your heart? 

I'm sure you have, considering the current popularity of "Random Acts of Kindness" and the phrase "Well, that's my good deed of the day!

It seemed fairly simple to do one good deed a day: Hold open a door, pick something up off the floor, let that other car have the parking space. But I always wondered how to apply kindness into the crafting world.

Then, a wonderful thing happened. 

I read a post on Twitter. The post had been re-tweeted a few times before it landed on my feed, but I'm so grateful that it did. 

The original post was written by Knit Purl Girl, and I have since been on a roll with the idea. 

Here's the basic concept:

"I’ve declared that Tuesdays are for Random Acts of Patterns (or RAP). It’s the fibery equivalent to Random Acts of Kindness! Most of us have either randomly given or received patterns, so this is not my invention. However, I’d like to make it a movement and get more people involved! So on any random Tuesday that you feel inclined to and/or can afford to, consider randomly selecting a fellow Raveler and gifting him/her a pattern off of his/her queue."

For more, check out the Ravelry forum about it:

So there you go! Random Acts of Patterns. It doesn't have to be on Tuesdays... whenever you feel like being in the giving spirit! :) Spread a little happiness; spread a little crafting-sunshine! 

In the meantime, while you decide who to spread happiness to and with what pattern, here's a picture of an Owl Lovey I made for a baby shower:

Have a fantastic, craft-filled few days!  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

State Fair Results

Last month sometime I dropped off five projects at the state fair as part of the Entry Competition. Judging was to be completed by the time the fair opens. 

So I dropped off my items. 

4/5 entries on drop-off day!

And I waited for the fair to open. I was supposed to go with family, but in a spur of the moment decision, I ended up going on Opening Day and saved $9 on admission. 

So I went! And after much searching, I found all my entries. Here is the quick round-up:
  • Singh the Lion (Crochet: Toy, Open Age) = 3rd place
  • Milton the Snail (Stuffed Animal: Less than 15") = 3rd place
  • Cocoa the Monkey (Stuffed Animal: Greater than 15") = 3rd place
  • Scrappy, the Scrap Animal (Crochet: Scrap) = 4th place
  • Granny Square Bag (Crochet: Bag) = 4th place
 For this being my first year entering projects, getting a ribbon is a great accomplishment! However, I have a few qualms about the experience. First, I doubt I will enter pieces that are important to me ever again. Singh and Milton were especially important to me, and the hosts are lucky I didn't break through the displays to get them back.

All of my amigurumi entries look like they had been manhandled; they were disfigured and horribly displayed.

Singh the Lion
Singh was squished into the case. If I were to look at it eye-level, all I could see was the body. The picture was taken with me practically kneeling in order to get his face into the picture. 

Scrappy looked fine!

Cocoa's ears and mouth made me really sad-- they didn't make him look properly displayed at all!

And poor Milton's shell looked like the unicorn next to him sat on it. 

Basically, I wish I could have set up the display myself. 

My biggest issue with the experience was that I have no idea what won 1st or 2nd in a majority of the categories. I'm fine with 3rd place-- really, I am! But I wanted to see the awesome work that won 1st and 2nd!

Couldn't find them. 

None of the displays were organized by category. They were scattered around everywhere in the huge place. I read the tags for every toy, every stuffed animal, everything that would qualify as the categories... and found nothing! 

I did find 1st place in the Scrap category, though! It was a beautifully done blanket. 

Will I make items for next year? Yeah, most likely. Will I make stuffed animals? Nope, probably not. 

Have you entered any items into a fair? What was your experience like? I want to hear!