Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce the Goblin King.

Labyrinth was such a huge part of my childhood and it was tremendous fun to make Jareth. I've had the idea floating around the back of my mind for a while to make some Labyrinth stuff and having an excuse was all the encouragement I needed.

Usually it takes a lot of failed attempts to get things right but this one was smooth sailing through calm seas. Well maybe not all the time but still smoother than usual. I did keep notes as I worked (I'm trying really hard to do better at keeping track as I go along) but it was mostly for the parts where I had to make matching pairs. The documentation got a lot sparser on the rest of him. I'm thinking I'll make another eventually. I really liked how he came out and having him around was fun but it will probably be a while. I do want to make a pattern for him available eventually. But I'll have to go through and make another to flesh out the notes and figure out how to explain some of the more idiosyncratic methods I used to make him. Which I'm not looking forward to.

The rest of the photos are here

This little guy (these little guys?) was the other item made for the swap

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Notable lack of progress

Since I don't have anything interesting to report on the current project front (things continue they just aren't interesting) I thought I'd try writing about something a bit older.

My inspiration process tends to go something like this. !Interesting thought of some sort!-"I wonder if I could make that? Let's see"... And then I fool around till it works or I give up and go play with something else. Which tends to result in odd things because often for me the greater interest is figuring out if and how I can make something. Like a pear with teeth.

I've been a fan of Ursula Vernon for years, and her work often jump starts that "I wonder if I could?" feeling but I've refrained from making things based on her art because it feels a odd to play with someone's toys without their ok first. And I'm terribly shy about talking to people, so sending an email asking permission makes me want to hide in a hole for a week.

The only thing that has overcome that hesitation so far is insomnia. At one point I was getting an hour or two of sleep a night long enough for it to be unpleasant and unbelievably dull.
I was sitting around looking at the yarn stashed everywhere and I had an idea. Make the Biting Pear of Salamanca. And it was the kind of blinding flash that includes specific instructions and detailed schematics and I thought, "I have to make that right now".

And so the amigurumi biting pear was born.

I'm really glad I went ahead and I made him I learned a lot that has come in handy with later projects. But the best part has been the reactions people have had. And it's tremendous fun to see who recognizes it as the Biting Pear and who knows it as the LOL WUT Pear. I even dredged up the nerve shortly after it was done and wrote to Ms. Vernon and she was really lovely about it. If she had minded it never would have seen the light of day so I'm especially glad she liked it. An amazing artist and genuinely nice to boot.

The pear on the other hand can be rather rude. But perhaps manners for fruit are different than amongst humans.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I've finished the stuff for the Labyrinth swap and will be mailing the package off tomorrow. Which means that soon I can write about the specifics of what I made. And I get to post pictures! Yay. I'm so pleased with how the whole thing came out I can hardly stand it. It was so much fun to make stuff for Labyrinth. I actually had a list of about thirty possible items that would be neat to make. Paring it down to just a few was really hard. And I'm probably going to play with a few of the other possibilities eventually. I'm also thinking of making the big item again just to test out the notes I took. I used a variation of one part for another project and that bit was fairly reliable so I'm feeling kinda confident of the notes themselves (although my idiosyncratic way of working might make them quite difficult for anybody else to use), but I skipped documenting some of the steps and I'd like to fill that info in before I completely forget what I did.

The Studio Ghibli swap is still giving me fits on occasion but I restarted the big item and I am much happier with the progress I've made since then. I had been pushing myself to accept what I had made before and it was the wrong move. If I'm not happy with what I'm making the process becomes so miserable. I should have scrapped the first design well before I did. Wasted a lot of time. I did finish more neat things for this swap, well one is nearly finished, the painting is done it is just waiting on a sunny day so I can seal it. Lost several days to a driving trip and crochet in the car makes me nauseated so I got nothing accomplished. And I'm closing in on the mail out deadline but I think I'll be able to get everything done in time. Now that I've got a better design things should go more smoothly.

And I've just cursed myself with that bit of overconfidence haven't I?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Technicolor Chameleon

This guy is from the Chameleon pattern by Hansi Singh of Hansigurumi. Made out of Noro Kureyon. Which looks pretty good but was a terrible pain to use. Slubby yarn with a tendency to pull apart knitted at a tight gauge is not fun. The pattern was impressive it's very cleverly put together. And not a terribly long project this took about a week of working on and off in the evenings. The next time I make one of these I think I will change the eyes a bit. And pay more attention to where I pick up stitches for the head. On this one I picked up the stitches too far back so the neck doesn't have quite as much definition as it should. Still cute though.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I've been working on several things lately. I signed up for two swaps on Ravelry that both finish at the end of May. One of them is based around 80s scifi and fantasy movies. Each person chose their favorite movie from the period and their partner crafts something based on it. My partner in that swap selected Labyrinth. Which I was delighted about, that was one of my favorite movies growing up and still holds a place in my heart. And the crafting for that swap went wonderfully. Inspiration carried me all the way through and I'm still enthusiastic about it. The big item for that swap turned out almost perfectly as I envisioned. And I kept notes on much of the process so I think I can duplicate it if I choose.

The second swap is themed on the films of Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli. This one has been fighting me. I got a few minor objects made but the major component has been a terrible battle. And the frustrating thing is that it is well within my abilities to make. The basic design is quite simple it is just the details that make it unique. But nothing wants to cooperate.

As a result I've been playing around with other projects in hopes that if I leave it alone for a bit things will start flowing again. I've made a fairy and I'm almost completely finished with a Chameleon from a pattern by Hansi Singh. And I've started several other projects that are in the beginning stages and not worth mentioning. None of which has helped me get back on track with the Ghibli project. In fact, now I am desperate to work on another project I've been thinking about for a while. Tepoz from the webcomic Wapsi Square. He's complicated enough to be a lot of fun to make.

Obviously I need to bite the bullet and go back to work on the "Miyazaki thing" (which is a secret till my partner gets her stuff).

That's Moss the Fairy over there hanging out in the pear tree.

Trying something new

Ok I'm giving this a try. Assuming I can get this to work. If it's easy enough, I'm going to use this for all my crafting stuff. So here is something to get started with. He is a voodoo doll. Made for a swap, my partner asked for a lizard to be a part of the design. In addition to the lizard he also has a vertebra from a mink in his hair, a small bone circle, a feather from a green cheeked conure, and an agate eye bead.