Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do you want to build a snowman?

Meet Johann!

"Do you want to build a snowman? Come on, let's go and play!"

If you don't recognize those words, you have clearly been hibernating. (It's from Frozen, by the way.) My aunt asked me why I didn't name him Olaf and that's because he looks nothing like Olaf! Instead, my sister named him Johann - we're going for a German feel.

His head and body was made from some off-white/grey scrap paper that I found eons ago. I had assembled the bulk of him a while back but had never gotten around to putting on features. I had originally thought of making him a mouse or bear but then ran out of paper for a snout. He has been sitting on my shelf, featureless and collecting dust for over a year now. I finally gathered enough motivation to put him together last month. His hat was by far the most challenging. That messy collection of paper strips is held together by glue and hope.

I was pleasantly surprised by how absolutely adorable he is. I debated for the longest time whether I should give him arms because he looked rather cute without them. I posed the question to my brother on whim and he replied, "Not all snowmen have arms. Maybe he lost them in a snowstorm accident." That's right. Johann, my paraplegic snowman. As you can see, in the end, I decided an amputee snowman was too avant-garde and stuck on a pair of arms. His upraised hands give him a bit more joie de vivre [I'm just full of French phrases this week :)]

Now compare him to this work of art:

The fifteenth member of our Career Group retreat proudly looking out to the lake behind our cottage. :)

Okay, maybe this guy doesn't quite have Johann's bright dewy eyes but I will admit, there were a lot more laughs in making him (or her. To be honest, I'm not sure what he/she is...).

Don't you just want to build a snowman? :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fuji Paper Apple

I've been meaning to make more paper fruit to accompany my 3D origami Granny Smith from two years ago. I have so many 3D origami modules which haven't been assembled yet, collecting dust in my craft cupboard. This is why, while watching TV the other day, I decided to finally just throw something together.

Simple, quick and could be done with my attention divided between a TV drama and my hands. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rick Rack Scarf

I love knitting scarves. I really don't need another one, but scarves are my go-to project whenever I want to make something relatively simple and portable. They're also great for using up the yarn stash, which is currently overflowing from the closet despite my best efforts to reorganize it. 

The pattern I used is the Rick Rack Scarf from Purl Bee. I fell in love with the stitch pattern when I first saw it. It's only two rows to memorize and knits up relatively quickly. It also looks good on both sides (very important for a scarf). 

I used two skeins of Red Heart Soft Touch yarn. It's really thick and cozy. 

Here's more close-ups of the amazing stitch pattern:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throw-Back Thursday: My First Sweater Vest

The lighting was really nice over the weekend, so we finally got around to taking pictures of some of my old knitting projects. 

My first sweater, a cropped yellow cardigan has since been unravelled because I didn't like it and never wore it. This vest was my second sweater project and much more of a success. I'm really happy with how it turned out and I've worn it several times since knitting it. 

I used the ever popular Heather Hoodie Pattern from the Fall 2009 issue of Knitscene. My yarn was thinner than what was called for in the pattern, so I compensated by using the directions for one of the medium sizes. I also didn't have enough yarn for a hood so I made a crewneck collar instead. In retrospect, this was probably a better idea anyway, since if I'm honest with myself, I never actually use the hoods on my hoodies anyway. 

Please excuse the way the collar is puckering. It usually sits flatter. 

The yarn I used came from my mom's yarn stash. She had bought it about twenty years ago. My grandmother had picked it out for a vest at the time. (I guess yarn-hoarding runs in the family) It's a really interesting grey. The yarn itself is a light grey, but it's also threaded through with white and these flecks of different colours. I haven't seen any yarn that's similar to it. 

This vest was finished probably about two years ago, but it's held up really well - no pilling or holes or anything. It looks the same as it did fresh off the needles. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

DNA Fingerless Mitts

These were made for my sister, who loves both fingerless mitts and genetics. They were a challenge because it was the first time I had knit with such extensive modifications of patterns. 

The DNA helix came from ChemKnits DNA Helix Kindle Cover. I loved how the chart had mirrored double helices, which ended up working really well for the left and right mitts.

I wanted the arms to be more fitted so the shaping is loosely based on the CanCans Fingerless Mitts by Erica Lomax.

Overall I think they turned out fairly well. The yarn is a cotton-silk blend, so really soft. It's not all that hard-wearing though, as unfortunately after a few months, these are already looking rather worn. At least we managed to take these pictures while they were still in their prime. 

[Linky parties this post has joined: Friday Finds Link Party!]

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ten Thousand Paper Wishes

Last year, I thought of doing a feature chronicling the creation of a vast collection of origami stars. It would span several posts as I gradually added more and more stars made of different patterned papers and materials. It needed a catchy number so I thought that "One Million Wishes" had a grand ring to it. Then my rational, analytic mind kicked in: just how long would it take to fold one million origami stars? Therefore, I did a little math. Assuming that it takes about one minute to fold a star (it doesn't really but I decided to give myself a little leeway in terms of time) and I spent about one hour per day folding stars, then it would take me 45.6 years to finish - WHOA! That was definitely not happening. Then I thought, 'Am I really going to count all the stars that I make?'. The answer is no but that's still no excuse for faulty advertisement ;).

So as much as one million is a sexy number, I have decided to lower it to a less sexy but far more manageable number: 10,000. Doing the same calculation, this could be achieved in 5 and a half months. Shall we begin?

Origami stars are my fall-back craft. Even though they don't serve any useful function (although, come it think of it, pretty much most of what I make falls under this category) they are fun, quick and almost meditative as you get into a rhythm of folding them. Whenever I browse through Chinese/Japanese novelty shops, I am always tempted to get more star folding strips. Anyone with an internet connection and a colour printer however, will find that there are hundreds of free patterns to be found on deviantart, pinterest, tumblr, etc. I came across this one on deviantart. It's by CandidCandy and you can find the printable sheet here. They would be great as baby shower decorations - provided that there are no children around (definite choking hazard unfortunately).

I am still on the hunt for interesting jars to display my stars in. I will probably be combing through garage sales come summer :)

[Linky Parties this post has joined: Friday Finds Link Party!]