Halloween 2014!

For those of you who know me in real life, you all know about my love for Halloween. For those of you who don’t know me in real life, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love it so much, as does my husband, that our wedding had a Halloween theme to it! There’s just something about it that I love. These days, spooks and thrills are my favorite thing about it, when I was younger and a fraid-y cat, I just loved getting to dress up in costume so that nobody would know that I was who I was, it was my chance to fit in for a single night and a chance for me to be me without being looked down upon. The fact that I’d get bags full of candy didn’t hurt matters, either!

I’ve always been a fan of the macabre and “spooky” things, even if they use to terrify me. When I was a young child, one year I went as Morticia Addams, and the following year I went as Lily Munster, two of my idols from two of my favorite shows (the original Addams Family, I’d like to add, I never liked the 90’s Addams Family until I grew up). As I grew older my costumes started to change into things that I felt like them being, instead of what my parents thought was acceptable. I even went trick-or-treating all the way until I was in 10th grade, but I went in full costume with my best friend, traipsing through our neighborhoods having a blast. My junior and senior year of high school were spent driving around filming terrible “horror movies” with gore courtesy of the Burger King condiment bar. After high school Dain (who was just my boyfriend at the time) and I bought a 1977 Chrysler Town & Country hearse for me – to go with his 1981 Cadillac DeVille hearse, naturally, and ever year since 2006, I’ve spent Halloween with Dain, sometimes our friends, and, as of 2007, two hearses, instead of just one. Of course, as years go on and you hold an interest in something, your collection of those things grows a bit bigger each year, and our Halloween collection is no exception!

Since I’m so fond of Halloween and our set up each year, I always take pictures to watch how it grows and look for ways that we can improve on it. Please forgive me for the not-so-great quality of these pictures. For some reason I refuse to use a tripod when I use my actual camera, and the pictures from my phone were seriously lacking this time around, when usually they’re of fairly good quality. I hope you can at least get an idea as to the awesomeness that is our set up! I’m breaking these up into two groups, pictures from my phone, and the ones from my camera. I hope you all enjoy!

Pictures from my camera:

Pictures from my phone:

Skulltastic Skull Scarf (& Pattern!)

So I finally finished up the skull scarf and have put together the pattern for it, so I’m here to share pictures and a pattern!

Since my husband Dain and I are sort ofcompletely obsessed with Halloween, I thought that this was a perfect photo opportunity. So he gathered up all of the skulls he could find and I set them up and took some pictures, I also asked Dain for help with ideas for pictures of the scarves with our hearses (yes, plural, we each have one), as well as helping me capture a couple of the pictures because he’s got a great eye and some of these shots needed two bodies and four hands.

This scarf was one of the first things that I’ve created on my own. I looked at pictures of other crochet skulls, but wasn’t satisfied with how any of them looked, so I set out to make my own, and I like how it’s come out. I’ve made coasters from just a singular skull and I’ve made two scarves. I hope that someone can get some good use of this pattern! It’s the perfect time of the year for it! I hope you all enjoy!

What you will need for this scarf:

  • Any weight yarn (I used Hobby Lobby’s “I Love This Yarn!”, which is aran weight) PLEASE NOTEThe lighter weight yarn will create a smaller skull.
  • Any size crochet hook (I used a US J/6.0mm hook, but please know that I usually need to use two hook sizes bigger than what is recommended, also realize that the smaller the hook the smaller the skull, and the larger the hook the bigger and more spaced out the skull will be)
  • Tapestry needle.

Special Terms:

Pattern:

  1. FHDC 8 sts, turn
  2. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (10 sts)
  3. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (12 sts)
  4. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (14 sts)
  5. CSDC, sc in next st, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next 4 sts, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next st, DC in last st, turn
  6. CSDC, 8 DC into ch space, SC in next st, SC 2 together, 8 DC into next ch space, DC in last st, turn.
  7. CSDC, DC into next st, skip st, DC in next 4 sts, ch 1, TRC, ch 1, DC in 2nd DC on ch sp (corresponding st on the other side of the TRC),
  8. DC, skip st, 1 DC in last two sts, turn (15 sts)
  9.  Chainless Starting double crochet decrease, DC in each st to last 2 sts, Double crochet 2 together, turn (13 sts)
  10. CSDC, (ch 1, DC) x 6, turn, (7 DC, 6 ch/ 13 sts)
  11. CSSC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together, turn (11 sts)
  12. CSHDC, (ch 1, HDC) x 5, turn (11 sts)
  13. CSSC 2 together, SC 2, SC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together (8 sts), If alternating colors, break yarn and finish off. If using same yarn continue as described without changing yarn.
  14. Join new color and  HDC 8 sts, turn
  15. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (10 sts)
  16. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (12 sts)
  17. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (14 sts)
  18. CSDC, sc in next st, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next 4 sts, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next st, DC in last st, turn
  19. CSDC, 8 DC into ch space, SC in next st, SC 2 together, 8 DC into next ch space, DC in last st, turn.
  20. CSDC, DC into next st, skip st, DC in next 4 sts, ch 1, TRC, ch 1, DC in 2nd DC on ch sp (corresponding st on the other side of the TRC),
  21. DC, skip st, 1 DC in last two sts, turn (15 sts)
  22. Chainless Starting double crochet decrease, DC in each st to last 2 sts, Double crochet 2 together, turn (13 sts)
  23. CSDC, (ch 1, DC) x 6, turn, (7 DC, 6 ch/ 13 sts)
  24. CSSC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together, turn (11 sts)
  25. CSHDC, (ch 1, HDC) x 5, turn (11 sts)
  26. CSSC 2 together, SC 2, SC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together (8 sts), if changing colors break yarn and finish off, repeat steps 15-27 until scarf is half the length you desire
  27. Go back fo FHDC and join yarn, CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (10 sts)
  28. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (12 sts)
  29. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (14 sts)
  30. CSDC, sc in next st, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next 4 sts, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next st, DC in last st, turn
  31. CSDC, 8 DC into ch space, SC in next st, SC 2 together, 8 DC into next ch space, DC in last st, turn.
  32. CSDC, DC into next st, skip st, DC in next 4 sts, ch 1, TRC, ch 1, DC in 2nd DC on ch sp (corresponding st on the other side of the TRC),
  33. DC, skip st, 1 DC in last two sts, turn (15 sts)
  34.  Chainless Starting double crochet decrease, DC in each st to last 2 sts, Double crochet 2 together, turn (13 sts)
  35. CSDC, (ch 1, DC) x 6, turn, (7 DC, 6 ch/ 13 sts)
  36. CSSC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together, turn (11 sts)
  37. CSHDC, (ch 1, HDC) x 5, turn (11 sts)
  38. CSSC 2 together, SC 2, SC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together (8 sts), If alternating colors, break yarn and finish off. If using same yarn continue as described without changing yarn.
  39. Join new color and  HDC 8 sts, turn
  40. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (10 sts)
  41. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (12 sts)
  42. CSHDC, HDC in same st, HDC to last st, 2 HDC in last st, turn (14 sts)
  43. CSDC, sc in next st, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next 4 sts, ch 5, skip 3 sts, SC in next st, DC in last st, turn
  44. CSDC, 8 DC into ch space, SC in next st, SC 2 together, 8 DC into next ch space, DC in last st, turn.
  45. CSDC, DC into next st, skip st, DC in next 4 sts, ch 1, TRC, ch 1, DC in 2nd DC on ch sp (corresponding st on the other side of the TRC),
  46. DC, skip st, 1 DC in last two sts, turn (15 sts)
  47. Chainless Starting double crochet decrease, DC in each st to last 2 sts, Double crochet 2 together, turn (13 sts)
  48. CSDC, (ch 1, DC) x 6, turn, (7 DC, 6 ch/ 13 sts)
  49. CSSC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together, turn (11 sts)
  50. CSHDC, (ch 1, HDC) x 5, turn (11 sts)
  51. CSSC 2 together, SC 2, SC 2 together, SC to last 2 sts, 2 SC together (8 sts), if changing colors break yarn and finish off, repeat steps 27-51 until scarf is same length as other half, break yarn, Finish off
  52. OPTIONAL: SC evenly around scarf, slip stitch to first SC, finish off, weave in ends.

I hope you all enjoy this pattern! Thanks so much for checking it out!

That Dreaded Gift Reaction…

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My husband’s cousin’s daughter, McKenzie, turned 16 this past week on Wednesday or Thursday, I believe, and since I am short on cash (as per usual) but had plentiful amounts of yarn, I opted to make her something.

A week or so previous to deciding to make her something, I had found Rolling in the Deep, which is an infinity scarf pattern that I fell in love with immediately. I showed it to my mother-in-law to see if she thought that McKenzie would like it and assured me that she would, so I asked her to figure out McKenzie’s favorite colors, and when she figured that out for me, I set off in a frenzy to make the scarf, hoping that I would finish quickly so I could move on to making more to (eventually) sell.

When I finished it, everyone loved it, Dain, his dad, his mom, and most importantly, I loved it. I don’t typically like what I make by the time I’m done with it because I’m sick of staring at it. I had a lot of confidence wrapping this one up to be gifted, figuring she would love it.

Yesterday was her party, so after working on the gift that my mother-in-law was giving her (tying and sewing together a quilt), we packed up in the car and went to the local Godfather’s to have pizza, cake, and watch her open her presents. Everyone ate their food and cake while the adults conversed with one another, took turns holding a baby, paid attention to her cute little nephew TJ, and then watched a slideshow and video that McKenzie’s brother put together for her, which was tear inducing and very sweet. After that, we all insisted that she open up presents, we adults were getting impatient, not to mention we were suppose to be out of Godfather’s party room at 7, and it was, at that point, 7:15.

So she started into her presents, she asked which one she should open first, and my husband handed her the one that I made for her, to my horror (there were other gifts! Mind didn’t need to be opened first). She opened the card that I had Dain write up for her, it was just a cheeky, stupid poem that I had Dain come up with in a pinch, which got a laugh – so far, so good! Then she tore into the gift, to find this:

And she just went “Oh.” and put it around her like a sash. So I got her attention and let her know that it was an infinity scarf, to which she said “I’m going to wear it like this, because I don’t care.”

My heart crumbled to a million pieces. She didn’t say she liked the color, she didn’t think it was pretty, nothing, just “oh.”

Now, logically, I realize she’s 16, and teenagers have that kind of attitude, and in retrospect, she had about that same reaction to all her gifts, except for gifts of money, but I can’t help but still feel crushed. I put a lot of time and effort into things that I make, and maybe once she got home and was away from all of her friends, she actually appreciated it more, but I feel very doubtful about that.

It’s reactions like hers that make me not want to make people things as gifts. I don’t usually get that reaction, but it’s always just as soul crushing when it does.

How do the rest of you deal with getting a less-than satisfied reaction to something that you made as a gift?

 

Amateur Photography

Every now and again, I like to try my hand at photography. I have no where near the skills or the eye that my husband has, but I like to pretend. Late last week I was at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and the view from the floor that I was visiting really captures my eye, the Kahler Motel sign, which I don’t think has been changed since the 50’s, and this beautiful building a little further down, which I presume to be a church, but I have no idea. All of these years visiting that clinic and I still couldn’t tell you left from right in there. Anyway, enjoy some very shoddy photos that I took with my phone and the Lomo Camera app (because I haven’t managed to purchase a fisheye lens for my phone yet, but they make them!)

Finished it Friday: The projects that I leave behind

I have to be honest, here. Sometimes, I start a project with so much gusto and excitement that I plow through… most of it. I’ll get to the end with just a couple of steps to finish to be done with the project and I’ll go to pick it up one day and just be utterly disgusted with it and not want anything to do with it. You would honestly think it was covered in dog shit, smells of cat piss, and covered in prickly ash.

Then I get pattern envy, I’ll jump on Ravelry and start searching through patterns. Oogling all of the projects that I want to crochet or knit like a pubescent boy oogles his father’s nude-y magazines (or, in the case of a gay young male, oogling pictures the shirtless pictures of men in all of the magazines for women, or whatever suits their fancy). I will start to go through my stash looking for a match to one of the patterns, hoping that I’ll have a reason to walk away from my current project.

“Hell yeah!” I’ll exclaim, “Dain, I’ve found a pattern that I really like! Do you think [family member/friends name] would like it? (or alternatively, “Do you think it would sell?”) When my husband agrees, like he’s been trained to do because it’s a brilliant idea, I’ll move to that project, happy as can be.

However, there will sit the project that I left behind, for the first two weeks it starts out with no shame or guilt: “I just need some breathing room, don’t worry, I still love you, I’ll come back.” Weeks 3-8 the guilt starts to set in and I start making up excuses: “It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.” Usually by that time, I have actually gotten busy within my life and I’ll forget about the project gathering dust on my chair’s side table, until one day, when I’m cleaning and organizing my table because it’s become full of tiny pieces of yarn and miscellaneous pieces of paper, and I’ll pick up the long forgotten project and be overwhelmed with guilt: “I told you I”d come back for you!” I’ll say as I embrace the yarn and the mostly finished project, “I could never forget about you!”

Somehow, I feel that the yarn knows that I’m lying, and will then throw me some sort of curve ball when I start to work with it again. “I’ll teach you!”

Moral of the story: I’m a little crazy.

Anyway, I started this forgotten project (according to my Ravely account) on June 16th of this year, I finished it almost completely within a week, I just had to finish the second sleeve, snip all of the woven in ends, and buy and attach buttons. I sewed on the buttons today, making this project complete and ready to send to my aunt for my sweet baby cousin, Riley. I hope that she’ll like it.

What’s that yarn? Malabrigo Rios in English Rose and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash in Marina

A little over a year ago, my mom asked me to make her a pair of slippers. So I went out and bought the yarn and promptly set out on working on something else. I just recently got around to making her some. The pattern was fairly simple and plain, but if you add a little embellishment, they look fantastic! I really like the way they turned out, and even my mom says she likes them, but we’ll see how she actually feels when she receives them in the mail next week.

 

What’s that yarn? Berroco Vintage in Black Cherry and Cast Iron.

 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Fishy, Fishy, Fishy… Oh!

One of the things that I’ve become very well known for is my hat making ability, and everyone seems to love my fish hats that I make. I’ve made all kinds of them for all different ages and colors. Here is a collection of some of them. This is the pattern that I use as a base, depending on the size wanted, I will mix it with another HDC hat pattern, like this or this, modifying it as I go along to match up stitch counts per each round.