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Skull Shawl (Pattern Review)

This skull shawl pattern , is one of the more difficult patterns that I have worked through. Don’t get me wrong, the pattern is fantastic! The finished product is beautiful! The technical aspect is wonderful. However, the original pattern is in German or Dutch (I am not sure which) and the translation can make it a little hard to follow.

 

So, at the end of this post, I am going to include some of my notes to make the pattern a little easier to follow. I will not, however, post the actual pattern due to copyright concerns.

 

For reference, I used Lion Brand Ice Cream Big Scoop and a J hook for this. I love the self-striping, it just turned out looking so cool.

 

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I made some mistakes…which is why I shouldn’t let myself get so lazy and complacent when I am crocheting in the car. So, I frogged an entire section of skulls. :-:

 

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My finished shawl. I ended up keeping this shawl for myself. I loved the colors and I so rarely keep anything I make. I did make 2 more, one in pinks and one in grays, that are smaller – child size.

 

Now, for a border on this one, I am not a huge fan. I just did a DC across for the border, and it make it really lumpy and lay funny. Which isn’t a huge deal, because it is just mine, but yea…I didn’t like how it looked. For the other ones, I just left them once completed…

 

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So, as you go through the skull shawl pattern , feel free to reference my notes, or even leave your own in the comments to help out!

(1)           1DC in the 9, 10, 11, 12 CH stitches

(2)           You are make your double treble crochet (DTR) in the ch right below where you are at, from the first row you did. This should leave you with big loopy gaps on either side of your 4DC. This concept had me jacked for the first few attempts…

(3)           Your DTR will again be in the first chain from the previous row. This should leave you with 3 big gaps with 4DC between each. Your DTR at the end of each row will continue to go in the first chain from the previous row here on out. You should always end with a big gap on either side of your row, to make your shawl wider as you go.

(4 & 5)     Continue on with the same pattern…however, on this pattern, there are two row fives written out…so pay attention to that.

(5 & 6)      This starts your skull, easy to follow.

(7)             Complete your 1DC, 1ch across the 4SC from the previous round, not onto the 4th.

(8)             Follow as expected

(9 & 10)    EYES – I did the alternative eyes, which is found way at the bottom of the blog. So, I skipped the entire eye making tutorial and the regular rows 9 & 10. I followed this version because I am super lazy and hate to sew things, so I didn’t want to make separate eyes and try to slip stitch them in.

(11 & 12)     This finishes your skull, and starts your gaps to begin your next skull in.

 

The rest was pretty easy to follow. You just have to remember that any time you have 4 groups of the DC clusters in a row (on the sides and in the middle), then you should be creating new skulls the next round. The skulls go up by one each round, and should stagger. So, your 1, 3, 5, 7 group of skulls should line up in the center, while your 2, 4, 6, 8 should line up on the sides. 🙂

 

The way she ended her pattern was pretty simple, just don’t make the new skulls, continue adding the DC clusters with the chain 2s. As far as a border, well, good luck. I will probably just leave mine from now on ended like that.

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Virus Shawl (Pattern Review)

I am a fairly easily frustrated person. I don’t have a lot of patience, and I get cranky when I don’t understand things. That is vital to this story.

A few months back, a friend of mine asked me to make 6 shawls for her wedding, 5 adult and 1 youth. Awesome, no problem, I am on it! Right after I finish all of these elephant pillows for Christmas!

Well, on Christmas day, I started working on these shawls. I had seen hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of posts on the Repeat Crafter Me Facebook group of the Virus Shawl. Awesome. It looked super easy, I can handle this! So, I went searching for the pattern, and all I could find was YouTube videos. I hate watching video tutorials. I have no patience and stop paying attention. Then, I finally found a written out pattern! AHHHH! But, the pattern sucked. Seriously…it sucked. But, I was still determined not to do YouTube videos…I had a crappy pattern and photos of what it should look like! How hard could it possibly be?!

I started this pattern fairly early in the day…and then I ripped it all out because 10 rounds into it, it was NOT looking like it should. Then I restarted…and ripped it out 6 rounds into it. Then I gave up and started a totally different shawl, and 12 rows into it, I realized that it was a scarf and not a shawl and ripped that one out. So, frustrated and angry,. I breathed grinchmas all over it and started the virus shawl one more time…and it clicked…and it was amazing.

These work up really fast, and once you figure out the pattern (which is so easy and makes me angry that I struggled so much), you won’t have to ever reference it again. Plus, it is pretty…and my sister-in-law has decided that it looks like an owl, and now I can’t see anything else.

So, the morale of the story…watch the YouTube video (which is linked at the bottom). Don’t be like me. Don’t be stupid. Watch the video, learn this AWESOME pattern, and make amazing shawls.

 

 

This is the one…do you see the owl?! Once you do, you will never unsee it.

 

 

Watch this video…learn…don’t frog everything because you are frustrated like me.

 

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Road Tripping 

Things have been a little hectic here. Last minute wedding stuff, work is sort of crazy, and some major life changes may be in the works!

I am a little over the candy corns right now, so I am taking a break to work on a very cool Halloween project that is totally anti-Halloween. 🙂

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Hooded Wolf Cowl – Pattern Review

As I said earlier in the month, I have been working hard on some hooded wolf cowls for a friend of mine. I have always had some issues making hoods, so I decided to start looking for patterns. What I found was a killer pattern for a hooded fox cowl! Well, that’s simple enough, all you have to do is change the ears, and it can be turned into almost any animal. Trust me, that is a project for a little ways down the road. I have so many plans for this pattern. But for now, these wolf cowls are available in the shop!

Well, about the pattern, I absolutely adored this pattern. It was so, so simple to follow. She even included a neat tutorial to help you if you are having problems with the connections! This cowl worked up really quickly. It took me less than 2 hours to make a child sized one, and about 3 hours to adjust it to make an adult sized one. Oh! And did I mention! She even includes instructions on how to adjust it to become a larger size! No one does that anymore! I am so glad for that! Basically, this is one of the coolest, easiest, most fun patterns I have seen in a while. I will definitely be making and reviewing more of her awesome patterns. Just as soon as I have time.

Oh, and the bow came from Repeat Crafter Me. Because apparently, girl wolves have bows. Duh. Everyone knows that.


  
  

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Pom-Pom-Pompadoodle

In my about page, I talk about the devastating earth quake and tsunami in Japan, and how that got me back into crochet. Well, here is sort of the elaboration on that.

In March of 2011, I went home to Las Vegas on leave to see my best friend who was ready to give birth. While she was in labor, I watched on the news as an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country I was living in. I spent a couple extra weeks in the US, trying to get back to Japan. But, in the meantime, I was left with more free time than I had ever had, and no vehicle. I couldn’t afford to keep renting a car! So…off to this magical place called JoAnns I went! I found the fluffiest, silliest looking yarn. It was called Red Heart Pompadoodle. (It is now discontinued, which is sort of devastating to me.) I bought a few skeins of it, took it back to my aunt’s house and made a scarf while watching a movie. This yarn is really hard to work with, because of the pompoms attached. It makes it hard to see your stitches. And heaven forbid you have to take this yarn apart! That is an even bigger nightmare! It sticks and grabs and the pompoms get caught and ugh…I have a few half done scarves that I messed up on and became homicidal before I finished taking them back apart. Anyway…I made a few of these scarves, and my gramma, mom, and aunt loved them. They all wanted one…so I went back and bought some more yarn and made a few more…and this is just sort of what I did while waiting for returned phone calls and emails from my sailors and my command. Then came the 16 hour flight from LA to Tokyo…do you have any idea how many scarves you can make in 16 hours? I actually ran out of yarn first.

Well…now I had a dozen or so of these scarves in my bags and they got dumped in my house in Japan in my craft room. (This was really just a room without heat or A/C that I stored all of my yarn, photo albums, and half finished blankets.) Well, I spent about a week in Japan without any real clue as to when they were going to fly us back out the to ship…and because of the earthquake, a lot of the businesses in the area, and half the base, was shut down…so, I did what any good crocheter would do…I went to the 100yen store and bought more yarn…of course, it wasn’t nearly as cool as my pompadoodle yarn, but it would do. I started making some blankets, though I didn’t get far at all…I ended up taking those out and using those yarns to make elephants in later years. Anyway…I got distracted from the blankets because it was finally time to fly out to the ship…and after a few days onboard, in the awesome mail plane came MORE AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE pompadoodle yarn. I am serious…half of my storage space in my rack (bed) was this yarn…it was so much yarn. But, I just kept making scarves. I mean, I was fully qualified, I was running a division with some completely awesome leaders working directly under me, I had to find something to do with the 2 or 3 hours a day that I should have been sleeping, but never could. Well, as you can imagine (and even if you think they suck, pretend with me), the scarves were a huge hit in berthing (our living quarters) with the ladies. So, I gave away probably a dozen scarves on that underway…and that Christmas, every lady I knew got a pompom scarf for their gift! It was a little ridiculous. Well, when I got back to the states, I decided to open up my very own etsy shop. I listed exactly 3 items…3 pompom scarves. Well, after a year and a half, the pretty blue one finally sold…I also realized, after actually figuring out how much it cost me to make this scarf, I lost money on that sale. Which was sad, because no one wants to pay people to take their stuff. The beige and pink still sit, waiting for their forever homes. However, I have a feeling that these are more of a craft sale item…you really need to feel just how amazingly soft they are to really understand the value of this yarn…soft and warm. Too bad I don’t wear scarves…because these are pretty cool.

Blue PomPom Scarf
Sold to a very warm and happy lady!

Pink PomPom Scarf

This could totally be yours!

Beige PomPom Scarf

This could go with your every outfit!

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M-O-U-S-E

Sometimes, projects just kick your butt. This is one of them. A buddy of mine at work has this girlfriend who is absolutely obsessed with Minnie Mouse. Well, after I had made a trick or treat bag for my god-daughter, who went as Minnie Mouse this past Halloween, he decided that I was the girl for the Christmas project. So, we spent weeks discussing just what would be perfect for his girlfriend…he wanted to get her a scarf, since she is cold, all the time. And he wanted her to have one of the little tote bags I had made for my god-daughter.

So, off I went, amidst Christmas orders, Christmas presents, and craft show chaos, to try and make a very basic, simple, and obvious Minnie scarf for a lady I have never met…the bag was no problem, that worked up quickly and was easy enough. This scarf, well, now that was a whole different monster.

It started out simply enough, lots of big and little circles. That part wasn’t so bad, and it didn’t take so long. Well, as you have heard me mention in every amigurumi post I have ever made, and will ever make, I hate sewing things together more than anything. You can see the problem here…well, I think it took me approximately 5x the amount of time to sew everything together than it did to make all of the circles! And then, it was fantastic, I was so happy…until I remembered the bows. Those blasted bows…so, more crocheting…more sewing…All in all, it was a project that encompassed about 7 hours, 5 days, and about 147,989,578 curses. I also vowed to never make another one, so of course, it was immediately listed. 🙂

Oh! And the best part! When my friend gave his girlfriend this scarf, the first thing she said was, “oh, I really hate scarves…” Luckily, once he got her to actually pull it out of the purse and look at it, she was ecstatic, thrilled, and mystified, vowing to wear it always.

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