Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mustaches


Crocheted mustaches, all very fast to make. They're formed from two symmetrical parts and then sewn together with yarn in the middle. That part is the most fun; you can change the appearance dramatically by increasing or decreasing the angle. Pattern, possibly, coming soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cuttlefish pattern available

Finally, the cuttlefish (cuddlefish?) pattern is available. A million thanks to the amazing pattern testers who helped make this possible!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cased shell necklaces, and new Etsy store

Made from found shells and fabric (with the occasionally vintage button included). No metal is used at all; only the tension of the draw cords holds the shell securely in its fabric casing.
Available in my new Etsy store, Megadalton, which I plan to use for non-crochet things.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Plush Vegetable Lamb of Tartary


I didn't make a pattern, or prototype, or really have a plan, so it's ultra wonky, BUT, I finally made a plush Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (a few more pictures are here). I've been wanting to do this for nigh on a year.

More information on this endearing anthropomorphization of cotton on wikipedia.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Primer on sculptural crochet

Now on SuperNaturale: an article I wrote which explains how anyone can use crochet to sculpt 3D forms. It is based on a cabinet of crochet "elements" I use for workshops (most recently, the Maker Faire), and it contains (too?) lengthy descriptions of how various combinations of stitches can be used to make more complex forms. Furthermore, there are little pseudo-patterns available for each one of the sample pieces, so you can create a cabinet of your own if you like, which might be a fun way to familiarize yourself with the techniques discussed. Let me know if you have any additional questions!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Machine embroidery without a drop feed system


I want to thank the amazing Julie Dunbar for teaching the public her machine embroidery technique through the Martha Stewart Show and Threadbangers.

She essentially copies an image onto water soluble embroidery stabilizer (like this) and then sews though it with her feed dogs lowered and a freehand foot on. Unfortunately, some low end sewing machines, like my beloved Brother LS-2125, don't have a drop feed system. A couple of adjustments can overcome the problem.

The Brother LS-2125 comes with a small darning attachment you can snap over the needle plate to cover the feed system. This raises the plate by about 3-4mm, so (as far as I can tell) you can't sew with a foot (or even a foot holder) in place, only the exposed needle.

Here the manual advises you, in bold face, to "keep fingers away from moving parts, especially needles." So control of the fabric is limited by how close you are willing to get to "moving parts," but sacrifices in accuracy are compensated by (what I like to pretend is) a charming degenerate quality of line. To illustrate: the crab above, made on t-shirt jersey, is about 4" across.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cuttlefish


Also baby-safe:
I plan to write up a pattern soon (in a couple of weeks?) - I'd love help in testing it out to make sure it's easy to understand and free of error. If you want me to send you a "beta" version when it's ready, please leave me a comment here with some way to get in touch - or just contact me directly. EDIT: Thank you so much for all who responded - I'm going to go ahead and cap sign-ups at comment 12.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Child-proofed octopus


I normally make these octopuses with seed bead eyes and an unsecured, yarn-scrap belly, which is fine for display, but not very baby-friendly. Three modifications can address the problem:
  1. Make the body to the point at which the neck begins, and stuff with polyfill. I usually crochet with pretty high tension, but if you crochet loosely, you can make a fabric sack to hold the polyfill to make sure it won't poke out.
  2. Cut a piece of fabric larger than the hole and tuck the edges in, as shown above. Then sew in place (avoiding the last row of crochet, since you'll need to continue the neck).
  3. After finishing the octopus, make eyes with french knots on top of rounds of felt, which are also sewn down separately along their perimeter with regular thread.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Figure Legend online


The embroidery show at the Curiosity Shoppe is now down, but the pieces will still available online for a couple weeks through the Curiosity Shoppe's website.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crochet clinic

Above, the Curiosity Shoppe's photo showing a crochet workshop I gave in the gallery space there a couple of weekends back - it was so much fun for me, and I hope to do more things like this in the future. We were officially making sand dollars, but it was awesome to see people going in new directions with their own designs - bracelets, rings, coin purses, squids...

I had a lot of help from some of the more advanced crocheters there in teaching beginners, who started out making chains and progressed to working in the round.

For the more complicated stuff, I filled this old curio cabinet with crocheted samples, varying certain parameters one at a time (working in both loops? double stitch? slip? increase?) to show how these basic elements can be combined to create virtually any three dimensional object.When I started crocheting, I spent a lot of time messing around (crocheting for 5 minutes, frogging, crocheting, frogging, etc) to get some frame of reference on how certain stitches would look. My aim in making these samples was pretty much to expedite those early stages of the prototyping process for others.

Figure Legend

I have a show of embroidery up at the Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco! Here are some shots of the installation taken by the wonderful owners, Lauren and Derek.

Here I draw the name of the show directly on the wall (!!!):
Some cyanotypes before hanging:And the beautiful treatment Lauren and Derek showed some legend-less embroidered figures:
Finally finished:Also there, and embroidered: 1970's pillowcase safari animals labeled with their scientific names, a portrait of Darwin, other fake ecosystems. Some crochet specimens are there too.

Figure Legend is up until the 4th of March.