I turned the Kirkwall heraldry from Dragon Age 2 into a knitting pattern. What? This symbol:
Very dragony. I made two versions: after trying out a pair of gloves with the large pattern, I thought smaller dragons might look better, so I made a second pair for my sister in some fabulous multicolour blue yarn. The little dragons fit nicely on the back of the glove, and the big ones wrap around your hand a bit. Here they are, with patterns below:
To make the gloves, I used the Simple Mitts free pattern by Kitty Adventures: thanks for the great pattern! You’ll need 50g of fingering weight yarn and 2.25mm double-pointed needles. Although I’ve never knitted gloves before, I found the pattern easy to follow and I think they turned out very well (especially the second pair: my sister’s… I made a few mistakes on mine!)
The gloves are worked in the round, and the rounds where the dragon is made are all knit (no ribbing). Just purl every time you get to a dark square and you’ll make a dragon. Note that you’ll still need to knit around each round: the patterns below don’t cover the whole glove. You can put stitch markers where the dragon starts and ends to make life easier.
Big dragon pattern:
White squares for knit, dark squares for purl. Start the tail on round 21 of the Simple Mitts pattern. The thumb starts on round 41, and the top of the head finishes on round 60. I made the 2 gloves mirror-image, with the dragons both facing in towards the thumb, so I worked the dragon pattern left-to-right for one glove and right-to-left for the other (if this sounds confusing you could make them both the same). Don’t forget to put the thumb on opposite sides of the dragon!
Little dragon pattern:
White squares for knit, dark squares for purl. Start the tail on round 40 of the pattern (1 round before you start the thumb). The top of the head finishes on round 59. I made the 2 gloves mirror-image, with the dragons facing in towards the thumb, so I worked the dragon pattern left-to-right for one glove and right-to-left for the other (if this sounds confusing you could make them both the same). Don’t forget to put the thumb on opposite sides of the dragon!
I was delighted to receive a request to feature this DIY pattern from Lace and Lore for a pair of Kill La Kill inspired shoes. While wearing an actual Kamui Senketsu would be chilly (bordering on illegal depending on where you live), these Kamui Senketsu shoes are a nice way to pay homage to anime without going full cosplay. Not that there’s anything wrong with cosplay! I personally like blending little geeky touches into my everyday wardrobe without being too obvious, and these shoes would look great with jeans and a tee.
Click the photo for a link to their tutorial. You’ll need shoes, fabric paint, and crafting supplies that you probably already own if you’re reading my blog (X-acto, masking tape etc.) I’m a big fan of all-black high-top Converse, and I’m wondering whether fabric paint works on rubber too…
While you’re at it, check out Lace and Lore’s site for more fabulous geek fashion.
Have a great idea for a t-shirt design? Can’t find clothing for sale with the logo you want? Thanks to the wonders of laundry bleach, you can dye your clothes (or rather un-dye them) to make any design you like. I used this tutorial from Instructables, with a few modifications for mess and accuracy’s sakes.
Here are some birds I made for my favourite bird-nerd…
… and here’s a Mass Effect hoodie she made for me!
The lovely model in the last pic is Headless Duct-Tape Me: instructions for how to make your own perfectly sized dress form for the cost of a few rolls of duct tape can be found here at Offbeat Bride.
If you’re considering making some bleach-dyed items of your own, I have a few humble suggestions:
Try a sample first, on some inexpensive fabric. My first attempt was a caddywhompus Aperture logo t-shirt that is good enough for the gym, but not much else.
Double-check your laundry bleach before using it. Eco-friendly bleach doesn’t contain chlorine and won’t work as a dye (oops).
If you work in an office or otherwise have access to the tops of Xerox paper boxes, they make a perfect frame to stretch a shirt over to keep the back from getting bleached.
White school glue is non-toxic and water-soluble: if your pattern is delicate you can paint your stencil with a thin coating of glue to help it adhere to your fabric. You have to be careful not to get glue on the part you want to bleach, though. Any residual sticky stuff will come out in the wash.
A light spray of bleach will give you a stippled effect (like the hoodie), and a more thorough soaking will give a solid colour (like the tee). When in doubt, go lightly and consider a second treatment.
You have no control over what colour you’ll get underneath: the tee is an American Apparel shirt in navy which bleaches to purple.
Go check out the Instructablestutorial, and happy pattern-making!
Warning: dressing your baby up as Batman is ridiculously cute and may make your head explode.
In honour of my new baby nephew, I made a pattern for a Batman baby beanie. It’s quick to crochet: I made it in a few hours while visiting in the hospital, and that’s taking into account figuring out how to crochet a Bat-symbol. The photos aren’t great: I just held up the hat in the hospital window and took a hand-selfie (my nephew is much cuter than my hand, but I didn’t want to put his photo all over teh Interwebs.)
If you’re going for full Bat-awesomeness, make the hat with ears: Or just make the beanie and Bat-symbol for a toned-down version (just an in-progess shot… of course I made Bat-ears):
What you’ll need:
baby-soft yarn in black and yellow (I used Caron Simply Soft, worsted weight)
size G/4.25mm crochet hook
Step 1: Make a beanie
You can use whatever pattern you like. Use black yarn. I’ve written up the pattern I made, but since the lil’ guy was born early you’ll probably want to make it bigger for a full-term newborn. Stitches used are double crochet (dc), front post double crochet (fpdc), and back post double crochet (bpdc). If you’re not familiar with fpdc and bpdc, these stitches are a great addition to your bag of tricks and will let you make ribs, cables, and all sorts of neat effects. Here they’re used to make a stretchy ribbed border to hold the hat on.
8 dc in magic ring (8)
ch 2, then 2 dc in each dc x 8, sl st into 1st dc of row to close circle (16)
ch 2, then *dc, 2dc in next dc* x 8, sl st into 1st dc of row (24)
ch 2, then *dc x 2, 2dc in next dc* x 8, sl st into 1st dc of row (32)
if you’re going to make the hat bigger, keep increasing in this row (or start with more than 8 dc in your initial magic ring), otherwise ch 2 and dc around, sl st into 1st dc of row (32)
ch 2, dc around, sl st into 1st dc of row (32)
ch 2, dc around, sl st into 1st dc of row (32)
ch 2, dc around, sl st into 1st dc of row (32)
keep going with dc around rows if your hat isn’t long enough, otherwise ch 2, *bpdc, fpdc* x 16, sl st into 1st bpdc of row (32)
ch 2, *bpdc, fpdc* x 16, sl st into 1st bpdc of row (32) (note that each bpdc should go into a bpdc, and each fpdc should go into a fpdc… this makes ribs)
ch 2, *bpdc, fpdc* x 16, sl st into 1st bpdc of row (32)
FO and weave in tail
Step 2: Make a Bat-symbol
Chain 30 with yellow yarn. St st into the 1st chain to make a loop, and go around as shown in the picture. Slip stitch into each chain around (little circles), with exceptions shown in the drawing (each group of stitches described goes into a single chain). Leave a long tail and use it to sew the Bat-symbol onto the hat.
Step 3 (optional): Make Bat-ears
Use black yarn, make 2. To quote my brother-in-law, these are more Michael Keaton than Adam West. Feel free to adjust according to your favourite era of Bat-costume :)
3 sc in magic ring (3)
sc around (3)
inc, sc x 2 (4)
sc around (4)
inc, sc x 3 (5)
sc around (5)
inc, sc x 4 (6)
sc around (6)
*inc, sc x 2* x 2 (8)
sc around (8)
*inc, sc x 3* x 2 (10)
sc around (10)
*inc, sc x 4* x 2 (12)
sc around (12)
hdc, dc x 3, hdc x 3, sl st, FO and leave long tail to sew to hat (this makes one side longer so they fit on the side of the hat)
Squish the ears flat and sew to the sides of the hat. Nana nana nana Baby Batman!!! (Or Batgirl!!!)
That’s 450g of fingering-weight alpaca yarn, dyed with 10 packs of Kool-Aid. There are some irregularities in the colour where the yarn was tied: I initially thought about re-dyeing it, but when I knitted it up, I liked the effect.
The end result is more feminine than my usual style, but perfect for the winter climate. The knitting pattern I used was the Mie Danish shawl from the Filcolana yarn company: you can find theEnglish translation by Exchanging Fire on her blog (thanks!)
About those fabulous (or should I say astonishing) X-men shoes…
Here’s how to make your very own pair, courtesy of my awesome sister:
Materials: pair of shoes, comic books, scissors, Outdoor Mod Podge (it’s a glue and an exterior coat), sponge on a stick, finishing spray
Select shoes that have a smooth surface (pleather, vinyl, etc)
Select a comic book you don’t mind cutting up. Start cutting out people and panels you like. (Tip: cut out a large area around each character, because you never know when you’ll want to use some of their background too). Make a large pile of these images.
I would recommend starting with the toe of the shoe, since I found that to be the most difficult to get smooth. Position an image on the toe, and when you’re happy with it, glue that sucker down using the sponge on a stick and some Mod Podge. On the first shoe I made (Magneto), I tried to pleat the image at the very front of the toe to smooth it out, which ended up looking a little weird. On the second shoe I made (Professor X), I made sure the image was smooth in a vertical line from top to bottom, then cut darts (little snips) in the sides of the picture so I could smooth it out horizontally. I think the result with Professor X was better, because the front was smooth. I covered the areas I had darted with other images, so you couldn’t see the darts.
Once the toe is smooth, work your way around the shoe pasting other images on. I liked to mix up whole panels with cut-out characters. I also slapped on some “BOOM” and “MUTANT” words for extra comic-y goodness.
When the whole shoe is covered in comics to your satisfaction, trim off excess comic above and below your shoe’s edges. (I’ve read some tutorials that do this as they go, carefully cutting each comic to size before gluing them, but I found it easier to glue everything down and then go along the edges with scissors and cut off the excess. To each their own.). At this point, if any of the edges missed glue or are coming unglued, take the time to carefully glue them down. For stubborn areas, you may need to stick some glue in there, and then press it down with your fingers for 60 seconds.
Now coat the entire shoe in a thin layer of Mod Podge, which will dry clear and glossy. Wait for it to dry (at least a few hours?) and then repeat. Wait and repeat again. Total = 3 coats. Outdoor Mod Podge was selected because it’s waterproof, and therefore all your hard work won’t melt in the rain.
Some people stop at the last layer of Mod Podge. I found it had a mildly unpleasant stickyness, so I did a final two coats with a finishing spray. The one I used was Krylon “Preserve It!” digital photo and paper protectant. It took away a bit of the glossiness, but had a really nice smooth finish that was pleasant to the touch. It’s also moisture-resistant, and protects against UV rays. I stuck tin foil into the shoes to protect the inside lining from the spray. Also, make sure to spray outside, because you do not want to breathe it in.
I haven’t blogged in a little while: even geeks need a holiday every now and then. Not having internet access is both freeing and a bit unsettling, but I did find time for a bit of crafting in between adventuring, eating, and faux-pirating.
That’s me, on a sailboat, on my birthday, wearing the robot dress I finally found time to make. I’m not sure life gets any better than that, although I do think I need a nautical-themed pashmina afghan to complete the ensemble ;)
More about pirates (and an impromptu DIY pirate craft) shortly…
Do you love math? Live in a cold climate? If so, may I suggest crocheting yourself a hyperbolic plane, which is conveniently also wearable as a scarf. It’s a lovely representation of hyperbolic geometry, with the added bonus of being a simple and easy project. I was searching for nerdy scarf patterns when I came across theCrochet Coral Reef project: start with a chain and increase every nth stitch to obtain any number of interesting shapes. Er… no pun intended.
Here’s what the result looks like with bulky weight alpaca blend yarn, a size K/6.5 mm crochet hook, and an increase every 4th stitch. I’m not sure I’m totally happy with the scarf, as I made it too long and it’s rather heavy. I may frog the whole thing and start over with a larger hook, but in the meanwhile I have something to keep me warm and toasty until spring comes back.
Or, with your leftover yarn and a size H/5 mm crochet hook, sc x 6 in a magic ring and increase every stitch to make a hyperbolic pseudosphere…