Garrus Vakarian Amigurumi/Plushie Pattern

Amigurumi Projects, Gamer Crafts

Remember the time I said I was working on a Garrus amigurumi, but I never finished or posted it? Me neither. That must have been someone else who doesn’t get distracted by starting too many projects before finishing the old ones.

I learned that I can’t crochet a turian face with enough detail for a 6″/15cm amigurumi. On the other hand, making an amigurumi base and adding felt details got me this:

  DIYgeekery Garrus Vakarian close upHere’s the rest of him:

DIYgeekery Garrus Vakarian 2

DIYgeekery Garrus Vakarian 1

I’m not entirely sure whether this is an amigurumi or a plushie, but it’s really easy to make if you know basic crochet and don’t mind a bit of felt sewing. Everything you need to know is in the pattern here…

Mass Effect: Garrus Vakarian amigurumi pattern

The scarred face bits are made with textured felt: you could always distress a piece of regular felt if you can’t find fancy stuff at your neighbourhood craft store. The fringe part stays up with wires, but you could leave that out if you’re making him for young kids, or someone who likes to chew on turians.

What character (gaming or otherwise) would you like to see next? I’m suffering a lack of inspiration due to the beautiful weather, at least in regards to craft-making. Anyone interested in a summer craft exchange?


Traveling In Style – DIY Vintage Book Grid-It


Did you see this project featured on Lifehacker last year? A Grid-It lets you store your odds and ends when you travel so they don’t rattle around in the bottom of your pack. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to try it out. The catch: I’m a bibliophile. I love books, especially old books, and the thought of butchering a poor helpless tome with an X-acto knife makes me cringe. I’m also an absentminded bibliophile, though, and had managed to buy 2 of the exact same used copy of The Silmarillion. I sacrificed one for the sake of making a kick-ass present, and saved the guts in order to learn how to book bind (I’ll give you a new home one day, my precioussss…)

Silmarillion Grid-It 1

I made one modification to the original tutorial from Design*Sponge: I couldn’t find any black rubberized fabric, so I used regular black fabric instead. A few coats of Mod Podge stiffened it up nicely, and allowed me to attach a map of Middle-Earth, in case its new owner ever gets lost.

Silmarillion Grid-It 2

It’s well worth the effort. If I can ever bring myself to cut up a book again, I’m definitely making one to keep.

DIY Yarn Dyeing… Have Alpacas, Want Clothes

Geek Fashion

One of my co-workers raises alpacas on her farm.  How cool is that?  Admittedly, I skipped a lot of steps between alpacas and clothing since I bought the yarn from her.

It turns out that animal fibres are pretty easy to dye: no mess, no hazmat suits, and no ruined kitchen pots.  I used this dyeing tutorial from It’s A Stitch Up: the whole process went just as described, quick and easy.

So, yarn + Kool-Aid + vinegar…

Alpaca yarn pre with Kool-Aid

Makes beautiful colours!

Alpaca yarn postThat’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.

Danish shawl close-up

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 the English translation by Exchanging Fire on her blog (thanks!)

Danish shawl finishedI feel pretty, oh so pretty…

F Yeah Cross Stitch

Gamer Crafts, Sewing Projects

I’ve finally taken the plunge and finished a cross stitch project.  Also, I’m not dead (yay), I’ve just been busy.  I sidestepped the more traditional motifs to stitch up one of my favourite Carl Sagan quotes, along with a slightly wonky – let’s call it artistic – freehand interpretation of the Milky Way using random space-y colours I found at Fabricland.  I love how it turned out!

I’ve decided this craft isn’t for the faint of heart… learning cross stitch gave me even more appreciation for artists like the ones at mr x stitch.

Carl Sagan cross stitch

A close-up of the Milky Way, if you like the design…

Carl Sagan cross stitch square

I’m using it to fancy up my kitchen.

Carl Sagan cross stitch framedI’m well on my way to geeking out my kitchen: check out these fantastic N7 tea towels Jess made me for Christmas…

N7 tea towelsMore coming as soon as I have time to finish up some projects.  The Large Hadron Collider quilt, on the other hand, is going to be a while yet :)

Angry Birds Green Pig – Ornament Sized

Amigurumi Projects, Gamer Crafts

Green pig Christmas ornament 2

I’ve been busy making Christmas presents for many of the folks on my list – I’d originally planned to give handmade gifts to everyone but unless I find a way to reverse the space-time continuum that simply won’t happen.  I haven’t posted for a while since it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see your gift online before you receive it, but I’ll put up a few things during the holidays :)

However… this little Green Pig ornament from Angry Birds has already found its new home, so I can post the pattern!  There are a few great free patterns online for Pigs already but they’re more in the 10cm or larger range: this little guy is only 3-4 cm high, perfect for hanging on a Christmas tree (or anywhere else you like).

Green pig Christmas ornament 3

BTW I don’t own Angry Birds, so please don’t sell these or the pattern.

What you’ll need:

  • green yarn (worsted weight)
  • size F/3.75mm crochet hook
  • stuffing
  • black felt for nostrils
  • googly eyes (or more felt)
  • glue (or needle and thread) to attach eyes and nostrils

Head/Body (where is his body anyway?)

  • 1) ch 4
  • 2) turn, sc x 2, 3 sc in last ch (work around the corner to the other side of the chain), sc x 2 in the other side of the ch, 3 sc in last ch (now you’re back where you started, and have an oval shape) (10)
  • 3) *sc, inc* x 5 (15)
  • 4) *sc x 2, inc* x 5 (20)
  • 5) *sc x 3, inc* x 5 (25)
  • 6-9) sc around for 4 rounds (25)
  • 10) *sc x 3, invdec* x 5 (20)
  • 11) *sc x 2, invdec* x 5 (15)
  • 12) *sc, invdec* x 5 (10)… now add stuffing
  • 13) invdec around until flap covers hole, FO and weave in tail

Ears (make 2)

  • 1) ch 4
  • 2) turn, hdc, dc, hdc, then FO and use tail to sew ear to head


  • 8 sc in magic ring, then FO and use tail to sew nose to head, squishing it a bit to make it oval

Now glue/sew on eyes and nostrils, and add a loop of yarn to the top of its head if you’re making an ornament to hang.  You can pull a loop of yarn loose on the bottom of his nose to make a little mouth (see picture).  Quick, easy and cute :)

Hercule Poirot Amigurumi

Amigurumi Projects

There are music geeks and sports geeks, science fiction geeks and movie geeks: there are all sorts of interesting things in the world to get into :)  My mom is a mystery geek, and my sister and I teamed up to make her an amigurumi of Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective.  He’s a doppelgänger of David Suchet, don’t you think?  Pattern here if you have a crime in need of solving, or if you’re having difficulty telling a Prince Albert chain from a pince-nez.

Hercule Poirot amigurumi pattern


Pac-Man Crochet Pattern

Amigurumi Projects, Gamer Crafts

Here’s a quick and easy Pac-Man pattern, for all your video game crochet needs.  I don’t think this is technically an amigurumi since it isn’t stuffed, but it’s cute anyway.  This is the square I made for a yarnbombing project:

Using bulky weight yarn and a 6.50 mm crochet hook, Pac-Man was about 10 cm in diameter.  You can continue the pattern to make it as big as you like!

  1. 6 sc in magic ring (6)
  2. 1 sc, then ch1, turn, inc x 6 (12 in new row)
  3. Without continuing in the round, ch 1, turn, *inc, sc* x 6 (18)
  4. ch 1, turn, *inc, sc x 2* x 6 (24)
  5. ch 1, turn, *inc, sc x 3* x 6 (30)
  6. ch 1, turn, sc x 30, FO and weave in tail or leave tail to sew to other things

The power pills are made by 6 sc in a magic ring with super-bulky white yarn.  Here he is hanging out in my neighbourhood:



Adventures In Yarnbombing

Gamer Crafts, Random Musings

So… I’d mentioned I was going yarnbombing with a few like-minded gals on Friday.  Yarnbombing is where you take a whole bunch of knitted/crocheted/otherwise fibred-together stuff and put it out in public spaces, like this bus, or this stop sign.  Like graffiti, but warm and fuzzy and pretty much no one objects to it.  Also, yarnbombing gangs tend to be quite friendly and bake a lot.

Naturally, my contribution skewed geeky:

We started with the park’s bandstand, since that was the centre of the Art in the Park festivities.  You may be wondering why there aren’t more pictures, why there are no people out on the street, and why it’s so dark.  I shot these in between lightning strikes, and although the old adage says you’re supposed to suffer for your art, I draw the line at crocheting stuff to large metal poles in the middle of a thunderstorm.  Sadly, my double helix had to go without its base pairs.

Another time, perhaps… but for now I’ll post the Pac-Man pattern if you’re feeling inspired to make the world a little more geeky :)

Props to Carol and Leslie from the Wabi Sabi yarn store for organizing the event!

Crocheted Hyperbolic Plane (scarf)

For Science!, Geek Fashion

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 the Crochet 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…

Hyperbolic pseudosphere crochet

Red Blood Cell Amigurumi

Amigurumi Projects, For Science!

Amazing what you can get done while procrastinating, isn’t it?  That’s my justification, anyway.  Here’s a very simple pattern to crochet an erythrocyte (red blood cell), but if you leave out the middle piece the same pattern could be used for any toroid shape.  Like a donut, or .  Just sayin’.

Outer ring:

  1. ch 12
  2. sc x 3 (1st in ‘tail’ of chain to close the circle), hdc x 5, sc x 4 (12)
  3. sc x 3, then continue around hdc x 5, sc x 7 in each round until ring can be closed

This may take more than or fewer than 32 rounds depending on your yarn and hook size (worsted weight yarn and 3.75 mm hook used here, for a finished size of 8cm/3″). Stuff and sew closed, affixing safety eyes (15mm here) if goofy-looking RBC is desired.

Center disc:

  1. 6 sc in magic ring (6)
  2. inc x 6 (12)
  3. inc x 6 in 1st 6 sc (more if needed depending on size of donut hole)

Sew in place. LOL a bit. Then check out this video of Party Rock Anthem and contemplate using the pattern to make an ‘O’.