Monday, 26 May 2014

Crochet Nyan Cat Pillow Plushie

Hello! How are you? My friend Molly is a fantastic knitter and a lover of all things rainbow so, for her first child, I simply had to make something woolen and colourful! However, since my knitting skills could in no way measure up to hers, I decided to crochet instead ^___^ Molly suggested that I make a plushie, but I was so worried about making something for a baby that had parts that they could potentially swallow (what if they rip off an ear to eat???) that the Nyan Cat I made ended up being more pillow than plushie ~___^ Nonetheless, I think it turned out pretty cute and I hope baby Orin agrees! ^___^

I started off by crocheting all the parts for Nyan Cat separately - and there were quite a few parts! However, since Nyan Cat can be easily broken down into simple shapes it was time consuming but not difficult.

Nyan Cat's face was made from one circle and two small triangles. I embroidered the face details with straight stitches and some scraps of wool. I think my favourite part is the cute little blushing cheeks ^____^

The pop-tart body is just made from two rectangles; I embroidered on some hot pink sprinkles to the icing section before sewing the two rectangles together.

For the rainbow, I crocheted each colour in a separate rectangle and then sewed them together and then sewed the entire thing to the pop tart body. I crocheted the rainbow width ways so I could measure the stripes against each other to ensure they were all the same length. If (like me) you're using a mixture of yarns, this is a good way to do things because even yarns that have the same offical weight will sometimes work up differently.


The feet and tail were made by crocheting a chain and then single stitching around the chain. This makes a more rounded rectangle than just crocheting in rows, which is perfect for little paws ^___^

After I had crocheted all the body pieces, I sewed together the rainbow, body, tail, head and ears and then started crocheting around the entire shape. I chose dark blue because Nyan Cat should be flying through the sky ^___^ I was going to embroider some stars, but I thought it might make the design too busy so I ended up just leaving it plain. I crocheted around and around until I had enough sky to sew the feet to.

Since this project ended up a weird shape, I decided not to try to reproduce that shape in crochet for the back. Instead I used this glorious Minky Dot fleece; it's so soft and the little bumps are really sweet! I cut the fabric bigger than the Nyan Cat and then folded the fleece under itself before stitching the front and back together with a blanket stitch. This prevents ugly looking edges and is a good way to ensure the fleece isn't going to fray.

I haven't seen Molly yet, but I don't think she reads my blog so this gift should still be a surprise! I've only got two weeks of uni left and then I will have time to actually visit people which will be amazing! 

Until next time,

- Lisa xx

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Companion Cube Plushie

Hello! How are you? I'm getting down to the business end of semester and I'm currently working on three final assignments - argh! Today though I gave myself a break from studying to go and see my optometrist (my scrip hasn't changed, so yay!), redye my hair, and finally share photos of my latest project with you! ^___^

Scott decided that his birthday present this year should be a Companion Cube and, as a fellow fan of Portal, I was happy to oblige! ^___^

The Cube is made from a polar fleece and felt cover over a foam square, and is about seven inches tall/wide.

The start of the Companion Cube was this pattern by Eyespiral-stock; I just printed it out at full size and and used it for my paper pattern ^___^

I was feeling lazy, and I didn't want to cut out lots of little shapes from the light grey polar fleece so instead I cut out two squares of the light and the dark grey fleece and pinned them together, right sides up. I cut the paper pattern so that it was missing the parts that would be where I wanted the dark grey to show through, pinned it over the two fabric squares, and starting sewing around it. Then I cut through the light grey fabric, exposing the dark grey fabric. I think this was a good way to do it, because I didn't have to keep track of tons of little cut outs! ^___^

I did buy some pink polar fleece for the heart and the thin lines, but it was so flimsy it started coming apart without me evening cutting into it! It was "nursery" fabric, so I guess it's just really, really soft? I don't think making fabric soft enough for a baby to gum through is a really great idea, but I guess that's why I'm not a fabric manufacturer ~___^

 So instead I used some acyclic felt, which was much more structurally sound ^___^

Probably the trickiest part of this project was trying to get the lines matched up, and, as you can see, I didn't always succeed in this aspect! I'm not sure how I could have improved here though, and I'm fairly happy with how it looks nonetheless.

This Cube is also not completely square, because my foam cube ended up being too big for the cover I had made! That's what happens when you're not very good at maths ~___^ Instead of remaking the cover, or using a different filling, I took a knife to the foam and slimmed it down. It's still square-ish, and it's lopsidedness is less apparent in real life ~___^

I'm still working on my knit tea cosy for the Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL, and I'm hoping to finish in time for the deadline on June 2nd! If you're a fast knitter or crocheter (or just don't have university taking up way too much of your crafting time ~___^) you've still got time to join us! And then, after that ... maybe a potato GLaDOS to go with the Cube? ~___^ I've still got a list of 57 (!!!) projects that I want to complete this year but, like every year, I really don't think I'll finish them all! Especially since I keep adding things to the list ~___^

- Lisa xx

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Anzac cupcakes

Hello! How are you? I'm at the stage in this semester where I feel like I'm constantly behind. I finish a reading, there are seven more to do. Complete an assignment, ten more still on the list. I really do love sociology, but golly I'm looking forward to uni break! My sewing machine is still broken, and my knitting hasn't progressed much apart from being cast on, so I was really at a loss of what to blog about this weekend. I might still be able to finish off a project in between work and studying, but I thought I should blog about the one just-for-fun thing I have accomplished this weekend - and that thing is cupcakes!


I originally made this recipe as a cake for Scott's birthday, so if you follow me on Instagram you might remember seeing it there. It was really delicious, but not very pretty because none of my cakes ever are, so I decided to re-test the recipe (to make sure it wasn't a fluke!) and also make it into cupcakes. Because cupcakes are a thousand times cuter than cakes. That's totally a fact ~___^

Anzac (Cup)Cake Recipe
Makes 1 cake or about 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Mix everything together, and then pour the mixture into either a cake pan or divide into a cupcake tin. Bake in a 180oC (350oF) oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until you can insert a skewer and draw it out clean. 


I left these cupcakes plain, but I topped the original cake with some coconut icing and it was totally awesome. Either way, they are very delicious and are sure to disappear fairly quickly ^___^

I don't really have any chance at finishing any of my WIPs this weekend (a curse on both my tempamental sewing machine and my slow knitting skills!) but I also haven't made anything for my mum for Mother's Day yet ( ... opps!) so I'll work on that tomorrow. Starting yet another project? Nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan ... ~___^ Until next time!

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL begins!

Hello! Well, the Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL is in it's second day! Or first, possibly, if you're in a different country than Australia. Timezones are weird! ~___^ Members in the Ravelry group are absolutely racing through the patterns, so if you haven't signed up yet then there is still plenty of time to join and start knitting or crocheting. Perhaps you could even do both!

I only shared one photo of the crochet cosy in my original post, so I thought I'd show you some more here! ^___^

The knitted pattern says to sew up all corners of the pattern, but I couldn't get the cosy over and under my teapot's handle with it seamed there so I added a button closure instead. I used a big white button which seems to suit it well, but I'm keeping a look out for the perfect pineapple button to replace it ^___^ One can never have too much pineappleyness, right? 

I was a bit worried about the leaves falling over, but they actually have held their shape really well! They are just sewn to the last two rows of the cosy body, and they stand up without any type of support. Except the support they get from each other! ~___^

As you can see, even when pouring, the leaves stay upright! I think that tensioning them tightly has really helped here but if your leaves did end up too floppy, a small length of floral wire inside each one would fix them up nicely.

I'm now working on making up the knitted version, which I think is going to take me much longer than some of the super knitters in the Ravelry group! ^___^ I have finished one side, but I must mention that I totally cheated! Tanya and I were both meant to test out the knitting pattern, but since I am oh so slow, I had only finished about half of one side by the time Tanya had totally finished whipping up her awesome cosy!


So I put it away, and only restarted it yesterday when the KAL actually began. I did about six more rows of bobbles and then finished it off. The side I have done is looking a bit wonky, which I hope will improve after blocking. But hopefully now since I've got some practice I'll be able to do the next side a bit quicker and neater! But I do have until June 2nd to get it done, so I'm not going to stress about it ^___^

The bobbles are much easier to see in real life, and I suspect that blocking will also make it much easier to see them. A looser tension would possibly also help, but I'm not going to hold my breath for that! ~___^

I'm working on a couple of sewing projects to show you next week, but my sewing machine is being very uncooporative at the moment. I'm hoping I can work past these technical difficulties, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see! 

Until next time!

- Lisa xx