Monday, 30 July 2018

Dragon scale drawstring bag

Hello! It's time for another update on this increasingly sporadically updated craft blog! I am wondering if I should write some posts about my plants? I am doing a lot more gardening than craft these days as even when I ignore my plants for a week they keep doing things (unlike all those WIPS ... ~___^). Something else that I have been doing lately is playing Dungeons and Dragons! My husband, Scott, wanted to have a go at being a DM (Dungeon Master) and he needed some players to facilitate the game for. So I put the call out to my friends, and Spooky, Jeneva, and Moon were all keen ... and wanted to each bring along their husband, partner, and son (respectively) so we ended up with quite a large group!

If you do not know much about D&D, all you need to know for the purposes of this post is that to play each player needs a notebook, a pen, a set of dice, and a character figurine. My character for this campaign is Seraphina Underfen, who is a Halfing Druid, but I have a couple of other figures for characters I want to play in future campaigns plus a wolf, a bat, and a unicorn because they were cute and I thought they'd come in handy ~___^

So I thought I would make a dice bag to hold my dice but then as I was making it I thought that maybe it should be big enough to hold all my things and so it got bigger and bigger and bigger until the almost ridiculously sized "dice" bag you see before you today existed! It does not hold my spell binder though, so maybe next I should make a cover for that.

The pattern which was the kicking off point for this bag is the Dragon Egg Dice Bag by Cindy de Vries on Ravelry. The alterations I made were; 

  • increasing the rounds on the bottom to nine (from four)
  • doing nineteen rows of rows six and seven (in Cindy's pattern, row six is the base for the scales and row seven is the scales themselves)
  • adding twelve rows of trebles to make the ruffly bit of the bag above the drawstring

For the drawstring, I just chained to a length that I thought looked good and then trebled into each chain stitch to make a long flat cord. I wove it through the v-stitches of the last "row six" and then just pulled it to tighten the top of the bag. I am a little concerned it might stretch with prolonged use, but it looks fine for now and I can always replace it in the future.

The yarn I used was one that I found at the discount store; the brand is "Knit&Purl" and the colourway is listed as "Myalla" but I brought some other balls of yarn which is a different colourway on the same day and they are also apparently "Myalla" so maybe that just refers to the gradient effect they both have. It's a 100% acrylic yarn and I used three 150g balls to make this bag. I used a 4mm hook for this project.

I had not done a project with the pineapple stitch before, which is the stitch that makes up the dragon scales. My scales do not lay as neatly as Cindy's, but I still like the effect ^___^ The pineapple stitch was a really interesting one to do as it's done a little differently from most other crochet stitches. I definitely want to try another project with it!

Below you can see how much bigger my bag is compared to my D20 ^___^

I'm a huge geek for stationery, so I also had to get myself a special pen to use for our D&D sessions; I choose this pom-pom flamingo at I found at the Japanese variety store because it's simply adorable! The added bonus to this is it's also a really good pen. I went back to see if I could get another one as a backup, but they didn't have them anymore so I hope this one lasts a long time!

 When I'm not laying them out for photos, I keep my pen, item cards, and figures in this adorable turtle pencil case which was a gift from Spooky ^___^ (she got it from Teeturtle!)

So in my dragon scale bag, I have my turtle pencil case, my old character sheets, and my dice ... still in their original plastic case. I wonder if I should make a dice bag to go inside my dice bag ... ~___^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Sushi to fish amigurumi

Hello! It has been a while since I felt the urge to get out my crochet hook, but recently it was two of my lovely friends' wedding anniversary and since we were going to be at their home to play D&D that evening, I thought a little gift would be in order! I know this is a little bit weird for an anniversary gift but there was a convoluted thought process behind this particular gift ...  but I won't bore you with that ~___^

I used a pattern by Irene Kiss which is available for free on Ravelry. I found the pattern very easy to follow, but I do suspect, as usual, that I tensioned a little too tight as it's a bit tricky to do the transition from sushi to fish and back.

No guidelines were given on hook size but if I made this again, I would maybe use a 4mm or 4.5mm hook (I used a 3.5mm for this amigurumi).  

The only real adjustment I made to the pattern was to make the nori wrap in the round so I didn't have to seam it together at the end and I also added a few more rounds as I thought it would be very difficult to get the fish into the sushi with only seven rows; I did fourteen rows instead. The trade off to this is, of course, that the sushi is bigger and takes up more room inside the fish! 

I used the same colours as Irene, but most likely different yarns as I used what I had in my stash.

Doesn't the little fish tail look cute sticking out of the sushi? ^___^

There are no photos included in the pattern regarding how the sushi and the fish are sewn together. I turned the sushi roll inside out and then stuffed it base first into the fish, so that the white square with the hole in the middle was lined up to the fish's mouth. In the photo below you can see my orange yarn stitches, but when the transition in complete it isn't noticeable.

Instead of crocheting the whiskers on the fish I tied on a length of yarn to each side and I stitched on the eyes with a little leftover black yarn. 

You can see how fat this fish gets when it has the sushi roll inside!

When I was making this pattern I wasn't convinced that it was going to work (that's more a comment on doubting my abilities than doubting the pattern though!) so when it was all sewn together and I could change it from a fish to a sushi it felt very exciting!

My friends both enjoyed their magical sushi to fish amigurumi and I really enjoying starting (and finishing!) a crochet project. 

I've been doing a lot of crafty things at work (I'm working as a Young People's Services Librarian right now which means lots of Storytime and School Holiday crafts) and I'm also working on a crafty business plan with some friends so even though I'm not posting on here as much, I am still working on things! ^___^ I hope to be able to share some things from the latter project with you soon! Although, if you want Storytime ideas, just let me know! ~___^ 

- Lisa xx