Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Favorites

I've been seeing some beautiful and lovely patterns lately. I thought I'd consolidate patterns that I've found and loved in the past month, from perusing Ravelry, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.

1) XOXO Kimono by Julie King.
I follow Julie King on her website, Gleeful Things, and she is one of my favorite designers! This was a design for a Design Wars Challenge that she won. It's obvious why; this sweater/wrap/kimono is so simple but beautiful. It covers but is very light, which is for SoCal autumns that can get a bit breezy but are still mostly very hot.

2) Mullspice by Alicia Plummer.
Sometimes,however, I do like to pretend that autumn does mean that the weather cools down around here. I can knit hats like these to mu heart's content, even if I can't wear them long before overheating.

3) Eyeglass Appliqués by Tangled Happy.
These are so cute! The author suggests using them as party Photo Booth props and I absolutely have to do that at some point. I can also see them as decoration around a bookcase or something.

4) Aran Knit Afghan from Ednascloset.
I was in Ireland this summer and I fell in love with everything, not least of which is the wonderful Aran knitting tradition. I was able to buy one skein of actual Aran yarn, and while this is probably too ambitious of a project to complete with one skein it's exactly the type of texture that I'd love to recreate.

5) No. 2 Pencil Socks by The Yarn Enabler.
I first saw these on Instagram and just knew that I had to make them at some point. Now I only wish I still had a school to go to so these would be an appropriate project.

6) Amma by Maria Valles.
This is a last-minute addition to this list. I was reviewing everything in my favorites for this post and found this in a post from Tangled Happy. It's so pretty and cool, and it looks like it'll be easy to make.

7) Acer Shawl by Joanne Scrace.
I've recently been falling in love with shawls. I never wear shawls and I don't know anybody who does, but they are a knitting/crochet must and I've even signed up for a KAL to make one. This one is crochet, and also very beautiful. I love the color combination in the example.

8) Nevelson Lace Pullover by Amy Christoffers.
I've only ever made one sweater, and I'm itching to make another. I'd like something like this. It's a sport-weight yarn so it would be lighter than the worsted one I made. It also looks like it would be fun to make, with a lacy pattern in front to keep it from being too boring.

9) Fluffy White Clouds by Vikki Bird.
I don't think I have to patience to make a full-sized blanket, but this makes me want to! It's so simple but beautiful!

10) Bradway Shawl by Shannon Cook.
Another shawl! This one is knit, and I love the rustic autumnal colors of the example as well as the mix of stitch patterns. If it ever gets cold around here this is definitely something I'd make in a heartbeat.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fighting Evil By Moonlight

I've finally finished the gang! 

I'm not much of an anime fan. I've tried to get into other shows, but I've never really been able to stick all the way through to one. Well, except for Gankutsuou, but I that's just my love for The Count of Monte Cristo and the fact that it's only 24 episodes.

Sailor Moon however, Sailor Moon is my life! I remember being super tiny and getting up early to watch Sailor Moon. I getting a Moon Stick shaped popsicle from the ice cream truck, and crying when my dad bit off most of it.

In high school, I went through a period where I rediscovered my obsession. I watched fansubbed Japanese episodes of the anime for the first time, and I read fan translations of the manga as well as some of the original English translations that called Usage "Bunny."

In college, Sailor Moon Crystal was announced for the twentieth anniversary, and I became obsessed once again. While I quite liked Crystal and the original anime is obviously iconic, I have to say that my favorite adaptation is the live-action series. I was so sad when I watched the last episode knowing that there was nothing more. And "C'est la vie" is such an earworm….

According to Ravelry, I've been working on these girls since April 1st. Although I've been working on prototypes since November.  I made these in the order that they first appear in the anime/manga: Moon —> Mercury —> Mars —> Jupiter —> Venus. I've featured them here before, and mentioned what I've liked and what's been difficult. Like hair. Hair was so hard! Sailor Moon's was probably the easiest of all people! That said, I'm quite proud of how the final two turned out. Sailor Jupiter's hair is easily my favorite, and the only one in which I managed to cut the bangs the perfect length. After two other attempts at making Sailor V's, I think I finally got Minako's hair just right for Sailor Venus.

Overall, I think I became way more skilled over the past five months. The final two girls are the best for a reason. I have a better understanding of how the colors are going to look so, for example, their necks don't look literally choked by their chokers (tip: switch colors after a row of all single crochet's and not after the last row of head decreases!). I also think I perfected the sailor collars, and I am hugely resisting the urge to redo the first three completely.

I have a lot to say about each of them to be honest, so I will split it up between the next few posts.

I'm also debating as to whether to continue to make the rest of the team (including Sailor Chibi-Moon and Tuxedo Mask). I'll probably take a break for a while and do the outers once I have a reason to get super obsessed with the series again. Oh, if only Toei would renew Sailor Moon Crystal….

Monday, September 21, 2015

San Diego Yarn Crawl 2015

This is the best picture I've ever taken, trust me.
The San Diego Yarn Crawl was this weekend. I was only able to go on Saturday, and, due to an accident on the freeway, only started at around 4pm. That's why, out of thirteen shops I only went to five. Not bad for two hours.

The first shop was The Black Sheep, an adorable little store in Encinitas with super friendly staff. Outside the store there was a yarn tasting set-up, with various balls of yarn set up with needles and hooks so that we could test out how they feel when used. 

Next, and nearby, was Common Threads. It was tucked away in a tiny shopping square, but the store itself did not disappoint. Along with the usual free pattern, we got a little pouch.

Unfortunately, because I didn't have the tote bag yet I forgot to ask for their button.

A half-hour south, and we were at Needlecraft Cottage in Pacific Beach. I've been here a few times before because it was the closest local yarn store to where I went to college. And I was so happy to see that they still had this year's tote bag in stock! The bag is what really made me want to make the trek from LA; it's got a mystery pattern on it! All the shop's buttons are color coded to correspond to a stitch on the chart and you have to collect all the buttons to get the complete pattern. I knew there was no way I'd be able to collect all the buttons, but I'm pretty sure the actual pattern will become available online today.

Parked behind Needlecraft Cottage that day was the Yarnover Truck!  I've also been here before, including the first SDYC also at Needlecraft Cottage. And once again I bought the CoBaSi yarn, because I realized that one hank would not be enough to make anything. Luckily, they still had the same dye lot in stock. I also couldn't help myself and I bought their wooden needle sizer in the shape of the truck.

With minutes to spare, we made it to Arañitas Yarn by Sofia. It was a lovely little shop that thankfully stayed open long enough for us to get a stamp and button. Their welcome sign is in the picture above this post.

All in all, it was a super fun experience. I would absolutely return to any of these shops on any given day on which I have the opportunity. I can't wait until next year's crawl, and the LA one in the spring.

The buttons I got, and my passport.