Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Schuyler Sisters

L-R: Angelicaaaaa, Eliiiiiza, and peggy

I could share a million pictures of these girls but there are size limits on this site.

For months now I've been obsessed with this musical. I even have some of those impossible to get tickets to see it in New York City next month — just days after the main actors of the original company leave but I'm not bitter! In case you've been living under a rock for the past year, these are the Schuyler sisters from the musical Hamilton. Angelica (work, work), Eliza, and Peggy have the catchiest number in the show and that — combined with their color coordinating outfits — made me want to make them in crochet form. I started months ago at the beginning of the year, and looked at all the official and unofficial photos I could google for reference. Back in April, the Hamiltome came out and I had a handy hard copy reference in its pictures. That's the Schuyler Sisters section of the book in the background of the photo above. It's been a long, difficult task but I'm happy to finally be able to show them off!

The Schuyler Sisters are made completely with KnitPicks Brava Sport yarn and a 2.25 mm hook, meaning that they turned out a lot smaller than the Sailor Senshi I made last year. A much better size for space and display, in my opinion. I also didn't use a pattern for these, although I took elements of design that I rather liked from the pattern I used for the Senshi. I crocheted each doll with her dress, so each one was made slightly differently. Angelica's V-neck was rather difficult but I made it work (work!). I also learned how to embroider French Knots to make the buttons on Eliza and Peggy's tops.

And, of course, my favorite part of doll-making is the hair! These were definitely easier than trying to recreate anime hair, but I think they also turned out better. Eliza doesn't have a giant blue hair tie in the show, but I thought it looked cute so I kept it. I'm not quite sure if Peggy's hair is in a pony tail in the show, but it was the closest approximation I could get. And Angelica's hair was my absolute favorite. Renee Elise Goldsberry's wig in the show is slicked back at the front with loose curls in the back. The way I achieved this was by sewing strands of hair flat against the wig cap starting from the forehead, and then adding the curly strands starting at the top of the head. For Peggy and Angelica's curls I crocheted a flat piece of fabric before starting any of the dolls and then just unraveled it all when it was time to make the hair. I even over estimated the amount of yarn I would need, so I have enough hair left over for at least one more doll. I now have the urge to make the other woman (pun intended) of this show: Maria Reynolds.

Linking up with Yarn Along once again. Excited to see what other people are working on.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Yarn Goodies

I've been going through a process of decluttering my life, and have sadly decided that I must cull my book collection. I'm a huge advocate for ebooks because, while I do love the bookish aesthetic, I firmly believe that what really matters is the content and not the physical medium. That and physical books take up so much space that I just don't have. I've been taking bits and pieces of my collection to used bookstores that are sure to find them new lives and good homes, and have tried to follow a physical book ban. Last week, I took some to The Last Bookstore on my way home from work and made a pretty penny that I immediately spent upstairs.

The Last Bookstore in Downtown Los Angeles is the largest new and used bookstore in California, located in a former bank building, and seriously one of the coolest places to see in town. Seriously look up pictures of the inside, especially the Labyrinth, which is located on the mezzanine level along with art galleries and the place that provided the lovely goodies in the picture above -- Gather DTLA. This yarn shop is inside the bookstore, so you'll have to enter there first (such a sacrifice I know!) and then go upstairs to the yarn. This is such a dangerous and expensive combo of shopping but I love it.

On my trip last week I got the three cakes pictured above. They're all Tern by Quince & Co., in the color ways Oyster (gray) and Wampum (purple). They yarn is a fingering wool/silk blend that's sure to make a gorgeous and soft garment. I'm definitely in the mood to make a shawl but haven't quite settled on the right pattern. Although, I think I will put this yarn on the back burner for a while because while the cashier was winding up my hanks into those cute little cakes I fell in love with the other yarn in the picture. 

The hank pictured above is Caribbean by the brand In the Deep Hue Sea. This was in the local yarns section of the store. The brand is based in Huntington Beach, California. I fell in love with the simple speckles of red on white — although it was a little concerning when I got home and realized the color way was called Lovers Quarrel! It's a fingering Merino/Nylon blend, and at 463 yards one hank is enough for a small shawl — good because that's all I was able to afford on the day before pay day. I've never purchased a single skein or hank more than $10, and at $24 this one was very daunting. I made up my mind a dozen times while my other yarns were getting wound. I didn't get it that day, but I regretted it as soon as I left the store. This past weekend (with a fresh paycheck yay!) I went back and I got it. It was so satisfying, knowing it wasn't an impulse purchase. I already have a pattern picked out, and I'll be sure to share when it's finished.

Since I had to go back down to the bookstore to exit outside, and the person I was with was buying books anyway, I bought one too. My ban isn't going very well. I bought Los Angeles Noir — a collection of mystery/detective short stories based in Los Angeles. This is pretty big series with various entries focusing on different cities. I even had to read Mexico City Noir for a class and enjoyed it, so I thought I'd give the one based on my own city a shot.
Linking up with Yarn Along a little late, but still happy to see what people are working on!