Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crafting Magazines That Shut Down

Over the years, the UK had the best crafting magazines I’ve ever seen: big glossy magazines with bright colors, close-up photographs, step-by-step DIY tutorials, and they usually all come with some kind of extra, depending on the type of craft. The papercraft magazines always came with a stamp or paper, sometimes ribbons and flocking, and even blank cards and envelopes sometimes. The scrapbooking magazines came with a CD of images for your use. They ran anywhere from $10-$12 in USD, but it was so worth it.

And they were hard to find. Generally, you could only find them at Hancock Fabrics or Barnes and Noble, unless you wanted to pay about $120 for a year’s subscription, because you had to pay for shipping to get it sent over the pond too. It was cheaper to wait for each new issue and see if you could hunt it down locally.

But as the years have gone on, these great magazines have been disappearing, shutting down publication, at least for the printed versions.

I realized these great magazines have gone just this morning, when I was going through a binder of torn out crafting pages of things I wanted to make, kind of like a printed Pinterest. I’ve decided to get rid of the printed pages and save everything electronically. If I can’t find it online to PDF it, then I’m going to scan the pages that I have here.

One of my favorites was a magazine called, “You Can Craft.” It closed down in May 2009.

I actually came across some cards they highlighted in February 2009, that I’d forgotten about and actually have made, but have given away. These actually got quite a few compliments from the recipients for me. I tried scanning the pages at work to share here, but they were poorly converted PDF documents that weren't salvageable.

It’s a shame that good magazines like “You Can Craft” are gone. I’m sure they are victims of the economy (I've read that 7.99, in Euros, is considered pretty pricey for a magazine, even with all the extras it came with), the internet and even e-readers. Angela Bedford said this about "You Can Craft" on April 14, 2008, "The thing I love about this mag is it’s not full of adverts, which most other magazines are. It’s printed on far better quality paper, so it will keep well on the shelf; it contains ALL of the templates used to create each project. The paper you get with it isn’t printed on magazine paper as with some of the other publications; it’s double sided light card stock the same quality as you’d buy from the craft shop. I just love reading through, and making a card straight away, have everything in the kit, card, templates, embellishments, letters, ribbons etc. I’d recommend it, especially on subscription, but only if you love making cards, as this tends to be the main focus."

But I wish their websites were still up and running to share the content of those magazines online.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Doop from X-Static Crochet Pattern

Doop is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe who was created by writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred. He made his debut in X-Force vol. 1 #116. He is a green, floating spheroid creature of unknown origins who spoke in a "language" all his own (represented in text by a special font). For a time, he also served as the team's cameraman.

His abilities include levitation, an accelerated healing factor, superhuman strength, and he has an extra dimensional void within his body that can store objects and people.

A friend of mine saw a crocheted Doop on another website, minus a pattern, and sent it to me with a request to make one for his desk at work. David said he liked Doop because he looks like a demented pickle. I think Doop looks like a stoned pickle.

I'm not going to link to the original website, because it seems a little messed up that I came up with my own pattern and then link to it. So, I'm leaving the original unlinked and will post my own pattern here.

MATERIALS:
·         E sized hook
·         G sized hook
·         Stitch markers (optional)
·         1 skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Honeydew
·         Small amount of  yarn, your choice of shade and kind (I used Premier Yarn Deborah Norville Everyday in Royal Blue, ED100-09)
·         Fiber Fill
·         Red, yellow and black felt (small amount of each)
·         Fabric glue
·         2 googly eyes, 1" wide
·         Yarn needle

BODY:
Working from the bottom up, with the Honeydew yarn and the G sized hook (This is done in the round. Don't join the rows.):
1) Make a magic circle of 6. Join with a slip stitch here only and pull tight.
2) Chain 1 here only, and work 2 sc in each st around [12]
3) Work 2 sc in each stitch around again [24]
4 & 5) *sc in next 2, 2sc in next* repeat ** around
6-19) sc in each st around
20-23) sc2tog. around, evenly spaced, 3 times

Start stuffing the body.

24) work 1 sc in each stitch around
25-28) increase by 3 sc, evenly spaced 
29 & 30) work 1 sc in each stitch around
31) work 1 sc in each of 17 sc stitches, then work 3 sc in each of the next 2 stitches. Finish off the row with 1 sc in each stitch around. The section of 6 sc in the previous 2 sc will become Doop's nose. You may want to leave a stitch marker here for later.
32) work 1 sc in each stitch around
33) work 1 sc in each of 18 sc stitches, then work 2 sc in each of the next 2 stitches. Finish off the row with 1 sc in each stitch around.
34) work 1 sc in each stitch around
35) work 1 sc in each of 19 sc stitches, then work 2 sc in each of the next 1 stitch. Finish off the row with 1 sc in each stitch around.
36) This row starts the uneven bumps on Doop's head. Work 5 sc in as many stitches around. Work a 4 dc popcorn stitch so that it pops to the front of your design. (Work 4 dc in the same stitch. Drop the loop from your hook. Insert your hook from front to back under the top 2 loops of the first dc of the group. Grab the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the stitch.) Repeat the 5 sc/1 popcorn stitch pattern around to the end.
37-40) Repeat row 36, but adjust the sc so the popcorn stitches are not even with the previous row. His bumps are random. There doesn't even have to be the same number of them on each row. Also, decrease each row by 2 random sc. Continue stuffing the head.
41) work 2sctog all the way around and continue doing so until the top of his head is closed. Fasten off the yarn with a slip stitch and weave in the end.

Cut a circle out of the yellow felt, about three fingers wide. Glue the circle to Doop's chest, straight down from his nose (where you may have left the stitch marker), about halfway down between the bottom and the intention of his neck.

Cut an X out of the red felt, making it larger than the yellow circle, and then glue it over the top of the circle.

Take a small sliver of black felt, about 1" in length, and glue it on Doop's face, below the nose, a couple rows down.

Glue the googly eyes on his face, so the horizontal center of each eye is about even with his nose. The eyes should be spaced out so the vertical center of each lines up with the edge of his mouth.

EYELIDS (Make 2)
You're just crocheting rough half circles here. This will give Doop his slightly stoned look. Working from the bottom up, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Leave a good length of yarn and make a slip stitch. Chain 10. You may have to adjust your own count here. The eyelids need to be slightly wider than the googly eyes  you're using.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [9]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-5) Work the first 2sctog and the last 2sctog. All stitches in between are 1 sc each. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. Fasten off the yarn with a slip stitch at the end of row 5.

Place the lids over the eyes so the eyes are half covered from the top down. Use the beginning length of each  eyelid and whip stitch the lids in place. Weave in any loose ends and fasten off yarn.

ARMS (Make 2)
Working from the wrist first, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Make a magic circle of 1 chain and 5 sc. Pull tight and secure with a slip stitch. Chain 1. This is the only time you'll join rows here.
2) Work 2 sc in each stitch around, including the slip stitch from the previous row.
3-13) Work 1 sc in each stitch around.
14-15) Work 1 sc in each stitch around and work 2sctog in the middle of the row. This is Doop's elbow.
16-17) Work 1 sc in each stitch around and increase by 1 sc in the middle of the row.
18-22) Work 1 sc in each stitch around.
23) Work 8 sc, chain 1 and turn.
24) Work 2sctog, 5 sc and 2sctog. Chain 1 and turn.
25) Work 2sctog, 3 sc and 2sctog. Chain 1 and turn.
26) Work 2sctog, 1 sc and 2sctog. Chain 1 and turn.
27) Work 2sctog  and 1 sc. Secure with a slip stitch and leave a couple inches on the yarn.

Lightly stuff the arm. Position the arm so the flap you made at the end is on Doop's side and level with his neck. Slip stitch it into place. Weave in all loose ends.

FINGERS (Make 6)
Working from the fingertips first, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Chain 6.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [5]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-6) Work 1 sc in each stitch around. Chain 1 and turn. At the end of row 6, finish off with a slip stitch and leave a couple inches for the tail.

PINKY FINGERS (Make 2)
Working from the fingertips first, with the Honeydew yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Chain 6.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [5]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-4) Work 1 sc in each stitch around. Chain 1 and turn. At the end of row 6, finish off with a slip stitch and leave a couple inches for the tail.

Roll each small square into the tightest little rod you can. Whipstitch up the side of the roll, and attach the finger to the hand (four fingers per hand). Weave in all loose ends.

BUTT POCKET
Doop has a back-up brain in his butt. No, really, he does. Working from the bottom up, with the Honeydew yarn and the G sized hook:
1) Make a slip stitch and chain 17.
2) Turn and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1 sc in each stitch across [16]. Chain 1 and turn.
3-5) Work 1 sc in each stitch across [16]. Chain 1 and turn.
6) Work 7 sc in as many stitches across. Work 2 sc tog, and work 1 sc in each remaining stitch across. Chain 1 and turn.
7-8) Work 6 sc in as many stitches across. Work 2 sc tog, and work 1 sc in each remaining stitch across. Chain 1 and turn.
9-101) Work 1 sc in each stitch across. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. At the end of the last row, finish the yarn off with a slip stitch and leave a tail of several inches.

Lay Doop face down on your crafing area. You'll see the start of the two little cheeks should be facing up towards you. Try to line up the bottom edge of the pocket to around row 6 of Doop's body (where all the increases for the bottom of his body are already done). Using the tail you left, whipstitch the butt "pocket" to Doop's body, through the two sides and bottom edges, making sure to leave the top of the pocket open. Weave in any loose ends and fasten off yarn.

BACK-UP BRAIN
He's a green floaty alien, so why not a strange colored brain? Working with your choice of blue yarn and the E sized hook:
1) Make a magic circle of 1 ch and 5 sc. Join with a slip stitch and chain 1.
2) This needs to be turned into a rough little oval, so work the following sequence around this row: 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc. Do not chain 1 unless specified.
3) Work the following sequence around this row: 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc.
4) Work the following sequence around this row: 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc.
5) Turn the brain over and work some random surface sc over one side. Just try to give it a little bit of texture.
6) Work your way back over to one edge of the brain and chain 40. This is almost like Doop's back-up brain's umbilical cord (you don't want to lose a back-up, do you?).
7) Cut off a length of a couple inches and secure the chain with a slip stitch. Use your yarn needle to sew the slip stitch end of the chain to Doop's rear end, on one side of the inside of the butt pocket. Weave in all loose ends and finish off the yarn. You can either tuck his back-up brain into the pocket or have him hold it. Depending on how you've attached his arms, you can adjust the length of the chain as needed.











Sunday, August 19, 2012

Received Last ATC

This rounds out the last ATC in the swap. K-9 came to me, courtesy of Kitty Herman.

LOVE HIM!