crafty things · crochet

August Temperature Blanket

August temperature blanket by Kara Hartz

Since August just finished, this entry could be misunderstood to reflect that month. Alas, I am now a full year behind on my temperature blanket. This represents the temperatures from August 2021.

My Christmas Amigurumi projects from last year were bigger and more complicated than ever, and I admit to having some crochet burnout afterward. I had done very little crochet at all for months. I started up again when the kiddo and I came down with Covid a month ago (coincidentally when many of my co-workers stopped masking – to add my personal anecdotal evidence into the pro-mask collum) and we isolated together in my bedroom. They got me all caught up on the Marvel verse with a week-long movie and series marathon, and I started making progress on the temperature blanket again.

It is interesting to look back at last year’s temperatures at the same time I’m experiencing this year’s. Last year, while the temps were still high, with many days in the 90s, this week has been brutal, with yesterday and today hitting near or over 115. Because I have a record, I know we never hit that high last year. The rest of the week should be in the lower 100s, but that nice green stripe on the blanket representing temps in the low 80s is looking really nice.

Well, now that the sun has set, I’d best get out to water my plants so they have a chance to survive the rest of this heat wave.

crafty things · crochet

Christmas Amigurumi #3 – Fruit Bat

Amigurumi Bat by Kara Hartz

I can’t believe I forgot to show off this guy! It was a lot of work; probably the most difficult project I’ve tried so far. There are wires in all the ‘fingers’ and toes and arms and legs and it is brushed to make it fuzzy. It also uses 2 strands of yarn at a time which is not something I’ve done before and it didn’t feel natural to me.

The pattern is from Critter-iffic Crochet. While I am not a fan of having to watch a video to follow instructions, the linked video in the pattern was a life saver for understanding how the toes came together and the complicated assembly. So, due to the complexity and size, I actually didn’t finish this one in time for Christmas, which might be why I forgot to post it when I did finish it earlier this year.

Amigurumi flying fox by Kara Hartz

The kiddo who received a bag full of not quite done parts was super paitent as I completed it, and loves it now. They have gotten very into bats over the past year so this guy was worth the wait to them.

crafty things · crochet

Christmas Amigurumi 2021 #2

Wolf Link Amigurumi

So this was a more challenging project than I had anticipated. I thought I would just find a nice wolf pattern and adapt it to the colors I wanted. Well. I couldn’t find a realistic wolf pattern I liked and the color changes turned out to be challenging for me, plus Wolf Link has a bunch of other stuff going on, like the chain around the leg and the green mane-link thing happening and a lot of details and symbols on the face.

I ended up using the German Shepard pattern from Amigurume Pets by Allison Hoffman and doing my best to add the markings, color changes, mane, and shackle. Also, as you can see in the photo, the fringe around the face I just ended up using felt to add on, partly because I was afraid of messing it up and partly because Christmas is a hard deadline and I was out of time to fiddle.

The teen loved it anyway and I noticed he has a place of honor in the critter collections, so I can call this a win.

Wolf Link amigurumi side view
crochet · Uncategorized

Christmas Amigurumi #1 Bun Bun

Bunny Amigurumi

My niece has a sweet and beautiful grey bunny. A real, alive one. While I believe she likes attention, I thought it could still be fun to have a version that likes being hugged and squished and put wherever she might like, so I made a plushy version.

To save my life I cannot now find the pattern I used. I found one that was what I thought I used, but it’s a paid pattern, and I definitely used a free online pattern because I remember that the website had something blocking printing so I had to sit at my computer when I needed the next step and I had to keep the tab open for a week or so because I didn’t have the time to make it all at once. Also, I didn’t realise until I finished that the pattern didn’t include a tail so I had to improvise one becaue a bunny totally NEEDS a tail. If I can track it down I will edit this to include the pattern.

The other change I made was to use crazy bug fluffy yarn. It’s a size 7 yarn called Chinelle Home that I got at Michael’s. I wanted the bunny to be about life-sized so I used a small bunny pattern but enlarged it with a big hook and big yarn. Plus it is super soft super plush yarn. So snuggly.

crafty things · crochet

July Temperature Blanket

It’s all pinks and browns in July. Since I’m now working on this in October/November and I have nice cool evenings where snuggling under a heavy blanket is nice, I thought I’d start catching up. And while I’m keeping up (not falling further behind) I did forget one key thing that is going to interfere with my time to spend working on this project.

I have also started crocheting my yearly Christmas amigurumi for the kids. Now that the kids are big, and don’t go to bed before me, finding time to crochet in secret is harder. Plus I’ve picked a couple tricky subjects to work on that might be fairly time-consuming (no spoilers until after Christmas). Still, I can work on the blanket openly, so I will still have family movie nights and other good times to work, I just don’t think I will be making the fast headway I assumed I would.

Not to mention, NaNoWriMo has begun and while I’m not in it to win it this year, I am still in it.

crafty things · crochet

June Temperature blanket

June Temperature blanket

Yep, I just finished June.

That’s how far behind I am. But I’ve done more on the blanket this week than I probably have in the last month because our evening are nice and cool, so having a heavy blanket in my lap at night is nice now instead of torture. So I expect progress to pick back up again.

Don’t know if I will ever go as fast as I did in the beginning, because back then it was small enough for me to bring along wherever I went so I could work more often. Although for right now, my youngest is in an art class for about an hour and a half once a week, and even though I have enough time to go home, I’ve instead been staying in the car with my crochet and an audiobook, and it’s so relaxing I think I’ll keep that routine up at least through the end of their class. I can get several rows done at least on those nights.

In general, I am maybe wishing I’d reversed the use of pink and brown. It’s turning out not to have all that much brown in it and I envisioned more, and the pick is getting a bit much. Looking over the July and August numbers, I think June might be the last we see of green for awhile.

As June marks the halfway point, I decided to measure again. It looks like I’m right around 40 inches, which predicts a finished length of 80. That matches with my prediction back in March, so it’s good to see I’m staying consistent. That’s not counting any border I end up adding, but I think this will end up being a great size for our bed.

And since I’ve only been sharing a month at a time, here at the halfway point seems like a good time to let you see the changes over the whole so far:

Temperature blanket halfway point.
books · crafty things · writing

4th Doctor Scarf Done, and it went to SiliCon 2021

Doctor Who, 4th Doctor scarf made by Kara

I’m not sure I remember exactly when I started working on this scarf, but it was at least 3 to 4 years ago. I taught myself to knit specifically so I could make this scarf. I used the pattern labeled as ‘original’ from http://www.doctorwhoscarf.com/s12.html , although I just used the yarn that I could easily find that seemed close-ish to the right colors. I can’t share what exactly I used because most of the labels are long gone and I just don’t know. I know it was nothing fancy: Red Heart, Lion Brand, and that sort of thing.

The scarf and I went to SiliCon with Adam Savage this past weekend. Despite the fact that my ‘costume’ if it could be called that consisted only of the scarf, and the hat, I got lots of nice complements. Got lots of head nods and waves from the other versions of The Doctor when we came across one another. In retrospect, I maybe should have asked for some photos with them, but I was so happy to be out having nerdy fun with masks and without crowds. They severely limited attendance. I read somewhere it is usually 30,000, but was 5,000 this year. For example, here I stand outside a main hall, and just look at all those people nowhere near me. It was great.

Kara in her completed 4th Doctor Who scarf.

We attended both days but I only wore the scarf on Sat because, even indoor with air conditioning, this scarf is heavy and HOT.

Other weekend highlights, was getting signed books from Andy Weir and David Gerrold. I also went to the writer panel with was fun and interesting. I saw so many other cool books in Artist Alley and it was painful not to buy something from each, but we have a very pricey car repair we are trying to navigate at the moment. I have notes and will get to them one day. We collectively did cave in a buy a cute game though. It’s called Gosh Darn Bubbles . We played it at length back in the hotel, and much fun was had. All the cards are fun, but ‘Slappa da Bass’ was the family favorite because it was fun to say.

crafty things · crochet

May Temperature Blanket

So I finished May a few days ago, which puts me about a month behind. Hit the light brown level that last day of May, and I think, probably these last few days here in July. So hot. I expect next month will be more pinks and browns and little greens. I’m really happy so far with the way the colors are looking together. Probably not for everyone, but I picked this pallet for me.

crafty things · crochet

April Temperature Blanket

April Temperature Blanket

I think it’s looking pretty. It sort of looks like April. One lone grey day in the middle of that upper green band, but otherwise I think I might be able to put away the grey yarn until fall. May will be the start of breaking into the browns.

As this is mid-May and I’m only now posting April, you might have guessed that I’m behind. The blanket has gotten big enough that it’s unwieldy to take with me to work on wile waiting for something or hanging out with the family away from home. Plus, it’s big enough to more than cover my lap, and it’s getting warm (note again the lack of grey yarn) and not exactly ‘cuddle under a heavy blanket’ weather. So while I don’t intend to neglect this project, and I’m still having fun, I doubt I’m going to do much better than staying a little behind.

Let’s go May!

books · cats · crafty things · crochet

The Crafty Kids Have Leveled Up

Black Cat with magical book pipe cleaner art by A. Hartz

My Mother’s Day gifts from the kiddos this year really blew me away. The teen who makes pipe cleaner art created this wonderful cat touching a book with their paw and magical swirls coming out. So amazing. I don’t think photographs really do justice to her sculptures. Even the tiny ears have the perfect kitty shape and bend to them if you feel them. The book pages can turn, and the paw can move.

Amigurumi llama by R. Hartz

Child, the younger, has discovered amigurumi. In the past weeks she has made a ton of cute little bees. Then, in secret, she learned to read a pattern and made this llama for me. All on her own.

I’m a proud Mama Llama today.