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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gear Motif Pattern

I have an aunt who gets to go to conventions. Like Steam Punk conventions, Science Fiction Conventions; she is constantly in costume and sometimes I'm a little bit jealous.

But anyway, she recently asked me if I was able to crochet some gears for her. It wasn't a project that had ever come to mind before but I've always said that if you can imagine it, I can probably crochet it. I asked her for an example of what she wanted and she sent me a link to this deviant art page (picture below is from that link, attributed to Mina L).

There wasn't a pattern provided, but I speak crochet and a little bit of guess work later I came up with the following examples:

Not exact by any means but pretty dang close. After some further tweaking (and switching to a very small hook; it says size 6, and I'm used to the letter sizes so I'm not sure where that lands on the scale but it is the smallest I own, one of many inherited from my great-grandmother Marie, I believe.) I refined the pattern to this:

I'm using glamour yarn so it is kind of shiny and metallic.

To start off, chain 10 and join with a slip stitch to make a ring. Single crochet 15 times in the ring (not in the stitches, but into the ring itself, sort of around the stitches if that makes sense).

into the ring, not the stitches

the end of the first row
For the second row, sc twice in each space around, 30 stitches total

the end of the second round
Now we want to make the spokes. Start by chaining 9, skip two stitches then slip stitch into the third sc of the previous round.
Slip stitch back up the chain you just made for three stitches then chain six more times (you are now at the point of the next picture, which we will call exhibit 42 because it makes me happy to do so).

exhibit 42
Again, skip two stitches, then slip stitch into the next stitch. You will now have two "loops" that sort of look like petals around your original ring. Repeat the last several steps all the way round.

here we slip stitch the second loop onto the ring. 
For the last loop only chain three after the 3 slip stitches then slip stitch, not into the ring, but into the 4th chain of the original loop (the chain 9). You can see that in exhibit alpha-pi-beta (below).

Exhibit Alpha-Pi-Beta

look what we have here. . .a pretty flower. Let's give it teeth!
Now we need to work one foundation row before we can start on the teeth. To do this single crochet four times in the chain space then once on the top of the slip stitch (the top of what we will call the gear's "spokes")

single crochet in the space, not in the stitches, just like with the original row.

single crochet in the slip stitch at the top of each spoke as well. 

Here is what it looks like when you have done this all the way around. Sort of like a wagon wheel. 

Now to make the "teeth" we need to chain three then double crochet in the next two stitches. This forms the tooth.
Rather than going straight into the next stitch, slip stitch in the side of the second double crochet to ease yourself down to the row below. You then want to slip stitch in the next three stitches. 
chain 3 and two double crochets make a "tooth"

slip stitch in the side of the double crochet if you don't want your piece to "pull" 

Do this around and fasten off and there you go! You have a gear!

Shared on the Peaceful Mom.

Super Sunday Sync  
The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Disney Animated Short, had to share

I found this tonight on youtube and had to share it. It is really sweet and charming and tells an awesome story (without words) in a short while.

My Melodramatic Novel: Is it Twilight with Dragons or even worse?

If you have been following my blog for a length of time (since November) you may remember my slew of NaMoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) posts (well, there might've been three or four of them; I don't know if that qualifies as a slew. What exactly is a slew? Brb, gtgt-going to google that.).

I did it, though! I wrote a novel which currently clocks in at 51,196 words after a few edits and adjustments (still somewhat on going). Part of the difficulty of getting it edited is because I really like my stuff. I like what I write about. I like my characters and even if it isn't "good" it is "fulfilling." I enjoy reading what I've written almost as much as I enjoy writing it. I know it isn't professional grade stuff. It's not clean. It's kind of cliche. My jokes are probably only funny to me, but I still love it.

But even though it will probably never be published (I'm having a hard enough time even getting a friend to read it through to the end), I dove right into the sequel (originally it was a trilogy, but the introduction of a couple of characters in book two ended up expanding it to four parts, and there is potential for more if I choose to pursue Prince Ryan's story after he parts ways with Ewan and Shannon in book four.).

My husband is supposed to be reading my first story, and I will admit that my hero, Ewan, is definitely Matt-like. I have a type. I find Matt to be extremely attractive and love stories with other men (even imaginary ones) bore me after awhile, and a few chapters in Matt said he already knew who was the him character and who was the me character (Again, no excuses, that's just how I write) and he commented on the fact that his character is always supposedly not talkative but still talks a ton more than he ever does in real life (Well, he isn't exactly you, Matt. Characters who speak in one syllable sentences get boring after awhile) and he is having a hard time reading it because it isn't his "thing." He doesn't like books where the love story is the central theme.

I knew this piece was the opposite of restrained as far as the emotion goes. I like taking two characters, making them fall in love, and putting obstacles in their way to happiness before finally giving them happily ever after.

I should mention that, in spite having mentioned Twilight in my title, I have not actually read Twilight. I have read the wikipedia page on Twilight so I know the plot. A cheap way out, but I didn't want to read Twilight but at the same time wanted to know what everyone is talking about and making fun of (I come from Geek circles. In Geek circles liking Twilight is kind of like wanting to play Hello Kitty Island Adventure in a room of World of Warcraft fiends. . . if you are a geek you should get that). I also have a little bit of hipster in my blood and if something is really popular, I tend to stray away from it. Sure, there are a lot of people who like Twilight and since I haven't really read it I'm not going to mock them (too much; I still plan to use the "still a better love story than Twilight" meme occasionally), but I have so many books I mean to read that interest me much more than Twilight that I am honestly not going to get around to it ever (I used to be a voracious reader but in my current incarnation, I have been working on the first chapter of Redshirts for about a week now). That said, I have a feeling that Twilight probably started out the same way. Ms. Meyers was probably just writing out her romantic daydreams and putting herself and her dream man into situations that allowed them to get all melodramatic on each other. I know my book has some of the foibles that I see Twilight mocked for, but I don't care.

So I'm writing the sequel and Ewan and Shannon are sappy as always. Someday I'm going to write something that is more action than emoting. Someday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Ice Cream!

Wordless Wednesday Hop

My first give away, kind of lame, but hats are cool, right? Like Bow ties!!!

That's a really long Blog Post title. . .

I try to mention my Etsy shop, Critters for Coryn, as often as possible. I used to get so much business based on word of mouth that I was always busy. Now, since the move,  I have to make up excuses to keep crocheting (apparently "I just have to . . ." isn't a real reason), but I long for a challenge. I used to love special orders. Someone always wanted a new animal, or a favorite cartoon character, or just something completely off the wall.

Now it is YOUR chance to design a hat. No, I don't expect you to come up with a pattern for me, but if you enter this give away you stand a chance to win one hat of your choice. See a design you like? Ask for it. Is there a different creature you would like your hat to resemble? Fire away and let me at it! The hat can be sized for a child or an adult, also your choice.

Most hat projects take me two days to a week to complete. This time may be increased based on the difficulty of finding colors suggested in the project or if the project is especially challenging.

Check out my Facebook Page for more designs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

target="_blank">Let Them Eat Cake

Claire the Bear is One-Year-Old

Someday's I feel a little bit like Dan in the all too quickly canceled show "The Good Guys." Not because I have an obsession with the by-gone 80's, a distaste for rules, or a love of mustaches and muscle cars, but because I often feel overwhelmed by this world of computer machines and smarty phones. Well, in my case it would be just the smarty phones. When I'm around the house my laptop is sort of my ball and chain. It goes where I go, but when I am out and about I'm gleefully disconnected. What little contact I have with technology is limited to my basically just for emergencies not so smart phone and arguing with the GPS system my brother-in-law who works for a company that makes the dang things got me.

I really miss this show
That said, there are some times that I really wish I had me one of them there smarty phones (I basically  just used this intro as an explanation of why I call the dang things "smarty phones." That's what Dan referred to them as and I do it in his honor . . . even though, honestly, Jack was my preference on that show. Colin Hanks, who played him, is such a lanky, lovable teddy bear.).

While my cell phone is practical and cheap it does not take good pictures, and today while we were out and about in honor of Claire's first birthday there were times I really would've liked to take a picture.

Yes, as of today, baby Claire is one-year-old. Can you believe it? Seems like only yesterday she was little and pink and brand new.
Claire a year ago
 We don't have anything huge planned in honor of this day. I kind of started out knowing that we would have some ice cream and unwrap some presents, but there wasn't going to be a party. After all, it is just the three of us, and Claire won't even remember it. She does, however, love ice cream. After her morning nap, I got out the gift card my grandmother sent for Claire's birthday and determined to go pick something special out for her. We ended up heading to Toys R' Us (which my GPS called Toys R. U. S; silly GPS computer machine.). Once there my method for making sure Claire got something she really wanted out of the gift card was to hold things up to her and see if A. she reached for them and B. if she kept a hold of them. Through this method she ended up with two stuffed animals, a rubber ducky, and a board book (we went about $2 over the gift card). She was especially cute about the softies, one a penguin the other a giraffe. She had her arm around the penguin and her hand around the giraffe's neck the entire time we were in the store and I had to pry the penguin out of her arms to check out with it.

We then stopped by McDonald's and got a McFlurry (Claire really does adore ice cream) and she was sweetness incarnate. We have some presents to unwrap later (she's napping right now), but I just wanted to say how proud I am of the Princess Imp, the Baby Boss, the Beautiful Claire Bear. We love you, Claire Bear!

Beautiful Claire Bear

silly Claire Bear

Focused and Determined Claire Bear

Curious Claire Bear

If you enjoyed these pictures of Claire Bear you might like her crazy birth story. Check that out HERE.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cara Box Unboxing

Cara Box

This was my first time participating in the Cara Box Exchange from Wifessionals. I was lucky enough to be paired with Janna at View from the 512. I'm a lousy photographer so I decided just to record myself unwrapping my box. I'm also a lousy camera-woman, however, so sorry about the poor quality video. This is filmed just with my laptop webcam.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What next?

I keep thinking that with February coming up I should make some sort of big love related post, some poetry, maybe? Or the story of how I finally snagged the love of my life after almost a decade of effort.

However, in the midst of all this thinking about lovey dovey posts, it came to mind to ask what sort of posts my readers like the most? I mean, I don't have a huge readership, but I have reached 46 followers according to blogger. I have to assume at least some of them actually read my blog, maybe even get the email subscriptions (comments are nice, especially when I see repeat visitors.). So which posts are their favorites? What prompted them to push the "subscribe" button. Was it just an automatic response to a blog hop? A picture of a cat? Or a crochet pattern?

The main sorts of posts on my blog seem to be as follows:

  • Crochet patterns
  • Mommy talk/day in the life sort of anecdotes. 
  • Product Reviews/Book Reviews
  • Other miscellaneous 
Admittedly, I get most of my page views for the crochet patterns. Sometimes I think I should just focus on that, but the process of designing, creating, and photographing a crochet project is time consuming (especially the photography part) and sometimes I worry that I am rushing through projects that could be done better because I want to get them up on the blog. 

Which have been your favorite posts? What sorts of posts would you look forward to reading? What would encourage you to follow my blog if you haven't already and what would prompt you to share my blog with others?

Thank you so much for any input you choose to leave.

Crocheted Baby Set

Two caps and an elephant rattle
I recently finished this set as a gift to my sister who is having a baby boy sometime soonish. This is the fifth grandchild for my parents but the first grandson (I have two girls; Robin's first two are also girls.) and also the first grandson on my sister's in-laws side (Robin's husband's brothers are both unmarried.) so he'll probably get pretty spoiled generally.

The elephant rattle, very simple to make.

easy to hold loop handle

As always you can check out my Etsy shop and make special orders through the Critters for Coryn Facebook page.

Shared on The Peaceful Mom.

The Chicken Chick