Tuesday, December 27, 2011

11th Dr. Who doll

My latest creation.  The 11th Dr. Who!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Present Round-up

So, I was hard at work this Christmas season working on gifts for like a hundred people...literally.   Most were things I've made lots of times i.e. Totoros, Ponyos, Robin, etc.  The Big Lebowski doll was a surprise hit.  A couple of things I couldn't show until post-Christmas is what I'm here to talk about.

First off, my friend @silaslesnick (see previous post), commissioned a doll for his older brother.  Apparently his older brother runs a wing commander fan site, so he wanted a Mr. Kat.  This is what I came up with:

Not bad eh?

And for my pacman loving husband, I made this.  I've never really made him anything before, so I thought it would be nice gesture.  I thought it was kind of sweet.  I got the cross stitch pattern from it over here.  I probably could have done it myself, but why reinvent the wheel if you don't have to, right? right.

So, that's that.  I'm working on a Dr. Who doll, which should be ready soon, and then Annie Hall, and finally some Adventure Time (?) dolls.  It's shaping up to be a busy busy 2012, and it hasn't even started yet.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy birthday Silas!

So there's this incredibly kind generous guy who finnegan calls uncle Silas because he showers him with gifts, and it's his birthday today.  Silas has a wall of tron  related things at his place so I thought I'd make a contribution.  So happy birthday Silas.  Thanks for being so awesome to me and my spoiled kid.

I do things besides birthday presents, but my Etsy shop is totally sucking up all my time.  It will probably close a little earlier than expected for the holidays.  I'm currently 6 dolls behind, and I need everything done by Wednesday.  sigh.  Also, I've begun writing every Tuesday for Geek Crafts.  I mostly just find geek-inspired crafts that I like, and blog about it.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

happy birthday tony!

So, I've been pretty busy getting ready for the holidays, but never too busy to make one of my dearest friends a birthday present.  Tony D'Amato, one of the best friends any person could ask for, is celebrating his birthday today, and he always does these amazing comic strips for me on my birthday because he's super nice and ridiculously talented. I always feel like I can't compete, but I also feel compelled to put as much blood, sweat, and tears into his gift as he does mine, so here it is.  He drew a Victorian self-portrait of himself a while ago (see below).  which I kind of love...and then I thought...here's a man who is constantly drawing other people and giving these great gifts they'll keep forever...and no one ever draws him...except for himself.  So here's tony in a crochet/cross stitch portrait. to the best of my ability.

Happy Birthday Tony! You're definitely one of my top 10 favorite things in this world.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Free Crochet Nibbler Pattern!

I promised before that since I can't sell this little guy anymore, I'd give the pattern away!  Here it is, Nibbler from Futurama:



f or g hook
yarn needle
sewing needle
1-9mm safety eye
2-12mm safety eyes
skein of black yarn (I use caron or red heart)
small amount of yellow yarn
small amount of a tan/beige yarn
small amount of white yarn
Beige fabric for tummy
sheet of white felt
sheet of red felt
white thread
red thread

(with black yarn)

r1: ch 2 6 sc in second ch rom hook
r2: Sc 2 in each sc around (12sts)
r3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, repeat 6 times (18sts)
r4: *Sc 2, 2sc in each sc*, repeat 6 times (24sts)
r5: *Sc 3, 2sc in each sc*, repeat 6 times (30sts)
r6: *sc 4, 2sc in each sc*, repeat 6 times (36sts)
r7: *sc 5, 2sc in each sc*, repeat 6 times (42sts)
r8: *Sc 6, 2sc in each sc*, repeat 6 times (48sts)
r9-20: Sc 48
r21: *Sc 6, dec 1*, repeat 6 times (42sts)
r22: *Sc 5, dec 1*, repeat 6 times (36sts)
r23: *Sc 4, dec 1*, repeat 6 times (30sts)
r24: *Sc 3, dec 1*, repeat 6 times (24sts)
r25: sc 24
As you finish stuff the head with polyfil
r26: *Sc 2, dec 1, rep 6 times (18sts)
r27: *Sc 1, dec 1, rep 6 times (12sts)
r28: *Skip 1 sc, sc 1, rep t times (6sts)
Fasten off and weave in end.

(with black)
r1: ch2, 6 sc in second chain
r2: Sc 2 in each sc around (12sts)
r3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, repeat 6 time(18sts)
r4: *Sc 2, 2sc in next sc*, (24sts)
r5: *Sc 3, 2sc in next sc*, (30sts)
r6: *sc 4, 2sc in next sc*, (36sts)
r7-14: Sc 36
r15: *Sc 4, dec 1*, rep 6 times (30sts)
r16-21: Sc 30

(with black: make 2)
r1: ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook
r2: sc 2 in each sc around (12sts)
r3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, rep 6 times
r4-6: Sc 18
r7: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 6 times, (12sts)
r8: Sc 12
Change to white
r9: BPsc 12
r10-21: Sc 12
leave long tail for sewing

(with yellow: make 2)
r1: ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook
r2: Sc 2 in each sc around (12sts)
r3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (18sts)
r4: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (24sts)
r5: Sc 24
r6: Dc 6, sc 18
r7: Hdc 6, sc 18
r8: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 6 times (18sts)
r9: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 6 times (12sts)
Switch to yellow yarn
r10-18: Sc 12
Fasten off, leaving long enough tail for sewing.

sew body parts together.  use picture as a guide.

nibbler 3rd eye:
(with white)
r1: ch2, 5sc in second ch from hook
r2: 2sc in each sc around (10sc)
r3-4: sc in each sc around
put 9mm eye in the center, and fasten.
switch to black
5-11: sc around
fasten off, leave long enough tail for sewing

(with white: make 2)
r1: ch2, 5sc in second ch from hook
r2: 2sc in each sc around (10sc)
r3: *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 5 times (15sts)
r4: *Sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, rep 5 times (20sts)
r5: sc around
place 1 12mm eye in the center of white of each
fasten off, leave long tail for sewing

(with tan/beige)

r1: ch 2 6 sc in second ch rom hook
r2: Sc 2 in each sc around (12sts)
r3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, repeat 6 times (18sts)
r4: *Sc 2, 2sc in each sc*, repeat 6 times (24sts)
r5: *Sc 3, 2sc in each sc*, repeat 6 times (30sts)
r6-7: sc around
fasten off leave long enough tail for sewing

(make 2)
r1: ch 2, flip piece so working over the same line
r2: sc 1 in second sc, ch 2, sc 1 in same sc
r3: 2sc in first sc, sc in next sc, ch 2, sc in same sc, 2 sc in last sc
fasten off, leaving long enough tail for sewing

Sew eyes, mouth, and teeth to face.

Using beige felt:

Cut oval to fit over stomach.  Sew/glue felt to stomach.

For diaper:

I don't have a pattern for this.  I just use the sheet of felt and cut the shape of a diaper, and sew it on

For cape:

This is also easy to free hand.  Using about half a sheet of red felt cut, and sew to fit on Nibbler allowing for some felt to tie at the front.


So Finnegan (my ridiculously charming 3 1/2 year old) and I recently discovered Andy Runton's book Owly & Wormy Friends All Aflutter.

I have always been hesitant to get Finnegan books without words.  It requires a lot of storytelling ability on my part, and Finnegan's willingness to go along with what I say is going on in a picture, but we absolutely loved this book, and I really hope more full color Owly book are in the works.  The black and white volumes are great too, but 3 year olds love color, and Owly is so adorable in color.  That said, I love crocheting a good cuddly critter.  So, I give you Owly:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My birthday...and more giant robot gushing

So, it was my birthday...and I got loads of awesome gifts from awesome friends, but my awesome dear friend Tony d'Amato drew this crochet related comic for me.  It is officially a family treasure.

In other news, Giant Robot emailed me to let me know one of my little blue totoros had a wonky eye, so I drove by today to replace it, and found out they'd already sold out of the couple of grey totoros I'd given them, so that's terribly cool.  A picture of the dolls they had left in their new retail home:

I got the blue one back, and I might just keep him wonky in the eye because he's got that cool giant robot tag.  He's my little reject, and I shall love him forever.

Current Project:  A terribly elaborate birthday present, but it's hush hush you understand, and here's hoping it turns out.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness day yarnbomb

So I follow this VERY active/awesome yarnbomber on twitter @nightknitpixie and she recently posted a link to an international yarnbombing event that involved crocheting boobs.  With victorian sensibilities by nature, I would never think of doing such a thing...but for breast cancer awareness why not?  You can find out more info here:


But if I had the choice between wearing a pink ribbon and crocheting some boobs...boobs all the way.  I'm not one of those super active for charities or diseases kind of people (although we all should be), but breast cancer is entirely too close to home to ignore.

When I was 15, my mom was diagnosed with a particularly gnarly kind of breast cancer.  Within weeks she had a breast removed, and began chemotherapy.  It was perhaps the scariest time of my life. When you're 15, you hate/love your mom simultaneously, and the thought of being left alone in this world with my dad and my brother was terrifying.  My mom is my rock.  I'm a terrible daughter...but she has always been an incredibly devoted mother.

So, for my mom...and all the other moms, sisters, and daughters...a pair of lovely boobs with the stay classy saying "i <3 boobs" to be found on the Venice boardwalk near north Venice. 

And remember to get those lovely lady lumps checked ladies!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dolls back at Giant Robot, and some custom orders

Okay okay, so I have officially dropped off some more dolls at Giant Robot.  Hopefully there as successful in store as they were at Comic Con!

The rest of this blog is more of a photo dump of things I've been working on for other people.  Most recently a regular Etsy customer who has ordered my entire Totoro collection as well as custom orders including a killer tomato...for his dad who starred in attack of the killer tomatos....He's a faithful customer for sure, and he loves to challenge me.  Most recently he asked me if I could work up a Gamera...so Gamera looks a little something like this:

He's a crazy Japanese turtle monster thing.  I'm not super familiar, but you get the idea.  This is what I came up with:  

It's hard to not make crocheted dolls much cuter than their inspirations.  It just is.

Also, my friend Karis needed a Chica Chicken doll....for a co-worker's daughter, and I'm pretty proud of this one:

It's just so cute!  I don't know much about the character.  I watched a brief you tube clip...it's a chicken that sounds like a kazoo?  I don't see the appeal personally, but I liked the aesthetics of the character, so I worked it up.

For another friend, who has nephews who like ax-wielding vikings:

I loved doing the hair and mustache for this guy.  I have a thing for vikings myself...like Eric Northman on True Blood...and I guess also because I studied viking history and literature in college.  It was a phase.

Finally, for the little boy who has securely wormed his way into my heart and insists I don't make him dolls, for Finnegan, a Superman doll:

He sleeps with it.  It's pretty cute.

Okay that's my project dump.  You are officially up to date on what I've been working on so feverishly.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Musical Journey Part 3: Iron & Wine/Sam Cooke

These albums are a little less well known as iconic works of art, but they're significance as parts of what I consider to be a rich musical journey cannot be underestimated.  Iron & Wine is just poetry really.  Truthfully, I don't know a lot about music when it comes to the technical aspects of it.  I can't play any instruments, but I know a thing or two about words...and a little bit about vocals, and Sam Beam never ceases to amaze me with his words. Never. so that's why I had to do this album cover for the creek drank the cradle, which was really simple in design, but I kind of love the simplicity of it.

Next is Sam Cooke.  I can't remember a time when I didn't love Sam Cooke.  I feel like he's ingrained in my earliest memories.  Finnegan's favorite song is Bring it on home to me.  I like Havin' a Party, but we'll shake our bottoms to both of them together, and sing them in the car together.  I have to admit...it's pretty damn cute when we do it.

This was more challenging.  The album "twistin' the night away" is just a red background with a grayscale image of Sam Cooke smiling.  It's really hard to capture the minutiae of his face in this medium, so it's a little abstract or if you're a nerd..pixelated, but you get the point.

I have one more album to do.  I don't know when I'll get to it.  I think Giant Robot is going to take on some more of my dolls, which is always exciting, and they're support is always appreciated.  I'm currently taking suggestions for new dolls.  I'd like to get some new content in the shop before the holidays.

In other news...this is making me happy this week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Crochet Shield Trick or Treat Bag

So, your kid says he wants to be a knight.  So you employ your mom to hand make a rather elaborate knight costume, and he gets it and says he needs a shield.  And you think about halloween, and you think about the costume and the sword, and now a shield, and how he's going to carry it all...and you know he's not.  He's going to make you carry it because he's going to be too busy keeping his eye on the prize.  the prize being...the candy.  So, in order to resolve this, I decided I would make the shield a multipurpose tool....half shield/half trick or treat bag, and i'm over the moon with how it turned out.

It has the Forsyth Coat of arms on it...because we're Forsyths...it also has a handle on the back so he can hold it like a shield (it's fortified with cardboard so it's actually firm like a shield.....as well as handles on the top so he can do his trick or treating with ease.  It's not a big bag, but he's only 3 and realistically one loop around the block is all we're really going to do.

So here it is.  For the record handcutting out felt griffons is a total pain.

Also, the musical journey project is still going, but we've been busy traveling....I have 2 more albums done, and 1 to go.  Will post when all the albums are complete.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Musical Journey: Part 2: The Descendents

Were you listening to punk in 1996.  I was.  I give you the album Everything Sucks by the Descendents.  This is probably the most fun I've ever had with  project...so bear with me.  I think I have three..mayyyyyyybe 4 more to go.  I should really be crocheting ponyos and totoros and birthday and christmas presents...because I do actually want to enjoy christmas this year and not worry about getting orders out...but i'm really having too much fun.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Musical Journey: Part 1

So, when I worked with Dez on the yarnbombing 18th exhibit, I was totally inspired by all the great work around me.  I decided I was going to start working on my own ambitious project inspired by my own musical journey, which I'm rediscovering with my kid.  Growing up my dad listened to oldies...old sock hop doo wop R & B type oldies.  I loved them.  I still love them.  Ask finnegan to sing you Earth Angel...he can do it.  Then as a young teenager, a boy who sat behind me in health class loaned me his NOFX punk in drublic cassette tape (did i just age myself?) and I was from then on a punk rock fan.  Now, I listen to stuff like Iron and Wine and Bon Iver because they appeal to my literarture lovin' poetic nature, but all of it....all the punk rock anthems about growing up to the sweet folky sam beam songs are part of who i am, and who finnegan is becoming.  It's so fun digging up the songs I'd grown tired of listening to, and seeing finnegan experience them for the first time.

these days listening to a song mostly means firing up the itunes...but i long for the nostalgia of sitting on a living room floor pulling out vinyl records.  this was never really my reality, but i have a romanticized notion of it in my head...so i'm going to create it as I see it, as I would want it to be if I was spending an afternoon with Finnegan listening to my version of "the greats".  So I give you a sample of what I'm aiming for.  The first vinyl album recreation is for The Clash's London Calling.  It's an iconic image...guitar being smashed...I really love how this turned out.  So, let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I think I know it all: a less than jake yarn bomb

I've seen Less than Jake in excess of 30-40 times. You just lose count after a while. I could tell you that I've seen them open for Bon Jovi...twice. Or that they once paid me a 100 bucks to sell merch for them in Canada. I would have done it for free....suckers. I could tell you that they're decent guys, and that I met them for the first time when I was 17....and they didn't take advantage of my extreme naivete, and that's something you can only really appreciate 10+ years later. I could tell you that I met my first roommate through them...and my third...I could tell you that the bass player once called my parents sketchy..and I don't blame him...

The last time I saw them, I was 21..until today. Its been 8 years, and I'm almost 30 now (on sept 24th..where has the time gone? no.... seriously. where did it go?) I'm taking my 3 year old to see them at the Warped Tour in Carson, CA.... because he's awesome, and he likes less than jake, and I totally get it. They're full of energy. and they're fun. and they're loud. not unlike my 3 year old. I hope I get a chance to say hi.

The yarnbomb, a boy shooting a pezgun, holds bit of a double significance. Not only is the image from their vinyl picture disc for their album pezcore, but it's also a tattoo on my back. The tattoo was an image I got out of a Pez collector's book before I knew the picture disc existed. It's a tattoo I forget I have, but it makes me smile when I see it...and remember the awkward pierced little freak that I once was (and still am on the inside) .

So, this is my last stop on this artistic experience. I'm going out of town 2 more times this summer, but this yarn bomb will be the last in this series I'm calling in my head "yarn the road" I have an idea for a new potential exhibit piece. Hopefully I can make it happen. Also, I have to start preparing for my etsy shop Christmas rush! It's never too soon.</

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Free Crochet Leela Futurama Pattern

So, I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but along with my Brobee doll, all of my Futurama dolls were also pulled from Etsy for copyright infringement.  So, since I have these great patterns already made up, I decided I would go ahead and post the patterns for free.   I really love these dolls.  I already had the Leela pattern all done up for someone who wanted to buy the pattern, so it's coming up first.  I'll post Nibbler and Zoidberg as soon as I find the time to write up the patterns.  Please let me know if you use these, and post pictures of the finished results!  I love seeing these dolls come to life!

Crochet Leela

Materials Needed:
c hook
g hook
yarn needle
1 - 12mm safety eye
At least 3 ounces of Skin Colored/Beige/Cream colored yarn
At least 1 ounce of purple yarn
Small amount of Gray yarn
Small amount of black yarn
Small amount of teal/light blue yarn
Small amount of white yarn
Small amount of pink yarn
Scrap of navy blue yarn

With skin colored yarn and g hook, ch 2
r1: 8 sc in 2nd ch from hook.
r2: 2 sc in each sc around (16 sc)
r3: *2 sc in next sc. 1 sc in next sc. Rep from * around (24sc)
r4: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc. Rep from * around (32sc)
r5: *2 sc in next sc. 1 sc in each of next 3 sc. Rep from * around (40sc)
r6-16: 1 sc in each sc around.
r17: *1 sc in each of next 3 sc. sc2tog. Rep from * around (32sts)
r18: *1 sc in each of next 2 sc. sc2tog. Rep from * around (24sts)
r19: *1 sc. sc 2 tog. Rep from * around (16sts)
r20: *sc2tog. Rep from * (8sts)

with g hook and black , ch 30. Join with sl st to first chain taking care not to twist ch
r1: 1 sc in each ch around until piece measures 1 inch. Switch to white yarn
Continue to crochet around until piece measures 2 inches.
Next round: *1 sc in each of next 3 sc, Sc2tog. Rep from * around. (24sts)
Next round: Sc in each sc around until piece measures 3 inches.
Switch to skin colored yarn, sc 4, switch back to white, for 19 sts (this is to give leela the tank
top look. The picture might help as a reference to what it will ultimately look like)
Switch to skin colored yarn, sc 6, switch back to white, for 17 sts
Switch to skin colored yarn, sc 8, switch back to white, Sc 2, *sc2tog 5 times. Fasten off leaving
long enough tail to sew head on

Make 2
With g hook an skin-colored yarn
ch 2
r1: 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook.
r2: 2 sc in each sc around. (10sc)
r3: 1 sc in each sc around.
r4: 1 sc in next 4 sc, 1 tr in next sc (thumb). 1 sc in each of last 5sc
r5: 1 sc in each st around
r6: 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc2tog twice.
r7: 1 sc in each st around.
Rep last round until arm measures 4 inches. Fasten off. Leave long enough tail to sew to body

make 2
with g hook and black yarn
foot: ch 5
r1: 1 sc in 2nd chain from hook. 1 sc in each of next 2ch. 3 sc in last ch. Do not turn. working
in remaining loops of foundation chain, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch. 2 sc in last ch (10 sc)
r2: 2 sc in first sc. 1 sc in each of next 2 sc. 2 sc in each of next 3 sc. 1 sc in each of next 2 sc.
2 sc in each of last 2sc. (16 sc)
r3: 2 sc in first sc. 1 sc in each of next 4 sc. 2 sc in each of next 4 sc. 1 sc in each of next 4 sc.
2 sc in each of next 3 sc. (24 sc)
r4: Working in back loops only, 1 sc in each sc around. switch to gray
r5: 1 sc in each of next 7 sc. sc2tog 3 times. 1 sc in each sc to end rnd. 21sts
r6: 1 sc in each of next 6 sc. sc2tog 3 times. 1 sc in each sc to last 2 sc sc2tog. (17sts)
r7: 1 sc in each of next 5 sc. sc2tog 3 times. 1 sc in each sc to end of rnd (14sts)
r8: 1 sc in each st around. Rep last round until piece measures 2 inches. Switch to black.
Continue to sc in each st around until legs measure 4 inches. Leave long enough tail to sew to
Stuff parts and sew together.

with g hook, and white, ch2
r1: 6 sc in 2 ch
r2: 2 sc in each sc (12sts)
r3: *1 sc in next sc. 2 sc in next sc. Rep around (18sts)
r4-6: Sc in each sc around. Fasten off
Attach 12mm safety eye to center of white. Stuff and sew to face.
With pink and yarn needle. Stitch upside pink triangle. Use picture as example. Satin stitch
triangle to fill in.

Arm piece:
With teal yarn, and g hook. Crochet a piece that will fit around arm. Crochet 5 rows around.
Fasten off. Sew piece together on arm.
With navy yarn, crochet a small line on arm piece. (this can also be done using embroidery or
cross stitching)
Lines on boot:
Crochet on top of boot with black yarn two black stripes on each boot. (this can also be done
using embroidery or cross stitching)

With purple and C hook:
For this find a 9 inch piece of cardboard or a book with a 9 inch side (or anything with 9 inch
1. Wrap the yarn around the cardboard and sc, ch 1.
2. Continue to * wrap the yarn around sc, ch 1. Repeat until you have the desired length of
hair. You can do this in segments if it's easier to manage.
Sew the hair on with the seams parallel to the face and zig zag sewing the hair to the back of
the head. You'll know you have enough when you can make a full looking pony tail. Pull some
strands forward to cut bangs. Tie the rest back with a piece of purple yarn.
Please let me know if you have any problems.

Leela Pattern by Giovanna Forsyth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Please do not sell this pattern or objects made
from it. Do not share it elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tango makes three...a nyc yarnbomb

So, I put a call out to my friends when Finnegan was born for book suggestions. For the books that stuck out in their mind as the best children's books they'd ever read, and I got some truly great suggestions, but by far my favorite came from my friend Alex.He suggested Tango Makes Three. It's about a pairing of male penguins who hatch and raise a baby penguin from a mother who was unable to care for the egg. It's on the frequently banned books list everywhere. Because you know...kids will become gay if they know some boy penguins in New York City Central Park Zoo liked to cuddle. It happens all the time. I wish I could convey deadpan on the interwebs.

I love this book. If you are a halfway decent person who wants to have a kid with an open mind and an appreciation for the idea that successful relationships can come in all shapes and sizes, this is a great introduction to that idea. Finnegan is no stranger to the idea that someone can have 2 mommies or 2 daddies. I genuinely think this book helped him understand that.

One of the biggest selling points to this "Big East Coast Trip" was that he could go see Roy, Silo, and Tango at the Central Park Zoo, which we are definitely doing, and this yarnbomb will be found in the vicinity as an homage to a great book with a great message.

Monday, August 1, 2011

When in boston..a fenway park yarnbomb

Our main event on our "Big East Coast Trip" as it has been named around this house is a Boston Red Sox game at the legendary Fenway Park. I love baseball.  It's pretty much the only sport I can remotely follow with any interest. I like it for many reasons. I like it's broad appeal.  I like that dodger tickets can still be obtained for less than 10 dollars.  I love the nostalgic American aspect of the sport. I like that it has its skeletons, and it's triumphs. Kirk Gibson's fist pumping homerun during the 88 World Series. or that time the Dodgers scored 4 back to back home runs, or any game Sandy Koufax ever pitched.

Oh, you've caught on, I'm a Dodger Fan through and through. I will never not be a Dodger Fan. So why so much excitement about Fenway? Because it's Fenway...duh. No baseball fan would turn up a chance to see a game at Fenway. I debated making the trademark LA Dodgers symbol for this yarnbomb, but it occurred to me that in the spirit of the game, I had to respect where I was, and why I was there. I'm at Fenway because the Red Sox are one of the oldest teams in baseball with a great history and a great ballpark.

Also, recent events at a Dodger game made me think about what it is to be a baseball fan, especially a fan dealing with a fan of an opposing team. In a game at the start of the season at Dodger stadium against the Giants, a Giants fan was beaten to a pulp. Do I hate hearing someone at a Dodger game rooting for the rival team? Sure, but when I go root for the Dodgers elsewhere I cheer, and people have to put up with me. It's just an unfortunate courtesy we pay to each other. That said, if we start beating people up at games....we just ruin the game. It means more security measures, higher tickets costs, and lost revenue if your stadium gets a reputation for having unruly fans (which Dodger stadium already has). Baseball is competitive, but it's fun. It's fun rallying around a representation of the city you love, but without those other teams that we love to hate....It'd just be a bunch of guys playing catch at a really big park.

So as a visitor to this fair city, I made the Red Sox logo. I'm here for the history of baseball, and I've got nothing against the Sox (they're in a different league after all). So go on Red Sox, beat those Indians today. I'll be rooting for you.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Down by the water: a decemberists newport folk festival yarnbomb

So, when Paul and I were trying to decide what to do this summer as a family vacation.   We ran through the usual suspects. England to visit his family. Panama to visit mine.  We also went through a slew of popular vacation destination options, and we just weren't going to be satisfied with sitting on a beach, which is what we've done the last few summers. (I know...such a rough life right?)

We wanted to see something new. Broaden our horizons....open our eyes to new possibilities..blah blah blah...

Paul couldn't be talked into touring the castles of Europe with our 3 year old, but he did like the idea of doing an east coast trip, and seeing some sites we've both always wanted to see and do some things we've always wanted to do. We planned it around the Newport Folk Festival, in Newport, Rhode Island. It's a festival that has increasingly been on both our radars the past couple of years as our musical tastes have headed in that new folk arena.

What cinched it was when we found out the Decemberists were playing. I've been a fan for years, and my son, Finnegan, just goes crazy for them. The first time he heard the Crane Wife, he just wanted to hear it over...and over and over again. Then when The King is Dead came out, he went even more crazy for that one. Finnegan has a great ear for instruments and the first time he heard Down by the Water, he was like "mama...do you hear the harmonica?" I just knew I had to get this kid to a Decemberists' concert. Newport seemed like a great opportunity.

This yarnbomb is inspired by the Decemberists' album cover for Castaways and Cutouts. It's a great image...souls drifting off a ship out into sea. A fan myself of nautical imagery with my own romanticized notions about voyages at sea., and given the Newport Folk Festival's proximity to the water, it just seemed all too fitting.

So if you found it, I hope you had fun at the festival, I'm sure we did!

Next yarnbomb stop: Boston and a much anticipated Boston Red Sox game at Fenway.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Free Crochet Brobee Pattern!

Quick Comic Con update:  My dolls that Giant Robot took with them to Comic Con sold out in the first 24 hours, which was just super great.  I was hoping that a couple of things would sell.  I really truly didn't think they'd all sell though.  So, that was a nice boost to my ego.  My neck is starting to hurt...because my head is just getting so big.

So, some of you might remember that my Brobee doll was pulled from Etsy for copyright infringement.  It was a sad day indeed, and I really love this doll.  It was one of the first things I created on my own taking techniques and ideas I had learned from other dolls.  I was really proud of the outcome, and my son loves his Brobee doll.  Since I can't sell the doll, that shouldn't mean that other crafty ladies out there shouldn't be allowed to make one for their little one!

So below is the pattern.  Enjoy.  Let me know if you have any problems/questions.

 Also, I'll be out of town for 8 days as me and the family head on our "big trip" to the east coast.  Next yarnbomb stop:  Newport Folk Festival.

Brobee Crochet Doll

Materials Needed:
f or g hook
2 oz of a bright/neon green yarn
2 oz of a forest green yarn
a small amount of red yarn
a small amount of red, white, and black felt
a piece of black yarn
2 – 12mm safety eyes
polyester fiberfill


With bright green colored yarn, worked in continuous round (use stitch marker if needed)
ch 2
r1: 6 sc in second sc (6)
r2: 2 sc in each (12)
r3: *1 sc in next, 2 sc in next, rep from * around (18)
r4: *1 sc in ext, 2 sc in next, rep from * around (24)
r5-10: sc around (24), switch to forest green yarn

At this point you might want to do the face. Use picture as example. I like to glue and sew felt pieces on for added security.

r11-13: sc around (24), switch to bright green yarn
r14-17: sc around (24), switch to forest green yarn
r18-20: sc around (24), switch to bright green yarn
r21-24: sc around (24), switch to forest green yarn

Crotch and leg:

This is a little tricky, and if it seems confusing just make sure each leg is 14sts around, so they look even.

R25: ch2, sl st to the 13th sc of the last round, sc in next 11
r26: sc in one side of the first sc, sc in none side of each of the ch 2 sts, sc in the next 11 (14)
r27: sc in each st around (14), switch to bright green yarn
r28-31: sc around (14), switch to dark green yarn
32-34: dec around until closed

At this point, you'll want to stuff the body and leg

Other Leg:

Using forest green yarn, work a sl st in the crotch
r1: sc in next 12, sc in the other side of each of the ch 2 spaces (14)
r2-3: sc around (14), switch to bright green yarn,
r4-7: sc around (14), switch to forest green
stuff leg
r8-10: dec around to close

Arms – make 2 (You want the arms to have the stripes in the same pattern as the body, so they line up, so make adjustments accordingly)

With forest green, ch 2
r1: 6 sc in 2nd ch
r2-3: sc around (6)
r4: ch3, sc in each (6)
r5: skip ch3, sc in each (6), switch to bright green
r6-10: sc around (6), switch to forest green
11-13: sc around (6), switch to bright green
14-17: sc around (6), switch to forest green
18-20: sc around, leaving tail to sew to body

Sew to body lining up stripes. I do not stuff the arms at all, so that they have that characteristic Brobee floppiness

Spikes (Make 3):

With red yarn,

ch 2
1 sc in 2nd ch, ch 2, sc in 2nd ch again
ch 2, flip piece, work 2sc in first sc, sc in next then ch2, then sc in same, 2 sc in next, fasten off leaving long tail.

Sew spikes to head using picture as example.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Totoros go to Comic Con

My hooked hands are flying furiously through gray yarn in an attempt to make more inventory because Eric over at Giant Robot and crew are taking my Totoros to the best place on earth to find like-minded nerds of all shapes and sizes, San Diego Comic Con, July 21-24.  I haven't been in a couple years, and I anxiously anticipate the day that Finnegan will want to sit in on panels with me on whatever awesome sci-fi/fantasty/horror series he's into.  So, if you're in San Diego, you should stop by and say hi to the Giant Robot crew, and check out my Totoros.  I'm sure they're in quite capable hands.  Some of what they'll have with them, Totoros and Totoro trios, Ponyo, and a Catbus.  They'll be in stall 1729, which I'm told is right in the middle!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hookedhands now at Giant Robot!

So, Eric over at Giant Robot recently emailed me (after seeing and commenting on my Totoro Yarn Bomb), and asked if I would be interested in selling some of my wares at their store here in Los Angeles.  Aside from being flattered that someone thinks my dolls are worth taking up precious shelf real estate, I was just really excited to branch out with my dolls into new territory.  It's a consignment deal, so if they don't sell, I'll get them back and that'll be that.  Hopefully they will, and I'll make both myself and Giant Robot a little money. So, if you're in the neighborhood, check it out!  You'll find some Totoros, a Catbus, and a Ponyo!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Awww Yeah Titans! A yarnbomb.

If you found my Ventura Tiny Titan Robin roasting marshmallows yarn bomb...then  Yay!  Read along to find out why he's in your fair city.

So, in my quest to make all of my street art both pop culture influenced and something that my 3 year old can relate to, I really had a hard time coming up with something for our big 4th of July camping trip to Mcgrath State Beach in Ventura, CA.  That is, until I remembered that in the Tiny Titans trade #1 the Titans go on a field trip, and there's a really great image of them sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows...so I borrowed the part with Robin because he's my son's favorite Tiny Titan.

(For the record the Tiny Titans are this really great comic book drawn and co-written by Art Baltazar with some of your favorite major and minor DC characters as elementary school kids...with elementary school superhero problems.  My 3 year old gets about 1/20th of the humor, but he insists that it's his favorite of all time and goes to sleep reading it every night)

Camping is totally one of those things I did every single summer growing up.  I even thought it was fun as a teenager when most kids have outgrown enjoying family vacations.  My parents were pretty laid back, and it was a good excuse to play in a lake and eat hot dogs (being a vegetarian now..mostly means I'll just have to enjoy the smell of them from other people's bbqs).

  Finnegan loves it too.  There's an endless amount of sticks, endless sand for endless hours of playing, and sometimes we go with our friends the Reas family, who have a 3 year old daughter themselves.  Finnegan and Ava: they fight, they hug, they share, they dance, they fight some more, and they really enjoy going in each other's tents.  We (the adults) sneak in a beer here or there and just enjoy being out of the city (the city in our case being Los Angeles) for a couple of days.  I also kind of hope that we're instilling in Finnegan a sense that you can have a really amazing time with very few bells and whistles. bells and whistles mostly being defined by ANYTHING that can be purchased at a Disney Store.

Is camping a total pain in the butt? Sure.  with all that setting up tents, and remembering to bring things like bottle openers and matches, but it's so fun in this really simple way that you just can't get staying in a hotel room.

Robin can be found near the playground under the Ventura pier on a palm tree. We go to this spot everytime we're in town. Next yarn bomb?  Newport Folk Festival.  Stay tuned.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday to my Etsy shop!

 July 3rd, just a day away,  is one year to the date that I nervously launched my Etsy shop.  I filled it with things that my friends said they liked.  I put off opening the shop for over a year because I really didn't think anyone would ever buy something I made.  Truly.  Deeply. Believed that.  I have real issues with rejection.  I get all mopey and question my self-worth.  The textbooks say this is because I was told how great I was as a kid, and never learned to deal with not being great at things.  I'm pretty sure this is totally true.

Despite that, I decided that I needed to be a braver sort of person.  I needed to show Finnegan that it's okay to fail at things, and not be great at things, and to try hard to be better at things.  So, I did it, and it's one of the best things I've ever done, and one of the things I'm proudest of.  To date I have 132 sales.  That's about a sale every 3 days.  Sure, I've made things that didn't sell, and it stings, but I'm just happy I've even sold one thing.

I might have some exciting news about a physical location where you can purchase my wares soon.  More on that when/if it actually happens.

Also, I've been hard at work creating some new items.  A Fraggle Rock Doozer,  a Tiny Titans inspired Robin, and a revamped Ponyo (I made her once before, but thought she could be better)

  Yay for the Hooked Hands Etsy shop.  I hope this next year proves as promising as the first.

To celebrate, if you stumble upon this blog because you're a fan, here's a coupon code for 10% off an order:
go to Hooked Hands Etsy shop and enter HAPPY1BDAY at checkout.  It will be valid until October 1st, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In which I'm an exhausted yarnbomber/blogger

So, one last thing about yarnbombing 18th.  It was a truly fun experience in which lots of people came out and people took our picture and inquired about my crochet cookies which were a big hit....which made me beam like the proud crochet baker that I was.  There were some truly incredible pieces of art out there, and it was inspiring and awing...and I can't wait until I have the opportunity to do something like this again.  So, without further ado...here's the art we did

We created a cozy little scene don't you think???...The cookies were gone within the first hour.  Dez and I made a few more on the spot, but gave up because we knew we couldn't meet demand. 

and the art other people did that I really liked:

above:  pigeons eating french fries!!!! how brilliant is that??????

Until next time yarnbombers, yarn lovers, and friends.  

It's happening tonight. Yarnbombing 18th....and other news.

So, tonight is the night.  Dez and I spent the morning with furiously flying fingers trying to put some finishing touches on the bench we're bombing for tonight's Yarnbombing 18th Art Exhibit.  It has been a lot of fun helping Dez realize her vision, and makes me want to be more ambitious if something like this comes around again because I couldn't help but think of what I would create, and I think I have kind of an awesome idea...that I really hope I have the opportunity to execute one day.

Pictured above:  Me with furiously flying fingers.

In other news....I plan on yarnbombing every city and major activity we venture to this summer on vacation beginning with a 4th of July trip to Ventura, CA moving onto Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, a Red Sox game at Fenway in Boston, a trip to the Central Park Zoo in NYC, Finnegan's first Warped Tour, and finishing it off with a trip to a cabin in Big Bear.  So, look out poles, benches, and trees....I'm coming for you!

It's looking to be a very busy summer of yarnbombing and preparing  for what I hope will be a busy Christmas season for my Etsy shop.  Paul has agreed to go 50/50 if I can come up with half the money for some invisalign braces (an expense he refuses to see the necessity for).  I'll never admit it in person, but I've always wanted a straight perfect smile, and even if it takes me years of blood, sweat, tears, and skeins of yarn, I will get braces...and I will have that awesome smile I have so longed for.  

Also, another big thanks to Giant Robot for the great shout out that brought so much attention to my Totoro yarnbombing piece from last weekend.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

International Yarn Bombing Day!

It's upon us everyone.  Started by the lady over at this blog:   It has totally turned into a phenomenon.   My contribution is a little Totoro inspired by the Miyazaki film "My Neighbor Totoro" about 2 little girls who move to the countryside to be close to the hospital where their chronically ill mother is staying.  While there, they meet a forest spirit who makes their recent circumstances seem more bearable.  Totoro is the ultimate neighbor, and I really love the idea of neighbors or of a neighborhood.

 I've made great friends in this "neighborhood" that is west los angeles.  I see them at the Trader Joe's, farmer's market, at parks.  It's so nice to know that in one of the biggest cities in the world, you can still run into a friend at the most unlikely of times.  I hope I'm instilling the importance of friends and the concept of neighborliness to finnegan.  I love that people look out for him, and I want him to grow up to be the kind of person who looks out for other people.

You can find my Totoro on Sawtelle Blvd between Olympic Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd.  He'll be smiling down at all the Japanese food lovers and Giant Robot frequenters, spreading some neighborly love.

So  cheers, and may your day be filled with random yarn bombs.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yarn bombing Art Exhibit!!!!!!!!!!!

So, this is totally exciting. Dez who is a much more active yarn bomber than myself has asked me to help her out with a yarn bombing art exhibit in Santa Monica.  It's part of the 18th Street Art Night.  There's going to be a whole street of yarn bombing by different yarn artists from Southern California.  Dez got herself a bench to decorate.  She's playing off the theme of comfort, so we're going to make the coziest street bench you've ever seen.  I came up with a couple of things for the mobile:  a cup of cocoa, a teddy bear, and a pair of slippers.

I also thought that there's nothing more comforting than a sleeping dog by your feet, and Dez let me run with it.  I just finished him up tonight:

I'm super excited about it, and I'm so glad I get to participate!

Also, stay tuned.  International yarn  bombing day is coming up.  Beware Sawtelle. I'm coming your way.