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 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 " 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 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