Ever since I saw the pattern for these Totoro mittens (I mean, yeeeeears ago!), I wanted them. I printed the pattern out right away, but somehow actually making them was never urgent.
Enter winter in Portland. There are some days that are icy cold enough to warrant a good pair of mittens, and not just fingerless mitts! I want full mittens!
So it was as good timing when a friend asked if I wanted to make a visit to Twisted, a lovely LYS that is closing its brick-and-mortar soon. I picked out a gray and purple for the mitts, and had them wound so I’d be more likely to CO soon!
I casted on a few days ago, but have been reading Purple Hibiscus and felt more inclined to read than knit. But tonight I finished the ribbing and started the color work.
It’ll look better after blocking, but those purple stitches spell out Totoro. I might change the palm to a more traditional Norwegian style mitt, partly to make it easier, and…. well, it’ll be easier. 😂 also maybe warmer.
I always get these silly ideas in my head- parodies, rhymes, almost-rhymes…. one I’ve had bouncing around my head for a while has been Jurassic Squirrel.
It almost rhymes with Jurassic World, so I imagined the super scary scene in Jurassic Park where the t-Rex is in the rear view mirror of the Jeep, but with a giant squirrel instead. It felt like it would be hard to draw, so I didn’t do it.
Until! It hit me that I could draw it as the logo instead of the rear view mirror, and it has come to fruition!
It took a little bit of time to get everything how I wanted it. I couldn’t successfully download the Jurassic Park logo font, so I made do with one that I deemed close enough.
Overall, this was a fun challenge! It has also occurred to me to create “Jurassic Bark” with a canine skeleton…. would that be cool?
Oh my goodness, I am having so much fun drawing Pokemon spirit animals! Over the past few days I’ve drawn Gengar and Bulbasaur.
I’m experimenting more with the tools in Krita, and have been getting bolder with highlights and shadows. I think my technique has improved! It’s also been a lot of fun researching these Pokemon to find positive traits that would make them good spirit animals. Check out their descriptions on threadless, if you’d like! https://www.threadless.com/discover/s/henryx4
In other news, when I’m not working on my drawing tablet, I’m either reading gardening books or working on my Bring in the Clowns socks. They’re coming along great- I’ve finished the first and am increasing for the toe-up gusset on the second.
The toe-up gusset is pretty interesting. I’ll share better photos of it when both socks are done.
I just love how the rainbow yarn contrasts with the black to mimic stained glass. It reminds me of Saint Chapelle chapel in Paris, or Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. I also like how they are extra tall! I asked for Doc Martens for Christmas, and I like to wear long socks with them so the boots don’t chafe my legs. These will be perfect.
For a few days, I’d been trying to come up with a decent digital rendition of Charizard. It was harder than I expected! (Some) other Pokemon are so much easier to draw! Today I took my time, drew slowly, erased a LOT, and in the end, I was happy with my Charizard design!
I’m learning so much about Krita every time I sit down to design! There are SO many tools and effects to play with; I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it is. My only problem with it is that I don’t always remember which tool/brush I had used to create a certain effect. I suppose that will come with time……
I am a big fan of silly, geeky humor. A lot of the t-shirts I’m designing are based on comic book or anime characters in silly situations. Today I made a new design with Galactus.
I had never heard of Galactus until my son became a big fan of Silver Surfer last summer and I heard lots and lots and lots about them both! The big takeaway with Galactus is that he is a devourer of planets. So….. I started to imagine him in different scenarios involving planets to eat. That’s how this idea of a young Galactus encountering a planet-filled gumball machine came about! I made a few sketches on paper, but it really came together when I messed around with it on Krita.
I am so tickled by this idea of a child Galactus encountering a gumball machine filled with planets! I just hope he has a quarter!
Making the planets was the best part of this process! I used all sorts of different tools in Krita to make them unique, and I think they turned out great. My mom didn’t know what this design meant, so clearly you have to know a bit about Galactus to get it. And that’s ok.
Since moving to Portland last summer, I hadn’t touched my spinning wheel. Here’s the last bobbin I spun in SF.
Maybe I wasn’t sure where I was in the progress of this braid of roving- maybe that kept me from it? Well, I took the wheel out of the closet today and this awaited me.
Ahhhh isn’t it pretty??? I spun while watching a movie with the kids, and before I knew it, I had this:
It looks like I spun more tightly on the second bobbin, but I imagine things will even out in the plying and washing.
It feels nice to pick up a project that hasn’t been loved in a while! Now I think I’ll see how much I can ply before I need to sleep. Note: I’ve always let the singles “rest,” but tonight I think I’ll throw caution to the wind and see what happens.
Since September or so, I’ve been drawing designs for t-shirts and accessories for sale on my Threadless.com shop (henryx4.threadless.com). It’s been a lot of fun and I love bringing my ideas into fruition.
A day or so ago, during a regularly-scheduled Portland winter rain, I thought of Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain,” and I thought of Totoro reveling in the raindrops making a loud noise on dad’s umbrella, and voila, a new idea was born.
I thought I’d share my design process with you today! Since buying an art tablet, I often skip the paper sketch, but today that’s where I started.
First I sketched a general idea of my layout:
Then I drew it on the tablet. I had to change the size of the bus stop sign to accommodate Totoro, and I used the “rotate image” feature to get the angle of his body just right. I had to draw the legs several times to get his left leg higher than the right so it would make sense to have it in the air.
I added color, then text:
Then I added raindrops. I decided to use the same color as the bus stop sign to keep the palette simple.
Finally, the design was ready for publishing on Threadless!
Happy new year! It’s been an interesting week for me, craft-wise. I’ve felt a little burned out from holiday crafting, so I’ve only been crocheting granny squares and mending clothing since Christmas. I think it’s due to wanting to start fresh, without mending hanging over my head and feeling overwhelmed by my overflowing yarn scrap basket. So here’s what I’ve been doing.
I love how the granny squares are snapshots of other projects. It’ll be akin to a memory quilt.
Mending-wise, I’ve done some socks and pants, but these are my faves so far!
My son had wee tears all over these pants, which are lined, so I decided to make patches. In most cases, I ironed a hem before sewing them down by hand. I also did a bit of quilting-like stitching for durability and so the fabric would stay in place. I LOVE these pants and wish they were mine!
I’ve been thinking about clothing and sustainability lately, and have come to the firm decision that mending is important to me. I want to mend our clothing until we have to replace things, and in that case, I want to head to the thrift stores instead of purchasing new (with some exceptions such as sneakers and underwear).
Craft wise, ideally I’ll work from stash as much as possible. That’s generally the case, but it beats repeating, if only to remind myself.
Other than those two ideas, my only other resolution-like thought for the year is to learn to double-knit!
What are your thoughts at the beginning of this new year?