Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Reflections

In my mind's eye, I thought it might be appropriate to make a long-winded, big deal of an emotionally saturated reflection entry for this year. I did, afterall, accomplish much. But instead, you're getting a bullet point list and some questionable metaphors. Could you really ask for anymore? I don't even think so.

I became so healthy as a vegetarian, my lung capacity has DOUBLED since this day one year ago.

I wrote a book, a script, and honed my writing skills by 1,000% after participating in writers group(s).

I crocheted so much, and took on so many new projects, big and small, this year - I can hardly believe it.

I even made some of my own patterns.

I went to school, albeit only a semester, but I went.

I left a job. I got let go from a job. I got a new job. I am happy.

I quit drinking.

I got my Etsy store up and running - properly.

I became productive, creative, poor, rich, poor again, insightful, humbled, enlightened, humbled again. I became healthy, I did acupuncture, I left my comfort zone to learn and give. I gained friends. I lost them.

In the past, when I've looked out onto a new year, my thoughts have always been pretty much the same. I felt as though I was looking out onto a blank canvas, something white and clean, perfect and waiting to be painted on. Something untouched, full of promise. Patient and worried, I would normally look out onto that canvas, reluctantly start sketching, only to erase it all, and walk away from it. Too scared of ruining it to actually do anything with it.

But now, in this moment, looking out at 2013, I see more than that. I see a canvas, covered in lines and scratches. Splotches of paint, and covered in glitter and duct tape, with rainbows of swatches everywhere around it. The sound of coffee brewing and music playing beside it, paintbrushes in all shapes and sizes already wet with water and paint, being thrown down onto it without any real pattern, but a picture forming. I see 2012 has left it's beautiful mark, and it's up to 2013 to make those plans, sketches, swatches, ideas and inspiration into a masterpiece.

So, instead of looking at the clock striking midnight as being ushered onto a new canvas, I'm going to see it as something much more. I'm going to see it as a canvas just getting bigger. As a crudely taped canvas being crudely glued to the old one, as if to say "THIS IS GOING TO BE MESSY AND BEAUTIFUL," and hopefully without even missing a beat, and I can keep throwing paint and glitter onto my beautiful mess of a canvas the way I have been for the last week, the last month, and of course, for all of last year.

I just might use some different colors.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Late Night Obligatory "What I'm Thankful For" Post

I recently reactivated my Facebook account after a three-month hiatus. With it being very close to Thanksgiving, it was a nice transition to come back to a feed full of goodwill, and lists of things all my friends and family are thankful for. I tried my hand at it, but after countless backspacing and retyping, I just don't think a Facebook status is the proper medium for everything I have to say.

See, reactivating my Facebook account wasn't the only thing that happened this week, my place of employment went out of business, leaving me jobless, and I am currently on Day 6 of having lost my voice.

These two things have been making me feel bitter and helpless the last few days. If you should ever get let go, or have your job go under, for an entire day, pretend like you can't talk. You can't yell or cuss, or even talk it out to try to figure out what you're going to do. It's frustrating. So the other day when I was given the news, and I returned home, I tried my hardest to keep it to myself, but I ended up screaming in the loudest whisper I could muster.

That night I looked at Gabe, and I said (whispered, rather) "I'm jobless, I'm voiceless, and I'm terrified that on Thanksgiving when we all inevitably go around the table to say what we're thankful for, I'm not going to have a single thing to say!"

And hand to God, tears in my eyes, I believed it. But, this whole year hasn't been bad, and something about hitting a moment like one, hopeless and afraid, made me want to dig deep inside myself and find the things I'm thankful for.

First and foremost, NaNoWriMo. I wasn't terribly excited about it this year. And despite my story being pretty solid, well written, and pretty damn interesting, it's just felt like a chore above anything else. However, when you can't talk to anyone, it's nice to be able to write for hours, and have some kind of means of self-expression. Besides that, it's nice to kill off people and slap people in their imaginary faces when I'm down. Just tonight, all of my rage boiled down to a scene where one girl is trying to take advantage of another girl, when the victim girl rips off a chunk of the girl's neck, and spits it back at her. Something I never would have experienced, or thought of writing, without NaNoWriMo.

Crocheting, of course. I've crocheted a lot this year. I've made a lot of things, and I like spending my time making whatever it is that looks cute or fun, but it wasn't until today that I realized how much I appreciated it. Earlier today, I found myself listening to the Chrono Cross soundtrack, and for the first time a VERY very long time, I was yearning for the sea. I haven't seen in it four years, and I thought about how much I just wanted to jump into it, and let it wash all my problems away. Then, there was this beautiful scarf pattern I started to make in wool, a dark blue and an off white with speckles. Looking down at it, it resembles the salt and the foam and the water of the ocean, and now I can wrap myself within it anytime I want. I do that with so many of my creations, whether it reminds me of the ocean, or someone beautiful, or just a color I saw in a painting once. How satisfying to wear something with such meaning, instead of just looking at it.

I am incredibly thankful for the improvements my asthma has made over the last year. While it's still not close to perfect, and may never be, I learned a lot about asthma in the last year, and between becoming a vegetarian, my brief (but hopefully not permanently finished) brush with acupuncture, learning about teas and herbs, my lungs have come a very long way from where they were last year. I hope they will continue to improve, but for now, I'm just glad that I can walk as fast as I can without getting winded, and don't fear things like parking far away from a building, or looking for my keys before I take my steroids. This time last year, things were so bad I couldn't do these things without stopping to rest, and I can't be thankful enough for how much improvement there has been.

Of course, Gabe. We have our days, but when money is tight, even for both of us, he does everything he can to make sure we can eat, hell, even to make sure we have ice cream. He hugs me when the price of my medication goes up. He puts his hand right over my lungs when we hug and my lungs happen to be bad that day. He listens to me yell about bad days, and smiles at me when I dance around a bit when I tell him about my good days. He treats our animals like they're human, and he reminds me to feed my spiders, because he knows I only feed animals like Walter, who have to remind me to feed them. He buys the eight pound bag of fries (But still won't let me prove that I could eat all of it in one sitting, which is nice in and of itself, even though I love fries). He helps me pick out colors of yarn, because I have NO idea what colors match other colors, and he even made me a dragon egg full or yarn for my birthday. He asks me questions, makes me think, encourages me to do bigger and better things all the time. Tells me I can kiss girls if I want to, even though I don't. Makes dinner. Introduced me to Star Trek. I could, of course, go on for much longer about all the things Gabe has done for me this year, and in years past. The point is, without him, I don't know where I'd be. He is my rock.

And finally, the thing I am always THE MOST thankful for, every year: Indoor plumbing! Isn't life awesome!?

My list could go on. From fries, to watercolors, to blankets, to laundry detergent, I am thankful for a lot. So, even if you're having a rough week, a rough month, or even if 2012 hasn't been the best to you, I hope you'll still take some time to think about everything in your life that you have. I can honestly say that once I started thinking about it a little, the rough patch I'm enduring suddenly didn't seem so bad.

(Take care, and have a Happy Thanksgiving <3)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One Skein Weekend (First Edition)

I've had quite a bit of free time on my hands as of late. It's bittersweet, because while I enjoy hanging out, crocheting, writing, and eating Klondike bars, I also like doing things like making rent, paying my bills, and having enough money to buy more Klondike Bars when I run out. Since my hours have been cut so significantly at work, and I'm juggling my free time with being really poor, I thought I'd try something out for my fellow poor people.

In an attempt to help us out, I'm going to try a new thing I call One Skein Weekend. It's basically a few small projects that can be made with nothing more than a single skein of yarn. So if you have a full skein of yarn stashed away, or only want to spend less than $5 to keep yourself occupied over the period of a day or two, then maybe I can help you out. I am also, of course, only using patterns that are available for free, and will do my best to make things that make sense (So you don't have 4 hats in the same color, a bracelet made of wool, or a mug cozy made of thread, etc.).


This week I made three projects that all go together nicely in kind of a Spanish Pirate theme; A Lace Shawl, Mesh Wristers, and a Flower Headband. So, let's get started.

Here's the stats of what exactly I used:

Yarn: Bernat Satin
Color: Fern
Yardage: 200 Yards
Weight: Worsted
Price: (Not sure, it was a gift)
Extra stuff: One button (50 cents from Wal Mart)

First up is the "Lace So Simple" Shawl (The pattern can be found here)



This is 7 rounds, and uses an N hook. Big hook, a few rows? Takes a few hours, and probably about half of our allotted yarn (including the long tassels). I also used a button on this so it stays on my shoulders easier, and also easily turns into kind of a cool, Bohemian style scarf, the button clasp adding a little extra personality.

The actual pattern calls for teardrop crystals to hang off of the picots, but just looping the tassles through the right places looks fine, and costs less.

I had a lot of fun with this one, and I think it looks really nice. the sheen of the green yarn I used adds an extra magical element, and it's really good for covering shoulders (something I spend my days and nights looking for!). I think as a scarf it's good for fall, and as a wrap it's good for spring, and I've been using it indoors when I'm at home, not quite cold enough for a blanket or sweater, but just want something over my shoulders. These are also elegant and bohemian enough to whip up for some last minute Christmas gifts.

Next up are our Ivy Wristers (Pattern can be found here, as a free Ravelry download)



These use an I hook, and are the fastest wrist warmers I have ever made. I adapted the pattern a bit, with a starting chain of 35 instead of 29, and I did 12 rows instead of 10. They fit nicely, and are perfect for when my hands get chilly during NaNoWriMo (or blogging...yes, I am wearing them right now :)). Normally I'm a bit wary of the wrist warmer method of making a rectangle and folding it over, but this pattern is small enough that it works really well without being clunky, and actually fits the hand shape nicely.

The pattern itself took only a little while, and is just a quick motif repeated over and over and over again, making for an interesting pattern.

....Now~ ...

...Before you run off and make these, I have a bit of a disclaimer. Since I adapted the pattern to be bigger, I came VERY close to running out of yarn before finishing the final project. This is how much yarn I had left:


So, if you don't want to cut it that close, I recommend doing less than twelve rows. But, if you like to live on the edge, then go for it! Just be conservative with your yarn from here on out. Let me know how it goes for you!

And finally, our flower headband (Pattern can be found here)



This was a super cute project, and was rather interesting to put together (sewing the large flower to the 3 chain headband). I used an H hook for the flower, and an F Hook for the chains (the F hook being very important to not running out of yarn :P). Despite how big the flower is, I was actually surprised at how cute it turned out. I don't feel like it's gaudy at all, I just don't know when I'm going to wear it! Hopefully I'll manage to get some use out of it.

All together now!


So this is what it all comes together to be! Mine is a nice...radioactive hobo Spanish pirate theme :)

Isn't stash busting fun? I've been making a lot of little projects lately, and since I don't have any extra money to buy more yarn, my stash is certainly dwindling beautifully :P

Want more stash busters? Wanna see the other cool projects I've been working on? You know I'll be back with some kind of goodies soon enough.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crocheted Crescent Moon Wand, and a contest to get the pattern!

Hey guys! I'm here to shake it up a bit. In this post, I'm going to be holding kind of a "Contest" in order to give out the pattern for my newest creation: A Crocheted Crescent Moon Wand! I've never held any kind of contest before, but I have my reasons, and it's something I've always wanted to do.

When I posted the pattern for my Eternal Sailor Scout Transformation Wand, I didn't get exactly the constructive criticism I would have liked. I put a lot of effort and energy into something I loved, and being the good, sharing person I am, I provided it for free to whoever wanted it.

The response I was hoping for was, of course, something positive, but even something negative, or how I could have corrected it, would have been appreciated. Instead, I got rude, crude and insensitive comments about it, with no help about how to move forward with my new pattern-making endeavours. While I received some positive comments, and I appreciated them sincerely, compared to the sea of rude and generally unrelated comments I got, it was hard to appreciate them.


So, in order to get this pattern, here's what you need to do:

Leave a comment on this entry with:

- Your name (or handle you'd like to be called by)
- Your Email (Does anyone know how to screen comments? Otherwise, I will happily delete your comment after I send you the .pdf, so no one else gets your email)
- A 100+ word constructive comment about this item. What do you like? What don't you like? What questions do you have about it? What would you change? What needs to stay the same? Keep it constructive, and keep it focused on the Crescent Moon Wand.

That's it! Once I approve your comment, I will Email you a .pdf of the pattern. There is currently no limit of people who can get the pattern, and I'm not currently setting a time limit on this "contest". This may change in the future, but until then, I will be sending the pattern to everyone who earns it.

I hope this works out, and I hope you understand why I am taking these measures. From here on out, I will continue to provide patterns for free and without any hoop-jumping, but if I'm going to continue making high quality patterns, I am going to need to know where I need to go, and the only way I can further improve my patterns is from my fellow crocheters. And considering I'm in the eye of the 50,000 word storm known as NaNoWriMo, I figured 100 words wouldn't be a problem for you.

With that being said, I want to talk a little bit about this project. It was a pretty easy, quick project. It measures 16" from bottom of stick, to the top of the crescent. It's rather sturdy, but the crescent is pretty heavy, so it's a good idea to secure it tightly.

I'm having a lot of fun making Sailor Moon wands, so don't be surprised if more of them show up over the next few weeks/months. With NaNoWriMo in full swing, I don't know how many more "big" projects I can create, but we'll see where the wind takes me, I guess.

Anyway, see you guys soon, and I look forward to your critiques :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pokeball Deck Bag

My relationship with Pokemon is kind of a strange one. I only have two very strong memories related to it, and as I was making the pattern and crocheting up this bag for Pokemon cards, they were the only things I could think about.


I was about 10 when I got into anime, and Sailor Moon was my drug of choice. Something about Pokemon didn't really appeal to me, and while my friends sat on the curb outside their apartment buildings trading cards, I didn't want to be left out, so I feigned interest.

I liked talking to my friends about the different kinds of Pokemon, and I remember sitting outside, in the middle of the hot Virginia summer, with my binder of all kinds of cards, trading cards with everyone else who had their binders of cards. This is the first memory I really treasure about Pokemon.


I never became obsessed, really. But I certainly had a place for Charmander in my heart.

As a stocking stuffer one Christmas, my Dad, not knowing the difference between Pokemon and all those other animes I was into, got me a sparkly little bouncy ball with Charmander in the center. As I crocheted this Pokeball, I could clearly remember standing in front of my Christmas tree that night, the lights wrapped around the tree sparkling, my face and hands warm from the heaters, and my Charmander bouncy ball firmly in my hand, and all I could think about was how badly I wanted to take care of him. So twenty seconds of a fragment of a memory of pretty lights and the smell of Christmas still hanging in the air is my 2nd nice memory of Pokemon.

This was all happening around the same time I spoke of in my last post, when I spent my days drawing Sailor Scouts, watching animes, writing fanfiction and just making my own universe. I've never felt more magical, and so even though Pokemon was never a vice of mine, it still holds a special place in my heart.

So, without further delay, here is that pattern for my Pokeball Pokemon card deck bag!

Pokeball Deck Bag
Pokemon and Pokeball (TM) Satoshi Tajiri
Original Pattern created by Pam Gabriel
Please do not sell products made from this pattern without permission.

This is a crocheted bag designed to hold decks for the Pokemon card game.

What you'll need:

  • H Hook
  • Less than a skein of worsted weight yarns in:
    • White
    • Red
    • Black


Chain (ch)
Single Crochet (sc)
Skip (sk)

How to do it:

With White, ch 31:

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, and in each sc across, ch 1, turn. (30 sc)
Row 2 - 10: sk next sc, sc to end of row, ch 1, turn. (30 sc)
Row 11: sk next sc, sc to end of row. (30 sc) (Do NOT ch 1 at end of this row.)

Finish off white.

Attach Black.

Row 12: Ch 1, sk next sc, sc to end of row. (30 sc)

Finish off black.

Attach Red.

Row 13: Ch 1, sk next sc, sc to end of row, ch 1, turn. (30 sc)
Row 14 - 22: sk next sc, sc to end of row, ch 1, turn. (30 sc)
Row 23 (Beaded Row): sk next sc, sc in next 2 spaces *ch 1, sk next sc, sc* Repeat * to end of row, ch 1, turn (16 sc, 14 ch1 spaces)
Row 24: sc in each ch1 space and in each sc. (30 sc)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Weave in ends.

Use a whip stitch to sew the side and bottom together. Switch to white yarn when you get to the white part of the bag.


Using red, make a chain of desired length, and weave through the holes made by the chain spaces in the beaded row.


With white:

Round 1: Ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Finish off white.

Attach black.

Round 2: 2sc in each sc around (12 sc). Finish off, leaving a long tail.

Sew button to center of front side of bag.


So, how did it go? Was it big? Small? Do you even use Pokemon cards anymore? Are you using it as a bag for something else? Let me know!

Next time! More deck bags are in the works, along with a Sailor Moon challenge (on a few different levels), and who knows...maybe even a NaNoWriMo update. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crocheted Eternal Inner Sailor Scout Transformation Wand

A lot has been going through my mind lately. Between changing jobs, dealing with school, having less money, and just all around feeling lost, something interesting happened to me.

From realizing I am not doing too much in my life, to realizing that maybe I don't want to, and dealing with all of this inner turmoil by spending about $100 on Ebay on Sailor Moon things and cheap jewelry.


After my inner searching subsided a bit, and most of my packages arrived, I sat down for about 3 days and watched the first 40 or so episodes of Sailor Moon. Being in Japanese, they required a lot of attention, and I was less productive than ever. Watching the group of girls who molded my childhood, and pretty much made me the person I am today, I couldn't help but feeling as though I was letting them down.

Now, I realize what this sounds like. 23 Year Old girl letting down imaginary characters, but it worked, right? Another bout of inner turmoil began and I ended up somewhere I think I've been all along.

I like this stuff. I like crocheting, and anime, and games and whatever else most 23-year-old women shouldn't really find themselves obsessed with. But then I realized that if I'm going to use this stuff to make me happy, I still have to work hard.

After everything made itself crystal clear to me, I suddenly had a burst of energy, inspiration and nostalgia hit me like a ton of bricks.

When I was younger, I used to try to cut out cardboard in the shape of these transformation wands to use when I played sailor Moon with my best friend. They were always flimsy, uneven, a little too small, and covered in marker. I started to think about that time in my life, how happy I was, being in my own world all the time, and I wanted to have that back, if only on a small level. Remembering this, and about the fact that I would LOVE to make my own pattern, I immediately started drawing up plans, and around 3:30 AM yesterday, I started crocheting this.

I had SO MUCH FUN making this. I reminisced, I problem-solved, and upon finishing the first wing I felt full from how smart I was feeling. The wings were completely my creation, and I couldn't be more proud. I hope when you make this, you feel as stuffed with nostalgia, magic, love and justice as I did.

Since this is a bit of a prototype, I am offering this pattern for free, but please respect me and the time, energy and planning that went into this creation. I don't mind if you sell items from this pattern, but on 2 conditions:

1. PLEASE get my permission when you sell any creations from this pattern (gifting and trading is fine, of course)
2. I wanna see! Show me your finished product, and let me know where the pattern confused you, or was incorrect. I have only made this once, and some proxy-pattern-testers would be very helpful to me. It is the biggest reason I am offering this pattern for free. Also, I would LOVE to see that other people are finding inspiration and fun from something I created in a very pivotal 3 AM moment.

So, with inner turmoil behind me, 4 seasons of Sailor Moon ahead of me, and a very comforting Sailor Mars transformation wand beside me, please enjoy this pattern.

Eternal Sailor Scout Transformation Pen

Designed by Pam Gabriel
Sailor Moon and Sailor Scouts (TM) Naoko Takeuchi
This pattern can be used to gift or trade with friends and family, but please do not sell products from this pattern without my permission.

This pattern is for the transformation wands the Inner Scouts use in Sailor Moon Super S & Sailor Moon Stars seasons. Hopefully I will have patterns for the other Transformation pens soon.

What you'll need:

  • E Hook
  • H Hook
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Less than a skein of worsted weight yarns in:
    • Yellow
    • Color of your choice depending on the Scout wand you are making (Blue, Red, Green or Orange).
    • Pink
    • White
  • Polyfil, or other stuffing.


  • Chain (Ch)
  • Single Crochet (Sc)
  • Single Crochet Increase (scinc)
  • Single Crochet Decrease (scdec)
  • Slip Stitch (sl st)
  • Half Double Crochet (hdc)
  • Double Crochet (dc)

Final Dimensions:

Height (From top of star to bottom of stick): 12 ½"
Width (From wing tip to wing tip): 8 ¼"
Handle circumference: 3.75"
Star height: 2 ½"
Sphere circumference: 8"
Wing (From base to tip of Feather #1): 5"

This wand will be made in 5 parts (Star, Sphere, Stick, Handle and Wings), then sewn together. We will start with the star, and work our way down.

Let's get started!

Star (Make 2):

Using E Hook, and Yellow Yarn:

Rnd 1: Using the Magic Adjustable Ring technique, make 5 sc in loop. Do not join.
Rnd 2: Make 2 sc in ea sc around (10 sc). Do not join.
Rnd 3: *Sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc* around (15 sc). Join with sl st in first sc. Circle complete.
Rnd 4: Sl st in 1st sc. *[Ch5, sl st in 2nd lp from hook, sc in next st, hdc in next st, dc in next st] point made. Sk next sc in circle and sl st in next 2 sc. Rep from * around circle, after last point, make only 1 slst.
Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in ea st around (50 sc).
Fasten off, and weave in ends..

Putting the Star together:

With wrong sides facing each other (right sides facing outwards), sew together the outer loops only, using a whip stitch. Fill with stuffing before sewing together last point. Make sure stuffing is evenly distributed throughout points. Finish Sewing together. Weave in end(s).


Using H Hook, and Sailor Scout's Main Color (Blue for Mercury, Red for Mars, Green for Jupiter or Orange for Venus):

Row 1: Ch 2. 6 Sc in second Ch from hook. (6 sc)
Row 2: inc in each stitch around. (12 sc)
Row 3: Add 5 scincs evenly throughout the row (17 sc)
Row 4: Add 6 scincs evenly throughout the row (23 sc)
Row 5: Add 4 scincs evenly throughout the row (27 sc)
Row 6: Add 4 scincs evenly throughout the row (31 sc)
Row 7: Add 3 scincs evenly throughout the row (34 sc)
Row 8: Add 2 scincs evenly throughout the row (36 sc)
Row 9: Add 1 scincs within the row (37 sc)
Row 10: One sc in each sc (37 sc)
Row 11: Decrease by 1 (36 sc)
Row 12: Evenly scdec by 2 within the row (34 sc)
Row 13: Evenly scdec by 3 within the row (31 sc)
Row 14: Evenly scdec by 4 within the row (27 sc)
Row 15: Evenly scdec by 4 within the row (23 sc)
Row 16: Evenly scdec by 6 within the row (17 sc)
Row 17: (scdec, sc) repeat () around (12 sc)

(This is a good time to fill your sphere with Polyfil.)

Row 18: 6 scdec (6 sc)

Fasten off. Weave loose end through each stitch in the opening. Pull tightly to close.

Putting the Star and Sphere together:

First we're going to add the star to the sphere. Do this BEFORE embroidering your Scout's symbol on the sphere. There is a good chance the angle of your star may be changed as you attach it, and you don't want a weird wand. I did this by running yellow yarn up from the sphere, through the star, then under one stitch of the sphere, coming right back up to go through the star again. It's pretty tricky, so play around with what works for you. After I attached the 1st point of the star, I pulled my yarn all the way through to the bottom of the sphere (the Stick will be attaching here, so it doesn't need to be pretty), then pulling it back up to the top. When I brought it back up, I made sure to line it up where the star was going to be sewed down to, so it wouldn't be crooked, then continued to sew down the second Star Point.

To weave in the ends, I brought both ends down to the bottom of the sphere and tied them off.

Bring the yarn down from the right Star Point to the bottom

You can see the top of the (light blue) needle where I brought the yarn back up to the top, and through the left Star Point

Yay! You should have this by now! I used my hand as a size reference.


True to the Wands when the Scouts transform, their symbol appears in gold, so I'll be using yellow as well. I'm also only using the Planet Symbol. If you're feeling ambitious, feel free to add the extra symbol (Harp, Bow & Arrow, Laurels, or Hearts, depending on your chosen scout).


Sailor Mars FTW.
This part is a bit tricky, you can use the stitches on the sphere to help guide you, but it's going to take some undoing and redoing. For this, you're just going to sew in and out in the shape of the symbol, then go over it again to cover the empty spaces the stitches leave. Once again, bring the ends down to the bottom and tie them off.


Stick is made from the bottom.

Using Yellow and H Hook:

Row 1: Ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook (6 sc)
Row 2: 2sc in each sc (12 sc)
Row 3: (2sc, sc, sc) around (16 sc)
Row 4: (sc, sc, sc, 2sc) around (20 sc)
Row 5: sc in each sc (20 sc)

Switch to Pink.

Row 6: In FL only, (sc, sc, sc, 2sc) around (25 sc)
Row 7: In BL only, (sc, sc, sc, sc, 2sc) around (30 sc)
Row 8: In both loops, sc in each sc (30 sc)
Row 9: (sc, sc, sc, scdec) around (25 sc)
Row 10: Repeat row 9 (20 sc)
Row 11: Repeat row 9 (16 sc)
Rows 12 - 31: Sc in each sc (16 sc)
Row 32: (sc, sc, sc, 2sc) around (20 sc)
Row 33: (9 sc, 2sc) twice (22 sc)
Row 34 - 35: sc in each sc (22 sc)

Switch back to Yellow.

Row 36: In FL only, sc in each sc (22 sc)
Row 37: Evenly distribute 3 scincs throughout row (25 sc)
Row 38: (sc, sc, sc, 2sc) around (30 sc)
Row 39: sc in each sc (30 sc)
Row 40: (sc, sc, sc, sc, scdec) around (25 sc)
Row 41: (sc, sc, scdec) around, 1 sc (19 sc)
Row 42: Repeat row 41 (15 sc)
Row 43: (sc, scdec) around (8 sc)
Row 44: sc in each sc. (8 sc)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail.
Stuff with Polyfil.

Putting the Stick and Sphere Together:

With a tapestry needle, using the long tail of yellow yarn from the Stick, pull the yarn through the scs of the opening of the stick through the middle of the bottom of the sphere, and back through again until you have gone all the way around. Now, go about one stitch towards the outside of the circle and repeat. This will keep the sphere firmly on the stick. Repeat if necessary. If you are finding your sphere isn't staying on, and the stick isn't staying straight, you may need to stuff more Polyfil into the stick.


This is that extra part on the right of the stick that sort of resembles half of a heart. I am not sure what the purpose of it is except to make it look cooler. Either way, I will refer to it as the "Handle" for lack of a better term.

This will be crocheted twice as wide as it should be, then folded in half lengthwise and sewn together with polyfil inside to keep the shape.

With Pink, and H Hook:

Ch 7

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, and in each st across (6 sc)
Rows 2 - 44: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across (6 sc)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Fold in half lengthwise, and whipstitch along the outer edge. Sew up one short side, but leave the other open. From the open end, you will be inserting stuffing. Using a stuffing stick (or a chopstick), push the stuffing down into the Handle. The opening isn't very big, so a small stick is necessary, and so is some patience. It doesn't need to be very dense, just enough to keep some shape once it's sewn on.

Putting the Handle and Stick Together:

Attach the open end of the handle to the right side of the very top of the pink part of the Stick. I sewed around twice just for good measure. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Now, shape the handle into the general half-heart you want (refer to reference picture if needed). Now, leave about an inch of the handle to curl up at the bottom of the curve of the handle. Using your tapestry needle and pink yarn, go through the small end part of the handle, the part that is actually attached to the stick, and through the stick itself. Do this 3 – 5 times until it is securely attached. Also be sure the bottom of the handle is in line with the top of the handle, so your handle isn't sewn on crooked. Weave in ends.

Push your needle through all three parts.

Be sure the top and bottom of your Handle are aligned

How the bottom of the handle should look. It kind of represents a Violin Scroll.

Wings (Make 4):

Wings will be comprised of a base and 3 Feathers. It will all be one continuous piece, so there will be no yarn cutting. Once you reach the end of a feather, sl st down the feather towards the base where the bottom of the previous feather is to start the next feather.

If you are having trouble visualizing the pattern as you read, there is a picture diagram below the pattern


Row 1: Ch 2, 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1, turn.
Row 2: 2 sc in next 2 sc, sc, ch 1, turn (5 sc)
Row 3: sc in next sc (sc, 2sc) twice, ch 1, turn (7 sc)
Row 4: (2sc, sc) twice, 3 sc, ch 1, turn (9 sc)
Row 5: (2sc, sc) twice, 5 sc, ch 1 turn (11 sc)
Row 6: (2sc, sc, sc) three times, 2 sc, ch 1, turn (14 sc)
Row 7: (2sc, sc, sc) three times, 5 sc, ch 1, turn (17 sc)

Begin First Feather:

Row 8 - 15: 3 sc, ch 1, turn (3 sc)
Row 16: 1 sc, 1 scdec, ch 1, turn (2 sc)
Row 17: 1 scdec, ch 1, turn (1 sc)
Row 18: 1 sc, ch 1, turn (1 sc)

Sl st down Feather #1 until you reach the base of the wing.

Begin Second Feather:

Row 8 (Now moving across BASE of wing): 3 sc, ch 1, turn. (3 sc)
Row 9: 3 sc, sl st to side of Feather #1, ch 1, turn
Row 10: 3 sc, ch 1, turn. (3 sc)
Row 11: 3 sc, sl st to side of Feather #1, ch 1, turn
Row 12: 3 sc, ch 1, turn. (3 sc)
Row 13: 3 sc, sl st to side of Feather #1, ch 1, turn
Row 14: 1 sc, 1scdec, ch 1, turn (2 sc)
Row 15: 1 scdec, ch 1, turn (1 sc)
Row 16: sc (1 sc)

Sl st down Feather #2 until you reach the base of the wing.

Begin Third Feather:

Row 8 (Once again along BASE of Wing): 3 sc, ch 1, turn (3 sc)
Row 9: 3 sc, sl st to side of Feather #2, ch 1, turn
Row 10: 3 sc, ch 1, turn. (3 sc)
Row 11: 3 sc, sl st to side of Feather #2, ch 1, turn
Row 12: 1 sc, 1 scdec, ch 1, turn (2 sc)
Row 13: 1 scdec, ch 1, turn (1 sc)
Row 14: 1 sc, Sl st down feather until you reach the base of the wing, 1 sc, sl st in each st to end of wing. Fasten off.

Leave one long tail on 2 of the 4 wings (for sewing), then weave in all other ends.

The pen lines represent where the scs are, and the orange dots represent where you should sl st. The numbers are not accurate. This is just a visual aid to help you out with following the written pattern.

Putting the Wings together:

On both wings, there will be a wrong side facing outwards, and a right side facing outwards. Place 2 of the wings right side against wrong side, and stitch up along the bottom, feathers, and top. Flip inside out, then fill with stuffing. Sew the last side together, except for a small opening about the size of a penny. This will be the area used to attach the wings to the Stick.

Now you can see where the opening should be left for attaching it to the Stick.

Putting it all together:

Now, all you have to do is sew the opening on the wing onto the top yellow portion of the Stick. The only thing you have to worry about here is making sure it doesn't touch the handle. If you need to sew on a higher part of the wing onto the stick for reinforcement, go ahead. This wand is pretty big, and you wanna make sure it's sturdy.


Hooray! We're done!


Now you can transform into your favorite Sailor Scout! Well...maybe not. But you can have a nice addition to your Cosplay, or just keep it around to remind you of where you've been, where you want to go, and the imaginary people you're letting down if you just...give up.

Next time! I'm working on some patterns for deck and dice bags in Pokeball and TARDIS flavors. See you soon!

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to make a Starfleet Uniform Duct Tape Wallet!

I'm a little surprised I'm a Star Trek fan. I never considered myself someone who likes space, science fiction, and I certainly never considered myself someone who would go crazy over a 'bad' scifi from the late 80's. But, here I am. I started watching it just a few months ago, and I lovelovelove Next Generation. So much so, in fact, I decided to make a Red Shirt Wallet.


As an artist, and a professional time-waster, I have spent a lot of time looking through different artistic websites looking for inspiration and ideas. I have seen a lot of nerdy duct tape wallets (My favorite so far being the Sailor Moon Tiara ones!) but I had found a significant lack of Star Trek uniform ones, so I made my own. I've gotten a little bit of criticism for making a red shirt wallet, because they all die in the Original Series, but they are THE BEST in Next Generation, and what with being in love with Riker and all- I HAD to make a red shirt.

Mine didn't turn out -as- nicely as I'd have liked, so instead of listing it, I'm being nice and making a tutorial.

Note: This tutorial is only for the process of making the Starfleet symbol, for the rest of the instructions, you can follow my duct tape wallet tutorial here.

Well, let's get started, shall we?

What you'll need:

- Duct tape! You will need black, gold, and whatever color 'shirt' you want (Mine of course being red, and I will refer to this as COLOR A for the remainder of the tutorial)
- Scissors
- X-acto knife
- Paper and pencil to draw out your Comm Badge, or if you're less artistically inclined, have one printed out at the right size (More on how to figure that out in a minute).
- Your current wallet! You will use it asa guide for credit card slot sizes, etc. (More details about that in my Duct tape wallet tutorial.)
- Coffee, as usual.

How to do it!

First, you're going to be making the sheet of 'fabric' for the wallet itself. One side is going to be completely COLOR A, and the other side is going to be  about 2/3rds COLOR A and 1/3rd Gold. Your sheet should be at least 7" by 7". Mine is a bit bigger, because you're going to want the extra room for when you put your Com Badge on. If your COm Badge is too small, it will be VERY tough to work with. So give yourself some breathing room.

Next, you'll wanna cover the gold on Side One with COLOR A. Since both your sides should look identical now, use some kind of indication to keep track of what side is Side One. I just used a scrap piece of gold duct tape.

Now you're going to finish putting your wallet together. Make sure SIDE ONE is facing outward. That is where the gold is, and you will be cutting through the red to reveal your Com Badge, so having it on the outside is the only thing you need to worry about here. 

Again, if you need a reminder of how to make a Duct tape wallet, you can find my tutorial here.

So, now that you've made your wallet, you're going to be figuring out how BIG your combadge needs to be. To do this, Take your shiny new wallet and have it in the folded position. Place it on a piece of paper and trace it.

Now draw in your Com Badge about where you want it. It should be at least 1" x 1", if not slightly bigger. If this is not your strong suit, go ahead and print out a Com Badge, but lay it down on your wallet and/or the sketch you made of your wallet to be sure it's the right size.

Once you're happy with it's size and quality, tape it down on the front of your wallet where you want it to be. Leave about 1/2" of room on top for the black stripe, and don't put it exactly on the edge. Once it's where you would like it, tape it down so it's secure.

Using your X-acto knife, cut along the lines. Be sure to cut deep enough to get through the paper and through as many layers of COLOR A to get to the Gold layer. As long as you create some sort of perforation on the top layer, you can make many different layers of cuts until you get to the Gold layer. If you cut all the way through, that's okay! Just place strips of red tape over the cuts on the inside of the wallet. Wait until you are completely done, though, otherwise your wallet will end up thick and unwieldy if you throw some tape in it with every cut you make through the wallet.

Once you have cut out your stencil, remove the paper and the tape of the stencil and start peeling away the layers. 

Using your razor blade, you can continue to make precision cuts as you go along, and use it to peel off the pieces of tape. There will be some pesky strands from the tape. Do your best to either:

A. Cut them.
B. Use your razor to tuck them underneath the COLOR A layer of tape
C. Use a tweezers to pull them off.
D. If you have a Gold marker (preferably Sharpie, if they have those), you can color them gold. I have done this before on other projects, and it cleans the look up nicely.

This part can also be tricky, because depending on how you put your wallet together, half of the Badge area may have 4 - 5 layers of tape above the gold. If that's the case, be sure to cut off any layers of COLOR A in between the Badge that make it look awkward. If it's very thick to the right of the bade, that's okay! As long as the layers are even when looking at the badge itself.

As you can see, very close to the right edge of the bade, there is an extra layer, but there are no excess layers otherwise. You can also see that this is not the cleanest Badge! When working with small stencils like this with duct tape, your image won't be as clean as it would be if your image was larger. Don't fret! If you find you're having a lot of problems, work bigger! Try doing a Com Badge as big as a piece of paper to get a better feel for duct tape.

So now we're almost finished.

Lastly, take a long strip of black duct tape, and cover the top 1/2" or so of your wallet. Cut it at the ends, and fold over so it goes into the inside area of your wallet where you keep your money. If, when cutting out your Com Badge, you sliced through your wallet, now would be a good time to patch up any cuts you made with your COLOR A duct tape.

Phew! All done!

The way I made this Com Badge is more or less how I make a lot of my duct tape art (by covering a color, then cutting through to reveal it). Now that you understand this technique, are you going to use it on other wallets? Framed pictures? Something else that's totally cool? Let me know what you make!

Up next: What I've been up to Post #2! This includes some Sailor Moon inspired gear, another geeky wallet, some hats and a purse! I can't wait to share with you guys.

After that: It's NaNoWriMo once again! Is anyone else participating this year?! My SN is CaffeinatedTarantula, feel free to add me as a buddy!