Once again, I am showcasing the work of friends who have been more productive than I have.
GlintGear is home to a collection of stunning bags made by my dear friend Celena. She uses a variety of fabrics including eye-catching vinyls and hand-painted canvas, styled with a touch of classic deco and a whole lot of play. If I had the funds, I’d just buy out her whole stock, but since I can’t, I’ll just encourage you, dear reader, to go check out her beautiful stuff.
Eleven Three Designs is the outlet for my friend and creating mentor Jason. His primary focus has been really badass resin fantasy masks, but lately he’s stumbled into the customized unicorn Christmas tree topper business. Yeah, you read that right. They’re funky and unexpected and just the thing your home needs for the holidays. Lucky for you, they’re also available at his Etsy shop.
FrenchAnna is your source for elegant, well-crafted jewelry with a little genuine French flair. Filigrees, chandeliers, felted, gold, silver, brass, stones, crystals, pearls… Anna’s work is gorgeous and varied – so varied, in fact, that her unique fiber jewelry has its own home at Magical Whimsical.
The name is absolutely appropriate – I’ve never seen anything quite like the earrings she makes with these felted beads. They’re big and bold, and weigh next to nothing on your ears. Eccentric yet practical, just like their designer!
Get to shoppin’!
As happens far too frequently, this quest started with a perfectly innocent question from my friend Mike:
Why, Mike? What do you need?
“Knit a scarf that is at least 12 feet long and is being worn by 3 people at one time.”
For a scavenger hunt. A really big, ridiculous, awesome scavenger hunt.
12 feet with no gauge or width requirements? Easy peasy.
Two skeins of Red Heart (Cherry Red and Royal blue), one skein of Impeccable “Folklore” variegated, size 13 needles, a few feet of Premier Starbella “Fly a Kite” just for added whimsy, and a few hours later…
12+ feet of scarf
So remember when I said I was going to finish projects? What I meant by that was finish projects before I start other projects.
I failed. Like, the day after that post.
I spent the better part of two months engrossed in one massively involved sewing project that I should have been finishing that week, but a friend needed a Jayne hat.
For the uninitiated, Jayne Cobb is a big, tough-guy character on Joss Whedon‘s tragically short space western television series Firefly. In one of the final episodes, he receives a comically uncharacteristic care package from home, complete with a hat hand-knit by his mother, which he obviously loves, because it’s from Ma Cobb. It is the signature costume piece from the series.
So I woke up to the follow inquiry from an improviser friend of mine:
Now, we’re going to skip over the bit where I was the first person he asked and get right to the important bit.
I *have* a Jayne hat. It’s a very nice Jayne hat, made with lots of love by a wonderful friend from college who was just learning to knit and happened to make two while she was learning the pattern. She just up and handed over the spare when I said I loved it and would like to have one of my own one day. (Clearly, this was from my pre-knitting days, as I didn’t just ask for the pattern and make one myself.) I’ve worn it as my primary winter hat every year since.
But you see, the colors aren’t quite right.
And the friend who needs the hat is actually playing Jayne in a local production of Firefly: The Musical, and we already knew we’d have a lot of fans out to see it, so I just couldn’t bring myself to put him out on stage with an inaccurate hat.
So I made another one.
Seriously – he asked at 10:00am on Tuesday, and I was in the HobLob by noon, and knitting by 12:30.
Yes, it’s a sickness.
No, I’m not getting help.
I’m (more or less) using this pattern, because the girl who wrote it obviously obsessed over all the details the way I would have, if I had that sort of time. Frankly, she deserves a medal for doing all this work and putting it online for free. As far as I’m concerned, this is the definitive Jayne hat pattern.
Actually, stop reading my post for a few minutes, and peruse that blog entry. You need to see it. I’ll wait.
Now back to my hat!
I used Vanna’s Choice yarn in Brick, Rust, and Mustard, on size 10 circular needles.
I started with 68 stitches, because my Jayne has a large-ish head. As I finished the main portion of the cap, I discovered the best part of this pattern:
There is no decrease.
During her many pained hours carefully examining the original hat as seen on the show, she found that it bunched at the top, which means that the hat is made by forming one big tube, then just drawing up the top like a bag.
Fun fact: Making a giant tube and gathering the top drawstring-style makes for a really stinkin’ cute hat!
Final dress rehearsal and photo shoot was at 6:30 on Friday. I finished sewing in the ends during lunch.
The hat was going to be a complete surprise, but I was working on it at a show on Thursday night, and took the opportunity to ambush my friend and check the size. The surprise turned out to be instead that the hat he saw half-finished at 11:30 on Thursday night was done the next afternoon.
Rather cunning, dontcha think?
What have we learned from this project?
a) not above buying the love of my friends with ridiculous hats
b) a hopeless geek
c) addicted to knitting (again)
d) really pleased to return to my old role as the go-to gal for crafty things. Go on – ask me to make something. No, don’t – I have other projects to finish!
e) All of the above
For the uninitiated, Hyperbole and a Half is one of my very favorite blogs. Dear Roomie and I have spent many an hour reading and re-reading her stories aloud to each other, sobbing with laughter.
One of my very favorite posts is “The Alot is Better Than You At Everything.”
I’ve been looking for a good excuse to make an Alot, and now I have one.
One of my cousins is beginning his third year of teaching high school English, and I just introduced him to the Alot this summer. Obviously, he needs one for his classroom.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
The Little Tudor felt dolls do actually exist! And they are amazingly detailed, so go check out Deri’s handiwork!
So this blog is quickly becoming one of my favorite things on the internet. Dear Roommie just had to share this post with me a couple months ago. It is a terrifyingly accurate account of how being a responsible adult quickly ceases to be fun at all, and we still find ourselves randomly quoting it when things get too serious in the apartment.
Tonight she could barely breathe, much less speak, she was laughing so hard at this post about moving with dogs. The story is hilarious on its own merits – especially to anyone who has every lived with a dog – but the really great part is, “Simple Dog” has nearly identical coloring to Jake, and appears to be equally dumb. As an added bonus, I later found this post – an introduction to “Simple Dog” that only solidifies my belief that this must be Jacob’s long-lost relative.
It is comforting to know that someone else out there in the universe is finding inspiration in a hopelessly hopeless canine. I am especially grateful that she has decided to share these stories in such an unabashedly entertaining format. It makes me feel slightly less bad about taking advantage of Jake’s… challenges? for my own entertainment.
…especially since he managed to get onto the table with my plants again today, despite the extensive toothpick minefield.
Let me start this by confessing that I love OK Go.
Then allow me to tempt you with the promise of an astounding video at the end of this post.