Dearly Beloved

Sure, I hinted at that pun, but it’s the best one that’s even vaguely character-relevant. Closing out the year with my first attempt working patternless (though her head is from the Ideal Sphere by Emily Premise-Conclusion,) and one of my very favorite characters – Xion of Kingdom Hearts. (Patternless in part because there’s not a ton of people doing Kingdom Hearts crochet to begin with. This is the EASIEST outfit.) With Kingdom Hearts III coming out in 29 days (29 days!) I wanted to have a little friend to hug as terrible things happen onscreen. Honestly, thought it would take longer! This is my first prototype Xion – I want to tweak some things like proportions and how her wire is set up, and some of them will require a second attempt. Plus I want to attempt to replicate her off the notes I took and see if I can make a pattern.

There were a couple issues while making her, since it was my first attempt. Most notably, I had to improvise a few points when I attached arms before clothes on her main body so her outfit here is less coat and more Very Long Sweater.

She’s pretty soft – all that black is Red Heart So Soft – but a touch smaller than I intended, mainly with her legs so short. (A matching Roxas would be teeny.) The beige is Vanna’s Choice again, while the grey is Loops and Threads Woolike Cool Grey. It’s also extremely fine in case I had to do more embroidery. (The boots’ outlines are actually metallic floss, but it was difficult to work with so I didn’t use it for the upper coat part.)

I am so, so proud to have made her. Apart from the head, everything else was from a year and change’s accumulated knowledge. Given how short a time it’s been, having something successful to show for it is just plain cool.

2018 was a weird and often trying year personally, but I’ve managed to accomplish a lot despite some general chaos. Here’s hoping for good things in 2019. Thanks for reading so far, you handful who do!

Lace!

Scarves being scarves, it’s much harder to take a full picture. Happy holidays, whichever you celebrate! I have successfully prepared the three scarves needed for Christmas gifts by Christmas day!… This was a kind of meaningless goal, because I won’t actually SEE the recipients today (likely not until later in January,) but they are nonetheless done! This pattern was The Big Book of Granny Squares’ motif 9, Dragonfly Lace. Then when I realized it would need pretty significant blocking because lace, I decided to only do the edges in that. End result looks pretty good!

As mentioned, this was my first attempt blocking. And because I didn’t realize the challenges all of this presented, it’s with silk. For that, the end results are pretty good! I used the remains of the Sublime Bamboo and Silk from my previous scarf (which means the scarf’s a touch on the short side, since some of that skein was used for bobbles,) and did one lace edge that I tied off to attach at the end and one I changed to the main color after finishing so they could both face the same direction. The main yarn is also Sublime, but their baby cashmere/Merino/silk yarn. I still have one more scarf to go, but it isn’t supposed to be started before I see the recipient later this evening. (I’m not saying I’m getting yarn for it, but… probably.) In the meantime, I can get back to a bit of amigurumi work. And there’s a certain Dearly Beloved character I want to try and have done by the end of January.

Scarves as far as the eye can see

So here’s number two down, and it was a bit of a doozy! For a start, its recipient is sensitive to animal fibers so this one’s all silk and bamboo. Second, she wanted a yarn-intensive pattern (listed in my book as Fiesta, but the Blackberry Salad motif, essentially,) and in the time between buying yarn and starting I think I forgot my original plan. (I think I was intending to go white then pink then white then green then white then pink then white, repeat. The blue was bought later. Honestly I think I prefer what got made, the color interactions are lovely.) Still, end result is I panicked on yarn amounts and didn’t have enough green to get through. I also worked essentially patternless to make it double sided and the bobbles be spaced the way I wanted to… and since I couldn’t count stitches getting used to the bobbles, which I had never worked before, spacing sometimes got thrown off. There are gained and dropped stitches in there as well as slightly off spacing. Still, it’s a pretty scarf.

It’s about six inches wide (a touch over) and 45 inches long – not a hugely long scarf, but it wraps and the double bobbles make it nice and thick. I figured my aunt would appreciate being able to wear it without fussing over sides, even as I worried about having enough yarn to finish. The yarns used were: Sublime Baby Silk & Bamboo DK (the green and white, which is actually cream in person,) Louisa Harding Mulberry Silk (the pink,) and Patons Bamboo and Silk (the blue.) All but the green I had leftovers of, so there’ll be more used with them later! Now… onto lace.

Bobble Bobble Toil and… Cobble?

Due to a ‘okay we needed to rethink something’ on the lace scarf I started on my second one. Which is mostly bobbles. Bobbles are fun! I will probably not be doing double-sided bobbles again any time soon unless I can get the same yarn I was using, but: Bobbles! (I’ll need to get a better light for the colors once this is done – they work PERFECTLY together.)

One Down, Three To Go

And with a good old-fashioned ‘screw everything else I’m getting this done,’ I have made it through this last skein of yarn and finished this scarf! Thank goodness, because I still have two more scarves I’d like to have at least started before Christmas, and a third to start after. (I don’t know for a fact I’ll be receiving yarn for Christmas with which to make a scarf for someone, but I don’t NOT know that, shall we say.) 😉

The color doesn’t quite come out in these photos, but it’s a really nice dark blue. We got it from a yarn store up by the beach back in October – tag says it’s Findley DK from Juniper Moon Farm, color menemsha. It’s five inches wide and about 42 1/2 to 43 inches long. As to the pattern… I had originally given everyone the choice of patterns from The Big Book of Granny Squares by Tracey Lord (which also contains motifs beyond ones worked in the round,) and my aunt chose Gentle Waves (pattern 14) – really just a repeating double-then-single crochet. Catch here: I have somehow been yarning UNDER instead of over for quite some time, which makes the motif look slightly different. By the time I realized this, it was way past the time to change anything and anyway, the look it has now is still quite cool. (I suspect it also looks more dramatic because of the dark color.) I’ll be trying to change habits for the next pattern… which is also my first attempt at lace. Hoooo, boy.