Even though the Tapestry crochet didn’t seem to work out well in the round for the Inky Ghost Hat, it works out magnificently with pixels and squares.

Here is result of an 8-bit Cheep-Cheep completed with this method:

Not bad, eh? It took me about almost 4 hours (or 6-7 episodes of Lost-however you want to count it) to complete. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not hard to do at all. The only problem is the back….

See what I mean. I finished this back in April. You see how far I’ve gotten with hiding the ends. It doesn’t seem as bad as it looks, but this is after I’ve worked on hiding the loose ends over several days time. Take what you see here and spread it over to the top and bottom left and that’s about what I started with. I couldn’t do it all in one sitting-I tried and wanted to scratch my eyes out after a while. To me, it’s like trying to read all of The Silmarillion in a day. It can be done, but who really wants to do it?

So as usual, there is always a down side to the easy stuff. If there was a way I could hide all of the ends with a yarn or cloth backing without the fear of the work unraveling, I would do it. But for now, it’s back to the basics.

A friend of mine asked me if I could do a cross stitch of an Emily the Strange picture for his girlfriend. And of course, my usual response is “Sure! – It shouldn’t be too hard to do.” I really need to stop saying that….

Anyway, here is the picture I was given to cross stitch:

And here is my cross stitch attempt: (Sorry it’s a little blurry…)

I think I need a little more practice…. U_U

….but I’m back in action now! :)

Yes, I know-I haven’t been posting in months. But for those of you who don’t know, I’m actually going back to school for a degree in Web Design and Computer Programming. So I’ve been a bit busy these past few months. But the 18 credit hellish semester is over (yay!) and I can finally get some precious, precious sleep (I love sleep…) and get my craft on! (w00t!)

I do want to show some love to Confusionbomb for keeping up with the blog for me while I was going crazy with the semester and for putting up with me while I was going crazy. Programming is not for the faint at heart, and he was there to hold me when I needed the break from the program that just wouldn’t work. (And there were a lot of those this semester.)

In other news, shadowsinthenyte [dot] com is in the works. I’ll actually be able to use all of the wonderful HTML to show off what I have in the store and other upcoming items in the future.

I’m also part of the Destructoid Artisans! I love Destructiod. Anyone who has not been to that site has not lived! Check out the other artists there and let them know Shadows sent ya!

And there is a massive backlog of posts I need to do, posts I’ve been meaning to do, posts I forgot about, posts I started doing and forgot about…..that will all be listed in the next month or so. I’m not making any promises though, but I will try. :)

In the meantime, I am off to craft! I have to do something while I wait for Punch-Out to be released! :3

Up until this summer, all of the hats we’ve made have been crafted with 100% acrylic yarn. Acrylic has some great things going for it; it’s inexpensive, it’s durable, it’s plentiful, it’s soft, it’s warm, it comes in every color of the rainbow (and quite a few not), and it has no dye lots. Why use anything else? Summer hats. Acrylics great for cold weather, cool weather and climate control, but damn uncomfortable in the heat. So we decided to try some other yarn, and settled on cotton as being our best bet.

Our two local options were Lily Sugar n’ Cream and some knock off Wal-Marx brand Peaches n’ Cream. The latter had only a couple of colors available if the Wal-Mart carried it at all, so Lily ahoy. By combing our local craft big box trinity, Micheal’s, Ben Franklin and Jo-Ann’s, we found we had access to about 20 or so solid color yarns to work with. We picked up a couple of skeins and set out to work.

First off, when you think of 100% cotton, you’re really thinking about cotton fabric or textiles; smooth, even and usually very comfortable. Cotton yarn feels very soft to the touch, but after it’s crocheted the resulting cloth feels like something close to terrycloth. It’s not an uncomfortable feel; just not as soft as acrylic and a fair trade for how much less insulating it is. The cotton hats are relatively comfortable in the summer sun, and would be a good choice for a crowded con.

Since we’re working with a new material, we did some interwebs recon. The cotton yarn is dyed, and according to the Lily website, machine washable and machine dry able. We made some swatches to try it out. Here’s the result:

The three top swatches were machine washed cold on gentle and machine dried as low as are dryer would go. The white swatch left us a nasty shock: the yarn was visibly pale green from the lime it absorbed from our well water. The orange and black swatches were fine out of the wash, but the orange swatch discolored irregularly in the dryer. Since we couldn’t trust the house water, we made a second white and orange swatch. The second row of swatches were hand washed in distilled water then air dryed. This worked out very well as you can see.

We left a hank of orange yarn at the bottom so you could see the contrast with an unworked piece.

I think the cotton yarn will work well, even if it costs more and is a little finicky. We’ll have to make a care guide to reflect that the piece need to be hand washed cold in distilled water and air dried out of the sun. I hesitate to think what hard water, water softener, briny water, city water or that god awful red clay silt I had to deal with in GA would do to the yarn. I guess it pays to do some research. Look for cotton yarn items in the store in the near future.

© 2011 Shadows In The Nyte Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha