Tag Archive | hat

The Other Gryffindor Scarf and…Other Stuff

Guess what I finished, just in time for the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I? The “Other” Gryffindor scarf – which shows up in Prisoner of Azkaban (my personal favorite) and The Goblet of Fire (my least favorite).  I modified the pattern a bit – used a heavier weight yarn: Aran/10 ply (8 wpi) instead of what the pattern suggested. Also used size 8 needles, as there were no size 7 at either of the two craft stores I visited. I only cast on 60 stitches per row, instead of the 100 it recommended. 100 would have been HUGE. This is the pattern I worked from – DID NOT alter the number of yellow rows. Ended up using barely one skein of the mustard colored yarn.

Here is the finished product:

The "Other" Gryffindor Scarf

We’ve been re-watching the Harry Potter movies leading up to the midnight showing and I’ve already spotted another HP item I’d like to knit up. Maybe as a hat for my mother. I’ll have to check the Charmed Knits book out from the library again…or maybe one of my kind friends or family will purchase one for me.

Anyways – finishing up this project is abnormally satisfying, as I am ready to take a much-needed break from knitting. Yes, after nearly 2.5 months of ALWAYS having a knitting project on the needles (as well as knitting up three birthday presents), I’m taking a week off. Well, maybe just a few days.

I’ll probably start something on Wednesday.

But another pleasurable indulgence has taken hold in the interim: VIDEO GAMES. Most specifically…

The Force Unleashed 2

Galen Marek is another one of my video game crushes.

It was fantastical to be immersed in the world of Starkiller again, and both the DH and I managed to beat it in one day.

Yeah. That doesn’t seem right. It was a ridiculously short game. Much shorter than the Assassin’s Creed sequel, and also shorter than the original Force Unleashed. The original Force might just be one of my favorite video game experiences in a long, long time.

So – the sequel had a lot to live up to, and didn’t quite make it. It seemed like the storyline was rushed and lacking both the depth and breadth of the original. There was no twist, tangle or really any character arch or growth. Pretty disappointed in the story.

But the game play is excellent. I’d like to get my hands on a copy for the Wii, so I can experience the joy of wielding a light saber again. Otherwise, I’m holding out hope for the third installment. And praying they don’t make a movie out of these video games. I’m quite of the belief that this particular storyline fits so much better on the small screen, with all the intimacy of you, the controller and the TV.

Sure – this would have made a great movie. Theoretically, the prequels would have also made great flicks as well. And we all saw how that played out. No, I much prefer Starkiller, Juno, General Kota and Proxy to exist as playable characters in a video game. I really don’t want Lucas putting his grubby mitts on these folks.

For those doubters – you must answer this question: what would the story gain from being turned into a movie? Video games are already visual and auditory, as well as tactile. Movies just remove one of the sensory experiences. In my opinion, more movies need to be turned into video games. 🙂 But GOOD video games. Not the shite that is already churned out by the direct-to-game industry.

Of course  – any obsession or interest is automatically filtered through my youtube lens – so please enjoy a few videos I’ve stumbled across in my searching:

The classic fanvid: music plus video clips

Something altogether different – a lego fight sequence inspired by Force Unleashed.

That’s all you get folks.

We’re picking up a copy of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood tomorrow after work, so you can look forward to some madness on that end. We’ve got Harry Potter on Thursday/Friday and the Portland Comic Book Show on Sunday, so you can pretty much be guaranteed some posts in the near future. Get excited! 😀


Jayne Hat: The Sequel

A cunning hat for a cunning dude

Guess what I finished last night? Dan’s long-awaited and much-anticipated Jayne Cobb Hat. It’s been at least a year since Dan requested the hat and for some reason, I’ve been avoiding it like the plague. But after checking out these studly pictures of him modeling the finished object, I can only kick my own ass for waiting so long.

Give me some credit – a lot of nerd and beginner knitter fear goes into constructing such a cult favorite craft item. But the SDCC brown-coat booth and con-goers inspired me and I conquered the not-so-scary earflaps.

The ear-flaps weren’t nearly as frightening with the proper weight yarn and this video tutorial on picking-up stitches. It was actually a quick and dirty process which took about the length of one crappy episode of Glee. Seriously, the show is such a train wreck, I’m not even sure why I’m watching it anymore. There is no real cohesive plot-line. The musical numbers aren’t even attempting at attaching themselves to story-lines laid down in the first half of the first series. Between that, and a less than enthusiastic second entry in the new series Boardwalk Empire…I’m feeling pretty down on Television at the moment.

If it weren’t for my recent obsession with Boston based movie fare (thank you, Ben Affleck) I wouldn’t have probably made so much headway on the Jayne hat. As it stands – the hat is completed and Dan and I are conversing in almost nothing but crappy Boston accents. I even leaned out the car today after running an errand for him and shouted “Get Back to Work Ya Fuckin’ Jerk.” My heart may belong to Portland, but I think my dirty mouth hails straight from Bean Town. 😀

Anywho – the Jayne hat pattern I ended up using is available on this blog. And the two different kinds of yarns I knitted up with were Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Ruby Red, and Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky in 822 and 821.

Pretty stoked to have it completed and feeling confident about tackling another Jayne Hat for my buddy Sam in the near future.

The first Jayne hat version is going to Smalls and I do plan on knitting up another for myself – which I’ll no doubt wear to the various comic book shows and conventions around town. Wordstock is coming up next weekend…and I’m slated to volunteer (hoping to hit up the comic book section and report out about something interesting). This hat took me all of three days to complete, so I’m pretty sure I could pump out at least two more before then.

Just for your amusement – the Hero of Canton himself:

The next nerdy knitting project  on the docket will be a Harry Potter scarf for my nephew Vincent’s birthday (and if it goes quickly, I might whip up a few more for the Midnight screening). This will be my second requested birthday present knitting project this year and I’m feeling pretty pleased that people are enjoying these crafts. It only took a few years of producing shitty stockinette stitch scarves to get to this point. 🙂

Jayne Cobb Hat: Installment One

My work and non-work life have been rather busy the last few days but I’ve also managed to successfully undertake what, for me, has been a rather complex knitting project.

The Jayne Cobb Hat.

Adam Baldwin proudly models the original

It should all be so easy. The hat itself isn’t exactly a paragon of difficulty. There are several well made patterns out there on the internets ripe for the picking. I just need the right yarn and tools. One out of two ain’t bad, right?

I went with one of the Jayne Hat recipients – the DH Dan – last weekend to pick out the yarn. And we got the wrong weight. And the colors are a bit off (but actually look quite fantastic together). It’s like a fall in the Pacific Northwest version of the Jayne hat. Which might actually look much sexier than the intention of the original.

Unfortunately in the knitting world, if you don’t follow the pattern exactly, you have to adjust and swatch and do math…all of which I am really quite opposed to. My answer is to eyeball it, knit something up, then find out it’s wrong, rip it all out and start over again. Ugh.

Which leaves me with my present predicament.

Jayne Hat w/o Earflaps

This is my third attempt at the Jayne Hat. It’s supposed to be for my DH, but it’s really only going to make it on my head. Which is fine. I think I’m going to make a stop by our LYS this weekend and snag some really amazing yarn in the right (bulky) weight and follow the advice/practices in this here Youtube video:

And this basic pattern – though I won’t be knitting with two strands held together once I’ve secured the right weight.

At the moment, the plan is to finish off the current Jayne hat incarnation and wear it for myself. It was intended for Dan’s head, but I don’t think my needles are going to support that. Probably gonna have to pick up some new needles as well.

Earflaps are tough for me. After a traumatic attempt at them on a hat for my niece…I haven’t tried them again. Apparently I have some weird emotional and mental block against them. It’s going to take some strong coaxing but once I get the skillz practiced, I think this will make a good starter hat for many more Jayne attempts to come.

Feeling kinda lame that I devoted my whole weekend (when I wasn’t at a baseball game, book-club meeting, house-cleaning or visiting with family) to this creation and still didn’t manage to get anything finished. Hmph.

Hopefully I’ll be able to update with the finished object this weekend.


In the interim, check out these articles I scouted about Joss Whedon related crafts, including an interview he did with a crochet website.

CrochetMe article on Whedon Craft

CrochetMe interview with Joss Whedon

Other Joss Whedon related crafts


Pattern One

Pattern Two

Pattern Three

Bad Blogging and Other Assorted Crap

YES: I realize I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. Can I just blame it all on my new job? Basically I’ve gained the much coveted (in my world anyway) mantle of AmeriCorps Program Coordinator but it comes at the cost of tackling two programs. Which used to be staffed and supported by like 5 people. So here’s me…on the raggedy edge for the next 12 months.

So please, bear with me. I promise that I’ll post content very soon, but it’ll probably be sporadic the next month due to hosting multiple day orientations in the next three weeks. And settling into another office. And trying not to go stark raving mad.

BUT: I can promise you more content regarding the Phoenix tattoo (another appointment on the 11th!) AND the aforementioned post comparing the Lizbeths of the World (going to see Eat, Pray, Love this weekend). Probably some True Blood Season 3 wrap-up in there somewhere. Not to mention gurglings about some of my favorite TV shows right now…

October will feature a Wordstock wrap-up and lots of posts regarding the extravaganza known as Halloween (The Walking Dead TV series!).

November is the Portland Comic Book Show, Harry Potter and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.

ALSO: I’m applying for a MLIS program this year, which will hopefully start up in August. For those not in the know, an MLIS is a Master’s in Library and Information Science. I’ll probably update snippets here and there on ye old blog regarding that process.

ALSO: Expect to see a few knitting posts cropping up. I promise only appropriately themed nerd projects (Jayne Hats and HP scarves in the future).

RIGHT NOW: Emerald City Comic Con 2011 tix are on-sale today. I’m reserving mine immediately. I’m also clearing out my calendar. No, seriously. And there’s a kick-ass hotel 6 blocks from the convention center with free parking and wireless. It’s $59 a night, which is pretty comparable to what we ended up paying at a crappy Motel 6 two years ago. The hotel looks kinda skeevy, but oh well. I don’t plan on spending much time there!

Stumptown Comics Fest posted their dates already. April 16 and 17. They’ve also decided to wear big boy pants and move to the Convention Center. Read all about it here.

I feel like such a proud nerd right now – seeing my Pacific NW comic book scene pull its shit together so early. It is keeping me from going balls-out-crazy with work stress.

That – and the Assassin’s Creed II expansion packs (Bonfire of the Vanities, Battle of Forli) we purchased a few days ago.

Please, have patience with my slothenly ways. I’ll come back in full force pretty soon. Just need some space to catch my breath!

Cupcake for Kennedy

Frustrated with my lack of progress on any knitted related items last week, I broke down and started a project I’ve been ogling for the last month or so – a cupcake hat for my niece, Kennedy.

It also helped that Craft Warehouse was selling Vanna’s Choice for $2 a skein, and they had the perfect cupcake colors…which I’ve been scouting since I found the pattern. Well, I thought they were the perfect cupcake colors, anyway.

The pattern is actually deceptively easy – k2p2 ribbing for a few inches, then cast on your frosting color, knit for about 4-5 inches, decrease, bind off – make your cherry red pom pom and attach. I used size 8 circular needles (16″).

The hardest part for me was figuring how to add another color – something I’ve done before (like, five freaking years ago), but the visual effect of those first attempts left something to be desired. It was actually quite easy to add the color on the circular using this tutorial:

Knitting Tips by Judy is an awesome tutorial video series and she’s been my go-to for awhile with any really difficult projects.

Unfortunately – the outcome of the hat has left something to be desired. I love the color for the cupcake bottom, but the top frosting color just doesn’t work…especially with the cherry pom on top. The pom needs to be cut down a little more.

Cupcake or breast? Is there really a difference?

And the whole thing just looks like a breast to me. Less so when it’s on someone’s head…but I’m not really seeing “cupcake” here. There are a few other Free patterns on Ravelry which add a bit of a fringe where the cupcake bottom and top are joined, so I might try that. Unfortunately, the only pattern available is done with some kind of machine knitting. It might be up to me to figure out the fringe. Here’s an example:


My absolute favorite cupcake pattern is still in the test-knitting phase, but will eventually be published on this website.

This pattern will be the one I use for Kennedy’s hat. How can you not love the little bumps of frosting?


So, she might have to wait a bit to get the finished object, but it will be worth it if I can get my hands on a decent pattern! In the interim, I might whip up another – lamer cupcake hat which will actually fit Kennedy. This first one is WAY too big. Probably cast on 50 stitches instead of 80. And think it’s going to be a chocolate with a different colored frosting. 🙂 This is a great stash busting project, btw!

Owl Hat for Savanna

After seeing the pics of my first completed Owls hat, my friend Savanna commissioned me to make one for her. I asked her to chip in for the cost of supplies, and she graciously offered to pay me a bit more for my time. We discussed what kind of modifications or special additions she wanted, and she requested the same yarn (Wool-Ease worsted weight Blue Mist), with small black button eyes and a pom pom on top.

Excited, but nervous about tackling two unknowns (sewing items onto knitting and creating pom poms) – I procured the supplies last weekend, but wanted to finish up the Dog Sweater before I started another Owls hat.

I began constructing the hat on Friday night in a knitting party with my friend Addie, worked on it over Saturday and Sunday, and finished it up this afternoon while watching a marathon of the Dog Whisperer. I modified the pattern with six rows of purls between the initial ribbing, and six rows of purling before starting the decreases at the top.

Pom Pom Maker of Suck

In order to understand exactly how the pom poms are constructed – I watched several instructional youtube videos. Unfortunately, none of them had instructions on how to work with the Lion Brand Pom Pom Maker I’d purchased, and the pictorials on the back weren’t exactly assuring.

After opening the package and studying the makers for awhile…I determined they were not going to work for me. I would have to measure the yarn out before to wind it around, and there is no slit or opening to easily feed the yarn through. Honestly, more cumbersome than the product is worth. And this other blogger agrees with me.

Not exactly sure what I’m going to do with them at this point. They’d make nice miniature frisbees, I suppose. Instead of constructing any other products or purchasing anything else…I wrapped the yarn around my hand until I got the desired thickness – just as this video shows.

Read More…

Head Full of Hooters and The Hurt Locker

I started on the “Owl’s Hat” project over the weekend. I’m knitting it up with 16″ size 7 circular bamboo needles and using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solids and Heathers worsted weight yarn in “Blue Mist.” So far I’ve only been working with one skein, which I procured from Michael’s on sale for $2.50 a skein the day after Christmas.

The modifications to the pattern include k2p2 ribbing instead of the suggested k2p1 ribbing. The other modification I decided upon, after surveying the completed project pics on Ravelry was shortening the rows of Stockinette stitch before starting the owl cables. Wasn’t really feeling how high up on the head the Owls would sit if I followed the exact pattern. So I knit what ended up being eight rows instead of the suggested 10 rows of stockinette on the pattern.

Example of finished object without modifications

My first attempt on Friday night was unsuccessful because I ended up with one extra thick rib (two sets of knits next to one another) due to my pattern modifications. I ripped the whole thing out and started again on Saturday evening. Thusly – you will get two movie reviews for the price of one. Currently it’s about 40% completed – I’m about a quarter of the way through the owl cable rows.

Look close enough and you can see the owl's feet

I feel a little oogy about how the Stockinette stitch rows have turned out so far – Stockinette is k1 row, p1 row. Pretty easy, right? It looks funky and unpleasant to me.

Also – new skill gained = kfb (knit front back). New method of increasing which is much more professional and sexy than the only other increasing technique I know – yo (yarn over). Yo leaves big gappy holes in the work, which would definitely not fly (owl pun) for this project.

And now – onto the reviews…

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