Saturday, April 20, 2013

dice bag, and new crafty hobbies abounding

A few months ago, my guy and his friends realized that they have all been wanting to try Dungeons & Dragons, but all thought they didn't have anyone to play with. With this realization, they started a weekly (and sometimes thrice weekly!) game, and I was left at home alone, jealous of their nerding it up. So I started a board game night with my co-worker friends, and went on a tax-return funded game buying spree (support your local comic and gaming shop!). One of the games I couldn't resist was a D&D board game called Wrath of Ashardalon, which gets extra awesomeness points in my books for being single player friendly, for when I can't find anybody to play with but just can't resist some dungeon crawling. Anyway, I had so much fun with it that now I'm starting to be intrigued by the idea of proper D&D, and in a fit of "must be prepared in case I get invited one day", I ebayed a couple of dice sets (failing miserably at supporting my local comic and game shop, but sometimes you just need instant gratification shopping). And of course, then I needed something to put them in:

You knew there had to be a crafting-related point to that ramble :)
And being a seamstress (sewasaurus!), I couldn't just buy a dice bag. I had to make one, better, faster, with nicer seam finishing than it had before!

Is it weird to use super-hero fabrics for dungeon crawling paraphernalia? Crossing the fandom steams, oh no!
I knew I wanted to keep my two dice sets separate, so if I only need one there won't be a lot of sorting involved. It needed a drawstring for ease of access, and a rounded bottom for that fun gold-purse feeling. So during a marathon Marvel movie catch-up session (well, part of one), I sketched up a pattern, and hoped like hell that in 3D it would actually hold enough volume to work.

Pretty, girly dice!
And it did! Unlike most dice bags I've seen, this one doesn't have a lot of extra space in it, it will literally just hold two sets of standard size dice and that's it, which I personally like. Of course, I haven't actually gotten to play anything yet to use my dice, so I might yet discover that there is a purpose for that slack after all. Only time will tell, and in the meantime, I love how compact (and cute) this little bag is.

Two pieces of leftover dress sheets = totally a stashbusting success!

Because of how loosely woven and threadbare the batman fabric was, I ended up underlining the whole thing. If (when) I make more in a more stable fabric, I will probably sew the lining separately and change the construction to be a little more sleek. And seam finishing is so ingrained by now that all of the interior edges are edged with seam binding. FYI, seam binding all around the piece pre construction also served to hold the fashion fabric and underlining together.

Pretty! (and yes, that is cat hair *sigh*).
Now I'm even more excited to try out this D&D thing, just to show off my awesome bag, hahaha.

In other crafty news, I've been taking a pottery class with one of my co-worker/friends, and might be hooked! First class I made a completely pointless but utterly stinking cute Capybara paperweight-thing.

I forgot to put something in the picture for scale, but he's about 2.5" tall.
The glazing job is a little strange, but for a first try (with a substitute instructor's less than helpful guidance), I think it's just fine. Look at me not being a perfectionist!

Omg, the little ears just slay me!
It was rather funny having to explain to the entire class what a capybara was, and how the church declared it a fish so people in South America had something to eat during lent, and that actually they're pretty cute considering we're talking dog sized rodents.

I've been calling him Mr. Snuffles since before I was even finished shaping him, haha.
The other two things I've made so far are also rather science-nerd-ish, but they're still waiting to be fired. Next week!

Oh, and in even more crafty news, I took a class with my mom last weekend on making yarn using a drop spindle (mostly prompted by reading this book), and had so much fun I bought my own spindle and a bunch of extra not-yet-yarn to practice on. Since then I've been on a reading and gaming kick that has taken up all my free time, so I haven't actually got anything to show off yet, but the thought of knitting something using my own hand spun wool is so cool (also a little Amish) that practise must happen soon!

Do any of you get caught up in a whirlwind of new skill learning, only to discover that the number of hobbies you have is getting quite out of hand? Because seriously, I'm starting to feel like a one-woman medieval peasant village.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Knitting: blue cowl

I just finished my second knitting project, a wool cowl/scarf thing for a friend of mine.

I used circular needles for the first time, and quite like them. Funny story: I accidentally picked it up flipped around about half way through, and worked an entire row in the wrong direction. If I had more patience, I should have probably figured out how to unravel that part and done it again, but I don't. Instead, I just flipped it back the right way when I hit the beginning marker, and there is a  two row tall hole where the rows don't join up that nobody will ever notice. You can tell in the pictures above that the pattern isn't quite right just less than half way up because of it, but I'm working really hard lately on not stressing about making things be perfect, so we're going to say it's still pretty good for my second ever project. And now I will never ever forget that the yarn hangs off of the RIGHT side, hahaha. Oh learning the hard way...

The beginning band of ribbing.
Anyway, now for lots of in progress pictures! (I'm trying to remember to take those with both knitting and sewing, with varying degrees of success.)

A wobbly weird picture of the first quarter or so of body. I got to try out stitch markers and needle point cover things (do these have a name) for the first time.
Oh right, I used the cocoon pattern, and 2.5 skeins of bulky weight Wool of the Andes yarn from knitpicks. Ravelry notes here! I will probably make some wrist warmers from the left over yarn (weather they'll go to the friend as a matched set, or I'll steal them myself is yet to be decided :P), but right now I feel like working on something in a brighter colour. Do you ever pick project order based on the colour of the materials? I find it's much more fun to work with fabric or yarn that is a happy colour, and I usually work more quickly on bright things because I just want an excuse to look at them!

A few lumpy bits, but at least I seem to have naturally decent tension.
Next on the knitting front: learning yarn overs and knit 2 together so I can start on this hat for my sister-in-law.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Chocolate Bunny Day!

Man I love long weekends! I'm just lazing around today, knitting and watching gory crime shows, haha. Looked out the window to check on my rabbit, and noticed he was doing his Easter bunny impression :).

 Hope everyone had a great weekend! And here's a sneak peak at what's on my sewing (well, dinning room) table: