#WIP Wednesday: Socks!?

Hello everyone…a LOT has happened since I last posted! It hasn’t been that long, and yet it feels like ages since I’ve done so much and am in a very different mindset. Let me tell you a little bit about what’s going on with me…

Over the past couple of weeks, I’d been kind of down. I usually have little bouts of blah for a few days every now and again, but this was lasting a lot longer than usual, more like two weeks. I wasn’t really sure what to do about it, and it was affecting my desire to craft. I think what happened was I was stressing myself out over trying to make lots and lots of things for Animazement, and the pressure I was putting on myself was making me upset. So I sat down, took stock of the situation, and decided it was high time I did something for MYSELF, that made me happy, and not something to try to prove anything to anyone else.

And so I decided I wanted to knit some socks.

I’m actually not usually much of a sock knitter; I usually prefer making hats and scarves. But everyone once and a while I get that itch to make something cute for my feet, and I also enjoy working with the tiny yarn and tiny needles. A few months ago while I was visiting my hometown I stopped by a yarn store down town, and picked up a ball of Crazy Zaurball (#1660 Flussbett, for anyone curious). I didn’t really need it, especially since I didn’t think I would be doing any knitting in the near future, but it was pretty, and I’m usually the kind of person that has to buy at least one thing when I go check out a specialty shop for the first time. It’s been sitting in a bag untouched ever since I got it, without a second thought while I’ve been sewing up a storm.

Last week, however, I knew I was going to be going to my boyfriend’s mother’s house for Thanksgiving, and the holidays are usually a time when we all spend the whole day relaxing and hanging out (usually without computers) in between meals. When we were preparing to go over, I got the idea in my head that maybe I would like to do some knitting, so I grabbed that ball of yarn I bought ages ago and stuck it in my bag.

Again, not being much of a sock knitter in general, I’m sort of particular about the kinds of patterns I like. I don’t like wearing socks with too much texture to them, so I prefer a pattern that is very regular with just a little bit of detail. Knitty is usually my first stop when I’m just quickly looking for a pattern, and I found Uzu, which was perfect for my needs!

Look at those colors! Can you tell I like green and brown?
Look at those colors! Can you tell I like green and brown?

It doesn’t look much like anything right now, as I still have to finish it and block it (and do the second one, obviously!). I always get really self conscious when I am making socks for myself because I have really big, narrow feet and the socks turn out soooooo long! But I’m really pleased with how these are going so far. I’ll probably be able to finish the first sock today and hopefully have the pair finished sometime next week.

In other news, despite not having worked on any “shop” crafting in a while, I have been getting lots and lots of stuff done! It’s amazing how I have been able to get inspired once I told myself it was okay to do some things for me. Yesterday was particularly productive. In addition to knitting, I finished up a merit badge I’m making for someone, plus I did something I haven’t done in a very, very long time…I dyed some fiber and spun some yarn! The fiber I dyed is for a friend who is considering commissioning some handspun yarn from me, and the yarn I spun was from some fiber that has been in my stash for probably five years! It felt really good to finally do something with that fiber that I have been holding onto for so long. Spinning is one of my most favorite things to do, and it makes me feel very connected with the earth and my heritage.

Oh and I can’t forget, I’ve been doing the 12 Days of Design Challenge on Spoonflower too! It’s a little slow going for now, but I also have the design I’ve been working on for the past few weeks that I have to finish up (gotta do that in the next few days, since it’s due on the 9th!). All in all, I’ve been keeping pretty busy and getting back into my groove, which feels pretty good. :)

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Persona 4 Mug Rug

I’m working on more sewing projects that evoke familiar elements from anime without necessarily being direct copies of any particular image, and I also want these projects to still feel very crafty and handmade while being relatively simple and quick to put together.

My latest project is a mug rug inspired by the video game Persona 4.

If you’re not familiar with Persona 4, you can read about it here. The design of this mug rug was inspired by graphical elements in the game, where the menu systems and some official art feature a bright yellow background with black accents and multicolored stripes. The piece itself was very simple to put together as I just sewed strips of fabric to each other to create one larger piece. I really like how easy it was to construct and yet also evoke the visual themes from the game.

This mug rug ended up being a birthday present for my boyfriend’s brother. Earlier this year I borrowed his Playstation Vita to play Persona 4: The Golden, and only a few weeks ago I finally beat it and was able to return it to him. This was my way of saying “Thank you!” for letting me borrow it for such a long time, as well as saying Happy Birthday. :)

In other crafty news, I’m still plugging away at  my fabric design for an upcoming Spoonflower contest, and I’m also working on some quilted coasters with simple anime symbols on them that I’ll be sharing soon!

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My First Fabric Designs!

As you all can probably tell by now, I’m a huge Spoonflower fan. I’ve known about them for a long time, and I’ve always been interested in making my own fabric designs, but never really took the time out to sit down and draw any up. Recently, however, as I’ve been getting more and more into sewing and trying to forge an identity for myself as an artist, as well as getting more involved in the Spoonflower community, I just couldn’t resist finally taking the plunge and drawing up my own fabric designs.

I knew that I wanted to focus on sci-fi, fantasy, and anime-related designs that would be cute and recognizable without being too heavily influenced by artwork made by someone else. Think more “inspired by” and less blatantly recognizable characters or logos. The first idea I came up with was to make a spiral design based on Sailor Venus’s Love-Me Chain attack from Sailor Moon. I figured I could make a cute design that would look good as a dress that I might wear to a convention or something like that. I started out by making a basic repeating spiral pattern:

spiral pattern cropped

Once I had worked out all the kinks and made sure it tiled seamlessly, then I used it as a base to put the miniature hearts on top of, and then I created a background that evoked the background from the anime when Sailor Venus does her attack. This is what I came up with:


Since at the time I made this Spoonflower was having a 2-for-1 fat quarter deal, I decided to order a test “swatch” of this (I wanted to hold it in my hands ASAP so I could show it off to my friends and family!) along with a sample of the original template in a different colorway.


(I promise the colors are much more vibrant in real life! I just couldn’t get good enough lighting to take pictures in, unfortunately)

I haven’t decided if I want to make the Love-Me Chain design available for purchase yet (I want to make myself that super cool dress first before I decide), but the white and blue spirals are now available to order from my Spoonflower page. I have a few more color combinations of the basic spirals that will be available to purchase once I have a little extra cash to order swatches.

I’m already working on my next design, which I hope to enter in one of the upcoming Weekly Design Challenges! Stay tuned. :)

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Back from a little break…

I took a little  mini break from crafting the past few days to focus on other things (like finally beating Persona 4, which has been something like a 2-year process!), but now I’m back to my good ol’ crafting self!

My sewing machine actually got fixed the day after I took it in (when I made my last post), which was awesome! I was so thrilled that they had it done so quickly. As someone who also repairs things for a living, to be on the receiving end when something gets finished quicker than you expected sure was a treat. I understand now why people get so excited sometimes when I call them to tell them their order is ready. :)

I finished the top to my hexie quilt while my machine was still in the shop, then I quilted it and finished off the binding once I got my machine back! I think it turned out really well. Some of the top-stitching didn’t perfectly line up with the hexie seams, but I’m sure I’ll get better at it in the future! I really really like all the colors I used in this. I’m not sure I’ll put this up for sale since the hexie stitching was so time consuming, but this is definitely a contender for my high school’s alumni art show if I end up participating in that.

Green and brown mini hexie quilt!
Green and brown mini hexie quilt!
Stitched hexie close-up!
Stitched hexie close-up!

Aside from that, getting my machine back allowed me to finally finish up a bunch of new manga covers, which are now all up for sale on my Etsy shop. Check ’em out! Here’s a sampling of some of them:

IMG_0844 IMG_0847 IMG_0848 IMG_0855

That’s it for now! See you soon. :)

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#WIPWednesday: Rainbow Embroidery, Hexies, and…Broken Sewing Machine?! :(

Last Tuesday was the monthly Pins & Needles event at the Spoonflower Greenhouse, and my second time attending! I was able to get some assistance with the cosplay I’m working on (which I realize I haven’t talked about at all here yet, but updates will come soon!), and talk with other crafters, which is always fun. However…only a little bit into the event, after I had gotten everything situated and was ready to really hunker down and get to sewing, I sat down at my station, put my elbows on the table…and the table-top fell forward, spilling everything – including my machine – onto the floor. A few pieces of the casing came apart slightly and it seemed jammed at first, but one of the employees tinkered with it a little bit and got it working good as new, or so it seemed at first. I was able to put the neckband on the shirt for my cosplay and get most of the work done on a manga cover with no problems.

Yesterday I had decided I was going to spend all day crafting, and I set to work cutting out all the pieces for three separate manga covers. I got to work on the first two just fine, but when I started on the third…the feed dog wouldn’t move and the needle just jammed the fabric further and further into the machine as I tried to stitch. Oh no! Looks like my machine wasn’t as ship-shape as I thought. I took it into my local quilting shop to get it repaired and serviced, but it’s going to be a bit of a blow to my wallet. I can take it, but it is going to set back my progress on saving for MAGFest considerably. I just have to be better with budgeting food and other things!

In the meantime, no sewing machine + saving money for conventions by not buying too many craft supplies = perfect opportunity to get started on making a hexie quilt! I heard about hexies a while ago but as I’ve been getting more and more into sewing and quilting they obviously came across my radar again and I’ve been dying to finally try them out! I am accumulating plenty of scrap fabric, as I can get one manga cover out of a fat quarter with a roughly 4 x 22″ strip left over, depending on how I cut it. Not enough to make anything substantial with, but perfect for making a few hexies! With lots of scraps left over from my Totoro mug rug, last night I got started on making bunches of green and brown hexies for another mug rug!

cute little hexies galore!

I DEFINITELY see the appeal for these now! Similar to the reason I started making my merit badges, there’s just something about collecting small little things like these. Building up a stack of hexies is so satisfying, and they are SO CUTE!! They are a little tedious to make, but I’m sure as I do more of them I’ll be able to streamline the process a bit. And as I accumulate more fabric scraps I’ll have more options for color combinations I can make. Obviously I want to do a rainbow one (if you know me at all, you probably guessed that immediately), and I like the idea of doing an embellished one with embroidered hexies, too.

Speaking of embroidery, I’ve also been working on my piece from my last #WIPWednesday post. As I mentioned in that post, I intend to try my hand at needle painting. I decided to outline everything first just to give myself a starting point since I’m a little bit intimidated! But it’s looking pretty cool so far and I think it’ll go well, I just have to be patient and diligent with it. :)

did I mention I like rainbows?
did I mention I like rainbows?

See you all soon, hopefully I’ll have an update on my sewing machine in the near future!

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