Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blue infinity scarf: A Forever 21 knock-off, shhh!

Edit: This pattern's popularity has proven greater than I ever dreamed. I have posted a pattern and video in this MASTER POST! :D All questions will also be answered in that post, so please check there before asking!

Hi there everyone! I hope you've had a happy holiday and are looking forward to a fun New Year's celebration! Given my circumstances, I won't be posting Christmas gift photos for a while yet, but today I will be showing you the infinity scarf I made during final to de-stress during study breaks.

Floofy hair!

So the inspiration behind this one came from this Forever 21 scarf. I saw the scarf in the store and loved it, but being the stingy stitcher that I am, the first thought that jumped into my head was, "I could make that!" And I did! If you look closely at the pattern, you can probably figure it out for yourself as well...it was quite simple. And is anyone else secretly amused that F21 called it a knit scarf?

Here's a shot of the scarf in its entirety. It's probably the most true to color. I have start remembering to take pictures in natural light!

For those who are curious, I used a little less than a skein of Caron Simply Soft Berry Blue and (I think) a J hook. Here is a shot of the stitch pattern, since I think it's upside down in the product shot.

If you'd rather not do the work of figuring it out, here's the pattern.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A different kind of turtle

Hello again! Life has been SO crazy! I just had my first interview for med school, and I hope I did well! Anyways, I am reeeeaaaaally proud of one of my latest creations: a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hat!

I made my first version of this about a year ago for my boyfriend. The two of us and two other friends had wanted TMNT hats and his was the first one I made. Then, all sorts of work set in again so the set was never completed. Here are the pics.

I didn't like this as much because I did a pretty shoddy job attaching the eyes and still haven't had time to fix it. So currently they are both lopsided and falling off. But he still wears it, because it's the only hat he has. ^_^;;;  I should fix that, haha.

Anyways, my friend saw it and really wanted her own. So I refined the process a little, took a few creative suggestions from her, and here we are!

Ta-dah! Unfortunately my camera ate the rest of the pictures, so I'll see if I can get more later. But I am super-proud of this! :D Click Read More for info and the tute.

Edit: I finally got some more pictures taken of the blue hat! Click here to see them!

Monday, November 29, 2010

History told in turtles

Hi there! Long time no see, yes? I have been, and still am, completely swamped with applications and schoolwork, so work on the blog suffered, unfortunately. Some crafting has taken place and I hope that soon I will be able to get some photos taken and proper entries written about them.

That, though, will have to wait for another time! For now, I'd like to share with you what probably really sucked me into crocheting: the famous Tiny Striped Turtle by KristieMN of Crochetville. This pattern has been bouncing around the interwebz for nearly 4 years now, and it is a great pattern, in my opinion, for beginners at amigurumi. I mean, everything is round, how can it go wrong???

So like I said, this is pattern is probably responsible for my obsession now. In order to master it, I spent days learning how to crochet in the round (you have no idea how hard it was for me to figure out how to count stitches >_>). Switching colors was another experiment that the turtle dared me to try. So with my first H hook and my grandmother's eight-year-old baby yarn, I crocheted my very first turtle!

Introducing...um...well, Turtle Number One, I guess he doesn't have a name. I used all yellow WW yarn and two gold beads I found in my stash as his eyes. When I went to show it off to my mom, she totally fell in love and asked to have it! So now Number One lives in her office, tending to the paper roses I gave her for Mother's Day. He's done a great job so far!

Next is Mr. T. I crocheted this little guy for my boyfriend, who suggested all the crazy color changing in the first place. Although I don't think I'd do it again (for turtles, at least) the half and half pattern on the head left a very interesting stitching-like pattern. He's especially tiny (see Chapstick for reference) because I hadn't learned to stuff the bejeezus out of these guys yet.

Then, I wanted to experiment with crocheting with embroidery floss. Unfortunately, I attempted this with an E hook which was waaaaaaay to big. As such, Tiny Tim here is quite holey and can only hold a certain amount of stuffing without showing off his insides. This means he's a bit sad and floppy, and certainly too delicate to be the keychain I'd intended him to be. Hence the name.

Enough with the altruism! I wanted a turtle for myself! After the slight fiasco with the super thin embroidery floss, I went the opposite direction and used some of the Homespun yarn left over from my first and only hand-knit scarf. This is Misty. By the time I made her, I had learned two very important things about the Tiny Striped Turtle species. One, they need to be stuffed. The cuteness factor is directly proportional to the amount of stuffing that can feasibly fit inside these guys. And two, if you add weights to the shell portion, the hugeness of the head won't cause your turtle to topple forward (which is why Number One is always gazing up at Mom's flowers, not scanning the perimeter as a good guard should do).

I decided to do something a little more ambitious. You may remember my Japan-ophile friend Katherine who received this (if I do say so myself) adorable sakura purse from me for her birthday. Well, she was just as much of a Japan-ophile back then (about one and a half years ago), so I decided to make her a Japanese flag turtle! She totally loved it, and even tells me that she gave it a little flag made from a toothpick and paper saying, "Ganbatte!" or "Do your best!" >_< SO FREAKING CUTE

Since she is half-Greek, I was actually hoping to do a Greek flag turtle for her, too. Then, after exhausting my vocabulary of curses on the red dot on Japan's behind, I gave up on Greece. Serious props to anyone with the nerve to even try it.

This here turtle was for my friend, Daniel. I feel like I rushed the process a bit...looking back on it I wish I had paid more attention to the stuffing. Still, I think he really liked it, as he spent a great deal of that day thrusting Turtle Number Six in people's faces with a silly grin on his.

Meet Enrique. Enrique is a cross-dresser who patrols my roommate Bing's desk. It kind of hurts that my own creation won't let me take just a leeeeeetle peek at Bing's super-secret world-domination plans. Or maybe she's hiding chocolate in there? I'll never know, because old Enrique is more than a match for me. T_T

After learning about my mad crochet skillz (HAHAHAHAHAHA), two of my friends asked for turtles of their own. This is the first completed one. As described by the recipient, Margie, "It's a he/she named Charlie." Hmm...have my turtles suddenly become genderbenders or something? Anyways, you can't really tell in the picture, but Charlie is actually crocheted from Simply Soft Persimmon and Sunshine yarn, very bright colors that sadly washed out in the webcam. You can see the Persimmon in my infinity scarf, and just picture a very bright, warm yellow for the Sunshine. The other turtle (fully crocheted, just needs to be stuffed and assembled) is in Sunshine and Chocolate, and should be finished...soon... <_<  >_>

Well, that's all for today, folks! The history of nine turtles (or maybe eight and a half). If you haven't tried this pattern, DO IT. It's so easy and quick, and it is seriously one of the most adorable things I have ever seen. Their turtle tushies are especially cute with the big round butt and stubby legs and tail. I hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My First Foray into Jewelry-Making

Hallo! I've been getting some serious nerves lately, so I figured the perfect way to loosen up would be to do a little late-night/early morning crafting. I recently really wanted to try at least a little jewelry-making, especially after seeing wonderful things on blogs like Flamingo Toes and Tea Rose Home. I had virtually no tools, save for a pair of basic pliers (read: big and bulky), and a mishmosh of old chains, beads, and jewelry to mess with.

So first off, I wanted to try making a bracelet, especially after seeing this tutorial. It's so simple and so cute! I wanted to do something similar, but I like a little more homogeneity in my things. Matchy-matchy was bred into me, unfortunately. ;)

Looking into my stash of random stuff, I saw three of those elastic power bead bracelets. You know, the ones with wooden beads with Chinese characters on them and that little "gourd" bead?

Like these, found at RavenHaven.com?

One was pale green, one pale pink/salmon, and one a deep red. I put them together and actually loved those colors together, especially because the pink and the paleness of the green kept it from being too Christmas-y.

Unfortunately, I took no pictures, but the process was simple. I liked the fit of the green one (which had no "gourd"), so I untied the elastic of the other two, removed the "gourd," and re-tied them so they were the same tension as the green bracelet. I glued my big, ugly knots inside a bead (with simple Elmer's Glue, heaven knows how long that'll hold). Then, I simply took a coordinating ribbon, tied them all together, made a pretty bow, and stitched it in place. Voila! Done!

Sorry, the colors are a tad off. They're more accurate in the second picture. But is it not cute?

I was still too twitchy to go to bed, so the supplies came back out and I set out to make a necklace.

Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing. As I've said before, I really had no tools and only a hodgepodge of supplies. But I decided to be creative, and you know what? I think I like it.

 What do you think? The small pearl beads were originally from an old barrette that just...died. I strung them onto two threads held together (is that a good idea even???). The two pearl "dangles" came from a brooch that had about 10 of the same thing, except one was missing so no one ever used it. And the heart pendant in the middle was a sort of hybrid between two old earrings.

Not bad for my first try, no? Especially with a bulky set of pliers as my only wire-working tool (yes, I was opening and closing those tiny chain links with it...). I don't know if I have the patience to do this often though. It was so fiddly! Do you guys feel the same way about jewelry-making, or is it just because I'm inexperienced and don't have the best tools?

Thanks for reading! See you next time!


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Gauntlets and bows

Hey there all! Well, it's been a while since my last post, no? Sorry, applications decided to devour my life again. @_@

I'm here with my most recent creation. I was itching to crochet between applications, and I'd recently been wanting to crochet myself some uber-stylish fingerless gloves. So, I went to this pattern provided by the talented WolfDreamer. I got out my Cotton-Ease yarn (from my awesome new stash that my awesome roommate got for my birthday) and size G hook, and set to work!

You rock, Bing!

I immediately encountered issues. The 28 rows she has for the cuff were waaay too big for me. I don't know if my teeny wrist is even teenier than her small hands, or if she crochets really tightly/I crochet loosely. Who knows? Anyways, I modified the pattern so I started with 22 rows in the cuff.

However, it was a little too short for me when it was time to create thumb hole (odd, no?). After pondering for a bit, this is what I did for each hand for the 12th row. Keep in mind that I was working off of a row of 26 stitches. If you go my route but are using a different number of stitches per row, I just made sure that the eight stitches formed by "2 sc in next st, sc 4, 2 sc in next st" are the eight that are skipped in the next row.

R hand: sc 18, 2 sc in next st, sc 4, 2 sc in next st, sc 2. (28 sc)
L hand: sc 2, 2 sc in next st, sc 4, 2 sc in next st, sc 18. (28 sc)

Then, I proceeded with Row 12 of WolfDreamer's pattern. And here is the result!

Cute, yes? I like these much better than my last attempt because the last time I made gloves, the yarn was too thick, so I decreased the stitches per row but forgot to decrease the number of rows, so they went halfway up my forearms. >_> Not good, especially for a girl who constantly checks her watch. These are much better.

Plus, I LOVE the finger loop. It takes me back to high school when I was obsessed with a manga (Japanese comic) called Inuyasha. My favorite character, Sango, had these kickbutt gauntlets that I wanted SO BAD. This is decently close. ^_^

Awesome, right?
Here's another shot of the palms. Forgive the dorky pose...I blame my photographer.

I was still a bit unsatisfied after the gloves...I craved MORE. So I sat down and came up with a little bow!

I don't know about a pattern for this one...I just single crocheted rows of 4 sts until it was long enough to loop around and make the bow. I slipstitched the ends together and somehow managed to turn it 90 degrees and crochet a couple rows of 2 scs to make the center part. Then, I just slipstitched it in place in the back. If I try to explain better, it'll just be more confusing. >_<

The cool part is, I just bought a bunch of those really thin headbands, so I can just slip it on whichever color headband I feel like wearing and feel instantly cuter!

I also want to try slipping a chain through it to make a necklace, like the Anthropologie Feeling-Dapper necklace.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed!


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Friday, October 8, 2010

On a roll!

Haha, so somehow in the past week I have managed so many posts! I have no idea why or how, it just happened! So today's is really short and sweet, just two small things with simple instructions if you're interested.

First up is my new camera case in a REALLY bright purple (Simply Soft Collections Grape, I believe). I messed around with it for a couple hours before I settled on a stitch and design I liked.


Also, remember that star I just posted about? Well I took this boring old clock we had and changed the face to a little patchwork of my scrap paper! Wouldn't it have been a shame to toss out all those huge pieces of lovely paper? Here comes Stingy Stitcher to the rescue!

From blah...

...to cute!
 All I have to do is figure out a pretty way to indicate where the numbers are. I'm thinking dots, or maybe number stickers. Any suggestions?

Click if you want to see the camera case pattern!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crazy cool paper star

So ever since I saw this beautiful sunburst on Craftster, I have wanted to make one myself.

For lack of a tutorial from its creator, I set out to make one for myself. It's not the neatest up close and it may not have been the most efficient way to do it, but I think it came out looking AWESOME.

For size reference, there's a sheet of standard notebook paper peeking out behind it on the bottom left. Yeah, it's huge. This baby is about 33 inches in diameter. That's almost a yard, people! @_@

I'm going to share with you how I made this. However, I made a STUPID mistake when making the actual star because it had been so long since I made my mock-up. When we come to that step, I will also tell you how to do it the way I had originally intended, which would have been easier than what I ended up doing. *sigh*

Click to see the tutorial!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Infinity scarf, plus a pattern!

Hello again! I'm taking a quick break from applications and posting a little something I pounded out last month.

The first time I heard the words "infinity scarf," I was thinking something super-cool, like the infinity dress (btw, if you don't know what that is, Google it, it's pretty much the coolest thing I've ever seen and a project I want to tackle in the future). But no. Google "infinity scarf," and you get...

A circle.


I was a bit disappointed. The cool name totally let me down. But at the same time, it inspired me. What crafter doesn't look at that and think, "I could make that."

So I did! At the same time, I wanted to try a technique I had seen in a crocheting magazine this summer. It had this really cool "poofy" effect, so I went with the super-generalized notes I had written in my little inspiration notebook.

One weekend later, here's the finished product!

(Ignore the flower that appears to be sprouting out of my head >.>)

Cute, no? And do you see the ruffly, poofiness I was talking about?

And as a bonus, you get an easy-peasy pattern for a really cute scarf. This can easily be modified in many, many ways, which I will discuss below. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A fun quiz

So my life is absolutely crazy right now. I'm so preoccupied with my med school applications that I haven't done any crafting (SO SAD). So instead, I'm sharing a little quiz I found on your color personality. I think it's actually pretty accurate, at least for me. My color is green: modern, not trendy, social, yet introverted. I like it. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy birthday...

So my birthday was just this week! Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend...

Yo-yo madness!

...for getting me this deeelicious fudge brownie cheesecake!

Thank you also to my great friends who made the day so fun and special!

But now it's time to move on. My little brother's birthday is coming up soon, and although I already promised to buy him a watch (because he's obsessed with knowing what time it is when we drag him out shopping), I wanted to get him a little something else.

He's been needing a new backpack to keep his stuff in for Chinese school and AWANA.  I had a bit of extra time this week between studying for tests, so I whipped something up really quickly. And I mean quickly! This backpack took only two hours, and I don't know about you, but I am a sloooow worker. Here we go!


Now if you're interested, I have a tutorial here, and I went a bit picture happy. Click on "Read more" to see it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My first tee recon!

Hi again! So I'm here with a quick, simple, no-sew recon. I think I first saw this in the book Generation T, but don't quote me on that.

Note to self: take better pictures...

I started with a $3 Walmart shirt that didn't look very flattering for some reason, and turned it into something I like! Here's a tute for those who are interested!


Welcome, all, to the home of the Stingy Stitcher! My name is Annie, known as chineseathena on Craftster, and I decided to start this blog to chronicle the hobbies that have recently caught my interest. I love crocheting, I'm trying to start sewing, and I (would) like to dabble a little in things like fashion and jewelry making. I am in my last year of college and am currently applying to medical schools. I love biology and math (though I haven't taken math for three years now) and reading youth fantasy books and manga. ;) Another part of my purpose of making this blog was to challenge myself not to retreat into my usual hole under a rock. Blogging is a form of socialization right? Right???

Me! (from over a year ago, cuz I have no photos of myself!)
On The Stingy Stitcher, you can expect to see posts about my own projects, and also links to some of the things that inspire me and various tutorials I have found (y'all have no idea exactly how many bookmarks I have for "how-tos" and inspirations...it's quite sick, actually). I really wanted to become a part of the crafting community, so here goes!

I'd like to start out my blog with a little project I am particularly proud of. One of my best friends, KD, has a thing for Japan. She has absolutely no Asian blood, but she has been formally studying Japanese for the past three years. So for her birthday, I decided to give her something very Japanese.

My inspiration began with this, a lovely sakura (translation: cherry blossom) drawstring pouch by papilionette. I also ended up using the pattern she gave for the flowers. However, I wanted to make an actual purse. After perusing my aforementioned stockpile of patterns and tutorials, I found this gem at Bend Beanies. It's so cute!

Let's begin!