It occurs to me that I somehow have not shown you the majestic costume I put together for Becky’s 5th grade Explorer Museum project. I say “put together” rather than “designed” because truthfully, she did all the research and all the designing. I just made the patterns and sewed the thing together.
Her school does this neat project where each kid picks an explorer and then does a whole living museum exhibit kind of thing (I think it would be even more cool if they did this with a group that wasn’t largely European dudes who were responsible for an awful lot of mass genocide and slavery but I digress). They put together reports and “artifacts” and journals, and then the parents show up and the kids all have to tell us about their explorers. It’s very involved.
Becky decided to be Ponce de León. I may have strongly suggested ol’ Ponce because I was under the misconception that he had the cool hat and 1/2 cape outfit. Not true. His hat is totally dumb, and no cape at all (okay, he’s wearing a cape in this picture, but in most renderings there’s no cape). I don’t know who I was thinking of, but it sure wasn’t Ponce de León. There’s a fairly ubiquitous rendering of the man wearing a chest plate with a fancy slash-sleeve shirt underneath. Several statues of him also show him wearing matching shorts. That Florida heat, I guess.
So we went to the fabric store and picked out a heavy blue-gray upholstery fabric for the tunic/armor, and yellow and red fabric for the sleeves. The kid’s a stickler for accuracy. We got home and I started planning this thing out, and I quickly realized that I had never done slash sleeves before. A quick whirl around Pinterest and I was all set with a nifty tutorial for Snow White sleeves.
We had already decided that the sleeves would be connected to the “armor” rather than part of an undershirt, and after some discussion we decided to go with short sleeves rather than long. We rounded up a pair of plain black boots (her feet are almost as big as mine already!!!) and I whipped up a quick crocheted beard. I am super, super pleased at how it came out. But more importantly, Becky was really happy with it, which was the goal.
Originally published on Tasteful Diversions May 2012.
To give my hands and arms a rest from the massive amounts of knitting I’ve been doing lately, I decided a little crochet was in order. Something quick and easy and fun and Spring-y was just what I needed. When I came across Veronica O’Neil’s Bird of Prey I knew I’d found my project.
Obviously for Spring I didn’t want to do it in plain black (though I am definitely going to in the future — I could use a plain black shawl and this one is so easy!) and I happened to have some Hometown USA in Dallas Grey handy. I really didn’t want just plain grey, though, so I thought I’d add some colorful fringe. One ball of Monterey Lime later, there were some pretty green accents around my shawl, and it was starting to feel downright vernal. It still wasn’t quite enough, though…those long green fringes seemed to evoke stems, so I hunted up an easy flower pattern and grabbed some random bright bits and bobs and set to.
I ended up alternating green and grey fringe — all green was just way too much — and the flowers are 8 different colors. I had originally thought to put some flowers in the middle of the shawl as well, but decided I was done making flowers like it just fine like this. A couple of notes on the flowers: I found it much easier to end up in the right spot if I joined the petal color somewhere other than the beginning/end of the flower center, and I only did a single petal on each flower rather than the double given in the pattern (I just didn’t do the second repeat).
The flowers actually took two or three times longer than the shawl, which only took me about 3 hours. 3. Hours. I know, right?!?! Because I am super slow and this was superfast. Now you see why I’m going to make one in black, too. Heck, I might make one in every single color of Hometown USA.
Okay, we don’t really have toe picks on roller skates. But we do use/end up on our toes a lot (well, the girls who know how to skate do, and I assume I’ll be doing those moves soon-ish), which can really wear down the boot. So much so that there are all kinds of toe guards out there, from plain strips of leather to super fancy custom caps (because even the fancy ones are much cheaper to replace than the skate boot). And while I was busy going through every single roller derby related Pinterest board, I came across a pattern for crocheted ones.
So now I have crocheted ones. I started with the basic pattern found here, but used a thicker, wool yarn and thus a slightly larger hook than she used (I used an F with a heavy worsted/light bulky because I still wanted it to be a really dense fabric). Because of this, of course my round count and stitch count changed slightly. I also found that I needed to make the toe stop opening on the same round as the first set of eyelets. And I think I should have/will go back and add a round or two above the second set of eyelets, because I’m afraid they’re going to rip.
They work up super fast (you could do a pair in an evening-ish), and I used scrap yarn (hence the not matching even a little bit) so they were essentially free. And they make me happy to look at. Win!