Our Princess Is In Another Castle!

Please help me in welcoming our third and final new friend for the season, the Another Castle Throw! I was hoping to add a lot more blankets to my shop this season, but getting married was a swell trade off. The one that got away… yet again, was my triforce throw. I was, however, able to get a couple of rows in before I got lost in wedding crafts. But enough about weddings and Zelda, and more about Mario!

I actually had to make this throw slightly larger than my usual throws due to the width of the sentences. So you gain about an extra 3 inches on the top and bottom, which may not sound like much… but your toes will enjoy it.

Another Castle Throw is approximately 4’7″ wide and 3’8″ long and as always is made with 100% acrylic yarn for easier at home care.

You can see this throw and many of its friends over at my etsy shop!

More photos can be found here.

The formal introduction of…

Bubble Bobble, the blanket!!!

I was approached some time last year with a request for a Bubble Bobble custom, it was by far the MOST fun blanket to sketch and create. I loved every moment I worked on Bubble Bobble, my favorite part was how customized it was. Each enemy and points item were hand selected, as well as the three scores at the top. It makes me super happy to create something so personal for someone.

If I could own any of my blankets, this would be the one I’d want.

It’s so colorful and happy, each dino, enemy, bubble, points item and candy cane striped platform that I finished got me giddy. I would love to do more personalized combinations of this blanket one day, feel free to send me a custom request on etsy if you want one.

This Bubble Bobble blanket is now available in my shop, Penelope and Clyde at Etsy.

Many more photos can be found here.

Harley Quinn, The Worst/Best Thing Ever.

Several months ago I was approached on Etsy with a request I couldn’t turn down. My style of crochet is fairly simplistic, I stay within my little 8-bit world and my black backgrounds. Occasionally folks ask me to do some pretty crazy things, portraits, PlayStation level graphics game throws, blankets with dozens of conflicting elements and characters, Harley Quinn… hmm. Usually I give the same response, I explain the simplistic nature of my skills and how difficult it is for me to branch outside my 8-bit universe. Something seemed fun about taking on Harley though, so I foolishly took the challenge.



I took this order in the midst of my busy season, this being my first year with a fully stocked store and steady business, I didn’t know that my busy season wasn’t over yet. Last time I put up a few items that sold out for Christmas, then it was over. I had a week long lull after the holidays and then out of nowhere a completely new surge of orders, among those was Harley Quinn. I wasn’t prepared to keep working through to the Summer, I hadn’t even started my many wedding crafts that I have planned (still haven’t). The closer I got on my order list to Harley, the more stressed I became. I asked my customer if it was ok to finish all my other work before concentrating on Harley, this way it had my full attention and was executed correctly. She sent me the most encouraging emails throughout this difficult process. At times I literally sat staring blankly at my computer and sketch book tearing up and having panic attacks. I had no idea what I got myself into. I even went as far as to purchase a cross stitch pattern, boy was that a dumb idea… complete gibberish. I was ready to throw in the towel, what kept me motivated was this amazingly understanding customer of mine, who if she didn’t live states away I would hug. If I had any other type of customer, perhaps one that wasn’t caring and treated me like a crochet monkey and sent me impatient emails (I get tons of those) I would have quit. I’m glad this wasn’t the case.

Terrence saw how stressed I was and made computer magic happen, he did something in my photo editing program that turned this image into a 16-bit one.

After that I was able to hit my stride, it took me over a week to do the sketch. My 8-bit sketches usually takes me a day or two, if I procrastinate. Hunched over the laptop, sharpening my pencil down to a nub, I went to bed each night cross-eyed and achy. But this was the fun part, I was enjoying the process. I received a ton of encouragement from Terrence, my mom (always) and my girlfriends. Once I started the actual crocheting part it was a breeze, it took me about 3 weeks to complete stitching Harley. I worked quickly and excitedly each day, knowing that I was creating something for an awesome person only made the work more rewarding.

I see many flaws in this blanket, I’m my own worst critic, I’ve been told I’m an idiot. I showed my brother the pictures and he immediately requested a Wolverine blanket, I promptly said no**. I got a bunch of compliments from friends, but none of the feedback I received was as heartwarming as the email I got from my customer.

Our window to leave feedback on etsy expired, so we couldn’t officially tell the etsy world of our experience with each other. I tried emailing etsy to give it back so I could exclaim my adoration for my new favorite customer, they shot me down… mean. I made her these gratitude gifts on the Sunday before I shipped her package. I love it when I have time to make gifts for customers, I haven’t been able to do it in months.

I originally had no plans to add Harley Quinn to my shop, but after the adventure we had together I’m thinking about it. It would be a shame to waste all that work. What do you guys think?

 

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*More pictures can be found, here.

**I’m currently not accepting requests for custom blankets. I really have to start those wedding crafts, only 2 months left to make the bouquets, boutineers and decorations. Oy.

Yarn for breakfast

Sometimes its fun to take a break from blankets and focus on making adorable little friends. Folks often ask me to make them blankets, so this is their consolation prize. I know it doesn’t compare, but I don’t always have the time to make blankets for friends and family, these little guys just take me a few short hours. I’m sure to a more skilled crocheter could knock them out quicker, but I find working with tiny hooks and reading patterns challenging.

I’d made both of these before for different people, on separate occasions, but I thought they’d make good mates. Oddly enough my coffee mug is getting better, but my doughnut might be getting worse… I don’t know. You be the judge…

This time around I may have thought I was a skilled professional, and didn’t read the instructions as carefully as I did the first time I made the doughnut, the mug however, it had been a few months so I actually read those pretty carefully. I don’t think either are perfectly executed yet, I still need some practice wielding my tiny hook and reading patterns.

If you want to make these yourself, here are my pattern sources… sleepy mug and doughnut card.

The next time I attempt the mug I’m going to make it larger, I’ll try my hand at writing up a pattern and share it here when I do.

Happy crafting!
xo,
Ana

It’s Dangerous To Go Alone!

Take This… throw.

The Legend of Zelda is by far and away my favorite video game series of all time. The fact that I can finally say “I have some Zelda in my shop”, makes me all sorts of squishy inside. I recently shared that I’ve been staring at a partially started Triforce throw since Autumn and how much I’d love to add Zelda to my shop. Thankfully someone asked for one, and I got to take a break from barrels and aliens for a couple of days to produce this new friend. I’m filled with exclamations points and Terrence is, of course, jealous he doesn’t get to keep it. We’ve only ever kept one of my replications in the house, Donkey Kong, and then he has his Space Invaders blanket that started it all. He’s just greedy.

This isn’t it for the Legend of Zelda, I still have many others planned… its simply a matter of finding the time or a nice customer to request a custom order. Maybe soon enough I’ll finish that Triforce or start an adorable Link and Zelda in love throw… I can’t wait. Welcome to the family Link, we’re happy to have you (well, pictures and the math to replicate you… which is enough for now).

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Thanks for asking.

In September when I released my last big shop update, I still had tons of things I planned to make. So far I’ve been staring at a partially started Triforce throw and a list of unfulfilled ideas. Thankfully this isn’t entirely disappointing, I’ve been busy earning a living. Which is much better than procrastinating or being plain lazy. So far the only way I’ve been able to expand my shop has been through special requests from buyers. Thank goodness for you guys, you keep me interested. That’s how this new Galaga blanket came about.

Making Galaga fills me with happy, I really love the rainbow of colors involved. I’ve recently gotten a couple of fun requests that I can’t wait to knock out. Some are going to be a major challenge, but that’s what makes it fun. One of my new projects isn’t even arcade themed, crazy… I know. Still nerdy though. Never forget your roots.

Read on to welcome Galaga to the family.

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And then…

…sometimes I upgrade my yarn and insides to produce something better.

I had so much fun making this pumpkin that I had to go out and buy some fiberfill and 100% wool yarn in orange so I could make it better. I’m super happy with the result. I’m going to make this guy in white and then move on to try to make more cool amigurumi creations. I promised Terrence’s sister I’d make her a hamburger, it’ll be an adventure. The pattern I have for that is a little confusing, but I’m going to give it a try.

If you’d like to join me in populating the world with tiny yarn pumpkins the pattern can be found here. Sure, I’ve seen better pumpkins out there but no patterns. Maybe next year.

Ingredients I used:
Patons Classic Wool in Pumpkin
Stitch Nation Alpaca Love in Espresso Bean
Poly-fil stuffing

Happy crafting!

Sometimes I learn.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I can’t read crochet patterns. I’ve tried for over a decade and its always just been gibberish to me. I don’t make traditional patterns for the work I do either, its just a post-it note of nonsense that only I understand. Yes, my entire blanket designs fit on a single post-it.

Lately I’ve been working on blankets from the time I wake up until the wee hours of night, not giving myself much time to goof off. So tonight I challenged myself to finish a certain amount of work so I could play. I fell short… but I played anyway. It wasn’t that short, I promise.

When I try new things I usually watch youtube videos to figure them out. I wanted to make a pumpkin, but I couldn’t find a good video to teach me. Determined as I was, I read two different patterns and tried to make them work until I settled on one. I actually followed it! I had to scrap it several times and every now and then I needed to Google, but I did it. My stuffing is a bunch of cotton balls and its totally lopsided, but its ok. I just wanted to learn something new.

!!!

Here comes Galaga.

Does it make me sound cocky if I say how much I love my new throw? Whatever, I LOVE my new throw! I have a list of all the blankets and throws I want to eventually make. Since I already have Space Invaders, Galaga was low on my list of next projects. However, someone requested that I make it… which instantly makes it a priority on the list. Before I upset any gamers with my comparison of Space Invaders to Galaga let me just say, I only mean style wise, I already make something with rows of intergalactic enemies. Don’t yell at me, I’m sensitive.

Either way, I really like Galaga because of how colorful it is. It has a lot of pop. I’m also glad I decided to add the specks of stars. I’m super excited for when I have the time to make a full level blanket, as much as I love my little throws, I really love making full length level blankets. They make me nostalgic for hanging out at the arcade with my friends. I was a big Ms. Pac-Man junkie and I remember Galaga was right next to Ms. Pac-Man at our local arcade. My friend was a huge Galaga fan so even though we ran to separate machines we were at least close enough to hang out and be engrossed by our chosen arcade machine.

Now I’m making myself sad that that arcade went out of business in 2006. The above photo was taken the last weekend it was open. I went to the auction of all the games, we wanted to bid on skee-ball — that would have been awesome. Terrence won me the tiny color tv prize that I had always saved up my tickets to get. Tears. Guys if you still have one, support your local arcade.

R.I.P. Sand Lane Arcade <3

What was I talking about…? Oh yeah, I made a new throw! More pictures after the break…

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