Book Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Hello! Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my last post. Your feedback means a lot to me, and it makes me happy to know many of you will be fine with whatever I post here. That really means a lot. So, thank you all! I’ve decided to start posting some bookish things here, at least for the time being. One thing I’m learning about blogging is that you can be flexible with it. 🙂

I also want to apologize for being so behind on comments. I try to refrain from Unnecessary Apologies here, but I do want to reply to comments and visit your lovely blogs on a regular basis, and I haven’t been able to do that lately. I’m trying to establish a better blogging schedule, so I hope to catch up soon. Thank you for being so patient! 🙂

And now for today’s post (which is a re-post from my book blog, The Bookish Orca. There will be a few of these.)

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About the Book

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Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Goodreads | 288 pages | Where I got it – purchased at Powell’s.

This review will have mild spoilers.

I loved the characters. Taylor and Charlie are vastly different, and I liked having chapters from each of their perspectives. Sometimes I find it hard to tell characters apart when authors do this, but I didn’t have much of a problem in this book.

The diversity in this book is fantastic. Taylor has Asperger’s and is extremely socially anxious, and Charlie is Asian-Australian and bisexual. I liked how the author didn’t skirt over their diversity, but this isn’t an “issue book” either. There’s one instance where Charlie is trying to explain bisexuality to her boyfriend, who “doesn’t believe in it,” and I thought that was nicely done. I also like how she’s so confident in her own sexuality (without going over-the-top). It’s nice to read about a character who is comfortable in her own skin.

I could really relate to Taylor with the anxiety end of things. I’m quick to criticize books that paint a rosy picture of anxiety, or worse, shame people with anxiety. This book did neither of those things; it’s one of the best portrayals I’ve read to date (reminds me of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell). It’s ridiculously hard for someone with social anxiety to do something like Comic Con, and you can tell how hard it is for Taylor. She also has one very realistic panic attack in the bathroom.

“That’s what we do. We walk a tightrope every day. Getting out the door is a tightrope. Going grocery shopping is a tightrope. Socializing is a tightrope. Things that most people consider to be normal, daily parts of life are the very things we fear and struggle with the most.”

I liked that the whole book was set at Comic Con! I always think it’s fascinating when books take place over a two- or three-day period. You have to cram so much character development in there, and work in the backstory without info-dumping… which is hard to pull off, but this book did!

Some other things I liked:

  • Taylor’s love for Queen Firestone! I think the parallel would be Harry Potter, with Skyler Atkins being J. K. Rowling. 🙂
  • Taylor’s social anxiety and being on the Autism spectrum. I haven’t read about that much in books, so it was really interesting and awesome to find a character like her!
  • (spoiler) Charlie’s crush on Alyssa. I have a new OTP, and I don’t say that lightly. They are ridiculously cute together, and I like how they discuss their relationship seriously… so many YA relationships don’t involve any communication, just two people lusting after each other, and this book does it right. (end spoiler)
  • I loved reading about Charlie’s life as a vlogger and indie movie star!
  • Pink hair.
  • Going off that last point, the cover is ridiculously adorable.
  • It’s fairly short – 288 pages – which is just my speed as of late. It’s pretty quick to read, which also makes it wonderful to reread. I’m starting my third read of it now. 🙂

Sensitive Reader Advisory

Lots of swearing, including the F-word. Romance, as you can tell from the back cover (including some PG-13 stuff, but off-page). Definitely for the YA audience.

In Short…

An adorable, diverse, thoroughly enjoyable ode to fandom.

Rating: 5 stars *****

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Poll: Future Plans for Once Upon a Yarn

Hello, lovely readers.

First, thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement on my last post. It means a lot to me, and I’m so grateful to have your support and enthusiasm! 🙂

I’ve been absent from this blog for quite a while lately. Between college classes and stress, I haven’t had the motivation to post much. Plus, I haven’t been crocheting as much, let alone designing patterns, which doesn’t give me a lot of material to work with. What I have been doing recently is writing book reviews and other reading- and writing-related things, which I have been posting on my other blog, The Bookish Orca. That’s been a wonderful creative outlet, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. However, I really don’t like neglecting this blog.

So I was wondering your thoughts on an idea: How would you feel about me combining the two blogs? It’s just an idea, and it may not happen, but I thought I’d see how you all felt about it. I would post the usual crochet and crafts on here, but with book reviews and bookish posts in addition.

The reason I’m thinking about this is because my blog has evolved quite a bit since its beginning. I’m already posting a fair amount of writing on here, as well as book-inspired amigurumi, so it wouldn’t be a super drastic change. I thought it would be fun to combine my two loves: crochet and reading! My blog name also seems to fit with this theme, “Once Upon a Yarn.” 🙂 Another reason is that I’ve been writing bookish posts, not crafty posts, so I can’t see being able to update Once Upon a Yarn with crafty stuff as often as I used to, unfortunately.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. I could definitely see going either way, and I welcome your honest feedback! Please take a minute to let me know what you think. Again, here’s the link to my book blog if you want to take a look before voting. 🙂
What are your thoughts on combining Once Upon a Yarn with my book blog?

Whatever the verdict, I hope to be posting more stuff here in the near future. Thanks for sticking with me! ❤

Please Help “Unraveled” Be Published!

That’s a rather demanding title. Don’t worry, I won’t order you about. 🙂 But I did want to share some exciting news about the book I blogged about a year ago here on Once Upon a Yarn!

If you’re a longtime reader, you may remember Unraveled. It’s a novel I was writing, posting a chapter a week here on the blog. I believe there were twenty or so installments before I had to stop due to time. However, I’ve been working on it ever since, and I just submitted the final draft* to Swoon Reads to be considered for publication. ^__^

Swoon Reads is a publishing company whose submission process is entirely online – you upload your manuscript to the site, and readers all over the world read and rate your book. Then Swoon Reads chooses the highest-rated manuscripts to be published. I thought this was a super neat idea, so although I was nervous, I uploaded mine. And now I’m trying to acquire ratings before the next set of books are chosen on September 30. 🙂

It would mean a lot to me if anyone took the time to read and rate my book, as my dream is to become a published author one day. 🙂 Please click here to check it out, or keep reading if you’re curious how Unraveled changed over time!

*It’s not the FINAL final draft, as there are still many edits that need to be made, but it’s the final draft I did before submission. 🙂

The Curse of Magical Thinking-3

Read Magical Thinking on Swoon Reads

Emma Perez, expert crocheter, lives an ordinary life…until a mysterious crochet shawl appears at the store where she works, Yarn Emporium. Emma can’t stop thinking about the shawl, and it’s starting to take over her life. With the help of her genius little brother Will, she begins searching for answers.

Talia Bishop has a hard enough time fighting her OCD every day without a curse being thrown into the mix. But when her beloved grandmother dies, Tali suspects there’s something more to her death. Her investigation leads her to Emma…who she’s been crushing on for months.

Emma and Tali are led to a fantastical world where magic exists, faeries roam the land, and curses are all too real. As they navigate Feylinn and even begin to fall in love, can they break the curse and save Emma’s life?

Genre: Young Adult fantasy novel

When I started writing Unraveled, I thought it was going to be less than 10,000 words – a quick summer project. It turned into a 60,000-word fantasy novel. 🙂 I changed the title to Magical Thinking to call more attention to the fantasy storyline, and also because “magical thinking” is part of OCD.

Parts of the story are the same as the ones you read on the blog. However, I only ever posted about half of the story on the blog, so if you were curious how it ended, this is your chance to find out. 🙂 (I’m really not good at sales pitches, am I?)

One of the biggest changes I made was having Emma and Tali (previously named Catherine) fall in love. I initially wrote another love interest for Emma, but it just didn’t feel right, and I realized they were much better suited for each other. So obviously Emma had other plans. 😛 I also added Tali as a narrator, and fleshed out her backstory more. I rarely see OCD in books, let alone in fantasy, so I tried to write the book I could’ve benefited from when I was younger. 🙂

This book is a special project to me, and I wanted to share it with you because you guys have been so supportive throughout my blogging days. 🙂

So here’s where I ask for your help: If you have the time, please consider reading and rating Magical Thinking on Swoon Reads! You do need an account, but it’s free, and it would mean the world to me. It would be so helpful for it to be considered for publication, and on top of that, I really want to share this story with you guys. 🙂

Thank you for visiting, and have a wonderful day (or night)! ❤

Solar Eclipse Amigurumi: Free Crochet Pattern

Two posts in two days? Unlike me! 🙂 But I wanted to do something to commemorate the solar eclipse that’s happening tomorrow. I happen to live in the path of totality (well, 99% totality), and it seems that we got the last few pairs of eclipse glasses in the country. All that’s left to do is find a good viewing spot amongst the hundreds of tourists that have flocked to the city. 🙂

Instagram has a special sticker for the solar eclipse, and I thought it was the cutest thing ever. So I had to make a commemorative amigurumi inspired by it.

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You could also modify this to make a lunar eclipse – just put the sun in front of the moon! 😉 I’m kidding. I know that’s not how lunar eclipses work, hehe.

Here’s the super cute sticker that inspired this. I can’t handle how adorable it is! ^__^

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Materials

  • Worsted-weight yarn in light yellow, gold, and light gray. I used a mix of acrylic yarns like Red Heart Super Saver and Caron Simply Soft.
  • G (4.00 MM) crochet hook. I’ve been loving my new Clover ergonomic one…it saves my wrists!
  • 3 x 6MM safety eyes (you only need one for the sun).
  • Small amount of thin black yarn to embroider the mouth
  • Polyfil stuffing
  • Stitch marker
  • A pink crayon for the blush (optional)

Notes

-I use US crochet terms in all my patterns.

-This is worked in amigurumi style, so don’t join your rounds.

-There are some strange construction steps, but I’ll walk you through them. 🙂

Here’s the view from the back. I wanted it to look more realistic (well, as realistic as amigurumi can get) by having the sun entirely visible from this angle.

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Sun

Circles (make 2 in light yellow)

1: 6 sc in a magic ring

2: 2 sc in each st around

3: *sc 1, 2sc* around

4: *sc 2, 2sc* around

5: *sc 3, 2sc* around

6: *sc 4, 2sc* around

Fasten off, invisible join.

Joining the circles

Hold the two circles together with the right sides facing out. Using gold, join to the stitch after the one you fastened off. You’ll be stitching through both circles. *Sc 5, 2sc* 4 times. Now switch to crocheting only on the BACK layer, so the front one is left unworked. *Sc 5, 2sc* 2 times. You’ll have a little opening. Sl st to join.

Ch 2, dc in next st. Ch 2, sl st in top of dc. Ch 2, sl st in next st.

*Ch 2, sk 1, dc in next st. Ch 2, sl st in top of dc. Ch 2, sl st in next st.* Repeat between * and * all the way around. At the end of the round, fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

With the hole facing to the right, attach the eye between Rounds 3 and 4, one stitch up from the center. I waited to embroider the mouth until I’d sewn the sun and moon together.

Moon

Circles (make 2 in light gray)

1-6: Work as for Sun.

Hold the two circles together with the right sides facing out. Using gray, join to the stitch after the one you fastened off. You’ll be stitching through both circles. *Sc 5, 2sc* 4 times. Now switch to crocheting only on the FRONT layer, so the back one is left unworked. *Sc 5, 2sc* 2 times. You’ll have a little opening. Sl st to join. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

With the hole facing to the left, attach the two eyes between Rounds 3 and 4, one stitch down from the center. I waited to embroider the mouth until I’d sewn the sun and moon together.

Essentially, the moon and the sun are the same in this pattern except for which side the hole is on.

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Assembly

Stuff the insides lightly, on the side away from the holes. We’ll add more stuffing as we sew.

Slide the sun and the moon together so they look like a solar eclipse: From the front, the moon should be overlapping the sun, and from the back, the sun should be overlapping the moon. Basically, you don’t want the sun sandwiched inside the moon, because that’s not astronomically correct: the moon does not gobble up the sun during a solar eclipse. 🙂

Sew the front edge of the moon to the sun with the gray tail. At this point, you can add in some more stuffing – you want it to be evenly distributed through both circles. Then flip it over and sew the sun to the moon with the gold tail. I left the sun rays loose and just sewed through Round 7.

Last, embroider mouths with black yarn. I decided to add some blush on their cheeks with pink crayon for some added cuteness. 🙂

Now you have your own solar eclipse to commemorate this amazing event!

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Are any of you planning to watch the eclipse tomorrow? Remember your eclipse glasses! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

Peaceful Earth Mandala Cardigan

Hello my lovely blogging friends!

I know it’s been awhile since I last posted, but I’ve been quite busy. I finished my summer Mythology and Folklore class, finished writing Unraveled (which is now called Magical Thinking and is drastically different from the draft you guys read), and started a new blog and Instagram. I’ve been wanting to start book blogging for a year or so, and I finally did! I’m on Instagram as @the.bookish.orca, and my book blog is The Bookish Orca. I’m having a bunch of fun writing book reviews, so if you want to come visit, I’d love the company. ^_^ No pressure to follow, but I thought you guys might like to know where I’ve been lately. Surprising though it is, crochet is not my only passion…I’ve always been a big reader. 🙂

I saw this beautiful mandala cardigan from Morale Fiber and fell in love with it. It’s a FREE pattern, amazingly, and the designer did a gorgeous variation with cardigan sleeves. And since it’s made with Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, there are very few ends to weave in…the color changes are in the yarn itself. I was lucky enough to find some Shawl in a Ball at Michaels; I didn’t think Michaels sold it in stores. I loved the colorway Peaceful Earth. And I’m so happy with how the finished cardigan turned out. It actually fits!

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Please forgive the awkward poses throughout the post. I’m terrible at modeling. 😛 My mom was very kind to take these pictures for me…I couldn’t get a picture by myself!

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This sweater is quite comfortable, and I’m really picky about how clothes fit. I love how the yarn looks, these colors are so pretty together…and it’s aptly named, I think! I thought it would bother me having two different-colored sleeves, but I actually like it. And the shell edging is so much fun to fiddle with.

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The blogger has a face! 🙂 This cardigan is sort of off-the-shoulder, as you can see, so I added some ties to hold it on. I’m also thinking a shawl pin might work nicely.

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Maisie approves. ^_^

I honestly have a new favorite brand of yarn. First, it’s just so PRETTY… look at those lovely skeins! ❤ I actually felt kind of bad unwinding them, because they’re just so pretty as is. Each skein has a different order of colors, as you can see. It’s not exactly cheap at 9.99 a skein, I think, but each skein has a LOT of yarn (hence the name Shawl in a Ball). It’s just so much fun to crochet with! I love seeing what color comes next, and the texture is super cool…some parts are skinnier and some are fluffy, like handspun yarn. I think it’s 100% acrylic, but it feels almost wooly, yet not itchy. I Love This Yarn will always be my favorite, but this comes next. Well worth the money. Plus, a sweater for $30 is not bad at all. 🙂

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I love the edging. I felt like people were giving me weird looks when I took this picture outside my classroom, during a break. 🙂 Also, I like having rainbow nail polish. I pick my nails so having a picture where they look decent is quite rare. Anyone else? 🙂

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Have I mentioned how much I love making mandalas? 🙂

This was such a fun pattern to make, and I’m so happy that Morale Fiber provides it for free! I’d love to make more of these in different colorways.

What have you lovely people been up to recently? Thank you, as always, for reading…and for all the lovely comments you’ve been leaving! Your friendship is much appreciated! 🙂

Amigurumi Fringe Observer

I am beyond excited about this project! I’m crocheting the main characters from my favorite TV show, Fringe. 🙂

You may have gathered by now that I’m a big fan of this show. It’s been off the air since 2013, but my parents spoke highly of it, so I started watching. It’s an absolutely fantastic show: the plot is complex and interesting, it’s science fiction for non-sciencey people, and the characters are likable and well-developed. Plus, it’s not overly violent or racy like a lot of the shows running today (although there are a fair amount of squeamish things), which is a win in my book. It was pulled from Netflix and Amazon Prime, so I was delighted when I found out all 5 seasons are on Go90. I know I sound like a Fringe spokesperson, but sadly I am not sponsored. 😛 I can’t recommend it enough, though!

Without giving away too much, there are characters in the show called Observers. As you might guess by the name, they just watch what’s going on, and they’re very mysterious (at least until season 5…) One of them is named September and is friends with Walter, who is the mad scientist of the main characters. What’s cool is there’s an Observer in every single episode of Fringe – some of them are easier to spot than others, but it’s fun to look for them!

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Here’s crochet September, and real September for comparison. 🙂

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This was one of the most fun amigurumi projects to date. I know I say this every time, but I think he might be my new favorite. Both of my parents thought he was hilarious, and he keeps making me giggle. Definitely one of the sillier amigurumi I’ve made, which is why I’m so pleased. 😀

Poor September looks quite chilly without his hat:

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Anyway, here are some details on the process! :}

Hat

Using Lion Brand Heartland in grayish black, and G hook:

1: 7 sc in a magic ring

2: 2 sc in each st around

3: *sc 1, inc*

4: *sc 2, inc*

5: *sc 3, inc*

6: sc around in back loops only

7-10: sc around

11: in front loops only, *dc 1, 2 dc* around. Join, fasten off, weave in ends.

Coat

Using Loops and Threads Woollike in Black, and C (2.75 MM) hook:

Body

Ch 22. Dc in 3rd ch and in each ch across.

2-5: Ch 2, turn, dc across.

6: Ch 2, turn, dc 2, ch 5, sk 5, dc in rest of stitches.

7-16 (10 rows): Ch 2, turn, dc across.

17: Ch 2, turn, dc across until 7 sts remain, ch 5, sk 5, dc 2.

18-22: Ch 2, turn, dc across

Sleeves

Ch 14, dc in 3rd ch and in each ch across

2-6: Ch 2, turn, dc across

Fasten off, sew sides together and sew sleeves to armholes.

Fold back lapels and sew down, then sew front of jacket together in one spot. Or you could attach a hook-and-eye clasp. I attempted this and discovered it was beyond my skill level. 😛

Tie

Using G hook and whatever yarn floats your boat:

Ch 8. Starting in second ch, work the following stitches across: sc, dc, hdc, sc 4. Fasten off, leaving long tail. Wrap the tail around the top of the tie to resemble a knot, then weave in end.

I chose to sew a snap onto the tie and his shirt so he could have interchangeable ties. Which means, should September feel like it, he can wear ties like this:

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Spiffy? 🙂 I’ve always wanted to see the Observers in brightly colored outfits!

I’m so excited to start on the rest of the Fringe team… are there any Fringe fans out there? What shows are you guys obsessed with? 😀 Thanks so much for your interest in my fandom crocheting, I really appreciate your lovely comments and you reading! 🙂 ❤

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Oso gonplei nou ste odon

Hello my faithful friends!

I’ve been watching The 100 for about a year now, and I’ve become a little obsessed. (By now you likely are familiar with my obsessive personality, so I doubt this comes as a surprise.) It takes place after a nuclear apocalypse where humanity lives in a space station, the Ark, and 100 teenagers are sent to the ground to see if the earth is habitable. Hence the name. 🙂 It’s definitely more violent than I care for, but the characters make it worth watching, so I’m hooked. I just caught up on all four seasons and am now waiting in agony with the rest of the fandom for Season 5. That cliffhanger was awful! 😛

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Another reason I like the show so much is that it has a language invented for it, created by the guy who did languages for Game of Thrones! It’s called “Trigedasleng” and it’s basically a derivative of English, and I believe it’s verbal only (of course you can transcribe it, but in the show they speak rather than write it). The title of this post is Trigedasleng and means “Our fight isn’t over.” I’m absolutely fascinated by languages, so I really enjoy this aspect of the show – I think it’s amazing that a linguist actually created a language with working grammar, and he translates stuff into Trigedasleng for the writers of The 100. Also, the grammar is super interesting because of how the verb tenses are formed: from what I understand, there are a bunch of little words added to verbs that make the tense different. Which is super interesting to me, a French and English major. (French has at least 12 verb tenses, including the subjunctive, which doesn’t exist at all in English – we just have a subjunctive “mood”!) But you probably didn’t come here for an unsolicited French grammar lesson, so let’s move on. 🙂

So I made Clarke and Lexa, two of the main characters! Clarke is the main character, and Lexa is introduced in Season 2. Major spoiler alert! Scroll down and highlight to read:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Lexa is Clarke’s love interest later in the show, and I thought they were perfect for each other, so I wanted to pay homage to it in crochet form. :}

As usual, I used the Free Spirit pattern from By Hook, by Hand. Click on the ‘Fandomgurumi’ link at the top of the screen to see the basic details of how I do fandom dolls! My sister helped me do Lexa’s warpaint, with some of her eyeshadow. I’m very grateful for her help, and I absolutely love how it turned out!

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Clarke Griffin

I’m trying something new and just posting the notes I took. If you’re keen on making one of these dolls, it should be fairly self-explanatory by the time you get to my notes, but please feel free to ask for clarification!

Same as Cinder’s pants and shirt.

She has a quilted coat in the show, so I learned a new stitch for this purpose: the Diamond Stitch, with a super awesome tutorial from Hopeful Honey! I used Loops and Threads Woollike and a C (2.75 MM) hook. For the sleeves, I chained 17, and for the main coat body I chained 40. Then when it came time to divide for the armholes, I left nine stitches for the fronts and three for the armholes. Other than that, I worked straight in the pattern.

Hair was Red Heart Super Saver in this light blonde color. I think it’s called “Buff.”

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Lexa kom Trikru

Shirt

Using 2 strands of Loops & Threads Woollike held together, and an E (3.50 MM) crochet hook:

Ch 30.

Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hk and in each ch across (28)

Row 2-4: Ch 2, turn, hdc across

Row 5: Ch 2, turn, hdc 10, ch 8, sk 8, hdc 10

Row 6-9: Ch 2, turn, hdc across

Row 10: Cut the yarn. Flip the shirt over so the WS of Row 9 is facing, skip 10 stitches, and join to the 11th one. 2 hdc in that st. Hdc in next 2 sts, 2 hdc in next st. *Hdc 1, 2 hdc in next st* 2 times. Now work on the chain side, and do the same thing: skip 10 stitches and work that same sequence. Do not join; we’ll be working in rows, and sewing it up the side once it’s on the doll. (That whole thing counts as Row 10.)

Row 11: Ch 2, turn. Hdc across, doing one increase at each armpit.

Row 12-14: Ch 2, turn, hdc across. Fasten off.

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Corset

Using Patons Metallic yarn (I think that’s the name), and a G hook:

Ch 30, sl st to join.

Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2). Sk 2 sts. *Dc, ch 2, sk 2 sts* around, sl st to 3rd ch.

Ch 5, sk chain sp, dc in next dc. *CH 2, dc in next dc* around, sl st to join.

Shoulder Guards:

Using same yarn and hook, ch 4, 7 dc in 3rd ch from hk. Fasten off.

Cape

Using dark red yarn and an H (5.00 MM) hook:

Row 1: Ch 31. Sc in 2nd ch from hk and in next ch, hdc 3, dc to end.

Row 2: Ch 2, turn (or use a standing dc). Dc until 7 sts remain. Hdc 5, sc 2.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. Sc 2, hdc 3, dc to end.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn, sl st loosely across.

Fasten off and sew to shoulder guard on left shoulder.

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The hair was the really fun part! I followed this YouTube tutorial and was super happy with the result. Although it’s really implausible that Lexa could manage this hairdo on her own, but I’m willing to suspend my disbelief. The costumes on this show are amazing!

 

Have any of y’all watched The 100? Are there any shows you’d recommend to watch in the long wait for season 5? 😉

Thank you so much for reading! I’m so grateful for your blogging friendship. ❤

 

Wonder Woman’s Blue Dress (DC Superhero Girls)

I went to see Wonder Woman with my dad for Father’s Day, and it was incredible! Or should I say wonderful? 🙂 All bad jokes aside, it surpassed all my expectations. No spoilers here, but I’ll just say it was fantastic to have a female-led superhero movie. It makes me beyond happy to know that little girls will grow up with not only Iron Man and Captain America, but also Wonder Woman.. I’m quite disappointed that Black Widow hasn’t gotten her own movie by now, so props to DC for giving Wonder Woman a chance in the spotlight!

I think Gal Gadot did a fantastic job as Diana, and I can’t believe she filmed part of the movie while five months pregnant. There were so many amazing fight scenes, which are normally my least favorite part, but I actually found myself getting emotional during them – it’s so refreshing to see women onscreen who can defend themselves and don’t need anyone to save them. I later read I was not the only person to cry through the fight scenes.

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I suppose you guys know me well to guess where this is going, especially given the post title! I was delighted to see that Diana wears a variety of outfits throughout the movie, and in the theater I was trying to figure out how to adapt them to crochet. I designed this one for the DC Superhero Girls, which I learned about from my wonderful blogging friend Grace! She wrote a review on DC Superhero Girls Wonder Woman (which you should definitely check out!), and I ended up acquiring a Diana to bring along to the theater. 🙂 The first outfit I made was her gorgeous blue dress – and because she’s Wonder Woman, there’s a sword hidden in the back. 🙂

The most gorgeous dress, and Gal Gadot is ridiculously beautiful. Do a google image search for ‘wonder woman blue dress’ and you’ll see!

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I’ll admit I knew virtually nothing about Wonder Woman before seeing this movie, but now I feel inspired to consume ALL the Wonder Woman movies and comics I can get my hands on. Any suggestions on where to start would be much appreciated!

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Materials

Loops & Threads Woollike in “Denim Blue” (Super Fine, #1 weight)
E (3.5 MM) crochet hook

Notes

  • A note on the yarn: I don’t usually like to use super-fine yarns in my designs, for the simple reason that it takes too long. 😛 But this yarn was the perfect color, it was in my stash, and it’s also super soft. For a yarn that’s called “woollike,” it doesn’t feel itchy at all. I held two strands together for the entire pattern, with the exception of the flowy shoulder thing (like my specific terminology?) So if you preferred, you could use a slightly thicker yarn – I’m not sure exactly what weight it would be. Perhaps fingering weight?
  • Extended double crochet or ex-dc: Yarn over, insert hook into st, YO, pull through (3 loops on hook). YO, pull through 1. (YO, pull through 2 loops) 2x. I have a tutorial on extended stitches here if you’re new to them!

Bodice (make 2)

Bodice is worked in back loops only, except for the last hdc of the row, which is worked through both loops to prevent holes.

Ch 19.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd st from hk and in each st until you reach the last 5. Hdc 5.

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. Hdc 4, sc across until 5 sts remain, sl st 5 (loosely!)

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st until you reach the last 5. Hdc 5.

Row 4-5: Rep rows 2 and 3.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

Fold the bodice in half as shown and sew the two stitches under the armpit together. Do the same on the other side. Leave the back open (we need to stick a sword in there, after all!), but overlap the front by one row, and sew that closed.

Skirt

Ch 85. (Yes, 85, trust me. I know it seems absurd.)

Row 1: Starting in 2nd ch from hk, sc 40, hdc 4, dc 1, extended dc until the end of the row. (WS)

Row 2 (RS): Ch 3, turn. Extended dc in each ex-dc, dc 1,  hdc 4, sc in back loops of each sc.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. Sc in back loops of each sc, hdc 4, dc 1, extended dc to end of row.

Row 4-11: Repeat Rows 2 and 3.

Row 12: Ch 3, turn. Extended dc in each ex-dc, dc 1, hdc 4, leave remaining 40 sc unworked.

Row 13: Ch 1, turn. Hdc 4, dc 1, extended dc to end of row.

Row 14-22: Repeat last two rows.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing. With the RS facing out, whipstitch the ends together, leaving the sc part hanging out.

You’ll have this weird-looking shape before sewing. With Fringe in the background, because that’s how I roll. 🙂

Sash, part 2

This is for the second part of the sash – the first part is the sc portion of the skirt.

Ch 41. Work in back loops throughout, except the last sc of the row – this goes for sc2tog as well.

Row 1: Sc2tog in 2nd and 3rd ch from hk, sc in each st across.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Sk first st, sc in each st across.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st across until 2 sts remain, sc2tog.

Row 4-11: Repeat Rows 2 and 3.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing. Sew the slanted end to the end of the ribbed skirt portion, then sew the other end of the sash to the bottom of the bodice.

Flowy Shoulder Thing

I just used one strand of yarn for this, instead of holding 2 together, to make it flowier. But if you’re using a thicker yarn and can’t manage this, no worries!

Make a magic ring, ch 3. 3 dc in ring.

Row 2-3: Ch 3, turn. 2 dc in first st, dc across.

Row 4-13: Ch 3, turn. Dc across.

Row 15: Rep row 2.

Row 16-19: Ch 3, turn. Dc across.

Row 20: Rep row 2.

Row 21: Ch 3, turn. Dc across.

Row 22: Ch 3, turn. Skip first 2 sts, sc in next. Ch 3, sk 1, sc. Ch 3, sk 1, sl st in last st. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Use beginning tail to sew to left shoulder.

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Have any of y’all seen Wonder Woman? If so, what did you think? 😀 As I mentioned before, I’d love any suggestions on how I can further my Wonder Woman education – where does a person start when reading comics? 🙂

Ooh, I just thought of a question: who’s your favorite superhero? Before this, mine was probably Thor (although Black Widow is undeniably fantastic, and I really like Iron Man because he’s my mom’s favorite!) I would totally love to get into this in the comments. 🙂

Hope you all have a fantastic day!

My Final English Project – “Ghosts” Amigurumi

I’m super excited for today’s post! This has been in the works for about a month or so, and I really wanted to share it with you guys. The short story is that I managed to get permission to crochet something for my English 104 final project. But you know me, I can never keep it to a short story…so if you want the long one, keep reading! 🙂

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I don’t really mention “everyday” life here, because it’s not conducive to a happy crochet blog! But a little background: I’m an English major in my first year of college, and one of my classes this term was ENG 104: Intro to Literature. It was a really fascinating class because my teacher taught it with a theme: “Illness Narratives.” This meant we read a bunch of pieces about illnesses, and analyzed not only things like literary devices and authorial intent, but also the perception and portrayal of illnesses in the media. This is something I’ve thought about quite a lot, having mental health problems myself, and it was wonderful to explore it in this class.

One of the assigned “textbooks” was actually a book I had previously read and loved: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. My sister and I love Telgemeier’s graphic novels, and she owns them all and kindly lets me borrow them. Ghosts just came out this year, so I was astonished to see it in the syllabus. Here’s the summary:

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.

 

It’s a really fantastic book and I can’t recommend it enough. For our final project, we had three options: a creative writing project, an art project, or a seven-page literary analysis (!). I opted for the art project, despite the fact I can barely draw a stick figure (much to my chagrin, as I would love to be able to doodle in class without mortifying myself). I can’t draw, but I can crochet… 😀

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My project was about the connection between visible and invisible illnesses, and I used Cat and Maya from Ghosts to illustrate this – Maya has cystic fibrosis, which is a very visible illness because of her breathing tube, while her sister Cat suffers from anxiety, which is a mental illness.

For the art project, we had to do a 2-4 page analytical essay describing how our project related to the course content, and incorporating several texts from the term. After a conference with my teacher, mine turned into 5 pages. 😛 And I decided to upload it here in case any of you were interested in reading it – not that you have to, because it’s kinda long and definitely not about crochet, but perhaps you’re curious. 🙂

The other book I reference in this essay is Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face, which is a fascinating read and one I would recommend as well.

Here’s the link if you’re interested in reading: Visible and Invisible Illnesses

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I was really excited to incorporate crochet into my English class – it’s been such a fun term! And my dolls weren’t even close to the best project (not that it’s a competition) – I was really lucky to have such fantastic classmates. I think my next post will include the details on how I made Cat and Maya, because this post is pretty long already. 🙂

Have you guys read any of Raina Telgemeier’s books? I’m not usually a graphic novel person, but I really enjoy her work! And if you do happen to read my essay, I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts – I’m still waiting to get a grade on this one, so fingers crossed, haha. 🙂 Hope you’re all having a wonderful week!

 

 

Crochet Rosary Pattern

Hello lovely followers!

Today I have a different sort of crochet pattern, but one that I’m very happy about. I may have mentioned before that I’m Catholic – I was confirmed when I was fifteen, and my sponsor gave me a beautiful pink rosary as a Confirmation gift.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, a rosary is a string of beads used for counting prayers. Here’s a guide on praying the rosary if you’re curious. 🙂 (I’m certainly not trying to convert anyone to Catholicism, I’m just excited to share this.)

Since then I’ve sort of acquired a small collection of rosaries. 🙂 I love seeing how they can range from delicate beaded ones, like my sponsor/godmother picked out for me, to wooden ones, and everything in between. I even have a rosary bracelet. I really like the repetitive nature of the prayers, as it’s very calming, and I’ve started carrying a rosary around in my backpack to ward off panic attacks. The trouble is that I’m afraid of the fancier ones breaking, as I have quite a lot of stuff in my backpack (last I checked it weighs 20 pounds). So the obvious solution here was, of course, to crochet one. 🙂

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Joan of Arc is my patron saint, or Confirmation saint – the one I chose when I got Confirmed. She’s the patron saint of France, and I am now a French and English double-major. 🙂 Also, am I the only one who really likes small version of books? The Pocket Gospels is the cutest thing. 🙂

There are several patterns for crochet rosaries out there, such as this one, but I wanted to try something different for the beads. Years ago I discovered the “Sparkle & Shine Necklace” by Red Heart, which has a fantastic “bead” pattern for the necklace. It worked perfectly for my purposes. That’s why I don’t want to claim any design credit here; I guess you could think of this as a really big modification to the pattern. 🙂 But I did want to share the modifications I made!

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On the left is the rosary my sponsor gave me. It’s definitely my favorite – pretty and meaningful! 🙂 ❤

Materials

  • Size 10 crochet thread – I used Aunt Lydia’s Bamboo Crochet Thread in coral, I believe. Not positive on the color name. It’s super soft and lovely. I want to experiment with different yarn weights as well – I think thinner would work better.
  • 2.1 MM crochet hook
  • Cross charm for the end – rosaries traditionally have a crucifix. I had some cross charms I got at Michaels a while back, so I used one of those. I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with having a cross rather than a crucifix, just that the latter is generally preferred. I think it’s because it’s helpful to look at a crucifix while you’re praying. I’m still learning. 🙂

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Pattern

I actually don’t want to copy the bead pattern here for fear of plagiarizing, so please check out that necklace pattern to find out how to do the beads. 🙂 When I say “make a bead” in this pattern, I’ll be referring to chaining 2, and doing the hdc stuff as described in the pattern.

I chose to make the Hail Mary and Our Father beads the same size, instead of making the Our Father beads larger.

Ch 5, bead. (So you’re really chaining 7 here – the ch 2 starts the bead.) Ch 4, bead. *Ch 1, bead* 2 times. Ch 4, bead. Ch 5.

Now we’re going to do the triangle that divides the bottom part from the five decades. (I’m not sure what the bottom part, with the cross, is called!) I chose to make this crocheted instead of trying to attach a charm. Again, not sure what that’s called. I need to take a class on rosary vocabulary. 🙂

Row 1: Ch 2. 2 sc in 2nd ch from hk, going under two loops of the chain.

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 2 sc in each st.

Row 3-4: Ch 1, turn. 2sc in first st, sc across. Ch 5 at the end of Row 4.

Decades:

Bead. *Ch 1, bead* 9 times (so you have 10 beads total). Ch 4, bead, ch 4.

Repeat this four more times, so you have five decades total. The only difference after the last one is that you’ll chain 5 instead of 4. Then sl st to the other side of the triangle. Fasten off, weave in ends, and sew your cross of choice to the starting tail.

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A photo that might help with bead placement.

I know this post is different than usual, but I hope you liked it – I really wanted to share this with y’all! I don’t talk much about religion here because this is a crochet blog, and I don’t want to spark any arguments, but I trust you guys to know I’m not trying to force my religion on anyone. I just get great happiness from sharing my latest projects, and I also happen to really like being Catholic. 🙂 I think there’s space for all religions and philosophies!

I’ll be back soon with more crochet stuff. There are more dolls I can’t wait to show you…and I collaborated with my sister, who’s an extremely talented artist, to design an amigurumi we’re really excited about. I’m still crocheting it, but I already can’t wait to show you. You’ll never guess… 😀

Thank you so much for reading and for all your wonderful comments. You guys are the best. ❤ Hope you’re having a wonderful week!