Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tutorial From Out of Nowhere!

And you thought I was gone forever.  I was just busy riding the emotional, exhausting roller coaster that is grad school - woo doggies.  I'll talk more about that another day, though.  For now: a tutorial.

Above is a photo from at-swim-two-birds that's been floating around the crafty crannies of the internet lately.  My beady little eyes lit up with excitement when I saw those pom poms.  I just love puffy round things!  That's why I live with a fat rabbit.  Anyway, I knew I needed to make this.  My boyfriend glanced at the photo.  "How long is that going to take you to make?" he asked warily.  "Forever!" I shrieked as I ran out the door and burned rubber over to the craft store*.

Anyway, here is what you need in order to begin your magical odyssey to pom pom Shangri La:

- yarn (color #1) for base
- yarn (color #2) for pom poms
- 2" nails
- 4 wooden stretcher strips

Note:  You may be wondering what a stretcher strip is.  Well, I'll tell you!  Stretcher strips are specially cut pieces of wood that fit together without glue to form a frame for a canvas (for painting).  They can be found at most stores that sell art supplies, and they are super cheap.

Now we are ready to begin construction....

Step 1:  Assemble stretcher strips into frame.  Keep in mind, the size of the frame will affect the size/shape of the finished work (duh).  Some people put together really big frames and then make baby blankets on them.  I don't have a baby, but I do have a cat!  So I used 16" strips to make a cat cushion-sized pom pom square.  I think whoever did the blanket in the photo made a bunch of small pieces and then probably crocheted them all together.

Step 2:  Insert nails into strips, evenly spaced, like so:

These nails are 1.5" apart.  My nails kept falling out of the frame.  I probably could have solved this problem by nailing them deeper into the wood or using a different kind of nail, but that's too easy so instead I just glued the nails into their nail-holes.

Step 3:  Wind yarn across "loom" in a grid pattern.  It seems like there are many different possible techniques for this step.  Instead of writing out really confusing instructions explaining how I did this, I will refer you to a haggard looking craftswoman who for some reason I imagine to be Canadian.  And actually, you could skip my tutorial completely and just go watch all of her videos, but I want to believe that you all love me more than the haggard Canadian.

Step 4:  Secure those pom poms by tying strong yarn (not that bamboo or chenille garbage, if you're using it) around each point where the yarn crosses over itself.  It's important that you tie the yarn as tightly as you can so that the little pom poms don't fall apart when your cat rubs it's butt all over your finished piece.  Unfortunately, this is what the haggard Canadian ominously referred to as the "owie" part of the project in the comments section of one of her videos.  You will get horrible rope burn blisters on your fingers and never want to do this project again, which is rational.

Step 5:  Cut the pom pom yarn (but not the base yarn!) between the knots.  Then cut your piece off of the loom.  It will look so amazing that you will forget all about your sore, swollen sausage hands.
 Here is what the back side looks like.  See how I didn't cut through the gold base yarn?  That there is the key to success.

Now go enjoy your useless but adorable pom pom....thing.  Use the magical talents that I know you have and turn it into a throw pillow or seat cushion or something.  Or make 48 more squares and turn it into a sweet-ass afghan that you can give to me for my birthday next week, ha!

 * did not actually happen like that

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I need to get out of this town.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Le Nouveau Bun

This is my new bunny, Rudy Cottonbottom, named after Russian ballet dancer and rug aficionado Rudolf Nureyev (the names Douglas, Jeffrey Lebunski, Archie, and Theo didn't quite make the cut). Besides all of the divots that he has already chewed/dug in my carpet, he's been awfully delightful. While poor Tildar spent most of her time sleeping and avoiding human contact at all costs, tiny Rudy enjoys running around my living room at breakneck speeds, being petted (!), and watching PBS with me. Hopefully he will never grow out of his awesomeness.

Mm, yarn.

For some reason I only ever feel like knitting in the spring and summertime. Because nothing keeps you cool in blazing hot temperatures like a half-finished wool sweater draped over your sweaty thighs.

Anyway, here are some cool projects that I'll start working on this year and then maybe finish before I die, if I'm lucky :

click images for sources

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Seasonal Affective Disorder Awareness Month

Oh look, here's a stuffed Beholder monster from Dungeons and Dragons that I made for my Secret Santee a few weeks ago....

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This is my little brother. We don't have much in common. He is the iron-pumping Abercrombie mall-cop wannabe firefighter, and I'm the flabby library artist granola-tofu-kombucha "hippie". And still, one of the best parts about going home is when I'm standing precariously on the edge of the bathtub with our wonky old hair clippers in hand, and he says, "Do what you want, and then shave it all off". Then we laugh and talk about funny youtube videos while I give him mohawks and devil horns.

Same goes for my older brother and dad, of course- except they are less adventurous with their hair, and instead of youtube, it's talk of old movies and time travel, respectively.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hey, remember when I used to have that blog feature called "Things That Look Like Other Things"?

Well, here's a tent that looks a slice of watermelon.
Yours, for a cool $774.

via Nevver