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on the way to Hogwarts

Those who follow me on Instagram/FB got a sneak peek at Henri’s Halloween costume this year.  The boys fell hard into the world of Hogwarts when we began showing them the films this year, though we stopped after the 5th one because they were getting a bit too dark.

Jakob wants to be Draco Malfoy.  It was his original costume choice, now possibly swapped out for a Minecraft Enderman, but in general, he wants to be a Slytherin.  He thinks Harry was put in the wrong house, and that Slytherin is where it’s at.  It’s less to do with the negative traits or a penchant for the color green, than it is that, as he likes to remind me, “We love snakes, Mom.“.  Yes.  Yes we do.

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Jakob, age 4, with friend.

The Snake is my Chinese sign and a long-favored creature of mine, and that love transferred down to my oldest.  In fact, we’d have a pet snake at home if it weren’t for 2 things: 1. I would be too heartbroken to feed it mice, and 2. my father-in-law would never visit again.

In any case, if ever he were to dress up as anything from the Potterverse, it would be in Slytherin colors.  But Henri?  He’s Gryffindor all the way.

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Doesn’t he even LOOK like a young Harry???

We bought those glasses and wand last weekend at the local Halloween store, and my mom lent us a black grad gown that is PERFECT for his robes.  I’d like to find time to make a crest for the robe, but the main finishing touch for his costume is the scarf, so I decided to get on that last night.

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The burgundy isn’t quite right, but I’m working with stash yarn and I don’t think he’ll mind too much.  The pattern is my own, such as it is.

CO 30 sts with burg yarn.  Work 1×1 rib for 30 rows.  Change to yellow, work 1×1 rib for 30 rows.  Repeat, ending after a burgundy section.  Add fringe.

I decided against working stockinette because I really didn’t feel like taking the extra time to make it doubled or in the round, and a flat panel of st st would curl like crazy.  1×1 rib contracts enough to look almost like stockinette and won’t curl, making it quicker and easier for a 6yo’s Halloween costume.  🙂

UPDATE AFTER HALLOWEEN: Here’s Henri’s final costume!


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SuperBaby, revisited

The boys keep talking about what they want to be for Halloween this year, and it has me reminiscing about Jakob’s first Halloween, and one of my very first designs.

Here’s a repost, coming to you from all the way back in 2007.  Lookit how wittle he was!!

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From November 2007: May I present…

SuperBaby!

SuperBaby’s special powers include drowning his adversaries in massive amounts of drool, and the ability to shove anything into his mouth. Foes are often foiled in their plots by his awesome cuteness which requires all who pass to stop, come closer, and kiss him.

SuperBaby also managed to stand by himself (leaning on the sofa) for the purposes of taking this photo.
His detachable cape is this season’s “in” accessory. No SuperBaby would be caught dead without a cape this year, and we hear that shiny red is the new black.

The pattern is my own, for both the outfit and the cape. I had Yannick’s help in creating the baby, and the Superness is all his own. 🙂

By the way, these are the pumpkins that Yannick bought for outside our house. Should I be insulted that the “Daddy” and “Baby” pumpkins are perfect, and the “Mommy” pumpkin is all lumpy and deformed?

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Heh.

My brother Aaron edited that pic up there and now SuperBaby looks right at home, defending the city.

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He wore the outfit again for Purim too.  🙂

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A little while later I’d contacted DC inquiring about permission to write up and publish the pattern.  (They, duh, refused me).2746347727_708f81ccb0_n

So… I modified it into a generic superhero instead, and now anyone who wants to can knit up their very own!

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The pattern is written for ages 6-12 months [12-18 months], and includes full instructions and charts for the costume, the two shown chest shields, and the cape.  There is also a blank chart with instructions on how to design your own shield, in case you want to personalize it with your favorite SuperBaby’s initial.

It’s on Ravelry here.


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Featured on KnitHacker.com!

Whoa… exactly what it says up there.  Thanks to a shout out from Laura on Twitter, my Skylanders Sprocket cosplay was featured on KnitHacker this morning, with dings going off on my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all about it.

I’m so thrilled people like the costume.  I spent so much time working on it, staying up til 2-3am every night for 5 weeks… even bringing pieces to stitch while I waited at the daycare for my kids, or sneaking in a line or two in traffic.  With all that work it was still 2am the night before the con and I had no gauntlets/gloves, and I was feeling so dejected, like the whole thing would be a waste because of not enough time.  I ended up staying up til 4am knitting a quick set of fingerless mitts, and was so tired the following night I was asleep by 6:45.  😛  It wasn’t complete, it was far from perfect, but to see that it’s appreciated by more than just myself for my crazy efforts… it’s really awesome.

To anyone who stumbles this way and finds this: all the rest of the tutorials and step-by-steps are coming.  I have all the pics and just need to put them into a cohesive order.

You can check out the write-up here.  Thanks so much Laura, and thank you Danielle for posting it!

kroon skylanders sprocket(Also thanks to Jenna at Kroon Designs for the great pic!)


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Post-Con Blues

skylanders sprocket post con blues

There’s a letdown that comes after 5 weeks of non-stop rushing.  Instead of reaching for my project bag I’m avoiding it ‘cus it’s only filled with the left-over odds and ends that need sorting and putting away.  My thumb has a sore spot from forcing my needle around awkward angles.  I have this weird amount of this strange thing called time.

I’m putting the time to good use, sorting through all my pics to prepare coherent posts.  I’ve got all the rest of the step-by-steps and a ton of completed pics from the con itself and afterwards.  I’ll probably post the rest of the WIP stuff first, then close with the FOsskylanders sprocket teaser

If you’re in Montreal, and have some free time today, I highly recommend checking out the final day of Montreal Comiccon 2015!


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Skylanders Sprocket Cosplay – getting down to the wire

sprocket progress 02

Montreal ComicCon is in 2 days.  Well it starts earlier, but I’m only going on Saturday.  Forgive the lack of updates, I’ve been working my fingers off til roughly 3am every night the last few weeks, hoping to be done on time.  (I’ve been taking progress/step-by-step pics but those posts will have to wait until AFTER the Con).  With only 2 days to go, here is my current progress.

Cosplay progress completed parts to-date:

  • shirt
  • pants
  • vest
  • wig
  • wrench/purse
  • goggles
  • gauge

Cosplay wip:

  • belt/peplums – 80% complete
  • boots – 40% complete
  • gauntlets/gloves – 0% complete


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Skylanders Sprocket Cosplay – Vest Part 4

It’s done! On Tuesday I finished the vest, and was able to move on to the next part of the Sprocket cosplay.

I ended up picking up stitches around the armholes then working a 3-st, i-cord BO/applied i-cord around the edge, grafting the ends together.  I didn’t bother with a provisional CO, I just used the yarn tail to duplicate stitch the join so it looked flush.  In this image you can see the difference between the before (left) and the after (right).

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I did the same thing for the neckline, with one minor tweak.  The edges were curling, and I preferred the lower edge.  So when I picked up the sts I picked up about 3 rows down in the flat sections, turning that extra fabric to the back.  After working the i-cord I took another length of yarn and tacked that little flap down on the insides.skylanders sprocket vest fo 02

You can just barely see it on the inside, and see a slight ridge on the outside, but I don’t mind.

The lighting in my kitchen sucks, but here’s the back…

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… and the front.  And Sam, for some reason.skylanders sprocket vest fo 04I’m wearing it over the shirt and pants I bought for the costume, so this is the best progress pic so far.  😀

Plus- it fits!skylanders sprocket vest collageCosplay progress completed parts to-date:

  • shirt
  • pants
  • vest

sprocket progress 01


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Skylanders Sprocket Cosplay – Vest Part 3

By Monday night I had a complete vest.

skylanders sprocket vest wip2 01The back, after seaming the sides and shoulders…skylanders sprocket vest wip2 04…and the front.

Heh.  Those darts look rather silly when laid flat like that, don’t they?  As soon as I realized that I slipped a bra inside to help, erm, fill things out a little. skylanders sprocket vest wip2 02

That’s better… if a little scandalous-looking.

skylanders sprocket vest wip2 03At some point I will be making the gauge Sprocket wears on her chest, and I wanted to make sure I had enough room to place it flat on my chestbone.  I do, and discovered that the neckline was actually a little higher than I needed.  I prefer it falling as low as it is curving, not where it would be if the bound-off sts were actually laying flat.

This was where I set it aside for the night.  I wanted to look up armhole finishing techniques, and was unsure if I wanted to do an icord BO/applied icord around the exposed edges, or pick up, knit a few rows and bind off, leaving a curled edge.  It was late, so I decided to sleep on it.


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Skylanders Sprocket Cosplay – Vest Part 2

The back of Sprocket’s vest complete, it was time to design the front.  Sunday morning we slept in after a lovely and decadent family wedding, and then while Yannick mowed the lawn I drank some coffee and did maths.skylanders sprocket vest sketch 02Before even beginning to decide how to tackle the front, I wanted a map of exactly how many rows my back piece was.  I wasn’t concerned about matching width, but it would sure suck to start seaming the sides and realize my rows were way off.  I pinned the back out to a blocking board, double-checked my hasty pattern, and filled in my sketch.

Now I knew I had 140 rows total for the front, and to make them even I could ‘spend’ 6 rows on the lower ribbing, 78 rows making my way to the armhole decreases, then jigger the bust however it took as long as I squished it all into 56 rows.  On the width issue, my only requirement was that I finish the shoulders at 16 sts each, so I could do a 3ndl bind off on them later.

By this point Yannick had come inside to join me, and was playing Mario Kart while I did more maths. skylanders sprocket vest sketch 03Which led to way more maths and a minor tease of a headache.

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But in the end I figured it out.  I would cast on enough sts for my belly, and work the rib to match the back.  Mosey my way up to my waist, working darts to decrease towards my narrower point, and then after a bit worked even I’d re-increase along the same dart lines to fit my bust.  More working even, and that should get me to the armholes.  Then I’d decrease for the armholes AND the top of the bust darts at the same time, narrowing the whole top to the same 15″ across as the back.  Work the straps, ending with 16 sts each.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as Henri would say.

And?

It worked!  I got all the way up to the bust increases done on Sunday and after brunch with friends on Monday morning I came home and seamed the sides so I could try it on.

skylanders sprocket vest wip 02After trying this I have to say I’m hooked on darts.  I think any knitted top that isn’t complicated by patterning, that I want to be somewhat fitted, will now have waist and bust darts.  Or at least bust darts.  The difference they make is astounding.


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Skylanders Sprocket Cosplay – Vest Part 1

With last Friday bringing Sprocket’s wrench to a place where seaming was all that remained, I needed to keep going and come up with a new portable part of the project.  I knew I’d be going to see a movie that night and was loath to give up on the possible knitting time, so I hurried to sketch up a quick plan of attack.

sprocket2My working model of Sprocket is going to be a mix of the original (above) and this drawing I found on DeviantArt:

sprocket devartI contacted the artist, DizPlicity, on Facebook, and got permission to work from her design.  Yay!

In both cases Sprocket wears a blue ‘vest’ over black long sleeves and black pants.  A few weeks ago I went to Value Village and picked up those two items, so I tried on the top over the bra I planned to wear and took a few measurements.

The first thing I realized was that knitting the vest in the round would not work without some serious math.  I have a lot more…uh… mass in the front than I do in my back, and simply measuring around my body and dividing in 2 would result in a front that pulls, and a back that sags and bunches.  I had an idea for knitting the front in a way to incorporate bust darts for some serious shaping, but hadn’t quite figured out how to do that, so the easiest thing would be to start with the back.

My back, both in real life and for the back of the vest, is pretty straightforwards.

skylanders sprocket vest sketch 01I knocked out a fast sketch of the shape and dimensions I wanted.  I swatched my yarn (Red Heart Super Saver in Blue Suede, and 5mm Addi circs) and once I had my gauge I plopped those numbers into Excel and did the maths to write up a pattern for the back.  I decided to work from the bottom up so I could have a ways to go before getting into any shaping – perfect for darkened theater knitting.

skylanders sprocket vest wip 01

This, in case you’re wondering, is how much knitting one can get done during Avengers: Age of Ultron.  I knit the ribbing before leaving and all the rest during the movie.  By the time I got home I was only 10 rows short of my armhole decreases. skylanders sprocket vest wip 03And here’s the completed back.  Next up, the hard part – the front.


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timing is everything

I started a vest for myself.  I shouldn’t have, but I did.

At guild on Tuesday I won a mini raffle we did, and got a 2012/2013 Bergere de France magazine.  There are some GORGEOUS patterns in there, but I was taken by 2 in particular.  One of them I’m not sure what yarn to use, but the other…well…it’s a fun fur vest.  I know.

I know.

I KNOW.

But it’s really cute, and worse comes to worst I’m always cold at home so….  Yeah.  Moving on…

The body is worked on 8mm needles so it’s a fast knit.  It’s kinda a shrug/vest hybrid, and on Wednesday night I cast on.  I finished the back ribbing and the first few rows of the body.  And then I brought it to work with me on Thursday so I could photocopy the pattern out of the magazine to make it easier to work on.

Now, I shouldn’t have started this project on Wed.  I had realized just that morning that Christmas might be in 2 weeks, but the last day of daycare/kindergarten is next week, which means I’m running out of time to do the holiday teachers’ gifts which I haven’t started yet.  I *should* have started those.  But I didn’t.

Which makes it only fitting that I forgot the project at work last night, and then today both boys woke up with fevers, meaning I had to keep them home, and be home all day, and NOT be able to work on the vest.

Which means that in about 5 minutes I’ll be starting the holiday teachers’ gifts, all due next week.  🙂