February 17

Friday Roundup: The year of the dragon

It is the year of the dragon, and as a recently birthday’ed fire dragon myself, I wanted to delve into all things dragon for this week’s round-up. First up from Olga Farberovao, I bring you this touching father-son moment. Check out this firey poppa welcoming his new addition:

This made-to-order toy was crocheted out of mohair yarn. His eyes, nostrils are needle felted. The egg is made by wet felting wool.
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February 8

Crocheted Katamari

Ooh! I could have a real katamari that actually picks things up! (Well, a “real” katamari, at least.) I just need to coerce one of my knitter/crocheter friends into making me one using this pattern. Evidently you can also needle-felt a similarly magnetic katamari using the instructions in the how-to guide I Felt Awesome. Watch it in action here.

September 19

Reader Submission: Felt Space Man

Geekcrafts reader Stephanie used the Submit a Geekcraft link to show us this super-cute spaceman and rocket:

“I made this felt spaceman and rocket pillow for my friend’s 3 year old son. The spaceman is handsewn acrylic felt. “

I’m so jealous of that 3 year old! … but then that’s nothing new… I’m jealous of anyone whose biggest ethical dilemmas of the day is whether it’s right or wrong to use the cat as a pencil sharpener…

September 12

Steampunk Cthulhu

Who doesn’t love an adorable Cthulhu? SpookyPooky created this tiny (3 inch tall) Cthulhu stuffy for the One Tiny Stuffie swap over at Craftster. Her lucky partner’s survey said she liked “cryptids, sea creatures/monsters, anything a little unusual, steampunk, Neil Gaiman inspired…She also said she loves anything with a top hat and a mustache.” So Steampunk Cthulhu was born! I love that she added a mustache! You can see more pictures in the post, including his filigree-touched wings and the mini I, Cthulhu biography “written” by Neil Gaiman SpookyPooky made to go with it.

August 17

Make a comics magnet this Saturday!

Hello Portland! If you’re free this Saturday afternoon (August 20 from 2-4), please stop by the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store for a craft party + book signing to celebrate World of Geekcraft (and my other new book, Modern Log Cabin Quilting). There will be free craft kits to make your own POW! ZAP! comics magnet from WOGC (plus wool log cabin quilt block kits), and we’ll have snacks and cupcakes, a tote bag full of crafty prizes to win, and a few other surprises…

July 27

Zombie Felties Book Review and Craft

I should start this review with honesty, I am not crafty. I know you are probably thinking, “But, the website is Geek CRAFTS?” Yes, it is, but I am just so geeky I only had to fulfil half the requirements to be allowed to write here, plus I love looking at all the fun crafts people across the web make. I am making this confession, as part of reviewing a craft book, is of course, making a craft from said book.

Zombie Felties by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skate is a great book, each and every feltie project in it is a great mix of ghoulish and adorable that makes them very hard to resist. My favourite thing about these creatures, is they are as small and fun as amigurumi, but without the hassle of becoming really, really good at crocheting. Of course, being stubborn and a little stupid, I chose a 3 skull difficulty project from the book (1 skull=easiest, 4 skulls=most difficult).

First, the positive things about the project–they are very small, so if you are a regular crafter with felt, you will likely already have all the felt you need in your scrap pile. As a person who doesn’t sew at all, I managed to get all the felt I needed from a remnants bin in a fabric store near my mother-in-law’s house, I got more than I needed and still only spent about 70pence (not sure what that translates to in American, I am on vacation here and the exchange rate is still a mystery). For the other bits and pieces, I chose to use the supply list as a suggestion and not a rule, and so I managed to find the eye, monocle, and cord in a tin of random bits and pieces, so they were free. My mother in law had a good supply of embroidery thread already, so again, a regular crafter would have most things on hand, someone just starting out would have probably had to spend a few dollars on embroidery thread, but over all, very inexpensive to make.

In addition to being very inexpensive to make each craft, I found the patterns to be fairly simple (no need to resize them) and, a lot of fun. One suggestion would be not to use your regular sewing shears and opt for a sharp pair of smaller scissors, for the smaller patterns. The over stitch used on the outside is a very forgiving stitch for imperfect cuts and mistakes stitching, so I liked that a lot (I only pricked myself four times).

The only real negative I saw, was that while there are instructions in the front of the book for each of the required stitches, if you are a true beginner, you will probably find the instructions within each project to be fairly vague. One favourite was “embroider the nose in satin stitch, making a small heart shape”. When paired with the explanation of a satin stitch in the beginning, it didn’t make a lot of sense, and when compared to the picture of the finished project, it didn’t look possible they had used the stitch they described. A person experienced with embroidery wouldn’t have an issue–my mother in law saw what the issue was right away and we went about it slightly differently than the instructions implied, but got the intended results. The idea is that the book will provide a challenge for a novice or a veteran, but novices be warned, when attempting the more challenging projects, have someone around who knows the ins and outs.

As a non-crafty, non-sewer, I found a lot of frustration in making the vampire feltie, but it was obvious the issue was with my skill level and not the instructions (who knew stitching without inadvertently tying knots in your thread was so difficult?), and although I look forward to trying out a few other patterns from the book, I will probably restart with the one skull difficulty and invest in a thimble. Most of the issues I had with the pattern had to do with how incredibly tiny the finished dolls are, but, of course, that is really what makes them so adorable and inexpensive to make, so it’s a wash.

Here is a final picture of my Vampire feltie, over an Air Mail envelope (business sized) with a one pound coin on his left and a quarter on his right to show you the size:

Over all it was a great book, and even with my limited skill, talent and experience, I think i did okay, so that speaks to the quality of the instructions. I would definitely recommend it to friends interested in sewing fun feltie dolls. Look for it in August!

EDIT: We have one copy of Zombie Felties to give away! Just leave a comment here with your favorite zombie or vampire movie by Saturday at midnight ET and we’ll pick a random winner. Earn an extra entry by commenting on someone else’s post!