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Finished Object Knitting

Yoda Baby Hat and Lightsaber

October 19, 2017
Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

The observant among you will notice that I never shared the Yoda Hat from my Summer Knitting List. It was the last item of the Summer Knitting List that I had to share with you. I actually finished the hat a long time ago, but didn’t give it away until recently. The Hubs and I went to a baby shower this weekend where we were finally able to give the Yoda Hat to it’s recipient. But of course, I couldn’t stop with just the hat. We gave them a full Star Wars themed baby gift, complete with knitted lightsaber!

The Hat

 

I used this Yoda Hat pattern by Shinah Chang.  There are a LOT of other Yoda Hat designs out there, but this one seemed less floppy than the others. It was a fairly easy design to follow, and took maybe 2 days, tops. The ears were a little fiddly. They required a very tight gauge so they wouldn’t flop all over the place. They’re knit separate, and then sewn to the hat.I folded mine a little, like the pattern suggested, so that they would get that distinct Yoda curve. I think they turned out pretty well. 

Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

For the yarn, I used Cascade 220 Superwash Merino held double. I’m always stumped when it comes to yarn for baby projects, but I thought that a superwash wool seemed like a nice choice. I actually ended up really liking this yarn, and bought more to make a Veronika sweater out of it.  It’s very soft and smooth and easy to work with. I used color no. 11, which was the most olive toned of the green Cascade 220 options. Choosing a Yoda color was harder than I thought it would be, because he actually goes through a bit of color variation as he ages. This green is a little more Kermit than Yoda, but I still think it was the best choice.

The Lightsaber

 

Speaking of difficult color choices, did you realize that Luke goes through two different colored lightsabers? I wasn’t really aware of the fact until I went looking for reference pictures for my knitted lightsaber. He starts out with the blue lightsaber given to him by Uncle Ben/Obi-Wan Kenobi. This was the lightsaber originally constructed by Anakin and lost in Empire Strikes Back. This is the same lightsaber that Rey eventually uses in the most recent movies. Later, Luke constructs his own lightsaber (apparently using a synthetic lightsaber crystal, who knew?) and that one was green. Details…

Yoda Hat and Lightsaber

Eventually, I settled on making the blue lightsaber because:

  1. It match the pajamas we bought to go with it.
  2. It looked easier to knit.
  3. The Hubs said it would work better for a baby boy (I tend to get huffy about color coding babies, but sometimes you gotta go with the flow.).

 

I used mostly leftover acrylic trash yarn for the lightsaber. The silver and blue were both Vanna’s Choice, and the black was some Hobby Lobby yarn. I made up the pattern as I went. I am not sharing it here, because it is Not a Good Pattern. There was a lot of fudging going on. I wish I had stuffed the end product a little tighter, because it had a slight tendency to droop and look a little…suggestive… Still, I’m happy with how it turned out. For a baby toy, I think it will be fine.

We paired the two knitted gifts with a Star Wars pajama set and a little gold book about being a Jedi. I thought it was pretty cute. Themed gifts make things so much more fun. I’m on the lookout for new baby patterns now. I am currently in that All My Friend Are Making Babies (On Purpose) stage of life, so I need lots of baby knit ideas. What is your favorite baby knitting pattern? Got any suggestions for my next baby knits?

 

Lifestyle Mini Monday Seasonal Uncategorized

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

April 3, 2017
10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

Happy Monday to you all. You guys are getting two Mini Monday posts in a row because, quite frankly, I was attending a funeral last Thursday and blogging didn’t feel right. It was a good time to reflect on the people close to me and think about how we’d all like to be remembered, and I sparked some good family bonding time.

One of the things that we did during family  bonding time was go and see the new Beauty and the Beast movie with my cousin. This was her fourth time seeing it, but my first. I enjoyed the movie, but I had a few thoughts. My family refuses to entertain my thoughts any longer, so you get to hear them. Please keep in mind that critiquing movies is how I enjoy movies, and I really did like Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast. Also, please note that I have a history degree. That is all.

Also, if you haven’t noticed, this is your last chance for no spoilers. You’ve been warned.

1. When is Beauty and the Beast set?

I know, I know. “But Tori, this is a fairy tale”. But Beauty and the Beast is also trying to evoke a certain time period(kinda). From the attire of the townspeople, and the assertion of people in production, this movie is set in the 18th century. If I had to guess, I’d say the 1780’s or 1790’s. That being said…

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

Left: Historical Interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, Right: Ren Faire

2. What is Belle wearing?

I recall reading that Emma Watson insisted that Belle should not wear a corset because she is an “active” princess. It makes me want to show her pictures of the historical interpreters in Colonial Williamsburg doing manual labor in period correct undergarments. And yes, I am weirdly passionate about period correct undergarments.  But girlfriend was like centuries off in every costume. Her blue dress is some sort of Ren Faire kirtle (the pockets are period accurate though), and her yellow dress, while pretty and swooshy is like…1830’s or beyond? Don’t even get me started about the celebration dress at the end…The fabric prints on some of Belle’s village attire is pretty accurate though. Like, I’m pretty sure you can buy it at Colonial Williamsburg…

3. What is “the war” that Gaston keeps referencing?

Please let it be the American revolution. That would be amazing. Gaston would have fun in America. I’m still clinging to the late 1700’s here…Also, Luke Evans was excellent as Gaston. His performance probably amused me the most. I didn’t think I’d like him as much as I did.

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

4. New songs! Yuss!

Seriously, the new songs that were added to this Beauty and the Beast film fit seamlessly with the rest of the music and I really enjoyed the additions. The obvious favorite is “Evermore”, of course, but Belle’s song’s were very sweet as well.

5. So Belle’s washing machine…

One of the new story developments in this Beauty and the Beast is that Belle is also an inventor and she makes a washing machine. I’ve heard that this is part of the reason that Belle has so much time to read. I was hoping that it would explain why her dress is always tucked up into her waistband like some toilet tragedy, but no luck. Maybe we get more details in a deleted scene. Also, Isn’t Belle totally monopolizing the washing area with her invention? No wonder they dumped her stuff out!

6. Why do all the castle furniture manage French accents, but everyone else sounds British?

Except for Ian McKellen. He can do what he wants. But like no one outside the castle really attempted a French Accent. Also, props to Ewan McGregor. I didn’t know he had all that in him and he did a great job.

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

7. Fricking Black Plague??

This is where I lose it. This version of Beauty and the Beast delves into some backstory about the death of Belle’s mother, but quite frankly does more harm than good. They chalk up her death to the Black Plague…yeah, like the medieval disease. The one that had it’s heydey in the 1300’s. Where are they pulling this from?! They had like the leather bird mask and everything. This was supposed to be the catalyst for Belle and her father to leave Paris for the remove countryside. We presume that Maurice went to a “poor provincial town” to escape the spread of the Plague. But for real? The last outbreak of the Plague is Paris is in 1643…so not even close to the 1700’s. And Belle’s mom already had oozing sores and all by the time that Belle and Maurice left so…they probably would have caught it by then anyways.

Why does this bug me so much? First, you didn’t need to explain how she died. The Beast gets his dead mom backstory too, but her exact cause of death is never named. Why even go there? Second, you had a perfectly legitimate disease that would have worked just as well and been historically accurate. It’s called smallpox!

8. The Storming of the Castle/Fight Scene was delightful.

I love that the furniture got to have a little more agency in the defense of the castle. Plus this was just a really amusing and well done scene. It was very creative in how the furniture got to use their cursed forms to fight. Cadenza is my new fave.

9. Dan Stevens is pretty. That wig is not.

If you’re going to make allowances and stray away from historical accuracy, when why oh why did you force Dan Stevens to wear the curly wig? Ya’ll couldn’t have gone with a nice low ponytail? You had to have the struggle curls? Dan is an attractive man (Helloooo, Downton Abbey!) but you’ll killing me here!

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

10. Soo…when is the French Revolution?

Has it happened yet? Are Belle and her new man candy gonna get killed in a few years? There was a guillotine joke during Be Our Guest, so the movie is totally acknowledging that it’s a thing. Did it already happen and the Beast’s castle got missed because of the curse? That could be cool, but unlikely. This is usually the point where my family tells me to chill.

And I gently remind them that this IS how I chill. Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed the new Beauty and the Beast movie. It was really pretty and fun. I’m not sure it can totally recapture the childhood love I had for the cartoon (now that I am old and jaded), but I still enjoyed it immensely.

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Mini Monday: Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earrings

March 27, 2017
Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earrings

Hello All! Happy Monday! This weekend I had the pleasure to attend a Beauty and the Beast Inspired Party! It was the annual volunteer dinner at my church, which is exciting because 1. free food and 2. costumes were encouraged. Instead of breaking out my full Belle costume (because you know I have one…) I decided to go with the Disneybound approach. If you’re not familiar with Disneybounding, you’d fit in well at my church. Disneybounding means wearing an outfit inspired by a particular Disney character, rather than an actual costume. It was created because no one over 14 is allowed to wear a costume in the Disney parks. Or as my mom says, “It’s so adults can have fun at Disneyland.”

So rather than going for a full Beauty and the Beast Costume, I just wore a Belle inspired outfit. One of my main accessories were some Beauty and the Beast inspired rose earrings, which I made myself, about an hour before the event. I thought I’d share my process with you here!

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earrings Tutorial

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earring Tutorial

The Materials:

-Rose shaped beads or shank buttons

– Flat Post Earrings

-Earring Backs

-Super Glue

All the materials for my Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earrings came from Michael’s (on sale) with the exception of the super glue, which came from somewhere in our laundry room. In the past, I’ve also used this technique to make earrings out of shank buttons, but that involves cutting the button part off the back. It’s a little bit more difficult, but if you happened to find some buttons that just HAD to be earrings…this is how it could happen.

The Process:

Step 1. Prep your roses

If your roses came threaded together like mine, cut them apart (over a bag so you don’t throw rose beads everywhere.). If you are using a shank button, use scissors or wire clippers to cut the shank off the back.

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earring Tutorial

Step 2. Prep your posts

Take one of your flat post earrings and spread super glue on the flat front plate. Bonus points if you don’t realize that your super glue has special sides that release a ton of glue when you squeeze them. Because then you’d be like me….with glue on your hands…

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earring Tutorial

Step 3: Add your roses

Quickly take one of your roses and firmly press against the flat post covered in glue.  Don’t worry if it wiggles a bit at first, it will set up when the glue dries. If it still seems wobbly when the glue is dry, you can add more glue.

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earring Tutorial

Step 4: Let them dry!

Give them at least a few hours to try. Or, if you want to be like me, you can give them much less time to dry and super glue them to your ear in the process. I had places to BE, people! (Yes, there is still super glue on my ear. Why do you ask?)

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earring Tutorial

Step 5: Wear ’em proud!

Repeat the process for your second earring (Unless you only want one. No judgement.) and go out a sport your Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earrings!

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Rose Earring Tutorial