Karen R Savage

Professional Voice Talent, Amateur Actor and Knitter

Month: September 2016

Death of Rats

Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite authors, and so when I saw this little guy at Joann’s, I just had to get it and turn it into the Death of Rats. Here’s how I did it:

He’s made of some sort of plastic, so first I used a heat gun on his arm, to get it into a better position for holding the scythe. First I twisted the lower arm to get the hand in to the right orientation, then I did the shoulder and upper arm to lower the arm a bit, and finally I heated the hand and wrapped it around my dowel rod to get a nice grip. Since he’s going to be wearing a robe, it doesn’t matter that his bones are now a bit deformed.

For the scythe blade I took an empty tea light, cut out the bottom and then straightened out the remaining strip. I free-handed a blade shape on a little piece of card, traced it out on the metal strip and then cut it out. I used a couple of dabs of low-temp hot glue to attach it to the dowel rod, which I had already cut to size and painted a darker brown.

Uh-oh, he’s lost his head! I discovered that he was made in pieces and screwed together at various points. This was super convenient, because I wanted the blue pinprick in the eyes effect and this made life a lot easier. I took the head apart, drilled a hole in each eye and then dabbed a bit of black paint around the holes, and inside the skull (the theatre tech in me insisted).

For the lighting, I got a 3v blue LED, a battery case for a 2032 battery and a small slider switch. I cut a hole in the back of the head for the switch. Once I get the hooded robe on it, it won’t be noticeable. After testing my connections, I soldered everything together and added a couple of daubs of hot glue as insulation (couldn’t find the electrical tape), and I glued the battery case to the inside of the skull.

Here he is with his head back on.

I still have to make his robe, and I’ll post a finished picture of him once I’m done.

Knitting for Me

What with all those WIPs* I finished for the Ravellenics, I found, when they were over, that I only had two long-term WIPs left. Both of these are projects I’ve been making for myself, and as often happens, they get put aside when I start something for other people and end up lingering. So, though I do have some projects to start for other people, I decided I’d treat myself and finish both of these first so I can wear them this winter, and enter them in this year’s County Fair.

I tackled the older of the two projects first. I started this vest in 2010! Poor thing. The pattern is called Elizabeth of York and it’s from Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses book. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. As far as technique goes, it’s a very simple pattern; just knits and purls, some wrapped stitches and a single-stitch bobble. The challenge comes in keeping track of your place in the 36×48 chart, especially when you’re in the midst of a decrease section and your starting points keep changing. The pattern is for an open vest, but I prefer at least one or two closures, so I added a couple of clasps, which could be added as an afterthought and didn’t require me to change the pattern.

The second of the two projects is nowhere near as old as the first. I cast on in January of last year. It’s a pair of Norwegian-style mittens, with a Doctor Who theme. I’ve finished the first mitten and am about halfway through the second.

*WIP = work in progress

Ravellenics!

This year, for the first time, I participated in Ravelry’s Ravellenics games – a time for Ravelers to challenge themselves, which runs contiguously with the Olympic games. To make things more fun, the organizers set up events for us to participate in, such as the Hat Dash, the Cowl Jump and the WIPs Wrestling (WIP = work in progress, and in this case referred to projects started before the opening ceremonies).

My first challenge to myself was to make something crocheted. I learned to crochet over ten years ago, made the center motif of a doily, and then beyond the occasional edging, never touched it again. So for my first project I made a crocheted baby hat.

I also made a knitted baby hat (my knitting group makes hats for newborns and preemies at one of the local hospitals). These were my two Hat Dash entries.

I had a baby sweater and a pair of socks that were about a third done, and two other projects that essentially just needed finishing touches. I entered all of those in WIPs Wrestling. (you may recognize those sweaters – I’m making toddler sized versions of some of the ones I made last year)

I also made a hedgehog for the Toy Toss:

And for my most ambitious project, a two-colour brioche cowl for the Cowl Jump. This was my first attempt at the brioche stitch and my second challenge to myself.

I didn’t watch much of the actual Olympics, beyond the opening ceremonies, but had lots of fun challenging myself with these projects.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén