Thursday, 2 July 2009

Crochet in the Round

Having just finished my latest crochet project, I've started wondering why there are some techniques that I'm never able to remember. I've done several crochet in the round project, yet every single time I get extremely confused when closing a round.

Since I don't normally count my stitches this problem always tends to creep up on me without my realizing it.
So I've decided to put an end to it and do a little picture tutorial. Hopefully it will help someone else come unstuck too.

Starting a New Round

Finishing a Round

For a tutorial on the various different ways of crocheting in the round (with loads of pictures), have a look at Crochet in the Round and the Seam.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Crochet Summer Hat

I finished my crochet hat! And would you believe it, I am actually using stash yarn that I bought on a whim together with some leftover yarn. I am so proud of myself!!!

This hat has now been frogged 3 times (2 times halfway, and 1 to the very beginning). It is now officially my most frogged project. The first time I had to undo it because I was adding an extra stitch every time I finished a round. This was completely messing up the stitch count.

The second time was because I was following a free Drops Design pattern (click here for UK version) and I didn't like the holes decorating the hat. I get sunstroke very, very easily you see. So for the brim I followed pipaw's pattern. I really loved the lacy look of the brim.

I tried just doing plain dc(UK)/sc(US) all the way round, but that was a bit boring, and the two different yarns just didn't look right. So I improvised, taking inspiration from a Let's Knit pattern which first made me think of making a sun hat. I will soon put up a pattern with detailed instructions for this stitch, but since I don't know what it's called, here's a photo. Does anyone know what it's called?

I really loved experimenting with different patterns, but I am a bit relieved that I have finally finished it. I can actually wear it now!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Minidisc Surgery

Problem: There are so many gorgeous MD cases like the ones below, and yet the Hi-MD, the one Sony let die before it's time, has only 2 looks (one blue, one grey). Both as boring as the other.


Solution: Take 1 MD and 1 Hi-MD, open the cases, and switch them round.

Tools: a very thin blade (I used a paper craft knife), Epoxy glue or model glue (superglue might work, but I haven't tried it; let me know if you have). And of course your Hi-MD and prettier standard MD.

Before we begin, make sure you have backed up your data.

Step 1. In the top right corner of your MD, you will see a white lever. By carefuly inserting the blade to the right of the metal shutter, push the lever gently in while pulling the shutter towards the left. This should slide smoothly if keep the lever down.

Step 2. Now you will insert the blade as shown below to unhook the shutter from the MD. There are 2 hooks, one on the very right, the other on the very left. When you have the blade in the right position, move it slightly towards you until the shutter moves upwards slightly.

Step 3. This part will require excellent light, patience and a steady hand. You will begin to slide the blade inbetween the two halves of the MD in the corners, and then in the circled areas indicated in the picture below.

Once the blade is in position, start moving it from right to left. Do this very gently, and keep your fingers away from the blade!

Step 4. Once both the MDs are open you are ready to swap the cases round. Take the Hi-md back, put the MD top over it and flip it over. Now the Hi-md disc is in the top of the MD case. Now put the bottom of the MD case over the top and flip them over. Separate them and make sure the two little white levers are in place.

Get your glue and apply to the circled areas. Only use a little so that it doesn't spill on the disc. If you are using epoxy glue you will have to mix equal amounts of the two substances for about 10-30 seconds. When the mix starts getting a bit thick it is ready to apply. Do not wait until you can barely scrape it off, by that point it's mostly dry.

Press the two halves together and keep them pressed for a minute, after which carefuly put it under a heavy-ish book. Now wait...and wait. . . w a a a a it... . . . if you are sure it has dried, put the shutter back on (this should be much easer then getting it off) and play it.

Tip: The first time I tried this I used 2 MDs by a different make and tried to combine the cases. However the cases were slightly different at the points they get glued on the inside and I couldn't get them closed.

This tutorial is a more detailed version of bwerbrou's original tutorial "MD transplantation by bwerbrou M.D" over at Audio T-Board. Go and see how MDs get preped for surgery! ;)