Saturday, January 18, 2014

Super Secret Crochet Project Revealed!

I have been working, off and on, for several months on a large crochet project. You may have spotted some of the early attempts in the background of some of my advent calendar posts...but now it is finally finished! Ladies and gentlemen...Tom Servo!

"Actually, it's Serveaux."
He stands at nearly two feet tall, so we're talking life-sized here. He is made entirely from yarn and stuffing--a whole 12-ounce bag of stuffing, actually. There was no sign of a pattern anywhere online, so this is a combination of measurements I found on various bot-building websites, lots of pictures, and eyeballing it. I also have this four-inch Servo that came with one of the DVD sets, so I used him as a reference as well.

I started with the head and worked my way down. The head, neck, body, and "hoverskirt" are all one continuous piece, crocheted from top to bottom. The mouth is sewn on separately, and is actually three small pieces sewn together (top, bottom, and inside). The arms are one piece each.

I had some trouble with the detailing on his chest, which was originally the engine block from a toy car. I wanted it to be as simple as possible, without losing too much detail. The version I finally came up with has four separate pieces that are sewn together and then sewn onto the chest.

The tube around the bottom is just one long piece, and the other details on his skirt are also sewn on separately. They were originally pieces of plastic vacu-formed over the engine from a toy train set. There are six of them. I found the best way to space them out was to sew the front one on first. Then I placed the back one directly behind it. Then I placed two in between on one side, and repeated on the other side.

I also found some other great re-creations of Tom. Here he is, along with Crow T. Robot, in Lego form:

Via Reasonably Clever!
And this great plushie is made from felt and stuffing:

Anyway, this was great fun to make! I took notes on all of the parts, which I am going to type up and have available as a pattern. Hopefully this will be within the next week or two.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome to 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I always loved New Year's Eve as a kid. We would always get one of those "party kits" with hats and plastic leis and noisemakers, and I loved the combination of "staying up late" and "making lots of noise." How often do you have an excuse to blow a party horn in the middle of the night?

Jason and I had a nice, low-key celebration at home. We had planned on staying in anyway, and all of the snow we got last night only reinforced that decision. I made baked meatball sandwiches:

They were easy, too.
Step 1: Cook frozen meatballs in sauce on the stovetop, according to package directions (I did 20 minutes over medium heat).
Step 2: Place meatballs on open buns and top with a handful of mozzarella. I sprinkled some Italian seasoning on, too.
Step 3: Bake at 425 F for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Profit! Or, y'know, eat.

We watched some bad movies, along with our friends on the Satellite of Love.

By that time it was about 11 PM. I broke out the party blowers and we made some hot chocolate to help stay awake.

We turned on the countdown on ABC a few minutes before midnight. The news anchors doing the countdown had nothing to talk about, so we just kept the TV on mute until the 10-second countdown. Then we set off some poppers, did our "kiss at midnight," and went to bed.

These are my top 3 goals for 2014:
1. Eat more vegetables. I try to eat a healthy balanced diet, with whole grains and fresh fruit and lean protein, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to veggies. Right now the only vegetables I eat on a consistent basis are baby carrots and tomato sauce.
2. Take a yoga class. My favorite form of exercise right now is walking. I want to try something to improve my flexibility and balance.
3. Make money from my crafting. This has been in the "thinking and planning" stage for a while now, so this year I am going to actually move forward. I am working on a Super Secret Crochet Project right now, and when it's all done I want to sell the pattern on Ravelry. I also have some ideas for things I can make quickly and sell at craft fairs, or maybe even get a table at a convention, and if that goes well I will set up an Etsy store to sell online.