The Knitting Bag – Holiday Weekend edition

Hope the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend was lovely for everyone.

Waiting for Rain Shawl

Current Status:  Short Row Take II

Reached the second section of lacework short rows in the car traveling to Thanksgiving festivities. I need to count my stitches to ensure I have 294 before I start the section… counting requires concentration which is (un)surprisingly hard to come by on a holiday weekend.

Here’s a close up of the short row section.

Check out this pattern by Sylvia of Softsweater Knits on Ravelry (where I purchased mine) or visit her website.

Ninja Turtles Inspired Child Hat

Current Status:  Complete

Met my goal of finishing the hat last week. Once I had the color sorted it came together really quickly. I love knitting child hats because they’re such quick knits and they’re so cute. The eyes gave me a little trouble, because I couldn’t figure out what size I wanted them to be. I experimented while watching Netflix’s and eventually came to create a pair that look like a nice match and a good size. I stitched them to the hat, and it’s complete! Super excited to have finished this project.

See a photo of the completed hat here.

Still working on writing up the pattern, since I need to figure out how I actually made those eyes…. I may need to recreate them again to be sure I’ve done it correctly.

The knitting bag

Waiting for Rain Shawl

Current Status:  Commuting

 

I have three more rows to finish before making it to the next short row section. I was hoping to finish more of this shawl during the week, so I could work on the lacework this weekend, but best laid plans never tend to go that way. Aiming to get through the next three rows by Wednesday… we’ll see how that works out.

Check out this pattern by Sylvia of Softsweater Knits on Ravelry (where I purchased mine) or visit her website.

Ninja Turtles Inspired Child Hat

Current Status:  Found the perfect blue!

 

Finally found the perfect shade of blue at the craft store when my yarn stash failed to deliver. It’s great for that classic animated Leonardo blue. I’ve been making good progress on the hat this weekend, I’ve added in the two-inch blue for the bandana, switched back to green, and now I’m at the decrease rows. My goal is to finish this hat this week.

I decided today that I would write down this pattern as I’m making up. Even though I’ve made up my own knitted creations in the past, I’ve never written a pattern down for others to use. I’m pretty excited to try it; I like challenging myself.

Save the files, Resetti’s all smiles – Making the Mr. Resetti Mask

Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the DS takes some of our favorite characters from the GameCube version and mingles them with a whole new cast. Mr. Resetti may be a little rough around the edges, and outright startling the first time you meet him, but he’s no doubt recognizable. I made a mask for my friend’s Mr. Resetti CosPlay Costume he wore at PAX East 2016. While at the convention,  a woman approached him with her three boys and said, “Are you Mr. Resetti? You made my kids cry when they were younger. Can I get a picture?” And that became their Christmas card.

Okay, maybe not their Christmas card, but it was a great mask. And I’m going to teach you how to make one of your own. Just try to leave the scaring children until they cry to the actual in-game character.

dsc_0298

Mr. Resetti, of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series, mask next to the Mr. Resetti amiibo.

 

Getting Started

Skill: Beginner

Project type: Papier-Mâché, painting

Time: Full weekend (8+ hrs or overnight dry time required)

Materials:

  • Mask base (purchase at a craft store)
  • Newspaper
    • Some pieces whole for shaping
    • Some pieces torn into 1-inch strips
  • Glue (I prefer Elmer’s School Glue)
  • Water
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint
    • brown
    • black
    • white
  • String or cord to tie mask
  • Covering for workspace – this can get messy!
  • paper / plastic bowls (optional)
    • For mixing glue / water
    • Holding shredded newspaper
    • Mixing / holding paint

Making the Mask Part 1:   Shape the Mask

First things first, you’ll need to make the mask look like shape of Mr. Resetti’s face. He’s got a long, pointy nose with little hairs. To shape the nose, take a piece of newspaper and roll it into a cone. Using masking tape, tape the cone shape together so it will not unravel. Sometimes it’s easier to shape the cone and tape it first, then cut the length to size with scissors. Then attach the cone to the mask with masking tape.

When the cone is in place the next step is to secure it to the mask using Papier-Mâché. To do this, first you need to mix the adhesive. There are many recipes available online, but this is the one is the one I prefer because it’s very simple:

Easy Papier-Mâché Mix

  • 3 parts glue

  • 1 part water

Mix these together until combined. You’ll want the substance to be fluid but not runny.

This is when things start to get a little messy – definitely make sure your workspace is covered, extra newspaper is a good option, and you’ve removed any jewelry or nice clothes. Keep the bowl with your glue mix close to your shredded newspaper strips.

Take one of the strips and dip it into the glue mixture. Using your fingers, wipe off the excess glue. If you have too thick of a layer it’ll delay your dry-time. Then apply the strip directly onto the mask. You’ll want to continue doing this until the mask is mostly covered. Take care to ensure that the cone is secured by multiple layers of Papier-Mâché across the front and underside of the mask. Don’t forget to secure it from the bottom. Also, be sure to wrap the cone completely, this will further secure the shape that was originally set by the masking tape. Try to smooth out any bubbles or rough edges while the glue is still wet.

Take care not to cover over the holes at the edge of the mask for tying the string later.  Leave the mask to dry for several hours, overnight is best.

Making the Mask Part 2: Painting the Face

When the mask is dry and Resetti’s nose has been shaped, it’s time to add the paint to really bring it together. First, prime the mask by painting a white base. This will coverup much of the print on the newspaper so it doesn’t show through, and ensures a more uniform final look. Depending on the newspaper you chose, you may need to do more than one coat of white allover the mask.

Let the mask dry between coats; typically a thin layer of acrylic paint will dry within 20-30 minutes. This is why I like to use acrylics for these kinds of projects, because acrylics have a very quick dry time and they’re easy to paint over if you make a mistake. I use the craft store’s basic acrylics line, typically running $3-7 a tube. Expensive paints are not necessary. I also have a lot of paint brushes for use with acrylics and watercolor paints. I take very good care of these brushes and because of this many of these brushes have lasted me for over 15 years.

Then it’s time for my favorite part: the decorative painting. The paint really brings the mask to life. Start with a medium brown paint, for Resetti a Sienna tone is good. Paint the mask brown all over, using two coats if necessary. Again, let the mask dry between coats. Then paint Mr. Resetti’s thick eyebrows with black paint above the eyeholes in the mask.  Don’t forget to add some thin black lines on his nose for his whiskers! Let it dry completely.

Add an elastic cord or some string to create ties for the mask. I used hemp string for a rustic look, with two 12-inch long pieces on either side that could easily be tied together behind the head. If you choose to use elastic, measure twice and sew the ends for a stronger hold.

The Knitting Bag

Probably most (if not all) knitters have more than one project going on at once. Here’s what’s currently in my knit bag.

Waiting for Rain Shawl

Current Status:  Commuting

 

The short rows were a success!! I’ll post a picture on Instagram soon. The lacework was definitely a challenging section, but with (a lot of) focus I got through it. I even felt like I was starting to get the hang of it by the end. Back to knitting on the commute, I’m about halfway through the next garter stitch section now. The garter stitch frames the lace work short rows so prettily. I’m totally in love with this pattern.

Check out this pattern by Sylvia of Softsweater Knits on Ravelry (where I purchased mine) or visit her website.

Ninja Turtles Inspired Child Hat

Current Status:  Goldilocks

 

I have scoured my yarn stash and none of the shades of blue I have match Leonardo’s bandana. One shade was too dark. One shade was too light. This perfect shade of blue was too lightweight and thin. This other perfect shade of blue was too thick. I think at this point, I’m going to have to buy a small skein so the project can progress. There doesn’t seem to be another option if I want to have the hat done in time for the holidays.