Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Prince Street

I picked up another cheap @$$ nail polish at Walmart because, well, I'm cheap. This is another "In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish" at $1.72 per 0.33 fl oz bottle. The color (247) is a purple called Prince Street. My camera can't take pictures of reds or purples apparently, so it shows up a blue purple in the picture, but it's a red purple. It's a color you think of when people try to dye something "amethyst" even though it's nowhere near the color of the actual stone... Somewhere between purple and fuschia. And "fuschia" is not in Google Chrome's dictionary. Shame!

This stuff went on watery and clear, but by a second coat was fine. I like the color, but it's not the same flat color as the High Line Green I tried earlier. It's a more pearlescent purple. Pearlescent isn't in Chrome's dictionary either. Shame!!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ruby Pumps

After I saw The Hunger Games today, I decided to revoke my show of support for District 12 by removing Smoke and Ashes. Yes, I love the books... But I didn't feel the same way about the movie. I thought it was awfully slow in some parts, and sped up the parts I'd actually like to see. I remember the director's movie Seabiscuit being the same way -- a great story, but too slow of a movie. I'll give it another viewing later (probably on DVD) before I make my final call on the movie. But it could have been so much better.

I've been pretty excited to try China Glaze's Ruby Pumps since I picked it up, so that was the first thing on my list tonight. I wish I could have gotten a good picture of it, because to me it is exactly the color of Dorothy's slippers in The Wizard of Oz. It's a bright red polish with fine red glitter in it, so it doesn't feel as rough as most other glittery polishes I've used. It's not completely smooth, but I was pleasantly surprised. Still might do another topcoat though.

It's a deeper red (more like the bottle)

I will say that the base coat of Gelous I used with Smoke and Ashes made it a lot better. I thought black polish would never come off, but it slid off easily. I might be regretting not using it with Ruby Pumps in a few days...

Edit: Ruby Pumps came off just as easily as any other glitter polish. Which is to say not quickly... ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Smoke and Ashes

I'm so excited for The Hunger Games this weekend! To celebrate its release and my support of District 12, I donned their signature color -- Smoke and Ashes from China Glaze's Capitol Colours collection. It's a basic black with a twist: there are blue and green shimmers. I did expect a little something better for the main district in Katniss' story, but ah well. I can't wait to see what it looks like in the sun! The bottle in the picture looks like it contains grey polish, and the nails look straight black for the most part. It doesn't do the color justice.






Finished Mockingjay

I wrote this last night, and picked up my laptop today to see that it was still sitting unpublished in the editor. Whoops!

I finished my Mockingjay Hat, but I don't like the way the hat fits. =( Also, I didn't carry the gold yarn from the end of one row to the beginning of the next as loosely as I should have, so the Mockingjay design is a little puckered. It doesn't matter though because I hate this hat! There's too much ribbing (and I didn't do it all), there's too much hat (again, didn't do it all), and the design is on the top of my head so you can't really see it. Someone in HPKCHC suggested I try to wear it with the design on the back, so I'll see how that looks.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Dragon Hoard from Sally

I went to Sally today and got something like $32 worth of products for $13. I picked up some Gelous which I've been eyeing for a while, China Glaze in Ruby Pumps from the Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection (shiny, glittery red and fun!), a nail corrector pen, polish remover, dark circle undereye corrector (I have yet to find one that works), and tons of other stuff. I had a $10 off coupon for my birthday, so I've already got about $25 in free stuff this month. And who doesn't love free stuff? I also picked up one of those China Glaze crackles. Not sure how I feel about the crackly polish, but they were on sale for $1.99 so why not give it a shot?

Ok, my allergies are killing me so I'm going to bed. Just wanted to let you know that I am becoming a hoarder of all things from Sally. And yarn.

You can see a Mockingjay!

I've been working on my Mockingjay hat like a fiend today because I was slack yesterday and the day before. I wish I had more accurately imagined the way the chart would have turned out, because if I had I would have filled in some of the holes. They're for effect but totally not necessary. If I ever do this again (or use the chart on something else), I'm going to have a more solid Mockingjay.


I'm going to use this for Charms. I can definitely tie it in with Cedric Diggory for the colors and a lot of other things. Katniss and Cedric have a lot of similar qualities.

Monday, March 19, 2012

First Mate

I got bored today and decided I'd try another nail polish. I stripped off my Hook and Line and put on some Seche Clear... Then had to leave the house. My nails are still a little greeny from the High Line Green I used earlier this month, so it kinda looked like I had a disease.

So I came home and while Castle was on (late at night, as usual), I used China Glaze's First Mate, which was from last spring's collection. It's a pretty, glossy navy and I love it! I choose things so well. ;) So of course it's late and the base of my nails looks a bit wonky, but I'll peel off/acetone the crap out of the weird pieces later. I'd also like to point out that this is the first time this month I haven't messed up my right index fingernail. Making progress!

Pretty... And pretty wonky.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mockingjay Hat

I've decided to start a hat hoping that I'll finish it in time to wear it to The Hunger Games on Saturday. I'm combining a Mockingjay chart with the pattern for a Simple Slouchy Hat. I saw a project where someone else did this and it looked pretty good. We'll see how this one goes...

Now Blogger has flipped it upside down. I give up.

I ended up using my last hat for a class, and this one doesn't qualify for my Quidditch path, so it will be my fifth class (plus a partial) this month. I think I need someone to stop enabling me instead of enabling me. And the excitement of being Sorted soon is mounting... I can't wait to have a new home in HPKCHC come May!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hook and Line

I got my shipment from Sally Beauty today. Now I have 7 new polishes to try! First I tried the China Glaze Hunger Games color Electrify over my green polish from the other day. It looked awful, so I decided to redo my nails and try a new color. Since The Hunger Games is coming out soon, I decided to try another one from the Capitol Colours collection. This time I decided to try Hook and Line, which is a beautiful light pearlescent grey. Only problem is, it comes out streaky and you can see the strokes of the brush. So, if for instance you did a slightly off-kilter brush stroke on your thumb like I did, you have a weird line going diagonally across your thumbnail. I really love the color as it reminds me of one of my favorite polishes from middle school that they don't make anymore (Street Wear in Gunmetal). I just wish it didn't get all streaky!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Laurel

I started making a hat yesterday called Laurel. It's my first experience with these things called bobbles, and it's not going particularly well. I think my bobbles are smaller than they should be, and some of them have what looks like a yarn over next to them, so it's a bump next to a hole. Not very attractive... So I'll keep working on it and see how it turns out. You can tell from the nail polish in the photo that I should have posted this before High Line Green, but I never do anything the way I should.

WHY does Blogger insist on flipping my images?

I'm not sure about what HPKCHC class I can use this for, so it might be going to Quidditch. I've already turned in 3 completed classes, a partial class, and 5 badge/contest entries, so I think I'm OK for the month. =P

High Line Green

Today I tried out a cheapie nail polish. It's a mouthful... The brand is NYC (New York Color) and the polish is "In a New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish." The color is a new one called High Line Green. I picked this up at Walmart for $1.72 (regular price, not sale) so it's about as affordable as you can get. I used what are becoming my staples of Seche Clear base coat and Seche Vite top coat with the cheapo polish, so we'll see how long it lasts.

I'm actually surprised at how much I like this stuff. It went on fairly smooth with the exception of a few bubbles (nothing a top coat can't fix). It was translucent on the first swipe, but I just piled on a little more and didn't need another coat. It's super glossy even without a top coat, but I chip polish so bad that I did a top coat anyways. You can see in the photo that it's picking up and reflecting all the lights in the room (photo was no flash). Anyways, it's a bright not-quite-neon green that is so fun, and the high gloss just amps it up. I'll definitely be using this one again.

Maybe one day I won't do this late at night and it will look perfect

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kool Aid Cotton Yarn Dyeing

I'm going to inundate you with process photos, so be prepared. I decided to try to dye some cotton yarn using Kool Aid since there are so many things online saying you can't, and a few sites saying you can. I tried to do this as conservatively as possible, so I may have added a few extra steps that were unnecessary. But my yarn is dyed so I can say that this works!

There are several places that say vinegar makes the yarn take dye better, and that heat does the same. So for safety's sake, I used tons of vinegar and heat. Not sure if this is really necessary, but it's what I did and you can to! =P My materials for this process are below, plus things you have around your house like forks, paper towels, cling wrap, and paper plates. I used a stainless steel pot for all the process instead of using a ton of bowls. Also included in the picture are white vinegar, Kool Aid packets, and Peaches & Creme yarn.


First, I took about half the skein of yarn and wrapped it around a couple dining room chairs. I left the other half in a ball and used that for another yarn dyeing experiment that I will chronicle later. I made a mixture of half vinegar, half warm water and threw the yarn in. It floats, so I had to smash it down in there with a fork. I let it soak for a while on one side, then flipped it over and let the other side soak.


I took the vinegar-soaked yarn out of the pot and let it drip over the sink for a minute. Then I laid it out on some paper towels to let some of the vinegar leave the yarn. I then unwound the ball and repeated the dining room chair process to make it easier to dry completely. I hung each one on a hanger to dry. You can tell from the pictures that the ball-soaked yarn (on the left) is actually smoother than the wrinkly, loose-soaked yarn (on the right). I let these dry overnight since I started out pretty late.


Experiment 1

The next morning, I heated up some more water in a pot to almost boiling. I added a little bit of vinegar (didn't measure, just poured) and 2 packets of green Kool Aid (Lemon Lime flavor). Then I threw the yarn in, smushed it down a little with the fork, and let it soak. I flipped it a few times to help both sides soak up as much dye as possible. You can tell from the second picture to the third that it really began to soak up the Kool Aid. I've read in some places that the yarn will soak it all up and the water will be clear, but since I used 2 packets it never got clear. I may have over-estimated the Kool Aid to yarn ratio, but I wanted to be sure that I had enough dye.


I used the fork to remove the yarn from the pot because the water was still a little warm. I let it hang over the sink for a bit to drip and then moved it onto some plastic wrap. Like I said, I've heard heat helps this process and I'm not sure it's necessary, but I wrapped the yarn up in the cling wrap and put it in the microwave for a minute (just in case... couldn't hurt, right?). Then I removed the plastic wrap from my steaming yarn burrito, moved it apart and left it on a paper plate to cool and dry. When it was dry enough to not drip, I hung it on a hanger again to dry.


Experiment 2

My second little experiment used the leftover (ball-soaked) yarn and some more Kool Aid. I added another packet to the leftover green Kool Aid mixture from the green yarn dyeing. Then I hung each end of the ball-soaked yarn into the pot and let the middle hang over. I smashed it down with the fork and flipped it over several times as in the previous example. Then I took it out of the pot and put it in the sink to drip. Then, for good measure, I poured the Kool Aid mixture over it so it would add some more dye to the yarn on its way down the drain.


Then I made another Kool Aid concoction. I heated water to almost boiling, poured in some vinegar, and mixed in 2 packets of red Kool Aid (Cherry flavor). Then the middle of the yarn section went into the pot with the ends hanging over. I let it soak with some white space in between the green-dyed portion and the water. Then I picked the yarn up by the ends and submerged it up to (and maybe a little over) the green dyed portion. That way, I was hoping it would end up variegated with really green and really red extremes with a pale green and pink in the middle.


I removed the yarn, dangled it over the sink, and poured the remaining Kool Aid over the yarn and down the drain. The yarn rested on a paper towel for a short period to sop up the remaining dye then went into a cling wrap burrito that was more like a churro because I didn't want the different colors touching. I put that burrito in the microwave for a minute to make sure it was hot enough, even though I've seen sources say heat doesn't matter. Then I arranged it loosely on a paper plate to dry.


I must warn you that by dyeing the yarn in a big heap I ended up with a tangled mess that took a while to get straight again. Here's a picture of the finished yarn. The red ended up more pastel after drying. I wrapped it around a toilet paper roll to keep it from tangling again.


Update: It has been a while since dyeing the yarn, and the colors fade a little bit over time. Also, washing the items I made removed much of the color. The unwashed items are still the same color I dyed them though! The red took to the cotton a lot better than the green did.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

You're S-teal the One

Today, in between steps of trying to dye yarn (more on that later), I tried out my new Nicole by OPI polish in "You're S-teal the One." First, let me say that if you look at the bottle, it's a gorgeous shimmery cerulean with hints of purple. The actual polish not so much. I thought the name was odd because the polish didn't look teal, but it's a neon, hits-you-in-the-face teal when applied. It's still shimmery, but it's more of a blue shimmer than purple.

The worst problem though is that this polish is messy. I have it all over my fingers, fingertips, underneath my fingernails... Everywhere. It's like translucent blue water when it comes out, so you need several coats. But each coat gets more polish oozing and dripping everywhere. I'm definitely not a huge fan of this stuff. I wish it were a better consisency and the color it looked like in the bottle. Plus, I paid $7.25 for this crap, so you'd think it would be good. China Glaze is way better and I picked up a bunch of those yesterday for $3. I guess I'll just have to wait for those to arrive now...

It's even more electric teal than this.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Parnassus Take One is a Failure

So, I finished the first of my Parnassus gloves that I mentioned earlier, and it's too small. >.< Crap! So I basically have a tubular piece of part-silk trash because I didn't finish the thumb or weave in the ends, but I lack the patience to try to undo all the cables and salvage the yarn. Guess I'll have to start doing swatches from now on, even though I hate doing swatches. *sigh*

If I put my index finger in the thumb hole it still won't fit.

China Glaze Sale = Slimmer Wallet

I got a free shipping coupon from Sally Beauty so I went over to the website today to take a look. Big mistake. They had all of the Hunger Games polishes from China Glaze on sale for $3.50, and all other shades of China Glaze for $3. So, needless to say... I bought 7 colors. =P As for the Hunger Games Capitol Colours collection, I picked up another Harvest Moon (copper) because I'm so in love with it. I also got Hook and Line (metallic light grey), Electrify (gold and red glitter), and Smoke and Ashes (black with glitter). I was on the fence about Fast Track, but Holly picked it up so I can play with hers! Then I got Dorothy Who? (bright blue with glitter) from the hilariously named The Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection, First Mate (navy creme) from their Anchors Away collection, and Fairy Dust (multicolor glitter) from the Fashion Fairy collection. The best part? All of it was $23. Can't beat that anywhere!

My First Color Foam

I've gotten really lazy and hadn't dyed my hair in a while, so I decided to try something a little different. I don't have as much time as I used to, so I was hoping that the new Garnier Fructis Nourishing Color Foam would be quicker and easier than regular hair color. I picked it up in 5IM - Iced Mahogany Brown. At first I was a little wary because the directions are like "don't put the cap on -- it could explode!" and "DO NOT shake but gently rotate bottle." And it was super messy; there was foamy liquid all over the bathroom counter. Then I discovered a secret -- if you pick up the bottle and tilt it into your hand before you pump it out, it comes out cleanly. I had it sitting on the counter and was pumping it out like a soap bottle, and every time I pumped it like that, liquid came out the top and got all over the bottle, which then ended up all over the counter.

Once I got the hang of it, I loved it. It took me probably less than half the time it normally takes to dye my hair, and it looks better. Because it's closer to a liquid consistency, there are less "uh oh" places where your hair is still the same color it was before. I used to call these "highlights" since I dyed my hair basically the same color every time, but sometimes they still looked pretty wonky when you missed a larger section. If you color your hair at home, I'd definitely recommend checking out Garnier's Color Foam.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Harvest Moon: Let the Games Begin

So I have to admit that I'm more than a little obsessed with The Hunger Games. I have the books, and now I've added magazines and a book about the movie coming out later this month. My blog post yesterday was about the Hunger Games nail polish collection, and I went and bought another one today! This one is called Harvest Moon, and it's a beautiful, fiery copper that I just adore. I'd post a picture, but I lacked the time and patience to completely remove the Stone Cold first and it looks like a hot mess. Not to mention that I waited until too late in the evening to start, so I colored "outside the lines" if you will. It looks like a three-year-old painted these fingers. I'm super excited about the color though, and glad I changed it for my birthday tomorrow. I might have to go back and pick up another Harvest Moon before they stop making them. Next up to try is Electrify... They were out since some girl came in before me and bought all 12. =(

Ah well, I decided to post a picture anyways.

I also picked up another Seche Vite topcoat, since the Seche Clear basecoat was free with purchase. So I ended up getting about $19 worth of products for only $7. I'm beginning to be a Sally Beauty addict too!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stone Cold & My New Obsession

I went over to Sally Beauty Supply today to buy a few things, and now I'm already ready to go back! I wanted Seche Vite, and there was a coupon if you bought Seche Vite you got the basecoat free! Score!! So I got that $5 item free, saved $4.50 off my total purchase, and got a coupon for $5 off my next purchase when I joined their club (which cost $5). But the main purpose for my visit was to get one of the Capitol Colours Collection colors from China Glaze. I chose to get Stone Cold first, which is a matte grey that makes it look like you have rocks for fingernails. It's a bit darker than the photos I'd seen online which was disappointing at first, but it's growing on me. I think I got a pretty good photo with no flash, but because the lights were on it's not exactly true to life. I apologize for the wonky paint job... I was so excited to try it on that I didn't take the time to do it well. I'll fix it up later; I'm too tired now. =P



Now I want to try Electrify and Harvest Moon from the collection before they're gone. I wonder which one I'll wear to the movie...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hogwarts Bookscarf/Doll Scarf

I noticed today that there is no free pattern on Ravelry for a worsted-weight miniature Hogwarts scarf in the newer, Prisoner of Azkaban/Goblet of Fire style. There is a lace weight pattern, but that's something I don't typically have in a million colors. So I figured it wouldn't hurt to post a pattern here for those who might need help creating one of their own!

The bookscarf I have created is large (2 inches by 9.25 inches) and a little thick, so it works for bigger books. This might not be one you'd want to use with mass market paperbacks. I've also modified it to make scarves for my stuffed owl Nox, so it can be used for a doll scarf pattern too. This wouldn't work for Barbie-sized dolls, but larger dolls will look at home in this scarf!




Materials:
  • US 7 (4.5mm) straight needles or DPNS
  • Worsted weight yarn in main color (MC)
    • maroon/wine for Gryffindor, hunter green for Slytherin, navy blue for Ravenclaw, yellow for Hufflepuff
  • Scraps of worsted weight yarn in contrasting color (CC). You don't need much!
    • gold for Gryffindor, silver for Slytherin or Ravenclaw (film), bronze for Ravenclaw (book), black for Hufflepuff




Pattern:

Cast on 12 sts.

Work 10 rows of k1p1 ribbing in MC.
Work 2 rows of k1p1 ribbing in CC. Do not cut CC and never cut MC.
Work 2 rows of k1p1 ribbing in MC.
Work 2 rows of k1p1 ribbing in CC. Cut CC, leaving a tail about 2-3 inches long.

Repeat the previous 2 more times. (10 MC, 2 CC, 2 MC, 2 CC).

End with 10 rows MC and bind off. Weave in ends. Add fringe if desired.


Notes:
I used cheap Red Heart acrylic yarn to make this, but you can use whatever your heart desires! As shown, I used Red Heart Super Saver in Claret and Gold.

I've modified this design to make a longer doll scarf. I used 10 sets of stripes, but you can adjust as necessary. Always end with 10 rows of MC.

This pattern can be adjusted for other needle sizes and yarn weights. If you want to change yarn or needles and keep the stripe lengths as written, they are as follows:
  • 1.5 inches/4cm MC
  • 0.25 inches/less than 1cm CC
  • 0.25 inches/less than 1cm MC
  • 0.25 inches/less than 1cm CC
  • Repeat!
The more you go down in needle size/yarn weight, the stripes will look less jagged. It will also take a lot longer!

View this pattern's page on Ravelry.

March Begins!

I'm so excited for March because I took a little time off from knitting, which means I spent my time working on my never-ending scarf instead of something I could finish before the 29th. I was so excited for March to start so I could start my next project. I started knitting Parnassus fingerless gloves today, but I'm thinking I'm going to shelve them for the moment so I can do something I know I'll finish in a few days (must get all the badges!). I've already made one mistake and I'm only 28 rows in. I've just been mirroring my mistake on every row and hoping they turn out looking like it was supposed to be that way. The cuff for these gloves is super narrow; I have to stretch it to fit two fingers in! I'm hoping the actual glove part fits, or else this will be a colossal waste of yarn.

Beginning of right glove