Etsy Store Announcement!

Exciting news everyone! I’ve just added a bunch of items to my Etsy store – namely, I’m going to start selling my custom-designed hand-made crochet dolls! For over a year the only thing I’ve had up there was my Baby Groot crochet pattern, but I had various leftover dolls sitting around from FanExpo and such, so I decided to take the plunge and just put them online. Some of the dolls on there are already made and ready to ship, but I also listed several that previously sold so they will have to be custom-made for anyone who orders. I have 14 dolls up so far, check them out over at https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WaywardPineapple!

 

 

Plans for the future include more dolls, and definitely more patterns. I’m aiming to post a pattern every week or two – that’s my New Years Resolution! So stay tuned. 🙂

Star Wars Christmas Ornaments

Happy Star Wars weekend everyone! Are we all super excited for The Last Jedi?? I definitely was – saw it last night (no spoilers I promise!) and seeing it again tomorrow night. To commemorate the occasion, I’ve written up patterns for the three Star Wars Christmas ornaments that I’ve designed over the past couple of months, and am sharing them for free! Right in time for the holidays, so you too can have a tiny Rey, Leia, or Porg to hang on your tree. 🙂

Enjoy the patterns, and let me know if you have any questions!

Rey pattern cover image

 

Leia pattern cover image

Porg pattern cover image

A Conspiracy of Pineapples

Hi everyone! It’s been nearly a year since my last post, and and those who have been here before may notice that something has changed. Become more… tropical. And pineapple-y. What happened, you ask? Where did Vancouver Crafty Geeks and Erika go? I promise she hasn’t died in a mysterious pineapple-related incident! But after a year of neither of us posting, we decided that there wasn’t much point in continuing that blog. I’ve been wanting to start my own brand name and get more serious about blogging and pattern posting (we’ll see if that actually happens), and the majority of posts on the blog were mine anyway, so with Erika’s blessing I imported everything over to WordPress, bought a domain name, changed Erika’s posts to ‘guest posts’, did some other revisionist history to some old posts, and reopened as Wayward Pineapple Creations!

Why pineapples, you ask? And why is the pineapple wayward? How can a pineapple even be wayward, and what does any of this have to do with crochet? All very good questions, and I promise there are answers… I’m just not entirely sure what they are. Pineapples came about for a few reasons. First, they are yummy. Second, I had a minor obsession for awhile with pineapple-related imagery thanks to my fling with the Psych fandom. Third, and most importantly, I recently discovered the existence of a secret and dangerous organization… one that could probably get me killed for even mentioning it… a dark secret hiding behind the pineapple and flamingo imagery that permeates summer… the Tropical Illuminati.

*looks around furtively*

You’re probably wondering now, what the holy pineapple-y hell is the Tropical Illuminati and what does it have to do with any of this? Don’t ask questions! The first rule of the Tropical Illuminati is we do not talk about the Tropical Illuminati. But if you insist… the not-so-short version is, this past spring I embarked upon that most Canadian tradition of a day trip across the border to purchase goods at somewhat cheaper prices and at exciting stores we do not possess such as Joann’s and Dress Barn. As we entered store after store, a terrifying pattern began to emerge. Pineapples, flamingos, and palm trees. Everywhere. In every store. In every window display. They were following us, haunting our dreams. We returned to Canada, thinking we were safe up here in the frozen Arctic with our moose and beavers, but the pineapples and flamingos persisted! They could be found at every turn, in the most unexpected places. Just when we thought we were safe, another would emerge. Our friend dubbed this strange phenomenon the ‘Tropical Illuminati’, a grand worldwide conspiracy to lull us all into a sense of false complacency with cute tropical images before beginning the true invasion.

…or it was just the start of summer. Either seemed equally likely.

Anyway, the point is I spent a ridiculous summer making silly jokes about flamingos and pineapples, and buying merchandise in their images such as super tacky porch lights, so when the time can to name my blog, it was on my mind. I’ve been trying without luck to think of a name for YEARS. I went through a ton of generic boring crochet and geek related names. Anything fun or clever seemed to have been taken. I came up with ‘wayward’ because I wanted something to connote travel and wandering, to go with my Groot travel photos. It was very nearly Wayward Geek Creations. But it just lacked a certain… something. (something pineapple-y?) Eventually I decided to just embrace my own weirdness and name myself something fun and a bit kooky and inexplicable. Hence, the Wayward Pineapple was born. Now I just need to design a pineapple amigurumi!

In the meantime though, I designed my logo which I’m super happy with. I spent about an hour sketching random pineapple designs and then hit upon the idea of making the pineapple look like a ball of yarn – complete with crochet hook! And if you actually made it through reading the above drivel about the Tropical Illuminati, you may notice that the hook is pink… because the flamingos are in on this too, the feathery bastards.So what can you expect to find on Wayward Pineapple Creations? Much of the same as Vancouver Crafty Geeks, really. I have various new dolls since last year that I’ll post about, and gradually I swear to god I will actually write up and post some patterns. I also have a ton of traveling Groot (and other dolls!) photos to post from various trips over the past couple of years.  While I get my butt into gear to write up those actual travel posts, check out my Instagram @waywardpineapplecreations where I’m gradually posting pics from those trips as well as recent (and old) doll creations. I may also still do the occasional guest feature post, because I have some nerdy creative amazingly talented friends and they make cool stuff I want to show off. 🙂

Ok that’s it for now! I’ll be back soon, with actual crochet pictures I promise. In the meantime, stay safe and watch out for the Tropical Illuminati.

Also, if for some crazy reason you want to learn more about the Tropical Illuminati, head over to my good friend Sam’s blog The Artisan Penguin, where she’s written a whole blog post on the matter. So far she hasn’t died in an avalanche of pineapples while being pecked to death with flamingos so I think we’re safe. For now.

FanExpo Vancouver 2016

Thanks to everyone who came out to our booth at FanExpo Vancouver! It was a great and successful weekend, and we loved meeting fellow fans and artists. If you took one of our cards and are here checking us out for the first time, you can find Erika’s (cross-stitch) and Julia’s (crochet) contact information/Instagrams/etc on our About Us page – Instagram is probably the best place to follow us to see what we’re working on, but we’ll make an effort to keep this blog updated too. I have some patterns I want to type up now and post, and I definitely need to do some more traveling Groot posts (my New Zealand trip was back in March and I have a ton of pictures, but just haven’t gotten around to it). Stay tuned!

 

Pocket Dolls Part 4: Stranger Things – Eleven

I had intentions of making at least 1 blog post a week, and suddenly it’s been nearly 2 months… whoops? But we’re at the one month countdown to FanExpo Vancouver, so I’m going to get back to it and post more of the dolls that will be at our booth next month! First up – Eleven from Stranger Things.

Like pretty much everyone I know, I inhaled Stranger Things in less than a week while cowering on my couch under blankets. In retrospect, watching alone at 11pm might not have been the greatest idea. I loved it from start to finish, so of course I had to make a little Pocket!Eleven for FanExpo. 🙂 Check her out below. I have a design drawn up for a Pocket!Dustin as well, so we’ll see if that happens.

Pocket Dolls Part 3: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This week I’m back to posting my Pocket Dolls that will be on sale at FanExpo Vancouver in November – next up, Star Wars: The Force Awakens! I’ve made tiny versions of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren, check them out below the cut.

Rey

The biggest challenge for Rey was the hair, and I obsessed for awhile over how I wanted to do it. I thought about sewing individual strands to her head and then forming them into buns, which I did for a larger Rey I made (I’ll post pictures of her, too!), but that ended up being hell to work with and it just fell apart unless I sewed it all in place. I ended up crocheting a base of brown directly into her head (so her head is half flesh/half hair). Then I crocheted three flat pieces that are wider in the middle (started with single crochet then worked up from half double to double to triple crochet for the middle couple of stitches, then back towards single) and sewed them into loops that I then sewed on to her head. I think it worked ok. 🙂

The staff has a pipe cleaner down the middle to keep it from being too floppy, while avoiding using actual wire that could poke out (especially if a child buys it). I’m desperately hoping that a tiny Rey cosplayer will buy her so I can take a picture of Tiny Rey with Pocket Rey. There are lots of little girls dressing up as her at cons (which I love!), so fingers crossed.

Finn

Finn was actually the first of the SW Pocket Dolls I made. Don’t have much to say about him; I think he’s cute. 🙂

 

Poe

Poe came second (I was putting off making Rey because of her hair…), so Finn wouldn’t get lonely. I’ve added a couple of details to his flightsuit but I think I might add some more, still. It’s hard to get much detail when they’re small, though. Even so, he’s recognizable especially when paired with the others.
 

 

Stormpilot feels. <3 Cuddling up together.

but uh oh… someone’s coming to ruin it all…

Kylo Ren

On my concept sketch for Kylo Ren, I just wrote ‘MORE EMO’ and ‘bigger ears’ lol. He does in fact have slightly bigger ears than the others; I added one extra stitch. Could probably be more emo, though. He needs a Hot Topic tee shirt. 😉

 

 Fight, fight, fight! Go Rey!

 Our new Trio. 🙂

That’s it for now – more coming soon!

Free Pokeball Pattern & some exciting news

First up today, I have some exciting news! If you’re in the Vancouver area/Lower Mainland, come down to Geek Crossing in Maple Ridge and you’ll be able to see some of my crochet works on display and for sale! They just opened up as a craft studio and homemade shop, showcasing works by local geeky crafters and providing a space for crafting workshops. I have a few Pokeballs in there, and my Pocket!Captain America amigurumi that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. My next project is to get crochet kits put together to sell in the shop and at FanExpo. They’re aren’t quite done yet, but soon!

Speaking of Pokeballs, I’ve been making them like crazy the past couple of weeks. They’re quick and easy, and I figure they will be popular at FanExpo in November. Plus it’s fun flinging them at my friends as I finish each one and proclaiming that I’ve caught them. I know there are already lots of Pokeball patterns out there, but I figured I’d add mine to the pot. 🙂 Check it out for free below the cut!

I took a couple of tries at this to figure out the size I wanted. The first one was too big, the second too small… this one was just right. 🙂

Hook size – H / 5.00

Yarn – Red Heart Super Saver in red, white, and black

Main ball

With red:

Magic circle 6
Inc ev st = 12
Inc ev 2nd – 18
Inc ev 3rd = 24
Inc ev 4th = 30
Inc ev 10th = 33
SC around for 3 rows = 33

Change to black

SC around for 2 rows = 33

Change to white

SC around for 4 rows = 33
Dec ev 10th = 30
Dec ev 4th = 24
Dec ev 3rd = 18
Dec ev 2nd = 12

Stuff firmly. I found it takes a lot of stuffing, just keep going until it’s the right shape and is relatively firm.

Dec ev st = 6

Finish off and close hole. Hide the ends inside the Pokeball.

Front button

With white:

Magic circle 6
Inc ev st = 12

Switch to black
Crocheting in back loops only – Inc ev 2nd = 18

Finish off and cut, leaving a long tail. Sew onto the Pokeball, over the side with the colour changes to hide them.

And done! Now you too can throw Pokeballs at all your friends in an attempt to catch them (though this may also cause them to run away… if this happens, just throw harder.)

 

Pocket Dolls Part 2: DC Comics Universe

Today I’ll be sharing my next set of Pocket Dolls for FanExpo Vancouver, this time from the DC universe – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Supergirl. I confess I’m more a Marvel than DC girl, but I do love the Nolan Batman films and I enjoy the various DC TV shows right now. And I’m definitely looking forward to the Wonder Woman film. 🙂 Check out individual pictures below the cut!

The Flash

I made the Flash first, as a commission for a friend of mine. He turned out pretty cute and since the show is popular right now (it’s definitely my favourite of the DC tv-verse) I made another one to sell at FanExpo.

Supergirl

I made Supergirl as a birthday present for a friend, but I may still make another one for FanExpo. She was my first attempt at a female pocket doll; I tried to give her some shaping to make her more feminine… it didn’t really work. Oh well, I’ll keep trying.  I really like how she turned out though!

Superman

That symbol is a pain to cut out – I did Supergirl’s with foam, which was too thick I thought, so I used felt for Superman. More important was including the forehead curl. 😉

Wonder Woman

I had more luck with body shaping this time, but either way it’s just not possible to give much shape to such a small body. I’m happy with how she turned out, though, and all the little details were fun! She’s got a whip at her side as well, you can see it better in the second picture.

Batman

I tried a different style for the cowl compared to the Flash and I like how it worked out. Since I wanted actual safety eyes (and some flesh) coming through the eyeholes on the Flash, I made his head first and then made the cowl and sewed it on separately. With Batman I decided to go for plain white eye shapes (using foam), so I crocheted the black right into the head and then worked slip stitches around the face section to give it some height and separate the black from the flesh. I think it worked well!

(that Bat-symbol is a pain to cut out though, even worse than the Superman symbol!)

That’s it for this time! Stay tuned, there are more Pocket dolls coming plus other things. 🙂

Introducing the Pocket Dolls! Part 1: Captain America, Bucky, and Iron Man

Sorry to everyone for the long delay between posts! I’m making a pact with myself to post once a week from now on, and will try to start building this blog more. My only excuse is that I’ve been hard at work making lots of dolls for FanExpo Vancouver in November! To that end, I’m going to start sharing pictures (and eventually patterns in some cases) for the dolls that I’ll be selling at the convention. If you’re going to be in town, come check out our booth. We’ll post more details & our booth number closer to the event once we have that information. Erika’s been working hard too, making lots of awesome and adorable cross stitch buttons for the event (hint: some of them may involve a certain little orange & white droid…).

First up, I want to begin sharing my newest creations: Pocket Dolls. These little guys are now taking over my life and will feature heavily at our booth, because they are both quick(ish) to make and cute. Today I’m sharing the story of how they began and posting pictures of my first three – Captain America, Bucky, and Iron Man.

I feel like this picture is basically the storyline of CA: Civil War… “My Bucky!” “No, my Bucky!”. And poor Bucky in the middle…


It all began 2 days before I was due to see Captain America: Civil War with a big group of friends. On Thursday night I decided out of the blue, “I need a pocket sized Bucky to cuddle during this movie.” Especially since I planned to wear my Captain America hoodie, so of course I needed a little Bucky to go in my pocket! The only flaw in this plan was that it was 10pm on Thursday night, I knew I’d be working all day Friday followed by an office party, and Saturday I had more work stuff in the morning followed by about 4 free hours before I’d have to head out to the movie. And I didn’t have a design or a pattern beyond “small and cute and Bucky”.

Prototype Pocket!Bucky was pretty rough, but I got him done. Head & body were done Thursday night and probably Friday morning before work. After the Saturday work stuff downtown I knew I wouldn’t have time to go home, so I sat in a green space near the Vancouver waterfront and made Bucky’s arms and legs and started assembly & details. Transited out to the theatre to meet friends from dinner, and sat in A&W frantically attaching hair. Stood in the lineup to get into the theatre STILL attaching hair. He was kind of lopsided and his hair was a mess, but he was finished! After the movie I tore out his hair and re-did it to look nicer, and gave him to my friend for her birthday.

Just for fun – Pocket!Bucky 1.0 in progress. Sitting outside of the theatre starting the hair. And yes, that’s Captain America in my backpack, sitting on top of a bag of stuffing. 😉

Completed Pocket!Bucky 1.0, after I fixed the hair.

That done, I started refining the pattern and making Pocket!Bucky 2.0. I decided that I wanted the head to be a bit smaller and the arms to be a bit bigger and more exaggerated. Starting with Captain America, I also began crocheting the hair colour right into the head – even for long haired characters, since that way I could avoid the flesh-coloured gaps between hair strands. I’m still fiddling with the pattern, and no matter what I seem to do each one comes out a slightly different size. Some sit up better than others. Some are just more polished looking than others. But I’m having fun with them and overall am happy with the look!

Since Bucky, I’ve made Pocket Captain America & Iron Man, who I’ve shared below, and a whack of other Pocket dolls that I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts. Patterns are coming as well.

Short male hair styles has always been one of my biggest frustrations, so this time I decided to just crochet the hair colour right into the head and then do a ridge of slip stitches along the colour change line.

I decided to make Cap’s shield on his back this time, in part to give him more stability (he kept falling backwards otherwise) and in part just for a change of pace. My other Captain Americas all were holding their shield. The shield is secured by straps and can be taken off. 🙂

I added a few higher stitches in the front of Tony’s hair, to give his hair a bit of height.

And for some bonus fun, check out these side by side pictures of Pocket!Cap and Pocket!Iron Man versus the little Cap and Iron Man that I made years ago when I was just starting to crochet. I was trying to go for a sort of beanie baby look and instead it just looked like Cap had really let himself go lol. And Tony’s body is weirdly… elongated… It’s nice to see that I’ve progressed since then! Still lots to learn and improve on, but I’m definitely getting there.

That’s it for now! Coming soon: Star Wars, Justice League, more Marvel, and various others…

Guest Post: Plastic Canvas Dollhouse by Mel Dawn

We’re excited to announce our first guest blog post by our friend Mel Dawn! Mel is a writer and crafter based in New Westminster BC, with a love of cats, Doctor Who, and a passion for creating unique pieces with plastic canvas. Below Mel shares with us one of her plastic canvas projects, a custom made dollhouse!

Don’t Turn Away, Don’t Look Back, and Don’t Blink: You Don’t Want to Miss This Craft Project!
by Mel Dawn

Many people collect action figures from the Doctor Who, Marvel, and DC Comics universes, but then are puzzled as how to display them. A collection should never be stuffed to the back of the closet. Over time, you may think you’re imagining the words, “We must escape the bat cave! Exterminate! Resistance is futile!” and loads of other phrases to guilt you into unpacking your geek collection.

Perhaps it’s time to help your lonely action figures find a home. But with a quick scan of eBay, you realize you can’t afford the Tenth Doctor’s TARDIS interior and console room. But you can afford to make your own action figure dollhouse.

It took me two years to make this miniature dollhouse from plastic canvas and yarn. It was actually a Mary Maxim kit, but you can buy plastic canvas from most dollar and craft stores. It doesn’t take a lot of yarn to make—you can use your yarn scraps from finished knitting projects.

Before I started, I didn’t have any specific dollhouse in mind. You can create an idea from Dollhouse, Doctor Who—the house from Blink, a haunted house, or headquarters from Deadpool.

I actually kitbashed my dollhouse. Finished, it’s 14 inches wide by 17 inches tall, but originally the pattern called for it to be around 12 inches by 12 inches. I wanted it to fit not only my action figures, but my Dawn Dolls too. These toys are about six inches tall, though I do have a smaller scale of action figure—Melanie from Doctor Who—who is about four inches tall—in the living room of my dollhouse, as well as a red Dalek. But David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and the Weeping Angel—made by Nick Norris on his 3D printer—stand about six inches tall.

I decided to make the rooms wider, and taller. I actually had to buy extra plastic canvas as the kit didn’t contain enough. I also didn’t follow the guidelines for yarn colours. I kept the colours of the kit in the bathroom and kitchen/dining room areas, but I changed the bedroom to mauve, and the living room to burgundy and red. I also had to use my own yarn as there wasn’t enough in the kit to create the new size of walls.

Plastic canvas is a lot like cross stitch, but you work your stitches on a rigid form of canvas instead of flexible canvas material. You also need to use yarn, though there are smaller gauges of plastic canvas that can be worked with embroidery floss. I worked with the Darice seven count plastic canvas (7 holes to one inch), the largest scale I’m aware of. These come in rectangular sheets, but you can buy other shapes and sizes such as hearts, circles, and squares too.

The stitches are worked a lot like on cross stitch, but instead of creating an X, you create only a row of //////s. You can work a variety of different stitches with your pattern, much like cross stitch, but with my dollhouse it was most //////s.

You can see in this photo where I have first done all the stitching for the front panel of the house. I have also added the brown overhang. The windows are stitched with yarn, but can be cut out.

In the next photo you can see the inside panel of the walls, as well as the left wall attached, and one short inner wall between living room and kitchen. I also made a rug for the living room. This was a pattern I found online. That’s one nice thing about making a project—you can constantly add to it over the years.

Here is the finished inside of the dollhouse. If I did this project a second time I would have added a sturdier form of plastic canvas between the floors and the walls, because you can see it sagging a bit in the photo. Or, you can accept it as the nature of the materials you are working with.

You can see how much fun it is to add your own action figures to the scene. The pattern I had also came with instructions for making the furniture. Again, I had to modify the pattern so the furniture fit the scale of the action figures. I also found patterns online to make other furniture, such as the burgundy chair in the living room.

The dollhouse even has an attic. I made a pirate’s trunk to fit up here. I added a rod to the closet, and made the bathroom cabinet open up.

In this photo you can have a better look at the burgundy chair that I made from a smaller scale of canvas mesh (ten count), so there are more stitches per square inch.

I found a clock pattern, so the kitchen has a clock above the fridge. The kitchen is a bit crowded, and I never made all the furniture that the dollhouse was supposed to have. I also eliminated a third room on the second story, a nursery. In hindsight, I should have made a cat room.

This project took me about two years to make, but others may work it faster if they have no other projects on the go. I still have other patterns I want to make, such as a dining room hutch. The playing options are endless, and gamers can even think up ways to incorporate the house into a game.

Plastic canvas is about 99 cents per sheet. You can buy special plastic canvas needles, scissors, and yarn, to make your plastic canvas crafts easier to make. Patterns and kits can be expensive, but you can create your own patterns and designs. Most people who try the hobby get hooked after the first few weeks. If you’re like me, you’ll end up having several folders of project ideas on your computer.

Thanks again to Mel for sharing her dollhouse with us! If you want to see more projects made by Mel or learn about her writing services, please visit her blog website.