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About tacomagic

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  • Birthday 04/05/1982

A Few Things About Me

  • Location
  • Hobbies
    Crafts, Computing, Gaming
  • Occupation
  • Favorite hook type
  • Favorite projects
    Plarn Projects
  • Crocheting since...
    3 months
  1. tacomagic

    Assault Cactus

    I was very much excited to try my hand at them, and this cactus gave me an excuse to do so. My first attempt was increasing every other stitch and it turned out way too big. I gave that one to my son to play with (See attached). I ended up going with increasing in every stitch for the main flower, and for the arm flower I increased in the first stitch, and then double increased in the next (So doing 3 increases for ever 2 stitches). Pseudospheres are fun to do, but take a LOT of work. The primary sphere on the top of the cactus is comprised of roughly 1,280 stitches and is only 7 rows deep . And, since each row doubles the entire stitch count of the sphere I didn't feel doing row 8. Cheers, Taco
  2. tacomagic

    Assault Cactus

    I shall definitely have to try that out.
  3. That's a cute pattern! I think I'll make one with thread or sock yarn and hang it from the tree this year!
  4. My existing dice bag is a very small faux lether pouch that has become too small to hold my dice... and it's getting very worn out. I discovered entrelac crochet on Crochetville about two weeks ago and studied up on it and quickly determined this project for myself. I used the Hook, Yarn, and Needles pattern, which I can't post a link to on Crochetville because it censures it for whatever reason. However, I made 3 important changes. First, I only made 5 rows instead of 7, since it was going to be a small bag for holding dice. Second, I used the entrelac square tutorial on the same site in order to create a perfect cylinder of entrelac, rather than the staggered square ends. From there I SC'd on a semi-round base and a top to attach my chain stitched tie cord. It turned out fairly well, but a few changes for my next attempt: The bag needs to be taller after the cord so that there is more material up above the tie point; it's mostly an aesthetic thing. I need to use two colors that contrast more sharply with each other. The colors I used were too similar and really don't showcase the entrelac method used. The SC base worked really, really well; however, the SC top wasn't very good because the SC stitch is much less elastic than the simple Tunisian stitch. In the next run I need to use a double-sided tunisian stitch in the round rather than SC for the top in order to keep my elasticity similar. Doing the base in SC was good as it reenforced the bag very nicely, so I would keep that the same. Cheers, Taco
  5. tacomagic

    Assault Cactus

    My sister recently comissioned a "Whacking Cactus" with which to womp on her friends with (don't ask). Anyway, I found Elfluv's Dwarf Crochet cactus pattern: http://elfluvsdwarf.blogspot.com/2010/07/crochet-cactus-garden-free-pattern.html And went to work. I did three primary modifications to the pattern, first I made it much taller so that it would be a more suitable weapon; I made the arm much longer and addeded a 90º turn in it; and I made hyperbolic pseudo spheres for flowers instead of the ones in the pattern. I'm rather happy with how it turned out, though if I make the cactus again I'll do some tweaking. I'll add cardboard or wood into the base so that it holds its form and stands up better (I used hard beans on this one). I'd bring the arm in a little closer to the cactus, probalby counter balance it with another arm to make it stand up a little straighter. I'm told by my sister that she has already wielded it in battle. Cheers, Taco
  6. A friend suggested that I take the most important pictures, shrink them down and put them in with the instructional text and then add all the pictures to a second document as figures which I can reference from the text. I was already doing something similar to that, but I think hybridizing it like he suggested will give me the best of both worlds. So fear not, all the pictures will be available... granted it will take me longer to do it this way, but I think the end result will be much better. In other related news, I've also started 3d modeling the wooden components of the winder. So the ugly scans of my graph paper drawings will soon be replaced with sharp and snazzy 3d-rendered, measured, and diagramed parts. I had to buy a few more things for the winder... and dived a dumpster for another part; luckily now that I'm looking at the recipts for everything I've bought, I over-estimated how much I spent on some of the bolts, so I'm actually running at about $20 spent. Even if I add in what some of the bolts I had on-hand would have cost to buy new, I doubt I'd have spent more than $22-24 all told thus far (10 1/4x20 nuts, 8 lock washers, 4 regular washers, and an acorn nut). Plenty of money left over for a can of spray paint if I don't have to buy anything else. The next portion of the project is going to be assembling the spindle on the fixed shaft. Since I sprung the $8.54 on the skateboard bearings, I think this portion is going to be much easier than it was shaping up to be without them. Once I finish updating the plans, I'm thinking it should only take about 4-6 hours to do the spindle (minus the 24 hour gluing time, of course). Cheers, Taco
  7. Holy sweet camera man I took a LOT of photos for the crank construction. All told I have 124 pictures of the assembly of the crank... and that is AFTER I culled out all the bad shots and duplicates. What does everyone think: more pictures are better, or should I crop it down to a more manageable selection of the important pictures?
  8. Addi and Boye both make interchangeable hooks that work with their cable sets, but you have to buy the hooks and cables separately. I like the idea of buying the denise and then snagging a few extra hook heads for the sizes I use most. I'll probably do that once I figure out what sizes I like the most.
  9. To think of crochet/knitting as a dying/dead art seems rather absurd. I think, if anything else, hand crafts are seeing a pretty significant resurgence. Possibly due to the hard economic times a lot of the world is seeing, or possibly just because it's easier and cheaper to learn than ever. With the invent of the internet there is a greater degree of accessibility to other crafters, more sharing of patterns and methods, and more opportunity for discussion and collaboration. New methods are being developed and shared and old methods are being resurrected and given the spotlight again. Even among those I know personally, crafting has started to reemerge. 8 years ago the only one of us who did any yarn craft was my wife; and she really just did afghans and scarves. Since then over half of us have picked up yarn craft of some kind or another; and my wife has started operating outside her original comfort zone. We're buying more yarn and trying new projects and stitches; all the while dreaming up even more projects to do. And between all of us, we have a huge range. Two of our friends knit; one mostly does flat work like shawls, scarves, and 'ghans while the other is more tubular with sweaters, mittens, and hats. I have an uncle who does huge, simple afghans, and a pair of grandmothers who make smaller more complex 'ghans. My wife does a bit of everything, with simple afghans, granny square 'ghans, socks, and hats being her forte, while I do tighter work like amigurumi, bags, and Tunisian. I suck at gauging so I stopped trying to make clothing for the time being. I have a sister-in-law who knits very beautful scarves and blankets with quite complex chording, and a sister who desperately wants me to teach her to crochet next time I visit (She wants to learn to do the amigurumi as I do). Apparently many of my sister's co-workers want to learn amigurumi since seeing some of the things I've made, so I may have to do a class o.O. Now that some of us are becoming very comfortable, maybe even proficient with our basic crafts, we have all started pushing the boundaries. Changing patterns to meet our needs, graphing, trying new exciting stitches and tools. I've even started in on designing an amigurumi of my own; something I couldn't even have dreamed of doing a year ago (not finished yet, but getting there). All of it with support from the huge knowledge base that has been forming in the online community and supported by all the literature availiable in books and magazines. Really, I can't think of a time I'd rather have taken up the hook. There is more readily available information out there than there has ever been. More books, more tutorials, more articles, more experts willing to lend help, and more people willing to cheer you on. Forums, tutorial sites, blogs, pictures, galleries, and more, all at the click of the mouse or the quick addition to an online cart. Yarns of every color, weight, size, and material available to those who look for it. Instead of a small circle of 5-10 people hooking at their weekly craft meeting we have a global community all sharing the craft (ok, we have BOTH now). Dying? I'd say quite the opposite. Flourishing is the word I'd use. You may not see it around everywhere you go; but if you wander around the yarn section in a big-box store during a 50% off super sale, you would never believe that yarn work was a dying art. Cheers, Taco
  10. Thanks to a productive day today, I now have the crank almost entirely finished. Right now it's glued and clamped, and in 24 hours it will be set up and ready for one last drilling and hardware assembly. Tomorrow or Tuesday I'll add the hardware and it should be done. After that is complete I'll be moving on to the tensioning belt; which shouldn't take more than an hour or two to do. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to start doing the write up for the crank this week; but as I noticed last time, the write up takes much more time than the actual work on the project does. Once I've got the crank put together I'll upload a picture of it here. Schedule permitting, I'm thinking Tuesday or Wednesday.
  11. I was actually looking at the Denise set so I'll have to give it another look. One of the comments for a similar set was about the attachments wearing down, so maybe the Denise set doesn't suffer from this problem. It's a tad more expensive, but if it's a good product then I don't have an issue paying for it. I'll certainly give that set another, longer look. Thanks! -Taco
  12. I've recently been getting into Tunisian and Entrelac crochet. After a bit of a mishap making an Entrelac bag and then finishing with single crochet I realized I needed a better way to finish off such work. The single crochet has much, much less elasticity than the Tunisian Simple Stitch; which made my work turn out a little wonky when I combined the two. After a quick bit of research I discoverd that you can Tunisian in the round but it requires a double sided hook or a set of enterchangable hook loops. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of reviews out there on these hooks and loop sets so I'm hoping there are a few Tunisian gurus who can recommend some hooks to me. So what hooks do you favor for doing double ended Tunisian work in the round? Clover makes a pretty wide line of hooks, but they're rather expensive. On the other hand there are some rather affordable sets with enterchangable hook ends; but there seems to be some concern that the connection sites wear down rather quickly. Any help here is, as always, appreciated. -Taco
  13. I think it'll all come down to whatever your GD finds most comfortable. I'm a case study in finding my own way to do things. When my wife was teaching me to crochet she had me do the pinky wrap method as you use. I found it so uncomfortable and awkward that I natually started using a different hold on my own. In fact I didn't realize I was doing it until I actually stopped and looked at what my hand was doing. I find it's a pretty easy hold to drape the yarn over the fore finger and then tension the yarn by holding it against the palm with my pinky and ring finger. That allows my thumb and middle finger free to hold and manipulate whatever it is I'm working on. This requires a bit more hand and finger strength than the pinky wrap method but it's a simpler hold as far as manual dexterity is concerned. -Cheers, Taco
  14. Ever since Knitting went mainstream I've taken up crochet. But I only crochet ironically.
  15. Both for me. When I've got projects that I don't have yarn for, I make a list and go buy yarn. However, if I see yarn I like, I'll buy it and come up with a project for it later.
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