Geeky cross-stitch patterns

I've been having lots of cross-stitching fun lately. I'm a big fan of pixel art and especially that found in SNES games. Super Mario Bros 2 was one of my favourite games as a little girl, because you were allowed to play as Princess Peach (who is objectively the best character because she can FLOAT). I'm in the process of making a pincushion-based cross-stitch homage to her - the pattern is at the bottom of the page.

I also participated in the epic Reddit Secret Santa Gift Exchange this year. My giftee is a young gentleman who works in IT, with a love for Legend of Zelda. I made him a cross-stiched Link yoyo...

...and a friendly little sign for his desk.

I've made some downloadable patterns: Link, Princess Peach, and Go Away Sign.


Bookbinding, woo!

I, like many other people, have a passionate and deeply loving relationship with notebooks. All that notebooks and I ask is that you respect our love for the sacred union it represents. There have been a spate of birthdays amongst my friends recently, so I put together some hand-bound notebooks for them.

This one is bound using coptic stitch in gold thread. The cover is made from a repurposed purple pinstriped suit jacket.
I bought the corner protectors from this eBay shop.
The covers are a couple of centimetres wider and longer than the pages.
The signatures are encased in purple, blue, and grey cover papers.
I used this super happy kawaii wrapping paper (from Primark) to line the insides of the covers.
I made it for my awesome friend Sacha, who is a composer. The pages are a mixture of manuscript paper, squared paper, plain, and coloured paper.
I made a PDF of the manuscript paper in LibreOffice Draw. You can download it from here.
The next three notebooks were for my chums Emma, Benji, and Laura. The red fabric used to be a dress, and the blue was a pillowcase.
Manuscript paper for Laura, because she's a classical guitarist, folk musician and composer.
Lined paper for Emma because she's a writer (PDF).
And storyboards for Benji because he's a filmmaker (PDF).
SUPER COOL COVER PAPERS (also from Primark).
I used a mixture of coptic stitch and french tape binding on these books. I learnt the exposed tape technique from this amazing tutorial.
The covers on these books are the same size as the inner papers. I think I prefer making them this way since it's a more economical use of my A4 pieces of cardboard (cannibalised from notebooks and A4 refill pads).

I really like the look of the exposed tape bindings, but I think I prefer to attach covers using coptic stitch as it's a lot less fiddly.


A Very Knitted Christmas

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I've spent a lot of time on trains. Apart from reading, naturally I have also been knitting. These little Christmas stockings are from my own pattern. I've been knitting them for a couple of years, and I seem to change the pattern each time I make them. The pattern below requires stocking stitch and short rows, using two straight needles. I have been working on one version in the round, but it still needs a bit of tweaking.

The knitted "paper" chain is a nice, easy thing to knit in front of the TV. My amazing friend Astrid showed me how to make them when I last visited her (in between feeding me lots and lots of food, introducing me to lovely people and beating me at Lego Rock Band). Essentially you cast on 30 stitches, knit four (or six, if you fancy) rows in garter stitch, bind off, and sew the ends together.

Apart from knitting, I've been reading In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, which I have reviewed briefly here, writing some cool programs, making aubergine involtini (thanks, Nigella!), getting into Oxford for a PhD in Systems Biology next year, and doodling polar bears. I know, right? Polar bears are awesome. Now I will leave you only with my extremely classy electronic Christmas card.

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