Blog Post · Commissions · Mastery of Craft · Persona 5

Let the Phantom Thieves steal your heart, and a place on your wall: Persona 5 Joker Tarot Card Tapestry

Persona 5 saw its worldwide release on April 4, 2017, I like many others with a soft spot for the series (and a flood of new fans) became instantly engrossed in the game’s world and problems.

With immersive cut-scenes, a dynamic soundtrack that you can’t ever seem to tire of and a cast of easily loveable and relatable characters, Persona 5 delivered to its players an introspective storyline fraught with very real-world issues; and I could not get enough. But if you are already here and reading this post then you most likely know all that, so let’s move on shall we?

Inspiration struck me one day and I found myself designing the most intricate wall hanging I have attempted thus far; 5 different colours and more carrying than I felt I had the capacity to handle, it quickly left me feeling defeated.

20190719_145319.jpg
A grand total of 18 bobbins 

Luckily for me, I have wonderful internet friends (Hi Keredya!) who shared my woes and soon we had decided that maybe I should try carrying things vertically instead of horizontally.

That would make my fabric far less girthy and enable me to worry about holding onto fewer threads; I figured it was worth a shot.

20190726_212152.jpg
After much trial and error, I settled on making…whatever this is. Pegboard cost me around $7 at the Home Hardware and a couple bucks in dowels.

Now, if you squint at the picture above, you may notice an error that I wish I had picked up on; I just wrapped the yarn around the dowels and didn’t put it on a spool.

After bashing my head against my own stupidity for a few minutes, I came up with a solution involving some old toilet paper rolls, corrugated cardboard and a bit of tape:

20190729_153855.jpg
Not pretty, but it is functional.

After I had finished rewinding the yarn around my makeshift spools, I placed some alligator clips on the board and fed the yarn through them to help maintain order, and trepidatiously began to work.

20190730_173123.jpg
Oof, that glare. And what a mess of yarn!

I struggled with maintaining my tension, I was unused to carrying the yarn vertically; dropping a thread after 1-5 stitches meant that I had to be more aware of how I anchored my stitches before I moved onto the next segment.

I decided that it could be fun to share my progress on my Magnum Opus, so I fired up the computer and streamed some of my work.

I was shocked when a newly acquired internet friend (Hi Kain!) had enough faith in my design to stake claim to the prototype, and so it became a commission I never expected to have.

20190813_122555.jpg
The back of this thing is a complete mess.

I learned quickly to place my work on the blocking board at the end of each stream, this helped to maintain the shape and speed up the stretching process that was inevitably going to take eons.

20190821_171710.jpg
Tidy stitches :3

I lost track of how long this tapestry took me from start to finish, I am sure I can figure the math out if I were to try but let’s just say a long fekkin’ time.

 Hover over the images to see measurements

For the backing, I decided to go with solid black and white trim to match the front. The inspiration for this whole project came from the tarot cards that are a staple of the Persona franchise.

Although I wasn’t wholly satisfied with the end product (what with it being the prototype), the customer voiced their enthusiasm and gave the stamp of approval to ship out.

The lighting in these pictures is a little on the cool side, I need to become a better photographer next!

Overall, I think the effect of the chain-link design turned out really nicely and the pattern itself translated well into the end product.

Things I learned from all this:

  • My tension is shit if you throw more than 3 strands of yarn at me. I need to practice working with more yarn until that becomes second nature.
  • I work better at a table, and it was fun to share my work as it was developing.
  • However, I work faster and more efficiently when the camera is off and I can throw something up on the TV to distract myself.
  • Tension matters in areas other than just the hook; when whip-stitching the bottom of the tapestry I must have pulled too hard and bunched the bottom up a bit. This was mediated later but I can still see a slight issue there and it will haunt me forever.
  • I have a long way to go before I can claim mastery of my craft.

 

Want to follow me around without being picked up for stalking?

Twitter | Twitch |

I have priced these banners at $150.00 CAD each, and I take commissions on a first come first serve basis. All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand. Expect between 3-4 weeks before your creation is ready to ship. Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order. A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer. 

Advertisements
Commissions

Commissions Slot Available

Commissions: How to submit a request

To submit a request to have a custom piece made, you can contact me through Email (hookcrux@gmail.com), or with the Contact button found on the website. If you want the quickest reply, send me an email.

How do you price your items?

I take commissions on a first come first serve basis.

All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand.

Expect between 2-3 weeks before your creation is ready to ship.

Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order.

If your request requires me to purchase a specific pattern then the price of the pattern is added to the cost of materials.

If I am working to design a pattern from scratch for your commission, an added cost will be attached to your total.

A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer.

Still have questions? Feel free to drop me a line and I am more than happy to answer your inquiries.

Blog Post · For Sale · Giveaway · update · World of Warcraft · WTBGold

It is finally time! Update on the WoW Banners and WTBGold Giveaway

You may remember this post I made waaaay back in September 2018 regarding some World of Warcraft Banners I made for my buddy Reckles over at WTBGold; well the time has come for the giveaway!

How to enter: 

  1. Go watch this video 
  2. Decide if you care enough to take part
  3. ????
  4. Profit

And that is it! No, really.

 

I will be updating the website soon with an actual blog post in the coming weeks, so if you have been wondering where I am, the answer is holed up in my office making shit to post here.

So until then, good luck and happy gold making!

Want to follow Reckles around without being picked up for stalking?

Twitter | YouTube | Twitch | Discord |

I have priced these banners at $110.00 CAD each, and I take commissions on a first come first serve basis. All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand. Expect between 2-3 weeks before your creation is ready to ship. Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order. A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer. 

 

Blog Post · Mastery of Craft · update

Mastery of Craft

I woke up this morning and realized that I haven’t updated the site with anything new; I am semi-finished a couple projects, but nothing that is ready to be shown off.

With the new year looming over the horizon, I began to think about what exactly I wanted to accomplish with this site and with my work. I came to the conclusion that I want only one thing out of 2019 for Hookcrux; mastery of my craft.

Okay, so I am aware that most New Year’s resolutions fail and that this one seems to be reaching a bit so let me try and explain myself better:

-I plan on going back to the roots of my craft, to study the history of crochet (with emphasis on Tunisian crochet).

-I will do my best to follow a schedule and deliberately practice my basics and build off of them on a regular basis.

-Most importantly, I am going to post all of that here on my website so that you can all learn with me.

I have always felt that if I could just be really good at one thing, just this one thing…then maybe I will be ready to live out my life as an NPC when I inevitably get transported into an anime or video game. I mean, it has to happen to me soon, I am 5 years away from being 30 and statistically, that is the age most anime protagonists make the leap.

The clock is ticking, time to level up.

Blog Post · Commissions · For Sale · Uncategorized · update

Commissions Open! 2 Slots Available

This is just a quick update post to let you know that I am opening up commissions, I have 2 slots available and it is on a first come, first serve basis.

Money has been tight what with my mother’s passing and the fact that I am moving at the end of the month, so when I had to bring Poe into the vet and the bill came back to me I realized that I could really use a hand.

As such, I am knocking $10 CAD off of any Banner commissions! That means that the Horde and Alliance Banners are now only $100 CAD plus shipping!

Commissions: How to submit a request

To submit a request to have a custom piece made, you can contact me through Email (hookcrux@gmail.com), or with the Contact button found on the website. If you want the quickest reply, send me an email.

How do you price your items?

I take commissions on a first come first serve basis.

All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand.

Expect between 2-3 weeks before your creation is ready to ship.

Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order.

If your request requires me to purchase a specific pattern then the price of the pattern is added to the cost of materials.

If I am working to design a pattern from scratch for your commission, an added cost will be attached to your total.

A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer.

Still have questions? Feel free to drop me a line and I am more than happy to answer your inquiries.

Poe and I thank you ❤ wp-1477595628662.jpg

Blog Post · Large Projects · update · World of Warcraft · WTBGold

Another WTBGold Giveaway! And a bit of an update.

Hello Internet, it has been a while.

Please forgive my absence, I have been through some ups and downs and the end result was that my mother passed away recently from Melanoma.

But the reason we are here is to show off some cool-ass banners!

Reckles creeps on bfa

Last time, I made a banner as a surprise for my buddy Reckles over at WTBGold with his channel logo and I picked up a new skill in doing so (read that post here).

With the recent launch of Battle for Azeroth and Reckles’ various communities reaching crazy heights, I decided to do another giveaway; this time I settled on making an Alliance and Horde banner. I initially intended on having them ready for the launch of BFA on August 14, 2018, however, life happened and so I only managed to get them finished on the 25th of September.

All in all, each banner took approximately 11 hours of actual labor to make (not including the time it took to wet block each section), with a day or two of downtime to rest my hand/wrist in between.

I failed to get a couple of progress pictures due to just being in the zone, but I got the ones that mattered!

After scouring the internet for a decent pixel graph, I found this lovely Alliance one done by NurseTab over on DeviantArt.

alliance pixel art.png

I decided to start with the banner I deemed the most difficult, I assumed this pattern would turn out larger than the Horde banner, so I planned to scale the Horde pattern up to the same size as the Alliance banner.

I used my 6.0 mm (US 10) hook for this project and a worsted-weight yarn.

JPEG_20180816_110453.jpg

It was only halfway through the first half of the Alliance banner that I remembered that it might be a good idea to take a couple pictures. ^^;

20180820_100221.jpg

Again, I forgot to take more progress pictures, but here is the Alliance banner and the backing for it. They are currently in the process of being wet blocked.

Next, I set about looking for a Horde symbol to turn into a pixel graph and to upsize. I found this one here made by leonardo (@snakeart) over on pixilart.com.

horde symbol

my horde symbol

This is the upsized pattern I adapted from the aforementioned photo.

I found it turned out a little wonky in certain places and adjusted it where I thought necessary, then I got to work once more.

20180916_190608.jpg

I didn’t even get any “in progress” pictures before the blocking process and I forgot to get a picture of the backing >.< 

20180925_145715.jpg

My sup-purr-visor is taking stock of my last few stitches and giving his rumbles of approval.

20180925_152700.jpg20180925_152737.jpg20180925_152628.jpg20180925_152458.jpg

Please forgive my shotty camera work! 

So, as previously stated, these banners are being shipped to Reckles as part of a giveaway on his channel so stalk him on his various social media for more information as to how you can win one of my banners!

| Twitter | YouTube | Twitch | Discord |

Also, moving forward, I intend to steer away from using Facebook as an active user. All of my posts will still auto-post over on my page as usual but if you are wanting a direct line to me, please contact me either via my Twitter drop me a line on Discord if you are a part of the WTBGold Community or send me a message on my Contact page here on the site.

I have priced these banners at $110.00 CAD each, and I take commissions on a first come first serve basis. All items are made at the time the order is placed and are not just held on hand. Expect between 2-3 weeks before your creation is ready to ship. Pricing is determined based on labor and material costs with the shipping cost being extra and fluctuating based on where I am shipping the order. A 50% initial deposit is required before any work can be started on your order. Payment options include Paypal, and ETransfer. 

 

Blog Post · Uncategorized · update · World of Warcraft

Profession Skill Up! Tunisian Crochet Unlocked.

Today’s posting is very near and dear to my heart, it involves a very special group of people in the World of Warcraft community; Reckles of WTBGold and the lovely (all be it sometimes terrifying), Recking Crew that accompanies him on his Twitch journey.

I will pull some backstory from his Patreon page for those of my readers who are not familiar with Reckles; after studying economics at Columbia and deciding that Investment Banking just wasn’t his thing, Reckles moved to Texas to take up the mantle of WoW Gold Making Guru.  This took shape in the form of a YouTube Channel and Twitch stream, where he passes on his knowledge of economics to fledgling goldmakers looking to get a better handle on their in-game finances and reach the gold cap.

wtbgold banner.png

I have been wanting to step up my crochet game for a while now, I felt that I haven’t really been delivering on the geeky goodness that my logo and name promises. So, in the spirit of the Reckles’ channel, I decided it was time I learned a new skill that would help me to deliver on that promise.

I visited my profession trainer (Google) and picked up the Tunisian Crochet skill.

tailoring-otherworldly-bag.jpg

For the uninitiated, Tunisian crochet, sometimes called jacquard crochet, intarsia, mosaic, fair isle, and colourwork (today these terms tend to refer to different techniques), is done usually in single crochet stitches and can consist of multiple colours carried throughout the piece. It is sometimes seen as a mixture of crochet and knitting. The biggest difference between regular crochet and Tunisian crochet is the hook used and how those single crochet stitches are worked up.

tunisian-crochet-hook-typesJPG.jpg

Tunisian crochet utilizes an elongated hook, often with a stopper or cord at the end which allows the user to cast on like with knitting.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to work!

I decided that I wanted to make something special for Reckles, to thank him and the community for all the times that they helped me to forget myself and laugh with them. Trust me, it is difficult to ignore the Anxiety Monster that lives in my head so this was no small feat.

Seeing as WTBGold is still a fledgling endeavor, I wanted to provide something that would hopefully help the channel out just as much as they all help me on a daily basis. After hearing that Reckles wanted to start improving on his branding, I decided that I would take a stab (hehe, rogue jokes) at making a wall hanging depicting his channel logo.

This proved to be an interesting experience as I first had to figure out how to turn his logo into a pattern for me to work from; with little knowledge of making pixel charts, I got to work.

unnamed

I decided to use Google Sheets as makeshift graph paper and flitted back and forth between the logo and my graph to make sure I was staying as true as possible to the design.

google sheet wtbgold.png

With the pattern fleshed out, I picked up my new hook and began my work.

The first thing I noticed, was how difficult it was to maintain just the right amount of tension on my yarn so that I wasn’t working the stitches so loosely that the carried colours poked through while also ensuring that my stitches were not so tight as to make the end result look pinched.

Once I found my groove, I got tunnel vision. There were days when I actually worked on it for 8 hours straight without stopping to stretch, eat or even take a hydration break. If anyone from the channel is reading this and wonders where I disappeared to for a week, I was down a rabbit hole, and it was glorious.

This banner was the most fun I had had with crochet in a long time, I felt creative again. I started imagining the other things I could make with Tunisian crochet and my thoughts ran away with me. Eventually, the intense hand cramps pulled me back into the realm of reality and forced me to take a break.

After 2 and a half days, I had completed the first half of my project.

20180315_162645.jpg

After I had finished laughing like a crazy person from relief (and spooking my cats), I just sat there and stared at it for a solid 3 minutes with a critical eye. I remembered a suggestion given to me by a member of the Recking Crew (shout out to my “alter-ego”) that I should find a way of incorporating the red background from the logo.

This suggestion gave me an answer to another problem I was having; for those who have not tried out Tunisian crochet for themselves this is what the back of the project looked like at this stage:

20180315_162632.jpg

Yup, here it is, my secret shame. When you carry your secondary colour throughout your work, it results in this tangled mess. 

Luckily, I figured out that I could kill 2 birds with one stone and used the red yarn I had slated for the trim, to create a monotone copy of the shield and stitched the two together to create the backing.

20180317_141228.jpg

I happened to have some gold thread left over from another project, and I used it to accent the piece and hide the seams.

20180317_141314.jpg

My final task was to find a suitable dowel for the banner to hang from, this was oddly difficult to locate and in the end, I went to the dollar store and repurposed the pole from a paper towel holder.

By this point, 4 days have passed and I am beginning to get antsy the way that I do when I have almost finished a piece. Sadly, I still had to wet block so that the banner would maintain its shape. This took multiple attempts and more patience than I had access to but the end result was well worth the time and effort that went into it.

20180315_184559.jpg

I apologize for the less than perfect picture quality, one day I will level up my photography skill, but for the time being, you shall have to settle for phone quality.

20180317_141141.jpg

And there you have it. I really don’t know what else to say except to thank Reckles and the whole Recking Crew for the numerous laughs and shenanigans.

So with that, Smar out! Vanishes into the shadows, dual-wielding hooks as daggers.

Blog Post · update

I need your help!

You, yes you sitting there looking at this post, I request your assistance.

No, I am not asking for money or for a kidney or even your first born feline, I merely need for you to take a moment of your time to complete this survey.

What is the survey for and how is it supposed to help? Well, I am glad that you asked random internet dweller! I am currently going through a small business mentorship program designed to help me with growing my business. I have an assignment to conduct a simple Market Survey and that is where I am hoping that you fine folk can assist.

No, this isn’t a scam, I am not selling your information and I am not getting money from each survey response. The only payment I get is a passing mark and the knowledge of how to better tailor my service to your needs.

So, I would be forever grateful should you choose to help me out by completing the survey yourself and if you felt so inclined as to share it with your friends, I would also appreciate it.

https://goo.gl/forms/PgUo6maFesebJ87k1

~Rebecca Challenger, Hookcrux

Blog Post · For Sale · Large Projects · Reclaimed Crochet · Uncategorized

Reclaimed Crochet: Over-Sized Wearble Blanket

Boy, it sure has been a while since I have done one of these, eh? I am back with another crochet transformation that I cannot wait to show you all, so without further ado, let’s get started!

Here is what we are Reclaiming today:

20180311_183217.jpg20180311_183248.jpg

This poor, unloved blanket was found at my local thrift store for just under $5.00 CAD. I was large enough to drape over my double bed and was so soft that I am astounded anyone let it go. Upon closer inspection, I found a few problem areas but I was certain I could clean ‘er up and work around them in order to give this blanket a new life.

Problem area #1: Odd, yellow-y fluff.

It was embedded in the yarn and I could only assume, it was some type of pet fur. Luckily, it was fairly easy to remove with a pair of small scissors, good lighting, and a careful hand.

With that out of the way, it was time to address the larger issue, the unsightly seam that ran straight down the center of the blanket.

Problem area #2: The construction of the blanket.

I really wish I knew why the original maker of this piece decided to make 2 different panels and stitch them together to make this blanket. Maybe it was for ease of travel so they could work on a larger project while on the go. Whatever the reason, it left a hard to miss seam down the body of the blanket.

This, I have to admit had me stumped for a moment as to how I would go about Reclaiming this piece. Should I just rip out the whole blanket and straight up just reuse this gorgeous, soft, liliac yarn? I didn’t much enjoy the thought of spending my day frogging. Besides, that is hardly very creative of me now is it?

So here is what I did instead:

I decided that the best way to hide the seam would be to turn the blanket into something wearable and then use a second, bolder colour to distract from the unsightly seam. I figured that if I could somehow get the seam to run in line with my waist horizontally, then your eyes would just kind of, gloss over it.

So, I went to work folding the blanket this way and that until I had origami’d it into something new. I took some gray yarn I had in my stash that was of similar weight and used that to make my new folds stitch together.

20180312_181356.jpg20180315_190632.jpg

The final result proved to be rather difficult to photograph without help but I did manage it.

Here it is, an over-sized wearable blanket that is sure to keep you warm and cozy while you snuggle up with that book and a cuppa.

 

I am pleased to offer this incredibly cozy over-sized wearable blanket for just $30.00 CAD+ Shipping. As usual, if you live locally and are able to come pick it up then we wave the shipping fee.

I encourage you all to head to your local thrift stores and see if you can find yourself something to Reclaim.

Blog Post · Large Projects · update

Cozy Kitty Cloak

About a month or so ago, I decided that I needed to make myself something for a change (which is rare as most things I make tend to find their way to other people eventually) and so I ventured out to Micheals with a friend.

I had already decided that I was going to make a blanket, winter was looming on the horizon and I could already feel the chill in the air during the wee hours of the morning. I envisioned curling up in this new, thick and cozy blanket with a cup of tea, a kitty and a good book. With that image cemented in my mind, I wandered the aisles and stalked for the perfect yarn.

At this point, I had pretty much decided on 2 things, firstly the blanket would be grey and white(or cream) and secondly, I was going to use bulky yarn for this piece. That was it. I had no plan for the actual pattern I would use and this made deciding on the amount of yarn needed a tad difficult.

I settled on using the Loops & Threads Charisma, and grabbed myself 3 of the Charisma BIG! in Steel and 2 of the 100g Off White; I shuffled off with my friend and discussed patterns on the way home.

Part of my ‘process’ when deciding on what to use a specific yarn for, is to hand-wind my yarn into center-pull balls. This gives me the opportunity to really get acquainted with my yarn; as odd a concept as this may sound, it allows me to discover imperfections in the yarn prior to using it in a project. If the yarn feels too scratchy or is thinner/thicker than anticipated, then I now have the time to consider how I am going to tackle these issues while I wind the yarn.

The yarn winding itself, I find can be rather therapeutic at times. However, let’s return our focus to the actual project.

While winding the yarn this time, I discovered that a few of the yarn balls were cut oddly and had multiple ends. (My total for one ball was 5 extra ends, which although annoying, did make me chuckle a little.) I also realized that this yarn was much heavier than I had first assumed but was also much softer.

Okay so, I have had this pattern saved for ages and it was just perfect for this yarn; the only issue is that the pattern was not for a blanket, it was for a hooded scarf. A hooded cat scarf.

So I gave in and I made the scarf, and as I made it, I silently mourned the loss of my cuddly winter blanket.

20170925_135258

 

When I had finished, I was pleased with the outcome but, it seemed to be missing….something. Again, I saw my cozy blanket in my mind but this time it looked a tad different; I messaged my friend for another ride to pick up more yarn (got severely motion sick on the ride back), and returned home with 3 more balls of the Charisma BIG! and some impulse yarn to be used later.

I went through my ritual of winding the yarn and then grabbed the Cat Scoodie I had just completed and got to work. Here is the end result:

Mosiac

 

I LOVE  how this turned out. This Hooded Cat Blanket was so much fun to make and I cannot wait to finish writing up the pattern and pricing it out so that I can offer it for sale.  Final count, approximately 5 balls of Loops & Threads Charisma BIG! in Steel and 1 ball of Off White Loops & Threads Charisma 100g.

The cloak is long enough to cover you and house a cuddle buddy for when you are curled up with that book, and it is short enough to wear around the house on a chilly morning while you prepare your tea. It has slits for your arms but comes with a button near the neck to hold it on your person if you want to keep your arms tucked in.

The pockets are a wonderful feature, (I am considering adding more on the interior) they are large enough to keep your hands cozy or carry your phone, glasses or pet rat. No? Just me? Hmm, okay.

One thing that I didn’t anticipate however is just how heavy this cloak is. It isn’t cumbersome by any means, but it has the bonus effect of acting like a weighted blanket (these have been known to aid in managing anxiety as well as providing added comfort to those who live with autism).

The added weight will bump up the shipping cost, but I will work that out in a little bit.

So, what do you all think? I look forward to curling up in bed with my cats, a cup of tea and a good book while the snow makes its silent descent to cover us in a blanket of its own.

UPDATE: I finished pricing out this piece and should you wish to commission one for yourself or another individual, you can for $126.14 +Shipping CAD