Gingerbread House

Well, we missed Christmas but managed to build a house for NYE, at least:

gingerbread-house

…complete with a Santa Jellybaby by the chimney!

The gingerbread recipe used was this one, although we didn’t follow the pattern provided.  The gingerbread tasted a bit boring when first made (although a good structural material!) but the flavour improved with time.

We simply used water icing to hold the panels together, and to attach the sweets – much easier to break into later than using egg-white based icings.  The fence is matchmakers; patches lightly melted using a knife dipped in hot water to stick the cross bars together, water icing at the bottoms of the posts.  Flake for the wood pile. Lightly dusted with icing sugar once completed.

House.jpg

santababy

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The Stand

chemset3

The pipe cleaners I had were not sufficiently rigid for the stand, so I made the structure out of some ticker copper wire, then added the pipe cleaners to give it a bit of softer bulk.

The legs were done as for the condenser  – magic ring with 6sc, sc around in back loops only, (sc around in front loops only) repeat until long enough.  A couple of scs around the wire circle at the top holds the legs in place nicely.

To fill in between the legs, I did foundation single crochets from one leg to the next, then used that as the basis – a couple of decreases per section as you curve in, sc in each around, a couple of increas per section as you curve out and join to the other side of the foundation single crochets.

stand

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Bernie the Bunsen Burner

Meet Bernie:

Bernie - top.jpg

I saw this picture of crocheted chemistry sets and thought I’d like to try my own… unfortunately the maker has chosen not to sell her patterns, so I had to look elsewhere and found this patten (not free, but a good pattern) for a Bunsen Burner.

It is a nice pattern, but, being a scientist, two things bugged me:

  1. The gas feed goes into the collar (it should be below); and
  2. The collar doesn’t rotate to cover and reveal a hole (its purpose is to let air into the gas stream, to change the flame properties).

So, taking the pattern I linked to above, I made the below additional rows between rows 13 and 14 of the “Bunsen burner base” portion:

Rounds 13a-13b: 8sc, switch yarn to black (i.e. the last loop you pull up through the 8th sc should be of the new black yarn), 2 sc in black, switch back to grey, 8sc, 18 sts total (black stitches form the “hole” the collar covers)

Rounds 13c-13e: 18sc around (these rows give space under where the collar will go for the gas feed)

Making the collar, I made my chain into a circle and replaced two of the dc into next chs with chains, so making a two-stitch gap.  Depending on your tension, you may need to adjust the stitch number so that the collar sits snugly around the base whilst still beng rotatable.  The collar doens’t need sewing to the base; it will just sit there.  Put the collar on before attaching the gas inlet below the collar to get your spacing right.

If you look closely at the pictures below, you can see that one shows black through the hole in the collar (side view), and the other shows grey.

Bernie - two

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Conical and Round-Bottomed Flasks

….because who doesn’t want plushy laboratory glassware?!

(Conical flask = Erlenmeyer for anyone on the wrong* side of the pond….)

Firstly, the round-bottomed flask:

round flask

A very simple pattern combining a basic crocheted ball with a cylindrical neck.  I did this crocheting in the front loops only, as this suits me tension-wise.  I have high tension.  If you would normally do crocheted balls through both loops, do that.

Start with your colour:

  1. Magic ring with 6 sc;
  2. 2sc in each sc around;
  3. (2sc in next sc, sc in next) repeat around;
  4. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc) repeat around;
  5. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc) repeat around;
  6. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc) repeat around;
  7. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 5 sc) repeat around;
  8. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 6 sc) repeat around;
  9. 6 rows of sc in each sc around;
  10. (dec over next two sc, sc in next 6 sc) repeat around;
  11. (dec over next two sc, sc in next 5 sc) repeat around;
  12. (dec over next two sc, sc in next 4 sc) repeat around;
  13. (dec over next two sc, sc in next 3 sc) repeat around CHANGE COLOUR, DON’T CUT OFF COLOUR THREAD, BUT FINISH OFF;
  14. In white…. (dec over next two sc, sc in next 2 sc) repeat around PAUSE THIS COLOUR!;
  15. STUFF! In the back loops of the white row 13, dec around using the coloured thread, and finish off, cutting off the coloured thread and tucking the tail into the stuffed bit;
  16. returning to your abandoned white thread: 8 rows of sc in each sc around;
  17. (sc in next sc, 2sc in next) around.

Now for the conical flask:

Conical flask

You may have noticed a yellow conical flask in the picture of the full set.  That one was simply starting with a flat circle, and then doing as for row X onwards.  I didn’t like that as much as real conical flasks don’t have sharp corners.  Here is the pattern for Take #2!

I changed the stitch to get a different result from the same pattern.  I did this with each new stitch going through both loops of the stitch below, not just the front loops.  Using slip stitches instead of scs may work for you if your tension’s not right.

Start with your colour:

  1. Magic ring with 6 sc;
  2. 2sc in each sc around;
  3. (2sc in next sc, sc in next) repeat around;
  4. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc) repeat around;
  5. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc) repeat around;
  6. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc) repeat around;
  7. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 5 sc) repeat around;
  8. (2sc in next sc, sc in next 6 sc) repeat around;
  9. sc in each sc around;  (total of 48 stitches around)
  10. (sc in next 22 sc, dec over next 2 sc)*2;
  11. (sc in next 21 sc, dec over next 2 sc)*2;
  12. sc in next 10 sc, dec over next 2 sc,sc in next 20 sc, dec over next 2 sc, sc in next 10 sc;
  13. sc in next 5 sc, dec over next 2 sc,sc in next 19 sc, dec over next 2 sc, sc in next 14 sc;
  14. …. you get the idea – two decs per round, evenly spaced, don’t make the decs in different rows all line up or you’ll get corners.  Decide when you want to switch to white – how full do you want your flask to be?
  15. At the end of your last colour row, CHANGE COLOUR, DON’T CUT OFF COLOUR THREAD, BUT FINISH OFF, AND STUFF THE FLASK;
  16. Do next row in white (as before, 2 decs, evenly spaced);
  17. ABANDON WHITE FOR A BIT AND GO BACK TO THE COLOURED THREAD – decrease around on the inside – I found two circles of dc decreases did the job, ymmv depending on tension. Finish off and tuck trailing end inside the flask;
  18. RETURN TO WHITE THREAD AND Continue as per [14] until you have only 18 stitches around;
  19. 8 rows of sc in each sc around;
  20. (sc in next sc, 2sc in next) around.

 

*and yet I am using US crochet notation….

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Test Tubes….

Chem set2

A very simple pattern, but quite effective once you have a few together.  Googly eyes optional!

Start with your colour.  I did this in front loops only.  If you have lower tension, you may wish to go through both loops.

  1. Magic ring with 6 sc;
  2. 2sc in each sc around;
  3. (2sc in next sc, sc in next) repeat around; (18 stitches around)
  4. sc in each sc around for a total of 24 rows, changing colour* after the end of whichever row you select;
  5. (2sc in next sc, sc in next) repeat around.

*When you do the colour change, you should also stuff the tube:

  1. CHANGE COLOUR, DON’T CUT OFF COLOUR THREAD, BUT FINISH OFF;
  2. In white, do the next sc in each sc around row, then leave this loop + tail hanging;
  3. STUFF! In the back loops of the first white row, dec around using the coloured thread, and finish off, cutting off the coloured thread and tucking the tail into the stuffed bit;
  4. …and go back to white.
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Crocheted Chemistry Set

Having seen someone else’s crocheted chemistry set online, I decided to make my own:

Chem set2.jpg

Boxed set

chemset3.jpg

The patterns for various bits and bobs can be found in my other posts (which will be up shortly if they aren’t already):

Making the condenser was simply a case of crocheting in the round around a long pipe cleaner, then winding the result around a candle.  I started with a magic ring with 6sc,pulled tight to stop the end of the pipe cleaner wire sticking through.

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EXTERMIKNIT!

Well, extermicrochet, to be more accurate.

Dalek2

dalek

I made this following a pattern available here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dalek-amigurumi

I didn’t find this pattern the easiest to follow for two reasons:

  1. The advice given was not to finish off each round, but rather to keep going.  With colour changes that are supposed to be horizontal lines, that didn’t work well for me.  Maybe I crochet oddly, but my advice would be to finish each round with a ss into the first ch, and ch1 for the first sc of each round.
  2. The pattern doesn’t tell you which part of the section you are starting with, or what’s supposed to be happening, so to speak.  Very easy to see once you have done it once, but not so much to start with. (To be fair having printed off the pictures would probably have helped…)

E.g. The long lines of stitch instructions don’t make it clear that you simply make sure the black bobbles are vertically aligned and do grey scs in between and that the pointy bit at the front means that you need the extra grey scs to be at the front (the first time “front” matters in the body portion is when you get the flat bit between fpscs in Rounds 26-ish) so that the bobbles still look vertically aligned when it’s made up.  You can see from the bottom row of black bobbles that I went a bit wrong there – they looked just about vertically aligned before the forward-pointy base was attached! Much less chance of going wrong stitch-counting when you know what the intention is!

I would also suggest changing direction for the ss rows of grey against the black (Rounds 13 and 17 of the body) AND going through the (already used) front loops of the preceding black row for Rounds 14 and 18, otherwise the grey shows through in the wrong place.

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