A song of Ice and Fire – Game of Thrones

      Those who know me are used to the fact that when I get into something, I become completely absorbed. My current obsession is the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. In this series, Martin yarns a tale about those who would sit upon the iron throne of Westeros; a large kingdom reminiscent of Medieval Eurasia.

     Though the books are technically in the fantasy genera, the stories are not about magic. They are more about the character’s struggles and the politics of love, war and power. There are mythical creatures in these books, but they are not the center of the story. They are there to add to something that is already intriguing and enthralling on its own.
             Those who have not read the books may already be familiar with some of the characters. The HBO series Game of Thrones is based on the series and the first season is the first book, also entitled Game of Thrones. As Martin is  one of the co-executive producers, the series holds true to the stories. The actors in this series are fantastic, and the cinematography is phenomenal. As they have in the past with shows like Deadwood, HBO is able to deliver a show that is both fantastical an grounded by realism. Each character is fully developed with both endearments and flaws.
After watching the series and reading the books, there are a few characters who really stand out for me. One of them is Daenerys Targaryen. Daenerys is the exiled princess of Westeros. After being smuggled out of Westeros with her brother Viserys during the uprising that left her an orphan, she has been living in the Free Cities beyond the narrow sea. Daenerys is a character who we see grow from a shy and scared child at the beginning of the first book to a powerful queen who is determined to take back what she sees as rightfully her’s.
Here is my amigurumi of Daenerys Targaryen. There is no pattern as of yet, because I improvised it as I went along. Those who are interested in making their own Danaereys will be happy to know that there are some patterns available for free download onravelry.

1 Up Pillow Pattern

I am finally done with the 1 Up Pillow! After seeing this blanket on a different blog, I decided that I wanted to try my own Nintendo project. Now my pillow is not nearly as epic as the blanket, but I am still very proud of it.

Making this pillow is a lot easier than it looks. The entire pillow is done using a single crochet stitch and following a graph of the picture. Older Nintendo games translate really well to graph paper, because the graphics were made with very few pixels. Single crochet stitches are very square and sit right on top of each other so each pixel is a stitch.
Here is the graph that I made for this pillow: It is 33 rows tall with 31 stitches in each row.
Using a 5.5mm hook with worsted weight acrylic yarn, my pillow came out to be 22X15 inches.
Gauge isn’t really important to this project, as long as you use a hook size that goes well with the yarn you are using. If you would like to make a pillow that is a different size or more square than rectangular, then you can figure out the number of rows and stitches you need by figuring out the gauge of a test swatch.
Since the pillow can have more rows or stitches than the graph, there is an easy way to figure out where in your project you should start following the graph.
Once you know how many rows high you would like your pillow (mine is 63), take that number and subtract the number of rows in the graph. Then take that number and divide by two. This number will tell you how many rows are before and after the graph.
63 pillow rows – 33 graph rows = 30 rows/2 = 15 rows above and below the graph
The same is done for the stitches:
81 pillow stitches – 31 graph stitches = 50 stitches/2 = 25 stitches before and after the graph
Now that you have your numbers written down, the rest is easy.
To change the colors, you will work the last single crochet of the first color until 2 loops remain on the hook. Then you will yarn over with the second color and draw it through the loop. Carry the unused color behind your design so that you can pick it up when you are switching back to it. Don’t worry that the back of the project looks a little messy. Once your pillow is finished, this will be hidden inside the pillow. Here is a videothat I found helpful in explaining how to do this.
The following pattern is written using my numbers, but you can customize it to your own needs. Just remember that when making your foundation chain, it needs to be your desired number of stitches (81 for me) plus 1 stitch.
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Front:
With blue, chain 82.
Row 1: sc in the second ch from the hook working into the back bump of the chain, sc in each ch across. Turn (81 st)
Rows 2 – 15: Ch 1, sc in each st across (81 st)
Row 16: Ch 1, sc in the first 25 stitches, put a stitch marker into the 25th st. sc in the next 32 stitches place a stitch marker in the 32nd stitch. (the 31 stitches in between the stitch markers are the first row of the graph). Continue to sc in the rest of the  st until you reach the end of the row (81 st)
Rows 17 – 48: Ch1, sc in each ch across following the graph for color changes (remember that the graph starts and ends in between the stitch markers that you left in the previous row)
Rows 49 – 63:  Ch 1, sc in each st across (81 st), fasten off
Back: Using brown ch 82
Row 1: sc in the second ch from the hook working into the back bump of the chain, sc in each ch across. Turn (81 st)
Rows 2 – 63: Ch 1, sc in each st across (81 st) do not fasten off
Now place the brown side against the back of the blue side so that the picture is facing out.
Single crochet through both the blue and brown halves in order to attach (side 1). When you get to the end of the row, chain 1 and crochet down the side of the pillow passing through both the brown and the blue halves (side 2). When you get to the end, chain 1 and sc again across the row passing through both the brown and blue halves (side 3).
Now that three of the sides are attached, begin to stuff your pillow. Chain 1 and single crochet along the last side to close the pillow. finish stuffing while you work (side 4).
When you reach the end, your pillow should be completely closed. To ensure that your pillow will not come apart, sl st into the first 5 st of side 1.
Fasten off, leaving a tail.
Weave the tail into the brown side of your work and hide the end inside the pillow.
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As this is the first pattern I have ever written, I would love any feedback that you might offer. If you find any errors, please let me know and I will make corrections.
Also, it is fine to use this pattern to make projects for both sale and personal use.
Please do not sell this pattern as your own. If you would like to share this pattern with a friend, feel free to send them a link to this blog post.

Slip Knot and Chain Stitch Tutorial

For those new to crochet, I suggest starting with a metal G/6 (4.25 mm) crochet hook and worsted weight acrylic yarn. Also, don’t use a color that is either too dark or two light, as this makes it difficult to see the stitches.
When you pick up your crochet hook you will see that there is usually a finger rest or a grip. This is where you will hold your crochet hook. You can either hold your crochet hook in between your thumb and middle finger (Method 1) or hold it like a pencil (Method 2) , which is my preferred method.

Method 1

Method 2

Leaving a 5 to 6 inch tail, make a circle with your yarn, and pull the end attached to the yarn ball through the circle. This is your slip knot.

Make the knot tight enough to be secure, but not so tight that you can’t move the yarn through the knot.

 

Next, insert the hook into the loop, and pull on the yarn so it fits your hook.

Make sure you that your yarn is in the section of the hook in between the neck and the grip. If you are in the neck your stitches will be too small, and if you are in the grip then your stitches will be too large.

Next wrap the yarn once around the pinkey and weave the yarn through your fingers so that it falls behind your index finger. Digits four and five will close around the yarn, and your thumb and middle finger will help to hold your work. Your index finger will hold the yarn away from your work and help to control tension.

To make the chain, you will simply yarn over, and pull the yarn through the loop. This will leave a new loop on your crochet hook.

Yarn Over

Pull the yarn through the loop.

Then you yarn over again and pull the yarn through the loop. At the end of each stitch there will be one loop left on your hook.

You do this as many times as the pattern calls for.

As you do this, you will notice that the the top and the bottom of the chain looks different. The top (front) of the chain will look like the letter V in each stitch and the bottom (back) of chain will have a bump in the middle of each stitch.

 

Front/Top of stitches

Back/Bottom of stitches

When you are counting the stitches, you start with the one closest to the hook and count away from the hook. You never count the loop on the hook.
More Crochet Help

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