Thursday, March 27, 2014

string stuffed

In a house in the middle of India somewhere I found myself close to finishing sewing a seam with no beans of any kind and no shops nearby... But I did have extra string.  Turns out, though far lighter they are much harder and pack a sting at higher velocities as my friend was eager to demonstrate on me. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

twelve row with liner.

Still intetested in using moong dhal, a much smaller seed, for stuffing.  The crochet holes are not ever going to he small enough to hold grain this small so i tried a plastic bag used in shops here.  The size and weight are just right.

dangers of slingball in the house

Ok.. we were'nt actually weilding slings.  Slinging in a house would require an unusually open floor plan, and an even more unusually tollerant wife.  Since I only have the latter, the boys and I were just chucking balls at each other.  But sometimes the light switch just gets chucked. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

eight row perfect for small hands

I ran out of orange cord near the fourth row and so I just stopped to make his little guy and my other little guy said "oh!...thank you!"  I made this with a number 7 steel hook.  It was actually a bit too small to cradle the string but sharp enough to grab it anyway.  For some reason steel hook sizes run backwards here with smaller numbers equalling bigger hooks.  Seven was the biggest one they had

comparing seams and closings

This is my first and most recent attempts at a central seam.  I think we are heading in the right direction here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

code cracked

An historic moment.  No innovation attempts.  This little guy is identical to the previous projectile except in color.  The size, the seam, the closing, the two joined halves design... for now.. success... and all i need is more.  Slingball anyone?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

sometimes old ideas are best

Went back to the idea of joining two halves.  When I first did this, the seam was always clunky because at the time I had not figured out how to tie off a clean closing.  I have since discovered the closing braid, and combined with a matching-color seam stitch the effect is striking.  It looks like they are held together magnetically, or glued.   The colors really pop but better than that... two cleanly joined halves maintain an excellent spherical shape.  The last stitched rows are joined face to face flattening out the curve and smoothing the seam.  I smell mass-production.  And by mass production I mean, for once in my life not trying something new every other projectile.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

16 to 8 stitch row seam

the seam is not as smooth as the 12 to 6 stitch joint but it does offer more of the accent color to be seen...

Monday, March 17, 2014

home-made oreos?!

I mean sometimes you gotta stop making crochet projectiles and start.eating some home made oreos

Sunday, March 16, 2014

10 row special closing

This little guy's closing was spliced between the 12-stitch and the 6-stitch rows.  It kept the spherical shape well, and it was easy to pull left over strands out of the yellow eyelet to do the final braid off.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

12 row closing at row count 17

I am not partial to these closings anymore because the mishaping is so noticeable but I ran out of green thread and this seemed better than a splice for just one more row. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2.5 mm hook makes a pumpkin

This little ten-row is about the size of a key lime.  Light enough to not hurt much, it still packs enough momentum to ensure the target's knowledge of contact.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

different hooks for different...looks

These two balls used the exact same pattern from the previous post. Mean green here was made with a 5mm hook, and our little blue friend with a 2.5mm. The difference is noticeable and makes our little blue friend not hurt when it strikes flesh at high velocities. Which, I must remind my readers, is our goal. Not to strike people, but to make an object that can be used in a sling for the coming sport of slingball which is soon to sweep the nation something like Beeltemania... Slingmania is coming my friends, prepare yourselves.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

ten row with 5 mm hook

Smaller ball for sure even with a number 5.  This will be my last rubber bladder filled ball.  The lentils are so small, the smallest knick in the rubber ruins the ball.  Colors are engaging though, and I took the lid down one row away from the middle row.  Used the pattern below.

+ is an increase stitch
- is a decrease stitch

10 row

with black thread
6 (make a magic circle, six stitches around a slip knot) (6)
++++++ (increase in every stitch to make 12 total stitches) (12)
1+2+2+2+1 (16)
3+3+3+3+ (20)
4+10+4 (22)
22 (22)
4-10-4 (20)  stop here and make the top
-3-3-3-3 (16) (not used)
1-2-2-2-1 (12) (not used)

with green thread
6 (make a magic circle, six stitches around a slip knot) (6)
++++++ (increase in every stitch to make 12 total stitches) (12)
1+2+2+2+1 (16)
3+3+3+3+ (20)  stop here and join to the main body

Friday, March 7, 2014

broken hook leads to oddball

I snapped the head off my 3.5 forcing me to switch to a 5 in the middle of this twelve row black/yellow buckeye.  The recent advent of this black cord has opened up an entirely different color scheme.

pros: the size allows for ease of loading in a sling and the colors inviting.
cons: stuffed with garbonzo beans its just too massive.  Too easy to get someone  hurt chucking it.  Not my goal. 

Either a lightet stuffing or a smaller pattern is needed.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

spidey and papa smurf?

The blue topped one has a balloon bladder inside to contain a rather small green lentil.  I am liking these color pairs.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Joining...step 4

Pull all four leftover strands out through the FIRST joining stitch.  This includes the two slipknot tails, and the two strands used for the seam.  Braid them into a four strand plait (better explained elsewhere).  The plait is for closing and not for looks so braid really tight.  This will back the braiding up into the ball.  The closer it gets to the last joining stitch the tighter your closing will be.  Then tie it off with two small over hands, again tie these tight, melt the tips, and then stuff it all inside as far as it will go.

Joining... step 3 cont.

Here's what the joining should look at this point.  Keep it loose until after stuffing, and be sure to twist in the same direction for a consistent seam.

Joining... step 3

From the outside, push the crochet hook in and pull out the red strand through the next blue stitch.  Do the same on the red side. 

Joining...step 2

Twist the strands a full 360° to form a hitch. 


After hitching the two sides together and sealing with a series of square knots, pull the strands out through the next stitch alternating the colors.

How to crochet a twelve row buckeye slingball step 6

Braiding the 4-plait.
Tie off the plait with two (smaller) overhands,
 then melt the tips.

Stuff it all into the ball

Finished Product.

Lossen the last joining stitch enough to stuff the ball with beans of your choice.  Lately I have been trying garbonzo beans which require no bladder due to their size, and smaller dhals stuffed into a balloon.  After stuffing, with your hook, pull all remaining strands from the inside and up/out through the first joining stitch (pictures show this being done at the last join stitch but I have since had these come out of the ball during use).  With all four strands (initial slipknot strands from both sides and the two finihing strands) do a 4-strand plait 2-3 cm long.  Tie off the plait using two overhands (one overhand is too large).  Cut and melt the tips.  Stuff the whole thing deep into the ball.  Since the moorings of this plait are on the inside of the last stitch, its default position will be inside the ball.  This a simple secure closing and almost invisible.  A more detailed post on steps 5 and 6 is forthcoming.

how to make a 12 row buckeye sling ball step 5

Joining the two sides.  Hitch the two last stiches together and tie a series of square knots on the inside.  Then with these finishing strands (leave about a 30 cm each)  pull alternating colors up through (pulling them from the outside) the first stitches.  Twist the two strands until the colors alternate again and pull each strand up through the next stitch.  Repeat all the way around the seam.  No need to stitch tightly at this point.  You can stuff the ball right at the end of the joining through the last loosened stitch.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How to make a twelve row buckeye slingball step 4

Now for the main body of the ball.  I reccommed a different color not just for aesthetics but because it helps differentiate between the sides during  joining.  Begin by following the pattern from the previous post and then continue with the pattern below.  With the main body and the cap ending in the same number of stitches it's time to join the two which the next post will concern itself with.

Row / Pattern
5. 3 inc 6 inc 6 inc 3 (24)
6.  10 inc 13 (25)
7.  25 (25)
8.  13 dec 10 (24)
9.  3 dec 6 dec 6 dec 3 (21)

dec = one decrease stitch which pulls thread through two seperate stitches then yarns-over once pulling through all three loops.

How to crochet a twelve row buckeye sling ball step 3

Into each of the six stitches in your initial row, but an increase stitch.  Or, put another way, put two stitches into each stitch.  This should result in twelve total stitches.  Then follow the pattern below starting with row three to reach a closing circle of twenty-one stitches.  Then daisy chain for storage and set this aside for later joining to the main part of the ball.

Row / Pattern
1. 6 single stitches 
2. inc inc inc inc inc inc (12)
3. 1 inc 2 inc 1 inc 2 inc 1 inc (17)
4.  2 inc 3 inc 3 inc 3 inc 2 (21)

1 = one single stitch
2 = two single stitches
3 = three single stitches
inc = one increase stitch, or two stitches crocheted into the same stitch

How to crochet a twelve row buckeye slingball. Step 2

Crochet six single stitches onto the slip knot loop.  Then tighten the loop and close the circle with a slip stitch.  Elsewhere in the crocheting world this is called a "magic circle."  You should count six stitches including the stitch your hook is in. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How to crochet a twelve row buckeye slingball Step 1

Ball up the string if it hasn't been done for you and tie a slip knot that tightens via the short end.

How to crochet a twelve row buckeye slingball Step 0

Over the next few posts I will be describing how to make this 12 row buckeye from scratch.  I will be using a 3.5 mm bamboo crochet hook and a nylon based cord common in my part of the world.