Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kids, don't plagiarize!!!

It's unbelievable how some people don't take plagiarism seriously. We had this report we had to write for a school project. It's not easy to write several pages when there are more than one writer, so we agreed that each one of us would write one part of the report separately. And when we meet for the next time, we would put the parts together and continue writing from there.

So we had a meeting on Saturday. One member of our team didn't show up. We weren't surprised, and actually we were quite happy that he decided not to come. But he had wrote his part... but his text didn't really match his skills. We knew he wasn't a good writer, probably due to his foreign background. So we did a little Google search... and found out that at at least one big part of his text was directly copy&pasted from the web. Since we couldn't trust his text anymore, we had to rewrite everything. That meant hours of extra work...

I just wonder how he dared to plagiarize. He would have gotten troubles for all of us. He did the plagiarizing but the teachers would have blamed us for not doing the report together. And I wonder if he thought about his reputation. Of course the word spreads and soon nobody wants to work with him. He's already an unliked team mate because of his laziness and lack of original ideas.

And I feel wrong because I have been spreading the word to some of my school mates. I should have talked to him, not behind his back. But I was so disappointed and angry. We were ready to correct his misspellings and grammar errors, but he didn't give us a chance. He should have said to us that he's having problems and we could have helped him. We can't all be great writers, but we can all be honest.

Anyway. I have wrote a lot for school lately, and I still have plenty to do. But all this writing has reminded me how much I love it. Writing is just the best damn thing ever. It's better than crocheting. And maybe, but just maybe, even better than hanging out with J.R.

And apparently I'm one of the best writers in my class. It's just a shame that I know nothing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eyes eyes baby

Today I met my uncle at Kamppi shopping mall. He wanted to give me some money for my birthday, though my birthday was over a month ago. I guess it's better late than never. Anyway. I don't go to Helsinki often. There is no reason. We have everything here at Leppävaara... expect a store selling safety eyes. Since I already had one reason to go to Helsinki, I asked J.R. if he wanted to come along. So we could go to Hobby Point and buy some safety eyes for our amigurumis.

We got home with six pairs of small black eyes, one pair of brown eyes, two pairs of big black eyes and two pairs of green lizard eyes. Now we're not running out of safety eyes soon. We mostly use small black eyes, but I wanted to buy some bigger ones too. Just in case. I also wanted to buy green lizard eyes, simply because they were so pretty. The big eyes cost 0,60€ per pair and small eyes 0.50€ at HobbyPoint.

J.R. is crocheting Queen Anne's lace in the background.

I also bought black watercolor pen by Derwent. I got Derwent Watercolor Pen Set of 36 when I was a kid. I'm still using the very same set because I don't draw often. But years ago my sister used to draw... and she used my black color. It didn't really bother me until I tried to color Tux from J.R's birthday card. A penguin can't be gray! So to make sure that next year J.R's Tux is nothing but black, I bought a new black watercolor pen.

Guess which one is the new pen =)

Monday, November 17, 2008


I have been writing an essay for school. I guess I should have submitted it already, but I just don't know when to stop. I love writing so much. There is always something to add, something to edit, something to delete. I feel that I'm never finished. But I'm going to submit it today. Not because I want to, but because I have to.

My aunt dropped by today. Last weekend she visited my parents at Viiala and my mother sent me some stuff via her. My mom does that often. She had bought us some on-sale yarn. I've been longing for blue yarn as long as we've been crocheting, but we have always bought other colors. Now we have two different shades of blue! I'm so going to crochet sea creatures! The yarn is a little bit thinner than the yarn we usually use so I have to switch to smaller hook. It wont be a problem though.

I wonder if he likes the colors.

The beetle bug in the picture is crocheted by J.R. I tried to crochet a beetle too, but I wasn't so successful. I tried to turn my beetle to a ladybug... but that didn't work either. It ended up in crochet X-files. Anyway. The pattern was charted and written in Japanese. And we suck at both. But if you want to give it a try, go ahead.

And talking about crocheting... J.R. crocheted a scarf for me. I have a thing for scarves and this one is very lovely for the winter. It's really thick and warm. I love it, actually, I love it even more because it's made by J.R. The pattern is from Drop Design Studio and J.R. said the scarf was very easy to crochet.

It's J.R. modeling the scarf. Another prove that he exists.

I got a new teapot too, and a bowl for sugar. I think they're lovely. We have six teapots now, but we hardly ever use them. We do drink a lot of tea, several cups in a day, but we always use our tea maker instead of teapot. It makes better tea.

We also got this thingy to keep the teapot warm. You insert a small candle in it, close the lid and put the teapot on it. And it's not just practical, it's pretty too:

I think we're officially collecting teapots. And it's not good because they take a lot of storage pace. It was better when I was a kid and I collected serviettes. They didn't took much pace and years later my mom used them all for her decoupage flower pots. That's a good collection.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Aapeli, the Curious Creature - free amigurumi pattern

We designed our first amigurumi! I saw a knitted Loch Ness Monster on Etsy and I told J.R. that I want to crochet something similar. And together we created Aapeli. It's not exactly Nessie but darn cute anyway. J.R wrote down the pattern so I could share it on my blog. Thanks, J.R!

Aran weight yarn
G hook (4mm)
Pipe cleaner (about 7cm)
Safety eyes

Height: 14cm (5.5 inches)

sc = single crochet
inc = increase, 2 single crochets in 1 stitch
dec = decrease, crochet 2 stitches together
ch = chain

You can find a good tutorial of magic ring from here:

You can make different facial expressions to Aapeli by shaping its mouth and ears/antlers, though this may depend on the yarn.

Head & Body:

Starting from the head
6 sc with magic ring
R1: sc around -> 6 stiches
R2: inc around -> 12
R3-R9: sc around x7 ->12
R10: dec three times, sc in the rest of the stitches -> 9

Push the mouth in by using your finger (see the picture below). Sew one or two stitches to secure.
Insert eyes and stuff. (The decreases in rows 10 and 11 form the back of the neck.)

(I wanted to make sure the eyes are nicely positioned, so I crocheted the next two rows, placed the eyes and unraveled the rows to have enough space to attach the washers. You can do the same if you are unsure about the position of the eyes.)

R11: dec twice, sc in the rest of the stitches -> 7
R12: sc 4, inc, inc, sc -> 9
R13-22: sc around x10 -> 9
R23: sc 6, inc 3 -> 12
R24: sc 7, inc 4, sc 1 -> 16
R25: *inc,sc, repeat from * around -> 24
R26: sc around
R27: *inc,sc,sc, repeat from * around -> 32
R28-R32: sc around x5
R33: *dec,sc,sc, repeat from * around -> 24
R34: *dec,sc, repeat from * around -> 18
R35: *dec,sc, repeat from * around -> 12
R36: dec around -> 6

Finish off. Cut the yarn and pull through the loop.

Legs (x4):

5 sc with magic ring
R1: inc around -> 10
R2-R5: sc around x4
Cut the yarn leaving long tail for sewing and pull it through the loop.

Big Wings (x2):

R1: sc in second ch from hook, sc around the starting chain. -> 14
R2-R4: sc around x3
R5: *dec,sc,sc, repeat from * around -> 10
R6: *dec,sc, repeat from * around -> 5
R7: sc around
Cut the yarn leaving long tail for sewing and pull it through the loop.

Small Wings (x2):

R1: sc in second ch from hook, sc around the starting chain. -> 8
R2-R4: sc around x3
R5: *dec,sc,sc, repeat from * around -> 6
Cut the yarn leaving long tail for sewing and pull it through the loop.

Ears/Antlers (x2):

Row 1: sc in second ch from hook, sc to the beginning of the chain, ch1, turn
Row 2: sc from the first sc to the end, ch1, turn.
Row 3: sc from the first sc to the end.
Cut the yarn leaving long tail for sewing and pull it through the loop.
Stick a piece of pipe cleaner through the head so that it forms two ears (or antlers) and sew the pieces on it.
Remember to sew them into the head too.


ch7 =)


Stuff the legs and sew them under the body.
Sew the big wings to the sides of the body.
Sew the small wings above and over the big wings (see the picture below).
Sew the tail in the back of the body.

Ravelry Download (Registration needed)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Repeat after me: Domain is not God

It seems I can’t avoid metablogging themes... Last week we had a DNS lecture at school. I’m finally starting to understand these things. Anyway. DNS stands for Domain Name System and that led me to think custom domains and blogging.

All the big metablogs preach us that domain is the God. You must have your own domain. I agree and disagree with this claim. I think it is important to have your own domain if you’re creating a brand. It’s like a part of a good product and good service.

But if you blog only because you love self-expressing and writing... Then I think it’s perfectly OK not to have your own domain. Domain is just a line of easily remembered characters pointing to a specific IP address. Since when did that have anything to do with the urge to write?

And I have never thought that a blog without own domain is somehow untrustworthy. I’ve been writing and reading blogs for years and all these different blogging platforms are like my old friends. I think that a blog hosted on Blog*Spot, for example, is as trustworthy as all the other blogs. I just think that the writer of the blog likes that certain blogging platform and is not bothered by the whole domain issue.

And honestly... I don’t give a rat’s ass about your domain. The content and the blog design are the only things that truly matters to me. Domain was just a substitute for a clumsy IP address... It doesn't make the blog any better. I’m not tired of reading blogspot.com in blog domains, I’m sick tired seeing Blogger default templates. Your blog should, first of all, look like your blog. Make some effort, make an outstanding blog design.

"Custom domains are easier to remember." We have heard that explanation before, and it's true. But how often do you have to remember domains? If you’re like me, you support bookmarking. I use Delicious.com to bookmark everything interesting and my browser to bookmark sites I know I’m going to visit on a daily basis.

But to blogs I subscribe.

And that is the main reason why I think blog domains doesn’t matter so much. You find a nice blog, you press subscribe. The next time you want to read that blog, you do that via your RSS reader. You don’t need to memorize hundreds of blog domains, you only have to remember the address of your (web-based) RSS reader. And that's easy.

So, in my opinion, domain names do and don't matter. If it matters to you, get one. If it doesn't, don't let some fancy metablog make you believe otherwise.

I'm perfectly happy with its-about-amoena.blogspot.com, even though it's clumsy and almost impossible to remember. I have an unique design, good content and a huge subscribe button. Fuck the domain. I trust my readers. If they want to read my blog, they subscribe.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Toad Princess amigurumi + Crown pattern

Today I crocheted a Toad Princess. It was just a toad first, but I thought it was too boring. I gave her lips and then I decided she needs a crown too. It was a bit difficult to crochet (because I suck at improvising) so I asked J.R. to crochet it for me. I think he did a great job. And I'm really pleased with my Toad Princess too. She has a little bow and everything. And I learned how to crochet cluster stitches!

So... Kiss me?

The Toad pattern is from Roman Sock, but I crocheted single crochets instead of double crochets. J.R. said that the double crochets made no sense to him and I don't question his directions. And here is the first original pattern by J.R:

Crown Pattern

ch13, turn
Row 1: 1 sc in each of the 12 stitches, ch1, turn
Row 2: * 1 sc in the next 3 stitches, ch1, turn
Row 3: sc2tog, sc, ch1, turn
Row 4: sc2tog, slip stitch in to the third stitch of second row, repeat from * three times
Finish, but don't cut the yarn too short. Use that yarn to sew the ends together and to sew the crown to the head.