Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Felting For The Fearful!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

Gift exchanges are always a lot of fun for me and in a recent one, a very dear friend of mine sent me a box loaded with delicious goodies. One of those goodies was this gorgeous hank of yarn that she hand spun herself just for me!

This beauty was purchased as roving from AJ’s Handmade Creations and is called ‘Exploding TARDIS’. https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

Free Me!

Free Me!


Anyone who has spent any time hanging around this blog knows I have a weakness for The Doctor–he’s been lovingly recreated in both purses and tees which I use constantly–so this yarn holds a special place in my heart!

I was afraid to touch it though! If you’ve ever gotten your hands on any handspun, hand-dyed yarn that cost a small fortune, you know the panic that sets in when you think about using it. Generally I wrap all that beauty into plastic and squirrel it away…

But I was determined not to let anything TARDIS get buried under the weight of my yarn hoard, so the battle between making something amazing or making a complete and total mess of my gorgeous and expensive yarn began!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

I decided that the project that I wanted to tackle had to be practical and had to be something that I would use in my everyday world. Then, while settling into the current book of the HodgePodge Crochet: The Community’s Book Club event (which happens to be The Maze Runner), I knew what I wanted to use that lovely yarn for. A Kindle cover!

It seemed simple enough but I didn’t know the first thing about working with handspun wool. So I did what I normally do whenever I want to figure stuff out…I started playing with it!

The first thing I did was to carefully roll the yarn from the hank into a workable ball. My cat seemed completely unimpressed when I’d finished.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

After I’d finished that I decided that a bigger hook would probably be better in the long run so I grabbed a Doctor (also gifts from another gift exchange!) and got to work!

Knowing what little I did about the whole felting process, I jumped right in and didn’t worry too much about tension or making neat stitches and, after eyeballing the size, I took a deep breath, hoped for the best, and chained 22!

I used a single crochet stitch, working in the round, and followed the basic rules you would find when starting most baby shoe soles–meaning you chain an amount, sc in the 2nd chain from the hook and in each ch across to the last ch, 3 sc in the last ch, rotate your work so that you can crochet into the bottom of the foundation chain, sc in each ch to the last, 2 sc in the last ch.

Then I just single crocheted around and around and around until my Kindle pouch was about 2 inches taller than my Kindle. When I finished I was a lot upset…not gonna lie. What I’d produced was an oversized pocket thing that looked lumpy and uneven. The color was amazing but it really was not something you ever expect to see when you finish a project. Without the beautiful symmetry of crochet in regular yarn to fall back on I was left with nothing BUT the color. The color part, I learned, would be very important to the finished project and in hindsight, I should have been paying more attention to it.

But instead I panicked…

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

I was so freaked out that I didn’t even take a photo because I was convinced that I’d ruined all my expensive and delicious yarn.

I took a small break to check on a pattern I have currently being tested (if you want to check out the progress, head on over to the HodgePodge Crochet facebook page to see the sneak peaks!) and since that was going so well I decided that things couldn’t get any worse with my sleeve thing–I wasn’t about to throw it away…and forget about frogging it–so I did what any crocheter in my situation would. I soldiered on!

I threw the Kindle cover into a bath of white vinegar and cold water to keep the colors from running as much as possible and let it soak for 20 minutes. I don’t have any pics of that process either because I was positive I would be rocking in a corner at the end of this whole felting procedure mourning the loss of my beautiful yarn…

Quick tip: If you try felting your yarn and you’ve used either a variegated yarn like my Exploding TARDIS or you’ve used more than one color, it’s a good idea to soak your yarn first in a white vinegar/cold water bath to set your colors as much as possible before starting the felting process. I recommend about 1/2 gallon of COLD water with 1/2 cup white vinegar. You can add more vinegar if you’d like and it won’t hurt your wool. Resist the temptation to rush this process!! Let the vinegar do its thing and you won’t be crying over ruined yarn when you’re done!

When your yarn is done soaking, drain the water/vinegar mix and gently press the water out of your yarn. DON’T WRING!! Then fill your bowl or bucket up with HOT water. As hot as you can comfortably stand it. Place your project into the hot water and gently agitate so that your project now is filled with the hot water instead of the cold.

Next it’s time to take the whole thing to your laundry room!

To felt wool you have two options. One is to do it by hand…which is time consuming and hard. The other is to use your washing machine. If you choose to use your machine, there is a catch. It has to be a top loading one. Front loading machines won’t give you enough agitation to properly felt.

I’m only going to talk about the process that I did, which is using my machine to do all the work, but if you’d rather tackle this process by hand it’s pretty much the same process except your hands take the place of the agitator in your machine.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The FearfulThe first thing you want to do is fill your washer with the hottest water you can. Hot water is key here. I added detergent…which was a HUGE mistake. I don’t recommend adding detergent because I had to run my project through several cycles just to wash out the residual soap…and I only used a tiny bit!

Skip the detergent and just use super hot water and baking soda instead. Baking soda won’t foam and will help the felting process just like detergent will without having to worry about lingering suds.

Once your hot water is in, toss in your baking soda and a few towels or a pair of jeans along with your project and let it agitate for about 10 minutes. The waiting process is terrible but totally worth it!

After 10 minutes, take out your project and gently squeeze the water from it. Again, don’t wring!

Your project should have gotten smaller and much fuzzier. If you can still see your stitches, throw it back into the machine and keep checking it every 5 minutes until it’s completely fuzzy (it should look like felt).

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

When you’re happy (and you know it) clap your… Uh, no..that’s not right. 

When you’re satisfied with your felting genius and your project looks perfect, (by perfect I mean a shrunken version of itself that’s all misshapen and furry) it’s time to lock those fibers in place with a rinse. Most machines use cool water to rinse and that’s important here because cool water will lock all that hard work into place. A quick spin to remove most of the water and you’re ready to block your new masterpiece into its forever shape!

While your project is still wet, make sure you take time to pull it into the shape you want it to be when dry! If you don’t, it will stay whatever shape it is when it’s dry…FOREVER. There is no going back. This step is one you want to take your time with and not rush. Pull, push, stuff, pin…do whatever it is you need to in order to make sure that your finished result will be something that looks like what you envision in your head!

Leave your work to air dry, which might take a while so be patient! Once you’re finished, you should have something to be proud of!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

I hope you are inspired to pull out some of your expensive handspun hanks of yarn (that I know you have squirreled away somewhere in a closet or in your stash) and give felting a try! It really is a lot of fun and when you’re finished you will have something beautiful that you can finally get some use out of!!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Felting For The Fearful

If you’ve taken the challenge and have felted something after reading this, I’d LOVE to see it! Head on over to my facebook page to share your photos and to tell me all about your project!


Union Jack Pillow Graph

hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Union Jack Pillow Graph

I don’t think there can be any denying that I LOVE all things UK. So with the new season of Doctor Who in full swing, my very American house was crying out for something to show that love in style. I decided what that something needed to be was the oddly specific Union Jack…in pillow form…(as seen decorating John Watson’s favorite chair in Sherlock.)

hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Union Jack Pillow Graph

But I wanted mine to be slightly larger than the original Sherlock version and decided the best way to go about tackling my recreation in yarn would be with a graph! Mine, at this point, is still a WiP but I promise to update when I’m all done to show you all what it looks like finished!

hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Union Jack Pillow Graph

This project is small enough for the newer graphghan crocheter and is a little more challenging than a two colored graph.

If you’re interested in creating your own Union Jack Pillow, all you have to do is download a copy, grab some yarn and a hook, and get busy!

Click the link below for your free copy of the Union Jack Pillow Graph 

HodgePodge Crochet Union Jack Graph

If you create a pillow of your own I’d love to see pics! Head on over to HodgePodge on Facebook to show off your stuff!

The Angels Take HodgePodge!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com The Angels Take HodgePodge: Weeping Angel Lovey

I’m SUPER EXCITED to share with you what has been keeping my crochet hooks occupied for the past couple of weeks!!! (And if you’ve been paying attention at all, you’ll notice a serious Doctor Who theme here, lol)

Introducing the Weeping Angel lovey!! This pattern is by Silverdragon Crafts & Critters and is GORGEOUS! If you’d rather have a doll, she also has a version for that!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com The Angels Take HodgePodge

Not into Doctor Who? <GASP> You can crochet this one in any colors and have a beautiful alternative angel for your little one.

Where can you get your hands on a copy?? Details follow below!!

Use Coupon Code: ANGELSTAKEOVER to receive 25% off your purchase on the individual patterns and pattern pack now through Monday night on both Ravelry and Etsy. No Coupon Code needed on Craftsy!

Links to the Doll pattern:
Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/angel-doll-2
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/197573955/the-angel-doll-pattern-with-permission?ref=listing-0
Craftsy: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/toy/angel-doll/104867

Links to the Lovey Pattern:
Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/angel-lovey-2
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/197562836/the-angel-lovey-pattern-with-permission?ref=listing-1
Craftsy: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/other/angel-lovey/104872

Links to the #weepingangel Pattern Pack:
Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/angel-pack/patterns
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/197563722/the-angel-doll-and-lovey-pattern?ref=listing-2
Craftsy: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/toy/angel-dolllovey-pack/104873

DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Okay…I admit I’ve always wanted my very own TARDIS… Who wouldn’t?!? As long as it comes with a Time Lord, I’m set. 🙂

Since I am highly doubtful that my TARDIS dream will ever be a reality (anyone out there who knows David Tennant or Matt Smith and is willing to pull some strings would earn my eternal gratitude!), a girl has to settle for Plan B. My Plan B is to put the TARDIS on everything I possibly can.

Today, that thing is a t-shirt!

I had a ball painting the TARDIS on my DIY Handbag, but in order to get acrylic paint to behave better (I admit, I’ve never thought about washing a handbag before…) you need to add some acrylic medium when painting on clothing so that your fabric stays soft and lasts through more washes. Note: You don’t technically NEED to add it–acrylic paint won’t wash out–but it helps keep the color vibrant and also helps your fabric still feel like fabric and not get too stiff. 

So, instead of painting, I decided to bleach.

Bleaching can be a lot of fun (and is certainly less expensive) but whenever you tackle a project that involves color, the first thing you need to think about is…well, the color!

When you paint, you can either paint on the darker contrast or opt to paint lighter tones and cause the fabric under to contrast.

When you bleach, whatever the bleach touches will automatically lighten. So technically, whatever is covered by the stencil will be what contrasts.

I’ll show you an example of what I mean:

TARDIS stencil on fabric with paint (Notice how the black paint instantly creates contrast, causing the fabric to pop):

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Doctor Who and the TARDIS

TARDIS stencil with bleach (Notice how the bleach lightens the fabric, creating contrast with the original color of the t-shirt, causing it to pop):

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Whatever way you choose to do it, I promise you’ll have a ton of fun getting it done.

So what do you need to create your own bleach tee masterpiece? You probably already have everything on-hand!

  • The first thing you will need is a t-shirt. It doesn’t have to be the most fancy thing on the planet or even brand new. (Got an old oil-stained or paint-stained one you’ve been hanging on to? This project is perfect for it!!)
  • Freezer paper. You will need this to create your stencil and it’s absolutely critical to getting a good bleached tee.
  • A printer.
  • A sharp X-acto knife. Scissors won’t work unless you are doing something with relatively straight edges and no inside cut-work.
  • An iron.
  • Bleach.
  • A glass measuring cup.
  • A spray bottle.
  • A rag you don’t mind getting bleached.
  • Rubber gloves.
  • Cardboard and aluminum foil or plastic garbage bags and a large flat surface.
  • Water.
  • White vinegar.
  • Washing machine and dryer.
  • A nice day to work outdoors.

The process:https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

The first thing you need to do is decide what to put onto your shirt. The internet is full of interesting graphics that would work well when bleaching a tee. Just pull up Google and type in silhouette followed by whatever it is you are interested in finding an image of and you won’t be disappointed.

If you’d rather tackle the TARDIS above, you can grab a copy of my template right here: HodgePodge Crochet DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee.

Once you have your image, the next thing you need to do is print it and then layer it under your freezer paper and trace over it. You will be cutting out everything that is white and leaving everything that is black. TAKE YOUR TIME!! Spending extra time now to make it right will pay off later!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

I recommend writing on whatever part of the stencil will need to be removed to make the whole process simpler.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Now that your template is all trimmed, it’s time to iron it onto your tee. MAKE SURE you are ironing shiny side down. The shiny side is the side that will adhere to your shirt and you don’t want that stuck to your iron!

Use a hot iron with no steam and once you have the paper good and stuck down, leave your shirt to cool off for at least 30 minutes. It’s not mandatory but I find that I get a better resist when I let the fibers cool off from the heat of the iron.

While you are waiting, mix up your bleach solution. I do NOT recommend using straight bleach for this project. It’s way too harsh for the fabric and will more than likely eat through the t-shirt before you have a chance to peel back your stencil. Instead, measure out a 50/50 ratio of bleach to water and add it to a spray bottle. Make sure that you label the bottle so there aren’t any accidents later!! 

When you are ready, prepare your cardboard by covering it in aluminum foil. (You can opt to line your shirt with garbage bags instead.) Once it’s covered, slide it inside your shirt. This will be used as a barricade so that the bleach only stays on the front of the shirt. Feel free to skip this part if you plan to bleach the back as well as the front.

Now is a good time to take your work outdoors. Bleach is not fun to breathe in and can be dangerous if inhaled. Working outside provides great ventilation as well as great lighting! If you are particularly sensitive, wear a respirator as well.

All that’s left is to put on your gloves, grab your rag, and start spraying your bleach mixture!


Lightly spray your design, blot up the excess asap, and then force yourself to wait!! You won’t see anything happen at first but give it a few minutes for the bleach to work its magic. You will notice the fabric you’ve sprayed to begin lighten. The result is more dramatic with darker colored tees.

Quick tip: Don’t let your bleach pool anywhere and try to keep your paper as dry as possible. Also, BLOT!! Don’t wipe. Wiping might push bleach under your stencil and ruin your design. 

Keep layering on bleach as you go, waiting between sprays and blotting up excess bleach, until you get the desired effect.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Once you are happy with your design, leave the shirt to sit for a few minutes (it should be barely damp, not soaking) and then carefully pull off the stencil. Make sure your hands are clean (no bleach!) otherwise you may end up bleaching an area that you didn’t want bleached!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Now that you’re all done with the bleaching, it’s time to deactivate it and stop the process!! The first thing to do is immediately throw that shirt into some water (running water is awesome!!) and rinse and rinse and rinse!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Make sure you really rinse well because the next step involves vinegar and you don’t want to mix bleach with vinegar!! That’s bad..

Once your shirt is totally rinsed–several times with lots of fresh water–it’s time to deactivate whatever bleach might be left with some straight white vinegar.

Throw your shirt into a bowl and then pour some vinegar over it and squish it through. Then leave it to sit outside for 1-3 hours to do its work.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

After it’s done soaking, ring it out and rinse it one last time with some fresh water and then launder as usual!

The result is pretty spectacular!!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee


The following are some of the questions I’ve gotten since posting this tutorial that I thought would be best shared right here! 

Q. Do I need to prewash the shirts?

A. I recommend prewashing to remove sizing because if your shirt shrinks weird on you, your design will shrink weird and all that work is gone. Also, sometimes sizing will resist bleach and you won’t end up with the result you expect.

Q. Can I put different color shirts into the vinegar bath together or do I need a separate bowl for each?

A. You can put all shirts together in the same bowl as long as you are 100% positive you’ve rinsed all of them REALLY WELL before putting them into the vinegar. (Mixing straight bleach and vinegar will produce toxic fumes so it is **really important** to rinse your shirts well before dunking them into vinegar.) Vinegar won’t cause colors to run.

Q. I’ll be working in full sunlight, any special precautions I need to take?

A. Working out in the daylight (on a hot day) is best for making these shirts because it encourages faster dry times between mists of bleach. It’s also encouraged to do these outdoors because bleach fumes aren’t good for you. If working inside, make sure you have adequate cross ventilation!!

Q. My bleach is lemon scented, will that affect the process?

A. The scent of the bleach will not affect the end result.

Q. Anything else I need to know?

A. Yes!

  1. It is TEMPTING to dump as much bleach onto your shirts as fast as possible, but you must resist the urge!! Putting on too much bleach too fast will soak your shirt. The result will be bleeding under your template (especially if you have a lot of thin areas on your stencil) and might ruin your design.
  2. After some experimenting, I’ve learned that bleach will not work on most synthetic fabrics. What you end up getting is this almost ghost print (if anything at all) which could be cool if that’s the look you’re going for. For an awesome bleach shirt you will need natural fabrics. The good news is that even the cheap t-shirts at WalMart (where I got all of mine) are a natural fiber blend and they will work just fine. 100% cotton will also work well, HOWEVER, bleach really weakens cotton so adjust your bleach ratio so there is more water than bleach and use sparingly. If you get big, wet drips of bleach on 100% cotton, they will quickly develop into holes in the material.
  3. If you use cardboard and skip the step of covering it with aluminum, be warned! Cardboard will soak up your bleach and become a nightmare (especially if you are heavy handed with the spraying). For the best results with your stencil, make sure your cardboard is either wrapped in plastic or covered in aluminum foil.
  4. Don’t wear anything you would cry to get bleach on when tackling these shirts!!
  5. Different color shirts WILL bleach differently. I’ve had unexpected results with quite a few shirts I’ve done. What I’ve found is that purple shirts bleach to green OR pink tones. Green shirts lighten to yellow or lime.
  6. The darker the shirt, the better the result with the least amount of bleach. Black and brown have been my two most successful bleached result.
  7. The lighter the shirt, the more bleach you will need to lighten the fabric around your stencil.
  8. Only mix small batches of bleach at a time and empty the leftovers (don’t store it). If you store leftover bleach it could weaken your spray bottle and end up a giant mess on you.
  9. ANY cheap spray bottle will work for this project. If you don’t have a spray bottle you can use a kitchen sponge dipped into your bleach ratio and squeezed out so that it’s damp but not dripping. GENTLY dab onto your shirt and go slow. Make sure  you are wearing really good gloves if you decide to go with the sponge and when you are finished, rinse the gloves with water, dip into vinegar, and rinse again before removing them.
  10. When you are all done with your final shirt rinse and ready to wash, throw them into your machine without any other clothing to reduce the risk of accidents!!

If you make a tee, I’d love to see it!! The following is a HodgePodge Pic Gallery filled with contributions from some amazingly crafty Podgers! 

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

If you try one of your own, head on over to facebook and share it with me! I’d love to see your creations!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

One Doctor Who TARDIS Handbag and Some Delish Wool Roving

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Doctor Who TARDIS handbag DIY

Amazing Doctor Who crochet hooks by The Lemonade Shop!

I’m super excited to share with you guys my FINISHED Doctor Who TARDIS handbag!!

I can’t even begin to tell you how terrified I was to start this project. The idea of sewing in straight lines freaks me out–mostly because I know if it’s not straight I’ll want to pull it all out and redo it. I don’t think I have to tell you guys that it’s way simpler to pull back your crochet work to get it perfect BUT, I was determined to get over my fears and conquer the beast that is my sewing machine! https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Doctor Who TARDIS handbag DIY

Things started out okay….and then my thread broke. No big deal, right? Just rethread it and keep going! And then it happened again. I thought it was a bad omen. Thread breaking twice in the span of two seconds is never a good thing.

But, I mentioned I was determined!! So off to find a new sewing machine needle. (I’d been told once a long time ago that the right needle makes all the difference.) I found one specifically made for drapery fabric in my mini sewing hoard and figured out how to change the needle–it’s easier than I thought–and 5 minutes later I was off and sewing with gusto!

Before I knew it, I’d finished! I even added a magnetic snap closure to finish it off.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Doctor Who TARDIS handbag DIY

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Doctor Who TARDIS handbag DIY

I am so happy I committed to finish this one and now my daughter tells me she needs a My Little Pony handbag. She’s ten and apparently she needs a handbag to carry all of her ponies around when she goes off on important shopping trips to buy more ponies. 😉

If you guys want to know how I made this bag, make sure to check out THIS BLOG POST which has the entire process and the amazing youtube tutorial I used!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Doctor Who TARDIS handbag DIY

I know, Doctor… I NEVER win and am making that same face right along with you!

Now that I’ve overcome my sewing machine fears, I think I’m ready to tackle another! Recently I blogged about Mandie’s Krafty Kreations huge facebook giveaway! Guess who won?!?!


I was thrilled today when I got a box in the mail filled with the most gorgeous 100% merino roving.

Get ready for raw yarn yummies!


I have no clue how to use it or what will happen when I try my hand at spinning but I think I’ve always had a little bit of beginner’s luck in my pocket. Perhaps I can pull some out and sprinkle it over this!

If you’ve got some tips or just want to give me a shout, make sure you drop a comment!! I love hearing from you guys! (Comments are moderated–to keep out vulgarity and discourage trolls–so it might take a little bit before they appear.) I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to make this gorgeous roving into something that I can crochet!