Announcing the ‘You and I Have Begun to Knit’ Competition!
(Or, as I have begun secretly to call it, the ‘Ultimate Hannigram Knit-Off Grudge Match of Destiny.’ Don’t ask.)
Hello, all! Because @oftempestsandteacups and I have been having difficulties with writer’s block for a little while, we decided to try something else– and because we both happen to be knitters and utterly ridiculous people, this is what resulted.
The premise is this: Beginning on the 17th, we will both be knitting something
small enough to knit in a week’s time
that we think Will would give Hannibal, or vice versa
based on an existing picture or pattern, and altered in some way to reflect the aesthetic of the show
(or as close to that as we can get– who can tell with knitters? We’re insane.)
On the 24th we will each present our finished products to the Fannibal community at large, and our lovely impartial judges shall decide which one of us is superior in every way.
The loser shall be led in chains through the streets of Rome in a triumphal parade, immortalised in their humiliation… and will write a short fic for the winner incorporating the winning piece.
We haven’t quite got the parameters by which we will be judged hammered out, but one of our judges will be the wonderful @sofancydancy, whose impeccable taste and infallible wisdom is well-established.
This stuff is fucking gold. Her instructions are so perfect and so easy, it’s wonderful.
This tutorial is in two parts, so allow me to elaborate on some things she touches on, and a few things she looks over:
Note 1: You do not need 5 skeins of yarn to make the fluffs. Allow me to show you Exhibit A:
This tail is maybe a foot and a half long, and maybe 6 inches around when I flatten the fur?
And Exhibit B:
In both of these pictures, the blue yarn is from only one skein.
My base, which the part 2 video shows you how to make, was about half a skein of gray. I purposefully made my tail base thinner because I wanted it to look more feline and less canine, but I think I butchered that just a bit.
Note 2: You do not need to use a straightener on the fluffs.
Keep in mind that I’m only saying it’s not necessary. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use one, because on the contrary, it would probably make your tail look ten times better than mine. What I am saying is that if you, like me, are not in possession of a straightener and can’t borrow one, then you will be totally fine without it.
I sewed my fluffs at about this distance for every ring of fluffs (because I did rings going up the tail).
This is what mine looked like once I had only finished the tip. So yes, it’s supposed to look mostly like a truffula tree. A floppy truffula tree, but a truffula tree nonetheless.
Note 3: You are not restricted to elastic as an option for attachment mechanisms. I used a chain, as seen here:
I think the chain works really well. Because my tail is supposed to be seen as an accesory to the character, I’m not making any attempt to hide the base - actually, I want it to show. I thought a chain would be a good fit, in that case. That’s a bracelet. After a few minutes of wrestling with tightly-wound yarn and a few near-death experiences (slight exaggeration) I managed to get it through. And it works great!
Note 4: You can give your tailcharacter!
Is your character a sort of rough-and-tumble kind of character?
Turn the tail upside-down and shake it, then just don’t brush it out and you get something like this.
Or maybe your character is a lot more clean and groomed?
Brush it out thoroughly. Ta-da!
All in all, though, this is a beautiful idea and a wonderful tutorial. If you are looking to make a fur tail, this is the tutorial for you. These things legitimately look so real if you do them right, and they are soft as fuck.
The only downside is that, like she says, it does take 35-40 hours to finish, but it’s so worth it. Trust me.
Thank you for your time. *steps off soapbox*
Heyyyyy so guess what needs to be updated? That’s right, this post!
Long story short, everyone keeps bringing this back for who knows what reason and so I’m hoping this update will spread as much as the initial post did, because I have some ~helpfulinfo~!
Allow me to present Exhibit C, the finished tail that went with me to Katsucon 2014 and survived Friday’s adventures:
In this one, I have officially used all the fluffs (all of them).
Now I stand at about 5'2", just so you know my arms aren’t incredibly long. The tail is maybe 2 feet? I think it’s just a little under that.
I’m going to address right now the things I’ve seen in response to this post (because yes, believe it or not, I read every single tag you guys put on this. XKit does amazing things. It’s good for exactly this purpose.)
1. I would seriously not advise using this for anything other than cosplay. Or if you just want to casually wear a tail, because that’s pretty kickass too.
The reason I say this is because when I went to Katsucon, I was sitting by the fountain with my chaperone and no sooner did we sit down then said fountain started up. This thing will hold water really well. Which sucks, because it makes the tail look so much thinner in all the places water gets on. And also, getting anything other than water on it is absolute hell to get out, so if you want a multi-use tail, just be careful okay?
2. About the base, from the previous poster.
As you may have guessed, there is a reason I reblogged my own post from this particular person rather than from myself. They actually make some really good commentary, and if you’re going to make one of these, I highly recommend checking out what they said.
But, I am going to disagree and amend a few points they make, and sorry about that in advance to the poster.
Yes, my tail in this new photo is actually the one I had from the start. And the reason it’s longer is because I did unspeakable things (read: I made a really improvised extension that miraculously worked, but one I would not ever recommend trying at home). I noticed that it was not at the ideal length I wanted for my Streetstuck Nepeta, and so I fixed it, and here we are. I will say right now, I wish I had the foresight to make my base thinner when I started. (Past me is such an idiot.) I had thought the base I had made was, in fact, thinner than what was in the video - and maybe it was, but it was definitely not enough. My extension, on the other hand, is the perfect width.
I don’t know how well you can see that, but I tried to show despite the fluff the difference in thickness.
My extension was about ¼th, I think, of the original width they give you in the video. I know it was half the thickness of my first base. I think I must have ended up with only 4 or 5 strands in every strand of the braid - and I did do a 4-strand braid for my extension too, it worked really well that time.
The more yarn you put in your base, the thicker it will be, naturally, and it will also be stiffer. However, the longer your tail is, the more flexible it will be. So it really depends on what you’re going for.
3. Stylistic aspects of the yarn.
I seriously do not recommend making your job any harder when you’re making the yarn fluffs.
Just don’t do it.
It’s not worth it.
Following the instructions in the video ought to give you the least time-consuming yarn-fluffing process. I’m saying this because, as a person who has a huge tendency to start projects and never finish them, I was this close to just giving up. It’s very tedious, and I think about 10 hours in I had to start taking breaks whenever “fuck it” would cross my mind. Definitely, having something to watch while you do your work helps. Put on a movie or something. I’ll give anyone recommendations if they ask, but be aware that I am a huge animated movies fan. :)
This was my tail when I put it on for my last cosplay test before Katsucon. Just so you can see how it looks on a person.
The second poster offers that purrhaps cutting the fluffs in half will make your tail look thinner. I’m going to disagree with that and say that I actually think that would make your tail look a lot fatter, because I’ve noticed that with mine, while I was worried about the fluffiness factor, once I got my base under control, the fluffs smoothed each other out. (The Fluff Factor. Sounds like a competitive knitting/needlefelting show.)
4. About the shaping of the tail.
I’m going to go ahead and make the disclaimer that I did neither of these things. I don’t know if they work, but I know I haven’t done them with this type of tail and I know the second poster said that they haven’t made this type of tail yet.
I would not advise using wire in your tail.
I really don’t advise it at all. My reasons are as follows:
1, I worked with wire for jewelry making. If you’re up close and personal with it and trying to do precision work it will stab you every goddamn chance it gets and then it makes your fingers raw. Not fun. So if you’re going to do it, at least be careful.
2, This is not the greatest idea for making your tail do that up-and-out thing that I’ve seen some cosplay tails do. The reason is that the wire-curved part of the tail will actually just make the tail curl around your leg or fall off to the side. It’s really not the greatest idea if for that reason alone.
3, Braiding wire into yarn is a pain.
So if for the sake of convenience only, it may not be the best idea.
Now, the fishing line idea, that is actually pretty cool. I’ve used fishing line before and it’s pretty good for this stuff. Just make sure you don’t cut off your circulation and make sure there’s little to no way you would cut off your circulation throughout whatever event you’re taking your tail to. Always keep track of your string. You never know if it’s gonna get caught on something or get picked up by an unsuspecting pet, or small child, or get tangled in a tree and choke someone - you get the picture, right? Make sure you have a way to get it off. Fishing line is tough. Be sure that you are careful when you use it because there is little to no way to break it with your bare hands. Carry scissors or something, and for the love of whatever you esteem to be holy be safe okay?
I think that covers a lot of the main stuff.
Remember that I am not the amazing person who made this video. I can’t answer all your questions. I can’t provide detailed step-by-step instructions. I just know what worked for me and how I differed from these instructions.
Needing to find an extra curricular activity in order to ‘fill
out’ their college resume, Character A joins the baking club. Here, they
find a group a tightly knit, highly competitive bakers who are striving
to win the Blue Ribbon at the county fair’s baking competition.
I bought an oven off of Craigslist and the guy said it was haunted but I
didn’t believe him? And now everything that I put into it just turns
into a cake? Like it’s not even logical. I’ll put in a frozen lasagna
and when the timer goes off, I have a triple-tiered chocolate cake with
buttercream icing.” AU
Character A and B have been enemies
since they first met at culinary school. Striving to always be better
than the other person, the two of them go head to head in a baking
competition in order to prove who’s the best pie/cake/fancy dinner/ext. maker.
walking home from work, Character A gets caught in a sudden
thunderstorm and has to take shelter in a bakery, which is where they
meet Character B, the eccentric (but lovable) baker who lives above the
shop with their twin sibling, Character C.
Magical universe AU where Character A is a witch who bakes tarts and miniature pies that do everything from soothing a child’s persistent cough, to helping boost a student’s memory before a big test. When Character B comes asking for a pie that will help them deal with grieving over a dead pet, Character A quickly becomes something like their best friend.
“I baked my crush a cheesecake but it turns out that they’re lactose intolerant and now I have all of this cheesecake, but nobody to eat it with, so do you want some?” AU
For anyone who can’t recall what I’m prattling on about, the original post is to be found here!
On a slightly more serious note, I’m absolutely astonished at all the love and attention this has been getting– and, for that matter, the sheer number of you all who knit! I hope this continues to amuse (possibly inspire?) you as much as it does us.
Stay tuned for knitting– and chaos, I’m sure, since I tagged @electrarhodes…
Could you compare Astrid in HTTYD1 with HTTYD2 Astrid? :) People often complain she is not the same character anymore, too giggly, girly and goofy now compared to her younger self.
I would LOVE to do this! First, I’ll start with what is the same, and then talk about what has changed during the five-year interim. It turns out that Astrid very much is the same woman in both films. While she has had some changes, those mainly are only in regards to her relationship with Hiccup; all else - her ferocity, competitive drive, empathy, and more - has stayed essentially unchanged.
Astrid is memorable throughout the first How to Train Your Dragon movie as being rather fierce against Hiccup and a bit snarly with other teens who stand in her way. This all is framed within the context of competition. Astrid finds great passion fighting the Vikings’ war against the dragons and clearly desires to be the best at it; she becomes angered both when students fail to fight against dragons (Hiccup and the Nadder in “Focus, Hiccup!”) and when they best her in fighting dragons (Hiccup and the Gronckle in “This Time for Sure”).
Here we see Astrid’s mind centered in the spirit of competition. She is heavily driven to succeed and beat others in these competitions. When Hiccup starts besting her in Dragon Training, she increases the amount of time she practices on her own, working on her dexterity and axe-work. Her practice sessions are filled with frustration and anger because Hiccup is beating her in the ring. She acts hostilely toward Hiccup because of how good he is in the ring. And when Gothi picks Hiccup to kill the first dragon over Astrid, her face knits in fury.
Astrid’s competitive drive never wanes over time. She finds just as much energy in competition as an adult. In Dragon Racing, Astrid is willing to do incredible stunts to win the race - even flipping off her own dragon onto another’s - to get the sheep and win the competition. This time she wins her goal, meaning she does not vent off and become angered. Instead, she pumps her fists up in jubilation and flies around high-fiving Vikings in the arena. And when she comes and meets Hiccup afterward on the hill, she is clearly pleased with herself, telling him she has been about “winning races.” Yeah, that’s a competitive spirit right there.
So it is seen Astrid never loses her sense of drive, her focus on competition. The one thing that does seem to be new is smugness. She is pretty proud of herself for winning the Dragon Racing competition, and she is pretty smug with Eret when she drops him from the sky. This could all just be the difference of seeing her winning in HTTYD 2… as versus losing in HTTYD.
Astrid is pretty ferocious in How to Train Your Dragon. She is sociable to others when they are considered friends, but she very quickly becomes nasty if she finds someone a foe. Astrid considers Hiccup to be her main adversary in the Training Ring, and consequently he finds her pointing her axe at his face and yelling at him a lot.
That never changes. In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Astrid’s foe is not Hiccup. However, she does have huge issues with Eret, and she is seen to be just as much a no-nonsense fighter with him.
The first time she encounters Eret, he snatches Stormfly and she falls out of the dragon’s saddle. She has no weapons on her, consequently, but as soon as she and Hiccup land, she grabs the nearest pole of wood for a makeshift weapon. She does not scream and charge at Eret for a good reason - there are many men with weapons surrounding them - but she does hold up that stick rather fiercely, ready to use it as need be. Once she and Hiccup are done talking, she seems like she would like to fight.
The second time she encounters Eret, she is ready for real battle. She has her axe with her this time, and as soon as she lands on his boat, she twirls it intimidatingly. Until Hiccup shares his “plan,” she is ready to hack at Eret’s limbs.
And that’s not the last time she’s fierce. Her entire encounter with Drago is pretty tense. She steps right up to Drago and threatens him, saying Hiccup and the Hooligans will come and make Drago sorry. She is captured, hands tied behind her back, and yet she is belligerent enough to speak violence with her captor. And when Eret is about to be pushed overboard by Drago’s men, she makes sure to share her mouth with him, too.
Astrid still is a no-nonsense foe. She does not explicitly fight as much in HTTYD 2, but much of that is based on circumstance. She never fights Eret because of circumstances, nor does she fight Drago’s men on his ship because her arms are in restraints. Still, even in these moments, that does not make her stand any less strongly, with any less sense of self-confidence and bravery.
Supporting the Plan
Another reason Astrid might not seem quite as much of a fighter in HTTYD 2 is because she goes along with Hiccup’s plans. Yet this is already very much within her character since How to Train Your Dragon.
Astrid is someone who lives by the status quo. In the first movie, that means fighting dragons with everybody else. In the second movie, that means flying dragons with everyone else. She is flexible and moldable into her society, being a strong and contributing member, but not one who is revolutionary. She is a model citizen who sticks along with the status quo and executes others’ plans and ideas.
Hiccup frequently comes along with revolutionary ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. Whenever he does so, Astrid trusts his judgment and follows along with his plan. In HTTYD 1, Astrid follows Hiccup’s idea to stand up in the Kill Ring. She lets him take the lead on the situation rather than telling Stoick about the dragon’s nest. After the Kill Ring, she again supports Hiccup’s idea of riding dragons to Dragon Island. Astrid never comes up with these plans; she executes them and supports the plan that Hiccup contrives.
This is no different from HTTYD 2. When Hiccup confronts Eret on the boat, she follows his lead. She might ask him, “How is this a plan?” but she is still going through with his idea. Similarly, she goes along for the ride in “Riding the Hatchlings” and “Alpha Returns to Berk,” letting Hiccup carry out his plan on how to confront Drago a second time.
Astrid is someone who is empathetic. She always has a tender, caring part of her that glows when she does not feel threatened. This comes in late in How to Train Your Dragon because initially she finds Hiccup her foe in the training ring… but as soon as they come to the same “side,” she is very caring to Hiccup’s emotional state.
Astrid is the one who comes up to Hiccup in “Ready the Ships.” He is watching his father sail away with Toothless to fight dragons on Dragon Island. Astrid is the one who comforts him. Not only that, but she encourages Hiccup. She does not give Hiccup the answers to his problem, but helps him see that he is not failure and that he has within him the ability to righten his situation. Here Astrid shows Hiccup that he has the ability to do something great by being the first Viking to ride a dragon… and through that giving him the idea to ride more dragons to Dragon Island.
Empathy continues to shine in How to Train Your Dragon 2. She confides with Hiccup in the exact same way she does at “Ready the Ships.” Hiccup feels down and is doubting himself. Astrid does not tell him the answer to his problems, but instead places a hand on his heart and tells him that “it’s in here.” She is again pointing to the potential that is within Hiccup, already present, and comforting him with what currently troubles.
What Changed in Astrid’s Character?
How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2 write Astrid mostly from the framework of how she interacts with Hiccup. Her personality does not waver too much from first to second film, but because her opinion of Hiccup drastically changes in the five year gap, she appears to have morphed indeed. She no longer is so hostile and threatening toward Hiccup, but instead much more caring. This can throw people off and make them feel like she is a bit of a different character, when really the main thing that has changed is just her relationship with one person.
In How to Train Your Dragon, she is harsh, unjustifiably so. She threatens Hiccup by pointing an axe to his throat and beats him up a little in the cove. None of this is acceptable treatment toward someone; this is the act of a girl who considers Hiccup in a negative cast.
In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup is her boyfriend. Her physical actions change to him, showing instead gentler touches, kisses, and the occasional enthusiastic or playful punch. Instead of yelling at him, she jokes with him. This is what is different about her.
Because Astrid loves Hiccup, a whole new facet of her is opened up. She does appear a bit more “girly” in that she is flirtatious with her boyfriend. She giggles sometimes, she teases him, and she has some soft words for him. None of this contradicts who she has been in the past; simply, she was not in a relationship in the past and never expressed her romantic side before now. Now, in a romantic relationship, she can be a bit more goofy and show a more lighthearted side to her.
It’s really then all based by context and viewpoint. There never was a context in How to Train Your Dragon to show off a playful Astrid side. Maybe, if there had been a context, Astrid would have shown her goofiness younger. Maybe this is a new development. We just don’t know. Because HTTYD is shown from Hiccup’s perspective, and Astrid is hostile toward Hiccup in the first movie, that teasing aspect of her personality is hidden to him and audiences. And since Astrid only teases Hiccup in the second movie, it could just be that Hiccup brings this out in her because they love each other.
Astrid is very much the same woman. She changes a lot less than many teens do in five years. She is still a fierce fighter, still a competitive spirit, still an empathetic soul. What changes is that she goes from hating to loving Hiccup, and this allows her to express more than a snarling disposition in the second film. She grows to love Hiccup, and thus grows out of her a more amenable, playful character - at least when she is alone with her boyfriend.
“Killian, can you pass me the ketchup?” Belle asks, munching on her fries on the other side of the cramped diner booth (she’s squashed between Will and the wall, but does not appear to mind). She grins when he obediently hooks up the bottle (literally) and offers it to her, squeezing more onto her plate and offering Will a fry. Like a hungry seagull, he gulps it right out of her hand, and she laughs. It’s been a long time since she’s seemed this happy, and it certainly does not go unnoticed. Emma gives her a sympathetic smile, settling back against Killian’s arm and seasoning her own fries. They’ve been here an hour at least already, but nobody is any rush to go. Even if Killian is periodically giving Will the surreptitious evil eye and wondering not-quite-aloud what on earth anyone, especially a lovely and intelligent woman, could possibly see in him.
Emma has to bite her lip every time he does this, as she and Belle have already realized that they apparently have quite similar taste in men: fond of black leather, sass, stealing things (well, she hopes they’ve given up on that little habit, she doesn’t want to have to toss Will back in the hoosgow – at least these days he’s in the library by invitation, not drunken breaking and entering) yanking each other’s chain at every opportunity, and otherwise posturing so much that she’s astounded they haven’t broken into an impromptu bout of arm-wrestling at the table. But all that aside, this odd foursome fits surprisingly well. Killian and Belle have been holed up in the library tracking down clues for the latest mystery, have become tentative but genuine friends, and Will – well, he tries to help, at any rate. At least Emma supposes so, because she can’t see Belle letting him loiter around her precious library otherwise, no matter how amusing he is.
“How’s it going?” she asks, pulling Killian’s arm back around her shoulders with an insistent little sound when he tries to shift position. He dutifully keeps it there, kissing her temple, and she snuggles into him. Belle and Will aren’t quite as openly demonstrative, their ‘thing’ still being new, but Emma is quite sure they’re both holding hands under the table and playing footsie. They haven’t seemed to entirely let go of each other yet, seeking solace and companionship and comfort for whatever time this will be. “Find anything?”
Killian and Belle brighten at this chance to share the results of their bookworming, and pull out several sheets of paper covered both in Belle’s looping cursive and Killian’s elegant, old-fashioned calligrapy. They’re hunting the demon and the curse that is supposed to be protecting the town, and they fill her in in detail. Killian harrumphs loudly at Will every time Belle gives an unexpected jump or squeak, and Emma thinks amusedly that he really is taking to being an overprotective big brother for her (then again, that’s what Killian does – protect people, and she can’t help but think of what he’s told her of his own long-dead beloved sibling, Liam). Will fish-eyes him straight back and pointedly stares at Emma’s hand holding Killian’s hook, as if to say no throwing rocks from glass houses, mate. Once they get over the urge to punch each other every time they see each other, Emma thinks, they’ll be inseparable.
They order sundaes for dessert, Will giving Belle his maraschino cherry as she daintily nips it out of his hand, and Killian, not to be outdone, feeds both of their cherries to Emma. Then Emma pays the bill (Granny has been eyeing them with a mix of curiosity and skepticism) and gets up with Belle to ask her a quick question. As they do, they see Will and Killian staring at each other for a long moment, exchanging inaudible words, and then almost simultaneously unzipping their jacket sleeves, grabbing hands, and bracing their elbows, brows knitted in ferocious competitive concentration. Arm wrestling. Naturally.
“Either they’ll kill each other or they’re beginning to like each other,” Belle murmurs with a wry grin, and Emma nods, rolling her eyes. No one can deny that it has, at the very least, been an entertaining evening. And assuming the former doesn’t come to pass, and the latter does, they might even have to do this again sometime.
Mamrie’s not dumb. A fact that her friends seem to have overlooked. It’s like they think she doesn’t notice the little smiles or the fact that neither of them have been in a bad mood for months. Do they expect her to believe that the only reason she sees their clothing at the other’s house is because they’re forgetful, ‘oops, clumsy me, I guess my pants fell off last time I was here’ is probably the worst excuse she’s ever heard. She doesn’t believe either of them, not even for a second.