Crafty Science and Geekery

Shortbread Recipe

I have been procrastibaking instead of working on my assignments recently, so here is my Shortbread recipe:


  • 200 g plain flour
  • 200 g butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 100g icing sugar (or icing mixture)
  • 100g cornflour


Sieve the dry ingendients into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and put into the flour. Then with your fingers rub the butter into the flour mixture until it forms a dough. Roll and cut into bikkies, or roll about a tablespoon worth of dough between your palms and flatten to ~1cm thick. Place on a greased/baking paper tray and bake at 180 until golden brown. Ice if desired


Basic shortbread is always a welcome classic, but there is so much potential for variation.

  • Cinnamon/Ginger: Add a decent shake of cinnamon (powdered) with the dry ingredients, and then addd finely chopped crystalised ginger once in a dough
  • Chocolate Chip: Add as many choc chips at the dough stage as you like. I tend to add more until the bikkies lose structural integrity if more are added.
  • Chocolate: Add a shake of cocoa or drinking chocolate with the dry ingredients. Otherwise mix a dollop of nutella or similar through the final dough.
  • Chilli: A touch of chilli can give a nice zing, especially with a chocolate base. Be careful to only add a little chilli powder, as it seems to get stronger with baking.
  • In general: Try anything you want. As a general rule add powders at the dry ingredients and lumps/liquids into the dough. Be careful with liquids as even a spash can have a large impact on the textre and a little extra flour may be required to compensate.



PokeMaps (Pattern)

Maps of the Pokemon regions Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh based on the maps in the Pokemon Centres.



For colours I used a bright leafy green, a slightly darker jungle green, and a slightly lighter more olivy green. Water is pale blue, and borders are white and navy-ish.

Reddit Crochet-Along

I decided to participate in the Reddit Crochet-along. It has been interesting and sparked an interest in making squares, though as they are all different sizes I have no idea what I would do with them all.


The square daisy pattern can be found at Purple Chair Crochet. Once I had figured out the stitch naming convention (US naming), and learnt puff stitch and dctog it is fairly simple and looks quite nice.

The Eight petal flower square is from Laura Pavy. I don’t think I quite have the hang of this one, and it refuses to sit flat. Picked up a couple of new stitches such as half-double, a new triple, and spike stitch.

The Hexagonal flower is from Heidi Bears. I quite like this one, and am conisdering using it for some as-of-yet unknown future project. Having learnt spike stitch and the petal technique from the eight petal square this one was pretty simple.

Anyway once I learn a few more tricks (and find some spare time) I may start designing squares too.

I have started playing Ni No Kuni, and am loving it! Having never played a JRPG (or really any RPGs) before I find the level of guidance given quite useful, and the characters charming. The soundtrack is amazing and the artwork beautiful.

My official sidekick is Mr Drippy, the Lord High Lord of the Fairies.


I still need to wash, block and frame him, but I thought I would put up a pic of the finished stitching anyway.

The colours I used are DMC 3814 and 3816 for the greens, and the yellows are DMC 3822 and Sullivans (sticker over colour code) which recons it is equivalent to DMC 422. The lantern is DMC 666 for the red and DMC 720 for the yellow.




Every now and then I try my hand at pattern requests from Reddit, so I figure easiest to have one post and update it.



Just a little pattern I knocked up after seeing a post on Reddit. It may be edited or colours changed in the future.

kraken pattern

I finally designed my first amigurumi! My little ladybug turned out really cute so I thought I would write up the pattern properly. Please leave me a comment if you make one, I would love to see them. Also if you find any mistakes just comment below and I will fix them up.

Pyper Ladybug

I used a 3.5mm hook and she is ~12cm long (~5 inch). I join my rounds unless otherwise indicated, but I think the pattern would still work if done in a spiral.

For this pattern I have attempted to shape the ladybug to give and oval body and flat base to the head, hence the strange looking rows in the pattern. I think it has given a noticeable effect, but that may just be because I know to look for it. She should still look fine if you just use the normal (evenly spaced) increase patterns.

This pattern took me quite a few hours to design. I am happy for people to use the pattern for themselves (hence releasing it for free) but please credit me (Pyper) if you do. Do not sell this pattern or creatures made from this pattern, and please do not post the pattern directly on your blog/site/etc, but link back to

pdf of pattern: Amigurumi Ladybug – Pyper – StrangenessIsConserved


  • sc: single crochet
  • inc: 2 sc in one base loop
  • dec: sc two base loops together

There seems to be several terminologies around single vs double crochet. I use sc:

  • hook through next base loop
  • yarn over and pull through base loop
  • yarn over and pull through first loop on hook
  • yarn over and pull through both loops on hook


  • Red yarn (or whichever colour you want her)
  • Black yarn
  • White yarn (for the eyes)
  • Buttons or similar to put in the middle of the eyes (<1cm across)
  • Hook, scissors, pins and stuffing
  • Needle for sewing with yarn.


In red:

1.       Magic circle 6 [6]
2.       inc x 6 [12]
3.       (inc, sc) x 6 [18]
4.       inc, (sc x 3), inc, (sc x 3), inc, inc, (sc x 3), inc, (sc x 3), inc [24]
5.       inc, (sc x 4), inc, (sc x 4), inc, (sc x 1), inc, (sc x 4), inc, (sc x 4), inc, (sc x 1) [30]
6.       inc, (sc x 5), inc, (sc x 5), inc, (sc x 2), inc, (sc x 5), inc, (sc x 5), inc, (sc x 2) [36]
7.       inc, (sc x 6), inc, (sc x 6), inc, (sc x 3), inc, (sc x 6), inc, (sc x 6), inc, (sc x 3) [42]
8.       inc, (sc x 7), inc, (sc x 7), inc, (sc x 4), inc, (sc x 7), inc, (sc x 7), inc, (sc x 4) [48]
9-15. sc x 48 [48]

Finish off

In black:

1.       Magic circle 6 [6]
2.       inc x 6 [12]
3.       (inc, sc) x 6 [18]
4.       (inc, sc x 2) x 6 [24]
5.       (inc, sc) x 12 [36]
6.       (inc, sc x 5) x 6 [42]
7.       (inc, sc x 6) x 6 [48]

Finish off leaving a long tail. Sew the black base to the red body stitch to stitch. Stuff before closing.


In black:

1.       Magic 6 [6]
2.       inc x 6 [12]
3.       (inc x 2, sc) x 3, sc x 3 [18]
4.       inc, sc, inc, sc x 2, inc, sc, inc, sc x 2, inc, sc, inc, sc x 5 [24]
5-8   sc x 24 [24]
9.    dec, sc, dec, sc, sc, dec, sc, dec, sc, sc, dec, sc, dec, sc x 5 [18]

Finish off leaving a long tail. Stuff the head and sew it to the front of the body, the base (flatter part) of the head level with the base of the body.


Make 6

In black:

1.       magic 6 [6]
2.       inc x 6 [12]
3-4. sc x 12 [12]
5.       dec x 6 [6]

Stuff the foot and now start working around in a spiral rather than joining each row. Decrease the next two stitches to leave you with a ring of 4 working stitches. Sc around in a spiral until the leg is the desired leg. Mine are ~5cm or ~2in. Once the leg is long enough finish off leaving a tail to sew onto body.

Once you have all 6 position the legs on the base of the body, near the edge but still on the black. Pin them in place and adjust them until it looks how you want it. Then sew them in place.


For this one I used 6 larger spots and two smaller in black:

Large spot

1.       Magic 6 [6]
2.       inc x 6 [12]

Finish off leaving a long tail to sew onto body

Small spot:

1.       Magic circle 8 [8]

Finish off leaving a long tail to sew onto body

Make as many or as few of any size you wish and position them on the body with pins before sewing. Ladybugs are generally symmetric, but that is optional.


Make 2

In white:

1.       Magic circle 8 [8]

Finish off leaving a long tail to sew onto head. Position the eyes where you want them on the head with pins, then sew them on. Depending on what you are putting in the middle of the eyes, you may need to attach before you sew down the eyes. I just sewed buttons on after sewing the eyes down.


Enderman Amigurumi

I made this one for my brother, who loves all things Minecraft. It is based on the Red Devil pattern but made with black (obviously).


The eyes I had to improvise and are as follows:

  • With purple magic circle 6. Join and tie off
    • You will now have 6 loops to work with
  • With pink tie on to circle (in loop 1):
    • ch 3 for height.
    • In same stitch do a triple crochet
    • In  next stitch (loop 2) triple crochet,
    • Then chain 3 and tie off in the same stitch (loop 2)
  • With pink again do the same in loops 4 and 5 of the purple.

This gives the effect of three pixel blocks pink-purple-pink. It strikes me that I should probably learn how to read those patterns that are all lines, circles and crosses for this sort of thing.