Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dragon Gauntlet Gloves

You'll just have to trust me that these look better in person than they do in the pictures.

The pattern was created by Aoibhe Ni Shuilleabhain and was featured in issue 5 (Dec./Jan.) of the UK magazine Inside Crochet. I'm not normally a fan of crochet magazines. Most of the time I find they only have one pattern per issue that appeals to me so I try to resist the temptation. After picking up the magazine to look at these Dragaon Gauntlets during three different Christmas shopping trips to Chapters, I knew this was one temptation I couldn't resist. While the gloves are by far my favorite thing in the magazine, I also really liked this issue's featured article on Tunisian crochet and accompanying patterns. The scarf on the cover is also starting to appeal to me, even though I'm not a scarf wearer by nature.

I made my Dragon Gauntlets with Patons Kroy Socks FX in Clover. It's not the luxurious yarn recommended in the pattern materials, but I was considering these a practice pair since this was my first attempt at following UK crochet directions and the pattern was listed as "Intermediate." Thankfully the patten turned out to be quite simple to follow. If you've ever crocheted a shell stitch, you can make these. They are also fun and quick to work up. I finished this pair in a single weekend and now that they're done I'm considering them a belated Christmas gift to myself.

Below is the picture from Inside Crochet that first attracted me to this pattern. I like the Swamp green colours of the sample pair, but I've always had an attraction to any variegated yarn that uses autumn colours.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mint Bubbles Baby Blanket

It started out with trying to use up some Bernat Softee and learn some new stitches that involved crocheting 'around the post'. Once I had practiced the stitches for a while and got the hang of the pattern I couldn't bear to leave it as a practice swatch. I kept stitching and kept buying more yarn to finish it off. Now, four additional balls of Mint Softee later I have a completed baby blanket and some left over Mint Softee, which is approximately the same amount that I had before I started this endeavor.

This must be one of the signs of yarn addiction, right? You start out with the best of intentions, to use up some of the yarn you've squirreled away, only to end up buying more yarn. Still, the blanket looks nice. Plus, I have enough yarn left to make a matching hat, and I promise I won't end up buying more yarn just to complete the hat (hopefully!).

This is the Dimensional Shells pattern from 7-Day Afghans by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss. It's actually supposed to be made with a chunky weight yarn and a Size N (10.0 mm) hook, but I thought it would also look nice made with a baby weight yarn and Size G (4.25 mm) hook. Of course, that explains why this "7-Day" blanket took me about two months to complete. I know I've recommended it before, but I have to once again highly recommend this book. It has a wonderful selection of patterns, the instructions are fairly easy to follow and most of the afghans can be completed quite quickly (especially if you use the recommended materials).

Other projects I've made using 7-Day Afghans:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cthulhu Catch Up!

My Tiny Cthulhu pattern has hit the big time now. This cthulhu hanging out with writer Neil Gaiman and musician Amanda Palmer was sent to them by Mrs. Micah and stitched using my pattern. I have to confess that I wasn't familiar with Palmer's music before being sent this photo, but I'm a long-time fan of Gaiman's novels, so it's pretty cool to see him mesmerized by the adorable gaze of the Tiny Cthulhu. Thanks for sending the photo, Mrs. Micah!

I have to admit I've fallen a bit behind in posting pictures of the cthulhu cousins that readers have been sending me. Apologies to everyone who has been patiently waiting to see their creations on the blog. And as always, if you've made something using one of my patterns I'd love to see it. Feel free to post a photo link in the comments section.

Swedish blogger Kicki sent me this picture of a Cthulhu duo way back in September. She said her husband wanted the house filled with a whole army of Tiny Cthulhus!

I really like the colour of yarn chosen by TheThirtySecondHour for this cthulhu. The way he's looking up like that makes him look so sweet and innocent.

Schtididdle says it best in describing how her Tiny Cthulhu came to be:
"SO yeah... Started crocheting for the hell of it and found your pattern. After three granny squares I went at it. I've made three so far. Wings on the first one were... just... awful. Second one can't fly, see or operate machinery. SO here we have the mind shattering horror that is... PINKTHULHU!!!"

And hopefully your eyes aren't hurting too much from that last pink Cthulhu because we've got another one crafted by Amy Lynn.

Now a traditional green Cthulhu courtesy of Vivian, (but he's sporting a pair of brown wings, just to be stylish).

Looks like those brown wings are becoming a fad, as this cthulhu made by Keilana also has brown wings. Keilana commented that she wishes the "tentacles hadn't turned out quite so tightly coiled, but other than that I'm pretty pleased with the end result." I've never tried making the tentacles less coiled, but I bet it could be done if you alternated putting 3 sc in a chain space followed by only crocheting 1-2 sc in the next chain space.

Once again thank you to everyone who has sent me photos of their creations. It's great to see the patterns are being used and that the Tiny Cthulhu is being enjoyed by so many people around the world.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fun with Fun Fur

I went a little crazy last year and bought a whole bunch of fun fur at the Dollarama next to my workplace. Of course, the challenge is trying to find ways to use this stuff. It looks real nice when it's all rolled up in a skein, but it's a pain to actually crochet or knit with. I've been looking for some ways to incorporate little bits of it into different projects because making an entire amigurumi out of it just isn't that enjoyable.

Hence my latest creation, a squirrel whom we've named Winter. He's also sporting the new 9mm black safety eyes which were a Christmas gift from one of my crafty friends. Winter stands about 3 inches tall and was heavily inspired by Moonscreations's Periwinkle Squirrelie. I winged the pattern and he stands about 3 1/2 inches tall. I'm thinking of making a small bunny with a fun fur tail to be Winter's companion, or possibly squirrels in three other colours. We'd have one for every season then. If anyone has any suggestions for other critters that could incorporate a small amount of fun fur please share your thoughts in the comments section.