Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spiral Baby Blanket - With Free Pattern!

This baby blanket is wonderful if you're in the mood for some mindless crochet while watching TV or focussing on some other activity. One of my least favourite parts of crochet is adding new yarn to change colours and having to weave in the ends from the previous colour. With this pattern you don't have to finish off the old colour, you just leave it hanging there until you're ready to use it again. I've used solid colours here, but I also think this would look good if you used black with a variegated yarn.

I've been vague about the size of the blanket in the pattern so stitchers can just keep stitching until the piece is the length they want. And if you have some leftover yarn in the end, you could make two smaller versions of this and sew them together for a matching pillow.

I've tried my best to write the directions out clearly, but if anyone has any questions feel free to contact me either in the comments section or via the blog's email address. cthulhucrochet(@) As always, I love to see what people make with my patterns so if you take on this pattern feel free to leave a comment with a link to a jpeg so I can see your work.

Spiral Baby Blanket


  • Worsted weight yarn in two contrasting colours – amount will vary depending on the size of your blanket. My sample was made using 3 skeins of Vanna's Choice Baby in Little Boy Blue (Colour A) and 2 skeins of Vanna's Choice White (Colour B).
  • 1 crochet stitch marker or safety pin
  • size I (5.50mm) crochet hook

Note: Throughout the blanket you will alternate between the two colours, stitching with Colour B into the previous row of Colour A until you run out of spaces to stitch in, the switching back to Colour A and stitching in the Colour B stitches you just made.

Using Colour A,

Chain 4, sl st in first chain to join. Working in spiral rounds

Rnd 1: 1 sc in same space as sl stitch, 1 sc in next stitch, 2 hdc in next stitch, 4 dc in next stitch, put the stitch marker or safety pin in the loop of this last stitch to hold it, and slip out the crochet hook.

Rnd 2: Using Colour B, (wrap a loop of Colour B around hook) sc in first sc of previous round, sc in next st, 2 hdc in next 2 stitches, 2 dc in each of next 3 stitches. Put the stitch marker or safety pin in the loop of this last stitch to hold it, put hook back in the loop you were holding from rnd 1.

Rnd 3: Using Colour A, 1dc in Colur B stitch from previous round, *ch 1 dc in next stitch* repeat until you have 12 ch 1 spaces. Put the stitch marker or safety pin in the loop of last stitch to hold it, put hook back in the loop you were holding from previous round.

Rnd 4: Using Colur B, *2 dc in next stitch, ch 1 (right above ch 1 of previous rnd)* repeat until you run out of spaces to stitch in. Put the stitch marker or safety pin in the loop of last stitch to hold it, put hook back in the loop you were holding from previous round.

Rnd 5: Using Colour A, 1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in dc before the chain space, ch 1* repeat until you run out of spaces to stitch in. Put the stitch marker or safety pin in the loop of last stitch to hold it, put hook back in the loop you were holding from previous round.

Rnd 6: Using Colur A, *dc in each space, 2 dc in the space before the chain, then ch 1* repeat until you run out of spaces to stitch in. Put the stitch marker or safety pin in the loop of last stitch to hold it, put hook back in the loop you were holding from previous round.

Continue stitching in rounds, repeating *1 dc in each space, 2 dc in the space before the chain, then ch 1*, and switching between colour A and B as necessary. Continue with this pattern until blanket reaches desired size, then follow the Finishing instructions.


While in Colour A continue to work pattern until you are 3 stitches away from the last ch1-space in your round. In these last 3 stitches work 1 hdc, 1 hdc, 1 sc, then sl st into the chain space and finish off Colour A. Pick up Colour B and work pattern as usual until you reach the last 3 stitches of the previous round. In these spaces work, 1 hdc, 1 hdc, 1sc and finish up with a sl st into the first stitch of Colour B from the round you just finished.


Using Colour A sl st into any dc stitch on blanket, ch 1, sc crochet in each stitch around, then sl st back into first stitch to join.

Skip first 2 stitches *5 dc in next stitch, skip 1 stitch, sl st in next stitch, skip 1* repeat around edge, sl st into first stitch and finish off. Weave in ends.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Free Amigurumi Generator

I found this neat Amigurumi Pattern generator online that I'm inviting readers to check out. Let me know what you think if you play around with it. Basically it's a free application that allows you to generate a variety of amigurumi patterns by adjusting the size of a critter's head, neck, ears, arms, body and legs. Just click the link above to see it for yourself.

I think if I'd stumbled across this when I was first starting to make amigurumi I would have really enjoyed it. At this point I don't really feel I need a pattern generator to help me create my designs. Still I really appreciate how easy it is to use the interface. I'm thinking it would be particularly good for young crafters who know how to read a pattern and make the basic stitches of amigurumi, but may have trouble doing the math to create their own patterns. For them this would be a great intermediate step between following other people's patterns and making their own.

Looking for other free design tools? There's also the Knitpro 2.0 application, which allows you to design your own charts for knitting, tunisian crochet, and cross stitching.

Know of any other free crafting applications available online? Share your finds in the comments section.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Leaf on the Wind Cross Stitch

This is the Firefly cross stitch that I made for the boyfriend. The quote is from the amazing Leaf on the Wind song by the Bedlam Bards. If you're a Browncoat and you're not familiar with them I highly recommend checking out their On the Drift album, which is all music about and inspired by Firefly. And if you don't feel like doing that, at least click the link and hear their song about Wash because I love it and it makes me sad and happy every time I hear it.

So that's where the quote comes from. The leaf design came from Better Homes and Gardens 2001 Cross Stitch Designs although I switched the colours from shades of green to shades of orange. I also used some silver Kreinik to make stars around Zoe. They look better in person than in the photo. In hindsight I wish I'd placed Zoe a bit further away from the lettering, but the boyfriend was really happy with how this turned out, so I'm not complaining too much.

Want the Pattern?

Check under the My Free Patterns heading in the left sidebar to see all my Firefly character cross stitch patterns.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Spring, the Lion!

Back in January when I posted Winter, I asked for suggestions as to what other animals I could make with my unnecessarily large stash of fun fur. Rayleen's suggestions that I make a lion really grabbed my attention, so now joining Winter we have his new friend Spring.

Spring was made using Bernat Satin in Banana and more nameless fun fur from Dollarama. I tested out my new Clover Soft Touch 3.5mm hook to make him. I picked up two of the hooks last weekend. I want to use them a couple more times then I'll let you all know what I think of them.

Quick Lion Tutorial

Like with Winter I decided to just wing the pattern. If you've ever made an amigurumi ball before you know there's always that point you come to in the middle where you stitch the same amount of stitches for X number of rows. When I got to that part I did the first of these repeating rows in Bernat Satin yarn and then switched to the fun fur for 5 rows, then went back to the Bernat Satin yarn for one row before beginning the decreasing part of the ball. It's a pretty simple technique for making the mane. The fun fur part is a little tighter, but you can't tell because it's so fluffy.

Each of Spring's ears was made by chaining 2 then making a 6 hdc shell stitch in the first chain space. His body is just another ball (six stitches smaller in width than the head). I stitched in back loop only for the first row of the repeated same number of stitches section to give him a flat bottom. (I was worried the mane would make him top heavy and figured this would help balance him). Finally, for the tail I started with the fun fur and crocheted 8 sc in a round until I was satisfied that the fluffy part was big enough. Then I switched back to the Bernat Satin and decreased down to four, and stitched these 4 sc in a round until I was happy with the tail length.

Winter, posing with his new friend Spring.

So, I think that working with fun fur once per season is enough, don't you? If you have any ideas for a summer animal that I could make that would incorporate a little bit of fun fur please share your idea in the comments section.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Many Faces of Fillion

Carrie gets the honour of being the first person to send me a picture of what she's made using my Firefly cross stitch patterns. She used my Captain Mal design and then created her own Dr. Horrible and Rick Castle. What, no Caleb? I can understand leaving him out, even though Fillion was amazing in that role, too.

Rick Castle is wearing his bullet proof vest that says "writer" and Captain Hammer's gloves and belt are made with shiny thread to depict their patten leather look. Great details. I think I may need to make myself a Captain Hammer bookmark someday. This also reminds me that I should be watching more Castle. It's a fun show, but I tend to stumble onto it by accident rather than actually making a point of watching it. I've seen the Halloween ep. where Castle dresses up as Captain Mal about three times though. Maybe that makes up for not seeing some of the other episodes?

Thanks again to Carrie for sharing this. If you're interested in making your own Firefly cross stitch the patterns are available in the left sidebar. I also wanted to thank everyone who has chimed in on my Clover Hooks question thus far. The reviews have been so favourable, I think I'm definitely going to have to pick up one or two.

Also of note, I've created an e-mail address for the blog (look in the left sidebar). I still prefer that people post comments directly on the blog so that everyone can see them, but I figured that in some cases an email address may be more handy. If you don't use a photo sharing service and want to send me a jpeg of something you've made, for example. Or if you have a question and aren't really sure where it should be posted on the blog. Feel free to make use of that email address.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clover Hooks - Your thoughts?

I was lucky enough to receive a $50 gift certificate for Michael's as a birthday present a couple of weeks ago and in deciding how to spend it I've been debating picking up a couple of these Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks. They're currently priced at about $9.99 at Michael's. Normally I use a set of Boye metal hooks or some older plastic Susan Bates hooks that used to be my mom's. I've heard/read that the Clover ones are easier on your hands and I do tend to get wrist pain, particularly when I'm crocheting small projects with 2.5 - 3.75 mm hooks.

Examining these hooks in the store it seemed to me that the heads were smaller on them than the other brands. Have those of you who've used them found this? That is, a project made with a 6 mm Clover hook may come out smaller than one made with a 6 mm Boye hook? I know that there is always some size variation between brands, but in this case it worried me that I could so easily see it.

If you've used the Clover hooks I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please chime in on the comments thread. Are the Clovers worth the money? Are they easier on the hands when you're working with a small hook? What about when your working with larger hooks? If you didn't like them, is there another brand that you would recommend? All thoughts are welcome...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March of the Cthulhus!

The Cthulhu empire is growing, as my inbox is once again full of messages from people who have been using my Tiny Cthulhu Pattern. Thanks again to everyone whose taken the time to send me a picture of their creations. I'm loving the eyes on this purple cthulhu that was made by Traci. I'm not sure if these glow in the dark, but they sure look like they might. Scary!

I get a lot of messages from people who tell me the Tiny Cthulhu is the first thing they've ever crocheted. It's very flattering to know that I made something that inspired someone to take up a new hobby, and I'm glad the pattern is easy enough for a beginner to tackle. This next cthulhu is Koeniou's first completed crochet project and I think it turned out great! Those big outstretched arms are just waiting to give someone a hug, or worse!

I hope this next one doesn't unravel if you pull on that piece of yarn. A mummy cthulhu, hmm...This was made by Oriane, as a gift for her brother.

There are some projects where variegated yarn really works and some where it doesn't. Thankfully, Tiny Cthulhus look great in variegated yarn. I like how Ukhsud's pink cthulhu appears to be looking up at the subtitle above its head. Very cute!

Aww, it looks like this next little guy, created by Adrianna, is angry about something. Don't tell him he's adorable when he's angry. He probably wouldn't like that. Adrianna also has a tip for anyone whose tentacles turn out too coiled up. She says she steamed hers over a tea kettle after she was done and that loosened them up.

And speaking of tightly coiled tentacles, we have this proud little green cthulhu courtesy of Jessica.

Next, a green cthulhu stitched by Eva. I like the use of the darker shade of green for the tentacles. Eva says she's working on turning the Tiny Cthulhu pattern into a giant Cthulhu and I'm looking forward to seeing the results.

And that concludes this roundup of recent cousins in our Cthulhu family. Thanks to everyone for sharing their creations. If you've made a Tiny Cthulhu or used any of my other free patterns feel free to post a comment and include a link where I can see a picture of your creation.