Friday, June 24, 2011

Pretty Cunning Cross Stitch, Don't Ya Think?

With Can't Stop the Serenity screenings happening world-wide this weekend I can't think of a better excuse to feature another wonderful Firefly inspired stitching. This one comes from Craftster user silentblair. Check out the tiny pompoms on top of those hats, pretty cunning!

And in case you haven't heard, tonight is the Joss Whedon Birthday Firefly Watch Party:
“What can we do to convince Netflix that the ‘verse is worth their while? What can we do to prove that Neilsen ratings arent the be-all and end-all?” Well, how about this- let’s just have the largest on-demand watch party ever! Let’s get the most people ever streaming the same show at the same time from Netflix- 4 episodes of Firefly – and show them its worth a few hundred million to invest in it! Not that they are required to respond, hell, they’re Netflix! But perhaps if we show them that the overwhelming horde of Browncoats worldwide would pay more to see firefly… well, maybe they’ll think twice.

Pencil in June 23rd, 2011, 8pm EST – Midnight EST(5pm-9pm PST) to celebrate Joss Whedon’s birthday by sending the signal further than it’s ever gone before. How many Browncoats can we get on Netflix for four wonderful hours of awesome? -- Courtesy of Firefly Watch.

So if you don't have anything else going on tonight fire up the Netflix, make some popcorn and spend some time in the 'verse!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bavarian Crochet in Baby Coordinates

While I was working on my first Bavarian crochet blanket I couldn't help thinking that it would look nice in Bernat's Baby Coordinates. The white blending filament that runs through all the colours can be a pain to work with, but it does create a nice continuity as you change colours. For this one I used Baby Coordinates in soft mauve, soft blue, soft turquoise, lemon custard and sherbert.

Every time I begin a new baby blanket it's always my intention that I'm just making it to use up the scraps I have left over from the last baby project. And of course, every time I run out of a colour or two midway through and end up buying more. So having finished this blanket, I now have nearly full skeins of three of the colours and will someday have to find a new pattern to "use them up." Oh well, it was fun to work on and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

I crocheted with an I hook (5.5 mm), which seemed large enough to keep the white filament from snagging on the hook and gave the stitches a nice loose feel. Once thing I like about the Bavarian stitching is it's very easy to change the shape of your piece simply by changing the number of stitches in your first round. The other blanket was made as a square, while this one is a rectangle. The pattern book also includes instructions for converting it to a triangle, which would be better suited for a shawl than a blanket.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cross Stitch Firefly Tote Bag!

Now this is an awesome way to repurpose a project! My crafty friend Lisa took what was intended to be a monogramed tote bag, courtesy of Martha Stewart, and converted it into this adorable Big Damn Heroes bag. She's donating this to our local Can't Stop the Serenity Screening's silent auction. Personally I think it's going to be a great seller!

Cross stitching on the canvas bag was doable, but it isn't as straight and easy to work with as an aida cloth or linen, so Lisa had to make a few alterations to the patterns. More specifically, all the 1/4 and 3/4 stitches had to be taken out because it was impossible to make them on the bag. It also took longer to stitch on than your average piece of aida cloth and I'm pretty sure Lisa is going to be having nightmare's about River's hair for many nights to come.

Despite the challenges I think this turned out wonderfully. I think that items that are not just geeky, but also useable are the most appealing when it comes to the silent auction.

Below is the Martha Stewart Tote - Monogram - Embroidery Kit used as it was originally intended. The straight stitches of the monogram would be easier to stitch, but I like Lisa's repurposing of the bag much better.

You can pick up these bags via the link I've given. However, we actually found them on the clearance shelf at our local Michael's store for just $12.99. If you're interested in stitching one yourself, you may want to shop around a bit and see if you can find a bargain. The Firefly character patterns are available for free here on Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins under the My Free Patterns heading in the left sidebar.

Did you see the items I'm donating to this year's Can't Stop the Serenity? Check out my Firefly inspired stitching here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dressing Up Ctlhulhu!

Craftster user Mutant_cat has been making some great little cthulhus that I couldn't resist sharing. I'm considering these the grandchildren of my Tiny Cthulhu pattern because they were made using the Baby Cthulhu pattern created by Giulia, which was a variation of my Tiny Cthulhu pattern that added legs. So I'm proud to consider these little guys members of the Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins family, especially since they are such snappy dressers.

Mutant_cat made her little cthulhus using a very thin crochet yarn so that they would come out smaller than the pattern intended, standing only a couple of inches high. Tiny Thor looks adorable, and I love the details including the little wings on his helmet.

You can check out more pictures of Mutant_cat's cthulhus in her original Craftster posts here and here. I just love how there's a hole in the back of the vest so that cthulhu's wings can poke through!

Check it out, Villain Cthulhu even has a little monocle on his right eye, so you know he's evil! And are those bunny slippers I see on the Sleepy Cthulhu? I really do admire the thought and detail Mutant_cat put into these tiny creations.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recent Adventures in Crafting

I've got a few things I've made recently that either I've made before or feature patterns I've talked about before, so I figured I'd round them all up into one post, rather than devoting separate posts to each of them.

First up on the left is this terrific little stegosaurus who spends most of his time being attacked and chewed up by a toddler. He was a gift for a friend's daughter for her first birthday. I love all the dinosaur patterns at PlanetJune, but I chose the stegosaurus specifically because he has so many pieces that a small child can grab with their hands (or teeth!). I think it's often hard to find projects that look good in variegated yarn. Usually it looks better wrapped up in the skein, but I really like using it for these dinosaurs.

WolfDreamer came up with this fantastic pattern for the minions from Despicable Me. It's very easy to follow and easy to alter to make your favourite of the many minions featured in the film. I created this one-eyed minion as a part of a friend's Christmas gift. Rather than crocheting the eye, I just chose the largest googly eye that I could find in my collection, then crocheted a grey circle around it. My minion was made in Bernat Satin Sunrise, which turned out to be the perfect corn cob yellow for a minion. Every time I look at this I'm struck by how cute the minions are. I really do have to find the time to make a couple of these for myself. I'm thinking of trying the little guy that gets shrunk in the film. After all, he'd be even quicker to stitch up.

And now a quick break from crochet. This is the second bookmark I've stitched from Teresa Wentzler's Knotwork Bookmarks collection. These are really beautiful designs and they don't take too much time to stitch. At least not compared to Wentzler's larger designs. If I have time to stitch, I can usually complete one of these in 2-3 weeks. I also really like that all the patterns use four shades of a contrast colour and then the gold knotwork. Right now I have my eye on a pink bookmark, but I want to replace the pink with the shades of green that are used in one of the other patterns. I'm hoping it will be easy to substitute out one of the contrast colours for another.

When we first subscribed to Netflix the boyfriend and I watched a lot of episodes of Invader Zim. We both agreed that Zim's dumb, yet faithful, robot companion Gir was the best part of the show. Here is Gir, dressed in the neon green dog suit he made so that he could "blend in" on earth. There are a lot of patterns out there for crocheting Gir, both in his robot and dog form. I eventually settled on this one designed by Craftster user lanikins. My only alteration was that instead of crocheting the zipper, I picked up a small zipper at a sewing store. Then I cut the zipper even smaller so that it would fit on Gir's stomach and used my glue gun to secure it in place. It no longer zips up and down, which is disappointing, but aside from that, I like the effect. I highly recommend lanikins's pattern, which is easy to follow and I think, most accurately captures the slightly square shape of Gir's head.

I don't normally take commissions, but when a friend asked for a few Futurama brain slugs so that she could go to a Halloween party with a group of friends dressed as recent visitors to the brain slug planet I couldn't resist. I used the wonderful brain slug pattern created by Hook & Needles and bought cheap hair bands at a dollar store that can be threaded through the bottom of the brain slug to keep it on one's head. This was a great way to use up some leftover green yarn and I think that making the slugs in various shades adds character. That same friend recently told me that she likes to put her brain slug on when she's feeling under the weather because that cloudy headed feeling you get when you have a cold is probably a lot like falling victim to a brain slug. Now is it safe to have this many brain slugs in one location? I guess it's okay, as long as you have enough garlic shampoo on hand!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Loom will be With You Always - Star Wars Travel Embroidery Case

I completely adore this amazing project that Geeky Sweetheart has designed. It's a travelling case for your cross stitch and embroidery looms! You see a lot of travel cases and bags for crochet and knitting supplies, but I haven't see too many for embroidery. (Maybe I just haven't been looking?) I have to admit I am usually reluctant to take my cross stitch projects on the road because I'm worried that the pale fabrics I'm stitching on will get dirty, or it's just too many skeins of floss to be carrying around. However this is pretty cool, and would be great for smaller projects, like my Firefly characters.

In case you can't read the text at this size, Leia is proclaiming, "I love embroidery." Han, accepting the numerous trips to the galaxy's finest needlework stores he'll have to make in the Falcon, reluctantly replies, "I know."

Above you can see what the case looks like open. On the right it's holding a loom with a pretty awesome death star stitching, and on the left side I believe there's a pocket to hold floss skeins and needles. Geeky Sweetheart initially made this for a Star Wars swap, but liked it so much that she created a second one for herself, and was kind enough to post a full tutorial, including video, so that you too can create your own Star Wars embroidery case.

Have fun!