Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shell Stitch Blanket

As promised, I've branched out from my usual round ripple blanket and tried something new. I made this shell patterned baby blanket as an excuse to use up the large stash of Bernat Baby Coordinates that I've been building up. The pattern is based on the Rippling Shells pattern in the book 7-Day Afghans by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss.

If you have any book of basic crochet motifs, you can probably mimic it pretty easily. The main stitch is a basic shell made up of five double crochet stitches. The only alteration I made to the pattern was that after the first row I crocheted in the back loop only. After some experimenting I found that this just made the shells pop out a bit more. Overall, I really enjoyed working on this one. The shell stitch is very simple to do and the work becomes mindless after a couple of rows so you don't have to be constantly double-checking the pattern.

I tried to keep the stripes at about four rows per colour, but since my goal was to finish off a bunch of leftover scraps there are some places where I couldn't complete a full set of four rows. Most noticeable is the row in the middle where there's a switch from purple to yellow that stands out quite a bit. Aside from that, I'm very happy with how this blanket turned out and pleased to see my wool inventory is a little bit smaller now.

I have no idea who I'm going to give this blanket to. I know there are plenty of charities out there that accept knitted and crocheted baby blankets so it may end up going off to one of them. If anyone has any suggestions as to places in Canada where I could donate the blanket feel free to drop me a note in the comments section.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Round Ripple Afghans!

As evidence on this blog would show I just love the round ripple afghan pattern. It's so easy to stitch and I find that if I put in about an hour of crocheting a day, I can get one of these done in about a week. Plus the pattern is so simple that once you have the basics down you don't have to look back at the pattern at all and can spend your crochet time in coversation or watching TV.

This first blanket I made back in the summer as a Christmas present for one of my girlfriends. The wool is Vanna's Choice in Denim Mist, Rose Mist, and Purple Mist. It's very soft and thick and I like how the white flecks carry through the whole blanket. I also made the blanket quite large, more of a bed covering than a lapghan.

Next up is a baby blanket that I made during the Christmas holidays for a friend of the family. Her first child is due in the spring so I have this one done a little early. It's based heavily on the round ripple baby blankets that you often see in the Mary Maxim catalogues. I've changed the order of the colours though to suit what I had on hand.

This one was made with various shades of Bernat's Baby coordinates. If you're interested in how I got the blended colour effect you can read about it in my previous post about this five point star blanket that I made. Yep, another star shaped blanket...I promise I'm branching out though. I've reccently been working on a square shaped blanket and discovered another pattern that I like almost as much as the round ripples. I'll try to show it off later this week.

Want the Pattern?
There are lots of variations of the round ripple pattern out there, but the one I like best is the free one you can find here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Hippopotamus for Christmas!

A couple years back a local phone/internet provider garnered a lot of attention with their television ad featuring the song I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas and a hippopotamus from our local zoo wandering around on the screen. People were so taken with Hazina the hippo it caused a surge in kids wanting toy hippos for Christmas and links to the ad got passed around via e-mail to people all over the world. You can view the original ad here.

Anyways, I'm a couple of years late, but I finally managed to give my boyfriend's mom a hippopotamus for Christmas. This one is another cutie from Tammie Snow's Tiny Yarn Animals which I reviewed last week. I added the scarf so he'd be prepared for the winter weather. My boyfriend, who is both wise and witty, pointed out that it actually looked more like a hippopotamus once it had the scarf on. I'm not sure why that would be the case, but I have to agree.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Creepy Cute Bookmarks!

Now that the Christmas presents have been given out and I won't ruin the surprise I thought I'd share a few of the gifts I made this holiday season. My original intention was to give everyone at least one homemade gift. I worked on a few of them during the summer, but once school started, I just didn't have time to actually finish making something for everyone. Here are a couple that I did manage to finish and I'm deeply thankful to NeedleNoodles for sharing her Creepy Cute Cross Stitch patterns. It's been a while since I've done any cross stitch so it was nice to be able to start with something small.

The pictures were taken while these were still on the loom. Afterwards I cut them out and attached adhesive felt to the backs of them, turning them into bookmarks. (Click on the pictures if you want to see a larger version.)

I used NeedleNoodles basic patterns and then made them my own. These were presents for my two best girlfriends so I chose sayings that I thought would suit them and made a couple of minor changes to the colours in the original patterns. For the light grey on the ninjas I used DMC 414 because I wanted them to be a little lighter than the pattern recommends. The purple ninja is DMC 209 and 208. I've never been very good at making French knots, but these ninjas certainly gave me a lot of practice!

I wanted the vampires to be reminiscient of Spike and Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I used Ecru for the skin tone and for Angel's hair I used DMC 938 and 898. Spike's hair is DMC 3045 and 3046 and that tiny blue patch on his shirt is 931. I couldn't resist adding the bit of blood and frown to Spike. He doesn't like being cross stitched and he's not happy standing this close to Angel.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Is This What They Mean by White Christmas?

It's been snowing here on and off for about two weeks now, which is unusual for this part of British Columbia. Today I braved to the cold to take these pictures of our backyard. We're hovering somewhere between 2-3 feet of snow right now and as I write this it's still coming down outside. The weather channel promises me that tonight is the night it will all turn to rain and (finally!) start to disappear. We shall see. I love the look of snow hanging from trees. I just wish it could find a way to fall just on the trees and avoid the roadways. It's pretty to look at, but has led to lots of cancelled plans this holiday season since many people are too snowed in to drive anywhere. It's also given me plenty of time for crocheting and I'll try to get some posts up over the next couple of days to show you all what I've been working on.

For now, I hope that you're all having a great holiday season and that your own homemade gifts were a hit with loved ones. Happy holidays. Enjoy these snowy pictures and if you're feeling the need to get your own frustrations about the weather out, do what I do and go hit a penguin with a yeti!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tiny Yarn Animals...Truly Terrific

If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea for the crocheter on your Christmas list, or for yourself, I highly recommend checking out a copy of Tiny Yarn Animals by Tammie Snow (aka creator of Roxycraft.com). This sixty-one page book contains patterns for 20 different adorable amigurumi animals. You get some standard animals like elephants, lions, octopuses and mice, which seem to be a staple of most amigurumi books. However, there are also some unusual additions here such as Snow’s amigurumi fox, lemur, hippopotamus and beaver.

There are three key factors that I think make Tiny Yarn Animals a great amigurumi guide. First off, there is a great selection of animals here that will please a variety of tastes. Like Ana Paula Rimoli’s Amigurmi World this is a great go-to book whenever you need a quick little gift for a friend or family member.

Second, there is a nice selection of pictures for each pattern. The pictures are big enough that you can actually see the details of the stitching and most importantly, where to attach key elements like legs and tails.

Finally, Snow’s instructions are quite clear and easy to follow. A friend of mine, who was new to amigurumi, made the lemur and didn’t have any trouble following Snow’s instructions. (That is said friend’s lemur you see pictured here by the way.) And for those new to amigurumi or crochet in general, Snow includes step-by-step instructions, complete with pictures, showing how all the basic stitches used in the book can be made.

I’ve completed two critters from this book, the frog and the koala bear, and I only had trouble with one piece. For some reason I couldn’t get the koala’s nose to turn out the way it looked in the picture. In the end I resolved the problem by simply making a nose out of felt instead of crocheting it.

Those who attempt more than one creature in the book will notice that many rely on the same basic head and body shape, but the instructions are written out separately for each creature so you’re not constantly flipping between different pages to complete your project. As well, you do get critters such as the hedgehog, owl and fish that deviate from the standard body.

If I have any complaints at all about this book it would be that Snow hasn’t included a stitch count at the end of each line in the pattern. Most commonly the lines in an amigurumi pattern are written up something like this:

R3: *2 sc in 1st sc, 1 sc in next, repeat from * around. (18 sts)

Snow’s patterns leave off that final step and don’t tell you how many stitches you should have at the end of the round. An experienced crocheter can easily go through the pattern and fill in the expected stitch numbers themselves with a pencil, but I think this could lead to some frustration for beginners. Snow also uses the “ch 2 and then single crochet X-number of stitches in to the second chain from hook” method of beginning all her pieces. This is a matter of personal taste, but I really like starting amigurumi pieces with a magic ring instead. Of course, that’s a simple change to make to any pattern.

Those minor quibbles aside, this really is a great amigurumi book. The creatures are all adorable and simple enough that you could probably complete one of them in a day or two with less than a full skein of yarn. The biggest problem you may have is trying to decide which animal to crochet first.

My Other Book Reviews...

Creepy Cute Crochet: Approach with Caution
Amigurumi Word. My thoughts...
Mr. Funky's Crochet Elephant

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Joss Whedon Inverviewed by CrochetMe

Please tell me that I was not the last one to find out about this. I was surfing around to a few of my favourite crochet sites yesterday and was very excited to learn that Kim Werker of CrochetMe was finaly able to snag that interview with Joss Whedon that I talked about back in July. Congratulations to Kim and congratulations to everyone who helped bring this plan to Joss Whedon's attention. You can read the full transcript of Joss's crafty talk here. As if we needed more reasons to belive in the awesomeness of Joss Whedon!

One of my favourite bits from the interview is Whedon's explanation of Jayne's knitted hat, which has now become one of the key symbols of Browncoats everywhere:

My whole thought was that Jayne was your classic bad-guy mercenary type, and I thought this is the one guy who does not have a tortured past, who has a decent, hard-working family, who just, you know, this was his career choice and the idea of him getting a letter from mom that he struggles to read, and the knitted hat, was— it just felt so right. It felt very, very him and very human and then of course I saw the hat with its flaps and its pom pom, and I just couldn't have been happier.

And in other Whedon related news, I just had to show you this very cool lego version of the mule from Serenity. Not sure if this qualifies as art or craft, but you can check out the detailed construction plans at www.reasonablyclever.com. If only Santa could bring me a Lego Firefly game to go with my Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones.

Finally, I can't sign off without reminding everyone that Dr. Horrible is being released on DVD this Friday, December 19. It's currently an "exclusive" purchase through Amazon.com for $9.99. No word yet as to whether or not it will be availabe in stores at a later date.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Look! More Cousins!

A special thank you to everyone who keeps returning to check out Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins. I'm sorry that the updates aren't as frequent as they used to be. School is, in a word, busy! I'd like to have more time for the blog and for crocheting in general, but it just isn't possible right now.

Even though I'm not updating the site as often as I used to, it's still nice to see new people discovering it. I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you that has taken the time to post a comment or share a link to something you've made using the patterns I've created. Here are a couple that have popped up in my inbox over the last month.

First up, akyla sent me a note to show me this adorable Tiny Cthulhu she made. I like his eyes, and there's something about his tentacles...somehow they just look a bit more sinister than the ones on my cthulhu and I think that's a good thing!

Next up, Crafty-Shanna certainly earns her nickname with this Fone Bone that she stitched up. She used my pattern for the head and then improvised for the rest of the body and I think she did a terrific job. I'd considered putting proper hands on my Bone creatures, but wasn't sure exactly how to shape the fingers. Shanna's look great. I'm also in awe of the feet which look much smoother than the ones I created. I think my own Fone Bone is a little jealous because I keep promising him that someday I'll stitch him a little backpack and I still haven't gotten around to it. Check out further pictures on Shanna's Journal and you can see that Fone even has his beloved copy of Moby Dick.

Want the Pattern?

My pattern for the Tiny Cthulhu as well as the patterns for the three Bone Cousins are available through the links in my left sidebar, under the topic My Free Patterns.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Great Pumpkin! Cute Thing of the Week!

I always see these plain plastic pumkins at Micheal's that you can take home and paint yourself. Sadly, I'm not much of a painter, so I know I could never come up with something as awesome as this. This great Charlie Brown tribute comes courtesy of Craftster user MissKerouac. Click on her name to see more amazing pictures of this one from other angles, and check out that little polymer clay Woodstock hanging off on the right. Great attention to detail!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Potato the Squirrel - Dressed for Halloween! Cute Thing of the Week!

There's no way I could let Halloween go by without a nod to Glee's Potato Squirrel, all dressed up for Halloween. I've been in awe of these critters since I first saw them on Craftster many, many months ago. They are one of my inspirations for getting into this whole world of amigurumi in the first place. Just don't ask me to pick a favourite because I really can't decide, they're just too cute. Many months ago I invented this pirate variation for a friend and right now I'm making the ghost squirrel, but I don't think I'll have it done in time for Halloween. Oh well, I'll just add it to my growing collection of unusual Christmas decorations.

Want the Pattern?

The Halloween costumes are an ad-on, (Dare I say, expansion pack?) for Glee's original Potato the Squirrel pattern which is sold through her online shop as a pdf file. The original Potato the Squirrel pattern is $4.50 US and the Halloween variations are $2.50 for the set. If you want to make the Halloween versions you'll need to buy both patterns since the basic body shape instructions aren't included with the Halloween instructions.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

They're Huge! And They Glow...

Everything is better when it glows in the dark, isn't it? And yes, I'm slightly obsessed with the going crafty MST3K chart because it is so versatile. In the back of my mind I still have plans for a giant tunisian crochet afghan made with this chart. I could then snuggle up in that afghan while watching MST3K and enjoying tasty beverages that are safely nestled on my new MST3K Glow-In-the-Dark coasters! These were made with yellow glow-in-the-dark perler beads and black beads. I bought a bag of 1,000 yellow beads and making these nearly used all of them. I have maybe a hundred left. I haven't put cork on the back of the coasters yet because I'm still toying with the idea of making them into fridge magnets. I like the idea of seeing their eerie glow everytime I pass by the kitchen when the lights are out.

I've discovered that with a basic digital camera and very little knowledge about photography it is very hard to take good pictures of things that glow-in-the-dark. Please excuse the blurriness of the photos, I just wanted to give everyone an idea of what the coasters look like when the lights are out. The top photo has been enhanced with Photoshop to show you the glowing effect. The second darker picture shows you what my photo looked like without any enhancements. In real life the glowing effect is quite nice and easy to see in the dark, especially if you let the coasters charge up for a few minutes in bright light.

Want to see my colourful set of MST3K coasters?

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Swamp Witch! Cute Thing of the Week!

I just love the idea of crochet books having expansion packs. After all, the expansion packs are my favorite part of The Sims.

Creepy Cute Crochet author Christen Haden has created this adorable expansion for her collection of crocheted zombies, ninjas, robots, vampires and more. You'll need the original book for the basic head, body, and arms. Once you have that, surf on over to her site to get the free instructions for how to make this wonderful swamp witch. Haden was also kind enough to include some wonderful photos to show the visual learners out there how to assemble all the pieces once they are crocheted. You can also scroll through her archives to find further tutorials to help you understand some of the more complicated instructions in the Creepy Cute Crochet book.

If I had time to make a swamp witch mine would wear a black hat and dress and have purple hair! Or maybe she'd just have purple trim on her dress. I'm still pretty intimidated by the hair making process.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Guess I'll Call Him Corny

During last week's Cute Thing of the Week I provided my readers with two blank canvases that they could turn into their own cute masterpieces. Here for you now I have my own sample of how you can add a little personality to Lion Brand's Candy Corn pattern. I managed to put this little guy together in less than an hour last weekend. What a great pattern. It's very easy to follow and very quick to work up. (Although I have to confess I didn't use the recommended Lion Brand yarn.) Corny here was made using some left over scraps of Bernat Satin.

I'm not the only one who has been enchanted by this quick and easy pattern. I also found these adorable marching candy corns that were posted by kala on Craftster.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Glow in the Dark Yarn Revisited

A few weeks back I was speculating about glow in the dark yarn and wondering what it would be like to work with. While I was able to find a few pictures of finished products made with the Nightlights brand, I wasn't able to find any realistic photos of finished objects that had been made with the new Bernat version. Now thanks to crittendawg I have this wonderful sample:

I have to admit this is a lot more glowy than I expected an item made from this stuff would be. Crittendawg was also kind enough to share a few thoughts on my original post about what she thought of working with this stuff. Just in case you don't feel like clicking back and searching through the comments, I'll save you the trouble by reprinting her thoughts here:

I have tried out the Bernat yarn, it's not bad. The texture isn't that great but hey, it is glow in the dark! It gets stuck sometimes on the hook and isn't as flexible as other yarns but by no means is it impossible to work with. I love Bernat Berella 4 for amis because it is easy to work with, but this one feels more like Caron's Simply Soft.. it feels a little weird.
I made a couple things that I put on my flickr page with it, and here is a link to a photo of a star I made, glowing - http://www.flickr.com/photos/alyssacritt/2893589965/
So anyway I agree with you that it is good for amigurumi and other small things because it is pretty expensive. Also I'd like to point out that only one strand (I think) actually glows, so you get an interesting glowing texture after you crochet with it. Let me know if you've got any other questions?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Free Candy Corn and Pumpkin Patterns! Cute Thing of the Week!

Consider the Cute Thing of the Week a bit of a blank canvas this week. Two basic Halloween related patterns that you can add your own creativity to. Add eyes and other facial features to make them into amigurumi or just leave them as is and use them as decorations or quick Halloween gifts. The pumkin comes courtesy of PlanetJune and I have to give honourable mention to her PocketAmi Set 3: Halloween (Ghost, Witch, Black Cat) which is also an absolutely wonderful creation and a great deal at only $5.

The Candy Corn is a free pattern available from Lion Brand. Every time I look at it I want to sit down and crochet some for myself, but sadly I just don't have the time this week. Hopefullly, sometime before Halloween I'll get a chance. You'll need to sign up for the free membership to access this one, but it's well worth it. It gives you access to hundreds of free patterns on the Lion Brand site and the only downside will be all the time you spend looking at those patterns instead of doing the other things you're "supposed" to be doing online!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Eyeball Door Knob Cover - Free Pattern!

You'll have to excuse the pun, but I've had my eye on this little creation ever since it first appeared on Craftster last year. I still haven't had a chance to make any of these though. I got all excited about it then looked around my house and realized that all but one of our doors have handles instead of knobs. Of course I'm sure that one lonely door knob could use a little cozy, right? This clever little eyeball was made by bella_domanie and you can view the free pattern for it here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Little Bat Pattern! Cute Thing of the Week!

Welcome to October! Since my tastes tend to run towards the strange, the unusual, the creepy and the cute, I'm really looking forward to seeing all the creative things people put out there this Halloween season. Time permitting I'm hoping to get a Cute Thing of the Week out every Friday in October and with luck most of these will be projects that have free patterns or at the very least, are relatively cheap. That way if you feel inspired, you can get working on them right away and have them decorating your home or office space before Halloween.

To start us off I thought I'd feature shala_beads adorable Little Bat Pattern. This is a free pattern that you can view here. How great would it be to have a few of these guys hanging from the celing or in your doorframes?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

They're Breeding Like Rabbits!

Who knew that September was the Cthulhu breeding season? I just got a message from sewhooked who made this minty green tiny Cthulhu using my pattern (Tiny Cthulhu under My Free Patterns on the left sidebar.) She says she made this one for her hubby because he's currently running a Call of Cthulhu game. Yes, these little guys make great mascots and props for the roleplayers in your life. I originally started making crocheted cthulhus so that I could give one to my boyfriend along with a copy of Munchkin Cthulhu.

Sewhooked did such a great job on the wings that I just had to show them off too. I'm so happy that my wing instructions are actually making sense to some of you. Feel free to leave me a comment if you are struggling with them.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Of Cats and Cthulhu Cousins!

New cousins are just popping up all over the place lately. Becky sent me the link to this evil old one that she made using my Tiny Cthulhu pattern. (Look in the left sidebar under My Free Patterns for the link.) I'm not sure if kitty here is all that pleased with his new playmate, but I think he looks pretty cool. I like the mult-colours on the tentacles. I'd never thought of using the Tiny Cthulhu as a cat toy before, but now I'm wondering what would happen if you stuffed it with a bit of catnip and gave it to your favourite feline friend...Becky also added a pretty cool new detail to the cthulhu, which I think can best be described as the Sinister Brow! Click on her name above if you want to see how you can make this eyebrow piece for your own cthulhus.

As I'm sure you can tell from the last two posts, I'm always happy to show off the things people make with my patterns. Right now, when I don't have much time for updating the blog, it's so nice to log in every few days and see that people are still commenting on posts I made months ago and still discovering some of the patterns for the first time. If you want to share something you've made with one of my patterns, leave a comment somewhere on the blog and share a link where I can see a picture of your creation.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Welcoming Another Cute Cousin!

Tiara left me a comment to let me know she'd made this cute little Cthulhu using my Tiny Cthulhu pattern. On her flickr site she says she doesn't think the eyes are very well embroidered, but I have to disagree. I think they look great. Very sincere and sweet. I have yet to master embroidering on details like this, which is why I usually take the easy way out and just use safety eyes.

And in other completely random news, you must check out this Milk Vids video. I was so excited when I saw this because some of the critters in here are quite obviously crocheted. Yay crochet! Maybe someday there could be a whole Saturday morning cartoon with cute computer animated amigurumis. Let me know if any of you invent that, okay?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Jedi Themed Stacking Dolls! Cute Thing of the Week!

I don't think I've ever owned a set of stacking dolls, but they've always intriqued me. These Jedi themed ones are amazing. Great attention to detail. Although I'd be happier with a Vader doll rather than the Revenge of the Sith Anakin. Very cool though. I could use them to organize my amigurumi eyes or store some of my other crafty notions...

You can check out more pictures of these in katysshop on Etsy. She's a first year graphic design student living in the UK. This very cute set of Jedi themed stacking dolls is currently available for $44. She also has a hoodies and alien themed set available. And even better news, she'll take custom orders if you have your own idea for a set, but don't have the skills to make them yourself. I'm thinking Mario Brothers or maybe Firefly?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Smiley Bone of Boneville (with Free Pattern)

A note about Smiley: In the comics Smiley is always wearing his vest, but only occasionally wears the bowler hat. In some issues the vest is black with brown trim, in others it is brown. Feel free to make your Smiley using whatever colours you like. I’ve crocheted both items of clothing, but I’m sure you could sew them from felt if you’re crafty in that way.


white worsted weight yarn (one skein or less)
brown worsted weight yarn (one skein or less)
blue worsted weight yarn (one skein or less)
yellow felt or yellow worsted weight yarn (a very small amount)
black embroidery thread
fiber fill or stuffing material of your choice
size G (4.25mm) Hook

Note: The head and nose pieces start separately and then are joined together later. I recommend starting with the nose, then stitching the head, and body. The body and head are all one piece. I find this helps prevent the head from flopping around too much.

5 sc into magic ring
RND 1: 2 sc into each st around. (10 sts)
RND 2: *sc in first st, 2 sc into next st* repeat around (15 sts)
RND 3: *sc in first 2 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (20 sts)
RND 4: *sc in first 3 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (16 sts)
RND 5: sc in each st around (16 sts)
RND 6: *sc in first 2 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (12 sts)
RND 7: sc in each st around (12 sts)
Finish off, leave long tail for sewing.

5 sc into magic ring
RND 1: 2 sc into each st around (10 sts)
RND 2: *sc in first st, 2 sc into next st* repeat around (15 sts)
RND 3: *sc in first 2 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (20 sts)
RND 4: *sc in first 3 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (25 sts)
RND 5: *sc in first 4 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (30 sts)
RND 6: sc in each st around (30 sts)
RND 7: *sc in first 14 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (32 sts)
RND 8: 2 sc in first st, sc around (33 sts)
RND 9-10: sc in eac st around (33 sts)
Now we attach the nose and head pieces together.
RND 11: instead of crocheting into head piece, sc into the first 15 stitches of the nose piece, then skip 5 stitches on the head, sc into 6th st on the head and continue sc around the head. (35 sts) Use the long tail from the nose piece to whipstitch the 5 sts you didn’t stitch on the nose to the five stitches you skipped on the head piece. Also use this thread to tighten up any holes near the joined pieces that are too large.
RND 12-15: sc into each stitch around (35 sts)
RND 16: *sc into first 5 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (30 sts)
RND 17: *sc into first 4 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (25 sts)
RND 18: *sc into first 3 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (20 sts)
Place eyes and embroider mouth and eyebrows now.
RND 19: *sc into first 2 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (15 sts)
Now we start the body shape
RND 20: *sc in first 2 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (20 sts)
RND 21: *sc in first 3 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (25 sts)
RND 22-27: sc into each st around (25 sts)
RND 28: *sc in first 4 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (30 sts)
RND 29: *sc into first 2 st , 2 sc in next st* repeat around (40 sts)
RND 30-33: sc into each st around (40)
stuff head and nose section to your desired firmness level.
RND 34: *sc into first 6 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (35 sts)
RND 35: *sc into first 5 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (30 sts)
RND 36: *sc into first 4 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (25 sts)
RND 37: *sc into first 3 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (20 sts)
RND 38: *sc into first 2 sts, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (15 sts)
stuff body
RND 39: *sc into first st, dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (10 sts)
RND 40: *dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (5 sts)
Finish off and sew shut.

Arms(make 2)
5 sc into magic ring
RND 1: 2 sc into each st around (10 sts)
RND 2: sc into each st around (10 sts)
RND 3: *sc in first 4 st, 2 sc into next st* repeat around (12 sts)
RND 3-4: sc into each st around (12 sts)
RND 5: *dec over next 2 sts* repeat around (6 sts)
RND 6-11: sc into each st around (6sts)
Finish off, leave long tail for sewing. Stuff only the widest part of arms.

Legs (make 2)
6 sc into magic ring
RND 1-11: sc into each st around (6)
Finish off, leave tail for sewing. Legs are not stuffed.

Feet (make 2)

4 sc into magic ring
RND 1: 3 sc into first st, 2 sc into each st around (9 sts)
RND 2: 2 sc into each st around (18 sts)
RND 3-5: sc into each st around (18 sts)
RND 6: *sc into first 7 sts, dec over next two sts* repeat around (16 sts)
RND 7: *sc into first 2 sts, dec over next two sts* repeat around (12 sts)
RND 8: *sc into first st, dec over next two sts* repeat around (8 sts)
stuff foot
RND 9: *dec over next two sts* repeat around (4 sts)
Finish off. sew shut.

This is a flat piece worked in rows, not rounds.

ch 22
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook, sc in each chain space across, ch1, turn (21 sts)
Row 2-3: sc in each st across, ch1, turn (21 sts)
Row 4: in back loop only *sc in first 2 sts, 2 sc in next stitch* repeat across, ch1, turn (28 sts)
Row 5: *2 sc in first 6 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat across, ch1, turn (32 sts)
Row 6: sc in first 6 sts, ch 5, skip 5 sts, sc in next 10 sts, ch 5, skip 5 sts, sc in last 6 sts.
Row 7: sc in each st across, crocheting into chain spaces when necessary (32 sts)
Row 8-9: sc in each st across, (32 sts)
Row 10: *sc in first 7 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat across, ch1, turn (36 sts)
Row 11: *sc in first 8 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat across, ch1, turn (40 sts)
Row 12: sc in each st across, ch1, turn (40 sts)
Row 13: sc in each st across (40 sts), finish off, weave in tails on wrong side.


You can do the stripe on the hat in one of two ways, either cut a strip of felt out and glue it around the hat, or change to your stripe colour of yarn for Rows 5-7, and then go back to the main colour.

Note: The hat needs to be crocheted in circular rows, rather than spirals otherwise it will be crooked. To do this you need to slip stitch at the end of each row and make a chain.

5 sc in magic ring, but join end of ring with a slip stitch, then chain 1.
Row 1: 2 sc in each st around, slip stitch into first stitch (10 sts)
Row 2: ch1, *sc in first st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around, sl st into first stitch (15 sts)
Row 3: ch1, *sc in first 2 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around, sl st into first stitch (20 sts)
Row 4-7: ch1, sc into each st around, sl st into first st (20 sts)
Row 8: ch1 Front Loop Only *sc in first 3 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around, sl st into first st (25 sts)
Row 9: ch1, *sc in first 4 sts, 2 sc in next st* repeat around, sl st into first st (30 sts)
Row 10: ch1, sc in each sts around, sl st into first st (30 sts)
Finish off, weave in end on underside.

Wrap the vest around Smiley’s body and use pins to hold it in place. Pin arms to body centering them in the arm holes of the vest. Whipstitch arms to body (you may need to remove the vest to do this. The holes in the vest should be large enough and should stretch enough that you can put the vest back on Smiley’s body after the arms are sewn on.)
Sew feet to legs and attach legs to body. Secure and hide all thread tails.

Use a glue gun or wool to attach the hat to Smiley’s head. You may also want to tack down the vest with glue or stitch it in a couple of places with yarn.


(Check out my other Boneville related free patterns in the left sidebar.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Boneville Family Portrait!

Just finished crocheting a few hours ago and wanted to show off the whole Bone crew happily sitting down together for a family photo. For those not in the know, these are the main characters from Jeff Smith's wonderful Bone comic. From left to right we have Bartleby the Baby Rat Creature, his best pal Smiley, Fone Bone, and Phoney Bone.

Getting these four guys done was a project that I started back in March. Although I didn't really know it was a project when I made up the pattern and crocheted Fone Bone. Then it was so easy to do Phoney because his body was so similar to Fone, plus Phoney's always been my favourite. Then I had to do Bartleby because he's the cutest. I didn't really plan on making Smiley, but it just seemed odd to have the baby rat creature without him. I'd never been much of a Smiley fan. For the most part I found him irritating. Then while rereading Ghost Circles in the new colourized Scholastic edition I came across this panel on page 55:

Something about this made me rethink Smiley's character a bit and consider him from a different perspective. Maybe he's a lot more intelligent than I'd given him credit for previously, Plus the way he befriends and cares for a baby rat creature, despite the villagers' hatred for the rats, is pretty admirable.

So, at last I've put together a Smiley Bone and now my collection is complete...okay, maybe not complete. I'm thinking of making one of the bees since I still have a full bag of red stones to make the eyes with, and maybe someday the pair of quiche-loving adult rat creatures. The boyfriend is thinking of making a clay version of Ted the bug and maybe someday Fone will need a Thorn to moon over...

In another post I'll be putting up the full pattern for Smiley. I reworked the nose piece from what I'd done for the previous cousins to make it a little longer and narrower. Smiley's head is actually narrower than the other two and he's about an inch taller than them. I know in the picture he looks about the same height as Phoney, but I did make him bigger. His torso is longer and his legs and arms are double the length of his cousins'.

I spent some time debating the colours for Smiley's clothes since they seem to change a bit throughout the Scholastic books. Sometimes the vest is black with brown trim, other times it's completely brown. The bowler hat disappears after the first two or three graphic novels, as does the cigar. Do they make a reappearance in the final issue? I don't have a copy and it's been years since I've read it. I decided to keep the bowler hat, but lose the cigar, mostly because I figured it would be hard to position on his mouth. If I ever make another Smiley I'll invest in some small magnets then I can put one inside his mouth and one in the end of the cigar so it can be removeable.

Want the Pattern?

All my Boneville related patterns are free and you can find them in the left sidebar under "My Free Patterns." Expect the Smiley pattern to go up sometime this week. And now I leave you with one final picture:

Bartleby and Smiley about to indulge in their favourite snack.

Comic picture from Jeff Smilth's Treasure Hunters, Scholastic edition, page 88.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Few Renovations

If you're a regular visitor here you may have noticed I've made some changes to the left sidebar. For now I've added a picture, a Blog List and a subscription button. I also put a link to my 100th post under Crafty Favourites since I figure it explains any long absences I may be taking from the blog. Hopefully more readers will stumble across it there than in the acrhives.

I'm not sure if the changes will be permanent or not. I already have a couple of quibbles with the Blog list. For some blogs it takes you to the homepage for the blog while for others, specifically I've noticed this with Sprite Stitch, it only takes you to the most recent post. I'm also unable to add Geek Central Station to the list even though it's on Blogger! For now GCS will stay in the Crafty Favourites cause I certainly don't want to give up the quick link to it.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think of the changes. If anything isn't working for you I'd like to know about it.

Also, some of you will be happy to know I'm working on the Smiley Bone pattern now. As in right now, as soon as I log off from Blogger. His body and arms are complete and I'm about to tackle the vest. I should have a picture to post tomorrow, and if things go really well, I may even have the pattern written up by tomorrow evening. I've been making notes as I go which is much easier than trying to write the pattern after you've finished the crocheting!

Want the Pattern?

Can you believe I actually found a picture of a crocheted pylon? This comes from Etsy user theselovinghands and the pattern is available for $3.50 U.S.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Scarymerry Clay Knitting Accessories! Cute Thing of the Week!

The only knitting stitch markers I own are a set of boring white plastic rings that came with my first "Learn to Knit" kit. They certainly do the trick when you need to mark your place, but if I was ever going to splurge and treat my needles to some fancy markers I think I'd start looking at Scarymerry's Etsy shop.

I really couldn't pick just one set from this store to be the Cute Thing of the Week because everything shop owner Mary makes is amazing. I love when people create food with clay and it looks so delicious it makes my mouth water. Mary has a fine menu of clay food here as well as pop culture characters, novelty items and animals. I'm showing off a few of my favourites, but please take a moment and check out the shop for yourself.

And be warned, items move fast. Last night I was eyeing a set of sushi markers and today they're gone!

Glow in the Dark Yarn

I just got an e-newsletter the other day telling me about Bernat's new Glow in the Dark yarn and I have to say it' s piqued my curiousity. Has anyone tried this stuff yet? If so, please post a comment and tell me what you think.

With Halloween just a month away I think this stuff would be perfect for some little amigurumi ghosts and goblins. I'm just wondering how much it actually glows, since I suspect that all the finished product photos Bernat is using with their patterns have received an enhanced glow from some photo editing software. Just a suspicion, no proof here.

I was down at the local Michael's store today and noticed they are carrying this stuff. It's about $5 Cdn for a 1.4 oz ball, which was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for a 3.5 oz ball for about that price. Of course the little 1.4 oz ball would be enough for a small amigurumi (pretty costly if you wanted to make a novelty scarf though) and I was impressed with the feel of the wool. It's about as soft as Bernat's Satin line, which was surprising, I had expected the glow in the dark fibres to make it feel pretty coarse. So maybe I'll go back...after all, the newsletter is warning me that it will only be available for a limited time.

Seeing the ad for this stuff made me wonder if this is the first time a glow in the dark yarn has been created for the general public. A little poking around on the internet and I discovered Nightlights Glow in the Dark Yarn which is 100% nylon and glows "for up to 4 hours when charged under a light source for 1 hour." In comparison Bernat's product, according to the fine print, only glows for 15 minutes, but will also recharge in 15 minutes.

Flickr user avamil used a combination of Nightlights Glow in the Dark yarn and a homespun merino wool to knit this scarf.