Friday, August 29, 2008

Katamari Prince Baby Hat! Cute Thing of the Week!

There's every chance in the world that when your adorable little baby grows into a dreaded teenager he/she will consider this the most embarassing picture in the album. Not to mention the evidence they pull out whenever they want to convince anyone that their parents are certifiably weird. Until then you will have a few good years to ooh and ahhh over how adorable it is. Along with the hat maybe you could put velcro on baby's jumper so that it picks things up as it rolls around on the floor. Too much? Maybe, but I'm loving this hat.

Want the Pattern?

This was crocheted by Veronica of Itchy Stitchy and not only did she make this fabulous piece, she was kind enough to post the pattern for free. Click the link to view it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dr. Horrible Ponies! Bonus Cute Thing of the Week!

Remember how I wasn't going to be posting much this week because we're on vacation? Oh well, this one was just too cool to pass up. It's not crochet or knitting, but it's definately a great craft and possibly a little bit like art. (Well, if I had these things in my home I'd be calling them art!) I couldn't find the name of the creator, but these come via and you can view more pictures and read more about how they were made here in the Dr. Horrible gallery. I've still got a whole bag of My Little Ponies (classic 80's style) stored at my parents' house. Maybe it's time to bring them out for a makeover (insert evil laugh here.)

"Yes, Captain Hammer's here. Hair blowing in the breeze. The day needs my saving expertise."

"It's curtains for you Dr. Horrible, lacy gently wafting curtains."

You kind of have to wonder, don't you? Is this Bad Horse's ultimate plan? To turn everyone into horses. It's worth considering I think...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcoming a New Cousin!

We're welcoming another cousin here at Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins today. This Fone Bone, or Leppo Luupään as he's called in Finnish, was made by Elina who is from Helsinki, Finland. Elina is a big fan of Jeff Smith's work as the collection of graphic novels behind Fone here will attest. I can't read Finnish so I had to rely on a Google translation to read Elina's blog entry. Even though the translation probably isn't perfect I think her description of the comics is just wonderful:

"Seldom one and the same [series] has offered as much sweet laughter and breathtaking tension."

I just picked up a copy of Bone Volume 8: Treasure Hunters the other day. I read all the comics in their original black and white state when they were first released. I didn't collect the series then so now I'm picking it up as it's released in these beautiful colourized editions. Definitely worth waiting for. Anyways, I haven't had a chance to reread it yet, but just flipping through the pictures I'm feeling seriously inspired to start working on the Smiley Bone pattern. I think his body will be easy, but I'm still freaked out about making his vest. I'm not sure why. I guess because I've never crocheted any clothes before. At least it's a tiny piece of clothing.

I think I want to make his bowler hat too and maybe the cigar. It seems to me the hat and cigar disappear from the series after the first few issues. Is that right? Does anyone else remember? I'm not sure if getting rid of the cigar smoking would have been a choice Smith made for the sake of political correctness, or if it just wasn't practical for Smiley to be smoking when they were always running for their lives...

Want the Pattern?

Check the sidebar on the left under "My Free Patterns" for the Fone, Phoney and Bartleby patterns.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ami Discworld! Cute Thing of the Week!

June's ami animals are pretty cute all on their own, but the fact that she's found a way to make them into a literary reference makes them even cooler. Depicted here is the Discworld as described in the novel series by the same name written by the wonderful Terry Pratchett. I'm by no means an expert on Discworld, but I have read a few of the novels from time to time and at one time was coveting an cross stitch pattern that depicted this very scene. I think I like this crocheted 3D model even better! Not to mention the fact that June went to the trouble of studying the available Discworld maps so that her planet would be an accurate depiction. I probably would have cheated and just used a map of Earth. You can read more about this fabulous project and pay June your compliments at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The 100th Post!

Can you believe it? We’ve reached the 100th post here at Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins. Admittedly when I started this blog I figured a 100th post would be something that would happen many years in the future, but for the last few weeks I’ve seen it creeping closer and closer and that was pretty exciting.

I’ve had some personal news that I’ve wanted to share with everyone who reads this blog so I figure there’s probably no better time than a monumental post to share. So in the classic words of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth:

Good News Everybody!

Like Farnsworth, my news is both good and bad. Wait a minute, is Farnsworth’s news ever good? The good side is that I’m going back to school in September to obtain my teaching degree. I’m going to be specializing in working with elementary school-aged ESL students which is something I really enjoy and which plays off the work I’ve been doing for the past few years. I haven’t been a full-time student since 1999 so it’s going to be a big change, quitting a job I’ve had for eight years, getting up at 6 a.m. to commute to school, doing homework, studying for exams. Big changes...

And that means big changes for Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins too. I’m not exactly sure what the changes will be yet, but I think the main change is going to be a lot less posts. I can’t judge yet how busy I’ll be with school, but I have a feeling that I won’t have as much time to surf the net looking for cool crafty projects. Sadly, I’ll probably also have a lot less time for crafting my own cool projects, so I won’t have as many of my own patterns to share. Still, I don’t want to shut the site down entirely. There will definitely be updates, just not the 2-4 a week that I manage to pull off now.

For the past few years I’ve worked part-time as a freelance writer and in doing so I’ve spent a lot of time researching and writing about things that don’t particularly interest me. Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins was born out of that. I wanted to take the research and writing skills I had and apply them to something I liked, something I would enjoy learning more about. I’m so happy that so many of you stop by here to read about those things.

The goal was always for the site to be fun, and if it wasn’t fun I wouldn’t do it. When I started I figured I’d post something a couple times a month, but you can see from the archives I ended up enjoying this even more than I thought I would.

There were a lot of pleasant surprises that came out of this blog. I knew my friends would read it, but I never imagined I’d be averaging 200 hits a day. As of the time when I’m writing this the stat counter is at 48,176. I never expected to have that many visitors.

I never expected that a reader would be so charmed by my Bone pattern that she’d track down French versions of the comic and become a fan. Or that another reader would read my post about Crochet Me’s plan to get Joss Whedon’s attention and be motivated to crochet her own Dr. Horrible for the cause. Or that I’d stumble into crochet forums and find people talking about my patterns and whether or not I’d ever put up a Smiley Bone pattern to go with the other two cousins. (Smiley is coming someday, I promise) Or that some of my creatures would travel across the world to Australia to help out kids in need. Or that people would actually use the patterns I put up on the site and post pictures of the things they made with them. Very cool! I love seeing what my patterns turn into in other people’s hands.

So, this is not goodbye dear readers. More like a reassurance that I haven’t forgotten you and if you don’t hear from me for a while, I assure you I have not dropped off the face of the earth or been kidnapped by aliens. My job ends Aug. 25 and after that the boyfriend, who is both wise and witty (and who gets credit for stuffing nearly all of the critters pictured above) and I are going to be taking a week off together. After that it’s back to school.

I want to say thank you to everyone who has ever visited Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins or featured something of mine on their own site or blog. And also a special thank you to everyone who has left comments over the course of the past 99 posts. It’s so wonderful to hear from and get to know other members of the crafty community.


Monday, August 18, 2008

On Sale Now...

Those of you who are regular readers of Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins may recall my mentioning Softies for Mirabel before and may have noticed a few of my other posts chronicling the journey of these two critters that the boyfriend and I made for the campaign. Now these little guys are on the auction block and you have until 14:06:34 AEST on August 19 to bid on them. I don't have an Etsy store and I don't sell my creations in any other way, so if you want a set of amber originals this is going to be your only way to get them. Not to mention, the proceeds will go to a really great cause, helping children in Australia whose lives have been affected by substance abuse.

You can view the auction (and bid!) at the Australian E-bay site. Bidding started at AU $25 and Mike's is willing to ship these guys anywhere in North or South America, Europe, Asia or Australia.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Adventure Island Coaster Set!

I'm sure that for many Adventure Island is just another poor cousin of Super Mario Brothers, but I've always had a fondness for this game. I remember it used to get a bit mind boggling if you switched back and forth between Mario and Adventure Island because in Mario you're expected to jump on your enemies to destroy them, where as in Adventure Island touching any of the "baddies" leads to certain death. Of course, the graphics of Master Higgins, your main character, dying are generally so cute it's worth killing him a few times just to get a laugh.

If you're not familiar with the game...well, it's weird. In the way that many '80s Nintendo games are weird. Master Higgins's and his girlfriend are usually sitting around together at the beginning of the game when suddenly she's kidnapped by aliens/monsters/wizards/whatever and suddenly Higgins is off on a side-scrolling romp through the forest to find her, armed with an unending supply of hammers which he can throw at his enemies. His most common enemy, by the way, is a snail. It moves 2 mm (1/8 of an inch) per minute. You'd pretty much have time to get up and make yourself a sandwich before any of these snails could hurt you, if you didn't need to keep Higgins moving constantly to collect fruit and replenish the energy bar at the top of the screen. The fruit appears randomly in the trees and in the sky. Pieces of meat that look like chicken or turkey drumsticks also appear in the trees. Yeah, in the trees, like they're growing there.

Are you still following this? Sometimes you get a new power and he can throw a boomerang instead the hammer. Sometimes he rides a the jungle...on grass? Sometimes you unlock a small Honey Bee that flies along side you and gives you invincibility for a time. Starting with Adventure Island II, you can unlock a series of dinosaurs which each have a special "power" to "help" you in the game. These dinosaurs are adorable, as you can see from the coasters, but often more nuisance than help.

The game designers either thought they were being funny, or were just plain evil, because way too often you end up with the dinosaur that is the least likely to be helpful....Look you're in the world that's made of ice, but instead of the blue dino who can walk on ice, we'll give you the purple one that only moves well in water. Thanks game! Lots of cliffs, so you'd like to fly over them with the pteradactyl. Sorry, you have to take the annoying triceratops who rolls when you jump!

Strange dinosaur/world match-ups aside, I love this game. I love the look of it, the skateboard in the jungle, the surreal enemies and the general all-round weirdness of it. I like that the blue and red dino are the exact same design and that the plesiosaur kinda looks like he's wearing sunglasses, (which you would totally need if your specialty was deep-sea diving, right?) Sadly I never did manage to finish the game and reunite Higgins with his girlfriend, but maybe someday.

It's possible to get copies of the old NES Adventure Island games that will play on the Wii and you can also play it on your computer if you download the right software. Not that ambitious...try searching for "Adventure Island walkthrough" on YouTube and you can watch other people play the game.

And now a few words about the coasters...
A few posts back I provided this tutorial on how to convert game sprites into Perler bead patterns, so I think that sufficiently explains how these were made. The purple plesiosaur was the largest, taking four Perler bead boards hooked together to make. And the triceratops was the biggest headache because it took me forever to find a picture of him. Turns out he doesn't appear until Adventure Island III, but I'd only been looking for pictures from Adventure Island II. The sprites for this set come from RetroGameZone.

We accidently got a bit too much Gorilla Glue on some of these when we were attaching the cork. You can see it in the close-ups, but I'm hoping it will get worn away over time as we use the coasters. I'd also been hoping to make the pteradactyl in a lighter shade of purple, but didn't have enough beads in that colour. Aside from that I'm really impressed with how these turned out. When we finally had them all done and laid out on the table I had a great nostalgic rush. Just looking at these guys makes me happy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Cookie Monster! Cute Thing of the Week!

Cookie Monster should feel pretty darn proud of himself, so far he's the only character to be named Cute Thing of the Week twice. I'm pretty sure if people keep crafting Cookie Monsters as cute as this I'll be able to completely forget my childhood fear of him. Look at this guy. Way too busy chowing down on cookies to eat me, right?

This Cookie Monster was created by Craftster user Maggielove who made him up without a pattern and says it took about 200g of fancy yarn. Very cute! Check out more pictures and post your compliments here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Horrible, Horribly Cute That Is!

Blueinsideout saw my post about Crochet Me's plan to get Joss Whedon's attention and was inspired to create this wonderful crochet version of Dr. Horrible. How cool is that? I love his little goggles and that earnest(?) expression on his face. Very cute and I swear I would have posted this earlier except that I got distracted yesterday and spent all my internet time watching clips of the Dr. Horrible panel from ComicCon on YouTube. Someday, someday, I will go to ComicCon! But until then I appreciate the ability to live vicariously through YouTube. Check out some of the videos yourself by typing "Dr. Horrible Comic Con" into their search engine.

And pictured below, another great piece of Dr. Horrible inspired creativity that I found on Flickr. This depicts a scene from Part 2 and is called Dr. Horrible vs. The Hammer. It was created by Dunechaser.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tiny Yarn Animals - Now Available

Just wanted to remind everyone that Tamie Snow's book, Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy is now available. Tamie is the person behind Roxycraft a wonderful resource of free patterns for amigurumi and crochet fans. I haven't had a chance to pick this one up yet, but it's definitely on my wish list. I can't wait to see what other surprises are waiting behind this adorable cover. Expect a review once I finally get the book and find the time to make something from it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ninja Cozy Tutorial!

I just made this ninja cozy for my iPod and thought I'd share my quick and easy instructions for cozy making. Not really a pattern, just a description of how I go about doing this. It's a suitable method for iPod cozies, cell phone cozies, or any other small electronic device that you want to keep safe from scratches.

Choose some yarn that you like and a hook size that's comfortable for working with the yarn you've chosen. You won't need much, probably less than 50 grams. Aside from that you may want some notions like googly eyes, felt, sequins, flat-backed rhinestones or other costume jewels. You'll also need one button, any size or shape, to hold the cozy shut and a small amount of thread to sew the button on.

To Begin

Start by making a chain that is long enough to go around the widest part of your iPod so that the first and last chains just touch each other when you wrap it around. I'm working with an iPod nano here and the chain I made (with an H Hook) was 20 ch long. When your chain is long enough slip stitch into the first chain you made, now chain 2.

The Body

The body of the cozy is worked in half-double crochet stitches and it is done in rounds. Start by making a hdc stitch into each chain space around, then sl st into the top of the ch 2 that you made in the last step to close the round. Begin each new round with a chain 2. It's important to work in rounds rather than spirals otherwise the closing flap will come out crooked at the end.

Continue with hdc stitches around and a sl st to close each round until the cozy is long enough to cover the entire length of your iPod. For me this took 9 rounds. Once it is long enough, make only a ch1 after your sl st.

The Flap

How many stitches do you have in your round? Half of your stitches will be used to make the flap. For my nano cozy I had twenty stitches so I'm going to use that number as an example. Adjust these instructions accordingly, depending how many stitches you have.

Single Crochet into the first 10 stitches, then hdc in the last 10 stitches. Do not sl stitch to close the round. Instead chain 2, turn and hdc back across the 10 hdc stitches you made in the last round. You'll now work in rows, making a turning chain of 2 at the end of each row.

You want to work this flap piece until it covers about one third of your cozy when folded over. Then it will be time to make the button hole.

The Button Hole

Button holes will stretch a bit over time, so don't be afraid to make the hole kind of tight. To make the button hole you'll need to make a couple of chains in the middle of your next row. My button hole row was done like this.

sc 4, ch 2, sc 4.

The number of chains you need will depend on how wide you need to make the button hole. At the end of this row make your ch 2 turning chain as usual and then do another row of hdc across, stitching into the chains in the middle of the last row when necessary. See how that makes an nice hole in the middle?

To finish off the flap, I like to ch 1, turn and do a final row of single crochet across. Then finish off and weave in the end of the yarn.

Finishing up

Use matching thread or yarn to whip stitch the bottom of your cozy shut. If you're making the cozy for an iPod or other music player you may want to leave a hole approx. 1/4 of an inch wide on the side where the headphones plug in so that you can listen to music while your player is in its cozy.

Hold the flap down where it will sit and position the button where you need it. Sew it on with thread, securing tightly. Weave in the end of the thread on the wrong side of your cozy.


Decorate your cozy or give it a face and some personality if you like. I generally just use a low temperature glue gun or Gorilla glue to stick things to the cozy. Just be sure you don't use anything like safety eyes that will poke through the cozy and scratch the item you're trying to protect.

Enjoy! And as always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to post them.

Another crazy cozy. I made this one for a friend a few months back. That curly bit in the top right is just a loop of chain I made so that the cozy could be attached to things.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Looking for Suggestions...

I need some help dear readers. On Friday a friend and I went on a field trip to a couple of local yarn stores. This was the first time I'd been anywhere other than a Michael's, Zellers or Wal-Mart to buy wool and it was a great experience. (I'd become addicted if only my wallet could handle the strain.) Of course being in a new place I had to bring home a couple treats for myself. The downside of this is I usually come up with the craft project first and then buy the supplies afterwards. So this feels a little backwards. 

I have some beautiful yarn and no idea what to do with it. This is where you come in. If anyone has any suggestions as to what I can make with either of these please post a comment and share your thoughts. I've only bought 150 grams of each colour which isn't much. Probably enough to make a hat or scarf or other one skein project. A small bag of some sort? I don't know. Let me know what you think, and of course, share the links if you can think of a free online pattern (in either knitting or crochet) that would suit either of these. 

Now, a little bit more information about these yarns...

I purchased this at our first stop. A store called Knitopia, which I'm a little embarrassed to admit, has been located less than a five minute drive from my home since Sept. 2007. I just discovered it was there a couple weeks ago when I was doing an online search for wool stores near my workplace. (Turns out there are no wool shops near my workplace, but having one close to home is even better!) This is called Ornaghi filati and it's made in Italy. Very soft, very bright, and I just really liked that line of shimmery fabric twisted in with the wool. The panda bear on the label makes their products stand out in the store and from what I could see their whole line is beautiful.

This came from our second stop, Woolaroo. I've known about this store for a while, but just never had the chance to make a trip out to see it. It's about a 30-45 minute drive from home and while they had some nice stuff, most of the products I liked were also available at Knitopia. Now I know the good stuff is right here in town and the next time I want some specialty products I won't have to make the longer drive. The day we were there the store happened to be having a 40 per cent off sale on all yarn, so I did pick up 150 grams of this. It's Friends Trends #13 Brown Fantasy by Adriafil, another Italian company. Very soft and these warm colours really appealed to me. It needs to be made into something cozy for winter...

So, there you go. That's my show and tell for today. Got any patterns that will look good in these yarns? If you do please post a comment and share the links. I welcome all suggestions!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pensive Cthulhu! Cute Thing of the Week!

I originally spotted this little guy over at, which is always a great source of inspiration. He was stitched by flickr user HereBeDragons who says that she improvised him from two different Cthulhu patterns. I'm not sure if either of the patterns that inspired her were mine or not, but we here at Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins are obviously great supporters all things Cthulhu, particularly when they are crocheted, and especially when they look as sweet and thoughtful as this little old one does. Don't you just want to give him a hug?