Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cthulhu Cousin Collage!

I'm sort of killing two birds with one stone here. Or maybe the new adage should be killing two pigs with one bird...Anyways, I thought I'd post a few more of the great cthulhus that readers have been making with my patterns and try out my new HP Photosmart Create software at the same time.

Okay, I'll be honest, I don't know if this is new software. I was checking what was in some of the folders on my harddrive and I came across this. It may have been part of a recent software update from HP, or it may be that it's been on my harddrive for years. Still, it's a neat little program that allows you to drop .jpegs into predesigned layouts, without the hassle of having to crop or rotate the photos yourself. Quite fun!

But enough about software, let's talk about cthulhus! In the top left corner is a great little cthulhu, who looks like he's wearing a Hawaiian shirt, created by Nita. Top right is a cuddly cthulhu stitch up by Helen. In the bottom left Augusta crafter stitched up a tiny cthulhu in what I think is a wonderful shade of blue. Nekochan is hoping that her cthuhu, in the bottom right, has an evil spark in his eyes. I think he does! I also like how he appears to have a backpack clip or some other type of hook coming out of his head, perfect for travel.

Finally, I'm going to give honorable mention to the blue cuddly cthulhu in the middle that was created by Raven Corinn Carluk. It's hard to tell from the picture, but he's actually a mini-cthulhu. Raven wrote, "He's DMC size 5 color works thread, done with a #3 (2.25mm) hook. The eyes are glass buttons I found at Joann's. He took about six or seven hours total to make, because I'm still new to crochet."

For a beginner project I think he looks terrific and I love the eerie quality that the glass eyes give this little monster. Plus, I don't think I'd have the patience to stitch a cthulhu with a 2.25mm hook, but the results are wonderful.

Thanks to everyone for sending in their pictures showing me how you've been using my patterns. As always, if you'd like to share your project feel free to post a link to a picture in the comments section for the appropriate pattern or send me a .jpg at the email address you see in the top left corner of the blog.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Magaret Sherry Cats

Someday I'll have a craft room and these cats will decorate it. For now, I'll have to settle for them decorating our computer room (where I blog about my crafts).

I just finished the last of these two over the weekend. They are Margaret Sherry's Knit One (to the left) and Roly Purrly (below) which were initially published by Heritage Stitchcraft.

Most of Margaret Sherry's older patterns are out of print, but I was lucky enough to find Loving Stitch still had copies of these ones available for a reasonable price.

I stitched both on a 32 count cream linen. The smaller one, with the pink ball of yarn, is in a 4 inch flexi-hoop, while the larger is in a 6 inch flexi hoop.

I guess I could consider the whole project an endangered species, as much like Margaret Sherry patterns, I'm finding the flexi-hoops are becoming harder and harder to come by in my area.

There is also a third cross stitched cat in the series entitled Purr One, but despite much searching of the internet I wasn't able to find a copy available anywhere. If anyone has a copy they'd like to trade, share, or sell feel free to drop me an email message at the address you see in the top left corner of the blog. I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hoping to Prevent a few Skein Headaches...

I spent the better part of a week trying to unknot this 800 yard skein of yarn and convert it into a useable ball, with the assistance of the boyfriend. (Who was not only wise and witty, but also very patient!)

I tend to have bad luck with skeins and in this case the second I cut the two ends free and gave one a tug it seemed I had a gigantic clump of knots. I think the only thing that prevented me from tearing my hair out was the fact that the yarn in question was partially rayon and quite slippery. Rather then ending up with tight knots, the yarn was slippery and easy to untangle, but incredibly time consuming.

Not wanting to go through the same headaches with other skeins I have waiting to be unravelled, I thought I'd turn to the internet for some advice. After all, I'm sure I'm not the only one that is skein challenged out there.

Out of my searching comes this video, courtesy of Twenty Pound Tabby, that demonstrates how to untwist a skein of yarn:

Followed by a Part 2, which shows how to wind a skein into a ball:

I think there's some great advice in these videos, plus I'm totally digging the instructor's Animal t-shirt!

My purpose for sharing this is twofold. First, I'm hoping it will help some other knitters and crocheters who are plagued by tangled skeins. Second, I was hoping we could get a discussion going in the comments section for further tips, advice or questions about unravelling skeins. Have you seen any other great advice related to this elsewhere on the web? If so, feel free to share a link or tell us about your own skein unravelling experiences.

I don't buy skeins too often so I don't want to invest a lot of money in gadgets like the ball winder or an umbrella swift. We don't even have any four post legged chairs, like the one in the video, in our house. I'm looking at the knobs on our bi-fold closet though and wondering if I could use them in place of the chair legs? Any other ideas for common household items that could make the skein unravelling/ball winding process easier? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catching Up on Cthulhus!

I know things have been a little quiet at Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins lately. I was away on vacation for a while, (more on that in an upcoming post). I've been working on a large crafty project that I won't be able to show in the blog until after the Christmas holidays, and our vacation was followed by several weeks of internet connection problems. Now the large project is finished and the internet connection seems to be connected once more, so hopefully I can get back to more frequent posting.

First off, I thought I'd show a few more of the terrific critters that fellow stitchers have been making with my Tiny Cthulhu and Cuddly Cthulhu patterns. (Check out the left sidebar for the free patterns).

In the top left of this post you see the awesome and fiery maroon cthulhu created by Miss Crafty. I really like the button eyes on this one. I think they really suit the colours of yarn that were chosen.

And speaking of great eye choices, these stitched eyes that Amber J. used on her cthulhu are giving him a look of wide-eyed innocence that I'm sure will easily lure victims into his clutches.

Someday I should do a post that just shows all the pictures readers have sent me of their cthulhus posing with cats because there are a lot of them. What is it about cats and cthulhus that draws them together? You know, I have yet to be sent a picture of one of our cthulhu cousins posing with a dog. Why is that? Perhaps cats just have more of an affinity with evil that draws them to the dreaded cthulhu? This latest instalment of Cats & Cthulhus comes from crocheter Sam B. and looks quite cheerful.

SuziQ put together this Cuddly Cthulhu. Aww, isn't she pretty in pink? I don't know, maybe that bow is making her angry.

Now here's a more traditional Cuddly Cthulhu courtesy of Elizabeth. In her message she mentions that this was her first time making something beyond blankets and scarves, and I think it turned out great! Elizabeth was inspired to make the Cuddly Cthulhu for a friend who's hard to shop for, but happens to be an H.P. Lovecraft fan.

I guess it's only natural that over time the Tiny Cthulhu would evolve legs and learn to walk on the land. This latest link in the evolutionary chain was created and captured on film by Belruel.

Not to worry though, I still find the legless Tiny Cthulhu absolutely adorable as well, especially this fine little cthulhu crocheted by Sam. (That's a different Sam than the one who made the cthulhu posing with kitty above.)

Wait a minute, this isn't a cthulhu! I was incredibly happy to receive an email from Michelle B. who completed this Smiley Bone as a Christmas present for her sister-in-law. While I get lots of pictures of cthulhus (thank you everyone!), I don't often see pictures from people who have crocheted the Bone cousins using my patterns. Thanks Michelle, he looks wonderful!

Once again thanks to everyone who sent in pictures of the things they've been making. If you have a picture you want to share you can post a link to it at the bottom of the pattern you used, or send me an email at the address you see in the top left of the blog.

There are plenty more great cthulhus pictures that readers have sent me which I'll try to post over the coming weeks/months. I'm also hoping to get up some pictures of projects that I've been working on lately. That's right, crafting is happening, I just haven't had a chance to blog about it...Stay tuned everyone, and thanks for visiting Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins!