Monday, September 26, 2011

Cthulhu Cousins - Looking Good in Green!

It wasn't until after I had put together this collection of cthulhu cousins that I realized they were all in different shades of green. Despite being similar in colour, it's easy to see that they each have their own unique look!

In the top left corner is Psychogere's tiny cthulhu. Those red eyes are making it look pretty scary!

Rob created that cthulhu in top right that's posing with its favourite book. Rob wrote that he is new to amigurmi and that this cthulhu had some "teething troubles", but I think it turned out great.

On the bottom left is a lovely tiny cthulhu that was stitched by Chelsea. She also writes that this was her first crochet project and I think she did a terrific job.

Just below Chelsea's cthulhu on the lower bottom left is Tuome's tiny cthulhu. I love those big eyes on her cthulhu and the way it's blending in with the foliage. I may just have to use this photo as a desktop wallpaper someday.

I really like the jade coloured eyes that you see on the cthulhu in the bottom right. This one was stitched by Amanda.

Move over Johnny Depp, there's a new pirate in town! There in the middle is the Dread Pirate Cthulhu that was stitched by Emilie. I'm actually going to share a larger photo of this one, just so you can see all the detail that Emilie put into this project. Very cute! I love his little peg leg!

And because it was such a great photo, I'm also going to share this larger picture of Tuome's cthulhu. Isn't that a sweet photo?

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share pictures of their completed projects. It's always great to see my patterns in use. If you want to make a cthulhu of your own, the patterns are available in the left sidebar under the My Free Patterns heading.

Have you made a cthulhu or one of my other patterns? Got a picture to share? If so, feel free to email me a copy at the address you see in top left of the blog, or post a link in the comments section for the pattern you used!

Happy stitching everyone!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Here Be Dragons

I've had my eye on Lucy Ravenscar's Fierce Little Dragon pattern for a long time. And at last I had some time and some yarn that I suspected would be perfect for giving it a try. The pattern is available as a free download, and while there are lots of parts to these dragons, the instructions were quite straightforward and there are plenty of pictures you can use as references when it's time to stitch everything together.

My first dragon was made using some James C. Brett marble chunky Jeweltone that I had left over from the V-Stitch afghan. This is a chunkier yarn than what is recommended for the pattern so I upped the crochet hook size and ended up with a rather sizeable (more than 2 foot long) pet dragon.

My crafty friend Lisa has made a few of these dragons, and I can see why, the pattern is highly addictive. After putting together the first dragon, I couldn't resist making him a companion. I wanted this second one to be a bit smaller, so it's made with Patons Astra sport weight yarn in Purple.

It turned out about a foot and a half long and is much stiffer than the first dragon, making the wings sit more rigidly. It is also quite lightweight. One of these dragons made in sport weight could easily rest on a persons shoulders with the assistance of a couple safety pins. Now wouldn't that be great for a Renaissance fair or costume party?

Now, don't ask me to choose a favourite because I'm very happy with how both of these turned out, and I'm resisting the impulse to fill the entire house with dragons. Ultimately, I think I'm going to be keeping the larger dragon, and the little purple one is going to be going to charity (more on that in a future post). But for now, they can frolic together and guard our living room.

Want the Pattern?

Lucy Ravenscar's Fierce Little Dragon pattern is available as a free .pdf via Ravelry.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New to the Blog List

I've made a couple of new additions to the list of Blogs I'm Reading, which you'll find in the left sidebar.

The first new addition is the Margaret Sherry Lovers fan blog. I've also joined this site as a contributor, and made my first post there a few days ago. Margaret Sherry's patterns are always adorable and I found the community at Margaret Sherry Lovers very welcoming. Anyone who makes patterns with her designs is welcome to contact the blog administrator and become a contributor to the site, creating their own posts displaying their Margaret Sherry stitchings and other related news.

I'm also very excited by Pinwheel Ponders, which I accidentally discovered while searching for something else. Author Pinwheel makes ornaments (mostly cross stitch) for her friends and family every Christmas, and her blog is a treasure trove of gift ideas and crafty tutorials. There are lots of great ideas here for creating various types of cross stitch decorations and how to reuse greeting cards. I was very impressed with the level of detail, clear instructions and numerous pictures in the tutorials. I'll definitely be going back to read more!

So that's two blogs I think are worth checking out. Let me know what you think of them. And if you've got any recommendations for other blogs I should add to the reading list let me know with a comment (and links).

Things I look for when I consider adding a blog to Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins reading list:
  • it covers a topic I'm interested in such as amigurumi, crochet, cross stitch or geeky crafts
  • it's still active and gets updated fairly regularly (there's been at least 1 post in the last 2 months) or it has an extensive archive of interesting posts/patterns.
  • it offers some free patterns, tutorials or other crafting advice/insight
  • it isn't just a vehicle for the blogger to display the latest item they're selling
  • it's focus is primarily crafting, as opposed to being the person's day-to-day life story with occasional mentions of what they're crafting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I Did on My Summer Vacation - Victoria, BC

If you're a crafty geek then Victoria, British Columbia is a wonderful place to visit for your summer vacation. Back in July the boyfriend, who is both wise and witty, and I were able to get away for a few days to this great city.

We stayed at a hotel in the downtown core where we had not one, but three different comic book stores and right across the street. There are also numerous bookstores, for both new and used books, and at least 3 different yarn stores all in or around the downtown core.

We parked the car at the hotel the first day and then walked everywhere for the rest of the vacation, which was a treat in and of itself. We also ate lots of wonderful food and spent a day at the Royal B.C. Museum, where they had a pretty interesting feature exhibit on the life of Emily Carr.

I'd love to say I took lots of fabulous pictures of the sites and scenery, but the truth is I only took the picture of the parliament buildings that you see above and a couple other pictures. So instead, I'll tell show you my vacation through the awesome fibres I was able to pick up during the trip.

Considering the one local yarn shop in my town packed up and moved to a new city, I was pretty impressed to find three independent local yarn shops in Victoria, each with their own unique style and line of products.

The first one we visited was Knotty By Nature where I picked up this Kidazzle hand dyed 70% Merino/20% Kid/10% Nylon yarn which is made by Fleece Artists, in Mineville, Nova Scotia. This stuff feels incredibly soft and has a beautiful assortment of colours in it. Sometime this fall/winter I'm hoping to knit some of it up into a pair of fingerless gloves.

Knotty By Nature focusses heavily on natural ec0-friendly products. It has a large selection of hand-made products, many of which come from spinners throughout Canada.

I was also really excited that the store had a mechanical skein winder (first time I'd ever seen one of these!) and in only a couple minutes they were able to transform the skein I was purchasing into a workable ball of yarn for no extra charge! Those who read Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins regularly know of the headaches I've had trying to wind skeins into balls.

Next on our yarn tour was The Beehive where I picked up this unusual, and extremely soft skein of Bonsai Colors, which is a mix of 97% Bamboo and 3% Nylon. I only bought one skein of this and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it was so unusual I couldn't resist getting some.

The Beehive is a fairly large 2 room store that carries a good selection of yarns. There were a lot of hand dyed/spun products, as well as products from well known manufacturers like Patons. I think it's a yarn shop that could fit any budget and any skill level of knitter/crocheter. They also had a mechanical skein winder, and when we came in one clerk was in the process of winding several skeins for a woman who was buying enough wool for a sweater.

While at The Beehive I also purchased three balls of Sirdar Escape chunky which is 51% wool/49% acrylic. I'm not sure what I'll make with this, but I really liked the mix of colours in these balls so eventually I'll come up with something.

The last stop on our yarn store tour was the Button & Needlework Boutique, though truth be told, I think I went in here 2-3 times during our trip, trying to decide what I should buy.

This store carries a variety of crafting materials including yarn, cross stitch supplies and a large selection of buttons (hence the name). I was impressed that not only do they carry a lot of cross stitch patterns, they also have a framed, stitched copy of every pattern they sell. Anyone who has ever stitched a large cross stitch picture knows how long it takes to complete, so having one finished for every pattern the store carries is a pretty big achievement.

I finally settled on getting three balls of Glint yarn in blue from the Button & Needlework Boutique. It's a blend of 80% cotton, 12 % Nylon and 8% metallic. What can I say? I liked the way it sparkled in the light. Again, I'm not sure what I'll make, but something will come up.

I also picked up a copy of the cross stitch pattern for Vancouver Island artist Sue Coleman's Cougar Kitten. I'm looking forward to finding some time to stitch it!

And that is how I spent my summer vacation! We had a lot of fun, and I came home with a suitcase full of books, comic books and lots of crafting supplies to keep me busy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More Cthulhu Cousins!

Apologies to Rachel, whose wintery little cthulhu somehow got left out of my final round up of 2010 cthulhus. Rachel shared a great story about this little guy too, so I'm really sorry he got left out.

The hat this cthulhu is wearing comes from the Innocent Smoothies Big Knit campaign, which Rachel takes part in. Being in Canada, I hadn't heard of this UK charity before, but as Rachel explains, "[it] involves knitting tiny hats to go on the top of Innocent Smoothie bottles. The hatted bottles are then distributed to our local supermarkets, and a small amount of the sale goes to Age UK, a charity to help the elderly."

What a great idea! We don't have Innocent Smoothies in the stores around here, but I know if I saw a drink with a little knitted hat on it at the grocery store, I'd buy one, especially if it was helping out a charity.

And now a few other great cthulhus that I've received in the past couple months...

Remember when I was asking readers what they thought of glow-in-the-dark yarns? Well, Rosemarsh Art decided to test some out on a tiny cthulhu. In the top left photo you see how her cthulhu looks in the daylight, and in the top right photo you can see his glow. Very cool, and kinda creepy looking!

In the middle photo we have a beautifully striped cuddly cthulhu from Terra-Storm. That angry cthulhu you see in the bottom left was stitched up by Ginny, and Knotical Knits created the jolly Santa-Cthulhu on the bottom right as a gift for her sister-in-law last Christmas.

Once again thanks to everyone for sharing their creations. As always, if you've made something with my patterns feel free to share a link in the comments section on the pattern you used or send me an email at the address you see in the top left corner of the blog.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Simple V-Stitch Afghan

I had to put this one aside for a while because it was just too warm to be crocheting a wintery afghan. It's based on the Cottage Decor afghan in the July 2011 issue of Crochet! magazine, only I opted to use a variegated yarn rather than creating solid stripes with multiple balls of yarn.

The yarn is James C. Brett marble chunky in Jeweltone, which I was lucky enough to pick up at a buy 3, get the 4th ball free sale while visiting the awesome Crafts N' More store in Steveston, BC.

The blanket is a dream to work up, especially if you want something a little mindless that you can work on while focussing on something else. It's stitched with a size J (6 mm) hook and is essentially row after row of V-stitches. Then it's finished off with a fairly simple shell border on two opposing sides.

It's simple to stitch, but comes out looking quite fancy. I had fun making this and really love the shades of blue and purple in this Jeweltone yarn, although I don't think I really got a photo that shows them accurately. Hopefully you get the idea!