Monday, August 20, 2012

On Top of the World - Cross Stitch Complete!

Back in May I posted about the adorable designs by Genny Haines that were being released by Goldleaf. Now, a few months later, I can happily show you my completed version of Sam and Peeps On Top of the World.

I stitched this and had it framed to be part of the boyfriend's birthday gift. He was quite pleased with the picture and surprised to receive it, even though he'd seen me spend several weeks working on it. Considering I have things I stitched 7-10 years ago that still haven't found their way into a frame, I can understand how he wouldn't connect my stitching it with his upcoming birthday.

This was a lot of fun to put together and definitely gave me plenty of opportunity to practice my French Knot skills, which have always been a little weak. I reduced the fabric size down to an 18 count aida because I wanted the picture to be a little smaller. When working with dark coloured backgrounds, I prefer it if the fabric doesn't show through the crosses of my stitches and I find the lower thread count really helps with that.

At some point I want to make a complimentary daytime picture of Sam and Peeps to go with this one. The hard part is going to be deciding which of the patterns to choose since they're all so cute.

Like this picture? It's available as a leaflet or kit, courtesy of Goldleaf, as are a number of other wonderful patterns by artist Genny Haines.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Glitch Cubimals - Gotta Craft Them All?

Since last fall I've been playing an online game called Glitch. It's still in beta testing, but every once in a while they open the doors so that more people can give it a try.

One of the things you can do in-game is collect these little wind up toys called Cubimals. Each comes in a mystery box so you never know what you're going to get until you open it up. The toys make cute decorations for your house and your in-game character can race its Cubimals against those of other players. There's also a trophy for obtaining one of each, so much like Pokemon, we're encouraged to collect them all!

I have yet to get my trophy and I'm not going to fill up my real world house by crocheting all of them, but I thought I'd transfer a couple of my favourites to the real world.

Above you can seem my real world piggy and squid cubimal having a race on the kitchen counter, and below their virtual counterparts are doing the same thing in Glitch.

The piggy I made with some pink Bernat Satin, and the squid was crocheted with a sport weight Patons yarn in a lime green shade, hence the slight size difference. For both animals I crocheted in rows, making a flat cube shape and then stitching up the sides to make it three dimensional.

I haven't written up the patterns for these, but if anyone is interested in having a pattern please let me know in the comments section. I'd be happy to post it to the blog as one of my free patterns. With the game in beta still, I wasn't sure how much interest there would be in making these little critters. Let me know!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rolling Ripples Afghan

Another altered project that I made using Leisure Arts's Our Best Baby Afghans. I liked the style of the waves in this one, but didn't feel like making a baby blanket. Instead I bumped up to a size N hook (10 mm) and used about 5 skeins of James C. Brett Marble Chunky #27. (Didn't these shades used to have names? I couldn't find any websites listing them by name.).

Happily, my finished product turned out only about a foot shy of covering our queen size bed. Despite being an acrylic I find the James C. Brett yarns are quite warm so this new afghan is perfect for adding to the bed on a chilly night.

Above: A close-up shot of the stitching so that you can see the pattern. Below: An accurate picture of what the colours look like in real life.

This was a fun pattern to stitch. Very simple once you get the hang of how many stitches go between the increases and decreases of the wave. The rows are an alteration of half-double crochet stitches and triple crochet stitches.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Octavio Ocampo Cross Stitches Finally Framed!

Regular readers of Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins probably remember seeing Octavio Ocampo's Mouth of the Flower (left) and Family of Birds (right) before. (Click on the picture for a larger view.)

Ever since I finished stitching them I've been saving birthday and Christmas money towards getting them stretched and framed.

This weekend, I finally picked up the second one from the framers and I now have both hung up on the wall of our bedroom. Yay!

It's costly, but always so beautiful when a large piece like this is professionally stretched and framed. Smaller pieces I usually frame myself, but I'm afraid to try stretching something this large. Plus, have you ever noticed that cross stitch pictures are never made to fit standard size frames?

The matte board on both is a dark green and the frame is a dark brown woodgrain.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Mother's Day Stitching

For Mother's Day I took advantage of the complimentary card patterns that were in some of the cross stitch magazines I've purchased recently and did some stitching for all the moms in my life.

This Fizzy Moon bear comes from Issue 187 of The World of Cross Stitching and I stitched it for my own mom. I love the beautiful spring flowers and the brightness of the card frame. I have to laugh at the pattern instructions though. They confidently assured me I'd have this design finished in "Approx. 6 hours." I didn't keep exact track of time, but I'd say my six hours turned into about 20 hours!

I've never used these freebie patterns before and I think the hardest part was holding on to the tiny piece of aida cloth while trying to stitch it. I'm used to stitching with a loom, but the fabric pieces supplied with the patterns were too small to fit any of my looms.

This second design I made for the boyfriend's mom. It's a Margaret Sherry mouse courtesy of Cross Stitch Crazy Issue 163. So cute! I may have to restitch this one for my own collection someday. With a slightly larger piece of fabric and a few less stitches to work, I think it's fair to say this one actually did take only about 6-8 hours to stitch.

Last, but not least, something for my Grandma. She's an avid owl collector; pictures, plates, figurines. She likes just about anything with owls on it. I didn't have any good owl patterns on hand so I took to the internet to see what was out there. I found this owl, which blogger Tory posted about after having found it at a flea market. I used the picture as a guide and reworked the design in colours that I had on hand. I did a little more research and found out this owl is pretty popular, Another blogger, Cynthia, uses this pattern when she's teaching young girls and children how to cross stitch. So I'm guessing this little guy has served as a first stitching project for a lot of cross stitchers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Adorable Genny Haines Cross Stitch Patterns

I was very excited when I checked the mail on Friday and discovered that my Genny Haines patterns had arrived courtesy of Goldleaf. Only about eight days travel time from the UK to Canada, that's not bad!

I received great service from Goldleaf and I highly recommend checking out their range of charts and kits if you're a fan of cross stitch - especially cross stitch with cute animals in it.

Now I just have to wait for my fabric to arrive so I can begin working on the Sam and Peeps on Top of The World chart that I purchased (pictured above). I could have bought the pattern as a kit, but it came with a 14 count aida cloth and I wanted to make my design a little smaller, stitching on a 18 count fabric. I have so much embroidery floss in my stash that I knew I'd be likely to have all the colours needed to make this. After a quick inventory check, it tuns out I'm only missing three of the colours, which I'll be able to find easily at a local store.

This design I'm going to stitch for our home, along with a daytime pattern of Sam and Peeps that was in a cross stitch magazine I recently picked up.

I also bought the Dillon and Ko! chart. It was very hard to resist ordering the one where they're reading a book as well, but I wanted to keep my first order small. I have no idea who I'll stitch this one for yet, or if I'll keep it for myself, but I really like the colours and the uniqueness of the dragon.

Dillon the dragon looks like he has a bit of giraffe in his family tree doesn't he?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rock-a-Bye Rainsong Afghan Not So Rainy!

I always find it funny when I read the names that pattern books have given to their blankets because I find by the time I stitch them they usually have nothing to do with their name. I tend to latch on to a pattern if I like the look of it, then immediately start planning what colours and what kind yarn I'd like to have it stitched in.

When I saw this "Rock-A-Bye Rainsong" baby blanket in Leisure Arts's Our Best Baby Blankets I figured it would be perfect to help me with my ongoing project to use up what seems to be an endless stash of Bernat Baby Coordinates.

(If you happen to see a copy of Our Best Baby Blankets somewhere I highly recommend looking through it. I'm finding it to be a great go-to book for afghans for both babies and grown-ups!)

Instead of using two shades of blue then white as the pattern suggested I used Baby Coordinates in Sherbet, Lemon and Soft Mauve, which I think gives the blanket a more spring-like look than a rainy look.

This is the first pattern I've crocheted in which I had to stitch down into the row below, but thankfully it's a very easy pattern to work, and in each row it's always quite obvious when you have to make those longer stitches into the lower row.

I think the middle picture showing the blanket in close-up gives you the truest idea of what the colours look like together, but I wanted to include this picture of the corner to give everyone a closer look at the edging.

And finally, a photo of the blanket from the book, showing it in its intended colours. I'm still not sure if it reminds me of rain, but it is a lovely design.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's Pickwick! Plock Plock!

I'm a huge fan of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels and Pickwick has always been one of my favourite characters. Since science hasn't advanced far enough for me to have my own genetically engineered dodo, I'll just have to settle for this amigurumi version for now. Huge thanks to Melissa1 for her beautiful, free Mauritius Dodo pattern.

I figure since Pickwick is a marvel of science I can be a little creative with her colouring. The yarns used are all Bernat Softee Chunky, with the main body crocheted in Baby Blue and the tail feathers and eye area stitched in Lavender.

Stitched with a size G (4.00mm) hook, my Pickwick stands just under 5.5 inches tall. According to the books, I believe Pickwick doesn't have wings, but she just looked so strange without them, I couldn't leave them out!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last Look at 2011 Cthulhus - Part 3

And let's close out the month of January with our final look at the cthulhus of 2011.

In the top row we have two wonderful Cuddly Cthulhus. The one on the top left was stitched by Dorothy. That's a beautiful shade of green she's chosen!

Meanwhile on the top right Angela's cthulhu is showing off its Browncoat spirit with a classic Jayne hat.

Now I know it's not a cthulhu, but the picture on the bottom left is also a sample of one of the free patterns you can find here at Cthulhu Crochet and CousinsJes used purple and cream yarn to crochet the Spiral Baby Blanket for the baby girl she is expecting in just a few weeks. Congratulations Jes!!

And looking all cute and innocent in the bottom right corner is an adorable Tiny Cthulhu stitched by Carina. The hand-stitched eyes really make this one look sweet, and perhaps a little bit curious?

Once again thanks to everyone who has sent in pictures or posted a comment to let me know they're using  my patterns. It's always wonderful to see the unique touches that everyone adds to their creations!

Happy stitching in 2012 everyone!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Last Look at 2011 Cthulhus - Part 2

Well, I certainly wouldn't challenge that guy for the remote control. This top picture comes courtesy of Veronica. Those angry eyebrows tell me this little monster takes his channel surfing seriously, but what is it that cthulhus watch on TV?

I love the shades of pink and purple you see on Cat's cthulhu in the centre left picture. Meanwhile on the centre right we have a somewhat more sinister cthulhu crocheted by minimysz.

Check out those innocent blue eyes on Lia's cthulhu on the bottom left. In her comment she writes, "It came out cute!" I think she's right. Very cute!

In the bottom right is a cthulhu made by Michele, who also added a pair of legs to make him more mobile. If you zoom in on the picture you can see that the eyes are actually a larger white button with a smaller black on sewn on top. A very clever way to create a pair of eyes!

Once again thanks to everyone who took the time to post a link or email a picture of to show me what they've made with my patterns. My cthulhu patterns, and many others, are available under the My Free Patterns tab on the right side of the blog. Keep sending those pictures!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Last Look at 2011 Cthulhus - Part 1

A few more of the amazing tiny cthulhus that were made by readers of Cthulhu Crochet and Cousins in 2011.

And if you've made something using one of my patterns I'd love to see it! Post a comment with a link to pictures in the comments sections of the pattern you used or send the pictures to me directly at the email address you see in the top left corner of the blog.

Poor Pinky must have nearly destroyed some fingers making this micro-cthulhu that you see in the top left. That keychain size cthulhu is adorable!

Now, is it just me, or does that cthulhu stitched by Karma Kitten on the top right look a little bit like an alien? I think it's the eyes! And whose to say, maybe cthulhus actually are space aliens, or at least their distant relatives?

In the middle is Taco Magic's cthulhu, which appears to be taking its frustrations out on a lemming. It's been a long while since I've played Lemmings, but I don't remember cthulhu attack being one of the things you have to try to avoid. For cthulhu's sake, I hope that lemming isn't one of the bomber ones.

Need your own lemming for cthulhus (or cats) to attack? You can find it here at PlanetJune.

On the bottom left Theresa crocheted a tiny cthulhu who has sprouted legs. I like how she extended the tentacles so they brush the ground when he's standing. Tara went with the traditional legless tiny cthulhu on the bottom right. The blue buttons she selected for its eyes are a great touch. They really make the eyes stand out!

Thanks once again to everyone who has been posting comments and sending in pictures to show what they're making with my patterns. It's always great to see they're getting used.

Next post, more 2011 cthulhus!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas Cross Stitch Ornaments for 2011

I cross stitched a few ornaments for friends and family as part of their Christmas gifts this year. Luckily we had a bit of a staggered Christmas, celebrating with different people at different times throughout December (and even into January!). So it gave me lots of time to get the stitching done.

I've had the Dimensions leaflet for these blue ornaments on my cross stitch bookshelf for quite some time and I'm happy I finally got a chance to use it. The pattern is Martha Edward Glass's Holiday Elegance. I'm pretty sure it's out of print now, but a watchful eye may be able to find it on ebay.

I made a set of four of these for a friend and then made another two to keep for our own tree decorations.

They were stitched on 14 count aida cloth in Ice Blue. I then mounted them on a foam-backed cardboard and used a glue gun to add the hanging ribbon, and decorative shiny blue cording around the edges. The square ones turned out quite good, but I feel like I need a bit more practice mounting circle and oval shaped ornaments. If anyone has any advice on how to work with these rounder shapes, please feel free to share in the comments section.

My other holiday stitching project was a couple sets of Christmas mice, which come from The Best of Margaret Sherry Collection. I made two sets of these, one for a friend and another for my brother-in-law's girlfriend. I also stitched an extra mouse holding a stocking to keep for our own collection.

These mice were stitched over 2 threads on a 32 count Belfast linen in Cream. The frames are tree hanging picture frame ornaments that I found at Michael's. I thought they were cute, and they kind of look like jam jar lids, don't they? Plus, they were easy to mount the cross stitch fabric in - a welcome relief after struggling with my circular foam-backed cardboard ornaments!

Next up, some crochet and some cthulhus!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sue Coleman's Dogwood & Hummingbird cross stitch - Complete!

I've been looking forward to posting this one for a long time now. This is the big project I was working on for the better part of last spring and into the early summer. The boyfriend, who is wise and witty, payed for the framing and this was our gift to his mom for Christmas this year.

I was nervous for the month beforehand, worried she might not like it, but she absolutely loved it! Yay, I'm glad I made the right choice.

The picture is Sue Coleman's Dogwood & Hummingbird. Coleman is an artist from British Columbia, Canada and she makes lots of pictures similar to this one, where she incorporates the natural images of animals along with their native symbol. We also live in British Columbia and the provincial flower here is the Dogwood, so it seemed a fitting choice.

Please excuse the dark mark on the right side, that's just the shadow  of the camera.
The picture was stitched over 2 threads on a 32 count linen in Antique White. The background took a long time to do, but it's an interesting technique. It's created by making 1/2 stitches with a variegated DMC thread (4010), rather than doing multiple colour changes to create the shifting colours of the sky. I tried to work bits of the background as I went because I knew that if I left it all to stitch at the very end, I would quickly become bored with all that repetitive work. I think I made the right choice. I only had a very small amount of the background to complete after all my cross stitching was done and it didn't seem like an overwhelming task.

A couple more photos to show the cross stitching up close. Excuse the reflections in the glass. Cross stitch looks great once it's stretched and framed, but it isn't as easy to photograph!