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!