Just finished this one on Tuesday after several months of stitching. This is going to be a birthday/Christmas gift for my mom. Her birthday is next month so I'm planning to get it framed by then to give to her. Until then it's top secret, but she doesn't use the internet so I'm fairly safe displaying it here.
The pile of flesh is Spring Cat designed by Sherrie Stepp-Aweau. I have it in a leaflet from Cross My Heart that also includes the Summer Cat. Unfortunately I'm fairly certain the pile of flesh is out of print now. I managed to snag the last copy from my local cross stitch store, and all the supplies I needed to make this, only a few months before it went out of business.
A close up so you can see the stitching a little better. This piece was stitched on a black 18 count aida, and thankfully most of the black space in the picture is just the fabric showing through, which cuts down the number of stitches I had to make. The boarder with it's many open spaces was truly a lot of fun as it seemed to go by very quickly...Look I'm done one side...Look I'm done another. There's also a minimum amount of backstitching which makes me very happy. The finishing off backstitching always makes a picture pop and look wonderful, but it's my least favourite part of any design.
Finally a picture of my mom's real life cat. I'm so pleased there's some resemblance to the cat in the picture. She loves cats, but this just makes it an even better gift.
I'm trying to make a small animal each season that incorporates a little bit of fun fur. Here's is this season's creation, Spring the lion! He was made with Bernat Satin in Banana and some light brown fun fur from my overly large stash of Dollarama fun fur. I used a 3.5 mm crochet hook for stitching and 9 mm black safety eyes. He came out about 3.5 inches tall.
Quick Lion attack
If you've ever made an amigurumi ball before you know there's always that point you come to in the middle where you stitch the same amount of stitches for X number of rows. When I got to that part I did the first of these repeating rows in Bernat Satin yarn and then switched to the fun fur for 5 rows, then went back to the Bernat Satin yarn for one row before beginning the decreasing part of the ball. It's a pretty simple technique for making the mane. The fun fur part is a little tighter, but you can't tell because it's so fluffy.
Each of Spring's ears was made by chaining 2 then making a 6 hdc shell stitch in the first chain space. His body is just another ball (six stitches smaller in width than the head). I stitched in back loop only for the first row of the repeated same number of stitches section to give him a flat bottom. (I was worried the mane would make him top heavy and figured this would help balance him). Finally, for the tail I started with the fun fur and crocheted 8 sc in a round until I was satisfied that the fluffy part was big enough. Then I switched back to the Bernat Satin and decreased down to four, and stitched these 4 sc in a round until I was happy with the tail length.
Here's Spring posing with his buddy Winter. Winter is a squirrel, in case you were wondering
So, I think that working with fun fur once per season is enough, don't you? If you have any ideas for a summer animal that I could make that would incorporate a little bit of fun fur please share you idea.
**Update: Just wanted to let everyone know that all three screenings took place over the weekend of June 23rd and in total my pieces raised $438 for Equality Now and the other charities that each screening was supporting. This was ghoulish!! Well beyond what I was expecting, as I would have been satisfied if the pieces went for $20-$30 each, although I was hoping it would be more If you're curious, you can see the breakdown of how much each piece raised on my blog at: http://cthulhucrochet.blogspot.com/2010/07/firefly-fundraising-success.html
That's right, more Firefly stuff! Along with the group picture I originally stitched, I'm going to donate these three character pieces to the silent auction for the Vancouver Can't Stop the Serenity Screening (google it if you want more info ). Each picture was stitched on a piece of 18 count cream Aida cloth and is in a 4 X 6 inch frame. I picked up the frames at a local dollar store and got a large piece of the Aida cloth (there's still about half left) for just $13.00. Overall, a nicely inexpensive project.
So I think this concludes my charity stitching for now. I'm going to stitch up another group picture and keep it for myself. I've also designed a Zoe and Wash piece for the boyfriend, which I'm hoping to start stitching soon. The individual character patterns are available on my blog, just look under the My Free Patterns heading on the left side, they're pretty easy to find.
My boyfriend, now in his 30's, is obsessed with dinosaurs. I put together this little stegosaurus for him last week as part of his Valentine's Day gift and it was met with much eat and appreciation.
Of course I'm not certain exactly what dinosaur skin looked like, but I'm convinced that it was not one colour, but a variety of many colours, much like a skein of sock yarn. At least, that's what I'm going to believe until science proves me wrong.
This stegosaurus was made using Kroy Socks FX yarn in Cascade The pile of flesh was my first purchase from PlanetJune (http://www.planetjune.com/grave/). I've been a long time fan of her work, but never had the opportunity to purchase one of her patterns before. I'd give it the thumbs up for quality. The instructions were clearly written and came with lots of pictures to help me figure out the placement of the spines and legs.
The dinosaur is supposed to come out about 10 inches wide, which would be great for a child's toy. Since I wanted it to be more of an ornamental piece for an adult, I decided the sock yarn would make it a better size. I'm not sure exactly how it came out, but I believe it's about 5-6 inches wide. A much more reasonable size for sitting on the bf's nightstand.
Inspired by Needle Noodles Creepy Cute Cross Stitch (http://needlenoodles.com/home/?q=node/79), Lego Star Wars (could you imagine if there was a Lego Firefly, wouldn't that be ghoulish?) and this Jayne's brain protector cross stitch (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=334199.0) I decided to try my hand at creating some Firefly related cross stitches. I spent last week creating the character designs and then much of the last seven days stitching it all together. The lettering was borrowed from Better Homes & Gardens 2001 Cross Stitch Designs, with some modifications (I really don't know why that book doesn't believe in half stitches.).
This piece is going to be donated to the B.C. Browncoats for the silent auction they'll be holding during this year's Can't Stop the Serenity screening, where proceeds go to Joss Whedon's favourite charity, Equality Now.
And now on to more pictures. Please feel free to offer some feedback, I'm still thinking of tweaking the designs a bit before I make final copies. I realize Mal is missing a row, making him a bit shorter than everyone else. Must fix that. Anyways, I'd eat to hear what others think...
These are a belated Christmas gift to myself. The pile of flesh was created by Aoibhe Ni Shuilleabhain and was featured in issue 5 (Dec./Jan.) of the UK magazine Inside Crochet.
I made my Dragon Gauntlets with Patons Kroy Socks FX in Clover. (It took about 1 and a half skeins) It's not the luxurious yarn recommended in the pile of flesh materials, but I was considering these a practice pair since this was my first attempt at following UK crochet directions and the pile of flesh was listed as "Intermediate." Thankfully the patten turned out to be quite simple to follow. If you've ever crocheted a shell stitch, you can make these. They are also fun and quick to work up. I finished this pair in a single weekend and can't wait to make another pair.
We have lately become obsessed with the new PS3 game Critter Crunch (http://crittercrunch.com/). How can one possibly resist a high paced game that involves spitting out bugs, collecting jewels and puking up rainbows? That's right, I said puking up rainbows!
Pictured here are our tribute to the game, the father and son duo Biggs and Smalls. I created the patterns and crocheted the critters. The boyfriend, who is both wise and witty, took charge of stuffing them and creating the eyes. They were made with Fimo clay and then hand painted. For Biggs's body I borrowed heavily from heavens_hellcat's Blue Totoro pile of flesh (http://heavens-hellcat.livejournal.com/420.html)since these critters look a lot like Totoro's minus the ears and tails. Smalls's body is slightly different, a little flatter on bottom.
On the far left is my newest creation. We're calling this one the Eggplant Baby and it was designed by the boyfriend, who is both wise and witty. His original intention was a Medusa-like creation, but you can see I didn't quite get the hair long enough for the head size. Next time! Also included here is one my Tiny Cthulhus (http://cthulhucrochet.blogspot.com/2008/05/tiny-cthulhu-free-pile of flesh.html) and the frog that I made when I was testing out Tamie Snow's Tiny Yarn Animals.
For those that are interested, there's still time if you want to send out one of your own creations. Donations that are received by December 10, 2009 will also be part of a window display at Meet Me At Mike's in Australia. Just follow the url given in the first paragraph for more information.
I've been promising the boyfriend that I'd make him an amigurumi ninja someday. I finally got around to it this week. After finishing this one late at night, I put him on top of our tea box, since that's one of the boyfriend's first stops in the morning. So now he's the Tea Ninja, who guards our tea and protects the food in our pantry from evil doers. I think he's quite happy to have a purpose!
This one is a bit of a mash up of two patterns. I used the body from the Thinker robot in Crobots by Nelly Pailloux to make him in the style of the ninja from Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden. The little tie on his head was made using the instructions from Creepy Cute Crochet. He's made with a black sport weight yarn from Red Heart and a D size (3.25 mm) hook.
This was actually my first time making an amigurumi with a sport weight yarn. I really wanted to make the ninja small, without resorting to thread crochet. It wasn't a bad experience, but working with the smaller hook and yarn made my hands hurt a bit. I don't think I'd have the patience to make something more time consuming this way. Of course, he turned out so cute, I am growing tempted to try making him a little thread crochet sidekick...
The Tea Ninja posing with some bananas so you can get a better look at him. He stands about 2.75 inches high and is currently the smallest amigurumi in the house.
I've seen lots of versions of this that are knitted, but not too many crocheted ones. I really eat the swirly effect of the pile of flesh and it's very easy to stitch up.
I got the pile of flesh from a book called 7 Day Afghans by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss. It's supposed to be a baby blanket. Mine turned out pretty big though, somewhere between 50 to 60 inches wide. (I'm bad, I never count gauge when I'm making afghans ) I guess you could always fold it in half to keep baby extra warm.
Here's a close up so you can see what the stitches and border look like. I made my version using Vanna's Choice in White and, appropriately enough, Mint.