pattern

New Dracula Embroidery Pattern + Giveaway!

Dracula Pattern - made into a tote!

I. Love. Halloween. I’m all excited because tomorrow is October 1st and that means I can start celebrating a month of Halloween. Horror movies for weeks. Spooky, scary. No, one day isn’t enough, dangit! It’s the best holiday in the whole universe. If you know me in person, or were reading along this time last year, you probably know this about me already. Some people start celebrating Christmas in November; I like a month of Halloween.

Dracula Pattern - made into a tote!

So of course Little Dorrit & Co. had to make a Halloween embroidery pattern, right?! Meet our new Dracula pattern: all spooky drama with trees and mountains and bats and a gloomy, scary castle! With more than a little nod to Vlad the Impaler and his influence on Bram Stoker. ‘Cause we’re nerds. It’s how we roll.

Dracula Pattern - made into a tote!

Our Dracula pattern is quite heavy on the embroidery – as you can see. We like ’em juicy – don’t you?! We’ve done our best to keep it manageable – we’ve kept the stitches large and using lots of strands to cover space efficiently, and we’ve kept the stitching to back stitch and simple straight stitches wherever possible so that those areas go quickly. But in case you need a quicker project, we’ve also included a larger version of just Dracula and his cuddly bat friend to stitch up on their own.

Dracula Pattern - made into a tote!

As always, our Dracula embroidery pattern includes a full stitch and color guide and special stitch instructions where needed. And as you can see, I’ve made my finished embroidery into a trick-or-treat tote! Ok, I might be a little old now for trick-or-treating, but grown-ups can have a Halloween tote too, right?! So, coming up tomorrow: a tutorial for turning your finished Dracula embroidery (or just a piece of fabric, if you like) into a charming little Halloween tote!

But in the meantime, we want to give one of you lovely, spooky people a free copy of our new Dracula pattern! Hurrah, a Halloween giveaway! All you have to do is tell me about the best Halloween costume you ever had (or just fancy dress costume, if you’re not a Halloween celebrator), what you’re planning to dress up as this year, what your children are going to be, or maybe just a really awesome costume idea!

Here’s mine: when I was about 12, I went out with a friend as a pair of dice. We painted large cardboard boxes, which had head-holes cut out of the top, wore all black underneath and painted on rosy little cheeks. After trick-or-treating, we went down with her parents to watch the Halloween parade and were pulled into the parade by the local high school, nicknamed ‘Dice – who had a pair of dice marching with their band as well! They let us march with them to the end of the parade and we danced around and waved to people like superstar dice. I think that was the last year I trick-or-treated – I went out in style!

Tell me your stories and win a free embroidery pattern! Entries will close and The Random Generator will chose a winner next Wednesday, the 9th of October, at midnight, UK-Time. And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a trick-or-treat tote tutorial!

Wizard of Oz Poppies Pattern – Out Now!

Wizard of Oz Poppies - New Pattern

The second set of Literary Flowers embroidery patterns are here! This set is all about The Wizard of Oz, which of course means Poppies, Poppies, Poppies!

Wizard of Oz Poppies - New Pattern

We’ve even got a wee little city of Oz, sitting off in the distance behind the famous field of poppies. Those teensy french knot flowers kill me!

Wizard of Oz Poppies - New Pattern

And a little cluster of poppies that can be repeated in a border pattern. But, really, it’s the tiny flowers I’m just smitten with. I can’t stop thinking about a whole big embroidery full of these eensy-weensy flowers!

Wizard of Oz Poppies - New Pattern

More photos on Flickr, and the pattern set is available in the Little Dorrit & Co. Etsy shop now!

New pattern: Romeo & Juliet, the Balcony Scene

Romeo & Juliet: Balcony Scene

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, new romantic patterns in the shop! Well, just this pattern is brand-new, the lovely Balcony Scene from Romeo & Juliet – wherefore are thou and all that jazz:

Romeo & Juliet: Balcony Scene
Romeo & Juliet: Balcony Scene

This new pattern includes color and stitch guides, as well as a little bit of special stitch instruction; the rest of the stats are listed on etsy here!

Romeo & Juliet: Balcony Scene

I have to admit, my favorite thing about this design is the balcony itself – simple back stitch lines, mostly, but I do really enjoy those little wood carving details!

Romeo & Juliet: Balcony Scene

We’ve also added the revamped “Did My Heart Love Till Now?” quote to the shop, which now includes color and stitch guides as well. And if you’re a big Romeo & Juliet fan and just can’t get enough, there’s now a bundle that includes both of these patterns as well as our Romeo & Juliet portrait — get all three together at a slight discount over here!

Time-out crafting

I still want to show you guys the gifts I made for Christmas, but since it kind of follows on from my semi-resolutions-y post the other day, I’ll show you some selfish knitting quickly first.

I said in that post that I am claiming 6 months of commission-free crafting (well – unpaid, friendly commissions, at least). And as I also said, this isn’t necessarily to make more stuff for myself, but mostly to have the spare time to explore some ideas I’ve had, catch up on projects I’ve started and had to set aside (I’m lookin’ at you, Sajou Sampler. I miss you!), etc.

But sometimes I will just make stuff for myself! Anyone who works for themselves in any capacity – full-time, freelance, or just starting out like myself – will tell you that the work will fill up the time you have. Betty Friedan said some stuff about this in relation to housework back in 1963 and it really struck a chord with me when I read The Feminine Mystique at university. Politics aside, certain tasks really will do that, extend to fill up whatever time you have available to give them. And when you do any self-selling, there’s always something else you could get done, something you feel behind on. You seem to always feel you should be doing more, no matter how much you were doing before. This is just the way it is, I get it and I totally accept it as part of the trade-off for the chance to try and do what I actually want with my life – though I happen to be feeling it especially hard this morning – but sometimes you really have to grab just a little time back for yourself.

So I made a drawer. I took an afternoon off a few weeks ago and went through my Ravelry queue, marking any project that could be done in a weekend. Quick, instant gratification projects, projects that aren’t even practical but would be fun to knit. I matched them to yarn in my stash, put each in a bag with the printed pattern, and filled up the drawer. I have set a goal for myself that I will do one of these projects every month, under the theory that it will force me to have at least one relaxing weekend just to myself, crafting-wise.

In time there will be some quickie embroidery projects in there too, but for now there’s just knitting and that’s what I really craved over the Christmas break. So here’s what I did with my time off:

Pink Loop
Pink Loop

I finally blocked the Pink Loop cowl that I knit in November. The yarn is Malabrigo Arroyo which is as delicious as you’d expect it to be, all bouncy and fat and squeezable. I had stashed only one little skein, just because it was lovely, so finding a one-skein sportweight project was tricky. The pattern is A Grey Loop by Helen G which was great – simple, quick, easily customizable. I basically just knit until I started to run out of yarn. Only thing is that I’m not entirely sure these long-loop cowls really suit me. Hmm.

Abra Alba Mitts
Abra Alba Mitts
Abra Alba Mitts

These are Abra Alba mitts by Matilde Skår and I have been smitten with this pattern since the moment I saw it. It would actually be great for leftovers, because you use so very little of each color. Of course I happened to have no DK-weight scraps, so I snagged myself an awesome deal in one of those Drops ‘Alpaca Party’ sales. I got the yarn – Drops Lima – for these for £6 and have enough to make, I suspect, two more pairs of mittens as well. I already put the leftovers back in the project drawer with new patterns. I can’t say how it will wear, but I loved knitting with the Lima, it’s both cuddly and a little rustic and is quite buttery to knit with. And the whole project took about, I don’t know, 6-ish hours total.

A gift for a hedgehog

This is a gift for a little hedgehog who is going to need a scarf soon enough, so I can’t show too much just yet. I sure hope he likes it and I seriously can’t wait to send it to him!

I also did some pattern-development knitting over the break that I’m enjoying very, very much. Here’s a little sneaky peeky for you:

Sneaky Peeky 1
Sneaky Peeky 2

So, what selfish crafting did you do once your handmade gifts were finished, or maybe just as a treat to yourself during your time off?

Aesop’s Fables Pattern Set + GIVEAWAY DAY!

Comments for the giveaway are now closed! Thank you so much for leaving such awesome and entertaining entries – I’ll announce the winner tomorrow (Sunday)!

I have to, one last time, apologize for all the self-promotion flying around here lately – this is the last thing I am taking to market for 2012, and it’s actually been coming for a loooong while. And, not that it’s an excuse, but I’m crazy excited about it! (Excited enough to give free stuff away, so make sure you stick around to the end of the post for details.)

Yes, in fact I do say that about every pattern set we release, but this time it’s super-duper true. More than just excited, I’m actually pretty sure these are our best embroidery patterns so far (or at least tied with the Pride & Prejudice patterns) for being a perfect combination of charming design, lovely colors, and fun stitching. I enjoyed making these SO much, I’m actually a little sad they’re finished. I hope that means you’ll like stitching them too!

So, meet our Aesop’s Fables patterns: seven in total, illustrating the most famous of those wise tales. There’s the Lion and the Mouse:

Aesop's Fables - new pattern set

The Boy Who Cried Wolf:

Aesop's Fables - new pattern set

The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg:

Aesop's Fables - new pattern set

The City Mouse and the Country Mouse:

Aesop's Fables - new pattern set

The Fox and the Grapes (I think he might be my favorite!):

Aesop's Fables - new pattern set

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing:

Aesop's Fables - new pattern set

And The Tortoise and the Hare:

Aesop's Fables - new pattern set

I kind of want to show you all the fun detail, but there are more photos in my Aesop’s Fables pattern Flickr Set if you’d like to look around. These patterns all come with color and stitch guides, and a couple of them include an extra page for special stitch / technique instructions. The Aesop patterns are pretty small, we thought it’d be nice to throw some faster projects in the mix – there’s definitely still time to add these to your Christmas-crafting list. How cute would they look on pillowcases for children (ahem, we actually designed the Tortoise and the Hare pattern to be easily divided into two sub-patterns, just because I thought they’d be adorable on two separate / matching pillowcases!), with some patchwork maybe, or even on a tote bag or zippy pouch or just on the wall! Just sayin’. We worked hard to illustrate these tales in a way that makes them funny-cute for adults, but still cute enough for children. You can find all the patterns in the related Aesop’s Fables section of our shop, and we’ve worked out two discounted bundles should you be tempted by more than one.

But enough with the marketing already, where’s the goods?! This was a huge coincidence, but since it happened to be Giveaway Day yesterday (yeah, I’m running one day behind), we’re going to jump in quick and offer a chance to win THE ENTIRE AESOP PATTERN SET. That’s right, baby! All seven (7!) patterns, delivered right to your inbox! So basically this bundle from the shop:

No hoop-jumping to enter, just leave a comment telling me what you think would happen next in the saga of the Tortoise and the Hare! Does the Hare demand a rematch? Does the Tortoise take his race winnings to Vegas? Enquiring minds need to know!

To account for the time difference, I’ll close the comments on this giveaway over coffee on Saturday morning, December 8th, UK-time, and I’ll announce the winner (picked by Random Generator Man!) by the end of the weekend! Good luck!

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