Skulls aren’t just a Halloween motif! From mystery enthusiasts to horror fans, from Halloween to to Dias de los Muertos (the Days of the Dead) the skull lends itself to a plethora of design ideas. There’s only one problem…corporation pattern makers of the day don’t see them as much of a salable item. Not to worry! In celebration of Samhain (the Wiccan Day of the Dead) I designed this counted cross stitch pattern for your enjoyment. And, what is totally cool?
Hector (that’s what I named him) is free.
Stuff You Need to Know
Hector was done on 14 count Aida with DMC Pearl thread. Although you can do the full cross stitch with regular floss, Hector was fashioned with a half-stitch method using the DMC Pearl Thread, which takes half the time (just in case you want to whip up a Trick-or-Treat bag for your favorite youngster). You will find a great video on how to do the easy half stitch technique using DMC Pearl Thread at http://www.dmc-usa.com
Price for Pearl Cotton thread varies (much to my surprise), so be careful when you shop. This project requires only four colors whether you use Pearl or regular thread:
310 — Black (5) — one skein
413 — Dark Grey (5) — one skein
415– Light Grey (5) — one skein
White — two skeins
If you prefer regular floss the following key provides that information:
The actual size of Hector the Sugar Skull is approximately 6 inches by 8.5 inches. I left his forehead plain white so that you could add your own sugar skull design — flowers, swirls, beads, etc. There is plenty of space to add a variety of elements that will make Hector (or you can change him into a Hector-ette if you so desire) your unique creation.
Total Cost of Hector using DMC Pearl floss from South Central Pennsylvania over-the-counter prices — $12.75 plus tax.
14 Count Aida — $5.99
4 Skeins of Pearl — $6.76
Not into skulls? Then you might want to try my The Gathering — Crow Harvest Home Pattern — its free too!
Here is the pattern in symbols:
Are you inspired to turn your own designs into counted cross-stitch? I used the PC Stitch program.
This is a wonderful program, although it definitely requires hands-on design manipulation. For example, the program gives a wide variety of colors when the image is first converted — which is wonderful for the detail enthusiast; but, may create an image too involved for your needs. As an example, Hector first appeared with over fifteen colors even though it was a basic black and white design. I factored those colors down to four, and then manipulated the shading to suit a cross-stitch project. The Gathering had many, many more — which I fine tuned. Hector and The Gathering were produced with version 10 — you can find this software at http://www.pcstitch.com
Don’t want to design your own? Would you rather use a design you’ve already seen and make it more magickal? No problem! In the example below I took a pattern from this year’s Just CrossStitch 2012 Special Halloween Collector’s Issue pages 15 and 16. I added sequins, changed the tree, and added a border. Before framing, I inserted a Lucky Black Cat herbal formula behind the design.
I do hope that you enjoy my holiday offering this year! The designs given that are mine are free for you to use in any project — and you are certainly free to sell your work. All I ask is that you do not sell the pattern, or offer it in a collection of patterns for sale. Happy Holidays!
- Cross Stitch Fever (magickshop.wordpress.com)