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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

So yesterday, I decided to break the blogging silence and wrote a long(ish) rambling post about how my projects only get finished when there is a birthday or gift giving deadline to be met…and how I have resolved to tackle the large box of unfinished projects which stares at me reproachfully each day.

However, when I uploaded a photo of my most recent finished project – a Princess and the Pea playset for Bean’s best friend, I helpfully deleted all my writing…awesome.

Basically, the idea is that every* Friday I’ll post some pictures of a finished project…so, we’ll see how long that lasts then!

Here are some more pictures of the playset (which apparently has been played with lots since…hurrah!)

The set consisted of a princess doll, adapted from the ‘Mary’ pattern in Knitivity by Fiona Goble. 9 little mattresses, pillow, cover and a needlefelted pea…

…All packaged in a simple little bag

Happy happy!

Has anyone else been working on any unfinished projects?

 

 

*laughs

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One of the things I struggle with most when crafting is actually finishing a project. As ridiculous as it sounds I frequently get 95% of the way through a project and then abandon it for another. Often this is because I really really hate sewing up items and will try and put it off at all costs but sometimes deadlines come calling and must be met.

So, in the midst of summer, I was to be found knitting nativity characters* (well, naturally). The idea being that if I started that early in the year they were bound to be finished by Christmas, right? Er…wrong. I got so far as a Jesus, Mary and a bald Joseph before being distracted by a post at the brilliant One Hook Wonder about a Waldorf inspired craft swap. I was too late to join in the summer one as items had to be posted to the USA but I figured that if I started on items for an Autumn/Fall swap then and there I would have them finished in plenty of time – not only that but it meant I wouldn’t have to carry on sewing up the ridiculously fiddly nativity characters – hurrah!!

For those of you who, like me, hadn’t taken part in a craft swap before, the idea is this…sign ups are capped at a set number. You make that many identical items, of a certain value and theme and post them all to the swap organiser by a certain date. Once all the items are received they are repackaged and postal prices calculated. Postage was handled (in this swap) through paypal and the package is then dispatched!!

Since this swap was for items for an Autumn themed nature table I turned to my old favourite of incredibly cute and fiddly-footed hedgehogs from a pattern by the ever-talented Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits. I made ten of these for party bags for the Bean’s second birthday, last year, so what was another 15 between friends?

In case hedgehogs weren’t common in the recipients country, I made a little fact sheet to go with each hedgie.

So off they went…as it turned out it takes less than a week for the package to get to America (not the 3-4 weeks I was expecting…apparently they travel on some sort of new-fangled winged contraption, rather than having to swim there themselves).

So, then the wait began for the return package…but that’s another story… :)

*I had left a couple of figures on the top of my knitting bag and the Bean brought them out to me, saying, very matter of factly, “You very good at making these. Now, I must put them away as there is a spider attack coming” before walking off purposefully…you’ll be relieved to know we all survived.

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Well, my current WIP is trying to get my blog up to date!

In the meantime here’s a little bit of crafting I did recently for the Bean’s second birthday!

A birthday crown, following the excellent tutorial over at Frontier Dreams!

Proper wool felt is really expensive, so for the actual crown I used the best cheap felt I could find in my local craft store. I had to join two pieces, hence adding the purple strips between each of the motifs. For the designs I used felt I had purchased a while ago from Paper and String – I urge you all to buy from Sarah, the service is excellent and my gorgeous felt rainbow (45 different shades of wool mix felt) was beautifully wrapped with a hand written note and best of all, very reasonable.

The Bean is very fond of ladybirds, hence…

I was really pleased how this turned out but my favourite was ‘Gerald’, a character from one of Bean’s favourite books, ‘Giraffe’s can’t dance’ (spoiler alert – it turns out they actually can, I was as surprised as anyone…)

I’m never sure how much to ‘add’ to a project – I wasn’t sure about the leaves at the time but now I love them.

I also traced and messed about with illustrations from another of Bean’s favourites ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, to make a special birthday card…here’s an ‘in progress’ picture…

I’ve not yet taken a picture of the finished card – but it looks great (if I do say so myself).

The simplest but most time consuming part of the Bean’s birthday preparations was making the party bags for her little friends. For some reason I decided to make party bags for the littles. The bags were simple rectangles, machine sewn then cut with pinking shears. Inside were stickers, colouring sheets printed from the ‘net and for some reason, which made perfect sense at the time, each bag contained a knitted hedgehog.

This little fellow wasn’t to0 pleased about having to share his cake.

(Shh! They’re coming!)

The pattern is by Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits. Julie stuffs her hedgies a little more but I think mine look pretty cute! I love visiting Little Cotton Rabbits as Julie knits the most wonderful toys – I am just hoping for the day that she releases a knitting pattern book as currently she only sells the finished toys. The pattern is very simple (sensing a theme here?), each one probably only takes 20 minutes max and the reaction from the littles was absolutely worth it!

Right, blog semi-updated. Now, off to check out what everyone else has been up to!

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Wonderful wool!

It’s amazing how quickly this…

…can turn into this…

…and how much fun can be had in the middle!

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Hooray! I have finally managed to clear enough space on the computer hard-drive to download the photos of the last couple of months. I have been spending time doing various crafty things, which I’ll post about over the next couple of weeks. In the mean time, here is what I have been up to over the last couple of days…

 

…nursing a poorly-sick Little Bean. We are so lucky, even when she is feeling under the weather she doesn’t make a fuss. We’ve spent the last two days snuggled on the sofa, which has been rather wonderful, in many ways. Apart from when she falls asleep in the car, the Bean only tends to fall asleep in her cot, so whilst I’d obviously rather her be well, it has been a joy to see her dozing off to sleep in my arms or next to me and listening to her little snoring (when I say ‘little’ I use that loosely, as I still think she is part Badger Baby with all the enthusiastic snuffling she does).

All this sleeping has meant I have had plenty of time for a bit of knitting. I am trying (forever trying!) to use up some of the wool that I seem to have gathered over the years. I decided to use some soft textured purple chunky wool to make a shawl which I can wear when knitting in the evenings (I am always cold and it’s hard to knit under a blanket!). I cast on 4 stitches and then worked in stocking stitch, increasing at each end of every knit row until I had about 150 stitches (I forget the actual number). I am sharing this pattern as a warning to others – do not follow! Unless, of course, it’s your intention to produce a cape that Quazimodo himself might choose to wear when out on the town. For me, this was just an unexpected side effect. Luckily this was never intended to be anything other than slouch-on-the-sofa attire and it does do the job, but even so…  

Obligatory (if poorly taken) photo of the shawl-in-progress.

The knitting is complete now, I just need to find the perfect button to finish it off and I’ll give that baby a whirl when I start my next knitting project – a cushion with the same wool. We’ll see how Quazimodo likes that…

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There’s been just a simple little bit of crafting going on this week – you can’t get much more straightforward than a simple knitted child’s scarf. I normally prefer the smoother look that stocking stitch produces, but I figured a scarf that narrow would roll up too much (I’m too lazy to block) and that the Bean, who is currently a big fan of squishing things, would prefer the thicker scarf.

It’s such a simple, quick knit – only 20 stitches across in DK wool. I’m using Robin Paintbox wool, which I bought for £1.50 from a recently discovered wool shop in my local town. The picture doesn’t really do it justice, it’s actually a lovely mix of white, raspberry and pink shades. I bought it partly because the Bean seems to be turning into a girly girl (albeit still a rough and tumble one) so the pink will go down well and partly because it reminds me of the beautiful wool used by Nicole over at the brilliant Frontier Dreams and yes, I do know that I am kidding myself in believing that the beautiful hand dyed wool she uses could be replicated in my £1.50 find but hey, that’s as close as it’s going to get.

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Some of my lucky (?) friends and family got lovely handmade goodies for Christmas…here is just some of the crafting goodness that went on…

These cushions were made for a couple of friends. The cushion on the left is of the flag of our county – (thankfully it’s quite a simple flag  – gotta love straight lines!) but my favourite is the bunting cushion on lovely thick cotton sheeting, which gives the cushion a nice crisp, weighty feel. Thanks to a recent discovery of ‘Bondaweb’ this cushion was ridiculously simple to make. I simply cut out a large rectangle for the actual cushion, hemming the ends. I then cut out four triangles from fabric and Bondaweb and ironed them onto the cushion*. I then zig-zag stitched around each triangle to add definition and (hopefully) longevity.  *Before getting angry with the Bondaweb and curse it for not working, check you have first removed the backing paper…and that’s all I have to say about that.

 

I was really pleased with how this turned out (once ironed). It was a idea that had been floating about in my head for some time (at any one time, a small proportion of my brain is always thinking about bunting), which is always dangerous as if it had turned out badly I’d have been all the more disappointed, but it actually turned out really well. 

I also made some felt Christmas tree decorations in a variety of designs, some decorated with buttons in muted tones, some bright and some ‘vintage’ shirt buttons (i.e. cut off an old shirt destined for the recycling but let’s call it vintage and it sounds so much better).

I also made a little bunny for my niece T. It’s always a bit worrying giving a toy to a child as you have no idea how well it’s going to be recieved – so naturally I was thrilled when she immediately hugged her and said “Oh, I shall call her Ballerina Bunny Love”…erm…okay then, as long as you’re happy…

My favourite part was the little shoe laces (admitedly that’s probably not the technical ballet term).

They looked somewhat different after a night of hugging.

Tsk, I nearly forgot (again). Although not at all related to Christmas crafting, here’s a shot of Poorly Micheal which I made for cheering the Bean up when she gets sick. I’ve shown it to her and she’s pretty much shunned it, however I’m hoping he’ll grow on her, or she’ll never get sick, either suits me fine.    : )

 

I got the idea from Nicole at One Hook Wonder, who in turn got the idea from the inspirational Molly Chicken blog (I’ll try to find the proper links later). I love the way we have all interpreted the idea in a different way whilst still keeping similar elements.

That’s all for now folks…

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