Saturday, 26 February 2011

Week 6 Decoration- Tiny Felt Robin

Look at this!! I am so proud of this little guy as it is the first design that I've made that is a perfect match to the pattern.

  1. I sketched out a robin from a google photo and traced each different section onto plain paper.

  2. I cut out the teeny pieces and used sticky tape to hold them onto the felt. (This was a tip I got from a previous website. It makes it easier to cut very small pieces neatly, the felt piece comes away when the shape is cut out and the tape left on the template strenthens it)

  3. I used silver, red and brown thread to embroider the details and then stitched all the pieces together. I added a plain, fine ribbon to keep the focus on the little guy

The whole thing from cutting to finishing took just over 40 minutes which I was surprised by, I must say! I wanted to scan in my pattern but my scanners gone phooey so I hope this picture will do.
So, instead of a pattern to offer, I am going to start my first Freebie Giveaway. One condition though. I want to get up to 10 followers. When I have 10, I will put names into a hat and send this little guy out to you. So, if you want him, spread the word and help me complete my dastardly plan "Mwah- ha-ha!"

Just a few little bits and pieces...

I've not been posting as much this month- Sorry! I'm not losing interest, honest. It's just that we've all been having the worst month with either 1,2,3 or 4 of us ill at the same time. The washing machine has been on permanently and we have all been a bit sorry for ourselves. I haven't picked up my craft basket until today as, finally, all of us seem to be on the mend- Yippee.

My poor Christmas project had to sit on the back burners which I've been feeling guilty about, I must say. With back-to-work days and the lure of other projects, I have made the decision to downsize the project to a "once a month" piece. Thinking about it, I may have struggled to find homes for 52 Christmas decorations so it's probably the right decision.

Let me make it up by sharing a few bits and bobs I've been meaning to post for you now...

1- Ever since I found out that some of my nearest and dearest were expecting, I've been planning and starting my baby box. I wanted to make a pre-baby gift as a one-off for one yummy mummy. This teeny badge popped into my head as I couldn't stop singing the "Baby on Board" song sung by the Barbers shop quartet in the Simpsons. It ended up just over an inch wide and the wide safety pin in the back means it will pin onto bags, over straps and on tops easily.

2- Have you come across this online magazine! It's beautiful I must say. It's full of inspirational ideas, interviews with Bloggers and new craft enterprises and lots of advice on starting out in business. There are also some lovely free projects in a variety of techniques such as sugar craft, sewing, paper flowers (and I've only read 2 past issues!) The photography is elegant and fresh and new issues are sent to your email. There are ongoing new feeds on the website and items for sale. I keep dipping into it when I have time to sit back with a cup of coffee and perhaps a slice of cake- wonderful!

3. I started making these Baby blankets during the half term break 6 weeks ago using an Erika Knight pattern from "Essential Crochet". I used it for my own little girl using Sirdar Snuggly and it made a beautiful, fine blanket. This time I used chunky wool. This wool was King Cole washable chunky wool which is lovely and soft and has made two thick and warm blankets. Blue for a boy and Yellow for a "don't know"!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Joining the SIBOL

SIBOL is a group of wonderful women who crochet and knit an amazing variety of granny squares which are crocheted together to make heirloom blankets for the elderly. This project was created just last year by Sue (Mrs Twins) and has reached people all over the world. Her " Sunshine International Blankets of Love" have notched up an impressive 52 blankets to date in various themes and have featured in quite a few magazines!

Mrs Twins saw a note on my sisters blog about me and hopped over for a friendly hello and I loved looking through her blog and ravelry page.
I wanted to waited until I had made up a colourful batch before I made my first contribution but saw a great freebie giveaway and needed to send my little one off right away!
I unwound a previous mistake - it was supposed to be a baby hat that I started 3 years ago and got so completely confused by- and reused the wool to make this one. I hope you like it Sue! More will make their way to you over the year x

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Crochet Coral Reef- Sent off pieces!

I did have fun making these! I had planned to save these until next year's arrival of the Coral Reef and had labelled to hopefully use to help others have a go. Then I found an address where pieces are still being accepted so I sent these off yesterday- I hope they get used!

I never got to see my original pieces. My sister and I organised a day trip to London to see them and had a lovely morning chatting and having lunch at Pizza Express. We went into the display and, after much looking, realised that our pieces had not been included. Seriously ticked off, we went home and both emailed the organisers to say how disappointed we were to be excluded. Imagine our embarrassment when we found out they had been included and our names on the list of crocheters, it's just that we had gone into the wrong room! We had gone and seen the Reef from around the world I think!

The display has moved on now, so hopefully I will catch it next year and see my bits included.

If you have any pieces, you can send them to...
UK Reef
Crafts Council
44S Pentonville Road
N1 9BL

Monday, 14 February 2011

Week 6 decoration- Crochet Gingerbread girl

Fred and Ginger are together! I can imagine them swirling around the dance floor...Ok,ok, maybe not- and I'm not making a top hat and cane either- but they are very sweet together. Just a little tweak to turn a boy into a girl and Hey-Presto!

My Christmas drawer may need to turn into a Christmas box soon. We have so little storage space at home though that I don't know where it would go. Time to spring clean I guess...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Potty about pots!

I went back to school today! (Well, Adult college really for a beginners day of pottery.)

I've been wanting to have a go at using a potters wheel ever since I saw Margot from "The Good Life" donning a pristine pair of Marigolds and give up within minutes. I loved watching her poor henpecked husband look in horror at the immaculate, brand-spanking new studio which would never get used again and thought, I could do that!

What a great day I've had. I had clay up to the elbows, splatters on my nose and through my hair and some seriously messy clothes but it was SO worth it.

Six of us novices couldnt wait for the gradual breakdown of techniques that our teacher wanted to take us through. We all threw ourselves into it and had a great time putting mangled lumps into the reuse pile as pots collapsed, fell off or turned into strange mushroom shapes- We were reluctant to break for lunch we were having such fun!

Well, I made three dear little pots that I am quite happy with. And, thanks to some kind family promises for childcare, get to go back for two more days. One for intermediate skills and one to learn glazing and finishing. I hope I end up with at least one special pot as I have a very late birthday present that must be honoured.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Crochet Coral Reef

Back in 2008 when I was still a Crochet puppy, my sister took me along to a "Hyperbolic Crochet" workshop in the Hayward Gallery on London's Southbank. It seemed a bit out there and wacky but it was lots of fun doing crochet in such a large group. I had to add this grainy picture of the display as, it turned up when I typed my name on a google image web search- my 2 pieces are in there somewhere!

Why am I writing about this now? Well, the other night I had finished my Gingerbread man and realised that I hadn't brought the stuff I needed for my next project (My craft boxes are stored in my little girls room). So I had the leftover wool and no pattern. I then remembered this post from before Christmas saying how the Reef was back and, even though I've missed this year's send in, decided to start on a batch for next year.

Hey, I'm already making stuff for Christmas! That should show how long it takes for me to get organised....

It really is simple to make these beautiful shapes. Make a chain, use SC, Half DC or DC and add regular increases
Ie:- Chain 30,
SC in 5 stitches, increase in next stitch.
repeat for each row and watch it ruffle up!

To make more ruffled up shapes, do fewer stitches between the increases
Ie:- Chain 20
SC in 4/3/2/1 stitches, increase in next stitch.

This link will take you to the handout I've been using. It has clear pictures and easy instructions.

So, the display is running through February and I hope to get my Sister to travel up with me to see how it has grown. I'm looking forward to using up some of my old wool to make some colourful pieces and will post as I go.

See more details on Ravelry

Week 5 decoration- Crochet Gingerbread Man

How do you like Fred? This is another revisit to an early pattern and I'm really pleased with how he turned out. I love the fact that I can now tweak patterns to get the effect I want. In this pattern, the gingerbread men come out quite chunky so I narrowed him down around the body and backed with felt instead of making two separate pieces.
I had some fab buttons from a baby cardi I made earlier this year and used click-in toy eyes which keep him looking simple and sweet. I did add a loop for hanging but I think he looks better on the dresser as a stand-up decoration.
My Fred needs a Ginger though! So I think I'll work up a girl version for next week...

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Fun with felt

Flicking through my copy of "Fa la la la felt" by Amanda Carestio is such a treat! The patterns and ideas are so beautiful that you just wantt to dive right in. I've been waiting for my beautiful baby to sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time so that I can sit in my sunny dining room and get "Felty". Yesterday seemed like that day until I realised that all the template designs at the back of the book need to be enlarged by various % to get to the right size. Darn it! I have a printer/ photocopier but it doesn't do enlargements.

So, that will have to wait a few more days. Until then, I decided to start creating my own design which I plan to share with you. I sketched out a robin using a google photo image and traced over to make separate templates. These pieces are a bit fiddly-sorry (which I will remember when designing my next piece)

I did find some useful tips for cutting out tiny felt pieces on

I plan to have design, templates and Robin finished next week and posted. I would love to hear your feedback and, if anyone fancied making their own, I would be honoured!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Katie's Tea Party!

I had to stop myself making food for now as I was falling behind on my blogging and other jobs. Don't they look delicious?? Katie has been playing with these non-stop and even sleeps with them in a felt bag by her bed at night!

I had great fun making my little teabag and using the cookie pattern to make my own Jammy Dodger. Now, of course, I have a list as long as my arm of requests for particular favourites. Funnily enough, fruit doesn't get a mention.

So far, she would like...cupcakes, pancakes, ice-lollies, sweets, Oreos and sandwiches! I have promised to make new ones each week when possible.

PS- My favourite red apple wedge is not in the picture. It was in the bag when I brought it down for photo-time... I think someone may have smuggled it into school in her little pocket!

Week 4 decoration- Crochet Stockings

Sorry this is late (again!). I meant to post on Monday's whenever I can grab a few minutes but this week has been pretty busy! It also didn't help that I couldn't stop making lovely food for the Tea Party.
I only started these yesterday morning, hoping to get one finished. Then, woosh! Baby slept for 2 hours and I went to town making little mini ones as well. Then, in the evening, I had to keep going and made this cute little set.
The pattern was one of the first projects I tried 4 years from a free crochet site (I don't remember which). I love that what took me hours back then took so little time now. I think I can safely class myself as an "Intermediate" now and not the beginner I always think I am.