Wednesday, 28 August 2013

End of year gifts (before the new year rolls in)

As an end of the year gift, I decided to make my class a cushion to take up with them to their new classroom- a bit of me in their new world.  Now, this may sound a bit strange, but you probably haven't witnessed the ongoing battle for the best cushion when children come to the classroom.  Seriously, it doesn't matter how old they are, boy or girl, they all grab for a bit of comfort and the best cushion is a prized belonging!  This cushion met with HUGE excitement and enthusiasm and was tossed around the room for a hug and a squeeze before being ceremoniously carried down to their new classroom (I checked with the next teacher first..)  No pattern needed here, just a big Granny square in rainbow colours to the cushion size and single crochet edge to hold together.
A few crafty gifts for my Teaching assistants ended the year nicely. These were balanced with boxes of Chocs and smart new water flasks- as they were always leaving glasses in the classroom (grrr).  Like my sister, I had also made apple keyrings from my "Heartfelt Holidays" book as great minds do think alike!  The strawberry keyring was a quick online feltie idea for one lady who always has strawberries after lunch.  I also made a batch of stress relieving lavender pyramids as two of my support ladies are going on to working with special children (and both adult and child may need a soothing mini hug from these)  The third was to keep in class for circle time and calming down zone...

It's wonderful to see how children love the comfy and colourful woolly world I share with them.  My new project is to bring more of this love and craft into my classroom- keep you posted!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

A ripped dress- darn it!

I had so much fun recently changing a pair of ripped jeans into a skirt but regretted my rushed hem which was crooked and wasn't double folded over.  Well, I thought that it was time to start learning how to mend properly as I always seem to have some favourite dress or top to fix in my cupboard.  I bought a lovely little book called "Mend it Better" which is very useful and helped me have the confidence to do a couple of those cupboard jobs!  First, that skirt.  You see, the hem started to fray and drip down messy threads.  Along with the uneven hem, it was looking pretty naff, so I decided to re hem it.  It didn't take long to realise that I needed to cut away the old hem and would end up with a mini skirt (not a good look for my daughter just yet...).  So, out came a saved ripped dress from KJ's super cousin and, "Ta Da!", we now have a gorgeous long and colourful skirt.  That £1 pair of jeans is on it's third regeneration and I look forward to seeing just how many more changes one piece of clothing can go through.

But that's not all- oh no- I also rescued HB's dress!  This was recently found in the loft as a hand-me-down from another cousin.  It was promptly announced as, "My favourite, Mummy" but when Madam turned around I discovered two great big holes in the back! (I mean, how could her Auntie have missed those??)  So, I promised I would try, and used my fab book to snip the frayed edges, stretch onto an embroidery hoop, whipstitch to prevent fraying and then have lots of fun cutting tiny patch flowers to applique over the holes.  I added extra flowers to the front so that the back repair looked intentional and HB wore her dress all holiday!  Now, the bow has fallen off I see (HB is wearing the dress as I type)- seriously, this dress is a pain in the neck...but she loves it so I forgive it.
1- Ripped Dress

2- Neatened holes and whipstitching

3- Starting to patch.

4- Front and back fixed sun dress!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Baptism Bunny!

It's "Baptism Bunny"!  Sounds almost Superhero, doesn't it.  Like those new age catholics who try a bit too hard to make Church "cool".  But isn't she a peach!  I love that my little design took wings and inspired some more simple designs.  Simple because, like most crafters, I class myself still as a learner.  This is less to do with false modesty than an ongoing desire to learn, improve and create.  It really is the most addictive pleasure, being able to create without a book and a pattern!  Best of all is to become one of those teachers who share easy patterns to the learners out there.  So, I hope you enjoy these really easy little extras for your bunny. x

You will need:
-Any odds and ends of wool (acrylic is a good washable choice for baby drool)
White, yellow, red and black DK cotton for candle
-Size 2.5, 3.00 and 3.5 hook 

Shawl (almost a granny!)
1.       Ch 4 and SS.
2.       Ch 3 (counts as first tr), 2tr in ring, ch 2,
3.       (3tr, ch 2) repeat until you have 4 sets as in a granny square.  SS to top of first chain.
4.       SS along to next ch space, ch 2, 2tr, ch 2, 3tr in same corner space.
5.       Ch 2, 3tr, ch 2, 3tr all the way around.
6.       SS to the top of the ch 3.
7.       Repeat row 6.
8.       SS to next chain space.  Repeat as above but with ch 1 between each set of trebles.
Candle- I used DK cotton for stiffness and a size 2.5 hook
1.       Ch 2, 6sc in sc ch- 6 stitches.
2.       Ch 1, 2sc in each stitch- 12 stitches.
3.       Ch 1, sc in loop closest to you all the way around, ss into first stitch and ch 1.
4.       Sc in a spiral to desired length.
5.       SS, fasten off and stuff firmly.
6.       Make a separate circle to top the candle (step 1 and 2). 
7.       Fasten off leaving a long tail and stitch on.
1.       Ch 2, 6sc in second chain from hook- 6 stitches.
2.       Ch 1, sc in loop closest to you- 6 stitches.
3.       Continue up 2 rounds.
4.       Sc dec until final stitch, knot tail at the point of the flame and stitch on with black thread for wick.
Dress- Use a size 3 hook for this one

1.       Ch 23 and ss into a loop.
2.       Sc all the way around and join with a ss.
3.       Ch 1 and sc all the way around 3 more rows.
4.       (Sc inc, 11sc, sc inc) x2 and ss at the start- 25 stitches
5.       Ch 1, sc all around and ss.
6.       Ch 3 (counts as first tr), Tr all around and ss into first stitch.
7.       (Ch 2, miss 1 stitch, sc in the next stitch) all around to make a scallop edge.
8.       SS into first ch 2 space.  Ch 3 and 2tr into first space.
9.       Ch 2 into next space, putting 3tr into each chain space.  SS final ch 2 into first stitch.
10.   Ch 1 and sc all around, ( just pop 1sc into each ch 2 space), and ss into first.
11.   Repeat sc all around.
12.   Ch 3 and tr all around. SS into first.
13.   Now for final scallop edge!  Ch3, miss a stich and sc into the next stitch all the way around.
14.   Straps- Press dress flat so that the increases sit at each side.  Attach wool for first strap, ch 1, 2sc across into top of bodice, turn, ch 1, 2sc across.  Repeat this to desired length (approx. 11 rows) and fasten off.  Repeat for second strap and whipstitch into place.
Tiny flower
  1. Ch 4 and ss into ring.
  2. 6sc around and ss into first stitch.
  3. Ch 3 and ss into stitch.
  4. Repeat step three all around and slip stich to the first.
  5. Fasten off leaving a long tail for stitching onto the dress.

Please have a go and keep an eye out for more Bunny Fun (I don't think I'm going to be able to stop!)