With only a few days left until we are back at school, I’ve finally got around to making something for my daughter and her friend. They are both mad on cats (we have two and her friend has one) and whenever they have got together this holiday at least one of them has been wearing cat ears on a hairband! It’s very cute and I hope it continues for some time yet, as they are growing up far too quickly.
Anyway, as they are off to Blackpool Zoo at the weekend, I thought I’d make them a little cat bag each from the last issue of LGC Knitting and Crochet, to carry their little bits and pieces in.
I stuck to the pattern colours for my daughter’s bag, although she insisted on a change to the handle colour as her favourite colour at the moment is white! It’s a really simple pattern mostly in garter stitch, so very quick to make. Her friend asked for a black one with pink and purple features!
They certainly liked them before I finished them, so fingers crossed they will like the fully finished articles. I think they will be purrfect for carrying around a little mouse purse and a few sweets each!
I’ve continued to be hooked on crochet this week and having finished the lion I wanted to make something else to ad to my now growing menagerie of summer animal makes. I found a lovely pattern for a colourful chameleon in another back issue of Let’s Get Crafting magazine and he looked too cheerful not to make.
He was designed by the lovely and very talented lady over at Moji Moji Designs. I’ve made a couple of her patterns before (owl purse) but never attempted one of her animal creations. So this was a real test of my improving crochet skills.
I put this over on my facebook page to see if anyone could hazard a guess at what it was going to be, but no-one guessed correctly. Mind you, with just the body to go on, it really could have been anything!!
The yarn colours in the magazine kit are really bright and cheerful but it was a real test for me to keep changing colours every round. I think I managed it ok in the end but there were a couple of times when I had to undo a round or two and start again! It’s not easy changing colour all the time and keeping the yarns from tangling up! As with most of the toy patterns I’ve followed, it is mostly made from double crochet
I’m really enjoying crochet for toy making as it makes a much stronger and thicker fabric than knitting does. This means I am finding the toys much easier to stuff as the stitches are more rigid. Over stuffing is too easy in a knitted toy, so I usually use smaller needles than the pattern suggests.
The official name for this little man is Karma, but I’m not sure he looks very serene. He seems a bit angry to me, but I love him and he looks great on my shelf with his new friends lion and unicorn! I hope I get the chance to make some more friends for them all before we go back to school.
After all the baking, I’ve moved back into the realms of toy making. This time I decided to get the crochet hooks out and found a rather cute little lion project in an old issue of Lets Get Crafting magazine.
My daughter is obsessed with all things feline at the moment, so this seemed like the ideal project for her.
It hasn’t taken me very long to make up, but the stuffing and sewing together of the limbs was a bit fiddly. I love the mane though and I am going to try and incorporate this new stitch style into some of my other projects in the future.
I love this magazine for all the hints and tips when knitting but particularly for crochet. I still consider myself a novice crocheter, so any help with new stitches is always welcome. The patterns in this magazine have helped me learn and practice.
After finishing the lion, I decided to put together all the toys I’ve made using patterns from the LGC magazines. This is my little selection that I’ve made for Alice over the last couple of years.
It’s nice to see them all together and to compare how I have improved with my amigurumi crochet animals too. The little blue bird (chirp) was my first ever try at amigurumi and when he sits next to the lion, the difference is quite striking – well I think so. So much so, that I have sent a copy of this picture to the magazine!. Fingers crossed it might make it into the next issue.
Not long to go now until the end of the summer break, and I’m now working on a couple more projects to use up some of the yarn stash in the craft room!
It really wouldn’t be a holiday from school without a spot of baking, and with the disappointment of not being ale to finish my dancing hippo, we needed some cake to cheer us up a bit!
We started off with some all-in-one vanilla sponge. Alice was given a fabulous junior baking set for her birthday, all good quality utensils, not the usual kids plastic stuff. It’s all silicon and stainless steel, just scaled down a bit for smaller hands – ideal for me too! So we made some vanilla sponge mix, and made it into a victoria sandwich and 6 cupcakes. The fun was definitely in the decorating (and licking the bowl).
The kit had an icing set with three different nozzles too, so we had a practice making some rosettes.
After the cake, we moved on to some cookies. We’ve never really done cookies before, we’ve always stuck to pretty basic butter biscuits, but we fancied a change. I had a look around the internet and found a couple of recipes that looked simple for us to have a go at. We started with some peanut butter cookies, which were incredibly simple to make and very tasty too.
We finished with some chocolate chip cookies. This had a few more ingredients, but again it’s pretty simple to follow. We enjoyed making it, and it was great practice for Alice with measuring out. The really great part is not having to roll out a dough and use cutters, just taking a teaspoonful of the mixture and putting it on the baking paper means less washing up and it’s a lot simpler for smaller hands.
Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the finished cookies, but suffice it to say they tasted delicious and we had plenty to share with family and friends.
After the completion of my knitted unicorn last week, this week I’ve been working on another of the knitting kits I have been meaning to make for ages. It’s quite appropriate for many of our friends and their children, as it’s a dancing hippo!
This was a gift from Let’s Knit magazine and included two balls of grey and one ball of pink yarn. I set about following the pattern , but I decided to use slightly smaller needles as I wanted a tighter knit fabric. I love this hippo and the addition of the ballet tutu and little bows are so sweet, I can see this being popular at dance class next term!
It’s another knitted toy and I was doing quite well with all the pieces for a while and managed to get the little hippo to this position
but I have now run out of yarn to make the nose, arms and legs!! So I have spent the last few days looking for a match. No luck so far, but I shall keep on trying. I think I will also contact the magazine and see if they can provide me with another ball of the grey. I think I have enough pink for the ballet shoes and bows.
Wish me luck. Hopefully |I will be able to find some more yarn as the poor hippo is looking very forlorn in my knitting basket.
In the meantime I’m going to get out another kit and see what else I can add to the menagerie this Summer!!