Work-in-Progress Progress!

It’s three months (ish) since we went into lockdown and I have tried to get through the large bag of partly made projects I had hanging around back in March. Twenty items really is too many to have left so long, but I really am all about the knitting / crochet and not the stuffing and sewing.

Having finished the three lockdown lions a few weeks back, I have been steadily working through the other bags and boxes of pieces and my menagerie is growing once again.  Most of the creatures are from kits I’ve had from either Let’s Knit or LGC Knitting and Crochet magazines, and are great for making something a little out of my comfort zone or for little gifts for friends and family.  I have enjoyed making most of them.  I do find that sometimes the instructions can be a little vague – sew legs to body, for instance – so I do make a point of studying as many pictures of the finished articles as possible before committing the the finial positions of limbs and features.

So, what have I managed to finsh over the last few weeks then?

From LGC Knitting and Crochet magazine, I have made,

Amy the Donkey (design by Hannah Cooper)

Easter Bunny (design by Nicola Valiji)

Safari bear (design by Sarah Louise Read)

and a knitted chick (design by Sachiyo Ishii)

From the Let’s Knit kits, I chose

Sparkle-dash the unicorn (design by Steffi Hochfellner)

And I finally finished an Aldi, So crafty kit of a hippo.

I hope you like them as much as I do.

There is still a way to go, but the pile is steadily reducing which means thee is more space in the living room – I actually found my sewing machine this week, which had been buried under two bags of yarn.  So there’s something else to do, hmmm, what to make next……..

Happy crafting

x

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Lions on lockdown

The weather this last couple of weeks has been nothing short of glorious up here in our little corner of East Lancashire.  I can’t quite believe it’s only April.  This has meant I’ve been finishing off my lions in the evening rather than during the afternoon, as it’s been too nice to not get out and do some gardening.

I am now pleased to say that I have finished the first toys from my work-in-progress bag.  Let me introduce to you Lenny the Lion.  He’s the second yellow lion I have made to the Steffi Hochfellner pattern and he’s a real cutey.

Unlike his best mate Rockstar!

This one has always wanted to be a rockstar and is loving the fact he can’t have a haircut during lockdown.  I think he really rocks the long mane look though and he’s not at all mean or moody.

With the weather being so lovely and not having done much exercise, we headed out to the garden for a mini adventure.  The lions quite enjoyed roving through the long grass (chives).

And then the scaled the magnolia tree for a better look at their kingdom.  They were joined by little blue lion, who isn’t quite finished yet.

After the magnolia tree, Lenny scaled the cherry, carefully avoiding knocking the blossom off.  He was desperate to get to the top and enjoy the sunny views with his friend.

Little blue was left at the bottom for a while as he struggles to climb without any back legs!  But the others helped him up for a tree top chat.

Lenny ended his adventure photoshoot with a relax by the waterhole (my wildlife pond).  I don’t think he spotted the frog or he might have gotten a bit wet!

It’s been lovely seeing the bright colours out in the garden and the lions just added a bit of fun to the day.  I shall get on with giving poor little blue some much needed back legs and an extra bit of mane as he’s still a little bald at the back (don’t tell him though).

Stay safe and Happy crafting

x

 

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Works-in-Progress

I hope this finds you keeping safe and well inside during the lockdown.  We are all well here, so far.  I am doing ok at staying in, having the garden to potter about in certainly helps here.  I’m not sure my husband and daughter would say the same as they are far more used to being active and out-and-about than me.  However, the sun is shining again and when I look out of the window, it is hard to believ that there could be anything wrong at all.  The birds are singing and Spring is most definitely springing.

Well, I stopped procrastinating this weekend and finally sorted through my pile of works-in-progress.  I am completely ashamed of myself, letting the pile get so big.  But, I’m not too ashamed to say how many items are partly made – 20!  Most of them are from back issues of Let’s Knit and LGC Knitting and Crochet magazines.

I have started on the three lions as I think they will take the least time to finish.  So far I have a gold one and a pink one that look very odd without any mane!  These have been knitted using oddments from my enormous stash (most of which is currently sat in a large basket on the landing due to my craft space being used as an office).   It’s a design by Steffi Hochfellner and it is a lovely one to knit.

I have made one before which was very popular with some of the younger people I know.  As you can see, he is quite magnificent with his multi-colour mane and I will spare his embarrassment and not show the world what he looks like bald!

When I’ve finished the lion triplets I might take them for an adventure in the jungle (aka my garden).

Stay safe and happy crafting

x

 

 

 

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Week 1 – Social Distancing in the Sun

Well last week was a very unusual one for everyone.  We spent the week mostly in and around the house, which is not that unusual for me, but it’s been strange having my husband and daughter at home as well.  Fortunately the weather was lovely and I spent a lot of time outside, reading and doing some garden tidying.  I really love being out in the garden and I would very much like to be doing more out there, but being unable to go to a garden centre is limiting how much I can actually do.

My garden in Spring

My husband bought me a book for our anniversary last year, ‘This Golden Fleece‘ by Esther Rutter.  It’s basically a trip through knitting history, where the author travels around the country discovering knitting traditions and having a go at following old methods.  It’s quite an interesting read and as she travels somewhere new each month, I’ve been trying to read a chapter every month.  (I’m also reading other novels as well).  I’m finding at the moment, that I would like to have had a pattern in each chapter as well, but as I have plenty of patterns to work through, I don’t really need any more just now.

I set myself a New Year’s Resolution to read more and to finish my enormous reading pile.  My aim being to read at least one book a month.  So far I have finished 9 books!  I think these strange times will further increase my reading, particularly as I am encouraging my daughter to read for at least half an hour each day and I am trying my best to settle down at the same time and read too.

Crafting hasn’t been something I have felt much like doing this week.  I managed to finish off a couple of card orders before school was closed, but I just haven’t had the inclination to pick up anything at all!  I keep looking at the enormous pile of unfinished projects sat by the settee in the living room, thinking I must actually finish some of them off.  I will at some point, probably when I’ve done everything else I can think of to do instead!  Talk about procrastination.

My craft space has been transformed into a home office for my husband, so making cards is more difficult at the moment.  I really do feel like making something, but what I don’t know, and I would very much like to have my space back.  I moved my old record player from my Mum’s last year, and it’s a great opportunity to listen to some of my small vinyl collection while I peruse the various card and paper stashes.  Anyway, that’s off limits for the foreseeable future, so I will have to get to grips with a routine that includes utilising the kitchen table and includes craft sessions for my daughter!

It’s surprising how much I have wanted to bake though – I think it has something to do with the lack of chocolate in the house and the need for comfort eating.  So I have made some delicious peanut butter cookies and a gooseberry crumble.  Both very simple things to make but very tasty.

Sometimes you just need baking!

Stay safe and happy crafting.

x

 

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Unicorns

Last Summer I was trying to make up all the knitting kits I have in my craft space, in order to free up some space and to see how they look when finished.  One of the kits I made was a little knitted unicorn.  It was a lovely little make and proved very popular with my daughter and her friends.  So much so I have been asked to make several more. (This pattern was printed in Let’s Knit magazine and is by Christel Krukkert)

I love it when people ask me to make something for their children for birthdays and make requests for favourite colours.  I’ve also enjoyed making these in my own colour combinations to give as gifts.  They are so cute and when made in baby yarn, they are so soft and cuddly too.  I’ve embroidered the eyes on these as well, so there are no problems giving them to smaller children.

This lovely pink creation was for a gift for a friend’s daughter.  She loves horses so I think a unicorn made a lovely present.

This one was a Christmas present for a friend’s daughter.

Alice was desperate for a unicorn of her own and she chose this colour combination as it reminded her of Twilight Sparkle from the My Little Pony series.

The next three have been made as gifts.  The pink one made a lovely new baby gift for my daughter’s dance teacher.

I was starting to think I wouldn’t get to do any crochet again, until one of my work colleagues asked me to make her a different unicorn for her grandaughter. (This pattern was posted in Let’s Get Crafting magazine and is from Moji-moji designs).

These are all so lovely to make and I can’t help but feel happy when I making one of these creatures.  Long live the unicorn revolution!!

Happy crafting
x

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A little knitted kitty!

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!

Happy crafting
x

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A Dancing Hippo!

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!!

Happy crafting
x

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First Week of Summer Makes!

Well the first week of the school holidays has flown by.  We’ve been pretty busy catching up with my parents, some friends and generally having some home chilling time.  Both me and the not-so-little-one have been doing some crafting too, while we sheltered from the rain!

I have moved into the craft room and had a good sort out too.  It’s looking much tidier and I feel like I can find things again – only time will tell though.  During my epic tidy up, I put all my knitting and crochet kits from magazines in one drawer, so my aim this holiday is to get some of them made into things.  So this week I have made a start on a knitted unicorn.

This kit was a gift with Let’s Knit magazine, not that long ago, and I think it will make a nice companion for the little crochet unicorn, Meadow, I made a couple of years ago.  Here’s the pattern picture, which has been very helpful when putting all the pieces together.

It’s taken a little while this week to get all the pieces together, and then I, of course, ran out of toy stuffing, typical! I haven’t used safety eyes either as I like to try and embroider the eyes on, just in case the animals fall into very tiny hands.  I don’t think this one will though as Alice has claimed it already.

So here is my finished unicorn, it has already had several hair styles and has claimed a place on the shelf in my craft room, just to make sure I do actually finish some more animals to keep her company.  I don’t have a name yet though. although Rainbow does seem to be a contender.

She’s is a decent size too, which I was surprised at as I used smaller needles than those stated in the pattern.  Sat down she is about 25cm tall, so she makes a lovely addition to my tidy craft room, now to see if I can claim Meadow back to join her!  They have certainly enjoyed having their photo session and a good girly gossip!

Next I’m starting work on a dancing hippo!!

Happy summer crafting
x

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Hearts Everywhere

This year the heart has never seemed more appropriate to send to someone.  I think we all need to show a bit more love.  I’ve had a few wedding cards to make for and it always restores my faith in humanity when I’m asked to make a special card.

I’ve made a couple fairy recently for a lovely lady who wanted the colours to tie in with the colours on the wedding invitation she had received.  This first one was a classic cream and navy scheme.  I still love this style with the dangler heart on acetate.

The second one was a much more colourful affair.  I was a bit unsure at first, but I rather like the overall effect of the nesting hearts and borders.

I also had a wedding of my own to go to, as my cousin was tying the knot, with my daughter as her little bridesmaid.  Her scheme was very pastel colours, so I went for a pale pink with floral foiling and added pearls.

Last month was so sad with all the terrible events in Manchester and London.  I was at a complete loss after the Manchester Arena  bombing, I knew several people at the concert and we lost two young lives in the town.  I wanted to do something to help so I joined a group #aheart4mcr making hearts to distribute around Manchester city centre.  It was a wonderful way to show support and care for those that had lost loved ones or sustained terrible injuries.

I sent off 27 knitted and crochet hearts in total and they joined over 26,000 others from all over the world, displayed and then taken home by people coming into the city centre.  I was struck just after the first heart drop to find this lovely heart on my lawn.

Sometimes it pays not to mow the lawn every week!

I thought I’d end today with one of the cards I sent in my order to Hearts for Homes in Ramsbottom, a red button heart for an engagement.  I was asked to make a few new engagement cards and the heart just seemed to fit the bill.  I haven’t done a button based card for quite a while and I really enjoyed emptying my ever-growing button stash onto the table to find the right size and colours.

I’m afraid I’m not very organised with my buttons and ribbons.  I wish I was, but I don’t have very much space really, or maybe it’s not having the inclination to sort them out!  I’ve taken over the box room so I’m squashed in with everything else that hasn’t found a home elsewhere in the house.  I really do need to get cracking on sorting it out though, but I always get so distracted whenever I start.

Oh, well, back to finding some more love and make some more hearts.

Happy crafting
x

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2017 is flying!

I can’t believe where this year has gone and it’s almost July already!  It’s been a rather odd year for me and I’ve been busy with all sorts of things that I haven’t had time to sit down and write anything.  So I’ve grabbed a few minutes and thought I’d have a catch up and see what’s been going on.

I had a rather rotten end to 2016 and start to 2017 as my back went and I was unable to stay in any position for long, so I was a bit grumpy (to say the least), well lack of sleep will do that to you!    So I’ve been trying to do some back strengthening exercises every day to help, but it still twinges every so often.  I also spent several weeks on physio and hospital check-ups following my broken foot last July.

Anyway, I seem to be hospital free for the time being (fingers crossed) and I’m back to my weekly tap class which is great fun.  I’m also back crafting again and have spent the last few weeks and months busy making all sorts of items for orders and for our own use at home.

I ended last year making loads of legwarmers for the girls at dancing, and this year has continued the trend.  Since Easter I’ve been knitting frantically, furry wrist cuffs and legwarmers for some the girls taking part in a ‘Cats’ number both for the annual dance show and for competitions.

These feel lovely when knitted up, but depending on the yarn used I found them quite difficult to make.  The white ones were made with Eskimo yarn and that knitted up quite nicely, but I used some eyelash yarn that was really difficult to keep count of my stitches.  They did all look lovely on the girls though and made the outfits.  Alice has also asked for some now as she’s obsessed with white!

So I’ve beenknitting quite a lot over the months, and managed to get in a bit for my family.  I always make the children something to play with at the end of the egg hunt we do at Easter, and this year was no exception.

This year the three children found a knitted egg cosy character with a chocolate egg inside.  These are made from a free pattern of Jean Greenhowe that I’ve ad for ages and never got round to making up before.  They are easy to do and they were very popular, so I introduce you to Holly, Eggy and Steven!  They certainly has plenty of adventures on Easter Sunday, poor Steven was lost several times, but he was eventually found and went home with his new best friend!!

Easter also involved quite a bit of baking which was shared with family, friends and neighbours.

Mother’s and Father’s Day meant a lot of card crafting and my large owl cards were very popular.

I made these in a variety of papers and love the different effects they create.  I also enjoyed making the triangular backgrounds and took this further making some cards for men.

I love the monochrome set of card and toppers and when matched with the Hunkydory rainbow mirri card they really shine.

For Father’s Day I made a collection of cards for Hearts for Homes in Ramsbottom.

I fancied doing some more origami and made these using an old Papermania set of men’s papers, but I had to do some owls too and loved using these old maps.

Well it’s time to head off to work now, but I’ll be back soon with some more ramblings of a middle-aged crafter!  Have a great day.

Happy crafting

x

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