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 is 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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New partnership

While I was at the Ramsbottom pre-Christmas craft fair the other week, I met a lovely lady, Emma, who has her own business, Empathy Holistics. She offers baby massage, pregnancy massage and workshops and was doing relaxing hand and shoulder massages at the fair. As well as the massage she makes up blends of relaxing massage oils, balms and creams.

Knitted Sacks

Knitted Sacks

We got talking and she fancied having something different to package her bottles of creams and oils in, particularly for Christmas. So we came up with the idea of my little knitted Santa sacks which I’ve used for sweets in the past. I’ve supplied 11 sacks in a variety of colours, to see how they go. Here’s a couple of the postings for the gifts showing my knitted sack.

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They seem to be attracting some nice comments, so fingers crossed for them being a good seller. We might try some larger stockings if they go well.  The gifts are fantastic for Mums-to-be and new Mums, both for Mum and baby, so pop over to the shop and have a browse.

Happy crafting
x

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Working on my PHD

Yes you did read that correctly, I am working on my PHD – Projects Half Done that is!

I was looking in my living room at the steadily growing pile of patterns, yarn and project bits and thought enough is enough, I need to finish some of these before I start anything new.

So first up is my little crochet unicorn. I had already completed the head, body and horn, so it’s time to make the legs and mane.

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This is a pattern from LGC Knitting and Crochet magazine that I started several months ago. My daughter is mad about horses, ponies and unicorns, so it seemed like a great gift for her. With her real love of Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony, the colours were almost perfect too. We had an afternoon watching ‘The Cat Returns’ and I made all the legs, but the mane took ages! Who would have thought that cutting 80 20cm lengths of yarn and then tassling them into a 21ch length would take almost 2 hours!!! Maybe it’s just me being really slow….

Anyway I now have all the pieces ready to stuff and sew together.

Next up is a crochet snowman I started last year.

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Again it’s a pattern from Knitting and Crochet magazine and it uses up some of my larger left over yarn balls. I’ve made the head and body using baby yarn, so it was time to make the nose, scarf and earmuffs. This called for a watch of ‘Frozen’, something we haven’t actually sat down to watch for a few months. This was a bit fiddly as it meant using a 2.5mm hook, which is very delicate. Fingers crossed I have enough yarn to finish the headband, or I might be making it in a co-ordinating colour! Watch this space..

My next projects to finish are to start off my Christmas collection. I know I didn’t start in June, but I need to get cracking on some of the little stockings as they are always in demand for stocking fillers, teacher gifts, table presents and tree decorations. I have 6 rainbow stockings ready to sew up now, and I have finished my first two winter coloured ones, complete with fluffy tops!

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Finally I have the knitted and crochet blanket I started for Bury Show that I didn’t get chance to finish in time. I love the sampler feel of this and all the bright colours. I now need to finish off the connecting of the squares and decide how to edge it. Any suggestions are gratefully received.

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This will really clear up my living room and give me a chance to make something new for Christmas. I am newly enthused for these projects now and can’t wait to see them finished.

Happy crafting
x

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Last Day of Term

Well the last day of the school year has arrived again.  I can’t believe how quickly it’s come round.  My daughter is finishing year one today and has taken in her little cards and gifts for her teacher and teaching assistant.

We have kept with the homemade and apple themes, but changed things a little with the cards this year.  So instead of just having a personalised tag on the keyring, we have personalised tags on the cards as well. Hopefully the staff will appreciate something different from all the boxes of chocolates, biscuits and bottles of wine that we saw on our way into class this morning.

Personalised Thank You Cards

Personalised Thank You Cards

I also added a little red bakers twine bow to the tag at the last minute this morning – thank heavens for cosmic shimmer glue being so quick drying!

My daughter did all the writing inside, with no help from me at all.

Apple keyrings

I can’t believe she’s moving up to year two in September. She’s been at the school for three years now already, as she started in the nursery, and it’s flying by. So I am making the most of the last afternoon of peace and quiet around the house before I start to think about what we can get up to over the school holidays. I feel there will be crafting activities, hopefully I might even persuade her to learn to knit or crochet!

Happy summer crafting
x

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Learning to Knit?

‘But you can already knit’ I hear you cry.

Yes I know I can already knit, but I’m always open to learning more. I found a lovely lady with a stall at Bury Show last weekend and she has set up her own little business teaching people to knit. I was drawn in by the lovely balls of yarn on her table and picked up a leaflet and business card for a bit more information.

We had a lovely chat about knitting and it turns out that she doesn’t think her classes would be of any benefit to me. She teaches mainly adults, however, she is considering teaching children to knit, probably from the age seven. So I might well be taking her up on that option for my daughter in the next year or so. (That is if she wants to learn) It was great to chat with someone else so passionate about her craft.

So if you want to learn to knit or are ready to take on cables and/or knitting in the round and are in the Bury area, why not check out learn to knit bury

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Happy crafting
x

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Bury Show 2015

Somehow I managed to leave everything to the last minute this year. I suppose I could blame it on my operation and recovery, but I think I was actually just trying to cram in too many things at the same time! We had a pretty manic few days with dancing classes (not me) and a long-standing diary date to actually go out! So I was trying my best to get everything organised for my daughters’ school homework, that my entries for Bury Show just got pushed to the back of the queue.

Anyway, I did manage to make a couple of cards. I had already made one owl,
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but decided it needed something more, so I added a baby owl too and a little sentiment.

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I love the quirky faces on these owls, just a different position of the pupils in the eyes makes such a difference to their characters. They are a real hit with my daughter and her friends too, so I can see a few of these being made in the future.

I wasn’t happy just with this little owl though as although it was time consuming and looks cute, I wanted to show some different skills, so I decided to make a birdhouse card too. This was great fun and a bit fiddly at times. The birdhouse is quite straightforward a shape to make and it really lends itself to being made out of vintage-style papers. I then made a rosette using a papermania template and added some hand rolled paper roses. To finish off I added some paper leaves, an insert and a little bird on the insert.

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It was a race down to the show before judging started at 9:30am on Sunday. We managed it and had a look round all the other classes too. It’s always interesting to see what other people re making. The knitting and crochet class had lots of entries as usual. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to finish my blanket of knitted squares and crochet connections, so I entered one of my crochet baby comfort blankets instead. There were lots of toys this year and a few blankets, but not many clothes. This is probably due to the theme being babys and toddlers this time. Another well entered class was the photography, although some of the photographs were not very interesting (to me). My husband is a very keen photographer and he was very disappointed in the technical standards of the shots. There was one gorgeous picture of avocets which I would happily have had on my wall.

After a race to collect our daughter from Grandma and Grandad’s it was back to the show to see how I had got on.

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I have to say I was very disappointed this year. I spoke with ne of the organisers and they have a new judge this year, but she couldn’t really tell me anything on what the judge was looking for. Having examined the first place card I’m still unsure and just assume it was down to personal preference. I will try to do something different again next year as I got some lovely comments from visitors to the show, and I suppose if just goes to show that personal opinions are very different.

So next year I will try to finish my kitting project and show some more skills with cable and bobbles I think. I would also like to have a go at some of the baking classes as I think my scones would go down pretty well. It’s time to get thinking and planning again, but this year I must actually write my ideas down or else they will be lost in the Christmas madness!

Happy crafting
x

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