Here comes the Chameleon

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.

Happy crafting
x

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Summer crochet

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!

Happy crafting
x

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The snowmen have landed

I was amazed how popular my little crochet snowman was when I took it to the dance school waiting room recently.

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So popular in fact that I was asked to make some more for Christmas decorations and keepsakes. These are my last Christmas orders for this year so I hit the hooks with some lovely soft white baby yarn and a raid on my stash for the accent colours. I was asked for pink and blue, as one was for a girl and the other for a boy! These have taken a little while to finish as I wanted them to be perfect, so the faces have had several changes. I’ve found that the best eyes have been made with black beads, sewn in tightly. I love the little crochet carrot nose too, and the earmuffs (or headphones depending on how cool you are) are very cute additions. The pattern was in an old issue of LGC Knitting and Crochet magazine and can hopefully still be found in their free patterns.

I’ve named these two Sid and Sally and they fancied having their photos taken before they got ready to go out in the cold. It was difficult choosing which buttons they would wear.

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After they had decided on their outdoor attire, they were ready to go to their new homes. I hope they have a lovely Christmas and get to see some snow!

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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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Crochet Baby Comforters

At Bury Show the other week I had some very positive comments to the crochet comforter that I entered into the craft competition, so I decided I should maybe look at making some more. I posted the picture on my facebook page and had even more comments which has sealed the deal and I have been working on a couple more of them, one for an order and one to look at some different colour combinations.

My original blankie was yellow with alternate blue and pink shapes in the granny squares and edging.

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My first order for one, is for a baby girl, so it’s in yellow again, but this time with two shades of pink for the shapes and edging.

Baby blankie 2

I’m currently working on a pink blanket and rabbit, with darker pink shapes on the granny squares. I love the flower motifs best and I think I will try one with just flowers on.

I would really love some feedback on these, just leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Happy crafting
x

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Bury Show Entries…..

Well, I’ve been busy making for the 71st Bury Show tomorrow. I’m going to enter two categories this year, the handmade greeting card, and the knitted or crochet item for a baby or toddler.

I enjoyed making the handbag card so much the other day that I thought I’d make another for my entry.

Bury Show Card Entry

I thought I’d try something a bit different with the knitted or crochet item. I didn’t have time to make a full blanket, so I made four different granny squares in yellow acrylic baby yarn with blue and pink shapes in the centres. I joined them together and then crocheted a border using alternate rows of yellow, blue and pink, followed by a frilly edge. It was the perfect size to make into a blankie / comforter, so I added a crocheted rabbit to the centre.

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I hope to do better than the two third places from last year.

Happy crafting
x

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New Favourite Magazine

I think I’ve rambled before about my love of crafting magazines. I don’t think I’m alone in this and in that I have generally chosen the magazine based on the whether I want the free gift on the cover or not! Sometime last year I rediscovered my passion for knitting and wanted to find some new patterns, and it was this that lead me to the newsagents and a really good browse of the shelves. Here I found Let’s Get Crafting: Knitting and Crochet. What a great find. Appealing totally to my need to make something immediately, it comes with a pack of yarn, knitting needles and a crochet hook. And the magazine itself is packed with patterns, both knitting and crochet, to make with the free gift. There are also a few patterns to make with your own yarn too. There a loads of quick and simple ideas and some more involved makes, like items of clothing. What I also love is the guide at the back with diagrams and instructions on how to do some of the stitches used in the makes.

I think it is well worth the £8.99 price tag. I will have to look into a subscription!

I bought the latest issue to take on my holiday, but I was not allowed to take the knitting needles or crochet hook on the plane unfortunately. So I spent my journey reading through all the article, lovely patterns and deciding what to have a go at. I was also thrilled to see that I had been published on the letters page.

Hop and Chirp

My little ‘Hop and Chirp’ that I made for my daughter and nephew for Easter were made using patterns in the magazine, and it was a lovely surprise to see them in the magazine.

As a thank you for sending in my photo, they have sent me a gift of stitch makers and pattern bookmarks! A very nice touch.

It is definitely worth having a look at this magazine, whether you are new to knitting and crochet or an old hand. And if you do make something from their patterns, then send them a photo on their facebook page, you never know, you could be in the next issue too!

Happy crafting
x

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A Tough Week

I seem to have been away from crafting and my blog for quite while. What with two weeks of school holidays to entertain my daughter!

This week I’ve been heavily involved in my other role, as a governor at my daughter’s primary school. I took on the role last year, as a way to get involved in school and give something back. Little did I know how much I was going to have to do! I think it’s been an unusual few weeks though, as our head teacher is retiring due to ill-health and we have had a very quick turn-around to find a new head. To the credit of everyone involved, it’s been had work but we managed to get to interview stage. So that’s what I’ve been doing this week, observing practical demonstrations in school and interviewing.

So I’ve had little time to actually craft during the day, but I have found it very therapeutic in the evenings to unwind from the stresses of the day. I’m currently obsessed with crochet. Having discovered that I can actually read a pattern and do more than one stitch, it’s been great fun working on different projects. I managed to finish my granny square blanket which my daughter loves. I’m trying to keep it away from the cats too as they seem to be taking a shine to my work at the moment (they’re never that interested in my card making though!).

Pink Granny Square blanket

This has inspired me to make another blanket in blue this time, but I’m going to have larger squares I think, with some patterns running through. It’s going to be an evolving one this so I shall see where the mood takes me!

Crochet in progress

With the success of my amigurumi creatures over Easter, I thought I would have a go at some bunnies in different colours too. I have a couple in progress now, in beige and pink and I’ve also started a yellow chick.

Bunny in progress

Bunny and Chick in progress

I shall get stuffing soon and then will add to the range for sale.

It’s been great having such a lovely past-time to help unwind after such a busy week. I don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t pick up some needles or a hook – probably eaten and drunk far too much.

Here’s to a relaxing bank holiday weekend.

Happy crafting
x

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