Join me in my adventures with knitting, crochet, sewing and thrifting with a bit of day to day life thrown in too!

Friday, 20 January 2012

More Bunting And Other Pre-Christmas Gifts

Ok, jumping from October onto the next gift makes in December.  I had two birthday's pre-Christmas to make for (It feels a bit wrong to still be mentioning Christmas, ah well, that's what happens when your as organised as me!).  One was Bella Bee's nanny, for which I made bunting.  Not like the last lot though, this was a bit more grown up!  She likes a country cottage kitchen style, so tried to make the bunting to fit this theme.

Please excuse the shocking winter lighting.  It doesn't get any better any time of the day.

I didn't want it too full on, so the colours are quite muted.  The floral is some thrifted fabric I picked up a couple of years ago and the other is just plain calico.  I wanted to jazz it up a little and found some lovely wide lace trim that I bought at the indoor market that had been sat on my desk for ages.  I love it and think it fits in perfectly with this bunting.

The second birthday was my (sort of) sister-in-law (they're not married).  I wanted to make her a chunky yarn scarf and found an excellent pattern in Cute & Easy Crochet.

A very quick snap when caught on the hop after a visit from the recipient.  The colour is a little washed out in the winter light.

I wasn't very confident on which colour to choose, as I'm not the most observant person and had failed to notice which colours she prefers to wear.  I choose a lovely soft green.  She assured me she liked it.  I don't know if she was being polite. 

Pattern: Chunky Seashell Scarf by Nicki Trench from Cute & Easy Crochet
Hook: 7mm
Yarn: King Cole Comfort Chunky
Shade: 428 Dill
Total yarn: 3 x 100g balls
Total price: £2.99/100g = £8.97

I bought the yarn at the city's indoor market.  It was slightly more expensive than I spend on DK weight, especially as you don't get as much yardage.  I tried a cheaper chunky yarn, however it was of a lesser quality, was much stiffer when crocheted up and didn't have the drape or softness I would like in a scarf.  The yarn I finally used made a gorgeous scarf and has been very well received, so was worth the extra cost.

And finally some little presents I made for Bella Bee's teacher, the teaching assistant and her gymnastic coach.

The colours haven't come across acurate, especially the closest, the fuchsia.  Yet more winter lighting trouble.

Another pattern from Cute & Easy Crochet (guess what book I got in the run up to Christmas!) slightly adjusted to be made bigger to fit a larger mug.  The little flower buttons are very cute and a lovely added touch.  Bella Bee made peppermint creams dipped in chocolate to go inside in a little greaseproof packet.  Overall, ideal quick and easy presents to whip up.

Pattern: Mug Warmers by Nicki Trench from Cute & Easy Crochet
Hook: 4.5mm
Yarn: Rico Design Creative Cotton Aran
Shades: 13 Fuchsia, 11 Cardinal, 36 Turquoise
Total yarn: approx. 15g each
Total price: approx 0.45p for yarn, 0.45p for button, 0.59p for mug = £1.49

I don't know how much the peppermint creams were, I didn't work out the cost.  They have minimal ingredients and will be relatively cheap to make.

Will be back with yet more handmade presents to share with you, accompanied by poor quality winter photos.

Peace Out x

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Birthday Bunny and Bunting (for a boy!)

For this we have to go back, way back, to October and my nephew's 3rd birthday.  I had a couple of things planned, and as usual had let time inexplicably get away from me.  After one extremely late night, a few almost tears, that working on crafts that late at night always seems to do to me, and a crippled unusable claw of a hand the next day, I managed to produce some birthday bunting that I really wanted him to have in time for his birthday to hang up. 

I love bunting, but hate taking pictures of it.  They never seem to do it justice. 

The lettering is secured with Bondaweb and kept in place with a running stitch with embroidery thread in a colour matching that of the flag that letter is on, a second triangle is placed on the back and secured with a running stitch in white embroidery thread. You might not think to look at it, and I never thought it would, but that hand stitching took forever.  I never thought doing a simple running stitch would be so time consuming.  And hand stitching through 2, layers of felt is tough going.  I had an unusable 80 year olds, arthritic claw as a hand for a day or two after.  But the results are unique.  And stunning.  I love it (I don't, however, love the machine stitching job connecting them all with the cotton tape across the top.  It's adequate, but not perfect, enough said!  There's a little voice in me simply dying to ask for it back so I can quickly, a-hem, re-do it, but that's my neurosis).  The joy of such a gift is that it will be reusable year after year, for all birthdays, and will hopefully become part of a family birthday tradition, be much used, loved and remembered for years to come.  A practical, reusable gift is my sort of gift. 

The second gift got sent down about a week later.  I had recently received my first brightly coloured bundle of Rico Creative Cotton and had been looking forward to using those coloured cottons on something I hadn't tried out yet, amigurumi.  I wanted to make something suitable for a growing boy but still relatively simple for a beginner, and settled on the Ugly Bunny Pincushion pattern by wayuki that can be found on Ravelry.  As I was using aran weight cotton, I used a 3.5mm hook size, which would be small enough to keep the fabric tight and compact.  It was a great result, but it is hard work.  And needless to say it can all get a bit fiddly and frustrating when you get to the smaller sections.

It is all sewn and crocheted which should make for a safer toy, as there is a younger sister on the scene.  I am very pleased with my first attempt at amigurumi.  They really come alive as you make them, and this dude certainly looks like he's got bags of character.  It really can be quite tough to let them go at the end of the process.  But let him out into the big world I did.  Then I realised that a 3 year old might not quite understand why he was a getting what may look like a reject toy with wonky ears and a missing eye!  (Apparently some questions where raised, but seemingly satisfactorily answered).

Pattern: Ugly Bunny Pincushion by wayuki on Ravelry
Hook: 3.5mm
Yarn: Rico Design Creative Cotton Aran
Shade: 41 Pistachio
Price: approx £2.00
(50g = £1.50, approx 37g used = £1.11, plus filling and embroidery thread)

Lets not mention the cushion cover I am making him that's still sitting in my basket.  They know me well enough by now.

Peace Out x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A Slightly Forced Post

I'm back.  Finally.  It's been a long time I know.  I got a little bogged down in the run up to Christmas and was busy making.  Then after New Year I've found it hard to get back to it.  The blogging flow had well and truly come to a grinding halt.  So, with Bella Bee at her dad's this weekend, I've had to simply force myself to sit with my laptop and type. 

We had a lovely Christmas and New Year.  Very quiet and slow.  My mum came and stayed for a few days which I always love.  Her presence is always missed once she's gone back home.  I also celebrated a birthday in between Christmas and New Year.  I don't really like the timing of my birthday and have often thought about copying the Queen and having a 2nd, unofficial birthday/party in June when it can be celebrated properly.  It's never happened yet, but maybe this year.

I tried to make as many presents as I could this year.  However, in our family we have an extraordinary amount of birthdays around the festive period, with 5 (including my own) in the period between Christmas and New Year alone, as well as a few more either side.  This coupled with the fact that I am a slow crocheter and knitter, an avid perfectionist with no focus, and I had to alter a couple of the patterns (a very time consuming and lengthy process for me even for the most minor of changes) means I got a little behind.  I have almost caught up, with the last birthday present currently on hook.  Over the coming week I will be sharing with you all the things I've made over the last few months.

I'm looking forward to this year.

The fragrant hyacinths my mum bought me filling my kitchen with their heady scent.

Peace Out x