a bit of creation to ease stress

Since leaving my last job and going back to just helping out at the family business I’ve needed to keep busy.

Luckily enough a very good friend of mine is expecting her first baby so I had the perfect excuse to get out the wool and get creative. So first things first a crochet baby blanket in neutrals as she doesn’t know the sex and a few baby hats and mittens that are always good to have. I played with putting a pattern on a couple and got a little extravagant on the woodland theme!

Luckily enough I actually chose just the right colours to match the nursery 🙂

Then inspiration struck. I’ve seen a few different versions of very hungry caterpillar costume that photographers use and decided it needed “tweaking”.

For a start most of them were just a bag and as anyone who has had a baby recently (or like me just knows random facts) knows, that’s not safe for a baby to actually sleep in. So to make it usable I decided to add on the arm holes and fastenings so they can actually let the little one sleep in the sleeping bag with lots of space to kick around at the bottom.
This one I’ll give to them when the little one is finally here (she’s overdue now) with a copy of the book to read as well.

When another friend saw all these bits on facebook she asked me if I could do “something fairy or toadstool related” for her little girls bedroom. Again I went hunting for a pattern someone has already come up with and found a pattern on craftyiscool that I liked and decided to give a go.

Me and my tweaking, I can’t help it! but on this pattern the first one I made was pretty close to the pattern, just made everything in crochet without the felt for white spots and windows, then added some grass leaves on the back.

When my mum saw this she loved it especially the little gnome I’d made to just fit through the door. She asked about making a caterpillar to sit on top as in Alice in Wonderland because she was having a themed Macmillan coffee morning. I agreed I could come up with something and when we decided it would work as a game for people to win it I made a second one. The second version had a lot more “tweaks” because I removed the porch just putting on a door, made some 3D creeping plants to grow up the side, larger grass leaves at the back. People are still guessing his name this week so shhhhh I’m not telling 😉

Now as I said the reason I found that toadstool was the request of a friend. I suggested to her that it might be good to have something her daughter could use and decided upon a pyjama case. I made a rod for my own back in other words because guess what no one ever seems to have knitted before? that’s right a fairy toadstool house pyjama case or even a cushion. On went the thinking cap, doing, undoing, redoing and much much tweaking so tell you what here’s the “in the making” pictures I took to remind myself what I’d been doing.

the only thing I didn’t design myself completely was the lily of the valley flower petals. I can’t find where I got it from now! but if I do I’ll put a link. The rest is all my own minds weird wanderings and hopefully when her little girl gets it in the post in the next couple of days it will make her smile 🙂

So there you go. The last month and a half of wooly madness that has been going on.

I’ll leave the catch up on my life for the moment (it’s been busy and this is already quite long) I’ll leave it at…..Buying a bungalow!

OK back to my homeless hat knitting I go 😉

Premature Angel cocoons.

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I’ve been knitting and crocheting for charity the past year or so with a group on Facebook. We make blankets, hats, scarves, mittens, toys, you name it for those in need and it feels great to give a little bit of something to those who need it.

Quite often these knits are for the elderly or homeless, using free patterns we can find online where possible. But the thing that’s got my attention most recently is itty bitty things for newborns especially premature babies.

One of the hardest things a parent might ever have to deal with is the passing of an infant. No one can make it easy but if making something for them that will fit their tiny angel helps, I’m happy to do it.

With that in mind I designed a little crochet cocoon for Premature Angel babies, that I’ve attempted to write up and I’ll share on here for free (if you make it, sell them, share it, all I ask is that you give me credit for the pattern)

premie pouch

You’ll need:

  • a 4mm hook
  • Double knitting wool in baby soft
  • a needle to stitch in ends
  • a button to fasten.

The abbreviations I’ve used are US versions (though I’m from the UK they make more sense to me)
Ch- chain
SS- slip stitch
SC- single crochet
HDC- half double crochet
DC- double crochet

Main body:
R 1: Start with magic circle working in the round. Ch 3 then 7 DC into circle, SS into last chain on Ch3 (8)

R 2: Ch3 and 1DC in same stitch, 2DC in next 7 stitches and SS into last chain on Ch3 (16)

R 3: Ch3, *2DC, 1 DC* repeat around and SS into last chain on Ch3 (24)

R 4: Ch 3, *2DC, 1DC in next 2 stitches* repeat around and SS into last

overlap
the overlap on R

chain on Ch3 (32)

 

R 5: Ch3, 1 DC in every stitch. To create overlap of opening, work 1DC into back of first stitch of the round, 2DC into back of second stitch (35)

You will now be working in rows rather than rounds

R6-8: Ch3 turn, 2DC in 1st stitch, 1DC in each stitch around, 2DC in last chain of ch3 (44)

R9-12: Ch3 turn, 1DC around, 2DC in last chain of ch3 (50)
Cut yarn and sew in ends.

For the hood, working in rows

Join yarn on 22nd stitch of last row,
R1: Ch2, 1SC, 1HDC, 1DC in next 2, 1HDC, 2SC

R2: Ch1 turn, 1SC, 1HDC, 1DC, 2DC in same stitch, 1DC, 1HDC, 1SC in next 3

R3: Ch1 turn, 1SC, 1HDC, 1DC, 2DC in next 2 stitches, 1DC, 1HDC, SC in next 3

R4: Ch1 turn, 1SC in next 2, 1HDC, 1DC, 2DC in same stitch, 1DC in next 2, 2DC in same stitch, 1DC, 1HDC, SC in next 3

R5: Ch1 turn, 1SC in next 2, 1HDC, 2DC in same stitch, 1DC in next 2, 2DC in same stitch, 1DC in next 2, 2DC in same stitch, 1DC in next 2, 2HDC, SC in next 3

R6: Ch1 turn, 1SC, 1HDC, 1DC in next 5, 2DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 3, 2DC in same stitch, 1DC in next 5, 1HDC, SC in next 2

R7: Ch1 turn, 1SC, 1HDC, 1DC in next 10, 2DC, 1DC in next 10, 1HDC, 2 SC.

Cut yarn and sew in ends.

pouch green
For the edging:

Attach contrasting yarn at the overlap. Ensuring even spacing of around 2 stitches for each loop.
Ch3, *SC into edge, Ch3* repeat around the edge and hood, finishing back at the overlap.
Cut yarn and sew in ends.

 

 

 

To go with the cocoon and give the parents something to keep or to bury with the baby as they wish, I used a tiny teddy crochet pattern by LisaAuch just adding a matching coloured  scarf or tie to go with the edging colour of the cocoon.

teddys cocoons

Springtime

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Yellow head emerge

bobbing in the wind and sun

signals spring is here

I was so happy to see this little little patch of yellow finally in my garden, so many of my daffodils have been showing promise but none of them have let their petals emerge till today 🙂 Fingers crossed this means all the others will be bobbing away in the wind soon too!

I’ve had my chest x-ray this morning, I have to wait a few days for the results so they should be through at about the same time as the bloods that were taken last week…I have a funny feeling it is a chest infection and waiting around for them to say I can take antibiotics to help clear it is so frustrating!

Ah well, in the mean time I’ve finally finished my Green Man project!

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  I might need to put some form of backing on him so that all the leaves stay flayed out like this, crochet tends to like to curl up when left unattended 🙂 Knowing me I’ll probably add more to him even though I feel he’s finished at the moment, I’ll decide that he needs something a little extra, but for now he feels done. So the next project…well I’ll have to have a think and have a look to see what I can find inspiration wise. I definitely need something else to do since more muscles have decided to rebel against me. Anybody got any ideas as to what I can knit/crochet? I think the best one that someone suggested so far is to try and do some lace making with a simple scarf, either that or to make a cover for my walking stick to make it look pretty 🙂

Smaug is finished

You may remember me saying I had gone searching for a nice crochet pattern to try that would challenge me a little more. I found one here and it certainly challenged me! I had to adapt it in places and try to understand the way she had written it in others…frustration came and eventually went when I figured out ways to sort the problems.

Eventually I’ve been left with…

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Smaug! I changed the colour because I couldn’t find any nice red yarn (I’m fussy about red colours) but maybe Smaug had a green dragon cousin that was hanging around somewhere 😉


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Now when I finished the crochet and started putting him together I didn’t want to go to the extent of putting LED lights in his head for the eyes as she suggested and I didn’t want to paint glitter glue on his tummy to represent the gems that are embedded in his abdomen from years of lying on his hoard. Instead I embroidered the eyes and then went rummaging in my craft stocks for ‘gems’.

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I had started off thinking I would just do a few to insinuate that he was covered…but when I got into the swing of it and kept finding different beads that I could put on him I decided to go the whole hog! Do you remember the story behind all this and why it was so important? Well if you look on the top left of his thorax in this picture you’ll see a gap…that was his weak spot…the point where he could be attacked because there wasn’t any gems to protect him.

We all have a weak spot, some more than others and I felt it was important to make that weak spot a part of him as I have to try and make mine a part of myself.

 

 

The new crafting obsession continues

I’ve been playing with another pattern that was in that magazine…meet Penny the crocheted elephant 🙂
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Kinda cute don’t you think? I’m gaining confidence with the crochet hook with every DC, TC and SS I do hehe so I’ve decided to try a more complicated pattern.

None of the others in the magazine appealed to me, they’re mostly baby clothes and patches so I’ve gone searching on the internet. It’s amazing how many free patterns there are out there! and this one…well I couldn’t resist.

 

 

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This is Smaug, the dragon from The Hobbit. I love this book and he looks like he should turn out fabulously. They do say to put LED lights etc in his eyes which I won’t go in for but the rest of it sounds not too bad to have a go at.

I will have to wait to start it as I don’t have the right colours I want to do him in here but tomorrow I will hopefully be meeting up with a friend of mine for coffee and I should be able to get some wool while we’re out. I’m just hoping that I can cope with the pain, I’ve suggested the town centre of where I live that is small and full of little shops/charity shops that I should be able to totter around if I fill myself with pain killers. That is if it’s not as bad as today…I haven’t managed to walk my Toby today so he’s had to put up with playing in the garden. If the pain decreases then we’ll take a quick stroll around the block so he can stay on the sniffing scene but my little boy is pretty good when it comes to these bad days. Bugger…here comes more snow! Ah well at least Toby will enjoy chasing it around the garden.

Oohh and I’ve booked in at the little hair dressers around the corner to have my hair completely restyled on saturday 😛 I’ve been meaning to do it for so long and finally got up the guts to go in and ask today!

Anyone for tea?

Two years ago I got the following email from K

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Iccle octagonal tea pot requires tea cosy. GSOH. Likes blue and gold,
tea, shortbread and cake. WLTM similar funloving cosy for afternoon tea and witty banter.

Her friend T who is now her partner is a big tea drinker and he wanted a tea cosy for his teapot. She knew I was getting into my knitting so she set me a challenge to knit one for him.DSCF5322It turned out pretty well and I got a thank you email from him with a picture of the tea pot that had the honour of being decked out with my cosy 🙂 He also put in a picture of another of his tea pots that was feeling a bit chilly and asked if I’d mind making one for it too.

DSCF5325It’s taken me a while…about a year and a half to get around to it but after K’s visit last weekend and getting some of my UFO’s out of the bag I finally got around to it. She helped me choose out the colours because that was one thing that had held me off doing it. It turned out he wanted it in his favourite colours because those are what he has his jousting/medieval re-enactment clothes are in (yes they’re both geeky and like to dress in funny clothes and pretend to be in the past but he’s an archaeologist what else would you expect).

This week has finally seen me sitting with my balls of yarn and my knitting needles to produce this…

66751_10151408829894484_1301053678_nIt hasn’t got a tea pot in it yet I just managed to make it stand on its own. I think it’s turned out pretty well but only a fitting session with the teapot it’s been made for will show whether I’ve made it the right size.

Knitting is so therapeutic, it’s methodical and monotonous just what I need to keep my hands and mind busy away from the nasty thoughts that tend to be going through my mind at the moment.

I’m going to have to search for another project to be getting on with even though I’m still working on the mammoth cross stitch design I’m doing for my mum it’s so big that I have to take a break from it every so often!

Right, it’s time for a nice Saturday lunch and I think the bacon is calling for my attention so off I go…only time will tell if I get around to doing some of my coursework or end up in my craft bags looking for a design that’s calling for me 😛

Oh drat either that or the questionnaire that came through from the psychotherapy people asking me for my life history…I had a look at it this morning and it’s going to be a task and a half to fill it out! I wish it was a tick box job but I actually have to try and describe my relationships with family members and any dreams I’ve been having. I’ll manage it eventually and I’ll fill you in on what I’ve written when I do…I’ll have to keep a record of it so I actually remember it I have a funny feeling the dissociation will kick in as I do it.

 

 

 

UFO number two for today

Had to let you know that number two on the UFO list has also been completed today!

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He’s a draught excluder that I knitted. I started him months ago but got so annoyed at some of the sections of the pattern I ended up putting him into the knitting bag and forgetting about him for ages.427358_10151402868554484_847041363_nHe’s turned out to be pretty cute! Now I need to give it to the friend that I had in mind when I started knitting him, she bought her own house and my plan was to give him to K for a house warming….ah well she can have him as a late house warming present!