Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

Probably some of the most common questions I am asked when people find out what I do for a living have something to do with how much knitting and crochet I do for my daughter. No doubt when asking, they have pictures of a poor little urchin bundled from head to toe in mismatching handmade items...if only!

Usually my poor little one has to make do with things I have made for books or magazines but luckily she usually loves them. It warms my heart to know that she still adores anything that mummy knits her. Her current favourite is this simple balaclava from my book Knitting for Children, which sat in the cupboard for about 7 years waiting for the day it would fit a child of my own. I knew that I had to make her something that was just hers, designed with her in mind and that she would love regardless of whether I had made it.

Finally, a couple of months before her third birthday, I decided that I would make her something for her gift, and settled on some toys inspired by a film that she loved. To try to illustrate just how little leisure craft time I have, I finally finished them in February of this year. Just one year and 5 months after her third birthday, so just a tad late! 

Luckily, it was worth the wait, because although she is less obsessed with the film these days, she still knows all the words to the songs and dresses up as the characters. Incase you haven't guessed, the film is a certain animated and very cold story of sister princesses! I have always thought that the little rag dolls the sisters own as children were very cute (if you haven't spotted them, keep an eye out in the Do You Want to Build A Snowman song!) These cuties are my crochet take on their dolls. 

Of course, the ridiculous length of time this project took wasn't helped by the fact I wanted to make the dolls underwear so they were decent, along with removable dresses, not to mention a full head of yarn hair to plait and style, which I painstakingly hooked into their heads one thread at a time – I used a whole ball of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for each doll!

Fortunately, the toys have passed muster with the littlun; she took them both to bed with her on the first night I gave them to her and enjoys dressing them and styling their hair as well as pushing them in her buggy. Huge sigh of relief!

I will get round to writing up a pattern for the basic doll and dress so that you can make your own versions and customise them. I find the finished toys so lovely, that I keep thinking of what other characters I could make. Littlun has started watching Brave again, to my delight, so I may have to find time to make a Merida, although I must admit that the thought of all that hair is making me have second thoughts....

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Patti Wrap

My Patti Wrap crochet pattern is now up on Love Crochet. A very simple beginner pattern that can be worn as either a scarf or a wrap and that can be whipped up in no time. Made originally in Rico Essentials Big and Rico Essentials 365 Aran, the Aran is now discontinued but any other Aran yarn will substitute. The pattern is written in both UK and US terminology so nobody need miss out!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Happy Easter

I am aware that I was getting into a blogging swing but March has been so busy that I haven't had a chance to post much. It was this time last year that illness saw the beginning of my longest break from the site. In a strange coincidence, exactly a year to the week, at the beginning of this month I was again undergoing surgery, related to the ongoing problems from last year, and I am currently having a little time 'off' work to recuperate. (I use the inverted commas as part of my problem is that I am never fully 'off' and have been trying not to answer too many emails or do too much work related knit and crochet!)

Anyway, I have been spending my 'free' time quite constructively, by finishing off a lot of non-work related projects, mainly baby themed for the baby boom that seems to be occurring presently! (More on that in a later post).
So do not fear, I don't plan to disappear again for any length of time. For now, I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Easter and remind you of a cute, simple, free knitting pattern for chick and rabbit egg cosies that I posted at Easter a few years ago. The images come from an Easter knitting class I ran showing some beginners how to make them. As usual, I love the quirky interpretations of the simple design that create distinctive personalities with only a few stitches and notions.

I have plenty planned for after the Easter break, including a new set of how to crochet tutorials and a post about some dolly beauties - the feet you can see below belong to them - who I was crocheting for over a year on and off and recently finally finished (sound the triumphant trumpeters!!)
Keep an eye out for all of that and more coming soon and in the meantime have a very lovely, relaxing Easter - don't eat too much chocolate!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

World Book Day

Today I sent off a little mini Alice in Wonderland to school for World Book Day. I am quite proud of the make do and mend style costume (inspired by the Mary Blair designs for the Disney film rather than the original book!) The 'Alice' band is crocheted and the apron was cut and sewn from a cheap cotton pillowcase. 

If you want to have a go at the hairband - simply use any DK weight yarn, make 5ch, then work 1dc in 2nd chain from hook and each chain to end. Carry on working straight in rows on these 4 double crochet until band is desired length around head, fasten two ends into a ring by working a slip stitch join.
Then work another strip in the same way of approximately 20cm long. Make two loops with this strip and sew or slip stitch join in place on top of head band. Weave in all ends and wear proudly!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Periwinkle Necklace

image by Britt Spring
Another new pattern up on the Love Crochet site - Periwinkle necklaces, simple and addictive! Easy to customise to your own desired length and they look fabulous in lots of different weights of yarn. This yarn is Wendy Supreme Cotton 4ply which is lovely for crocheting with - strong and smooth. 

image by Britt Spring
A little project for the weekend...?!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Daisy Chain Necklace

Another pattern up on the Love Knitting and Love Crochet sites this week is this pretty Daisy Chain Necklace. It is a really versatile project - I have already made necklaces, garlands and some pretty flower clips for my littlun to wear in her hair using these flowers and each project (especially the hairclips!) receive plenty of admiring comments. The chain is so easily customisable to any desired length, and you can play with the yarn weights used to create differently sized daisies. 
It is very quick to hook and the pattern is written for both UK and US crocheters.
All images by Kirsten Mavric

Monday, 15 February 2016

New Patterns

Image Britt Spring
You will be pleased to hear that I am fulfilling my unofficial New Years Resolution and finally getting organised! Currently I am going through my back catalogue of patterns published in magazines with an eye to producing them as downloadable single patterns. First up on Love Knitting is Molly, one of my favourite designs, a bold hat with colourwork made from scallop stitches a-topped with a cute pom. It is made with the lovely Jamiesons Spindrift yarn, but it is held double and crocheted with a 4.5mm hook, so a DK to Aran weight yarn held singly will work perfectly. And just in time for a chilly end to February!

Image Britt Spring