so many projects, not enough time!

I’ve made myself a really long list of projects to make before Christmas.  Which means I’ve got less time to spend on my WIPs, but am still trying to fit everything in.

Cross stitch has taken a bit of a back seat for now (apart from regular sessions on my SAL project) as I try to make headway with my knitting. I showed my two sleeves last month.  Since then, things have progressed.

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Am working on the back.  It’s not as skinny as it looks lol . . . I can’t flatten it out anymore for now or it’ll fall off my needle.  But you get the idea.  I’ve reached the shoulder shaping part, so shouldn’t be too long now before I have a finished back!

I’ll be doing some crocheting over the coming weeks too, which will mean less time to knit.  Here’s a big bundle of yarn that I ordered in recently

xmas prep

Lots of Stylecraft Special Aran and a fresh bag of stuffing.  Colours don’t look like my usual bright choice, but there’s a reason.  Reason I can’t reveal until after Xmas, so you’ll just have to trust me.  New crochet projects are going to be lots of fun!

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a birthday beanie in Marriner Mermaid “Mirage”

Our neighbours’ baby daughter was 1 year old on 29th September.  Doesn’t time fly? 

I wanted to gift her something hand-made but didn’t want to make any toys as I figured they would arrive aplenty from family members.  So, after some thought, I sat down with my crochet hook and a new ball of very bright yarn to crochet a hat.  Winter is only just around the corner, after all.  There was lots of crocheting and unravelling as I began.  I didn’t exactly follow a pattern, but was using a couple of on-line sources for inspiration.  My problem came from the fact I was using DK yarn, whereas most people seem to write patterns for Aran & Chunky when it’s hats – so it took forever to work my circle to the right size.  Also, no one seemed to agree about head circumference for a 12 month baby and I didn’t want to go dashing across the road with my tape measure.

Anyway, I ended up being inspired by the pattern by Janet, to crochet a beanie with earflaps.  Whilst still referring to this link which explains how to calculate hat size.

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And here’s the beanie, complete with 2 small pompoms on top, earflaps and plaited ties.

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It’s very basic.  Crocheted in a Marriner DK yarn (colour “Mirage” from their Mermaid range).  I hadn’t heard of Marriner yarn before but Viking parents gifted me a couple of balls, in different colourways.  Because I’m curious, I checked out the on-line store and may well be ordering in more at some point because it was lovely to work with.  And very reasonably priced!  Only £1.50 for a 100g ball.  I weighed up the yarn remaining, after this beanie, and I still have 54g left.  Enough to crochet up another beanie, or to make something else.

Anyway . . . the birthday gal looks lovely in her new hat.  It’s a teensy bit on the big side, but not so big that it looks silly.  It should keep her head & ears warm this winter and quite possibly next winter too.

crafting for Baby Viking

We’ve just come home after a long weekend trip to England to catch up with family.  We stayed with our daughter, aka Lindashee, and Mr Lindashee.  Met up with my sister and her partner, Mr A, for a few hours (hadn’t seen them in 7 years!).  And, of course, went to visit Viking parents, where we got to meet Baby Viking.

Needless to say, it was a lovely weekend.  Lots of catching up to do.  Lots of food.  Lots of walking.  Quite nice weather.  And Baby Viking is adorable. Only cloud . . . I wasn’t able to have a cuddle because I came down with shingles!  What unperfect timing, eh?

I can now show you some of the crafting I had been busy with over the summer . . . first up, a quilt.

Viking quilt 01

The pattern for this quilt is from the book: “Quick & Easy Quilts for Kids” by Connie Ewbank

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and it’s the second time I’ve followed this particular pattern.  The first time being last year, when I made a quilt for neighbours’ baby, which I called “A little bird told me”.

a little bird 01

That time, I went for lots of pinks & mauves because parents knew they were expecting a little girl.  With Baby Viking, we didn’t know gender until birth, so I started work with some bright gender neutral colours, basing my choice on the main fabric which is from “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” collection.

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The finished quilt is therefore very bright, and lots of fun.  I’m calling it “Starry Starry Viking”.

Viking quilt 02

After the quilt, I decided to make something smaller, but practical . . .

Viking bibs

Three bibs, using a white “waffle cotton” with a band of printed fabric, and contrasting binding.

And that’s not all . . . literally the day before Baby Viking was born, I was pacing the floors here, because she was over 10 days late, and to keep my sanity, I began crocheting a bear.  So began on Saturday 18th August, Baby Viking was born on Sunday 19th, and this little bear was finished on Monday 20th August.

Viking lundi bear

This is a free crochet pattern by Zhaya Designs.  The pattern is called Baertram .  I have christened my version “Lundi” (Monday).

Viking lundi bear 02

Lundi measures 9” tall (23cm), was crocheted using Stylecraft Special DK in Camel, Cream & Black with a 2.5mm hook. I used a DMC mouliné cotton and a 2mm hook for the scarf.  Lundi has 3 fingers on his/her paws, a belly button and a very cute tail.  Facial features are embroidered in Stylecraft Special DK to make Lundi baby-friendly.

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Anyway, I had lots of fun with all of that.  Patchworking, quilting, sewing and crochet . . . lots of variety.   I’ve now got my thinking cap and will be starting a few crafting projects for Baby Viking’s first Christmas.  All I can tell you about my plans for that is: parents have given me permission to go as mad and as bright as I like.  Fun, fun, fun!

ScrapHappy #August (and a crochet happy dance)

I’m linking up with Kate and Gun, our two hostesses for the monthly ScrapHappy post.  Idea being to post on 15th of each month, showing a project made since last time, out of scraps.

My scrap project for this month is rather small.  In fact, it’s sort of doll-sized.

scrapahppy august 01

A teeny tiny apron (or pinafore, if you prefer).  Two rectangles of fabric, a bit of leftover lace, 2 odd buttons, and (not strictly scrap) a length of bright pink ribbon.

Who’s it for?  Well, I made the most of ScrapHappy to have a full-flung happy dance with a crochet project.  Do you remember the Crafter Granny I began, way back in April?  Apron is for her.  Except I didn’t bother making pockets like the other examples I’ve seen.  My granny can’t look after my scissors or tape-measure for me, but she can look after pins, bobbins, needle threader and crochet stitch markers.

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She also has a little headband, made of the floral fabric, with a white lace heart attached.

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This crochet pattern can be found free (in several languages) thanks to Zhaya Designs.

So a small scrap project, and a finished Granny!  I’m now linking up to other ScrapHappy people: 

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne,Jon,Hayley and Dawn

And hope to be back on 15th September with something else to share with you.

getting better, and . . . how’s Crafter Granny coming along?

I wanted to say two big thank yous, to two French crafting friends who sent me some post to wish me a speedy toe recovery.

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Thank you, to Monique for this lovely card and bookmark . . .

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and thank you to Stéphanie who sent a lovely cross stitched card, with a haul of bookmarks.  Neither lady has a blog, but they follow me over on my French blog, and often surprise me with some thoughtful snail mail.

I’ve been making some more crochet progress. Crochet being an easy craft to do, while lounging with both feet up on the sofa.  However it did also require some sitting in the kitchen earlier on, to prepare a small freezer bag with weighting materials, and cut out a cardboard base, to slip inside the bottom. 

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My “Crafter Granny” can now stand up, as long as Ducky doesn’t mistake her for a skittle, and try knocking her over!  He’s more interested in the long tail of yarn, waiting for the hair to be attached. 

Anyway, here she is, not looking like much at the moment, since she also needs arms an a pretty apron, but I’m very pleased with her so far.  This pattern, in case you fancy making your own Crafter Granny is a free pattern, generously created and made available on-line in pdf, by Zhaya Designs

Just so you know what she’ll look like . . . here is the photo I posted last time.

crafting granny WIP

I am actually toying with the idea of making 2 little aprons.  One in crochet, and one in a pretty cotton floral fabric.  I think it might be fun to combine crochet and sewing in the one project.  What do you think?

best layer of the month # April

eggs

81 fresh eggs this month in the coop!  Oh yes, indeed!  With Miss Plumpton being the best layer yet again.  She laid a total of 25 eggs, followed by Mauricette and Miss Moneypenny in joint second place with 21 each, and Miranda laying only 14.

Egg count is likely to go down in May . . . weather has been unseasonably warm and Miss Moneypenny is broody.

And in case you’re wondering if they’ve started laying funny eggs this month . . . no, that was just me, messing around with my crochet hook lol.

resting feet not hands

As you all know, I’ve been having to keep my feet up since foot op.  The first few days of complete bed-rest actually whizzed by.  I was rather zonked out with painkillers and content to just vegetate and snooze while watching DVDs in bed.  However, the surgeon had said I could get up after 3 days and put weight on my foot as long as I wore the following.  So get up after 3 days I did!

shoes

A very elegant (not) pair of clumpy shoes with velcro straps for fastening.  They do the job of keeping foot supported, not allowing the foot to bend or flex, but enabling me to walk around without crutches.  My foot still looks huge, partly because it’s still swollen but mainly because of the bandages. Oh, and I even have to wear the right shoe in the shower (protected by a plastic bag of course).

Elegant or not, I’m going to have to get used to them as surgeon has said I’ll need to wear them for approximately 6 weeks.  To be honest, I’m not really that fussed.  I never wear anything elegant or fashionable anyway . . . so I’m just pleased to be able to get around (crutches being rather difficult to coordinate when trying to go up and down stairs).

Anyway . . . before my op, I had gathered together several crafty WIPs all within easy reach, and in preparation for the enforced bed-rest.  As it turned out, the only crafting I felt like doing was crochet. 

monster

This fun 3-eyed monster is something I had actually begun in March, but it was awaiting arms, legs and assembling.  So, while looking at my own swollen toes, I crocheted 4 sets of 3 blue toes for this monster and sewed all parts together.  This is a design by Moji Moji Designs, and published in

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I had also printed out a free chart from the internet, and prepared a shoe box with the necessary yarns to start a new crochet project.  New project being

crafting granny WIP

A “Crafter Granny” and the design generously offered by Zhaya Designs.  If you click on the link you can download the instructions, available in several different languages.  As you can see, my Granny has a head already, and I’ve begun work on her hair.