a monster happy dance

Back in January (on 9th to be precise) I showed you this photo of a crochet WIP.

monster WIP

Pattern is “Little Ella in her monster suit” by Litlle Aqua Girl, and published in the Monster Amigurumi book. 

I actually started crocheting this a few days before Christmas, just as a small crochet project to keep my hands busy . . . and then it got put on hold (because I suddenly got carried away with knitting).  This month saw me hooking a few hours here and there . . . and after much fiddly sewing together, I am very pleased to share with you my monster happy dance.


Here is “Little Ella in her monster suit”, posing beside a 1 litre bottle of milk, to give you an idea of scale.  I crocheted using a 4ply (I think) and with a 2mm hook, to keep her as small as possible.  That made for a lovely finished size, but didn’t help when it came to crocheting all the fiddly bits.  In fact, my little Ella isn’t quite the same as the pattern photo.  Monster horns didn’t work out identical sizes to start with (no idea how that happened) and I didn’t bother adding stripes to either horns or arms.  I also omitted a few pink spots, because by the time I got to those, all I wanted to do was get this project finished lol. 



I think little Ella is rather cute, and definitely learned a few more crochet techniques along the way.  I love how she stands nicely, with the tail helping her to keep balance . . . and the fact her monster suit has a working hood. 


what I’ve been up to since Xmas

I’ve been enjoying reading blog posts of everyone’s New Year resolutions.  Always happy to encourage and cheer crafters along, it’ll be interesting to see how people do (you know who you are!) as the year moves on.  Age has taught me that it’s pointless me making any resolutions as I never keep them.  Hence 2019 simply started as it will carry on: with me just picking up what I fancy, when I fancy.  There will no doubt be lots of starts this year, and hopefully, many finishes . . . but the plan is to enjoy what I’m doing and not set myself up to too many deadlines.  I suppose that in itself is a resolution? Please note, I say “not too many deadlines” – ha!  I’m not ruling out giving myself deadlines when there’s a very important & urgent special occasion on the agenda.

Anyway, since xmas, I haven’t done a huge amount of crafting.  There has been some patchworking (F2F blocks which I can’t reveal just yet);  a little xstitch and some crocheting.  My cardigan is awaiting the final stage of sewing together and knitting of button/button hole bands, but I’ve been having too much fun with my hook to even think about knitting.

monster WIP

This is my current crochet project.  Doesn’t look much at the moment as there are still quite a few small pieces to make (arms, legs & teeth for instance) but it is definitely taking shape already.  This will be a “Little Ella in her monster suit” (design by Little Aqua Girl) when finished, and is one of the many colourful projects published in “Amigurumi Monsters”.  The pattern is really well-written and crocheting keeps me quiet in the evening.

Other crafting going on here is


“Chicken Sampler” a kit by The Stitching Shed, which Avis gifted me this Christmas.  It’s a lovely, simple design which is very relaxing to work on (a bit of light relief from my SAL project)

chicken shed 01

It’s actually the choice of colours which makes this such a fun design, although I’ve already made a few changes along the way.  Anyway, almost 4 chooks stitched although mine don’t have eyes yet.  Another reason I love this kit (apart from the fact I’m stitching chooks) . . . The Stitching Shed is a small UK company, based in Morecambe, Lancashire.  A totally useless fact you didn’t know about me is:  I lived in Morecambe for a year during my student days!   I was a student at Lancaster University and during our second year, students had to find digs off campus.  So I lived in Morecambe for a year, with my friend Janet, in a little basement flat.   It was in the 80s, so decades before The Stitching Shed came into being but, seeing their postal address on the chart brought back some fun memories.

what Claire received for Christmas #2

This is the last batch of photos, to show how spoiled I was this Christmas . . . this time by family. 


From Lindashee and Mr Lindashee:  Season 7 of my all-time favourite TV series “Call the Midwife”.  It was Lindashee who bought me the first season, a few years ago, and she’s been buying all the new seasons as they come out, for me.  Story (for those who don’t know it) begins in the late 1950s, in London, with each season dedicated to a new year (season 7 takes place in 1963), following the lives of a group of midwives/district nurses.  First class acting, lots of medical goings-ons, and all with the backdrop of London in the late 50s early 60s.  Lindashee also sent me something to keep my hands busy while enjoying some good British drama . . . so many fun ideas of mythical creatures in this book, including a Loch Ness monster which will probably be the first project I tackle.


From the Viking family, a new baby doll.  She’s a little girl doll, full vinyl, closed eyes and open mouth so she can suck her thumb.  She measures 52cm at the moment.  I’ll be pulling her to pieces sometime this year, making her a cloth body . . . and playing with my new baby doll, who I have called Phoebe.


From Eldest Son – some yarny supplies.  The pattern is a free pattern by Rowan.  And in the bag: enough King Cole Aran to knit myself this lovely turtle neck sweater. 

Continuing a new family tradition, begun only last year . . . part of Christmas Eve saw us sitting out in the kitchen, while Eldest Son stuck a needle in me over and over again lol.  And I have my second tattoo!


Another cat head in the same style as the first one.


So, that was lots of lovely gifts from our three children . . . I bet you’re wondering what I received from the Husband? 

Well, the really BIG present wasn’t actually a surprise.  It was something I saw on ebay way back in October.  The Husband gave me the green light.  The very large box was then hidden away in the cupboard when it arrived and I wasn’t allowed to look until Christmas.


It’s a very large doll.  Actually from the Masterpiece Gallery, by a German doll maker called Monika Levenig.  This is a “Chantal” doll.  She’s approx 90cm tall (can wear age 3 years clothes) and is a limited edition.  My “Chantal” is n° 11/350 of the European Edition series.

I’ve renamed her Daisy.  She’ll be keeping me company in my sewing room, where I hope to get busy and make some clothes for her.  I think she’s lovely, but everyone else seems to think she’s a bit spooky.  Not to worry.  Anyway . . . the Husband also got busy before xmas and made me a bead necklace


AND . . . .


A wooden stand for Daisy.   It’s a recyling job but completely custom-made for Daisy.  She can stand on her own but, with 3 cats charging around the house, it’ll be safer to use the stand. 


what Claire made for Christmas #4

Yet more crochet projects that I can boast about . . . the fruits of many hours of secret crocheting, with my feet up, in the run-up to Christmas.

First . . . a very simple white hat, made with Stylecraft Aran, which I made and sent to a French blogging friend, Lilubelle.  I didn’t follow any specific pattern for this.  Just started making a basic hat, and then added some inspiration from MyntKat’s Viking hat pattern to give some texture to the brim.



Next a little mouse following a pattern in the “Animal Heads” book by Vanessa Mooncie.



That was made for Eldest Son, who had said he “needed a new mouse” for Christmas lol.  Obviously, he meant a new PC mouse, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to misunderstand.  Don’t worry, he did also find a new PC mouse under the tree too.

And a slightly larger project . . .

xmas Avis 02

This foxy little chap, for Avis.  I added white to the face as my husband thought the original design looked more like a kangaroo than a fox.

xmas Avis 06

Pattern, by Pii_ Chii, published in “Zoomigurumi 2”.

xma Avis 04

xmas Avis 03

Only one more post to come, to show the remaining gifts I made . . . and after that, I’ll show you pics of a few of the gifts I received!

what Claire made for Christmas #3

I made quite a few crochet gifts this Christmas, finding that crochet was the easiest needlecraft to do while resting with both feet up after foot ops.

I had heaps of fun, crocheting up some hats !  First, for Daddy and Baby Viking, I bought a pattern by MyntKat Creations (available on etsy or Ravelry) which really grabbed my attention.  The pattern was excellent!  Everything explained, with colour photos to help every step of the way, and sizing from newborns all the way through to XL adult.

adult Viking 01

I bought in some Stylecraft Aran in “graphite”, “copper” and “parchment”.  Here is the XL adult version, with really big horns.

adult Viking 04

aldut Viking 03

And with the much smaller version (I followed the 9-12 month sizing for Baby Viking).

viking hats x2 01

viking hats x2 02

These are both lovely fits, but I’m afraid I have to respect privacy, and the only photo I’m allowed to show is of Daddy Viking, from the back.


Yep that’s all his own hair – a gorgeous mane – you’ll just have to imagine what he looks like from the front, with full beard & moustache!

I then set to work hooking with some white Stylecraft Aran, following a free Caron pattern, found on-line.

And made a Mummy & Baby “Snowy Owl” hat

owl hats x2 02

owl hats x2 01

All hats were lots of fun to make, but I’ll admit to having especially enjoyed making the Viking hats, and imagining the reaction on opening presents.

what Claire made for Christmas #2

More photos to share with you, of things made for this Christmas, and then lovingly wrapped and posted.

cat mats 01

This wasn’t strictly a Christmas present.  Our daughter (aka Lindashee) and partner have recently taken the plunge and joined the ranks of mortgage payers – yay!  Yep, they’ve bought their first house and moved in late November.  New house = house-warming gift so I made a set of 4 place mats (I hope colours match their colour scheme). 

cat mats

These were made with scraps (you saw a sneak peek a while ago) and using up the last of a lovely cat print fabric.  Now they have their own home, they’re planning on adopting a cat!


Second project to show you today is a crochet project I made for Lindashee.  Knowing they would be in their new house, with a spare bedroom that is going to be turned into their hobby room . . . this means that Lindashee is going to be able to set up her sewing machine and, hopefully, find somewhere to stand the Crafter Granny I made for her.

xmas granny

The husband also helped with this project, and became an optician for the day.

granny glasses

Here she is, complete with glasses, and standing next to the Crafter Granny I made for myself earlier in the year.  I made a few changes:  crocheted body about 10 rows shorter, made her a fabric apron with pocket, and I think I actually managed to get the hair right the second time around.

This is from a free pattern by Zhaya Designs, and very easy to make.  I added a vinyl glove filled with fine glass pellets when stuffing the body, to give a bit of weight, so granny doesn’t fall over.

xmas granny 02

what Claire made for Christmas #1

Like many of you crafters, I was very busy in the months before Christmas, either sewing or hooking, to make a few original gifts for family and friends.  I’ll be writing several posts, to show you what I made, otherwise there will be just too many photos for one post.  The first 2 gifts I’ll show off, were for my two French nieces. 

Some sewing for one, and some crochet for the other. 

PJs 01

For the youngest niece, who is almost 15 years old, I decided to make something practical.  Bought in a pretty floral fabric and a plain turquoise . . . set to work with one of my favourite NewLook patterns and made 2 tunics

PJs 02

and 2 pairs of shorts, using another pattern, so niece has 2 pairs of PJ shorties, which she can mix and match.

PJs 04

For her older sister, who is a student, in her first year of higher education, I decided to just have fun with my hook, and make a little mascott to sit by her computer in her little bed-sit and keep her company while studying hard.


This is my version of the Monty the Moose pattern, by Little Aqua Girl, and published in “Zoomigurumi 7”.   I made him using Stylecraft DK (colours: sherbert, mushroom, cream and sage) and a 2.5mm hook to keep things nice and tight.  I’ll let my niece find a name for him, but while crafting, in my head, I christened him “Sherbet”. 


I gave him purple eyes, which you can see better in this WIP photo . . . awww, doesn’t he look cute?