what Claire made for Christmas #5

This is the last post with photos of the secret crafting which kept me busy for Christmas 2018.  And this time, it’s a sewing project.


For the husband.  He had asked for various tools (for metal engraving, wood chequering etc) so family clubbed together to buy the various tools, hammer, book etc . . . plenty of things to keep him happy.   Tools in this photo are the metal engraving ones.   I was rather worried, when I saw the sharp ends on these, and decided to make a) a little fabric tray to keep them all together on his work bench.  And b) a tool roll, so that the husband has somewhere to keep them all.


I chose a very manly William Morris print for the outer fabric.


and fabric from the same collection for the inside.  Pockets are made with leather and I added a felt flap, so that tools won’t slip out.



I’m not sure whether leather pockets was such a good idea . . . time will tell if it stands up to the pointy ends.  If not, I’ll make a second one, using denim which will probably be more hard-wearing.


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? 

99K gold hearts

Christmas is only one week away now!  How are you all getting on with your end of season preparations? 

I was industrious earlier this month, doing some very gentle sewing on my Singer 99K.  Regular followers will remember, I treated myself to a slice of the past this summer, when I bought a 1939 hand-cranked 99K Singer sewing machine.

singer 99K 04

And how I said I would be doing some “proper” sewing on this lovely machine at some point.  Well, in the run-up to Christmas, I did.

xmas 99K singer

I threaded Mrs 99K up with a golden coloured thread, and spent several very peaceful sewing sessions making up the 2018 batch of fabric & felt decorations.  This year, I cut into a Golden Cranes fabric, making simple hearts, with gold ribbon . . .

xmas 99K hearts

And, while gold comes in 9k, 18k and 24k . . . I’m calling these my little 99K gold heart decorations. 

knitting, crochet & xstitch

After working away for several weeks  on secret xmas present making, I am pleased to say, I finished everything on my list – yay.  Not only that.  Those presents were wrapped, posted, and parcels have been received .  So a big sigh of relief there, that my handicrafts arrived safely.  Now to wait impatiently, until Christmas, for recipients to open gifts. I have since added a few more things to my “to do” list.  Suddenly coming up with several more ideas for family closer to home.  However, without postal delays to worry about, I can work at a more gentle pace for these last gifts.

In the meantime, following surgeon’s instructions to rest with both feet up, I’ve been crocheting, xstitching, and even managed some knitting. 

Crochet has been working on something very small.  If I taught myself to crochet a while back, it was partly because I was inspired by all the wonderful crafting by MojiMoji Designs and some of the free patterns Janine makes available on line. I therefore followed one of her free seasonal patterns, and crocheted up a couple of tiny Christmas trees.

tress x2

Here are the first two I made, in their natural state.  I’m busy crocheting up a few more, and will then do as Janine suggests, and decorate them with pretty beads. 

Cross stitch time has also been spent working on something small. 

xmas tags

This little set of robins was a free kit in a recent issue of Cross Stitch Crazy.  Each one didn’t take too long to make, and I loved the very quick finish idea, of simply sticking onto the printed tag cards which were supplied in the kit. 

And I also managed to make some progress with knitting. 

cardie progress dec

Here are all my bits so far: 2 sleeves (which insist on curling up whenever I try to lay them flat), one back and now a left front!  I’ve already cast on the right front but I’m not giving myself any deadlines for a finish. What I’m not looking forward to:  knitting the bands of ribbing, getting button holes lined up correctly and at regular intervals for buttons, and sewing all my bits together.  It will have to be done though!  I’ve already got yarn and pattern in for my next knitting project – a sweater for the husband.  And I won’t be starting that until I have a finished cardigan.