Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Playing With Barbie

What a glorious day we had yesterday - gorgeous sunshine and lovely and hot.

I soon got bored with gardening and so turned my attention to Barbie!

I'm sure I'm not alone in hoarding stuff.  We are reaching the point were we almost have as much stuff in the loft as in the rest of the house.  Obviously all the girls' toys are up there, including a large box and a large bag full of Barbie dolls, Barbie clothes and Barbie accessories.  This was put away when the girls no longer played with them.  Both my daughters are out of her teens and the Barbie collection has not been touched for a very long time.  So I decided to sort through, throw out the broken, ripped and battered and then put the rest into careful storage, maybe for some future generation to play with, but if not at some point they will reach the stage of being antique!

So I laid out some cloths on the patio and tipped it all out.

And started sorting.

Most of the clothes were in reasonable condition, not too much needing a wash.

Barbie will never be short of a hair brush...

...or shoes.

Even gold ones.

Sadly there was only one of these boots, so no retro 70s outfit for Barbie.

Barbie shouldn't have any problems with transport.  The jeep is looking good...

As it Barbie's horse...

...and toboggan.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much left of the bicycle!

The dog is looking in need of some grooming.

And now to the dolls themselves.  We have 'spare parts' Barbie!

Three fake Barbies.

Three Ken's and two Action men.  Check out those muscles.

Several small relatives.


Pocahontas (more on her dress later).

Two posh Barbies - the type whose clothes don't come off.

And many others whose names I have forgotten (I think one of them is Rapunzel Barbie), including a pregnant Barbie and a weird one with purple hair.

Many of them are having bad hair days - so attention needed.

I have discovered a Swedish website that has over a 1000 knitting patterns for clothes for Barbie.  It's wonderful and they are all free.  The site is called Sticka till Barbie.  The patterns are available in English, German, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Norwegian, Russian and Spanish - wow!

So far I've made the dress for Pocahontas, as seen above, and this lovely little ensemble.

There will be more.  The Barbie dolls may not make it back into storage - I'm having far too much fun playing with them.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Sitting Pretty

I'm on a mission to replace all the cushion covers in the living room.

This is the latest one I've done.

My chair I sit in to work is now looking jolly and colourful.

So I'm sitting pretty.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Blossom Napkin Rings - free crochet pattern

It's been a while since I shared a new crochet pattern with you.  So to put matters right, here's a quick and easy pattern for some napkin rings.

At the moment, the tree at the front of our house is covered in beautiful cherry blossom.  Such a lovely shade of pink.

Already the wind is covering the ground with a carpet of the pink petals, which is such a shame.

The colours of the 4 ply cotton yarn I bought recently reminded me of the blossom and that's what gave me the inspiration for this pattern.

So here's the pattern for the Blossom Napkin Rings:-
PDF version of pattern available, here.

You will need:
4 ply cotton in shades of dark pink, pale pink and cream ( I used DMC Natura Just Cotton)

seed beads in gold (I used 8 per blossom)
2.50 mm crochet hook

Abbreviations used-
Please note this pattern uses English crochet terms
ch = chain
st = stitch
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet (please not that the American equivalent is a sc)
tr = treble (American equivalent is a dc)
dtr = double treble (American equivalent is a tr)

To make the napkin ring-
With the dark pink, crochet 27 chain, join with a slip stitch to form a ring. (You can always make your ring bigger by making the chain longer if you wish).

Round 1: 1 ch (doesn't count as a stitch), 1 dc into each ch, slip st into 1st dc. (27 sts)

Round 2: 1 ch (doesn't count as a stitch), 1 dc into each dc to end, sl st into 1st dc to join.
Rounds 3 -10: repeat round 2.
Fasten off dark pink.

Join in pale pink and sl st into every st to end.  Fasten off.

Rejoin pale pink to foundation chain and sl st in every ch to end.  Fasten off.

To make the blossom-
With the cream, ch 4 and join with a sl st to form a ring.
Round 1: 3ch (counts as first tr), 14 tr into ring, join with a sl st into top of 1st tr. (15 sts)

Break off cream and join in pale pink.
Round 2: [(2 ch, 1 tr) in 1st st, 3 dtr in next st, (1 tr, 2 ch, sl st) into next st, sl st into next st] 5 times.  Fasten off.

With dark pink work some straight embroidery stitches from the centre of the ring, vary the length of the stitches.

Attach some gold seed beads around the embroidery, I used 8 per blossom.

Attach the blossom to the napkin ring and that's it.

Quick and easy to make and just right for an afternoon tea party in Spring.

I hope you enjoy the pattern.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Weekend

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend.  Here's a flavour of what I've been up to.

We spent our time in Sheffield with Grace.

A relaxing canal walk...

and a very refreshing pint in this atmospheric pub.

I also started knitting a new cardigan (no, I haven't finished the last one, but Fair Isle doesn't travel well).

Before arriving at Grace's, we dropped Eve off in Cambridge.  Her college has a lovely pond frequented by ducks and moorhens.  The babies are so cute.

And on the way home we stopped off at the new Hobbycraft store that has opened in Aintree.  I bought a mound of yellow yarn and these lovely balls of cotton.

Back home now and I'm feeling suitably refreshed and full of inspiration for new projects.  That cotton is calling to me so I'd better get my crochet hook and start making!