Wednesday 29 December 2010

More Christmas Makes

Here they are - the final batch of projects I made for Christmas presents etc.
Grace likes owls so I used applique and embroidery to make her this owl cushion for her room.
The owl has large button eyes.

I also made some fancy labels to make the presents extra special. Here are two I made.

They are just plain luggage labels decorated with nice paper and a felt flower.

The flower has a sequin centre and some gold thread embroidery on it - to make it sparkle.
I knitted some little bags and filled them with chocolates.

The pattern is by Diana Mulholland and is available as a free Ravelry download.

I couldn't resist these cute little elves.

They are crocheted and have a wooden clothes peg inside them to grip to whatever you want.
I used tiny black beads for the eyes. The hats can be customised but mine are all plain at the moment. I made five in total.

The pattern is by Irene Strange and was in the December 2010 issue of Inside Crochet magazine.

I used them to attach name cards to ribbons on the backs of dining chairs. They are now swinging quite happily from the curtains.

Finally, as a little stocking filler I made us all finger moustaches.

This is a really quick and easy pattern to make - and is guaranteed to bring a smile to every one's faces.
The pattern is by Megan Death and is available free here.
Well that brings all the Christmas projects up to date.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Some Christmas Makes

I can now show you some of the projects I was working on for Christmas.

Firstly there is this knitted 'Peruvian' bag I made for Eve as part of a little package with the theme of Peru.
It is a modified version of a pattern by Berroco Design team and is available for free here.

For Grace I was working with a theme of Venice and so I made her a crocheted carnival mask.

The basic mask pattern is by Priscilla Hewitt and is a free pattern (at the time of writing this, the relevant web page isn't available - so I'll see if I can get it later).

I also made a lion for Grace.

This is another free pattern, this time from Lion Brand. It is called a sock critter. The clue was in the title! I should have realised before I picked up the needles that it would be knitted in the round! Nevertheless I persevered with my double pointed needles and the benefit at the end is no seaming. Having said that knitting on straight needles is so much faster even if there is sewing up at the end. The pattern can be found here. There are plenty more of these sock critters if you enjoy knitting in the round.

I've still got a few more projects from Christmas to show you - I'll save those for next time.

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone

Well, the knitting and crocheting are all done, the presents wrapped, cakes are baking in the oven - a last minute tidy around the house is all that's needed. There'll be lots of photos of all my secret makes after Christmas.

Christmas has come so fast this year - I haven't had time to take it all in - today is the day to sit back and savour the moment.

A very Merry Christmas to you all - see you again soon.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

The Pudding Pixie

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without an Alan Dart knitting pattern.

Here is this year's offering.
He is the Pudding Pixie, and with all Alan Dart patterns he's bigger than you think he's going to be! He's 21 inches from top to toe!

The pattern is still available in this month's Simply Knitting magazine.

This was great fun to make - the attention to detail really stands out in all of Alan Dart's patterns.
He's now sitting beside me on the sofa (the pixie that is, not Alan Dart) - great company.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Christmas Cards

For this year's Christmas cards I have used some crochet motifs.

This first one is a smaller version of my wreath pattern.
I used DK weight yarn and a 3mm hook. It's a very simple pattern. Chain 15 and join into a loop. Work 24 dc into the loop, slip stitch into 1st dc. 2 ch (1 tr, 2 ch, 1 dc, 2 ch) to end. Fasten off. Note - these are English crochet terms. To convert to American terms, dc = sc, tr = dc.

Sew on a little bow and some beads for berries - and there you are.

The second motif I used is the holly leaf.
Again very simple but it looks really effective.

Chain 9 and sl st into 2nd ch from hook and next 2 ch. Work (2 ch, 1 tr, 2ch, 1 dc) two times along one edge. Work 2ch, 1 tr, 1 dtr, 1 tr all into last ch. Turn and work down the other side of the chain. Work (1 ch, 1 dc, 2 ch, 1 tr) two times along the bottom edge. 2 ch then sl st into next st. Fasten off. Note dtr = tr in American terms. Make three leaves in total and add some beads for berries.

The final motif is a lovely Christmas star.
This comes from a free pattern by Deb Richey, and is available here.
I think they all look very effective.

Saturday 18 December 2010

Rivelin Finished

Just what I need - a lovely snug, warm and cosy sweater.

We have had about 6 inches of snow overnight - this may not seem much to many of you who are used to substantial snow falls - but around here we mostly only get a light coating of snow. Eve has gone off to meet her friends for a snowball fight and Grace is stranded at her boyfriend's flat because the trains aren't running! I am sitting comfortably in a lovely warm house wearing my newest sweater.

The pattern is called Rivelin and is by Louisa Harding from her book entitled Little Cake. It is knitted in aran weight yarn - I used Rowan Pure Wool Aran.

It has patterned welts, cuffs and neck but the main body and sleeves are plain. A nice quick knit and very wearable. Full details of the project can be found on my Ravelry page, here.
My DH didn't notice the new sweater - when it was pointed out to him he said -Don't you already have one that colour! Well yes, actually I've got several this colour - it's one of my favourite colours to wear. I'm sure it won't be the last time I knit this colour!!

Thursday 16 December 2010

Presents for Friends

Eve's friend Michael asked her if I could knit a hat for his girlfriend, Alice, for Christmas. No problem - I've become a bit of a celebrity among Eve's friends with all my knitting and crocheting. Anyway, Michael wanted a hat with a pig face on it (apparently it's a joke between the two of them - I just hope she appreciates the joke!).

This is what I came up with.

I used a basic beanie pattern called Easy Peasy Beanie by Crazza. This is available as a free Ravelry download. It's very versatile and quick to make with clear instructions. It only took me a few hours on total to make. You can see the full details of the project on my Ravelry page, here.

The snout, ears and eyes were all crocheted.

Michael is really pleased with the result, he's giving the present to Alice today. I wouldn't accept payment for it - I enjoy knitting whatever - but he felt that he wanted to give something, so a compromise was reached and he has given the money to our local charity -The Waterloo Partnership, which helps the residents of Waterloo in Sierra Leone. So we all feel good about it.

Eve wanted me to make a hammer for her friend Fin. They have an ongoing joke about 'hitting the nail on the head' - something their English teacher says a lot - I think they have a specific head in mind!

The pattern is another free one, Magic Hammer by Karen Null and is available here.

I've still got lots of knitting and crocheting to do for Christmas - over-ambitious as usual. School finishes today, so I will no longer have the house to myself - I shall have to find somewhere to hide away and knit in secret.
The Darts World Championship starts on the television tonight - so I may treat myself and start a new sweater!
Just got my result from my Open University Earth Sciences course (Distinction!) - way better than I had expected because the exam was a real stinker. I've had a cry and a laugh about it - good job I'm on my own - no one to see me - I hadn't realised I was so worried about the result. I've just eaten a bag of chocolates to celebrate and now I had better get back to the knitting and making.

Sunday 12 December 2010

It's Me!!

So exciting - I was in W H Smith in Liverpool yesterday - browsing the crochet magazines - when suddenly, there in front of me - was me!

How wonderful - a picture of me on the readers' gallery page wearing my capelet.

The magazine is this month's Inside Crochet ( I like the crochet cardi on the front - another possible future project!).

Obviously it wasn't a total surprise because I had been asked a few months ago to supply a picture for possible publication - but even so it was great to see it actually made it to print.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Hats for My Girls

As an early Christmas present for my girls, I made them both a warm and snug hat. The weather certainly requires warm hats - when will it get warmer?

I used the pattern in Cherished by Kim Hargreaves for Moon Hat.

They are knitted in chunky weight yarn and I used Sirdar Connemara. This is a lovely tweedy yarn - very nice to knit with and the colourings are great. It's too cold and too dark to photo outside so the pictures don't show off the hats very well - but you get the general idea.

The hat for Grace is a mix of reds, yellows and greys, the one for Eve is purples, blues and pinks. 2 balls were needed for each hat and they took 1 day each to make.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Eve's Nordic Sweater

Eve asked for a Nordic style sweater for Christmas - but she was very particular about the style, pattern and shaping! It was hard to find a pattern that fitted her requirements so in the end we adapted and modified.

Here is the finished sweater.

I wasn't sure how it would look until the last stitch was finally cast off, but I think it looks just right.

Eve is pleased with it - which is what matters.

I used a free pattern from DROPS for the colour work. You can see the details here.
The yoke was knitted on a circular needle and was very quick to knit up.

I seem to be getting through my planned projects relatively easily - no doubt I will find more to do to fill up any spare time. Now it's on with the Christmas Pudding Pixie!

Ho Ho Ho

Today's the day we put up the Christmas decorations - very exciting.

Using the alphabet crochet pattern by Melody Griffiths (from that amazing book, 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas) I have made these:

A little bit of fun, that makes me smile.
I love these letters, they're quick and easy to make and so versatile.

Last year I made "It's Christmas" - so maybe I've started a new tradition and in a few years time the walls will be covered in crocheted slogans!

Sunday 28 November 2010

Christmas Heart 2010

Has it really been 12 months since the last Christmas heart?

Here is this year's contribution to the Christmas Heart collection.
This year I have embroidered mistletoe on a red background, with the usual pearl stitch edging in white. I'm very pleased with the result - although with my eyesight, it was difficult to embroider. May be I should ask Father Christmas for an eye test and some new glasses and I may be able to do more sewing!

Thursday 25 November 2010

Harry Potter

We saw the new Harry Potter film last night.

We really enjoyed it despite the fact that it is so grim, bleak and sad. Harry's come a long way since those innocent days of learning to ride a broomstick and discovering Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.

I was pleased to see that Harry had come to Liverpool. The scene near the beginning of the film where Harry and Hagrid ride in the motorbike and sidecar through a tunnel whilst being chased by Death Eaters, was filmed in the Mersey Tunnel!!

Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone in the USA.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Patterns for Crochet Glittens

Following the completion of my knitted glittens, Mindy has asked me if I know of any good crochet patterns for glittens.

Looking through the database on Ravelry I've found these two.

The first is by Woodhill Designs and is available free here. It uses worsted weight yarn.

This pattern is by Sue Norrad and is available free here . It also uses worsted weight yarn.

I haven't tried either of these patterns so I can't comment on how easy/difficult they are but they both look like fun (no double pointed knitting needles!!) I might have a go at designing my own crochet glittens - but it'll have to wait until after Christmas - I'm definitely booked up until then!

Monday 22 November 2010

End of the Glittens

I have now finished my fourth pair of glittens.

This pair are for Grace - and will be the last for a while. It was a great pattern to do and I would certainly make more. They're really quick to make, don't take too much yarn and very practical.
But it's time to move on and I don't seem to be finding much time to work on my Christmas makes. I had planned on spending the weekend working flat out on Eve's alpine sweater - darts on the television - so no reason not to just sit and knit. However - I was totally gripped by the novel I was reading, couldn't put it down - so not as much knitting done as I had planned.

I'm also in the middle of yet another assignment - they seem to pop up all the time - but this should be the last one before Christmas - then it's non-stop knitting and crocheting all the way to Christmas!

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Christmas Hexagon

Here's a bit of a distraction.

The pattern looked interesting so I thought I would give it a try. It turned out larger than I imagined - it's about 7 inches from point to point.

The central hexagon is from a pattern called African Flower by Lounette Fourie and Anita Rossouw. It can be found on this site (it's the 9th comment from the top!), but I think there should be a better pattern around, certainly Ravelry has some others listed.

The pattern for constructing the hexagon is by Daniela Herbertz and is available as a free Ravelry download. Details can be found on my project page here.

I wish there weren't so many tempting patterns out there - I am weak and easily distracted!

Friday 12 November 2010

Crochet Christmas Wreath

PDF version
Here’s a fun project for Christmas that only takes about an hour to make.

The finished wreath is approximately 11cm (4.5 inches in diameter)

You will need a thin ring with a diameter of approximately 5.5 cm (just over 2 inches).
I used thin metal bangles that were designed for a small child. A pack of 10 cost only £2.25 in Claire’s Accessories.

Using double knitting weight yarn in a nice Christmassy green , I worked 60 dc (US = sc) into the ring to cover it.

If your ring is larger or smaller you will obviously need to adjust. Join with a sl st into 1st dc.

Second round – work a dc in each dc (but increasing 6 dc evenly over the round). Join with a sl st. 66 sts

Third round – 3ch (counts as first tr [US = dc]), 1 tr (US = dc) into each dc to end. Sl st into 3rd of 3 ch at beginning of round.

Fourth round – (1 dc, 3 ch) into each tr to end. Sl st into 1st dc.

Hanging loop – work 12 ch, sl st into 1st ch to form a loop. Fasten off.

The wreath can be decorated as you wish.

I used wooden beads in red, cream and green, to look like berries, and I attached a small ribbon to the top.

Very simple and quick but they look very effective.