Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Itty Bitty Bunnies

Easter is just around the corner, and there's not much time left to make crafty things for it.  But Anna at Mochimochi Land has generously offered a free pattern for the teeniest knitted bunnies.  These take about half an hour from start to finish to whip up.  I couldn't resist making a few for myself!

The smaller ones I knitted using 4 ply wool and 2.25mm needles as the pattern suggested.  Mama Bunny used DK wool and 3mm needles.  I did manage to snap one of my beloved Symfonie 2.25mm dpns - I am so grateful that they supply 6 of them for such accidents!  You can see the broken dpn in the foreground of this shot (and you probably heard my wail when it snapped!):

I also discovered the 1000 Cranes Appeal on Miya Company's website.  For each picture of an origami crane they receive, they'll donate $5 to Save the Children for Japan's relief and recovery, up to a total of 1000 cranes.  If you don't know how to fold the crane, they have a pdf file you can download to help you.  My son and I spent a while folding cranes outside today, although typically, a breeze started up when I wanted to photograph them, so they're all a bit less posed than I wanted them to be!

And a less pterodactyl-y shot of a couple of them...

If I don't blog again before, have a wonderful Easter everyone :) 

Friday, 15 April 2011

Crafting Returns Slowly

I dislike my current lethargy towards crafting.  It's unsettling and I'd like to get back to "normal", please!

I have managed a couple of little projects though.

The first is a little Easter-y bunny sachet, using this great free pattern.

And secondly, some little handmade seed packets.  With only a tiny garden, there simply isn't room to grow whole packets of seeds, and I end up with loads left over.  Normally I keep these for the following season, but this year I've had disappointing germination results from my older seeds and it seems far more sensible to give away the excess and start each season with fresh seeds to put my energy and love into.  The packets are just little rectangles of handmade paper and vellums machine sowed around three sides before the seeds are popped in and the fourth side sown.  They all have little tags with the seed variety and basic sowing instructions on them.

I love the Flower Fairy vellum - how wonderful would it be to make up a little set of these and have one just purely filled with glitter as fairy dust to make the seeds grow?  They'd make adorable party favours or combined with a little tin watering can and some colourful pots, a great Easter egg alternative (or in addition to an Easter egg - I do like chocolate a lot!)

Please tell me what you're working on at the moment - it'll inspire me back to my creative self again!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


My desire to craft has been temporarily usurped by my desire to garden.  I know that it's temporary and things will regain balance soon - or at least, I hope so because I'm missing the urge to knit, crochet or sew!

I've made a new blog purely for gardening adventures - it's here if anyone fancies a nose :)  It'll be a place for me to make more detailed notes that'll help in subsequent years, and will be a good way of keeping check on how things are growing.

Having spent a few weeks warming up the soil in the raised bed, I removed the cover, dug it over and covered it with netting to stop the neighbourhood cats viewing it as a Wonderful Litter Tray.  Catalpa came out and showed me just how kitty proof that netting is...

At least he's not able to dig holes in it, but it's not particularly helpful, is it?!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Rainclouds and Rainbows - Free Pattern

I do like Douwe Egberts coffee.  I love the taste, and I love the glass jars they come in with their chunky glass stoppers!  They're brilliant for holding...stuff.  I have them filled with toffees for DS, with ribbons, beads and buttons for me.  They're great for holding soup in to gift to friends when they're sick.  And obviously, they need cosies - dur.  So here is a simple pattern to cosy up a 200g sized coffee jar :)  

You'll need 4mm dpns and DK yarn.  I've used a fuzzy white DK for both, teamed with a soft grey (Rowan Revive) to make fluffy clouds and bright rainbow colours to make, well, a rainbow.  I've not listed gauge as it's pretty stretchy and small, but I suggest you knit loosely so that the slipped stitches create little scallops.

K - Knit
P- Purl
S1 - Slip one stitch (literally move it from the left needle onto the right needle without knitting it)
K2tog - Knit two stitches together
YO - yarn over.
Kfb - Knit the front and back of the stitch.

Cast on 56 stitches in your main colour (ie. grey or rainbow red for mine) and arrange on dpns (I used a set of five, so each working needle had 14 stitches)

Set up Round 1 - Knit
Set up Round 2 - Knit
Switch to contrast colour (white fuzzy for mine) 
Round 1 - (k1,s1) repeat to end
Round 2 - (p1, sl) repeat to end
Round 3 - Knit
Round 4 - Knit
Switch to main colour
Round 5 - (s1, k1) repeat to end
Round 6 - (s1, p1) repeat to end
Round 7 - Knit
Round 8 - Knit

Repeat rounds 1 to 8 until piece reaches neck of jar, then work rounds 1-3.
Eyelet row - (k2tog, yo) repeat to end.
Next round - Knit
Switch to contrast colour
Next round - (kfb) repeat to end.
Bind off. 

Weave in the ends, thread a ribbon through the eyelets and warm up your jar.  Admire!

I'm working on a third one at the moment in two green yarns which don't have the fuzzy aspect.  I have to admit I think this slip stitch pattern benefits from at least one of the yarns having a touch of fuzz, but we'll see when it's finished..

If you work this pattern up, I'd love to see it - either link me on here or post on the ravelry project page.  

As with all my patterns, they are for personal or charity use only.  Enjoy! :)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Green Stuff Makes Me Happy

Happy Mother's Day to all mums out there - hope you've been spoilt rotten by your families!  I was lucky enough to get a purple poppy bucket from my son (ahem- I might have demanded it a while ago!), but he also made me a little lego planter of flowers and gifted me the velvet bag I bought him *years* ago with Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans on it (it's awesome - will take pictures in the daylight tomorrow and bore you all with them!).  

I've been mainly busy sowing and growing here; I can't wait until late May when I can plant out all these new little babies.  I am absolutely delighted with the new baby strawberry plants - their second leaves have just come through and they are tiny but perfectly strawberryish!  Here's a picture of them, with my prune-y little finger to show how wee they are...

And my windowsill lettuces are about ready to start eating the thinnings.  Grown in a catering size gravy tub I bought home from work to recycle (make brilliant handled plant tubs!).  I love the way these look with the light coming through them - they really are quite magical :)

I've been searching online for a good seed supplier and came across - they have a good range (I *need* asparagus peas!) and even better, they offer free p&p and seeds with each order.  Customer comments are all really encouraging, so I'll be giving them a go.  If you have a favourite flower or veg to grow in containers, shout out now!

Knitting pattern coming tomorrow; I need that daylight again to take photos in.  I'll sign off with a picture of the seedy pouches I made, resting on a background of Current Quilting Project/Insanity...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Using a random number generator, the winners of the seeds are comment 1 and 5 -tyarastarchild and Greenpixey!  Congratulations!  Drop me an email or ravelry message with your details, and I'll get them in the post to you both :)  Big thanks to those begged to come over from Ravelry to enter ;)

Despite the weather forecaster's threats, it is beautiful and sunny here again today which makes it all the more annoying that I'm about to go off to work.  

I'm also working on a couple more patterns to share, the first of which makes Douwe Egberts coffee jars woolly....

Edited to add that I've sent messages to tyarastarchild through her blog and on ravelry, but had no response from her.  I've hung on for two weeks, but as these seeds do need to be sown soon for this year's harvest, I've returned to the random number generator to pick another winner.   Congratulations to Psychedelic Elephants - message on its way!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Spring Crafting

Few crafty projects to share :)  Fancied doing something with a needle and thread for a change, so I revisited my old love of cross stitching to make a rabbity lavender sachet.  Was rather difficult to get a decent photo of it as the thread colour matches the aida, but here it is!

For my crochet fix, I chose a flower to hook from Bonita patterns.  It's her Croco Flower available for free.  It looks like a big yarny mess when you've finished hooking it, but once the petals have been smoothed down, it's sooo pretty!  I edged each stitch with 2 single crochet stitches in embroidery thread to make the rainbow effect.  I think it would look gorgeous with a charcoal yarn as the main colour, so a future project in store!

Lastly, I've been working a rather daft knitting project for a few days, which helps satisfy my need to cover everything with yarn!  Lucy over at Attic24 handily published a free heart pattern this week which was just what I needed to complete this project!

I used the pattern to make leaves - don't they make perfect plump ones?  And this is what I attached them to.....

A clock!  It's a modern reproduction of a 1940s kitchen clock, but it had enamelled sides in a really odd cream colour - it was a cold cream, rather than warm and just didn't look right against the magnolia walls.

I covered the clock with a k3, p1 ribbed sleeve, with an eyelet edge, hooked some strawberry flowers and knitted lots of strawberries to decorate it with.  It's been up on the wall for a couple of days, leafless and without the strawberry "seeds" until I finally worked out what was missing!  Seeds are embroidery thread french knots - lots of them.

I'm really pleased with how this has turned out and a good way to mark 200 projects on Ravelry!

How are you celebrating the change of Seasons?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Free Seeds Giveaway!

It's been such a gorgeous day here - Spring is well and truly arriving :)  I've been pottering around outside and planted up loads more seeds ready for this season's harvest of pretties and noms.  I've been happily flicking through seed packets seeing which are ready to be sown now, and which ones I need to be patient with for a little longer.  There is something magical about seed packets with their glorious pictures of "when I grow up" on the front.

Anyway, amongst them I found some I'm not going to plant - either because I already have a zillion packets (rocket) or because I've already planted a different variety (tomatoes) or because I really don't like the finished veg enough to grant it precious soil space (sprouts!).  They came with the seed potatoes last year, need sowing by the end of April and are good until 2012.

The seeds are: Wild Rocket, Tomato (Moneymaker), Tomato (Gardener's Delight) and Brussel Sprouts (Falstaff - a purple variety).

Um.  I took a picture of them for you.  But my mind was still thinking "must plant more" instead of "clean table up a bit, remove coffee mug which I was unable to carry from kitchen to garden without spilling before taking pictures".  Sorry.  It's my favourite coffee mug too, and very apt ;)

(ooooh, Blogger has finally altered photo-shoving-in tool to shove them in where cursor is rather than dumping them all at the top of the blog!  Wooo!)

I have two sets of each of the 4 packets of seeds to give away.  As they're seeds, you need to be in the UK to enter.  Just leave a comment and I'll do a random drawing at the end of the week.  Make sure you leave some way of letting me contact you.

I feel a bit nervous doing this - not sure if anyone apart from the lovely Anita stops by here on a regular basis!

Right, back to the garden to clean up after myself!

Edited to add - thank you to the Ravelers who've come to my rescue on this one!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Macmillan Cancer Support are running a fuel poverty campaign to highlight this issue. A knitted petition will be handed to the government later on this year and everyone can get involved! Visit and simply type in what makes you feel warm and then watch it being translated into a knitted pattern by a Silver Viscount knitting machine (it's huge, impressive and speedy!). You get to see your bit being knitted!

Here's mine -cinnamon apples scoffed curled up with Rowan. It's the row of stars closest to the machine.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone :)

Knitted heart in Marble, Rowan Revive - I had a tiny amount of this in my £1 grab bag from the local yarn store that is sadly closing down. Perfect for tiny hearts. Pattern is here.