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...