Saturday, 28 December 2013

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Another pair of quick change trousers... and it's beginning to look a bit like Christmas

Talking to a friend about the oh so dreamy quick change trouser pattern reminded me that I had made another pair
The quick change trouser pattern is in Anna Maria Horner's handmade beginnings, and this pair were even quicker as I limited my fabric choice this time! See Jude's cheery pair here.

The main fabric is a soft denim, with an even softer blue gingham flannel for lining. All the fabrics were from the pile so no longer sure where they came from... And the sweetest bit about this pattern is the  view from the back
I made these up in the 12-18 months for a soon to be one year old (who is now most certainly a one year old, and has been for a few months, it has just taken me an age to add these photographs). That is just to say that the sizing seems just right with this pattern. Hope you had a fun first birthday, Albie!

And the Christmas part? Well, after the excitement of opening the advent calendar started on Sunday, followed by a trip to London to see the lights and Christmas displays and Patch's first visit to the magic of Hamley's, and arriving at school on Monday morn to find the classroom transformed... Patch is now oh so keen to make our home all Christmassy. I do feel rather festive after wrapping up Patch's twenty four Christmas books for his advent book pile this weekend, and possibly a Starbuck's red cup helped! Maybe we shall go and choose our Christmas tree soon...

Friday, 22 November 2013

And finally, this year's Halloween make...

Hmmm... not sure this can really be called a make. It most certainly can be called a success though as   Patch chooses to wear it all the time

Apart from the stripey t, I wanted to use bits I already had hence the pirate-y Batman. I straight stitched the edges rather than zig zag as I like the thought of a little fraying. I am trying to embrace Patch's newfound fondness of superheroes! 

And now on to Christmas making. I feel as if I should be listening to some festive crooners as I stitch and knit, curled up with a blanket and kit, to imbue some festive cheer into each make - but maybe too much for November?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Halloween... part two

So, last year Patch requested a spooky party and with a gentle half term approaching I thought some apple bobbing and other Halloween type antics with a (small) group of five year olds would be fun! And it might have had just a little to do with these dreamy invites
Image from

Patch requested a Bat Cat costume... Bat Cat the super cat, the super duper super hero cat - from Charlie and Lola. So sorry if you are now singing the song for the rest of the day. Hmmm what does the heroic Bat Cat wear?

Other than the obvious pants-over-trousers superhero must-have it would appear that Bat Cat wears some grey leggings and long sleeved top, knee high black socks and gloves, cat ears and a Mummy made mask, belt and cape. The mask and belt are based on patterns from, yet again, Emma Hardy's cute and easy costumes and for the cape I made a waistcoat-ish thing with an extended backpiece for the bat wings and a vampire-esque collar. Oh, and two elastic finger loops for optimal flapping. And yes, one loop is made from white elastic as I ran out of black but I'm trying not to notice that detail.

Is it a bird? No! Is it a plane? No! It's Bat Cat!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A spooky Halloween... finally!

Is mid-November too late for Halloween photographs? I suppose I could wait til next year, but by then I am likely to have forgotten these photographs altogether... I realised I have the past three Halloween makes to show, I do promise to try oh so hard to show them all this week and then we can all get on with festive preparations.

So, the first from two years ago, when Patch had to go to school as a wizard

I turned to Emma Hardy's cute and easy costumes for kids, which can always be trusted, and found a wizard costume. And copied it. As you can see, no changes at all. Oh, I did! I added yet more shiny stars to the wizard's cloak, and cheated by purchasing the hat. So, part two of Halloween makes maybe tomorrow...

Friday, 8 November 2013

The thank you dishcloth

I don't think a washing-up cloth is too odd for a thank you present... in fact there are times when a dishcloth would be a most suitable present - a thank you for a weekend stay maybe, or would most still prefer a bunch of flowers? Well, I would love a dishcloth!

This one was knitted with love to say thank you for a rather lovely copy of Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Knitting, a book given to me by dear Linda and Ems. To say thank you, I wanted to knit a little something from the book and so used the simple, plain dishcloth pattern as inspiration. It was knitted in Rico creative cotton aran in nature, and a row of Rowan handknit cotton in ice water, from the basket of I-really-must-use-the-wool-I-already-have. Two rows didn't really make much impact on the overflowing basket...

Actually, my wools are no longer sitting looking pretty in a basket as Miss Ethel was constantly helping herself to some rather expensive toys. I could have a basket full of balls of acrylic though as Miss Ethel shows absolutely no interest - cashmerino only for this kit!

Do hope you are enjoying washing the dishes Linda and Ems!

Oooo, and Halloween makes hopefully sometime soon... before Christmas!

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Friday, 25 October 2013

A why-did-I-leave-it-so-long oliver + s art smock

So sweet, so easy... no idea why it has taken me so long to make one!

This is the art smock from oliver + s little things to sew. The pattern instructions are as thorough as ever - I don't think I fiddled with them at all. Oh, I did use a few buttons to fasten the back rather than Velcro or snaps...

Fabrics both found in the pile - so a sweet make and just a slightly smaller chance of the fabric piles toppling. I love it! Parcelled together with Make with Maisy for lots of fun

Patch has asked for an art smock of his very own, something he invariably does as we are parcelling up a make for a friend. I got excited at the thought of using some of the superhero type kapow! fabric for the arms but sadly don't think I have enough left over from the car seat cushion, and it looks like it is now out of stock. Hmmmm...

Do hope you had a fun birthday Isabel! And another photograph of the art smock because they are so sweet

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Friday, 18 October 2013

Polly's crossover pinny

Such a sweet pattern... and oh so good if you are trying to use up some of the fabric from the many piles threatening to topple as you get to choose two!

Ooo, this photograph looks awful blurry, yet absolutely crystal clear before I uploaded it with Blogger. (Well, maybe not crystal as my photography skills are lacking, but oh so much better than the fuzziness I see before me). Help - anyone have any idea why this might be?

Hopefully you can see through the blurriness and observe that this is indeed a sweet pattern. It is Betty Kingston's crossover pinny and nappy cover pattern, made with a denim and a floral from the piles and this is the dearest part

A reversible pinny! The seams of the pinny are obviously all hidden away so a rather neat make, though I may use Lotta Jansdotter's bloomers pattern next time - used here - just for the added contrast binding. And the other thing I think I may do next time (because oh yes, there will be a next time just to warn any of my friends with suitably aged little ones) is to add some giant ric rac peeping out of the hem of the pinny... Wouldn't it look so sweet poking out from the denim?

The photograph above has reminded me that I top stitched the edges of the pinny, which isn't mentioned in the pattern, because I like the finish and also in the hope that even those teeny contrasting white stitches help to break up all the denim. Must remember the ric rac trim next time!

We lovingly parcelled the pinny up with a copy of

to wish dear Polly the happiest of first birthdays!

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Friday, 11 October 2013

Just the weather for a hot water bottle...

...and this makes me happy! Happy as I just love snuggling under an eiderdown with a hot water bottle, sometimes a magazine or book, or some knitting or crochet, or most happily with P watching a film or looking through a treasured Lego book. That is how we plan to spend this rainy weekend. But also this rainy, chilly autumnal weather makes me happy as Craig's Mum can use her newly knitted hot water bottle cover

I used a pattern found in Debbie Bliss' The Knitter's Year - an oh so easy pattern with no shaping involved as the drawstring neatly gathers at the top. The wool used is a Jarol heritage DK in airforce... Craig's Mum has a love of all things navy, I do hope airforce is sufficiently navy-ish! I did check with Mr R... actually, I do believe it was Mr R who spotted this wool in our local wool shop. I was dreamily squishing the delights of Debbie Bliss but decided that I maybe should allow Mr R to have some control over his mother's birthday present. Finished off with some ribbon from the tangled mess which is forever managing to burst out of the box I vainly hope to contain it in, selected by Patch.

We wrapped it up with some classic vintage novels and a box of local Suffolk tea. Happy birthday Linda, hope you had a lovely day!

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Friday, 4 October 2013

Birthday knits... and bunting

These knits were both made for late summer (well, late-ish) birthdays and will hopefully be keeping two heads snug this autumn

I used the calorimetry pattern again, with these revisions to make a smaller knit, though it still fits my (normal size I think) head. The lovely heather colour is a Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester Aran with a button from the tin. A complete remake in fact of this one from February. The blue wool was from the basket... I think it may well be another Debbie Bliss - maybe a teal cashmerino aran? With a vintage mustard button from Great Gran's tin. I still haven't knitted my very own calorimetry, though I do have just the wool! I fancy a mustard version...

I spent a happy afternoon making bunting... until large blisters appeared from overuse of pinking shears. Ouch! I enthusiastically approached cutting the colourful triangles, and later realised that I had totally overestimated the number needed. Now I realise I could have calculated how many of each colour was needed at the start by dividing the desired length of bunting by the width of each triangle, and that this would indeed probably have saved my hands as I only used maybe a quarter of the triangles cut. Pink and purple bunting anyone?

I was told that strong pinks and purples would go well in Patch's little friend's bedroom and after surprisingly discovering an absence of these colours in my rather substantial fabric piles, I found the fabrics in a small shop in Felixstowe. They have a great range of cheery poly cotton mixes, which was just right for this project. Oh, other than a pink remnant I did have - seen to the left above with the batik like flowers - leftover from a wrap skirt made about fifteen years ago, originally from John Lewis I think.

So a happy birthday Anna, Lou and Sophie!

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Friday, 27 September 2013

Esme's birthday skirt... and a happy Patch!

I am trying oh so hard to use fabrics I already have, as they are threatening to spill out of already overfilled drawers. But oh I do like to fabric shop! This time though the drawers contained all I needed for Esme's skirt

I think I may have got the dotty fabric from Ditto Fabrics in Brighton... and as I moved from Brighton oh, maybe eight years ago, it was possibly time for it to be used. I imagined a skirt of patchwork squares with a chunky white band at the bottom, which it is, but I'm left feeling a little hmm about this make... Maybe the colours are too pretty and girly? I do like the waistband though, made of two channels of elastic.

This skirt has a distinct summery feel, which is maybe daft for an end of August birthday as the weather is feeling rather autumnal, but as the past few Septembers have been so hot and sunny I obviously decided this year would be too! Hopefully Esme will happily twirl around in it this autumn with some snug leggings underneath. We parcelled it up with a favourite read

Hope you had a happy birthday, Esme!

There has been some recent fabric shopping... by Patch. Oh why did I think that was a good idea? But it is this fabric that has resulted in a very happy P. Poor Patch has started to complain on long car journeys that his car seat is too hard and uncomfortable. Well, I do believe I can do something to rectify that! And this is where I let P select the fabric. Silly me. We had fun looking through the many fabrics from frumble, with me pointing out some jolly car prints and such. I even suggested some fabric covered in comic kapows (which sadly I can no longer find) and which is most unlike anything I would choose. But I had failed to spot this. And it is this that has made both P and his bottom most cheery

When Patch saw this he was trying so hard to be pleased, but there was a disappointed but I thought it was going to be a Star Wars cushion Mummy?

Obviously this will be face down whenever I might get to choose. To save it from getting bleached in the sun, of course.

Sorry about photographs, but how to take a good one of a car seat?
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Friday, 20 September 2013

Sweet toys for Miss Mabel

A dear little kit to knit for! Miss Mabel has recently been adopted by some lovely friends and we all felt she needed a welcome to her new home gift

This is what happens when you search for kitty toys on Ravelry. The ball is the ideal crochet sphere , sorry but no idea what size sphere I followed! And the rabbit is the catnip bunny. So tempted to knit a full rainbow of rabbits... they look too sweet! The wool was the leftovers from the crocheted minion. Can't imagine that they will last long with those sharp little kit claws but I do hope Miss Mabel has some fun with her new toys. Just look at that tail!

And here's a photograph of Miss Ethel (as we have no Miss Mabel to show you!)... can't have a post about kitty toys without a sweet kit!

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A summery deck chair

Oh my, thought I should show this today before it becomes too autumnal to look at such sunny things

I do so wish I had straightened the fabric before taking the photo, but really do not feel like doing battle with the shed on this rainy and windy chilly day. So this photo shall have to do.

This is actually an old make that has been so well used by Patch that the fabric has faded...The deck chair frame came from the ELC sale a few years ago and I had intended to paint it but was persuaded by Mr R to leave in its original state - he mentioned flaky paint around the moving parts but I think that would have just added to its charm. So yes, I do wish I had painted it. The fabric sling is a Cath Kidston print simply made with a channel at either end for the poles to slide through. Patch was quite small when I made this so I didn't feel the need to use double thickness fabric though I will next time. Because I am already planning the next time! I have saved a full size deck chair frame from my parent's shed which is already painted a delightful shade of blue and Patch has requested more planes, possibly backed with a dotty fabric like the dreamy Danny Deckchair made by Yvonne from the lovely Yvestown blog. Or maybe a blousy floral so Patch and I can share the deck chair, changing the sling around as we fancy!

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Monday, 2 September 2013

I crocheted a Minion

As Patch was so overjoyed to have a Mummy-made Mike to take along to Monster's University, it seemed a good idea to make a Minion for a trip to view the much anticipated Dispicable Me 2. A search on Ravelry resulted in an amazing looking pattern from the blog All About Ami. This was my first attempt at amigurumi and because of the great pattern (and accompanying step-by-step instructions for those that really do need a hand held... goes without saying I had these by my side throughout!) Patch went to the cinema clutching this

Oh my! I had no idea I could produce this... the pattern really is so great! And just look at that hair

This cheeky Minion's goggles and dungarees are removable, and Patch giggles so when he undresses the Minion as his feet are attached to his dungarees. Really, this does tickle Patch. I should have made the goggle strap a little tighter, and the dungarees straps but this just means that Patch's Minion has straps that cross at the back

The wool was purchased from the local (cheaper) old fashioned haberdashery and fabric shop, as opposed to the dreamy and pricey wool shop. After all, this is a child's toy and not one going to be cuddled next to a oh so soft baby's cheek. Surprisingly, my selection of cheaper wool is soft and can happily be cuddled next to Patch's still oh so soft cheeks. The wool is all James C Brett - the yellow is Supreme Baby DK in an inspiring colourway SNG15, the blue and grey are DK with merino DM8 and DM10 respectively, and the black is pure merino DK in PM9.

I did have fun with this make, busily crocheting in the sunny garden, at the beach and sitting in our dear friend's sister's castle. And have decided that a crochet toy gives a nicer finish than a knit. Somehow more sturdy.

I am hoping to show you something other than a toy make next time... I'm sure I have been doing other things...

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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Oh-too-short trousers

We have been having dreamy summer holidays with gentle stay at home times and some fun days out. At the beginning of the holidays Patch made a list of the things he would like to do this summer which has been added to through the weeks

We are doing well!

And so this is just the right oh-so-quick make I have time for. Not sure I can really call this a make...

Hmmm, no, I did not make the trousers - that would most certainly be a proper make. These trousers could still fit more than one of our little weed Patch at the waist but were looking a little Dexy's Midnight Runners in length (did Dexy's Midnight Runners really wear too short trousers or were their oh-so-stylish dungarees rolled up? It may be that I have actually created more of a Dexy look). Oh well, some tabs and buttons have meant that P can continue to wear his trousers this summer

Can you see the print on the tabs - little paper folded boats. So sweet. Taken from the pile of fabrics bought to make P a patchwork quilt, and still sitting in a pile. And sorry Jo - Eddie will get these trousers one day! I'm now going to rummage through the bag of clothes to pass on to Eddie to see if there are more trousers ready for tabs...

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Yet more knitted toys...

This time from the amusing knitted wild animals by Sarah Keen. They were a fun request from Linda and Ems for Ems' newly arrived niece and older brother and were perhaps the more conservative animals in the book. Warthog? Moose? Good fun though

I made a start on the lion first as the giraffe slightly scared me with the word intarsia. I really did mean to follow the pattern and the fact that the lower parts of his legs are in stocking stitch rather than garter stitch can only be the fault of whatever I was watching on television at the time. However I did intend to knit the snout in one colour... And oh that mane. I spent far too long trying to work out the pattern given for loop stitch in the book before deciding to follow one of the many tutorials on youtube. Such a fun stitch as it reminds me of vintage baby matinee jackets. I fear there may be a photograph of me in a delightful pink one. Acrylic of course.

Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino was used for both - the main colour for the lion was 062 which I think is called gold, with colour 063 apricot for the paws, black for the features and chocolate (011) for the mane.

I was sadly feeling a little unsure of the lion once made up and stuffed, so he was happily abandoned as I awaited the arrival of the black wool in the post to embroider his features, so started the giraffe. The same colours were used with the addition of colour 101 fresh cream for the giraffe's hooves, muzzle and horns. Following advice on Ravelry I made an i-cord tail which seems to suit the giraffe more but other than that he is as the pattern

Oh so pleased to discover that the lion looked sweet once features embroidered! Decidingly fiddly patterns but with sweet results. Of course Patch would like one of each of the animals so I will still get the chance to knit the warthog!

Happy cuddles baby Polly and big brother Miles! And thank you for the book, dear Linda and Ems...

Photographs also courtesy of the lovely Linda
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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A quickly knitted Mike to take along to see Monster's University...

Not sure why Patch needed a Mike to take along, but need he did. Not much notice was given so a search on Ravelry came up with this from the learning dabbler

As it was a sunny Sunday afternoon and no wool shops open I had to rummage in the wool basket. The only Mike-like colour was this rather lovely Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran which is maybe slightly luxurious for a toy but it did mean the knitting could start right now. I followed the pattern with a few additions - the grey horn like bits (are they horns?) and a forth finger as it seemed so very important to me that I got the number of fingers right. Oh, and I used felt for features rather than the intarsia used in the original pattern. Hmmm... if I had planned this make a bit more I do think I would crochet it rather than knit as the finished toy would be more sturdy. And really, why didn't I just crochet a green ball with limbs? The finished shape would have been more Mike-like but I felt I needed the security of a pattern to follow. And oh Patch was happy to take his Mike along to the cinema!

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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Birthday catch-up...

Patch had rather a lot of parties to attend throughout the last few weeks of school... two in one weekend was done with excitement but the two in one day resulted in a slightly tired and grumpy P. Garden parties, dance parties, disco, bowling parties, high-wire parties (terrifying... and that was the parents watching. Have never been to a party where quite so many children have ended in tears. Patch managed to get a few feet off the ground on the climbing wall before declaring no more. Sensible boy! He had as much fun though rolling down a great grassy slope, so the party was still a success) and a pirate party.

And here, all bundled together, are the makes...

Simple skirts for Laura, Darcy and Maya. The denim is from the local haphazardly-piled-to-the-ceiling fabric and habadashers and is fairly lightweight so good for a skirt, but not so for the denim trousers I still want to make P. And the cheery green is here from the lovely fabric rehab. Other fabrics from the tottering pile.

Look similar?

This time for Tamzin. Both fabrics now almost finished! And all wrapped up with a copy of

which seemed appropriate!

And for Captain Jem's pirate party

So happy with the still sweet but not too cute Makower pirate fabric found here.

So a happy birthday to all Patch's little friends!

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