Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sleepy squirrel is back...

... only this time, in a cushion incarnation.


I used the same applique templates as for the hot water bottle cosy, applique'd and embroidered the squirrel onto a square of osnaburg fabric, and used that as the centre piece of a patchwork cushion. I worked out all the sizes of the patchwork bits myself. I've clearly improved at patchwork over the last year, as now my seams line up!

All the fabrics in this cushion, the felt for the squirrel, and all the thread came out of my stash. I used a cushion filler I had already. It is good to use stuff up, and what a good result! I'm really pleased with this, my second completed Christmas present.

My next two planned presents are also cushions. Hope I don't get bored...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Camper Van

I finished the camper van:


The crochet parts were easy enough, but the making up took a while. Felt windows, licence plates and the logo circle to sew on, embroidery for doors, doorhandles and VW logo,  plus 8 buttons.

For the doorstop weighting, rather than putting loose lentils in the camper van, which might escape through the crocheted fabric, I made a cotton bag out of an old pillowcase, filled it with out-of-date lentils and quinoa (yay for reuse and recycle! I just cleared out our kitchen cupboards last week, and it was very timely!) and stitched it closed. Then I put the bag and some toy stuffing inside the camper van, and sewed the final seam closed.

Completing the doorstop means I have now finished one Christmas present - that's great. I also cut out the pieces for the next, which involves patchwork, so hopefully I'm on a roll!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The advance party

My crafting has taken a festive turn, even though it's only November.

I blogged before about the candy cane baby hat, but I just knitted some matching little bootees to go with it, as I like to make a set of things for a present.


I sent them off to the mama of a baby due in December.

I made this vaguely festive pinwheel purse, to keep my seasonal jewellery in.


It was easy, although rather fiddly at the sewing up stage. If you want to try it, you need scraps of 4-ply/sock yarn, small needles - mine were 2.25mm - and patience! The pattern is free on Ravelry.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Children in Need

Children in Need is an annual UK charity fundraiser, run by national broadcaster BBC. Primary school-aged children in particular get very excited about it.

On Thursday evening, ds and I had a little cooking session and made chocolate fairy cakes, and choc-chip cookies. Ds did most of it - I just dealt with the hot things. Here he is looking very proud of his achievements:


He was very pleased to go to school this morning with tins full of goodies, to be sold for 20p each at his school. Very good value!

If you want to contribute to this good cause, online donations are accepted here.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Sleepy squirrel

Today I sewed this hot-water bottle cosy:


The pattern was in Sew Hip issue 25, with templates for the applique squirrel. It was very easy.  I made a couple of changes - I used white fleece instead of felt for the main pieces, and I left off the rick-rack trim - which I think may have been a mistake. It looks a little too plain without it. I think I also misplaced the applique slightly, so this will most likely be a practice version that stays in our house.

It has to be said that dd has already identified this as "cute", so possibly the squirrel will end up sleeping in her room!

Earlier this week, I got almost to the end of my camper van - and ran out of yarn. More has arrived, and I hope to finish this soon, but it also depends on finding some large buttons for the wheels. There were only two in the right colour in John Lewis.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Festive plans

Now it's November, my thoughts have inevitably turned to preparations for the festive season. Last time I blogged about my plans (with timeframes!) it turned out to be the kiss of plans-going-awry, so I hope I have better luck this time! Anyway, it is my intention to give some more hand-made presents this year.

I've already started by preparing the blackberry vodka. It's turned a lovely deep red colour, and I found some presentation bottles in Lakeland, so I'm hoping it will make at least one present. I've probably made enough to fill two 500 ml bottles, but I rather think we shall want to keep one for the festivities at home!

My plans for November crafting to give away in December include this:


The pattern is in the latest Inside Crochet magazine. Since I took that photo, I've finished the whole of one side piece and worked half-way through the second.

I also have sewing plans:


Just waiting for some felt in various shades to arrive. I'm charmed to have found this felt which is, apparently, machine-washable. Awesome!

If I get through that little lot by the end of November, that will be four presents done, and then I might make some more!

How about you, dear reader? Do you make things to give away for christmas presents? Do share the details in the comments box!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Baby gifts

I sent off some knitted baby stuff to two newly-arrived or soon-expected babies:


I made a little pair of bootees to match the baby hat I showed you previously, and sent these to a little baby girl. This was a riff off various bootee patterns, and used the same Debbie Bliss cashmerino dk yarn as the hat.

I also made a tiny owls hat, in which the owls are made from knitted cables:


One owl has sewn-on button eyes and a beak made of felt, but the rest (all the way round the hat) are sleeping! The pattern is available on Ravelry but is not free. I used Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran yarn.

I love owls, especially because of their Harry Potter associations. Thinking snowy (Hedwig!) rather than tawny (Errol?) owls, I think this hat would also look seriously good in winter white.