Saturday, 28 April 2012

Little Crochet Creatures

I've finished a whole bunch of creatures all at once, and here they are.  Ta-dah!

Starting off with Baby Elly - isn't she sweet!

 And here's Baby with Mummy Elly.  Mummy Elly is a gift my friend commissioned from me for her daughter's birthday, and Baby Elly is my gift to go with it.

I'm only slightly sad that Baby can't hold Mummy's tail, like elephants do, but a tail that long looked weird.

My next project - Grunge Bunny, Sweetheart Ted and Star Trek Ted.

Star Trek Ted is a birthday present for my stepson.  (Don't ask how old he is.)  He put in an order as soon as he saw Grunge Ted.  ("You could do a jumper with any motif...  Like a Star Trek insignia!") 

 Grunge Bunny was a follow-on from Grunge Ted.  Could I do bunny ears, I wondered?

Because the ears are double-layered, they can be bent forward or stood up, and the safety pin fits in well.

It took me longer to sort out the tail.  I tried to make a pompom, but it was just way too big, so I made a popcorn stitch in the end.  Perfect size!  The cats are playing with the pompom now.

And Sweetheart Ted.  Pretty pinks and purples with a sparkly white heart on her chest.  Both Grunge Bunny and Sweetheart Ted are for my Folksy shop.  <Follow this link;

And this is my next project - a snazzy crochet bag, commissioned by the lovely Lausi!  It's obviously not going to have these handles, but the stitches and colours will be very similar. It's more inspired by the expensive original than a total copy.

Here are the colours.  The yarn arrived in the post this week, and I just can't help drooling over the lovely jewel colours!

And here are my practice swatches, using some old yarn of the same type.  I'm excited about getting this started.  I'll update here, as it takes shape.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Lake District

My favourite place on earth.
And although the weather forecast was rain, rain and more rain, it was actually very good walking weather.  We were really lucky - it was a bit cloudy, a bit cool, a bit sunny, a tiny bit showery.  If you've got waterproofs and fleeces, it doesn't matter that much.  It's that thing about there being no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothes.

We went to our favourite guesthouse in Keswick.  We've been going to Keswick since our honeymoon, some good few years ago, and I love the place.  It's not so touristy as some of the Lake District towns, but it's got everything we need - pubs, restaurants, a cinema, a theatre, a supermarket, a Boots...  If we forget anything, we know we can pick it up.  I know that makes me sound like an old fogey, but I like the lack of worry. I can relax completely.

Anyway, we went for a walk on Day 1.  Walking from the guesthouse, out through Portinscale, around Swinside, up to the side of Catbells and back via Nichol End Marina, where the cakes are to die for.  This time of year, there are so many lambs about!  
 So sweet!  Bouncing around like there's nothing but joy in the world.  It makes me forget all the silliness going on in the rest of the world.
And we met a pheasant that wanted its picture taken.  Not only that, but it wanted to come with us on our walk.  It followed us until we went to hide behind a bridge, then it waited for another group of walkers and followed them.  We thought it might want feeding, but crumbs of chocolate cookie didn't attract it at all.  Unlike some other dickybirds, but more of that later...  We gave it the slip in the end.

A view from the side of Catbells.  The fell on the right is Skiddaw, and in the middle, you can see right through to Bassenthwaite Lake.  Apparently, that's the only true lake in the Lake District - all the others are meres or waters.  Derwentwater, Windermere, etc.  I forget who told me that...

On Day 2, as usual, Himself had done his ankle in, so we spent the day ambling around Ambleside and Grasmere, trying out the teashops.  One has to take in a little sustenance for the walks, you know.

On Day 3, we strapped Himself's ankle up, caught the bus and walked up to Ashness Bridge.  It's a walk we've done many times before, but as part of a longer walk.  This year, we're not so fit, so we did the middle section of the walk, getting the bus instead of starting in Keswick and walking to Ashness Bridge over the top of Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell.  Ashness Bridge is lovely, and in this picture you can see through to Derwentwater.

Carrying on up the road, there's a viewpoint above Lodore Falls.  Great views over Derwentwater, with Bassenthwaite Lake in the distance again.  In the opposite direction you can see into the Jaws of Borrowdale!  (I love that name - sounds like something from Middle Earth.)

Further up the hill, we left the road and took a footpath along the side of the beck.  Still lovely walking weather.  These slopes are covered in orchids in the summer.

And we're at our target!  The teashop at Watendlath!  There are just these few houses, with a tiny teashop and some farm buildings.  It's paradise.

Paradise for these little ones too, waiting to share our snacks.  Now, these dickybirds are very partial to a bit of cookie... 
...or cake.  I had to eat it with my arm round it, like you do at school with your writing, to stop them just hopping up and taking it.  As it was, they took crumbs from my fingers and ate all the crumbs we sprinkled on the bench for them.  Very happy little birds. 
And well-fed.

After (most of) a rock cake and a cup of tea, climbing out of the valley.  That's Himself, with his new camera in his special camera rucksack.

Over the fell to Borrowdale.

A short diversion up to the top of the fell again.

It was such a lovely walk, we didn't want to come down off the fell.  After a few detours to put off the inevitable, we did descend and waited for the bus back to Keswick, feeling virtuously exhausted.

We visited the cinemas on the very first night and saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  I really enjoyed it.  I've read the book, and the film is quite different.  Both are good - just different.  I would recommend both.  On the second night, we went to the theatre to see The History Boys by Alan Bennett.  Again, I really enjoyed it.  The productions there are always superb.  Anyone visiting that area should definitely go to see something there, even if they don't usually consider themselves theatre people.  We go every time we visit Keswick.  My only complaint about that evening is that somehow (Himself booked the seats) we got seats in the very top of the theatre instead of the ground floor ones we wanted.  And not only were they right at the top, they weren't even seats - they were barstools!  I clung onto the rail for the whole evening - white knuckles!  But despite that, I loved the play.  That just shows how good it was.

There was, of course, a certain amount of holiday crochet.  More of that in another post, I think.  There's a new bear or two, some prototype stitches for a new project and a finished elephant to showcase.  Watch this space!  In the meantime, there are two cats needing to get caught up on their cuddles...

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Off on holiday!

We're going to the Lake District (my favourite place!) for a few days.  My shop is on holiday mode, the suitcases are semi-packed and the cats are thoroughly suspicious.  See you when we get back!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Testing, testing...

A test post from my new iPhone. Just to see if it works. And hopefully I'll be able to post on the go, rather than waiting till I get home and forgetting it all. Not tome tion getting to grips with the camera. Lake District next week, so this camera will get a work-out! 8mp is better than my husband's Nikon, he says.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Daisy Chain iPad Cover

An iPad cover in the same kind of style as the Sunshine Daisies Kindle Cover.  I made this up fairly quickly without taking pictures as I went along because my stepson came home this weekend and brought his fancy new iPad with him.  What a fascinating toy piece of essential equipment!  I used it to test the fit and to take some pictures with it wearing the cover.  It was a perfect model.

I replaced the button with this larger one in the end, because it fastened more securely and looks more in proportion to the size of the cover.

Next projects - finish baby elephant for best friend's daughter, and make a Star Trek bear for my stepson.  I've had specific instructions about the shade of yellow needed for the Captain's sweater.  I got a nice ball of Rowan Pima Cotton in a mustard colour - hope it suits!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Mummy Elephant and Grunge Ted

First, a couple of WIP shots.
A pile of ears.  Four of them, because they're doubled up to stiffen them.

Grunge Ted in pieces.  I've been thinking that at this stage, I could change a few things and make a rabbit or a monkey.

And dressed and ready for his photo-call!

I'm really pleased with the way the skull-and-crossbones turned out.  I printed a design, used it as a pattern to cut out the felt and then drew on the details.  You can't see it here, but the felt has silver sparkles on.  And the little safety pins...  *squees*

And here's Mummy Elephant!
There's always been an issue with splaying-out legs.  Not so noticeable in the little ones, but Mummy does tend to sit on her belly.  Here's my solution.
A stitch to draw in the extra fabric between the sets of legs.  A little plastic surgery for Mummy.  It works quite well. 

Mummy Elephant is an order from a friend for her daughter's birthday.  I'm going to make a little elephant in white with yellow ears as the present from me.  Grunge Ted is for her son's nineteenth birthday - my solution as to what to do for a teenage boy when I crochet gifts for everyone.  I hope they like them!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Grandmother's Legacy: Space Invaders: a group project

Grandmother's Legacy: Space Invaders: a group project
A yarnbombing project by Spencer Diamond in Canada.

I absolutely love this!  It reminds me of an Olympic themed one on Saltburn Pier recently.  What a perfectly conceived project!

Kindle pattern, Mummy Elephant and Grunge Ted

I've been pretty productive over the last few days, despite an attack of the winter sickness bug.  On Monday, I could barely manage a whole row of crochet.  Yesterday, I pretty much finished Mummy Elephant and Grunge Ted.  Got them stuffed and sewn up.

They're both still naked, though, so the next step is to get Mummy Elephant a bow to wear and to make a little t-shirt for Grunge Ted.  I've got a skull-and-crossbones image for the t-shirt that I'll print out and use as a pattern for a felt logo to sew on.  Pics when they're done!

Also, I've put what I hope are the finishing touches to the pattern I wrote out for the Sunshine Daisies Kindle Cover as I was making it.  I think it's as clear as it can be, although no one apart from me has road-tested it.  All the same, it's a PDF document now, and it's on my Folksy shop for sale.  Here it is.

Okay.  Off to make little grungy teddy t-shirts and elephant bows!