Monday, 17 December 2012

Birthday Bears

In recent years I have given Pinky and Perky handmade birthday presents and this year has been no different.  Perky's birthday is in October so I try to get started at the beginning of September.  Perky loves to dress up her teddies and over time I have made various items of clothing for them, but I thought I could give her something a bit more complete this year:

 A bag with a shoulder strap: fabric inherited from my grandmother and the buttons were old finds from a car boot sale.

The bag opens up to reveal two side buttons (also from a car boot sale) and a lining (also from my grandmother).

The bag opens up again to reveal 4 lined pockets; plain lining fabric from my grandmother, stripy fabric from Ashford Fabric Warehouse in 2011.  

In two of the pockets are two knitted teddies.
And in the other two pockets are their outfits: 

Dungarees and a ball to kick around.

Dresses, bags and 'shoes'.  I had to adapt the pattern to make the 'shoes' easier to put on and off. 

Football kits with football boots as per the pattern but rather tricky for little fingers to take on and off.  Can you guess how old Perky was?

Little bears to knit and crochet by Val Pierce is the book of patterns I used.  I think the bears are designed to be sewn into some of the outfits, but that's no good for playful children so I had to make some adaptations to allow for that!

Do you think she was pleased?

Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas biscuits

At the end of term, Pinky and Perky give a little 'thank you' to their Brownie leaders and other activity teachers - we've done various things in the past - and this year we decided to make some biscuits and decorate them.  Because Pinky and I are wheat and gluten intolerant we don't make very much with wheat flour so it's always a rather scary journey into the unknown for us!  We used a recipe from this year's Prima Christmas Makes

and got on okay with it, but when we took the mixture out of the fridge we decided it was too dry and crumbly so carefully added some water and it seems to have worked.  Anyway, Pinky and Perky had an absolute ball decorating the biscuits with writing icing (they gave Silver Spoon the thumbs up for easiness and Asda's own brand the thumbs down - I bet I know which was more expensive!).  Anyway, here are the results of some more crafting with food:

The horse/reindeer shape was inspired by this post on Pinterest, using a man shaped cutter and either cutting off the arms before cooking for a horse and then turning upside down once cooked, or simply turning the biscuit upside down once cooked and the arms become ears!

We also made some chocolate truffles with a recipe from The Ultimate Children's Cookbook by DK:

Thursday, 22 November 2012

More owls ...

I have been gradually stocking up on some more owls for Christmas presents.  Last time I made some I made them into keyrings, this time they are stuffed and have ribbons for them to be hung from.  The first ones I made can be found here and all the links to patterns and original designer can be found there too.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Learning a bit more crochet

I wanted to try something new to add to my very small repertoire of crochet skills, so I was inspired by this post on The Lazy Hobbyhopper (which I found through Pinterest) on Granny Ripple.  It took me a while to get my head around the mountain and valley system but as usual, trying it out helped make the penny drop!  The ripples are pretty hard to spot on this scarf, maybe the colours are too similar or the stitches too big or the scarf too narrow, I'm not sure, but hopefully it will still be a nice warm scarf for my sister-in-law whose birthday it is tomorrow.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A last-minute addition!

At the very last moment, these cheeky chappies made their way into the shoeboxes featured in Knitting for Strangers.  Again, the pattern is one of the permitted patterns from the Shoebox Appeal.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Knitting for Strangers

The Shoebox Appeal is something we've tried to do for the last few years (I think we missed one because the boxes have to be ready so early!).  It's a great idea and a timely reminder of the plight of others amongst all our excesses at Christmastime.  Last year (2011) I made a glove puppet (I think we only made one box that year) for the box:

This year I managed a little bit more - mittens and a hat for each box and a bag for the girl's box!  The patterns come from the website and you have to use the ones they give you, but I adjusted the sizing slightly as when I followed the patterns exactly the mittens were enormous!  I find it hard to knit for a stranger - I want it to be just right for them, but I don't know their size let alone favourite colours.  I will send them off with a prayer that they will be okay!

The girl's box:

The boy's box:

Now I just have to get them to the depot by Saturday!

Thursday, 25 October 2012


I recently forgot my sister-in-law's wedding anniversary, but have now sent a card which will arrive approximately 22 days late and a little felt decoration which was inspired by no-one but myself for a change!

Pinky pointed out to me first thing this morning that the sequin isn't quite central (I'd already tried to rectify that myself!) and then took it upon herself to manipulate it into the centre (unsuccessfully!) and dislodge the white threads!  Never mind, it doesn't really matter!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Learning to crochet.

I am a self-taught hooker (with many thanks to The Knitting and Crochet Bible!) and am very much in the early stages of what will hopefully be a long and productive journey!  I have managed to complete two big (by my standards!) projects and then had a little play around and completed two little projects.  The scarves are each made from 30 Granny squares and are pretty long.  The rose decoration is from this post on Attic24, and the star is from this post on Jellywares - this one was a real challenge as the pictures wouldn't show on the computer screen and the  crochet terminology was American.  I used this webpage for US/UK crochet term conversions.  I had to make a couple of adjustments to the pattern as I went along but am happy with what I produced in the end, and even feeling a bit Christmassy!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Knitted Decorative Dog Collar

Pinky was given some knitting things nearly two years ago and has dabbled here and there with varying degrees of success, but has now managed to get her fingers properly around garter stitch and has made a decorative dog collar for Honey, our labradoodle.  I helped out with the button-hole and did some remedying along the way, but she did the hard graft.  Well done, Pinky!