Have yourself a merry knitted Christmas ….

This week has gone so fast! I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. In one respect I can’t wait for all of ‘this’ to be over so the faster time goes the better, and the nearer to retirement I get πŸ™‚ However, I do like to feel that I am making good use of time, but it is just whizzing past me.

This week’s crafting has partly been about preparing a new camper van embroidery and a lovely new applique needlebook for me. More on that in a future post as they are just at the stage of being stuck to the background with no stitching yet.

I have been experimenting with knitted ornaments as I decided that I would like to do knitted ones for this year’s collection for family. I was doing a bit of research and came across some wreaths and thought that I could maybe adapt Julie’s free doughnut pattern so I had a little play.

Knitting it on size 3.75 mm needles made a bigger doughnut but it was not big enough, so I eventually cast on 39 stitches rather than the 26 in the pattern. This is such a fast and easy knit, you do not have to concentrate too hard so it is great for doing while watching tv. I have now made 5 doughnuts in total I am getting quite confident with it.

To decorate I am using up my stash of little charms. I have so many varied ones that I have collected over the years and they look very cute on the wreath.

I only have about half a ball of this lovely variegated yarn left so will use that up for possibly another 4 of these. The good thing is that the charms can be varied as I only have one or two left of most of these now and I am trying to be good and not buy any new stash πŸ™‚

The Little Cotton Rabbits crafting community continue to delight with their Christmas themed knitting. These gorgeous creations have all been posted recently. This reindeer is by Christine Collins and I love the background and the accessories, that gingerbread doll is so cute!

This cute rabbit in a Christmas dress is by Lindsay Munro, I really love all the variations that you can make to the basic dress patterns.

I have knitted the free stocking pattern before but never in miniature like the one from Sarah Bellis below. And the bear has a hat, candy cane and Christmas slippers! I think this might be one of my all time favourite makes.

Although these three come a very close second, this little family by Sharon Pagdin have got the most detailed set of Christmas clothes. I really love the green holly themed textured dress.

I will not get time before Christmas but I think I will have to knit a reindeer over the holidays. I have a little red jumper with a snowflake on that I knitted a long time ago and I think that would look brilliant with some green trousers.

I am going to take three weeks leave at Christmas, my employer has given us extra time off to say thank you for all the extra work we have done this term so I have two weeks from them. I am still hoping that restrictions are lifted so I can visit Mum in Spain but we shall see, it is all very complicated so I probably won’t know until last minute. Either way there will be lots of knitting taking place.

I hope that you have had a good week and things are going ok. Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Reasons to be cheerful, Parts 1,2 and 3

I remember Ian Dury and the Blockheads very well, the song, ‘Reasons to be cheerful part 3’, was one of my favourites as a teenager. Given the recent announcement about further restrictions things are looking a little less than cheerful here in the UK. However I have had a good week teaching both online and on campus. I am nice and cosy staring at the foggy day outside, and there are lots of lovely things to be thankful for.

The first one is that I have just knitted a doughnut! Well I have actually knitted two but this one is the first to be fully finished with all its little beads. This is to go with the little mouse below. These are so quick and easy to make and from a free pattern from Julie’s Ravelry page, which is linked below.

I know I have said this before but I am so happy to be able to create, it soothes me, makes me feel in control when things seem to be going crazy and makes me so happy.

Who could not be happy seeing the completed little mouse here. This is many relaxing hours of work and I love her.

She is going to a friend’s grand daughter so I hope that she will be happy with it too. Her name at the moment is Mia but I am sure that she will get a new name when she arrives in her new home.

The t-shirt dress is a supplement to the top down jumper pattern and this is the second time that I have knitted this top. It is a really easy pattern to follow and makes much neater sleeves so I am now using it as the top of a little animal dress that I am knitting as well.

The rucksack comes from another of Julie’s patterns with lots of bags and I am looking forward to making more of the different versions.

The second reason to be cheerful is community. I am so thankful for all of the different communities that I belong to, both real and virtual. I love being able to stay in contact with people and to be inspired by them and their creations. Every day of the past few months my spirits have been lifted by looking at a blog post, or watching one of my travel vloggers.

One of the communities that I absolutely love, which fills with me with such joy, is the Little Cottons Rabbits one on Facebook. Ironically Julie, the wonderful creator of all the patterns and the group, was one of the very first blogs I ever started reading. She has brought such joy to everyone through her patterns and her new community. There are over 3,000 members now worldwide and it is one of the best bits of my day seeing what others have made.

Julie has recently released a removable shoes pattern and I have bought that and the boy ram this month. Pictures are from Julie’s Ravelry site.

There are some wonderful examples of these shoes on the group and I have been very inspired, especially the little lacy ones. This gorgeous colourway is by Lene Holla, those grey socks are just so cute!

I have also been getting lots of ideas for colour schemes and embellishments. This beautiful elephant with a matching cardi is by Adele Gomes.

I do just happen to have some little roses in my stash as well as some mini bows. I am not sure that I could knit very tiny ones like these on the very beautifully neat creations from Sarah Bellis.

I have also been amazed by the creativity in the community with people adapting the pattern and making the most amazing themed animals. This little cat in traditional costume is by Claudia Sadun. I love the knitted apron with its detailed trellis design.

I have not knitted a deer yet but there are so many beautiful ones being made as Christmas presents and I adore this one, this is by Marie Fowles and she looks so cosy in her fluffy scarf.

The most creative ones I have seen so far are these lovely little mice themed around The Nutcracker. These are from Annette Belway.

The joy that these bring as gifts is fantastic and there are lots of posts about toys going to friends and relatives and the wonderful reactions that they get.

The third reason to be cheerful is hope. At the start of restrictions in March I was concerned about family, when I would see them again, and how they would cope. I have luckily been able to see most of them, and have really appreciated that time. I have especially valued when it has been where we have been able to go away and spend time doing exciting and amazing things.

I have just completed another little camper van embroidery and have another on the go. This is a free pattern from Flamingo Toes and she has lots more hoop art patterns here. Doing these gives me hope that one day they will hang in my little camper van as we go off on our adventures together.

My plans for the rest of today are to do some Christmas ornament making. I have a couple of quieter weeks coming up so want to get most things done by the end of November, rather than in a rush in December as usually happens.

I was able to go and visit my local haberdashers on Wednesday, just before they had to shut again for a while. I needed more wool for the next few projects so while I am still going into work I took advantage of being able to stock up. You never know when plans will have to change these days so a good supply of everything is essential πŸ˜‰

My lovely sister took me to the supermarket on the way back from our recent trip so I have enough lovely food and wine so just need to ensure that the crafting stocks are in top condition as well.

I hope that you are all coping and finding your own reasons to be cheerful, even though things may be a bit gloomy at the moment, as the saying goes, ‘this too shall pass’. Take care, stay safe and thanks to you all for visiting and being part of my community.

Back in time, or not…

Our first visit on our Northumbrian trip was to Beamish. To say we enjoyed it would be an understatement. For two heritage enthusiasts, with a particular love for social history it was an amazing day out, and we can’t wait to go back.

Things were obviously a little restricted, the trams were not running, but the buses were and we had a trip on this gorgeous vehicle.

Some of the rooms were closed off, as were some of the smaller properties and there were less interpretive staff working but that just gives us all the more incentive to return next year. We loved the vintage style mask signs.

Our tickets are valid for a year and it is such a large place we didn’t manage all of it in one day anyway. I have split the photos into two posts as I took so many.

Our first location was the 1820s hall which had a beautiful formal garden. I think it is one of the original buildings at the location, many others have been relocated or are being built as replicas. It was a really hot and sunny day so we got to see the place in the sunshine which was wonderful.

The second location was one of my favourites, a 1950s miners’ welfare hall. It was complete with all of the things that you would expect, and some that were very unexpected and really interesting. I think it was one of my favourites due to all of the textiles, and the lovely interpreter we chatted to.

I had spotted the knitted version of Muffin the Mule as we went up to the table. I remember my Grandad had a metal version of this puppet and I watched some of the episodes when I was younger.

We were also fascinated by the knitted baby in the womb which was used by midwives in the 1950s to explain birth, and particularly which way the baby was lying. I do remember having a knitted womb at my antenatal classes 30 years ago which the midwives used to explain the birth process.

As well as the wonderful textiles with crochet, embroidered tablecloths and hexagon patchwork there were lots of information signs not too dissimilar from those we are seeing today.

Diptheria was the issue then, with posters warning of the dangers of coughing and the need to vaccinate against the disease. Very relevant to the situation today and a reminder of how public health is vital despite the differences in society now. We also loved this poster stressing the importance of taking holidays to keep you healthy for work, we couldn’t agree more!

The attention to detail in the building was brilliant, they had even asked the Formica company to make them some of a 1950s pattern for their tables and had the advert outside the building. I am sure I remember this from my childhood.

The 1950s area is one that is being expanded so I am really looking forward to seeing more of it on our next visit.

We have had the first week of term, met the new Year 1s and are keeping everything crossed for teaching being able to be on campus still. It was very difficult getting to know a group of students all sat in rows with masks but we did at least have a Zoom tutorial later in the week so we could see their faces.

It was upsetting for all of us as normally this week would be full of fun and creative things that we were doing with them. However, we are adapting. I always used to say to my teacher trainees that the key to being successful is to be flexible and adaptable and that will be even more important this year.

We are under enhanced restrictions in my area again but the sun is shining so I have been able to go for walks at least. I have finally finished the very difficult jigsaw and am on with a new one. I am so thankful again for my lovely home, and secure job as we enter another period of uncertainty.

I hope that you are all ok and coping with everything. I am also so grateful for my crafting as it gives such respite from all of the anxious bits of life. I am working on a new camper van embroidery alongside the knitting and enjoying some new series on Netflix, one set in space, Away, which has been excellent. However scary life is the the moment at least I am not trying to get to Mars πŸ˜‰

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Very cute knitting!

I have not had much time to craft in the last couple of weeks as term has started and I have been teaching, socially distanced, in classrooms that look like a GCSE exam room, and from behind a visor. A bit strange but it is lovely to be back in the classroom πŸ™‚

I have made some progress over the last couple of months on knitting clothes for the Little Cotton Rabbits animals and spent some time this week blocking them. They are so cute and I am loving the designs.

Julie has worked really hard on all sorts of new patterns and additions to existing patterns so we now have so many options for gorgeous wardrobes for our creations.

I have now knitted three pairs of dungarees, the earlier blue ones for Egbert the elephant, who has gone to his new home now with my friend from work’s grandson. The green ones will be for a little mouse and the navy ones for another friend’s grandchild. I just love the cute little pockets!

These are my first pair of rompers, adapted from Julie’s pattern to have more of a frill on the bottom. These will be paired with a little cardigan and I am also in the middle of a very cute backpack for this set.

One of the other new patterns I have bought has been for some textured dresses and I have just finished my first one, again with the sundress option for the top. I will make a cardigan to go with this as well.

I was very excited last week as I went in to town for the first time in 6 months and my local habdashery shop has survived the lockdown. I am so pleased for them, and for me so celebrated by buying some more gorgeous wool for future outfits.

I am also very excited today as tomorrow we are going to Nothumberland for a few days. We have booked a very cute shepherds’ hut and Ellen and I will be visiting lots of castles and Beamish open air museum. All places we have not been before so I am really looking forward to that.

This picture is from the Air BnB listing, how cute is this! We are planning to stay in lots more cute places over the next few years as we both love tiny houses and want to try lots out.

I will be back at the end of the week as I am teaching on Saturday again and next Monday the full-time students start with us. Fingers crossed that we can stay teaching on campus, such uncertain times for all of us but I do hope that they enjoy their time with us. I really feel for them after all that they have been through this year and although I will not be teaching any of the Year 1s this year I am looking forward to spending time settling them in.

I hope that you have a good week ahead, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Blue sky….thinking and reality

It is a lovely evening as I write this post, made all the more special because it has been very grey and dull again here. I have had a very nice week though with lots of blue sky thinking about possibilities as life gets back to normal.

I went out on Saturday, for the first time in 16 weeks, to have a pizza at the lovely Katie’s Kitchen in the village. It was so nice to be able to sit and chat to my friends and we had a lovely face to face catch up. I have seen some of them briefly in real life in the village but not for any length of time. We are hoping to have a Wool and Wine meet up again this week at another friend’s house who has a large covered patio area and barn.

This will be the last post for possibly a while as we are off for a series of holidays (hopefully) to Whitby this coming weekend, then camping with my sister. We would have been going to the Whitby Steampunk weekend but decided that, since we had already booked and paid for our hotel, to go and support the local economy. We are planning some nice meals out, afternoon teas and a trip to two National Trust sites.

I am still hoping to go to Spain as well at the start of August, fingers crossed that all stays ok for that but hopefully with lots of positive blue sky thinking all will be well.

We finished the planned decorating last week and Ellen decluttered my wardrobe so it was all very productive. The jacket has been tacked together but needs some serious size adjustment so that is on the list for this week.

The rest of the time has been concentrating on the knitting of the Little Cotton Rabbits animals. I am making up one of the mice that I have in stash but decided to knit some new body parts to co-ordinate with the outfit. I have this lovely variegated wool so this is the body and the top of the tights.

LCR Mouse body 1

The tights themselves are striped and use the same wool as the shoes, as well as the variegated wool.

LCR Mouse shoes 1

I am also going to be using the darker lilac wool for the top of a romper suit. This is a modification of two of the patterns and I have been very inspired by these gorgeous creations from the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook page.

LCR Christine Batty Romper

LCR Jaqueline Hastings Romper

LCR Susan Kinnersly Romper

These are from Christine Batty for the reindeer in pink, Jacqueline Hastings for the bunny in the nighttime romper (with amazing cute toy cat and hot water bottle!) and Susan Kinnersly for the bear in the beautiful green. I love your creativity and you have really inspired me.

I am modifying the modified pattern a little (if that makes sense!) to try and get a ruffle round the leg. I have done a 2 x 2 rib for four rows and then decreased by knitting two together every four stitches to try and get the effect of a frill which seems to be working.

LCR Mouse romper 1

LCR Mouse romper 2

These are not going to have pockets though the original dungaree pattern does and may have a fancy top half if I can work something out with the dress pattern section. It will keep my brain working to experiment anyway.

Work is officially over on Wednesday for three whole weeks! When I come back we shall no doubt have to have some more blue sky thinking to be creative in working out how we teach in very different circumstances, but we shall see what happens in late September. At least it will be good to have a nice long break, I am so tired at the moment and really looking forward to it.

I hope that you have all got nice things planned for the summer, either staycations or going somewhere relaxing. I think we all need a break now, just some time to stop and appreciate things and take a deep breath and relax.

Take care and stay safe what ever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

What the well dressed mannequin is wearing today

More exciting news in the (hopefully) life returning to something like normal is that we may have a Steampunk event to go to on August Bank Holiday. The lovely people at the Ministry of Steampunk, who run the Lincoln event, have booked a beautiful historic house hotel to run an event in the grounds, with a socially distanced market and picnic areas. Fingers crossed that all goes well and it can go ahead.

So that means that I have made a start on the peacock inspired jacket that I bought the material for at Christmas. Ellen cut it out for me when she was up last week and I am going to tack it together tomorrow ready for a fitting when she comes up again this week. I am very pleased, although always a little nervous about making clothes as fitting is always a challenge for me. However, practise makes perfect as they say.

Peacock jacket 1

I am using the pattern that I used to make my sister-in-law Amanda’s wedding jacket but modifying it to make it a little shorter.It may have a collar but I have not yet decided on that but it will have (hopefully) beautiful double layered sleeves with the organza layer on top of the satin.

Peacock jacket 2

My plan is to use various bit of applique from the sari set on the bottom of the jacket then more organza and the jewels and peacock feathers on my purple hat. It will be fun experimenting with all this anyway.

Peacock jacket 3

Peacock jacket 4

I love peacock feathers and they go so well with the gold and blue organza, it is such a pity that we don’t get to wear things like this every day, how fabulous are these colours?

Peacock jacket 5

I have finished the clothing for the little elephant. Say hello to Egbert looking very smart in his stripy jumper and dungarees. I had quite a challenge with the jumper as I have never knitted one top down before but it worked out ok. It is a little loose but I am very pleased with how neat it is.

Egbert elephant 1

Egbert elephant 3

All of these patterns are by Little Cotton Rabbits again and are available from her Ravelry store, link on her blog here. I am now on with a new pattern, an adaptation of the dungarees to make some rompers. This adaptation is available from the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook group and you will need to have the dungaree pattern and the textured dresses pattern to make the rompers. They will be for a little mouse. I appear to have the parts knitted for at least two mice already so will be working on that over the next couple of weeks.

Decorating went well last week and we have more planned for this week. My wonderful daughter was such a star and things are getting well underway. I did feel the effects of it all afterward so was very glad to have a quiet weekend on the sofa knitting and watching the very thrilling Manifest. There has been lots of snuggling under the fleece again as it has been cold and wet here.

I hope that you have a nice week ahead, I will be back next week with hopefully at least some progress on both jacket and mouse! Stay safe, take care and thanks for visiting.

A little progress…with life as well as crafting!

I don’t know where this week has gone to but it has really flown by. I had two days off work this week. Ellen came up again to celebrate my birthday and we went for a little bit of charity shop browsing in a local village.

I think we were a little too early for reaping the benefits of everyone’s decluttering as they seemed to be having a lot of donations to deal with, but I did manage to get a blue blouse and lots of books. We were really keen to put some money back into the coffers of all of the charities as we know they will have been hit really hard by the lockdown closures.

We also went out to my brother and sister in law’s house and had a great evening. They have their own pizza oven that they built in their garden so we had a lovely time, sheltering under a large umbrella as you do in June in the UK, eating delicious pizza and catching up.

Pizza oven

 

We would have all been in Spain together and I would have had a chance to see their fabulous cave house but we will have to try and do that another time. They bought it a couple of years ago, and go over regularly. However, we have never been there at the same time as they go out of school holidays. Hopefully next year when I retire we can arrange that, if not before.

The rest of the week has just been lots of admin and many, many more meetings. Hopefully we are getting to the stage that everything is sorted for the new term, at least the planning we can do now. The rest will just have to wait and see until nearer the time.

The weather here has been less than summery. I was lucky enough to get out for an hour this afternoon to plant up the things I bought with Ellen but we are now back to torrential rain, thank goodness for being inside under a fleecy blanket!

I have finished some projects, the vintage embroidery hoop is done and I am very pleased how this has turned out. I love the simplicity of it and am looking forward to doing a companion piece for the other little cousin for her birthday.

Vintage dog completed

Vintage dog detail

I am doing well with the knitted animals. I have put together one of the elephants, excuse the lack of eyes, that is on the list for later today.

LCR Elephant front

LCR Elephant back

I have been knitting some dungarees from one of the new patterns that I bought this month from Little Cotton Rabbits on Ravelry. It has pockets and little button holes on the bib. How cute are these!

LCR Dungarees 1

LCR Dungarees 2

LCR Dungarees 3

Next to knit is a stripy t-shirt to go with it. I have been taking my inspiration from the Facebook page again and am really looking forward to using the other new patterns that I have bought. Look at those little trainers, so gorgeous. All photos from Little Cotton Rabbits on Ravelry.

In other exciting news my sister and I have booked a few nights at a campsite in the dales for the end of July. Ellen will be joining us for one night in a tent. We have three nights at Aysgarth where there are some fabulous waterfalls which are some of my sister’s favourite things. We are so pleased to be able to do this and are going to have a few walks and even a meal in a pub! Such a lot to look forward to πŸ™‚

I have another busy week planned, more admin and then a couple more days off with Ellen coming to help me to do some decorating. Now there is officially less than a year left of the retirement countdown I need to start sorting things so that I can put the house on the market next year. It does not need too much doing, just really freshening up but I am looking forward to all of the steps that will bring me closer to moving to Spain.

I hope that you have had a nice weekend and have a good week ahead. Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Making elephants

When I was trying to decide on the title of this post I was looking at all the little parts of the latest knitted toy from Little Cotton Rabbits before me. I thought about how you make an elephant, one bit at a time, then you sew them all together and ta da you get something like Bonnie below, posing in the bougainvillia in Spain.

Elephant knitting 2

knitted-bonnie-elephant-spain1

I was reminded of that saying about how to eat an elephant, which is one bit at a time and thought that was a very good basis for this post. Yesterday I submitted the re-written doctorate, which was 88, 997 words long. That seems an impossible thing to do, but I have done it. One day at a time, spending hours and hours on what seemed like a never ending task. But it is done πŸ™‚

In the same way we are just coming to the end of week 13 of lockdown. For all those days I have been here in my house, trying to do what seem like lots of impossible things. But they have got done, one day at a time. Now all of the very busiest period at work, and hopefully the most stressful part of the lockdown, is over.

I have taken up animal knitting again as after very long hours of typing my hands have been very painful in the evening. Not that I have done much this week at all. All of these body parts above I found in my WIP drawer, along with the body parts of two mice and at least one rabbit. I have just started sewing the elephant up and I am part way through a jumper for him as well. This is for a friend at work and she is going to give it to her grandson.

I have been inspired as well by the newly formed Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook group. There is such an amazing variety of beautiful toys here and the adaptations and colours that people have used are amazing.

I have shared some of the wonderful things that people have made below, these are by – clockwise from top left – Elizabeth Powis Fulkes, Gem Allaway, Jo Harrop, Sarah Fellner, Sarah Bellis and Hilary Trunnell Adams. Well done for all your fantastic creativity and thank you for all the inspiration. I just adore the bags, hats, rompers and the gorgeous colours you have all used. I love the idea of using sew on eyes as well.

My treat shopping this month is going to include some more of Julie’s patterns as I don’t have all of them yet. I have been sorting out which I need and making sure they are all stored safely. The cute little top and skirt are going to be on my list as I love that.

I have had a lovely week, apart from working hard on the doctorate I have been doing a puzzle, this is one that I absolutely loved doing. It is by a designer called Aimee Stewart and I have other works by her on my wish list. The title of the piece is very apt, A Stitch in Time, and she has used vintage paintings of stitchers to create this masterpiece of colour and detail. I would love to be any one of these women.

Stitch in time puzzle - full

Stitch in time puzzle 1

Stitch in time puzzle 2

Stitch in time puzzle 3

Stitch in time puzzle 4

I also had a fantastic surprise on Sunday. I knew that Ellen was coming up for a walk but just before she was due there was a knock on the door and it was my sister, Jacky. She had driven all the way from Worcester, a 2 1/2 hour drive, in her camper van to come and see me. She and Ellen had arranged it and it was so lovely to see her. Here she is, appropriately socially distanced of course!

Jacky Walk 2

We all went for a very lovely walk, up a footpath over the hills behind the house. I have not been there before and really enjoyed exploring, we found some streams, and sheep of course. And there were the wonderful views from the other side of the village.

We also did get to have our first BBQ of the year as it was beautiful weather, so we christened the new table and chairs.

Jacky Walk 11

I am going to have a really exciting weekend and week ahead. We are now allowed to visit other single households in ‘social bubbles’, so Ellen is coming to get me and I am going to stay at her house. Partly it is to help her decorate, but we have also booked to go to an English Heritage house on Monday. Just the gardens are open but I am so excited to be actually going somewhere.I may even go in a supermarket as well. The weather looks pretty damp here but I don’t care, I will have a lovely time.

So very good times ahead. Most of the work is done for the year so I can have some time off. There will be lots and lots of time for crafting and I only have to write a very small amount of words for the rest of the summer πŸ™‚ Some days I may not even write at all! I am so very happy to be at this stage.

I hope that you are all happy too and are going to have a lovely weekend. I hope that you are all feeling positive and looking forward to nice happenings in your own lives.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

A few little finishes

I use the word little in the title literally as I have been making more Barbie couture. I forgot to take a photo of some of the dresses that I made as Christmas presents but I have so far made 5 different versions of this one in different fabrics and different skirt lengths and have another two in progress in cotton prints.

Barbie gowns 1

This is a really simple design and easy to get on and off the dolls as well so great for little fingers.To go with the purple skirted one I have made this beautiful coat, I love this although it was a bit of a sewing challenge with all of the tiny seams. I did also cover all of the seams with black ribbon to neaten them which took a long time.

Barbie purple coat 1

Barbie purple coat 2

Barbie purple coat 3

Barbie purple coat 4

I am making an outfit for my colleague as she has some dolls that she uses in her teaching so will try and make another one like this if I have enough fabric as I love the colours together. This is from an old silk bag,Β  the handle split and I couldn’t work out how to mend it so used the outer and lining fabric for the coat.

I have bought some more Barbie patterns from Gail’s Vintage Doll patterns on Etsy. They are great as they come as instant PDF patterns so easy to print off and very clear to use. I love the 1960s deigns here and think they look so sophisticated.

Barbie Patterns 1

Barbie Patterns 2

I bought some more ribbon and flowers for Barbie dresses when I was in Spain, there is some great haberdashery over there which is very cheap and I always add a bit to my stash when I visit.

Barbie notions

I sent the littlest great niece, Rosie, a rabbit for Christmas. This is again one of the Little Cotton Rabbits ones from Julie and I need to knit so many more of these as I love them, and all the other animals as well. This dress is my favourite of all the designs as I love the lacy hem, which is knitted sideways, and am very proud that I can knit this as it takes a bit of concentration.

Rosie's rabbit 1

Rosie's rabbit 2

I have also finished her sister, Ava’s,Β  dinosaur hat! I am very pleased with this as it was a combination of two patterns as I couldn’t find one I liked or could make in time.The basic beanie comes from the Drops site hereΒ  but I added a deep rib as I thought the curled brim of this pattern would not work as well with spikes. The spikes pattern is from here ,I used size 5 needles and knitted each spike separately and then stitched them together as I found it easier than increasing.

Ava's dino hat 2

I am now trying to sort out a plan for the rest of the year, there is so much I want to make and some things I have to prioritise like birthday gifts so I think I will start by scheduling everything.

At least I have a whole 11 months until next Christmas πŸ™‚ so plenty of time for 4 quiet books, a whole wardrobe of Barbie things, at least 3 new Steampunk outfits, 12 Christmas ornaments and any other knitting and embroidery that takes my fancy. Problem is I keep seeing such lovely things on the internet!

I will be back next week to show you some of those, I post my ‘oh look how lovely these ideas are’ posts as much for me as for you as it is great to remind myself of all the loveliness that is out there for me to make.

Hope you have a nice week ahead, it is going to be quite a quiet one for me as I am mainly marking but that does give the chance to spend a couple of hours a day in the craft room as I am working from home a lot so that is nice. Take care and thanks for visiting.

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas ….

Thankfully the ornament production is well under way now, inspired by our little Wool and Wine workshop session last weekend I have been making lots and lots of things this week so am actually now ahead of myself in terms of what I need which is great.

Part of the reason that I have made extra is so that some can go to our Wool and Wine tree at the local Christmas tree festival in the village church but also because I just love making them. They are so sparkly and pretty and fill my little heart with joy πŸ™‚

Xmas baubles Nov 4

These three all use a similar colourway and the same type of finishing with this very ornate gold braid around the centre. I love these ribbons, so much velvet and satin loveliness!The embellishments are mainly jewelry making supplies and a variety of different types of beads which I bought from Ebay .

 

The next set are more muted but still very gorgeous, sadly I am running out of these ribbons and will have to source more. I think the green one originally came from Tesco but I must have had it for about 10 years.

Xmas baubles Nov 9

 

There are several Youtube videos of how to make these and you can use either fabric squares or ribbon but one of the best sources of information and inspiration is The Ornament Girl, if you sign up to her site she will send you tutorial links by e-mail.

Rosemari, Sarah and Debbie made the baubles as well at our crafting session, I forgot to get a picture of Sarah’s which was a gorgeous blue and silver one but here is Debbie’s ribbon bauble and Rosemari’s silver fabric one. The fabric version comes from Decorations to Dazzle by Springwood House Designs.

Edited to add: The Ornament Girl has just offered a freebie PDF book on how to make these fabric baubles with an included template – follow this link for more details.

Xmas baubles Nov 1

Xmas baubles Nov 3

I have also made one pine cone so far, again from Springwood House Designs, this design was originally a kit. I just kept adding more and more fabric to this one so it has so many layers! I have been struggling to find any long gold topped pins but have lots of pearl ones so thought I would use one of those and think that it looks good.

Xmas baubles Nov 14

Xmas baubles Nov 15

Xmas baubles Nov 16

I was sorting out some of my ornaments to use for our group tree and came across a little knitted stocking that I made lots of about 6 years ago. They are so cute so I made two more this week. A lovely quick knit from Julie of Little Cotton RabbitsΒ , this is a free pattern from her and you can put so many variations in in terms of contrast toe and heel colour.

Xmas baubles Nov 17

Xmas baubles Nov 18

Xmas baubles Nov 19

I think the reindeer head buttons were originally bought from a craft fair but you can find similar ones on Ebay here .

I love these multicoloured versions of the stockings from Miyayo on Ravelry which I found while searching for other knitted ornament patterns. These would make a lovely Advent Calendar as well and you can use any Fair Isle or cross stitch pattern for the design that fits in with the 27 stitch count.

Mini-Knitted-Christmas-Socks-Pattern-550x413

I have still got a few more ornaments that I want to make and also have some presents to make. There will hopefully be some felty cuteness of a new sort coming soon for my great-niece Ava, maybe I will get a start on that this weekend.

Hope all your pre-Christmas craftiness is coming all well and have a good week ahead. Thanks for visiting.