Posts Tagged ‘toys’

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More owls

August 27, 2013

These little owls are proving to be very popular. I’ve made three so far, and have been asked to make more for friends – including one request to size it up to cushion-sized. I had originally thought that it would be quite easy, but having made one with aran yarn instead of DK and on a larger set of needles, I’m not so sure. It turned out a little larger but not nearly cushion-sized, and I think that if I worked with chunky yarn and even bigger needles I would just find that the lacey-type holes in the pattern would get too large and the stuffing would leak out. Using an actual cushion instead of toy stuffing is of course an option, but then I’d lose the shape – I’ll have to have a think about this one!

Here’s the original owl (on the right) next to the aran-weight version – made as a birthday present for my God-daughter’s 9th Birthday! (Not sure how she can be 9 already – where does the time go?)

The third one is possibly my favourite though, even if his body is slightly squished. He was a sort of experiment, I used a different stitch for the body – it’s from the “Chequered vase cover” in Let’s Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet issue 52 and essentially has two rows of slipping the stitch instead of the one for each pattern repeat. I love the colours – there’s nothing weird about having green eyes, right?

Pattern: Sidney by Susie Johns from Let’s Knit! issue 66 (on Ravelry)

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Sidney owl

July 24, 2013

I seem to have been buying quite a few crafty magazines just recently. I’m not sure why, given the abundance of fantastic patterns, freely available (or low-cost) as downloads, but I suppose as a working Mum with little time to get out to buy yarn it must be the convenience that appeals to me. Everything you need in one handy packet that can be easily picked up in the supermarket. I know that ideally I should go to our local independent yarn shop, but the fact is that it’s not actually all that local to where we live. It’s not too far from where I work, but it closes at lunch time so I can’t get there in my lunch break and at the end of the day I’m racing off to pick up my boy from nursery, so it’s a nice idea but not actually all that practical.

Anyway, some magazines do have some really great patterns. Like this one – Sidney Owl. I made this one for the boy but I liked the pattern so much that I’ve made a couple more since – and have been asked to make some more at a larger size, so I have my work cut out for me for a while! I had to learn how to do chain stitch for the eyebrows (not something I’d come across before) but the Purl Bee’s website came up trumps as usual.

I’ll show off my other Sidneys in a separate post, but here are the pattern details for now:

Pattern: Sidney by Susie Johns from Let’s Knit! issue 66 (on Ravelry)
Needles: 4.0 mm
Yarn: Kit yarn/acrylic which came with the magazine

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Hello!

July 20, 2013

Hello, I’m back – from an unplanned blog-break. It would seem silly to wish you all a Happy New Year in July but this is my first post of 2013, so, Happy New Year!

I haven’t been away for any particular reason; I’ve largely been keeping up with the blogs I follow and I’ve still been knitting and crocheting, I just haven’t really had the time to put together any posts of my own.

Life remains very much the same – I work four days a week, I play flute and piccolo in a community concert band one night a week and with regular concerts throughout the summer. My little boy is now two (two and a quarter!) and (on the whole) is an absolute joy. They say that the twos are supposed to be terrible – and well, he has his days – but on the whole I think we are very lucky so far and have a mostly happy and lovely little boy. I am much more comfortable with being Mummy to a toddler than I was to a baby. Life is good.

I have a huge backlog of finished objects to show off so to get the ball rolling, here’s a crocheted snake that I made as a Christmas present for my little boy’s cousin.

The pattern was from a book I bought on eBay – Baby Crochet : 20 hand crochet designs for babies 0-24 months by Lois Daykin – but the inspiration came from Lucy at Attic24 who posted about her own version of the snake a couple of years ago along with her pattern for crocheted eyes, which I used.

The yarn was a mix of acrylic yarns and I used a 4mm hook.

You can see my snake on Ravelry here.

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Toy making

November 25, 2012

In the run-up to Christmas there are always a lot of gifts to make. This year it’s not the usual round of hand-warmers and socks for friends and relies; this year I am assuming my role as Santa’s helper — I’m busy making toys.

Pictured above is Gort. I actually started knitting Gort way back in June, immediately after finishing Baldwin. He was sitting on my shelf for ages, knitted and stuffed, but for some reason I couldn’t quite get around to embroidering a face onto him. The motivation to get him finished was that little D’s nursery were asking for contributions for the raffle and tombola at their Christmas fayre and I figured that he would be a suitable gift. Of course, once I had put a face onto him he took on a whole new character and I must say I was a little bit sad to part with him. I do hope he will find a good home and make somebody happy!

Pattern: Gort the Gym Bag Monster by Rebecca Danger (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Wonder Knit dk acrylic from Poundstretcher
Needles: 2.75 mm DPNs and circular

Next up is sssomething to go in sssomeone’s Chrissstmas ssssstocking. Sssssssh, it’s a sssssecret! All the reviews that I read about this pattern seem to say that it’s a quick knit but it actually took me what seemed like forever. I’m not the world’s speediest knitter and my knitting time is very limited these days — and I chose to knit it in lighter yarn and smaller needles that the pattern suggested (for no other reason than to use up stashed yarn) which may have been a mistake, from a time-management perspective anywyay. It’s actually a very clever pattern, using a circular needle and two balls of yarn, yet knitted flat — carrying each over a row so there are no ends to weave in and no seaming. I love the end result and I can’t wait to see what little D will think of him.

Pattern: Striped Stockinette Snake (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Lara Lamb from Poundstretcher
Needle: 3.75 mm circular

And last but not least, an amigurumi platypus! I’ve never bought one of those knitting/crochet-kit magazines before — you know the ones that come with “free” yarn and needles/hooks with which to make the projects inside — and I’m not really sure what possessed me to start now, but there was something that caught my eye about this one. It’s never particularly easy to get to the yarn shop as a working mum and I suppose I liked the idea that I could pick this up in the supermarket and have everything at my fingertips that I’d need to make some quick, fun projects — no hours of scouring the Internet for interesting patterns, no rummaging through boxes of yarn looking for suitable scraps whilst trying to stop the boy unravelling balls of favourite/saved cashmerino, no wondering where on earth I left my 3.5mm hook. Easy. And I must say I wasn’t disappointed. It wasn’t the nicest yarn to work with but to be fair it was perfect for the job in hand and I suspect I shall make a few more of the little creatures from this mag – they make perfect stocking-fillers.

Pattern: Platypus by Irene Strange – from Let’s Get Crafting (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Parfait DK acrylic (which came with the magazine)
Hook: 3.5mm

I’m now working on a particularly colourful crochet toy project — something I’ve been wanting to make for over a year — which will be a gift for little D’s cousin. Looking forward to sharing it with you!

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What’s that coming over the hill?

June 12, 2012

It’s a monster!

After making three caterpillars from Rebecca Danger’s great pattern, I was delighted to receive a copy of her book, The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my birthday earlier this year. I absolutely love this book — there were lots of new techniques needed here for me but the book is brilliant and explains everything in detail. Backward-loop cast-on? I had never heard of it before! Knitting on a circular needle using the magic loop method? Nope, I’d never done that before either. How did I never know how to do that? Let me tell you, if you’ve never magic looped before you’re missing out. It’s a revelation. Three-needle bind off was new to me too.

The somewhat revolting yarn I used had been in my stash for many, many years — since before I understood that just because the colours are gorgeous, it doesn’t mean it’ll knit up looking nice! What better way to use some of it up than on my first knitted monster?

I’m looking forward to making monsters with safety eyes, but until the boy is a little older I’m sticking with the embroidered facial features. I’m very pleased to report that Baby D does seem to like his first monster — I’m sure it will be the first of many.

Pattern: Baldwin the Bathroom Monster by Rebecca Danger (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Hayfield Bonus Flash DK
Needles: 2.75 mm DPNs and circular

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Paeyton’s caterpillar

June 12, 2012

This was my third caterpillar and I must say that after racing to get this one finished in time, I was all caterpillared out. I would be quite happy to never have to knit another caterpillar — not for quite a while, at least. Which is a bit of a shame, as I haven’t made one for Baby D or his cousin yet, but there is plenty of time for that.

I was really pleased with how this one, caterpillar number three, turned out. It’s a caterpillar with attitude, wouldn’t you say?

Pattern: Chadwick the Shakespearean Caterpillar by Rebecca Danger (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Various acrylic DK
Needles: 2.75mm DPNs

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Lily’s caterpillar

June 12, 2012

Hello my lovelies, how have you been since I last posted? It has been quite a while but I am now experiencing life as a working Mummy. You can all imagine how busy I am now, right?

I must say I’m really enjoying being back at work. Baby D has settled in amazingly well at his nursery which helps — I can only think how difficult it would be to leave him if he seemed at all unhappy there but he seems to really enjoy it. The staff are lovely, the environment is lovely, he gets to play in the garden every day, all the meals are cooked on site and socialising with the other children seems to be doing him a world of good. I have gone back to work part time (four days a week) so at least I get my one day a week at home with him, as well as evenings and weekends, of course. I think working makes me value my time with him even more.

He has turned one now, has four teeth (three at the bottom and one at the top) and is very nearly walking. He can stand unaided and races around with his toddle-truck, but just lacks the confidence to take any steps on his own. I don’t think it will be long now, and then we will all be in trouble!

I have still found some time for knitting here and there, but of course my rate of creation has slowed right down since being back at work. I also seem to have taken a bit of a break from knitting in the last week or so and have been thinking a lot about drawing and painting — an old love but something I rarely touch these days. More about that in a different post.

I was going to make caterpillars for all of Daniel’s little friends, but didn’t quite manage in the end. There were just too many birthdays in too short a time — it always was a bit ambitious, I suppose! This was the second one I made — a rainbow kind of caterpillar, if you’ll excuse the lack of yellow. I’ve had trouble finding the right shade of yellow for some reason. This caterpillar was stuffed a bit harder, and I think you can see a slight improvement in the facial features. It’s a very happy caterpillar, don’t you think?

Pattern: Chadwick the Shakespearean Caterpillar by Rebecca Danger (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Various acrylic DK
Needles: 2.75mm DPNs