Remember, remember the fifth of November…

I really meant to participate in NaNoBloMo this November (if it’s still going?) but here we are already on the 5th of November and I forgot!

So, brief synopsis of the many months since I last posted – kids got bigger, cheekier and learned lots of things, I knitted some kilometres of yarn, we went camping a couple of times through the summer, I finally finished decorating our daughter’s bedroom and I launched my solo yarn shop, http://www.owlaboutyarn.etsy.com. I’m also on instagram now, you can find me there as @jennieworld.

Let’s pretend I’ve not been away and dive straight in. I’m struggling through a pair of colourwork mittens at the moment. It’s a lovely pattern, although you do need to be familiar with knitting Scandinavian style mittens as directions are sparse, but it’s a free pattern on Ravelry – Heart Mittens. But I’m not in the mood for colourwork, and there are a hundred and one things I’d rather be knitting and so I’m knitting as fast as I can to get them done! I’m well over half way through the second mitten, so it shouldn’t take me too much longer. Here’s the mitt-in-progress;

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Once this is finished, I cast on some plain flip-top mittens, and then some more mittens which I’m designing in my head at the moment! I’m visualising a whimsical little cable up one side…hopefully pictures soonish!

Two gifts, finished and given

Yesterday we had a lovely time, watching the film ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and having dinner out with my friend Maria. I was able to give her the Shawl of Happiness and also the mystery extra gift, these Mrs Beetons Wristies;

I was so pleased with how these turned out. As you can see, I used the laceweight mohair for the outside frill, and then a cream yarn for the inside, beaded frill. The two yarns were held together to knit the cuff. These look lovely on, as they are worn with just the frills poking out of your coat sleeves, and look so pretty and feminine. Which is why I thought of Maria when I saw the pattern!

Secondly, last night I finished the jumper which I promised to my lovely eldest son such a long time ago. I gave it to him first thing this morning, and he immediately put it on and has worn it all day!

I wanted to decorate this jumper with something to distinguish it from the earlier effort, which turned out too small (and so was given to his brother!) so I chose this small TARDIS motif, as his Doctor Who obsession is widely known! I think it would have turned out better if the stitches had been tighter, but it does well enough for now. On the plus side, the jumper was immensely fast to knit up, so definitely a quick gratification project! And gratification for Handsome as well – I have a policy of not showing my childrens’ faces on my blog, but I had to include his big happy smile in this picture!

Probably the last of the Christmas presents

I meant to post all of these posts at the beginning of the month, but I got carried away with writing about other things, so here we are, a day away from February and I’m still writing about Christmas! I’ll probably just about finish telling you about last Christmas before I start writing about the next one!

Anyway, today I want to show you some of the presents I made for my friend Maria’s family.

First up, I made her mum this apron and oven glove set;

After Maria made dinner wearing her little dress and high heels, not getting a mark on her, I thought that an apron would make a good present for her mum. We agreed at the time that either of us would have ended up covered in flour and gravy had we attempted cooking in such an outfit! She seemed to like her set anyway, putting it on straight away and wearing it for the evening! And I loved her Christmas crown!

Also, Maria’s mum loves her Nintendo DS, apparently spending time on it on most days before she goes to bed. So when I saw this pattern in one of my magazines I thought it would be perfect for her.

I thought this little Shaun the Sheep pattern was really cute! I lined the case with felt, and you can’t see here but it buttons up at the top to keep the DS from sliding out.

Maria’s sister has her birthday just after new year, so I had to think of Christmas and birthday presents at the same time. For her Christmas present I made her a pair of fingerless gloves of my own designing. I’m annoyed with myself for not having taken a picture, but I’m planning on making some more soon anyway so I’ll photograph them instead. I also made her a hat.

This pattern, from Ravelry, is based on the hat that ‘Hermione’ wore in ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’. I designed the gloves to have matching cables, and they were obviously made in the same wool, Sirdar Click DK which is a wool and acrylic blend. Hopefully enough wool to make them warm, but enough acrylic to make them easy to care for!

Finally, for Maria’s sister’s birthday I made her some jewelry. I’d not really done very much with beading and jewelry making before, but I was quite pleased with the outcome.

Just a simple bracelet and earrings set. Not the best picture as I suddenly realised as I was packaging it up that I’d not taken a photo, but you get the idea! I also made a necklace and bracelet set for Maria, but I’ve yet to get a picture of that. She definitely liked them though, as I’ve seen her wearing them many times since Christmas. Nothing like a spot of appreciation to give you a warm glow inside!

More Christmas presents

So, another picturey post tonight. I’m not in much of a mood for words, so pictures will have to suffice.

I made a few crocheted animals (or amigurumi) as presents. This first one was for my Dad, and is called Joshie. If you look at my Dad’s blog, you’ll see that he owns a tortoise called Henry. Joshie was made to be a substitute for Henry whilst he’s in hibernation!

Next up is Lavender, the baby elephant. She was made for my mother, who is something of an Elephant lover. I also put dried lavender in her feet. Lavender is now living with my mother’s collection of elephants in her living room.

Finally is Tubby. Tubby is a bath frog, with a sponge in his tummy, so he’s also an exfoliating frog!

They were all great fun to make, and the recipients were suitably impressed!

I should probably add that Joshie and Tubby were both named by my younger son, leaving the originally named Lavender to me!

Christmas presents

After making myself miserable earlier, thinking about my stupid hands, I’ve decided to cheer myself up by ignoring them and starting to tell you about some of the Christmas presents I made last year.

First up, I’ll show you the presents I made for my friends in my Stitch and Bitch group;

I had real trouble deciding what to make these people. After all, by the very nature of the thing they are very crafty and able people themselves, so I had to take some time to convince myself that it wouldn’t be insulting to them if I were to make their presents.

Anyway, eventually I got the idea for their Christmas presents when I was at the Ally Pally show in October. When I bought one of the skeins of yarn, the stallholder gave me a simple cloth bag to keep the project in while I knitted the yarn up. I liked that idea, as I’d been keeping my works in progress (WIPs) in plastic or paper bags. So I decided to try to make a slightly more luxurious version of the simple cotton bag I’d been given in London. Dad came with me to the material shop (as we’d been shopping for yarn to make Mum’s present on the same day) and helped to pick out these two different chinese silk brocades.

These three bags were made for my friends Heidi, Machelle and Ellie, as were the stitch markers below. The bags are lined with cream cotton, and I hope will make a nice home for a shawl or a pair of socks in progress! The bags are all a little bigger than A4 size, as far as I remember!

   

The pretty rose stitch marker was one from Heidi’s set. The little green dogs reminded me a little bit of Buca, Machelle’s cute little dog (although he’s not green!!) and I thought that Ellie would appreciate the cute cute yellow ducklings! In order to get a better picture, I only photographed one from each set – I did give them more than one each! These were my first attempt at stitch markers, and I was reasonably happy with them, although the ones I received from Ellie were far more sophisticated and better made. I’ll try to photograph them at some point. I’ve already used them more than once!

This bag was made for Jaxom. I thought that maybe the more masculine colours would suit him better, although I spoilt it all by putting the little bow on the front inadvertently at the end! I forgot to photograph his stitch markers (I think they were little peppers) so you’ll have to imagine them for yourselves!