Merry Christmas!

I’ve been given a new toy for Christmas; a tablet! So while I’m having a play and working out what it can do, I thought I would wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy new year. 

We’ve had a lovely day so far. Bacon and eggs for breakfast and a couple of presents before church, then a big roast pork dinner before finishing opening the rest of our presents. Our front room looks like a warehouse! The boys are very happy and excited with what they received, and baby Sweetie was of course thrilled with all the wrapping paper that she was allowed to scrunch and wave about. 

Now it’s almost time for Doctor Who, so I’m settling in for the evening!

As I’m passing by…

Just a really quick post to say hi! as I’ve not been by for a while. I’ve been super busy trying to get ahead of the game with Christmas crafting, and I’ve also been working on getting my Etsy shop ready to show you all. I’m nearly there, but I want to put a few more things in the shop first.

Anyway, it occurs to me that I haven’t showed you my latest knitting projects that I’ve finished, so I thought I’d nip in and share a couple of photos. Hopefully I’ll have some time later on to write a little more.

This is my Ishbel shawl, which will be a Christmas present for someone who for now will remain nameless! I’m fairly certain she’s never looked at my blog, so I’m safe to add it. It’s from a pattern by Isolda Teague, and I love the vinework lace pattern.

And this is my second Travelling Woman shawl. The pattern is free (I’ll find a link later) and it was so lovely to knit up. This one’s for me, although I think there’ll be at least two more knitted as Christmas presents.

And that’s all for now. I’ve got to dash or the kids will be late for school. Catch you later!

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!

I won prizes!

Ravelry was such a good find for me. I’ve been a member of this knitting, crocheting, weaving and spinning community for some time now, but only in the last few months have I really been getting involved with some of the groups. There is a Cardiff Knitters group which I’m in, a group for Welsh yarn addicts and (the one I’m having lots of fun with at the moment!) a Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup! I joined only this term, and was sorted into Gryffindor, and the assignments have helped me to get most of my Christmas knitting and crochet done well ahead of schedule. But the extra fabulous special lovely fact has to be that I have won prizes for two of my projects! Yay!

The first prize I won was for this shawl/cardigan (the pattern is the Berocco Juliana) which I made for Maria for her birthday in September. She always dresses well, and likes to look elegant, and when I saw this pattern I hoped to be able to create something that was both elegant and a little out of the ordinary at the same time. I was quite pleased with the result, and glad that I persevered through the many weeks it took to knit it! I took this project into the detention class in September as I was worried that I wouldn’t get it done in time for Maria’s birthday if I didn’t get a bit of a kick up the bum to keep me motivated. Obviously it worked, and in October the ‘professor’ in charge of the detention room nominated my cardigan for a prize. It was against two other projects, and it was left to other students to vote for their favourite, and my Juliana won! I got my prize (all the way from Ohio) the other day – a beautiful kaleidoscope which gave me a very happy time as I sat looking at the mess in my living room through it, captivated by how beautiful it looked through the prism!

And yesterday I found out that I’ve won a second prize! But…I can’t tell you anything about it, because the item in question is intended to be a present for someone. At least the recipient can be proud in the knowledge (because you should be very sure that I will tell him or her!) that they are receiving a prize winning piece of hand crafted loveliness!!!

I will tell you all about it in January. TTFN!

Quiet time

So, I’ve been somewhat absent from the blog for the last month or more. Initially, it was due to a distinct bloggy block, preventing the flow of inspiration from my brain through my fingers and onto the keyboard. More recently, however, my blog silence has been attributable to my need to keep secrets about Christmas presents in the making. So, like KateOhKatie‘s recent post, my only possible blog posts would be lists of censored names and presents!

I can tell you that I have a list by my side of all the things I hope to make. The most difficult one is done, as of this morning. And that’s all I can tell you about that one until January! I have a list of thirty presents to make in all (it sounds scarier than it is!). Of those, I’ve already done ten, with three in progress. Of the things left to do, only three are likely to take more than a day or so to make, and some of the gifts will be made in groups, so I’ll be able to do a few at a time if I set aside an afternoon. I also hope to make some Christmas cards again, but I think I’ll see how I’m getting on with my crafting over the next couple of weeks first!

I wish I could tell you more about the biggest (as in time wise) thing I’ve just finished, as I’m really proud of myself for having got through it! Needless to say, I will take lots of pictures and tell you all about it in January!

Anyway, my washing machine is beeping and demanding attention, so I must go and see to that. Then, at 1pm I will have my lunch hour (why shouldn’t I have a structured lunch hour if I’m a stay at home mum?), eat a sandwich, watch ‘Bones’ and do a bit more work on a Christmas present! Oh, and pray that the rain holds off until after I’ve collected the boys from school.