Monday, 26 March 2012

Kalajoki Socks

I knit a pair of socks! Just because I bought some very pretty sock yarn.

The pattern is Kalajoki by Tiina Seppälä. And the yarn is Regia Hand-Dyed Effect.

That top picture shows the pattern better but the colours are truer in this one:

It's the first time I've knitted a pair of socks that have to be worn on the correct feet. A bit complicated at getting-dressed time but I think it's worth it for the way they look.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Crochet cushion covers - one down!

My chair in the kitchen now has a lovely new crochet cushion!

It took longer than I expected, or at least the little squares did. Faffing about trying to get the colours to look balanced took some time. The edge and back (I sewed all the squares together, then edged the big square and crocheted the back directly on) took a couple of evenings.

I did most of the back in dark green, with a contrasting stripe of the bright green over the buttons. This was entirely a design decision and nothing to do with the fact that I was running out of the dark green.

Now the other chair also needs a cushion. I'm thinking ripply stripes maybe. But I will need to get some more green yarn! The first cushion cover used more than I expected, and I will need green left over, for continuing with Emily's blanket.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Quick one

Mum has come up to stay for a few days so I've not much time to blog until later in the week (when I will talk about cushion covers, or flapjacks, or some fabulous 80s knitting magazines I got from Freecycle). But for now here is a picture of Laura in her knight helmet, playing with her castle.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Simply Sweaters: BJD Lati Yellow & Pukifee Knitting Patterns

I've finally finished my latest Pukifee knitting patterns ebook! It's called Simply Sweaters and it contains nine patterns for different styles of sweater, jumper or cardigan.

Included are:

- plain sweater
- snowflake sweater, with three extra motif charts (heart, teddy and button)
- cabled aran sweater
- yoked fair-isle sweater
- lace cardigan
- wrap cardigan
- sideways cardigan
- bolero cardigan
- sweater dress

Cabled aran sweater

To see all the patterns, why not check out the ebook on Ravelry. Or you can browse the set on Flickr.

Snowflake sweater

Simply Sweaters: Knitting Patterns for Pukifee and Lati Yellow is only £6 and you can buy it now through Ravelry. You don't have to be a Ravelry member.

All the patterns use 2-ply/laceweight yarn and 2mm needles. Miniature knitting is a lot easier than it looks, so go on, give it a try. :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

And more on Mike the Knight

I've nearly finished my BJD sweater knitting pattern book (hopefully I'll be able to finish getting it typed up and tidied up tonight). The last few weeks my crafting time has mainly been taken up with that, so now that all the test knitting is done, I wanted a little fun project to do. And when I realised I had a big ball of blue double-knitting yarn in the right colour for Mike the Knight's helmet, that is what I decided to make.

The colours in that photo aren't quite right as it was taken indoors on my phone, and I can't get a better picture now as Laura is in bed and needs the helmet in her room with her.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It didn't take long, I managed to finish it yesterday in one day. The main part of it is a plain crocheted hat, just worked in a spiral, with a rectangular brim for the back. The grill at the front was a bit more challenging and was worked in two halves, from the ends to the centre, then sewn together and edged. The feather is a red drinking straw with red feathers glued onto it, then I made a little tube of crochet and sewed that onto the top of the hat, and glued the feather inside.

Laura loves her hat; she wore it to the dentist yesterday and another little girl saw it and shouted 'Mike!' so I know it looks right! It's so much fun making these things for her. I'll try and get a modelled photograph of it tomorrow, I'm sure it'll spend much of the day being worn!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Review: Mike the Knight DVD

Laura, like I suspect most three-year-olds, goes through phases of love-love-loving a particular toy or book or TV programme. At the moment it's Mike the Knight, so I was very glad to be sent a DVD so we wouldn't have to depend on the iPlayer when she decides she needs to watch it.

Mike the Knight is a trainee knight. He lives in a castle with his mum, the Queen, and his sister Evie, who is a wizard (naturally). He has a horse called Galahad and two dragon friends. As these things go I quite like it, the emphasis is on Doing The Right Thing and helping others which is fine by me.

It's time to be a knight and do it right!
(I don't know why the Peppa Pig hat became her knight helmet, but it is)
(do you like my new green tiles? I LOVE my new green tiles)

The DVD has five ten-minute episodes, each with a little introductory song about one of the characters. There's also a longer song in the bonus features. So about an hour of content, which is probably as much as you want in one go! Especially if you aren't three.

(Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of the DVD for this review)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Guest post: How to make felt monster finger puppets

Today I have a guest post, by my lovely sister Jen of Jennifer's Little World. Enjoy!

I’ve recently noticed that my toddler son has become very interested in puppets. Finger puppets are easy for a toddler to hold, and these monster puppets are really simple to make. It helps if you can do the preparation in advance, in order to avoid a frustrated toddler!

You will need:

Two pieces of felt large enough to make the puppet
Googly eyes, or small pieces of felt cut into eye shapes
Tiny pieces of felt cut into little shapes (a great way to use up some of those offcuts)

Cut a template for the puppet out of paper before cutting around it to make the felt pieces. Make a front and a back. Aim to make it large enough to fit on one adult finger, and remember to allow enough material for a seam. I have sewn around the edges of the puppet to make it sturdier, but you could just use glue.

Assemble everything together, then show your toddler how to cover the monster in glue and stick the pieces down. Leave the puppets to dry, and they are ready to play with. I just use white PVA glue, and it doesn’t matter if a little too much is applied as it will just add to the monster look!

Using puppets is a great way to interact with your child, so here are a few ideas:

  • You can make puppets to represent the characters in one of your favourite stories. Let the toddler act out the story while you read it aloud.

  • Make a simple puppet theatre, perhaps with a cardboard box, or just sit behind a chair or sofa. This works better if you have several children that can take turns, or else put on a show for your child.

  • Invent voices and characters for the puppets. You can talk about what the character does, where he lives, what he likes to do and so on.

  • Let the puppets talk to each other and to you.

  • If there is an issue that is troubling your child, you might find that using the puppets is a good way to talk about it. You can talk about what your puppet will do in certain situations.

  • If you are trying to modify a behavioural issue with your child, try acting it out with puppets. For example, sharing toys or potty training issues.

Thanks Jen!

Friday, 2 March 2012

My tea set

My grandma had a pretty tea set that I'd seen in her cupboards and always liked. It wasn't too fancy but had a really lovely pattern of blue and pink flowers. When she died when I was 20, and my parents were sorting out her things, I remembered the tea set and asked my mum if I could have it. She told me that she was very sorry but that one had already gone to the charity shop.

When I was 23 I got married and the husband and I bought this house. Since I now had a loft to call my own, every time my parents came to visit they brought with them a box of my belongings from their own loft. And one time they turned up with this box.


Isn't that pretty? It's been in our loft for a few years because we didn't have anywhere to put a pretty tea set. But now, in the new big kitchen (which the husband is tiling behind me as I type, love him), we have a dresser (the in-laws were getting rid of theirs so yay free dresser!), and I can get out my tea set and admire its prettiness whenever I want.

Now I just need to have a tea party. With no more than four guests.