Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy new years eve

Happy new years eve to one and all. Hope you have a good one.
I'm spending mine trying to sort my mess of a spare room and turn it into an office and getting all my craft stuff organised so I can be a bit more productive in the new year.
I will be raising a glass of bubbly at the bells and thanking the year for all the good things that happened. 2011 was quite a year and although it didn't end well. For most of it I was happy, in love and planning a wedding to the best man I every met and although I now don't have him to give a big snog to at midnight I'll be thinking about him always. My love, Andy x

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Kittys modeling

Cassi and Calypso having a cuddle with the omnipom gang after an afternoon running round the garden

Cal the escape artist

My little Kitty Calypso is to young to go out yet. I have a magnetic cat flap so Cleo and Cassi can go out but Calypso can't, but the little Houdini she has found a way out. She flips open the cat flap backwards with her claw. Luckily Cassi is going out with her and making sure she's safe.

Now with 2 arms

Here he is and isn't he yummy. I am really happy with how his arms turned out. I think if I was to make another I'd change the feet but then I'm never happy with the feet on my amigurumis. The yarn is a lot brighter than its showing in this photo and his mohawk is lime green. Its made with a feather yarn and as you crochet you make sure all the feathers fall on the same side. its the same techneque I used on this little girl.
I'm not gonna lie making those little fingers was a right pain. Chrocheting in the round with only 4 stiches was difficult and I kept missing stiches and having to go back. So while I like the look of them I'm not gonna be rushing to make this guy a friend.

Now up for sale on etsy

One armed monster

Well its pretty much working out like I hoped. I've crocheted a basic round amigurumi shape and when I got to the row I wanted the arms to be I chained 4, skipped 4, then did the same half way around. This gave be two 8 space gaps to work the arms in.

I've used the same technique to leave a gap to work the thumb and fingers.

Now its stuffed and with all the ends sewn in you can see what I'm aiming at.

Now just to do the other arm.

Its all about arms

I have actually been woken up this morning with an idea. Normally I do my arms as above. They are crocheted separately then attached with a toy eye to form a teddy joint. Now I have nothing against these arms but I wanted to make a gurumi with fingers and sticky out arms. I was stuck on this for a while but this morning I think I've figured it out. I have about 5 other crochet projects on the go but I have to try this while its in my head. I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Omnipoms Limoncello and Pistachio

Here are limoncello and Pistachio the omnipom twins.
I love these little buttons. They come in pack of different in shapes and sizes. I get them from work but you can get them from any good haberdashery.
As with the other Omnipoms these have lavender sachets inside, they release there scent when they are cuddled.
I'm still working on the pattern for these little guys so at the mo each one I do is a little different. I'm still not happy with the feet but I'll keep working on them.

These two dolls are now up for sale on etsy

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Well that's everything wrapped now and I'm feeling a little bit festive in spite of everything. Little problem I forgot to buy gift tags but a few bits of card, some glittery string and Christmas buttons with the shanks cut off, oh and a good bit of glue and some time later and here's what I came up with. Not too shabby. Merry Christmas everyone.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you all have a good time x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Owl bag

I've been sorting my wool stash out. Always a dangerous task cause you end up wanting to use all my lovely yarns right away and so whatever I'm working on gets put to one side while I create something out of the yarn that's jumped out at me.
This time I've been good and bad. Good because I'm still working on the omnipoms pattern and have made another 2 today to perfect it and bad cause I made this owl bag. In my defence it didn't take to long to make, it used up a yarn that I'd forgotten about and its really, really cute.
I'm gonna make owl bag get the pattern right but then I'll post the pattern.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Rainbow Bobs

While making the glass cover the other idea I had the idea that a rainbow pot full of little rainbow amigurumis you'd be pretty cool. So first I started with another ball of rainbow sock wool. This time I used this schoppel wolle yarn for a couple of reasons, first cause I love that the colours are really bright and they blend so nicely into each other and secondly cause I have about 10 balls of it I got addicted to knitting socks a few years ago and sock wool was my heroin, my sock wool stach is so huge its actually shamefull, so its good to put some of it to good use.
These little guys are crocheted with a 2mm crochet hook which make them a bit fiddly to make but its worth it when you see them all together. Now to make them a home.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Cassi and the rainbow Bobs

Cassi has been playing with the rainbow Bobs. These rainbow Bobs inspired by the rainbow glass cover I made aren't finished yet, but Cassi wanted to model again and show them off. She got a bit shy when I got the camera out though. I love this photo.

Toy eyes

I've been having a sort out, so welcome to my stash of toy eyes. Do you think I have enough? I don't and I'm still on the look out for clear ones so I can paint my own, plus theres's 2 empty drawers to fill.
I don't know about you but one of my favourite things about crafting is sorting your stash of craft stuff. Until today my toy eyes were all mixed up in my amigurumi drawer but now they are all sorted and in my eyes at least a thing of beauty :)

3 row scarf

Well I decided to make this scarf for me but I've changed my mind and I'm going to give it to my mum, plus I've made some fingerless gloves to match.
I've found whenever I start to make something for myself I keep thinking about other people who would like it and usually end up wrapping it up for them, thinking I'll make myself another one but then don't. In this case I will be making one for me, I've had a morning sorting out my wool stash and found some lovely red marble chunky. This scarf is only 3 rows and can be crocheted in an a few hours so my neck will be warm soon.


Do a chain as long as you want the scarf to be
1st row - half double crochet in second chain from hook, 2 half double crochets in every stitch to the end.
2nd row chain up 2, turn, 2 double crochets in every stitch to the end of the row.
3rd row chain up 3, turn, 2 treble crochets in every stitch to the end of the row.
sew in ends and there you have it a curly scarf in 3 rows.
happy crocheting x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Last minute cristmas gift

I'm a few gifts short so I though I'd do this very quick but lovely make. These are shower scrubbys and I always give them with a little bottle of homemade shower gel or bubble bath.
These are also one of the first things I get the people I teach crochet to, to make. So if your new to crochet, believe me you can make these too.

You can use any weight yarn but it needs to be natural yarn, cotton and bamboo work best. It uses about 50g

I used 50g of cotton DK yarn and a 5mm crochet hook

Start with 6 into a ring

2 single crochets into each stitch and keep going round and round and round

You'll see it start to come in on itself like above just continue going round and round doing 2 single crochets into every stitch

When you get to this stage where its getting quite dense you chain up 1 and the start doing 2 double crochets into every stitch for one round. When you get to the start of the round slip stitch into that first double crochet to join and then chain up 30, slip stitch in same place as join to make a loop. Sew in any loose ends and there you have it.
Happy crocheting x

Last minute prezzes made next I'm making something for me using the same technique as here but with a little twist

Friends for lunch

Today my lovely friends Boo and Bear are coming over for lunch. I’m cooking ham and chorizo Tortilla and making mincemeat pin wheels and having a bash at cake pops.

Boo is also brilliant at crochet and over the years I have known her she has given me some of her creations.

This little man has a very special place in my heart as he the first amigurumi she made.

Mr Owl he makes me feel sleepy, so he spends most of his time in the bedroom. I love the use of double crochet and how the colours work so well together, my Boo is a clever one.

Red riding hood and the wolf. Boo made these for me and Andy last Christmas, they are wonderful. Red riding hood is one of my favourite nursery rhymes as I have a mane of red hair and Andy was my wolf ;)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Page corner bookmark for kids in Ideas for kids' crafts

Page corner bookmark for kids in Ideas for kids' crafts

Rainbow glass cover

Its finished and I'm very happy with it. Its a simple pattern.
Start with 6 in a ring,
Working in single crochet throughout, increase evenly by 6 each round till the base is the same size as the base of the glass you are using.
Now do one round working in the back of loop only
Then continue going round single crocheting without increasing until you've got the height you need to cover the glass.
This used about half of a 50g ball of sock yarn but you can use any weight yarn as long as you use the corresponding crochet hook. It'll be great for using up odds and ends of yarn.
Happy crocheting x

Coming along

Its coming along nicely. Not far to go. This is made with a sock yarn so the stitches are pretty tiny. I'm loving the way the rainbow effect is blending nicely.

sideline project

My day light lights gone out and I won't get a new bulb till Wednesday. Its too dark in my flat to do any fiddly crochet, so I'll have to start a new project and the omnipoms will have to go on hold until the sun comes in this afternoon.
This is my glass of bits and pieces, I thought I'd make it a cover in this lovely yarn that has been lingering in my stash in want of a project for a while.
Oh and that's Cleo in the background, she's my lovely old lady. She sleeps there or on the arm of the sofa behind me and doesn't do much else.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Tardis cookies

It had to be done, lovely yummy tardis cookies. It might even be too good to eat but I'm sure I'll battle through somehow ;)

Gingerbread recipe

300g (10oz) self raising flour
pinch of salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
100g (4oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) butter
3 tablespoons golden syrup
4 teaspoons milk

Heat oven to 160c 325F gas mark 3

Mix flour, salt and ginger in a bowl

melt sugar, butter and syrup in a pan then add to dry mix

work together add milk a bit at a time if its too dry its needs to be a firm consistency

knead lightly

chill in freezer for 10 mins

roll out about 1cm thick and cut out shapes.

cook for 10-15 mins

leave to cool for a couple of mins on the backing tray to crisp up before putting on a cooling rack.

happy backing

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A note about tension

4 pairs of arms all made from Dk weight natural cotton and bamboo yarns, all completely different sizes.
Now if this was for any other type of knitting or crochet that would be bad. I'd have to spend ages working out the right size needle to use to get the tension right but with amigurumi it doesn't matter. The little multi coloured one is just gonna be shorter. Just another reason I love amigurumi.
Oh and am really sad but even though I've just made the arms I know who these little guys are gonna be. The yellow and green are pretty twin girls omnipoms, the blue is a lady bunny who's going to keep tony the evil bunny in check and the multi coloured can decide if he's and alien or a teddy bear but I'm sure he'll tell me soon.
Arms are a pain to make which is why I make then first. for most part your working with only 8 stitches in a spiraling round. Little tip, I use a piece of different coloured wool as a row marker but when I've got so many rows of straight single crochet I work out how may stitches that is all together and keep going till I hit that. It's a lot easier than marking the round every 8 stitches. example: you've got 10 rows of single crochet so 80 single crochets to do, keep going round and round and when you've counted to 80 you've done your 10 rows simple. Well let me know if it works for you.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Me and Andy

This is a long post, it has nothing to do with crochet its about me and Andy and as you already know it doesn't have a happy ending.

Andy and I met on a Friday, we had dinner at mine on the Monday, lunch for his birthday on Wednesday, on Friday we had fish and chips in Whitby and a drink at levisham on the way home (where we decided in our silly daydreams to buy the farm that was for sale and start our cottage industries me crocheting and him designing and making furniture) Saturday I met all his friends, Sunday I met his family and the following Saturday he met all my family at my sister’s wedding. I think after about 3 months together we realised we’d only spent 6 days apart since we met. To say it was a whirlwind romance would be an understatement.

Then I got the other thing I wanted. Andy already had one cat Cleo our beautiful torty queen but we got Cassi as well. I think getting Cassi was the incentive for me to move in with him. As I couldn’t have cats at my flat but didn’t want to move out of the city centre. The garden helped as well.

In this time I didn’t have much time to pick up a crochet hook, I made nibbler for Andy and a few scarves and shawls for work to show off new wool that had come in but my big plan for the blog an online shop was put on hold.

Our lives were pretty perfect, we loved to laugh and that year I think we saw every comedian going. We couldn’t have long holidays because of dialysis but we had many weekends away. We just had an amazing time. Andy’s health was never an issue, he told me stories about his many operations and I think he liked to scare me with tales of times he nearly died. He’d had 3 failed kidney transplants, his body was a patchwork of scars, each with a story behind it, I thought he was gorgeous. A fourth transplant was a bit pie in the sky but we knew if we got his heart good and healthy by getting home dialysis he’d have a chance.

Andy got an infection and had to go into hospital early this year. It turned out to be a collection on fluid in his stomach cavity which was drained and he was fine. It was the longest time we had spent apart since we met and it wasn’t a very nice way to start the year but it got better.

In February we went to Levisham again on Valentine’s Day, we had a lovely meal and as we got into the car to return home one of our songs came on the radio and Andy asked me to marry him. I think my answer was something along the lines of “of course I will you fool”

Full steam ahead into wedding planning. Now I’m not one of those girls who have been dreaming about her wedding all her life, I never thought or planned to get married, I didn’t have a clue how to go about wedding planning so Andy and I did everything together. He even helped me pick my dress. It was great fun.

In April we got our next blow, when Andy’s fistula went. His fistula is how he got his dialysis. He had to go back to having tubes and not getting such good dialysis. This was the first time we really had to worry about Andy’s health, he’d had fistula and grafts and tubes and his veins were pretty shot so we had to think about the chance of not getting another fistula. It was a pretty shit time but I remember how sunny it was and how we were able to spend so much time together sitting in the garden shaking our fists at how shit life was and how we wouldn’t let this get us down, we’d fight through anything.

Get through it we did, a clever surgeon took some vein from Andy’s leg and formed a new fistula in his arm, we could breathe again, and all was good. Well the surgeon used the wrong type of stitches as Andy doesn’t heal as quickly as most people so he had a open wound that had to be dressed every couple of days. It would heal eventually, he wasn’t working so he had time to rest it, we could cope. I was getting my training for home dialysis and with Andy’s new fistula we could breathe again, after his leg healed we’d be back on track.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about what happened next but the collection of fluid in his stomach cavity returned and then we went through weeks of him being in and out of hospital, no one knew what was wrong with him, he went in septic shock 3 times, I had to call ambulances out twice, he had 2 operations but in the end it was all too much. He couldn’t get good dialysis, the antibiotics weren’t touching the infection and his body just gave up.

I am so thankful that I got so spend the time with him I did, I’m so lucky for that and I’ll never forget him.

The york press covered it here

Bit more background

2 books got me into amigurumi, creepy cute crochet by Christine Haden and super happy crochet cute amigurumi by Elisabeth Doherty. The first amigurumi pattern I followed was Elisabeth Doherty’s little mouse which I’ve already flashed on here. I then went on to make dozens of the creepy cute gurumis, I was hooked. These books were my inspiration and from them I started working on my own patterns and style.

I was getting confident in what I was making and started to think about blogging about it and having an online shop. My plan was to get a good few dolls made and some simpler patterns ready to go and launch it all but then my life changed all together.

I’d been single for a while, happily so. I had a job I liked, a great flat, friends, family and my craft. I’d have liked to have had a cat but I didn’t think I’d find a man. That said I didn’t think there would be any harm going on and having a look. I met Andy, we emailed for 6 weeks every day before we met in person. I knew before I met him that he had kidney problems but I never really worried about it, It might sound selfish but I thought if he’s on dialysis 3 nights a week then I’ve still got those nights to myself to crochet. It didn’t quite work out like that.

Bit of background.

Hello this is me looking very cold at Bambrough castle.

This post is about me.

3 years ago I couldn’t crochet to save my life. I was a knitter, I’d tried to teach myself crochet a few times but I was worse than useless. I did loads of other crafts as well, I made jewellery, cards, did a bit of cross stitch and sewing. I work managing a Haberdashery that specializes in buttons (hence most of my gurumis have buttons on them) and one of the girls I work with was really into crochet, she’d taught a few of the other girls and whenever there were quiet times they all had their hooks out going through the stitches. She wanted to teach me too but I told her there was no point I’d tried it I’m useless, I’m a knitter and a knitter I will stay.

Anyway one quiet afternoon I gave in, thinking if she wants to waste her time trying to teach me, and it’s a choice between doing that and cleaning then I’ll give it a go. It would be a very big lie to say I was a natural crocheter, I found doing the chain so mind blowingly complex I didn’t even want to attempt a single crochet stitch but I tried my hardest. I would chant what I was doing, through, round, back, round, both off and such, so I’m sure most people thought I was mad; apparently the look of concentration on my face was hilarious. I got there though and when I could do chain, single, double and treble stitches I felt like a crocheting god.

So now I could do the basics badly I started looking crochet magazines. I might get slated here but I found a lot of crochet items in them old fashioned, crochet just didn’t look as cool as the stuff I was knitting and very few thing in the magazines made me passionate about picking up a hook and making that right now.

I started making flower motifs these are great because you learn a lot of different stitches and techniques and they led me to the first time I noticed I could get hooked on this. I was looking at a pattern and thought, so you’ve got a chain space, into that you do SC, 2DC, TC, 2DC, SC and it makes a petal. Of course it does, it goes up then down that’s simple maths I can understand this, I’m a geek. Suddenly patterns that looked like they were written by aliens, just made sense, not only could I read it but I could write this new language too.

Then I stumbled upon amigurumi and Andy but that’s for part 2

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Chocolate orange cheesecake

Today I'm having a few friends over for festive food and nattering. I'm not really celebrating Christmas this year its all a bit too soon after Andy dying. I don't have a Christmas tree but I planted an apple tree in our garden. I still wanted to see our friends though so I'm having a day in the kitchen making lovely grub for them to enjoy. I'm gonna try and recreate this chocolate orange cheesecake and if it goes to plan I'll post the recipe, and if I can find my pipping bag I'm gonna make tardis cookie

Update Chocolate orange cheesecake mark 2 is ready and here's the recipe

Chocolate orange cheesecake

You will need

Small pack of digestive biscuits

100g Unsalted butter melted

284g pot of Double cream whipped

600g cream cheese

3 large spoonfuls of icing sugar

2 packs milk chocolate melted

2 teaspoons of orange flavouring

1 chocolate orange


Cake tin

Start with the base

Crush the biscuits to crumbs, add the melted butter and stir well to combine

Put the mix into the cake tin and press down to create and even base.

Put this in the freezer for 15-20mins to set

Cheesecake filling

Whip the cream cheese and icing sugar and orange flavouring together

Fold in the whipped cream and melted chocolate

Spoon over the set base and even out with the back of a spoon

Place the chocolate orange pieces around and decorate with sprinkles

Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set

Enjoy x