Friday, 22 August 2014

My Boy's FO (and the difference between Mums and Dads)

For some time My Boy has been wanting to make a video to upload onto YouTube - I blame Stampylongnose. Being the filmmaker in the family, helping with this was definitely 'a Daddy job'. Had it been 'a Mummy job', the room would have been tidied, the kids changed out of their pyjamas and a stray piece of popcorn moved from the very centre of the action. (My mantra this summer has been "it is what it is" for precisely these kinds of reasons.) 

Anyway, here it is, messy bedroom, PJs and all. I think they did a great job. I hope you think so too as your comments would mean the world to a very proud little eight year old who spent ages planning it. (Massive thanks to everyone who already commented and 'liked' it when posted to my Facebook page.)

Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WIPs and Books

As anticipated, the 'summer holidays' have involved very little knitting. I'm currently working on a few new design ideas, some of which you'll see over the coming months when the children are back at school and the weather is more suited to snuggling up with some yarn and a nice cup of tea.

In fact, aside from knitting up a few swatches, the most creative things are all happening inside my Notebook (capital N). I've been playing with some watercolours and watercolour pencils - mostly just to illustrate my regular everyday doodles and add colour to the blank pages - but it seems inevitable that pencils and sketchbooks will make an appearance at some point. I loved to draw and paint when I was younger but just don't have the time to do everything!

The one thing I've made time for is Donna Tartt's The Secret History. If like me you've missed it until now, its reputation as a modern classic seems well deserved. I'm half way through and it's been a really good read so far. It begins with the murder of one of a close group of friends, and then goes back in time to reveal why it was committed - it's a 'why-dunnit' (you can find out more about it, including spoilers, here).  It's a book I've been aware of since it was first in the best seller charts but never bought, so I'm pleased it was selected as the summer read for our book club. Being in the 'club' has certainly broadened my reading - I haven't enjoyed everything we've read, but several of my favourite books from the last few years have been as a result of our monthly gatherings at the local pub. It's very informal and quite a small gathering so aside from the books, we've become good friends too.

We'll be heading off on our UK dog-friendly holiday this week and there are a few scheduled posts which *should* be published while we are away, but if the blog (and social media) are quiet over the next week or so you know why. Hope you all enjoy the rest of the month.
Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What the others have been doing

Last week I gave you a peek at one of the projects my mum and kids have been working on. Today I wanted to give them the opportunity to show you more. Here's what Mum had to say.... 

As a child I didn't particularly like soft toys or rag dolls, and since then I have never understood people's attraction to them. When Sarah got a lovely rag-doll pattern book to review just before her 40th birthday - she loves dolls - I was a little hesitant to make her one, but I liked the look of the outfits and thought I'd give it a go. 'Sally' was made in secret and I actually enjoyed working on her - especially when Sarah loved her! 
Of course my grandchildren saw their mother's doll and wanted one... each! I'd bought a metre of calico for Sarah's doll (I didn't have an old sheet as in the book) and there was enough left for a few more so the plan was that we'd make them together.... 
They started off well, helping me with the machine sewing and stuffing the arms and legs (using the fat end of a knitting needle). Alas, their interest waned after this and I was left to finish the dolls myself, under strict instructions that the girl was to have pink and lilac hair and the boy must have a smiley face and freckles.
The boy's hair was a bit of a challenge as I wasn't sure how to achieve the look I wanted. The problem was solved by making lots of small wigs and sewing each onto the head, then cutting all the 'hair' short and separating each strand of yarn to get the look right.
Finished dolls
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed making them - so much I'm thinking about making my own doll pattern to refine some of the things I don't like about rag dolls - like the flat face, the hands, and the (clubbed) feet. The plans may never come to fruition but I'm already making more outfits for these and who knows... I might even make a doll for myself!  Lynda x

If you're not sick of seeing her on the GBSB re-runs and would like to see more of mum's projects, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.  If you'd like to try making some dolls but don't have much sewing experience or skill, I have another doll-making book review coming up soon which you might be interested in, so stay tuned!
Monday, 18 August 2014

Blast from the past: AKA 'From toddler tunic to hippy t-shirt!'

In July 2011, only a few months after I started knitting, I improvised a tunic for my then-toddler. Here's the FO picture I posted, which frankly, has always made me feel nauseous. 
As I wrote at the time, I didn't really like it - the yarn was horrible to work with, and I didn't like the way the colours pooled at the bottom - like static on an old analogue TV. Regardless, my Ravelry notes from six months later show that the two year old Little Miss still loved it and was wearing it all the time. Imagine my surprise when she walked into my bedroom like this the other day: 
Three years after knitting a "toddler tunic", it became a hippy t-shirt for a tall 5 year old!!!
It still makes my eyes hurt, but after finding it in a bag of old clothes, she thinks it's wonderful and is wearing it again. She is only five but tall for her age and wears age 6-7 in shop-bought clothes - so it's not a tunic anymore - it's a t-shirt. If I'd known it would last so long I would have used a different yarn!

My reason for not knitting many children's clothes is that they grow too quickly for it to be worth the time and effort, but I'm thinking of making a bigger one of these.... in a nicer colour, of course. Do you have any garments that were made a long time ago and keep turning up? Or something you really didn't like but it loved by someone else?  
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Welcome to CftC! You'll find lots of knitting, spinning, crochet, books and snippets of family life amongst the archives and you may like to start with my most popular tips & tutorials, or the patterns. You can read more about me on the 'Hello' page and if you like it here, you may also like to visit the CftC pages on Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy. I hope you enjoy your visit! Sarah


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