Thursday 30 October 2014

Cranberry Velvet Scarf

It was my lovely friend's birthday yesterday, and several weeks ago - with plenty of time to spare - I started crocheting a scarf to give her as a gift. Started, with plenty of time to spare, yes, but finished ? Well yes, but only just. And I really mean o.n.l.y j.u.s.t.  

don't mean only just as in the night before, I don't even mean only just as in a couple of hours before I was due to see her, no, this scarf flew hot off the hook yesterday at 13:25, straight into some wrapping paper, and my friend arrived at 13:30 for a birthday lunch!! Phew!

I completed just over a third of it sat at my kitchen table yesterday with This Morning on the iPad, whilst supervising Little Miss who was baking buns for the birthday girl. Birthday girl's daughter had her 6th birthday the day before so we had a bit of a tea-party lunch to celebrate both their birthdays :) The buns are Hallowe'en themed of course ....

The cakes were yummy and my friend loved her scarf :)

The pattern was a Simply Crochet one, Blue Velvet from issue 18. I used a 5.5mm hook and King Cole acrylic DK, no idea what shade as the label has gone astray. No matter, I have christened it Cranberry hence I'm calling this scarf Cranberry Velvet. I'm planning another couple of these as Christmas gifts, and I think I'll make one for myself at some stage, I don't think this mild weather will last forever - much as I'd like it to. In the meantime, here are some more Cranberry Velvet pics - enjoy :)

Sunday 26 October 2014

Autumn Leaves

Isn't it funny how things come about, and often how one thing leads to another ?

I'd finished Littke Tomboy's Creeper Face Hallowe'en mitts that she'd put in an order for, and wanted some leafy embellishments for the photo - the leaves I had left from my last photo-shoot were a bit shrunken and starting to look somewhat insignificant.

Little Tomboy and I ventured forth onto the field to search for more leaves. She's being an aeroplane. Well, why not I suppose.

We gathered lots of leaves ... beautiful earthy tones of red, brown, yellow, orange, and fabulous mixtures of colour in individual leaves going on as well. And of course there were lots of stones, feathers, and snail-shells to be collected. And to her delight we discovered pine-cones ... "I didn't know we had a pine-cone-tree!!" :D She is so sweet :) And I can't wait to bling up the pine cones with glitter for Christmas  ....

Still plenty of colour to be found, and we even shared a blackberry. "It's a bit soury Mummy" ....

After a brief stop at the park to play on the slide, we headed for home, and laid out our autumnal treasures on the table, in order to re-shoot the creeper mitts. 
There. That's more interesting now :)

Not wishing to be left out, Little Miss appeared and asked if we could do some leaf-rubbing. Great idea! First job - rip the paper-covering off some crayons and leave it strewn about the place for your parent to clean up later :-| Then select a nice veiny leaf, lay a sheet of paper over, and gently rub crayon (on its side) over the paper.

What to do with all these lovely leaves ? Why, make bunting of course! I'd seen this on another blog, and it really wanted to link to it here. But, try as I might, I can't find it anywhere. Don't you hate that ? So to whomever thought of this before, I thank you.

We cut the leaves out, used a hole punch to make a small hole in the top (bottom?) of each leaf, and stranded them into a piece of string, arranged so they were pointing downwards. And then we hung the finished bunting across our bookshelves in the playroom.

And we love the end result :) So pretty and such an easy (and relatively un-messy) craft activity.

I love how the photographing-requirements of one craft project - the creeper mitts - led to another really enjoyable and totally unplanned craft session with my girls :) But let's just have another look at the mitts shall we .... I can't get enough of that crazy colour :)

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Hallowe'en Hands

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny then a ha'penny will do,
And if you haven't got a ha'penny, God bless you!

That's the rhyme we used to chant at Hallowe'en when I was a lass, we didn't have trick or treating back then, and the braver children (of which I was not one) would go round the doors chanting the rhyme, essentially asking for money! The cheek!

In fact we had trick or treaters call at our door here LAST WEEK!!!! 2 whole weeks early, and I'm pretty sure they were chancing their arm for some cash, not just for chocolate or sweets. I gave them short shrift, I can tell you. To be fair though I had just bought pumpkins and had them on display in the porch, so perhaps they thought it was worth a try. It wasn't. 

I usually buy 3 pumpkins - one for each Little Person - at the last minute, carve them hastily, shove them in the window on the 31st, then take them away the next day, and chuck them out. All that effort for one evening. This year I decided to buy them well in advance so I can really enjoy their vibrant colour on the front porch. A Good Move - I'm loving the cheery welcome every time I arrive home. My pyracanthas and cotoneaster are in full berry-bloom too, gorgeous autumnal reds, oranges, and golds.

Anyway, back to Hallowe'en.....  in preparation for next week's (correct day of) trick-or-treating there has been much discussion about costume choices. I have mixed feelings about the whole trick-or-treating thing but that's a subject for another day. Mummy's thoughts on the matter aside, the Little People all LOVE the dressing up that is required for the occasion. There do seem to be a lot of suggestions on the table at present. But Little Miss has decided For Definite that she is going to be "Draculaura" - a cartoon character who is basically a pink-clothed girl vampire. To go with her costume I made her some long fingerless bright pink gloves.

I worked out my own pattern - which I'll share when I've written it up properly - and embroidered the spider-webs on once the gloves were complete. The diagonal ridge you can see on the left hand one is because I crochet in the round with an invisible seam - ok so it's not invisible but it isnt't loose and hole-y which is what I find happens if I don't do it this way. It's a technique I learned for making hats, but I'm not sure it translates as well to gloves. But hey-ho, I still love how they turned out:)

Little Tomboy got in on the act and asked for orange ones with spiders .... I was happy to oblige ....

They were really quick and easy to do, and a real crowd-pleaser. Also a great way to use up some rather gaudy yarn that a friend had donated to my stash a while ago. I'm definitely going to make some for myself as well, to coordinate with my many scarves :)

There has also been a request for a green pair with creeper faces on (you mine-crafter-peeps-or-parents will know what that is!), so guess what I'm doing in front of the telly tonight :)