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Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Flutter of Fairy Folk

Forget-me-not

Spring is in the air here in England, and with flowers appearing I just thought I would put all my fairy folk together, for a bit of a fairy gathering. What to call a party of fairies? After a bit of research I decided a flutter sounds nice. These are all knitted and adapted from my Mermaid and Flower Fairy pattern.

I do like it best where I have managed to photograph them in a natural setting. Most of these fairies have already found new homes, although one or two are still in my shop. There is such variety in nature that I have only once or twice repeated a design. I am already thinking of a few new ones: primrose, blackthorn, or honeysuckle.

So if you have a flower or tree that means a lot to you, please get in touch and I will have a go at making it.


Holly



Dandelion

Oak Tree

Lily


Apple Blossom


Stitchwort
Bluebell

Lavender

Cherry Tree

Snowflake

Mermaids

Christmas Fairies




Pohutukawa (New Zealand Christmas Tree Fairy)
Echinacea (but photographed on a sunflower)

Daisies




Sunday, 23 March 2014

My Little Sewing Bee

I am handing my blog over to my daughter this week, and she is going to tell you how to design and sew a really fashionable top. I have never seen our local fabric shop so packed, and I think sewing my have taken over the country since The Great British Sewing Bee has been on television.

First design your top. I used these templates from the computer.
Don't let your fabric get the better of you. This fabric only cost £3.99 and is jersey cotton.
Mum said I should press the fabric first. Only do this if you are old enough to use an iron.
We used one of my favourite old tops to make a pattern.
I pinned it onto fabric, and we realised we had bought far too much. I will have enough left to make something else.


I cut out really carefully.
I was going to used my own sewing machine ...
...  but we did some test stitching on a scrap of fabric, and it was really bad.
Mum said it was because we needed to use a jersey ballpoint needle. So she let me use her sewing machine.
I pinned the shoulders, and checked with the ruler.
I sewed really carefully.
Then I had to press the seam open.
And topstitich on either side. I made the stitch longer for this.
Then I pinned right round the hem.
And sewed twice around it.
We then had to pin where the sides of the body would be, and measured carefully to make sure that it was the same on both sides.

Mum has some black binding for the neck, and I had to be really careful sewing this on.
Finally, we made the straps from and old T-Shirt. The trickiest bit was turning them the right way out.
With the straps on I was ready to model my new top.

I am really, really pleased with it.

Back to me now. We had a really fun afternoon. I realised that although she does a lot of hand sewing, we had never made a garment. I recommend you only let your children loose with irons and sewing machines, if you know they are very sensible. Even then keep a very close eye on what they are doing.

What was really great was to manage to work from her own design, to get a wearable garment that she is really happy with. I think she learned a lot. Particularly about pressing and topstitching, and being careful with every stage. Although my own mother would have probably have had me tacking seams. Perhaps we will have another go. Maybe to learn how to do gathers would be fun.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Focus


A rather drab day, and although I am a bit embarrassed at the quality of these photographs, of what I think are a sparrow and a blackbird. I just thought it was quite interesting to show what is almost the same shot, but with a different focus. Do you have a preference, and why? Slightly reminds me of Hitchcock's The Birds.


And while I am posting about the wildlife I can see from my bedroom window, I thought you might like to see this rather scrawny fox. I only just had time to grab my camera and get this picture, before Fantastic Mr Fox disappeared. I like the way he did seem to be looking right at me!


And then I could not believe my eyes when I looked
 in the other direction, I saw this other rather plumper fox.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Frog Baby Beanie Hat


I have a bit of a problem. Just which photo is the cutest? Well I can't decide.


This is my new frog baby beanie hat. The pattern contains instructions for three sizes: newborn, 3 to 6 months, and 6 to 12 months. I thought about calling it the Five Frog Hat (Do you know the song about Five Little Speckled Frogs?) But as the largest size has six frogs it didn't seem quite right.


It is knitted in the round, and with DoubleKnit wool. I have used Sirdar Snuggly DoubleKnit. I am getting increasingly fond of Sirdar wools. I love this colour as well, as I think it would be good for boys or girls. I have used my trusty doublepoints, although you could use the magic loop method if you prefer.
 

I have not been a big blocker of knitting up to now, but having seen on other blogs how much knitting can be improved by blocking (especially some of the lovely lacey shawls), I do suggest that you block your hat. Here are my hats drying in the sunshine. I have used a pyrex jug and kitchen roll, although I think lots of people find a balloon handy. My pattern explains how to block your hat.

Finished hats and cat enjoying the sunshine

The pattern for the Frog Baby Beanie Hat is available on Craftsy and Ravelry, or Etsy. Or if you would like a knitted hat, there are a few available in my Etsy shop. Once again thank you so much to my lovely little model.



The Very Hungry Caterpillar


I forgot to show you my daughter dressed in her costume for World Book Day last week. It is her last year at primary school, so probably her last chance to dress up for World Book Day. Although I made the outfit, it was her own idea. This was her sketch of what she wanted. Once again, thanks to the lovely shop Fabricland, the outfit only cost a few pounds to make.


And here is me in my outfit for the day: The Ugly Duckling. I do love my job.