wee mousie

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J’s mouse-loving friend is turning 6 today and I made him this little Wee Mousie in an Altoids tin, using this pattern.  I followed all the instructions, with the exception that I hand sewed everything and I crocheted a little alpaca blanket instead of making the blanket out of felt.  I hope Mousie is a hit.

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winter clothes for the first day of spring

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We got a big snowstorm yesterday, so we’re all still wearing winter clothes unfortunately, including J’s and A’s dolls Alexander and Cara.  J and A had requested matching outfits for their dolls and these are the winter clothes I made them a couple of months ago.  I’m looking forward to making some spring/summer clothes soon, although I’m a bit distracted with bunnies at the moment!

I used a combination of wool from my stash – cream and red in worsted and dk weights, for the sweaters, hats and scarves.  The cardigan is just a  basic pattern that I adapted from some baby patterns I found on ravelry.  I’ll post my notes sometime soon.  I use this pattern quite frequently because it’s very adaptable.  I added a picot edge to Cara’s sweater and I embroidered some X’s on both of the sweaters.  The bags are just rectangles of wool felt whip-stitched together around the edge, and another long rectangle sewn on for a strap.  I embroidered their initials on their bags.  The scarf and hat patterns were made up on-the-fly and you can see they do not quite match, but J and A did not seem to notice.  The pom-poms are key! I started out embroidering stars with contrasting thread, but I lost steam and reduced down to X’s.   The dress and pants are made with natural and red linen, embroidered with cream stars.  I purposely left the edges of the pockets raw because I thought I would like the look, but they have frayed quite a lot, so I wish I hadn’t done that.  The shoes were made with this baby shoe pattern from Purl Bee – after some experimentation, I found that reducing the pattern to 70% was just about perfectly sized for Alexander and Cara.

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Maggie bunny

Maggie Bunny

sorry for the terrible photo – we’re in the midst of a snowstorm

 

I finished Maggie bunny last night, using Alicia Paulson’s wonderful kit.  Although I have made lots of doll clothes, this was my first time making a stuffed animal and I really enjoyed it.  I definitely did not do a “perfect” job with everything, but overall, I’m very happy with how Maggie turned out.  My only real difficulty was with the yarn; for some reason, I found it just really, really splitty and I had a very hard time knitting with it.  I finally gave up and ended up crocheting Maggie’s cape.  I’m still planning to knit her one with different yarn.  Next up, I’ve started on a boy bunny for J using the same pattern, which should be fun, although I’ll definitely miss not using the beautiful Liberty fabric!

rainbow blanket wip

rainbow blanket wip 1Shortly after I started A’s granny stripe blanket , J requested a “rainbow blanket”.  I was initially stumped about this, since making a rainbow shaped blanket did not seem to be especially practical.  It seems like an arm and a leg would always be sticking out in the cold.  Because blanket making is not my favorite thing anyway,  I at least wanted the final product to function as an actual blanket.  In my fantasy world, I envision J and A taking these off to college and then handing them down to our grandchildren.

In further discussion with J, it became clearer that his primary objective was that the blanket have all the rainbow colors and be in “rainbow order” (a hot topic of conversation in this household).  So, I ultimately settled on making a giant two-sided granny square (or granny “L”, I guess), figuring this would end up looking somewhat similar to a  rainbow, but was more practically shaped.  I started it to show J what it would look like and he gave it his stamp of approval.

I’m using the same Lily ‘n’ Cream yarn as I used for A’s blanket, in red, hot orange, yellow, hot green, light blue and hot purple.  I was originally planning to make one large set of rainbow stripes big enough to cover the whole blanket, but boredom set in, so I just sort of randomly made up the pattern (number of stripes per color) as I was going based on however much yarn I happened to have on hand at the time.  I ended up doing 8 stripes of each color to start, then 3 stripes, then 1 stripe, and now I’m reversing the whole pattern (1-3-8, in reverse rainbow order), which by my calculations, will make it just about a twin size by the time I finish.  A couple of these colors I cannot get anywhere locally, so I had to order them online, and of course I did not order enough.  I can tell you for certain that the hot purple is quite different between dye lots, but oh, well.  I’m not worrying about it too much.

I have lost steam on this blanket.  I think I granny striped myself out with A’s blanket.  I’d really like to finish it up before summer, though, because then I definitely will not feel like working on a big hot blanket.  When (if?) I finish this I am taking at least a two year hiatus from granny stripes.

In reading news, my aunt gave J the first two Adirondack Kids books.  He’s really enjoyed the stories and he loves that he lives in, has been to, or at least heard of, most of the locations in the books.  Our library has the rest of the series, so we’re going to make a trip tomorrow to check out the next couple.  J’s favorite character is Dax, the crazy kitten.

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Yarning along with Ginny today.

a bed for mousie

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J and A love to paint unfinished wood things.  Awhile ago, I found some little inexpensive wood trays for them to paint, not really knowing what we would do with the finished product, but as soon as they saw the trays, they both said “beds!”  So, they painted away and I whipped up some quick little sheets and pillows and they had new beds for their special animals.

J’s good friend has a very special stuffed friend named Mousie, so I decided to craft along with J and A and make Mousie a new bed, too.  I sanded the tray, woodburned a design and Mousie’s name, and then painted the tray with watercolors and finished it with some beeswax finish.  For the mattress, I bought 6″ of mattress ticking and sewed a mattress and filled it with wool.  I made a little sheet, a monogrammed linen pillow, and knit Mousie a wool blankie.  The bed is a big hit and Mousie is very cozy mouse.

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crochet for the spring fair

spring fair crochet

I made a few crocheted things with cotton yarn to go along with the felt hair accessories I made to donate for the auction at J’s spring fair at school.

Here is the pattern for the hat (I made two different sizes )
Here is the pattern for the headband (I made three different sizes)
Here’s a post on the kerchief, with the flower and leaf pattern that I used for all the items (except the blue and yellow flower on the blue headband – I made that flower awhile ago and I really like it, but I can’t remember what pattern I used!)

Here are all the spring fair items together, looking spring-y.  Now if only the weather would follow suit!

spring fair accessories

rose hair clips

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I made some rose hair clips with wool felt for the auction at the spring fair at J’s school.  Some of these may also end up at a booth at a craft fair if I get brave this summer.

Here’s how I make them:

First, I cut a circle approximately 2″.  As you can see, I don’t worry about cutting a perfect circle; I think some irregularity adds to the charm.  Then, I cut the circle in a spiral, making the edge of the spiral slightly scalloped.  I don’t draw this ahead of time, I just do it as I cut.  Next, I roll the spiral starting from the outside edge, creating the rose.

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Conveniently, there is a little circle at the end of the spiral that covers up the rolled up interior of the rose, and I put a dab of hot glue underneath that last flap to hold the rose together.  You could also use a couple of stitches.  Finally, I glue the roses to a barrette.

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    A has claimed the pink barrette.

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They also look cute on bobby pins.

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(here’s a post on the flower hair bands)

little brown bag

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My lovely aunt gave me some beautiful Madelintosh vintage in the Teddy Bear colorway.  I love crocheting with this wool – it’s so “round” if you know what I mean.  I decided to make a little bag to carry my wallet, keys and phone, for when I’m traveling light (aka without kids).

I chained 17 and then just crocheted in a continuous circle around the chain until the bag was the length I wanted.  Then I crocheted back and forth in rows to make the flap, skipping a couple of stitches in the second-to-last row to make the button hole.  For the strap, I made a chain long enough to go across my shoulder.  Then, I switched to an E hook and I crocheted a row of single crochets with red crochet thread into the chain, and then I switched back to my regular (I) hook and single crocheted back along the strap.  I sewed the strap in at either end to the bag and even thought I was trying SO hard not to twist the strap, I still managed to twist it!!  Oh, well.  Maybe I will take it off and re-attach it (or most likely I will be too lazy!)

At the bottom of the bag in the front, I doubled a length of crochet thread and stitched a row of french knots and then a row of running stitch above it.  I like how it gives just a little contrast, but not too much.  I lined the bag with some very pretty fabric I got a long time ago to make a dress for A, but now she’s grown so much there’s probably not enough anymore to make her a dress.  It’s Rouenneries by French General for Moda.

J and I are reading Little Town on the Prairie.  We just finished reading about the spelling bee and he loved all those long words and Pa winning the bee.

Yarning along with Ginny today.

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felt flower hair bands

I made A some new hair bands with wool felt and embroidery thread.  I cut the felt in flower, leaf and circle shapes and then french knotted the three pieces together with six strands of embroidery thread.  Some of them I then sewed to the hair band and a couple others I hot glued – the hot glue was definitely easier, and I’ll be curious to see which ones hold up better.  A loves these and they definitely feel spring-y!  I think these would make pretty little gifts for friends.

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quick kerchief

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This was a fun little project that took just a couple of hours to make.  I started with a basic triangle of double crochet in the Soft Violet color of Lily Sugar n’ Cream yarn, using this pattern, but I did not  make the sides, because I thought they would bother A being so thick behind her ears.  Instead, I made the triangle a couple of rows larger, and then I made chained ties on either side.  I chained 24, which is just enough to tie, but I think if I make this again, I’ll make them a little longer – maybe 34 or 36.  Instead of doing the slip-stitched edge in the pattern, I did a row of single crochet around the edge, with a finer (dk weight) pink yarn, and then I did a small scallop, which was sl in first sc, then 3sc in the next sc, around.  I left just the sc along the top edge, without the scallop, so it wouldn’t be so fussy around A’s face.  I added a small flower and leaf using dk weight yarn (a combo of Paton’s Grace and Tahki Cotton Classic) and an E hook.  Here’s the pattern for the flower and leaf:

SMALL FLOWER:
Ch 4; join with a sl stitch to form a ring.
Ch 1; 11 sc in ring; join to first ch1 with a sl. Fasten off.
With second color, join to a sc.
Ch 1, hdc, dc, hdc, sc in the same stitch.  Sl in the next stitch.  In the next stitch, {sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc; sl in next sc} continue around until 6 petals are formed; sl into the first stitch.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

LEAF:
Ch7.
Sc in second ch from hook.
Hdc in next stitch.
Dc in next two stitches.
Sc in next stitch.
Sl in last stitch; fasten off and weave in ends.

Spring is still a long ways off here, but looking at A wearing this makes me feel like it really is coming!

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