Saturday, 13 April 2013

Gifting

Well, this is a first. I'm sitting in the comforts of my sunny garden typing this. It's a beautiful day, the first one with a bit of heat in the sun. This makes me very happy, as I am such a sun-bum and outdoor person (when the weather is nice!) Sitting here makes you instantly forget the insanely long winter we have had, and it feels just like yesterday that I was sitting in this spot admiring all the life springing into action around me. Birds singing and frantically looking for long, dangly bits of plant and twigs to build their nests, a frog in the pond, disappearing when I got to close. Could this actually be Spring?
If the sun stays out, I shall sit in this very spot later and crochet. And there is nothing much nicer than sitting in the sun doing your favourite thing. I just cant wait to be able to sit out here in the summer months and do just that!
I've been making lots of amigurumi lately, from monsters, to cute animals, to re-inventing one of my own designs. I've not posted on here lately, partly due to time restrictions, and partly due to the fact that everything I am making seems to be gifts. And I don't want to run the risk of said recipient catching a glimpse of their present to come!
The Easter holidays have been rather hectic at times. First, was the Easter weekend itself. I can't really remember that now, it seems a lifetime away already! Then a few days later, was the Little Lady's 2nd birthday. Now I can remember that, I'll never forget that. We had got her a playhouse for the garden, as she absolutely loves them. At playgroup she spends so much time in and out of them, opening doors and windows and sticking her head out and asking 'cup of tea?' That will be the day, when I actually get one! So, I was dead excited about giving this to her. In stark contrast to this precise moment in time, it was bitterly cold around her birthday - snow actually fell! I had been keeping an eye on the weather forecast before the big day, and it wasn't looking too promising. On the Easter Sunday, it was freezing, but dry, so my Mum and I braved the outdoors to assemble the house. It was actually relatively straightforward - if you did it correctly. But alas, in my haste, we put the wrong sides together and the telephone ended up above the hob. Not good - health and safety would have had a field day. Putting it together was OK - just a bit of welly needed - but getting those wrong sides apart was something else. It took 3 of us and a lot of effort and stress to take it apart. Finally, we managed to, and assembled it properly, and it was easy! Sorted! We then tried to conceal it by wrapping the mahoosive box it came in, around it and left for the warmth of the house and a well deserved cup of tea.
The plan was to keep it that way until her birthday - but weather was against us, and the Little Lady also seemed a bit poorly, so needed cheering up a bit. A couple of days before the big day, we decided to let her see it. It was a sunny (yet bitterly cold) day, and she was getting restless stuck inside. We wrapped her up and took her to the garden and unwrapped the beast of a house. Needless to say, she loved it. In and out, out and in, opening and shutting windows until her heart was content. It was just too cold to be out for long though. The only part of the plan I didn't think through particularly well was that I would also be summoned to sit in the house whilst she played around me. She totally loved it though, so I spent a few hours sitting on an ice cold floor, wrapped up with a hat on and a cup of tea.
The big day soon arrived, and despite having her 'main' present, she was still laden with things to play with. It was so lovely seeing the look of excitement on that little face. We had an afternoon tea party with some relatives and one of her friends, and she absolutely loved prancing around in her 'party dress' and demanding anyone that passed through the door came bearing a gift. It was a very lovely and special day and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially the Little P, who kept going on a high all day until 9pm. Her little face when her birthday cake came through - she looked like she was going to explode with excitement - she just couldn't contain herself. I'll never forget that!
So, back to the crochet front, I've been fitting it in as and when I can, and it's been a lot of gifts. Everyone seems to be having babies at the moment - so it's lots of neutral baby friendly toys and things. A couple have actually arrived now, so I can show a few pictures of what I've been making!
One such baby, a little girl, arrived yesterday. One of my creations was a little toy for her, and one for her big sister - so she doesn't feel left out! A stripy elephant for the little one and a girly monkey for her big sister. I spent a while trawling the internet for a sweet monkey pattern, and I really struggled to find one that suited my needs. I even toyed with the idea of designing my own, but as time was a bit of a constraint, I didn't want to rush one! Finally I came across one called 'Monkey Girl' by Lilleliis I found through Ravelry. I wanted the monkey to be a decent-ish size and dangly so it could be dragged around. This was perfect for the job. I instantly knew I would use RICO design creative cotton aran for the job. I am still so in love with this yarn - the colours and the softness is amazing. It is a tad splitty but I soon get used to it and it's not really a big problem. So here are the finished creations which are now with their new owners!




I have also been making some funky, bright coloured monsters. One for a Little Chap who had his 2nd birthday a day before my little lady (although the monster arrived late due to a technical hitch of running out of stuffing!) and one for, well me. Well, for the Little P really I suppose, but I like him just as much.
I have been wanting to make monsters for a while, but have never got round to it, so it was great to finally be able to. I wanted chunky cuddly monsters, so I used the RICO creative cotton again, and a 4mm hook. There was only one place I would get a monster pattern from - FreshStitches. Her patterns for monsters are simply awesome. A friend of mine gifted me the Craftsy 'Design Your Own Monster' course for Christmas - which is great by the way - so I had a few monster patterns from that, but she also has a few free ones here.
I decided to make 'Mr Toothy' for the Little Man's birthday. I wanted him to be bright, boyish colours. And I used different sized safety eyes to add more character. I have to say I am totally in love with him, and didn't actually want to part with him! But I'm glad I did - when he finally made it to the Little Man he was well received. Poor boy had been poorly for 2 days and not been happy at all, but when he got his crazy monster he smiled and cheered up, which was lovely to hear. Job done, and maybe being late actually worked out rather well!


I then had to make one for us. using my daughter as an excuse, although really he was for my pleasure! I opted for one of the free patterns 'Mixtro Monster'. He wasn't quite as cool as 'Mr Toothy', but I didn't want to make the same thing again straight away. He is rather cool though, and Little P calls him 'funny monster' and seems to like throwing him around the lounge! I took some pictures of him in the foliage of the garden...



He also peeped out of the Little Lady's house...


I love how FreshStitches uses back loop only crochet technique for her designs - it gives a lovely striped texture effect...


Yet again, he was made in the RICO creative cotton - fuchsia and light pistachio. I love it so much, and love having a stash of it. I just 'top up' the colours as I use them up, so I always have a range of them ready to go when called into action!


Right, time to be off - lunch is calling my name! Until next time...

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