Sunday, 20 October 2013

Unfit for Purpose

Ugh. I am sitting here typing this whilst snuggling under a big granny stripe blanket and eating some pretzels. They are my 'ill' food. Whenever I love my appetite, I turn to the humble salted pretzel before anything else. I always have done, since I was little. They are the only thing I fancy when I'm ill, and I'm afraid that time is now. In fact both I and Little P have had a poorly weekend. She was really unwell last night, but seems to have bounced back a bit brighter than me today! I wish I had her resilience!
I know when I'm unwell as there are certain key signs - I get dry lips, itchy eyes and I don't crochet. Yep, I have hardly even looked at any woolly goodness the last few days, and it's rubbish. I've been thinking about it a lot though, when I can put my self-pity to one side for a moment. I've been scheming, planning, getting my head round new ideas, but no making. I have mustered up a row of chainless foundation single crochet (I found a great tutorial by Futuregirl here). It's a new skill for me, but I'm pretty sure I'll never go back to the dreaded chain for starting blankets etc now!
Before the dreaded illness struck me down, I was happily crafting away any spare moment I had. First up, I have finished my mandala rug using Hooplayarn - a t-shirt yarn available in a whole load of yummy colours. Of course I went bright! I got mine through an Amazon seller (Rachel John - Extreme Textiles) in 3 colours, Sea Green, Dark Peach Melba and Bright Violet. Beautiful...

I then worked them up into a rug using the wonderful Mandala Rug pattern by A Creative Being. I had to order another 2 bobbins of Hooplayarn to get there but now it's finished, I love it!

It was prone to ruffling when I worked it up, but when the edge went on, it seemed to flatten out a great deal. It sits proudly on the floor of my room (I can't take a picture of it in situ as the light is so bad, so I made the most of the October sunshine!) I do love it, and so does Little P, as it has pink in it. I want to make more, but have no room for another one at the moment (although I have another half completed one in an assortment of colours that I had previously started, and maybe it would be rude not to finish it?!)

It adds a super splash of colour to my room and stands out lovely on the maple laminate flooring.

On a not-so-large scale, I have also made some mittens for Little P. Not just any mittens, but these hedgehog mittens from Crochet Gifts for Christmas magazine. I instantly knew I had to make them, but had no 4-ply yarn. So I made it my mission at Yarndale to find some browny coloured 4-ply yarn suitable for making these hedgehog mittens. I came across some Drops Alpaca yarn which fitted the bill perfectly, and is super-soft for Little P's hands, but also has a slight 'fuzziness' to it too, which would be perfect for mittens!
I wasn't sure what size to make these - the pattern has small, medium and large for children - and Little P once again would not let me measure her. I went with small first - too small, but very cute. I then followed the large pattern but had to adapt it to make the thumb and body slightly longer - I guess these were written for tiny babies hey? The pattern is fairly simple though, and I love how the bobble stitch gives the 'prickly hedgehog' effect. I had a couple of issues with the pattern - the main one being that the bobble stitch works wrong-side as the bobble 'pops' out of the back of the work. This wasn't a problem through as I made them inside out and then turned them the correct way round! Here they are...

They are a bit cute, but the lighting never seems to do them justice and show off those bobbles!

Only trouble is, I kind of want a pair!

I've been trying to get into the festive spirit a little bit earlier this year, as last year I left it too late to crochet much Christmassy stuff. I've already gathered a few crafty bits for making cards and decorations with Little P. I say 'with' - she can be a bit too helpful sometimes, but I try to involve her in as much making with me as I can! I made a small order from The Homemakery - a lovely online store with some delicious crafty bits and pieces. I had to restrain myself to the bits I thought I really needed, rather than wanted! They have some adorable Christmas ribbons in at the moment, so I snapped a few of these up, along with some baker's twine, gift tags, paper doilies and washi tape. Lovely.

I also ventured into town earlier this week with Little P to get some Christmas craft paper and buttons for the cards we will make. That was fun. I'm not a fan of going into town, and only do it when I really need to, and to make it even more 'enjoyable', Little P was extremely mischievous and wanted to touch everything and escape the clutch of her reins. And she wanted a 'sparkly' hula-hoop like her friends have - but could we find one?! No. Cue tantrums.
We have had lots of fun this week though at home, and spent a long time making pom-poms with my new tiny pom-pom makers! These little pop-poms are only about an inch when made - perfect for that I needed them for...

Little P was in charge of picking colours and there was a lot of pink, as usual.

What I really ordered these for was to make tiny pom-poms to go on tiny bobble hats, of my tiny Father Christmases. I have been designing again, and wanted to make a Father Christmas with dangly limbs to sit on a shelf or fireplace. The first one I mocked up is made from Rico Creative Cotton, and is maybe 30cm from tip to toe. I was quite pleased with him and Little P is enjoying him. I was then asked if I could make a smaller version to hang on a Christmas tree - why not? This time I used a mix of King Cole Bamboo Cotton and Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo with a 3.5mm hook to create a mini-Santa.

I'm happy with these chaps - I like the level of detail in the tiny mittens and all the white trimmings. Plus I even tried a loop-stitch beard on the little guy. (See my friend Curlygirlcoop's excellent tutorial here)
Here's big Santa...

and Little Santa...

I love his little thumbs! Here he is hanging in a not-so-Christmassy tree...

So that's why I needed tiny pom-pom makers. I have also typed up the pattern for the iPad cozy I made.
Find it here with the instructions to make whatever size cozy you need!
I'm now going to rest again -  this typing is far too strenuous today! And hopefully recoup so I can pick my crochet hook up this evening. So until next time...


  1. Sorry to hears you've been poorly. I hope you're feeling better by now. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your mandala mat!! What an excellent use for that Hooplayarn. We have some knocking around... perhaps I need to get out my giant crochet hook! Your Father Christmasses are adorable too. Any chance of a wee tutorial for those?

    1. Thanks for your kind comments :) I'm feeling much better thanks, but little P is still not great... It's been a long week!
      Definitely pick up your giant hook and make a rug, it is great fun! And yeah you may be lucky and get a little tutorial for the santas! :)

  2. Loving your mandala, I may have to make one for myself!! Hope you and the family are feeling better. Those Santa's are soo cute too! x