Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Awesome uses for random fabric items...

This has to be my absolute favourite use for random household fabric evAr!! Take one pillowcase, cut a few bit off, sew a few bits up, and voila! A dress!

My friend Kryshees (http://www.facebook.com/KrysheesShop ) put me on to this incredibly talented lady http://sewscrumptious.blogspot.com/ and her efforts for "Dress A Girl Around The World" http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/

Like most crafty folk, I hoard bits and bobs and recently found a bit of bargain Cath Kidston pillowcase in a discount shop. Being me, I bought it with the vague idea of using it for something and here it is. I really hope a little girl somewhere enjoys her "designer" frock...

As I don't know what age the girl who receives my dress will be, I've made it adjustable and used my new-found button-holing skills (see previous blog). I also loved the little hearts, so they had to go on... Hmm, maybe I should turn out the airing cupboard for plain ones so I can teach myself applique next...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Mumsnet Blankets

Once upon a time, not that far away, there was a place for mummies and daddies to talk about their lives. In this magical place, it was safe to discuss any issue under the sun, and children were the main topic that posters had in common.

Unfortunately, this happened in real life and not all stories have a happy ending. One poster lost her son to a brain tumour. Another lost her husband to cancer. The third lost her husband to the Black Dog of Depression, and the fourth lost her son to a heart condition called William's Syndrome.

To show their support for their internet friends, many people from the forum got together and decided to make something to comfort these families. Some had a little spare cash, others some time, and so they made blankets. Each person made as many 6" squares as they could from either Debbie Bliss Cashmerino or Rowan Cashshoft and sent them to me to be assembled. And so, here are some "work in progress" photos:

To crochet the heart border:
Htc until you get to the place you want the heart. I put them on the corners and the join between squares.

Dc, ch3, sl st in next st, sl st in previous st (quite a tricky maneouvre!)

Htc, HExTC, 2 ExTC, 2 Htc, picot, 2 Htc, 2 ExTC, HExTC, Htc, Dc in first sl st.

Carry on htc!

Now for my weird stitches! HExTC is Half Extended Triple Crochet. Yarn over twice, through stitch, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, through 2 loops, yarn over, through remaining loops.

ExTC is Extended Triple Crochet. Yo twice, through st, yo, pull through, yo, through 2 loops, yo through 2 loops, yo, through 2 loops.

Picot: Dc, ch 2, sl st in DC. Makes a neat little point!

Please let me know if it works for you ;)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Spring bunnies

I recently lost my cat to a car. He was a friendly fat ginger dude called Mango and he was part way through the process of registering as a Pets as Therapy cat. He truly loved people, and would put up with any amount of fuss.

My other cat (who is a very shy and nervy little lady) was still lonely after a month or so. You can tell because there's a bit of Siamese in her somewhere and she yowls! So into our lives came Santana.

Being a house rabbit, I feel it's a bit cruel to keep him cooped up at all times, so he's becoming a bit of a regular in my local park. He's on his second harness already because he worked out how to wriggle out of the first one. Not good, as I keep a very sharp lookout for dogs. A random rabbit is not something I think most people train their puppy to cope with!

So, to cope with his Houdini skills and also the fact that I have a feeling he's going to get an awful lot bigger when he grows up, I've been making his harnesses from whatever is left in the scrap pile! The first one (in the photo) was fleece but a bit easy to get out of. The latest one is a cat collar, a piece of 2" elastic, a popper and a 2"x4" strip of red cotton. Let me explain...

The cat collar will go round his neck, the elastic around his tummy. The cotton is to attach the two together so that if he wriggles out of one, he is still attached by the other and I can scoop him up for a cuddle before he gets himself in danger!

First I attached the poppers to each end of the elastic so it would lie flat around his tummy. I have a lovely pair of Prym pliers which do all the work for me!

Next, I looped one end of the cotton around the collar and sewed it down very firmly (back and forwards several times. I'm aiming for strong over neat here!) about an inch from the safety clip.

Then I sewed the other end of the cotton to the elastic, about an inch from the popper.

All done and ready to go to the park! The strip of cotton lies along his back, and I just clip a dog lead to the loop it makes with the cotton.

Now I'm wondering if I can train him to sit, down, fetch...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Crafting on the run!

I don't know if you'd noticed yet, but I'm rather fond of crochet! Obviously some projects are a bit big, but I'm often to be found with a ball of wool and a hook sat on a train merrily making hats, bootees, and onesies.

For the enthusistic (obsessed) crocheter, charity makes are an absolute dream. They use up all those little bits of yarn lying around. They're quick, but you can make them as complicated as you like with fancy stitching. And, best of all, you get to make something useful! My charity of choice is http://www.lisasstars.org/

Here's my version of a pattern for prem-sized bootees...

Ch4, join with sl st
htc 4 in ring, sl st to join
ch 1, htc in same, 2 htc in each st around, sl st to join
ch 1 htc around, join with sl st
ch 1 htc around, ch 1 turn
htc across (16 sts) 5 rows
Join the end of the 5th row to the beginning with sl st
Working in row ends, ch1, htc around, sl st to join to form cuff
Work 3 rows then finish for plain, or 6 rows to get a folded cuff.