Welcome to my 'other blog' the one that explores my crafty side. I have been a maker of 'things' since childhood. By nature I'm creative. I still love to write, and you can click on this link to visit my blog: Hanging On My Word, which is where I indulge in the thought and word side. Although a teacher by profession, I don't offer tutorials. This is my showcase of projects I like to share. So pull aside the curtains and let's begin (I'm a bit theatrical too!).

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Vintage Santa Mouse

This little Santa Mouse is looking good, considering his great age. The pattern dates back to at least 1983, which is the first sighting of him on our Christmas Tree. I have a feeling this one may have been made a few years later and that I gave away the original. That said, he’s still getting on a bit as I haven’t crocheted for years, until I took it up again quite recently.

Can you spot him?

I still have the pattern and I’m reproducing it here, alongside the Christmas stockings and bells, which were also part of the pattern. Crocheting was very much in vogue in the 1970s and the early 80s, but, as with knitting, it dropped out of favour for many years, until the recent resurgence of interest.

  I think the pattern came from a women’s magazine, judging by the story illustration on the back; I’ve searched on line but can’t find it anywhere else.

Every year Santa Mouse now joins the Christmas Teddies in the hall. There’s ‘Little Donkey’ and  ‘Bear in a Kit’ from last year’s blogpost.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Snowman Surprise

The surprise in the title is that ever finished him at all! This ‘Derek - a squishy snowman designed by Val Pierce’. He was in my digital copy of Let’s Knit Christmas Special 2013 (the same one that had my gingerbread men in ‘Run, Run, Run as Fast as You Can); I downloaded him in November 2014 and threw him into the back of the cupboard sometime later! All year he has stared accusingly at me from there. I got so frustrated with the garments that I’m afraid to say, I gave up.

Remember I’m a latecomer to this knitting lark.  I managed Derek OK, except that the pattern called for Sirdar Snuggly Chunky and I ordered Sirdar Snuggly (non-chunky), so perhaps he would have been a bit denser in the knit with the correct yarn. Never mind he turned out just as soft and cuddly as the original.

My problem is with intarsia (ie the method of forming the pattern on his jumper and hat. I’ve watched countless YouTube videos and read lots of books, articles etc, and I still can’t seem to grasp it. My mother was an expert at this in her day, and turned out the most beautiful picture jumpers and Fairisle sweaters. Perhaps I’ve come to it too late. According to Wikipedia it requires no additional skills other than the basic knit and purl! I also used whatever yarn I had in my stash for his jumper and the white was not as thick as the blue, though still Double Knit. I ended up ‘Swiss Darning’ over the snowflake pattern to make it stand out more.

Never mind, when I could stand his stares no longer I fished him out of the cupboard and got cracking on some clothes to make him decent. I’m sure he’s be just as cuddly in the nude but it wouldn’t be the same, and not true to what the designer had in mind either.

He’ll probably make someone very happy.