Tag Archives: button

Busy Fingers #3

I just thought I’d share with you what I did as a card for the two weddings I went to in December.  Both were the sort of weddings where money was the most appropriate gift.  This always feels a little impersonal to me, which is why I like to include some hand-made accompaniment.

I enlisted Matilda’s and Christopher Robin’s help creating the backdrop (I asked them to write the word ‘love’ everywhere), then I crocheted the heart using this neat pattern from Skip to my Lou.

After that, I glued it all together with a co-ordinating button.  I may have become a little obsessed with my hot-glue-gun of late…

crochet heart card

Perhaps not as good as my lopsided cake card, but I like it, just the same!

Happy Birthday, Cindy!

Time for me to do some more boasting about my hooky creations!

It was my youngest sister’s twenty-second birthday last month and I made her a hat.   This was my first attempt at making a hat for a grown up and I had a lot of fun with it.  I got the pattern off the Lincraft website, it’s called “Angora Beret” (see here).  My sister’s name isn’t ‘Cindy’ by the way, I had such fun creating pseudonyms for my children and husband (I named them after literary characters) that I thought I’d do the same for my siblings (named after our corresponding character in “The Brady Bunch”.  I would be Marcia.)

Cindy's hat

I spent a lot of time faffing about with the edging.  Everything I tried was either too over-the-top or too plain.  The final product is actually my original design!  It’s very simple (double, treble, picot, treble, repeat), but it came out of my own head!  I’m going to write it up as a proper pattern as I’m sure there’s a raging demand for patterns for lace edging.  Plus, this would seem like more of a legitimate blog if I had some bona fide patterns on it (instead of just boasting about projects and general natterings on)

Close up of lace

Cindy, being a very kind sister, promptly plonked the hat on her head and said it would give her true hipster cred.  I didn’t mean for that last sentence to rhyme, but I’m so glad it did.

Manic

When we last left our hero, she was valiantly struggling with a colossal problem:  how to make this Christmas bell look less odd and forlorn?  And in only two days?

blue bell on tree

The answer?  Fight crochet with crochet!

Somehow, I got it into my head that the best way to lessen the impact of one wonky bell was to whip up SEVERAL wonky ornaments to put all over the tree.  At least then they’d be co-ordinated…

It was at this point that things got a little manic…

First of all, I hooked up a bunch of snowflakes whilst watching a very old and incredibly sexist James Bond movie with Mr Knightley (“Oh, James, it might seem like I am resisting your advances, it might sound like I’m saying ‘no’ emphatically, but just slap me round a bit and I’ll suddenly find you irresistible!”)

I love making these snowflakes.  There is an excellent tutorial for them here, at my beloved Attic 24 (incidentally, it was this very tutorial that first introduced me to the many wonders of this delightful blog)

Snowflakes with Harry's hand

I pinned them out for blocking. I usually spray them with laundry spray, but I couldn’t find any so I painted them with watered down PVA glue instead (when I found it.  The real life version of what went on here was much more manic).  Here you can see Harry going after one of the “lollypop” pins (not for the last time!).

After I made up this batch, I happened to read an awesome post by The Stitch Sharer on crochet snowflakes (by complete co-incidence, it was so weird!), which gave me the idea for this snowflake:

Star Snowflake

It’s basically Lucy’s “small” snowflake, but with treble stitches throughout instead of doubles and 5-chain loops in the last round.  I drew up a really-truly pattern for it here

Ah what fun!

So, things were looking a little better – but! – I thought, in renewed manic frenzy – what about the TOP?  It needs something on the TOP!  The whole thing is rubbish without something on the TOP!!

After much complicated deliberation (a-star-would-be-simpler-but-looks-too-much-like-a-snowflake) which I won’t bore you with here, I came up with this:

Tree Angel

I had already been playing around with 6ichthusfish’s pattern for a nativity set (as you do) which I first saw here.  So I took my Mary head and body and put wings and a halo on her.  And I left the bottom open, so it’s kinda like a finger puppet.  Then I stuffed the Christmas tree up the skirt…

And what is the result?

ta-da!

Not too bad, I guess.

And my beautiful mother-in-law, of course, made all the appropriate exclaiming noises (of happiness, I mean, not of disgust).  So I guess things aren’t so bad after all.

Panic

So, I guess it all started when I got a hankering to make a crochet bell.  One of my favourite decorations on my mum’s Christmas tree is a little red crochet lace bell and I wanted to see if I could make one too.  So I started trawling the Internet and found this pattern and then I dug through my shamefully oversized yarn stash and came across just the right amount of cotton yarn in a lovely turquoise colour.  So what if turquoise isn’t the most christmassy colour?  I’ll dress it up with silver – ooooh, and little clear buttons – and it will look a treat.

Nan's Stash

The yarn was in my nan’s old stash (well, actually, she was Mr Knightley’s nan, but she was such a warm and loving person that I like to think of her as my nan too.  The smell of the inside of the yarn bag when I first opened it made me cry and cry).  So THEN I got an idea:  what if I made the Christmas bell with Nan’s yarn and then gave it to my mother-in-law as part of her Christmas present?  Oh!  Yes!  Where’s my hooook??

So I got stuck into it on our drive to South Australia.  I was in Robe and up to the second-last round when I dropped my 3.5mm hook under the car seat.  Ack!  It never surfaced despite much grunting and scrabbling.

At Victor Harbour, I bought a new hook in a smaller size (it needed it – the first attempt was too big and flopsy) and started from the start again.

In Glenelg, I got to the last round and ran out of yarn!  Ack!

In Adelaide, I frogged a few rounds

As we drove through Keith, Nihill, Bordertown and Horsham, I had another go with tighter stitches (and then frogged a few more rounds and tried it again)

By the time i got back to Melbourne, I had a little blue bell, ready for blocking.

In retrospect, this probably would have ben a good time to check the instructions – but I’d only printed off one page and anyway, it was all too exciting to stop and do something as sobering as looking up the pattern.  As a result, the bell turned out a little misshapen and wonky.  And lame.  And I couldn’t find a silver bell anywhere, so I had to use a gold one (pilfered off one of Christopher Robin’s kinder Christmas cards), which wasn’t as good.

Wonky Blue Bell

Which would have been fine, I would just be giving it as an add-on to the main present, a quiet aside, hardly worth mentioning really, just a small bonus gift.

Except then Mr Knightley bought a miniature Christmas tree as the main present.  “And you can hang the ornament on it.” he added, cheerfully.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

If I hang the wonky bell on the Christmas tree and give the present just like that, then the wonky bell becomes the FEATURE.  It says “Look at me!  Aren’t I clever?  I made you a lopsided Christmas decoration!  With its own tree: it’s that special!”

And it’s FAR too big for the tree!  It looks ridiculous!

blue bell on tree

Oh panic: the more I look at it, the more it seems like the creation of some kinder kid looking for a gold star.  The kinder kid who’s not allowed to play with scissors…

What am I going to do??

Stay tuned for the sequel…

On My Hook

One of the things I will be writing about in this blog is my Adventures in Crochet and this is one such post.  I thought I’d share some hooky decisions I had to make today – perhaps you could give me some advice?

Yellow Gumdrop Hat

So here’s a hat I’m making for my friend’s baby.  I found the pattern for free on Ravelry, called the Elfin Baby Set (see here).  I was very disciplined and used yarn from my ever-growing stash to make it.  I think it needs edging in a contrasting colour to make it more interesting, but not much goes with pale yellow (in my mind at least).  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Should I choose the cream?

So this is cream coloured yarn, very classic, but a little blah.

or the rainbow?

And this is a lovely rich rainbow yarn – too overpowering?  Do you think I can get away with it?
I’m leaning towards this one, I think.

Now on to problem number two.  And it’s another baby hat.  I’m making this one for a bigger baby – I made her booties initially but made them too small and kept forgetting to give them so now it’s just embarrassing, which is why it’s so super-important that I get this hat right.  In the meantime, I hope the baby’s head doesn’t have some freak growth spurt because that would just make me cry.
This one is called Shell Stitch Beanie and the pattern is by Betsy at The Dainty Daisy.  I made this one with some gorgeous wool I got for a bargain from the Bendigo Wool Mills.  It wasn’t until I started making it, though, that I realised why I got the wool so cheap – and why it was in a bag.  Ladies and Gentlemen, the hat you see before you is the hat that remnants made:

Shell Stitch Beanie

I hope it holds together!  It has that many different bits!  Now here’s my problem.  I want to sew on a cream-coloured flower with a button in the middle and my plan was to use a wooden button (mmm…).  But it turns out there is NO wooden button in my extensive button collection (grrr…).  So here are my other options:

Which Button?

Or I suppose I could drag four children into the not-so-local haberdashery superstore to purchase a single wooden button…

What do you think?