Tag Archives: hand made gift

Busy Fingers #4

Baby Presents

Is it just me or is everybody having babies?  I thought I’d share some little projects I turned out recently for my fertile friends and their freshly-minted progeny.

crocheted elephant

I love this elephant.  The pattern for it is so clever that you hardly have to do any sewing together (I HATE sewing together bits.  I always do a wonky job.  It drives me crazy).

crocheted elephant

It’s all very elegantly designed (which I suppose would make it an Elegant Elephant).  And the fabric in the ears makes me swoon (even though I had to sew it).  I made it for my friends who recently had a baby girl.

Recently, I was making a set of tiny teddy bears as a get well soon present, using Lucy Ravenscar’s excellent design (I swear I’m a little obsessed with that brilliant woman and her clever patterns), and I ran out of wool before I finished one of the bears.  It struck me that this half-finished bear would make a very cute finger puppet.  And THEN I remembered the Bananas in Pyjamas that I’d made for my nephew and I thought it would be a good idea to give the bananas some teddy bears to chase on Tuesdays.  This was to make a present for my friends who had recently welcomed a baby boy into the world (and who already had two preschool girls who might also benefit from the present).

bananas and teddies finger puppets with pouch

Lucy Ravenscar’s bears and Chisachi Kushima’s elephant (as translated by Stephanie from All About Ami) are elegant patterns that are a joy to make.  Unfortunately, my pattern for banana finger puppets is a clumsy and complicated mess that brings no joy to the fingers and ends up looking rather wrong.  I’m too embarrassed by it to share it on my blog.  There must be an easier way.

I purchased a little pencil case from an entrepreneurial eleven-year-old on a market day at our homeschool co-op.  I figured it might be useful for my friends to carry the puppets around in a purse or nappy bag so that they could be on hand (sorry) to entertain their kids in waiting rooms, cafes or churches.

puppets in pouch

If I could only get a better handle on the banana component, this might be a good gift for my friends who live far away when they have babies – it would post so easily.

Oh!  And I mustn’t forget to let you know that these presents were ALL made from stash yarn.  But I did it before I took the shameful photo of my yarn mountain, so no progress made there…

Sigh!

Edited to add: The very talented Veronica from Veronica’s Miscellaney (who, incidentally, is another Australian Catholic Homeschooler who Crochets) has worked out an excellent pattern for these bananas.  She used the same method as me, but added some critical tweaks that have made all the difference.  You can view it here: http://veromarybrrr.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/bananas-in-pyjamas/

Pippi and Lovely M’s Granny Square Tea Cosy

Free Crochet Pattern (C) Laptop on the Ironing Board 2013

tea cosy

This tea cosy pattern is designed for those sleek looking teapots that don’t really have much of a spout, but pour out of the top.  I’m sure the pattern could be modified to suit other types of teapot, but for now, we’ll stick to this kind.

You have permission to sell the finished products from this pattern but re-writing, re-selling, distributing, or copying this pattern itself is prohibited.

This is my first ever crochet tutorial.  I hope you’ll be patient with me and let me know of any errors.

another angle of the lovely cosy

I made these cosies with DK acrylic yarn (mine were Kmart brand) and a 4.5mm hook.  You will also need a button and a needle and thread to sew it on.

button detail

Here are the stitches used in this pattern.  I have used UK terms throughout:

Chain – “ch”
Slip Stich – “slst”
Double Crochet – “dc” (US sc)
Treble Crochet – “tr” (US dc)
Double Crochet Decrease – “dc2tog”
Treble Crochet Decrease – “tr2tog”

I had planned to give you a little description of each (you know “yarn over, insert hook, pull through a loop” and all that malarkey), but I think it would be better for both of us if you typed any stitch you’re unsure of into YouTube and watch one of the many excellent stitch tutorials available there.

Now, let’s get started!

Chain 4 in loop

To begin, ch 4 and slip stitch into beginning chain stitch to make a loop.

chain 3 - counts as first tr

Now ch 3 – this counts as your first treble stitch

2 tr into loop

Now work 2 tr into the loop you made at the start

work 3 more shells into loop and join

Now *(ch 3 and work 3 tr into loop).  Repeat from * two more times.  You should have 4 “shells” in your loop.  Ch 3 and attach to the top of your first 3 ch with a slst.  Fasten off and change colour.

Attach new colour with sl st in corner space

Now, attach your new colour with a sl st in one of the corner spaces (doesn’t matter which one) and ch 3.  This counts as your first tr.

work 2 shells into corner space

Work 2 more tr into the same corner space, then ch 3 and work 3 tr into the same corner space.

first granny square

Next, * (ch 1 and move on to the next corner space.  Work 3 tr, 3 ch, 3 tr into this space) repeat from * 2 more times, then ch 1 and join with a sl st to your original ch 3.  Fasten off.

Take a moment to admire your first completed granny square.  You will need to make enough of these to make a little belt for your teapot.  I needed six.  Also, because I can’t stand sewing squares together, I used the joining-as-you-go method, which I learnt from the lovely Lucy at Attic24.  Here’s a rundown:

joining as you go

Work the first two corners as before, then work your first 3-treble shell into the third corner.  This is the point when you would usually work a 3 ch space, but because this is the side you want to join, work 1 ch and then 2 slip stitches into the corner of the square you’ve already made.

joining as you go

Next, work your 3 tr shell as usual.  Then, instead of working a ch 1 space, work a sl st into the corresponding side space of the square you want to join.

joining as you go

Now work your 3 tr shell into the next corner and, instead of your usual 3 ch space, work 2 slip stitches into the corner space of the square you want to join and 1 ch.   Then work your next 3 tr shell and complete the square as usual.

two joined squares

Heave a small, happy sigh and admire your handiwork.

six joined squares

Continue in this way until you have enough squares to wrap around your teapot (if you were to make this for a traditional teapot, you would need two strips, which together are long enough to wrap the teapot.  In the next step, you would need to make 2 bridges to join both together)

joined thread

Join your next colour to your granny strip on one of the long edges, but not at the corner.  Dc in each stitch/space to the end.

little bridge

Now it’s time to make a little bridge.  Ch 3

little bridge

And bring the other end of your granny strip around and make a slip stitch into the first corner.  You’re making a little belt for your teapot.

dc around

Now continue to dc around until you get back to the start.  Join with a sl st to your original ch 1.

treble round

Now for a round of decreasing trebles.  Ch 2, *(2 tr, tr2tog) around, then join with sl st to ch 2.

decreasing doubles

And now some decreasing doubles.  Ch 1, then (2 dc, dc2tog) around.  Join with a sl st.

final round

Finish off with a round of double crochet.  Ch 1, then dc around.  Join with a sl st and fasten off.

Working the other side

Now flip your work upside down.  We are going to work into the other long side of your granny strip (as an aside, anyone who reached this page by googling “granny strip” needs to sit down and reflect on the direction their life is taking).  Attach your yarn with a slip stitch into one of the end corners.

working the underside of the tea cosy

You will be working in rows from corner to corner in a similar way to the rounds you just did.

Row 1: ch 1, dc in every stitch/space Row 2: ch 2, ( tr in next 2 st, tr2tog) repeat to end Row 3: ch 1, (dc in next 2 st, dc2tog) repeat to end

dc all around

Now do a row of dc.  When you get to the end, work 3 dc into the corner stitch.  Do not turn.  Continue working dcs up the side of your granny strip, around, and down the other side.  When you get to the end of the second granny square edge (about 2 cms from the end of the row), you’ll be at around the right place to work a button-hole loop.  The size of this will depend on the size of your button, but I will say ch 8 and join with a sl st to the same stitch.

Completed cosy

Then continue on your way, working dcs until you reach the other corner.  Join with a sl st and fasten off.  Dance a quiet jig (just a wiggle in your chair will suffice).

decisions, decisions!

Next comes the exhilarating task of choosing a button and the less-than-exhilarating task of sewing it on (you want the cosy to button up snugly under the teapot handle).

teapots with cosies

And you’re all done!  Just what you need to bring a snug, homespun touch to your (or your lucky friend’s) kitchen!

teapot

Like this pattern?  Think it needs some adjusting?  Please leave me a comment and share this pattern with your friends – they might end up making one for you!