Tangled wool solution – recycled, fantastic, elastic bands!

I have finally found a good use for something that I avidly save rather than throwing away… OK, I don’t like to throw things away. Fact. I buy spring onions from the local supermarket and they always have a blue elastic band holding them together. I always, always save these little elastic bands. My kitchen rammel draw is full of the little things. It’s handy to have elastic bands at hand, but I have lots of them!

I’ve used them occasionally in crochet, if I need some elastic. But there are still lots of them, just sitting there, looking for a new purpose.

Zombie tea cosyToday I had some free time so decided to have a bit of a tidy up. I have a box in which I store my almost finished/just started projects. So if I’ve just sold a zombie tea cosy, then I’ll start to make up a new one, so its all ready to go when the next person wants to give one of my little zombies a new home. The problem is, I very often get side-tracked, either by a new order, or something else I’d just like to try out… yes, you’ve guessed it – this box is bursting at the seams and has lots of wool in there. Lots of little bits of wool that I use for finishing off.

Because I keep stuffing things in there, then rummaging around for some half-finished piece of work, the bits of wool continuously get tangled. It’s annoying.

Well I sorted it out today. Moved out the wool I’m not actually using and put it in one of the wool boxes and then attempted to tackled the ‘tangle’. Basically it’s lots of those small balls of wool. All tangled together. Again.

Wool boxSo, this is where I had the light bulb moment. I popped one of my fantastic elastic bands around each the little balls. Job’s a good ‘un. The wool isn’t tangled, and I get to use something that I felt like I was hoarding because I couldn’t bear to throw stuff away that should be useful 🙂

Oh, there are still quite a few of these elastic bands left, so I either find another use, of just simply buy more wool…

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Quick crochet – baby bunny blankies

I don’t have quite as much time to spend on new crochet projects at the moment so I’ve been trying to think of some new things to try that don’t take me too much time.

Crochet baby blanketsI quite like the ‘growth’ of blankets, either doing round and round of granny stitch or by making lots of little granny squares and then crocheting or sewing them together. I’ve also been liking doing a spot of amigurumi over the last 18 months, but it can be quite fiddly doing some of the smaller bits and needs a biggish stretch of time to concentrate and count rows.

Crochet amigurumi rabbitI’ve also been using my sewing machine quite a bit more and have been making some taggy blankies – as per my previous post on this – taggy obsessions.

I thought I might try to combine these so decided to crochet some baby comfort blankies with bunnies in one corner.

I managed to work a couple up pretty quickly, doing the blanket bit during the evening when I don’t have to concentrate too much and then the bunnies during the day when my little girl was having her short naps.

A friend recently had a baby, so I thought one might make a nice gift for her, and the other one has now gone into my Etsy shop.

What do you think? I think he has quite a cheeky little face 🙂

 

Crochet rag doll project

Crocheted toysOver the years, I’ve crocheted a lot of different things – some with better success than others. I’m not very good at following patterns and tend to look at a few patterns and then pretty much make it up on the fly. A bit like my cooking really…

Anyway, as a child my mum knitted me a sort of rag doll for Christmas one year. I used to love the doll. All soft and raggedy. I had the idea that I’d try to make one for my little girl.

I spent a bit of time googling patterns and looking on Ravelry and Etsy. I couldn’t really see exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something all loose limbed and without one of those prettied up faces.

I settled on a freebie pattern but not long after I’d started, it just didn’t seem to be working, so I did what I usually do and started to make it up. Yeah, I know that takes longer really, but I get something more like I originally wanted.

Well, saying that she didn’t end up being quite as I intended, but hey she doesn’t look too bad! The hair was a whole different matter, so I think I’ll write about that in a different installment, but let’s just say she has plenty of it!

I did make some little shoes to match the dress, but they already seem to have gone missing…

Crochet Doll Toilet Roll Cover

I get more requests and click-throughs on this website and my Etsy site for this one thing – crochet toilet roll dolls!

I first started making them quite a while ago and blogged about how it was impossible to find a good pattern. That started me on making my own pattern for these retro dolls. I’ve been making the dolls and selling them on my Etsy site and various vintage and craft fairs for a while. They are always popular. I make them in all sorts of custom colours!

I’m constantly asked where I got the pattern and the dolls from. Well, I’ve finally got around to writing the pattern up. It’s now available for immediate PDF download on my Etsy shop. Happy crocheting!

I might eventually get around to writing up a few more of my patterns… maybe it will be the zombies next 🙂

 

So, I’ve just dyed a doll’s hair…

Bride crochet toilet roll dollAs you know, I make all sorts of things. Some of the most popular of my creations are the toilet roll covers and toilet roll dolls.

I have been using the same dolls from the same supplier for quite a while now. It can be quite hard to find the right size (at the right price). The dolls are all white and blonde and I’ve just not seen any others.

A couple of weeks ago I had a custom order from my Etsy shop for one of my bridal toilet roll dolls, but a brunette. Well, I searched and searched and managed to find one but the price was ridiculous!

So, I had a sudden flash of inspiration – could I dye the doll’s hair? I tentatively started to Google, thinking I wouldn’t find anything, and low and behold found quite a few links to how to do it. Mainly on how to create a goth doll, but I didn’t let that put me off 🙂

Anyway, a couple of links were suggesting acrylic paint for vinyl dolls and I used to do quite a bit of painting so dug out my acrylics. I chose a raw umber for the dye and gave it a go. The first attempt was a bit wishy-washy, but I tried it again with a bigger blob of paint and less water and it seemed to work quite well. What do you think?

The biggest tips I can think of for doing this is:

  • Pop the doll’s head on something like a pencil if you can – it makes it much easier to handle
  • Pop some vaseline on the dolls face so you don’t dye her face too
  • Use a brush or something similar to do the roots
  • Comb the paint through before it dries, otherwise it clumps and is a pain in the bum to sort out.

I’m really pleased with the results and it wasn’t even difficult to do – every day’s a school day!

Too busy to post? Put out the bunting!

Yeah, that’s me!

I’m not quite finding the time I used to find to do little things like posting on here. It’s not even that I don’t like doing it, but I just don’t seem to find the time recently!

My little girl seems to have such a busy diary, I have enough on just keeping my Etsy shop open and keeping up with orders, and writing my regular articles for the Nottingham Post.

P1020201The main orders that are keeping me busy at the moment are for my handmade bunting. It’s all crocheted by me, including the letters so it’s quite time-consuming. It would probably be quicker to use felt letters, but I quite like the look of the crocheted letters. They have a much more 3D effect. The first one I did was something for my little girl’s room and I had so many queries I thought I start to make them for the Etsy shop.

And yes, my little girl’s room is purple…. she can’t choose colour schemes at the moment, so I choose them for her 🙂

I’ll post up some pictures of some of the other ones I’ve made as soon as I get around to it. I’m thinking they might work quite nicely for weddings, birthday and housewarming pressies.

 

 

Babies, babies, everywhere!

Well, I’ve not been posting for a little while as I suddenly don’t seem to have much time to do anything. Why, I hear you ask. Well I had a baby a few weeks ago, just a few days before Christmas.

It’s not that before I had her that I didn’t believe friends when they told me to prepare for sleepless nights and days where you don’t get to leave the sofa, apart from to change nappies. It’s just that until it happens I don’t think you grasp the reality.

While I was pregnant, I did make quite a few things for my little bundle and it’s been really nice using them now she’s here. It’s especially nice when people as I’m able to respond with, “Oh that little thing. I made it”. Yeah, I know, sad 🙂

P1000292There was also a little amigurumi panda that I made before Christmas. This was in my Etsy shop, until I closed it over the New Year. Last week I was going through my stock so I could start to re-open my shop and she spotted it. I think it’s the combination of having a big face and being high-contrast black and white. It’s her favourite toy now…

I’m glad I managed to get some crochet stock made up whilst pregnant as that’s allowed me to get the shop opened again now. There are lots of new baby items in there now a I was inspired during pregnancy… I’ll post some of them up on here later this week. Some are already up in my Etsy Children and Babies section.

Anyway, I’m not quite sure how I found the time to write this blog post today, but I’d better go as it’s already bath time…