Category Archives: handmade

feeling sheepish

In just a few short minutes online this morning, I feel like I have been bombarded by amazing crochet patterns and designs from blogs and websites and shops worldwide and about thirty of them have my hands itching to get going. But I’ve been disciplined – I forced myself to finish my hat.

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I’ve used this pattern by Jennifer Appleby many times, and it’s always turned out well. This time I used a Stylecraft Life DK in Denim and a 3.5mm hook (because the yarn seemed finer than other DKs to me).  [[Please note my gorgeous hook with funky handmade handle that the wonderful Lisa at Yarnchick sent me a while ago. She sent me three, actually, and I use them all the time.]]

Too impatient to wait for Alex to get home from varsity, I have had to use a sheep as my model.

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But I’m sure you’ll agree, the hat suits him very well, worn either over one ear to the side, or pulled right down like teenagers and women with bad hair days wear. I added a pompom instead of a button.

Sheep I love pompoms. Don’t know why I don’t make more of them, actually.

To be continued…

Rabbit on the run

While there’s no guarantee that an item on my To Do list will ever actually get ticked off, it has to at least be on the list to stand any chance at all. I’ve been wanting to make one of Janette’s rabbits ever since I saw them (here), so yesterday’s list had a “Rabbit” entry.

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And it got done! Here it (he? she?) is, freshly stuffed, and checking out the originals on Janette’s post.

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She (feels right) then went to see who else lives here, and ended up having a little rest with a sheep on my bed.

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The last I saw of her was at about 9.30 last night, when Rob was leaving after having supper with me (Moroccan chicken* and rice with lentils, in case you’re curious). His goodbyes were quite hurried and I couldn’t help noticing an unusual rabbit-shaped bulge under the left shoulder of his t-shirt. And when I went to bed later, the sheep was alone.

I must thank Janette from The Green Dragonfly for her lovely pattern and tutorial, with such brilliant instructions. All her patterns and projects are always absolutely gorgeous, and sometimes I just scroll through them to remind myself of all the other things I should add to my lists. Although, I see I still have a “cat” entry from yesterday’s list… maybe later, after the laundry…

* I cheated a bit, using Ina Paarman’s Tomato and Chili Coat-and-Cook sauce. I’m sure the addition of a pinch of cumin made the dish authentically north African?

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Owl cushion give-away

Seems I took a slightly longer break from blogging than anticipated, but I’m happy to be back now.

And back with a GIVE-AWAY –  hoo ha! It seems that this humble blog has 195 followers, and our Jam Tarts facebook page has 165 – so my aim is to increase both to 200. You can help me do this, guys!  

I’ve had owls on the brain lately, and have been working on the idea of an owl cushion. Quite a big one, so it won’t get lost down the side of the couch. And quite a sophisticated bird, as opposed to a fluffy, downy sort of chick.

I’ve ended up with…

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…Tallulah Tuckwing! She measures 43 by 30cm, has shweshwe wings, and a secret space behind the right one where she keeps a little heart tucked away.

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So, if you’d like a chance to win her, please do one or all of the following:

1.  If you are already a follower of Nice Piece of Work, please add a comment on this post saying so.

2. If you are not yet a follower but become one, please add a comment on this post saying so.

3. Please consider sharing this post so that I can reach some entirely “fresh” people.  You don’t need to let me know if you do, I will get your name from the site stats.

4. If you have already Liked our Jam Tarts page, please comment on the page saying so (eg., “liked you long time!”)

5. If you are a new Like, add a comment on the page saying so (eg., “so excited to discover you!”) (heh)

Names will be drawn out of a hat on 13 March!

my big fat granny bag

As soon as I saw the bag that this clever Sandra person made (see her blog here), I knew I wouldn’t rest until I’d made one myself.

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It’s a great bag to make because (a) it’s basically one very large granny square so it’s dead easy, (b) you can use left-over wool and any colours you like, and (c) it’s hard to mess up with something eccentric like this.

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The original pattern is free on ravelry, and you’ll see other people have posted pics of their bags, all in different colours. I didn’t want to add bits of lace and flowers because I think the colours are vibrant enough, although I did take the liberty of adding a button on either side.

Now all it needs is handles. I really don’t fancy those round plastic ones, so I suppose there’s nothing for it but to try and make something myself. (casting my eyes round spare room filled with various craft and junk stuff as I type)

To be continued…

flower frame

Looking for a quick and easy project when everything else you’ve been working on seems to be going seriously wrong or you lose interest or is clearly not viable or the cat vomits hairballs on it? Yes, I was, too.

Take a plain wooden frame. Paint it with white acrylic paint.

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Crochet some flowers. (I got my pattern from Little Birdie Secrets, they also have other lovely stuff).  Stick the flowers on the frame (by the time you’ve made enough, the paint will be dry).

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Insert photo.  Take a pic. Show and tell.  Feel sense of achievement. Acknowledge that this project is very similar to the recent wreath thingie, but perhaps no-one will mind?

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To be continued…

How to make crocheted bangles

I love bangles.  I made some recently using a plastic ring (made from cutting up cheap belts and glueing at one side) and sticking buttons on, but the buttons started to fall off so I had to think of something else.

These are very simple to make, and you can use up left-over bits of yarn. And you can add embellishments if you want.  I sewed a button onto the last one I made, and dabbed it with a bit of clear nail polish for reinforcement.

bangles

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I think the pics are self-explanatory?  I made enough chains to go round the bangle and then did 1 extra. I used Vinni’s DK cotton Nikkim and a 3mm hook, and worked in rows of dc or htr until the length was sufficient to wrap over the bangle and stitch together.   I did a sort of mini puff stitch in the turquoise one in the top picture.

I’d love to see your versions of this, if you make some. Send me a pic :-)

To be continued…

up and running again

((…possibly with thanks to Maryanne at woolhogs for reminding me that a new Made-It Challenge is underway.))

Take a little circle of twigs that you may have lying around; spray it white; crochet seven little flowers and sew a button into the centre of each one; stick the flowers on the twigs with a glue gun. Once again, be careful not to burn your fingers. Unlike me.

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You now have a wreath. You need to find a use for it. Suggestions: You can hang it on the wall. You can wear it on your head. You can decorate a gift with it. You can use it as a table centrepiece. You can attach the bodies of dead mice and hang it on the patio as a warning to other mice that cats live here. Or you can just look at the thing and think, Oh halleluja, that making urge is back…!!!!!!!

To be continued…