I’m Back!

Hello my Lovelies, how have you all been keeping?

Firstly, let me apologise to you for letting my little blog get so dusty.  I have flung the doors wide open, blown off the cobwebs of this little corner of my world and started making notes and noise once more.

If you’ve got a minute now, why not grab a cuppa, pull up a chair and have a bit of a catch up.

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January is always a really busy month here at Fuzzpot Lane.  Shed quarters always has a little bit of a lie down after Christmas, and with both of my teenage girls celebrating birthdays 9 days apart (they are 2 years different in age), weekends seem to fly by in a bit of a flurry.  So there is…..how can I put it (?)…..an aftermath!!

The dull and damp weather makes dog walking that little bit longer….. there is the walk itself (slower in wind and rain)…then the drying off, which consists of a Rugby tackle that Chris Robshaw would be proud of for the Six Nations….the changing from wet weather gear into something snug and warm …the need for Hot Chocolate….the obvious need for ‘actual’ chocolate and then finally the sofa slump.  I think you can see what I am saying here!

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Yes !!  I’m talking about you…….Mr Ted….I am blaming you!!

I suppose I should also say that I suffer quite badly from LOMAC…..Lack of Mojo After Christmas.  There I’ve said it….I’ve made my excuses and said my apologies.

It’s February and I’m back…..

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It isn’t that I’ve not been ‘making’ things…..I just haven’t been ‘finishing’ them.  But all that is about to change.  All of the little bits and bobs that I have been doodling around with, are finally starting to come together.

The notebook is full of ideas, plans and dreams.  There is a little stack of knitted dresses…IMG_4719

that just require blocking,  buttons and a couple of ends sewing in.  The little pile of gingham cotton bloomers is starting to take shape, and I have found out some ribbon and edging which I am really keen to use.

The beauty of cold evenings by the fire, is that you can crochet those little body parts, but still be embroiled in family life.  I am working on several dolls at the moment, and have quite a gaggle forming….all waiting in a little line!

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Most of the heads have been needle felted, skin fabric attached and eyes embroidered, and this week, will be ‘Wig Week’.

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I have some beautiful, locally sourced Teeswater Locks, hand dyed in some truly fabulous vibrant colours, waiting to transform a little doll into a real character.  These are just 3 of the shades I have to play with at the moment……we will call this a sneak peak!  This type of Teeswater locks are what I have used in the past for these little cuties…

I will also be making a couple of fluffy heads, like these using wonderfully soft mohair yarn….

Whether it will be in this group of girls, or whether it will be in the next, I would also like to revisit the yarn curls that I created for this one….

There was just something about this little lass..that stuck in my heart.

I never make two dolls that are exactly the same, and I very rarely go down the custom order route…..I always feel that each one has to be an individual, with there very own character……and they always have to be made with love.  To enable me to create something truly unique …. I have to go with the flow!!  I hope this makes sense.

Anyway, back to the here and now!

Post arrived today….very happy post !  I treated myself a little while ago, and now it has landed, I am going to have to show the same levels of self discipline that it is taking to ignore the half eaten chocolate orange in the fridge!!

This lovely wool / mohair mix from Plymouth Yarn has a really lovely soft sheen.  It is a double knit so I have some wonderful plans for this.

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The next is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock….an old favourite of mine.  I cannot wait, to make some little outfits with this beautiful colour way called Childsplay.  The bright soft colours leave options wide open for accessorising.

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But you really can never tell what takes your fancy.  I threw this ball of sock yarn into the basket as a last minute thing, just to accommodate a discount code.  I’ve never used Lion Brand Sock Ease before, but a bit like that film quote….”You had me at Hello”…..I actually heard myself say “Hello!” to this ball of yarn when I opened the mail bag!   It’s just so pretty.

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This will look stunning as a little dress for a natural blonde ….don’t you think?

I can’t wait……the ideal, but very naughty end to my day (after parents evening with Thing 2 of course), could see me knitting with this and eating chocolate orange segments!!!

CAN SOMEBODY EAT THAT BLINKING CHOCOLATE…..PLEASE ???!!!!

 

Anyway, it is so good to be back…..I promise not to be gone for so long again.  Hopefully, next week will see some new little dolls, forming an orderly queue, to meet you all.

TTFN my friends xxx

 

 

 

 

Willow or won’t she ?!

Hello everyone…..Hope you are all well, and managing to keep warm.  Thank fully December is ‘Blanket’ month here at Fuzzpot Lane, so I have had the excuse to snuggle up on the sofa and finish off that Willow Square blanket I started absolutely months ago!

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It’s so far back, I won’t expect you to remember it straight away, but there was some doubt, on my part as to whether it would ever be finished.

Once all of the little Fuzzpotling dolls had made there way off to their new homes, I simply ran out of excuses.  I had decided that I would not start another blanket project until this one was complete…..tricky for someone of my ‘Mrs Many Projects’ mentality, and December was already here…..the horror!!

Now someone out there ( you know who you are Susan!), renamed this, the “Willow or Won’t she Blanket”, and from some people I may not have taken it quite so well, but she is a ‘Mrs Many Projects’ herself, and over the years we have had many ‘phases’ on our crafting journeys, many giggles and trodden a very similar path…….quite frankly….with this name, she pretty much nailed it!

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Willow or won’t she?   Well she did….and thanks to Priscilla Hewitt and her Continuous Flat Braid Join it all went together quite swimmingly.

The yarn used was a mix of both Stylecraft Special Dk and King Cole Pricewise DK, and basically I did 4 of Jan Eaton’s Willow squares in each of the following 16 shades…64 squares in all :

Styelcraft Special Dk :  Raspberry, Duck Egg, Violet, Buttermilk, Pistachio, Clematis, Cream, Vintage Peach, Sage, Strom Blue, Stone and Lavender.

King Cole Pricewise DK : Orchid, Grape, Fallow and Blossom

The continuous flat braid join was done in Stylecraft Special Dk shade Mushroom.

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So now what will I do ?  It’s only the 13th December and you’ve finished a blanket, I hear you cry!   I had a brief dalliance with thoughts of another blanket, but I am being drawn back to little things once more.

Just before I took Priscilla by the hand and let her lead me through the continuous joining technique, I had been putting together little outfits in suitcases….

….and I have to say, I am being drawn back.  The knitting needles are out and dresses, coats, hats and scarfs are starting to fly.  This coupled with mini blankets, a basket of beautiful sock yarn and the ease of taking it wherever I go…..had me at ‘Hello”.

So once the festivities are over….I’ve gone a chocolate too far….and am ready to create some new Fuzzpotlings, the choices will be endless.

I will be back to wish you all a ‘Merry’ one very soon, but for now my friends, the kettle is calling.

Stay warm xx

A bit of a round-up ….

Finally I have managed to claw my way back to the blog to say hello…..Hello Lovelies 🙂

As any of you ‘hand makers’ know the Christmas build up starts early, and despite my plans, my copious notes and my many lists entitled ‘To-do’…. I always seem to get to this point in the year, with a feeling of being chased!

The pressure is of course, of my own making. For years, I have enjoyed the Christmas Market atmosphere.  Crafting can be a relatively solitary pursuit, and craft markets, are a great opportunity to meet buyers, other makers and people simply intrigued by what you have made.  This year, I have taken a step back from that, and instead, concentrated on creating a limited number of Waldorf inspired Dolls…..and it has been these 5 Fuzzpotlings…. Poppy, Rose Hip, Tabitha Thimbleberry, Strawberry Skye and Queenie, that have been keeping me busy…well, that and ‘life’ really.

Each of these dolls, takes around 3 weeks to make.  The heads are made using traditional techniques, the bodies and limbs are hand crocheted, the wigs are hand crafted and the clothing all hand knitted.

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I love each step of the process, but to be honest, when I see them in their completed form…..oozing with individual personality, it makes my heart sing.  Even when they are packed into their little suitcases, with it’s window into the world, it makes me smile, because I can imagine the adventures that they are about to go on.

I had a very special little soft doll when I was very small, called Pinky, and my wish for each of the Fuzzpotling dolls, is quite simple……they mean as much to someone somewhere, as that little doll meant to me.

Tabitha Thimbleberry is one of my most recent dolls.  The colours simply sing to me, in there softness, and she strikes me as quite shy, yet incredibly cheeky.  I love her naturally white blonde hair, especially when her beret comes off on a windy day !

 

Her dress, like that of Rose Hip, her little friend, are knitted using a 4 ply extra fine merino yarn.  I love the softness of this yarn, but I always think that it creates a lovely stitch definition too.  Rose Hip, like Tabitha, has that super fuzzy hair, that if untethered, can whoosh into a little halo of fluff….

Each of the girls dresses have little cotton crochet flowers decorating them, and these are carried on to their matching hats.  Playing with colours is a huge part of the enjoyments for me and I always love the tiny little bits of extra detail. Rose Hip is wearing denim sneakers, and of course denim sneakers look best with blue gingham bloomers.

Poppy, who you met a little last time in my previous post, was again, drawn on similar lines…..her colours were bright and vibrant to match that gorgeous red hair…

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Queenie, is a little girl with curly brown hair and space buns. As my daughters both know, hats are a little tricky with buns, so her hair has been decorated with pretty pink crochet flowers…..

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This little one was a bit tricky to photograph.  The low morning sunlight, played havoc with her complexion, and I can honestly say, I am not sure that the pictures really did this pretty one justice.  She has just started her long journey to the U.S. where I hope she will enjoy making lots of happy memories.

Now Strawberry Skye, has a mass of of bright pink/red curls made from hand dyed Teeswater Locks sourced locally.  Her style is more Boho chic, deep bright colours, and of course flowers in her her…..there is no way a beret will sit on top of those curls!

Being a little different to the others, meant a little something individual and her boots really suited her……to be honest, I’d like a pair of those myself !!

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And so, that is my round up of what I’ve been up to.  I am really pleased to say, that all of the Fuzzpotlings, packed into their Unicorn suitcases,  have now found their new homes, and are ready to settle in and have some fun.

I am currently working on some outfits, which will become available in the next few weeks. These will fit all of my little dolls ( both cloth and waldorf inspired)  Their proportions don’t conform to standard doll sizings, so I thought it might be nice to create some add on outfits and package them up into smaller suitcases, making them available before Christmas.  I will of course post regular updates on Facebook, when these become available…… I am knitting up a storm as we speak….so keep your peepers peeled.

Next year I will be offering a few more free patterns….designs for which are underway.

Hope you are all enjoying a relaxing Festive build up…..I am off to do a little speedy housework, establish a base camp half way up my ironing mountain, and then disappear into the shed for a little bit of cosy knitting.

Have a great day xxx

 

 

Suitcases and Storms!

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Hello everybody, hope you are all well.  I thought I would pop by and see how you are all doing.  Storm Brian….a strange name for grumpy weather, if you ask me….seems to have run out of steam a little today.  He certainly had a bit of a strop on yesterday though!

It’s still a little windy here today, but the shed is warm and dry. Thankfully it did not mimic a scene from the Wizard of Oz yesterday, so we are all good here.

So since we last shared a cuppa together, I have been busy on the festive front, and have produced a new crochet pattern for this Christmas.  Reggie the Reindeer has always been a favourite, so this year, he has a little Tomte friend called Thomas.  Tomte, from Swedish folklore make great little ornaments, are really quick to whip up and have a world of possibility in the colours you can choose.

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Funny little chap isn’t he ?  I’ve used a mix of double knit yarns for this one.  Mainly Stylecraft Special Dk in Duck Egg & Soft Peach, but for the hat and beard I used King Cole Glitz……it sparkles, and I am an absolute sucker for anything that twinkles. Anywhoo…the pattern is now available over in my Etsy shop.

I have a little plan for the next few weeks, and have been able to tick off a couple of little items, that go by the name of Poppy and Petunia….

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Poppy with her ginger hair loves bright colours, especially red, and is sporting some wonderfully jazzy tights.  Her little emerald green sneakers will be great for kicking through leaves and playing.  She already seems to be sharing a secret or two with Petunia.

Petunia loves flowers, and is dressed in bright pinks and yellows.  Her baby pink sneakers match her equally jazzy tights.  Both of these little girls, will have their very own suitcase for travelling in, and as always will contain some surprise goodies….until Christmas I will be adding a few festive extras.

Petunia is demonstrating in these pictures the importance of the beret, in this windy weather.  Once tamed, this fuzzy headed honey blonde has the cutest of bunches.

Poppy has hair that will settle easily into bunches too, and part of the joy for me when I make these dolls, is to see their personalities shine with very small changes, either to their clothes or hair.  If they make you smile too, that makes me happy.

I don’t want to mention my ‘To-do List’ really…..its been such a nice day, so why ruin it!  But actually, I quite like a plan.  Now that these little Fuzzpotlings are ready to find their new home, I am already pulling colourways together for the next few.

The eagle eyed amongst you, may note that each little dress is very slightly different, not only in colour but in the lace pattern on the skirt. I am now working on some hat variations too.

I am currently, putting together the next little gaggle of girls.  These will all share a theme….and whilst I don’t want to give too much away at this point…..I will say only this…..if you or someone you know likes unicorns….watch this space.  I am very excited!!

Thank you so much for popping by….I hope you have a lovely day.

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TTFN xx

 

Hello October…..

There is definitely a little nip in the air, first thing in the morning now, and the trees are starting to change colour…..it must be time to say goodbye to September and hello to October.  I have to admit, I like the Autumn….I don’t like Halloween and maybe I am just a bit grumpy, but I don’t like bonfire night either.  I wouldn’t mind it, if it were just a ‘night’, but there seems to be noise, whooshing, pops, bangs and fizzing spanning almost a fortnight….the poor animals.

Anyway, we aren’t there yet, so let’s enjoy October.  Olivia is the first little Fuzzpotling, fresh off the workbench for Autumn……she prefers the name Liv really, but when she is particularly mischievous,  her full name feels far more appropriate! There is nothing like the sound of your mother calling you by the your full name to strike fear ……..even as a grown up yourself with teenage daughters….that sinking feeling can still occur!!

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Anyway, Liv is a funny little girl…..like me, she has a weakness for cake.  Her pink hair and soft mauve pink body, are echoed in the speckles of colour in her hand knit dress.  Her beret and soft fluffy scarf, match her little denim sneakers.  Beneath it all is a blue gingham pair of cotton bloomers.

I may be peaking a little too soon, but I will be decorating each of the little suitcases, that the dolls travel in, between now and Christmas, with some festive bits and bobs.  I am really quite excited.  I will also be adding a couple of Christmas decoration tutorials over the next few weeks, if anyone is interested.

To manage your expectations, ‘tutorial’ is probably a slightly grandiose description for what I have in mind…..more of a less formal ‘I’ve made this ..like this’ guide really….but it might be fun to share some ideas.

I really do need to do a a few chores this morning, and it would be wrong of me to blame blog writing for the lack of accomplishment in this area, so I will have to  bid you a fond farewell for now.

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Hope your day is full of giggles….and cake

TTFN xx

Little Nim…..

Hi All 🙂

I just thought I would drop a line or two from Shedquarters, to see how you all are and grab a quick cuppa with you.  This week, I have been largely finishing off Little Nim….

 

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She is the reason I ended up wandering around the village with a film of bright ginger hair in the lap region of my dress!  The lady in the post office drew my attention to it, but not before I had promenaded along the high street.

Little Nim is a redhead, with rosy cheeks and freckles.  There is something marvellous about ginger hair and I can’t stop taking her beret off and seeing the shocking fluffy mess of it all.

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That said, I really quite like the tidier little pigtails too!

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Nim’s tights and scarf, were made using some beautifully hand dyed wool and alpaca yarn from Moo & Elf Yarns  The soft greens, mauves and lemons, remind me somewhat of an english country garden in summer.  Anyway, it was a lovely yarn to use….a real treat, and I found some lovely cashmerino in my stash, to pick out the colours.

Nim has already left us for her new home,  so I am busily working on Olivia, the next little Fuzzpotling 🙂

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I have a couple of arms to finish this afternoon, and then to start on Olivia’s wig…..I am thinking pink at the moment, but until their little bald selves sit and look at me, I really can never tell !!

Will pop back again soon…..hope you are all having a good week.

L xx

 

Catching up & the Beret pattern….

Hello my Lovelies…

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While I have a few minutes in ‘Shedquarters’, I thought I would drop back in and have a little catch up with you all.  Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair 🙂  Hope you have all been keeping well.

It’s been a busy month…….we’ve celebrated our 18 year wedding anniversary (Hubby claims he is extremely tolerant…but I know it’s because I’m a treasure!)  I have enjoyed another birthday (though I’m not too keen on the number, so won’t be saying that out loud), Thing 2 went back to school and Thing 1 started Sixth Form.  So it’s all a little rush, rush, rush, but in a good way.

Now you may have spotted a new little friend, sat on my workbench…..it’s Joseph….and he is not only a rabbit…but a lamp!

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I have wanted one of these for ages….don’t really know why…..not even sure that they were designed with my ‘age group’ in mind, to be honest…..but my lovely Hubby, heeded my endless, and not too subtle hints and he formed part of a wonderful birthday package.  I spotted him on the Rose in April Instagram page initially….and fell in love, and now I have a little helper in my Shed.  I was a very lucky girl, and had some beautiful presents from truly wonderful family and friends. Thank you to them xx

I have managed to grab a few happy moments in the Shed, and this month, I have concentrated on some Cloth Dolls.  These are a little deviation from my Waldorf inspired dolls, but still have the same qualities, in as much as they are made from ‘natural’ products ( a heavy weight cotton), and have wild and wacky wigs, which I have crocheted using those marvellous hand dyed Teeswater Locks. Dressed in hand knitted dresses, scarves and hats, they are a funny little group.

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Milly, Marley and Mabel, are simple yet fun….I’d like to think I’m a little like that myself!!

Their little berets are the same ones that fit onto the Waldorf Inspired dolls, and are a firm favourite of mine. I have been promising for a while now, but haven’t quite got around to writing it down….so here are the instructions, should you fancy it 🙂                                      

                                **** Knitted Dolly Beret Instructions ****

You will need :

2.75mm & 3.25mm Double Pointed Needles

Small amount of 4ply yarn ( I also like Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino)

Stitch Marker, Scissors, Needle for Sewing in the ends

Each hat is knitted in the round on DPN’s

Cast on 64 stitches using 2.75mm needles ( I usually use 5 DPN’s , putting 16 stitches across 4 needles and one needle to work) and join to work in the round.

Rounds 1 – 10   K1, P1 Rib      (64sts)

Round 11   ( K1, K1 M1) repeat to end   (96 sts)

Change to 3.25mm Needles

Round 12 – 27 Knit every stitch  (96 sts)

Round 28 ( K14, SSK) repeat to end of round     (90 sts)

Round 29 (K13, SSK) Repeat to end of round     ( 84 sts)

Round 30 ( K12, SSK ) Repeat to end of round ( 78 sts)

Continue in this way, decreasing the number of knitted stitches in each round, as set by the last 3 rounds.  Round 31 will therefore be ( K11, SSK) repeat to the end of the round, Round 32 will be (K10, SSK) etc….

Once you have completed Round 41 you should have 12 sts remaining, and your beret will almost be formed.

Round 42 & 43  (SSK) repeat to the end of round (3 sts)

I like a little ‘nobble’ on my berets, so I simply do 4 rows of i-cord using these remaining 3 stitches, before binding off by cutting the yarn, threading it onto a sewing up needle and drawing it through the remaining stitches.  Sew in all of the ends 🙂

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Little stacks of berets will soon begin to form….I find them quite addictive !!

I have also managed to squeeze in a little crochet time, and made Albert the Baby Elephant this month…….I’m doing better than I thought !!!

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I love Elephants and made this one using my own Peaches & Walter Pattern   I really enjoy seeing how they work in different colours, so it is fun to revisit the designs every now and then.

The focus for me now, is more of a festive one.  I have just finished a new Christmas crochet design for a Tomte…..which I will be able to explain a little more about fairly soon.  I am also working on some new Waldorf Inspired Suitcase Dolls.   For now, I will say ‘bye bye’, but will promise to be back soon….with more updates.

 

TTFN XX