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

 

 

Just a quick ‘Hello’

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August is all but over…..it went by me at a gallop, and took me by surprise.  After a wonderful family holiday in the mountains of Spain, here we are on a Bank Holiday Monday, thankfully enjoying some lovely weather, and me and the magical shed are in full  ‘Christmas’ mode!   There…I’ve said it….Christmas!  I’m not shouting it like Noddy Holder…..more softly implying that it’s on its way, really.

For the crafters among you, there will be a resolute understanding that by the time the kids go back to school and September looms large, focus has to take on a festive flavour.  Handmade gifts take time to create, and in all honesty, it is this that makes them special and heartfelt.

So here I am……making Angels (albeit ‘quirky’ angels) and crocheting reindeer!

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My Rosie and Reggie Reindeer pattern , is probably one of my most popular designs.  I have made herds of these little creatures over the past few years, and I love crocheting them.  There is a world of possibility with colours, from the very traditional, through to a little bit ‘boho’….

I wouldn’t want anyone to peak too soon, on the festive front, so I am not going to mention much more today….but I will be back this week, with some more snippets and silliness.

Before I go, I will show you what my work table looked like today though….

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There are knitted dresses, for the Angels, waiting in the wings (no pun intended!)….they need blocking and buttons…..mad little wigs to be crocheted…..and some little elfin hats.

Hope you are having a beautiful evening.

TTFN xx

Hello August….

Hello to you all….hope your August has got off to a good start.  The weather here, has been a little changeable….a mixed bag, so to speak.  One minute, pretty blue skies with fluffy white clouds darting across it….the next, a cloudburst.  Doesn’t really seem to know what it is up to.  It’s school holidays…..what do we expect!

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I have been having a little bit of fun with hair.  After I realised the pure joy that could be had with Teeswater wool locks, I really couldn’t stop.  Ida was my first, the little natural blonde, was so cute, and her hair so very tactile, I could resist trying something a bit different.  The glorious pink locks for Jolie came next….

I was really pleased with the way she turned out.  Full of colour, her arms and upper body, was made with self striping wool, and her tights a lilac.  The cute little dress shows off the benefits of gradient dyed 4 ply, with its soft change of tone from pink to mauve.  I can get 4 dresses from one ball of yarn, and each one looks totally different.

As you know I like to make dolls in very small batches, and no two are ever the same. The blue eyed, pink haired Jolie, was soon joined by a cute little friend, who I decided to name Louisa….

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Similar to Jolie, she has blue eyes, and a tousled main of curls, created from the marvellous Teeswater again…..but this little one has deep teals, blues and greens for locks.  It reminded me of a storybook from my childhood, where a little girl enters an enchanted forest, and makes friends with the fairy folk that live there.

I have to say, this would be a fantastic colour for a mermaid…..so obviously, that will have to be done at some point….though I have a sort of plan…which is quite exciting.  will ask you what you think about that shortly.

Anyway, Louisa, with her funny hair, and pretty dress made of wonderful Koigu yarn, has also been lucky enough to find a new home.

 

I love these little Fuzzpotlings.  The joy of putting the colours together, creating everything from the raw materials, to seeing them all dressed up and ready to go, cannot be underestimated, and I am very grateful to everyone for the encouragement I receive.

Now,  I am going to show you a sneak peak of my workbench today…..you may spot those wretched Willow Squares, from quite some time ago….I will be finishing this blanket….I will….I will….I will…..I promise ( maybe for Autumn)

Now on my workbench today, is something of a plan in its infancy.  Inspired by the wonderful world of Tilda, a craft brand founded by Norwegian designer Tone Finnanger in 1999, it is best known for  whimsical and naive characters in the form of animals and dolls, that have a super Norwegian style. I have long been a fan of Tilda, and have quite a collection of books and patterns.  There is a certain attitude to life in Tilda’s world, whimsical and romantic, like a ball gown worn with wellies – perfectly imperfect….just the ticket!

I wanted to create something special, and a little unique for this coming festive season, and perhaps give my little world in a suitcase a Christmas twist!  Keeping to my own style, but with a nod to the lovely world of Tilda,  I am in the process of making a limited number of cloth suitcase dolls, that will bring a touch of Norway to the rolling hills of South Gloucestershire!

I have so much more to tell you about this plan, but it is still very much in its early phase.  What I can tell you, is that the dolls, will initially arrive in there festively decorated suitcase, as Angels, complete with wings.  When the time comes the decorations can come down, and the Angels can return to being dolls!  There is so much magic and madness ahead!

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Must dash

TTFN x

Popping in for a catch up….

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Gosh, it seems to have been a busy couple of weeks, and I am very glad to have a little bit of time to sit down and have a cuppa and a catch up with you all. Hope you are all well, and have been enjoying the abundance of sunshine.  The warm weather is a blessing in so many ways, but I have to admit, when the temperature finds me at the point of  saying ‘too hot’, things start to slow down in Shedquarters.

It has been a bit of mad few weeks, here at Fuzzpot Lane.  Once we got the GCSE’s out of the way, I thought it would calm down a little, bit I found myself really out of kilter. Used to having two girls at school, I suddenly found myself in a one in, one out situation.  Which through my routine right out of sync. I couldn’t really justify being in the Shed, if one was lurking around the place !

Once the GCSE’s were behind us, the next big event on the calendar, was of course the Prom.  I can’t remember a Prom back in my day…..I vaguely remember popping on my best gear for a school disco, but nothing quite as formal as a Prom. None the less, despite a tricky year friendship wise, and some ups and downs beforehand, the Prom was, as it should be, a great night for Thing 1 and her friends.

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The stress, the shopping and the preparation, really seemed worth it, when my little girl, whose confidence going into this event had hit a worrying low, blossomed right before our eyes.

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With that milestone reached, I was finally able to settle back to normality, of a kind.

So I have managed to finish two little Waldorf inspired dolls in the last couple of weeks. The first was Ida…..

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Ida, is a natural blonde.  Her very soft and squishy head of hair, is created using wool locks from Teeswater Sheep. This fibre is fine, long-stapled with high lustre with each lock hanging free and with no tendency to felt.  Teeswater locks are lovely, soft and can be hand dyed in a variety of colours making it an excellent choice for doll makers, like myself……it’s basically treasure!

I purchased my locks from Newmoor Barn  where they only source  sheeps fleece from local small farms that they have visited, to ensure the animals are treated with care and respect. All of their fibres are processed entirely by hand. from small flocks in Devon. I am very happy being a West Country girl myself, to keep it local.

So Ida was born….her super shiny, soft natural curls, make her truly unique.

And then….hot on her heels came Jolie…a fiery little redhead, who is full of impish cheek and charm.

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All of my dolls are made with natural products (except for the little shoes…which I will be honest were just too cute to resist).  Each of the dolls bodies, arms and legs are crocheted by hand, the heads are needle felted and sculpted in the traditional Waldorf style, and the clothes are hand knitted….there are days when I don’t know which type of needle to use first!

I am currently, working on some little friends for these girls, and will be considering any name suggestions starting with a ‘K’ and an ‘L’…..I love naming the girls.  It always adds so much character.

I must dash….but I hope to catch up for a chat and a cuppa,  in a few days time.

Have a great weekend

TTFN xx