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

 

 

Just call me Mrs Many Projects!

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With the warm weather that we have been ‘enjoying’, you might think that stitching of any kind is firmly put on the back burner.  I have to be honest, if it comes to that then you might as well wave my sanity goodbye until Autumn.

Instead, I have opted to do a somewhat startling impression of Beyonce……..a leap by anyones standards, so please let me explain. I have adopted a fan, cranked it up to maximum strength, and find myself in a permanent state of windswept….to be honest….that is pretty much where the similarities end between myself and Ms Knowles……”uh oh, uh oh, uh no no !”  That said, the wind machine effect, has meant that I can continue to do what I love.

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I have a couple of dolls on the work bench at the moment, and have been taking my time to decide what colours will best suit them.  Of course, what I should really say, is that I have been addicted to making little dresses.

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It isn’t like they didn’t have a little frock to choose from, it is simply that I love making them.  Working in 4ply sock yarn is such a treat.  With an extensive stash of hand dyed yarn, it is a fantastic way of using up the bits and bobs.  I have now started experimenting with different lace patterns on the skirt, and am thinking that I may have to dabble with  ‘intarsia’ come the end of summer.

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I aim to complete a couple more knitted dresses, then do the blocking and finally add the little buttons this week.  I also will be popping back later this week to add the free hat patterns I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, should anyone be interested in those.

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I am also in the process of crocheting the wigs for these little ones.  I have chosen a honey blonde and a pale pink mohair, but have also been creating curls for future little girls….just like Hattie has here….

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The fun with this,  is in the colour combinations.  Hattie’s hair was made up of 6 subtle shades, ranging from powder blue to pink.  I have some golds, blues, magenta and reds planned for the end of summer, just like little Evie and her friends.

 

Now I haven’t mentioned the Willow Square Blanket…..there is good reason for that!  I would like to say it’s been too hot for me to be blanket making….but that would be a bit of a fib.

I have been a little indecisive when it comes to the ‘edge’ colour….I won’t lie….and I may have mentioned this to my friend Sue, a couple of times….I say a ‘couple’.  Basically, I’m in a bit of a tiz over it.  I know what I want the end result to be, and I can’t quite decide whether ‘Mushroom’ is the way forward, so I have done what I believe is right…….I have run away from it!  Yep….I have told it to sit in the naughty corner….think about what it has done…..and I will come back to it later !! No eye contact between us until the weather is cooler!

I am  focussing on dolls….dolls dresses…..dolls hats….dolls shoes…..dolls hair….well anything but that blanket really!

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Thank you for being so patient with me…. I know I haven’t been about much of late.  What with one daughter just finishing GCSE’s and getting ready for Prom this week, and the other doing end of year tests, archery tournaments, and going to gigs, life seems to have got in the way of our coffee and shed time, a little.

Please take a wander around the blog, and settle down with a cuppa at Shedquarters, and I will be back very soon my Lovelies xx

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It’s a frock thing!

Someone has been told to tidy their room…..and they really don’t want to!

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It’s been a bit of a funny old week really.  I haven’t really tackled the things on my “To-Do List”, but I have made knitted some frocks!

Little dresses are a great way to use up those pretty bits of sock yarn, that languish in a basket, after the first sock is complete, and the next sock is looming large like a mountain to climb.  Now there are many who love a matching ‘pair’, but I have come to embrace my second sock syndrome, and no longer give an odd pair a second thought.  I tried the ‘almost’ matching, but to be honest now I quite brazenly believe in the ‘go big or go home’ ideology, whereby the wildest combinations are the happiest kind.

Anyway, back to dresses…..

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I really love the fair isle effect of the self patterning yarn, but I have to admit, I am absolutely smitten but the gradient dyed yarns.

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There is something really exciting about not knowing for sure, where the colour change will end up…..it makes each little dress completely unique…IMG_4312

The little cotton bloomers, just make me smile…..

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Who doesn’t like a big voluminous pant in the summer!!

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Anyway, this weeks challenge is to finish off a couple of new little Fuzzpotlings, write up the hat pattern to share with you all, and make sure a bit of that Willow blanket gets edged.

TTFN x

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It’s been a little while…

Hello Lovelies…..

It has been a little while since my last post.  There isn’t any one thing that has caused this hiatus, but stuff seems to have got in the way, and ruined my mojo!  The trouble is, once the mojo has been tampered with, it takes a bit of time to settle things back into a state of equilibrium. I seem to start lots of projects…..the crafting lightbulb moments come thick and fast….but the momentum doesn’t carry it through….and the enthusiasm seems to be on some sort of dimmer switch.

The good news is…..I have given myself a bit of talking to…..and I’ve made a list.  Now, I am not really one for ‘lists’, but sometimes, they are what wrestle me back from a bit of crafting oblivion.  So I am happy to say…..I have achieved……I am starting to actually finish off a few bits and bobs……and this little bit and bob is called Hattie.

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I had made a few ‘Waldorf’ style heads, a little while ago…..and somewhat strangely, I had made some little dresses…..

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What I seemed to be lacking was the ‘crochet’ accompaniment of bodies, limbs and wigs. The first thing on my list, was to finish off at least one doll and the feeling of putting a simple tick on a piece of paper and having a funny little face looking back at me, did the trick.  I am back in the zone.

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I love naming the little dolls. I always think it gives them a character all of their own.  Hattie (which is short for Harriet), is cute and kind.  Her curly hair of pastel wool makes her quite unique.  There is a stubborn side to her though.  Hattie wants to ride her bike today, but refuses to put her little pink boots on……we are at a bit of a stand off. As a Mum of two teenage girls myself, Hattie hasn’t yet realised that this is a fools errand….I have training!!

I should mention that the ‘Willow’ square blanket is still high on the ‘To-finish’ list.  I now have 80 squares and am at that point when I know I should start joining them soon.  I am not quite sure which colour to use as the joining shade……I have a couple of options that I am toying with….but just can’t quite decide.  I may take some pictures next week, and garner your opinions on that. For this weekend…..it is still crocheting body parts for the other 2 dolls.

Oooh…..plimsolls…daps….pumps…..not sure what term to use really……but I bought some new ‘daps’ (Bristolian is my native language/dialect, so apologies if this causes any confusion!)  Anyway, as a dog lover, and a lover of new shoes, I found a wonderful seller on Etsy, who beautifully hand paints shoes. I would highly recommend you check out Lisa at http://www.izapas.etsy.com

I was able to choose the colour of the daps, and by sending a couple of pictures of Ted, she managed to put his likeness on my summer dog walking shoes…..it’s madness….but I love them.

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The other thing, I am very excited about is that the lovely Susan, over at Mary Jane’s Tearoom has just released  a new pattern for a little sock yarn bear jacket.  I have loved her blog for such a long time, and been drawn in to the wonderful Tearoom world by her fantastic photography.  I can’t wait to make some little jackets of my own…….definitely added those to the ‘list’ !

Well, ‘time and tide waits for no man’, as the saying goes.  I have body parts to crochet so that this little Fuzzpotling, isn’t left in the Shed playing on her own!

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Now are you going to put those boots on Hattie!?

Have a lovely weekend, whatever you may be up to.  Next week, if my list evolves as it should, I will be sharing the little knitted elfin beret pattern with you all.

TTFN xx