family

Making Things for Babies

I am nowhere near understanding babies. I find them fascinating and terrifying in equal measure. How can I manage my torrent of mixed emotions while showing appreciation for a new little life? Oh wait…it’s crochet isn’t it. Lovely, soft, friendly crochet. That will compensate for any potential fear or alienation.

So, as a friendly first birthday present for a baby I hadn’t met before, I made an amigurumi Diplodocus, which turned out exceedingly cute, even though his legs were too short for his huge belly.

Diplodocus2

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK in Lipstick (body) and Meadow (humps)

Hook: Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hook, 3mm (DK yarn + 3mm hook = ideal for amigurumi)

Pattern: From Dinosaur Trio by Linda Potts (Ravelry)

Diplodocus1

I knew the yarn would be a pleasure to work with, having made a number of other projects with it before now. The hook was a new acquisition as I had wanted to try something with a handle to see if it could save my wrists on crochet heavy days. I’m not entirely sure it made a huge difference, but the matte finish of the hook is nice to use and the handle is certainly comfortable in my hand.

Usually I look for free patterns online (or wing the design based on some images) but this time I thought I’d do things right and shell out for something really cute. In this PDF, Linda Potts shares three different designs, all of which are lovely. They are clear and easy to follow. My only minor criticism is the relative lack of assembly instructions. I see why they are minimal – presumably so you can give your creation a bit of character – but I generally struggle with getting limbs in the right places and could have done with some guidance in this area. Overall I recommend this pattern if you fancy making your own adorable Dino-babies. One year old or no, I will definitely be making the full set! The Triceratops is already on its way to completion. I’m just waiting for a new colour to make his little horns.

I have another baby project on the way too – it’s super stripy!

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A Generous Gift

Last week I was lucky enough to be given a parcel of sewing stuff from my Aunt, who is a formidable seamstress and quilter. I thought I would share some pictures of the parcel I received, as it basically made my WEEK. 

Making an unboxing video did present itself as an idea, but as it transpires there were too many squeals of delight which may have alarmed some viewers. So, enjoy some lovely (quiet) pictures instead. There is so much useful stuff in here that I am already inwardly planning about half a dozen projects which can incorporate various bits.

All that remains to be said is a huge thank you to the sender – your generosity and wisdom are very much appreciated.

Sewing: bringing families together. 

A freezer bag full of embroidery cotton, silk fibres and yarn.

A freezer bag full of embroidery cotton, silk fibres and yarn.

Assortment of quilt patterns and sewing guides

Assortment of quilt patterns and sewing guides

Spotty and clowny (so cute)

Spotty and clowny (so cute)

Some Japanese inspired prints

Some Japanese inspired prints

Bundle of striped and floral fabric

Bundle of striped and floral fabric

Pink and blue strips

Pink and blue strips

Tiny Moda squares! (Have already bought another of these)

Tiny Moda squares! (Have already bought another of these)

lilac, white, floral fabrics

lilac, white, floral fabrics

a handful of quilt blocks and cut strips from beautiful batik fabrics

a handful of quilt blocks and cut strips from beautiful batik fabrics

neutral, earthy shades (earmarked for a quilt project)

neutral, earthy shades (earmarked for a quilt project)

Quilt pattern

Quilt pattern

Loads of dress patterns! That could be a hint to practice...

Loads of dress patterns! That could be a hint to practice…

Purple, lilac and pewter silk pieces. Sumptuous

Purple, lilac and pewter silk pieces. Sumptuous

 

Life Lately: Family Edition

First things first: I didn’t finish the dress (see last post). It was all too much for me, so I think I’ll stick to making tube-shaped skirts without a pattern from now on. At least I can make them fit!

Aside from that making fail, there is lots to catch up on. I’ll start with the museum news – applied for job, had job interview, did not get job. Consequent brief period of disappointment, followed by acceptance. How would I continue to blog and make if I was working full-time? I tell you, I probably wouldn’t. Which would be a crying shame. ONWARDS!

Next up, another visit to Cumbria for my Mum’s wedding, which was very simple and touching. It took place in a rural Quaker Meeting House – perfect for the ceremony, which was silent, broken only by the vows and occasional testimony from friends and family. On to Hesket New Market to give gifts and eat lunch. I had made some rather snazzy tea towels with luxury, sorbet coloured linens, which I believe were well received. I very much enjoyed making them, contemplating as I did so the work that would have gone into a bride’s trousseau. After lunch and the departure of Mum and Val, close family gathered at my Grandmother’s house for lazing about in the sun, which was jolly nice, a really good opportunity to spend more time with people I don’t get to see as often as I would like.

The guests witnessed the marriage by signing this certificate

The guests witnessed the marriage by signing this certificate

The rest of the week was spent at Chez Finn, hanging out with his parents and many-a-brother. Lots of wine, even more football (quiet exasperation), fires and bats in the warm evenings and generally being spoilt. Bliss. One afternoon we went out for a walk around Talkin Tarn, the Carlisle dweller’s staple body of water around which to perambulate. Traditional practice is to complain about the lack of ice cream on the first half of the walk, acquire ice cream in the middle, then reminisce about said ice cream all the way back to the car. Except this time, there were bonus cygnets. Win!

cygnets at Talkin

 

My Dad and I went for lunch and a walk in the wood at Armathwaite, another classic afternoon destination. There was much inhaling of Honeysuckle, some surprise fungus and an impromptu visit to my cousins’ new farm, where dozens of swallows delighted us with a daring flight display in and out of the barn windows.

So, back to Sheffield now, on with the work, feeling well-loved and looked after. It’s been a fortifying week.