Tuesday, 21 January 2014

On The Creative Front

Hello! I promised you an update on recent creative activities, and here we are. First, I wanted to show you two Christmas gifts I made back in December which I couldn't post about before. My mum has recently discovered crochet and I think it's safe to say she's found it as addictive, rewarding and enjoyable as I have. She asked me to make her a tool roll in which to store her crochet hooks and we chose the fabric together when she came to stay back in the autumn. I followed a very good pattern written by Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet, published in Mollie Makes issue 28. The pattern is really for a brush roll, but can easily be used for other implements. Anyway, it's really a very good pattern, and my mum was very happy with her gift, and I was even happier to be able to give it to her. Apologies for the electric light photos - I didn't remember to photograph it until we were about to leave and return to Leeds.


The other item was my Christmas present to John, a scarf. I finished this at about ten pm on Christmas Eve while sat next to him on the sofa, so it was not exactly a surprise for him. But I wrapped it and put it under the tree all the same and he looked happy when he unwrapped it and tried it on. The colours are his choice and he was VERY specific about them. Oh my goodness. No deviation was allowed as, you see, John is a Leeds United fan and wanted the colours to be club colours - they had to be just so. He hasn't been to a live match in about ten years, he isn't a season ticket holder, but that man loves his football, and his local football club in particular. He insisted on nice yarn (I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino) and he didn't want it too wide...on and on he went. But he loves it and wears it every day, and the blue and white suit his colouring so I suppose it could be worse. 


Angus noticed John's scarf and John, not one to miss an opportunity to encourage a passion for Leeds United in his otherwise football-indifferent son, suggested I make one for Angus too, which I've started but not got very far with. And then of course the dog had to have one and it's all getting a bit out of hand and I am sick to death of the sight of that bright yellow and blue. Have you had to create any particular woolen items for sports mad family members? 


Here are some much prettier photos.

I spent a happy Sunday afternoon on the sewing machine a few weeks ago making some more clothes for Bella's rabbit


She already had the dress, boots and cape she came with and we added a green scarf to her winter outfit. 


In addition, she now has a short sleeved dress for spring with matching pink boots...


...and a nightdress in some floral print fabric with a lace trim. I used the patterns that came with the dress and adapted them slightly. I noticed that Rosie Rabbit is starting to look a tiny bit bobbly, slightly less smooth than she was before. But since this is the result of much playing, changing of outfits and cuddling, I am not complaining.
.

Now on to something for me: my lovely knitted cowl, made from a pattern and some gorgeous alpaca yarn which were purchased at Yarndale back in September last year. Oh my goodness, this cowl. I was on the last row and realised (duh) that I'd knitted the final third of the cowl completely back to front. I kept thinking to myself "It looks different" but put it down to changing the ball of yarn (maybe it was fluffier!) but no, it was my extreme incompetence. You can see the change clear as day where the arrow is. It was already full of dropped stitiches and you can see where my tension changed when I swapped needles (brands, not sizes) and also it's all bunched in the middle from spending two months squashed in the bottom of my craft basket. But still. All those hours. I will have to unravel it because I'll never cast it off, let alone wear it, in it's current state. 


What I'll do with the yarn remains to be seen. I'm not sure whether I can face re-knitting the same pattern again, I might look for something else. 

And finally, some crochet. I've shown you the colours already but these circles will become squares, and will end up in a cushion. It's working up quite quickly and I hope to finish it this week.


So there we have it, this is what I do during the dark January evenings while watching television. Unless it's The Bridge or Borgen, where I need to read the subtitles, of course. 

54 comments:

  1. Beautiful creations Gillian ~ I particularly love the little dogs Leeds United scarf, it's very fetching! :O)xx

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  2. Oh, what a pain your knitting has turned out to be, hope you find a good pattern as an alternative:)

    Your other makes are lovely, your story about the scarves made me laught!

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  3. You look like you've been very busy. Poor knitted cowl, I once knit a hat that took three attempts, it wasn't going to beat me!! I rarely wear it, the children giggled when I put it on the first time......made me wonder about me & hats!! Maybe you should give it one more go. Sarah

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  4. I wish I could make granny squares! I would just love to do a blanket. Lovely colours - I'm sure your cushion will look fab.

    x

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  5. How annoying....you probably would have knit that cowl ok if you were using ordinary wool and not your lovely wool from Yarndale. Its always the same when you want something to be special. Definately unravel and make something else that you will be happy with. I have just finished my "Boneyard shawl" with my gorgeous Yarndale wool. More like a shawlette though. I only bought one skein of beautiful 4ply. I wear it with the pointy bit at the front. Maybe you have enough wool to make one. Dead easy pattern. Free pattern by Jared Flood....on Ravelry. Love to read your blog. Your moon pics are great!

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  6. Oh my Gillian, what a heavenly post. So many lovely things to look at and admire. I love the stitch on the man scarf and I had to laugh when I saw the photo of the dog in its matching scarf. so sweet ! And the clothes for the rabbit are just so perfectly made.
    How annoying with your cowl, such a pretty colour too - how about just a straight forward scarf , its too lovely not to use.
    I also love the colours of the squares you're working on.
    Have a lovely crafting week,
    Kate x

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  7. Goodness, you've been busy! :) x

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  8. Wow, what a bust time you've had.I am envious of your prefect finish on the scarf, the tension is amazing, something I need to work on. I'm still very much in love with Rosie Rabbit!

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  9. I love all of them. I'm so excited to hear that your mother is into crocheting now, that's wonderful. The hook roll looks terrific. This is probably a little sad but I've never crocheted anything for my husband. I just never thought he wanted anything. But now I'm thinking I should make something for him. He's pretty much the last one left who hasn't endured a crocheted-by-me gift. :)

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  10. Aw what sweet little clothes you've made. Your handmade Christmas presents were fab x

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  11. I love the scarves, you did a great job with them and I know they will be worn with pride. Your Bunny is gorgeous with her lovely wardrobe. I have yet to sew mine up, I am a bit nervous about the blanket stitch.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  12. Couldn't you just frog back to where you went wrong? I fully understand not wanting to frog the whole thing and starting all over again. It would be beautiful if you finished!

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    1. Hi Lise - possibly, but I think I'd struggle to pick up the stitches accurately and would make it even worse! Also, there are mistakes further down so I think it might be easier just to start again. x

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  13. So many gorgeous makes in this post Gillian....love your hook roll, I made one very similar from Jooles' pattern for my friend for Christmas! And what sweet little clothes for Bella's bunny :) Such a shame about your cowl, good luck unravelling it!
    Have a fab week,
    Caroline xx

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  14. Wow, you have been busy! I adore the clothes you're making for that bunny :-)
    I haven't had to make club strip football scarves but I did make a lap blanket for a gentleman with alzheimers in his football club colours-it helps to trigger memories for him and gives a talking point for any visitors :-) My daughter often sees things I'm making for other people and puts in a request for one herself so I know the feeling about how it can snowball! I only have the one though so it's not too bad ;-)

    Those squares look lovely, bet the cushion will too!

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  15. You have been busy! Looking forward to seeing the cushion when it is finished.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  16. Hello Lovely ..... gosh you have been a busy bee!
    Bella's rabbit has a wardrobe to die for, what I wouldn't give for some pretty dresses like those!
    I feel your pain with the cowl, how annoying, i have some socks, half made, that went completely wrong, they are hidden in a drawer somewhere out of sight.
    I'm so glad your mum's crochet roll was a success, it looks absolutely beautiful and talking of crochet i can't wait to see your cushion.
    love Jooles x x x

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  17. Too many lovely things, especially that beautiful bunny's wardrobe. I'd like some dresses like that myself! But truly, that dog in his lovely scarf is abosultely spiffing! x

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  18. Lucky Mum with that lovely roll. I've been madly crocheting as well with my ripple rug which has grown quite well since the photo on my last post. Really enjoying it. Ah, we also follow Leeds United in a casual way and the scarves and rabbit clothes all look good. Pity about the error on the cowl, unpick, redo and then enjoy. Loooove the colours in your granny squares, and will have to remember that as inspiration for something. Lovely post and take care.

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  19. I just love the little bunny, especially her pink boots! All lovely.

    Leanne xx

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  20. Lovely makes - loving all your bunnys changes of clothes! Such a shame about your cowl :-(. Can I ask a daft question but do you allocate a set amount of time to do your crafting - I just feel I cant seem to get everything done that I want without something falling by the wayside (usually housework and I'm sick of having a messy house lol)

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  21. All very beautiful Gillian, looking forward to seeing progress on the crochet in due course. I love that little dog has a scarf to match!! I hope that you decide on what to do with the cowl - what about crochet instead, or is that like admitting defeat! xx

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  22. These are wonderful makes, and so neat. I love the crochet case and I'm sure your Mum will adore it. The scarves made me laugh you clearly don't share you husband's passion for his team and colouring the house in white blue and yellow!

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  23. Try not to be to disillusioned about the knitting, I have been known to frog back a garment twice! I usually find putting some distance between myself and the thing causing me angst helps loads. Have a breather and I'm sure you'll feel differently about it in time.

    Your other makes are just beautiful! All those tiny stitches for that gorgeous rabbit, the scarves both big and small(!) and the hooky organiser for your mum, just priceless. I am spared a football mad hubby but he is a steam enthusiast and I have on occasions shared my very tiny kitchen, with pickled metal work parts from his workshop!! I can't see him asking me to knit him a train jumper though ... phew!

    Happy Creating!

    San

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  24. So many lovely things Gillian, little bunny looks so sweet in her pretty floral dresses and I really like the colours you've chosen for the crochet cushion. The matching Leeds Utd scarves made me smile. What a shame about the cowl, especially as you got so far with it. Hope the yarn unravels well enough to be used again. Have a good week.
    Jane xx

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  25. Wow, so many pretty things, Just love the Bunny clothes and the organizer roll :)

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  26. Oh, could that little bunny with her adorable wardrobe be any cuter? The dog with his scarf is grea too! I'm love all of the gifts...nice job!

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  27. Oh, could that little bunny with her adorable wardrobe be any cuter? The dog with his scarf is grea too! I'm love all of the gifts...nice job!

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  28. You've been very busy Gillian. I especially love the new outfits for, Rosie Rabbit. She appeals to my inner child. xx

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  29. A wonderful post - those little bunnies are tiny treasures! Their wardrobes! Sooo pretty! I giggled at the man scarf, I guess I got lucky being able to crochet my man's scarf with grey Riot Chunky! But if your fella is happy...but to then have to make a mini one? Above and beyond the call of duty...and I feel for you with the cowl, grrrr, but here's how I deal with a big oops: put it away and work on something pretty (the crochet fits the bill, it's beautiful!) then buy yourself a treat - a lovely chocolate, a bunch of flowers, doesn't have to be much - then sit down and deal with it. It eases the pain, trust me! ;-) Chrissie x

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  30. You've been very busy and the results are wonderful. I love the outfits you made for your daughter's rabbit... I gave up on knitting... I hope you will find courage to redo the last third as your cowl look beautiful and warm.

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  31. Some great stuff there Gillian. My rabbit just sort of languished on the shelf, so you have made some great memories for your little one there. Mmmm the cowl - did you have two skeins? The Elise shawl I just made used 2 skeins and that was really easy but looks complicated - check it out. Jo x

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    1. Not sure if I've enough yarn for the Elise shawl - the cowl took 2 x 50g balls, which is one skein I think. Shame. x

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  32. You have made some gorgeous things there! The boys' scarves look great but I think the wee bunny and her pretty dresses are my absolute favourites!
    Marianne x

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  33. Love the clothes for the rabbit, i could wear them my self....

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  34. My you have been busy crafting! The scarf story made me laugh - luckily my husband is not into sports like that. I believe that was one of the requirements in order for me to marry him - he had to be a vegetarian and he could never own a sports jersey. The little rabbit is just adorable. I hope I will be able to make something like that for my own daughter - I showed her the pictures and she smiled! Love the fabric on your mom's crocheting hook roll - such a nice gift.

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  35. You really have made some lovely things. The tool holder for crochet hooks is such a good idea, mine are kept in a plastic bag, in such a muddle. The scarf is great, I know a Leeds supporter who'd like one of those and Rosie Rabbit is just so cute, obviously much loved.
    Don't worry about the cowl, these things happen!
    Well they do in my life!!!

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  36. You have been very busy Gillian! I love John's scarf, particularly because he is so proud to wear it. Rosie the rabbit has a wardrobe more extensive and inspiring than I, what a lucky bunny she is. Cx

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  37. Hi, im loving the colours you are using..I have been thinking of starting a 'flowers in the snow' set of squares-originally thought i'd do it as a 1 a day project but still not properly started. Might do it as a cushion-nice quick reward!
    Looking forward to seeing the end result!!

    http://www.sillychickensintherain.blogspot.co.uk/

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  38. Oh Gillian, I feel your frustration over your knitted cowl! I understand if you wouldn't want to start over again. The yarn is too nice though, so maybe use it for another pattern. The rest of your makes have gone well and they all look great! I particularly love Rosie the rabbit's outfits (I wish I have a nightdress like that!). They all look like dolls' dresses bought from a shop. Well done!
    My husband supports Stoke City FC but luckily he hasn't asked me to make any red&white/Stoke related
    garment yet. I bet he'll be as particular about it as John was with his scarf.
    Can't wait to see the finished granny square cushion.
    Marion x

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  39. Beautiful toys, Gillian. You have a talent
    regards, Kasia from Poland

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  40. I have a box set of The Killing, which although I've heard good things about, I worry about not being able to knit or sew while it's on. The scarf is great, but I know what you mean about being fed up with the bold colours - I knitted a black and red scarf a couple of months ago for the littlest boy to wear to his brothers' football matches. Actually, he mostly wraps it around his animals at bedtime, but that's fine too. I am happy to hear that your beautiful rabbit is well-loved. The new clothes are wonderful, lucky Bella, and lucky rabbit too. I do like the crochet roll. I need something similar for knitting needles I think. I don't have enough crochet hooks to justify a whole roll for them. Yet...

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  41. I feel your pain with the football scarves! And agree that Saturday nights are no longer nights for knitting and such ... but do we care when we are treated to some of the best television I have seen in a long, long time ... the Danes and the Swedes sure know how to make compelling television!

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  42. I'm so in love with your rabbit. I wish my daughter was still the right age so I could make one :( x

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  43. What wonderful things you have made for your family Gillian. I know that BigR would love the rabbit. My skills aren't up to that at this point but maybe one day they will be :) The scarf is fab. The ABO has hinted at a scarf for him in his team colours (royal blue) but I've yet to make that leap :)

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  44. Love the crochet hook/brush holder, what a clever idea! I must dig that pattern out and make myself one as my hooks, scissors, stitch markers etc are all stuffed into an old make up bag and I can never find what I want :-)

    And I'm SO impressed with the rabbit and clothes you've made - you're one clever lady with a very lucky daughter.

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  45. its all so wonderful! i haven't had to knit anything in sports colors yet, although my husband was pretty specific when it came to the aspects of his christmas scarf as well; not itchy, a certain length, color choice, etc. i'm kind of surprised that my daughter hasn't requested a matching one for her since she loves him so much. she would love to match him. i am, however, making matching clothes for her and her doll. it is getting a bit out of hand.
    the clothes for maggie the rabbit are just perfect! well done! you make me want to get a kit and make one with accessories for my daughter, but she isn't old enough yet.
    just the other day i was digging around looking for a certain size of knitting needle, thinking that i should make myself an organizer. looks fantastic!
    and lastly, a few days ago i began knitting a swatch for a project and had to restart it multiple times. the first time i made it too small. the next time it was way too big. and now that I've knit it and counted the stitches i'm going to pull it out and use that yarn for the project. all of that work. ugh. i feel your pain with your cowl. i have found that i really can only knit when there aren't children around, otherwise i'm too distracted and make silly mistakes.
    loving all of your creativity! it's so inspiring!

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  46. I love all the bunny clothes. They are so cute! Get someone else to unravel your knitting for you, preferably without you watching. It is much, much less painful than pulling apart your own hard work!

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  47. Enjoyed this Gillian! Lovely things. I love the rabbit and its clothes. Such a shame about the cowl. I am exactly the same about making things twice. Xx

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  48. I am so impressed with all your makes, what a talent to be able to make all these and have the pleasure of a good job done, most of the time. Amazing.

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  49. Wows any gorgeous makes Gillian. I especially love the pretty frocks and shoes you have made I for bells rabbit and I can't wait to start mine, not just yet though, too many other things to finish first. Loving the crochet and the look of that shawl, beautiful work. Xoxo

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  50. oh my, adorable little rabbit outfits!

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  51. ha! love John's scarf and I love that you're sick of the colours :) Bella's rabbit is completely adorable, I really love the new clothing additions and those very sweet pink booties. I know you've spent ages looking at the cowl so the tiny mistakes are glaringly obvious to you, but I would never had noticed them and even with the arrow, I can't see the problem! x

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