Thursday, 5 January 2017

Animals for Christmas


Hello there! Happy New Year, although that already feels like a long time ago. Thank you so much for your comments on my last post. I felt rather overwhelmed by your honesty and kindness, and to think that this blog brings a small bit of happiness into your life makes me feel inordinately touched and pleased. 

I have been meaning to show you the toys I crocheted Bella and Angus for Christmas, but time and winter light keep conspiring against me and taking photos has been challenging. But they are delightful little critters, and I am really happy with how they turned out. 

Both patterns are from the absolutely brilliant Edward's Menagerie which I cannot recommend highly enough. I made the chimpanzee for Angus, and he has been named Charlie. If his left arm looks a little wonky in that picture, I blame the dog, who I caught playing with Angus's soft toys. Luckily Molly doesn't shred them, just tosses them around.


And this is Kiki the Koala, for Bella.


I will admit that making the children handmade gifts does add a certain amount of pressure to my Christmas preparations and I would certainly make life easier for myself by not bothering with things like this. But I like doing it, they don't really take that long to make, and it pleases me that my children still ask for and enjoy receiving a toy which I have made. Who needs free time anyway?


How cute are those fat tummies? My tummy looks a bit like that at the moment since my daily mince pie habit is still ongoing. 

I crocheted these animals using Drops DK (I forget exactly which one) and a 3mm hook, so they are quite little compared to the dog and polar bear I made last year, which are virtually the same pattern but worked with thicker yarn and a bigger hook.  I much prefer them smaller and think they are rather adorable in their dinkier size. I also really like the matt effect of the slightly rough woollen yarn on the two I made this year. 


The faces are definitely the trickiest part of these animals and it's very hard to get them looking symmetrical, but I think the wonkiness adds charm and character.


These photos tickle me. They look like animal mug shots, or maybe passport photos.



I had to hunt these animals down from the children's beds where they currently reside. They are much loved and cuddled which makes me glow a bit with maternal pride.

I am putting together an overview of all my makes from 2016 which I will share with you over the weekend, and I'm really happy to add these two to the list.

I hope everyone is well and adjusting to life and routines after the Christmas break. We are all back at school and work but it hasn't been too painful so far - it's Friday tomorrow, after all. 

25 comments:

Emma H said...

Very cute- I have had this book for ages but haven't had the courage to try the patterns as they seem to involve lots of counting - I will have a go inspired by your success

Susan Smith said...

Gorgeous Gillian and well done to you. I've never tried anything like that in crochet & the kids must be thrilled. Maybe make Molly one of her own? Look forward to seeing your weekend post and what you achieved in 2016. Take care.

CJ said...

They're brilliant, well done you. I really must make something like that for the littlest boy, I know he would love it. I like the idea of crochet versus knitting for these little round things, all those knitting needles are a bit much. CJ xx

Jennifer Hays said...

They're really sweet, Gillian. I love all the animals you've made for your kids, I think they have a lot of personality.

Lisa said...

That monkey has such a cute face!
Lisa x

Katie said...

They are beautiful, and it is great that they are so loved. You make me want to start a similar tradition for my little one, but alas I am lacking entirely in the crochet/knitting/craft department! Love the idea of passport photos, that's exactly what they looked like!

Mair Dyer said...

Those animals are gorgeous and it is so refreshing to hear of children who appreciate handmade toys. You are lucky Molly did not tear the toy's arm our Labrador is not safe with soft toys he just shreds them. Hope 2017 brings health and happiness for you all .

Melody A. said...

What lovely presents and how wonderful that your children want them? that is the key. It wouldn't be worth doing otherwise. they look like they would be so nice to curl up with. Happy New year and yes, your blog does bring happiness to me, love seeing what you are doing. from Iowa, USA

krishna said...

Aww.. all the crochet animals are so adorable..
Happy New Year!!
Please visit:http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

Gracie Saylor said...

Well done, Gillian! I have yet to be brave enough to try making a creature, but I want to, especially after reading this post. I'm glad your first week back to work in the new year is going well, and I rejoice with you that tomorrow is Friday :) xx

Frugal in the Valley said...

Gorgeous. But being Australian, Kiki Koala really spoke to me, I looooove these. You are so talented!

Librarian said...

As Friday (today) is a public holiday in my part of Germany, most people have done what I am doing and taken this week off, too - I'll only start work again on Monday, after a 2-week-break which felt much longer, what with all the travelling back and forth between O.K.'s and my place, snowy walks, Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings, and so on.

All the animals are wonderful, and I am not surprised that the new ones currently reside in your children's beds! Good job Molly didn't hurt Charlie too much. He may have enjoyed being tossed about a bit, who knows!

I always remember the beautiful fox and doe (?) you made a few years ago. When I saw them, I soooo wanted them... either to be able to make something like it, or have something like it. Do they still exist? Will their family ever be extended? Like a baby for them?

Christina said...

It's Friday now, phew! Love those little animals, very cute. I love making things for the children and they love it, too. Unfortunately my unforgiving work schedule doesn't leave much time. I am working on Sam's quilt, which gives me endless pleasure. He is too big now for cute little toys but I did make him a small Loch Ness Monster from Amigurumi knits from this book (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/amigurumi-knits) if you fancy picking up your knitting needles for next year. Wishing you a lovely weekend, the peaceful pottering around kind of weekend. xx

Mac n' Janet said...

They're so sweet, I know your kids will treasure them

VeggieMummy said...

They're gorgeous and obviously very much loved. I borrowed that book from the library and have my eye on Winston the aardvark! Happy New Year, Gillian. xx

Penny said...

These are simply gorgeous, and will be well loved I am sure. The rounded tummies make them extra appealing somehow x

Ksunshine52 said...

How cute Gillian! I gifted my daughter the ballerina hippo kit and her friend the unicorn for their December birthdays - they love them. Maybe it's time to make an animal pal for Molly! Thanks for sharing!

Wood Fairy said...

They are beautifully made. Something made with love like this will always be treasured. Maybe the dog would like it's own cuddly toy?!

Jo said...

You always come up trumps on the toy front. My mantra is never offer, but never refuse when it comes to children's handmade toys and clothes, if they ask I am delighted to oblige but if it is my idea it is invariably not wanted. So if they keep wanting you keep making. Looking forward to your round up this weekend. Jo x

Mereknits said...

They are adorable, and already look like they are loved a lot.

Maria said...

Wow! It's my first time here. I love your animals. This year I want to make something, these are very inspiring.

Helen said...

Wow they're gorgeous - obviously already loved and cherished :) I like the dinkier size too. Glad you've had a good week back - next week will be a shock after a 3 day week for me last week :S x

Gillian Roe said...

Yes they do still exist. Thank goodness! Bella has a doe and rabbit and she plays with them a lot. Angus's fox sits on his shelf mainly, but he does like it. Bella does often ask for another of those animals and I think there are patterns for a cat and maybe a mouse, I'm not sure. Maybe next Christmas?!
Gillian x

Linda said...

They are all beautiful! Happy New Year and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

Kate-Em said...

These are so cute! No wonder they are much loved already!