Archive for December, 2008

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All the 4’s

December 12, 2008

I’ve just noticed on Ravelry that I have 44 things in my stash, 44 friends and have made 444 posts in the forums!

*goes off to be amused by something else.*

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Dolls ,from the beginning….

December 12, 2008

I’ve started work on Rachel Raggs, but she is feeling a little camera shy at the moment mainly due to not having more than a wadding wrapped wire armature for a body and some hands as I’m yet to make a head I like, so I thought I would share with you the very first dolls I made.

The first dolls I made were Dotee Dolls. Dot has a wonderful blog (She is Queen of the mini art doll) and sells kits for her ‘Dotee Dolls’ on Etsy. The tutorial is sadly no longer available but the kits aren’t that expensive and great fun.

I made two of these, oh, last year I think it was:

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As you can see, I made a mini one as well as a normalish sized one. Both were made in cotton and felt, embroidered with cotton embroidery threads and have hair made of yarn.

After that I made what I call a Palm Doll, in that it fits comfortably into the palm of a hand. I’ve only made one of these so far but I have a sketchbook of ideas for more.

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Its made of rough silk and wool felt,embroidered with cotton perle and uses one of the beaded fimo faces I make.

Late last year, in the run up to xmas, and as I was making a lot of felt decorations at the time, I made these little Steiner dolls ( I call the Pocket Steiner dolls)  using sooz’s wonderful tutorial.

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I was kindly given two of Patti Medaris Culea’s books, Creative Cloth Doll Making and Creative Cloth Doll Couture.

I attempted the patterns in these several times but they are a little advanced for me. The wire armature I’ve made so far for Rachel Raggs I’ve found enjoyable and am feeling confident that it will work…once I cracked how to make the head.

I’ve already been rooting through my yarn stash looking for suitable colours for her skirt,jumper and stockings 🙂

Finally I want to show you one of the peg dolls my Grandmother made. She ran a toy museum for many years in Dedham, Essex. Its a clothes peg on a wooden stand, with pipe cleaner arms clothed in velvet, and cotton with braid and embroidery floss hair.

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The Comfort of a Clapotis

December 11, 2008

Yesterday morning, in a desperate dash to darn in the ends I finished my Clapotis.

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(Lesley is kindly modelling it, so I can take a photo)

I’d cast it on back in October, after purchasing 17 50g balls of some very discontinued Sirdar Country  Style Fair Isle Effect DK yarn on Ebay for next to nothing. I had bought it for fingerless mitts and hats but the colours together just made a really interesting mix.

I started out with:

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6 balls of a Pink Yellow and Mauve  mix (PY)

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8 balls of Blue, Yellow and Purple mix (PB)

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2 balls of Blue, Green and Turquoise mix (BG)

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and 1 part ball of Purple Pink and Turquoise mix (PP)

and after a day or so slowly driving my fella mad with the laying out of the balls in the hallway, on the floor and on the bed (different lights) to see which order looked best I decided and cast on.

After the set up and when I got into the first couple of repeats I revised my order to allow myself some left over yarn.

In the end I used 4 balls of each of the PY and PB, 1.5ish of the BG and all of the PP so that leaves me with 4 balls of the PB, 2 of the PY and halfish of a ball of the BG, so striped mitts and a hat on the way I think…although probably after xmas…unless I get the xmas socks done soon!

I really enjoyed this project; when I first looked at the pattern back when I started knitting I found it incomprehenisble but now I’ve learnt more terminology I found it simple and easy to remember, which made it good in front of the tv knitting and its also the longest (in length, and time) project I’ve undertaken.

I wore it to my first phycological therapy appointment on Wednesday as a scarf and then wrapped it around me like a shawl when it started getting more involved and although I’d made it myself it was like being wrapped in a hug and was incredibly comforting. I held it around me and pulled it close and buried my fingertips in it and let it keep me safe.

I can see why so many people have made it!

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Unrequited Yarn Love

December 11, 2008

*sniffles into a hanky, listening to sad music*

A while back, while sourcing yarn for a project I was planning I bought a single ball of Sirdar Country Style DK in Bilberry.

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Now as you may have guessed from my blog title I am somewhat of a purple fiend and this yarn was LOVE at first sight. It’s the purple, the one for me, the one that grabs your stomach and makes it flutter, that shines when you look at it, the one you want to surround yourself in forever and ITS DISCONTINUED, NEVER TO BE MADE AGAIN, CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE DISCONTINUED!

*wails inconsolably*

Why, oh why, has this happened to me? Why find the perfect colour to discover this is all you will ever get of it? Did I do something awful in a past life?

I’ve stalked the internet to no avail and am yet to find anywhere that has a single ball of it and yet the love of the yarn is still there and thanks to the callous and cruel actions of the mill in stopping making it, my love is to be enternally unrequited.

*sobs quietly*

I’ll get over it eventually, right?

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Tidying the mind….

December 4, 2008

As I’ve mentioned in at least one previous post I have an anxiety disorder and I have been waiting for several months for a referral to a clinical psychologist. My appointment for an assessment has finally come through and its next Wednesday. To say I am a little nervous would be a glaring understatement. I think terrified is getting closer, but I am trying to be postitive and see it as a positive step. There may be some comfort yarn shopping afterwards though….

As part of my slow but currently steady recovery I am looking forward rather than dwelling on what I haven’t finished yet.

In that eternal thing of if you need to be doing something you end up doing something else I’ve spent the afternoon sorting through my stashes; fabric, yarn, buttons, and books and sorting them out and taking the ones I really don’t need to the charity shops. I’m also being tough and sending a lot of stuff to the tip, but the clutter associated with crafting was really starting to get to me and I decided I needed to tackle it.

After running out of binbags I have enough stuff to throw out for at least 2 trips to the tip tomorrow and 3 boxes of things to go the charity shop. I also have a pile of books that need to be sorted out in respect of which charity shop it goes to…we have a couple of wonderful book only oxfam charity shops here in York.

There was quite a few “What on earth was I keeping that for?!” moments…small bits of lace I’ll never use – i’m talking less than 5cm here, ends of skeins of embroidery thread,

Of course, theres still lots to sort, but its started now…..and a large dent was made.

The idea is rather than just having a big pile of craft supplies – literally – that I can’t access properly, is my trying to organise it so I can access what I need to.

Of course, its currently at the stage where it looks like something exploded….but order will reign eventually…..honest.

All of this started because I was trying to find my wire cutters…..still haven’t found them!

I’ve got most of the supplies for my doll but I need to cut the wire for the armature.

Of course then I have to sew, and turn, and sculpt….and eep! I shall be brave though…I will manage this dammit.

This isn’t the first cloth doll I’ve tried to make, but I had issues with the last one.

The cuff, heel, and gusset of the first of my mums xmas socks are done and I shall do some more in a while and I will get my mum and sisters done before the final postal day…..hopefully.

All of this is for a reason though. I’ve decided in the coming year instead of fluttering from craft to craft I am going to focus on 3 areas: Yarn Crafts( Knitting, Spinning, Weaving etc), Cloth Doll making and my Victorian Sewing project; all of which will be appearing on here.

At the moment though…I have a Clapotis that still isn’t finished, socks to knit, and a sweater that only needs its last sleeve….I  better get knitting!

ETA: Typical, they were in the drawer where I keep my pliers when I remember to put them away! *headdesk*

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Sockplosion

December 3, 2008

Well, with December starting,  Xmas is fast approaching and so I have to begun the sockplosion, the explosion of socks I need to make and trying to get them started, finished and posted in time for xmas.

I have approx 3 pairs to make, my mum, my sister and my fella….fella may get his for our anniversary on the 2nd of Jan. He’s already said he doesn’t mind them being late.

I would make socks for my dad but his work boots would destroy them in next to no time – steel toe cap boots and my hand knit socks? I don’t think so! He will get some nice thick warm shop bought socks for xmas!

I’ve turned the heel on the first of the pair for my mum…I’m thinking if I can get a pair done a week I should be ok.

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They are made of Yarn D’Amour Freya in Gingernut colourway and its gorgeous to knit with. Its 100 percent blue faced Leicester wool and buttery soft to knit with.

Of course I should have considered the fact that trying to get several handmade presents made in December might be considered slightly mad by some people and I should have possibly started back in September? Well hindsight is very annoying at times, but alas this means I have to knit like a mad thing for a while.

This of course means my projects for me are on temporary hold until the xmas stuff is finished, even though the lace edging is calling to me and the noro sweater only has one sleeve left to do….and I really wanted to wear it to my next Knitting Group meeting….oh no, moral dilema as to what to do!

The weather has taken a wintery turn and we had snow and sleet yesterday and a hard frost this morning so at least I don’t feel bad about staying warm inside and knitting!