31 December, 2014

Oven mitt(s)

The Monday Modern quilt group did a Secret Santa for our December meeting and I decided to make an oven mitt/glove/cloth for it. I don't know if there is a proper term for this style where the gloves are joined or not.

Oven mitt with HST patchwork.

I was only going to make one, but then the way I made the HSTs unexpectedly (because I hadn't really thought it out very well!) gave me 8 of each fabric and I wanted a good range of prints, so I ended up with enough for two more! Excellent, one for my mum for Xmas and one for me. 

Oven mitt with HST patchwork.

They're linen on the outside and inside they have one layer of thick wool blanket and one of cotton batting. My machine really struggled with that thickness so the binding was finished by hand on the back. Hopefully it will be strong enough.

I got a super-duper wheat warmer thing (again, is there a proper term for them?) from Lou, it's the prettiest thing, filled with buckwheat and scented with lavender. I sat there sniffing it which probably looked rather dodgy but then she was wearing the oven mitts so maybe a quilt group isn't the most normal of gatherings anyways :D

Wheatie warmer from Lou

30 December, 2014

Hot Water Beach

Well THAT happened pretty fast. Things got a bit crazy after my last post and have only slowed down today! There were Christmas preparations, my parents arrived, Hazel got an inner ear infection that makes her feel really lightheaded, school finished, we went away to Hot Water Beach for a few days, I caught the cold from hell complete with a fever and then Mat got it, and then Mat's family came for Christmas and Boxing Day. Phew. Now that's all over summer can start!

Hot Water Beach

Here's a few summery photos from Hot Water Beach. For those not in the know, it's called that because there are two hot water springs that come out on the beach (just at that little rocky outcrop in the middle of the beach) and at low tide you can dig holes in the sand, which fill up with hot water, and sit in them like a outdoor bathtub. Unfortunately the waves were too high at low tide for us to do that so we joined everyone else in the surf and wiggled our feet into the sand. Too deep and it was too hot, on the top was cold from the sea, so you had to wiggle to just the right spot :) To be honest I think I probably enjoyed that communal spirit more than all the digging and jostling for space with holes. You can see photos of the hole-digging on the link above, it looks a little less jolly than nearly being sucked out to sea with a bunch of strangers.
Hot Water Beach

We stayed in a very basic (and dog friendly) bach up above the beach. It wasn't anything to write home about but the view certainly was! Here is my view from the deck chair - 5 minutes down to the beach, it was fan-tabulous.
Hot Water Beach

03 December, 2014

Scrappy colour

I'm at the start of a project for Christmas and have been a bit worried about my colour choices. I had started out with all reds and then had a sudden change of heart and went with oranges and pinks. Doing that always stresses me out because I start second-guessing myself; but as I was clipping corners off I looked down at my pile of scraps and realised that I think they look great together! I've got quite aways to go on this as there's nothing like adding patchwork to a simple object to make it an inordinate time suck, but at least I can relax with my colours.

Colourful scraps

02 December, 2014

A polarising song choice

When I listen to the radio it's always to National Radio, one of the govt-funded stations here in New Zealand. I started listening when I first moved here partly because I was so used to having the CBC going in the house growing up and partly to figure out how this new country worked. I sometimes think National Radio taught me to be a New Zealander! In the last couple of years they've had a segment in the afternoons called The Best Song Ever Written where people nominate a favourite song and have a chat about it and themselves. I've often meant to write in and nominate one song or another and last week I finally did. Four days later I was being interviewed about it, talk about a fast turn around!

I nominated KD Lang's version of Hallelujah which turned out to be a polarising choice with quite a few people expressing their opinion that it was the worst version ever, including one guy who felt moved to say he'd turned off the radio as a result, but several other people were supportive so I didn't feel too picked on! 

It was an interesting experience but I have to admit I was pretty nervous and thought I probably sounded it too! Amazingly I didn't, so I'm happy to share the audio link with you. And yes you can tell me how wrong wrong wrong I am in the comments and how Leonard Cohen has the only decent version, or how KD sucks - just be gentle ;) 

01 December, 2014

Advent calendar for 2014

One day the first of December won't catch me by surprise, but at the moment it's like a yearly ritual, the last minute panic and arranging of daily treats the night of November 30th. This year, to make it worse, Hazel wanted a change from the one we've been using for several years, and I had to make up something new. She'd seen a very cute paper village in a magazine but it turned out to be quite expensive so I went looking to see if I could find a printable of some sort. We both really liked this free one from Mr. Printables so I set to making it. I think in hindsight I might have gone with the option of buying it ready-printed and cut but needs and no time for international shipping must so it was the free DIY version! The only issue I had with it, other than a bit of RSI, was having to scale it down by about 10% to fit A4 paper, which means the houses are a little on the small size but I can just put in paper clues to larger items.

Advent calendar from Mr. Printables

 I love how bright it is, perfect for a summer Christmas, and it looks so happy on the mantelpiece.

27 November, 2014

Pixie bonnet

As soon as I saw this little hat on Ravelry I knew it had to be made for the impending niece, and in red just like the pattern. If Hazel were younger (and living in a colder climate) she would have had one for each day of the week.

Pixie bonnet
I know, how frickn' cute is that? AND it's free! I love Ravelry so much, I really do. If I was so inclined to come up with patterns I'd be posting free ones there to say thank you back to all the nice people who have done the same for me. I buy patterns there, and they're (usually) good value for money but when you get a cracker pattern and it's free then my day is kind of made!

I used 4 ply baby merino wool doubled instead of 8 ply and it worked perfectly, bang on gauge and when I blew up the balloon to the 38.5cm of Hazel's newborn head (yay for Plunket books!) it fit perfectly. Hmmm...just occurred to me that she had a 100th percentile head so it might be a little big for more average babies - she takes after her giant-brained parents (harhar). Good thing my brother has an even bigger head than Mat or me so the baby might be well-endowed too! The shaping of the bonnet is incredibly simple - I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to work when I started and half way through I was all "are you sure this is shaped?" but voila, stitch up the back and it's all pixieish and adorable.

25 November, 2014

Christmas thyme

Three years ago I was working on one of these gingerbread men up at a bach we were renting when I foolishly put all the pieces, the skeins of embroidery floss and my scissors into a paper bag that was then thrown out when we tidied up before leaving. It took me quite a long time to get over being such an idiot but I've finally gotten that monkey off my back. Hazel asked me why the brown one has white legs and I was forced to admit I had no idea but that's the way the pattern is. She thinks it looks a bit odd but I don't - or at least I didn't before she pointed it out! Maybe I should try a different brown and do brown legs as well. They do say things in three are more aesthetically pleasing...

Gingerbread men

I'm pleased to have kicked off Christmas so early, although admittedly this isn't present-related unless doing it for myself counts! The weather here has been rather dreary lately, warm and wet, but the bright side is that my herbs are going gangbusters and the thyme is looking rather picturesque between the sage and lavender (parsley and rosemary are off to the side 😉). 

The pattern is from the Fa La La Felt book. 

23 November, 2014

Baby crochet

When I had Hazel I didn't know how to crochet and we were reliant on the kindness of others to supply hand-knitted goodies. Then I learned how to crochet but there were NO babies to be found anywhere! At last my brother and his wife took pity on me and decided to have one so I could learn to make tiny cardigans and little booties. Yay! I keep saying "just one more" because I just cannot seem to get the size down to an actual newborn, despite having the correct gauge and all that. But hey, I'm happy to keep trying! I had to find one of Hazel's newborn cardies to get an idea of how I was going and was slightly appalled how tiny it seems now!

This one is close, I think it's probably a 2-3 month old size.

Cecily Baby Sweater

The pattern is the Cecily Baby Sweater by Alicia Paulson and it's nice and simple to make up and is super-cute!

I wish I could say that we should have smell-o-vision so you could appreciate the sweetpeas but despite being touted as 'old fashioned scent' they aren't. What's the point of them if they don't smell? Sort of like freesias that don't have a scent, as much use as tits on a bull. Fortunately the roses do so spring is not ruined.

22 November, 2014

November block lotto

I'm not sure why I feel guilty that I did the December block lotto before November but I do! Here is November's made using the tutorial at We All Sew. It's nice making two blocks at once like this and I like the result, although I'm really annoyed that I messed up the direction of the lines in the blue fabric like I did. Hopefully it annoys the recipient less than me!

November block lotto

19 November, 2014

Back sewing

I must admit to sewing burn-out after Hallowe'en and I wasn't at all upset when Mat banned me from the sewing machine for a couple weeks! To be honest, by the end there I wasn't having much fun, the low point being when I realised the reason I'd had such an awful time getting the collar on Mat's waistcoat to fit was because I'd put it in upside down - I must admit to a few tears at that point. I made that bastard fit though! I've eased back into non-fraught sewing with a couple blocks for the Monday Modern Xmas meeting.

December block lotto

The block is called Migration by Lynne Goldworthy and is in the Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, issue 11 I think. It was fun to put together and I'm loving all the crisp points and lines. Next up is a churn dash block for last month's block lotto!

14 November, 2014

Clay gingerbread house

Growing up, one of my favourite family traditions was making gingerbread houses for Christmas. We baked the gingerbread and glued them together with candy glue, and then decorated them with as much icing and candies as we could fit in. When I moved down here I tried making them but the summer humidity made the gingerbread go soft and the candy colours ran into the icing and it was just horrible and depressing. I still long for them though!

In an attempt to ignore the fact it's the wrong season for Xmas here (apologies to native Antipodeans but it's true) I have recreated a scaled-down version in air dry clay. My first attempt can be seen here, this is my second.

Air dry clay gingerbread house

It's not perfect - the clay still bowed a bit despite my best efforts* so there are lots of gaps and the eaves overhang the sides too much to see the windows well but it's cute! I like the back window best

Air dry clay gingerbread house

I have to use an LED tealight in it as it gets too hot with a real flame. The flickering of the LEDs isn't quite right though, a steady light would be nicer. I'm now wondering about trying the Sculpey clay that you bake, maybe that would be better... The mental image still hasn't quite gone so I might need to play around a bit more and if I can get closer to it then it might go away.

I came across a great quote from Neil Gaiman on GoodReads yesterday that really described this process well
Normally, in anything I do, I'm fairly miserable. I do it, and I get grumpy because there is a huge, vast gulf, this aching disparity, between the platonic ideal of the project that was living in my head, and the small, sad, wizened, shaking, squeaking thing that I actually produce.
 I can't say I agree with him about what he produces, although it makes me wonder what even more amazing books live in his head :)

*Best efforts included keeping it in a cool spot, out of a breeze, turning the pieces often and pressing them down and putting a heavy cutting board on top of them overnight.

10 November, 2014

Air dry clay fail

I've had this idea for a clay house in my head for awhile and had a go at making one on Friday. Needless to say I'll be having another go at it today!

Air dry clay fail 

I think perhaps it dried too quickly so I'll try and slow it down a bit and flip the pieces often. Has anyone out there had experience with this kind of thing?

It really sucks when you have this clear vision in your mind of what it could look like and then tawdry reality hits!

02 November, 2014


Hallowe'en is done and gone for another year and I got everything finished on time and didn't have a mental breakdown!

Here we are in all our steampunk glory

Hazel got the most compliments on the night and was feeling pretty chuffed with her good idea! I think we might have done quite well in the costume competition but we didn't realize you had to sign up until it was too late - next year!


MOTAT was fun and there were some great costumes to admire and generally lots of people enjoying themselves which, to me, is what Hallowe'en is all about. There are other events to go to that have fireworks, rides or monster trucks but imho you can do that any time of the year and I doubt the vibe is anything special. Sure some of the venues fell rather flat, including a Alice in Wonderland one where most of the staff were on a break leaving the white rabbit not only late but on his own - possibly scary for him but not for anyone else! A bit more of a frisson of fear would have been good for the adults but Hazel and her friend Chloe the vampire/zombie cheerleader, were actually scared of being scared so were slightly on edge the whole time waiting for it to happen. When it did it was a group of teenage girls who had worked themselves into such a state of anticipation they gave themselves a fright over nothing and started screaming and running about, which freaked Hazel and Chloe out and made all the grown up ladies smile indulgently and remember when they were teenage girls in a state like that and how much fun it is!

Just look at that demented steam pug, who says they're not scary?!

30 October, 2014

Steam pug helmet

Things are going well, the only things I still have to do are waistcoat buttonholes and buttons and a tail on the pug costume. And do a makeup trial run as I'm going to attempt fancy eyeshadow which may prove to be outside my core area of competence! But that's what YouTube tutorials are for right? Well that and crafty things.

Here is Hazel's Steam Pug helmet, based on Doggleheim's iconic poster (available here and yes you need one)

Now we're going to have our own version sporting goggles AND a helmet. How flash. The colour has gone a bit weird, the helmet is a much richer brown in RL. 

I stupidly put everything on the helmet before I tried the goggles on top but luckily they just fit around all the tubes and ears. Phew! I've made SO many mistakes over the last few weeks I'm glad that wasn't yet another or I might have cried. 

27 October, 2014

Hallowe'en frenzy

I'm not sure why I'm doing this to myself, I really don't! Every minute of every day I'm either working on costumes or thinking about costumes and I'm starting to panic. If only I hadn't lost a couple weeks to vertigo! But I guess if I didn't secretly enjoy it all I'd just give up wouldn't I?

Here is something finished, Mat's hat and goggles. Again, feeling the love for Rub 'n Buff. 

Still to go (because I need a list to really panic me):

•Mat's waistcoat (20% done)
•Hazel's top and bottom (dying leggings and top a disaster so need to make from scratch)
•Finish my skirt (just needs waistband and D-rings attached)
•Finish my jacket (attach lining at cuffs, put on 18 buttons)
•Finish spats (60% done)

18 October, 2014

Wood you like a magnet?

Hazel has been taking part in BizKids which is a local entrepreneurial competition for young kids. She and a friend have been making magnets along with developing a business plan and other businessy things. It's a great scheme.

As with anything crafty these days, Pinterest played an integral part in product design and that's where I came across the idea for magnets using sections of a branch. They looked really neat so I thought I'd give it a go. I found a eucalyptus branch at the park and sawed it up. It was a pretty rough cut so I had to sand the heck out of them (byebye fingernails!). Then I rubbed a little oil on and followed it up with a coat of modpodge.

I'm so impressed with them, they're much cooler than I expected. I'd love to try doing them in different woods. 

13 October, 2014

Rub 'n Buff

I'm plugging away at the Hallowe'en costumes and it's going well but nothing is finished and it seems a bit endless. I thought if I could see something finished it would spur me on so I put the finishing touch on one set of goggles (nevermind that the straps aren't finished!). I've painted the craft foam with a mixture of latex and acrylic paint which was meant to make them rubbery-looking but mine look more like cast iron. Whatever, still a good look for steampunk. The finishing touch is something called Rub 'n Buff and its a mixture of waxes and pigments. You get a thin layer on your finger and rub it on and hey presto! I was a bit doubtful but OMG! 

Dinner ended up being late because I was enjoying the process so much I lost track of time. 

Enthusiasm restored!

07 October, 2014

Wonky Stars in vintage sheet fabric

I just looked back through the archives and on the 17th of September 2012 I posted about making the initial sample block for this quilt to show the Monday Modern ladies what I wanted to do for my block, and I think I bound it at the beginning of August this year, so a speedy two years! No-one in their right mind would ever accuse me of being fast at this quilting biz.


It turned out pretty much like I was hoping it would which is nice, but I'm less sure about the batting I chose and the quilting. I should hasten to add that the quilting was done by Carol Fearon and it's superb, but I didn't really know what I wanted when I took it to her, it being the first time I've had one done professionally, and I think the fact I'm a bit unsure about it means that I DID actually have an idea in my head that I didn't communicate to her properly. I took along a picture of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' and said something along these lines please and she interpreted it really well. I think in hindsight I might have been after more the wavy horizontal lines rather than the circles. But hey, live and learn and it really is quite amazing! I also wish I'd gone for a thinner cotton batting. I used a woollen one and it's too stiff and the quilt isn't particularly snuggly. Is that because the quilting is denser than quilts that I've done myself or is it the wool batting? Or both?

Anyways, I couldn't have done it without the Monday Modern girls (ladies? women? what's the right term here?) so a big thank you to them for doing the initial lot and then a few extra when I was despairing of ever getting done. I got there in the end!

Oh, and I like the back almost as much as the front :)

Untitled Oh, and two of the fabrics in the back were from dresses I had back in the 70s - guess which ones :) A hint, they're small because I was small.

04 October, 2014

Nana chic

My friend Steph has just moved house and we're off to see the new place this afternoon. Since they've bought with her in-laws and are dealing with two house's worth of stuff, I thought maybe something edible might be a better gift than more...stuff! But an unadorned jar of lemon curd, while tasty, isn't particularly exciting given the occasion so I decided I needed to jazz it up a bit. I'd pinned these jar covers (http://www.karpstyles.com/crochet/jarlid.html#.VC8WOabXfCR) a couple months ago and figured one would do the trick. 

I ended up adapting it for a smaller jar and I added a frillier edge and did the flower separately. 

It's definitely OTT but that was kind of the point 😀

03 October, 2014

Getting back on the horse

I seem to have taken an unintentional blog holiday but I've decided I'd like to try and get back into it so here goes!

My big project at the moment is trying to come up with costumes for Hallowe'en. I can't even think how many years it's been since I dressed up properly, certainly not since I left Canada which was over 20 years ago! I miss proper Hallowe'en a lot, here in NZ it's a pretty lame affair to be honest, with very little thought or effort put into costumes and the vast majority of people ignore it completely. BUT, there has been a Hallowe'en event held at MOTAT for the past couple years that looks like it might be fun AND it looks like people put some effort into it too. Hazel and I thought we'd like to go last year but it kind of crept up on us and it was held the weekend before Hallowe'en so it slipped by. I promised her we'd go this year though. But costumes? I had an idea I'd like to try Steampunk which fascinates me for some reason, I think maybe because of the sheer inventiveness of the costumes and the concept of it. It looks like a lot of fun! Hazel decided that she wanted to be a pug. "Pugs aren't very scary though are they?" said her dad, so she suggested going as a Steampug. Also not very scary but quite amusing and it would match my costume. At this point Mat decided he might like to come too, if I would make him a top hat and a vest. Men have it a lot easier when dressing quasi-Victorian!

So, what do you need to be a Steampunk? I needed a skirt and jacket and corset of some sort. I got this pattern but have ended up buying a corset (which still hasn't arrived and I'm getting annoyed) and a blouse at an opshop. I've also drafted my own spats. I've started buying things because I've had a nasty case of vertigo due to an inner ear infection for the last two weeks and it has really stuffed up my already tight schedule!

The goggles and hat for Hazel (and me and Mat) are being made from Lost Wax's patterns here and here. The videos are worth watching just for themselves! I will also make Mat's top hat from this pattern. I was going to make one for me too but then I just bought a cheapy costume top hat from Spotlight.

Hazel's costume will probably be a white top and leggings dyed to a puggish shade of beige, with a curly tail, a flight helmet with ears sticking out the sides, goggles, and face paint. We were going to make a onesie style of costume but not unsurprisingly, that shade of beige isn't all that popular in fabrics! 

When I forced him to look at men's costume ideas on Pinterest Mat decided that he quite liked the Regency style of vest, with the high collar at the back, so I ordered the 1790 - 1850 Single-breasted Man's Waistcoat from Patterns of Time. When it came I was a little overwhelmed with the historical accuracy of the pattern instructions and method of construction so I'm really (really really) hoping that putting it together with no consideration for authenticity will make it not all that bad. I mean, it's not exactly a complicated garment! He wants View C1. At least I hope that's what he wants as View C2 has a vast quantity of buttons to sew on!
So what do I have so far? I have a helmet and goggles partly finished. The goggles need painting and antiquing still. Putting on those little circles for screws was like a comedy act, with them sticking to my fingers and then to the hand I tried to take them off with and then to each other and then to my fingers again. I'm glad no-one was there to witness it in person!


The helmet is actually too big for Hazel so I need to make another one which is a drag. I also forgot about the need for ears on hers so it won't have the vents on the sides. But how cool is it though? You'd never guess it's made from cheap old craft foam.


Today I'm starting on my skirt and tissue-fitting the jacket which will need a FBA on a princess seam, so that should be interesting!

21 February, 2014

Valentine's part two

I mentioned last post that I had done a couple things for Valentine's, but I couldn't get a good photo of these until I took them down as they were strung across the kitchen window, which has to be the most challenging situation to photograph!


Last month Hazel had some friends over and we made salt-dough ornaments for them to decorate. The recipe made so many there was no way they could paint them all so I ended up painting a bunch of hearts, and then putting several topcoats of gloss Modge Podge on top. Pretty!

Hearts 2

My windowsill is back to normal now, but I quite liked it all girly. Not sure what Mat thought!


12 February, 2014


I'm not a fan of the commercialised entity that Valentine's Day has become but I couldn't resist making some decorations this year to satisfy the small part of my shrivelled heart that likes girly stuff in pretty colours.

A few months ago I pinned this image of crocheted hearts and it has been mildly popular.

The notifications of re-pins has been keeping it in my mind so I started out making a few of my own using a tutorial at Pepika. I used the cotton yarn I already had so I haven't managed to achieve the lovely sorbet colours of the original pin but I figure that it's a work in progress and I'd like to add a few more hearts every year, maybe in different shapes and sizes (very easy to do once you have the basic technique down).

❤️ crochet

Mat and Hazel thought they were quite amusing to watch being made from the top down because when they are half done, as Hazel so eloquently put it, "they look like bums!" They also look like Barbie bras when you first put the two tops together. However, when they are finished they are super-cute and a quick and very satisfying little project!

22 January, 2014

Two finishes

I have a real issue with finishing things, they'll sit 99% done for ages before I spend the 10 minutes needed to sew on a button or finish off a seam. So when I say that I finished TWO things yesterday it really should have party streamers and balloons and noise makers surrounding it. I'm pleased with both of them but I must admit a certain amount of trepidation in showing them here because they will reveal the extent to which I have become a tragic pug owner who has "all the pug-related merchandise made by anyone, ever" to quote this Gemma Correll poster. Or in this case, made by me. And yes, I have that poster too!
This cute little guy is destined for the (human) new baby brother of Ace, one of Ollie's mates. I think his head ended up a bit big due to overstuffing, but he manages to stay upright despite it. The pattern was from Jaravee on Etsy.

 The second was this embroidery, from Bridgeen, also off Etsy. I changed it a little from the original so it looked a bit more like Ollie looking up at me with big eyes so that I'll give him an almond.

Pug crafting #embroidery #embroideryhoop #craft #pug #curlytailgang #pugstagram #pugsofinstagram

And yes, he usually does get the almond - who could resist?

14 January, 2014

Charity quilt

This has been a long time in coming but I finally handed it over to Helen last night. Several months ago she gave the Monday Modern group a bunch of fabric in FQs and asked us to make quilts for a charity she's involved with. I'd just seen some lovely 'low volume' quilts and wanted to try making one that didn't come across as pale and uninteresting. I don't normally just start making a quilt, it takes a lot of agonising and measuring and pondering, but with this one I just did it. I decided to sew the straight strips at a diagonal across a piece of muslin and then sew the bigger pieces together. I discovered that a FQ doesn't allow for much width when it's on an angle, and that different pieces were different widths. In the end the quilt was a little smaller than I wanted, but it would have meant another strip and then would have been a bit wide.

Charity quilt

I discovered a few things with this quilt: firstly that I quite like low volume when it has a bit of colour in it, and I really like grey and white. Secondly, getting just the right amount of colour is very hard! I don't think any of the greens worked, the middle stripe because it is too much green and the green leaves because the background is a cream and there is too much green. The red Dutch fabric at the bottom of the middle panel is too much red, while the red just to the right of it is just right. Thirdly, sewing strips across the bias of a foundation fabric results in some distortion. I found the strips didn't always sit nice and flat, so I'm thinking perhaps it would have been better to just sew them together in a long strip and skip the foundation.

It was fun though, I enjoyed the process and liked the outcome. If I hadn't put in a few fabrics I wasn't 100% happy with it would have been hard to part with!

06 January, 2014

A new year

A new year and hopefully an increased interest in crafting because to be honest it's been lacking for the last month and I don't know why! I had visions of lazing away the holidays on the couch, crocheting, or getting in some good sewing time, but as it turned out I really didn't want to do anything crafty at all. I made a crochet necklace for my mum and then somehow ran out of steam. It's weird. Has anyone else had this happen to them? From being enthusiastic to complete lack of interest in a couple weeks? No blogging, no reading blogs, no Instagram. Maybe it's a virus... or the summer heat...

Anyways, I've been feeling stirrings of interest in the last couple days, and although I don't know how far it will go, I thought I'd post about a couple of things I made for presents.

As I mentioned, I made a necklace for my mum, from the Knot's Itoami book. I realised when I went to get a photo of it that I'd only taken an 'in progress' shot, so that'll have to do.


It's done on a .65 hook with #20 mercerised cotton and I found it very hard to do in anything but good lighting! I also realised, much to my chagrin, that if I want to keep doing this very fine stuff that I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy some cheapy reading glasses. I don't need them for reading but I do for this stuff. Well I don't technically, but it's not fun sometimes and my eyes hurt a bit afterwards! Frankly I'm annoyed, crafting shouldn't remind you of your mortality.


The other Christmas present I made was a tea cosy for my friend Jess, who has been using her Xmas one year-round. I used the pattern for the cosy in a book she gave me called Cute and Easy Crochet. I then spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest looking at pretty flowery cosies and then made my way through the various flowers in 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trims to end up with the garden on top. Oh it was fun! But eventually I had to stop and put them on the cosy. I defy any heat to escape this baby!


Luckily it fits Jess's tea pot better than mine, and I'm determined to make myself one that suits my pot. Although the pattern is really easy, it clearly suits the rounder-bodied 'Brown Bettie' type best.




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