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Well, once again, I am a bit behind.  I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t late with everything.

These are the placemats and matching table runners I made my folks and DH’s Mum.  It’s a pattern out of New Noel.  This would be the first time I’ve done applique. And I have to say, that I do NOT like qpplique.  At least not on small, thin letters.

I wanted them to be traditional reds and greens since they were for parents.  The quilter in me didn’t talk loud enough, so the idiot in me did stitch and turn for the edges.  Wrong-o.  The quilter should have spoken louder.  Next time maybe.

Anyway, here they are.  The placemats, a set of four.

sewing-placemats

The matching tablerunner.  I think this is much more effective than the placemats, though if I did it again, I would do the borders in green instead of red.  Live and learn.

sewing-tablerunner

A closer picture of the snowflakes.  This is where I lost the hair on both sides of my head.  Metallic thread is so beautiful, but it SUCKS to work with.  The snowflakes alone look me h.o.u.r.s!!!!!

sewing-tablerunner-snowflake-close

And here is where I admit that I can still admire these from where I am sitting.  That is correct, I am not done with my Christmas crafting yet, so here they still sit.  At least they will be there in time for next Christmas!!

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Babydoll

I HAD to post about this pattern.  A good friend called for some people to test knit a top she designed.  It’s a simple top-down raglan knit.  Hopefully, any bugs or size issues with the patterns will be sorted quickly so that she can get crackin’ on larger sizes. 😉

It’s called Kaia’s Babydoll and is knit in 8 ply.  I used Bendigo Woolen Mills 8 ply cotton in Marine (no longer available) for the bodice and Cleckheaten Natural Cotton 8 ply in cream for the body.  I added in some colourwork so the dress would have a gradual change from blue to cream.  I am missing a few transition rows, but that’s where knitting more than one will come in handy.

Anyway, keep an eye out on Ravelry for her pattern, where she goes by MessyMama.

babydoll-tester-on-hanger

Chip

I stumbled across StitchPoet’s blog one day, while searching for necklace patterns.  Talk about inspiration! You know, the kind where you get giddy and excited?!?!?!

And then I saw her Chip Bag Pattern.  Holy fricking guacamole!  That is so ME!

So I emailed her, and asked if there was anyway to get a copy of the pattern.  Thank goodness for email and the internet, because I was able to pay for a pattern AND get the PDF over a weekend. Woohoo!

OK, so I don’t have the amazing talent of Champ.  Her creations are just awe inspiring.  But I’ve knit up a few, though only have one finished so far.

bag-chip-bag-v1

I mistakenly stretched the bag a little when I was making a pattern for the bag lining, and in doing so, the liner came out quite, er, large.  So I’ve modified the bag a bit.  Using buttonholes on the liner, I added thin leather strips on the sides to help the bag maintain a nice shape.

bag-chip-bag-v1-side

The handles were recycled off an Op Shop salvage.  I was so pleased that I was able to find something in a brown colour, as finding anything with wooden handles in Op Shops is getting tougher and tougher.  All these crafty people are getting there before me.

For the lining, I picked out a nice fabric I had in stash.  Can’t remember which designer fabric it is, but I thought it was beautiful.  I used Champ’s label idea, with the stamped name of my blog on a piece of cotton ribbon.

bag-chip-bag-v1-inside

Now, I need to get in gear and finish the other two.

Oh, Champ had a pattern picked for the current issue on knitty, for her Bark-A-Lounger.  Congrats Champ!

N.O.E.L.

I decided that the kids needed Christmas outfits this year.  Don’t ask me why. Well, actually, I know why.  My to-do list is almost the same length as Santa’s list, and it was a fun distraction.  That’s why.

I bought this book a few months ago called New Noel, and made the table runners and place mats (that’s for another post). But it also gave me another idea.

So I made a trip down to the local T and T kids store and bought some white T-shirts. Then I used the letters from the New Noel pattern book, and some hand drawn holly leaves, and appliqued them to the shirts.  I added red buttons as the holly berries too, and this is what I ended up with.

sewing-noel-shirts

The *n* shirt had to have an extra holly leaf, because I am a knob, and snipped the shirt while snipping a thread.  Applique is a life saver at times.

Here is a closer pic of the *O*

sewing-noel-shirts-close

I had originally planned on doing skirts for the girls to match, but some patterns that I ordered through a friend arrived.  They are some of the Sandi Henderson Portobello Pixie patterns and they are TOO CUTE.  So I picked the easiest pants pattern, and made ruffle capris for the girls. (Please excuse the raggamuffin look)

sewing-noe

Don’t worry.  The boy didn’t get ruffle pants.  But he did get matching boardies 😉

sewing-xmas-pants-front

sewing-xmas-pants-back

So, all together, this is what they looked like.  Don’t you just love their smiles.

sewing-noel

And this is a pic of the kiddos on Christmas Eve.  Yes, we braved the shopping mall on Christmas Eve, as a special birthday treat.  This was the best Santa ever, as he sang Miss KT5 Happy Birthday.  How cool is that?!?!?!

santa_and_kids_cropped_small

Yarn Swap V2

The first ever Yarn Swap that Kelly organised on TNN was such a huge hit, that we all did it again.  (Actually V3 is currently in progress as well.)  I got brave and decided I would do two swaps this time, as I had so much fun with it last time.

After the last swap, I saw some fabric with images on it from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  What a perfect theme.  So I nabbed some of the fabric, plus a panel with the larger pictures on it (the butterfly, worm and leaf) and came up with the rest of my package.  These are the two fabrics I bought.tvhc-panel

tvhc-food

So, I wanted to dye my yarn to match.  It took me two tries, but this is what I ended up with.  The first batch didn’t have a proper green in it, which is such a critical colour for the theme, hence why I did a second batch.  The first batch was dyed with kool-aid though, and smelled so lovely, which is why I wanted to use kool-aid.  But never mind.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-tvhc-wool

Now, for the extra parts, I gave clay a go to make some beads.  The fruits in the story were my inspiration, so I used an air-dried clay, and came up with beads in the shape of an orange, apple, plum, strawberry and pear.  I used acrylics to paint them similar to the pictures of the fruits in the books, and then made a set of stitch markers with them.

tnn-yarn-stitch-markers-tvhc-unpainted-plum-and-orange

tnn-yarn-stitch-markers-tvhc-unpainted-strawberry

tnn-yarn-stitch-markers-tvhc

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-tvhc-stitch-markers

Then for the gift, I originally wanted to do some sort of picnic basket, but instead found a nice market bag.  I made a drawstring liner for it, so if it gets dirty during veggie shopping, she can chuck it in the wash.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-tvhc-merket-bag

Doing a search for a good recipe, I found one for A Very Tasty Caterpillar, which is a great little mini-pizza set for kids.  I also included a pattern for a apple/pear cosy (though think the tikki rainbow dress would look lovely in that wool as well) and a mini version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book.

This is the finished set.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-tvhc-whole-set

And all packaged up in a picnic-like gingham paper.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-tvhc-packaged-up

For the other swap, my swappee’s favourite movie wass Pirates of the Caribbean.  Seemed like it would make a good theme.  So dyed some wool in blues, using the kettle dyeing method, in the attempt to get some blue of the Caribbean waters.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-potc-wool

I made some beads, just like I did for the hungry Caterpillar theme, only this time it was a skull, bones and a replica of the medallion from the movie.  I also antiqued and varnished some letter beads, and made a stitch marker to represent a common Jack  Sparrow saying.

beading-potc

I knit up another of the Scallop-edged necklace, using blue for the *water* and black beads to represent the *Black Pearl.*

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-potc-necklace-2

For the pattern, I added in a copy of this pattern that I blogged about.  The recipe was for Pina Colada, and I added in a bottle of rum to go with it.  I did up letter to explain the swap, done in Pirate Easel, and distressed it to give it a bit of realism.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-potc-letter-2

A few chocolate coins, and a bit of burlap, and this is what I sent.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-potc-whole-set

Just imagine finding this buried on an island in the Caribbean.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-potc-packaged-up

But here is the great part: I got to RECEIVE two swaps!!!

The theme of my first swap was based on a poem:

The red rose whispers of passion
And the white rose breathes of love.
O the red rose in a falcon,
and the white rose is a dove
By John Boyle O’Reilly

tnn-yarn-v2-swap1

The yarn is 100g of Colour 4 Me 8ply wool that was dyed with cake gels in the colours of the roses in my swappers garden.

tnn-yarn-v2-swap1-wool

I received the most gorgeous black velvet sewn bag.  The amount of work in this bag would have been enormous.  The cutting, the stitching, oh my!  The picture does it no justice, as velvet is so difficult to photograph.  But take my word, it is stunning.

tnn-yarn-v2-swap1-bag

I also got a batch of homemade chocolates, in the shapes of roses.

tnn-yarn-v2-swap1-chocolates

Kathreen’s Rose Petal Ice Cream was the recipe that was included.  I have not yet tried it yet, but hope to do so with the kids this summer

tnn-yarn-v2-swap1-recipe

And the  included pattern is called Crochet Rose Purse, another free download off Ravelry.

tnn-yarn-v2-swap1-pattern

This is how far I’ve gotten.  I have started the rose part 3 times, but obviously am not good enough at crochet to get it right.  Plus I think the rose would look better if I did it in a solid colour.  So, will get to that when I find the right shade of pink to match.

tnn-yarn-v2-swap1-wip

The second one I received had the theme *Berry Juicy.*  It smelled D.I.V.I.N.E when I opened it, thanks to the Dirty Soap.  I got 125 gm of Bendigo Woolen Mills 5ply, dyed in the colours of various berries.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-swap2-set

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-swap2-closeup

The Dirty Soap and these gorgeous stitch markers, in the colours of various berries were the gifts that were included.  And if you look closely, you will see there is one for crocheting at well.

tnn-yarn-swap-v2-swap2-stitch-markers

I also received a recipe for Berry Cheesecake.  That will most definitely be made this summer, seeing as cheesecake is my favourite dessert!

The pattern is called Berry Ripple Socks (the actual name is Rainbow Ripple Socks, but changed to fit the theme) by Linda Dziubala, and is a free download off of Ravelry.  The socks were supposed to be for me, but this is what I get for not doing a gauge swatch: too small socks.  So, once I figured out that the socks would not fit, I only knit the sock long enough for KT5’s foot, who was next in line for a pair of socks.  Thank goodness she has little feet.  But you can see in the picture how nicely self striping the wool came out, and the ripple pattern down the side.

wip-socks-berry-ripple-half-way-done

Now to get the second sock done!

Thank you so much White-Rose and Arna.  I love both packages, and can’t wait to see what you both come up with in the next round.

Now, just in case you haven’t had enough, here are links to more yarn candy from the swap. Enjoy

Great Minds Think Alike because Crafty Wee Wifey also did The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Still Waiting on Sweet P’s Post, but here is one she received

Crazy Crafter’s Received Yarn

Evogurl’s Barbie Mariposa

Nova’s awesome swap

Kiwi Fi’s Beautiful Parcels

KnewbieKnitters Yarn

Neak’s Gorgeous Gardening Package

The Pukeko Possum goes Sushi

There are a few more, but will have to wait for people to do some more blogging.

I am always trying to come up with nice, yet simple gifts.  I had made several necklaces from the 101 Designer One Skein Book.  Such an easy yet effective pattern, and a perfect, personalised gift.

So I decided that this is what I would do for teacher gifts this year.

The girls were informed to ask each teacher, what was their favourite colour.  Then we figured out colour combos and got to work.  These are the six we made up:

This one is for KJ9’s teacher, who has cool green glasses.  Its knit on Paton’s Serenity, which is a bamboo/cotton mix.

necklace-ms-dimond

The second one is for the teacher’s aide in KJ9’s class., who said her favourite colour was yellow. I used a cotton/acrylic mix on this one, as it was the right tone of yellow that I was looking for in a yarn.

necklace-jill

KM7’s teacher is getting a bright blue necklace,  knit on Moda Vera Soya, which is a soft and delicate yarn. But it is perfect for minimal stress when stringing the beads

necklace-ms-stempa

A second one in the blue since the first one turned out so well.  This is for one of KT5’s Kindy teachers.

necklace-angeline

This one is also for one of the Kindy teachers.  Miss L loves blue, the colour of the sky.  I was surprised to find these beautiful beads at Spotlight, but it was a great colour to use with the cream Paton’s Serenity.

necklace-linda

Miss N gets the red one, which I think is lovely.  Of course, red IS my fav colour, so I might be a bit biased. Again, knit with Paton’s Serenity (can you tell which yarn is my fav for using beads yet?).

necklace-nina

My lovely hair stylist saw the one I did in this post, and asked me to make one for her daughter for Christmas.  She said to surprise her, so this is what I did.

necklace-lilly-side-one

The way the beads came out, it’s almost like it’s reversible.  This is what the *other* side looks like.

necklace-lilly-side-two

This is the order in which I strung I beads, written to represent each row as you knit it, just in case you want to try it and you have the pattern book:

G = Green, P=P

(1P 1G) x 10  2P  3G  4P  5G  6P 7G 6P  5G 4GP  3G  2P  (1G 1P) x 10

1G  2P  3G  4P  5G  6P  5G  4P  3G  2P  1G

1G  2P  3G  4P  5G  4P  3G  2P  1G

1G  2P  3G  4P  3G  2P  1G

1G  2P  3G  2P  1G

1G  2P  1G

1G

And since my hair stylist is so cool, I made her one as well.  The picture doesn’t do it justice those.  The beads are pinkish brown in colour with an iridescent coating, so they almost take on the colour that you are wearing.  And she loved it too. Phew

necklace-michelle

Swirly Skirts

Here are a couple more of the Swirly skirts

This was another one that was for KT5, but it was a better fit on KM7, to which she was quite pleased.

skirt-redondo-2

skirt-redondo-1

And a third one, from clearance fabric at Spotlight (our local craft store for those non-kiwi folks)

redondo-3

redondo-v3-modelled

Aren’t they gorgeous skirts!  The next ones will have flounces, I hope, and will be made to the Redondo pattern, so will be a little different.  I had planned on the Redondo skirts to be Christmas presents, but alas, I am always a day late and a dollar short.

One last picture of the cutie pies.

redondo-k2-and-k3