December 1st – Mary

 

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14

mary

Mary is the first figure to be taken out of the pocket for Day 1 of our Advent Calendar. All the figures stand about 4-5 inches high and are perfect for little fingers to play with.

For Mary, and actually the majority of the figures, I used this pattern by Carolyn Christmas from Ravelry:

figures-pattern

Her photography skills are certainly better than mine! It is a paid for pattern but definitely worth it. The instructions are easy to follow; she suggests using a bottle lid in the base to help the figures to stand and I found this worked well. For my Mary I used traditional blue and white. I used Stylecraft Special DK for all the figures, with some other odds and ends from my stash when the colours needed it. She suggested 4mm eyes which I found on Ebay by celloexpress.ni.

Here’s a couple of photos of my grandson with the Advent Calendar, (it’s huge) so excited!

I hope you enjoy this new series through Advent. I will try to post daily, but just in case life takes over, pop over to my DressedInCrochet Facebook page where I hope to have at least a picture of the figure for each day, if not a blog post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crocheted Nativity Advent Calendar

nativity-set

I decided to make a crocheted nativity set for my grandchildren: Benedict (3) and Rose (1). I had been collecting possible patterns for a while and knew that this year they will enjoy telling the Christmas Story through their own play. Then, looking at Advent Calendars and not seeing eating chocolate every day as a meaningful preparation for Christ’s birth, I realised I could combine the two. So I set about planning my 25 figures – yes 25 because you have to put Baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Day and not before! 25 figures…. 3 wise men, 3 camels, 3 gifts, that’s 9 already. We could have a few shepherds and a whole flock of sheep, it could be possible! I could just picture Benedict and Rose getting a new figure every day and telling the next part of the story. So we would need to start with Mary, Joseph and a donkey, then an innkeeper and so the nativity would develop.

But how on earth to store these figures? They are amigurumi, about 4 inches tall, but quite chubby. A pocket storage organiser to hang on the back of a door should do it. But by this time I was rather busy trying to get all 25 figures crocheted before December 1st so I asked my mum “Ganna” to join in and make this a project for 4 generations. With a little trip to Hobbycraft, a lot of scissors and glue, and getting the trusty sewing machine out again, she came up with this:

advent-calendar

Thanks Mum! The pockets are the perfect size, even for the camels. The pockets are felt squares, the backing is hessian and there is a doweling running through the top for it to hang from.

So we are nearly ready for Advent; waiting for the Lord. I just have 5 more figures to make this weekend and it will be ready.

I hope to post on the blog each day with a photo of the figure, the link to the pattern and I’m hoping Tess will add some photos of the children playing with them onto my DressedInCrochet Facebook page.

Finishing WIPs

I’m been finishing off a lot of WIPs (Work In Progress) and its such a lovely feeling 🙂 Most of them are baby related, some for my new granddaughter Rose and some for a new baby soon to be born to Jess at work.

Here we go with the photos:

WP_20151007_001 1This is a knitted babygrow; I do prefer the look of knitting to crochet for clothes, but am more prolific at crocheting, hence why I make so many blankets. The babygrow is from a Deramores pattern, I love the colours here: Stylecraft Shrimp and Saffron, and the contrasting colour changes hopefully make it a little more unique.

I also made an aran all-in-one for wearing outside with little wooden toggles, again this is knitted:

WP_20151124_001 and here’s a close-up of the cable:

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I’m going to have to get some photos of Rose wearing it, hopefully those photos will look better! Rose grew out of the shrimp and saffron one before I had finished it, so I have made his one extra long to fit. She’s going to be a tall girl!

Another knitted one: a tiny pink cardi with rosebuds and a little pearl button from the Sublime pattern book:

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A crocheted blanket for Jess’ baby using the Cedar River pattern from Deramores. It’s my first C2C blanket and a joy to make:

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I have also been making some Christmas baubles inspired by Heather at the Patchwork Heart:

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This is one of Heather’s photos, doesn’t she do beautiful staging. I’ve traded some crocheted baubles for some good photos of my own so I’m hoping they’ll make an appearance on my Etsy shop soon.

Continuing the Christmas theme, I have crocheted a gorgeous little stocking ready for Rose’ first Christmas, see the little red rose on the cuff so Santa knows whose presents to put in?

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Well blogging is an exhausting business, as is taking photos! So I shall get back to my restful hooking and continue with the Christmas bauble production line. And good news on the M.E. front: I have been given the go-ahead for a new wheelchair with a tilt-in-space mechanism. For those not au fait with wheelchairs and their tricks, it will hopefully mean that I can rest from my wheelchair, spend less time lying flat in bed and hopefully be sociable for longer before crashing. Happy days 🙂

 

Painted Roses Blanket

Painted Roses Blanket

Painted Roses balnket

I’ve just finished the Painted Roses Blanket. It’s for my friend Em’s baby Lucy’s cot as a homewarming present. I hope they both like it! The pattern is from Cherry Heart This is her second pattern I have used and it’s beautifully clear and easy to follow. I copied her colours as I’ve discovered they can make or break a project and often what I picture in my head doesn’t work out in reality! I like Stylecraft Special DK for it’s price and softness so most of the colours are from there. However their duck egg blue isn’t released until October and I just couldn’t wait so I went ahead with Hayfield’s instead. Not as soft, but a good colour.

Painted Roses Blanket closeup

I’ve finished quite a few blankets lately:

  • The Lilypond which is for sale in my Etsy shop

Lilypond

  • An Aran Hearts Throw for my friend Nicole’s wedding present
Nicole's wedding blanket
  • A Sophie’s Universe done in one colour, just cream

Cream Sophie

although that photo is not so good and I don’t have the energy to do another for now:( but maybe it gives you an idea of the intricacies of the stitches

  • and I’m currently working on a large Sophie using the colour pack suggested by Dedri

sophie's universe started

As you can see it’s my usual story of enough energy to crochet, but too little for great photos and wordy blogging! 🙂

Rainbow Granny, Lilypond and Sophie’s Universe

blanket on daybedI have been making this Rainbow Granny as a quick, easy make to cover a new day-bed we have. I made it following inspiration from the Patchwork Heart, I love her colour combinations – or “colour recipes” as she calls them. I have used Stylecraft Special DK with parchment on alternate rows. The rainbow rows are: copper, spice, gold, lime, meadow, khaki, petrol, teal, violet, grape, plum, burgundy, and claret. I prefer a denser granny square so I didn’t do any chains between the treble groups, and only one chain at the corners. I went round in a square until I had the correct width and then just continued in the colour sequence until I had the length I needed. It’s been a great blanket to make, so easy so I can watch a film at the same time or if I’m having a bad M.E. day and need something brainless.

folded blanket on seat

For those days when I need more of a challenge, I have started a Sophie’s Universe. There are gorgeous pictures of these creations all over blogland and Facebook.

Sophies-Universe-Part-18-Stonewashed-XL

I’m a bit late to the party and have decided to make my first Sophie in Cream, then when I’m familiar with the pattern I will choose my colour combination. You see, I’m accepting there will be more than one Sophie – they are so addictive! Actually I love the effect of Sophie in a neutral colour; she is so intricate that she doesn’t need colour and in many ways I think colour would detract from her detail. It’s the best pattern I’ve ever used, and I have been crocheting for yeeears! Dedri, from LookWhatIMade must have spent hours writing up the detailed instructions. I love it that she tells you exactly where you should find yourself after each little group of instructions. Perfect. And if it doesn’t seem to make sense, there’s a video at Its All In A Nutshell demonstrating the whole blanket. I’m totally submerged in Sophie’s Universe; I truly love it!

Lilypond CAL 2

The third blanket I have on the go at the moment is the Lilypond CAL (Crochet-A-Long) by Janie Crow and Stylecraft. I love the colours in this and I’m currently waiting for week 7 to come out next Tuesday. It’s a mix between flower squares and ripple and wave blocks, so great for keeping you interested. I haven’t decided what to do with mine when I have finished, I think I may hang it as a wall-hanging, but the question is where?!

Trio of Baby Rainbow Blankets

Trio of baby rainbow blankets

I’ve been making blankets, blankets and more blankets recently. The baby rainbow squares was my first, an idea which I found at the Patchwork Heart (she’s sooo good with colours). Then I wondered how it would look as spots, so just did the usual increases each round to get it to the desired size then turned my spots into squares with cream. The ripple, well I just love rippling, and rippling a rainbow was a a perfect excuse to do another.

Thankfully there are many babies due soon, so my crochet all has homes to go to.

The need to ripple continues – it is so addictive.

pink and blue ripples

The pink ripple I did a while ago (see earlier post), but people keep borrowing it so I’m making it’s brother in blue. It took a while to get the colour choices right, first I made it with Midnight, Teal and Aspen as above, but then I wasn’t sure so did a few rows using Sherbet instead of the Aspen. A nicer colour on its own I think, but the combination felt more cohesive with the Aspen, so I frogged all the Sherbet back and started again! I never mind frogging, many people seem horrified as I pull row after row of work out, but for me its more important to get it right, yarn is expensive and anyway, it’s the journey of crocheting I love, not just the destination.

Humpty Dumpty Blanket

humpty croppedI’m currently on a run of making blankets. So this post will be the first of a few on the blankets I’ve been making. I made this blanket for my little nephew Harry whose favourite toy is Humpty Dumpty. His mum sent me a photo of Humpty:

Harry's Humpty DumptyMy husband put it into Photoshop and put a 200 square grid over it as 200 stitches sounded about right. Then I had the chart to work from with one square per stitch. It didn’t work perfectly and needed a little artistic licence to make it work on the blanket, but I don’t mind unpicking because it’s the journey that counts – right?!

To make it more fun I appliqued the eyes, a sun and added a big bow tie on the top. Surface crochet for the eyebrows and mouth, (I can see I need a bit more practice at that – maybe one of those pens which disappear would have helped) and finally a big squidgy pom pom for his nose! Such fun to do and added pzazz!

humpty's faceI’m pleased to say the Humpty Blanket was a hit with Harry and is now snuggled on the sofa and draped to make dens 🙂