Tag Archives: knitted toys

Scrap Sunday: Christmas Crackers

I guess I should apologise for what you are about to read, I have been stuck at home with two sick children for a couple of days now and we are watching a lot of fairy tales, so please forgive me 🙂

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess. Well, probably more of a queen since she was married to a king and the mother of two beautiful, clever and well behaved children, but she certainly looked like a young beautiful princess, who happened to be also extremely clever, witty and kind-hearted.

The queen and her family lived on an island where the sun always shone far away from her home country somewhere in the highest mountains you could possibly imagine.   During one particularly hard winter there, the queen decided to travel home to help her family who lived on top of a very high mountain.

The beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen did not want to come empty handed and in countless sleepless nights she created very useful little gifts for all the members of the her family.

After a few weeks of preparation, she, the king, the little princess and the little prince set off  in their golden carriage drawn by twelve white horses  and after days through wind, ice and snow they finally arrived on top of the mountain.

The parents of the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen could not believe their eyes when they opened the door of their little wooden house and her daughter stepped in with lots of presents in her hands. Rapidly, they called all of the queens brothers and sisters, their partners and children to celebrate the family reunion. The mother of the queen hustled into the tiny kitchen and started to cook a beautiful meal, her father lit the fire and everybody gathered around the big table to enjoy the meal together. And it was a miracle, the food came out of the tiny kitchen on big plates which never got empty!

The beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted prin queen handed each one teir  handcrafted, extremely useful gifts, beautifully wrapped in something she called “cracker” in the language spoken by the indigenous people on the sunny island.

Everybody got a beautiful crown made of the finest and most delicate paper and a little written thought to cheer them up.

All the children got little toys, something that they had never even heard of, let alone owned.

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For the adults, she had chosen more practical things to help them through difficult times, for example magic wands for her sister and sister-in-law, both mothers of young children,IMG_0826

a portable milk frothing device for her brother-in-law, a coffee connoisseur,

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practise nappies for her brother and his partner who were expecting a child,

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and the probably most challenging to be executed by the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen : a working satellite for her brother, a sage (not the plant, the wise man of course) who has given the world the knowledge of befriended location determination

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The presentees were gobsmacked yet not surprised by the creativity and the skills of the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen and just did not know what to say, they had never seen such refined technology and did not even know how to use some of these items. But they were overflowed by gratefulness and the evening ended in lots of laughter, tears of joy and an amazing firework display in the clear sky mirrored in the peaceful white blanket that covered the mountain that night.

And the beautiful, clever, witty and kind-hearted queen knitted happily ever after.

 

back to school

Stitch Samples

Stitch Samples

After years as pupil, student and teacher, September has always been more of a new beginning than January. Maybe a bit less in the recent years but September 2013 is definitely the beginning of something new as I will be going back to teaching. But this time it is not French nor Chemistry, it’s knitting.

As I have mentioned before, I will be giving knitting classes within the Children Centres in Kensington and Chelsea and the first one will start on Monday.

So I am actually quite busy preparing the classes. My students will be mothers of small children, so probably always busy and tired from sleepless nights. So the knitting might not be on top of their list so I should keep that in mind.

I am thinking of letting them practice the stitches and produce samples rather than just letting them knit an unwearable scarf. I have been inviting people to those classes and quite a few are traumatised by past knitting experience and it always seems to involve a long stretchy thing. So I really want to avoid scarfs.

I also want them to produce samples of their stitches and techniques for future reference as they might not have enough time now but will pick it up again a bit later.

Once they got a bit more confident, we will knit rather small items as I want to make sure that things can actually be finished to get the full satisfaction.

The courses only last 5 or 6 weeks and I am almost certain that most of my students will miss at least one class, that’s just how it is if you have small children.

The smallest pretty item I could think of is actually a garter stitch bow which can easily be made into a hairband, either by attaching it to an Alice band or by a simple crocheted cord. I can only hope they all have little girls rather than boys… although the same might be used as a bow tie….

Or a tiny bag or a case for the mobile phone would be easy too.

I am also currently trying out soft toy patterns to see if they would be suitable. Somehow it would be an ideal project. Lots of small pieces with a variety of tasks, casting on, binding off, increases and decreases, sewing pieces together,…. and literally everyone of my students will have at least one small child who would probably be delighted.

I have made one rather big bear, I found the pattern in the last Let’s knit issue, or rather in the complementary booklet with free patterns. It is not too bad, slightly too big I think for my purpose, very classic though and reminds me of the Mr Bean teddy which I always found very cute.

teddy

teddy

The other toy is a bit smaller, either a rabbit or a bear, depending on the ears, it is lovely too. I really like the shape of the head and the floppy ears of my rabbit. It is written by April Cromwell. She has a great blog too. bysmallmeans.wordpress.com

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This one might be a bit too tricky to sew together, so I will have to think about it. Or I will end up writing my own pattern.

I will see how people are doing the first two weeks and then we will decide what to knit as project.

So, I am quite busy now but I have also been busy over summer. As we have been visiting friends and family back home, I actually had to produce a few gifts for babies. So I did a few new Versa tunics as they are highly effective, quick to knit, cute to look at and long to wear as they “shrink” from dress to top.

The only boy in the list of babies to meet and greet got a Little Rascal. As my daughter found the plain sweater “boring” I added a little orange car which got her approval.

I also made a few scarfs. A too small for me Baktus in Sirdar Smiley Stripes, a Clapo-ktus for a wedding in a beautiful  Wool-Silk-blend hand-dyed by Dye for Yarn and triangular scarf in my own design, again that great Yarn from Dye for Yarn, in the most gorgeous red.

So, I guess it’s not a surprise that I didn’t actually have time to keep this blog up to date. Sorry for this long post, I really should post more regularly.