What I did today…..

Today was a good day, a very good day indeed. For starters, it was a much appreciated day off from an exceptionally manic run of work, so I treated myself to a lay in rather than being rudely awoken by my pesky alarm clock, ate breakfast in bed, stayed in my pyjamas until after lunch, and giggled in to a cup of tea whilst listening to back to back podcasts of the Xfm breakfast show that I have been storing up for many, many months but not had any time to listen to. I also got some quality time with my much-loved sewing machine who no doubt has been feeling a little abandoned of late. And this, my friends, is what I made:

A bow tie bib for baby Henry

Ta dah! You see, my incredibly wonderful friend Charlie has a beautiful baby boy named Henry, and next weekend Henry will be attending his very first wedding. Charlie has carefully selected a gorgeous little outfit for Henry to wear, and I thought I would make him a little bow tie bib to go with it.

In order to make the bow tie part of Henry’s bib, I used this tutorial from Mumtastic to guide me, but made a few alterations a long the way to fit my design. It was so much fun and so easy to make, and a good way to use up scraps of material. I have a feeling that bows will be very heavily featured in my up and coming creations.

Image courtesy of mumtastic.com

I then used this fantastic tutorial from craftpassion.com to create the bib. It comes with a brilliant free pdf bib pattern that will fit babies that are 6-12 months old.

Image courtesy of craftpassion.com

I decided to line my bib with some towelling to make it ultra absorbent. I simply bought a plain white towel from Ikea to cut the bib from and it worked perfectly well. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out, and I hope that little Henry and his mummy like it 🙂

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Easter ……

Here’s a sneaky little peak at whats been occurring in the sewing laboratory over here at Gizmo and Stitch Towers:20120328-150353.jpg

The sun is shining splendidly over London town, so it’s the perfect opportunity to sit on my balcony, soak up some rays, and do a little bit of hand sewing. I have discovered that I am very much a seasonal crafter; In the autumn and winter I knit, and in the spring and summer I sew. What with all the glorious weather we have been having over here in Blighty recently, I have cast aside my knitting needles, and picked up my sewing box again, and boy am I having fun! I often forget how much quicker it is to make something in fabric than it is to sit and knit it, so I have surprised myself with how many of these little rabbit finger puppets I have managed to whip up in just a couple of hours! They will make perfect little gifts for all the small folk that I know, and a wonderful alternative to chocolate – although I’m sure there will be lots of that being passed around too, it is Easter after all, the perfect excuse to a gorge yourself silly on ridiculous quantities of chocolate and end up feeling a little bit sick, yet very satisfied. Mmmm, chocolate….

Anywho, I digress. I found this wonderful little felt bunny finger puppet tutorial over on the extremely gorgeous blog The Purl Bee.

Image courtesy of The Purl Bee

Image courtesy of The Purl Bee

The tutorial has fabulously clear step by step instructions to follow, and I can assure you that the bunnies are an absolute delight to make. You can find the tutorial by clicking here. I can’t wait to pop the finished little bunnies in to the post for all the gorgeous little children I am lucky enough to know for them to play with this Easter. I am even going to have a go at making my own eggs with a kit that a bought last Easter but sadly didn’t get enough time to use. Fear not Easter egg molds, for this Easter you will fulfill your Easter egg making destiny! Nom nom nom….. x

If you go down to the woods today…..

…. you might get a bit muddy because it’s been raining bucket loads round this here neck of the woods! Best take your wellies and a raincoat if you venture outwards. Ooo, and have fun jumping in any puddles you find! Puddles are brilliant fun, although I am sometimes a teensy bit scared that they will be much deeper than anticipated and that I will sink right up to my noggin! Oh, and beware of the bears….

Teddy bears picnic

… for if the song is to be believed “every bear that ever there was is gathered there for certain because today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic” apparently. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

All this rain is a very good thing, a very good thing indeed! Not only did my little vegetable garden on the balcony benefit from a ruddy good soaking, the rain also tends to bring out the creativity in me, maybe because when I was little rainy days meant spending the day indoors making things with my mum. I love the fact that the coming of rain makes me feel more justified and less guilty about staying home and making things all day. I adore sitting by the window, watching the rain coming down while I busy myself with a craft. Today that craft was knitting, and knit I did! I knitted a bear!

I found this bear pattern by Debbie Bliss on the Ravelry website. If you would like a copy of the pattern for yourself, just click here. It’s free! Huzzah! I love free patterns!

It’s a really fun pattern to work with and quite quick to do too. Although there is one part that I found incredibly confusing….. when knitting the bears body the pattern says “inc 1 st at each end of next row and 6 foll 6th rows”. Erm, say what now?? This stumped my ditzy little brain for quite some time and was very frustrating. After looking through the comments section of the Ravelry page that went with this pattern, I discovered I wasn’t the only one confused by this. Luckily a few wonderful people had come to the rescue and posted the answer ( a gargantuan thank you to the kind and helpful Ravelry knitting community for coming to my rescue yet again, I’d be so very stuck so very often without your help!). Basically it means that you should you increase 1 stitch at each end of row using your preferred increase stitch (I chose the kfb increase) then knit as follows:

Row 11: kfb, knit 8, kfb. (24 sts)
Knit 5 rows garter
Row 17: kfb, knit 10, kfb (26 sts)
Knit 5 rows garter
Row 23: kfb, knit 12, kfb (28 sts)
Knit 5 rows garter
Row 29: kfb, knit 14, kfb (30 sts)
Knit 5 rows garter
Row 35: kfb, knit 16, kfb (32 sts)
Knit 5 rows garter
Row 41: kfb, Knit 18, kfb (34 sts)
Knit 5 rows garter
Row 47: kfb, Knit 20, kfb (36 sts)
Knit 7 rows garter

Be warned, the seams can be quite fiddly. It took me several attempts to get it right as I’ve not tried to seam garter stitch before. I did find this tutorial on you tube to be very helpful though:

I knitted this bear with a certain little person in mind, but I don’t want to say who it’s for yet as I don’t want to ruin the surprise ;o) I hope they will like it though!

Little Pip meets baby Henry.

Little Pip the knitted rabbit has been on a very big adventure. In his little ship, the SS Parcel Box, he journeyed north on a sea of post to Staffordshire where he was united with his new owner, the adorably cute and very diddy little baby  Henry.

Pip is a very happy little bunny indeed. He is looking forward to lots of lovely cuddles and many more adventures with gorgeous little Henry.

Bless!

A week off, ah bliss!

I have got an entire 9 days off work, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I intend to spend it drinking copious amounts of tea, taking the occasional nap, knitting blanket squares and little bunnies for easter, making a patchwork cot quilt for a baby boy, watching back to back River Cottage episodes, and cooking lots of yummy treats for my hardworking man to enjoy when he gets home from work.

 I have been working on a few commissioned items for the past couple of weeks which has been really good fun, and I thought you might like to meet them:

Ladles and jellyspoons, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Wolfgang Woolfingson the knitted wolf.

Rather excitingly, this little knitted wolf is going to live in Canada!! That is the furthest that my work has ever been sent! Giggle! I hear it gets quite nippy in Canada at this time of year, so I made little Wolfgang Woolfingson a very warm knitted coat to keep him nice and cozy on his very long trip.

Have a safe trip little knitted wolfgang, have a lovely time in Canada, and take very good care of your new owner.

 And now to meet little Pip the knitted rabbit, cousin to Tatty Babbit.

My fantastically lovely and fabulous friend Hannah has just become an Aunty for the very first time, and a very proud Aunty is she. Little Pip is a gift for her very new and teensy nephew Henry George who was born on Wednesday. Pip is currently winging his way first class to Staffordshire to meet his new owner. He was in such an excited rush however that he forgot his clothes! Ooops!

I will pop some warm clothes in the post to follow after him, but I’m sure little Henry will keep him warm in the meantime.

I love the feeling I get when I finish creating a toy and post it off to its new owner, it’s very exciting!

Ooo, I’ve just seen that the sun is shining outside, yay! I’m going to get out there and make the most of it before it goes into hiding again. Enjoy your day folks, have oodles of fun! Mwah! xxxx

Another happy and very cute customer :-)

The very beautiful, spectacularly cute little baby Blaike with knitted kitty Callie!

My utterly wonderful friend Isi (who is currently all poorly sick with tonsill-nasty-itis, yuck! Poor Isi, get well soon my lovely! Mwah!) commissioned me to knit a little grey and white stripped kitty in a pink dress for little baby Blaike, and the other day she kindly sent me this piccie to show me the two of them together. I always really enjoy seeing my creations with their new owners, it gives me a genuine feeling of contentment. Apparently little Blaike holds the knitted kitty all the time and likes to suck it’s nose! How sweet is that? Oooop, I’m going all gooey now…. I can’t help it…. I’m going to have to say it…. awwwwwwwwww!!! And now for a random outburst of baby doting speak…. “iddybiddyboobooboowajawajawoodododoboo”! Ahem… Sorry about that… Now I just need to find me some squadgy cheeks to pinch… Any volunteers? Anyone? No? Oh well.

Monkey business

I was recently comissioned to knit a little toy Monkey for a little girl called Isla, who is 4 years old and completely monkey mad!

And here she is, cheeky Miss Monkey, all finished and ready to meet little Isla.

 She’s even got Isla’s name on her dress so there will be no mistaking just who this monkey belongs to.