Tuesday, 21 July 2015

How to add Fluff!

As I've mentioned in the previous post about the sheep I've been making (will from now on will be referred to as "Brians"), my inspiration came from Stephanie's (at All About Ami) Lambert pattern but with one main difference....


I don't like working with it, I tried, I promise! its just so fiddly, it makes it so hard to see the stitches, which meant the numbers of stitches didn't always add up like they were meant to. So frustrating!

So I had to find a way to ensure Brian was still fluffy and sheep like without using fluffy wool that would make me want to tear my hair out!


So here's how I made him fluffy, just using normal Aran Yarn.

The cream coloured parts of the sheep are ALL crocheted back loop only (BLO)

This leaves us with an extra layer on the outside that we can work on.

I didn't want the waves on the sheep to be too tight but I still wanted to have a bit of curl to it, so I attached the yarn into the first stitch, chained 3, skipped 1 stitch and then did one sc in the next stitch.

Then I just continued it all the way round in spirals. Just make sure that you are only attaching your stitches to the main body of the sheep and not to the other rows of fluff otherwise you won't get the desired textured effect.

At this point it looks like a flower from the top :)

And here's how it turned out

Now I'm not going to lie, this is time consuming, and not exactly necessary for the item to be finished. It's just a nice finishing touch to make Brian look more sheep-y. Plus he is amazingly snuggly - always a bonus in my book!

What do you think?

Hope you all have a lovely day :)

Friday, 19 June 2015

Brian the Sheep!

Brian the sheep, (named by Dave because he thought he looked like Brian from the "Go Compare" adverts) is the biggest amigurumi I've ever made. I know that usually amigurumi are small but I've found that people seem to like to order things that are more standard cuddly toy size.

Brian was a (very belated by the time I finished) Mother's Day present for my lovely mum. She has always been very encouraging of my crocheting. More so since I've moved into my own house and no longer leave bits of yarn all over her carpet!

I had a go at making Stephanie at All About Ami's Lambert pattern, The only fluffy yarn I had was purple (didn't like working with it at all) and my sheep ended up looking like a lion/monkey hybrid.

Slightly disheartened I decided to use the Stephanie's pattern as a basis to make a larger sheep and so Brian was made.

I wrote out a basic pattern which was altered several times while I was making it. I didn't actually intend for him to end up so big (he is about 14 inches tall now he's finished!) but by the time I realised I was too far in.

My mum loved him and he has pride of place on top of a unit in their living room.

I've mentioned before that I crochet at work, and many people saw parts of Brian in the making so once he was actually finished he was taken on a tour round the office for people to see.

I will admit I did have another reason to make Brian, he was a trial run. I have several work friends who have relatives who are having children this year (the year of the sheep) and have ordered sheep off me as gifts. One the same size of Brian and one is smaller with a pink face because they know the baby is a little girl (not sure what the feminine version of Brian is? Brianita?).

Lots of happy sheep crocheting to come!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend

Sunday, 3 May 2015

BEDM - Day 3 - Self Care Sunday

I, like probably the majority of people, don't take as much care of myself as I should. I'm reluctant to spend money on things that I feel are unnecessary or frivolous, even though I'd happily spend the money on something equally frivolous for Dave. I think its because when we buy things for other people its easier to justify; passing it off as a gift, or thinking, they deserve to be treated.

Luckily I have people who buy me the things I would never buy myself. At Christmas my friend Bekki treated me to some lovely Soap and Glory products, and told me she had bought them because she knew it was something I would never buy myself, and she's right. Then on mornings when I'm not running late, I can take the time to "treat myself" and even though its something small I feel it sets me up for the rest of the day.

Today was a nice day, spent with my in-laws meeting Dave's brother new girlfriend. She's lovely but much to Dave's mothers horror, she (like me) isn't really interested in having children. I think she feels left out as her younger sister already has 2 grandchildren and another on the way.

It's nice having another "outsider" in the group after it being just me for the last 6 years, although its hard finding a table to seat 7 people while out for tea.

On that note I'm going to sign off and pester Dave until he makes me a brew...

Hope everyone had a lovely Sunday

Saturday, 2 May 2015

BEDM - Day 2 - Adventure

As a child I loved Winnie the Pooh, a love that has stayed with me into my adult life and when I saw the theme for today's post he once again came stumbling into my mind.

An adventure doesn't have to be something huge. The definition is:
 An unusual and exiting or daring experience.

It can be an adventure even if its something that everyone else does, as long as its new to you.

It can be an adventure even if no one else thinks it is, as long as its exciting to you.

When I went off to Uni it was an adventure.
When Dave and I moved in together it was an adventure.
The first time someone ordered something crocheted from me, it was an adventure.

Maybe not to everyone but it was to me.

I feel we spend too much tome worrying about what other people think. My mum doesn't understand that at our age (24) me and Dave are happier to sit in on a Friday night, me crocheting and him playing computer games, she thinks we're boring. In fact we enjoy it far more than we would going out. We do enjoy going out occasionally, but spending money that could be spent elsewhere and getting blind drunk every weekend doesn't appeal to us anymore. Maybe that makes us odd, but we're happy. We're happy strolling along and having our own little non-conventional adventures.

Which led me back to my favourite bear. When I was 6, the film "Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin" was released. In this film Christopher Robin goes to school and the toys mis-interpret the note and think he has been taken to "Skull" and proceed on a grand adventure to save him. At the end of the day Christopher Robin explains where he has actually been, and although he wasn't part of the "grand" adventure he has had one of his won; as his first day at school.

It's not as big but it's an adventure all the same.

Not all of us can be Pooh Bears, some of us are Christopher Robins. And that's OK.

It also gave rise to one of my favourite inspirational quotes, Christopher Robin was clearly wise beyond his years:

"If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you"

Wishing you all a weekend full of adventures

BEDM - Day One - Introduce yourself

So true to form, just like last year I am a day later with the first Blog Every Day in May post. Although last year it slipped my mind and this year I was doing the very important job of dying my hair (it was so long overdue).

I'm going to use this opportunity to re-introduce myself for anyone new who might stumble upon my crafty ramblings. My name is Charlotte, I'm 24 and I live in Crewe, its in the most Southern part of Cheshire which makes it (just) in the North West. I live with my long-term (and long-suffering) boyfriend Dave.We live in a little Victorian Cottage, which I love but it is a listed building which means no double glazing (I'm so glad summer is on its way!).

The majority of posts you'll find on my blog are about my crocheting endeavours, with  some chunks of baking and a sprinkling of my everyday life. My big passion is amigurumi, I think it's because there are no limits, you can make anything you can think of, and for someone who isn't very exciting generally,  (I'm in no way shape of form a risk taker) its nice to have an outlet.

My family and friends are all very supportive of my craft, a lot of my custom orders come through Dave and his work colleagues. In contrast to this I am very harsh on myself regarding my craft and any little mistake I find myself focusing on. This is something I am trying (and sometimes failing) to do better with.

Onto something that I haven't really shared before but may help to explain my sporadic posting. I am sick. At the moment I'm still undergoing diagnostic tests, and if they come back (in many many months time) as what the Drs are thinking, its not something that can be easily cured, and possibly something that I'll live with for the rest of my life. It's a horrible thought that I might be in this much pain forever but I'm trying not to assume the worst until every other option is exhausted.

In the mean time I am going to carry on the best I can, small steps are better than none at all.
I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend, I can't wait to read the other BEDM posts!

Just because I <3 pink and dinosaurs

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Cupcake Giveaway

I hope you’re all having a lovely Easter! I can’t believe a quarter of the year has gone already. This post is about the crochet cupcake giveaway currently taking place on my Instagram. Below are just the technical bits to cover the outline of the giveaway.

Cake Details
·         The cupcakes are crocheted with double knitting yarn, in a smoke and pet free environment. They are filled with standard toy stuffing.
·         The eyes on the cupcakes are safety eyes but these are not recommended for children. If requested, felt eyes can be sewn on instead.
·         Cupcakes are just under 3 inches tall and just under 1.5 inches wide.
·         Cupcakes are made up of a cake base (usually light brown but you can request a different colour) and then 2 colours for the top (one for the main base and one for the icing “swirl”) and these are up to you.
·         If you would like a zombie/bunny cake you can request one (if you do not state a colour for the bunny ears they will be white).

Competition Details
·         The giveaway is limited to residents of the UK only (due to postage)
·         The giveaway will run from the time the photo was posted on Instagram ( 12:00 05/04/2015) until 12noon on Sunday 11th April 2015. Any entries after this will not be included.
·         Entry is limited to one per Instagram account.
·         There will be 3 cupcakes to win, so 3 winners will be picked using a random number generator.
·         Winners will be contacted via Instagram on Sunday 11th April 2015, if one of the winners fails to provide the details needed to send the cupcake within 1 week (18/04/2015) another winner will be chosen at random.
·         Cupcakes will be posted to the address provided as soon as possible by second class royal mail post (this also depends on how quick a response I receive following the winners announcement).

·         To enter the giveaway you need to follow me on Instagram (handle @craftycharlotte) and share the giveaway photo (ensure to include the hashtag #ccgiveaway so I can find the photos), if only one of these is done your entry will be disregarded.

Any questions please contact me, either on here or on Instagram.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hot Dog Costume!

This post is about the hot dog costume I made for the crochet Dachshund that I made for my sister, he is now referred to as Lord Buttons. The pattern for Lord Buttons himself is from Voodoo Maggie's Amigurumi book so all the credit for him goes to her. Once I had made him I then made the costume design up as I went along.

The costume was made in 3 pieces, 2 "bun" pieces and the central piece which I made using the same yarn I made Lord Buttons in. The distance between his front and back legs was 4 inches, which equated to 25 stitches, so I chained 26, and then single crocheted along for 10 rows until it measured 1.5 inches in length. I then crocheted tabs on the edges so it could be buttoned up underneath. I did 9 slip stitches and then 11sc and then crocheted 3 rows of 11 stitches. Obviously I made 2 one for either side. The "sausage" was made by chaining 26 and then repeating 15 rows of 25 stitches.

I used surface crochet to add the ketchup and mustard and sewed the button on one tab and some loops to attach to the button on the other.

He's so cute!

P.s. Apologies for the overuse of "Lord Buttons" my sister would be mad if I referred to him as anything else.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Lots of Birthdays!

This is a particular time of year is just full of birthdays. Dave's brother and sister are both in December, its my birthday in January and then my sister, Dave and Dave's dad are all in February as well as our anniversary!

When I asked my sister what she wanted for her birthday she said she wanted a tortoise with a balloon attached to it and a Dachshund dressed like a hotdog. So that's what she got.

I made her a Brownie and Marshmallow pie (recipe adapted from one I saw on Sally's Baking Addiction) and made a marzipan tortoise for the top. The pie was really nice, but very sweet so we had very small pieces. Also as we served it hot the candles kept falling over!

And then I crocheted this guy, 

This is Lord Buttons the Dachshund in his removable hotdog costume, the pattern for the dog came from VooDoo Maggie's Adorable Amigurumi book but the costume was something I made up and will be putting up a blog on how I did it in the next week or so.

Tomorrow it is my lovely friend Katie's 21st birthday and she is flying off to Amsterdam,  Monday was her last day in work before her birthday and I promised her that I would make a giant cake so she could share it with as many people in the office as possible. Not everyone got a slice (there's 100 or so people just in our office) but I did my best:

It was dubbed the "Matilda" cake as it looks like the one that Bruce Bogtrotter ate. Just to give you an idea of how big it was, the plate that its sat on is a large dinner plate and the box is about 4 inches tall. It was 4 chocolate fudge cakes with whipped cream in the middle and then the whole thing was covered in dark chocolate ganache.

I also crocheted her this as a Congratulations on her new job in our department
(Pattern from Little Muggles in the Zoomigurumi book)

She named him Charlie after me :)

Hope everyone is recovering from January (gloomiest part of the year) and is looking forward to the rest of 2015 xx

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

An Open Letter to my Loved Ones

I know that a lot of the people in this won't ever read it, its not the point. I heard somewhere that a way to help boost ones happiness is to remind yourself of all the things/people you are grateful for.

Firstly I would like to Thank everyone who has ever, read, glanced or stumbled upon my blog. You may not realise it but it makes my day to know that there are people out there who read this.

To my blog friend Jenny
thank you for your support. You leave the nicest comments and always give me such a confidence boost for things I have made. I feel like we may be kindred spirits and I'm so happy to have "met" you.

To Yeomans,
 I sometimes forget how young you are, its strange to think that you're actually closer to my sisters age to mine. I love your honesty, and I want you to know I value your opinions. You're also the only person in my "real" life that shares my crochet passion. When you asked me to teach you, I never imagined that you would take to it so quickly or learn to love it the way you do.You're the complete opposite to me; where I judge everything I do so harshly, you are incredibly proud of everything you make and so am I.

To Bekki
you are my oldest friend, we've had ups and downs, its not surprising really as we're both different people to when we first met. I know that no matter what you will be there, even if it was 4 in the morning I know you'd answer my phone call. You're the only one who has any insight into what my life with my illness is like. You even took time out from your holiday in Greece to message me because you knew I was in hospital. Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like you.

To Liza,
 I miss you so much, sometimes I don't realise how much until I actually see you. You were my rock throughout our time at Uni, and without you I really don't think I would have stuck with it. Whether it was dragging me to the library to finish up some studying, or just coming round to sit with me when I was alone on mine and Dave's anniversary, you were always there, and I hope that I will get to see more of you, twice a year is not enough!

To my Dad,
 I'll keep this short as you have a whole post dedicated to you. Thank you for looking after me all these years, thank you for loving me and giving me a stable home.No matter what anyone says you're my dad and no one can change that.

To my Little Sister,
 I hope you realise how much I love you. I want you to know that I'm so proud of you. I know things are hard right now but you need to stick with it, I promise it will be worth it in the end. I know you sometimes think that we're trying to interfere in your life, we only want the best for you. No matter what you will always be my baby sister.

To my Mum, 
thank you for everything. You're one of the most amazing and strong people I have ever known. You've tried your best to give me the best life possible, and I can't even imagine the life I would have had if you hadn't had been as strong and brave as you were. You worked 3 jobs to support us and we never went without. You're an amazing woman and I am so lucky to have you.

...and lastly
To Dave, 
I'm 99.9% sure you'll never read this. You have no need to read my blog, if you wanted to know what I was crocheting you'd look across the room and if you wanted to know how I did it you'd ask. I never thought I would love someone outside my family as much as I love you. You know me better than anyone else in the world. You have supported me through things that you shouldn't have had to at your age, you've carried the financial burden of me being too ill for work, you've pulled 12 hour overtime shifts just to make ends meet. You've held my hand through painful procedures and stayed with me until the early hours of the morning, even though you had to be at work a few hours later. You are my best friend, and though I always joke that "I can't get rid of you" I genuinely don't know what I would do without you. You stayed with me through our difficult long distance relationship, never letting me give up even when I said things were to hard to deal with. I'll never be able to thank you for all the things you've done, and like I said I don't think you'll ever read this, but I hope that you know all this already.


Sunday, 11 January 2015

November DI Craft Swap Part 2

So I'm still working on catching up with my posts from the end of last year. This post is about what I sent to Jenny at pretty column. When I found out that the theme was Woodland I messaged Hannah to ask if she would be able to let me have Jenny as my recipient because I knew what I wanted to make her because of something I'd seen on her Pintrest board.

Jenny had previously pinned some pictures of children's snoods with animal ears and said that maybe one day she would make one for herself, and I remembered this copy of Simply Crochet from September 2013 with this lovely snood pattern in it. Originally I wanted to make an Orange one as Jenny's favourite woodland animal is a fox but I could not find the yarn I wanted anywhere so decided to make a grey one instead.

Whilst I was working on this Craft Swap I ended up in hospital (an unfortunately common occurrence at the minute) and I don't like crocheting in the hospital (germs!) so I messaged Jenny to apologise that her parcel was going to be late; and I suggested that as her birthday was at the beginning of December that I would hang on to her parcel and add to it for her Birthday, and I was really happy when it got to her actually on her birthday.

So in addition to the snood, which was horrible to photograph, for a better picture go to Jenny's Instagram there's a photo of her wearing it...

I also made her a cupcake pin cushion (you can never have too many pins!)

And for the bought items I got her a fox mug and a fox notebook. 

I was so glad that Jenny liked everything I made, I think its one of the things I love most about crafting is seeing someone so happy with something that you made especially for them.

Also realised the other day that me, Jenny and Hannah were all born within 6 weeks of each other, thought that was a bit of an odd coincidence - there must have been something in the water 24 years ago haha


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Christmas 2014

This should have probably been posted a few days ago but I’ve been living in an Internet nightmare. I hope everyone had a lovely time, Christmas day always feels really busy now that I live away from home. We stay at our house on Christmas eve and have the morning to ourselves, then we went to Dave’s parents for presents and Christmas dinner, and then we went to my parents for our second Christmas dinner and the third and final gift exchange. Dave was very insistent on getting his 2 Christmas dinners, even though he was too full to eat that much at my parents!

I was spoilt (as I am most years), my big present from Dave this year was tickets to see Miss Saigon in London on my birthday in a  few weeks, and then my birthday present is hotel/transport etc while we’re there. I think its made a little bit more exciting by the fact that we will be spending one of the nights with our friends Liza and Leon, we also get to meet their Hamster Winston. I have loved Miss Saigon since I first saw it almost ten years ago. Its lovely and tragic and the songs are just so darn catchy!

He also bought me this crochet book which looks quite standard but is actually amazing, I may review it in a future blog post, it has pretty much every crochet stitch ever invented, as well as patterns so you can try out all the new stitches you’ve learnt. I couldn’t help myself and have already started a new project from it; I found something that my friend Bekki (whose birthday is 2 days after mine) will love and I just so happened to have the perfect wool for it in my stash. Can’t wait to share it when its done!

My sister got me a Carebear onesie, its Gloomy bear and even comes with a grumpy face on the hood. Since receiving it I have worn it a lot and I am starting to wonder how I lived without one. I think its great and I love being able to crochet without my arms getting cold!

My mum and dad really spoilt me this year; as well as the standard bits (nail varnish, pyjamas, socks) they bought me…

I will post a better photo soon!

…my own sewing machine! Not going to lie I did squeal a bit when I opened it, it was a complete surprise. Dave gave them the idea, I've borrowed his sisters one for a bit but its exciting to finally have one of my own. I can’t wait to make lots of lovely things with it and have already been roped into some alterations (it’s inevitable in a family of short people).

I had to go to work on boxing day, we were all scheduled to work either boxing day or new years day.I went in armed with lots of crocheting expecting it to be a quiet day, and it was the exact opposite. There was a constant queue of calls over my whole shift, although I do think it sometimes makes the day go quicker.

  I am looking forward to 2015, I’ve had a horrible last year and unfortunately I think I brought my family and friends down a bit with me. So I intend to spend the coming year (trying to be) optimistic. I haven’t made any resolutions but I have made a list of things I would like to have achieved by the end of 2015. I’ve tried to make them all achievable even if I don’t get any better in the next year, but crossing my fingers I do.

Wishing you all the best for the New Year xx