Handsome Otis models an ice-cream sundae hat

He’s not particularly fond of ice-cream, but nevertheless, poor Otis found himself coerced into modelling my spool-knitted “ice-cream sundae hat.”
Much to Otis’s dismay, I recently felt an urge to try some spool knitting, or as we used to call it when we were kids, “corking.”

I can remember my best friend and I learning to cork using old wooden thread spools with four nails hammered into the tops of each. Today’s spool knitters are much fancier, not that the results are any better than what we got from those old wooden spools!I had a collection of bits and pieces of old yarn ends, so I corked a long cord, then wound it around and hand-sewed it together to create the “sundae.”
Next, I used some red yarn to make a pompom: the cherry on top.
It is Otis’s plea that I refrain from using him to model any more yarn fashions.

“Get this @#%$!!! hat OFF me!”

Otis likes to keep a close eye on Backyard Bunny

He has suggested that, instead, I consider using his good friend, Backyard Bunny, as my model—that is, if I am ever able to catch him!


It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like…

I went for a walk in my neighborhood on November 2nd and was surprised to see several homes with Christmas trees twinkling in their front windows already. And why not? With the weather we’ve been having in Ontario this year, it sure feels like Christmas is around the corner!

xsnowflakes copy

I’m not usually feeling the Christmas spirit until right up to the bitter end, but this year I’ve softened a little. Already, I’ve crocheted a bunch of snowflakes (the patterns are so pretty, I’ve wanted to try making some for a while now) in sparkly white yarn and gold yarn. The idea of what to do with them is still brewing in my mind, so stay tuned.

A few weeks ago I saw a pattern at 1dogwoof for cute gnomes made with crochet and wine corks. I decided to use the pattern to make some Christmas gnomes/elves to decorate my fireplace mantel. If you’d like to see the pattern, you can find it here at her lovely site: http://www.1dogwoof.com/2013/12/crochet-gnome-cork-peg-doll-ornament.html

As usual, I always start a pattern with good intentions but end up deviating from it and doing my own thing. I chose burgundy and green worsted weight yarn and for one elf, I chose gold yarn.

My Christmas elves are chubbier and they turned out larger, so the wine corks were too small. The first one I made fell over without the anchor of the wine cork, so my friend Susan, who was over that evening for a stitch-a-thon with me in my craft room, suggested that I stuff the body with an empty pill bottle. Wouldn’t you know it—I just happened to have one in my trash bin so I dug it out and it worked perfectly.

I stuffed the heads with fiberfill and the hats were stiff enough to stand up on their own. I sewed a little bell to the tip of each hat and trimmed them with a row of single crochet in fuzzy white yarn. Then I cut small scarves from white felt, sewed them on and embellished them by gluing tiny red and green seed beads at the neck in a pattern that looks like holly and berries. For the eyes, I just made French knots with black floss. And I used some blusher on a q-tip to give them rosy cheeks.

I had a gold, Christmas-themed tea light candle holder among my Christmas decorations, so I dug it out and my four elves fit perfectly into each tea light groove.

xchristmas gnomes

My elves are displayed on my fireplace mantel but they would also look adorable as part of a Christmas dinner table centerpiece.

Try making one. It’s a great beginner project—easy and quick to make.

Meet Lavender Teddy! (And a dead princess)

My inner child was crying out for a new toy, so I decided to crochet a teddy bear. I used the sweet P.J. Teddy pattern by Stephanie at All About Ami. You’ll find the free pattern at this link: http://www.allaboutami.com/post/9376917122/p-j-teddypattern 

I wanted a larger toy, so I used a 4.50 hook. Results were approx. 9 inches tall.

I also just used cheapie cotton yarn: a ball of lavender and a ball of variegated cream with bits of lavender, turquoise, and pink in it.

For the face details, I gathered a bit of lavender, black, and white felt; a bit of black floss for stitching the mouth detail; some lavender thread for sewing on the felt parts; a bit of ribbon to adorn the top of her head; and four tiny heart-shaped buttons for the tummy.

Below are some photos in case you want to try making your own.

violet bear1violet bear2










violet bear3











Cute isn’t she?

Her rounded tummy reminded me of a poem a wrote a few years ago about the dangers of carbs (tongue in cheek):

An Ode To Bread

Once upon a time,
There lived a princess in distress,
Her amply padded body
Couldn’t fit a single dress.

No matter how the seams were stitched,
The straining threads would burst,
The tailor’s ears blushed crimson
While the princess shrieked and cursed.

She’d wander ‘round the castle,
Emitting moo-like moans,
Swathed in velvet draperies
And spitting chicken bones.

No matter how she struggled,
No matter how she tried,
Her tummy always triumphed,
Whether baked or boiled or fried.

One fine day, she noticed,
As she passed the pantry door,
A freshly baked assortment
Of cakes and breads galore!

With eyes as wide as pie pans,
She quickly tiptoed in,
Saliva dribbled o’er her chin,
Her taste buds were a-spin.

She gulped and gorged and gobbled,
And as she wolfed a loaf of bread,
It caught within her windpipe.
She choked till she was dead.

The moral of this verse is:
If fresh-baked bread’s your vice,
It’s wise to just avoid it,
Unless the damn thing’s sliced!


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