Monday, February 28, 2011

Baby Paper Cranes.

I often go through stages of uncontrollable paper crane making - is there a name for this state - U.P.C.M. Is there funding for a support group? And the other thing that becomes weird after a while is the compulsion to make each one smaller than the last until there are these minute bird like things that eventually get mistaken for dust particles and are swept up by a heartless broom some days later.
I do just love them though.
And also paper trees because paper birds always need somewhere to perch.
The rabbits have found the stairs and have spent the whole morning leaping up and down them. I did shut all the doors upstairs as I really, really, really don't want them making a brand new toilet in the children's toys or somewhere equally unsuitable (call me fussy).
My next little pondering is how to make Stella's face as happy as Stanley's. In this photo she is not too bad, a little sour when looking front on though.
But in this version, she scares me a little. I don't know if I would want to bump into her at night. Mind you, I would probably be more freaked out by the fact that she is not only standing up and wearing lipstick... but also wearing clothes.
Time to work out how to make her smile (stitch wise).
Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chalk and Wool.

Dresses for Stella that have been crocheted this week.
Perhaps time to do a few more Stella heads, I think these bodies lying about everywhere are starting to spook the boys.
Hugo's drawing of Ted Ted his cat/teddy (our single most valuable possession). He even added Ted Ted's tail!
The crazy artist - ridiculously happy to be at home again after a week of school.
There are just so many things he needs to attend to - I think he has been dreaming of this moment all week.
Thank you so much for all of your comments after my last post. This week has been a very quiet one. As ever, all my thoughts and prayers are with Christchurch. If you are wondering what to do, the Red Cross are saying that cash donations are the most useful thing in the world, so here is a link...
Lots and lots of love, Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Just checking in to say we are okay - we live in the north island so are well away from all of the strife in Christchurch, but of course, as I am sure so many of you are as well, following every update as it happens. All of our thoughts and prayers are with those in Christchurch and all those affected by the earthquake. It is unimaginable what it is like down there and as a mother, I can't help but think of all the children who have started to recover from the September earthquake only to now find themselves an a far worse situation. I am going to sign off now and cuddle my two little boys.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birthday Season.

Well, it has taken me a whole year to recover from last birthday season and now, I am finding that it is all about to start again. Wahoo?
Because I would really rather be making things out of this. Actually, I am sure with a good sleep tonight I will begin to feel that festive excitement again...
Cup of carrot tea anyone.
Lots of love, kate xxooxx.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stanley and his Mother... and other bits.

Stanley would like to introduce you to his mother. Her name is Stella but you are welcome to call her Stanley's mother. I think she is a very vintagey rabbit, and she particularly likes to wear bright red lipstick. Stella is a bit furry but only in a nice soft way.
This is my current knitting project, an extremely long white and yellow striped scarf for winter. Both balls of wool are 100grams so I am wondering what I will run out of first, patience or wool.
Now, down to business. First of all, huge apologies for not posting anything for the last week. It has just been one of those crazy times where life is busy on every front. The boys have had their school boat day (that is where the photos are from), a huge scout mud slide day (on the farm), a day trip to Rotorua, school, birthday parties (not their own), shenanigans and so on and so forth. One of those really wonderful times when you can almost see them grow with all the challenges coming their way. Can you believe the photo of Hugo above - he is not even five yet (but give him two weeks...).
This photo is of Archie with his cousin William sailing an optimist. Goodness only know what they were talking about.
They just grow so quickly. There is hardly anything left of him being 7... 8 is looming to0 quickly!!!
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
P.S. Thank you so much for you wonderful comments on Flora, I can't wait to get another up soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flora Rabbit Tutorial.

ch = chain
ss = slip stich
sc = single crochet
st/sts = stitch/stitches (an sc from the previous round)
I have used an 8 ply yarn with a 3.5mm crochet hook, however, any ply can be used - I would recommend however, using a smaller hook than a larger one so it doesn't get too holey in appearance.
1 ball cream (a)
1 ball red (b)
1 ball blue (c)
1 ball black -preferably 4 ply or even better, embroidery floss (d)
N.B. When decreasing, I recommend skipping a stitch, so if the fifth stitch is to be missed I would crochet 4 stitches and jump the fifth one - as it lands, that stitch would be considered the first of the next cluster of 4.
Rounds are worked continuously unless otherwise indicated. There will be steps in the colour change but I keep them at the back of my work.
To make up body:
Using yarn (a) ch 2, 6 sc into second ch from hook. Ss into first sc. (6)
Round 1. *2sc into next st. *Repeat until end. (12)
Round 2. *1sc into first st then 2sc into following st. *Repeat until end. (18)
Round 3. *1sc into next 2 sts then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (24)
Change yarn (b)
Round 3. *1sc into next 3 sts then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (30)
Round 4. *1sc into next 4 sts then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (36)
Change yarn (a)
Rounds 5-6. 1sc in each st until end. (36)
Change yarn (b)
Rounds 7-8. 1sc in each st until end. (36)
Change yarn (a)
Rounds 9-10. 1sc in each st until end. (36)
Change yarn (b)
Rounds 11-12. 1sc in each st until end. (36)
Change yarn (a)
Round 13. 1sc in each st until end. (36)
Round14. *1sc into next 5 sts, skip following st. *Repeat until end. (30)
Change yarn (c)
Round 15. *1sc into next 4 sts, skip following st. *Repeat until end. (24)
Rounds 16-18. 1sc into each st until end. (24)
Round 19. 1sc into the back loop of each st. (24)
Round 20. *1sc into next 2 sts, skip following st. *Repeat until end. (18)
Stuff body firmly.
1sc into every second st until the hole is closed. Tie off yarn and admire your headless rabbit.
To make up head.
Ch 2, 6sc into second ch from hook. Ss into first sc. (6)
Round 1. *2sc into next st. *Repeat until end. (12)
Round 2. *1sc into first st then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (18)
Round 3. *1sc into next 2sts then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (24)
Round 4. *1sc into next 3sts then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (30)
Round 5. *1sc into next 4 sts then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (36)
Round 6. *1sc into next 5sts then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (42).
Rounds 7-8. 1sc into each sc until end. (42).
Round 9. *1sc into next 6sts then skip following st. *Repeat until end. (36)
Round 10. *1sc into next 5sts then skip following st. *Repeat until end. (30)
Round 11. *1sc into next 4 sts then skip following st. *Repeat until end. (24)
Round 12. *1sc into next 3sts then skip following st. *Repeat until end. (18)
Round13. *1sc into next 2sts then skip following st. *Repeat until end. (12)
Stuff firmly the continue to sc into every second st until the hole is closed. Leave a long tail as this will be used to stitche the head to the body.
To embroider the face.
Using yarn (or embroidery floss) (d), thread needle. I only had black in 8 ply so I split it... I even took a photo to be extra helpful!
Stick needle through the hole where the tail was tied off, bringing the tip of the needle up through the position where the first eye will be centred. I have used a bullion stitch to create the eyes but you could use a french knot or embroider a criss-cross or even use buttons. I would recommend a good width between the eyes as it makes them look cuter... too close together and they start to look a little sneaky and weired.
Tie off with a little knot to secure the thread. This spot is point a.
This is the bullion stitch part. Insert the needle about 3-5mm below point a. (This spot is point b). Bring the needle back out just next to or above point a.
Wrap your thread around the needle six times.
And pull the needle through, maintaining a firm hold on the wraps and gently guiding them along the yarn/floss as though threading beads. The eye should sit flat along the head but if not, use your fingernails to tighten them along. Reinsert the needle at point b and then bring it out at the position of the next eye. Repeat (although it is not necessary to do a starting knot again).
Reinsert the needle down where the mouth is going to be and either make another bullion stitch or embroider a criss-cross. Bring the yarn out where the head was finished and tie off. The beauty of tying off their means the little black knot will be covered up when the body is attached.
Stitch head onto body.
To make up the ears. (Make 2)
Ch 2, 4sc into the second ch from hook. Ss into first sc. (4)
Round 1. 2sc into each st until end. (8)
Rounds 2-3. 1sc into each st until end. (8)
Round 4. *1sc into the next 3sts ,then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (10)
Round 5. 1sc into each st until end.
Round 6. *1sc into the next 4sts ,then 2sc into the following st. *Repeat until end. (12)
Rounds 7-9. 1sc in each st until end. (12)
Round 10. *1sc into the next 5sts, then skip following st. *Repeat until end. (10)
Rounds 11-12. 1sc into each st until end. (10)
Round 13. *1sc into the next 4 sts, then skip the following st. *Repeat until end. (8)
Round 14. 1sc into each st until the end. (8)
Fasten off leaving a long tie to stitch the ear on with.
Stitch on ears.

So hopefully you have come out with something looking a little bit like a rabbit, or as much as Flora can considering she has no legs or arms. A tail might be good but at this stage I will leave that up to you. My first Flora Rabbit is holding a posy of flowers, this pattern came from Attic24 and I made them up in a 4ply cotton - adorn away. This time I think I might try to make a little ice cream for her. I'll let you know how it works out.
Good luck.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hot Air Balloons.

Inspiration comes from so many places. Right now mine are from 'Danny the Champion of the World' by Roald Dahl (they make fire balloons with tissue paper... the boys are beside themselves wanting to make some - call us crazy but we think perhaps not in summer) and this Belle and Boo wall sticker set. This set me to thinking, why not a crocheted hot air balloon and look what happened to fall off my crochet hook. The light was a little iffy when I was taking the photos this morning so there is only one shot of it actually flying... Umm, if you are wondering about the last photo, Archie's hand is just trying to stop it from hitting the roof. Next step is to make a teeny-tiny Stanley for it.
Now, down to business. My self imposed/inflicted deadline for the Flora Rabbit tutorial is tomorrow afternoon so please drop by. Also, Happy Valentine's Day. Jonno and I have decided to observe it this year which is highly unusual for us - I made Jonno Afgahn biscuits and vacuumed all of the rabbit poo. Jonno is doing the grocery shopping AND cooking dinner.
The excitement however is confined just to us. Apparently we are not allowed to mention Valentine's Day around Archie as it is highly boring (he kept dropping this fact into conversation every two minutes - obviously so boring he couldn't help but think about it all morning) but Hugo is quite interested, not enough to do anything about, but interested all the same.
And... uh oh... it turns out Honey is very keen on Valentine's Day too as we caught her trying to do terrible, terrible things to Grassy's head. We have now changed Honey's name to the more appropriate Honey Boy and have booked him in for a special appointment with Dr. Jorg. I would love to let them have a litter together but the whole brother/sister dynamic makes me feel VERY uncomfortable. We really don't want the resulting babies calling him Uncle Dad.
Sooo, that's the round up for today, have a lovely day Valentining or not.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pretty Things.

Oh dear, I am so tuckered out after this weekend that writing a post is very hard... instead of being very funny and amazingly intelligent I will give a quick rundown instead. A family member had a birthday today - I bought some pretty picnicky things, made little pouches to put them in and the boys decorated the main bag with fabric markers. Could I have made that any drier... sorry...

Hugo's side of the bag.
Archie's side of the bag.
I would love a fabric print made of Archie's flowers.
Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.
p.s. it is very hot and humid here so please forgive me for my lack of words.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Writing a Tutorial...

Lucy from Attic24 asked me an age ago to write a tutorial for Flora. It was on my mind for a while but then somehow became placed firmly toward the back. However, with two boys now at school, it suddenly seems achievable, in fact I now feel as though I must write all of my patterns down before I forget them.
I've spent a lot of the week trying to jot down all of the instructions and have made millions of different shapes trying to get the best balance. All this has been very good for me but has meant that I haven't been at all posty which I have really missed.
By the way, our real rabbits, The Slipper Sisters are thriving. The boys now bring them up to me in bed each morning with a handful of grass and we admire our most beautiful of girls as they hop around, stopping occasionally to nibble on our hands.
Anyhoo, back to the almost completed tutorial - it has taken a while to be satisfied with the pattern. The poor rabbit to the left is a little giraffe like and there have a few strange, round flattish things lurking that have been abandoned along the way.
Copious amounts of body parts have been littering the place, I hope they don't make our rabbits nervous.
Aside from all that, we are tootling along happily. Stef the Bride came over for a crochet lesson today and I must say she did tremendously well. Her first little square is the one on top and must be said that her tension is perfect. She has been sent home with lots of instructions to keep going and next week we will begin on lesson number two. How to crochet a flower.

Well, back to pattern writing for me, I'm still not 100% happy with the ears so they may have another look at, but hopefully over the next couple of days it will be up.
Have a lovely weekend,
Lots of love, Kate xxooxxooxx.


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