Monday, 14 December 2015

A break from sewing

In all the frenzy of Christmas sewing (tote bags, mice, bunting, pouches), I realised that I actually missed knitting! Thinking of projects I could start, just to take a break from pinning and sewing was tempting, but I actually did have one knitted project to finish.

Back in July, a friend in the UK requested an alligator scarf for her daughter. I usually make this little girl a knitted hat every Christmas, but this year, she was determined that what she REALLY wanted was an alligator scarf. Thank goodness for Morehouse Farm Merino! They have the best alligator scarf pattern we could find online, and even have a baby version, more suitable for little people. Unfortunately, they don't ship to Singapore, but luckily I was going to Canada to visit family, so had the Baby Alligator Scarf kit shipped there. The yarn was lovely to work with and the pattern is really easy to follow.

This will be quite a well-travelled scarf. It came from the US to Canada, then went to Singapore, is now being shipped to New Zealand, and will return to the UK with its (hopefully) happy owner! 

I have several other knitting projects I'm itching to start on, but have to use all my self-control to finish the Christmas projects first. Then of course I do have two small children demanding a pig and a dinosaur!

The march of the mice

The tale of one mouse (Milly - see the previous post) led to an order for 17 (yes, SEVENTEEN) small stuffed mice for Christmas gifts for the staff in a friend's research lab.

My first proto-mouse was pretty cute, I thought, made with scraps of leftover fabric from a bag project.

Then it turned out that our friend needed 17, and was hoping for mice in more 'normal' lab colours (i.e. black, white or brown). This actually turned out to be a good thing, because I could use black felt (no need to sew right sides together and turn it out), and stick on eyes rather than hand-embroidering them. Thank goodness for self-adhesive red rhinestones!

Here's my assembly line of mice parts:

And here's the army of 17, ready for delivery!

I confess I was going to give them pink noses and whiskers but I ran out of time and steam, so whiskerless they are...oh, and apparently black mice have black eyes. Who knew?!

I thought this was the end of the mice, but a certain little boy is demanding his own mouse now, so I guess I can't pack away the black felt just yet.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Meet Milly

My sewing room (well, the small study I share with my husband!) floor is covered in bits of thread, fuzz from felt, I have projects stacked up on every possible surface, the ironing board is always open...yes, it's Christmas project time! And as usual, I have left EVERYTHING to the last minute. Somehow sewing Christmas gifts in August, while it would be a smart thing, never seems to happen.

First up from the sewing Milly the mouse!
In one of those serendipitous moments, I found a book in my local library called Sewn Toy Tales from Melly & Me. I fell in love with all the toys in it, so ended up buying it. This was months ago, and after searching for just the right fabric, I finally made my first little creature. She's called Mabelle in the book, but I renamed her Milly. Despite the fiddly work (those arms! that nose!), I was pretty pleased with the end result. She's about to be shipped off to London for my niece, and I think I'd better send her quickly, because my children are developing quite an attachment to her. My daughter is especially fascinated by her nose! My next project from the book is either a pig (special request from my son), a dinosaur (for my daughter), or a lion (for my nephew). Of course, that's after all the other Christmas projects are finished!