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41  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas is coming on: October 02, 2012 03:07:26 AM
Just to say I baked my Christmas cake this weekend - between power cuts  Grin

It always seems like such an effort, what with having to double line the tin etc and 3+ hours in the oven, with fingers crossed that the power won't go off.  But it is all done and can sit happily in a corner being spoonfed brandy at regular intervals.  Cheesy  Until I get around to icing it nearer to Christmas. 

Getting this out of the way gives me a sense of achievement and gets my mental gears into Christmas mode so I have also made a start on my Christmas cards. 

I plan to write up how I do them in case anyone else wants to know.

Hope everyone else's Christmas plans are off to a flying start.
42  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Little Oompa Loompa from a pair of airline socks on: September 07, 2012 01:49:21 PM

There is nothing new in this, as similar methods of doll making can be found in lots of other places.  I particularly use Sunnhild Reinckens' book  "Stoffpuppen -wie Kinder sie leiben"; and an old Anna Burda from December 1984 but you can find a lot of the same kind of doll instructions  here and here

List of ingredients
1   One pair of airline socks (these are from South African Airways which always seem to be orange)
2   Wool for hair quite a lot - I used about 4 metres for the long pony tail style
3   About 30cm square mutton cloth or similar stretch fabric.
4   100 x 50 cm batting mine was  0.5 - 1 cm thick
5   Strong thread I used something called "nylon fishing twine"
6   Ordinary thread in the same colour as the socks.
7   Plain white thread for sewing the batting.
8   Embroidery thread for eyes etc.
9   Four buttons to match socks
10   Long strong needle, at least 5.5 6 cm. You need this for sculpting the face and articulating the limbs.
11   Toilet roll centre to help stuff the legs and arms
12   Chopstick or similar to help with stuffing
13   Water erasable marker for hair placement
Also ordinary needles, pins and scissors etc.  Most of this is hand sewing but I did use my machine for the arm and leg seams as I don't think hand sewing would be firm enough to stop the fabric from unravelling.  
From the batting cut:
Two strips - 50 cm long and 15 to 20 cm wide - for the legs
Two strips - 25 cm long and 12 cm wide - for the arms.
Making the head

1   Tear the rest of the batting up into little fluffy bits.  
2   Use some of this to make a firm ball about as large as your fist.  It needs to be quite firm as this will be sculpted a bit to make the head and face.
3   Draw a circle about  15 cm diameter in the  middle of your mutton cloth.  I used a saucer as template.

4   Using the strong thread, run a gathering thread all the way round.
5   Place ball of batting in the middle and draw up the gathers around it.  
6   Draw them up tightly and wrap  the same thread several times round the gathers to create the neck.
Shaping the head

7   Using  the strong thread doubled wind it over the top of the head and down through the neck/under the chin a couple of times.  Pull it tight and fasten it off with a few stitches.
8   Take another doubled thread and wrap it tightly round the head, dividing it into two equal halves, upper and lower,  fasten it very firmly with stitches over the vertical threads on either side of the head.
9   Now slide the thread which is to be at the back of the head down towards the neck to shape the back of the head.
Insert the head into one of the socks right up to the toe.  Using self-coloured thread run gathering stitches all round the neck pull up tightly and bind off with several turns around the neck.

The face

10   Mark with pins where you want the eyes to go and then
11   using the long strong needle and doubled strong thread stitch through to the pins from the base of the back of the head and back again on either side.  
12   Pull up tight and tie off to create the eyehole shaping.

13    Embroider eyes and mouth or paint them if you prefer.

The body

14   Using the rest of the fluffed up batting, stuff the body firmly.  Stuff around the mutton cloth core and push stuffing firmly up to create shoulders.  
15   Cut off the excess sock about one third of the length

16, 17 and 18   stitch up the crotch firmly.

Arms and legs

19   Take the other sock, turn inside out and stitch the whole length, about 5mm either side of the midline, with a good strong zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.
20   Cut it in half across the stitching. The toe of the sock will make the toes of the doll so make this "half" slightly longer.
21   Now cut up between the stitching to separate the arms and the legs.

22   Take the arms and fold them so that the seam is on one side then stitch across the top of the sock
23   also stitch to cut off the corners which will shape the hands slightly.

Stuffing the limbs

Turn the arms and legs right side out.
24   Take one of the 50 cm long strips of batting.  Roll it up tightly into a cylinder and stitch it down.
25    Insert the toilet roll centre into one of the legs and push the cylinder of stuffing down inside the leg. Push it firmly into the toe.
26   Grasp the stuffing through the sock and pull the toilet roll out to leave the stuffing inside the leg.
Repeat for the other leg
Use the same technique with the 25cm long strips of batting to stuff the arms.

Check the length of the arms and legs against  your doll's body and if necessary cut off any excess sock or stuffing.  

27    Run gathering stitches around the top of the arm or leg,
28   turn under a small edge and draw up tight to finish off.

29    Flatten the seam slightly so that when held against the body the "toes" are angled towards the centre  and the hands are vertical.

30   Shape the ankle on each foot slightly with a zigzag running stitch across the front of the ankle.  
31   Pull it up tight to create a small tuck  and then wrap the thread tightly two or three times around the ankle. Finish off with two or three fastening stitches.

32   Shape the hands by running a gathering thread around the wrists
33   Pull up tightly and wrap the thread around two or three times before fastening off tightly.


34   Hold the arms against the body and mark where you want them to go with pins.

35   Take two 50 cm lengths of strong thread and one of the buttons.  Stitch up through one hole of the button and down through the other.
36   Take all four thread ends and thread them through the strong needle.  

37   Stitch through one arm, through the body at one pin mark and out at the other pin mark. Finally pass through the other arm. (I couldn't work out how to take a photograph for this.) Pull up fairly tight so the arms are squashed against the body, to give a firm joint.

38    Take another button and separate the threads where they come out of the second arm into two pairs
39    pass one pair through one hole of the button and the other pair through the other hole.
40   Tie off tightly
41   Fasten ends off underneath the button.
Do the same for the two legs.

Hair long with pony tail and fringe
There are lots of different ways of doing hair.  I use this way when a doll is intended for a small child because it is less likely to pull out.
With a water erasable pen mark the hair line around the face and also mark a circle at the back of the head. Mark the space between the two lines into roughly equal sectors all around the head.  This makes it easier to do the hair evenly all over.
Cut wool into 60 cm long strands.  

42   Thread one strand into a tapestry needle and, working from front to back, take a small stitch at the back of the head. Draw up the wool to leave a tail of about 20 cm.
43   Take another stitch at the front of the head, again stitching from front to back.
44   Finally take a stitch at the back again but this time going from back to front.
45    unthread the needle. Repeat this all over the head.  The threads become a bit close at the back and if there are too large gaps at the front you can fill in later with long satin-like stitches without tails.

The fringe is worked in what I think is called "turkey stitch".

46   Starting at one side of the face take a small back stitch at the edge of the hairline
47   Pull up the wool but not all the way to leave a loop.
48   Take another back stitch over this  
49   Pull it up tight. Repeat all the way along and finish off with a couple of small stitches.

Cut the loops and trim the fringe to the desired length.

All done.

She will need some clothes but since this tutorial is quite long enough I leave that up to you.
43  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Shadow embroidery on: September 05, 2012 01:22:51 PM

At our needlecraft guild meeting last month the topic was shadow work.  I always thought this involved satin stitch which I do not like very much but it turns out to be quite different.
Our practice samples were pre-printed gauze

and the stitch  is herringbone  if you  look at the back

or a double back stitch looking from the front

I found I really enjoyed how quickly it fills in the shapes and the pretty effect of the colours showing through the gauze.  I loved it so much that I couldn't bear to stop.  I worked at it every evening (except when we had no power) and finished it in four days.  Since I intend using it as a fly cover for food I then crocheted a little beaded edging to give it a bit of weight.

I used DMC variegated threads and love how the colour changes turned out.  The green for the stems and the yellow orange for the flower centres worked  best.   I now love shadow embroidery and plan on doing lots more.
44  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Kidsilk haze stripe jersey - with instructions on: August 20, 2012 11:43:02 AM
 The yarn for this jersey is the Rowan kidsilk haze stripe by Kaffe Fassett.  You are supposed to use it to knit a scarf but I loved the colours so much I wanted a jersey.   It was not cheap.  I paid 17.50 a ball but it only took two balls to make.  It is not hard to knit but it is quite hard to undo mistakes because the yarn felts itself together almost as soon as it is knitted.

The jersey  is quite delicate and I am being very careful about handwashing it etc but I love it so much.  The colours make me think of clouds and sunsets.

I made up the pattern as I went along which is why some of the increases are in odd places.  Also although I did write it down it was on a rather scrappy piece of paper and part of it got lost so I have had to try and recreate it from memory.  So if you do try this think about it as you go as there may be some mistakes. 

Basically it is knit from cuff to cuff with a plain slit/boat neck opening and the stitch alternates 12 rows of "wool round needle, knit two together, knit one" with 6 rows of stocking stitch.

Kidsilk Haze Stripe Jersey

Yarn by Rowan and Kaffe Fassett. 2 x 50g balls of Kidsilk Haze Stripe.
5 mm circular needle. You can use a pair of longish needles but you will need a circular one for the bottom rib and it is easier to knit across the whole body if you use a circular needle. 21/22 rows and 15/17 stitches to 10 cm.  I am 108cm/42.5 inch bust.  You could probably make it larger or smaller simply by increasing or reducing the number of rows across the chest.

Cast on 44 stitches   (The cuff)
15 rows of Knit 1 Purl 1 rib
6 rows of stocking stitch
12 rows:   Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 14 times.
6 rows stocking stitch (Increase one stitch at beginning of first 2 rows and 1 stitch in the middle of the third row)                            (47 stitches)
12 rows:   Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1)  15 times
6 rows stocking stitch (Increase one stitch at the beginning of each row)      (53 stitches)
12 rows:   Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 17 times
6 rows stocking stitch (Increase 1 stitch at each end and in the middle of each knit row)
                              (62 stitches)
6 rows:      Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 20 times
(Increasing for the body)
Next row:   Cast on 6 stitches at beginning  of next row. Knit 8 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 20 times.                     (68 stitches)
Next row:   Cast on 6 stitches at beginning  of next row. Knit 8 (wool round needle, Knit 2, together, Knit 1) 22 times.                     (74 stitches)
4 rows:      Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 24 times
6 rows stocking stitch, casting on 4 stitches at the beginning of each row.   (98 stitches)
2 rows:      Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 32 times
Next row:   Cast on 12 stitches, Knit 14 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 32 times
Next row:   Cast on 12 stitches, Knit 14 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 36 times
Next row:   Cast on 12 stitches, Knit 14 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 40 times
Next row:   Cast on 12 stitches, Knit 14 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 44 times
                              (146 stitches)
6 rows:      Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 48 times
5 rows stocking stitch
Next row:    Purl to centre, turn.                  (73 stitches)     
(The body - front)
Next row:   cast on 4 stitches, * Knit 4 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1)24 times
                              (77 stitches)
Next row:   Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 23 times, wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 3. *
Next 10 rows:   Repeat from * to * 5 times.
(6 rows stocking stitch, repeat  from * to * 6 times.) Three times.  Slide stitches onto a needle holder.
(The body - back)
Now return to the needle with the 73 stitches. Join thread at centre, cast on 4 stitches and purl to end                              (77 stitches)
Next row:   **Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 23 times, wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 3
Next row:   Knit 4 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 24 times**
Next 10 rows:    Repeat from ** to ** 5 times
(6 rows stocking stitch, repeat  from * to * 6 times.) Three times.
Next row:   Knit 73 stitches.  Pick up the 4 garter stitches from the other half and alternate them with the last 4 stitches. Then cast them off, 2 at a time so that one side overlaps the other. Knit the remaining 73 stitches.
Beginning with a Purl row work another 5 rows of stocking stitch.       (146 stitches)
6 rows:       Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 48 times
(Decreasing for the second sleeve)
Next row:   Cast off 12 stitches, Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 44 times
Next row:   Cast off 12 stitches, Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 40 times
Next row:   Cast off 12 stitches, Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 36 times
Next row:   Cast off 12 stitches, Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 32 times
                              (98 stitches)
2 rows:      Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 32 times
6 rows stocking stitch, casting off 4 stitches at the beginning of each row.   (74 stitches)
4 rows:      Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 24 times
Next row:   Cast off 6 stitches at beginning  of next row. Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2, together, Knit 1) 22 times.                     (68 stitches)
Next row:   Cast off 6 stitches at beginning  of next row. Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 20 times.                     (62 stitches)
6 rows:      Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 20 times
6 rows stocking stitch (Decrease 1 stitch at each end and in the middle of each knit row)
                              (53 stitches)
12 rows:   Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 17 times
6 rows stocking stitch (Decrease one stitch at the beginning of each row)   (47 stitches)
12 rows:   Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1)  15 times
6 rows stocking stitch (Decrease one stitch at beginning of first 2 rows and 1 stitch in the middle of the third row)                            (44 stitches)
12 rows:   Knit 2 (wool round needle, Knit 2 together, Knit 1) 14 times.
6 rows of stocking stitch
15 rows of Knit 1 Purl 1 rib
Cast off.
Sew up the side seams and sew down the neck edges to give the width of neck you want. (In my case it was about 30 cm.)
Using a circular needle, pick up 142 stitches around the bottom edge and do about 20 rows of Knit 1 Purl 1 rib. Cast off.
45  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Blue cotton cardigan - knitted from the top down on: August 14, 2012 11:50:42 AM

This cardigan was knitted in a thick cotton yarn.  I bought it as a pack of five skeins  from a lady who spins it herself.  (It is the same cotton yarn I used for this lace openwork cardigan ) I used 10mm needles and knitted it from the neck down, making up the pattern as I went along.  I used my previous pattern as a guide but reduced the number of stitches and increased the number of rows  before I split off the sleeves.

On the button band I got rather carried away and made 12 button holes.  This was far too many.  The weight of the buttons on the left front was so great I had to hand sew a tape backing  to stop it from stretching right out of shape and to keep it the same length as the right front.

I worked each colour in stripes of four rows each.  In order to get  the streaking effect of the colours I slipped stitches as follows :

First Row:  Knit 1, slip 1, knit 1, slip 1, knit 3, slip 1, knit 1, slip 1, knit 1, slip 1, knit 3; repeat across the row ending with slip1 knit 1 slip1 knit 1 over last four stitches.
Second Row:  Purl 1, slip 1, purl 7, slip 1, purl 7 repeat across row ending with purl 7, slip 1, purl 1.  Third Row:  Knit
Fourth Row: Purl.
In order to get the effect of all the slipped stitches being in line I had to work  around the increases so skipped some slip stitches if the increases upset the numbers.  It got  rather out of order once the sleeves were done and I was  knitting down the body. Of course it is not necessary to keep the slipped stitches in line across the rows. My mum made a similar cardigan and also slipped the stitches but let them run randomly down through the colours  and it also looked good.

I more or less wrote down what I did as I went along so here is the pattern if anyone wants to do the same. 

Cotton knit cardi - plain
Bust size 108 cm/42.5 inches.  10 mm needles. Tension  approx. 11 stitches and 12 rows  to 10 cm
Cast on   47 stitches
1   K1 P1 to end
2   P1 K1 to end
3   K1 P1 to end
4   P1 K1 to end
Continue in stocking stitch and increase for the raglan sleeves as follows:
Knit rows
   K9 (pick up and knit thread between stitches = M1), K1, M1, K 4, M1, K1, M1, K17, M1, K1, M1, K4, M1, K1, M1, K9.         (55 stitches)
   K10, (M1,K1,M1= +2), K6, (+2), K19, (+2), K6, (+2) K10   (63 stitches)
   K11, (+2), K8, (+2), K21, (+2), K8, (+2), K11   (71 stitches)
   12 (+2) 10 (+2) 23 (+2) 10 (+2) 12      (79)
   13 (+2) 12 (+2) 25 (+2) 12 (+2) 13      (87)
   14 (+2) 14 (+2) 27 (+2) 14 (+2) 14      (95)
   15 (+2) 16 (+2) 29 (+2) 16 (+2) 15      (103)
   16 (+2) 18 (+2) 31 (+2) 18 (+2) 16      (111)
   17 (+2) 20 (+2) 33 (+2) 20 (+2) 17      (119)
   18 (+2) 22 (+2) 35 (+2) 22 (+2) 18       (127)
   19 (+2) 24 (+2) 37 (+2) 24 (+2) 19       (135)
   20 (+2) 26 (+2) 39 (+2) 26 (+2) 20       (143)
   21 (+2) 28 (+2) 41 (+2) 28 (+2) 21       (151)
   22 (+2) 30 (+2) 43 (+2) 30 (+2) 22      (159)
   23 (+2) 32 (+2) 45 (+2) 32 (+2) 23      (167)
   24 (+2) 34 (+2) 47 (+2) 34 (+2) 24      (175)

Slip   26 stitches onto spare needle, work across  36 stitches for  8 rows. Rib 6 rows, cast off.
Slip  51 stitches onto spare needle, work  8 rows on next 36 stitches. Rib 6 rows, cast off.
Work in stocking stitch across all remaining  103 stitches  until long enough. Finish with 5 or 6 rows of rib.
Button bands
Pick up stitches down left side of the front.  I picked up 4 for every 5 rows and it worked fairly well. Work 5 rows rib making button holes (wool round needle knit 2 together) in the second row. Cast off.  Repeat for right side of front but without the button holes.
46  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Sleeveless recycled cotton top on: August 03, 2012 09:59:19 AM

This is a top I made using Argyll pattern No. 336. 

I knitted it in Sirdar recycled cotton which is a blend of 51% recycled cotton / 49% acrylic and knits as double knitting.  The original pattern is in pure cotton and uses 6 x 100 gm balls for the largest size which is for bust 97 cm (38 inches). 

I am actually a 107 cm ( 42 inch ) bust but since my tension was very slightly larger than the given, I figured I could just knit the largest size and it would fit me - which is pretty well what happened.  I also worked out and it took me ages that since pure cotton is heavier than a blend of cotton and acrylic, I would only need about  7 x 50 gm balls and in fact it only used 6 and I could have made it shorter as it has stretched a bit with wearing.

It is a good practical top and gives a bit of extra warmth on cooler days. I think it would have been a lot heavier in pure cotton. Its only disadvantage is that it has stretched a bit with wearing.  When I washed it I tried reshaping it but it hasn't shrunk any.  I guess neither cotton nor acrylic are as springy as wool which would have kept its shape better.


 This is the original pattern. I do like the style and may make it again in another double knitting yarn.
47  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / My first amigurumi - A Lion - and how I tried to articulate him on: July 23, 2012 01:54:05 PM

I wanted to make a lion and I found an excellent  pattern by Andrea   
 She used worsted weight yarn but I wanted a small lion so I used DMC  Coton Perle size 5
The crochet hook is an old one of my mum's. It calls itself a 4 but I have no idea what system it is except that it isn't metric.

I followed the pattern almost exactly except that I didn't have fun fur for the mane so I cut threads and hooked them into the stitches of the head as I went along.  I hooked the mane  threads into the outer loop of each stitch and continued with the single crochet in the inner loop of each stitch. I have tried to show this in the picture.

Also I wanted to insert joints at the neck and limbs. The neck joint was made of 2 buttons sewn back to back and with a slight neck between them.  After finishing the head I stuffed it and inserted one button  into the neck opening before sewing it up. I then looped the magic loop for the body around the outer button and pulled it tight after the first round of sc.  Andrea's  pattern for the body is worked from the base up to the neck so I did it in reverse order - from the neck down.

For the limb joints I didn't have any buttons small enough so I used a file paper hole punch to punch out discs from a plastic ice-cream tub lid and made 2 holes in each with a needle so they were like buttons.

I hope the pictures show how the limb joints were inserted into the limbs after stuffing and before sewing up and then into the body before it was finished off.

Having said all that, the limb joints make him an extremely floppy lion.  I still think he is cute but I shall have to think of something better if I make another one as he really cannot stand up at all!  Embarrassed
48  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Work bag with vintage handles on: July 16, 2012 12:22:33 PM

The story of this bag is that I was helping Mum clear out stuff and found two cane rings with some shreds of patchwork attached.  I asked her what they were and she said "Those are the handles of a work bag that belonged to your great great grandmother" 
Well, I needed a knitting bag and I couldn't bear to throw out something my great great grandmother had used.  So I went shopping with my sister to look for ideas. 

While we were browsing I noticed some DMC glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss.  My sister said "Does it really?" and took a skein and put it down inside her sweater to see.  "Oh look" she said "It does glow".  So I had a look down her front too and sure enough it was glowing nicely.  At which point we noticed two shop assistants looking at us with big eyes. Shocked
"It's okay" said my sister "We are sisters".   As if that explained it - and maybe it does. Tongue

Anyway I bought 2 skeins of the glow-in-the-dark floss and some black Aida.  The skull cross-stitch pattern came from a picture by notanartist .  I added  crossed knitting needles and used a font from Handmade-Adelaide for the lettering.  The bag is lined with a polyester fabric printed with pirate skull and crossbones pattern.  The inspiration was Craftster of course.

It didn't take me long to make. Mum thought it was lovely and really liked the idea of the work bag handles carrying on to another generation.

And here it is glowing in the dark. 
49  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / doll from airline sock on: November 30, 2011 01:22:17 PM

This doll was made from an airline sock and scraps of calico and lace that I had lying around.  The stuffing is polyester batting,  torn up and wadded into a ball for the head or rolled up for the limbs and body.
The technique I used came from a crafting course in the December 1984 Anna Burda magazine for Knitting and Needlecraft.  In this technique the batting is made into a firm ball and then covered with a circle of knit fabric drawn up tight to form the head  (I used a bit of mutton cloth for this). Then  threads are tied around the head from side to side and across where the eyes will go in order to provide some shaping. The whole is then covered with the actual stockinette fabric used and the eyes and mouth indicated with simple embroidery thread stitches.  There is an on-line tutorial for a similar doll at The Silver Penny.

In this doll about one  third of the sock the toe end was used for the head and torso, with strong thread tied around for the neck. The rest of the sock made up into two simple arms and legs which were attached using buttons and strong thread so they could move.

I used strong white Chinese fishing twine for all the shaping, joints and tying off of hands and feet. Also for the hair.  I hadn't intended her to look like a ghost but since the sock was such a dead white I couldn't think of any hair colour that would look right with it except perhaps black and I happened to have a 100g reel of the fishing twine size or gauge was 210D/4 in snow white so I used that.

The dress and pantaloons were done without a pattern and it shows, as the dress is way too big and I had to add a waistband to the pantaloons because I'd made them too short in the waist.  I'll know better next time.  The dress is a simple oblong of fabric with 2 curves cut for armholes and edged with lace. The neck gathered and fastened with a small button and loop at the back. I covered the gathers with some lace too.

Here she is with the other sock. I guess I need to make her brother.

(I did not make the little metal heron.  I do not have weld art skills. I bought it from a street vendor.)
50  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Advent Wreath on: November 27, 2011 03:42:56 AM
I made my Advent wreath yesterday. 

I used branches cut from cypress trees in our garden and twisted them together until they made a firm ring.

I added in  a few sprigs from our one blue cypress because it gave a nice bit of colour and it also had little green flowers/seed heads.

Then I bound it all with a "ribbon" that I cross stitched years and years ago for exactly this purpose.

All the decorations have memories attached.

1) and 2)  These are miniature Christmas books given to me long ago by a good friend.
3) This is a miniature nativity from Guatemala. My mother brought it back for me from a year's volunteering she did there after she finished her chemotherapy.
4)  The straw stars from Germany were given me by my late grandmother and the sisal angels from another dear friend.

Although I will be using candles with this I also twisted  a set of battery operated miniature L.E.D. lights among the branches and these were given to me as a parting gift by a friend who always used to spend Christmas with us but has now emigrated.

The little hessian boys and girl I made a long time ago following the instructions in the book Modelling in Hessian by Margaret Hutchings and the lovely leather camels were brought back from Dubai by my husband several years ago.  The little wire scooter the girl is riding on was made locally by a street vendor.  (With her skirt she can't really sit on a camel. Tongue)

Looking forward to seeing everyone else's Advent Wreaths.
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