Oh my goodness. Where have the last few months gone?! Silly question, really. They have gone the way of every yesterday, and every last weekend and every yesteryear and vanished into the past. I think that time just goes by even faster the busier you are, and I have been rather busy recently.
I have a lot to show you now that I have eventually managed to sit my self down, coffee to the left, mouse to the right and keyboard stuck in the middle with me… Now I finally find myself eager to get this catch up post out of the way so that I feel freer to get back into a nicely organised blog writing routine like I used to!
So here goes… Picking up where I left off, Drake the Dragon came 5th overall in the Fantasy Creatures amigurumi competition. Yay for Drake and a big thank you to all who voted! There were over 700 entries in the end so I’m very pleased with that result.
So pleased, in fact, that I made Drake a big marshmallow on a stick for toasting with his nose flames as a reward for doing so well. Other smiley news is that there is going to be a fantasy creatures amigurumi book inspired by the competition and Drake will be featuring in it alongside 14 other magical and quirky designs (I’ve had a sneak preview of his book-fellows and I can report that they are all 100% cute!). That does mean, however, that I won’t be publishing his pattern in my online shops until after the book release but I’ll keep you all informed about release dates as and when they come to light.
Shortly after my last post the Halloween decorations came down. I like to keep them up until the Christmas ones come out to play. The winter evenings are so dark and dull, my twinkly fairy lights, plethora of pumpkins and abundance of warm autumnal colours help keep me cheerful through the worst of it.
And so Pumpkin Patch People were replaced with the newly written up pattern for the Christmas Elf Quartet (adapted from a design I made for a magazine a couple of years ago – some of you may recognize it). I tried several colourways until I found my perfect combination.
Love these lime and bottle greens together with the red and the silver grey.
And very good were they at helping with the Christmas decorations this year!
Tah-dah! Job done!
They also featured as star attractions on my mantelpiece.
Christmas was fabulous. especially now two of the boys have girlfriends. The feminine element meant that thoughtful gift wrapping and giving was raised to a whole new level and it was lovely to have some girly company over the holidays too. My boys are all fabulous human beings, but they don’t do Christmas like the girls do Christmas!
Rubick enjoyed helping, or getting in the way, which ever way you prefer to look at it.
Though he is a bit of a liability this one. Not long after these photos were taken he came back from one of his garden hopping jaunts with a massive gaping cut in his side. I’ll spare you the photos of his untreated wound but, several visits to the vets and hundred pounds later he was doing quite a good Frankenstein’s Monster impression with eight stitches and a lovely bald patch to show for it all.
By the way, this is what happens when I quickly sneak out of bed in the early morning to make a cup of tea,. Rubick has grabbed the warm spot with a look of ‘finder’s keepers, losers weepers’. Oh well, never one to argue with the cats I just made an early start that day and drank my tea in the studio instead!
It snowed a couple of times over the holidays. The first time it melted away again almost as soon as it had landed. Mojo was fascinated with God’s bad dandruff day!
Then a little while later it snowed a lot…
About six inches of the lightest fluffiest snow I’ve seen for a few years.
I absolutely had to go and make a snowman who wasn’t made of yarn for a change.
I couldn’t get the boys motivated to come and help. I think they’re probably way to old at 19 and 20 years to get overly excited about a bit of snow (not sure what happened to me then!). So I built him on my own. He was a bit rushed as I could only find a single glove with fingers in it due to my passion for fingerless mitts, of which I have many, all lovingly hand knitted by myself, but all completely useless for making anything out of snow. So the other hand was wrapped in a sock which did nothing to keep out the icy wetness. That’s my excuse for why my real snowman looks a bit wonky and not very well finished. I didn’t want to risk not being able to crochet due to frostbite!
In the run up to Christmas I began working on some new Christmas gift bags.
With all the fairy lights twinkling and scented candles lit I made the most of the cosy evenings to crochet a few rows whenever the busy pre-Christmas schedule would allow.
I had lots of fun crocheting with this beautiful tinsel yarn by King Cole.
But alas, after the elves, I didn’t quite manage to squeak out any new festive patterns before Christmas itself was upon us. But the character bags are still a work in progress and will most definitely be up and ready long before this year’s festive season begins!
For now though I’m working on some new stuff that has nothing to do with the holidays. A New Year (well, not quite anymore!) and a new start.
This is another design I made for the same magazine as the elves. I was originally going to call him Beginner’s Bear as he is so quick and easy to crochet. If you have four hours to spare you can make one of these from beginning to end and, with just a single crochet stitch and some very simple shaping to handle, he really is a doddle. In fact, if you are a reasonably fast crocheter and know what you are doing then this bear can even be made in around three hours. Almost instant gratification!
I’ve used up lots of scraps and small leftover balls of yarn from previous projects for these bears so there are some small spaces opening up in my stash baskets, ready to be filled with more almost immediately, I’ve no doubt!
I decided in the end to call the finished bear Bobbin, so it can be a girl or a boy and s/he is my first fully finished pattern of 2018.
As late to the party as we are, myself and the new bears on the block would like to wish you all a tremendously wonderful new year ahead!
Now I am finally back into the swing of pattern writing I have plenty more up my sleeve.
This is the sort of thing cluttering up my desk this week. Yes, some more monsters are on the way. Oh, I get to make more eyeballs! What joy – though I’ve also spent a small fortune on safety eyes again.
I’ll be making a blog post about these new creations next. Now I’ve finally caught up with myself I’m going to try very hard not to let things slip so far behind again. Well, only time will tell if I manage it and with the rate of knots time seems to be slipping by I’m going to have to try very hard indeed!
Thanks for reading, and see you all again… soon!
February 17, 2018 at 2:23 am
I’m glad your kitty is okay. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I can’t wait to see the new book. I love your dragon. Also the drawings you do for your patterns are lovely.
February 17, 2018 at 9:05 am
Rubick is almost totally healed now. I’m hoping he won’t be getting into any more mischief this year! I’m working on my dragon to get him ‘book ready’ next week so things are happening!
February 17, 2018 at 7:51 am
What a great catch up… So good to hear all your news, and with gorgeous photos throughout. Congratulations on drake. I voted for him as I think he is adorable. I’ll definitely be interested in the book when it comes out as I’d love to make my own drake.
February 17, 2018 at 9:02 am
Thanks for voting for him 🙂 I’m writing up his pattern and making another Drake to send to the publishers next week so progress is being made!
February 17, 2018 at 11:28 am
I did as you suggested and sat down with a cup of coffee to read your post. What a stellar way to start my day!!!! I loved peeking into your warm, cozy world with all of the precious creations. How gratifying for those of us that crochet it is to sit back and look around at all we have made. Smiling at how clever we are. Seriously, we do deserve to feel good about our craft and the benefits it fosters. I’d go mad without it. Thank you for all your lovely patterns. And for the inspiration you send our way. Hugs and the best to you in 2018. Gail
February 17, 2018 at 1:03 pm
It’s lovely to think I helped get your Saturday off to a good start! The power of crochet to cheer and inspire is truly awesome. I’d be lost without it too! Have a great weekend x
February 17, 2018 at 12:16 pm
I love reading about your cats, and your craft work. I love your new bears, but I’m afraid I’m not a monster lover, although beautifully crafted and looking fantastic. However, I love Drake and hope to be able to make him one day. Please keep blogging and designing – gives me some incentive to learn to crochet better. x
February 17, 2018 at 1:09 pm
There is always so much more to learn with crochet. I find the journey keeps expanding even after five years and over 80 new patterns. And it’s so nice to share that journey with enthusiasts like yourself 😊 Thanks for reading and commenting. There’ll be more news about Drake coming soon as he heads off on his journey to the publishers.
February 20, 2018 at 8:48 pm
I have quite a few of your patterns and I just found your blog (because I’m a stalker. Wait, no! It’s because I also love to read about crochet and the awesome people behind all these fabulous patterns.)
Your new bears are really cute but these little three-eyed monsters just stole my heart. They are fabulous!
Many greetings from Virginia, ivonne
February 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm
Welcome aboard Ivonne, nice to meet you! There’ll be more about the three eyed monsters soon. I have a big pile of stripy body parts and bulgy eyes to sew together today then my studio will be overrun with the little critters all waiting for their photo shoot. Glad to hear you like them and the bears too 🙂
February 21, 2018 at 4:19 pm
I can’t wait to see the photos and the pattern. In the meantime Spotty, Lotty and Dotty will keep me company. 😀
February 21, 2018 at 11:33 am
I’ve also been super busy lately and haven’t had time to read posts on blogs I love – let alone post in mine. I’m so happy to be able to read a post here again, your blog is the cutest thing and it always makes me feel warm inside! <3 Happy belated 2018!
February 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm
I know, it’s crazy how time seems to spin out of control sometimes! It feels good to be back after a little break though and hopefully I’ll manage to keep on top of things now. Hope you can too!
February 23, 2018 at 4:24 am
I absolutely love your designs!! I have a quick question about eyes you use for your designs. Do you have a favorite place to get them? Also, I am a first-time grandma. I have a twin grandson and grand-daughter!! Do you think it is safe to use these plastic eyes for things I make them? I would appreciate any advice you may have. Thank you so very much!
March 22, 2018 at 4:02 pm
I buy my eyes off eBay. Congratulations of your boy and girl grandbaby twins. How wonderful! The eyes are billed as safety eyes and will be OK so long as the washer part that fixes on the inside of the work is too big to fit through your crochet stitches. However to be on the super safe side you could always embroider them on.
February 26, 2018 at 4:51 am
I love those little jellyfish monsters! It’s nice to see you have had a good holiday season 🙂
February 26, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Yes, they do look a bit like jelly fish! I think I’m going to call them Tippy-Toe Monsters because they scuttle around on the tips of their tiny toes. I hope you had a good holiday season too 🙂
February 26, 2018 at 9:56 pm
That’s an adorable name!
March 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm
Wow, sounds like you were nice and busy over Christmas and New-Years! I’m amazed that you can come up with all of these patterns – any tips for writing amigurumi patterns? I’m a newbie at the whole amis thing, but I’d love to get more involved with it.