Saturday, 4 January 2014

Toy Factory

I'm overcome with the urge to make knitted toys all of a sudden.  It started before Christmas when I was in one of the local craft shops and saw 'Knitted Toys' by Sandra Polley, which has some really cute things in it; plus a Jean Greenhowe leaflet called 'Christmas Treasures'. I'm not a big Greenhowe fan, her designs generally all have a slightly scary pneumatic look but this leaflet has an interesting pattern called 'Eliza the Peg Doll' which is a knitted version of an old wooden peg doll.  I didn't buy the book and leaflet at the time (mainly because DH was pooh-poohing them over my shoulder) but I couldn't stop thinking about them and ended up ordering them online a few days later (I got Sandra's book direct from her website, linked above).

Once the rush of Christmas was over, I went out and invested about £20 in a mountain of variously coloured acrylic DK yarns - most of them from a Woolworths-like store called 'QD' because my LYS was closed for the holidays.  Then before I could start toymaking, I had to finish the 'Alf' baby socks that I was knitting from the free kit in 'Let's Knit' magazine.  I spent most of New Year's Day knitting, finishing the socks in the morning.

The peg doll looked a bit complicated so I warmed up in the afternoon by knitting a pink version of 'Baby's First Teddy' from the Sandra Polley book.  That was so much fun to knit that it seemed a shame to stop so I the next day I started knitting the blue version also.  Despite these being the identical pattern, the blue bear has come out a lot fatter for some reason.

I've stitched the ribbons on securely for safety.

Now I've moved on to the peg doll pattern.  The first few steps are to knit the head, the neck, and the hairpiece - then assemble them and embroider the features.  This took quite a while but I'm pleased with how it's turned out.  Now I've started on the body, which will be followed by pantaloons and a dress with belt and collar. I'm really enjoying it despite the fiddliness, it feels really creative and with relatively instant gratification.  I've always liked how a few stitches can bring a face to life, and give it a completely different character depending on choice of thread/angle/stitch etc.

We found yet another craft shop today in our new town, again with a mixture of yarn, haberdashery and general craft supplies.  I am amazed at how many shops are selling craft supplies and yarn in this one medium sized not very affluent town, compared to the crowded south-east where we've just come from which saw one shop after another closing down in the last 10-15 years.  I guess rents are a lot lower up here but I still wonder if truly a greater proportion of the population are doing crafts. Admittedly the shops here are mainly stocking lower-priced goods (I went back to the fabric store for some brown yarn and was warned by the lady, twice, that it cost four pounds a ball because it has Alpaca in it - she was quite worried that I understand that, presumably because all the other yarns are around £1 a ball).  At this latest shop find, I was able to buy some flesh pink yarn to knit the next doll I want to do from the Sandra Polley book, and also a cute pack of five fat quarters called 'Wash Day' by Makower.

I'm planning on having a quilting day after DS has gone back to uni when I've nabbed his room.  I have been thinking of sewing a coupon/voucher wallet because we always forget to take our coupons with us when we go shopping.  There are plenty of patterns online and I thought this fabric would be great for a coupon wallet.

I promised some pictures of my Harvest Moon cardigan when I wore it.  I put it on for my first day back at work on 2 January because I thought our office would probably be cooler than usual (it was). Mysteriously, the sleeves that were down to my knuckles, and that were carefully measured and shortened, have now bounced upwards by about an inch and a half to be bracelet length.  Luckily I like sleeves that length but it's kind of annoying because I had planned for them to come to the bottom of my wrist.

It was comfortable to wear although I'm still not happy with what the lower edging is doing underneath the pockets.  As usual, nobody said anything, although to be fair there weren't many people back from holiday yet.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Harvest Moon looks great on you! How funny about all the craft shops - and I've had that reaction about the price of yarn when I've been up in Lincolnshire!

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