Pikachu times two

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I'm blogging from my phone again. This is going to drive Michelle mad because my formatting will be wrong and my picture sizes all over the place (if you don't notice anything wrong, it's because she couldn't bear it and fixed everything up, she's good like that!).

It seems like ages since I last posted. The lead up to silly season was crazy this year and despite having most of the knitting finished well before time, these guys were still considered a WIP right up until the night of the 24th. Link to pattern is back in this blog post.


Another thing that Michelle would never do is, finish and gift a project ignoring a niggling suspicion that one detail is the wrong colour. I however committed this crime against pikachus.


Mr 8 whispered to me on Christmas morning "those black stripes are supposed to be brown but it really doesn't matter". 

I thought they were brown, I have brown felt, but when you are madly finishing an item on Christmas Eve rational thinking seems to go out of the window.   


The kids both love them. The dog covets them. 
The pattern was easy to follow, 

but remember...

*whisper* those stripes on the back are supposed to be brown *whisper*

Printable Calendar Project

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Teacher presents! I was at a loss this year, it's always a difficult balance between budget and something meaningful, or useful. This year we went handmade. There would be loads of things you could make by hand that would make a lovely gift, I'd never recommend food though after talking to teachers themselves, unless you have a special relationship and you already know they love your baking.

I decided to do a calendar, the Mr and I had already pulled together a calendar that we are selling locally, so I had the basic layout ready to work with. My idea was that the kids would customise the front covers with their own drawings. For my biggest, we scanned in an artwork he brought home, for my littlest, he drew a rainbow on each of the four calendars for his teachers. Big effort for a reluctant artist!

And then I figured hey this might be useful for others, I'll pop up a quick blog post with a printable pdf. It's too late for teacher gifts, but this could be a summer project for the kids, they could make their own calendars for next year. Or for yourself, just don't bother with the cover page at all?

For ours I bought clipboards from Officeworks, then modified them. I didn't want all the pages falling out each time the month changed, and I wanted it to hang easily. Hey presto, I pulled out the Dremel, ground off the rivets and the whole clip section came off easily. 
Then it's just a matter of printing out your pages and customising the front cover. Take it to office works to print on heavier paper if you fancy, I ran out of time to do that myself! Download the printable pdf file here.

Progress report - Pikachu update

One of the things I like most about Michelle being my craft buddy is that she demands progress updates, especially the projects with a deadline. She is the reason why I managed to get all those stockings finished in time for advent two years ago. The thought of reporting that I was behind schedule was enough to kick me up a gear.

I got a text today asking how the pikachus were going and I was able to report that one was stuffed and has ears and the other is waiting to be stuffed and needs ears. 

All that they need is arms, legs, a tail each and then facial features. 

I think I have about two hours of knitting time left  and then I shall whip out the felt and my glue gun and proceed to burn off my fingertips* as I attempt to give them faces. 

* this will most certainly involve swearing. 

Knitting and reading

Thursday, December 8, 2016
I was reading the yarn harlots blog the other day and she catalogued all the projects she needed to knit between now and Christmas. The list included: 2 sweaters, 2 cowls, a hat, some slippers and 4 pairs of socks!

Holy moly! And she isn't even panicking (yet!) 

Amittedly the sweaters are baby sweaters and the yarn harlot is an incredibly fast knitter (it's the reason she is a deity among my people) but that is a frightful list. However it did remind me that I haven't started my Christmas knitting yet.

Here's my list:

That's it! I have heaps of time.... honestly I decided on the pattern a month ago. Why haven't I started it?


Christmas knitted has commenced. 

I have also been delving into some history in my viewing and reading time. 

I've been watching 'The Crown' on Netflix which is an utterly fantastic portrayal of the Queens assent to the throne.  I highly recommend the show, it is fantastic and a person raised in England I knew quite a bit about this era but the show filled in a fair few gaps. 

I've been reading 'the butcher bird' sadly the time I've devoted to trying to: like the characters, care about the story, or overlook the blatant historical errors, is time I will never get back. I didn't even finish it. It's woeful. Don't read it. 

Happy Pompom Wreath

Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's a pompom wreath! I thought I'd have this finished to send to a friend for the beginning of Spring. Well I got that wrong! It isn't meant to be a Christmas wreath, it's meant to be a spring, or any time wreath, hence the colours. Or rather the colours I had inspired the purpose, pompoms are a great way to use up bits and pieces of yarn. Pretty sure I've talked about making them before, but I thought I'd share two methods I tried during this project. I'm still to try a method I feel gives a good result easily and - key point here - repeatably!

First one - these funny little half circle pompom makers. Just don't. As I suspected, they make half a pompom, or one very sparse pompom. The staff member in the shop I was in convinced me they make perfectly good pompoms, I don't remember her saying you have to tie two together to get a proper fluffy pompom. Perhaps they are pom makers, not pompom makers...

The next one came with the french knitting dolly I bought earlier this year. Nice dense pompom, but an awful lot of wasted yarn getting that egg shaped pompom into a circle. So the hunt continues!

Initially I was just making these in the downtime from other projects, collecting a bright cheerful bunch of wooly balls. Then November came and I figured I'd better get this thing finished or it would need to be a winter wreath! I settled on a foam wreath form to attach the pompoms, and wrapped it in yarn too, burning my finger with hot glue in the process (sign of a top notch craft project I hear).

Which led to the big dilemma - I hadn't really planned any of this so as I reached the end of hot gluing the pompoms on to the wreath, I realised I still needed at least one more! Not happy with this first end result at all. You can see the gappy nature of the lower left hand side. Plus there was something about it that felt a bit off-kilter. Luckily Louise rescued me with yarn and some positive feedback at this point or I might have torn the thing up to salvage the foam.

Some bright aqua yarn to the rescue, and once the gap seems plugged, I pulled the blue two-tone and popped an aqua pompom there as well. Much happier with this result! Thank you Louise! The wreath has been other hastily packaged and is off to the post office as I type. Gosh I hope it arrives in reasonable shape.

Just before I go, Mr has been a busy bee in the veg patch, and needed the space where the boys carrots were to plant a million other seedlings. Check out his haul!

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