21 December 2016

oh christmas tree

I know some people are great fans of Christmas, but that unfortunately is not me. Although, one thing I do like is putting up the Christmas tree, and I confess I do have two of them. I love getting the boxes out of the glory hole and unwrapping all the tree ornaments that haven't seen the light of day since Christmas last year.

I have some ornaments made by my son at playgroup and primary school. I know they've seen better days, but all too precious to throw out....

Then there are decorations made by friends, which are also much loved. I received a beautiful and expertly made decoration from my friend Anne this year. It will take pride of place on one of my trees. She also sent me the link for a video tutorial on how to make this Folded Fabric Ornament, for more details click here.

Then there are the tree ornaments made by myself. I do try to make something new every year, This year I dived into my stash for different coloured red double knit yarn and knitted up some hearts from my "Tiny Teddy Bear" pattern. For more details click here

 I embellished them with beads, sequins and ribbon...

Now all set to hang on my tree....

Have a great Christmas everyone, and best wishes for the New Year.
Till next time, Ali.

21 November 2016


I'm determined to work though my ever increasing stash, starting with a box languishing under the bed. I had two balls of Rowan Big Wool, which came with a box of yarn I won from Love Knitting a few years ago. I had thought of knitting a hat with matching cowl....but I don't like thick wool accessories. I read the label and saw that it was 100% wool, so had an idea it might felt. My old felted slippers, much worn, so much so that there was a hole in the sole, therefore making trips to the bathroom at night very chilly, needed replacing. So I decided to knit up new slippers using a tried and tested Drops Design pattern, called Magnolia, for more details of the free pattern, click here.
I knit the large size and as one ball was not enough for one slipper I knitted the last row with purple yarn, also from my stash. I crocheted a purple edging round the top of the slippers for a bit of contrast. They turn out gigantic.....

 I put them in the washing machine with an old towel and a colour catcher sheet, I was worried the purple yarn might bleed. I always start felting by washing at a 40 degree wash, the idea being if they don't felt enough I can put them in again. If it is too hot of a wash then they might shrink too much and that process can't be reversed.
So out they came.....

I did have to put them into the machine again and when they came out again, they needed a bit of manipulation and pulling and pushing into shape.
Once dry I had to decide on embellishments,  between flowers or bow or pompoms.....in the end I decided on pompoms.....

And just to prove they do fit, here's me in front of the fire. The Rowan Big Wool worked well as regards felting and is much warmer and thicker than the Drops yarn which I've used in previous projects.

Till next time, Ali.


11 November 2016

irish colleen

I always loved entering the St Georges Market tea cosy competition, every year, but it seems to have died a death. It was great seeing the other entries, so many creative cosies. So, I've looked further afield and found a similar competion, taking place at Dun Laoghaire. It is part of the Craft Festival taking place this Sunday at the Royal Marine Hotel.
Here's my entry...shes supposed to be an Irish Colleen.....

She was great fun to make and will be sold for charity on Sunday. There are some other great cosies entered for the competition and they can be seen on Facebook, click here. If in the vicinity of Dun Laoghaire on Sunday drop in to the craft fair, admission is free.
Till next time, Ali.

13 October 2016

my knitted doll blog hop

I had seen photos of Louise Crowther's (Boo Biloo) book, "My Knitted Doll" on facebook and had made a mental note about knitting one of the dolls up in the future. So I was delighted when I was approached by Sew and So, to review the book and take part in a blog hop.

When the book arrived it did not disappoint...it has patterns and garments for twelve dolls, including one male one. Hair colour and styles can be interchanged so its possible to knit a mini me, or a personalized gift for someone special. All the wee clothes and accessories are delightful, cute, stylish and up to the minute. The clothes fit any of the dolls so its possible to knit up a whole wardrobe. There is a helpful list of recommended yarn which can be used.

The plan was to kit up "Grace" in her stripey dress with heart applique and shrug. There are lovely wee details in all of the doll patterns. For Grace, it was instructions to make a bracelet and hair scrunchies for her pigtails.

Unfortunately all did not go according to plan, things conspired against me and I had only time to knit up Grace's dress...

All I can say it was a great pattern, well written and easy to follow. There is also a useful Techniques Section in the back of the book, in this case for intarsia knitting and picking up stitches. Nice clear photos and instructions for making up as well.
I'm looking forward to knitting up Grace when I have more time.

The book can be pre ordered for November from Sew and Sew.
For more details of the book and a sneak preview, click here 

The Blog Schedule is as follows...

Monday 10th - SewandSo
Tuesday 11th - SewandSo
Wednesday 12th - Eskimimi Makes
Thursday 13th - The Creations of Crazy Dazy
Friday 14th - Planet Penny

Great to find two blogs, Eskimimi Makes and Planet Penny which I never come across before.
Till next time, Ali.

4 October 2016

quick update

I have been a fan of Julia Marsh from Hand Knitted Things ever since I used her pattern to knit up a house for Age UK, Warm House. A few weeks ago she had a giveaway on her blog, which I was lucky enough to win.
When it arrived it was beautifully wrapped....

and inside were Stylecraft vouchers and some Stylecraft goodies....

 Julia also put one of her knitted brooch houses in the parcel.....so I was well chuffed!

As regards my own knitting I have just finished a shawlette as part of a knit a long with Helen and Lola from Instagram. The pattern is Hitchiker by Martina Behm for more details click here. I used Rico Design Las Vegas yarn, which has a wee bit of a sparkle.... I do like a bit of bling.

I'm also still working on my latest food pattern and a project for a blog hop. The blog hop is to review the book, My Knitted Doll by Louise Crowther or rather Boo-Biloo. So call back next Thursday for that.

All the best, Ali

27 September 2016

new pattern in the making

I can't believe I havent blogged since the end of July....tempus fugit!.....and that's about the only school Latin I can remember. I have a lot of catching up to do as well, reading other blog posts. I am enjoying posting photos on Instagram and looking at other peoples photos too. Look me up if you get a minute, under crazydazyknits.

At present I'm working on a new food pattern. The pattern consists of a hamburger, complete with trimmings, a hot dog and chips. I feel hungry at the thought of it.

Just going through the pattern at the moment, have to take some photos and then will be looking for test knitters. 

In an attempt to be more organised I have been using yarn pegs to decide colours. I have so many Stylecraft Special dk balls and unfortunately its easy to loose the labels.

One more thing if you live in the vicinity of Belfast and haven't been to the David Hockney exhibition, I Draw, I Do at the Mac, you should go along. It's on until mid October. There is a great range of his work from the fifties until present day. 
I suppose he is best known for his swimming pool paintings and there is one of those on display....

And then more recent ones, which have been drawn on an ipad....

Well better catch up with a few of my favourite blogs now, Till next time, Ali.

27 July 2016

suffolk puffs

In my last post I was using a gadget for making Suffolk Puffs. Since them I have been googling....I spend way to much time on the internet, but I was looking for projects where I could use my Suffolk Puffs. Here's a collection of what i found.
Lots of ideas for jewellery, including necklaces, corsages and bracelets. I was inspired to make a bracelet, simply made, by sewing six puffs edge to edge and then adding a clasp.........

Thought this piggy brooch looked cute, from Sarah's Little Snippets (click on the following photos for the links)

 piggie brooch from Little Snippets:  

Puffs could be used for garlands (I can thank Helen for this idea) or wreaths. Here's an Easter garland by Sunshine Creations.

Yo yo garland!:

A good technique for textile art, as shown by Michelle Mischkulnig.

Another Michelle Mischkunig piece. Great textures!:

More inspiration found googling, was to use netting, tulle or even net curtains for yoyos as seen on the Blue Mountain Daisy blog.

I have just mentioned a few ideas but the possibilities are endless......I do like a Suffolk Puff! 
Till next time, Ali.

20 July 2016

yo-yo gadget

I'm a big fan of Suffolk puffs, some people think they are a bit twee, but I love them. I also collect gadgets and when I saw the yo-yo makers, by Clover, I just had to give them a go.

I tried the simple circular one first and after wading through the instructions, it worked well for me. The flower shape yo-yo maker was a bit harder. Here's a few photos of the process of making the flower one.

I got a bit confused by the central stitching part, but after sussing that out and on my second attempt, I did make something which resembled a five petaled flower.

 Now, will I use the gadgets again or will they languish in the cupboard? The circular makers were good and quick, once I got the hang of them. They would only be viable if you were making a large number, though. Not so sure about the flower one as it was a bit fiddly.

Till next time, Ali.

14 July 2016

wildlife nests

I was on facebook recently, and noticed a call for knitters and crocheters to make nests for rescued birds and small mammals. So I thought I would knit up a few. You have to register to access patterns and for more details click here. They knit up quickly using two strands of double knit, as the nests need to made without holes or gaps. Crochet patterns are also available, if you prefer this. There is also a facebook page with information, click here.
Here are two of my attempts, looking a bit empty at the moment.......

All is needed is a few furry or feathery friends.
Till next time, Ali.

27 June 2016

beatrice bear

After knitting up Julie's (Little Cotton Rabbit's) panda pattern, I knew I would have to follow it up by knitting him a girlfriend. The girl bear knitting pattern looked so cute with her chequered dress.
This time knitting was much quicker and there was less studying up the pattern as I had an idea how she was to be constructed. Again I used Drops Lima knitted along with Drops Kidsilk for the body and Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply for the shoes and dress.
Here she is in her undies.....

And her she is in her dress, was loving the fact that most of the dress was knitted with dpns. I knitted her a bag to complete the outfit....

Here they both are together.....

For more details of Little Cotton Rabbit's patterns, click here. Till next time, Ali.

18 June 2016


When I saw Julie's (Little Cotton Rabbits) new pattern for the bear and panda, I just knew I had to knit them up. I started with the boy panda and used one strand of Drops Lima and one of Drops Kidsilk for the body. I knitted the clothes using Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply. It is a great pattern as usual, with helpful tips and great instructions. And here he is.......

I haven't come up with a name for him yet, so would be grateful of any suggestions for what to call him. I thought the jumper would be a challenge as I'm not fond of this kind of knitting, but the pattern was most comprehensive and easy to follow and I was most pleased the way his fair isle jumper turned out.
I them went on to knit him a few accessories, a hat, scarf and schoolbag.....I had so much fun.

Now I think all is left is to knit him a girlfriend. For further details of Julies patterns and her work, click here.
Till next time, Ali.

29 May 2016

extreme knitting

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Knitting and Stitching show at Edinburgh about a month ago. I got lots of ideas and inspiration while I was there. One particular stand caught my attention and that was one which featured extreme knitting, hosted by Rachel John. Unfortunately I couldn't buy any of her wool due to limited space in my hand luggage, so I made some up when I got home....

I used four stands of double knit and one strand of aran, the teaspoon is to give some idea of scale. It would be a great stashbuster. I knitted a tube with 15mm dpns and made a simple shopping bag....

The mix of different coloured yarns gave a nice mottled effect when knitted up.
I used an over sized button as a fastening and due to the loose texture, I lined the inside of the bag, adding a few pockets for phone and keys etc.

It knit up super quick but was a bit tough on the wrists. So that's what I've been up to. Hope you're all having a good weekend.
Till next time, Ali.

18 May 2016

daisy crochet world record

I do like small projects and this crocheted daisy one is for such a good cause...
It's in memory of Emma Welch, an avid fundraiser. Her friends are organising an attempt to break two world records, all in aid of Brain Tumour Research.
The first Guinness World Record is for the Most People Crocheting Simultaneously," which is currently 485. This will take place in Bath on the 4th June 2016.

If you don't live near Bath and can crochet you can still take part as the second world record to be broken is the Largest Display of Crocheted Items, which is currently held at 13,388.
Emma's middle name was "Daisy", so they are looking for crocheted daisies to break the record. Pattern below. It is a very easy and quick pattern. Daisies are to made in pink and yellow, BTR colours with some white to make them look more daisy like. Again the record attempt will take place 4th June 2016 and afterwards the flowers will be sold off for BTR funds




ch: chain
dc: double crochet
dtr: double treble
sl st: slip stitch 

UK terminology

Note: use any combination of pink, yellow and white DK yarns for yarns A and B
Using a crochet hook (size 3.5mm to 4.5mm) and yarn A make 4ch, join with a sl st to first ch to form a ring

Rnd 1: 1ch, 18dc in ring, break off yarn A, join yarn B with a sl st to first dc
Rnd 2: (4ch, 1dtr, 4ch, one sl st in next st) 9 times (9 petals) until petals meet


Send your finished crocheted daisies before Saturday 4th June to:
FAO Victoria Roberts 10M1, Norton Hill School, Charlton Road, Midsomer Norton, BA3 4AD

Thanks to Ali from Random Wooliness for bringing this to my notice, she knows I love a project like this and when I saw the pretty daisies I just had to hook up a few.  

Some links if you want more info....
Book your FREE ticket for the world crocheting world record event at Event Brite by clicking here.
Learn more about Brain Tumour Research at braintumourresearch.org
Befriend Daisy Bear at facebook.com/daisy.bear.750

Till next time, Ali.

6 May 2016

woollen woods

Tomorrow opens the only "Woollen Wood" in Northern Ireland, at the Diamond Jubilee Wood at Whitehead. The Woollen Woods, part of Voluntary Arts Week, is an outdoor art installation, which is bringing art and nature together. On display will be all sorts of knitted, crocheted or felted woodland themed items.
My contribution to the flora and fauna which will be on display is an owl.....

He is based on the pattern, Obligatory Owl designed by Sara Elizabeth Kellner. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download, for more details click here
I had great fun knitting him up. He is knitted in the round and the "Obligatory Owl" is a nice clear pattern to follow.

Woollen Woods is happening in eleven sites across the country, during May, to find one near you, click here.
Have a great weekend, Ali.