I have been unusually quiet these last few weeks and that is due to a simple equation: teething baby + birthday present to make = crochet and craft every spare minute and no time for actually writing about it… But even Mr T has asked when my next blog post is coming out, so thought I’d better find a way!
So currently I’m stood rocking and bouncing a baby on one hip and typing one-handed. I do love writing about crochet almost as much as crocheting, so to me this is a good work-round. It also reminds me of an idea I remember discussing many moons ago, when I worked in HR about the future utopian office environment where we’d have no chairs and no desk that belonged to us, just computers and tables dotted around, to encourage creative thinking and networking and a healthy lifestyle….
I can only speak personally when I say that most of my best thinking is done curled up on the sofa, with a cup of tea, which is where I conceived of the idea of making Miss Maggie Rabbit by Alicia Poulson. You can buy Miss Maggie as a PDF pattern or a kit. In 2013 when Miss Maggie was first released the kits sold out like gold dust and she is still just as popular today. I kept seeing lots of the sweet Miss Maggie makes on Instagram and after being assured by the lovely Anita from My Craft Life that she was dead easy to make (see Anita’s Miss Maggie on Instagram – @madebyanita) I decided I was going to make her for my bunny loving Miss H for her birthday.
I made a few minor modifications – for instance I chose to use 100% wool felt, as I knew she would be well played with and 100% wool felt doesn’t seem to pill. We have had some disasters with felt toys, which have literally worn holes in the first week from being played with, due to major pilling. I have recently started using the Wool Felt Company and their 1mm 100% wool felt sheets, for toys. They offer a wide range of colours, as well as speedy and efficient service and delivery. You can also order for £1 a colour chart, which is well worth it. We chose thistle.
Miss Maggie also required Liberty lawn fabric for her ears and dress. I know – she is a rabbit with expensive tastes. However, in the UK this is no problem, as I simply ordered some Liberty fabric Scraps from Very Berry fabrics on Folksy.
So, the other minor modifications were of course adding as many crochet items as I can find time to make! So far I used a 3.5 mm hook with some discounted Debbie Bliss Angel yarn (purchased from the lovely Linda Kirkbride at Handmade Studios via Instagram) to make her a little shawl/ cape. I tried to make it little-girl friendly, by using the big button and the Granny Stripes pattern, which any of the holes will work to fasten it up. I used a simple shell edging round 3 sides and the top edge I used chain 3, skip a stitch, slip stitch into the next stitch, round the top edge. The yarn is beautiful lace weight – a mixture of mohair and silk, which seems so luxurious, until Mr T calls it, “A goat and worm yarn then”, which does rather spoil the effect. It is lovely yarn to crochet with, but do not make a mistake! I tried to gently frog my first start which I didn’t like and the yarn just snapped. Hence choosing the simple Granny Stripes from Attic24 for the shawl – a pattern I was really familiar with.
I have also made her a rather lovely blanket with granny squares. I used a 3.5 mm hook with Stylecraft Special DK, going for soft vintage-type colours for the centres (copper, pale rose, meadow, khaki, claret, raspberry, grape, denim, camel) and using cream for the outside with the continuous join as you go method, which involves saving a lot of sewing in ends and is reasonably quick once you get used to it. The edging round the blanket is #129 from Edie Eckmans book Around the Corner Crochet Borders, using raspberry, meadow, pale rose and grape.
I also downloaded the patterns for some of the other clothes and did attempt knitting a jumper. But in the end I gave up on knitting with children around. For instance, my toddler decided it was hilarious to keep running away with my 4th Double pointed Knitting needle, and the number of times I lost count whilst a child asked “mum…” I think I will wait for some child free evenings for knitting. This is one of the reasons I love crochet, as I can do this and put it down and pick it up easily. So I kind of free-styled a crochet jumper in the current baggy jumper fashion!
It’s been fun, but I am feeling a tad pressured now with only a week to go. Better get back to crafting and I will do a post later with all the finished pictures!