Friday, 27 February 2009

Sleepy Sarah Doll

Pattern is from Owlishly. It is called 'Sleepy Sarah' but my own attempt has ended up more like an awake gnome, due to using beads for eyes rather than sewing asleep eyes (I don't really have any black thread, which is why I chose to make the doll awake rather than asleep).

I used Stylecraft Life DK Mint for the green parts, which I do like. It's not too rough and not too fuzzy. Patons UK Fab DK in cream for the face. Changing from Mint to Cream was a little difficultand has resulted in mint filtering into the side of the face on the right. The body and arms were fairly simple, and I made it fairly quickly when not procrastinating.

Have just finished the 'body' of the hat that will go with the scarf. Now have to decide whether I want to add embellishments or not. 

Friday, 20 February 2009

Striped Scarf

I really like this scarf. It's a little short, and thin, but the colours are quite lovely in person. The pink is a little redder than that shown here.

How it was made:
Hayfield Bonus DK - Purple
Stylecraft Ltd Life DK - 2301 Rose
5mm (H) hook

Chain 150, turn, single crochet into each of chains, turn, the same, so that there are 3 rows. Change to other colour, do three rows, and so on. I ended up 6 stripes, though more could be done easily.

150 is a little small - if want a longer scarf then I would go with 200-250. But I do love it and think it's a little more appropriate for the spring weather that is beginning to creep into England. As I expected, the rose colour Life DK was nicer to crochet with than the Hayfield, as it is 25% wool, 75% acrylic, compared with Hayfield's 100% (but that is so cheap!). I am going to make a beanie in the same stripy style once I've finished my current amigurumi project.

Also, the doll now has eyes and a face. I am trying to decide whether she needs more hair, or if I can sew it straight on the body. 

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Fingerless Gloves

This will require some imagination, because I sent these gloves off to my friend without taking a photo of them. Just imagine these (nb pdf) in the red colour of Dorian the dinosaur. Very simple single crochet, but I managed to make the bottom band in rows without severely reducing the number of rows so that it ends up like a pennant rather than a straight scarf. I made them a little smaller than the design as I have small hands, and judging from pictures of my friend and I together, her hands are similar size to mine (she's currently living 200 miles away so getting her to try them on throughout the process was not possible). My first attempt was a little too small and constrictive - a little painful. I wore them for a while after completing them, and they were exceedingly warm and useful for sitting in a warm room and typing!

My next project will either be a birthday present for a friend here - I may make the gloves again, though I dislike repititon, or a birthday present for my friend 200 miles away, am currently thinking of using the rest of red wool to make something to match the gloves. Perhaps a hat or a scarf (remembering my previous scarf endeavour, I am a little wary of embarking on a scarf project!)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Rice crispy cakes

I've been making rice crispy cakes this week for a cake and puddings evening that we're holding this evening. As I do not have an oven, the cakes that I can make are reduced. Nevertheless, I decided to make rice crispy cakes and came up with a variety of types.

1) Plain (top left) - 1 spoon of sugar, 1 spoon of margarine/Flora, 4 spoons of golden syrup, 4 large marshmallows, and lots of rice crispys! Melt everything, add the crispys. Stir and then put on greaseproof paper and set in fridge.

2) Chocolate (top middle) - the same as plain but with 7 cubes of Dairy Milk instead of marshmallows. Probably needed some more chocolate, and it didn't melt very well (I was doing 1 & 2 at the same time).

3) Plain with raisins (bottom middle) - same as plain but as raisins as well. I think I used a bit less golden syrup (3 spoons) and more marshmallows (6). 

4) Marshmallows with raisins and wafers of chocolate on top (top right) - 8 marshmallows, 1 spoon sugar, 1 spoon butter (no golden syrup!). Melt, add raisins and rice crispys. Put on greaseproof paper. Cut thin wafers of chocolate with knife, and put on top. Press into crispys with piece of greaseproof paper. Set in fridge.

Today I plan to make:
5) Vegan  - 1 spoon sugar, 4 spoons golden syrup. Melt. Add raisins and crispys. Set. I've checked out the ingredients for these and they all seem to be vegan friendly. I need to look on  my Flora packet to see if I can put butter in as well - it claims to be made of seed oils but I need to check if they haven't slipped in anything that is vegan unfriendly. Marshmallows are out as they contain beef gelatine.


I've been making the amigurumi doll from Stitch for the last couple of weeks, and now it is almost finished. I haven't yet sewn on the head as it needs eyes and other facial features sewn on, and I haven't quite decided if I'm going to embroider or use buttons for eyes. I misread the instructions at the start and made it using 3.5mm hooks rather than 3mm so it is a little larger than I expected. I also chose to make the stripes twice as wide and continue working in spirals rather than rows. I think rows would have looked slightly better, but as I mixed the green (lovely 1/2 merino) wool with the purple then the spirals seem to fade together quite well. The hair took a long time, I measured 25cm strands of the brown half merino wool (same type as the green but a different colour) and threaded them onto a needle, then knotted and threaded them into the head. I tried to work out the shape of the hairline first, and then filled in the gaps. As it was a little uneven at the end, then I cut it to a more V shaped cut so that the strands were styled but also roughly the same length as those around them.

Enough waffle: Pictures!
The slightly frightening looking eyes are just markers of yarn for working out the position of the eyes in relation to the hair.

Monday, 2 February 2009

This blog...

is intended to be a place for me to keep track of any artsy/crafty things that I do. The name is related to my other blog - the orangery - and is also because arboretum is a fun word to say. I doubt that much of my work will have anything to do with trees, but I am sure there will be some kind of link.

I think I'll start with Dorian the Dinosaur, which was crocheted from my own design in 4mm crochet needles, Patons UK Fab DK. He took about 2 evenings to make and was given to a friend who wants to be a paleontologist for her birthday. 

Some official business: the photo on the banner is from 

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