Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Carving!!!

I’m sure nobody needs to be told how to carve their own pumpkin, so I’m just going to post a few pictures of the pumpkins I did this year and last year.

This was the owl pumpkin I carved last year. I just looked it up on Google images and drew it by eye with a permanent marker.

26102012465The permanent marker is a great way of making sure the design goes on smoothly (if you have no template). You can wipe off what’s left of it when you’re done with nail varnish remover (or alcohol) and tissue.

I did two pumpkins this year. One is just a creepy pumpkin face (design also found on Google).

DSCF7230This one was pretty easy to do because there were no delicate bits to contend with. Including all the scooping and clean up it took less than 2 hours. The second pumpkin was a bit more tricky. It’s a banshee that was carved part of the way through with a lino print tool.

DSCF7236This one took about 2 and a half hours, because of the delicacy involved and the fact that you must be very careful when using a lino print tool as it will slice through your finger without a bit of trouble!!

The only tip I can offer you with regards to pumpkin carving and display is to find some battery-operated tealights to put into your pumpkin to reduce the risk of fire and so you can leave it on the windowsill unattended even with the curtains drawn! They should also last all night so you won’t have to replace real tealights. Also, dip your carved pumpkin in diluted bleach to prevent it from going mouldy. It should last about a week that way.

Have fun, be safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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Lavender Baggies.

I keep my guest duvet and pillows in a large travel trunk that I use as my coffee table. Even though everything goes into it freshly washed and dry it still comes out a little musty (its not often I have visitors)

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Decided it was time to make some make-duvet-smell-good-smelly-baggies. I love lavender so it was an obvious choice for me. Bought a bag of it.

Grapped an oldlinen shirt that my granny gave me (that has stains, doesn’t fit and I never wore but couldn’t turn down grannies offer) IMG_20131027_112743

Chopped off the sleeves, undid the hemming, cut them into small pieces and sewed and sewed.

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They ended up a bunch of funny little odd shaped baggies. I like ’em!!!

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Fill them with whatever fancy smelly stuff you have or want. I went for the lavender. I love falling asleep smelling laveder, I hope my guests do too!

I crocheted a little tag for some of them to make them look like tea bags. I thought it was cute. You could also embroider the baggies first. Or embroider the tag.

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a quick one.

I found this by chance on pinterest this morning. 

Its worth a look over, especially if you’ve been having troubles making your crochet squares straight edged. 

http://www.crochetme.com/blogs/kim_werker/archive/2009/4/13/demystifying-double-crochet-for-beginners.aspx

At the beginning, when I started, I tried to make myself some slippers. All I needed was a long retangle in double crochet. Sounded easy and I set to work. It turned out quite wobbly and got thinner the further I crocheted…. This link would have solved that problem… I kept missing the last stitch (the chain of the previous round) 

Happy crocheting!!

Ghastly Hanging Halloween Light

I was bored one evening and was in the mood to try something Halloween-themed, so I fashioned my own crochet ghost, which you can put a light into to add to the eerie effect! 😀

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Materials used:

  • 4.5 mm crochet hook
  • double knit yarn of any kind in white (I used acrylic)
  • double knit yarn in black (embroidering eyes and mouth)
  • tapestry needle
  • a small light or flameless tea light

I use American notation for my crochet pattern.

Pattern:

  1. Make a magic circle with 6 sc.
  2. 2 sc in each sc around (12)
  3. Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc around (18)
  4. Sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc around (24)
  5. Sc  24 sc rounds until you reach your desired length (about 3-4 inches). Then FO and weave in your ends.
  6. Embroider the face in whatever scary way you like.
  7. To make a “ledge” inside your ghost, make a foundation chain 7 ch long.
  8. Turn, sc to end (6)
  9. Turn, sc to end (5)
  10. Turn, sc to end (4)
  11. Sc in each st all around, FO and sew to the inside of your ghost, so that it makes a roughly oval-shaped “ledge” inside for you to rest your light on.
  12. Put your light in, and enjoy!

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EDIT:

I also used sewing thread to hang the ghost off the bottom of my mantelpiece in my living room. Any coloured thread is fine, the thinner it is, the more difficult it is to see, so it will look like it is floating around 🙂

October candles

Its October!!! Which means….. cool leaves!!! and Halloween!!! and candy!

Went for a walk with my partner/other-half…. life-partner (not sure what to call him… lets just say, he’s the one that has to put up with me but still loves me.)

Anywho… we found some cool leaves. Took them home, heated up the glue gun and set to work. The first cord covered candle looks cool even when the candle isn’t lit, the other looks better with a small flame flickering behind the veins of the leaf. (its much easier to make though!)

I used:

a leaf, some cord, a glue gun (or superglue), a glass and tea light (or a scented candle in its own glass), small candle.

For the cord covered glass I used a scented candle that came in its own glass. Put a small bit of hot glue (or superglue) near the bottom of the glass where you want your cord rows to start and fix the cord end to it. Wait until its dry and start twisting it around and around and around the glass until you come to near the top of the glass where you want your cord to stop, cut the cord, add some glue where the end will reach and fix it there.

When its dry you can fix the leaf onto it. I glued the leaf on before I crossed the cord over it. You don’t need to but it made the handling a little easier. (you won’t be able to undo it again though.)

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For the second candle holder I just placed the leaf around the glass without glue, tied the string near the bottom of the leaf at the “back” of the glass and started wrapping the cord around the glass and leaf. Cut the cord so that the lose end reaches the previous starting knot so you ca knot it onto the starting knot…. or use sellotape.

light candles and enjoy!

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Manny the kitty.

I wanted kittens but I wasn’t allowed get them…. they were perfect!! A tubby fluffy white one with a black tail and a lanky black one. I wanted to call them Manny and Bernard, respectively. (It’s an homage to Manny Bianco and Bernard Black who run Black books, i.e. the book shop in Dylan Moran’s short comedy series…. it’s hilarious, watch it.)

So I made my own kitty. Manny now sits on or couch, cuddled into the fur blanket. He watches your tea for you and keeps your hubby away from your snacks!

I found this cute pattern. It has a slight typo in the row number for the head. You’ll have to knit 14 rows, decrease 4 rows, increase 4 rows, knit 14 rows.

Also the tail is slightly confusing. What she means is:   cast 16 st. knit a full row, knit 10, turn, knit back along those 10, knit a full row… repeat that 3 times in total.

She doesn’t say to turn your work inside out after sewing up the edges. I did, I always find it gives a nicer edge and makes it rounder…. I guess it depends on how you sew along the edges.

Its a cute idea and you can make many colours. You could make a striped one or a really fluffy one using furry wool.

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Amigurumi E.coli Pattern

I apologise in advance for this pattern, I didn’t keep a good count of the pattern as I was going, so it might not be exactly the same, but it’ll be close enough to resemble this pesky little coloniser!

You will need:

  • 4-4.5 mm crochet hook (US size 6-7 or G will do nicely).
  • Aran or worsted weight yarn in the colour of your choice.
  • Stuffing.
  • Tapestry needle.

Abbreviations:

  • sc = single crochet
  • st(s)= stitch(es)
  • Inc= increase
  • hdc= half double crochet
  • Dec= decrease
  • FO= fasten off
  • ch= chain

Pattern:

  • Make a magic circle with three sts on it (3)
  • Inc to 6 (make 2 scs in each sc)
  • 1 sc in 1st st, 2sc in 2nd and 3rd sts, continue to end. (10)
  • 1 sc in 1st st, 2 sc in 2nd st, continue to end. (15)
  • 1 sc in 1st and 2nd sts, 2 sc in 3rd st, continue to end. (20)
  • Use hdc around. (20)
  • Repeat hdc rows until you have a tube-like structure measuring about 7.5 cm (3 inches) in length.
  • Dec to 15 (1 sc in 1st and 2nd sts, dec with next st, continue to end)
  • Dec to 10 (1 sc in 1st st, dec with next st, continue to end)
  • If you haven’t been stuffing by now, stuff as much as you can now before the opening gets too narrow to fit anything in.
  • Dec to 6 (1 sc in 1st st, dec winext 2 sts, continue to end)
  • Dec to 3 (dec in every st around)
  • Sew closed and FO.
  • To make the flagellae, I just picked out stitches randomly from the tube of hdc stitches and ch 10 right there. I did about 3 a row, every second row until the end of the hdc tube. FO and weave in your ends.

Et voila

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DSCF6591If any of the instructions aren’t making sense, feel free to ask me any questions. As I said, I’m working off memory. I hope you enjoy making these 😀