Saturday, 16 February 2013

Homely Touches

Some years ago I went through a period of designing and knitting miniature novelty tea cosies to fill a dresser I had left over from another project. Very few remain in my collection as they sold quickly at the fairs I used to do before my children were born. As any parents of young children will appreciate, I haven't quite found the time since then to replace them! The dresser is, as it ever was: empty.

Recently though, I discovered some wonderful tea cosy patterns designed by Jan's Minis. Inspired, I bought the lot and set to work. So far I've knitted them all but only had the time to make up and finish a few of them.

I bought the teapots from The Dolls House Emporium and, to be honest, they are a bit on the large side. Quite a lot on the large side actually. I had to knit the cosies up using bigger needles than those stated in the pattern to make them fit. One day I plan to re-knit them all as written and will make sure I purchase smaller pots this time! But it does mean that perhaps that dresser might at last get filled....Still to finish are a hedgehog, a snowman, a mouse, a penguin, a rabbit and an elephant. I also found a whole booklet of tea cosy patterns by Mini-Mad Mates of Australia. Again, I have knitted (adapting them also to fit those confounded teapots!) but not yet made up a wonderful pineapple and cupcake.

I don't know about you, but although I can knit things quite quickly, even in semi-darkness, I do find it irksome making them up. I have to be in the right frame of mind for a start. Which excludes most of my waking hours since becoming a parent! And it gets even more tricky after that Saturday night glass of red wine when it somehow becomes more difficult to focus....For a long time I struggled with just my eyes and daylight when I could grab it. Which was not very often. So the pile of Things To Make Up began to grow. And grow.  I progressed to magnifying glasses and a floor-lamp but wearing strong glasses I don't need made watching anything on TV at the same time an impossibility. So I kept knitting and not making up, to the point where I would look at the pile of randomly shaped tiny bits of knitting with all the long ends tangled up with each other in my knitting bag and wonder quite honestly what it was intended to be in the first place.

Then I discovered my wonderful MightyBrite floor lamp with LED lights and adjustable magnifying lens. Hallelujah! I can watch TV, drink wine and make up all night long if the fancy takes me. Now I just need the fancy to take me.

In between tea cosies, I have knitted and crocheted several bits and pieces for my dolls house. Some of my favourites were these draught excluders by Buttercup Miniatures:

Another of Frances Powell's patterns was this wonderful Poodle designed to conceal a toilet roll in your smallest miniature room in a tasteful way....

Cute she may be but oh! how I struggled to stitch, turn, stuff and stitch in place those teeny tiny paws, ears, snout and top-knot. Just as well there is only one bathroom in my dolls house.

I always think that a few homely touches add realism to any dolls house or scene; these are some blankets I crocheted for the dog baskets in my house:

They are crochet at its most basic but I am particularly proud of these as I am entirely self-taught when it comes to crochet. The first thing I ever crocheted was the afghan rug made up of tiny granny squares. It took me an absolute age to make using a size 0.6 crochet hook and tatting cotton. It is so stiff it literally stands up on its own, although it does fit nicely into the dog basket I made for it. I use silk for the dog blankets I make these days but back then I didn't know any better.

Another attempt at crochet was this doiley:

Again, not knowing any better, I used cotton thread so it's a little thicker and stiffer than I'd like it to be. But one day I will make a matching one and crochet them together to make a pretty cushion. Who was it that said the road to Hell is paved with good intentions?!

I think knitted doileys work and drape much better; this is a two-needle version designed by Margaret Sitch and knitted by me using the same cotton thread:

I'm not entirely happy with my attempts at blocking these two doileys but blocking is right up there with making up when it comes to choosing how to spend my Saturday evening!

Enjoy yours....until next time
Kathryn x

1 comment:

  1. Youe teapots and the toys are very nice. Congratulations.