Monday, 25 June 2012

A quick make this morning

Yesterday, whilst browsing the internet, I stumbled across a really good idea:

A pin cushion for your sewing machine!

Never again will you have to reach across the room for your pin box whilst sewing as it attaches to your machine so that you always have somewhere close at hand to collect pins as you pull them out of your work.   This may be a very practical item but why does it have to be a dull and boring shape?   I was looking at my most colourful fabrics but just couldn't bring myself to make just an oblong to stick on my sewing machine - so here is my take on the pin cushion:

This is far more fun to look at and really brightens up my machine but will I actually be able to stick pins in it?!?!?!?!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Euro 2012 Dragon?????

Whoever said that dragon's don't like football?   This particular one likes it so much he has developed markings on his skin in the shape of footballs - a sort of chameleon dragon maybe?!

I thought I would experiment with a design that was aimed more at boys.   He was supposed to be an alligator but morphed into a dragon as he was being made - it's so funny how a character appears and changes as you're making a creature.  I'm not sure if I'm completely happy with the design at the moment but I'm sure he will develop as I make more of them.

There is also good news for the WIP cats that have been made up but faceless for quite some time - I am getting closer to getting their facial features right so hopefully some more photos soon.   In the meantime I think this little chap will go on Etsy for sale.  :o)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


A big congratulations to my sister and my new brother-in-law on their wedding which was on the 1st June.   And to commemorate their special day I made them a little present:

If I ever have to make a morning jacket for a toy again it will be too soon!  The groom's outfit caused me a few headaches but I think he was well worth the effort, they seemed to think so too.   We all had a wonderful day and I'd like to say thank you for letting me be part of their special day and I wish them many years of very happy marriage.   xx

A little pic of the happy couple:

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Apparently you're never more than 20 feet away from....

A rat!!!  Hopefully you won't find these ones scary though:

I have been pretty over the past few weeks and these rats are the fruit of my labour.   I'm going to be putting some for sale on Etsy soon so please have a look at my shop here.  Here are some more photos:

And here is some work-in-progress.  Hopefully finished pictures will follow shortly when I can figure out how to get the faces looking right!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easter Bunting

We'll start with the bad news first:  As yet no creatures have materialised from the eye experimentation but I promise something will eventually!

And now to the good news!   I was beavering away ALL day yesterday and this is the result:

Some Eater bunting.   I enjoyed making the Halloween bunting so much last year that I thought I would continue the theme and rustle something up for Easter.   Here are some close-ups:

And this is what it looks like hanging up (thanks to Jasmin for the photo effects!)

It is now listed in my Esty shop so pop in and it could be yours!   :o)

Monday, 26 March 2012

Eye Experimentation

Last week I decided to try and complete all those little half-finished creatures there were sat in a bag in the back of a cupboard.   I am very fickle sometimes with projects -  I get an idea, design the pattern,  knit/ make up all the parts until I am happy with the outcome and that's usually as far as it goes!   I often find half sewn/ stuffed parts that need putting together but by that time I'm halfway through designing the next piece.   But the thing I struggle with most are the faces.   The pile I was working through last week were all  little faceless creatures.   The majority actually got finished and some even listed on Etsy but one still remains faceless.   I was having terrible trouble embroidering on the stuffed face.   I started experimenting with embroidering on other fabrics first but couldn't cut close enough to my stitches to loose sight of the underlying fabric (fraying edges everywhere!) or without cutting into my stitches and this also caused a problem with actually attaching the embroidery to the face.   But after some trial and error (and plenty of research on the internet) I think I may have stumbled upon a solution:

These eyes were supposed to be for a cat but when I made a pair and put them together I wasn't quite sure - what do you think?   Do these look like cats' eyes?

I also tried putting the eyelids on the other way round:

I think they look more like owl eyes now:  maybe there's an owl toy on the way.....

But the experimentation will also continue as I am still not completely satisfied with the outcome.  I want to achieve a more bulbous effect under the iris and pupil, at the moment any stuffing I put behind there is popping out the back because the embroidery causes too much stiffness.   I'd also like to try and add some eyelashes.  :o)

Next to figure out is the nose!!!

Friday, 23 March 2012

My First Etsy Listings

I have just spent the last couple of hours listing my first 4 items on Etsy - it takes a fair while to sort each item out! (big sigh)
Items have been getting made and hoarded for a few months now as I flitted from one project to the next so I thought it was about time that I started to trying to sell some of them. There are now 2 knitted cats and 2 knitted monkeys ready to go off to new and loving homes:

 Marcellus & Granville

Maybe I can start making something else now..................................  ;o)

An Award

I opened my emails this morning to discover that Katie from her blog Odds0cks had passed on this award to me.   Thank you very much Katie it's really nice to know that people actually appreciate what I do.

The award now needs to be passed on; under these rules:

1.  Choose up to 5 up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Leibster to.
2.  Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3.  Post the award on your blog.  List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites.  Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.

And so the winners are.............

Vaudeville Gypsy - Jasmin creates the most beautiful vintage head decorations and belly-dance costumes.  She also has a shop on Etsy and deserves the recognition for her gorgeous designs.

Felt Mistress - I think I came across this blog through a google image search and have been hooked ever since.   Her creatures are just amazing and she has got an exhibition coming up in London in May - I will definitely be there!

dot pebbles - I discovered this blog recently after purchasing Claire Garland's book "knit & purl pets".   The knitting patterns she creates are extremely clever and cute and her blog is an extension of this.

I hope you enjoy looking at these blogs as much as I do!

I will hopefully post again later today as I have quite a lot to share.  :o)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Inspiration and motivation

Well..... you ask for some inspiration on Twitter and this is what you get:

 "please knit me some welly boot cuffs!"

And, as it was my sister that was asking I thought I had better see what I could do - this is what I came up with:

I really enjoyed making these so there will probably be more incarnations of them.   What other animals can be created using cabling?  - off to find out......

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Valentines' Knitted Hearts Pattern

In time for Valentines Day I thought it would be nice to share my pattern for knitted hearts.   

The hearts can be made any size you like by changing the thickness of yarn and the needle size used.   For best results use needles that are a size or two smaller than the ball band of the yarn recommends.  The hearts are knitted in the round from bottom to top using a set of five double-pointed needles.

1.    CO 4
2.    Kfb in each (8).  Distribute evenly onto 4 dpns.
3-4. K
5.    (Kfb. K2) x 2 (12)
6-8. K
9.    (Kfb, K4) x2 (16)
10-12.  K
13.  (kfb, K6) x2 (20)
14-16.  K
17.  (Kfb, K8) x2 (24)
18-20  K
21.  (Kfb. K10) x2 (28)
22-23  K

To make the bumps at the top of the heart (work with front and back needles on left side only):
24.  n1 – K2tog, K5;  n4 – K5, K2tog (12)
25.  K
26.  (K2tog, K2, K2tog) x2 (8)
Break yarn and thread through remaining stitches, pull tight and secure.
Rejoin yarn and repeat rounds 24-26 with remaining stitches.

Happy knitting! and please post pictures of your finished hearts.  :)

Cute n Quirky January Swap

Last month I took part in the Cute n Quirky swap again.   This is a group on the Ravelry website that swap items between members under a particular theme.   Last month's theme was Space and this is what I received from inittoknitit94:

As you can see the main theme of the parcel was stars; including stickers, sweets and ribbon.   And she had made a sun catcher, a crocheted alien and crocheted planet.   They are so cute and I love all the things sent.

And this is the parcel that I put together for Odds0cks:

I made a mini planet and alien from "teeny tiny mochimochi" by Anna Hrachovec and the star is my own pattern.   I have been trying to knit a star for ages but with no luck until this little one materialised.   I think I'll be making more of these in the future!

Friday, 27 January 2012

A New Year - A New Beginning

Just a quick note to say a very Happy, if not slightly belated(!), New Year.   I can't believe it has been just over a year since I started this blog and I would like to thank you for taking the time to read it.   There have not been many posts but at least I have kept it going and have actually enjoyed the little bit of writing that I have done and intend to keep it up.  

I also have a bit of news!   I hope to be spending a lot more time creating Annamaltoys this year.   As of next week I will no longer have a full-time job and I am really looking forward to getting stuck in to developing more designs and just spending a lot more time making things.   I have a really positive feeling about this year - so watch this space as I hope there will be a lot more Annamaltoys coming your way over the next few months.   :o)