Christmas Boxes…

I’ve been a little busy lately putting together Christmas boxes.

‘What are Christmas Boxes?’ I hear you ask… Well, they are basically care packages for disadvantaged kids in Eastern Europe. There’s an organisation here in Swissyland that delivers said boxes to kids in need (I’m pretty sure these organisations exist everywhere as I remember there was something like it back in Australia too) but, of course, they need people to donate these boxes filled with goodness so that’s what I do – I make up as many boxes as I can and donate them.

For me, this brings back a bit of proper Christmas spirit 🙂

Now, of course, I’m not the only one making up these boxes – the organizers work with a lot of international schools in Swissy and the kids at those schools make up and donate these boxes too, along with various church groups and women’s clubs and what have you. I just jumped on the band wagon as I think it’s an awesome thing to do.

Anyhoo, I like to put in something warm for the kids that are on the receiving end of these packages so I’ve been making hats and scarves… and I’ll be making up a few more too, thanks to a yarn donation from a friend of mine 🙂

Along with these, the kids get toiletries, school supplies, something to hug (soft toy), something to play with and of course chocolates and sweets and other bits of goodness, all wrapped up in bright Christmas paper. For most of these kids, it’s the only gift they get all year, and the only time they get toys and sweets. As you can imagine, that makes these packages all the more special 🙂

On top of the kid’s boxes I try to make at least one ‘Adult’ care package too… these are filled with basic food supplies (flour, pasta, rice, tea, sugar etc.), toiletries and things like candles and matches etc. and go to the most vulnerable people.

If you’re interested in taking part in something like this just Google ‘Christmas Boxes’ in your area and I’m sure something will come up, and if you happen to be in Swissy and want more info about this, feel free to drop me an email and I’ll forward all the info to you.

Crochet Turtle Key Rings….

kittencrafts_turtlekeyrings

Phew, it’s been a while. Sorry all, life seems to be getting in the way of both my blogging and my crafting 😦

Anyhoo, I wanted to share these little turtle key rings I’ve been making – how sweet are they?? Of course, they don’t need to be key rings, you can make your little turtles into anything you like (I’m thinking turtle cat toys).

I found the tutorial for these here from HappyBerry Crochet.

Crochet Butterfly Hair Ties…

kittencrafts_crochetbutterflies

This is an awful photo, but how cute are these??

Yep, I’ve been busy making more hair accessories 😀 A girl can never have too many accessories!

There are loads of free patterns for these online, and they are so, so simple to make! It’s basically a crocheted 8 petal flower, folded in half and tied in the middle – easy and so cute!

Not to mention, a great way to use up yarn scraps!

I made these with cotton yarn (of course!) and a 3 mm hook. And if you don’t want hair ties these can easily be made into brooches or hair clips or key chains or even a sweet garland for a little girl’s room!

Crochet Lip Balm Holders…

kittencrafts_lipbalm

I’ve been looking for small things I can crochet for my next market stall as small things tend to sell much better than big expensive things as far as markets go and I came across the idea of key ring lip balm holders or covers or whatever you call them.

I know that almost all my female friends have a tube of lip balm on them at all times so it struck me as something cute I could whip up quickly that may well work on a stall here… It may not, but the outlay isn’t huge so I decided to give them a try.

I usually have a tube of Aldi lip balm in my handbag (which I love, I know its Aldi and super cheap, but I love it) so I used that as my template and started crocheting around it. This is what I ended up with.

Kinda cute, right?

Anyway to make these I used my stash of cotton yarn and a 3.5 mm hook. and made them as follows;

Magic Ring

1/          8 sc into ring, ss to close, chain 1

2/          2 sc into each stitch around, ss to close, chain 1

3/          1 sc into back loop only of each st all the way around – don’t ss to close

4 – ?/    1 sc in each st, working in the round, until the top of the lip balm tube – I just inserted the tube at random intervals and kept going till my crochet was tall enough.

5/         squash your tube of crochet flat and attach a small button about halfway down your crochet on the opposite side to where your hook is, about 3 stitches in from your hook position. (hope that makes sense)

6 – ?/     insert your lip balm into your work then starting where you left off chain 1, then sc in the next 5 stitches turn and repeat until this little flap reaches the top of your button.

7/          chain 5 and slip stitch into the first stitch of the previous row to make a loop.

These take me about 20 minutes to make, and that’s with button sewing, so they’re pretty quick and easy and use up all my yarn scraps 😀

I’ve ordered some key chains on eBay so when they get here I’ll attach those to the back and these will be done.

If you’re using something other than Aldi lip balm you can change the size of these pretty easily by changing your hook size or adding and/or subtracting how many sc you start with.

I’ll let you know if I manage to sell any :/

Summer returns… if only for a few days

Basel has had the worst summer ever! Or at least since I’ve been living here, but last weekend it came back 🙂 YAY!

In celebration of the sun coming out the very loosely termed crochet ‘group’ I catch up with occasionally got together at one of our local Starbucks and had a Crochet Cafe afternoon.

kitttencrafts_crochetcafe

The lady that started this group is a very talented crocheter who runs an online shop for underprivileged kids in the Philippines called Adorn For Hope (you can check out her store here). She’s the one who taught me to crochet and we did the Summer Market together, so it was great to catch up and meet a couple of her friends. What better way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon than sitting outside, drinking coffee, eating cake, chatting and crocheting?

The hubby was working on Saturday day/night so I had the whole day to myself, thankfully it was another sun filled day and joy of joys my local market was on. I wandered down there and treated myself to a beautiful pair of earrings made by a talented local beader named Barbara… how cute are these?

kittencrafts_babsEarrings

Barbara also had a stunning collection of bead crochet ropes on display which, of course, inspired me to give it a try… I’ve got to say, it’s harder than it looks!!

After much YouTube-ing I pulled out the thinnest crochet thread I had in my stash and the biggest seed beads I could find and started stringing them..

kittencrafts_beadcrochet1

Once that was done (which took forever!!) I found my smallest hook and after many, many hours of trial and error and you tube tutorial watching, ended up with this..

kittencrafts_beadcrochet2

It’s a bit wonky, but if you knew how long it took me to make this you would understand how proud I am of it 😀

Of course by Sunday I couldn’t look at it anymore so I put it away for a bit and made the crochet fish I posted, but I think I’ll pick up my bead crochet again today and at least try and get a bracelet out of it.

I’ve learnt a lot from my tiny bead crochet attempt, so I may have to go shopping and get myself some thinner, lighter colored thread, and of course, some more beads for my next attempt. And I must remember to crochet a little looser for the next one!

Anyhoo, that was my weekend. Hope yours was lovely too!

More Cat Toys…

kittencrafts_catnipfish

This time it’s catnip fish…

Cute, colorful, crochet fishies… a whole school of them – well not quite, but I’m working on it!

I’ve stuffed them with fiber fill and catnip so the kitties love them, and I even made them have crinkly tails by stuffing the tail part with a piece of the plastic from a window faced envelope… so they make noise too 🙂

Love them!

Learning Tapestry Crochet…

How I have never come across Tapestry Crochet before is beyond me but on my search of all things cat related I came across this pattern for a tapestry crochet bag – how cute is this??

I decided that I just HAD to give it a try and this is my version of it.

kittencrafts_tappestrycrochetcats

Now, as much as I love the way it turns out, I’m finding it’s taking me way too long to make this right now – I do have a market I should be preparing for – so I decided to cheat a bit and turn it into a coin purse instead 🙂

I still need to finish crocheting, line it and figure out how to add a zipper, so bear with me for that bit. You all know how wonderful my sewing skills are 😦

I’ll post pics of it once I manage to finish it… assuming it’s not a complete disaster!

Crochet Cat Toy V 1.0 …

If all goes to plan, I’ll be setting up my stall at a fundraising day for a local cat shelter soon. Hopefully all goes to plan, ‘cos then I get to (hopefully) sell some stuff, and play with kitties at the same time 😀 Not to mention, help them raise some much needed funds to upgrade the shelter.

Anyhoo, in aid of this new development, I’ve decided I should make some cat friendly stuff for my stall. Would kinda make sense, right?

Please allow me to introduce cat toy version 1.0 – it’s supposed to be a cat but looks more like a mouse – which works too, so I’m gonna go with that – it’s a mouse!

It’s just a crochet ball, with some ears and a tail that I stuffed with fiber fill and cat nip. I’m calling it version 1.0 as he need some tweaks – I want him a little bigger, and I need to make the face easier to embroider, as that’s taking me FOREVER to do 😦 Also, his ears turned out wonky – not that our cat’s mind, but I do, so back to the crocheting couch for me. I’ll be back with version 2.0 soon-ish.

Laters *waves*

 

Replacement Pot Holders…

My lovely neighbour asked me to make her some new pot holders.

She’s has these ones for donkey’s, and loves them, but unfortunately they now have holes in them, so aren’t really functioning properly as she keeps burning her fingers :/

kittencrafts_oldpotholdersAN

I gave her my cotton stash and told her to pick some colors, while I got online and tried to find a pattern to match her existing pot holders. I found this pattern for German Pot Holders on Ravelry and attempted this pattern a few times, but it just wasn’t working out for me. I was either being really daft or it’s not written all that clearly – I’m probably being daft :/

Anyhoo, I fudged the pattern a bit and this is my progress so far.

kittencrafts_newpotholdersAN

To get this, I did the following;

Size 3 cotton and a 3mm hook

1.   Ch 12 and s/s to close then 26 sc in circle to fill it and s/s to close the circle.

2.   Ch 1 and turn,  sc in the next 3 stitches, sc 3 in the next stitch (put a marker in the middle stitch), sc in the next 3 stitches

3.   Ch 1 and turn, sc in each st to marker, sc 3 in marked stitch (replace marker in middle stitch again), sc in each stitch to end of row.

Repeat row 3 until you have your desired size. (I’m aiming for approx. 15 cm square ones)

I’m not sure if I’ll edge these when I’m done or not, or even what kind of edging to use. The original holders have a simple single crochet edge, but the pattern has a picot style edge… decisions, decisions…