The scarf still isn't finished...

My six year old cousin died unexpectedly last week. He was disabled and autistic, but had managed to learn how to walk and feed himself. The difference that I saw in him between visits home had been amazing to behold. I can't begin to imagine what my poor uncle and aunt are feeling.
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I did attempt a little sewing (knits...), but gave that up early on, when it came time to get the seam ripper out (the lining and the outside of the sleeve were the same material, so it was really pretty easy to sew the sleeve on inside out while my brain was off doing its own thing...).
My children's great-grandma had a fall and broke her ribs, so she has been an unexpected house guest for a few days.
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So, I picked up some crocheting to keep my hands busy while I curled up on the sofa watching children that hadn't finished their dinner get spoiled by an old lady carrying M&Ms...
There's something therapeutic about crocheting a simple blanket. This one's a pushchair (stroller) blanket for one of the expectant mothers in the family on my husband's side. Three out of four sister-in-laws are pregnant right now. The nearest yarn shop didn't have much of a selection at all, but I didn't have time to search further afield. So, it was this or hot pink. I hope that she likes it.
It's using the same stitch pattern as the rhubarb scarf, but it wasn't until I loaded the photos onto the PC that I realised how similar they look when there is nothing in the photo to give a clue as to scale. The paler colours on the blanket are more cream coloured in real life, but the camera really picked up on the coloured strands mixed in.
Yep, still got a long way to go on the scarf...
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Take care all.

Lazy crayon roll tutorial

I made this crayon roll in the hopes of giving a little cheer to my friend's son, who has just started up with chemo again. I'm hoping that he still likes dinosaurs...
I have seen lots of crayon and pencil rolls on blogs and always thought that one would make a nice wee gift for a young child. . .nb. for some reason I tend to search for tutorials after I have made something, to see if I have made it correctly, rather than before, which would make far more sense... I did decide to make it a little different from the ones that I have seen so far, though. If you take a look at this photo, you'll notice that you can't see the stitched lines separating the crayon pockets. I do like the look of the stitched lines, but this way I can make it a little quicker, as I don't have to be so careful about making the stitched lines even and neat. Hence, this isn't a new idea, by any means, but this is the lazy version of the crayon roll.
I made this one for the triangular crayons, which are a little larger than normal crayons. I sandwiched one between two scraps of material and decided that 1" wide pockets would be a good fit. Normal crayons would probably need just ¾" wide pockets. I'll use the measurements for 16 larger crayons in the tutorial, but at the end you will find the approximate measurements for a crayon roll of 24 crayons (see italics).
For 16 large triangular crayons:
1. Cut out
...........1 18½" by 5½" rectangle of the exterior fabric
...........1 18½" by 5½" rectangle of interfacing or flannel
...........1 18½" by 12½" rectangle of the interior fabric

2. Measure 5½" down from the top of interior fabric rectangle and draw a horizontal line (A to B). Fold the fabric along this line so that the right sides are facing. The slightly larger side should be on top.
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3. Mark a horizontal line (C to D) 3½" up from the fold (A to B), then mark parallel vertical lines from this line to the fold every inch along the rectangle (shown by red dotted lines). Sew along these lines.
4. Fold the front half of the fabric down along line C to D, covering the lines that you have just sewn.
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5. (Iron on the interfacing to the wrong side of a fabric rectangle if you are using interfacing. If using flannel place the exterior and interior fabrics right sides facing on top of the flannel) Line up the interior and exterior rectangles right sides facing, pinning a small elastic hairband to one of the short sides. Sew around the edges using a ¼" seam allowance (as shown by the red dotted lines), leaving a gap on the final short side for turning. Make sure that you catch the edge of the elastic loop when you sew that end.
6. Turn it right sides out, press, then top stitch around the edge. This will close the opening.
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7. Put the crayons in their pockets, roll it up, then sew on a button at the point that the elastic loop reaches. Done.

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For 24 regular crayons:
The smaller rectangle will be about 20½" by 5" (24 crayons multiplied by ¾" pocket width, plus an additional inch for either end plus ½" seam allowance)
The larger rectangle will be approximately 20½" by 11½" . Measure 5" down to make line A to B, then measure 3 ¼" up from that fold to mark line C to D. To mark the parallel pocket lines, start one inch from the left edge, then mark every ¾" across, until you have 1" left.

You can use a ribbon to tie it, instead of a button and loop - just catch the ends of the ribbons as you sew the edge.
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Tell me if you have any questions or if you notice any glaring errors. The friend that I attempted to teach algebra to can attest to the fact that I am not any good at explaining things. I'd have taken pictures as I made it, but I thought, 'oh, that's an easy thing to explain', apparently forgetting that it would be me attempting to explain it...
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Translation of the day:
UK English: revise = study (usually before an exam) in US English
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As in, I think I might be dragging out my old maths books and doing some revising soon, if my 5 year old son is already bringing home geometry homework...

Off to school

I hope that you haven't been feeling neglected. As soon as September hit, my calendar suddenly became a mass of black ink. I've only snatched the odd minute online here and there.
My son started school last week - and now his little sister has started preschool. Both kids went happily into their new classrooms without so much as a backwards glance. Couldn't they at least look a little upset to leave me?? As for me, I had thought that I might be skipping and dancing out the door and off down the street (I don't get much time away from the little darlings), but I was surprisingly nervous about my son's first day. I wasn't one of the mums - or the one dad - that was crying, though. I'm guessing that they have regular babysitters...
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My son has 2 football (soccer) practices a week. Full uniform and football boots (cleats). Meanwhile these 5 year olds struggle to remember which goal they are aiming for. Tch. In my youth, the goals were just a pair of jumpers (sweaters) thrown on the grass and everyone would be wearing their falling apart trainers (sneakers). And I had to walk to school in the snow...
I haven't been making much. We're re-doing the old bathroom right now. Fun. So, all I've got for you is a needle case.
Yep, I've finally made a new home for all my needles that were usually to be found swimming around the bottom of my 'sewing stuff' box, while their original foil keeper deteriorated. I didn't want anything too twee, so these wrap-around notebooks were just the inspiration I needed.
Oh well, I had better get going. Hopefully I'll be catching up on my e-mails in the next couple of days. I have had a couple of people mention that I don't have my e-mail address posted. Well, that was in case you turned out to be a bunch of nutters. You've been very nice to me so far, though, so I've set up an e-mail account for the blog, that should link to my usual one - in theory at least. It's over there on the left, or on my profile (nb. I can't contact you back regarding comments if your blogger profile isn't activated or if you don't have your e-mail posted on your profile).
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Translation of the day:
I struggled to come up with an equivalent for this one, so this is what an online search came up with:
UK English: Twee = affectedly or excessively dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint / overly precious or nice / nauseatingly cute or precious / kitsch
These all sound a little too harsh, in my opinion. I just meant that I like simple and functional a lot of the time - things that aren't too fussy.
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Take care all.