Thursday, 25 June 2015

Picture Gallery Teddy Bear's Picnic

If you go down to the woods today ...

Every bear that ever there was was gathered there for certain because ... CAKE!

Well bred bears bring out the silver service when expecting guests

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Slide!!

Boris riding Percy took the pig racing title from Bruno on Patrick but only by a snout.

 Hide and Seek

We have a winner.  Well done Barnaby.
Bet you love this as much as I did.  Mum was aiming to prepare the toys for our fair at Hurst this weekend but she was a little distracted.  Brilliant.  So funny.

Hope it brightened your day.

Victoria x

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Free adjustable crochet bunting pattern

Do you remember those 'Chose your own adventure' books. The ones where you decide to kick the man then go to page 5 or if you choose to shake hands with him then go to page 90 etc. This way each reader can make their own story.
Well this pattern is a bit like that. You can just follow the pattern and end up with bunting like this;

Or you can adjust it to change length, size and number of flags and the distance between the flags by using the instructions in brackets/red.

My bunting has 10 flags and is about 1.5 metres from the start of the first flag to the end of the last flag. Each flag is about 10cm wide and 10cm from the hanging edge to the point. The distance between flags is approximately 3cm. You can change all the red bits.

I used Sirdar Special DK. and a size 3.00mm hook (it doesn't matter which  yarn or which hook you use in fact you can use up all those annoying bits of yarn and make multi couloured flags.)

Flags make 10 ( or as many as you want )

1. Chain 21 ( this determines the width and length of the flag so you can make it as long or as short as you want)
2. Turn miss1ch 1dc in each chain across 20 stitches ( or one less than the number of chains you have made
3. Turn 1ch dc2tog 1ch in each stitch across 19 stitches (you should now have one less stitch )
4. Repeat row three until you have only two stitches left then dc 2tog and pull yarn through last loop before fastening off.

 I have made a really small triangle for demonstration purposes.

Edging ( optional )
Start somewhere on the top edge.

 Join yarn in the middle of the hanging edge and work 1dc in each stitch until you reach a corner. then 2ch
 Work 1dc in each row down the edge of the flag.
When you reach the point ch 3. You can put a tassel into this 3ch loop later.
 Then work 1dc in the same hole as the last one but going up the other edge.

Complete the edge making 1dc in each row until you reach the corner, 2ch and then 1dc in each stitch to complete the round. I needle join the edge for neatness but you can ss into the first dc before fastening off.

Joining the flags together

60ch (this will be the bit that hangs the bunting )

 Work 1dc in each stitch across the top of the flag.

5ch. (This determines the gaps between the flags so make it bigger or smaller by changing the number of chains)
Now work 1dc each stitch across the next flag and 5ch. Keep doing this until you have used up all of your flags.

 Now  66 ch ( This should be 6ch longer than the chain at the start of the bunting. )
Work 1dc in the thirteenth ch from the hook. NOTE you are now working back the other way so work in the back of the chain to avoid twisting it.
 Work 1dc in each stitch and each chain all the way across the bunting until you get to the last 7 ch.
ss in the last ch and fasten off.
Neaten the ends.
If you are like us you will have buttons, beads and sequins hidden about the house that you can now use to decorate your bunting -we have shown some ideas in the previous blog.
You can also make tassels and put them in the three ch space at the point of each flag.
As usual please let us know of any errors - enjoy.

UK to US notation for this pattern

dc    ->   sc

And finally

Vicky has designed a lovely pattern for making Socrates the shark, we saw him tangled in a daisy chain and thought they belonged together. I have been thinking that being tangled in daisy chains may be a recipe for life but perhaps not if you are a fish!.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Bunting Bonanza and Wash Day

It's amazing what a really sunny day does. I have washed the cushion covers which don't look too attractive drying flat on a pink towel.

I have wet down some hats to dry flat - I hope the sun does not make them fade.

I have washed my beautiful drawn thread work table cloth. Ignore the rest of the washing please.

Only those of you above a certain age will believe that I have a big pot of tea towels boiling on the hob - this is not some weird way of making soup, it is what my mother and grand mother did to get really stubborn stains out!

I have actually done some crochet but I seem to be stuck in bunting mode:

Baby bunting was inspired by a pattern in 'Love Crochet' magazine issue 18.

 Can you have a rubber crochet duck?
The ball was made in separate sections - I may use the idea for Christmas baubles

Dummies or are they pacifiers don't really look like this any more.

So then there is blue bunting:

The last one is blank bunting - pattern to follow in the next post.

I think the breakfst bunting may not get any further than this and become another of those ' I will do that later projects'.

Egg on toast, bacon, a mushroom and the other thing is supposed to be a croissant.

I have finished the pot of flowers which I like but I am worried that the flowers are wilting - I am sure that shouldn't happen with crochet flowers.


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

CE testing problems with some answers

CE testing seems to occupy my every waking thought at the moment. If I am going to be quite honest I really like solving the problems associated with making every toy safe - well at lest the ones we make and sell.
Here are three of this weeks problems:
1. How do you CE test a kit for weaving bracelets?

After much searching we found the European directive that said crochet/weaving/knitting are not of interest to children so these kits are not toys. So hooray they don't need the same testing but sometimes the solution is worse than the problem -NOT OF INTEREST TO CHILDREN - good grief.
Here is the link to the EC document on crafts which may be of help to those of you with the same problem:

2.How do you CE test a snake?

At play?

What have you found?

Pretending to be snooker cues?

This is what I have been making this week so lots of pictures. But how do you tension test? There are no limbs or ears and they are made by the amigurumi method so no seams. They are made from materials that have a CE71-3 certificate and I know they are washable. It seems (sorry) that all I can do is set fire to them. So an even worse problem - which one should I sacrifice? Should I start the test from the nose or the tail? We have made lots of toys using the same materials - they are very difficult to ignite and easily pass flamability tests - so will the shape make any difference?

3. Problems always come in threes. Vicky made this lovely little horse and it passes all the tests easily but how do you test the mane and tail?

We have asked for help from the CE testing groups so here's hoping. There are lots of dolls with wooly hair so I am hoping someone out there will know what we have to do. If you know the answer to this problem please let us know.
Lynn and Vicky.