Wednesday, 19 October 2011
'Mug Hug' - Making Handmade Gifts
I have recently become rather involved in Little Handmade Projects of the gifty variety. I like handmade. I love that you can pootle about on the internet and find all manner of inspiration and ideas. I love that there is such a wealth of good craft books these days, such as this one and this one. I like finding time to make something special for someone special, someone who I know will appreciate the effort and love that goes into handmade.
I also like the recycling element of it. Using up scraps of old fabric from tiny toddler dresses and tops that don't fit anymore; finding age old threads and buttons to make pretty things with. But I also like trips to craft shops to buy the necessary ingredients to make things with too; embroidery floss, pretty textiles, new yarn, unusual buttons...
So, you get the idea that I'm all for handmade making and giving, and with a family birthday looming it was with some excitement that I finally got to make something I'd had my eye on for a while in this book here:
Some of you will be more than familiar with Nikki Trench's book, Cute and Easy Crochet. I have already started to make that pretty squares blanket, but these little Mug Cosies have been calling me for many moons.
It being Mum's birthday, it seemed like a good idea to make her one of these. She likes tea, she likes handmade and so I felt I was off to a good start. What's not to like eh?!! I'd also seen something in the current edition of Mollie Makes magazine that caught my eye; an advertisement for their next issue featuring this:
Ooooh yes - me likey that!! A little teabag type thingy on the side of the Mug Cosy. So I thought I would improvise and make my own.
On looking at the picture and pattern in Nikki's book, I noticed that the cups they had used were straight sided, whereas mine were curved. I knew I'd have to decrease or add stitches a bit in order for the Mug Cosy to fit nicely, so I ended up making up my own pattern and working from the top down in double crochet and single crochet, with slip stitches in cream to finish. Would you like to see how it turned out?
I'm really quite happy with it, considering I didn't use the book pattern at all, and it ended up being an Adventure in Crochet as I fumbled my way along and hoped for the best!
To finish off the Mug Cosy (which from this point on I'm calling Mug Hug because it sounds so very warm and huggy which is exactly what it is meant to be and also because it's my own slap-dash pattern and therefore methinks it's ok to re-name it!), I found a little wooden flower button at the very bottom of my button tin! What luck! It finished off just nicely!
Next, I found a little piece of creamy muslin and embroidered the message "I 'heart' tea" on it. I hand sewed the edges and then used daisy stitch to make the teabag string which I just ran up the side of the Mug Hug.
The wool I used for this was one of those bargain buys too - a ball of Sublime cashmerino aran (I used a number 4 hook as opposed to a 5 too, for a tighter finish). It only cost £1.99 and the cup cost £3.00 from Sainsburys so I reckon that's a bit of a bargain, don't you?!
Anyway, one more bit of hooky news before I go. You may remember a week or so ago I told you I wanted to give that teeny tiny crochet a crack, the one where you use a really tiny hook, a 1 point something or other and fine crochet thread...well let me tell you I've made a start, I've had a go and boy oh boy do I admire the folks that make ridunculously big scarves using this method. I have made several circles, it took me forever:
Although I do like them. Very Much Indeed - and I am thinking that rather than die of overwhelm thinking about making a scarf (thing of dreams at this point in time) I shall perhaps tackle a colourful doily to stand a nice plant on or something. It's the kind of crochet I've got to be in the mood for, and I've got to have natural daylight to be able to see it well enough as those wee stitches are very tricksy. So I won't be abandoning my rainbow bliss scarf just yet...oh no, infact I'm hoping that's going to be my next completed project - the chilly weather has prompted me to dig it out and get it finished!
Right - I've a Special Birthday Meal to prepare, so I'm away to the kitchen to be busy!
See you again soon, thanks for visiting today!
Julia x x x