Kerenza Dress pdf

Even though it’s pretty manic around here with Christmas being far too close I have finally managed to get another of my girls’ dress patterns ready for sale. Kerenza Cross Front Dress is now in my Etsy shop.  I’m not really sure why it has taken me so long.  I drafted it and tested it over a year ago.

Kerenza means ‘love’ in Cornish and the pattern is in sizes 2-3, 4-5 and 6-7 years.  The front bodice crosses over so that it looks wrapped but it is actually in one piece which is much more secure for a little person while they’re running around.

The version on the front of the pattern has been made with an opening and fastened with a cute little button and rouleau loop but I have put a variation on the dress pdf pattern to make it without the button as the cross over front will allow a child to get it on and off without needing an opening at the back as well.  The sizing on my patterns is quite generous to allow for growth and movement but, obviously if you chose to make it without the back fastening it would be more of a squeeze to get in and out of in a year or two’s time, so might not last quite as long.

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I hope people like this dress pdf, it is a popular style with companies selling hand made children’s dresses but none of the pattern companies seem to sell a pattern for people to use at home.

A Driftwood Christmas Tree

 

Something a bit different this week as it’s Christmas (well nearly).  We did need a new Christmas tree this year.  I have been putting it off for a few years.  Ours is a bit pathetic.  Although I would like a real tree it didn’t seem right to cut down a living tree that had been growing for years just so that we could decorate our home with it for a couple of weeks.  So I looked around for a nice-looking artificial one.  I was slightly shocked at the prices, to say the least.  We definitely did not pay that much last time!  So I decided to make my own.  Home made stuff is better anyway.

We’ve had a few storms in Cornwall recently, so, perfect for beach-combing which is one of our favourite things to do.  Gradually, over the past few weeks we have collected loads of driftwood and sea glass to make a Christmas tree and some tree decorations.

We went up onto the north coast one morning after a storm and found, amongst other things, a heavy piece of sawn timber which was not quite as heavy once it had dried out, but did fit in my husband’s backpack which saved me from having to carry it!  It proved to be just the right size and weight for the base of the tree.

After several trips, and several storms, I sorted out all of the bits of wood.  I wasn’t overly hopeful I would have enough as a lot of the driftwood in Cornwall gets used to fuel fires and barbecues on the beach and sometimes when you collect it it is not always clear whether the wood looks a dark colour because it’s wet or because it has been blackened from a fire.  This time I was lucky and it mostly dried out a lovely pale, driftwood colour.

The only things I bought to complete the tree were a metre long threaded metal rod, some washers and nuts.

The tree was not difficult to make.  Basically, I drilled a hole through the middle of the longest piece of driftwood and through the base, slotted a long threaded metal rod through both and secured underneath with a nut and washer, counter sinking the nut to ensure it did not stick out from the wood.  (The tree would not stand up otherwise.)  Then I drilled the centre of the next longest piece of wood and slotted it on top of the first and so on until the tree was tall enough.  Regarding the tree, when I say ‘I…’ I really mean my husband as he does not trust me with power tools!

Due to breakages, we managed to end up missing the vital top piece so had to go out beach-combing one more time (shame).

Then for the tree ornaments.  Again, really simple; I wrapped some silver coloured wire around the pieces of sea glass and hung them onto the tree with cotton thread.  I added to a couple of them by attaching them to some more wire shaped into angels.  They’re not going to be that strong as the wire was quite thin so I will have to pack them away carefully to save them for next year.  I didn’t manage to make as many as I could do with but I have plenty more pieces of sea glass and can make some more decorations when I have a spare minute or two.

Our old Christmas lights would have been far too big for my new tree so I bought some very cheap battery operated lights: Battery Operated Fairy Lights with 20 White LEDs by Lights4fun.  I’m not sure what their lifespan is but they’re exactly what I needed for now.

I already had the cute clip on white bird, and my favourite fairy that I’ve had for about ten years went on the top.

I’ve saved myself a lot of money making my own tree.  (In total I spent about £7 and the trees in the shops were all over £100.)  I think a unique, hand made item is so much nicer at Christmas as well and I hope we get to use it for many years to come.

 

 

 

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.  I only recommend books or products I use personally and believe will be of value to my readers.

 

 

Knitted Handspun

A few weeks ago I handspun a skein of Blue Faced Leicester and promptly forgot where I had stored it.  Consequently, when I spun another one this week it was a different weight entirely.  The first one, which later turned up, was definitely an aran weight and the second one a double knit, so when I come to knitting it into something I will have to be a bit creative!  Despite the difference in size, I am really pleased with how they turned out.  They are every bit as soft as merino, BFL is tougher, it has an incredible lustre that is missing from merino and it is British.  I still have plenty more breeds of sheep fleece to try but I know I will use BFL again.

I hand painted these two skeins in the same pale lilacs, blues and greens so that they can be used for the same project.   What project that will be, is yet to be decided.  At the moment I am just enjoying looking at them.  They are very pretty – and shiny.

Earlier I handspun some pre-dyed Corriedale fleece into a double knit in shades of pale pink, dark pink, salmon and cream.  Corriedale is very fine and soft (not quite as soft as merino) and these colours have worked well together. So I decided that this handspun wool would be knitted up into something for myself.  It was a bit of a dilemma deciding what to make from it and a curly scarf Rustic Potato Chip won out, but I will probably spin up more to make some gloves or a hat, or both.  Probably both!  (Assuming I ever finish the scarf.  It is really easy but really time consuming with lots of short rows.)  This was a free pattern from Ravelry.  I might have said it before, but I love Ravelry.

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I also knitted some fingerless gloves this week, not with my own handspun but at least they have been finished.

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Disclosure:  This post contains links to products, websites or patterns.  I do not receive any reward for mentioning them.  I only recommend items I use personally and think will be of interest to my readers.