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Why you should make a Kira the Kangaroo by Lalylala

Kira the Kangaroo

Kira the KangarooI love making amigurumi, I pretend I’m making them for Rowan but really they are for me! Kira the Kangaroo has been on my list for ages and I had the perfect yarn, tiny hook and pattern all ready to go. I finally decided the time was right and at the start of September I made a tiny head with little beady black eyes!

 

Kira the Kangaroo

The kangaroo is made up of:

  • head in white yarn,
  • hood,
  • two ears (a little fiddly but super cute!)
  • two arms (mine are a bit long as I lost count but at least they are symmetrical),
  • legs and body crocheted as one piece,
  • tail,
  • pouch
  • and knitted scarf.

The hood is stitched to the base of the head and then the head to the body. Don’t do what I did and sew the head on backwards. Oops! The ears are stitched to the hood and the arms to the top of the body followed by the pouch and tail.

Kira the Kangaroo not only calls for a tiny head and body but another even tinier one!  Her little baby follows the same basic pattern but on a minuscule scale. Once the pouch has been stitched in place, the baby nestles perfectly inside.

Kira the KangarooIf you talk to toy makers, most will tell you they don’t enjoy stuffing their creations.  I’m the opposite.  I love it!  The great thing about Lalylala’s patterns is that they require a good solid filling.  I hate floppy toys or those with stuffing poking out through the stitches.  I’m a tight hooker so this style suits me, even if it makes my hands sore!

I love the feeling of satisfaction when I complete an amigurumi piece. I can easily see how it can become addictive. Not only are they super cute but they don’t use much yarn and are a great way of using up oddments of your favourite hand dyed yarns.

Dirk Dragon

Last year I made Dirk the Dragon. He is slightly larger as I used a 3mm hook rather than 2.5mm. For both I used hand dyed sock/fingering weight yarn. Dirk has lots his scarf somewhere in Rowan’s bedroom! It’s green to match his cuffs.

Next I want to make Vlad the Vampire Bat! I’m going to end up with a rainbow of little chaps and chapettes and I’m very happy about that!

Buy your Kira the Kangaroo pattern here:  Ravelry      Etsy

 

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Advent – Cuddlebums Yarn

This Christmas, the lovely Jodi from Cuddlebums Yarn launched an advent box which contained 25 little paper bags of loveliness. Lots of yarnies like me signed up and on the first of December we tore them open like excited toddlers.

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The range and variety of resulting projects are amazing!

Advent Wrist WarmerI started by knitting a pair of wrist warmers following this pattern. I used days 1 to 11; splitting each mini-skein in two so that I have a matching pair.

I realised after the first two days that 25 x 5g was a lot more than one pair of wrist warmers so I cast on my first ever Hitchhiker shawl. I had seen the pattern many times and it had been in my queue for ages! In order to create a big snuggly shawl, I decided to stripe the colours with some grey from Jodi which I already had in my stash. I used 3.5mm needles with a 80cm cable which was perfect.

I love how it turned out!

Advent Hitchhiker

As a group, we shared our excitement each day. Some of us were good and didn’t peek ahead; some of us were not. Some of us knitted; some crocheted. Some of us were fast and finished by boxing day; some of us did not. But what we all had in common was that we loved the surprises and the amazing colours which Jodi and created.

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If you would like to add an image of your finished project please add it in the comments or email it to undertherowantrees@gmail.com and I’ll add it to the slideshow.

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Creativity saved me!

Hi, I’m Danielle and I am the creative behind Under the Rowan Trees. I call myself ‘creative’ because anyone in my school art class would let out a laugh if I called myself an artist and I’d like to think I’m more than a crafter – I’ve taken the next step and turned my hobby into a business and it has saved me!

I’m a part time teacher, a full time wife and mum and somewhere in the middle I am me! I lost myself for a bit but thanks to Under the Rowan Trees – I’m back!

My job is tough. I’m sure you all know that we don’t work 9 until 3:30 but what people don’t always realise is the emotional burden that goes with working with adolescents. As a new mum I was exhausted. I worked in a school under a lot of pressure from Ofsted and under even more pressure from some of the students. I was miserable!

I took up crochet towards the end of my maternity leave and I knew right away that I was going to love it. The textures, colours and the concentration – perfect therapy! Endless counting and pattern reading stopped my mind from wandering … worrying.

The biggest shock was that as I started to share my work in online forums and Facebook groups, people liked it! I was used to nothing ever being quite good enough. Results could always be better; books could always be marked a bit faster; my baby wasn’t sleeping. All of a sudden I was getting praise and people were asking me for advice!

My next step was to set up a Facebook page to share what I was doing. My friends and family liked it and then some of their friends and family. I soon had 200 likes. That is when I decided to start selling my makes. I had branched out into embroidery, knitting and jewellery making. I love starting new projects; hunting for materials and patterns (shopping!).

It has been nine months now and business is growing slowly but steadily as is my confidence. I have left my job in the tough school and taken another closer to home. My baby is now a three year old and is an amazing little boy who gives the most gorgeous cuddles.

It has taken hard work, lots of it and quite often the first step I’ve had to overcome has been getting out of bed but I’ve done it! I’ve been to several craft fairs, not sold a huge amount but people loved my work – worth more than any cash to someone like me.

Want I want you to take from my ramblings is that if I can do it, so can you. Get out of bed. Try something new. Ask for help. Share what you have done. Keep trying and grow!

I’m not going to be a millionaire any time soon. I may not even cover my costs (that would be a bonus) but I am happy and I’m making others happy by sharing my creativity. I’m doing it and I’m not going to stop!

Follow our journey into 2016!

www.facebook.com/undertherowantrees

www.undertherowantrees.etsy.com

www.instagram.com/undertherowantrees

www.twitter.com/undertherowans

www.pinterest.com/undertherowans

undertherowantrees@gmail.com

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Cloudy Day Hat

Cloudy Day Hat - Crochet Pattern

Cloudy Day HatToday I have made a simple bobble hat. This pattern is ideal for beginners; easy to adapt and really quick to make – perfect for a cloudy afternoon!

Equipment
Aran weight yarn (I used a wool/acrylic mix)
6.5mm crochet hook (I’m a tight hooker)
Darning needle
Pom pom maker

Abbreviations
Trc = treble or triple crochet (UK)
Htc = half triple crochet
Ss = slip stitch
Sts = stitches
Ch = chain

Pattern

  • Starting with a magic circle, ch 3 (counts at 1 trc) then work 11 trc (UK terms) into the ring.
    (If you find a magic circle tricky, ch 4 then join with a slip stitch to form a loop).
    Join your last trc to the top of ch3 with a slip stitch (12 sts).
  • Ch3. 2trc into each stitch around. Join to ch3 with a ss. (24 sts).
  • Ch3 trc into next stitch then 2trc. (Trc, 2trc) repeat to end. Join with ss. (36 sts).
  • Ch3. (Trc, trc, 2trc) repeat to end. Join with ss. (48 sts).
  • Ch3. (Trc, trc, trc, 2trc) repeat to end. Join with ss. (60 sts).
  • Ch3. 60trc. Join with ss. Repeat this row until the body of the hat is long enough. Approx 9 times.

Ribbing
This section is worked at 90 degrees to the main body of the hat. Half triple crochet (htc) should be worked into the back loop only to create a ribbed effect.

  • Ch 8. Turn.
  • Skip 2ch. 6htc. Slip stitch into next stitch on hat body to join row to main hat. Ss into next stitch. Turn.
  • 6htc. Turn.
  • Ch2 (counts as htc). 5htc. Ss into next stitch on hat body. Ss. Turn.
  • 6htc. Turn.
  • Ch2. 5htc. 2ss. Turn.
  • Repeat this row to the end. Slip stitch the final htc row to the first. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Use a pom pom maker or other method of your choice to make a nice big pom pom. Stitch to the top of your finished hat securely and weave in ends.

Wear and enjoy!

This pattern is available on Ravelry.

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LYS- Local Yarn Shop Day

I had wondered where this amazing LYS was that everyone else seemed to be visiting to buy gorgeous yarn. But yesterday if figured it out! A LYS is a local yarn shop! In fact, yesterday was local yarn shop day! A fantastic excuse to sit on a squishy settee, drink tea and natter with some lovely ladies whilst plodding on with some of my favourite crochet projects. Bliss…

My LYS is Woolaballoo in Hexham, Northumberland. The owner Lucy is lovely and helpful and it is such a calming environment that a couple (or four) hours on her sofa felt like a week’s holiday!

Woolaballoo sofa