handmade

Dancing feet

baby feet

Image Details: ‘baby feet’ by Amy the Nurse, via Flickr

I thought I would share one of the latest mini-projects completed Chez Shinybees, now that the intended recipient will have indeed received his gift. I was inspired to make these after receiving a beautiful handknitted cardigan and bootie set from Baby G’s Mum when the Babybee arrived. I needed a small and relatively quick project, as the Babybee was sucking me into a crafting (and blogging) black hole with the seemingly endless feeding-nappy-wind the bobbin up-sleep if you’re lucky, Mother routine and I wanted the baby in question to receive them sometime before his 18th birthday. So, to Ravelry!

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From Ewe to Yarn: Mellow Yellow

rumplestiltskin

Image Details: ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ by monsterpants, via Flickr

Rumpelstiltskin was a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, who first published it in 1812. It follows the story of a miller, who lied to the King by saying his daughter was able to spin straw into gold. She couldn’t, and was locked in a tower with a spinning wheel and some straw and told by the King to get on with spinning some bling or she would be executed. As luck would have it (if you can consider being locked in a tower on operation certain death ‘lucky’) there was a sneaky little gnome on hand, who could indeed spin straw into gold, for a fee. The first night it cost a necklace, the second, a ring, and on the third night she had nothing left to offer, so the gnome demanded she hand over her first born child. As you do. As if, being a young, single gnome who can, in fact, spin straw into gold, you would ask for a screaming child. I would have asked for a cartful of straw myself and then gone to Vegas with the proceeds. An-y-way, the King marries the daughter as he’s clearly a golddigger, and they produce the sprog, at which point the gnome returns and demands the Queen hand it over. She doesn’t want to do this, and manages to convince the gnome to give her a chance to win the brat back. He says if she can guess his name correctly, she can keep the child. She has a couple of goes and gets it wrong, so she sends her messenger to spy on the gnome, who overhears him singing a rhyme to himself which includes his name. A bit schoolboy, really. If he’d been getting on with the spinning, he wouldn’t have been found out. So the messenger tells the Queen that the gnome’s name is Rumpelstiltskin and she wins the bargain, leaving Rumpers pretty vexed, so vexed in fact, that in some versions of the story, he rips himself in half. Seriously, just get on with the gold making dude!

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Banksy it ain’t!

Knitta-Please-Bike

Image Details: ‘Knitta-Please-Bike’ by dandeluca, via Flickr.

Banksy does grafitti. He’s done a reasonably good job of making a career out of it too, over the past 20 years or thereabouts. Banksy’s stencils feature striking and humorous images, occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. Subjects often include rats, apes, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly. Labelled as ‘vandalism’by Keep Britain Tidy, grafitti artistry seems to split people right down the middle. Personally, I quite like Banksy’s stuff and I struggle to see how a dead cow and calf chopped in half and pickled in formaldehyde can be considered art (it’s just minging unless you’re a vet or something) yet the Tate seems to think it is, so who am I to argue?!

Anyway, I don’t do grafitti. I’ve spray painted a few pots for the garden and tarted up the odd mirror frame or bit of furniture, but I’d never be good enough to do an actual picture with it. Knitting, on the other hand, could be a goer, which brings me nicely round to the subject of International Yarn Bombing Day, which, coincidentally, is today!

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Tidy up time…

Womble

Image Details: ‘Womble’ by pigpogm, via Flickr

The Wombles of Wimbledon did a mean line in tidying up. Cutting around the Common, collecting and recycling other people’s rubbish: what better way to encourage a generation of children to keep their rooms spick and span? Created by author Elisabeth Beresford, Wombles live in every country in the world, with burrows mentioned at Loch Ness, Yellowstone Park and the Khyber Pass (bet it’s a bit sporty round there!) and the main burrow being at Wimbledon Common. Below a certain age, Wombles are nameless, but when they come of age, they select their name from Uncle Bulgaria’s atlas. At this point, I am fairly tempted to get out the atlas and choose myself a Womble name, however I do have a blog post to finish, so I might save that for another day.
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Spinning around!

Spinning Wheel at Dusk

Image Details: ‘Spinning Wheel at Dusk’ by mtsofan, via Flickr

As you may have already noticed, I have taken my first step into the world of spinning. Unlike Kylie, I will not be wearing gold hotpants whilst conducting my yarny business, as I’m afraid gold simply isn’t my colour…
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Mobile me…

{11} The view from the cot

Image Details: “{11} The view from the cot”, by scribbletaylor, via Flickr

Now you may be as surprised as me to discover that it is really hard to find anything on Google to tell me the origin of the baby mobile. I can buy swathes of horrid plastic mobiles in varying price ranges from seemingly every purveyor of goods on the planet, but yet no-one wants to tell me why we have them or, indeed, whose idea it was in the first place!
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Babybee

Baby girl album

Image Details: ‘Baby girl album’ by jerseygal2009, via Flickr.

Things have been a little quiet on the crafting front at Shinybees HQ for the past couple of weeks since a special delivery on 28th March, when the Babybee came crashing into the world. Whilst she is a good model for my booties, I simply haven’t had time to even pick up a needle (let alone eat or sleep, really) and the blogging has been a far distant ambition on the list of things to do today.
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Handmade Birthday goodness!

Birthday cake

Image Details: ‘Birthday cake’ by 3liz4, via Flickr

So, there was a birthday at Shinybees HQ last week. Birthdays are always good news, because they generally involve cake and presents (and we’ll ignore the whole getting older bit in a blur of gin induced happiness) and I had plenty of both, minus the gin, unfortunately. I will make no apology for the slightly self-indulgent blog post: it’s my party and I will cry if I want to, quite frankly. Plus there is some crafty goodness to share by way of a Gingerbread Bunny tutorial.
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Count me in!

counter on a zipper

Image Details: ‘counter on a zipper’ by pinprick, via Flickr

The knitting row counter is a device for keeping tally of how many rows have been completed when hand knitting. It can also be used to track the number of increases and decreases made during a pattern. The first on-needle knitting row counters were seen in the UK the 1920s, when complex patterns for recreational knitting became widely available. Originally manufactured from bakelite and later plastic, this type of counter is still in widespread popular use today (see picture above).
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Save the youth, knit a hoodie…

Hoodie

Image Details: ‘Hoodie’ by Davharuk, via Flickr

Nowadays, the humble hoodie, rather than being a utilitarian item of clothing, is often villified as the uniform of choice for the feral ‘yoof’ of Britain. This reputation is perhaps a little unfair: yes, a lot of young people choose to wear one, but then so does my Mum on occasion, for reasons of comfort and warmth rather than to hide her face as she holds up the nearest off-license at knifepoint. Which is clearly what all the ‘yoof’ will be planning on doing with their hoodies on. I think not, somehow. More likely, they will just fancy a sherbet fountain and a gallon of your finest Pepsi Max, please, shopkeeper.
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