Monday, 17 March 2014

Crafty Shopping

As I mentioned yesterday, I did a wee bit of shopping in Hobbycraft. I'd gone in with a budget of about £20 which I was willing to stretch to £25 or maybe even £30 depending on what I saw while I was there. I'd started off making a little list which gradually grew and grew into quite a large list:
  • Yarn - that was the main thing I wanted, specifically sock yarn and/or chunky yarn, especially variegated stuff.
  • Snips - the little ones you can wear on a chain around your neck
  • Patterns - any and all, I love looking at pattern books, especially toy ones
  • Buttons - the dolls I'm knitting at the moment call for buttons as decoration as well as zips for fastening clothes, I'm modifying them so that the buttons are actually used for fastening clothes and I don't need to worry figuring out what I'm supposed to do with a zip!
  • A project bag - the one I've been using for around five years is seriously worn out now to the point that there are holes in the top, middle and bottom of the bag; it's still fine for storing yarn in but not so good when you want to carry it places and not lose stuff
  • Any other bits and pieces which occurred to me as I was wandering round the store and suddenly realised I needed it desperately.
I didn't do too badly at all.

The first thing that I picked up was a pack of googly eyes. They're designed to be sewn on and as I'm wanting to make some monsters and aliens at some point in the future, I think they'll look pretty funky. It's the sort of thing I wouldn't ordinarily order online because you don't really know what you're getting. Plus they were dead cheap and it was something to put in my basket.

I looked at loads of pattern books but didn't buy any. Not because I didn't like the look of any of them; they had both Knitted Dinosaurs and Knitted Pets from Search Press and I want to get both of those at some point. But I've got loads of pattern books that I've not even touched yet so I restrained myself.

They didn't have any of the snips that I wanted. Plenty of scissors and other cutting implements but not quite exactly what I wanted. I've got some old nail scissors which do the job just as well and can be carried around in a little pouch when I'm travelling though so I wasn't too concerned about not getting them. I've actually seen some beautiful ones designed to be like jewellery on Etsy so I suspect a little treat may be in order at some point in the future.

Buttons were a great find. I used to have a massive collection of buttons which belonged to my Great Grandmother, all stored in an old metal tea chest, but I lost it when I left home. Since then I've acquired a modest collection of buttons snipped from old clothes but there's not much to choose from. As I'll be needing buttons for the dolls I'm making, as well as for eyes if I'm making larger monsters, I decided to get a big pack of assorted buttons in all different colours and styles. They also have 'Vintage Buttons' which aren't really what I'm wanting right now, but which fired up all sorts of ideas for decorations on hats, scarves and mittens for the future.

At the last minute I went back and got a little tub of 'subdued colour' buttons as well. I'd seen them in Simply Knitting a while back as well as at the craft shop at Cardwell Garden Centre and thought these would be perfect for the darker clothes I'm knitting for the Twin Dressing-up Dolls. They're all different shapes and I've already settled on the green flower shapes for the little pinafore dress I'm making at the moment.

And then we got to the yarn!

I'd been holding off going there until last because I knew that once I'd picked what I wanted I'd lose interest in everything else. They have a three for two offer on pretty much everything in that department so I decided I wanted to get just three balls but it was quite overwhelming. I'm not used to having that much choice and being able to actually squish it as well.

I totally understand how small children feel when they have temper tantrums because they can't decide what they want to do. I found it so hard to pick I eventually had to recruit Mr Click to help me choose, and even then he coaxed me to take an extra three balls to help make the choice easier.

The sock yarn I bought is a nice little variegated one in pastel colours. I'd kind of wanted to get some which I could make into socks for Mr Click but there wasn't a whole lot that I was keen on in more masculine colours, so this time around I'll make some for myself and make Mr Click some in something a little chunkier.

The chunky yarn was a fairly easy choice. They had a whole selection of different colours in various variegated combinations. After a bit of umming and ahhing and went for these three:

The one on the left is called Big Dipper, the clown barf in the middle is Ferris Wheel and the one on the right is Ghost Train; they're all part of the Robin Candy Floss range. They call for massive needles and I'm really looking forward to playing with them because I don't often do much with anything thicker than DK.
I'm not sure what the Big Dipper will become, maybe a baby blanket for someone. The clown barf is destined to be slipper socks and the Ferris Wheel should be some sort of shawl or hat and scarf combo. I'm hunting for a good pattern to use at the moment because I want to take it to work on while I'm travelling on Friday.
Aside from shopping for crafty stuff I've been doing a wee bit more work on my doll, Hattie:
She looks a wee bit creepy here although her smile looks wonkier than it actually is. This really shows off just how much hair she has. The instructions for sewing on the hair were quite vague; the fringe was easy enough but the hair called for cutting 20" strips, folding it in half and then stitching it down the middle of her head. It sounds so simple when I see it written out, but it was really awkward to actually get my head around it.
I cut reams and reams of bits of brown in the right length (or as close as) and then positioned them onto her hair. Then realised I didn't have a clue what I was doing. The internet was down so Google was unable to help me. And my first attempts gave her some random bald spots. But I figured it out and she looks pretty good, albeit rather in need of a trim!
Next up on the needles is her little pinafore dress. I've got the skirt complete and I'm just in the process of working out how to adapt it to put in button holes. If I'm lucky this time next week she'll have actual clothes instead of spending all her time sitting around in her underwear.

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