Day twenty-four!

have a lovely Christmas!

Day twenty-three!

peace to your friends and your family...

Day twenty-two!

peace to you...

Day twenty-one!

oh christmas tree, how lovely are your branches...

Easy last-minute-makes Christmas tree…
From felt or fabric cut circles as follows: (I simply drew the circles using varying sizes of cotton reels and coins)
1 x 4cm/ 1½in diameter
1 x 2½cm/ 1in diameter
1 x 2cm/ ¾in diameter
1 x 1½cm/ ½in diameter
Radiating around each circle make cuts about 6mm/ 1/4in apart and in length for the larger circle diminishing the distance and the length as the circles get smaller.
Secure a length of sewing thread into a button – the base of the tree. Before you carry on it’s important to make sure the thread is bang in the centre of the button. Sew the thread through the centre of the largest felt/ fabric circle. Next attach a bead and then sew through the centre of the next sized circle. Then another bead and another circle until you end with the smallest circle. Cut a star from felt and pass the needle and thread through the centre. Tie a knot above the star to stop it from sliding up the thread then knot the thread to form a hanging loop. Decorate the tree if or as you wish!
They’d make quite cute earrings actually!

Day twenty!

oh christmas tree...

Day nineteen!

oh christmas tree...

Day eighteen!

little donkey, carry Mary safely on her way...

You will only need:
Set of 2mm (US size 0) double pointed needles
Tiny amounts 4-ply (fingering) weight or sock yarn (in two shades if you want a different colour muzzle)
Yarn needle, for weaving in ends
Beg at the muzzle and with muzzle colour yarn (if opting for a different colour muzzle) cast on 7 sts.
Divide sts over three dpns. K 1 rnd.
Rnd 2 Kfb, k to last st, kfb. (9 sts)
Change colour here, if necessary, for head.
Rep last rnd once more. (11 sts)
Rnd 3 K11.
Rep last rnd twice more.
Shape sides of head
Rnd 6 [Kfb] twice, k7 [kfb] twice. (15 sts)
Rnd 7 K15.
Rep last rnd twice more.
Shape neck
Rnd 10 Kfb, k5, k3 tog, k5, kfb. You may need to rearrange the sts more evenly at this point.
Rnd 11 K15.
Rep last 2 rnds once more.
Shape body
Rnd 16 [Kfb] 3 times, k9, [kfb] 3 times. (21 sts)
Rnd 17 K21.
Rep last rnd 14 times more.
Shape back
Rnd 28 [K2 tog] 10 times, k1. (11 sts)
Rnd 29 K11.
Stuff your donkey with toy filling or spare yarn.
Cut the yarn, leaving a tail end of approx. 51cm/ 20in, thread end through yarn needle, thread needle through first 3 sts, leave next 5 sts onto a dpn, cont to thread rem 3 sts onto the yarn needle. Pull up tight to close hole, use the thread to work the tail as i cord until the yarn runs almost to the end, thread end through the rem sts, pull up and secure the end.
Fore legs make 2 alike. Cast on 5 sts, *work an i cord until the cord measures 2½cm/ 1in. Cut yarn, thread end through yarn needle, thread needle through 6 sts, pull up tight to close hole. Secure end. Weave in the end at the hoof end.**
Back legs make 2 alike. Cast on 6 sts, work as Fore Legs from * to **.
Sew legs to the sides of the body.
Ears make 2 alike
Cast on 5 sts, work as i cord as follows;
Rep last rnd twice.
K2 tog, k1, k2 tog.
Rep last rnd once.
Cut yarn, thread end through yarn needle, thread needle through 3 sts, pull up and secure end.
Sew onto the side of the head at the cast on end of ear.
Sew on eyes, a mane with sewing thread – on the white donkey I also sewed a band around the muzzle, in cotton thread to give shape to the muzzle.

Day seventeen!

little donkey, on a dusty road...

Day sixteen!

little donkey...

Day fifteen!

...and anticipation mounts!
our nativity scene...

Day fourteen!

Day thirteen! and image of the week...

for five years now my children have been collecting these little wooden toys from ostheimer (i get mine from here). every advent they each get one, here's the first of three more to join the sometimes curious band who every christmas gather around the crib in quiet anticipation... i'll show you our little crib on the 15th...
also, and sorry for quality of the picture, my daughter and i made this from this link for a little girl's birthday present - it was great fun to do and really rather easy and, although it's difficult to tell in this photo, really quite simple and beautiful when the light glistens and shines through the tiny beads and onto the tinsel branches... my image of the week because of its festive sparkliness!

Day twelve!

three little knitted stockings filled with chocolate & candy balls...

Christmas tree stocking
You will only need:
Set of 3mm (US size 2) double pointed needles
4-ply (fingering) or DK (light-worsted) weight yarn in two shades
Stitch marker
Yarn needle, for weaving in ends

Leaving a long tail end cast on 18 sts.
Divide sts equally over 3 dpns. Place stitch marker and begin to knit in the round.
Rnd 1 [K1, p1] 9 times.
Rep last rnd three times more. Break yarn (leave a long tail end). Leaving a long tail end (these tail ends will eventually be plaited to create a hanging loop) change to a different colour for the main part of the stocking.
Rnd 5 K18.
Rep last rnd ten times or until stocking, so far, measures 4cm/ 1½in from CO.
K5, turn, p10 – work back and forth in st st across these 10 sts from Heel as follows:
Next row (RS) Sl1, k7, psso, turn. (9 sts)
Next row (WS) Sl1, p6, p2 tog, turn. (8 sts)
Next row (RS) Sl1, k5, psso, turn. (9 sts)
Next row (WS) Sl1, p4, p2 tog, turn. (8 sts)
Next row (RS) Sl1, k3, psso, (5 heel sts). Onto a new needle, pup&k 6 sts along decreases edge. K across 8 sts from Upper, pup&k 6 sts down other decreases edge, k across 5 heel sts. (25 sts) Place marker, cont in the rnd as follows:
Next rnd (dec) Psso, k16, k2 tog, k5 heel sts. (23 sts)
Next rnd K23.
Next rnd (dec) Psso, k14, k2 tog, k5. (21 sts)
Next rnd K21.
Next rnd (dec) Psso, k12, k2 tog, k5. (19 sts)
Next rnd K19.
Rep last rnd 5 times more.
Shape toe
Next rnd K1, psso, k8, k2 tog, k6. (17 sts)
Next rnd K1, psso, k6, k2 tog, k6. (15 sts)
Next rnd K1, psso, k4, k2 tog, k6. (13 sts)
Slip next 6 sts onto one needle, slip last 7 sts onto one needle. Cut yarn leaving 30cm/ 12in to sew up with.
Join toe with Kitchener stitch as follows:
Hold both needles parallel in your left hand with the needle with the least sts on the top.
1. Thread up a yarn needle with the tail end, insert the threaded needle purl-wise into the first stitch on the dpn closest to you, pull the yarn through, leave the st on the needle.
2. Insert the threaded needle into the first stitch on the back dpn, as if to knit, pull yarn through, leave that stitch on the dpn.
3. Insert the threaded needle into the same front stitch, this time knit-wise, then slip that stitch off the dpn then bring threaded needle through the next front stitch as if to purl it – leave this stitch on the dpn.
4. Pass the threaded needle through the same stitch on back dpn – this time purl-wise, slip that stitch off the dpn, then bring threaded needle through the next back stitch as if to knit it – leave this stitch on the needle.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are two stitches left on the back dpn. Thread yarn needle through both sts at the same time, p-wise. Fasten off and weave in the ends.
Plait the three yarn ends at the stocking top together, then bend the plait into a loop and secure end.

Day eleven!

stuff it with what though?

Day ten!

day ten sack is filled with something you may fill?

Day nine!

yes, of course, three miniature, round, plump, plum puddings topped with knitted creamy brandy sauce - the fruits for my (edible) pudding are, at the moment, steeping in brandy - i've left it a bit late - as always - this year, i only hope it will be a good one! pattern for the puddings follow the pic...

Christmas pudding
You will only need:
Set of 2mm (US size 0) double pointed needles plus a 2¾ mm (C5) crochet hook
4-ply (fingering) weight yarn – in a colour for the pudding, DK (light-worsted) weight yarn in a colour for the white/ brandy sauce!
Stitch marker
Material for stuffing (yarn, toy filling, a Christmas bell…)
Yarn needle, for weaving in ends

Beg with pudding colour, cast on 6 sts and knit one row as for I-cord.
Divide sts equally over 3 dpns. Place stitch marker and begin to knit in the round.
Rnd 1 Kfb all sts (12 sts)
Rnd 2 K12.
Rnd 3 [K1, kfb] six times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4 K18.
Rnd 5 [K2, kfb] six times. (24 sts)
Rnd 6 K24.
Rnd 7 [K3, kfb] six times. (30 sts)
Rnd 8 K30.
Rnd 9 [K4, kfb] six times. (36 sts)
Rnd 10 K36.
Rnd 11 [K8, kfb] four times. (40 sts)
Rnd 12 K40.
Rep last rnd once more.
Change to ‘white sauce’ colour.
Rnd 14 K40.
Rnd 15 [K8, psso] four times. (36 sts)
Rnd 16 Knit
Rnd 17 [K4, psso] six times. (30 sts)
Rnd 18 K30.
Rnd 19 [K3, psso] six times. (24 sts)
Rnd 20 K24
Rnd 21 [K2, psso] six times. (18 sts)
Rnd 22 K18
Stuff pudding with yarn scraps or toy filling (or a bell?).
Rnd 23 [K1, psso] six times. (12 sts)
Rnd 24 K12.
Rnd 25 [Psso] six times. (6 sts)
Cut yarn, thread end through yarn needle, pass needle through rem 6 sts, pull up tight to close hole then secure the end.
For the ‘drips’ from the sauce, make 36 chain using ‘sauce’ colour and crochet hook. Fasten off.
Securing one end of the chain into the top of the pudding, where sauce meets the pudding, work the remaining chain around the pudding securing with yarn or sewing thread as you go around.
Cut out a holly leaf or two from green felt and sew in place atop of the pudding with red yarn or sewing thread french knots.

Day eight!

round and fat, plump (or plum !), but this is more likely to be topped with something green and not a cherry!

Day seven...

a teaser for you: 'this is a fruity little number'... i'll reveal all on day nine - another clue tomorrow!

Day six...and image of the week...

i saw three ships come sailing in.... well nearly, paper boats really and their chocolate pennies booty!
we love origami here and these tiny boats are so easy to make, follow the link here - substituting the a4 paper mentioned with a tiny 2 x 31/2 in rectangle!
also - my image of the week is this gorgeous (and very delicious) cake made for me by my lovely friend lizzie black - thank you lizzie x

Day five!

i saw two...

Day four!

i saw... one...

Day three!

three french hens for my three little (actually one not so little!) chicks!
P.S I have a free pattern EVERY Friday here - @dotpebbles

French hen
Using 4 ply (fingering) yarn and 2mm (US size 0) double pointed needles, cast on 6 sts. Divide over 3 dpns. K 1 rnd.
Rnd 2 [Kfb K1] (3 times) (9 sts)
Rnd 3 K1 rnd.
Rnd 4 [Kfb, k2] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 5 K1 rnd.
Rnd 6 [Kfb, k3] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 7 K1 rnd.
Rep last rnd once more.
Rnd 9 [Kfb, k4] 3 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 10 K1 rnd.
Rep last rnd twice more.
Rnd 13 [Kfb, k5] 3 times. (21 sts)
Rnd 14 K1 rnd.
Rep last rnd twice more.
Rnd 17 [Kfb, k6] 3 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 18 K1 rnd.
Rep last rnd once more.
Rnd 20 [Kfb, k7] 3 times. (27 sts)
Rnd 21 K1 rnd.
Rnd 22 [Kfb, k8] 3 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 23 K1 rnd.
Rnd 24 [K1, k2 tog] 10 times. (20 sts)
Rnd 25 K1 rnd.
Rnd 26 [K2 tog] 10 times. (10 sts)
Stuff and shape the hen.
Rnd 27 [K2 tog] 5 times. (5 sts)
Break yarn, thread end through rem 5 sts, pull up tight to close base.
Sew on a tiny red felt beak, wattle and comb. Sew two black knots for eyes using black sewing thread.

Day two!


Day one!

simplest ever advent make...

these little sacks will adorn the branch i've collected tomorrow - i'll show you then, i'm setting it up tonight for the children...

Advent bags: Cut 2 strips 10cm/ 4in x 145cm/ 60½in. I used 2 different types of fabric; felt and cotton for my bags, but anything from your stash will do.
Along the length of one of the strips, on WS, measure and mark spacings measuring 1cm/½in, then 5cm/2in, 1cm/½in, 5cm/2in and so on to the end of the length. This will mark out each individual bag with room in between to cut.
Turn in 1cm/½in to WS along one long edge on both pieces of fabric for the cord ‘channel’. Sew the ‘channel’ in place, 2mm/ 1/8thin up from raw edge.
RS together, join the 2 strips together, sewing along the other long edge allowing for 6mm/ ¼in seam.
Sew along the width at the marked positions from the bottom seam up to the stitching beneath the ‘channel’.
Trim each bag between the 1cm/ ½in spaces. Each bag should measure 5cm/ 2in wide. Turn bags out to RS. Using letter stamps or pen, number each bag 1 to 24.
Trim any loose ends and thread lengths of cord/ lame yarn, (about 30cm/ 12in long), through each channel. Tie the ends of the cord/ yarn to secure the tie. – Fill each one, then find a suitable branch upon which to hang your mini Christmas sacks. Let the countdown begin…

Image of the week #8...

woke up to this lovely scene this morning, simply had to be image of the week... tomorrow - simplest advent bags to make...

New Dot Pebbles collection...

is now on my website...

New dot autumn outfit...

this season's latest hot dot look is inspired by the scottish highlands - purple heather and tartan combined with a festive fresh green. included within the pattern are the following items: bow neck glen sweater, highland kilt, long stockings, tami and snood and tennis pumps. it may take a short while to get this pattern onto my website - these things sometimes do, however the pdf (£2.50) in available now - if you email me i will send you a link with a paypal payment request...

Image of the week #7...

one of my favourite blogs at the mo is by fryd - this link to her online lifestyle magazine, of which i could browse all day (oh... and sometimes do, so that's why i don't get much done sometimes!), this - fryd + design -  links to her wonderful blog from which can this pic and i love this bedroom and that painted cabinet above the bed - it simply fills me with inspiration and the need to get designing/ making whatever i do do - when i'm not browsing of course!

Pretty pink mice stocking filler make...

the little girls at our school gift fair adored these - simple little finger mice. i tucked them inside a sweetie bag because they reminded me of the sugar candy mice i used to find in the toe of my christmas stocking!

Finger mouse

You will only need:
Any DK yarn from your stash (only a small amount needed)
33/4mm (US size 5/ US Canadian 9) double pointed needles
A yarn sewing needle to sew weave in the ends
Black thread for the nose, a scrap of pink felt for the ears and tiny beads for the eyes. Neutral coloured thread for sewing on ears and eyes.

To make:
Cast on 1sts, knit into the front and then the back of that st - called Kfb. (2 sts). Slide 2 sts (as i-cord) to other end of the needle, kfb, k1. (3 sts)
*Slide sts to other end of needle, kfb, k to end**. (4 sts)
Rep from * to ** twice more. (6 sts)
Slip 6 sts evenly onto 3 dpns. Join for working in the rnd.
Rnd 1 K6.
Rnd 2 (inc) [Kfb, k1] 3 times. (9 sts)
Rnd 3 K9.
Rnd 4 (inc) [Kfb, k2] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 5 K12.
Rnd 4 (inc) [Kfb, k5] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 5 K15.
Rep last rnd until the mouse measures (approx.) 7cm/ 2 3/4in from the tip of its nose.
Next rnd (dec) K1, cast off 13 sts.
K1, cont as i-cord on the 2 remaining sts until Tail measures 9cm/ 3 1/2in

Weave in the yarn ends.
Cut a tiny 6mm/ 1/2in diameter (approx.) circle from the felt. Cut the circle in half for each ear. Oversew these to the top of the head. Work stitches over the tip of the nose in black thread. Sew on the beady eyes (or embroider them on if you wish.

Image of the week #6...

i idolise julie arkell's work. as you may know, i adore knitting dolls and animals and have tended to create things as toys yet never as 'art' - in my dreams, if i could achieve the latter with my work i would be really delighted. julie bridges that gap between toy and art and i have always revered her for that.

Bear's tank top make...

i've been busying myself all this week (& dare i say i was very grateful of having something to do - no way would you want to venture outdoors unnecessarily in this weeks weather!) - sewing and knitting bits and things for our school gift fair on tuesday week (16th november st.hilary school, penzance, 7.00pm if you just so happen to be near). some of the items for sale from my little stall will be these small grey woollen bears - the bear pattern i adapted from sew pretty homestyle; their knitted tank top - see pattern below. (by the way, the tank top just so happens to fit dot pebbles dolls rather nicely and also, bizarrely, the medium maeleg rabbit! size could also be adjusted by switching yarn weight and needle sizes)
Here's the pattern -
p.s next friday some sweet, sugary pink knitted finger mice which are currently hiding in a paper sweetie bag! have a lovely weekend, may it be a good sunny one!

Bear’s tank top

You will only need:
Any DK yarn from your stash (only a small amount)
33/4mm (US size 5/ US Canadian 9) double pointed needles
A yarn sewing needle to sew up the shoulder seams.

Finished size
Fits waist (approximately) 20cm (8in), length 8cm (3 3/4in)

To make:
Cast on 36sts
Slip 36 sts evenly onto 3 dpns. Join for working in the rnd. Place marker.
Rnd 1 [K1, p1] 18 times.
Rnd 2 K36.
Rep last rnd 8 times more.
Divide for armholes
Rnd 15 K7, cast off 4 sts, k13, cast off 4 sts, k6 to marker at beg of rnd. Remove marker.
Rnd 16 K7, turn.
Row 17 P14.
On these 14 sts cont in st st for 8 rows, ending with a p row.
Cast off all 14 sts.
Front, divide for ‘v’
RS facing, rejoin yarn to 14 sts from Front. (Dec) K5, skpo, k2 tog, k5. (12 sts)
Right front
Row 17. P6, turn.
Row 18 (dec) K2 tog, k to end. (5 sts)
Row 19 P.
Rep last 2 rows once more. (4 sts)
Cont in st st for 4 rows.
Cast off 4 sts.
Left front
WS facing, rejoin yarn to rem 6 sts. P across.
Row 18 (dec) K to last 2 sts, skpo. (5 sts)
Row 19 P.
Rep last 2 rows once more. (4 sts)
Cont in st st for 4 rows.
Cast off 4 sts.

Join shoulders working mattress seam.
Weave in all the loose ends.

image of the week #5...

is this - a beautiful collection of australian trading cards 'day 149' taken from artist lisa congdon's blog (which, by the way should come with a health warning as it's so addictive)! from 1st january lisa has illustrated every day this year, so far, with collections of everyday objects, unusual objects, drawings and paintings. one collection per day to its end on 31st december. sadly i've only just found the blog, now on 'day 312' 'though still looking forward to the next 53(?) my maths is rubbish - days! thanks lisa

Start making for Christmas this weekend...

here's a free pattern, taken from knit and purl pets, for you to begin your christmas makes. your very own car companion (to keep or give away). she (or he) will sit very calmly and quietly on your dashboard as you drive. this particular greyhound is in fact appley peach's new companion and she is called 'the princess snowdrop'! i'd love to know what you think - of her, not her ridiculous name! do drop me a line - and if you can't gain access to the pdf, i'll email it to you! take care and have a great weekend.

petite pumps

i've just finished making these teeny tiny pumps  - only 6cm long - for the new dot pebbles autumn range which i will post on the website very soon...

a treat from me to me

it's good to treat yourself from time to time, this is what came for me in the post today from donna flower's beautiful shop

Image of the week #4...

okay, halloween over for another year - i don't like the though of 'ticking boxes' but that is what it comes down to sometimes - you know what i'm going to say next... christmas! and thoughts of. that's why 'image of the week' goes to these beautiful fairy lights from cable and cotton  first spotted on april & may's fab blog - thank you jantine! i'm thinking whether it's possible to have a go at knitting something similar?

happy halloween!

magic finger

here's a pattern for a simple crochet finger puppet to adapt as you wish; witches, wizards, zombies, devils, rats and bats... or as my youngest suggests - a rabbit!     Quite.

the following instructions are for uk crochet
using dk (light-worsted) yarn and size 3.25mm (d3) hook, begin with body end and make 12 chain.
taking care not to twist the chain join into a ring with sl st in 1st chain of the round.
rnd 1. 1ch, 1dc in each ch around. (12 dc)
Place a marker at beg of each round to mark start of the round
rnd 2. 1dc in each 12dc around.
rep last rnd until body measures 4cm (1.5in)
 - if you want the head to be a different colour, break yarn and join in the new colour.
next rnd. 1dc in each dc around.
rep last rnd until entire puppet measures 6cm (2.5in)
complete head as follows or skip next 2 instructions and follow instructions for 'hat'
head only: miss next dc, 1dc in each next 2dc, rep from * around. (8 dc)
Break yarn and thread end through rem 8 sts. Pull up to close top of head and fasten off.
hat: break yarn from head colour and change to hat colour.
next rnd.  miss next dc, 1dc in each next 3dc, rep from * around. (9 dc)
next rnd.  miss next dc, 1dc in each next 2dc, rep from * around. (6 dc)
next rnd.  miss next dc, 1dc in next dc, rep from * around. (3 dc)
Break yarn and thread end through rem 3 sts. Pull up to close top of hat and fasten off.
hat brim
make 12 ch. Turn. make 1ch, skip next ch, 1dc in each rem ch. fasten off.
use the brim to coil around, in a flat twist, at the top of the head/ bottom of the hat. sew in place to secure.
sew on round bits of felt with a black french knot for the eyes -  or snap toy eyes in place as i did, sew a line for a mouth using black yarn or thread.
if you want arms ( or legs) work a long chain (20 ch in my case) and fasten off, sew in place at the back of the puppet.
i also tied a strand of yarn around the neck as a cloak fastening.
cut strands for hair and sew under the hat or onto the top of the head

make no bones...

these effectively frightening fellows were made by my children - their names - the models not my children(!) - are bill bone, bella bone and bertie bone and they were made from polymer clay (fimo or sculpey for eg.) allow one pack per sculpture. see below for the simple instructions...

break off bits of the clay and soften. work the lumps into a head, body, 2 feet and 2 hands. using skewers or sharpish points 'draw' lines onto the parts to illustrate bones; teeth, ribs, finger bones etc, the eyes were created by pushing a bead onto the head then removing the bead leaving an indent looking rather like an eye socket. push a knitting needle into the top and down through to the bottom of each shape (best to get an adult to do this) thus making each body part into a sort of bead. thread up a long darning needle with a length of cotton or linen or similar string - not plastic string (i used baker's string), and thread the length of string through the 'bead'. knot each end then mould the clay a little around the string to keep the string in place. bake in a preheated oven according to the manufacturer's guidelines. our skeletons took 20 mins in a 130˚ oven. leave to cool and hang in a strategic place ready to spook your mates!
which one's your favourite?

half term treat (not trick): green jelly brains...

oozy, sticky green jelly fill these orange jack'o'lanterns and children find great pleasure in scooping out the 'jelly brains'! apologies to the squeamish! Simple to make, here's how...

make the jelly following the manufacturer's guidelines - i used two jelly packs for three oranges which was a perfect amount. allow for about 2 or 3 hours to set. cut the top off the orange and scoop out the flesh and tip out the juice - eat and drink this. wipe the inside with absorbent kitchen paper. cut out a face or design into the orange skin. drag a fork through the jelly to mash it up. spoon the mashed up jelly into the orange heads - pop back into the fridge or eat straight away. spookilicious!

(spooky) images of the week #3

and over to my three children for their ghoulishly creepy creations... thanks harry (bat), may (skeletons) & james (pumpkins)! - look out this week too for pumpkin jellies, hanging skeletons and crocheted witchy finger puppets!