Monday, 20 June 2011


Hanne-Marit is a child of nature. She loves to go for long hikes in the mountain and in the forest. She is also one of the few females I know who likes to go hunting. The theme for her Mini-Me thus had to be "A rest while waiting for the moose".

When Hanne-Marit is hiking in the mountains, she wears a white and red flannel shirt which, according to herself, smell of bonfire. I haven't seen (or smelled) this shirt, but I tried to crochet it anyway. It didn't really look like a flannel shirt, but I thought it mad a nice jacket. I also gave her some grene hunting trousers as well.

Mini-Hanne-Marit is like the other Mini-Mes a modification of Beth Webber's doll "Mini Free Spirit". You can find patterns for this and many other beautiful dolls, with clothing and more, on her blog "By hock by hand". The hair is made by Tyn alpakka from Du store alpakka and Plumet from Sesia. Her eyes are from Sunchatcher Eyes, and the doll herself is crocheted in an acrylic yarn I found on Craft designs 4 you called Red Heart Super Saver. Her clothing is crocheted from leftovers.
The tree stump and the grounds are crocheted by a yarn Rosendahl. You can find the pattern for the stump and mushrooms on Beth Webber's blog "By hock by hand". The moss on the ground is crocheted using a stitch  called "the ripple stitch". See this you-tube clip to see how it is done. The mountain cranberries are done by making small French knots in the moss. You can find instructions on this blog.

I gave Hanne-Marit this doll for her 30th birthday, which she had in the end of May.


Bodil is the closest of my colleagues, and we have worked closely together for almost 15 years. She is very active, and cycles every day to work, both winter and summer, through snow and rain. She also works out a lot, but she hates to walk the stairs and go for long walks. The only thing she hates more is to take the tram to work. So when she fractured her thumb in the ski slopes this Christmas, she walked for two hours to get to and from work.
Bodil was lost when she could no longer cycle to work. So I thought the theme for her doll should be "A lost cycle season", featuring Mini-Bodil lying face down in the snow. However, Bodil worked out a lot, and by the beginning of May, she was on her bike again. Considering the severity of her injury, this was so impressing that the title for her Mini-Me had to be "A recovered bicycle season".

The problem with this theme was that I had to crochet a bicycle, which I had no idea how to do. I searched high and low for materials to make it with, and found some aluminum rods I could use. With some help from my husband concerning how a bicycle is constructed, it was far easier than I expected, even if I sewed the gear on the wrong side of the bike. If you want to read more about how I crocheted the bike, see this blog.

Mini-Bodil is like the other Mini-Mes a modification of Beth Webber's doll "Mini Free Spirit". You can find patterns for this and many other beautiful dolls, with clothing and more, on her blog "By hock by hand". The hair is made of a mixture of Faerytale from Du store alpakka and Plumet from Sesia. Her eyes are from Sunchatcher Eyes, and the doll herself is crocheted in an acrylic yarn I found on Craft designs 4 you called Red Heart Super Saver. Her clothing is crocheted from leftovers.

Bodil's birthday was on the 6th June, and I hope she will enjoy her Mini-Me.

The art of crocheting a bike

One of my projects this year has been to crochet a mini version of my nearest colleagues for their birthday. I have dreaded to make Bodil for a long time, because I needed to crochet a bicycle for her, and I had no idèe how to do it. I searched everywhere for a model bike or a toy bike in the right size, but found nothing. As Bodil's birthday approaches, I realized that I needed to crochet the bike myself.

I started by looking in crafts shops for something to build my bicycle with. I found some flexible aluminium rods, winded up in a spiral, I could use. The spiral was a perfect size for the wheels on the bike.

I winded a thin metal tread around the spiral, and made spokes using metal flower sticks. To make the tires, I crochet a circle, added some stitches, and then decreased them back again. This made a perfect tire. I padded the tires and sew them on the metal wheels. Then I embroidered a zigzag stitch, which I learned while making my bunad, to give the impression of tread pattern.
When the wheels were finished, I started to believe that I could make this, and I started to form the bicycle frame. I needed a construction drawing of a bike, and went to my husband for some help, as I am terrible at drawing bicycles.

The frame is made up of two triangles, held together with metal thread. I then made the fork and handlebars, and attached them to the frame as well. Finally, I made the seat, the baggage rack and pedestal, and attached them to the frame.
When the frame was finished, I was tired (the clock was 23.30) but happy. But then I realized that I did not know what my colleague's bike looked like. So I concocted a stupid story that I was planning to buy a new bike, but had a history of choosing by color and not quality..., "and what color is your bike by the way?" "Golden orange", was the answer. I did not know what kind of colour that was, but started to look for suitable yarn to cover the frame.

The closest I came to golden orange was a thick yellow orange acrylic yarn. It was too heavy, but the assortment of orange yarn was limited, so it had to do. I found a silver yarn called Metallic Fine from Anchor, to crochet the details in chrome. Then I started to crochet strips which I sew on to the frame. I also attached three gears to the bike.

Some details in black for the handles, pedals and the seat, and the bike was finished. When I showed the bike to my husband, he started to laugh. I had sewn the gear on the wrong side of the bike. I didn't bother to correct it, as this would involve doing the pedals all over again. It would have to do. I thought my bike looks nice, and hope that others do not see the error as fast as my husband did.

Six small kitchen mice

When we bought our cabin, it needed touching up. This also applied for the curtains. The curtains in the kitchen were not better than several others, but still very ugly. I wanted to make some new ones.

So I went to by some fabric. I ended up with a white and blue fabric with garlic, chive and other herbs on it.

I wanted to make a nice valance for the kitchen window, both as decoration and to prevent people from looking in. I found patterns of six very sweet kitchen mice in a book filled with cross stitch patterns of Beatrix Botter's pictures. I have embroidered several of the patterns in this book earlier, among others a tailor mouse and Peter rabbit. It does not matter that this book is in French (which I don't know), as all the patterns are self-explanatory.

I had problems taking good pictures of the curtain, due to the back light from the window. So I took the valance down to take some pictures.
The mice came out nicely, and really look good in my kitchen. But I have to admit that I prefer Beatrix Potter's version better than real mice in the kitchen.


A new bunad for the 17th May

The 17th May is the Norwegian national holyday, when everybody dress up and walk in the parade. Bunads are traditional folk costume. They are copies of old dresses (from the 18th and 19th century), and varies across the country. I made my own bunad from Telemark, where my fathers ancestors comes from. It took me almost 8 months, but I managed to finish before the 17th May.

I encountered several problems making this bunad. First, the shirt was too small, and I had to get it re-cut. Second, I had no instructions of how to put the jacket together. But with help from the instructor at my bunad course, these problems were overcome.

I have to admit the new shirt is still a bit tight over the shoulders, but I can manage. I do not want to make the shirt all over again. And, I have to admit that I was rather pleased with it. In particluar, I like the zigzag embroidery on the shoulders and along the neck-line. I also like the red wavy embrodery along the collar. I chose to make a "flee ladder" (directly translated from Norwegian) at the bottom the collar opening in the frot (see picture to the left), even if it was not specified in the instruction.

The jacket was much easier to put together than I had feared. It was actually quit strait forward, even without instructions. The only thing I was unsure of was how to attach the embroidered bindings on the sleeves, as they were apparanty too long. But the instructor at my course suggested that I also attached the binding down the split in the sleeve, which seemed to fit the embroidery perfectly (see picture to the right).

This bunad is probably the largest project I have ever taken on, but I loved every minute of it, and I would love to do it again. The next bunad is for my daughter. The fabric is ordered, and the plan is to finish before the next 17th of May.

 Here I am in my new bunad.

The Ogee lace shawl

After knitting several shawls, both from Shetland and Estonian, I wanted to design my own shawl. I had found a beautiful pattern that I wanted to knit, called the "Ogee lace" in the book "A treasury of knitting patterns", by Barbara G. Walker.
An ogee is a s-shaped curve. This pattern forms soft s-shaped curves with flowers in them. I had to change the pattern somewhat, as the pattern in the book was not symmetrical, something I wanted it to be. It's a very beautiful pattern, but it requires some skills to knit, as the pattern is knitted on both sides.

I love this pattern, and wanted it to form the center of my shawl. I also wanted the borders to have soft forms. For the inner border, I chose a paw-pattern I found in the book "The Haapsalu Shawl. A knitted Lace Tradition from Estonia", by Siiri Reinmann and Aime Edasi. For the outer border, I chose a pattern called "Ocean wave", which I found in the book "Heirloom Knitting" by Sharon Miller.

I have used a lace weight merino yarn from Gossamer, which I found in Sharon Miller's net shop "Heirloom Knitting". The shawl is 110x180 cm and weights 56 grams.

I have written the pattern for the shawl, and it is available for free here. Unfortunately, it is in Norwegian. I will try to translate it later. You can find explanations to the symbols (in English) here. To download the file, go to "File" and "Download original".