Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Monday 19 February 2018

A Suffragette-inspired Worry Monster...

There has been a lot of publicity about the Suffragettes recently. Thanks to them, February 2018 is the centenary of some women being allowed to vote in the UK. They were given the right to vote if they were over 30 and they, or their husbands, met a property qualification. That was a partial  victory for eight million women. It was another 10 years before The Equal Franchise Act was passed in 1928 giving women equal voting rights with men. Fifteen million women over the age of 21 gained the right to vote in elections. The rest is history.

I decided to knit a Worry Monster in the Suffragette colours of purple and green, or as close as I had in my wool bag. The variegated colours are actually purple and green knitted together. The result is lovely in real life, though it looks a bit brown on my computer. I enjoyed doing a little bit of Swiss darning to make her lips slightly more feminine. I also added some perplexed eyebrows but stopped short of adding a monobrow. That would have been too cruel! 

I worked out how to add legs to a basic pattern already on the Knit-for-Nowt website. It was actually very easy to do and I have offered to add my amended pattern to those already in their collection. There is an appeal there for more patterns, so if anyone is a good pattern designer, we need your services! These Worry Monsters and Therapy Puppets are used with traumatised children and there is a waiting list of therapists who have asked for some.

I have just sent this little collection off to Knit-for-Nowt. It was lovely to receive an appreciative email back from Clare who runs the project. Some charities are definitely better than others at making their helpers feel useful. Most will acknowledge a parcel. But the odd one leaves people guessing or asking whether their parcels have arrived. Sadly, I tend to put them to the back of my list of places to donate to. Mini rant over!

What began as a small project to cheer myself up at the end of a gruelling 2017 has turned into something much bigger. Clare jumped at my offer to write some new patterns. I have 2 or 3 patterns in mind and, being a natural worrier myself, I am testing each pattern before I let it loose into the world. I was even dreaming last night about how to add certain features. I think I need to get out more!

Saturday 10 February 2018

Another worry monster...

Here is another Worry Monster that I knitted for Knit-for-Nowt. It's about 12 inches tall, like my last one. These are used by therapists and the pocket on the front is for children to use as little post boxes for their worries. 

When I thought I had finished it, I was thrown by its very blank expression. I was worried that it didn't look worried enough (ha ha). So I decided to give it a monobrow. It was one of those magic moments when the stars align. I laid some black wool on its forehead and it just fell into exactly the right shape. I held my breath and sewed over the wool very carefully. It took no more than ten minutes (yes, I think I was a pearl diver in a former life) and I was really pleased with the result.

I hadn't heard of Worry Monsters until recently. I was amazed to discover that you can actually buy mass-produced Worry Monsters and that parents give them to their anxious children. How times have changed! I would have run a mile from one of these when I was a child.

I have one more monster to knit. This one will have stumpy little legs...when I have worked out the easiest way to add this space.

Saturday 3 February 2018

A buzzy Worry Monster...

Here is my latest creation for Knit-for-Nowt. It is a stuffed bee measuring over 12 inches in length. Therapists and social workers use these Worry Monsters to encourage traumatised children to talk. I adapted a basic pattern that is on their website and turned it into a bee. At least I hope that is what it looks like. The wool was a donation from my sister and I struggled to decide what to use it for until I came up with the idea of a bee. Perfect.

In a moment of pure genius, I also came up with the idea of crochet squares for the wings. I learned to crochet 5 years ago. But I still have to look at a book when I start a granny square. Hey ho. Here is the back view:

Like everything else on my monster, the wings are sewn on REALLY well. This is going to be played with by children and I want it to survive!

These Worry Monsters are in HUGE demand. I finished this one a day after receiving the latest Knit-for-Nowt Newsletter in which there was a plea for more monsters as soon as possible because they have a waiting list for them. That is music to my ears. Anyone who is thinking of making one or more of these monsters can be confident that their work will be appreciated. They are a great way to use up odd balls of yarn and your imagination can run riot.

The Newsletter specifically requested large monsters with 2 eyes (more popular than Cyclops monsters, apparently), and other details such as hair, hands and feet. Luckily mine ticks most of the boxes. I'm already planning my next this space...