Remembrance Day Poppies

A red poppy worn on the lapel has long been a symbol of respect and remembrance for the brave sacrifice of soldiers lost in World War I. Red poppies have also been included in ANZAC Day ceremonies since 1940.

A group called 5000 Poppies set out to create an installation of 62 000 crocheted/knitted poppies for the Centenary of Armistice at the Australian War Memorial, among other equally massive projects. They succeeded and photos of the Poppies installation can be found here: https://www.awm.gov.au/about/our-work/projects/centenary-projects/armistice/62000-Poppies-Display

Among those 62 000 are some of mine.

Remembrance Poppies
Red for the lost soldiers, purple for animals, white for all losses on any side of a conflict.

I have continued making poppies for various charity projects and I am happy to sell them at cost to those who are not able to make their own for any reason.

My current poppy projects include making poppy wreathes for my daughter’s school ANZAC Day ceremony, and making poppies for the Sydney Royal Easter Show installation.

Current Project: ANZAC Day at school

ANZAC Day is observed on the 25th April each year across Australia and New Zealand, as well as a dawn service at Gallipoli, Turkey. This year the children will be on term break and will have to have their ceremony early. We are hoping to make 3 or 4 of these for her school to keep for years to come. The poppies seen here were the ones used at the AWM and Victoria RSL installations which are gradually being re-homed with RSLs, schools, councils, public institutions and any organisation who would like to  store and display them with the appropriate respect.

Poppy Wreath by Liz and Lottie
Our poppy wreath for school ANZAC Day ceremonies

 

Current project: Sydney Royal Easter Show

My next project is to make red, white and purple poppies to donate to the Sydney Royal Easter Show for their ANZAC installation. In this installation, white poppies will be dedicated to nurses who served.

Easter Show Poppies

Want to get involved with the Easter Show project? Click here for all the info.

Poppy makers who are interstate or overseas or can’t make it to the show are welcome to mail in poppies. Deadline for mailed poppies is Monday 8th April 2019. I am happy to provide the mailing address on request, or email Janine and she will give you the details.

Lynn Berry OAM of the 5000 Poppies Project has provided excellent crochet and knitted poppy patterns suitable for beginners. You can find the most concise patterns on the Easter Show website here. The patterns will open in a one page PDF document when you click through on the link on that page.

I have cobbled together my own version which I find quick and easy with only one colour change. I will add a pattern here when I find a suitable program to create a visual pattern. My pattern is similar to Lynn’s Three Row Easy Crochet Poppy but worked in doubles instead of trebles with a different stitch count.

Please tell me about your own poppies in the comments! I’d love to hear from other poppy makers. Lest We Forget.

Liz xx

 

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Home Made crochet Steiner/Waldorf Gnomes and Nins

Since overhauling our toy disaster collection a year ago, I’ve opted for quality, open ended toys that stimulate imaginative play. Our play room is full of wooden food, musical instruments, baby dolls and clothes and a gorgeous doll house full of little wire dolls and hand me down furniture from at least three generations. The little girl who plays in there is much calmer and occupied for much longer in her imaginary worlds.

The next addition I have been hunting for were some sweet felt or wooden Steiner/Waldorf gnomes and small world toys. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near a brick and mortar store that stocks anything Montessori, Steiner, felted, etc. I have a whole list of bookmarked online toy retailers but being in Australia, the shipping would cost more than my cart! The closest store with a beautiful range of fairy houses, felted faires and food, and wooden nins (I love these little nins by Grapat) and gnomes is the beautiful Goldfish Toys in Berry, NSW …a three hour drive away. I didn’t want to wait until our next countryside escape to pick up some $8 gnomes I had my eye on so I took to Pinterest and Youtube in a quest to make my own.

These little guys are the results and I couldn’t be happier. It took about 30 – 45 minutes to make each one and I already had the yarn and 3mm crochet hook. They are super cute, are very similar to Grapat Nins and definitely cost less to make than petrol for 6 hours driving then $8 each if I was to buy them in Berry.

I followed HappyBerry Crochet’s “Wizard Gnome” tutorial only I used a 3mm hook, 8ply arcrylic yarn and I chose to stuff my little gnomes with poly fill while Laura keeps hers open like a finger puppet.

To seal the bottom, finish the final round as the video instructs and instead of tying off, CH 1 and in back loops only, SC in next stitch, SC2TOG in the next. Repeat SC, SC2TOG until end. Your stitch count will reduce to 12. Stuff your gnome at this point then SC2TOG x 6. Tie off and sew the hole closed. I poke the needle back through the hole and pull to flatten out the bottom before hiding the tail end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this idea helps another mama looking to make her own set of little gnome friends. I have this vision of an entire toy box of toys I’ve made my children. What are some other handmade toy ideas? Amish puzzle balls, stacking bowls, rattles and loveys spring to mind. Now to actually make them!

Happy Sunday,

Liz xx

New beginnings

It’s been a whirlwind few months. New house, new neighbourhood and new kids activities. With it all came a wake up call and a new perspective.

Working full time is rough sometimes. So many days I wish I was at the school gate or on canteen duty or there to take her to ballet at 3.30 in the afternoon. Life comes in seasons and while we are in this fulltime family season I want to do something for me and for my little one.

I have been putting off pouring my heart into my side projects for so many years I just feel sad when I see them. Not anymore. You only reap what you sow and I have been sowing so many exciting little seeds. I can’t wait to share it all soon.

Liz x

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This time of year is always so busy but in the best way. Ballet performance night is coming up, Santa photos, Christmas parties and pretty decorations everywhere.

christmas-cookies-553457_1920

We already have our tree up and it’s my favourite one yet! I love red, gold, lights and decorations lovingly made by tiny hands covered in finger paint.

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Not the best picture but you can’t beat those nights when the tree is the only light in the room.

Liz x

Crochet Macarons Pattern

Feb 2019 Update – PDF Pattern now available on Etsy

I’m considering making a bunch of these as favours for Lottie’s birthday party next month so I combined some of the bits I’ve picked up from amigurumi and cupcake patterns and came up with a pattern of my own. I have come across crochet macarons before but they always turned out so small and not very macaron-looking. So here’s my own attempt at a pattern.

free crochet macaron pattern from liz&lottie

They are pretty much the same size as a regular macaron you get from a cafe. Perfect for pretend tea parties and play kitchens.

Here are the finished products. They work up in about half an hour if you’re familiar with the 6-12-18-24-30 round stitch expansion.

crochet macaroons 3

  (20c coin for scale)

I think they look pretty good. Here’s the super basic pattern.

Crochet Macarons

U.S based terminology; SC = single crochet, SlSt = slip stitch, Ch1 = chain one,

(2SC) 1SC x 6 = two SC into one stitch to create an increase, 1 SC into the next stitch then repeat six times.

{xx} = stitch count at end of round.

You will need; 

  • 3mm crochet hook
  • 8 ply/ DK yarn in 2 colours – one for the biscuit and on for frosting.
  • Toy stuffing or yarn scraps
  • Scissors & Yarn needle

Method; Top Biscuit

  1. 6 x SC into a magic circle. Sl St to join. Ch1. {6}
  2. 2 x SC into each stitch around. Sl St to join and Ch1. {12}
  3. (2 SC) 1 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {18}
  4. (2SC) 2 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {24}
  5. Final increase round. (2SC) 3 SC x 6. SlSt to join and Ch 1 {30}
  6. SC into each stitch around. SlSt, Ch1 {30}
  7. SC into each stitch, change colour and Sl St, Ch1 to reach row 8 with a new colour. {30}

Frosting

8. 30 SC into back loops only. SlSt to join. Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Bottom Biscuit

Repeat steps for rows 1 – 7 and fasten off instead of changing colour.

vvvv What you have should look something like this vvvv

crochet macaroons 1

Notes on Sewing

Everyone has their preferred way of putting crocheted toys together. In this instance putting the needle straight through the V created by the SC in the frosting and then into the bumps on the inner side of the bottom biscuit all the way around created the neatest edge. It also made a little ridge on the bottom part to match where you crocheted into back loops only.

crochet macaroons 2

Sew 2/3 of the way closed then stuff with toy filling or yarn scraps. Don’t over stuff or you’ll end up with an oval shaped ball. Even out the stuffing by holding your macaron in the centre between your thumb and forefinger and rotating it to flatten the shape slightly. Finish closing the gap and sew in your ends. And that’s it!

I’ve made a bunch of these and have plans to put them in my Etsy store as well as use them for party favours.

I’m loving making these and I hope you will too.

Liz x

The usual blog pattern disclaimer notes apply; You can sell the macarons you make but don’t sell this pattern. If you share it on your blog, Pinterest etc. please link back here. Thanks!