Category Archives: knitting

Wooden and Woven Dolls for Christmas

Recently, I had a lovely conversation with my darlin’ grandson.

He said to me: ‘Nanma, I LOVE your dolls.  Will you make me one for Christmas?’

I was thrilled that he is pleased with my work and that he wanted me to make him a doll for Christmas.

What an awesome 7 year old he is!

I asked him if he wanted a wooden one or a woven one, and I was convinced that he said, ‘Wooden’….

So, I stayed up very, very late one night, and got up early, to carve him a wooden doll:

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016

I used a birch branch from our son’s neighbour’s tree.  It’s been drying for a year and a half and is lovely to carve.

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-3

Tottie Tomato cheered me on as I carved.

She comforted the new doll, because she knows that the knives, chisels and sandpaper are very uncomfortable, and that paint brushes tickle….

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-2

After he was done, and I had knitted his sweater and jeans, Tottie Tomato and New Boy went to hang a few ornaments on the tree in the village.

Something was feeling not quite right….

I thought: I have to check and see if Grandson actually said that he wanted a wooden doll…..

So, I asked him which dolls he loved?

Wooden or the woven art dolls?

We were out at a concert of his Grampa’s music, so I sketched the shape of the 6th Sense art dolls in the air.

YES! he said, firmly!

THOSE are the ones I love!

Oh oh….

I asked him to draw in the air and show me what shape he had in mind.

Yup….. Woven Women 6th Sense art dolls, and NOT 6 inch tall wooden dolls….

oops.

He specified that he wanted it soft to cuddle and that it had to wear black shoes.

I asked him to draw exactly what he wanted…..

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-4

He held his hands up in the air and showed me the size.

So…………………………

I have been weaving up a storm…………….  well, a doll, along with a few other things……

I used the tapestry weaving technique to weave the body front, and plain weave for the back.

I did a clasped warp technique for the arms and legs to make the color changes work for the arms and legs.

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-5

I hope that he approves of how I interpreted his design!

I hadn’t thought of making him a doll for Christmas, so I am incredibly grateful that he asked.

And, because I didn’t get the brief right first time around, our little sweetheart gets TWO dolls, not one!

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-6

For now, they are chilling out by the Village Christmas tree, enjoying themselves in knitted armchairs that I designed for Findlay and Flora Bear.

The pattern for the chairs is in my etsy shop:

LINK

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-7

I can’t bear to wrap them until the last moment, so I will have a chance to enjoy them, too!

Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Happy Solstice, Happy Yule, Happy EVERYTHING to you and yours!

Love and blessings all round.

May 2017 bring Peace, Wisdom and Compassion!

 

14 Comments

Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Hitty Dolls, knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, wooden dolls

6th Sense One of a Kind Art Doll- Tree Mother

Last month, when there was a spectacular Super Moon, we stepped outside to admire it.

The gigantic moon looked like it was suspended in the huge trees that line our street.

The image of the Great Tree Mother, rocking the Moon in her arms, rose up in my mind….

and I knew that I had to build one of my 6th Sense one of a kind art dolls.

Here she is:

Great Tree Mother Rocked The Moon in Her Arms:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-1-c

While I was contemplating how to build the Great Tree Mother piece, my husband and our daughter took the dogs for a walk one morning.

Chloe came home with a wonderfully gnarly branch that had been pruned from someone’s tree and tossed into the alley.

She just knew I needed it…. even though, at that point, I hadn’t told her what I was mulling about 🙂

We have a very deep connection!

It is perfect.

So’s our daughter….

Anyhow…

The faces….

Years ago, my dear friend found a moose antler that had been shed and she asked me if I could use it.

I cut 3 faces from it, and carved them and painted them.

Two of them became part of this piece:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-2-c

Tree Mother’s face.

She also has a ‘Hidden Face’ that is hidden inside the piece and will never be revealed.

Too bad I didn’t photograph it!  Oops…

Here is Moon’s face:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-3-c

I carved the hand from wood.

I wove the bands on 2 different looms and knitted the grey hand spun cloth of her robe.

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-4-c

All of the 6th Sense Woven Women have 6 pennies incorporated into them, as a metaphor for coming to our senses, and embracing intuition, intelligence and inspiration.

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-5-c

She is 29 inches/72.5 cm  tall and the branch spreads out to 15 inches/37.5 cm wide.

She is not for sale.

By the way, she is also a celebration of creative adaptive re-use and upcycling.  I love that.

6 Comments

Filed under band loom, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

Knitted armchairs for Findlay Bear and Flora Panda

My grandson has been getting very impatient with me because poor Findlay Bear and Flora Panda don’t have anywhere comfortable to sit in their little house.

For more than a month, I have been telling him that I am working on a pattern for knitted armchairs.

He just raises his eyebrow now.  He’s not sure that I really am on it.

BUT….

Findlay and Flora finally have comfie armchairs!

Findlay and Flora finally have comfie armchairs!

They celebrated by sipping a cup of tea together and basking in their new chairs.

While they were sipping their tea, they heard a snuffling sort of a sound….

eeek!  Chihuahua alert!

eeek! Chihuahua alert!

Suddenly, an interested Chihuahua loomed up on the horizon!

Findlay and Flora raced into their house and slammed the Fairy door behind them.

Tea is getting cold....

Tea is getting cold….

They peeked out and saw that the coast was clear.

They huffed and puffed, and hefted their lovely new chairs up into their house….

Safe and cozy!

Safe and cozy!

If you would like to knit little armchairs for the small bears and dolls in your house, the pattern is available in my etsy shop:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/397997845/tiny-knitted-armchair-for-teddy-bears?ref=shop_home_active_1

I think that my grandson will be pleased.

🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, knitting, teddy bear

Knitted Sweater and Pants for Findlay Bear and Flora Panda

Findlay & Flora love flowers

Findlay Bear and Flora Panda are celebrating springtime by searching for flower buds that are just coming up.

Sweaters 2 (c)

It’s so exciting to see the new leaves popping up,

Sweaters 3 (c)

Some of the flowers are absolutely tiny!

Springtime can be a chilly time of year, so Findlay and Flora are happy to wear their new sweaters and pants while they are questing for flowers.

Sweaters 4 (c)

The pattern for the sweater and pants  is available in my etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/275065922/findlay-and-flora-teddy-bear-knitted?ref=shop_home_active_1

and for Findlay Bear and Flora Panda:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/274302708/knitted-teddy-bear-pdf-pattern-findlay?ref=listing-shop-header-1

Happy springtime, happy flowers, happy knitting, and happy bears!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, knitting, teddy bear

Introducing Findlay Bear and Flora Panda Knitted teddy bears

For several years, I designed teddy bears (Edward and Anastasia) for a knitting magazine that is no longer being published.

People have been asking me for the patterns for Edward and Anastasia, but I can’t share them, as I don’t own the copyright on them  😦

So…..instead…..

I have been working on a pair of tiny knitted teddy bears that will have all manner of adventures.

And, I would like to introduce:

Findlay Bear and Flora Panda:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Findlay Bear and Flora Panda are 4 inches tall.

Findlay Bear How to 1

They are really fun and easy to knit.

Findlay Bear How to 2

Here is the link to their pattern in my etsy shop: PATTERN

Because they are small, they can travel easily in a pocket:

Findlay Bear How to 3

Findlay Bear and Flora live in a Tree House.

Findlay bear house 11

Findlay bear house 12

They have just moved in, so the inside isn’t decorated yet.

They have to make up their minds how that will go….

Their house began as a thrift shop find that I did a whole lot of renovation to.

Here’s a little slide show that I made, showing how I made their house:

Findlay Bear and Flora Panda have all kinds of thoughts about the adventures that they would like to have.

I hope that you will knit your own version of Findlay Bear and Flora Panda and join us!

The pdf pattern for Findlay Bear and Flora Panda is available in my etsy shop: PATTERN

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, knitting, teddy bear

Knitted Goddess Artemis pattern

I am catching up on all kinds of things that have gotten set aside for one reason or another.

One of those things is to finally get my pattern for the Goddess Artemis and her animal companions posted to my etsy shop.

The Knitted Artemis doll and her animal companions (resting rabbit, mouse and beaver) pdf pattern has complete charts with instructions for how to knit the Goddess Artemis.

I based the design on a painting on a clay pot that has been dated as 7th century BC. It was discovered in Boetia, which was part of Greece in that time.

The Goddess Artemis is the protector of the wild spaces and is always accompanied by animal companions, which is why she has them with her in this pattern.  Because the wild places on the planet are so precious, inviting Artemis energy to protect them is a very good idea.

The finished size of the Artemis doll and her animals is determined by the thickness of the yarns that you use and the size of the needles that you knit with.

The doll in the photo was knitted with sock yarn and 2.5 mm knitting needles.

Here’s the LINK to the pattern:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/264519152/knitted-artemis-doll-and-her-companion

4 Comments

Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, knitting

Memory Bears

Last summer, Marie,  a member of our extended family (through marriage and love) died.

I asked her daughter for one of Marie’s sweaters so I could upcycle it to make little bears for Marie’s close kin with it.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I unraveled the sleeves of the sweater and used the  Comfort Bear pattern LINK to pattern

It’s taken awhile, because, I think that I needed to design the Comfort Bears first.

I was so pleased when I had an ‘AHA!’ that I could use the Comfort Bear pattern  to make the Memory Bears for Marie’s daughter and her partner, her son and grandson and her grandson’s Mum.

They’ll be able to cuddle a little of their Mum and Grandma whenever they need a small bit of comfort…..

I am finding the Comfort Bears to be very inspiring…  They have many aspects, and more keep being revealed.

Tiny bears, made with love.  ❤

 

11 Comments

Filed under charity knitting, eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear

Whee- 40 teeny Comfort Bears- I did it!!!

Originally, I designed these little bears for Syrian refugee children, but I wanted to address the critical comments that some people had made. They said that we should be taking care of people who are already here and are suffering.

Well, I agree: We do need to care for those in pain, but it is NOT an either/or situation: It is AND.

I had recently read an article that spoke of acts of compassion and ended by saying that the heart must stretch, or it will break.

I thought: Alright… let’s stretch the heartstrings.

I thought: Who is here that needs me?  Immediately, the answer came up: The Women’s Shelter.

So, two weeks ago, I asked the Women’s Shelter if I could donate some of the tiny Blessing/Comfort/Kindness bears to the children in their care.

Confession time: Truth be told, I was still in the design stage at this point… how bold of me to phone them up when I hadn’t even finished the workable prototype! LOL

They said, ‘YES! Please make us 40!’

When I recovered from my astonishment, I said: ‘Of course I will’.

And, so, for the last 2 weeks, I have gotten up early (very VERY early some mornings!) and gone to bed late….

and …. tadah!!!!

40 little Comfort/Blessing Bears in a Basket! (made with love by Noreen Crone-Findlay)

I knew that I could not possibly get them all knitted by hand in only 2 weeks, so I knitted the bodies of most of them by machine, but some of them, I knitted on 2 sets of circular needles (cumbersome) and some on 4 dpn’s… which is much more doable than the 2 circs.

(I have my dpn’s and yarn with a bear on it in my ‘going out the door’ knitting bag… more about that, later).

The hand work of sewing the back seam, stuffing the bear, sewing both ends shut then making the necks, legs, ears, stitching on the arms and embroidering the faces is what takes up most of the bear making time.

It’s slow, but contemplative work, and it brings me such great delight as each little face smiles up at me when I finish embroidering it!   Such joy!!!!

I have to race to finish family Christmas presents now, but I will be casting on lots more stitches for more, more, more bears- for Syrian refugee children, and more for the Women’s Shelter to have on hand, and more because I keep meeting people who need them….

This makes me sooooooooooooo happy!   ❤     😀     ❤

Yup, this has been a real heart stretcher… I have so much more room in my heart than I ever thought possible.

I think that the extra room is bear shaped….

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

My dream is that people will be inspired to knit or crochet all kinds of wonderful wee comfort/kindness/blessing bears to give to anyone who needs some compassion and healing.   Won’t you join me?    🙂

15 Comments

Filed under charity knitting, crafting for charity, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear

Tiny Teddy Bears that hug the hand that holds them

The past few weeks have been a flurry of knitting tiny bears .

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I designed these Comfort Bears (also known as ‘Kindness Bears’ , ‘Compassion Bears’ and ‘Blessing Bears’) for people of any age who need to feel loved and comforted.

It was important to me that they fit in a pocket, so they are less than 3 inches tall.

It  also felt important that the wee bears be interactive, so I designed their arms to be knitted in one piece, so they could hug the finger of the person who owns them.

They bring me so much joy to make!  I hope that those who will be adopting them will feel all the love in each tiny teddy!

I’ve found such joy in making them, so they really do hug back to their maker, as well as whoever will be their owner.  😀

Here’s the link to the pattern so you can knit them, too:

https://tottietalkscrafts.com/2015/12/11/knitted-comfort-bear-by-noreen-crone-findlay/

If you don’t knit, but would like to make crocheted comfort bears, here’s the link to the pattern for crocheted comfort bears:

https://tottietalkscrafts.com/2015/12/18/crocheted-comfort-bears-by-noreen-crone-findlay/

I have been thrilled to hear from people how then intend to use the Blessing Bears.

One woman brought tears to my eyes by telling me that she’s making them to give to her children so they can give them to children at their school who have been bullied.

I’d love to hear who you are making Blessing Bears for….

4 Comments

Filed under charity knitting, crafting for charity, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear

Kindness and solace from tiny knitted bears

Because I offered to make the tiny knitted comfort bears LINK TO PATTERN for the Women’s Shelter, and they responded enthusiastically by asking for 40 of them by Dec 21 (eegads), I have been taking them with me everywhere I go, making making making little comfort bears.

I’ve been so grateful that friends have offered to help me with them.

It’s such a joy to sit together making these wee ambassadors of love and connection:

Arwen & Noreen at the Blue Chair cafe making Kindness Bears

Arwen & Noreen at the Blue Chair cafe making Kindness Bears

Bears at Blue Chair 2 (c)

I have been hearing really touching stories from people- the tiny bears have the amazing capacity to open hearts, so people feel safe to tell their stories…. some of which are really painful to hear, but must be heard even so.

Emily Dickinson’s poem:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,    
I shall not live in vain;    
If I can ease one life the aching,    
Or cool one pain,    
Or help one fainting robin             
Unto his nest again,    
I shall not live in vain.

has taken on even deeper meaning to me as I make these tiny ‘Kindness’ bears.

I have to admit that some of the stories that I have heard have brought tears to my eyes, and sometimes cause rage to well up at the horrors some people have endured.

If these little bears can bring solace, well, then, I , and all those who join me in making them, shall not have lived in vain.

4 Comments

December 18, 2015 · 12:58 pm