Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A shawl for Blossom!

Hello! I'm Annie from knitsofacto, and I've been knitting lace for almost as long as I've been knitting anything (if not always intentionally in the beginning ... it is way too easy to make holes where you don't want then when you're starting out!). I've never designed and knitted beaded lace on such a small scale as Blossom's shawl before though. But when I was asked to contribute something warm and woolly to the Red Nose Day Doll's wardrobes I knew that at least one of those little ladies deserved something a tad more exciting than a scarf.

Being possessed of far more yarn than I can probably ever hope to knit* it was a certainty I'd find something suitable in my stash, and this lovely raspberry pink alpaca/wool blend, a fine laceweight, was surely the perfect choice. Finding matching miniature glass beads proved a bit more of a challenge however, and my miniscule 0.5mm crochet hook - essential for adding tiny beads to tiny knitting - was adrift somewhere in the mess that is my studio mid revamp. Much hunting through boxes ensued but eventually I was ready, and with a cuppa ever to hand and Radio 4 and my five lovely whippets for company - they like to lie on my feet when I'm knitting which is soooo warming in cold weather - my needles clicked away for a whole long afternoon, and then another, and then Blossom had a shawl**. And d'ya know, it made my heart sing!

Being involved in a project that has brought so many talented designer/makers together in support of such an awesome cause has been a privilege from start to finish. Now all we need is for everyone who reads this to spread the word. Perhaps you could tweet about the dolls, link to their facebook page, or share a link to Mac's video or this blog. Anything to alert folks to the fact that one of these little people and his/her belongings could be theirs. Bidding begins on eBay on March 7th ... go on, you know you want to!

* Knitters call this SABLE, or stash acquisition beyond life expectancy, and it is the most pleasant affliction, just so long as you never see a moth!

** And Mac had a manly scarf, which should have had woolly 'red nose' pompoms on the ends, but didn't - you can read about that little disaster here - and Poppy had her very own knitting bag, complete with needles, wool, and a teeny card of itsy bitsy buttons. Oh, and Maisie had a wee wooden dolly of her own (because I don't just knit), with shiny black painted on hair and shiny black painted on boots, and long spotty pantaloons, and a flowery dress with a ribbon bow at the back, and blow me if I didn't forget to take a photo of her before posting her to HQ so I'm hoping Ros might arrange a little photo shoot (pretty please Ros :) )

Friday, 22 February 2013

Fun in the sun for the Red Nose Dollies

Hello! My name's Val and I am completely thrilled to be one of the people helping the Red Nose Day Dolls. I am an obsessive crafter and I write about what I make at my blog, dottycookie; I spend almost all my free time sewing, knitting, beading, quilting and get quite twitchy if I don't have a project or two on the go. So when Emma asked on a sunny Sunday afternoon whether I would be able to make something for the Red Nose Day Dolls, I thought for about half a second before saying "Yes! Of course!"

But what to make? There are so many clever and lovely people sewing and knitting and quilting and beading for the dolls. What could I do? Well, one of my absolute, all time favourite pursuits is weaving. Could I make something small enough for the dolls? Oh yes, indeed ...

Just like us, every little doll wants to make the most of the sunny weather and have a picnic. And for a perfect picnic you need a basket just the right size to hold all your goodies. If the basket has flowers on it, so much the better. 

And perhaps a pretty picnic tablecloth would make the party that little bit more festive. I always enjoy my sandwiches more in the sunshine, don't you?

Now, one of the dollies is a very fine young man called Mac, and while I'm sure he would happily eat picnic food, I suspected crochet flowers and lemonade might not hold his attention too long. But what could a fine strong lad use? A fishing creel, perhaps? 

Along with the creel comes a small school of sparkly eyed fish, in case Mac doesn't have any luck catching his own. They don't seem to mind being kept in a basket. Yesterday was gorgeously sunny, but on a cold day like today they might positively relish the shelter!

All he needs now is a fine day and a dry spot on the riverbank.

It has been an absolute pleasure creating these baskets. They've occupied my thoughts over the last couple of weeks and I hope the dolls (and their new owners) enjoy them. It's a huge honour to be included in a project which has already brought so much pleasure will hopefully raise valuable funds.

I have written up a free pattern for the little fishies if you'd like to make your own. Do keep reading here, maybe follow the dollies on Twitter or Like them on Facebook, and keep your eyes peeled for auction details!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Hello, I'm Maisie and I am from Australia where it is very very hot and full of fires and crazy hotness right now. I came here on a plane and it wasn't even one bit scary. 

Geoff came with me, cause he is my best friend ever in the whole world. Mostly, on the plane we slept and Geoff was a bit grumpy but he is happya again now cause there are biscuits and tea parties in England.

I was maked by Jodie and she maked me some clothes and stuff but no clothes for Geoff cause all his naked is hidden inside his shell so he doesn't need clothes. 

Me and my new friends Blossom and Mac and Poppy are going to all get new forever homes really soon, and we are going to help raise money for Red Nose day.

Did you see my Red Nose? It is the bestest ever present in the world what I have ever been given. Dottycookie made it for me with a special hooky stick thingy. I am going to wear it everyday and even at night time but not to bed.

Jodie told me that lots of really famous makers have maked things for me and my friends and I think that is really nice but I am not really sure do I have to do that bobbing down thing when I meet them?

In Australia we don't do bobbing down much, we just wave.....maybe I'll just wave a lot and they won't mind.

Monday, 18 February 2013

It's a small world

Hello! My name is Alexandra Smith, I am a seamstress, designer, author and Mum. I'm "Lola" from the blog Lola Nova - Whatever Lola Wants and I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be a part of this wonderful project called Red Nose Day Dolls!

One day not too long ago, I was wandering around the interwebs, as you do and I heard a whispering about a project that the lovely and talented ladies, Emma Mitchell and Ros Badger had started. Intrigued, I investigated and learned a little more about Red Nose Day Dolls. A great cause and a truly sweet project. After that I sent a little bird to ask them if I too could make something to add for the auction for Comic Relief. Happily, they said yes!

So I started making small for the dolls. First something simple, a wee blouse made from a vintage cotton print.

As I was making, I kept hearing about more wonderful artists and crafters contributing to the project. To be in such good company is such a gift.  I love how a little idea has grown into a global project. It really is a small world.

I had quite a good time thinking up all sorts of items to make, but I did limit myself and settled on capes for Poppy, Blossom and Mac.  For who doesn't feel dashing in a cape?

The girl's capes are made from wool felt, applique, trims and lined with Liberty of London fabric.

A tad more manly version for Mac with a dapper collar and lined with a handsome plaid.

The lovely Tallulah agreed to model one for us.

It has been a real joy making for the Red Nose Day Dolls and I know that they will do some real good.

Please keep coming back here to find out the latest on the auction and see what else the makers have been up to!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Little knitted things

Hello I'm Julie and I'm a knitter. That sort of sounds like a confession doesn't it? And I suppose it is really, because truth be told I'd rather be knitting than doing almost anything else.

So when Emma from Silverpebble asked if I'd like to knit something for the wonderful Red Nose Day dolls I jumped at the chance and decided I'd make a dress and some teeny tiny teddies.

To help me with sizes I had the lovely Lily come to stay with me and act as my model. She was made by Jodie and belongs to the small Silverpebbles.

Lily has been a perfect house guest and very helpful in modelling what I've been making as I go along.

Infact she was so helpful that I made a cardigan to go with the dress.

I've also made four of the teeny tiny teddies.

All of them are made with aran or worsted weight yarn on 3.25mm needles and the yarns I've used are organic undyed manx loghtan (the darkest one), organic manx / whitefaced woodland blend (the speckly one), kid mohair and silk (the fluffy one) and alpaca / cotton blend for the polar bear. If you wanted to make a teeny tiny teddy of your own there is a free pattern that you're welcome to use here.

You can see the other things that I make over on my blog Little Cotton Rabbits.

I've really enjoyed joining in with this wonderful project and seeing all of the fabulous variety of things being crafted by different people around the world. It's a lovely idea and hopefully will do a lot of good in helping others when the dollies and their possessions are auctioned off.

Please keep checking the blog here for more details of the auction and the other wonderful things being made for these dollies.

Thanks, now I'm off to do some more knitting xxx

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Tiny Books for the Red Nose Day Dolls

My name is Celia and I am an illustrator and printmaker; you can find out more about my woodcuts and linocuts here, or you might already know my blog Purple Podded Peas or come across my Tweets.

I knew Emma and Ros were up to something . . . they were being furtive . . . hatching a cunning plan! And what a fabulous creative plan it is :-) Four dolls, hand made by a host of creative folk and all for Comic Relief.

I put up my hand and offered to make something . . . I said I'd make some little books.

When I was very small I used to love little books about flowers and birds and animals (in fact I still do) so I thought the Red Nose Day Dolls would like to have their own tiny wildlife books.

I put on my illustrator's hat . . .

. . . and did some drawings on my iPad.

Then I dusted down my book-designer's uniform - black Monsoon dress c.1985 and it still fits! (yes, that's how I earned my crust for many many years) and laid out the pages so that one book would print on a single sheet of A3 paper.

I cut and folded the pages and made little covers for them (I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I forgot to take photos of that bit) but here they are newly bound.


The Tiny Book of Garden Birds and The Tiny Book of Wildflowers were almost finished.

They just needed pressing, so I popped them into my antique copy-press, screwed the heavy plate down tight and left them over-night.

The Tiny Book of Garden Birds and The Tiny Book of Wildflowers are ready to send to the Red Nose Day Dolls . . .

. . . but I don't want any squabbles, so I'll now have to make two more books . . .  mmmm? The Tiny Book of ....... ?

The four beautiful Red Nose Day Dolls will be auctioned in aid of Comic Relief.

Many creative people have contributed their time and skills to make lovely things.

You can help too . . .  please bid for one of the Red Nose Day Dolls (and all their gorgeous little accessories) to help to raise loads of money for a very important cause!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Salty the sea dog, a pet for a lucky Red Nose Day Doll.

May I introduce you to 'Salty'!

My Name is Emma and I'm behind the blog Sew Recycled.
I have been creating crafty things ever since I can remember which has now evolved into a fun and creative job!
I write regularly for Making Magazine and  teach various workshops in needle felting and sewing.
This is how I became involved in the great Red Nose Day Dolls!

One afternoon whilst tweeting, I came across @RedNoseDayDolls, intrigued I clicked on their page and that was the moment I knew I had to take part.
And what fun I have had!  This amazing and brilliant way of raising money for Red Nose Day was the crafty and creative idea by the very talented Emma and Ros!

A pet was needed for one of the lovely dolls, so from humble beginnings......

....Salty emerged, gaining his ears........

.....then his markings, eyes, nose and tail!

As I was making Salty, his character would became quite clear, he is a very friendly and devoted little dog. Those eyes would melt my heart as he gazed up at me, he even managed to persuade me to make him a spotty red neck-chief!

Look at him, so proud of his little outfit!

Wouldn't you just want to kiss that little fuzzy nuzzle!

Now if you are lucky enough to be the winning bid, here are a few details that need to know about Salty.

He was named 'Salty' after a very cherished dog that Ros once owned....

...He is a needle felted Wire Fox Terrier....

...and is made of New Zealand  carded sheep wool.
He is about 10cm in height and about 10cm in length.
He comes with a little neckchief and a small detachable little felted red nose.

He is not really ideal for small children due to small parts and he really doesn't get on well with cats!

So PLEASE help and support by bidding for one of these gorgeous dolls, its a super idea, full of gorgeous and stunning pieces of work made by various crafty peeps, raising money for a very important cause!

 Salty will be chuffed if you do (even if he feels a bit daft with a Red Nose!)
Thank You

Saturday, 9 February 2013

A Little Crochet Dress for a Very Special Doll....

When Ros and Emma approached me about making a little something for the Red Nose Day Dolls, I couldn't think of lovelier project for a crafter to be involved with, so instantly I said 'YES'!  With images of Blossom, Maisie and Poppy in my mind (sorry Mac, this one isn't for you!), I set to with my trusty hook and some Debbie Bliss 'Eco baby' cotton yarn. Using my daughter's somewhat neglected doll, Ursula, as my model (her measurements are similar to those of the RND dolls) I worked up the bodice, edged it, made a tiny birds eye button (if you've never made one, give it a try, they're quick, easy and brilliant for using up odds and ends of yarn) to fasten it and then turned my attentions to the skirt.

Whilst we live a very simple life at our cottage in the Dorset countryside, I still dream of floating about in a 1950's dress complete with net underskirts! And inspired by '50s glamour, I gently increased the basket stitch to give the dress a full skirt, which I then lined with plenty of soft tulle. And what dress would be complete without some tiny crochet blossom?!

The finishing touch, a pretty satin sash held in place by fine crochet chain loops, to make sure it fits perfectly.

When I'm not raising my two children, feeding our brood of hens and running a cookery school with my Sicilian chef husband, I write the onechurchillsgreen.typepad blog - gentle musings about my life in the country, far from the city where I grew up. Little by little I fill it with crochet patterns, crafty ideas and ramblings about country life. I've written my first book, 'Simple Crochet', and love writing a monthly column for 'Inside Crochet' magazine. I'm afraid I still don't make a living from my craft, but it does give me immense pleasure and it keeps me calm and content. 

I love sharing my skills with anyone who will sit still for long enough and I am just delighted to have the opportunity to create something that will contribute, even in a small way, to this awesome charity. The children and I are huge fans of Comic Relief and the work they do both here in the UK and further afield. I am proud to be a part of it and wish the Red Nose Day Dolls lots of success on the day. Here's hoping the dollies raise a whole heap of lolly!