Talking like a pirate...

Ahoy, me hearties!!! Arrr, it be 'International Talk Like a Pirate Day' today! Hoist the colours!

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Happily for me, the annual pirate day this year coincided with the release of my long planned, long promised, and way way way overdue crochet pirate! Ever since I started making crochet dolls, I have been inundated with requests for boy dolls. A combination of too many shop orders, too many toddlers to look after, too much procrastination and general laziness on my part has meant it took me over a year to get him finished. So... finally.... the first doll in my 'boys' collection is this cute pirate mate, with a removable eye patch, bandana, and his little parrot friend. Arrr, matey!

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He is based on this boy doll pattern by Lilleliis, which is excellent and easy to follow. I have added the bandana, eye patch, and parrot.

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I was going to use the same pattern as my girl dolls, but I wanted him to have thicker legs (being a boy) and a more substantial body structure, and I am very pleased with how he turned out. Yo-ho-ho!

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Weigh anchor! Hoist the mizzen!!! Till next time, me hearties!

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The Great Embroidery Swap | 'Brambleberry Ridge' fabrics

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It had been quite some time since I'd done hand-embroidery, so when my friend Sarah from Piccolo Studio set a challenge for all craftesses to join her in an embroidery swap, I jumped at the chance. Now, I have DOZENS of embroidery projects in various stages of planning - from the 'pinned-to-my-Pinterest-embroidery-board-may-do-it-one-day-perhaps' to the 'pattern-traced-fabric-stretched-floss-picked-just-need-to-find-some-spare-time'. So it would make sense for me to just select one of those, right? Wrong. Now that I had the perfect excuse to spend hours browsing Pinterest embroidery boards I did just that (am I the only one who simply can't stop when on Pinterest, jumping from board to board to board? It's like eating nuts!). And I found this gorgeous pattern by Cutesy Crafts which I thought would be just the thing for my swap partner Claire from Rosie Red.

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The original pattern is for a larger hoop and there is also a rainbow along the top, but as I didn't have a hoop big enough I left the rainbow out and just focused on the girls and the dandelion puffs.

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The girls' dresses are appliqued with fusible web and then blanket stitched around the rim. The puffs are made with back-stitch and french knots, the butterflies are lazy daisies, the girls' legs and arms are back stitch, the red-haired girl's hair is french knots (adorned with lazy daisy bows), and the brunette's hair is satin stitch (done not too perfectly so it looks more realistic) and her braids are cross stitch. I finished the back of the hoop using the method I showed previously in this tutorial, and then hand-stitched some pompoms around the back to finish off. Tie a satin bow on top, and voila!

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My embroidery was a little late so it was sent along with a sweet strawberry pincushion matching one of the girls' dresses, to thank my partner for her patience. Get my pattern & tutorial for the pincushion here.

And this here is the amazing embroidered cushion I got from my swap partner Kirsty from Gracie Lou. I may have squealed when I opened up the parcel! It fits the rocking chair in Alice's room perfectly. Thank you Kirsty, we love it!

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Just before I go, you may have noticed the beautiful bundle of fabrics in one of the pictures above. It's a range called Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft and I just got my hands on some of the peach, mint, and lilac prints for my shop (though I am sorely tempted to keep them for my personal stash!!). See the full range here. So pretty!

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