Sometimes I can't - or won't - let go of an idea. A year or so ago I saw a crocheted purse shaped to resemble a chicken, in a charity shop. I loved the idea and thought I'd like to try making one with my newly developing crochet skills. I got as far as buying a couple of 4" zips but no further.
This year, wanting a small challenge before tackling the assembly of my Robins Quilt, I set about working out how to make the chicken purses using supplies already in my stash.
I found some pale yellow 4 ply cotton and, using it double, worked a straight line of single crochet, increasing at each end and in the centre of each row. This gave me the shape I was after.
I inserted my zip and crocheted up the side and bottom, adding some eyes and felt feathery bits. I had hoped to fill this with small eggs but couldn't find what I was looking for - so went for other chocolate treats.
On one I used some shells for the tail feathers. Both Niamh and I like shells so I thought this would be a good embellishment.
I didn't think my 12 year-old grandson would be pleased to receive a chicken purse, so I tried out a variation on another item I had seen and liked while in England- felted rabbits dressed in embellished coats. I sketched out a body on paper, cut it out in felt and got stitching. It was pretty rough and ready.
As my grandson is a supporter of the Hawthorn Hawks football team, I gave the rabbit Hawthorn ears
and a Hawthorn coat
I couldn't figure out how to attach an easter egg football, so I crocheted a little basket to sling over his shoulder.
I don't think this will be taken up by the Hawthorn merchandising arm, but I am pretty pleased with myself. When I asked my friend Jennifer to give me some crochet lessons a couple of years ago, this is about where I had hoped to get with the skill.
My final Easter creative effort went into making chocolate crackle nests as my mother did each Easter. She used Arctic Mints as eggs and I can no longer find them. This year I could do no better than jelly beans.
I sometimes think I am completely insane. Gifts should surely begin with a question of what the receiver would want, not what the giver wants to make - yet I've had terrific fun making these over the last few days, and they did give pleasure to recipients. It also raises the issue of how an idea is passed on and adapted. These are all based on ideas derived from things other people have made, although heavily adapted and certainly not directly copied. I hope my use is legitimate and sufficiently respectful of those from whose work the ideas were derived.