And then there was Denzel

knitted dog

The Anderson family are not complete without Denzel so here he is 😀

I followed this free pattern of a Scottie dog by Sue Stratford

knitted dog

and made him look as much like Denzel as I could.  I knitted him in white and stitched on the orange colour after he was sewn and stuffed.  He’s a bit big when he’s standing next to the family but I think you’d be hard pushed to find a smaller pattern 🙂

Alternatively, if you’re not a knitter or you fancy doing something different, how about making an origami Denzel?

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Meet the Family

knitted model bus

Old Red is fully furnished and ready to be enjoyed by the Andersons – so where are they?  Where are the Andersons?  Oh look, here they are:

knitted model bus

Miranda knitted Aiden and Cara and Casey and Brietta, and it didn’t take her long.

She got the pattern from loveknitting.com where it is free to download.  It’s a Goldilocks finger puppet by Amanda Berry which, at 7cm tall, is just the right size but, since we didn’t want finger puppets, Miranda stuffed the skirt, and sewed up the middle of it to make trousers for the boys, adjusted their heights and gave them the appropriate hair etc (including a beard for Aiden) and there you have it – The English Family Anderson, all ready to live happily ever after in their bus 😀

knitted dolls

knitted dolls

Now, where’s Denzel? 😉

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The Andersons’ Knitted bus: The End

You may have noticed that in the end the bus isn’t furnished exactly as shown in the story.  That is due to the fact that it has the proportions of a camper van because of the pattern I used.  This Old Red is therefore not long enough to fit in all the furniture I’d planned to include.  So I took some liberties.  Those who have read The English Family Anderson will know that Old Red’s travelling days are over so Miranda suggested that they may well have removed the steering wheel and driver’s seat to give them more space.  That makes sense doesn’t it?

I hope you enjoy the final how-to video which shows the creation of a table, two ottomans for seating (and which contain Brietta’s and Casey’s sleeping bags and bedrolls), and a wardrobe/cupboard for food, utensils, crockery, cutlery, a washing up bowl, and towels and stuff.  There’s a folded blanket on top of the wardrobe and a basket of potatoes on top of that.  Their few clothes are kept in the drawers under Mum and Dad’s bed.  They use the great outdoors for washing and they’ve built a compost toilet out there too 🙂  So they’re all set.

I hope you’ll enjoy making your own camper-bus and I look forward to seeing pictures when you’re done 😀

ps: if knitting’s not your thing, you could always make one out of cardboard 🙂

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The Andersons’ knitted bus part five: The floor and the wheels again

If you look back at Part 3 of the bus-making process you will see how I started work on the wheels and the floor.  This is how I finished them:

knitted model bus

It turned out after all that the toothbrushes weren’t quite long enough to use as a single axle between two wheels so I used four – one for each wheel.

  • First, by whatever means you have available, cut off the bristle end.  Careful – watch your fingers!

knitted model bus

  • Push a toothbrush into the centre of the wheel (see how to make the wheels in part 3) so that it reaches all the way through but doesn’t stick out further than the width of the wheel.  Then hold a pen loosely against the other side of the wheel and mark a line across the toothbrush inside the inside edge of the wheel.

knitted model bus

  • Then take the wheels back off and securely tape the toothbrushes to the underside of the bus floor (the card you have already cut out as shown in part 3) so that the pen marks line up with the edge of the card as shown above.  The wheels won’t be exactly in line across the bus because each wheel has a separate axle but that doesn’t matter, you won’t be able to tell when it’s all finished.

knitted model bus

  • Then turn the ‘floor’ over and stick some decorative paper to it.  It can be anything you fancy – it’s going to be the Andersons’ lino floor.  If you don’t have any decorative paper that you like you could draw/paint/print some tiles of your own design, either directly onto the card or onto a separate piece of paper that you then stick to the card.  Just don’t get the card wet.

knitted model bus

The paper I used wasn’t quite long enough to cover the very back of the bus floor (see above), but since I knew the bed was going to cover the back I decided it didn’t matter.

knitted model bus

  • Get the bottomless bus and carefully turn it upside down.  Be especially careful of the piece that sticks up at the front so as not to bend it – I made sure mine was hanging over the edge of the cushion the bus stood on.  Position the bus floor like so   and lay the knitted rectangle you’ve made (which is almost, not quite, the size of the floor – see part 3) across the top of it.

knitted model bus

  • Put a couple of stitches in each corner to hold it in place …

knitted model bus

  • … and then sew all the way round, stretching it in line with the bus ‘walls’ as you go.  When you get to the wheel axles, just sew around them and keep going.

knitted model bus

  • When you’ve done that, you can put the wheels back on 😀

knitted model bus

And there you have it! 😀 Be gentle, those wheels will come off quite easily.  And of course, if you’ve used toothbrushes like me, they won’t go round.  But they will look nice and, after all, Old Red has retired now so she just wants to sit still 🙂

knitted model bus

And there’s a nice new floor!

knitted model bus

knitted model bus

That’s it for now.  Today I’m going to make a wood-burning stove out of this pill bottle ↓ I’ll tell you about it tomorrow 😀

knitted model bus

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Click here for Part 6

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The Andersons’ bus part three: some wheels, half a floor and a repetitive strain injury

knitted model bus

It’s perhaps not as cool as a sports injury but, when you’re too excited to pace yourself, a repetitive strain injury is just as inconvenient.  I have been knitting for several hours a day for about two weeks with no ill effects but after making the bus’s wheels I had such bad shoulder pain that I had to take a break.  It seems feeble because all I was doing was winding yarn around a cardboard circle, over and over – it’s not what you would call hard work.  But there it is.  I’ve been stopped in my tracks 🙂

knitted model bus

This is what I’ve got so far:

I decided to make the bus wheels by cutting out cardboard circles which are a little bit smaller than the required (guessed) bus wheel size, cutting a smaller circle out of the middle of them, and winding yarn around them like you would if you were making pompoms.  Unlike when you’re making pompoms, you only need one cardboard circle per wheel, and you stop winding just before you get to the centre, leaving a tiny hole in the middle for the axle.

The axles are going to be old toothbrushes which just happen to be a little bit wider than the bus.

I didn’t have any black yarn but decided that doesn’t matter – groovy people like the Andersons would probably enjoy having different coloured wheels 🙂

knitted model bus

When I’d finished the wheels I needed a floor to attach them to.  I’m no longer following the pattern so this is an experiment which I hope will work.  I’m winging it.

I drew around the bottom of the bus on cardboard and cut it out.

knitted model bus

Then I cast on enough stitches to cover about two thirds (or nearly three quarters) the width of the bus floor.  I haven’t proved this works yet, but the knitting will naturally get wider than the cast-on row and I want the finished piece to be slightly smaller than the cardboard so that it has to be stretched taut to cover it.  It remains to be seen whether I cast on the right amount of stitches to make it work.

dot dot dot 😉

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click here for Part 4

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Andersons’ Knitted Bus – Part 2

For Part 1 click here 🙂

Ok, on Wednesday I got as far as sandwiching the stiff card between the inside and outside of the two long sides of the bus, so on Thursday I did the same with the front and back ends:

knitted model bus

As with the long sides of the bus yesterday, I drew around the knitted pieces on stiff card (tidy up the lines with a ruler) and cut out the insert.  If you find, as I did, that your inside and outside pieces are not exactly the same size (due to one being made with slightly thicker yarn), then draw round the bigger piece and stretch the smaller one to match.

knitted model bus

The green inside piece (above) came up smaller than the outside front of bus so I stretched it to cover the card as you can see.  It’s a fiddly business.  I found the best way to make sure your cardboard is the right shape and size is to sew together (wrong sides facing) two adjacent edges of the knitted pieces before inserting the card.  Then slot the card into the corner you’ve sewn and stretch the knitting to meet at the opposite sides and pin them.  If you find when you try to do this that the card’s just too big, or your window is too small, for the pieces to be sewn together around it, then you can pencil in the correct lines, unpin it, trim it and try again.  Eventually you’ll get it all sewn nice and tight.

knitted model bus

The front of the bus needed some finishing touches so …

knitted model bus

… I drew some buttons and dials onto some of that gridded material they use for cross stitch which I happened to have some of (it’s amazing the stuff people donate to charity shops – Miranda picks up loads of discarded craft items from the Raystede Charity Shop where she volunteers).

knitted model bus

Then I sewed it inside the front of the bus.

knitted model bus

I did the same for the ‘Old Red’ sign and the number plate.  After that I put together the back end of the bus.

knitted model bus

knitted model bus

You will notice that the back has more height above the window than the front.  That’s because when it’s put together it folds over to make a partial roof.  You’ll see what I mean when I put it together.

knitted model bus

I thought these pretty, heart-shaped, wooden buttons would look nice under the window in Mr and Mrs Anderson’s bedroom 🙂 (If you read episode 3 of The English Family Anderson you will see what their bus interior looks like.  The back end is a little bedroom for Mr & Mrs)

knitted model bus

I had knitted the back number plate in the appropriate golden yellow colour so I didn’t want to cover it with a white or cream number plate (cross stitch material).  So this time I just wrote the registration directly onto the knitting with a black felt-tip.  You can’t read it but I think it looks like letters and numbers in the distance which are out of focus so I’m happy with it 🙂

knitted model bus

All four sides done.  Now it was time to put the bus together.

knitted model bus

I began sewing with two adjacent pieces lined up together as above (NB – Miranda found some more bright red yarn after I’d finished knitting!).  Then, when I was over half way up …

knitted model bus

… I was able to stand the pieces up in their correct position, enabling me make the front piece follow the curve of the side piece.  Again, don’t worry about neat stitching.  Imperfections have their own charm and, don’t forget, this is an old bus which has probably been patched up plenty of times so it wouldn’t be authentic if it looked pristine 🙂

knitted model bus

One at a time I sewed together all sides of Old Red.  You can see below how the back piece folds over, above the window, and is sewn to the top of the back of the sides, making a partial roof.  In the pattern from which this is adapted, the front also folds over but I wanted to keep my front upright because it has the bus name above the window.  Plus I wanted there to be a bit more light in, and easier access to, the inside.  I forgot to mention yesterday that I also slightly altered the pattern for the front of the bus to make the windows slightly bigger by making the vertical strut in the middle narrower (only 2 stitches wide instead of 4) so that it looked more like the front of Old Red in my illustrations.

knitted model bus

knitted model bus

knitted model bus

Look – you can peek inside 🙂

knitted model bus

knitted model bus

Our Old Red is approximately 30cm x 15cm x 15cm, not including the name sticking up on the front.

Still to do:

  • Make and attach floor
  • Make and attach wheels
  • Sew a ‘door’ on the left side front
  • Make and insert furniture

So I’d better get on with that then 😉

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Click here for Part 3

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Knit the Andersons’ bus!

Click for Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6Part 7 and Denzel the dog 🙂

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I found this fantastic pattern online and decided to have a go at adapting it to make The English Family Andersons’ bus 😀

english-family-anderson-and-their-bus

The beauty of this pattern is that the bus can be played with inside and out.  As I type, Miranda is making little people (the Andersons) to live in it 😀

toy bus

So, I began with red for the outside of the bus …

toy bus

… and then made another piece in multi-coloured yarn for the inside.  The Andersons have decorated their home very colourfully so I did what I could, with the colours I had, to reproduce their bus interior.

toy bus

I made the other outside and the other inside long side of bus and then made the front and back ends, inside and out:

toy bus

I ran out of bright red yarn, so I had to finish the outside of the bus in the closest colour I had which was a sort of burgundy.  I decided that it didn’t matter because the colour of old buses does fade 🙂  Of course at this point I am not following the VW camper design, I’m trying to make it look like Old Red.

toy bus

The outside piece for the front of the bus includes the colours for the headlights, number plate, radiator and the bus number above the window.

knitted toy bus

So that was eight pieces done – four insides and four outsides.  Then it was time to add some buttons 🙂

knitted toy bus

The Anderson’s bus has two headlights on either side so I sewed some white buttons in position for them.  Unfortunately I don’t have any bright orange buttons for the indicators so I had to leave that for now.  I might add those with yarn later.

knitted toy bus

I added some black stitches to the radiator.  Then it was time to start putting it together.

knitted toy bus

To make the bus rigid, the campervan pattern provides templates to cut out pieces of plastic grid to fasten between the knitted pieces, however I decided to make these out of card.  I flattened out a knitted piece as well as I could on some stiff cardboard, drew round it and cut it out.  I didn’t cut out the individual windows, just one big window to go between the knitted windows.  The knitted frames is all that’s needed to separate them.  You’ll see what I mean.  The cardboard inserts need to be sized so that the knitting needs to be stretched taut to cover them.

 knitted toy bus

I pinned together the top and one end of the inside and outside of one side of the bus with wrong sides facing together.  Then I sewed it.

 knitted toy bus

Then I put the matching cardboard cut-out between them and stretched the knitting flat across it so that I could pin it in place at the bottom and opposite end.  I finished sewing all the way round the outside and then around the window frames.  I sewed the inside and outside knitting of the window frames together, tucking all loose ends inside, out of sight.  As I’ve said before, I am not neat at needlework, but that doesn’t matter.  It seems to work out somehow.

knitted toy bus

That’s all I’ve got so far but I’m looking forward to putting the rest of it together.  Then I can get started on the furniture!  I’ll keep you posted 😉

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Click here for Part 2

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