learning texture

Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” was wrong, because it is possible – with patience!  My friend, Avis, has very patiently been teaching me to cable.  She’s been telling me for years that it’s easier than it looks . . . and I’ve been shying away for as many years.  But no longer!.

These are a couple of samples I knitted, after Avis showed me how things are done. I don’t  actually have a cable needle, so had to make do with a DPN.  Anyway, on the left, a 28 stitched sample learning to do C4B (3 rows of) and then C4F.    And then 30 stitches cast on, with 5 stitches of horizontal ribbing each end, and learning to C2B C2F.   What a whole world of horizons will open up before me, now that I know how to cable!


ScrapHappy #September – crafting for dolls

Linking with lots of ScrapHappy members today all links here

KateGun , TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

to show what I’ve been up to with a few scraps.  Both knitting and sewing.

One little knitted dress, using the 30g remaining of a 100g ball of Marriner Mermaid DK.  And one little cotton dress plus matching hair bow, using a pink floral fabric from my scrap bag, and 3 tiny buttons which have been i n my stash for décades.  Both outfits are for 40cm Disney Animator dolls. If you’re not squeamish about dolls, and want to see what they look like on, feel free to visit my other blog: Claire’s Collections.


SAL “Tiny Treasures” by Elizabeth Almond #2

Hello everyone!  Hope you’ve all been keeping well and busy since last time!  It’s our 3-weekly meet up to show progress on our SAL project, mine being “Tiny Treasures” by Elizabeth Almond.

Last time, I showed you my start


Since then I’ve added some green.

I’m now going to do some blog-hopping, and see what other SAL members have been up to.

Full list of members:

Next update on 4th October.

old lady Singer 15K (what the husband is up to) #2

A quick progress report on the 1902 Singer 15K treadle sewing machine that came into our lives the other week, rather than ending its life at the local tip.  Once we got it home, I took a few photos (still covered in dust) to get an idea of body work and state of the wooden table.

A couple of things jumped out at us.  The treadle table, which has the flaps so machine can be folded away inside, is missing the wooden flap that folds back over.  At some time in the past, drawers were lost.  Base was also removed from the wood and reassembled back to front. Plus the dress guard is on the wrong side of the wheel.

Also . . . this model has a wooden pitman rod which is broken.  And worse . . . the rod/shaft thingy that attaches the pedal to the base is missing. So hmmmmm . . . more work for the husband than we originally thought.  Anyway, undeterred, the husband set to work dismantling the machine (no small task because of the decades of accumlated rust).  He also made the executive decision to remove paint.  On closer inspection the machine had been painted in black paint, covering the original paintwork & decals.

As black paint came off, we could see traces of the original black body and decals.  Looks like it was a Sphinx, which corresponds with model and date.

The husband now needs to get all the insides out from the main body, to do a thorough clean and plan is to strip bodywork right down to bare metal and give machine a brand new paint job IF it looks like it can be restored to working condition.  For the treadle problems . . . we’ll worry about that further down the line.

Since we’re talking about a 1902 machine here, I thought I’d share a family photo, which dates back to the same era.  Taken in 1907, this is a family photo of the maternal side of my heritage.  The baby is my grandfather.  Making the adults, my great grandparents:  George & Margaret Ann Miller.


old lady Singer 15K (what the husband is up to) #1

The husband has got a new project to keep him busy!

While chatting with neighbour the other week, we learned that the neighbour had an old sewing machine under the eaves, that he was going to take to the local tip. He asked us if we wanted it, so I went to investigate (slightly difficult to take photos as it was in amongst lots of other “junk”)..

This is what I found . . . and next photo what interested me most.

Serial number allowed me to identify this machine as a Singer 15K from 1902.   A very dirty and neglected Singer 15K that has seen better days, and we’re not even sure is in working condition, but no way could we let this old lady end her days at the local tip.  So . . . it’ll be coming to our house and the husband is going to have a restoration job to keep him very busy over the coming months.

best layer of the month # August, & bye bye Miss Moneypenny

It’s the last day of the month and time to tot up egg count, but first, the sad news.

Miss Moneypenny died last week – awwww!  She was getting on for 6 years old, had been with us for more than 5. These past few weeks, she’d taken to doing her usual summer thing:  being a broody hen and sitting on eggs all day long.  Anyway, last week, I went to collect eggs and to put Miss Moneypenny outside so she’d eat, drink & stretch her legs,  and she was sitting in nestbox, eyes closed but still breathing.  I knew something wasn’t right so quickly prepared a “hospital quarters”, wanting to isolate her from the others, but by the time I went back to pick her up, she had passed.  Miss Moneypenny was one of our very first gals, acquired in the spring of 2015.  Thanks to my blog archives, I was able to tot up statistics and can tell you that, in the (just over) 5 years Miss Moneypenny was with us, she laid a grand total of 1085 eggs!

Here she is, in the foreground of a recent photo, strutting her stuff.  The remaining 3 hens now have quite a challenge to meet, because 1085 eggs is a lot of eggs!

Egg count this month was lower than usual, what with Miss Moneypenny being on her last legs & broody, and Mauricette is in the middle of a massive moult.  We had a total of 66 eggs.  4 of those were laid by Miss Moneypenny, 6 by Mauricette, 27 by Florence, and it’s Ruby, our red hen, who is this month’s winner with 29 eggs.


F2F – two happy dances

Happy dancing here!  With two quilts, made from the blocks I received in August 2018, for the F2F swap organised by Kate.

I had said, in July this year, that I wanted to get these blocks finished into quilts by the end of August this year, and I made it, with a day to spare – yay!

Here they are.

They’re both the same size and finished up at 55″ square.  Taking part in the F2F swap was great fun and I’d like to thank Kate for having organised things and all the ladies who took part.  You’d never think, when you look at all those gorgeous blocks, that they were made by 10 different patchworkers. They really look as if they were meant to be.

SAL – “Tiny Treasures” by Elizabeth Almond #1

Hello everyone!  Exciting post today, to put an end to the suspense of our last SAL update when I wrote that Avis and I would be starting on a new project, and we both showed our chosen fabric & threads.

This was my photo:  a very large piece of 14 count aida in antique white, and an array of very Christmasy DMC threads.  The new project is a blackwork design, by Elizabeth Almond, and available for free on her site: Blackwork Journey.  It’s called “Tiny Treasures”.  Avis and I are both going to stitch the rectangular version, but we’re not stitching it in the “parts” in which it was published.  We’ll be deciding how much, or how little, to stitch for each update, depending on what other crafting we have going on.

Anyway . . . for stage one, this is my progress

I’m stitching outlines, linky bits and border in DMC 3371, the first row was stitched with 3 different shades of red (DMC 815, 321, 666) and I’m using DMC 977 for gold highlights.

Don’t forget to do some blog-hopping, if you have time, to admire progress of other SAL members.

Next update on 13th September.

hands keeping busy

I’ve been keeping my hands busy, inbetween other crafting projects, with a little bit of xstitch.  And while temperatures are still high in this part of the world . . . I chose to work on some xmas themed projects.  The following were freebie kits in the UK magazine “Cross Stitch Crazy”.

Both are designs by Helz Cuppleditch.  The skating penguin was the free kit in the October 2018 issue, and the carol singing penguin from the October 2019 issue.

The free kits in “Cross Stitch Crazy” are always very complete, with the necessary supplies to finish the project (in this case, aperture card & envelope).  So . . . a couple of evenings stitching, and it looks like I’m now getting ready for Christmas lol.

one down

Despite the heatwave, I’ve been managing to find a couple of hours here & there to work on quilting . . . and am pleased to be able to show you the first (of two) quilts made with my Miss August 2018 blocks, from the F2F3 block swap, organised by Kate.

So, white sashing, dark turquoise corner stones, white border and dark turquoise binding with flamingos on the back (all from stash).  Machine quilted with a light turquoise thread, each block quilted differently.

Quilt finishes at approx 56″ square (142cm) and the second one will be the same size, with same backing fabric & binding.  Just need weather to cool down a little so that I feel motivated to do more quilting. I still hope to be happy dancing with two fab quilts by the end of August!