ta da!

Well I got a wiggle on and my poncho (begun this summer) is ready to wear for this winter – yay!

apologies for the following photos of a very unphotogenic me, and taken by the “point & click” husband.  One day, I’ll actually look presentable for photos, but you just have to put up with what I looked like on the day (including my trainers with scrappy laces).

I followed this pattern

(also marketed by Sirdar) and used this yarn.

I’m a  UK size 14 and measure 1.74m so I could have saved yarn (and time) by knitting a smaller size, but I cast on for the size XXXL as I wanted it to be as big and baggy as possible.  I changed the cable pattern, and it took approx 650g of yarn.

If I decided to knit it again, I would go down a couple of sizes (to make quicker work of it) because the neck turned out rather wide but I love it nonetheless.

need to get a wiggle on!

Goodness me! we’re almost at the end of November which means I need to get a wiggle on with my knitting!  I began this project

 

way back in August!  And hopes were that it would be finished by the end of November. Hmmm . . . now I’m just hoping it’ll be finished before xmas!  I’ve been allowing myself to become distracted with diamond painting because that’s something easy to do, and doesn’t attract cats on my lap. As soon as I try to sit down with knitting, there are always one or two felines who suddenly appear out of nowhere, and I quickly put my knitting away.

Saying that, the front, with the band of cable (I’m doing a different cable to one suggested in pattern) has grown from this

to this

so things are moving in the right direction. However, I still have quite a few rows to do, and then I need to sew together at shoulder and pick up for the colloar. So, not close to a finish yet.  Colours are much prettier in real life (but the camera flash makes stitch definition look strange). This is a better one of true colours.

Gorgeous purples & reds, gold & browns.   For info, the yarn I’m using is

a colour called “Sunset”.

little cats & big cat (diamond painting)

Life has been a little chaotic here recently and I haven’t felt up to spending many hours working on needle craft projects, like knitting, crochet, cross stitch etc.  However, I have felt the need to keep my hands busy, therefore I’ve been having regular sessions of diamond painting.

Earlier this month I showed the canvas of a new project about to be started.

That has been finished, and I’ll admit to being disappointed with the result.

It’s the colours and marking on the tabby cat which don’t look right and all those different coloured blotches on the background, but hey ho!  It kept me amused several evenings and I only paid 4.20€ for the kit, which has now been slipped inside my A3 folder.  I’m about to begin another design (another 4.20€ one) but am feeling more optimistic about this next one.

Not sure if it’s a leopard, jaguar or panther, but I’m going to say it’s a leopard.

Whiskers look like they’re going to end up way too bushy, but the general choice of colours looks fairly good.  Time will tell.

SAL “my day off” #4

It’s time to link up with other SAL members

AvisClaireGunChristinaKathyMargaret

HeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisy,

AJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindyMaryMargaret

for our 3-weekly post where we show progress and encourage each other to keep on stitching.  Last time I was here

and I’m sorry to say that all I found time to stitch was a bit more sky.

There were simply too many other things happening and I lacked both concentration & motivation.  Hopefully life will be quieter and I’ll get more done for next time.

scraphappy # November

It’s time to link up with the world-wide group of Scrapsters

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy,
Jill, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

and chat about scraps.  My scrappy project for this month began as a “make do and mend” project.  Mrs Tattoo had a linen shirt (Zara, no less) that had a rip on the sleeve (possibly because she didn’t undo the button loopy thing before washing). In following photos, some are taken with flash and some without so fabric colour looks totally different. In real life it’s a sort of light denim blue.

Anyway, Mrs T asked me if I wanted the shirt to cut up for something else. I’m not a fan of sewing with linen, but I suggested I could start by saving the shirt.  Which I did (sleeves are even, I promise).

I then had two leftover bits,

which, theoretically became scraps.  Had a quick think about what to do with them and something for dolls sprang to mind . . . so that’s what I did.

Using one leftover sleeve, and both the strap bits.  A little bit of contrast embroidery along the cuff seam and a sleeve seam.  A navy blue button from my stash. And hey presto.  One made-to-measure linen dress for a 44cm Syliva Natterer doll.  And . . .

I’ve still got these scraps left.

cancelling xmas (cards & decorations)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been busy in the run-up to Christmas, in my sewing room, making little tree decorations that I post, along with cards, to family & friends.

An example from back in October 2016.

However, for this xmas, I’ve made an executive decision, prompted by lack of time, motivation and needing to keep a tighter budget:  there will be no xmas crafting or seasonal greetings posted from this house this year.   So, to all my blogging friends who usually receive some festive mail from this corner of France, my humblest apologies.

Christmas is going to be very low key for us this year.  We do plan on having a family gathering on 25th, and the tree will be put up, but there will be only token gifts for family underneath.  I need to save our euros (even what I save on postage stamps & crafting supplies will help) because December is going to be an expensive month with our four-legged friends.  I will need to make an appointment to have Ziva neutered, but the really big expense is because we’ll be getting a puppy, another Flat-coated retriever.

I mentioned, last month, when Gibbs’ health had taken a turn for the worse, shortly before he died, that we were thinking about getting a pup.  And it’s now official.  Pups were born on 17th October.  We’ve filled out paperwork already to finalise our reservation, and will have an 8-week little boy pup to collect on 12th December.

 

 

diamond painting – a foxy finish

I’m a bit of skin-flint when it comes to diamond painting – an activity I took up only a few years ago.  I know there are dedicated on-line stores where you can buy kits but I tend to buy mine on either @m@zon or eb@y, and haven’t paid more than 10€ for a single kit yet.  Anyway, way back in February of this year, I splashed out the grand total of 6.97€ for a dreamy fox design.  Diamond painting got put on the back-burner this year, but a few hours here & there, and I’ve finished my canvas.

 

Dreamy foxy looks much better from a distance, but I’m really pleased with how he turned out.

As with all of these cheap kits, the size printed on the design is the total size of canvas, and the actual picture finished up at approx 30cm x 40cm.  That’s fine by me. I’m not going to frame this piece, but will slip it into an A3 folder I bought to store my finished DPs.  As always, I had lots of drills left over.

Some diamond painters throw their excess drills away.  I always keep mine because these kits come with DMC colour references, and I feel it’s a good idea to keep them for “spares” just in case.

I’ve already sorted drills for the next DP project.  Again, a really cheap kit.  I paid only 4.20€ for this one, in a local shop called Noz, and I already know it’s not going to look like the photo on the package.

That’s the photo, and the reason I bought this one is because the colouring of both cats looks very much like our Le Bleu and Abby, who do sometimes sleep together.  However, after sorting drills, and having a closer look at canvas and DMC colour refs

I reckon everything is going to look rather sepia.  Not to worry!  I enjoy the process of DPing, and for the price, I have a kit which will give me hours of enjoyment.  Just in case you’re curious as to how I organise myself . . . drills usually come in heat-sealed sachets, which aren’t practical at all, so I have a supply of small zip lock sachets.  I prep the kit first, transferring all the drills into zip-lock sachets.

And I have a plastic box (double sided) where I store all the little bags, plus plastic trays, wax & the plastic “pens” that are always supplied in kits.

It’s an inexpensive way of keeping things organised.

geisha progress

Crafting was put on hold while the Viking family were here to visit, but after getting the house back to normal, I had a few patchwork sessions, and my geisha patchwork is coming along nicely.

For info, this is the very rough sketch I drew for layout.

Looks like something drawn by a 5 year old, I know, but I somehow missed out on the artist’s gene!  Anyway, it’s enough to serve as a guide line, and things will look better, once everything comes together, I promise!  The plan for this quilt is to make separate panels, which will be joined together with the QAYG (quilt as you go) technique.  All panels have been sewn, with 1.5″ sashing.

And looking like this.

I’ve gone for random placement, which has resulted in maybe too many greens in one area . . . but I’m hopeful it’ll look less obvious once panels are joined together, with the darker solid.  I don’t have a large enough floor space to lay everything out properly so you only get to see the left side here.  Next step is to add more sashing, then think about backing my panels and start quilting.

hen happenings # october roundup

Hens have been on a go-slow for October – only 62 eggs (from 3 hens) . . . but autumn is here, it gets dark quite early, because we’ve just put the clocks back.  The main thing, is, with 62 eggs this month, there were plenty for us and our visitors, although none for the neighbours.

The Viking family were here for a full week, and there were many egg-based meals during their stay.  Little Miss Viking helped me make pancake batter for sweet GF pancakes.  She tried soft-boiled eggs for lunch one day (I invested in some new & fun egg cups for the occasion).  We had savoury buckwheat pancakes, complete with ham, egg & cheese, a savoury loaf with diced ham, olives & cheese,. . . and Little Miss Viking also helped me make some banana muffins.  So an egg-cellent week was had . . . even if our little Viking did scare the hens a bit, by chasing them around the veggie garden.