more knitting and my unbirthday in August.

I’ve been on a roll with my knitting needles. Funny really, because I never thought I’d be knitting so much in the hot summer months . . . but with the fan on full blast, it’s what I’m enjoying the most at the moment.  After the top I knitted for Daisy doll, following a King Cole pattern, I cast on and have begun knitting the cardigan version.

The back is done and I’ve started on the left front.  It looks skinnier than it is, in the photo, because the rib pattern pulls it in.  Am loving how the pink yarn is working up.  It’s going to be very girly.

I also had a very quick knit, using some sock yarn.  I did buy the sock yarn with a view to knitting more socks, but when hunting in my stash for the following project, it seemed the best option.

This is a pattern available for free on line.  Written specifically for 20cm Corolline Corolle dolls.  The sock yarn was perfect, when knit on 2.75mm needles and the colour changing means I didn’t bother following the striped version of original pattern.

I also had an unbirthday in August – yay!  A surprise parcel arrived from my friend, Avis.

Avis knows I love binge-watching DVDs when I knit, so I’ll be chuckling  with “Car Share”.  Avis also sent the more adorable coaster because she knows I’m an endless coffee drinker too!

And some surprise mail from Stéphanie as well!

Thank you ladies !

SAL “poppies trio” #9

Above is the photo of 3 weeks ago.  And below is where I am now.

I had hoped to make a little more headway, but with the heatwave and sweaty hands, I kept myself busy with other crafts.

I hope other SAL members were more productive than me. Below are the links to their blogs.



happy dancing with Daisy doll

Last month, I started a knitting project to finally use up a yarn cake I’d had in my stash for a while.

It’s a cotton/acrylic mix which knits up a bit hairy . . . and label had tension at something between DK and 4-ply . . . so I figured I’d take a chance anyway and try out this King Cole DK pattern I bought a while back.  It has 2 designs: this pretty top, and a more simple short-sleeved cardigan.   With my 150g of yarn cake, I reckoned I should be able to knit the top in size 3-4 years.  And I did.  Although it turned out more a size 3 years than 4.

Daisy doll is approx 90cm tall, so she’s an average 3-year old in size.

Almost had a massive fail on this knitting project because of my yarn not being DK and because I was too lazy to knit a tension swatch. I just cast on and hoped for the best.  Width was looking good.  Length from armhole cast off appeared good.  I knitted along merrily, and soon had a back & front.  It was after sewing shoulders and finishing off the neckline that I realised what had gone wrong.  The neckband didn’t have enough stretch for me to get the thing over Daisy’s head. Arggghhh!

I almost binned the project there and then but after a good night’s sleep . . . I found a solution. I unpicked one shoulder seam, and fudged a button hole.  So . . . one shoulder unbuttons, to allow the top to go over Daisy’s head . . . and it’s not neat enough for me to show you lol. But at least the top fits and looks pretty from a distance.  If any of you have a doll phobia, it’s time to look away now, because photos of Daisy modelling in the garden follow. (Note: if anyone is interested, Daisy is, in fact, a “Chantal” model by the doll artist Monika Levenig).

I think I will be tempted to knit this pattern again, but using 100% cotton DK.  In the meantime, I have plans to start the cardigan version from the same pattern.

hen happenings # july round up

It’s been an eggceedingly hot July. Usually the heat puts our gals off their laying so I was really surprised when I did the tot up to see that . . . for the 31 days of July, they still managed to lay 115 eggs.  Well done, girls, and here’s to hoping August is a bit cooler!

Ziva – update

The above photo, taken on 22nd July, when Ziva weighed in at 825g, just after her first vet visit.

Since then . . . she’s been getting lots of exercise, and filling up on lots of quality kitten food. And in only 8 days, weight has gone up to 1040g.

She was very skinny & underweight when she was found, so the sudden weight gain is simply because she’s now getting all the food she needs.  She’s not getting fat or anything, just building muscle and looking like a healthy kitten should.

We have set things up for her in the attic space. Don’t worry, it’s not an attic full of junk & cobwebs lol.  It’s partly furnished, with sofa, armchair, and is an extra sitting area on the second floor of the house with windows. She’s got her litter tray, food & water bowls, plus toys galore.  The door down to the first floor remains open, and she very quickly learned how to climb up and down those stairs.

She’s met Ducky & Abby close up. That went well.  Neither Ducky nor Abby showed much interest, to be honest. They had a sniff, touched noses, and then walked away.  She’s seen Gibbs (the dog) but since he lives on the ground floor, she hasn’t really seen much of him.  As for Le Bleu . . . I’m putting off the inevitable to give Ziva time to build up speed on the stairs.  Le Bleu did catch a glimpse of Ziva on the second day and had quite an agressive reaction (more towards me than the kitten) . . . so I’m not pushing things.  Our three cats already had to accept the arrival of Mr & Mrs Tattoo’s cat.  That actually went much better than expected, but it’s only been 3 months.  So I’m giving Le Bleu a bit more time before making him accept the adoption of a new kitten.


seeing double (albeit a few years late)

I was browsing on the internet, as we crafters love to do, having fun drooling over lots of yarny supplies, and (I’ll admit) keeping my eyes open for inspiration.  Mrs Tattoo has just finished knitting her summer top (photos of the two of us modelling those very soon, I promise) and I was also trying to help her decide on a new project.  Anyhoot . . . I was browsing on the official French DMC site.  Cross stitchers will know DMC for its skeins of embroidery thread, but DMC also specialise in yarn and knitting/crochet. Mrs Tattoo rather liked this pattern.

Which happened to be available as a free download on the DMC site . . . and ordered in the recommended yarn: DMC Knitty4 so she could start her new project.  I, meanwhile, continued browsing, and visiting UK sites too, which is when I started seeing double because . . .

Same pattern, except it’s branded as Sirdar Hayfield, requiring Sirdar Hayfield Bonus DK.  Hmmm! That’s strange, methinks.  So I continued browsing and

Found this one (for free, in French) which requires DMC “andes” yarn.

Whereas for English speakers, it’s branded as Sirdar, requiring Sirdar “Saltaire”.

Another free DMC pattern, requiring DMC “pirouette”.

For English speakers it’s using Sirdar Jewelspun.

I could go on and on because I found dozens of examples.  Now . . . being curious, and also sensible enough to realise two such huge companies couldn’t be flaunting copyright laws and copying each other, I googled. To discover this:  Back in 2016 a company called BlueGem Partners bought up DMC and Wool and the Gang.  Then in 2017, BlueGem also bought up Sirdar.  The group was originally called Craft Group Holdings, but has since been renamed the DMC Group.

That’s fair enough.  Companies are being bought up & merged all the time these days,  but, as a crafter . . . I can’t help but wonder about the “labelling”.  If I buy one or the other, am I getting a French product? from DMC, “established in 1746”?  Or am I getting a British product? From “West Yorkshire – British design expertise and craftmanship trusted by generations of hand-knitters, established in 1880”?

I don’t suppose I’m actually getting either.  I don’t have any of the Jewelspun/Pirouette, Saltaire/Andes yarn in my stash but I do have Hayfield Bonus DK and DMC Knitty4 . . . and when I read the labels it clearly states:  “made under licence for Hayfield in Turkey” on the one, and “made under licence for DMC in Turkey” on the other.  So all I can assume is: everything is made in the same factory in Turkey, then labelled up differently and shipped . . . leaving British knitters under the impression they’re buying British, and leaving French knitters under the impression they’re buying French.



this & that (plus an unbirthday) in July

It’s been too hot this month to really concentrate on anything much.  I did get organised and sent off an unbirthday gift for a blogging friend.

The lucky lady for July was Angèle.  Angèle does all sorts of crafts including diamond painting, knitting, & cross stitch.  I sent her 4 home-made fabric coasters and an Isabelle Vautier xstitch kit.

I have managed a few more rows of knitting, so things have progressed from

to this

I’ve also been buying a few books to add to my shelves.  You know I am a doll fanatic . . . so I was very pleased when I found some books on @m@zon with a few marketplace sellers who specialise in secondhand books.   The following all date back to the 80s but are in very good condition and only cost a few euros each.

These two in French.  “Les Poupées – une histoire millénaire”, as its title suggests, a look at the history of dolls with lots of colour photos and interesting facts.  And “Un amour de poupée” – autobiographical, by Catherine Refarbert who is the founder of the French company Corolle. Fascinating read, sadly only a few photos in b&w.

These two in English.  Both on the life of Käthe Kruse and the history of her doll-making. I’ve only had a flick through so far, but both books are filled with lots of photos and I know I’m going to enjoy reading them.

And last, but not least, a brand new copy of “Doll Studio Boutique” with patterns for 14″ dolls. Patterns designed for Ruby Red and Wellie Wishers, but should fit the 13″ and 14″ dolls in my collection with a few minor ajustments.  Just need to find time to sit down and sew.


it’s a girl!

Meet the newest addition to the 4-legged family!  Ziva.

On Monday of this week, a neighbour called to say her adult son had found a stray kitten which he couldn’t keep (because he has a dog who doesn’t get on with cats).  He’d contacted the animal shelter, who weren’t taking in any strays because they’re over-flowing already. Hence the question: “do you want a kitten?”. With our 3 cats, plus Mr & Mrs Tattoo’s cat, making 4, adopting a kitten hadn’t been top of our agenda but . . . how could we say no to a little thing in need?

It’s a little girl kitten.  She had her first vet visit today, for first vaccination, and weighed in at 825g.  She weighed 750g when I took this photo on 19th, so proper kitten food and she’s putting on weight nicely.  We haven’t introduced her to the rest of the NCIS team yet . . . so wish us luck!

cast off, cast on

Happy dancing here last week, with the finish of a summer top for yours truly.

It’s knitted following this pattern

“Melody – Lace Summer Top” by Sarah Hatton.  I swapped the recommended yarn for OnLine Linie 107 Supersoft.  I used 6 x 50g.  While the yarn I used is a cotton mix, it’s still a bit warm here to be wearing a knitted top. Should be good for September though.

And in the meantime, no sooner had I cast off, than I cast on!

I’m using  a yarn cake (cotton & acryllic mix) bought in ACTION on a whim because of the pretty colours. Bought on a whim probably a couple of years ago, and been sitting in the cupboard ever since. Yarn is knitting up prettily but ever so hairy – I wouldn’t expect a young child to want to wear a top knitted with this yarn but I’m giving it a whirl just because.  I’m not even going to worry about matching up the colour morphing on front & back – this project will be for Daisy doll.  If I like how the pattern knits up, I’ll buy in some decent yarn to make again for Little Miss Viking.  There’s also the pattern for a cardigan in the leaflet, which is ever so pretty.