best layer of the month # August

You wouldn’t think it to look at her, but August’s best layer of the month is Ruby (again), still looking very scrawny on the right of this photo.  She’s been going through a massive moult this summer and her golden feathers are taking an age to grow back, despite extra vitamins.  I suspect she’s also being somewhat hen-pecked by the others too.  However, that hasn’t put her off her egg-laying.

Total eggs collected this month: 70.  Of those, Mauricette (far left in photo) laid 21. Florence (centre) laid 23. And Ruby laid 26.  So well done Ruby – she’s a star!

 

a hooking happy dance (crocheted doll – Mila)

In July, Tracy, of It’s a T-Sweets day posted an article of the most gorgeous crochet doll she had made with photos that made me rush off to etsy with a view to buying a pattern by the same designer.  However, once I began browsing I came across lots of different styles of dolls and decided to give my custom to a different designer:  Chik-Chik handmade. 

The reason this particular designer grabbed my attention was that dolls are “dress up” dolls, ie, all clothes can be removed.  I also noticed that the doll body is almost seamless.  You can see in the photo below, how the legs are joined (very cleverly) and crocheting continues, in the round, for the body. This makes for quite a stable doll (when stuffed) which can stand quite well.

I actually bought two patterns from this designer: Mila and Nancy.  I started work on Mila.  My yarn stash is mainly Stylecreft Special DK, so that’s what I used, on a 2.5mm hook.  For Mila I crocheted the body in a very pale pink (not sure of the colour name, I’ve lost the label).

There is a seam to sew head on, and a few stitches to close arms . . . but on the whole, the basic body is seamless.  So far, so good . . . my doll measures approx 13″ (or 33cm).

The wig cap, hair, clothes and little bag probably took longer to make than the basic doll itself, but I feel it was well worth it.

I kept facial detail to a strict minimum because that’s where things can go terribly wrong . . . so my Mila just has eyebrows a hint of lashes, and some blush.

The pattern was so detailed, and I loved how the hair turned out.  And just look at her little ear !!!!!  it’s actually shaped like a real ear!

Mila took me a week of very intensive crochet sessions to make from start to finish.  And, before you ask . . . no, I’m not going to give her to any deserving little girl – lol.  I quite probably will make a second version of Mila (after I’ve made the Nancy doll) . . . but this blond haired beauty is going to stay right here with me.

cotton cardie happy dance

I’m having a cotton cardie happy dance here!

This is the pattern.  Sirdar 7283.  I chose it because it has both short & long sleeve versions, pattern sizes from child to adult, and I wanted to try my hand at some more “lace” knitting, after the success of a couple of doll dresses.  I also chose this one because I had some Rico Designs DK cotton in my stash and this seemed the perfect project.  I bought this pattern on Wool Warehouse here, the pdf version so I didn’t have to worry about p&p and pattern was downloadable the instant payment went through.

Here is a back view.

Front view (I didn’t block and the ribbed bands wanted to curl in a little).

And on yours truly, to show it fits!

Sorry about the face.  That was my “waiting for the husband to say cheese” face and the “is cardie looking even at the bottom?” but the husband didn’t give any warning and just clicked.  You get the general idea though.  A lovely short-sleeved cardie, in cotton, with round neck line, and just one button for fastening.  I am ever so pleased with it.  Not only did I manage to do the neck shaping “in pattern” but I also managed to do all the picking up of stitches neatly, for the neck & front ribbed bands.  It’s a perfect fit and looks exactly how the pattern models promised it would.  I’m also pleased because I used 7 x 50g of my yarn stash, and have 3 balls left of this Rico cotton, that I shall be using to make something in either child or doll size.

SAL ” Together we are magic” #6

Today’s SAL update happens to fall on 15th of the month, which is also ScrapHappy day . . . so if you came looking for that, it’s in a post published earlier today.

For SAL members . . . summer weather, hot sweaty hands, and sticky needles, mean I got distracted with other crafting these past 3 weeks, and only put in a couple of stitching sessions on unicorns.

This is the photo I posted last time.  I’ve been filling in.

Still working on page 1 (of 4) but the picture is beginning to take shape!  Apart from the second butterfly, you can now make out one of the unicorns, with the neck & jawline appearing (if you squint) bottom centre of this photo.

I’ll be plodding along and hope to finish page 1 over the next 3 weeks. In the meantime, I’m going to see what other SAL members have been up to.

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMegan,

DeborahReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJLauraCathieLindaHelen

and we’ll be back on 5th September.

ScrapHappy # August

Today is the day to link up with fellow ScrapHappy people.  Today also falls on the same day as my usual SAL update, so if you came looking for that, it’ll be in a slightly later post.

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2,
Bear, Carol, Preeti, Edith

My photo for August was actually taken in July, only shortly after the last Scraphappy day . . . as I crocheted some more squares for the local yarn bomb.

None of them are terribly “pretty” but I really was going through the dregs of my leftovers.  There was a masked, socially distanced, get-together at the end of July to assemble squares with other ladies, at the local library.  I was rather disappointed to see the poor turnout, and the rather pitiful pile of squares that had been contributed. But, living in a village, population 1600, there weren’t very many local knitters or crocheters to participate.  We assembled the squares (alternating sizes, and trying to get a variety of colour) into five lengths of bunting.  Sadly, I haven’t been able to take photos because the bunting has been hung inside the library, and it’s currently closed for summer hols.

knitting & diamond dotting

I seem to have being doing nothing but knit or diamond dotting this past week.  Sewing, patchwork, crochet & cross stitch all seem to have fallen by the wayside, but I’m sure I’ll get back to them soon.

Knitting is what I feel like doing at the moment, since I cast on a new project, to make a short-sleeved cardigan for myself.

The pattern is Sirdar 7283 and I’m knitting with a Rico Design cotton (which I’ve had in my stash for over 6 years).  Pattern has sizing from child through to XXL adult.

This is the back all done!  I have also completed the left front, and am busily working on the right front.  A little disappointed that I didn’t “react” when I saw a stretch of pale lilac appear in the yarn in the lower section of the back. I saw it, and carried on knitting, because I thought there would be more of the same as I worked my way through the ball. There weren’t.  There must have been a minor dye fault which has resulted in that horizontal row of knitting.  Oh well, I won’t see it when I’m wearing the cardie and I doubt anyone else will be looking too closely.  My other worry: tension on the lace pattern bands seems to be pulling up the ribbing (it’s happening on the fronts too).  I hope I can correct this with blocking once the cardie is finished.   Anyway, I am really enjoying this project (apart from the neck shaping on fronts which is confusing me because I have to decrease but keep in pattern – but I’ll get there!) and looking forward to having all pieces ready to assemble.

I’ve also been relaxing my brain with some diamond painting.  Only the other day, I saw this in a local shop, priced at 12.95€.

They did have A3 size, but I decided A4 would be big enough for my needs, ie, to use as retro lighting while diamond painting.

When switched off, it looks like this.  Just a white board.  It has a touch sensitive switch and 3 different light intensity options.  And I was pleasantly surprised to see how it does, indeed, make diamond painting much easier on the eyes.  Before, I was having to wear my magnifying glasses (on top of my normal glasses).  Now, just my normal glasses are sufficient to see symbols clearly.

After the really big feather project, I’ve just begun a colourful unicorn.  You can see here how the retro-lighting really lights up the area to be covered, and makes it much easier to spot the isolated vacant symbols.

With the brightpad switched off, this is what the current project looks like.  Canvas is only 30cm x 30cm, which makes the area to cover approximately 25cm x 25cm.  I chose this design with one of our little neighbours in mind.  Cléo’s little sister, Mona, will be 4 years old in September . . . and I’m pretty sure that she’ll love this rainbow unicorn.

best layer of the month # July

Using a photo from my archives today, as 3 eggs in the nesting box has been a regular sight this month.  Hens have all been laying more or less the same amount, with a few days off due to the excessive heat.  For the month of July there were a total of 70 eggs (which is quite low).  Mauricette laid 21, Florence laid 24 and it’s Ruby the red hen who wins the “best layer award” this month with 25 eggs.

I need to buy some vitamins to add to their drinking water. Ruby, despite being the best layer this month, is looking very scrawny, with lots of baldness around her head & neck.  She had a big moult not long ago and feathers seem to be taking their time to grow back – hence the need for extra vitamins.