my last finish of the year

There were two projects I was hoping to get finished before the end of the year: a crocheted pterodactyl and the most recent knitting project, started earlier this month.  Sadly, I only managed to finish one, but it’s lovely to be having a knitting happy dance on this last day of the year!

I showed you a sneak peek of the project which looked like this.

Some people thought it was a new sweater, when in fact, it’s something completely different.

This is the pattern I was following, only not in grey.

It’s what, in French, we call a “nid d’ange” (an angel’s nest) and is basically a baby sleeping bag.

It was a perfect project to use some of the remaining King Cole Comfort aran I had in my stash (used 300g) which is so soft,  and a good excuse to do some more cabling.

You’ve seen me knitting baby patterns in the past, for my dolls, however this project will be for a real live baby.  Big news I’ve been keeping quiet about: Mr & Mrs Tattoo are expecting a Baby Inkling for the Spring.

hen happenings # december

On this last day of December, it’s time to tot up the total of eggs laid.

Only 47, which I think must be a record low for us, but hey, it was the holiday season and weather hasn’t been very nice.

The lack of eggs might be because I’m taking them fewer treats this month, seeing as how they’re allowed to free-range in the veggie garden at the moment. Plenty of grass to scratch.  It might also be due to a little visitor

Spot Ziva who loves to go visiting

but it’s more likely due to the fact day-light hours are very short, having not long passed the Winter Solstice.


Tali update (and Ziva)

Time for a quick update, because I doubt I’ll have much time for blogging over the festive weekend.  An update on Tali, who’s been with us 10 days already and appears to be settling in.  She’s still a tiny little thing, weighing in at 4.8kg now and not yet 10 weeks old, but she is gaining in confidence, and able to run about properly, without falling over her own feet.

She has a natural inclination to “sit”, so I’m hoping to make the most of that when it comes to canine education.

This third photo very poor quality, but to show her profile, and how her head is starting to look more like a Flat-coated retriever.

Pleased to say, Tali and Ziva have already made friends!

It took Ziva literally only days to get used to having a pup around (and yet Ziva never had a chance to get used to Gibbs) and the two of them really do seem to play together.  The other cats totally disapprove of a new dog in the house though. Le Bleu walks past, hissing and whacking if Tali dares comes too close. Abby & Ducky don’t even come downstairs. Silly really because it would be so much easier to make friends with a tiny pup, rather than wait until Tali becomes a much bigger, boisterous pup.  I don’t think the cats realise how much Tali is going to grow over the coming weeks/months.

a few more finishes

Trying to get in a few more finishes before the end of the year.  Today, some diamond painting for me, and some painting for the husband.  We bought these two kits a few weeks ago in a local shop

in an attempt to get into the festive spirit lol.  They kept us out of mischief for a couple of hours.

This little wooden kit has 4 different layers which give it a 3D effect.  And the little snowman runs on batteries to turn him into a little night-light

which I won’t leave switched on for long, but he was quite fun to make.

I also completed the larger project I began in November.



another knitty finish

2022 seems to have been a knitting year for me.  Knitting is something I came to rather late in life, and am forever learning new techniques, having fun and making unique garments along the way.  The latest project cast on my needles, is already finished.  It was a stash-busting project, using a free Rowan pattern I downloaded years ago, and a lovely King Cole Comfort Aran in the colour “Jade”, gifted to me for xmas 2018 (and chosen specifically because of this pattern).

However, when I began, I had to do some maths because this Rowan pattern calls for a light worsted yarn, and I had aran which I really wanted to use.  After a few tension swatches, I decided to knit on 5mm, cast on for the M size, and hope it turned out an L size.  Pattern is broken rib for sleeves and lower part of body, then changes to off-set rib for the yoke of body.  It has a turtle neck, but I decided against that, and just did a simple 2×2 rib.

I also shortened the body part because I already have several bum-warmer sweaters and fancied making something a bit shorter.  Am really happy with how it turned out.

It’s quite chunky, due to the rib stitch, but it’s ever so comfortable and the KC yarn is extremely soft & snuggly.  I used a total of 600g for this project, which means I have 400g left over.  A flick through my stash of knitting patterns/books, and I’ve already cast on a new project.

A second cable project . . . but I won’t tell you what I’m making just yet.

While taking photos of knitting . . . I realised I never had photos taken of me modelling the sleeveless top I made this summer.

This one, that I finished in July.   There you go!  Another project not worked with the recommended yarn, although I did choose a very similar colour.


meet Tali

Our new pup was ready to leave her mother and come to live with us on Monday.  An 8 week old Flat-coated retriever (the same breed as Gibbs) but this time it’s a girl.

We were hoping for a female when our name went on the reservation list, but had said we’d be happy with a male (there were only 2 females in the litter and 6 males).  We’d already decided on names for both girl or boy.  However, last week, another future owner had to cancel her reservation due to health problems, and kennels allowed us to choose: boy or girl.  We went with our first choice . . . so please meet Tali. (and for those who follow the series, yes, another “NCIS” inspired name).

She was born on 17th October, which makes her just over 8 weeks old.  She weighed in at 4kg on Monday, and this week is currently allowed 3 x 60g of puppy mix.  She’s a little black ball of fluff with sharp milk teeth. Very trusting and affectionate.

We’re already working on basic education. She responds to her name and is beginning to understand the concept of “maison” when we go indoors.  Weather isn’t in our favour this week because it’s been very cold and we had a light snow fall.  Tali enjoyed having a sniff about but she quickly got very cold so we had to cut the walk short and carry a wet & shivering pup back home.


SAL “my day off” #5

Once upon a time the only needle craft I did was cross stitch and I would happily cross stitch late into the night.  Then, I began branching out, learning other other  needle crafts: sewing, patchwork, knitting and crochet.  Cross stitch has taken a back seat ever since.  I do still love the activity, and find it relaxing, but I also enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques with other crafts . . . and this year seems to have been a knitting year for me.   Anyway, I’m very glad I belong to a SAL group, organised by Avis, because knowing there will be updates to show every 3 weeks is about the only thing that’s keeping me cross stitching of late.

This is the photo I shared 3 weeks ago.  And for today, this is progress.

I do hope fellow SALers have been more industrious than me!




Our next update will be next year . . . on 1st January 2023 in fact!

catching up

Oops already 3rd December and I realise I missed my monthly round-up of “hen happenings” . . .

not that there was much to report.  Gals are all fine but on something of a go-slow.  A total of 51 eggs for November (with 3 hens) – I think that’s an all-time low.

Non-hen related chat

concerning Ziva.  Here she is sporting a lycra body-suit because I took her in to be neutered on 1st December.  She’s not quite 7 months old and weighed in at 2.8kg but I wanted to get her spayed as early as possible.  Tis done.  She’s getting used to the body suit which is a much better option than the one the vet staff made.  And with colder weather on the way, she seems quite happy to stay indoors.

And, last but not least . . .

I’ve cast on a new knitting project.  This is a free pattern I stumbled across years ago, and for which I have had the yarn in my stash since xmas 2018.

The pattern, being a Rowan, actually calls for “worsted” weight and I asked Mr Tattoo for a lovely King Cole Comfort Aran back in 2018.  Tension obviously won’t work, and that’s why this yarn and pattern have been sitting in the drawer all these years.  However, I did some maths, and am going to make the pattern work with my aran yarn (I hope).  It’s very easy knitting, just knits & purls, and growing very fast.