knitting for toddler Viking

After some fairly recent knitting for dolls, I fancied working on something a little bigger . . . so what better excuse than to start work on a cardigan for Toddler Viking? 

The husband gifted me some lovely colourful balls of yarn at Christmas, so I had a search on-line for a pattern, deciding on one by Sirdar (1219).  I bought the pattern as an instant download on Wool Warehouse.  And immediately set to work on my swatch (since I am using Gründl yarn and wasn’t sure whether it would knit up to same gauge as the recommended Sirdar DK).  My swatch was good . . . so I cast on and knitted two sleeves.  My plan being to knit the cardie in 2 different yarns:  the colour changing yarn for the lower part & sleeves, but a plain yellow for the bodice part which has a stitch pattern.  Toddler Viking is 18 months old already, so I’m knitting a size 2-3 years, with full length sleeves – hoping it’ll be a good fit this Spring/Summer. 

cardie 01

cardie 02

While I managed to get my colours matching, more or less, on both sleeves for the stripes, the actual pattern created by yarn didn’t work out matching.  Not to worry lol.

Before starting the two fronts, I did a trial run with some leftover blue yarn, to make sure I could follow the bodice pattern.  I’ve only ever done rib, stocking stitch or garter before, so the idea of following a stitch pattern and getting my knits & purls in all the right places had me a little worried.

cardie 03

This was my practice piece, with a few rows of shaping, to make sure I felt confident enough to start on the real thing.

cardie 04

And a couple of knitting sessions later, ta da!!!  I have two cardigan fronts – yay!  Not 100% convinced my idea of plain yellow for the bodie part was such a good idea after all, but it’s too late now – I’m not frogging!

birthdays & unbirthdays in February

There was a fair amount of secret crafting and gift giving for birthdays & an unbirthday in February . . . in chronological order . . .

bags galore05

These two bags, which I made and showed you in January, went to their new homes.  The one on the left to our neighbour, Brigitte, who celebrated her 70th birthday on 10th February.  And the one on the right was sent as an unbirthday gift to Karine.

for Avis 03

For my good friend, Avis, who is an Aquarian, like myself . . . I made a needlebook and a matching scissor fob, stitching a design by Elizabeth Almond.  My little stitched gifts were sent with the pair of Eiffel Tower scissors and a vintage wooden bobbin (thank you to the husband for sanding & staining).

for Avis 01

for Avis 02

And last, but by no means least, . . . my sister is also a February baby, although she’s a Pisces.  To her, I sent 2 jars of locally produced honey plus


One of the tote bags I made in January AND

biscornu 01

a biscornu & matching scissor fob, with pretty pair of scissors & wooden bobbin (again, thank you to the husband for sanding & staining lol).

biscornu 03 (2)

biscornu 03

biscornu 04

This blackwork design is my own (can be found on my “free chupin’s xstitch” page) although I did alter it somewhat when stitching these pieces.

While I did buy in the scissors, to gift, and also bought in some plain wooden bobbins,  all the stitching/sewing was done using supplies from my stash.

SAL Panda Sugar Skull #4

It’s time for our 3-weekly post to show what progress has been made on our SAL projects.

I’m still having fun stitching Panda Sugar Skull, a design by Lindashee.  Here’s where I was up to last time.

SAL Panda 26 01 20 b

And here’s progress for this time.

SAL Panda 16 02 20b

Colours will “pop” much more, once I start adding backstitch, but for the moment I’m concentrating on doing all the cross stitch first.

SAL Panda 16 02 20a

Here is the list of links of everyone in the SAL group:

AvisGun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny

If you’d like to join in, Avis (first name in the list) is the person to contact. 

And we’ll be back on 8th March.

scraphappy # February

It’s time to link up with Gun and Kate for the once a month ScrapHappy day! 

My scrappy project this month is very colourful.  And practical.

I had a good rummage in my bags of fabric scraps, pulling out only bright strips, to make myself a folding tote bag.

scraphappy feb 03 (2)

scraphappy feb 03

To make sure it doesn’t fall to pieces and will be strong enough to carry a certain amount of weight, I sewed all my strips together, overlocked each seam and then top-stitched.

scraphappy feb 01

scraphappy feb 02

I’m all ready to go shopping now lol.

But before I do, let’s hop over to other links and see what other ScrapHappy members have been up to.

Kate, Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, Sue L
and Sunny

what the husband made

I recently showed you a photo of the hens on their plot of land in veggie patch with their new coop.

hens jan 01

Not sure if I explained but that’s actually our THIRD coop!  almost as many coops as hens lol.  We move our hens about on different plots of land throughout the year, and the moving about, plus being outside in all weathers (including occasionally being blown over by gale force winds) means that coops constantly need maintenance or more serious repair. 

When we first started our hen-keeping adventure  we splashed out and bought quite a posh affair with a removeable shelter.  This is what it looked like when brand new in March 2015


We very quickly decided that the little shelter part wasn’t terribly practical as it was.  Too small to make a decent run for the hens, and too low for me to crawl about trying to put the food dispenser in & out.  So . . . a few years later, both parts were separated, and we moved the shelter part out to the orchard, to join the second coop.


Its purpose there – to protect the food dispenser from the elements and to offer extra shade if the hens need it.  Sadly, all the moving about of coop parts, plus strong winds, meant that this shelter was almost falling to pieces and not fit to serve another year.  So we brought it into the veranda and the husband did some serious maintenance work, reinforcing here, water-proofing there . . . and then making something to make life easier for me.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves before I explain.






So . . . husband made a sliding system, whereby we can hang the food dispenser under the roof of shelter and then simply push the hook (therefore the food dispenser) back to the centre of the shelter where it will be protected from the elements.  Thus saving my back, and meaning I no longer have to fold myself in two to crawl inside  while holding a (very heavy when full) food dispenser. 

the birthday gal

I was the birthday gal yesterday . . . which meant I got to lounge around and not do much, except for opening some lovely presents – yay.

Without further ado . . . here’s the haul.


A bunch of roses from the husband, which are actually RED but seem to want to be shocking pink in all the photos I took.


A feather bookmark cross stitch kit with a lovely hand-stitched card from Yvonne.  Kit contains threads, plastic canvas & chart to stitch the stripey feather on the right.


from SIL, a metal storage tin, plus a loofah and two bottles of shower gel.


From Avis, a lovely selection of Stylecraft Special DK to add to my stash.  There’s: Copper, Saffron, Lavender, Parchment, Emperor, Petrol & Cypress.

And . . . since I always treat myself on my birthday too lol . . .


“Lucie””, a Sylvia Natterer doll, made by Petitcollin, bought second-hand on ebay.  She arrived in lovely condition but sadly, isn’t wearing her original hat.  And, because I got Lucie for such a good price, I couldn’t resist . . .


“Pierre”, also by Sylvia Natterer,  & made by Petitcollin.  Both are the “Finouche” size, meaning they measure 48cm, the same as my other Sylvia Natterer doll . . . so lots of clothes making sessions in store.