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.

Under the tree

This year Christmas was rather quieter than usual, with all the social distancing and government recommendations/restriction.  We did have guests for a few days though. Eldest son and parter (whom I’m renaming Mr & Mrs Tattoo for blog purposes) came to visit.   It was so lovely to see them!  Anyway, to make up for the lack of socialising and the fact other family members couldn’t visit, everyone made sure to send lots of pressies this year.  I had a very impressive haul.  One very spoiled lady I am . . . and today, I come to show you.

First, from sister-in-law and brother-in-law.

A crochet kit, with all the necessary to make a striped kitty,  a rotary cutter with lots of different gadgets to do different paper cutting and, a vintage toy sewing machine!  I haven’t been able to date this yet but estimate it to be 60s or 70s.  It’s hand-cranked, sews a chain stitch, and can also take a battery for the little light (needs new battery & bulb to see if that actually works).

From Mr & Mrs Tattoo

A big bundle of DVDs because this is the kind of stuff I love to watch when crafting.  English-speakers will be surprised to see the cover of a recent Disney sporting the title “Vaiana” instead of “Moana” . . . that’s perfectly normal.  Disney had to rename the film & heroine for copyright reasons on the European market.

From Mr & Mrs Lindashee

a lovely bundle of “Forest Friends” fabric by Makower. One panel and 3 other pièces, 50cm x bolt width and . . . oooooh Lindashee had been doing some secret stitching this year!  I am now the proud owner of my very own Christmas stocking.  Beautifully stitched, and I just love those owls!

From Mr & Mrs Viking, and from my sister

The crochet book, from Mr & Mrs Viking with lots of fun dinosaur and other prehistoric creatures to crochet (future crochet projects for Little Miss Viking?) . . . and a pretty tin box, containing Clarins creams & mirror from my sister, with 2 little cross stitchings.

From my good friend, Avis

a rainbow coloured cardie, beautifully knit by Avis for my Sylvia Natterer dolls . . . an equally beautifully knit pair of fingerless mittens to keep my hands nice & warm, and “Zoomigurumi 8” because Avis knows I’m collecting all the books in this series!

And last but not least . . . there were also two very large parcels from Father Christmas!  The first, a Tiana Disney Animator doll (second hand from eBay but in lovely condition)


An Antonio Juan baby doll.  Antonio Juan being a Spanish doll manufacturer.   This is the model “Alejandra” and measures 52cm.  Photo doesn’t do her justice.  She has a gorgeous expression and her outfit is exceedingly well made.  This is the only photo of her you’ll see on this blog, but I will be gushing about her over on my Claire’s Collections blog.  And still haven’t decided on her name.

more knitting (Little Avery)

Knitting needles have been flying, as I finished an orange version of the “Little Avery” baby cardie, then had a go at knitting two hats.

I added extra ribbing on the orange hat to give it a turnover cuff, and because second doll is slightly bigger, with bigger head.  Enjoying knitting (and playing with my dolls) so much, I’ve already cast on again in pink because Father Christmas is bringing me a new baby doll this year – yay!

carboot sale haul for July.

Regular readers will know I do love a good rummage at a local carboot sale whenever I get the opportunity.  Those of you who live in the US, the UK or Australia often have thrift shops or charity shops nearby, where you can enjoy a rummage, if that’s your idea of fun too. Sadly, in France, that kind of shop simply doesn’t exist, apart from Emmaus (founded  by Abbé Pierre) but you don’t find an Emmaus in/near every town.  So basically, if you’re looking for second-hand bargains in France, apart from the usual on-line auction sites (where you have to add on p&p costs), you have to wait for carboot season, which is generally during the summer months.

Anyhow . . . the husband and I got up at the crack of dawn a couple of Sundays in July and headed off to a few local carboot sales where we both spent some pennies and came home with a few goodies.  My haul as follows.


Three paperback books (1€ each) by the author Meg Cabot.  I’ve never read any of her books before but the covers tell me they’re definitely “chick lit” and are going to be light-reading.  Titles are:  “Size 12 is not fat”,  “Size 14 is not fat either” and “Big Boned”.  I’ll do a book review at some point once I’ve had time to read all three.


I also found one cute ragdoll, in pretty good condition, one cloth baby book and a very vintage Burda pattern.  Couldn’t resist any of the above, which totalled 1.50€ in cost.


Very pleased to spot a wooden kokeshi doll (1€) which measures 24cm tall.  Don’t often see kokeshi dolls at carboot sales in France so when I do, I tend to grab.

The other items there are always lots of . . . baby clothes.  Now, with my reborn & vinyl baby dolls, I’m supposed to be knitting, crocheting or sewing new outfits, but honestly, with people selling pristine baby clothes for peanuts, it’s hard not to grab a few items of clothing for dolls.




These last two, hand-knitted, probably by some clever grandma . . .  and so very well knitted too!

And, while I’m not supposed to be sharing doll photos here . . .

just one for the road.


A perfect fit!

dolls – all shapes & sizes

I had something of an excavation in the attic the other day.  I have to explain that when we moved here in 2014, we also brought with us the belongings of our 3 adult children who had all left home by then, but none of whom had a large enough flat/house to take all their “stuff”.  So “stuff” was simply packed in boxes which now take up a corner of the attic, awaiting the day when adult children decide they have room in their own homes.  Anyway, our daughter has asked for a few of her belongings to be sent over . . . hence me opening boxes and sorting what needs to be sent . . . which also meant climbing the extra flight of stairs to the attic, where I rediscovered these!

Corolle dolls

These are 30cm Corolle baby dolls, which date back to 1995.  We bought them for our daughter when she was just a tiny toddler . . . and as you can see from the almost pristine condition, she didn’t play with them much!  However, since I am into playing with dolls myself these days, I’ve brought these two dolls down to my sewing room.  I learned, from DOLLS magazine, that Corolle (a famous French doll manufacturer) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year!  It therefore seems appropriate to have unpacked my daughter’s Corolle baby dolls and have them on display in my sewing room.

Corolle dolls01

Alongside, three very cute “Jellybean” bunnies (also belonged to my daughter) which I found in with the dolls.  I gave the dolls a clean, clothes & bunnies went in the washing machine, and they make me smile, sitting there on the sofa.

Corolle dolls 02

Here are the two Corolle baby dolls, next to Noah, my Berengeur doll, just to show scale.

Title of this post mentions all shapes & sizes . . .

After playing with the Corolle dolls, I also opened boxes to rediscover my BJD (ball-jointed doll) collection.  That was something which began in 2007 when my daughter (aged 13 at the time) asked for a BJD for her birthday.  I had no idea what they were way back then, so research was necessary.  When I saw what they were, I wanted one too . . . and 2007 saw the beginning of a BJD collection, which sadly, hasn’t been paid much attention in years.

Anyway, for those of you who find dolls spooky . . . don’t scroll down any farther lol.  For those who are curious . . . here are a few photos of just some of the dolls in my collection.


This is my very first BJD, bought in 2007.  A Soul Kid, by Soul Doll, face is the model Miryu, and she measures 45cm tall.


This one is a 56cm LUTS Juri Delf 06 doll.  She came second hand from ebay.


As did this doll which (I think) is also a LUTS, a Kid Delf (Delf meaning, she has pointy ears) and measuring approx 44cm.

They are just 3 of the seven resin BJDs in my collection.  I also have some plastic BJDs very Manga-like dolls . . .


These are Hujoo dolls . . . that somehow seemed to multiply after buying the first one!

Anyway . . . I can’t believe it’s been so many years since I spent any quality time with these dolls.  I’m still all fired up with my reborn baby dolls, and Daisy, but I also plan on spending some time crafting for my BJD dolls too in the coming months.   When I started collecting dolls, I couldn’t really sew, and I certainly couldn’t crochet or knit.  Now I have mastered crocheting, my little brain is buzzing with ideas of fun outfits that can be made with yarn & a crochet hook.

a bit of this & that

I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog this month.  This doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing some blog-hopping to see what everyone else is up to.  Nor does it mean I haven’t been crafting – au contraire – I have!  However, several of the projects I’m working on are either secret crafting projects, or not far enough in the making to be worth blogging about.

Still, I do have 2 projects to talk about . . . first up, is the latch hook “Puppy” rug kit by Versaco.


The hooking is finally complete – yay!  Once I set my mind to it, it came along very quickly.  Helped by the fact that I’ve been playing catch up, watching The Great British Sewing Bee on my tablet.  Since the husband isn’t too keen on sewing programmes,  I watch GBSB while sitting out in the kitchen, and kitchen table was the most comfortable place for latch hooking.  I’ve already trimmed the excess canvas, and begun the job of finishing edges neatly.  I will share a fully finished photo with you in due course.

I’ve also been doing some sewing.  Several projects in mind for Baby Viking, and big plans on moving out of my comfort zone to make a few garments with stretch fabrics.  True to myself, I thought it best to have a trial run with stretch fabrics before cutting into the yummy piece I’ve bought for BV.  And, after the clear out in my wardrobe last month, I had a couple of Tshirts (that didn’t get handed down or put in the Red Cross recyle bin) I had kept, precisely to slice up and use for some trial sewing.  So, one Tshirt repurposed into a pair of toddler sized trousers.  Scraps above are all that was left of the Tshirt.  I remembered to use a special Jersey/stretch fabrics needle in Juki and I used the overlocking stitch for everything.  I noticed that Juki tended to skip a stitch occasionally (not sure if it was my fault or because fabric was quite fine) if I tried to sew too quickly.  After adjusting speed and taking things slowly though, all seams looked good.  I even thought to cut pieces so the bottom of the Tshirt became the hemline of the legs – hence the really professional overlocked hems! 


I was planning, initially, to make something in Baby Viking size for this summer, and followed a pattern accordingly (more or less) however,  . . . after popping round to hold these up against our little neighbour (who’s 19 months old), the verdict was:  way too wide.  Waist and the “rise” are good, but legs are much too wide for what I was aiming for (which was more of a jegging than a trouser).  Not to worry!  They turned out to be quite a good fit, as 3/4 length leggings on Daisy, so she gets to keep them.  And oh surprise . . . they look rather good with the pinafore dress I made for her.  Anyone would think I made these sizing mistakes on purpose, but I don’t!  This second photo shows you the true colour – a lovely turquoise/aqua, which makes the perfect “bottoms” to match the pinafore dress. 

daisy 01

While I had camera out, and Daisy was posing . . . I couldn’t resist playing with more of my dolls.  I realise the following photos will freak some readers out.  I know, I know, most people think my dolls are creepy,  so you’ll just have to close your eyes and scroll down if you don’t want to see the following doll pictures.  First pic is of Daisy, posing as”big sister” to Lily .

daisy 02

Then with Alice (who incidentally is wearing a pinafore dress I made last year using the same pattern as Daisy’s dress).


And finally, with Noah.

daisy 04

That’s all the doll photos for now, you can open your eyes! 

And admire


Gibbs, who is overjoyed that my most recent check-up with foot surgeon went well, and daily walks to the park have resumed.  And about time too, says Gibbs!

ScrapHappy # March 2019

I missed out on the ScrapHappy fun in February because of other things going on.  February saw the husband & myself redecorating the living room (all done).  Me with big plans of making sofa covers (started well, but I ran out of motivation) . . . and then catching up on housework before visitors in March.  Lindashee & Mr Lindashee flew over from England for a few days, and Eldest son & girlfriend drove up from the south of France.

House suddenly emptied on 11th, so after a day of stripping beds, and catching up with more housework, my thoughts turned to ScrapHappy and my sewing machine.

I originally sat down, with leftover fabrics (from 2 pairs of shortie PJs made in November) to make something summery for Baby Viking using pattern NewLook 6970.  Baby Viking will be 1 year old in August, and since babies always seem to be wearing the next size up, I decided to cut fabric for the 18-24 month size.  As it turns out, this pattern seems to size up very large . . . and I ended up with a little pinafore dress that fits Daisy, who is a 2-3 year size.

Not to worry . . . anyway, I’m linking up with Kate and Gun for our monthly ScrapHappy post.


The idea was to make something with scraps/leftovers.  I achieved that.  And got more sewing practice along the way.


It’s a good fit on the shoulders for Daisy, and looks lovely with the little bolero cardie I knitted for her.  I haven’t given up on the idea of making this pattern again, for Baby Viking, but one size smaller and not necessarily with scraps.

Other bloggers who take part in ScrapHappy fun.

 Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, KerryJean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn and Connie

thank you!

Today I have two lovely ladies who deserve a big “thank you” from me . . .

red hat 03

Thank you, to DebbieRose who knitted this gorgeous red bonnet in baby size, thinking of me and my baby dolls . . . awwww it fits Lily a treat!  Definitely keeps those ears warm!

And thank you to Yvonne

from Yvonne

who sent me lots of goodies:  two hand-made gifts, being the pumpkin pin cushion (with an elastic so I can wear it around my wrist while sewing) and a tape-measure covered in a lovely cross stitched pattern.  Also, a very large piece of fabric with lion and elephant prints, a teeny purse clasp and a wooden letter “C” with cute bear.

I do love surprise packages but especially appreciate the handmade gifts which will be treasured.

“Cheri” by Martin Storey, for Rowan

After the relative success of my dusky pink cardigan, I decided I needed to get more practice learning to assemble knitted garment pieces before I took the plunge to tackle another adult sized cardie/sweater.  So, with that in mind, I rummaged through my computer files, where I save any free patterns that take my fancy.  And this is the one I chose to knit.

daisy cardie 03

The model “CHERI” designed by Martin Storey for Rowan yarns.  I immediately knew I wasn’t going to bother crocheting the cherries.  My crochet skills don’t need practice, and I honestly thought the dangling cherries were just a bit “too much”.   What attracted me to this pattern was the short sleeves, short bodice and very much a bolero style.  The idea being, to have a pattern which would knit up quickly, to give me the chance to try my hand at assembly. 

And here’s my very plain version of this pattern.

Daisy cardie 02

I think you’ll agree there is definite improvement in my assembly skills.  I chose pattern size 2-3 years (Daisy measuring 92cm tall, so not quite a size 3 years).  I used leftovers of my dusky pink and knitted on 3.75mm and 4.5mm needles to get the correct gauge. 

daisy cardie 04

daisy cardie 05

And had a good rummage in my button box, where I found some very discreet pale pink plastic buttons. 

Daisy cardie 01

I am so pleased with how it turned out.  My confidence is soaring . . . but not quite ready to attempt the XL men’s sweater for the Husband just yet. 

What I have done though . . . is cast on to follow this pattern a second time.  My second version is going to be in a size 1-2 years, and for Baby Viking.  She is 5 months old now and sooooooooo cute lol.  Anyway, I thought this pattern style would be perfect and a 1-2 year size should be good for this autumn or next spring.  Here’s a sneak peek of yarns I’m working with.  I’m using Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” for the garter stitching, and a very zany Marriner Mermaid DK for the rest.


That’s the 2 sleeves already made.  Now to put on my sunglasses and have more fun watching this Marriner Mermaid yarn change colour.  Viking parents have said I can go as bright as I like, so I’ve taken that literally!

a bit of this & that, plus some thank yous

I realised I never got around to sharing a photo of some lovely seasonal hand-made gifts I received from blogging friends (and may have missed a few from the photo, because all seasonal bits have already been put away).


So, a thank you to Monique for the cute crocheted octopus and little cat decoration);  to Nathalie and Virginie, for their cards;  to Yvonne for the little heart decoration; and to salpal, for the bookmarks and delicate snowflake!

Now for some “this & that” . . .

I had a check-up visit with foot surgeon earlier this month. 


He was pleased with the x-ray, and bandage has now been removed.  Foot is still swollen, but not giving any pain.  I’ve been told to do my “toe curling” exercises and that life can now get back to normal – yay!  Next check-up in March and then I’ll be going to see a man about getting some insoles made – next stage being, a probable 2 years of specially made in-soles, but I can live with that.

Also have a cross stitch happy dance to share with you.


Design is “Chicken Sampler” by The Stitching Shed, and was a gift from Avis at Christmas.  Lots of fun to stitch, with lovely colours.  As you can see, from photo, I (deliberately) mixed colours up a little and changed the colour of petals.  Also decided not to stitch the wording or the eggs.  I’ll be having a rummage in my fabric stash as, being almost a square design, the plan is to finish this off as a cushion cover.

And last photo, because I’ve been playing with dolls lol.  No new body for Phoebe yet, but there’s plenty of time for that.  Anyway, I’ve got Phoebe and Grace having a sleep on the sofa in my sewing room, so their presence is a reminder that I need to make them some clothes.