For those of you wondering (and maybe worrying) . . . we got the biopsy results through for Gibbs. The lump/wart/tumour, whatever it was, was benign. Yay! Just have to wait for fur to grow back over and Gibbs will be as handsome as ever.
I’ve been hooking rather than knitting these past few days as we’re having something of a heat wave. Tackling another pattern from the first in the “Zoomigurumi” series.
Working on this pattern.
Pattern called “Wasabi the bunny” by Little Muggles. Is made up of 9 parts. I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Duck Egg and Sage. And a 3mm hook for this project because I felt tension could have been tighter on my tiger.
This is the final result – bunny measures 15cm high, in this sitting position to the tips of his ears.
His nose didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped and ended up looking more like a koala nose than a bunny nose . . . not to worry. He’s still presentable.
And, just for fun, because I wanted to see the progress I have made since beginning this amigurumi crochet lark in February . . . a group photo of some of the critters I’ve made. These are the ones which haven’t been given away (yet).
I will now be flicking through the pages of my book . . . wondering which critter to make next. It could be the monkey (of the cover photo) next.
One man and his dog have been trying to keep cool in this heat
This was taken of Gibbs surveying the dam building in the little stream that runs along the edge of our orchard. By the way, we’re still waiting for Gibbs’ biopsy results. I’ll let you all know as soon as we do.
My husband enjoys playing with water almost as much as Gibbs does. Anyway, they were both nice and cool, in the shade . . . meanwhile in the sunshine . . .
This is what the hens’ enclosure looks like, after several months of pecking, and scratching. The only plant that has survived is
I’ve no idea what it is, but it’s very pretty. Hens meanwhile have been moved to summer camp, in the orchard.
They’ve got plenty of fresh grass to peck/scratch and they’re in the shade of two apple trees. You can only see two gals in the photo . . . Miss Moneypenny is brooding.
Anyway, a quick tour with the camera to see how everything is growing in the heat.
The kiwi vine is covered in tiny fruit. That won’t be ready for harvest until December/January, but I’m keeping a close eye on them already.
This is one of the our grape vines (for eating grapes). Husband cut it back last year and it has grown with new vigour this season.
In the veggie patch . . .
Courgettes are spreading and we’ve already begun harvesting & enjoying them while they’re small & tender.
Same goes for potatos which husband planted under straw this year. We’ve already enjoyed some baby new potatos (from the middle row).
We’ve got 18 tomato plants under cover and first tommies are there.
Other plants are looking a bit sorry for themselves, but growing nonetheless, apart from the brocoli which has completly gone to seed.
And I have no idea what’s going on with my beans this year!
We’ve planted 3 rows so far, at fortnightly intervals, but things are either coming up patchy or not at all. Husband suggests he turn over the soil in what was the hens’ enclosure to plant more beans there. I think he might have to.
It’s that time of year again . . . when we can go with our little basket into the veggie patch, and bring back fresh home-grown produce for dinner!
Here are some of the home-grown ingredients for dinner the other night. Courgettes roughly chopped up and pois gourmands which my husband stir fried with chicken in miso. Plus some freshly chopped chives to sprinkle on top of the tofu. Followed by a mix of strawberries and raspberries, which we enjoyed with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. Yummy.
I am very lucky that my husband loves cooking, and he’s an excellent chef. Now that he’s retired, he is taking over more and more of the cooking, although I do help with preparation. This leaves me with more time to do what I love . . . crafting.
And recent days have seen me busy upstairs in my sewing room, quilting. All I will show you for now is this. To say, I’ve finally finished quilting all thirty blocks of my F2F2 quilt and am ready to move on to the QAYG part.
I was umming and ahhing over whether to use white strips or more of the solid orange . . . I’m going to keep things really bright, and QAYG strips will be in orange both front and back.
And speaking of bright . . . lookee here
One of our cactus plants has flowered! This is the first year it’s ever had flowers, and there are so many of them! Cactus is obviously telling us that it really likes its place in the veranda.
What a lot of excitement the other day! Hubby and I were helping out at a summer fête, which included a car boot sale (Jumble Sale for us older bods). During one of my breaks from holding down the Bric-a-brac stall (to raise money for my niece’s school) I had a wander and spotted this.
Nothing to really spark interest, except to wonder what’s inside . . . and that’s when it gets exciting.
The case starts to open out with a flap, and show a lovely grasshopper green . . . and then
Ooooh yes! An Elna sewing machine. And not just any Elna sewing machine. This is what is affectionately called “the Grasshopper”.
Now, I have to admit, I didn’t know that when I saw it. I just knew it was old and I wanted it, regardless of whether it was in working order or not. A little bit of haggling took place, and it was mine for 12€.
Back home, I googled, to learn more about this machine. Made in Switzerland, between 1940 and 1952 it was Elna’s first mass produced portable sewing machine. It was nick-named “Grasshopper” because of its green colour, and its physical appearance (more photos when you scroll down). Was produced in 3 series with very slight changes made. My machine is dated August 1950, so is the third series.
It’s ever so nifty! First of all, as you can see, the travel case opens out . . . and serves a purpose because
It becomes a sewing table!
There is no foot pedal, but a knee lever which swivels out and unfolds into position to operate the machine.
Has a light under the neck.
This is where the lower bobbin goes, and where tension is sorted. There’s even a thread cutter incorporated just behind the foot.
The stitch size regulator. The Grasshopper can only do straight stitch. When you slide the lever away from you, the machine does a reverse stitch.
The wheel is low down, and you can see here where bits go to wind up a bobbin. There is also a bit sticking out for a speed regulator, but that accessory was missing from my box.
It came with many of its original accessories including oil cans and screw driver. In the special box (missing its lid) which has a place at the back of the machine.
The box has little feet that slot into the holes in the base.
Everything is so well thought out!
Anyway . . . husband checked out the wiring. Grasshopper runs on 110V and came with a transformer. And, despite being 67 years old, it works!
However the belt was rather slack
So I have MacGyvered a new one using a rubber seal for preserve jars. I now need to sit down, with lots of patience, and tweek tension. Grasshopper sews, and with a lovely quiet whir . . . so if I can get tension worked out, then I plan on piecing a small patchwork project on this lovely piece of machinery.
Do you remember my mad yarn buying of April? And how I immediately hooked up a beanie in that lovely Katia yarn on the left? Well, I got out my hook and used the colour in the centre to hook up not one, but two, new beanies! I have to say that I did grab another 2 balls of that particular colour on a return trip to the shop lol. So I used approx 120g per beanie.
And here’s what that centre yarn looks like when crocheted. Label said to use a size 7mm hook. Beanie on the left was therefore done with a 7mm hook. I started off with my circle, hooking in a spiral with half treble stitches until I had the correct diameter for head circumference. Carried on with half treble until I had the required depth . . . and then did about 5 rounds in double crochet to make a “cuff”.
For the second beanie, on the right, I used an 8mm hook and simply did half treble all the time.
Here they are with the one I made in the more blue/purple yarn (also “Katia – weekend”). With the cuff folded, and then opened out to show difference in depth.
And modelled on two of my dummy heads.
I think I prefer this finish with a “cuff”. It gives the beanie a much better shape and makes them look less like a skull-cap.
A thank you to Flo who remembered me on her travels, including to San Francisco, and picked up some bookmarks to send my way.
And a couple of book titles to share with you today too. I always like to read a couple of chapters just before bedtime, with my mug of hot chocolate . . . in recent months I had simply been re-reading old classics from my book shelves. Then I got somewhat bored, so bought a couple of paperbacks, and renewed my subs at our local library.
One of the paperbacks I bought:
“Catch Me” by Lisa Gardner. A nice thriller/suspense, which is my favourite kind of bedtime read. Here’s a quick résumé: What would you do if you knew the exact date and time of your death? For Charlie Grant, this will be on 21st January at 8pm . . . in 4 days time. Exactly like her two best friends. And Charlie wants Inspector DD Warren of the Boston Police to be in charge of the investigation. Already tied up with a pedophile murder case, DD accepts, but as soon as she starts looking into the young woman’s past, her gut instinct tells her that Charlie is hiding something.
And from the library
“You’re Mine Now” – Hans Koppel. Original title : “Kom ska vi tycka om varandra”
This was on the “thriller/crime” shelf, and was a good read but a different style of writing. The main character is Anna, and the story-line . . . Anna should never have slept with Erik. Anna is happily married to Magnus, they have a daughter, and Anna soon begins to regret her brief fling. Erik is a dangerous psychopath and, before she knows it, not only is she being stalked, but her family is in danger.