cooler days and pretty yarn

We’re enjoying some cooler days in this part of France, after a horrendously hot June, July and beginning of August.  Thunder, lightening, rain and power cuts have been on the agenda the past few days but I’m not complaining.  The rain is much needed, and the power cut only lasted a couple of hours – not the end of the world.

I’ve been busy with yarn . . . finished the pink caridgan I was knitting.  This is a photo I showed earlier.

It progressed speedily to this

on blocking boards.  And then with 3 buttons added.

As soon as I cast off that project, I cast on a new one.  Ever so eager to start knitting a poncho pattern I mentioned not long ago.  There were two that caught my eye, and mentioned here:  seeing double.   I really like the Saltaire/Andes one in camel . . . but the Jewelspun/Pirouette one looked like it might be fun, and an excellent excuse to try my hand at cables.  So this is the pattern I’m knitting (I downloaded the DMC version in French because it was free).

However, I had seen a non DMC or Sirdar yarn I thought might look good for this . . . and it was on special offer.  It’s an acryllic yarn by Woll Butt, in 300g balls . . . I’m knitting in a colourway called “Sunset” on 5mm needles.

It’s plain sailing and plain stitching so far because I’m knitting the back and cable is only on the front.  Very brainless but I’m enjoying the bright colours.  I’m also looking forward to knitting the front and cables, but that will be another day.

To give me something else to get my teeth into, I’ve also just started a new crochet project.

This is a design by Sweet Oddity Art and published in “Dinosaurs, mammouths and more prehistoric amigurumi”.  The pattern is a joy to follow and shaping is very cleverly done.

And, before I sign off . . . I surprised a French blogging friend with an unbirthday in August.

A fabric tote bag and an Isabelle Vautier xstitch kit, posted to Virginie.

flower sprite happy dancing

In May, I bought two crochet patterns on etsy, designed by CritterStitchDesigns . . . and showed you my first hookings to make an acorn sprite and a flower sprite. Since then, I have made some more flower sprites.

The orignal design is for bald dolls, with the flower hat as their head covering, but I’ve made these for two little girls and I’m sure they’d like their sprites to have hair.

So a very simple wig for each, which I’ve sewn on so it can’t be removed. Hats & dungarees can be removed, however. 

I felt rather inspired when I went looking for embellishments for the dungarees. Found some plastic flower shaped bead in my stash (a leftover from children’s jewellery making efforts) and matched with the flower hats.

I was working with two different brands of yarn. Mainly Stylecraft Special DK but I recently bought in some new colours in DMC Knitty4, which is supposed to be DK and have the same tension as most DK yarns. However, I was very disappointed as it’s a lot thicker.  An example: the pink hat is made using DMC Knitty4 whereas the yellow hat is made with Stylecraft and they’ve turned out completely different sizes.

Anyway . . . that’s four sprites in total and I’ll probably make two more acorn sprites just so the little fella doesn’t feel out-numbered.

ScrapHappy # June

Time to link up with fellow scrappers, for ScrapHappy day.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

A day, each month, always on 15th, where we show photos of scrappy projects.  I don’t seem to have been playing much with my scraps of late, but . . . while crocheting a small project last week, I realised I am using scraps because I’m using leftovers from larger balls of yarn.

I’m making some sprites, and looking to use some of the remnants from my DK yarn stash.  Here, crocheting the body of a new Fairy Sprite, using what was left of “Duck Egg” blue (a Stylecraft Special DK).  I wasn’t sure if I was going to have enough to complete the body, so I just kept crocheting, stuffing, and crossing my fingers.

As it happily turned out . . . I was able to complete the body (up to where I reattach the skin colour for neck) in Duck Egg, with approximately 30cm to spare. Phew!

hooking a flower sprite

After the Acorn Sprite of last week, I’ve been having fun with a second pattern by CritterStitchDesigns:  Flower Sprite.

It’s basically the same doll & construction, but accessories are different.

Here she is, hand in hand, with Acorn . . . sadly I overstuffed her head.  (note to self for next time).  Anyway . . . I love how she turned out but wasn’t sure I liked the idea of her being bald under that hat.  So . . . I crocheted a wig.

I made the wig up as I went along, and forgot to make notes, but it was simple enough to make and can be worn with or without the hat.

Am enjoying these sprites so much, the plan is to crochet up some more.

hooking an acorn sprite

I fancied a bit of fun with my crochet hook, but couldn’t decide on any patterns in my numerous books.  So . . . I had a browse on etsy and came across the most delightful patterns by CritterStitchDesigns.   

I couldn’t make up my mind which pattern to buy, they are all so cute. But I finally decided on a couple of sprites.

This is my version of the Acorn Sprite.  I hooked using Stylecraft DK and a 2.5mm hook which means he turned out at 9″ tall.  I think he’s ever so cute.

Instructions said to sew the acorn hat in place but I’ve kept it removeable.

I plan on making several more acorn sprites, using different colours for their outfits & wing/leaves . . . but in the meantime, I’ve already started work on a flower sprite.


a bit of this & that

A little bit of this & that, as we almost come to the end of February.

First . . .

A little parcel, sent & received, to wish Yvonne a very happy un-birthday in February.  An Isabelle Vautier xstitch kit and a pair of fingerless mittens, crocheted in Stylecraft DK “duck egg”.  I followed the pattern by Loopy Mabel but added thumbs.

A belated birthday present for yours truly, from SIL.  She treated herself to a super dooper embroidery machine recently and has been having fun with that!  So two pretty embroidered coasters in green, and a bottle of perfume.

Some bargain buttons!  We have a shop locally called Noz.  It buys up old stock, from shops all over Europe ( including groceries, clothes, toys, books interior decoration, DIY and craft supples).  You never know what you’re going to find.  I always love to rummage, and on our last visit, came across a big box of old haberdashery supplies, including some rather “vintage” looking buttons.

They weren’t terribly exciting colours but they were being sold only 59 centimes for the tube – and there are 49 buttons in each tube plus one attached to the screw-on lids.  How could I not buy any, at that price?

I’ve also been playing around with patchwork fabric.  I pulled out a bunch of FQs and printed panel, gifted to me by my sister on my birthday 8 years ago.  And decided it’s time to start doing something!  As usual (for me) I jumped in with both feet, without really having a plan, and cut the FQs into as many 5″ squares as I could get.   Only then did I begin thinking about layout.  The difficulty being that I want to include the printed panel in the centre, but build up a much larger quilt for a double bed.

It’ll be a QAYG project, and I’ll be able to leave myself wiggle room with outer sections by adding a border to the panel.  For the moment, I’m toying between two different ideas. Squares and rectangles of prints sashed or

just squares, but with more light solids scattered about.  I’ve thrown a few other matching fabrics in the mix, and plan on adding more greens but the original FQs and panel are from the Benartex “tea house” collection, so very Japanesey (not the purple FQ at top of photo).

I need to draw a couple of sketches and do the maths before I go any further.

and another year begins! (catch up)

Hello everyone!  I’ve been a bit quiet, simply because we were enjoying some family time with Mr & Mrs Tattoo, who we hadn’t seen in over 12 months.   They’ve left now though, so the house is quiet once more . . . and I’ll be getting back into my normal routine.

I’m not making any resolutions this year. I’ll just be doing what I fancy, when I fancy.  As the new year begins, I have two cross stitch projects on the go, plus one knitting project on my needles.  And some ideas bouncing around in my head for up-coming projects, which will be revealed as they happen.

I forgot to do a December egg-count . . .

so, using photo from last month, I can say that hens were in fine fettle for December and laid a total of 101 eggs !!!!

Restoration work was completed on the church Saint Georges, just before the festive season.  Following photos taken on 23rd December – just look at that blue sky!!


I finished a diamond painting.

and I can also reveal some secret crafting that happened in December.

a set of six placemats designed and made especially for my brother-in-law.  I don’t think I need to add that he is of Greek descent lol.  Suffice it to say, he was thrilled to bits with these.

Three pairs of mittens flew off my crochet hook (using the pattern by Loopy Mabel, but adding a thumb).

in Stylecraft Special DK (petrol blue, grey & black) for sister-in-law, niece and friend.

and a scrappy placemat for the same friend.

Frankie monster beanies

Who can resist dressing up for Hallowe’en, eh?  Most kids I know can”t!  Which is why, when I saw a crochet pattern to make a Frankenstein monster hat on etsy, I clicked & bought.  Pattern had instructions to make 3 different sizes, using Aran yarn.  I didn’t have any in my stash, so I used DK and altered number of stitches & rows slightly.

I made two because the first one, on the left, turned out perhaps a little snug for the person I was planning on gifting it to. Not to worry, my 92cm Daisy doll (Monika Levenig) is quite happy to wear that one.


The second one, was posted to the person I thought of when I first saw the pattern. To Little Miss Viking – yay!  She turned 3 in August, goes to nursery 5 mornings a week, and is growing up fast (sadly we haven’t seen her in over 2 years).  Anyway, she loves dressing up, and has a thing about monsters, zombies, and lions at the moment.  To respect privacy, Daddy Viking blurred out her face . . . but this is Little Miss Viking literally seconds after having ripped the package open.

Maybe not the best photo of the actual hat lol, but you get the general idea!

ScrapHappy # october

It’s 15th of the month, the day to link up with other ScrapHappy people around the world and play around with our scraps.

Last month I didn’t have anything to show you except this photo
of leftover yarns and a pattern I’d found on the internet by Zhaya Designs.  The pattern is to make what Zhaya calls “smooching balls”.  I thought I’d give them a go.
Mine are still a work in progress.  I’ve made one little “fellow” but he needs to have his pink feet sewn on and then some kind of hair & facial featurees.  The second one is just a stuffed ball for the moment.  Also needs a face, legs and some kind of hair.

monster crochet stash-busting

After making the bright pink crochet dragon, I had a tidy up in my “discount store” yarn drawer. Very happy to see that, whereas once upon a time it was overflowing and difficult to close, now there’s plenty of room in there.

I had lots of bright neon colours in there, just crying out to crocheted.   So, a quick flick through my pile of crochet books looking for a pattern to make something in another bright colour.

And this is what I made.

Pattern from the book “Amigurumi Monsters”.

Design by YOUnique crafts:  Toby the triclops.  My Toby turned out at 6″ tall (that’s the measurement to his middle eye).  I love his feet, with 4 toes each, and he has a thumb on each hand.  He was a nice, relaxing, easy project to make.