SAL “Bag Ladies” – it’s a happy dance!

Another 3 weeks have sped by and I am thrilled to bits because, I have a happy dance to share.

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There’s the last cat, peeking over the top of a bag far left

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That mouse is still there, in hiding.

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And here are the cats you’ll remember from the far right.

Overall view

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And . . . as if a finish wasn’t enough . . . I actually had time to finish the finish – yay!  So a very energetic happy dance!

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Please join me in some blog hopping to see what other members have been up to.  I believe I’m not alone in happy dancing this week.

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

I already know what project I’ll be starting next but I’ll keep it a secret until next time!  So, see you all again on 15th December!

surprise mail – sent & received

Two photos of some surprise mail to share with you today . . . first, something received.

from EmyLuby

This lovely little pouch was made and sent by Karine of Mes101Luby.  The little story behind it . . . back in August, Karine’s husband sent out a secret message to followers of her blog asking if we could send a doggy birthday card to their dog Emy, who was 10 years old on 1st September.  I, of course, sent a card, wishing Emy a very happy birthday lol and Karine very kindly decided to send a hand-made present to all the people who had sent a birthday card. 

Next for something sent . . .

for Zineb 02

A pair of fingerless mittens crocheted following a video tutorial by Loopy Mabel.

I made these in Stylecraft DK Special “Pomegranate” for a good friend to help keep her hands warm this winter. 

ScrapHappy # November & a happy dance!

Today is the day I link up with Kate, Gun and a big group of other crafters worldwide, to share photos of what we’ve made this month from scraps.

I am so thrilled to be having a happy dance this time, with a finished lapquilt.  Before I do the unveiling . . . here are photos I shared with you during the process.

squares

I started off with my bags of scrap and cut some 2.5” squares . . . and the lapquilt took shape from there.

scraphappy august

to this 01

to this 02

and then the happy dancing!

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Quilt is only small: 37” squares (or approx 94cm if you prefer) but I am thrilled to bits with how it turned out.  Fabrics on the front are all from previous patchwork or clothes-making projects over the years.  While the spotty dotty fabric on the back is (almost) the last of a huge piece I bought as backing fabric for my F2F2 quilt.  Since the F2F2 quilt, the spotty dotty fabric has featured in baby toy sewing, doll clothes, a tunic for myself, and now this colourful lap quilt.

Below is the list of links of all ScrapHappy members.

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

“Nature’s Walk” CAL progress

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Above photo to show you my new colours which arrived . . . so I finally have colour scheme sorted for Nature’s Walk.  I’m using Stylecraft DK Special in:  Spring Green, Meadow, Magenta, Wisteria, Clematis, Bluebell, Sherbet & Cream.

Here are the most recent set of 6 squares crocheted up, in Wisteria

CAL buds

These are following the pattern “Buds”, and have a “popcorn” stitch.  Quite fun to make, but these squares will definitely need blocking as they tend to be a lot springier than the others.

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So far, I have 6 of each of the above.

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I won’t promise to have the next 6 squares done by next week, because I’ve allowed myself to become side-tracked with knitting and sewing for dolls. 

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If you’d like to see these being modelled by dolls . . . you’ll have to hop over to my other blog: Claire’s Collections.

it’s a dog’s life!

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Photos today of Gibbs, and some crafting for dogs!  First up, a couple of Gibbs during one of our daily walks in the park, where Gibbs burns off all that excess energy . . . either swimming

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or simply charging around, enjoying the freedom of wide open spaces

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After a good run around,  Gibbs usually zonks out for a nice long nap in the afternoon . . . and, as I showed you recently, I decided he needed a few new bed covers, to allow me to wash & dry regularly.

After the fairly stitch/embroidery intensive bed cover, made using strips of denim from old jeans, which looked like this

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I had a rummage in my boxes of heavy-weight fabrics, and set to work on a second cover.

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This one was a lot quicker to make, since I just have one main panel and two bands on one side.  Reverse side is a boring khaki fabric.  I had enough of this “bordeaux” fabric to go ahead and make a second cover.

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Zooming in here, to show you a close up of the central panel.  This second cover is going to be for our neighbour’s dog:  Moka, a chocolate labrador.  I’ve got enough of my recycled bed quilts to make a mattress to fit.  There’s no reason why Gibbs should be the only dog to enjoy a comfy bed!

fingerless mittens

I’ve been having fun, making my first pair of fingerless mittens – yay!

After searching on youtube, and finding several really great videos, I opted to start off with a very simple one.  A big thumbs up to Bag-O-Day Crochet.  Video was excellent!

I’ve got rather large hands so I began with a bit of trial and error, getting the number of stitches & rows right, for ribbing the cuff.  And couldn’t resist crocheting in one of my very bright yarns!   This is an acrylic DK yarn, bought not long ago in ACTION.  Lovely & soft to work with, and grogeously bright – you know me by now, I can’t stand to work in (what I consider) drab colours.  If I’m going to make something it has to be bright! 

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Some people might not like seeing the colours striping diagonally, but I knew this was going to happen, since I was crocheting in the round and not joining (slip stitch, chain 1) and I can’t honestly say it bothers me to have the funny stripes. 

I’m just happy that I managed to sort out stitch count, alter number of rows where necessary to make them a custom fit for me.  I solved one problem – needing width for main hand, but not wanting it to gape at opening – by keeping the same number of stitches all round but changing from a 4mm to a 3.5mm hook for the last few rows.   If I follow this pattern again, I’ll probably also do the ribbing and first rows  on a 3.5mm hook too.

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I made them a lot longer, over the fingers, because these are going to be my “walking Gibbs” mittens and we’re heading for colder weather soon.

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Now it’s time to get back to CAL squares!

crochet & cross stitch

I’ve been busy with two different types of needlecrafts these past few days, alternating between crochet and cross stitch.

On the cross stitching front . . . I have a subscription for Cross Stitch Crazy magazine, and when the latest issue plopped into my letter box recently, I was tempted to sit down and stitch up the freebie kit almost immediately.

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I simplified things a little (leaving out most of the French knots which I hate doing) . . . but I think these two little decorations turned out very sweet nonetheless.

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As for crochet . . . well, I was busy making squares for the “Natures Walk” CAL designed by Cherry Heart (aka Sandra Paul).

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This chart is actually meant to be just a practice square, but I liked the little heart design so much, I crocheted up six, in Stylecraft Special DK “Spring Green”.

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Now the official instructions for this CAL are to use 6 colours, with a 7th neutral for joining & borders . . . idea being to make 8 squares from each of the 6 colours, therefore ending up with 48 squares for the finished blanket.

Being me, I’m going to do things my way, and plan on making only 6 squares of each colour, but to add a 7th colour so my blanket will turn out 6 x 7  (instead of 8 x 6).  My only problem . . . I initially picked only six colours and a neutral, and was then umming and ahhing about what extra colour to add.  One possible combination looking like this.

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But . . . the husband, whose opinion I do listen to occasionally, thinks it looks too “scrappy” . . . so I’m in the process of revising my choice of colours.   I’m going to need to place an order anyhow, for my border neutral (of which I will need 400g), so I might end up changing my colour scheme completely before I go much farther!