SAL “my day off” #12

I’ve been making the most of daylight hours, to sit out in the new veranda, and make some progress on my current xstitch project: “My Day Off”.

Last time I showed this photo.

Things have progressed nicely since, to this.

I’m mainly concentrating on the lower half of the chart, but have also added a few details here and there, namely the black cat.

Let’s see what other SAL members have been up to.




SAL “my day off” # 11

Time to link up with our lovely group of SAL members,



and share photos of progress with our chosen stitchy projects.  My current project is “My Day Off”, which looked like this 3 weeks ago.

It hasn’t seen the light of day very often since, but I am steadily covering ground.

I’ve been busy doing other things, including finishing off a couple of projects in my “to be finished” drawer.  Regular followers and other SAL members will recognise the following design.

“Sugar Skull Panda” which is a design by my daughter (Megan to SAL members, aka Lindashee.  She has a little shop on etsy Lindashee’s Stitches). .  I stitched this lovely colourful design for the SAL in 2020 and I finally finished it off properly so I can have it hanging on the wall in my sewing room.

A very simple finish:  some echo quilting around the outline of the head, then a fun stripey fabric for binding, which picks out so many colours of the design.

“Moderne Roses” growing on me

On Thursday I showed you a patchwork WIP using half a jelly roll of “Modern Roses” by Moda.

I wasn’t much in love with it, but I’ve gone ahead with the next stage which was to add sashing of my background colour (white) and make bands to go around this central panel.

It now looks like this, and I’m starting to like it a bit more.  According to the pattern I’m following, this is as big as it gets, and I could go ahead with quilting & binding.  That will give me a finished size of 50″ x 38″.  However, I’m toying with the idea of adding a second white border so that binding (which will be the same aqua colour as my snowball triangles) pops a little more.


“Modern Roses”

Probably more than a decade ago, I treated myself to a “jelly roll”.  I remember, at the time, it was because I wanted to make a simple JR quilt, sewing all the strips together etc . . . but, for the life of me, I can’t remember why I chose the particular fabric I did.  It’s called “Modern Roses”, by Moda.  I tend to work with bright, sun-glasses worthy fabric, and quite a few of the prints in the “Modern Roses” collection are light beige, light grey. Any brighter prints (in yellow, aqua and salmon pink, are very large prints on grey, beige or white backgrounds

Anyway . . . I’m having something of a stash bust at the moment and decided a decade was too long to be keeping a jelly roll in the stash.  I have several quilting books, and decided on a design, to make a quilt using only half a jelly roll. Pattern is called “Snapdragon” and is published in the book: “Two from one jelly roll quilts” by Pam & Nicky Lintott.

Colours on this example are totally different to my fabrics, but I set to work regardless.

Not terribly convinced with how the large prints work together, once sewn into my 9-blocks, made with 2.5″ squares.  I should probably have used the neutral beige & greys to give proper contrast.  And already delving into other stash for a solid aqua in an attempt to bring some unity to this project on the snowball blocks.

This is my inner panel so far.  I’m not convinced I’m going to like it.  Not liking my colour placement either, but at this stage I’m just sewing together and hoping it’ll grow on me.

I’ve got my pieces for the outer border prepped too . . . but will be unpicking all those end white (my background colour) squares and replacing with something else because I really don’t like the way the white squares end up not being symmetrical.

Anyway . . . it’s keeping me out of other mischief, and I’m sure I will feel a sense of achievement once it’s finished.

April is galloping away!

Goodness me! April seems to be galloping away already!  February & March were a bit of a commotion here because we had a worksite going on: renovation of the veranda & loggia.  Workmen were very efficient and all, and things actually went quite quickly (on hindsight) but it did seem to take forever while we were living with noise and big boots clumping about.  The veranda needed to be renovated because the original one was nigh on 50 years old and had really done its time. In summer months it was boiling hot in there. In wet months, the roof leaked and we had puddles everywhere. And in the cold winter months it was icey cold.  We do have a fireplace in there, but with the old glass roof, heat just whooshed right out.

In order to keep the price down a smidgen, we opted for a tiled roof on the renovation, with two “Vélux” windows to let some light in.  Roof is insulated, and ceiling has been finished off with wood pannelling.

And that’s what the new little loggia looks like – with sliding windows and mosquito nets.

We haven’t yet got the veranda sorted out properly inside. We need to buy a few chairs, and the husband is thinking about putting up some shelving for his plants.  The only thing that’s been put up so far is curtains.

I bought 6 voile curtains: 4 plain white, and 2 with a nice soft leaf print.  Problem being that curtains were 240cm long and needed chopping off at the bottom for a 205cm length.  I knew it was mission impossible before I started.  Hemming two voile curtains (roughly) the same length, I can manage, but hemming six . . .

I won’t show the eye sore of bad hemming . . . let’s just say curtains are up, and I’ll probably have to buy at least one more curtain & hem, to replace the one that lets the side down.  In the meantime, I’m trying to ignore it, and to imagine what this space will look like when finished.




knitting – still in baby-mode

I’m still in baby-mode where knitting is concerned.  After the recent knits using DK, I bought in a couple of balls of “baby” soft 4ply and have cast on a new project.

Something simple, but with a little bit of texture on the bottom.

A free pattern by WYS – there will be more button bands to knit – both sides of neck I think – but in the meantime, it’s all fairly easy.  Back is done, front is underway.  What I will say . . . after knitting several sweaters for myself in aran, then some more knitting for baby in DK . . . when I cast on and was knitting the ribbing with 4ply on 2.5mm needles, it felt like knitting with toothpicks!  I love how fine the yarn is, and how it’s working up, but even working on 3mm needles for the stocking stitch, it’s growing very slowly.

SAL update – no show

I’m ashamed to say, that I haven’t touched my cross stitch project since last time.  So things haven’t progressed since the last photo.

There’s been too much going on here, and when I do have time for crafting, I’d rather knit.

I do hope other SAL members have had more time/motivation.




I also expect to do better for next time.  The diary is (sadly) filling up with quite a few medical appointments for March, and I’ll therefore be spending quite a few hours sitting around in waiting rooms.  I’ll make sure to take “My Day Off” with me, and put a few stitches in here & there so that this project doesn’t stall completely.

On a different subject . . . Tali is doing well and growing fast.

At 4 and a half months, she weighed in at 13.9kg. That surprised us, because she’s still quite small, but we reckon the extra weight must be pure muscle.  We’ve started taking her out everyday to the local dog park where she can charge around, meet other dogs, and have fun on the smaller obstacles of the agility course.

She particularly enjoys going through the tunnels . . . but still expects a treat at each end.

February done & dusted!

Well, that’s February done & dusted, eh?  Two months gone in a flash!  I haven’t taken any recent photos of the hens, but they’re all well.  Still being a bit lazy with the egg laying but we did collect 46 eggs this month.  That was more than enough for us, and a few boxes for the neighbours.

It’s been rather busy, and noisey here over the last few weeks.  We’ve got a some work going on . . . having our veranda/conservatory renovated.  Things are coming along nicely.  We also had a couple of vet visits with Tali who appears to have something of a sensitive tummy, the poor thing.  Not helped by the fact she keeps on eating whatever she can gobble down before we tell her “No!”,  including dog poop.  Yes, sadly, Flat-coated retrievers have a thing for eating poop and it’s not easy trying to break her of the habit.

Anyhoot . . . a few pretty pictures to liven up this post, and remind me of what was going on in February.

For starts, I grew one year older . . . and treated myself to a couple of pretty cloth dolls.  These are by a French manufacturer – Moulin Roty, and are two of the “Les Rosalies” collection.

On the left, a 32cm doll called Vanille. And on the right her 45cm big sister, called Violette.  I plan on trying my hand at making a cloth doll (or several) this year, and these two will be my muses.  I also received the box set of the series “Fallen Skies” (just love Noah Wylie) from Lindashee . . . so many hours of viewing in store there, and a plant & secateurs from the Husband.

My 5-year old friend, Mona, did a drawing for me.  That’s her house and our house with some birds flying in the sky and the sun just sneaking in too.  Please note, she can now write her name in joined up writing!!!

I’ve also been busy sewing, with stretch fabrics . . . in an attempt to make some clothes for Baby Inkling (due in April) . . . thing is, shop-bought clothes are so cheap these days, and babies grow so fast, I’m not sure if it’s worth my while sewing for a baby. Not when I can nab bargains like this in Lidl.

Still, I am having fun getting to grips with stretch fabric on my Juki, so I’ll show you some photos soon of my efforts.  I’ve also cast on and begun knitting a tiny sweater (even though I haven’t finished sewing up armholes and putting buttons on 3 baby cardigans yet.

The teal cardigan is much farther along now than in the photo, but not quite finished. Because I got side-tracked with a sweater project.

As you can see, I’m having fun with bright colours for baby.  And it’s an excuse to try out a few new things.




knitting & crochet

I’m alternating between knitting & crochet.  First, trying out the basic pattern from one of my new crafting books.

I followed the smallest kids’ size, because the aim was to understand the basic pattern and the anatomy of the slipper.  It’s ever so clever!!!!  I’ve learned how to double crochet around back posts and front posts, which created a lovely texture.    I still have to make the features of the animal these slippers are going to become, but that’ll be for another time.

What I was interested in was, seeing how the basic pattern worked, and also seeing how it crocheted up for size.  I’d read quite a few comments on @m@zon about sizing and I do find that it’s more difficult to get gauge correct in crochet than in knitting.

I was using an Alison & Mae “medium” yarn, which is supposed to be aran, on the recommended hooks, and my first slipper came out a bit smaller than it’s supposed to. However, I think it’s the yarn, and not my tension.  I tried making soles in a charcoal grey Alison & Mae yarn, and they worked up much bigger – proof that even within brands, the thickness of yarn can vary and it’s not necessarily the fault of the crafter.

When not crocheting, I’ve been knitting in bright colours for baby Inkling who is due mid-April-ish.

Following a pattern (free download) for a very easy baby cardigan.  It’s knit top down, with increasing for sleeves, which gives a seamless raglan finish.  The hardest part is knitting the sleeves on DPNs to keep the cardie seamless, but it really is a joy to knit.  It’s a DK pattern, so I cast on in DMC Knitty 4 for the first one.  However, I’m daring to try an Alison & Mae Medium (supposedly aran) for the second version.

January round-up (hens & all)

I haven’t been very talkative this month – still seem to be spending my days nipping outside with Tali, and doing lots of K9 education, but it’ll be worth it once she’s fully grown. Above photo taken on 16th Jan when she was 13 weeks.  She’s now 15 weeks, tips the scales at 10.5kg and is still keeping us on our toes.

I tried to get a photo of Tali & Ziva together and ended up with this:  blurry cat and blurred dog tail lol.

We’ve put a little gate across the bottom of the stairs, more symbolic than anything else, to stop Tali going upstairs.  Ziva doesn’t mind being in close contact with Tali, but the other cats still prefer to keep out of her way.

Out in the hen coop, the hens are continuing their go-slow . . . the three of them seem to be taking it in turns to lay, and I only collected 44 eggs for January.

As for crafting . . . I seem to be on a go-slow too.  I’ve got a sweater that’s waiting for raglan seams to be sewn so I can pick up and knit the collar.  I’m currently working on a pair of crocheted slippers, following the basic pattern from one of my new books (photos soon) and I’ve also been doing some diamond painting because that doesn’t require much brain power.  My current project is looking like this

Something floral, for a change!  But I suddenly find myself with a diamond painting stash because there were lots of cheap kits in a local shop the other week, and I couldn’t resist.

These are only partial coverage, but for the price, I’m happy with that.  3.99€ for the 30cm x 30cm ones and 4.65€ or the 30cm x 40cm ones.