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.

SAL “My day off” #7

Is it me, or did those last 3 weeks simply fly by?  I don’t feel like I had time to blink and we’re almost approaching the end of January!  Time to link up with fellow SAL members




and show updates on the projects we’re working on. Everyone os working on a different project, at her own pace, that’s the joy of this SAL.  Just a group meet-up every 3 weeks to motivate each other and share progress.  Last time I was here

For this time, it might not look much, but I’ve filled in all the white stitching of the bath tub, some of the knickers and a bit of horizon.


what we’re up to in January

We’re already a week into the New Year and haven’t really seen the days fly by because Tali is keeping us on toes.

She’s not yet 3 months old, only just turned 12 weeks, and weighs in at 6.7kg, so quite a feather-weight.  She’s at that awful age where she wants to put everything in her mouth and those milk teeth are razor sharp.  “Ouch” is the word she hears most often at the moment as she tries to bite fingers, ankles, trouser bottoms, shoes . . . whatever she can sink her teeth into.  The husband and I know it’s a passing phase and we’re being as patient (and firm) as possible. Concentrating on the positive aspects:  house-training is going well; walking on the leash is a work in progress; “sit” gets a 90% success rate and Tali does come when she’s called (although not always immediately).

We’re making the most of puppy naptime to each do some crafting.  I’m still having fun with my knitting needles.

This is a new project cast on this year.  I’m knitting with an aran weight silver grey by Allison & Mae (bought for only 1.09€/100g in a local shop and am knitting another sweater for myself.  I’m using two patterns for inspiration, which I’ll tell you about another time (if this works).   So far, I have a back and the front is underway.

The husband, in the meantime, had fun with one of his xmas presents.  Following an article by Kate, I went browsing on @m@zon and bought a “book nook” kit for the husband.  Here’s what it looks like once assembled.

It was a bit fiddly in places, and required a fair amount of patience, but the husband really enjoyed making it and the result is ever so pretty.  In fact, when we were in the local shop where I bought my grey yarn, we saw some other miniature kits (for only 9.95€) and the husband decided to try one of those.  Not a “book nook”, but the same kind of activity. requiring glue, a steady hand & patience.





SAL “my day off” #6

First of all, a very happy new year!  I feel as if 2022 went by in the blink of an eye!  Today, I link up with fellower SALers




to show progress on my current cross stitch project.  The one I’m working on at the moment is a Design Works kit, adapted from artwork of Ronald West, this design being called “My Day Off”.  This is where I was last time

And progress made since then.


another knitty finish

2022 seems to have been a knitting year for me.  Knitting is something I came to rather late in life, and am forever learning new techniques, having fun and making unique garments along the way.  The latest project cast on my needles, is already finished.  It was a stash-busting project, using a free Rowan pattern I downloaded years ago, and a lovely King Cole Comfort Aran in the colour “Jade”, gifted to me for xmas 2018 (and chosen specifically because of this pattern).

However, when I began, I had to do some maths because this Rowan pattern calls for a light worsted yarn, and I had aran which I really wanted to use.  After a few tension swatches, I decided to knit on 5mm, cast on for the M size, and hope it turned out an L size.  Pattern is broken rib for sleeves and lower part of body, then changes to off-set rib for the yoke of body.  It has a turtle neck, but I decided against that, and just did a simple 2×2 rib.

I also shortened the body part because I already have several bum-warmer sweaters and fancied making something a bit shorter.  Am really happy with how it turned out.

It’s quite chunky, due to the rib stitch, but it’s ever so comfortable and the KC yarn is extremely soft & snuggly.  I used a total of 600g for this project, which means I have 400g left over.  A flick through my stash of knitting patterns/books, and I’ve already cast on a new project.

A second cable project . . . but I won’t tell you what I’m making just yet.

While taking photos of knitting . . . I realised I never had photos taken of me modelling the sleeveless top I made this summer.

This one, that I finished in July.   There you go!  Another project not worked with the recommended yarn, although I did choose a very similar colour.


SAL “my day off” #5

Once upon a time the only needle craft I did was cross stitch and I would happily cross stitch late into the night.  Then, I began branching out, learning other other  needle crafts: sewing, patchwork, knitting and crochet.  Cross stitch has taken a back seat ever since.  I do still love the activity, and find it relaxing, but I also enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques with other crafts . . . and this year seems to have been a knitting year for me.   Anyway, I’m very glad I belong to a SAL group, organised by Avis, because knowing there will be updates to show every 3 weeks is about the only thing that’s keeping me cross stitching of late.

This is the photo I shared 3 weeks ago.  And for today, this is progress.

I do hope fellow SALers have been more industrious than me!




Our next update will be next year . . . on 1st January 2023 in fact!

catching up

Oops already 3rd December and I realise I missed my monthly round-up of “hen happenings” . . .

not that there was much to report.  Gals are all fine but on something of a go-slow.  A total of 51 eggs for November (with 3 hens) – I think that’s an all-time low.

Non-hen related chat

concerning Ziva.  Here she is sporting a lycra body-suit because I took her in to be neutered on 1st December.  She’s not quite 7 months old and weighed in at 2.8kg but I wanted to get her spayed as early as possible.  Tis done.  She’s getting used to the body suit which is a much better option than the one the vet staff made.  And with colder weather on the way, she seems quite happy to stay indoors.

And, last but not least . . .

I’ve cast on a new knitting project.  This is a free pattern I stumbled across years ago, and for which I have had the yarn in my stash since xmas 2018.

The pattern, being a Rowan, actually calls for “worsted” weight and I asked Mr Tattoo for a lovely King Cole Comfort Aran back in 2018.  Tension obviously won’t work, and that’s why this yarn and pattern have been sitting in the drawer all these years.  However, I did some maths, and am going to make the pattern work with my aran yarn (I hope).  It’s very easy knitting, just knits & purls, and growing very fast.


need to get a wiggle on!

Goodness me! we’re almost at the end of November which means I need to get a wiggle on with my knitting!  I began this project


way back in August!  And hopes were that it would be finished by the end of November. Hmmm . . . now I’m just hoping it’ll be finished before xmas!  I’ve been allowing myself to become distracted with diamond painting because that’s something easy to do, and doesn’t attract cats on my lap. As soon as I try to sit down with knitting, there are always one or two felines who suddenly appear out of nowhere, and I quickly put my knitting away.

Saying that, the front, with the band of cable (I’m doing a different cable to one suggested in pattern) has grown from this

to this

so things are moving in the right direction. However, I still have quite a few rows to do, and then I need to sew together at shoulder and pick up for the colloar. So, not close to a finish yet.  Colours are much prettier in real life (but the camera flash makes stitch definition look strange). This is a better one of true colours.

Gorgeous purples & reds, gold & browns.   For info, the yarn I’m using is

a colour called “Sunset”.

SAL “my day off” #4

It’s time to link up with other SAL members




for our 3-weekly post where we show progress and encourage each other to keep on stitching.  Last time I was here

and I’m sorry to say that all I found time to stitch was a bit more sky.

There were simply too many other things happening and I lacked both concentration & motivation.  Hopefully life will be quieter and I’ll get more done for next time.

geisha progress

Crafting was put on hold while the Viking family were here to visit, but after getting the house back to normal, I had a few patchwork sessions, and my geisha patchwork is coming along nicely.

For info, this is the very rough sketch I drew for layout.

Looks like something drawn by a 5 year old, I know, but I somehow missed out on the artist’s gene!  Anyway, it’s enough to serve as a guide line, and things will look better, once everything comes together, I promise!  The plan for this quilt is to make separate panels, which will be joined together with the QAYG (quilt as you go) technique.  All panels have been sewn, with 1.5″ sashing.

And looking like this.

I’ve gone for random placement, which has resulted in maybe too many greens in one area . . . but I’m hopeful it’ll look less obvious once panels are joined together, with the darker solid.  I don’t have a large enough floor space to lay everything out properly so you only get to see the left side here.  Next step is to add more sashing, then think about backing my panels and start quilting.