my unbirthday in Sept (and more)

I am a very lucky lady.  Postlady dropped a plump envelope in the  letter box the other day, with an un-birthday gift from Jacqueline.

Jacqueline is a very talented needleworker who also makes lace.  I feel very honoured, because it must take forever to do and need very good eyesight.   I was sent, my intial in silk thread, a bookmark in cotton thread and an embroidery kit .  Many thanks!

Also feeling lucky because I nabbed myself a vintage bargain at the weekend.  A local family were having an “everything must go” sale, selling contents of their mother’s house. Rest assured, not deceased, but moved into a nursing home where she can’t take all her belongings.  Anyway, I went along and saw this.

Couldn’t resist, and paid 30€ so it could come home with me.  It was made by a local furniture-maker, late 60s/early 70s.  I love the style, and the legs. Reminds me of the furniture my parents had during my early childhood.

And before I sign off for today . . . I’ve been busy knitting and xstitching, but also sticking a few drills on my fox DP project every now and then. So I’ve progressed from


SAL “my day off” #1

I’m linking with other SAL members



to show a photo of my newest SAL project.  Three weeks ago, I was having a happy dance with my poppies, and decided to begin this project next.

A Design Works kit: “My Day Off” based on the artwork of Ronald West.   This was gifted to me a few birthdays ago by Megan. You might remember that Avis and I stitched another of Ronald West’s designs a few years ago . . . this one.

“My Day Off” is in the same series.  Stitched on 14 count aida, it’s going to be very easy on the eyes.  This is how much I managed to do for my first update.

a bit of this & that

A bit of this & that today . . . first up, Ziva!

Feeling very at home here these days (and it’s less than 2 months since she joined us).  Here she is, enjoying the wet food I put out for Ducky, leaving Ducky to make do with the dried food.  Ziva had her third vaccine this morning, and her micro-chip. She weighed in at 1.850kg, so that’s +300g in 3 weeks.  She’s not quite 4 months old . . . next visit for her will be at the end of the year to be spayed.

Ducky is the only one of our three cats who is prepared to be in close quarters with Ziva, and only when food is involved. The rest of the time, he’d rather be outside, enjoying the dandelions . . . along with Le Bleu and Abby who won’t come indoors until they know that Ziva is shut away for the night.

Ob (Mr & Mrs Tattoo’s cat) is the only cat who puts up with Ziva during the daytime . . . and even then, he doesn’t like her too close.

I doubt she’ll be allowed in the Tattoo’s bedroom again soon though, because she had another “accident” and peed on their bed AGAIN!

On the crafting front . . . my poncho knitting project is growing, very slowly.  Has progressed from this

I’m past the 43cm mark, and have placed markers for the start of armhole section, and have to carry on knitting straight for a total of 70cm, so quite a few rows to go.  It doesn’t look very wide, because it’s all scrunched up on my straight needle, but it’s 171 stitches across.

Oh, and after enjoying the instant gratification of completing the diamond painting kit of 4 Mandala design cards, I have picked up a canvas I began way back in February of this year, and been working on a larger design.



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.

more knitting and my unbirthday in August.

I’ve been on a roll with my knitting needles. Funny really, because I never thought I’d be knitting so much in the hot summer months . . . but with the fan on full blast, it’s what I’m enjoying the most at the moment.  After the top I knitted for Daisy doll, following a King Cole pattern, I cast on and have begun knitting the cardigan version.

The back is done and I’ve started on the left front.  It looks skinnier than it is, in the photo, because the rib pattern pulls it in.  Am loving how the pink yarn is working up.  It’s going to be very girly.

I also had a very quick knit, using some sock yarn.  I did buy the sock yarn with a view to knitting more socks, but when hunting in my stash for the following project, it seemed the best option.

This is a pattern available for free on line.  Written specifically for 20cm Corolline Corolle dolls.  The sock yarn was perfect, when knit on 2.75mm needles and the colour changing means I didn’t bother following the striped version of original pattern.

I also had an unbirthday in August – yay!  A surprise parcel arrived from my friend, Avis.

Avis knows I love binge-watching DVDs when I knit, so I’ll be chuckling  with “Car Share”.  Avis also sent the more adorable coaster because she knows I’m an endless coffee drinker too!

And some surprise mail from Stéphanie as well!

Thank you ladies !

this & that (plus an unbirthday) in July

It’s been too hot this month to really concentrate on anything much.  I did get organised and sent off an unbirthday gift for a blogging friend.

The lucky lady for July was Angèle.  Angèle does all sorts of crafts including diamond painting, knitting, & cross stitch.  I sent her 4 home-made fabric coasters and an Isabelle Vautier xstitch kit.

I have managed a few more rows of knitting, so things have progressed from

to this

I’ve also been buying a few books to add to my shelves.  You know I am a doll fanatic . . . so I was very pleased when I found some books on @m@zon with a few marketplace sellers who specialise in secondhand books.   The following all date back to the 80s but are in very good condition and only cost a few euros each.

These two in French.  “Les Poupées – une histoire millénaire”, as its title suggests, a look at the history of dolls with lots of colour photos and interesting facts.  And “Un amour de poupée” – autobiographical, by Catherine Refarbert who is the founder of the French company Corolle. Fascinating read, sadly only a few photos in b&w.

These two in English.  Both on the life of Käthe Kruse and the history of her doll-making. I’ve only had a flick through so far, but both books are filled with lots of photos and I know I’m going to enjoy reading them.

And last, but not least, a brand new copy of “Doll Studio Boutique” with patterns for 14″ dolls. Patterns designed for Ruby Red and Wellie Wishers, but should fit the 13″ and 14″ dolls in my collection with a few minor ajustments.  Just need to find time to sit down and sew.


cast off, cast on

Happy dancing here last week, with the finish of a summer top for yours truly.

It’s knitted following this pattern

“Melody – Lace Summer Top” by Sarah Hatton.  I swapped the recommended yarn for OnLine Linie 107 Supersoft.  I used 6 x 50g.  While the yarn I used is a cotton mix, it’s still a bit warm here to be wearing a knitted top. Should be good for September though.

And in the meantime, no sooner had I cast off, than I cast on!

I’m using  a yarn cake (cotton & acryllic mix) bought in ACTION on a whim because of the pretty colours. Bought on a whim probably a couple of years ago, and been sitting in the cupboard ever since. Yarn is knitting up prettily but ever so hairy – I wouldn’t expect a young child to want to wear a top knitted with this yarn but I’m giving it a whirl just because.  I’m not even going to worry about matching up the colour morphing on front & back – this project will be for Daisy doll.  If I like how the pattern knits up, I’ll buy in some decent yarn to make again for Little Miss Viking.  There’s also the pattern for a cardigan in the leaflet, which is ever so pretty.

summer top progress

I don’t have too many crafting projects on the go at the moment: just a cross stitch piece for the SAL, still crocheting sprites, and a knitting project to make this gorgeous summer top.

Pattern is called “Melody” it’s by Sarah Hatton and is available for sale on most yarn sites, including Ravelry.

After a mis-read and need to frog/tink at beginning of armhole shaping on my first side, I soon got back on track and am pleased to say my summer top is over half done.

In fact, the second half is already well under way!  While I’ve been busy on my knitting, Mrs Tattoo has been working on hers. Knitting the same pattern, in a smaller size, and in “pistachio” colour.   She’s just reached the armhole shaping part, so I have given all the help I can there, writing a stitch by stitch chart, to help keep count of things with the 8 row pattern repeat, while decreasing on both edges.

She’s doing so well though!  She only picked up knitting needles last year and I’ve really thrown her in at the deep end with this project.


arrggghhh! need to frog.

I’ve started a new knitting project (and Mrs T is knitting her own version as well).  The pattern is “Melody” by Sarah Hatton.


It’s to make a “lace summer top” and pattern is written for a WYS yarn, but I’m using a different yarn. I chose the brand: ONline Linie 107 supersoft. It’s a  60% cotton/ 40% acrylic DK mix.  Advantage, compared to the recommended yarn a) I was able to buy it in France. b) it’s machine washable and c) it cost 2.95€ for a 50g ball (I need 7 x 50g for my size), so makes for a not too expensive knitting project.

It wasn’t until I’d paid for and downloaded the pattern, that I realised, this top is knitted with the purl side facing outwards. ie, the “wrong” side is the “right” side. This took some getting used to.  Anyway, photo above, with flash, to try and show you the colour I’m knitting in (although it’s actually lighter and more like the pink on pattern photo).


And second photo, without flash, so you can see the stitch detail, which is basically lots of tear drop shaped holes.  Sadly, I got as far as the beginning of armhole . . . did my first cast offs to begin armhole shaping . . . 2 more, with more decreasing and then had an “arrggghhh!” moment.  I misread the pattern and only cast off 6 stitches each side, when I should have cast off 10.  So . . . I’ve got 4 rows to frog, and get myself back on track.