SAL “my day off” #3

I didn’t get much crafting done because of family visiting but it’s time to link up with other SAL members

AvisClaireGunChristinaKathyMargaret

HeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisy,

AJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindyMaryMargaret

and share photos of my current SAL project which looked like this 3 weeks ago.

and for this time, looks like this.

the vikings are coming

Hello folks! Just wanted to warn you, I might be a bit quiet this coming week.  We’ve still got Mr & Mrs Tattoo living with us (moving out early November into a rental flat) and we’ll be collecting the Viking family from the airport today!  They’ll be staying for a full week.

Haven’t seen the Vikings since Sept 2019, can you believe? Little Miss Viking was only 13 months old last time we saw her, and now she’s 4, already started school, and all that!  That little viking helmet I made for her first Christmas is now merely a decoration and doesn’t fit lol.

The two brothers, Mr Tattoo and Mr Viking haven’t seen each other for even longer!  I think the last time they spent time together was way back in January 2018, so . . . a huge amount of catching up to do.

 

animal updates

It’s been a while since I’ve done an animal update, so here goes.

First up – Ziva.  Growing, and an estimated 5 months old now.  I had had every firm intention of keeping her indoors until she’s old enough to be neutered, but she’s such a persistent, energetic little thing, I gave in. She was getting very frustrated, all teeth & claws,  having to stay indoors, seeing all the other cats enjoying the big outside world, and manifested her frustration by peeing on beds, sofa, and rugs (when there are FOUR little trays in the house!).

So . . . she’s now allowed outside, and is enjoying her new playground. She literally stays out in the garden all day, only zooming indoors for some food . . . and sleeps like a baby at night, after all that exercise and fresh air!  It won’t be long before she ventures out of the garden, to the orchard, veggie garden etc, but she won’t come to any harm.  Important thing is to make sure I get her booked in to be neutered before xmas!  We don’t want her going too far, in search of a mate!

Other news is about Gibbs.  You may remember he was in a very bad way, back in May.  This was the MRI we had done.

Showing a huge growth, which turned out to be a cholesteatoma, in his left middle ear, and caused serious facial paralysis.  That was removed, with the warning they weren’t sure they’d been able to remove it all, and it might grow back.

We don’t know if it is growing back, but, after an initial fairly good recovery, when I posted this photo (before fur had had time to grow back on his left ear)

Gibbs is going down hill again.  He’s been having what can only be described as seizures. Relatively minor, but we took him to our local vet last week.  Vet said it could either be the tumour growing back, or an onset of epilespy (which wouldn’t be surprising because of all the neurological damage).  We don’t want to take him back to the specialised clinic for another MRI.  It’s a lot of upheaval for Gibbs and even if we were told the tumour was back, we wouldn’t put him through another surgery.  If it is the tumour, it will have to follow its course, and I imagine it’ll be quick.   However, we’re also going to follow up on the epilespy theory.  I’ve started keeping a record of seizures so we can report back to our local vet in a few weeks and maybe start Gibbs on medication for that.

In the meantime, we’re facing up to the fact that Gibbs has gone from a lively, healthy, energetic 5 year old, to a very unwell 6 year old.

Above photos of Gibbs looking rather sorry for himself today, in the orchard.

Anyway . . . whatever the outcome (long or short) for Gibbs, the husband and I have had many a discussion and (after learning that our local Flat-coated breeder is expecting a litter of baby Flats any day now) . . . we’ve put our name on the reservation list for a puppy!  The breeder knows all about Gibbs’ health and agrees a puppy might help stimulate Gibbs. If it does turns out that Gibbs has epilespy, then we will manage that the best we can and there’s no reason he can’t live a few more years, so having a second dog as a companion might not be a bad thing.  And if it’s not epilespy, well, then Gibbs might not still be around to meet the new pup.

To be followed . . .

geisha – no going back

Back in February, I pulled out some fabrics, gifted to me by my sister, in Feb 2014 . . . with the aim of finally making something worthy of the gorgeous prints & panel she sent.  I sliced up lots of 5″ squares, ummed & ahhed about what to do with them.

and then promptly folded everything away and forgot about it.

Fast forward to last week, when I decided I wasn’t going to let this project carry over into another year.  Lots of pondering, measuring & sketching went on, until I finally realised what was holding me back.

That rather vivid border around the geisha panel.  It’s pretty enough, but it kept giving me a mental blockage.  It was all I could see each time I looked at the panel.  So . . . I made the decision that it had to go.

And it’s gone!  To be replaced by borders of a plain fabric, and oh my! What a difference the plain fabric makes!

Now that is something I can work with!  I immediately set to work sewing 9 patches with my pile of 5″ squares.

Managed to get a total of 21 out of my pile of squares.  Then cut those in quarters, heading for a D9P design (disappearing 9 patch for those of you who don’t patchwork).

Idea being, you slice into 4 then rotate a couple and sew back together.

Except that I’m not going to sew them back together into large blocks.  My plan is to use each of the smaller blocks (which measure 7″ and of which I have 84) sashed, and around my centre panel.  Apologies for the dreadful sketch, but I know what I’m going for.

I’m going to make the quilt in 9 sections which will be quilted and then assembled with the QAYG method (quilt as you go) – to make a very large double-bed sized quilt with a lot of over-hang on the sides.

Above photo with a couple of my blocks just lying on the background fabric . . . since then I’ve made the decision to have 1.5″ sashing between blocks so it’s just a question of getting a nice balance of colours in each segment, and lining things up while sashing!

 

ScrapHappy # october

It’s 15th of the month – time to link up with other “scrapsters” for ScrapHappy day!

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

I decided to have a play with my ever-growing pile of 2.5″ squares. It’s been a long time since I did any patchwork, but I always have a huge pile of these small squares because I find cutting squares from scraps very therapeutic, and always love seeing the riot of colours that occurs.

As always I set to sewing squares together without any clear idea of where I was headed.  To begin with I made blocks 7 x 7 (therefore 14″ x 14″ finished size) but decided against making a square quilt . . . so I then assembled a band, two squares wide, and joined with sashing.

Then a white border, and more squares all around.

 

On measuring up, I decided to stop there, because I had a piece of (leftover) fabric in my stash, the perfect size to back if I didn’t go any bigger.

 

 

And voilà – one baby-sized quilt, that finished up at approx 44″ x 38″.  Going in the gift drawer . . . for next year.   So many scraps of loved and familiar fabrics in this piece – there are butterflies, flowers, rainbows, flamingos, dots, cats, flowers, foxes, lamas, feathers . . . each piece a memory of a past project, turned into something unique and brand new.

first cabling

I’ve been having fun with my colourful yarn, and making progress with my poncho.  Knitting this pattern.

However . . . I’ve had to change the choice of cable pattern due to my self-striping yarn.  A bit difficult to see from the above photo, but this cable pattern had me slipping stitches in 2 consecutive rows, then cabling the slipped stitch which was effectively from 2 rows previous (since it had been slipped twice, never knitted) . . . and I didn’t like the result. It gave me sudden jumps in colour, with something 2 rows below suddenly appearing on the cable section and just looked messy.

I was determined to have a cable band down the front though, so I rifled through my books, and searched on the internet, until I found something I thought would work.

And this one does work – yay!

I’m having to thread a life-line in at the beginning of each 8 row pattern repeat sequence, because I had several accidents when I began and don’t want any more.  It’s adding a nice bit of texture to the front of my knitting, and a little bit of excitement that requires concentration when I get to the centre of each row.  And colours look better in real life . . . more like below.

except that the photo with flash, while it shows true colours, make stitch definition look wierd.  Looks much better in real life!

Anyway . . . I’ve still got a long way to go, but I should have my first cabled project ready & finished by the time colder weather arrives!

SAL “my day off” #2

Time to link up with SAL members

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaret

HeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisy,

AJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindyMaryMargaret

for our 3-weekly update posts, to show progress on our individual SAL projects.  Last time, I’d just begun a new project

And it’s come along very nicely since then.

I doubt very much that I’ll be able to keep up that kind of pace, because I’m also busying knitting and patchworking at the moment . . . but it does no harm to get off to a flying start!

hens happenings # September round-up

Have to start this post by saying RIP to Ruby.  She was feeling off colour with an impacted crop earlier this month. No point in taking her the vet because vets only “do” dogs & cats where we live, and although I did my best to relieve her, it didn’t help. She was isolated from the other gals as soon as I noticed, but died 24 hour later.  Which just leaves us with these three.

These are the three we bought only 12 months ago when Ruby found herself the sole survivor of the murder in a French orchard.

Anyway, Doris, Rita and Agatha are all fine, and enjoying some free-ranging for part of the day within the walls of the veggie garden.  Egg count though is right down, and that’s only normal. But with 3 hens we’re still collecting plenty of eggs. For September:  72 was the count.

another un-birthday (and more)

It’s just as well we don’t grow another year older each time we celebrate an un-birthday, because I had a second unbirthday celebration in September.  Thanks to Angèle, the second time with more lovely gifts.

Angèle sent me a denim tote bag, that she embroidered with cherry blossom, two pieces of fabric, 2 skeins of embroidery thread (the white DMC one is a “glow in the dark”), a pretty card, and a pins badge.

So a big “merci” to Angèle for all those lovely goodies!

I feel very spoilt, and I’m not the only one!  Ziva has got more toys than she knows what to do with now after I had a quick sewing session.

Using a couple of fluffy dusters, some ribbons & rick rack, toy stuffing and “cat grass”, I made some very simple toys for her to chase around and practice her hunting skills on.  I didn’t even try to make them look like mice, or anything, just sewed pouches & stuffed.   We’ve got cat toys galore in the house already but Ziva tends to lose them under the furniture.  Hopefully these new ones should be bright enough to spot easily.  She enjoys playing with them already, throwing them up in the air, carrying them around in her mouth.

And when not sewing cat toys, I managed to sit down and finish the back of my poncho.  Which has gone from this

to this

Now to cast on and knit the front which will be more interesting, since this will be my first ever cable project. Just a band of cable up the front centre, like this.

I’m not using the recommended yarn because (as I tend to do) I shopped around on-line looking for alternatives, and am knitting with this. Midway between DK and Aran, but I’m making it work to Aran tension for the purpose of this project.