SAL “poppy trio” # 6

A mini happy dance on my poppy project as things has progressed from this

to this, in the past 3 weeks.

As you can see, I’ve completed stitching on the white poppy, and begun work on the orange one.

Here’s a list of all SAL members, who are each working on different projects, but we meet up every 3 weeks to cheer each other along.

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackie,

SunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnie

And we’ll be back again on 26th June.

hooking an acorn sprite

I fancied a bit of fun with my crochet hook, but couldn’t decide on any patterns in my numerous books.  So . . . I had a browse on etsy and came across the most delightful patterns by CritterStitchDesigns.   

I couldn’t make up my mind which pattern to buy, they are all so cute. But I finally decided on a couple of sprites.

This is my version of the Acorn Sprite.  I hooked using Stylecraft DK and a 2.5mm hook which means he turned out at 9″ tall.  I think he’s ever so cute.

Instructions said to sew the acorn hat in place but I’ve kept it removeable.

I plan on making several more acorn sprites, using different colours for their outfits & wing/leaves . . . but in the meantime, I’ve already started work on a flower sprite.

 

hen happenings # May round-up

It’s raining today, so you’ll have to make do with a couple of photos snapped yesterday (not featuring hens).

of the husband inspecting his hives.  We should get some honey this year – yay!

Anyway . . . hens are all well, and laying.  A total of 115 eggs this month (same as last month).  Not much else to report.

Oh yes, and Gibbs . . .  it’s been a full week since the op.   No news yet of biopsy results. And stitches don’t come out until 9th June . . . so we’re taking things one day at a time and having to put up with Gibbs crashing around the house in his XL plastic cone.

 

needed new pjs

Before I begin about pjs . . . a quick update on Gibbs. He went in for surgery on Tuesday 24th May.  The grey mass  was removed and he also underwent a TECABO (total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy). Yes, it’s as serious as it sounds and is only done as last ressort surgery.  Anyhow . . . Gibbs came through surgery okay. We picked him up on the Wednesday evening.  He looks a sorry sight:  shaved ear, shaved face, droopy eye, lop-sided head . . . and having to wear the cone of shame for 2 weeks until the stitches come out.   He’s got lots of meds to take.  Biopsy results should take around 10 days.   I’m thinking I might have to make him an eye patch for when the cone comes off.  Facial paralysis (which is permanent) means he can’t blink/shut left eyelid . . . which means he’ll be prone to hurting/scratching his eye in future when walking in long grasses, etc.

In the meantime, I was trying to keep my mind on other things, and distract me from Gibbs’ medical problems  so I did some sewing.   Had been meaning to make myself a couple of new pairs of PJs.  I favour shortie PJs, even in the winter.  I pulled out two well-used patterns: New Look 6871 for the tunic (not really a PJ top but it works for me) and Butterick B4532 for the shorts.

And used two different fabrics I’ve had in my stash for almost 10 years.  Next job is to make myself a couple of day-wear tunics for this summer, using the same pattern. I have the fabric. Just need to find the time.

 

 

a bit of this & that

Time for a bit of this and that . . .  not all good.

Crafting has been on a go-slow recently because of family gatherings. That’s good!  I was very busy in April doing lots of sorting and clearing because Mr & Mrs Tattoo are having a change of direction in life.  We told them we would support them in any way we could. They lived in the south east of France, but have moved up to live with us temporarily . . . the time it takes to sell the flat and buy a house. Knowing this, I wanted to make sure they had their own space, so that we’re not living on top of each other.  I emptied things out of the master bedroom (with ensuite shower and little loggia) which is almost as big as the flat they were living in before.

so they can have some of their own furniture in there. And I also organised half the attic space.

They moved here on 21st April, so it’s been a month already. Mr Tattoo has started a new job, and we’re crossing fingers the flat sells quickly so they can start house-hunting.

We also had a lovely visit from Lindashee & Mr Lindashee (whose wedding we were unable to attend in February).  We therefore organised a family gathering for that: BBQ in the garden, with other family members.  We hadn’t seen Lindashee since Sept 2019 so the family reunion was well overdue!

Lindashee came bearing gifts for her old Mum (ie me)

fabrics, DVDs, a gorgeous bag (made by teacakemake on etsy)

and Mr & Mrs Tattoo brought a belated b’day present for me too.

That’s the good happy things going on in life.  The not so good is.

What on earth is that? you ask.  It’s MRI pictures of the inside of Gibbs’ head!

And this is what he looks from the outside.  It all started out with what local vet thought was a simple ear infection.  But after seeing a specialist the other day, we now know it’s much more serious. Gibbs is suffering from facial paralysis: loss of muscle, drooping of ear, eyebrow, face & mouth.  Due to a growth (a very large growth) in his left middle ear.  We’re waiting for a call back with a second opinion and date for surgery, but specialist thinks it’s a cholesteatoma.  In theory, not malignant (biopsy will confirm) but it’s eating away at bone inside his skull and needs to be removed completely. We’ve already been warned that facial paralysis is going to be permanent and that Gibbs will be deaf in left ear, and possibly blind in left eye.  He’s not 6 years old yet, so he’s still quite a young dog.  We’re crossing fingers surgery will sort him out.  He’s young enough to adjust to living with a slight handicap, and we’re not bothered about having a lop-sided dog, as long as he’s happy and in general good health!

SAL “poppy trio” #5

Life has been a bit too busy in recent weeks to do much crafting.

Here’s where I was 3 weeks ago on my “poppy trio” project.

And here is where I am now.

I had hoped to have finished the white poppy for this time, but didn’t.

Anyway, here’s the full list of links to other SAL members.

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackie,

SunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnie

and we’ll be back again on 5th June.

the “almost matching” socks

The other day I showed you a photo of the latest sock project.

Knitting with a ball of Lang Yarn Super Socx in “Caipirinha” (their cocktail range) and following a pattern by Alex Parker Mooney (available for free download on Ravelry).  Many hours (and days) knitting later, I have my first pair of adult sized socks. And they almost match – yay!

I say almost . . . yarn colour changing seemed to do something a little different by the time I got to the toe of my second sock, despite having managed to get colour sequences more or less lined up throughout.

Colours were (strangely) less vivid in some places on the first sock (one on the right) . . . but I’m probably the only one who will notice.

And toes didn’t match. But honestly, who will see the toes when I’m wearing shoes or slippers?  I’m really pleased with how they turned out.  I cast on 72 stitches on 2.5mm DPNs and each sock took 44g of yarn.   This yarn is 75 wool, so a little warm for the summer weather on its way. I think I’ll cast on and knit another pair in a cotton mix!

hen happenings # april round up

photo from archives today, because camera battery isn’t charged up.  Time for the April tally of eggs in this part of the world!

All gals in fine fettle, and laying literally every day.  I say “literally” – a few days were taken off here and there, but not that it would be noticed.  4 hens laid a total of 115 eggs in 30 days.  Can’t complain about that, can we!

on a roll

I’d been eyeing up some ideas for storing knitting needles, namely double-pointed needles.  Saw a couple of nice rolls on-line, and used photos as inspiration to design my own.  The nice thing about taking up knitting after having learned how to sew is that something like a needle roll is a very quick & simple project.

It was a stash-busting project.   Using a couple of small pieces of cotton print from the drawer.  Finished size when rolled is 10″ x 3″ and approx 1″ thick, so it’s not too bulky.  It’s for my 20cm DPNs.

The husband came up with an idea, when I was unrolling to show him my finished project (and needles almost fell out onto the floor – you’ll see why later) so I added a couple of poppers to the finished pouch.

When unrolled, it looks like this

And the poppers, on either end of the flap stop needles from sliding out if I hold the thing upside down.

I made 8 little pockets, for 7 sets of DPNs and a wider pocket for my needle gauge.  I don’t actually have a set of 2mm needles in 20cm yet, but thought it was sensible to provide a pocket in the eventuality I need to buy some. My sewing machine has embroidery options, but no decimal point.  However, the numbers embroidered are good enough for me to know which needles should go in which pocket.

In case you’re wondering whether I’ve been doing any knitting of late . . . yes I have!

 

repurposing curtains

I’ve been doing a huge amount of Spring cleaning and sorting in our house, and one of the jobs was having a tidy up in the veranda.  The covers I’d made for bench seats several years ago had faded because of the sun, so I had a rummage in my fabric stash to find something suitable.

I came across two floral curtains (approx 135cm x 190cm each) that came either from MIL or SIL’s home, not sure, but they definitely weren’t mine.  They really are very flowery, but the fabric is lovely quality and I hope it stands up to direct sunlight better than the cottons I previously used.  Anyway . . . I had a measure up of what I wanted to make covers for, including two old chair seats, that have been covered countless times in the past.

These were the chair seats in question.  Disgusting!!!!!  But no longer!  I pulled all the old staples out binning the grotty fabric.  And after playing with the staple gun, they look like this.

What a difference!

So, those two chairs all pretty!  Then I made two square covers for two folding chairs (photo of just one here).

More measuring & slicing went on as I had 3 rectangular foam cushions to cover, that go on the bench seats.

And just enough left over to make a quick cushion cover and add a bit more floral to my grotty old armchair that also lives in the veranda, and doesn’t match anything.