In Love ……. again!

This time I’ve fallen for Casper. I’ve been meeting up with him for the last 2 Sundays and there’s been a lot of cuddling, kissing and whispered words of love. Okay, he’s a cat! You’ve probably guessed that straight away. He is one of the latest rescue cats at PAWS Animal Sanctuary. His owner couldn’t afford to pay vets fees and as a result his teeth were in terrible condition. PAWS took him to their vet and the poor thing had to have them all out. But as you can see in this very short video I shot he certainly isn’t feeling sorry for himself and is recovering well.

The beautiful Casper

I would love to have him home with me but I think Tabikat might have a go at this gentle giant being another boy cat etc. I shall have to ponder that one.

Also I thought I’d mention The Cinnamon Trust. It’s a British charity that looks after the pets of elderly people if they have to go into hospital or care. If the owner dies the charity will also take in the pet and find it a good home. I think this is a brilliant idea as I see so many cats at PAWS with the words “Owner Died” on their case notes. I didn’t know about this charity until Stacey at PAWS mentioned it today. I looked it up and was really impressed with the work they do. Virginia McKenna and Sir Paul McCartney are just 2 of their Patrons. Worth a look.

A look at my latest embroidered notebook cover. I’m in to frogs now and I thought this design would be fun to do!

Froggie Notebook

I’m pleased with how it turned out. Methinks a Gecko next!

Slainte

Linda xxx

Sewing is bad for your health!

Well it is when you pick up a very heavy black and gold vintage Singer sewing machine from under the stairs. And it’s especially dangerous when you forget to bend your knees and tug at your machine from a very odd angle. I did all of the above with my old Singer and thought I’d got away with it pain wise until the middle of the night in bed when all sorts of aches and pains struck. I couldn’t bend down or pick anything up for days and when you have cats that need feeding and litter trays to clean out you can imagine the fun and games I had. Still all my important little places seem to be healing and contact with the floor and the lower levels of life is a lot easier now.

Daisy has been feeling sorry for me and has been trying to help me with pain relief by hypnosis.

Daisy stare2

And Tabikat has gone for a more relaxed form of hypnosis.

Tabikat portrait6

I wrote this on my FB page in November – “Quote from my vet to me this morning “Only you could turn up saying I have a Moorhen in my handbag”. As I was leaving Rustington this morning I saw a Moorhen get clipped by a car – so parked up in golf club driveway and dashed across the A259 to pick it up. Miraculously it was still alive, so grabbed it and dashed back. No box for it so emptied my handbag and stuffed it in there. I think it’s just a bit stunned, my vet will check it over and the lovely vet nurse has a place at home where she can release it with other young Moorhens. Now going to clean the s**t out of my bag xxxxx”
I’m pleased to report back that the dear little thing survived and has joined up with a gang of juvenile Moorhens in her garden and is living a happy life by her pond.

I‘ve been combining a little bit of machine and hand embroidery to make these covered notebooks.

Embroidered Notebooks1

Of course they are animal themed. I’ve had such fun doing them that I think I might develop a line of them for my shop. I’ve just finished embroidering a German Shepherd dog silhouette in white on blue denim (pics to follow). Animals and crafting – sheer bliss!

Slainte

Linda xxx

Post-Op Report

In my last post I wrote about a very sad little Teddy Bear in need of a lot of TLC. He had no eyes and his head was hanging off his body.

Injured Teddy-before

I’m pleased to report that after sewing his neck back up and restoring his eyesight and knitting him his own special winter sweater little Teddy has made a full recovery! Ta Da!!!

Happy Teddy

Happy Teddy_1

And true to my current ‘No Buy’ project it didn’t cost me a penny, I already had teddy eyes in my stash and also had a load of red Aran wool, the pattern was a free one from Ravelry.com. I’m really chuffed with his transformation.
Briony, yes he is now mine and is permanently rehomed with me. I couldn’t bear (no pun intended) to let him go!
His new name is Little Red!

Slainte

Linda xx

So Far So Good

Two days into 2014 and I’m sticking to my No Buy policy, so only another 363 days to go!

Crochet cushion

Thought you might like to see my Christmas cushion that I finished a couple of days ago. It would have been finished in time for Christmas if it hadn’t been for a nasty bug that laid me low for over a week. I had a lot of bits of red and green yarn left over from various projects so I gathered them all together and crocheted up a cushion cover. I needed a 12” square cushion pad to go inside but only had a 16” one in my stash. So I opened up the sides of the 16” one and took all the stuffing out. I cut it down to 12” size,  shoved the stuffing back in and re sewed the seams. And voila a custom fit cushion pad with no money spent on a new one! There is some excess stuffing that I couldn’t squeeze back in so I’ve saved that for stuffing the little Woodland Creatures that adorn the tops of my tea cosies.

 

Just after Christmas I was given this deeply traumatized little chap.

Injured Teddy3

I’m about to perform surgery on him and restore his vision.

Injured Teddy6

There’s nothing sadder than a broken and unloved teddy bear. I’ll let you know later how we got on post op.

 

Slainte

 

 

Linda xx

There’s a New Hooker in Town!

And here she is…..

pretty-crochet-hook

I treated myself to a new crochet hook (apologies to anyone hoping to find reference to anything less wholesome!)

This pretty little crochet hook is made by Sue at ButtonMeadow. There are quite a few different designs and I know I’ll be treating myself to a few more as time goes on. I like the red and white spotty one. I did a test run last night and crocheted the blue rose you see above. It was lovely and light to use and very comfortable to hold in the hand. Do pop in and have a wee look at her shop.

Slainte

Linda xxx

I never thought I could, but I did!

Way back in May I posted about finally getting the hang of a difficult (to me) crochet stitch. I knew it would take a while to complete my project and there were times where I seriously doubted that I’d finish it but here it is in all it’s finished glory!!

 

Crochet floral trellis jacket2

 

It is more of a jacket now than a cardi as I was a bit over eager with the length! I like the long length and when the weather turns a bit cooler I’ll be swaggering around in it. At the moment it’s too hot to swagger or do anything. I’m full of beans early in the morning these days, charging around like a mad thing but as the day gets hotter my energy gradually ebbs away to a full stop. I feel such a woose, I guess we Brits are not used to such high temperatures especially after such a freezing cold winter. In fact there times during the last winter that I thought I would never be warm again in this country and that I have to go and sit in the middle of the Sahara for a week to defrost my bones.

 

Crocheting doesn’t take much energy and is very portable, so I have been finding shady (as in cool, not dodgy) places to crochet some summer bunting and flowers and things for my Etsy shop

 

Blue White Orange Bunting5

 

Green-White-Gold-Bunting11

Red-White-Blue-Crochet-Brooch02

 

More of my lovely roses have started blooming. This is a beautiful Gallica rose “Cardinal Richelieu”. It’s fast becoming my pride and joy!

 

Centifolia Rose09

 

Isn’t it beautiful? I’m out every day sniffing and admiring it.

 

Centifolia Rose01

I’ve decided to rename the stray tabby cat I’ve recently adopted. I had named him Ben but he mustn’t have liked that as he ignored every mention of it. So he is now “Tabikat” and he actually does come when called. He gets admired every day as well but not sniffed!

 

Tabikat1

 

Tabikat6

One final thing, please, please, please remember to put water out for your local wildlife. So many poor animals are ending up in wildlife sanctuaries severely dehydrated during this hot spell.

 

Slainte

 

Linda xx

What to do with all those crochet flowers you’ve made.

Over the last couple of years I’ve made dozens of crochet flowers to try out new patterns or yarn. When finished I’ve just put them into a bag and forgotten about them. I came across the bag a couple of weeks ago and in my drive to finish up ALL my projects before I start any more I decided to create my own everlasting, no more watering, always in bloom hanging basket and here it is!

 

Crochet flowers basket_1

 

I knitted a lining for it following Caroline Wilbor’s pattern on Ravelry. I then crocheted a brown circle for the top and stuffed the whole thing with toy filling.

 

A few hours were spent with an upholstery needle sewing on the flowers. I used my knitting mill to make the wibbly wobbly stems twining round around the hanging chains and sewed a few tiny flowers onto them.

 

Crochet flowers basket

 

It’s high enough to be out of the reach of the cats as they tend to swing around on anything that dangles!!

 

For those of you who are not into crochet here are some pics of a two legged mushroom I had for lunch yesterday!

 

Two legged mushroom

 

Two legged mushroom2

 

Slainte

 

Linda xx

Nailed It!

I came across this lovely crocheted wrap around cardi in an old Rowan magazine (number 49), it’s called Charm and it’s designed by Erika Knight. I fell in love with it and just had to make it. Only one problem, the pattern confused the heck out of me. It was all written without an accompanying diagram. I like a diagram so I can check where I am in the pattern cause I usually head off in bizarre directions with crochet!

 

Charm Erika Knight

I attempted the first row, then the second, ripped out the second, worked it again and tried the third row, halfway across, went wrong and ripped it back out again. Thought I’d got row 4, but I hadn’t. ripped it out again.  Ran screaming to the kitchen cupboard looking for the whiskey bottle.

 

I was in desperate need of help. Went on Youtube where I did find a tutorial on it but the lady did go a bit fast in certain places and my pause and rewind buttons were getting worn out. Visualising the rest of my life  spent in an institution for crocheters and knitters driven mad by confusing patterns I had one last place I could go for help.  I went online to my beloved Ravelry to see if I could find any references to the pattern. I found it featured in a few projects, one lady had written that she had given up on it, another lady wrote that she had to write out her own diagrams because the instructions were misleading. However I did find a post by the lovely Cupani aka Chris who had not only finished it but added a helpful comment about working row 2 and posted a link to a diagram of the stitch. The thought that another human being on the this planet had actually made the cardi really spurred me on.

 

Floral Trellis by cupani

Cupani’s beautiful finished cardi. See her gorgeous shawls at Chrissie Knits too Much

 

So this is it so far, only a few pattern repeats done so far, but I feel as if I’ve just split the atom!

 

Floral Trellis Stitch Crochet

 

Floral Trellis Stitch 2 Crochet

 

Check back in a year and you never know, I might just have it completed!

 

Sláinte

 

Linda xx

Ta Da!

I’ve been working on this scarf for a while. You can see a video of it being embroidered on yesterday’s post. Now it’s finally finished and in my shop!

Celtic Runes scarf03

I think it looks almost Harry Potterish. I have a thing about Knotwork designs, must be my Celtic roots! I’ve got another secret design on the boil as well, a sort of a cross between St. Valentine and Gaelic design. Should be able to do the big ta da reveal tomorrow, that’s if I get enough natural light to photograph it. It is so grey and dark these days I literally just have a small window of about an hour a day in which I can get any useful light. Even adjusting the white balance for tungsten lighting I’d much rather have lovely natural daylight.

Celtic Runes scarf09

As I’m typing this I’m listening to BBC Radio 4 (for non UK readers this is one of the most interesting and fascinating radio stations in the history of the world, ever!). I’m listening to it on a DAB digital radio acquired today for £10 from a charity shop! Fabulous audio quality. I’ve been wanting one for a while but could never quite justify the expense. This one is an Elan DX20 and seems to retail for about £50.

Elan

 

I love it when something that’s been on your wish list is found for a fraction of the original cost!

Sláinte

Linda xx

An Ode to Scissors

I’m in love with my scissors! They’re not just any old scissors, they’re the love of my life!

A couple of months ago I decided I needed a new pair of dressmaking shears. I’d been using the ones I’d got from Ikea which were brilliant when they were new but when you use them for cutting your hair and as a poking device their useful life slowly ebbs away. I did a bit of research mainly on Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing as that lady definitely knows what she’s talking about when it comes to dressmaking. She had recommended Kai or Gingher scissors. I added Merchant & Mills scissors to the list as they were made of classic Sheffield steel and manufactured in UK. As I was going to the Stitching Show at Ali Pali I was sure I’d find at least one of these 3 brands there.

For such a big show there weren’t that many haberdashery shops exhibiting. Up and down all the aisles I went getting little filips of joy when I spotted their scissor sections. Only to get disappointed when the only ones I could find were those dreadful ones with the orange plastic handles. They were everywhere in their nasty plastic bubble wrapping. What I couldn’t understand was there were so many people buying lovely (and expensive) fabrics, then cutting them out with any old pair of scissors. Why weren’t there people at the stands loudly demanding better quality scissors!!!!!!

Anyway I’d given up on my hunt having resigned myself to an internet purchase. After a consolation coffee and huge sticky creamy bun (I needed a lot of consoling) I headed for the exit. I was almost outside when I noticed a small room to my left which seemed to have a lot of people in it. Off I went to have a look and found it to contain mainly college and dressmaking school exhibitors. I turned round to go out when I glanced down an aisle and saw at the end……wait for it……… a pair of these!!!

shears

I pounced straight away. It was sheer joy to hold these beautiful scissors, the craftmanship just amazing. These are scissors that will outlast me, my children, my children’s children etc etc. I was one happy bunny on the shuttle bus back to the tube. Probably not the best thing to be doing, sitting on the top deck of a bus waving 10” steel shears around but I was happy. and I still am, they are an absolute joy to use and they have turned fabric cutting from a pain to an experience the equivalent of demolishing a plate of cupcakes!

Embroidering a Celtic design on my Singer Futura XL400

Sláinte
Linda xxx