Saturday 28 July 2018

...another tiny mouse

I bought a little wooden doll-house from Ikea a couple of months ago, inspired by this lovely post by Lene Alve, which brought back vivid memories of childhood play with miniature figures and objects. I felt a real yearning to create something similar for myself, and for my maybe-future grand-children - that I could work on and add to over time. The house hasn't yet been assembled, but I've started collecting bits and pieces for it and thinking about how I want it to be. 

I love the quirky kittens that inhabit Lene's house, but have decided on something more Beatrix Potter-ish for my own. Think Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, Mrs Tittlemouse, or the mice who befriended the Tailor of Gloucester! The little lady mouse below is made from pure wool felt, with a tiny knitted capelet adorning her shoulders (keeping the dream of winter alive as the summer sun beats down). My last little lady mouse looked so sweet with her floral accessory I'm thinking of making something for this one to hold in her little pink paw - her fingers curl quite readily if heated with a hair-dryer. I'm mulling over various possible items (flower, umbrella, fruit, basket) and materials (paper, clay, fabric, twigs, 3D pen). 

As ever, my thanks go to Ann Wood, whose Very Nice Mice pattern provided a jumping off point for me.
Apropos of nothing the picture below was taken during at dusk during one of my evening plant-pot-watering sessions (it's been far too hot to be lugging watering cans around before sundown). It's a solar-powered "firefly collection jar" from Aldi nestled among the geraniums. Soooo pretty!

Wednesday 18 July 2018

...World Cup wins

At some point in the knitwear in a heatwave phenomenon my preference for sitting quietly knitting instead of watching football became linked (in the minds of certain superstitious friends and family members) with the extraordinary success of the England team in the World Cup. This was good news for the Charity Shop Rescue Gang, as it meant that I had to keep going (knitting and not watching football) - at least until the luck ran out. So the flopsy bunny from the Gala got a little blue Peter Rabbit jacket:
...this flopsy girl bunny got a pretty heather-coloured cardigan:

...and this gorgeous Liv doll got a beatnik jumper (she reminds me of Twiggy).
I didn't follow any patterns, just cast on what looked like the right amount of stitches and then made things up as I went along. Even though it became sadly apparent that I don't possess any mystical powers over the football results, I do now have an extremely well-kitted-out team.

Sunday 8 July 2018

...knitwear in a heatwave

It's a well-known fact that Grumbling Talking About the Weather is one of the top three favourite British pastimes, along with Queueing and Having a Lovely Cup of Tea. Given the extraordinary run of hot weather (not a single drop of rain for weeks!) we're currently enduring enjoying it would seem odd not to mention it here. 

I am not a sun-worshipper by any stretch of the imagination. I am fair-skinned - prone to bumpy red heat rash, burning and (at best) freckles if my skin is exposed to the sun for any length of time - so I tend to stay covered up all summer long. No matter how much loose-fitting cotton or linen I swathe myself in, prolonged hot weather leaves me feeling sticky, uncomfortable and tired, especially now that my hayfever has returned. At the moment I'm mostly staying inside, dashing out for brief intervals to hang line after line of washing to dry ("Marvellous Drying Weather!") and emerging just after sunset (9:30pm!) to water the poor thirsty plants. We have a two-watering-cans watering system in place at the moment. Husband fills one while I empty the other; by the time it's empty the next one is ready to go. Even though this labour-intensive method still amounts to a tiny amount of water per plant per day it seems to be enough to keep them going. It's a bumper year for raspberries (I'm freezing them because I can't keep up) and the rhubarb really makes a few drops go a long way. 
The rest of the time when I'm not at work I've been pottering inside, looking for things to wash (Marvellous Drying Weather!"), making nice warm knitwear for assorted charity shop rescue animals and dreaming of winter. Last weekend Wibbly Pig got a snazzy festival jumperThis weekend Funny-looking Sheep is finally getting his Dr Who scarf, well over a year since he first requested it:
Yesterday we ventured out to a local Gala in the scorching midday sun, along with our fellow Englishmen and quite a few mad dogs (not the XXSCat dog, she stayed at home in the shade like any sensible creature would do). Drummers drumming, cheer-leaders cavorting, cup-cakes melting, barbecues sizzling and the clinically insane Zorbing - everyone giving it their all in spite of the sweltering heat! I bought some plants from the local allotment stall:
"Bloomin' Triffids", snorted the chap who was doing most of the selling, casting a cheeky sideways glance at his mate who had grown them.

I also bought a little flopsy bunny from a girl on a bric-a-brac stall who was trying to raise money for a school trip in December. She needed £200 to go on the trip and had only got £25 so far. She wanted 30p for him but I gave her £5 and told her to keep the change. I wished I could have given her more. He has had a wash and is currently being baked dry on the line ("Marvellous Drying Weather!").
I think a nice little knitted jacket will be just the thing for him to be able to keep up with Wibbly and the rest of the gang!

Sunday 1 July 2018


Crazy-beautiful roses at the park
Vibrant summer hues
Pebbling again
A knitted jumper for Wibbly Pig