Archie goes fishing

At every meal, Archie flicks food into her water bowl.  She doesn’t use this water bowl, and it’s there more for decoration than anything else (she has a separate bowl in the kitchen that she likes to drink from).  As she doesn’t like having bits of food floating around in the water, throughout the day she stops by and picks bits of food out the water with her paw.  It’s the cutest thing ever, and I tried to photograph it for you recently!

Archie fishing 1

Archie fishing 2

Archie fishing 3

Archie fishing 4

This fishing session was unsuccessful, and she couldn’t get the piece of food out the water.  She gave up and went to sleep in the end.  She’s not a very good hunter, so she’s lucky she gets fed twice a day!

My unproductive February

Archie on ripple blanket

I didn’t do very well for my February goals.  I didn’t achieve any of them!

I did nine rows of my ripple blanket (my goal was 10).  This month I started several knitting projects, and this ate into my crochet time.  The photo above is Archie sitting on the blanket when I laid it out to check the pattern.  I arranged the last of the balls of yarn into the pattern I’ll crochet, which you can see in my photo below.  The problem is, now I can’t put them away as they’re all in order!

Organised yarn ripple blanket

I bought one t-shirt in February (this one) so broke my “no clothes” goal.  I’ve also already broken this goal for March as I needed some boring plain t-shirts!

My diet was a bit of a mess in February, but I re-started it yesterday so hopefully I’ll get back on track!  And finally, I only read three books, which I’ll be discussing in a separate post.

I need to get back on track this month!

Staring out the window

Last week I got struck down with the lurgy, twice!  First I had a cold, and then I had a stomach bug, and I spent a lot of time staring out the window watching the birds.  I took a few photos when I could, although some of the birds refused to come near the window so I could get a good shot!

The mornings are getting light now, and the birds are starting to sing all day again.  I’m glad spring is on its way, although we haven’t had a bad winter here in Lincolnshire (coast excepted, given that they flooded).  A couple of weekends ago we weeded the garden for the first time, and today I saw my first butterfly.  Soon it will be time to plant seeds and get ready for veg growing.

Blue Tit March 2014

Blue Tit

Starling March 2014

Song thrush

Female blackbird March 2014

Female blackbird

Male blackbird March 2014

Male blackbird

Family of blackbirds March 2014

Mummy and daddy blackbird having lunch :)

Chaffinch March 2014


Great Tit March 2014

Great tit

Robin March 2014


Robin 2 March 2014

Wren March 2014

I think this is a wren, but it wouldn’t come out of the hedgerow so I didn’t get a positive ID.

Glittery knitted top update

I knit really slowly, so the knitting project I started recently with the yarn I’d intended to use for a blanket hasn’t grown very much yet.  However, I wanted to show you what the yarn looks like when it’s knitted.

Knitted top, back

The glitter is quite subtle, I think.  The yarn is lovely and soft (it’s a cotton blend) and I bet it will be really comfortable to wear!

This is the back of the top and it’s a nice and simple pattern.  I just need to knit 1 row purl 1 row for 29 inches.  I can cope with that!

Charity project #17

Charity project 17
In amongst all the craft projects I’ve got started at the moment, I found time to finish a children’s scarf for charity.  I used a new stitch, and I like the pattern.  The stitch is listed as “squares in squares”, and you can find instructions here.  The steps are easy to follow.

Charity project 17 close up

This is the first charity project I’ve completed this year.  I have two other scarves on the go, along with my own projects!

My first ever home-sewn top!

Homemade top 1

(Ignore my face in this photo, I’ve woken up with a terrible cold, just to finish my ridiculously rubbish week!)

This is the craft project I mentioned yesterday that I’m super-excited to tell you about.  You read the title right; I have sewn a top!  This is something I have wanted to do for years, but I always thought it was a bit beyond my rather basic sewing machine skills.

So, what prompted this sudden change of heart?  I was watching the new series of The Great British Sewing Bee this week, and thinking about how I really wanted to sew a top myself, and I just thought that I might as well give it ago as I can do most of the things the competitors were doing for their Sewing Bee challenges.

Homemade top 7

On Wednesday I rummaged around in my fabric stash and found some pieces of fabric big enough.  I didn’t have enough of one fabric, so I’ve used a plain fabric on the back and a patterned fabric on the front.  I sort of followed the instructions on this blog, but used a t-shirt I own as a template.  I made a pattern with some paper and the measurements of the top I owned, and then used that to cut the fabric I needed.

Homemade top 6

The t-shirt I was using has a lined neckline, so I did that too (with some instruction from my Mother!).  That was probably the hardest bit of the top, as I wanted the necklines of the front and back, and the lining, to match up perfectly (they do, although I think it was luck more than talent!).

Homemade top 2

Unfortunately, as you can see from my photos, I ironed the centre line creases in really well, and I couldn’t iron them out.  Hopefully they’ll fade after I’ve washed the top!

Homemade top 3

Homemade top 4

Homemade top 5The top isn’t perfect, but I think I’ve done a really good job for a first try.  I would wear it in public, and that’s all that counts really, I reckon.  If I make this one again, I need to reshape the shoulders, but other than that I think the rest of the shape was ok.  Now I have an urge to try other patterns!

Around here

Oops, I took an unintended holiday from my blog! Sorry for not talking much this week. It’s been a bit of an frustrating week.

I’ve had a dull toothache for a while now (since Christmas), and I finally went to the dentist last Friday, which was great. She found a teeny crack in the tooth that didn’t even show up on X-ray, filled my tooth and all was well. Except now the toothache has come back again. I think it’s my jaw playing up (I have jaw problems), so I know the pain is not really my tooth. Those of you who have jaw problems will relate; the pain can manifest pretty much anywhere! I’ve met people who’ve had back pain, and it turns out it was their jaw! Drugs and a hot water bottle do the trick eventually, but it’s not very practical to walk around with a water bottle on your head, and I haven’t got much done.

Alongside this, the cat has developed a squint, which it turns out is from an ulcer on her lower eye lid. The vet thinks she’s been injured in a fight again, and now I have a gel to put in her eye twice a day. She does not like it, and now runs away if I get too close to her.

Then, to top it all off, the car has developed a rattle and now needs a new water pump. Life is expensive!

In other annoying news, my Twitter feed is broken, I’ve had a problem with an order from Forbidden Planet and neither of us know what went wrong (they’re currently looking into it) and I have two parcels at the Post Office because I missed a delivery by 10 mins.

Ok whinge over.

I have done a lot of crafting this week in amongst all of this, so I have a few things to show you, including an epic project I’m very excited about! I haven’t done much reading this week though, and I think it’s very unlikely I’m going to reach my reading challenge of six books this month. You win some and you lose some!

I hope you’re all well.

A new knitting project

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that this week I bought lots of yarn for a knitted blanket project I had in mind.  I chose Sirdar Ella yarn, because it’s beautiful and I’ve been wanting to use it for a project for ages.  The colours are gorgeous and they have little specks of glitter in them!

Sirdar Ella DK colour palette

I was going to knit squares, and then crochet them together into a giant blanket.  I had Wednesday off work, and I got started on my sample squares to test the pattern and my ideas.  Sadly, none of it worked and I gave up after a rather frustrating day.  I couldn’t get the knitting pattern to work with the crochet stitching I wanted to use, and in the end I lost patience.

I was then going to make a crochet blanket, but I already have the ripple one started, and I don’t need another crochet project.  So, I looked on Ravelry and I’ve decided to make a jumper instead.  I’m going to use the dark purple for this jumper (top left hand corner of the image above), and I’ll show it to you as it progresses.

My Mother has claimed some of the other yarns for two jumper patterns she has, and I think I’m going to use the pale pink for another jumper I have in mind.  So the yarn will get used up, but not in the way I’d originally planned!  It’s beautiful yarn, so if you’re looking for some DK for a pattern I recommend you check it out!

Goals for February 2014

My goals for February are similar to January, which should be easy – except as mentioned earlier this week, I’m doing terribly with my diet!

  • Lose 1Kg
  • Read six books
  • Buy no clothes
  • Crochet 10 stripes of ripple blanket (=30 rows)

I haven’t had the urge to buy clothes yet, which has made the “no buy” goal quite easy to follow.  It’s inevitable that something will test my resolve soon though, and we’ll see how committed I really am to this challenge!

I’m reading two long books this month, and I’m half-heartedly hoping to finish both of them.  Realistically, I will not finish Don Quixote.  It is ridiculously long and I only read little bits at a time.

My crochet blanket is coming along nicely – I might have it finished in a month or two at this rate!