Since I came to live here from the dog rescue in January, I have been settling in nicely.
This week has been busy for me and The Missus says, because of that, she hasn’t been able to get much done.
Today, for instance, I rolled in fox poo when we were out on our walk and had my very first bath. I didn’t like it. Afterward, I ran straight out and jumped in the fish pond so that I would smell nice again.
I have four cats to play with but, I’m not sure they like me as much as I like them. Henry peed in my dog bed this morning and The Missus said, cat pee smells so bad the bed would have to go in the washing machine. However, as I had chewed a lot of my dog bed up, the stuffing was coming out so she had to sew it up with upholstery thread before she could put it in the machine.
Beau is my favourite cat. He is very dog friendly and always comes to see me first when he comes through the cat flap.
I love to collect things from around the house. The Missus says she wouldn’t mind but I have a habit of chewing them up. Because of this, I have to sleep in the kitchen at night and not with the other dogs. So far this week I have enjoyed four dog blankets, the aforementioned dog bed, two pairs of prescription glasses, a skirting board, a set of four vintage buttons, a garden clog, a voodoo doll (don’t ask) , a roll of sellotape, a packet of Customs labels, one of a pair of gardening gloves and a PS3 remote.
I like that Beau and I are sort of colour coordinated
and sometimes we have ‘who has the longest tongue’ competitions. I always win.
I know sometimes I get called a pain in the arse – I think it’s a term of affection – and The Missus says I will ‘mature’ as the other dogs have done so I don’t think she regrets getting me from the refuge because she often asks “who persuaded me to get another dog?” and I think it’s because she wants to thank them.
I’ve got a cold and feeling very sorry for myself. I haven’t had many colds at all since moving to France and this is my first one for 5 years so I am making the most of it. I am managing some incredibly loud sneezing fits, going through boxes of tissues as if I had been watching ‘The Notebook’ (again), professing not to be able to taste anything so may as well not bother to cook (but ‘perhaps could just eat something if you’re doing it anyway’), ensuring everybody notices that the slightest exertion is making me short of breath, appear to be covered in an attractive red rash which always happens if I’m a bit poorly and generally wafting about the place no use to man nor beast.
I’m doing as little as possible. I think these two have the right idea although nobody would want to be that close to me at the moment so I might have to drape myself decoratively somewhere solo.
Did you have a pull-along dog when you were a child? I did – I think – and if I didn’t, I should have – and I’ve always fancied buying a vintage one for nostalgia’s sake. Hard to see one that isn’t ripped, isn’t a donkey and isn’t an absolute fortune though so, when I saw Northfield Primitives’ Shop on Etsy I just had to go for one of her gorgeous dogs. Handcrafted in Yorkshire, Sarah makes her animals on her old Singer treadle machine.This one (my one!) is made with hand-coloured mohair, has a rusty bell and vintage meccano wheels, I am in love.
Something else I bought on Etsy recently was this little pincushion ring from Lifepieces. I have bought gazillions of her gorgeous pincushions for myself and as gifts and they are beautifully made – so much so, I can hardly bear to stick pins in them but, when I saw this one, I had to have it. Look! That little owl is a pin – can you bear it?
Is it practical? I’m not sure. Is it gorgeous? Well, obviously. Redressing the balance after my rant about re-sellers on Etsy recently – these sorts of shops remind me how it is still possible to find beautiful, hand made items from skilled artisans on the site when you really look.
Anyway, having no energy to do my usual housework chores (!) I have forged ahead with my new addiction.
I know it looks like I’m knitting a pair of sunglasses or a bikini top for a two year old but I am, in fact, knitting a pair – yes, you heard right – a pair of socks. At one time. On one long circular needle. From the toes up. And…… drumroll…… I appear to be matching the stripes at the same time. A bit ambitious for only my second pair of socks I know – considering the first were in nice chunky wool too and very fast to knit – but I know that I will be prone to ‘Second Sock Syndrome’, a medical condition discovered by scientists studying the lifestyles and habits of sock knitters whereby, in layman’s terms, you finish one sock and then can’t be arsed to do the second one. Not wanting to suffer from this – especially on top of a cold – I decided to go down the toe up, two at one time route and, with the help of the internet and some incredibly helpful people who selflessly write out reams of instructions and take loads of close up photos (or video themselves) for no apparent personal gain, I am on my way.
Honourable mentions for such tutorials go out to Knit Purl Hunter for ‘Judy’s Magic Cast On’ here
Liat Gat for Magic Loop Knitting here
and Heidi Bears for knitting two socks at one time on one circular needle here
Regular readers will know I love Liberty fabric and use it whenever I can but, there comes a time, and my time came a while ago, when a pastel pink floral Liberty print dress will not look good on you. I would put the limit at, maybe, 25 years old but you may differ. It is possible I believe, and hope as I have done it, to make blouses and other tops with a ditsy, floral Liberty print and get away with it but, dresses, no. **
I have lined bunny ears with it, made coin purses and fabric storage baskets but I wanted more from my Liberty stash.
So, as I long ago left the age of 25 behind, I decided to make teeny tiny dresses in order to indulge my addiction.
Here are a few I’ve finished or semi-finished.
Actually, that last one in red and white is Tilda fabric but you get my drift.
I have even been using Liberty of London cotton jersey to make miniature skater dresses like my Lady one. It’s a good use of my new overlocker and I still can’t get over how the seams look so professional when done on a proper serger. The cotton jersey is gorgeous but it is quite difficult to find, especially in prints that are suitable for very little girls. These ones were from Sewbox who have quite a good range of Liberty fabrics at reasonable prices.
This one is teeny, for 0-3 months, it makes me feel quite broody although that’s something else I have passed the limit for. Perhaps the dogs would like a dress. Somebody stop me!
** I must here mention a notable exception because there is a blog I follow ‘The Little Tailoress’ and she made a ditsy, pink, floral Liberty dress and looks damn gorgeous in it. She is, however, probably only 25 or very near to it anyway. You can see it here.
Well, it seems life wasn’t too short to turn a heel and, not wishing to let a trend pass me by, I have taken a selfie of my finished sock. Yes, I am lying on the bed with my foot up in the air – don’t you?
So, I’m hooked – what next for the new sock knitter?
I could try this -
or, what about this amazing art installation from Malaysian artist and architect Hong Yi, known as Red
bringing a whole new meaning to hanging your socks out to dry
This is Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou’s portrait made of socks and pins and hung off bamboo sticks ( see here for more on this)
Or, as I am fortunate enough to have two feet, perhaps I should just concentrate on knitting the other sock.
Speaking of ‘selfies’, why is it such a sudden phenomenon? Hasn’t anybody who has ever had access to a vaguely modern camera stuck it in front of their own face and taken a (generally) hugely unflattering photograph of themselves. Or was that just me?
I just realised, whilst going back over some old posts, that I didn’t update you on our little bit of building work that turned into a bigger bit of building work.
Do you remember this?
Well, now it’s more like this (and has been for a couple of months now but I got distracted).
If you click on the photo you get a nice big image but try not to notice the dust or the dog making the place look untidy.
Just thought I’d let you know as some of you expressed an interest in seeing the finished project.
‘Never say never’ should be my motto as, despite saying on numerous occasions that ‘life is too short to turn a heel’, I have decided to give it a go and knit a pair of socks. (I still truly believe that I will never stuff a mushroom though).
I have plans to knit quite chunky ones for wearing to yoga class, putting on with wellies and for general slobbing about the place. I was inspired by one of my blogging friends, Lucie, who has successfully knitted a pair despite being fairly new to knitting.
I am not going to go mad, as I usually do when taking up something new, and buy special sock yarn etc. but I have bought a book , ordered a short circular needle – both recommended by Lucie – and have dug out some worsted/aran weight yarn from my stash. If it goes well, I will be perusing online stockists of sock making paraphernalia like a demon.
This is as far as I’ve got so, as you can see, there is no cause for great excitement quite yet – if indeed there is ever any cause to be greatly excited by a sock
As I am not yet in possession of ‘specialist’ equipment I am using the magic loop method using one long circular needle. I taught myself this method, using Youtube videos (hooray for the internet), to knit the sleeves of my ‘top down’ cardigan which I am nearly finished.
The title is referring to a saying often employed by Mr. Tialys when he is trying to get a point through to one of the Madamoiselles and, as they glaze over, he says it’s ‘like talking to a sock’. I know what he means now and, when I get to the more complicated sections like heel and toe, I might well be swearing at a sock.
Today, I have a guest blogger – much more photogenic than me and less verbose.
This is me, my name is Flo. I was found wandering the streets, in the rain, in November.
Somebody took me to the dog pound and when nobody claimed me after ten days I was transferred to the refuge. Luckily, I ended up in a pound with a refuge attached otherwise I might have been put to sleep. I think I might have lived with a family before – the Missus says I’m house trained – but they didn’t think to identify me in any way so the Refuge couldn’t contact them.
The refuge was noisy and a bit scary and I had to share my kennel with a great big labrador who was very friendly but he nicked all the food. The people at the refuge named me ‘Froggy’. The Missus says it must be because of my weird back legs. I don’t know what she means.
The Mister and Missus decided they had space for another dog and they wanted to help out the local Refuge who are always so crowded so they came to choose a dog on New Year’s Eve. There were so many gorgeous dogs they said they had a really difficult choice but, as you can see, I’m stunning, and I know how to get round people so here I am relaxing on the grass which is much more comfy than concrete.
Here is another dog the Mister and Missus were considering. His name is Igloo and I must admit he’s rather gorgeous. I’m surprised he hasn’t been homed yet.
This is me playing with one of my new brothers, Stan, who was also found wandering in the street – by the Missus herself – he was microchipped but when the owner was contacted they said they didn’t want him anymore -he was only 7 months old.
He is actually quite handsome
Here’s my other new brother, Taz, he’s 8 now but he was thrown out of a car at 7 weeks old along with his brother. Luckily, some youngsters saw it and took them into a local vet where, it just so happened, the Missus arrived shortly afterwards with one of her cats and ended up taking him home with her. I am pretending not to be interested in the training treats on offer…..
………….but I couldn’t keep it up!
At the end of the day, I can snuggle up on the sofa and my seven weeks in the Refuge seems like a distant dream.
Our local refuge, in Carcassonne, does a marvellous job but they get very little funding and rely on donations and, of course, on people adopting the dogs (and cats of course!)
I don’t want to be preachy, especially on what is normally a craft blog, but if you are ever looking for a dog to share your life, please don’t forget to consider a rescue dog, it can be so rewarding and you may have saved a life.
I seem to have come over all Victorian in that I can’t bear to see a naked machine in my workroom in case anybody is titillated by a glimpse of walking foot or corrupted by a suggestion of a tension knob. Actually the Victorians get a bad press in the prudish stakes but that is the subject of another post which I most probably won’t write.
Anyway, you may remember I made a highly complicated and fussy cover for one of my sewing machines. This time I wanted to protect my ‘bargain from Lidl, Pfaff overlocker’ as it is affectionately if long windedly known, from dust. ’Dust?’ I hear you say, ‘Mais, non!’ but I am afraid that, despite my slavish devotion to housework , specks of dust may sometimes appear. **Pause to perform Heimlich manoeuvre on family members choking on their breakfast**
Anyway, if you have ever tried – and I’m willing to believe you haven’t – it is very difficult to find a pattern for an overlocker cover. I mean, I know you could just fold a bit of ready quilted fabric in half and run up the sides but I wanted something that actually fit. Eventually, I found a free pattern here and adapted the measurements to fit my machine.
Sorry about the bad light in the photos today but the weather has been pants here lately and, in order to get this one, I had to squeeze myself between a wall and a console table in a narrow corridor which had the only decent bit of natural light. Anyway, you get the idea. Although I am a big girl, I went for some Kawaii type fabric as I liked the kissing bunnies, the bambi and the colours PLUS it came from a local shop so no shipping fees which is always a bonus. And look, I did piping. It’s all padded and lined too. There should have been a pocket on the front but I didn’t add one because I will only fill it with stuff and then it will p*** me off whenever I get the urge to serge.
I know some people like to have covers for kitchen equipment like toasters and mixers and stuff but I haven’t gone down that road. What about you, dear reader? Do you feel inclined to swathe your equipment in fabric or do you leave it bare and just flick it over with a feather duster now and then? (ooer Missus) Do tell.