The excitements of the garden

 The garden is such fun for Sunny!



As well as making normal sized bears. I also used to make miniature bears (and others) and here are a few. The smallest bear (the blue one) is one centimetre tall. I reckoned that was as tiny as it was possible to go and still have a bear that looked like a bear. At any rate, it was as small as I chose to go!

The china doll is a one-twenty-fourth scale baby doll. I found this size made a satisfactory doll for a one-twelfth scale child doll.


Puncetto Progress

I finally had a break-through with the puncetto and got my stitch counting worked out. The tension is better too though I need to tighten up my next foundation strip as this one is too long. But I feel as if at last I am starting to get somewhere!

And I had to share this picture of Sunny with you. It was hot and she was tired out after a day in the garden!


Enjoying the sunshine!

I had all sorts of craft stuff to show you but we are having a two-day 'heat-wave' (it got up all the way to 25 degrees C yesterday - that would not even make it officially summer in Japan, but here we get panic!) So Sunny and I had a lovely lazy day in the garden instead.


Miniature Bedspread

I knitted this miniature bedspread some years ago. The odd shape is to allow it to fit a four-poster bed.

And here is Sunny 'helping' with my knitting!


Summer garden

My redcurrants are nearly ripe. I love picking and eating them straight from the bushes.


Not making progress with my sewing!

I sat down with my puncetto practice and the radio - and you can see why I have not made much progress with it!


The ultimate understated scarf

I have started a scarf for a man who doesn't like new clothes, doesn't like gifts and has a horror of being conspicuous. Which makes Christmas presents tricky! I came to the conclusion that something soft, cosy and as understated as possible might work - fingers crossed!

I'm using linen stitch as it has the least 'this is hand-knitted' signs of any stitch I know. I'm probably going to felt it as well. It will be in two layers for extra warmth - which is why it is a circle at the moment. And surely this colour of charcoal grey couldn't threaten anybody!


Puncetto continued

My pink practice piece went disastrously wrong so I started again with white no. 20 thread. This one went a bit better as to tension but I still keep getting in a muddle when counting my stitches. I count carefully along the row and am sure I have got it right - but then, on the next row I find I have too many (usually), or occasionally too few stitches!


Japanese Calligraphy

My husband has finally finished this year's big piece of exhibition calligraphy. He has been practicing all year. It is 3 metres long.


Cardigan Progress

I finally managed to find the time to finish the 7 inches of ribbing for the Dockside Cardigan (Amy Miller - Summer 2011 - Interweave Knits) and divided for the back. It is an interesting construction and one my daughter will like, so I am enjoying knitting it - when I get the chance!

Can't you just see her thinking ' Now, what can I do to make knitting impossible?'


Mending Sushi Mats - yet again!

Yesterday Sunny fell sound asleep - which seemed a good opportunity for me to make progress on the endless ribbing for my daughter's cardigan. But my husband had spotted that for once I didn't have my hands full - so I ended up mending sushi mats - which seems a never-ending chore. My husband is a sushi chef and the heavy-duty, restaurant-quality sushi mats are not available in the UK. So it is inconvenient for the restaurant if their mats start to disintegrate. The bamboo rods are very durable but the string that holds them together wears out quite quickly. Somehow or other - probably my husband's confident 'my wife can mend anything' - I got volunteered to do running repairs. Each mat takes 40 minutes to dismantle and restring - and a busy restaurant has an awful lot of them. I seem to do a minimum of one mat a week.

And here is Sunny playing with our fly screen curtains.


Sunny in the garden - video

I have had the greatest difficulty in getting pictures of Sunny in the garden. Our garden is just too full of kitten-sized hidey holes and she shoots from one to the other faster than I can film her. Most of the time we only know where she is by watching Ginger, who has decided to babysit when she's in the garden. And sometimes it is possible to spot movements in the vegetation. The video is not very good, but it was the best of a good number of tries.


Sunny purring and playing - video

If you listen carefully you can hear Sunny purring away steadily!

I was going to show you some more from my albums but I got up to rain bucketing down steadily outside (the forecast was 'light drizzle'!) so  I thought we would have this video of Sunny.


A sunny day in the garden

Yesterday was such a nice day that I took Sunny into the garden (she had free access to a garden at her birth home.) She had such a good time as our garden has so many places only a small kitten will fit into. She even persuaded Ginger to play with her by running up to him and giving him a little slap on the flanks and then running away. She did this several times until Ginger chased her. Just as I was about to intervene, back they came, with Sunny in headlong pursuit of Ginger! Things were fine after that.

I tried hard to get pictures of Sunny in the garden but she darted about too fast for me so I settled for this one of her and Tigger. He seems to have adopted the attitude of a fond but slightly distant grandfather. He watches her and blinks but games are not his kind of thing!


Bounce, bounce, bounce!

I am rediscovering to the full just how hard it is to do any kind of needlecraft with a really energetic kitten helping!

So here is one from my album from very long ago. I made three cushions with little bits of embroidery, all different, to make my bed when I was at university look more like a couch. This seems to be the only one of which I have a surviving photo.


Puncettos Progress

I managed to finish my first practice piece - in dishcloth cotton to make it easy for me to see. Lots of mistakes but at least I understand them.

Now I've started another practice piece in a number 20 thread - still thick but less so. I'm still trying to get the hang of the tension as you can see. I am fascinated by the fact that a series of knots comes out looking like a woven fabric - it feels like magic. I can see this craft is going to become another obsession!

And here is Sunny - hasn't she matured, even in a week! She had bounced around so much that she fell asleep on the window-sill. My husband says wouldn't it revolutionise the world if we could get the amount of energy out of a battery that a kitten can get out of a small tin of boiled chicken!



Here is an album photo of a piece of filet crochet I made about thirty years ago. The pattern was a Japanese one - at that time filet crochet was very popular and there were lots of patterns available there.

And now the OOPS! Sunny went to the vet for the first time yesterday for his jabs, microchip and wormer - and we got a surprise. Sunny turned out to be a girl! She has nearly doubled her weight in the week we have had her and is so much stronger and more agile.

Here she is, being a princess on a sunny window. We are so glad we called her Sunny and not our other choice - which was Jimmy!



You'd think I had enough to do with Sunny bouncing everywhere, but yesterday I started to try to teach myself puncetto and here is my first effort - in extremely thick thread so I can see what I'm doing until I get the hang of it. Puncetto is a rather obscure needlelace from Northen Italy. All you need is a needle and some thread - so it ticks all my buttons. I love the magic of starting with thread and minimal tools and making a solid item!

And I was very happy to get this shot of Tigger and Sunny together yesterday.


Not quite friends - yet!

I managed to get a rare shot of both Ginger and Sunny this morning. At the moment Tigger, Ginger and Sunny are all in the same room with me and so far there is peace - fingers crossed!



This not very good album photo shows a needlepoint cushion I made about 25 years ago. The design was my husband's and it was very effective, but it was unbelievably boring to work with all those acres of plain navy blue. I remember I even mastered reading a book while I worked at it!

And a sleepy Sunny picture - not that he sleeps much - life is far to exciting to waste on sleep!



It's raining heavily, and even if I had the time I couldn't knit or tat at the moment as I have hurt my right hand. It is improving, but having limited use of it is reminding me to be thankful for having two usable hands - so many things turn out to be difficult or even impossible with just one.

Sunny responded to his name for the first time this morning. And the big cats are calming down - they still hiss and run - but only when they remember they have decided they should!

And isn't this peony flower amazing. It broke off in the high winds we had on Saturday so I brought it in and put it in a vase.


More Sunny

I couldn't resist some more photos of Sunny. Unfortunately Tigger and Ginger still find him scary and totally resistable - and I have the sticking plasters to show for what Ginger thinks of the situation. Fingers crossed for harmony soon!


Meet Sunny!

Meet the latest addition to our family - Sunny. He arrived yesterday evening after a somewhat traumatic bus journey but is settling down very well. He is just 8 weeks old.

Now if I can only persuade Tigger and Ginger not to be so terrified of him!


Tatting display

I hoped I had a photograph of this piece when it was new, but in the end had to take a picture of it now. The pattern is from 'Tatting from Burda', adjusted as to size. The ring at the outside is a bottom lampshade ring - that is, it is the ring that holds the bottom of a lampshade open. The advantage of these rings is that they come in lots of different sizes - and they are cheap. The result is a piece that can be hung on a wall or in a window. This one was hung in a north-facing window but has still deteriorated and faded considerably.



What I meant to show you today was the progress I am making with the cardigan for my daughter - but yesterday afternoon I spotted Ginger, sound asleep and looking so cute. Usually by the time I have fetched the camera he's woken up, but this time I got away with it!

And here is the start of the cardigan. 498 stitches per round. Knit 1 Purl 1 rib for 7 inches. I'm not there yet, but I'm making progress!