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Marching on

March 19, 2023

today is the last day of Winter and I’m so happy to see it gone – we have had much better weather than most so I won’t complain

and finally I’ve been spending time in the garden

still stitching by the fire in the evenings

Abby asked for some casual clothes so she could go down to the woods with the bears – overalls like Gilbert’s, with a pocket

I’m learning how tricky and slow it is to make clothes for such a small girl

it took 3 days to make the overalls and another 3 for the tee shirt – careful, tiny stitches so the knit fabric wouldn’t fall apart

patterns came from my bear book –Classic Teddy Bear Designs – with a small adjustment they worked well – bears are a little more robust than Hittys!

the shirt was made from a split-toed sock, a gift in Japan, they were much too small for me and have languished in a drawer

and the embroidered cat on the toe was moved to the shirt

Gilbert and Abby are thrilled  and kitty looks like he is popping out of the pocket

 as there is an orphaned sock Little Bear is wondering if he can have a tee too

I haven’t had any fibre to spin since December – and that was the nasty wool – so I ordered silk hankies from Sanjo Silk

hankies aren’t the easiest silk to spin, made from the whole cocoon they are very strong, without all the little bits and pieces carded out

but I love spinning them

I pull an individual hankie and stretch it out into a pencil roving, wind it into a small ball and spin on the Turkish drop spindle

maybe Abby will get a knitted silk dress – it will take awhile

Scrap Happy March 2023

March 14, 2023

the bear’s book is finished

it’s a bear’s substitute for a cuddly teddy bear – soft and squishy

twelve pages counting the front and back cover

it was started when I needed to add stitching time to my 100 day challenge

but now it is finished and the challenge pages are only in the 54th day – what’s next?it is stitched from some of the tiniest scraps in the basket

bears are good fishers- they especially like salmon

hearts and flowers are always welcome

the indigo dyed shibori scrap is an interesting shape – the wool felt just feels good

the trees are a sample from a Japanese dyeing workshop

and the quilted circle has French knots and shiny beads

Arthur likes the quote from When We Were Very Young by A.A.Milne

the felt for tiny Pooh bear is a scrap left from making Rosie

it took two scraps of ikat to make a big enough pocket

and because a pocket needs something in it a lightly stuffed, fishy bookmark seemed appropriate

as the gang all gathered to read they asked their fishy friends to join them


here are links to other happy scrappers

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean (me), Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera, Edith
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, Nóilin, Viv and Karrin


new challenges

March 11, 2023

Abby decided to learn to knit

using the tiny needles in her knitting basket and some very fine handspun 2 ply silk

we did manage to finish a scarf

but the human is not thinking small enough for Hittys yet – it will take some time!

and the scarf is bear size

so Abby happily traded with Gilbert and now they both have a more appropriate size

there is peace in the small people’s world (yes, I think of them all as people)

 working steadily on the 100 day project

page 10 is finished and page 11 started — half way through the 100 days


I’m surprised that each page is so different while trying to use very small scraps and thrums for the basic stitches

it is time to start putting the pages together so it isn’t a long job when the stitching is finished

I’ve had a rather trying week – it was like falling down the rabbit hole

all my electronic systems stopped working – everything – internet,  WiFi, no Ipad and even the T.V.

my service supplier doesn’t like to make house calls – they want to talk you through it on the telephone

finally, after 3 difficult phone calls, when the first two were disconnected, they booked an appointment for a technician to come check it out

fortunately he was a very capable, pleasant young man and got everything going again

in this new technical world you become completely cut off from the outside world

it made me think about what happens in an emergency – like when the often predicted BIG earthquake happens??

Abby has requested a pair of overalls like Gilberts – I’m off to see if I can get the sizing correct




cold and wet and windy

March 5, 2023

March arrived – cold, windy and with a few brief (thank goodness) snow showers

the bears are getting to know Abigail while Rosie reads “Hitty – her first hundred years” by Rachel Field

and we all keep warm by the fire

I knitted Abby a wool blanket which she is sharing with the littlest folk

and we have found her a tiny basket of wool and needles, whether she can learn to knit is another matter

many Hittys wear a necklace of coral beads, so we strung some tiny natural, Japanese pearls to make one for Abby

and of course Rosie wanted some jewels too

work on the bear’s book goes on

and signs of Spring are everywhere

the Happy Gang

February 26, 2023

warning – this is going to be long and picture heavy

we are here today to introduce you to a new member of the Happy Gang

our very own Hitty has come to join us

there she is in the corner of the drawer

it keeps her safe until we can find her her very own little chair

she wanted to sit with the bears but their chair is rather crowded

she arrived at the front door bundled up against the cold and the snow that was forecast

along with a jar of homemade marmalade and a beautiful Hitty sized quilt

it is only 6.5×7 inches – each square is 1 inch

if you click on the picture you will see the tiny stitches in the white blocks and the black chain stitch around the border

it is a treasure

but there is Hitty herself – she came with a suggested name – Abigail – and it suits her

she was carved by Kjerstin from the wood of a Japanese cherry tree that grew in the yard of author Joy Kogawa’s childhood home

this is Kjerstin’s story and you can read about here   and here with all the history  (this is a must read!!)

she came with her exquisite hand stitched wardrobe

look at those tiny button holes and the red knitted bodice, a warm flannel under skirt and lace trimmed pantaloons

I have her permission to show her wooden beauty marks

she was unexpected and the most astonishing surprise

welcome Abigail we can’t wait to see what fun we will have together

 my heartfelt “thank you” to Kjerstin and all the Hittys for allowing her to come and live with us

 now I am going to sit by the fire with the Happy Gang while Rosie reads them a story


what’s next?

February 22, 2023

it’s finished – cleaned, carded and handspun, natural dyed, woven and crocheted

even the dozens of ends are needle woven in

started on December 18th with the “nasty” wool and worked on every day since – I’m happy to see it finished

the center with a narrow crocheted border is the nasty stuff

three rows of squares outside the center are woven with small, leftover balls of handspun all natural dyed

wool, silk and some blends, even some mohair with loops and curls

dyed with madder

I was delighted to use these bits and pieces and get them out of the stash

it is finished with four rows of double crochet with even smaller balls of scrappy yarn

page 6 (the hearts) is finished and page 7 is started

and another page in the bears book is finished

with the blanket finished I’m struggling to decide on a new project – can’t just sit by the fire with nothing to do!


Scrap Happy February 2023

February 15, 2023

everything is scrappy this month

the hundred day challenge is 1/4 of the way finished

15 minutes for five days – each page is 1 hour, 15 minutes

this is page 5 – that’s 6 hours, 15 minutes of scrappy stitching so far

the main fabric is a heavy cotton drapery material left over from my interior designer days

trying something new to me, I backed it with a lightweight quilt batting and just back stitched on the pattern lines

it was slow going but I like the results

there is still more fabric but it is only 6inches wide – Rosie’s summer dress was made with it

now I’m wondering if it was joined with plain colour strips could I make a quilt for the bears?

but, back to the start of page 6

there’s that same fabric again – I’m determined to use it up

and of course, it’s Valentines day – the heart on the right is tiny scraps of shibori dyed wool felt stitched together

broken hearts can be mended but they are never the same!

I got the idea when making the hunny pot for the bears book (click on the picture below) more shibori dyed felt

I found stitching for only 15 minutes frustrating and not wanting to break the time rules continued stitching  on another project  – a small book for the bears is underway

the pages are 4″X4.5″ and the scraps are getting smaller and smaller

here is Kate’s list updated list of happy scrappers

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean(me), Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera, Edith
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, Nóilin, Viv and Karrin

Valentines wishes

February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine’s Day

the bears are working on some scrappy valentines

they wish you a very chocolate-y day

more scraps

February 8, 2023

I thought I had a serious scrap stash but this delightful lady in Japan really beats my collection

see what she does with her bits and pieces

using every scrap – not just textiles

the blanket is growing

working on the final, outside round which requires 44 squares

more scraps – now there are tiny scrappy balls of individual colours

28 squares finished with only 16 left to weave – I will be so happy to see this finished!

but there is still the stitching together and trimming all the ends

pages 3 (left) and 4 of the 100 day project are finished

and getting ready for page five

starry, starry night

inspired by the birch trees on the boulevard

the large square is a sample knitted with handspun Japanese paper (shifu)

the brown piece is Bryan’s realed/woven silk, dyed with kakishibu

all these pages are going to be very scrappy

and here is the little fabric book I’ve started – to continue stitching after the 15 minutes are up

it was a good idea and Rosie is happy

be sure to watch the video – it is calm and peaceful and happy – we all need a little of that

just do it!

February 1, 2023

six minutes of fun and inspiration

there is magic everywhere

give it a try – what do you have to lose? – six minutes…..

Rosie decided that hibernation was over – it’s February – Spring will be here soon!

we’ve been reading Winnie the Pooh

my problem with only 15 minutes stitching each day is I get started and then time is up

and so,  I was inspired to stitch a little book for the bears – “The Urban Forest” – no time limits

first I made a scrap paper pattern which quickly became Rosie’s diary

and now for the fabric book

we are searching the internet for inspiration

  if you haven’t already discovered the textile artist site it has something for everyone