Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Here he is, the final cat in the collection of five - Gucci! I thought he'd be tricky, which is why I left him until last, but in actual fact it wasn't so bad getting his patterning done. I rather like this one!

Next job, all the cats possessions!

Stacie's Fish Mosaic

Since my daughter has attended a weekly art and craft class at technical college, I am always excited at the end of each term to see just what her big project has been. I knew that she had been designing and making some sort of mosaic, but was not prepared for quite how large and magnificent the finished article would be! This piece is about 15 x 12 inches with a half inch thick wooden base - it is heavy. I would like to put it in one of our bathrooms but have to think about whether or not the wall will be able to cope with the weight. I'm sure we will find a suitable place to display it in all it's glory in the end.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


What do you do on the hottest day of the year so far if you couldn't care less about the World Cup?

Make jam of course! We visited a pick-your-own farm yesterday and got a bit carried away gathering gooseberries and strawberries. So we had gooseberry crumble for pudding yesterday, pancakes with strawberries & blueberries for breakfast, will have fresh strawberries and Greek yoghurt for pudding today, and I have made about 10 lbs of jam. That should keep us going through the winter.....or at least the next few weeks. Now we await the ripening of raspberries and damsons for the next couple of batches......

I think the English football team should have spent their afternoon today making jam too....at least they'd have had something to show for it!

Friday, 25 June 2010

They're Taking Over!

This is Suki, she's a fluffy little grey and white cat who actually gave me blisters! Lovely natural yarn but so rough on the fingers when making something this small.

Now she has joined her friends and they are fighting over the comfy doughnut bed, but Zeus will not be moved!

I'm still thoroughly enjoying making these, although the last one is a tortoiseshell and I am wondering just how to achieve that......

Just a little note - I have noticed that I've not been getting many comments lately. Now, it may be that everyone just isn't that impressed with small knitted cats, but I did get an e-mail from someone (Cat, believe it or not!!) saying that she was unable to leave a comment. So could you do me a favour and leave a comment this time so I can see if there is something wrong with my blog or not? Not that I know how to fix it if there is! Thank you heaps, peeps!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Cat No.3 - Zeus

I'm a little freaked out by this one....he's so lifelike! Strange how they take on their own personalities as I make them.

And yet he is still only 4 inches high - except when he is up on his back legs chasing a fly....

Now you can see why I love the Stylecraft Gypsy yarn for these projects - and was so distraught to find it has been discontinued.

But I have my sources and have discovered a hidden supply.....no, I'm not going to tell you where - it's mine, all mine, bwa-hah-hah......

I Wish I Knew His Name......

Just completed this portrait of a very handsome labrador...I really do wish I knew his name! It was a bit of a rush job, needs to be framed and ready for a birthday at the beginning of next month. This has been executed in Derwent Drawing Pencils with highlights in white acrylic, all on a piece of Canson paper in a lovely shade of blue.

If you fancy having a portrait painted of your pet, do get in touch at the above e-mail address.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Cat No.2 - Zoe

This little girl is Zoe, with her grey and white coat and shiny green eyes.

Did I mention that these cats are exact replicas of real pets? Well, as close as I can do it considering they are so small.

Each cat is approximately 4 inches high, and has wool-jointed legs so they are fully poseable.

I had a bit of bother sourcing the right size and colour eyes - I have to get it through my head that just because I want something doesn't mean they make it! These are teddy eyes, but I think they work well enough.

As well as this little menagerie, I am also working on a dog portrait during the daylight hours - he needs to be finished in a bit of a hurry. It's good to be busy!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

One Down, Four To Go!

Meet Monroe, a fat cat with snacks on his mind.....

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


For those of you who think I have magical powers and knitted animals just fly off my needles, have a peek at my scribbles! I hope that no-one ever wants to buy one of my patterns as it would take the Rosetta Stone to translate some of the garbled notes I write down as I go.

It does make life easier for making the creature next time though - only once did I make the mistake of not writing a pattern down as I went along.

By the way, these are notes from two different patterns - if you want to make a cat with cow's legs, these are the pages for you!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Car Booty!

I love car boot sales - if they are good ones that is. Today we went to a huge one, two hours to look around everything, and I came home a bit laden. Obviously within the first ten minutes I had bought a big old copy of Gone With the Wind and sixteen magazines about famous painters - which meant I then had to cart around ten pounds of dead weight for the remaining hour and fifty minutes!

I'm really pleased with this little haul - no, I don't plan on wearing the nasty earrings and necklace, but look at all those little silver discs, just waiting to be sewn on mini-dog and cat collars! I rely on finds like these for the sets I make - adds authenticity! The long strand of turquoise beads was a steal at £2.

Knowing what a sucker I am for a good yarn store, I try and stay away for the sake of my bank balance. However, this weekend I had a good excuse as I had to source some yarn for knitting little cats - I think this should keep me going for a while! If anyone out there has any Stylecraft Gypsy yarn (the soft fluffy eyelash one in the centre) I'd be willing to buy it - it is now discontinued but is the perfect yarn for lifelike mini-pets.

This weekend I also appear to have broken my dog! Since his 'rehabilitation' (once again, thank you Cesar Millan, Dog Whisperer, for all the useful and above all effective strategies for changing a dog's behaviour) we have been able to take our dog further afield for more interesting walks. He can now jump in the car by himself - yes, I have been lifting a 50 lb saluki into the back of the car for the past 7 years - which makes such a difference. He's seen his first ever cows, seen lots of new dogs without starting any punch-ups, and explored some new fields and woods. Now he's flopped on the floor in happy exhaustion.....

So with the sun shining.........

....the garden looking pretty.........

....with dragonflies basking on the pear tree.......

.....courgettes aplenty growing.......

....and more grapes than I could imagine on our vine....

......it's been a pretty good couple of days. Shame it's back to work tomorrow!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

What's New, Pussy-Cat?

As I have a wonderful commission to recreate five real cats in miniature, I thought it might be an idea to see if I can actually knit a very small cat before wading straight into work for someone else! I've never done it before and don't have a pattern, so had to work out how to adapt the puppy pattern.

I think he turned out fairly well - I can see where I need to tweak things next time round, but on the whole he bears an uncanny resemblance to a big ol' ginger tom I used to own before I became a convert to dog ownership.

This ginger tom wil be going on to Etsy once I have kitted him out (kitted...haha!) with some accessories to go with his comfy turquoise bed.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Apple Blossom in Watercolour

This is my second attempt at painting the blossom on my apple tree, this time in watercolour. While I had great fun painting it, I am not sure it has worked particularly well - perhaps I have been staring at it for far too long!

Enough of blossom for now - I'm off to Birdworld in Farnham tomorrow and hopefully will get lots of reference photos for some bird paintings. That's if I get the chance while herding small children round the aviaries! One of my best days ever was going to Birdworld with The Wildlife Art Society and a group of fellow artists. We were allowed free range to paint & sketch the birds that they let loose in the Heron Theatre for an hour or so, then we spent the rest of the day doing our own thing painting where we wanted to...well I did anyway, not too sure that the others did much other than take photos! I even managed to sell one of my little watercolours of a Turaco to a Danish tourist, which paid for the entrance fee quite nicely!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Egg The Dog - Fully Kitted Out

Here is the complete set of Egg the Dog and his possessions! He now has his red cushion bed with tassels, a red jacket trimmed with blue ribbon and a matching towel.

To go with his towel, he also has the prerequisite shampoo and conditioner - what every hirsute gentleman needs!

He has a nice big water bowl, a plate of his favourite foods (yes, I know it is pretty much a steak dinner but some dogs get more to eat than a bowl of Chappie & a biscuit!), a pot of yoghurt, a handmade rope leash, a knitted ball and bone and plaited chew toy.

Then there is his favourite cuddly beaver toy as well as his orange rubber thingy.

Here is a better view of his little jacket with it's tie fastening.

I had such fun making this set - as you know, I love a challenge and this certainly was one. If you would like your pet to be knitted, get in touch!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Egg! A Sneaky Peek...

If you'd have told me a few years ago that I would make some of my income from knitting miniature replicas of people's pets, I would not have believed you. However, I am very happy that this is the case because it is such FUN!

This is Egg, or rather his 'mini-me'. Egg is a Tibetan Terrier - what a cute little chap. His mini-me is a mere four inches tall.

He will be going to his owner once I have completed making replicas of all (and I mean ALL) his accessories - more pictures when I am done, which won't be long.

The next project involves five felines...I love a challenge!

If you would like your pet immortalised in yarn, do get in touch - it's rare I refuse a commission!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Eight Months In The Making......

Last week I finally finished this top which I started last September or so. Admittedly for seven of those months it has been sitting neglected and lonely in my 'to do' pile - there didn't seem much point in hurrying through a summer top while there was a foot of snow outside!

This has been knitted in Sirdar's lovely Just Bamboo yarn in the shade 'Nutmeg'. I love this yarn because it has a weight and drape to it that belies just how cool it is to wear on a hot day. It is also quite entertaining the first time you wash your first garment made in this yarn...it shrinks radically! I nearly cried when a previous Just Bamboo top came out of the washing machine looking like it would fit a child - but as the yarn dries, it slowly returns to it's proper shape. Phew!

I'm currently in the process of knitting a commissioned 'mini-me' dog, complete with miniature replicas of all his possessions - watch this space!