Saturday, 8 February 2014

Ziggy the drunk monkey

The last couple of weeks seem to be have been preoccupied more with knitting, no hand sewing on the go and the machine sewing mojo had disappeared, but it's back again. Looking forward to some sewing this week and hopefully a finish.

On Sunday my niece, sister, dad and nephew came up. Dad and nephew sat down to watch the rugby quietly, can I never get away from sport? As I type this, Ireland are beating Wales 6 nil. Sister sat and knitted quietly, didn't offer to do any sewing up for me - apparently she farms out her own sewing to her mother in law. In wonder would Nanny May like to adopt me? Anyhow, we were in celebratory mood. In N Ireland, either rightly or wrongly depending on your point of view, we still have a grammar school system. The past few years our local government has tried hard to do away with this, but it still hangs in there. Anyhow, the niece had "done the test" and the results were out on Saturday. Thankfully she did very well so Sunday the mood was high. In all honestly although I pretended it was planned I had forgotten the results were out when I issued the invitation. So, to celebrate we had afternoon tea, proper cups and saucers, teapot, buns, cake and biscuits. The whole shebang. Unfortunately I forgot to take any photographs until the cakestand was empty.

Oh for those who are interested, Ireland are now winning 13 nil.

The main objective of the afternoon was to make a sock monkey. I had seen the sock monkey Sarah's blog,
and she had linked to that of Indianna Dreams.
go to her post of 16 November 2013, I can't manage to make an exact link

We used the tutorial linked into Indianna Dreams blog.
 No photos I am afraid of work in process, Emma and I were too busy cutting, sewing and stuffing and boy did it take a lot of stuffing, and some inward cussing. Next time we will use smaller socks. My niece is not like me at all, she decided the tail was too low, and she was determined I would move it. I thought it would be alright in the end, no pun intended but she was adamant the tail was moved. There was also much deliberation about what buttons would be used . We discovered big buttons gave him a scary monkey look, or as I thought, a drugged up monkey look. Whichever... big buttons were not to be used. Then there was the debate as to what embroidery thread for the mouth, red seemed the obvious and I used a split/back stitch. Unfortunately I tried to draw the thread through for a more expressive mouth but it turned into a leer. So, scary, drugged up monkey with a leer, not looking good. It all worked out ok in the end, Ziggy doesn't really look as sinister in real life as he does in the photos. Except for the one where he is propping up the wine bottle, by that stage I was ready to finish the wine bottle!
Ziggy the drunk monkey

We knew he was a success when he made his photographic d├ębut on Facebook and my sister asked for one too. Next monkey will be smaller and brighter though. Ziggy even went to Scouts through the week in the hope he could earn his owner a badge.

Last night I bit the bullet and sewed up the baby cardigans for my friend's new granddaughter in New Zealand. I genuinely thought I had knitted 4, but it seems I have only knit 3. As always I feel my finishing techniques leave a lot to be desired. It seems a little holey when I lift the stitches for the button band. I actually have to catch some of the gaps at the end. When I use a whip stitch to sew them up it feels that the seam is too rigid and hard, hopefully that will soften with washing. I think I sew the ends in too thoroughly. Apart from all of that I am happy enough with the cardies and hope Karen is pleased with them and they fit the baby in the cold weather and not the warm weather.

This week I hope to finish my Aunt's mosaic lap tile quilt land make a start of Matthew's red and black quilt. I also hope to make my Bee Blessed heart squares for February. A busy week and luckily a light week work wise. And oh yes, I hope to knit some prawns and a lettuce leaf this week.

All the best


  1. well done to your niece for doing so well in her exam and also for creating such a wonderful sock monkey. I cannot wait until I see the prawns and lettuce...just my sortoff project.

  2. I love Ziggy, you'd best keep a close eye on him as he looks the mischievous type!

  3. Congrats to your niece! Love the monkey and the little cardies. :)
    Looking forward to seeing the prawns and lettuce! ;)
    V x

  4. Busy times and a big yay for the grammar school exam. We have friends in Buckinghamshire which still has grammar schools and when their daughter had to write the exam they got in tutors, because they panicked when they found out that 99% of the rest of the students were getting private tuition to prepare. Puts a lot of pressure on a ten year old!

  5. You have such a busy week Helenjean...Your little baby cardigans are so pretty and Ziggy is definitely cute (and maybe, I'm guessing a little mischievous too :-) )
    Happy Thursday,
    Susan x


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