Thursday, 11 April 2019

Greetings from abroad

Hi everyone,
this is John writing. It looks like we have taken over Auntie Ulla's blog, but she has really not finished, or even started, anything on the quilting front, and all she has knitted lately has been stuff for us. I think anyone can imagine how much clothes four children need! She will be back some day, this has not changed into a doll adventure blog.

Thursday last week was sunny, and the ice had finally melted so I had a beach photo taken in my travel clothes. We saw the first butterflies and chaffinches!

Have a closer look, I got to borrow Roger's scarf as I con't have one yet and he didn't need it.

Mr K. and Auntie Ulla took me along on their traditional trip to Germany! I had my own luggage, and naturally my birth certificate. We don't need a passport when visiting Auntie L.

She is Mr K.'s sister, and she has a big balcony. I had to climb up her trellis when I saw the dangerous lizards! Maybe she has trained them to look after her and protect her from wasps or something. I was scared anyway.

We visited the big fly fishing event Erlebniswelt Fliegenfischen. I was just hanging around Rio and half expecting to see the Amazons there. It turned out that this Rio was not the river but a brand name for some fly fishing products.

Uncle Ransome is a keen fly fisherman, so he could also have been there, but I didn't see anyone just like him. - Outdoors there were casting performances almost all day, so a proper warning was necessary.

A Scotsman was by the river, showing his skills. It made more sense, as there can't be any fish in the shallow plastic pools put up on the lawn!

As the sun was shining, Auntie let me change into my sailing sweater and shorts.

I had a little rest and a nap under a tree, enjoying the sun. I don't think I will get a tan with this complexion. Auntie Ulla told me that white cotton will get the bright whiteness back when dried on the line when the sun is shining.

After the fair we saw another one. There was a village Spring festival in Auntie L.'s town. Was the young girls' fashion of bare ankles spreading to grown up men? We saw a couple of them like this, with only top part of their socks showing a bare leg and ankle, and very short socks in the shoes. Strange!

The parade was led by this pair of horses and it was very long, with several marching bands. and all kinds of clubs and societies represented.

When we came back on Wednesday night, the weather had turned cold here, and in the morning everything was covered in snow again! I hope the butterflies find somewhere warm to wait for the Spring to come back.


Saturday, 30 March 2019

Tea time

This is Titty reporting again. Auntie was not in such a good mood. Here you can see why:

She had finished John's shirt and helping him to try it on when she noticed that when zigzagging the seam allowances together in the sleeve she had caught the sleeve fabric with a fold, and then cut through the fold. She tried to undo the outer zigzag stitches to make it look OK when the truth was revealed. Well, for a couple of days John had to wear his thick wool sweater, but now the shirt sleeve is fine again. Nobody will notice that it is a fraction shorter than the other one.

See here, both sleeves are still too long, so John can grow some more!

It looks like Spring is on the way. These snowdrops came through the old snow yesterday.

The pond has been frozen through all Winter and the ice is still very thick, but now it is floating on water at least.

Susan and I had tea together. Auntie has just the one cup left from the set of 4 she had when she was little, so we took turns.

Auntie Ulla made this blouse for Susan, and I can tell you she was very careful with her scissors this time. I think she ought to sew something for me next. I know Susan needs a lighter skirt for the Spring too, but I'm stuck with a wool jumper and long trousers, and Roger could use a shirt too.

Anyway, I think Susan's blouse is pretty and I know I will get to use it when she grows out of it. Oh, I almost forgot, the "something nice I planned with Auntie" I mentioned last time, well, it is taking time. Be patient!

Yours ever,

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Family photo

Here we are, finally!

From the left: John, Susan, Titty and Roger. The Walker kids, also known as the Swallows from Swallows and Amazons. Clearly you can see a family resemblance.

We have come to stay with Auntie Ulla so she can make more clothes for us and play with us. She has sent 74 dolls out to to world to be adopted before us, so it is high time she gets some dolls too to play with.

We too will be registered with identity cards from Unicef, and four more real kids out there somewhere will get their vital vaccinations against out fees.
We have not yet had time for new adventures, but Susan's cardigan is finally finished (Auntie is one of those knitters who make their yarn last longer by unraveling  the knitting from time to time and starting again) with a smaller decorative stitch. For me she knitted this scarf last night, to match my pullover, socks and beanie.

I think we are going to have some tea with biscuits soon. I'm planning something nice with Auntie, I hope we can show that to you next time.

Keep warm, the wind is still cold!


Friday, 1 March 2019

Dolls playing in the snow

Hi readers,
it is Titty here again. The other day we had sunny weather and just a little minus degrees so we sneaked out without jackets (because Auntie Ulla has not sewn us any yet). You know, frozen snow is dry so we didn't get wet socks or anything.

Oh yes, this is our little brother Roger. He is only seven, but clearly bigger than baby Bridget, so he can join us on our adventures.

Of course he can make his own adventures as well. When I was not looking, he climbed a tree to see far beyond the garden.

This Winter there has been lots of snow. Uncle K. said it was twice as high as what is left now. Auntie Ulla said it was as deep as her quilting ruler could measure, and then some. Some snow has now melted, and the rain has packed the layers tighter too.

My new trousers and hat with the pompom are really nice and comfortable. Can you imagine, Roger has managed to get tiny holes in the backside of his dungarees! That comes from climbing trees and sliding down slopes of snow.

We spotted a redpoll feeding on the sunflower seeds on the ground, and a bank vole is hiding under the little twig in the upper left corner. He too likes the seeds. Then we had to hurry inside, because it was getting cold for us. We had some hot chocolate with biscuits, and there was a nice fire in the fireplace when we came in.

Have a nice weekend! See you next time!

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Production line

 This week I have been working on a production line. I found an abandoned jacket Mr K. has used for dusty work on his bamboo rods. It had holes, stains and missing buttons and it was doomed to the textile recycling bag, but I saw that the back part and the top of both sleeves was clean and in good condition, so I took my simple pattern for trousers and cut four pairs of shorts and one pair of long trousers, and then binned the rest what was left. I also found two pairs of kind of khaki shorts I had made some years ago for "my one day box" waiting for these dolls. Summer pants situation good, Winter ones still to do!

Then I went "shopping" in my wool fabric box and some other boxes, and found a pair of orphan sleeves in red and white. They will make some lovely garments for my girl dolls.

The green blouse fabric rests from my mother's sewing room will make a beautiful lining for a coat.

The youngest boy's dungarees need the shoulder straps fastened, button holes and buttons, and the final inseam sewn. I chose the worn part at the elbow from the jacket for the backside of these, because I remember from the books that Roger's bottom needed patching. Boys around age 7 tend to wear out their clothes even faster than they can outgrow them! He has now hair and a wool jumper and socks already, so it will not take too long before you can meet him.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The first of the Swallows

Hello, my name is Titty Walker and I came to tell you about me and my sister and brothers and what we do. I will be the first one of us you can meet, because Auntie Ulla has finished my jumper already. 

My brothers John and Roger don't even have hair yet, just socks on their feet, so you must understand they can't let anyone take a photo! Susan is wrapped in a blanket too, but at least she has hair.

You may have already put two and two together and noticed that we are the Swallows from Swallows and Amazons. Our friends Nancy and Peggy here are the Amazons,

and they live in England with Auntie Melanie together with the D's, our friends Dorothea 

and Dick Callum, here making coffee in Eastern Finland on an adventure with Auntie Ulla before leaving for England.

Auntie Melanie has taken them all to a picnic on the Lake Coniston, where we have had some wonderful adventures together.

So if you wait patiently, you will meet us all here once we are fully equipped for the Winter weather. I try to make Auntie hurry!


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Black and white

Lately, I have been knitting with black yarn. Like this:

Eventually it became this:

It may look like a big dishcloth, and would work well as one, because it is bamboo yarn, but it is my first attempt for a "knitted bandana" for my daughter. Garter stitch from corner to corner, very stretchy. She may use it later in the Spring, but now she will need wool. Like this, on the snow:

I found some lovely Merino wool, very fine, and knitted this reversible thing:

Yesterday was the coldest day of this Winter so far, -27C. The world is white!

We have more snow than in a couple of years.

The rhododendrons look like they would prefer warmer weather!

It was the morning of the beautiful big red moon eclipse, but I could only take a photo of the sunrise at 9. The sun rises before 9 and sets after 4 in the afternoon, and it feels like a big step towards the Spring!