16/02/2018 § 5 Comments
Sunshine heralded a day for jaunting yesterday, so I took myself off and headed north. My destination was Welford Park, famous for snowdrops and most recently the venue for The Great British Bake Off . The lower lawn clearly showed the outline of the marquee in the grass and I just had to saunter down those steps!
The car park was already into its 2nd field when I arrived but despite the huge number of visitors, it didn’t feel at all crowded. It had rained all the previous day so I changed into my wellies, which were the perfect footwear, before trudging off where I was gently eased into the wonders of snowdrops …
I headed towards the woods, walking alongside the river and over a bridge then following a rustic path leading around the most magnificent carpet of snowdrops I’ve ever seen …
Unbelievable, awesome, stunning – words just don’t capture the magic of these tiny blooms when they grow in their millions …
I loved the sculptures too …
I’m not sure why the giraffe sculptures are significant – a family group of 4 marks the entrance to the house but they seem very happy and appear to be munching on the overhanging branches and looking over the garden wall. I just loved the snowdrop sculptures by the garden gate – there were 2 and they were so beautiful …
I looked up as I entered the walled garden entrance to see a booted let with a spur and it made me smile to remember how it came to be significant …
“The booted spur is the crest of the Eyre family. The origin of the crest is that an ancestor whilst fighting in battle lost his sword. Needing something to defend himself he grabbed the nearest weapon that he could find that turned out to be the severed and booted leg of a dead colleague. With this he successfully defended himself and lived to tell the tale.”
Ha ha – that’s a good story and I expect he dined out on it for the rest of his days!
What would your crest be?
The Rose Garden and Church were also beautiful set against that stunning winter sky.
Back at home, my own little snowdrops continue to delight …
the collies, appear to be reluctant to awake from their winter hibernation …
I tucked Misty up with her baby badger earlier in the week as she’d strained her shoulder whilst acting like a silly pup and forgetting she’s in her 14th year. I’m pleased to say that she’s almost fully recovered after a couple of days ‘basket rest’, tucked up by my feet as I’ve crocheted a small lap blanket to keep me warm in the evenings!
V-stitch crochet is the perfect way to use up scraps and hook up a useful little blanket. I used the left-overs from Vintage Rose which is still having its border hooked – photos next week hopefully!
I sent a larger Corner to Corner crochet blanket off to Dad, to keep his legs warm when he has a snooze by the fire, but forgot to take photos before I headed off to the Post Office, in a rush as always!
Have a lovely weekend and hope you find some snowdrops and sunshine.
Linking up with Finish it up Friday
19/01/2018 § 2 Comments
Upping the tempo as the New Year progresses has been a joy, with workshops underway and markets too. I had a stall in Winchester’s historic High Street, a couple of weeks ago and I’ll be there again on Sunday – despite a dreadful weather forecast!
Here’s a round up of my week …
a dusting of pollen on the mantlepiece, from the first hazel catkins, gathered whilst walking the collies up at the farm, and bunch of daffodils from the fantastic independent greengrocer in Romsey. I’m trying to shop more in smaller, specialist shops and local makers & bakers market stalls.
I’ve finished a quilt top in grey/white/pink shades and also added pockets to a few quilts, to convert them into ‘quillows’ which seem to be very popular …
and in other news …
Oooohhhhh – yes! A new crochet blanket is underway. I couldn’t wait to start it but made myself finish Strawberry Moon II and put an edging on my original Strawberry Moon blankets before beginning another project. I have no idea what size this one will end up. I bought the mellow, mushroom-coloured yarn from an internet auction and decided that it would be the basis for this blanket. Every square has a double border in this colour, and there will be a wide edging too. The inner circles are Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran and I only bought 7 of them – I’ll see how far they go. It’s going to be called Vintage Rose, as the colours are all gentle and soft and I want it to look as though it was made years ago.
I’m a bit obsessed with crochet circles ending up as squares. Same idea as for Gypsy Rose, who’s fame has spread worldwide though this time there are fewer colours in each block. I’m using the ‘join-as-you-go’ method as I hate sewing all the squares together at the end, but I’m being very strict about darning in all the ends every evening.
My method, is to hook up a few circles of 4 rounds each evening then, the following evening before I pick up my hook, I darn in those ends. I’m eager to hook up more circles so that’s my motivation and I end the evening by joining the finished circles to the blanket before I go to bed. I end up being able to see my progress as the blanket grows, and know that I only have about 12 ends to darn in the following day before I start to crochet again. Sweet yarny dreams follow, as I snuggle beneath my beloved Strawberry Moon and Carnival blankets, both of which have made it onto the bed during these cold months! We don’t ‘do’ duvets in this house – quilts and crochet blankets, layered up are amazingly warm and weighty.
I have been out into the garden, to find the earliest blooms – some so shy that only the scent guides me to their hiding places …
Sweetly scented wallflowers, snowdrops and primroses by the pond and there’s a wonderful white winter honeysuckle too that smells divine – soon the first bumble bees will be searching out those blooms.
Have a lovely weekend – whatever the weather!
Linking up with Finish it up Friday
08/01/2018 § 2 Comments
I did manage to stay up to see in the New Year – mainly to keep the collies company when the neighbours’ fireworks lit up the night sky. It was quite a display! Misty, these days is an old lady of 13 and was blissfully unaware of any of the bangers as she’s quite deaf. She used to have a bit of a bark at fireworks but in her quiet world it’s always peaceful, and she actually seems much happier and less anxious as a result.
Belle is now the main lookout and thinks she’s taken over as Chief of Defence, but she’s not as defensive as Misty used to be and instead of barking at the doorbell, comes running to tell me that I need to do something. It’s very amusing – she’s an intelligent and sensitive companion who reads me like a book though I have caught her napping on duty a couple of times recently …
Belle’s favourite ‘perch’ is on the back of the old sofa by the front window – it’s covered in throws and cushions and she just loves it up there.
Misty, meanwhile, gazes at me asking “What’s going on?”
The rug is new – a sale buy in Laura Ashley as was this …
an ex-display bargain and Belle WILL NOT be allowed on it. I have to collect it next month when they rearrange their showroom and I can’t wait. Maybe I should do some dog-training in the meantime!
My motto this year was an easy one to decide upon. Last Autumn I stopped off at the Tavistock Pannier Market on my way to Cornwall. As always, the talented Emma West’s stall drew me and I bought a porcelain tile – it really did sum up how I feel about life these days and I’ve decided to adopt it as my motto for this year …
I love the combination of textured linen, the stitched sentiment and the cool crisp porcelain – I keep it on my kitchen dresser.
In an attempt to be kinder to my insides as well, I often start the day with a smoothie. This morning’s consisted of a banana, a pear, persimmon, a good inch of ginger root, beetroot and orange juice and a generous handful of oatmeal for extra fibre …
One of these fills me up as a breakfast for much longer than toast or boxed cereals. If I’m going out then I usually have porridge with fruit on top which keeps me fuelled for even longer,
I saw in the New Year having (with minutes to go) finished a 2nd corner to corner blanket – it’s Strawberry Moon II made with the same Sirdar Aura that my original Strawberry Moon was made with in Cornwall last year. I’ve since added a simple border to each blanket. The 2nd one is a present but I won’t say for whom just yet, though I suspect she can guess!
For SMII I used just the pink and dark red colourway whereas in mine I added a blue colourway too – to remind me of the Cornish sea. I’ve had a daily fix of my beloved Porthleven thanks to a webcam that’s been installed at a local holiday cottage company. It’s here if you fancy seeing what the tide’s doing. I was pleased to see that the snowman with paddle arms survived our recent Storm Eleanor.
I’m off out for a jaunt now. Next week I hope to bring you photos of the garden and some snowdrops and catkins – I can’t believe how nature springs back into action after a winter’s snooze – maybe we should all follow her lead, whilst being kind to ourselves!
09/06/2017 § 1 Comment
June’s full moon is called the Strawberry Moon. I’ve been out, down to the headland overlooking Mounts Bay here in Cornwall tonight, but there’s thick cloud and a bit of drizzle in the air so it seems the full moon is shy tonight.
I’ve named my new crochet blanket Strawberry Moon as the colours are like crushed strawberries and cream (clotted of course), with blues and soft misty greys, warm reds and soft pinks.
Earlier on this evening before the drizzle set in, I took Strawberry Moon for a short walk from the seaside cottage where she’s been hooked up this week, to the harbour for some photos. She attracted quite a bit of attention! I used Sirdar Aura in shades 130, 131 and 132 where the soft colours blend and flow through the yarn like the ebb and flow of the waves under a summer sunset. A 6.5 hook and corner to corner crochet meant the first rows grew fast then as I reached just over 1.8m on the 2 sides, progress was slower but just as relaxing and enjoyable.
I’ve loved making this blanket that will forever remind me of my June holiday in Porthleven, when the Strawberry Moon hid behind the clouds but my memories kept me warm!
04/10/2016 § 2 Comments
I started this shawl way back – can’t even remember when, but maybe February time. It’s been keeping me company throughout the year for a few rows at a time, here and there, in the evenings and I decided that as finish was overdue I took it on holiday with me to Cornwall.
My usual style of an elongated, knitted triangle in a variety of stitches that take my fancy, then my favourite pineapple-ish crochet edging.
I did finish it whilst on holiday and brought it home for blocking and end-stitching-in. Almost as soon as October arrived, it was time to wear it during the evenings. It’s a comforting extra layer around my shoulders and very soft. The yarn – a linen mix – was a charity shop buy for just a couple of pounds. It’s gone a long way, as I made this shawl for my daughter earlier in the year.
The apples are ripening and I’ve Sloe & Apple Jelly underway in the kitchen as well as piles of dried fruit, onions, sugar and bottles of vinegar all ready for chutney-making. Just awaiting my delivery of jam jars and then we’re off …
Patchwork and pickling are on the agenda for this week. What are you up to?
04/03/2016 § 1 Comment
… is attempting to work her magic.
Our mornings are still chilly, the light sparkly frost on the rooftops and garden melting away as the bright rays of the sun slide seamlessly across the landscape. My snowdrops have had their winter’s moment of delight and the drifts are retracing their colour steps back to green – a different green from their eager January shoots – less vibrant, more sleepy – as they head back towards the earth.
Vibrant yellows are popping up – in the hedges, along the verges and in the neat cottage gardens. Garden gates lay open beneath a clear blue sky, inviting Spring to wave her wand across the trees …
Last week in my discovery of c2c crochet, I gathered some balls of fresh, soft multi coloured yarn and made a pretty little throw for my sofa …
Spring Blanket as I’ve named her, lives happily over the back of my lovely little green sofa, with the more famous Gypsy Rose blanket that I wrote about when I made it and has been my most popular post since I started blogging 4 years ago. Does anyone recognise the little tapestry cushions? Remember Primavera tapestries? I so loved them and stitched several though it’s a few years ago now.
Today, the sun streamed into the lounge and the bare branches of my White Birch tree in the garden appeared to reach up to feel the warmth of the sun in the beautiful blue sky.
A new month and new challenges – I have these fabrics lined up for new quilts and quilt kits – my target is 20 quilt kits and 2 little quilts.
Let’s see what everyone else has finished – and is aiming to finish in March.
Happy Spring Days.
26/02/2016 § 2 Comments
Have you discovered c2c (corner to corner crochet) yet?
It’s brilliant – absolutely brilliant!
And so simple.
I watched an internet clip that I can’t now locate, but there are loads of them on You Tube. It took just a couple of minutes to learn how to start a new row and that’s it!
I hooked up a cushion, using scrap yarn (mainly Debbie Bliss), in no time. I used some variegated balls and some soft colours – I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
As you can see, the cushion has been moved from one rocking chair to another and sits happily on either. This is such a quick method of crochet and the little grey cells are able to concentrate on other things whilst the hook is doing its stuff! Simple chain counting (6 at the beginning of each row) then 3 at the beginning of each cluster of 3 trebles (uk). It’s an absolute breeze!
See the little basket for my wools?
Inspired by Crazy Mom’s Pixie Basket last week, I ran up a slightly larger one for my WIP wools. I stitched some scraps together and started with two 6″ x 12″ pieces then added a pretty Susie Watson heavier weight cotton for the lining and used offcuts for the handles. To add a bit of structure to the sides, I ran a line of stitching at the bottom seam on the two long sides. It’ just perfect for moving a few balls of wool around as you do – in search of the perfect rocking chair!
Needless to say, the next c2c project is underway …
And a little quilt has been finished …
It’s a dear sweet little quilt called Walk in the Woods – perfect for a cot or over your lap. There’s an upcoming story about this and a few other quilts that I’ll share with you when all the details are finalised.
One more finish (to my home), thanks to Trevor-the-builder …
Remember a few days ago I couldn’t use my new back door?
What a clever chap he is! A raised deck with a handrail that I designed especially wide enough for a morning cuppa. I love the way he used the cladding to cover up the old back door (on the right of the photo).
So, lot of finishes this week and I’m linking up with Finish it up Friday – which I love!
Happy Weekend everyone!
12/02/2016 § 3 Comments
I promised her this for her birthday in December but hadn’t even started it then. Fortunately we have a very relaxed attitude to such things and she knew I wanted to make her something special but I needed to be ‘in the mood’!
I’ve so enjoyed creating this – no pattern – but my usual combination of a 3-cornered knitted scarf with crochet pineapple-ish lace edging, to keep her warm as she travels to work and out in the evenings with her friends.
It was going to be just the linen colour, but she has a teal bag (which I love) and I had some beautiful alpaca in the perfect shade and the red – well, we both love red and it’s a deep cherry red – warm and cosy.
I think I may be ‘back in the groove’ earlier than I expected. Building works will be done by the end of the month and I spent yesterday afternoon in the garden, turning over the veg plots and putting my early seed potatoes on the workbench to sprout.
The sun has been shining just a bit this week and has a remarkable effect – on all the bulbs and winter flowering cherry blossom – and makes me want to dance about! I’ve booked up some fairs for the year and have listed a few quilts in my Quilt Shop. I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts on Finish it up Friday too.
Enjoy your weekend, what will you be up to?
11/02/2015 § 14 Comments
400 posts – W O W …
By far the most popular post on my little blog followed my progress with Gypsy Rose, a colourful crochet blanket made of granny squares and a wide multi-coloured border, back in 2012. I remember finishing the final shell border whilst sitting in the car, waiting for Himself to stock up at the local supermarket, after we’d travelled down to Cornwall for the half-term holiday. It seems like a lifetime away.
The border in what I called Tweed Stitch, has attracted SOoooo much attention from when it was first photographed in this post “Between the Lines” …
Gypsy Rose now lives in one of our bedrooms, where I have my desk, and makes me smile every day. Life is nothing without colour!
Four hundred posts – Four Happy Things …
***1*** The Garden – I’m ultra excited about rediscovering the garden, following the recent landscaping team’s efforts! Today I treated myself to a rambling rose called Albertine. I’ve wanted one for years and for no particular reason had never got round to actually making the purchase. The collies and I took a short jaunt this afternoon, to Pococks Roses. Out went a poor old rose that I’ve never particularly liked, in front of the house and now, my beloved Albertine is planted to one side of the porch where I’m hoping it will thrive and scramble over the front of the house, like this one!
***2*** House Number – nobody seems to be able to see the little slate house number that’s on our gatepost. So, having picked up the numbers in the Homebase sale, I’ve been on the lookout for a piece of wood to put them on. I wanted something rustic rather than just screwing them into the wall. Yesterday, on my walk through the woods with the girls, I found a perfect offcut left over from some forestry clearance and today I drilled (with my new cordless drill), screwed and hammered (when in doubt, use a hammer) – and here’s the new house number …
***3*** Quilt commission – I’m working on a couple of quilt commissions at the moment and today I met up with a lovely lady to chat about her dream quilt – pinks and roses – oh boy, I can’t wait to get started! One very happy way to spend a morning, surrounded with fabrics and having a good ‘ol chat! I’ll let you see the finished quilt in a couple of months!
***4*** Feeling OK-(ish) and not unhappy – some regular readers will know that my life changed dramatically last October … here … I haven’t blogged about the day to day challenges but family and friends have never been more important and I think I’m doing OK. One tip I’ll share is that if you ever have a friend who’s going through a difficult time, bake them something. Everyone asks if they can do something to help and I hope I’ve thanked everyone on whom we all leaned so very heavily in those first early days and weeks.
When one of my friends asked what she could do, I said “Please make us a shepherd’s pie”. It was enormous and despite not feeling hungry, we all cut slabs and enjoyed some good old-fashioned comfort food. My best friend kept us supplied with teas and coffees, bread and essentials then arrived with a wonderful homemade Victoria Sponge. Never have I been so grateful for friends who are awesome cooks! It’s easy to feel a bit guilty about feeling happy – or at least not unhappy.
Well, that’s a long 400th post. Well done if you’ve got this far and do, please let me know you’re out there by leaving a comment – I love to read your comments. I’ll hand back to Flora to do a picture-post next time!
Lots of love
05/03/2014 § 2 Comments
with lace weight yarn!
Having treated myself some while ago (here) to the yarn, yarn winder and umbrella swift, I thought I was ready to spring into hooky action. I’d done my research and found a few likely patterns and off I went. The results however, weren’t so good. Watersmeet was tried and unravelled on no less than 3 occasions, using different patterns.
I absolutely LOVE the yarn – it’s astonishingly beautiful, but whatever shall I make? Here’s my latest attempt – a scarf …
What do you think? It works up quite quickly but I’m in trouble over the edges and I’m not sure whether this is working for me. This isn’t like me – I don’t do INDECISION – I usually sort it out very quickly and see projects through to the end. This time – I did something I try very hard NOT-TO-DO :: I started with a different project and colour …
A simple enough combination of trebles and chains, I intend working in this fan pattern for about 10″ and then add a pineapple border at both ends. But again, indecision has set in. It’s curling dreadfully and I’m not convinced that a final blocking will sort this out.
I could do with some advice – any directions to patterns that spring into your mind, that would work well for 800 yds of lace weight yarn, would be much appreciated. I’m thinking scarves or snoods. I know it’s going to take me till next winter, so I don’t mind if it’s a bit of a challenge, though I’d be very happy with simple, hook-along crochet too.
Let me know – I’m getting worn out by this particular battle!