Welford Park Snowdrop Woods …

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!

boff 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 …

snowdrop clump

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 …

snowdrop sculpture

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.

Adaliza x

Linking up with Finish it up Friday


Carnival time …

31/12/2012 § 4 Comments

There’s nothing like a bit of colour, to cheer up winter days …

Kristin Nicholas Yarn now called Color by Kristin

Kristin Nicholas Yarn now called Color by Kristin

Here’s my leftover yarn from Gypsy Rose, the first blanket I made in 2012. You can read all about it here and here and I’m delighted that Kristin’s yarn is now available again (Julia yarn was discontinued, but now available again and called Color by Kristin).   Do pay her blog a visit too – inspirational patterns and tales from the farm in Massachusetts – there are pictures of snow and newborn lambs this week!

Oh, those colours – they positively sing and shout and dance about and spread joy and happiness.  I don’t have enough of them to complete Carnival, so I’m supplementing with other pure wools, but there has to be at least one Julia row in each square!

Here’s Carnival in progress …

Simple Granny Squares

Simple Granny Squares

A riot of colour

A riot of colour

Happy colours - or what?

Happy colours – or what?

A total riot of colour.  There’s some method – simple 4-row granny squares, joined-as-you-go into a block of 4 squares.  Each block of 4 has a border of either Mustard & Scarlet, or Fuschia & Blue Thyme.  Then the large 4-square blocks are joined-as-you-go.  I can complete a large square most evenings, without much of a problem and I’m not in any hurry.  I’m enjoying the journey with this one and have no idea about a border just yet.  I’ve almost completed 3 rows of large squares.

It’s huge, and it needs to be – over 2 metres wide!  Whilst Ripple and Misty Morning are lovely, neither drape over the sides of the bed and my feet are getting chilly some nights!!

I can’t resist wrapping up in it for a couple of minutes, before I fold it up each evening – then I drift off to sleep and dream in colour!

What are you working on at the end of the old year and start of the new?  Mega project, or mini makes?

I’ve just read my ‘end of year’ blog report.  Lots of facts & figures that I find interesting, but I won’t bore you with!  I’d just like to say a huge Thank You for popping by.  Adaliza blog is 2 years old in January and I’m having lots of fun.  I love sharing my hopes and dreams and really love your comments.  If you scroll down to the previous post, there’s a 2013 Calendar Giveaway, open for just one more day.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Lots of love

Adaliza x

Summertime – going, going …

30/08/2012 § 1 Comment

not quite gone!

Happy memories of a wonderful season here in Hampshire, my home in Wales, Devon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire …


Last night on the weather forecast (which is really good for the weekend – yippee), the presenter said that for statistical purposes, summer ends tomorrow – 31 August.  But Mother Nature signals the passing of a season in so many more subtle ways than merely by a date.  The signs have been creeping up for a week or so.  From a few degrees of heat-loss throughout the day, dewy mornings, ripening fruit on the trees and bushes and our own special season indicator – our white birch tree.  This magnificent specimen which graces our lawn, and from which over the years, swings have swung, teenagers have huddled and ducks have nested (well one duck anyway), has developed a decidedly golden tinge – if I was painting in watercolours, there would be significantly more gold than green in the mix!

Tomorrow evening we’ll wave goodbye to summer and all that she has shared with us.  It’s been wonderful and I’ve loved every minute.  Autumn is my very favourite season of the year though I never quite know why.  The colours, I think are closest to my heart – auburn leaves, russet fruit and golden browns with a misty cloak drawn over magical mornings, sparkling cobwebs and the need to wear wools again, after weeks of cottons and linens.  Yes, I love the autumn.

I finished an amazing shawl/scarf for myself last week and will show you very soon.  I’m working on another one in the evenings as I simply love, love, love working with lace-weight yarn at the moment.  I haven’t yet photographed all the quilts I made over the summer, but I’ll have to get on with it as it’s the first fair of the Autumn in Winchester on Sunday.  The Vintage & Retro market will be in full swing so if you’re passing by, then stop and say hello.  I hope others will be looking forward to snuggling up and decide to treat themselves to a quilt!

Bye bye summertime, hello Autumn!


Misty Morning …

13/06/2012 § 3 Comments

A Welsh valley on a misty, early Spring morning.  So many recent days – weeks even, have echoed these subtle hues, despite the summer cloak of leaves telling us that the sky should be blue and the season’s colours bright.

Grey light lasts long into the evening here – it’s the longest day next week and there’s warmth in the sun when it makes an appearance but I have a feeling that my abiding memory of June is going to be rain, rain and more rain!

Having completed Ripple One in bright expectant colours at the end of Spring I expected to turn my creative crochet urges towards the tub of yet unused Julia Wool by Kristin Nichols.  This is the yarn I used for Gypsy Rose – back in February, when I was even more excited about the summer days ahead!  I did make a start on a blanket – Hearts & Flowers, but there are a couple of reasons why I haven’t taken up with this one – I don’t want to finish working with the wool, ‘cos its divine; I want to make something really special with it – WOW factor in bucketfuls!

So …

the first showing of my current WIP – Misty Morning blanket

What do you think? Does it remind you of misty mornings? I’m using Drops wools – Karisma and Lima – they’re beautiful, soft and gentle wools.  I’m joining the individual grannies and the blocks as I go – I’m right ‘off’ sewing up seams (enough of that on my cushions and quilts)!  I’ve completed 2 rows of 4 blocks in just over a week. Last night I completed the first block of the 3rd row.  I don’t have a grand plan for the size – whatever feels right will be fine, I’m sure! I’m alternating the border of the blocks between grey & brown yarns and I want it to have a special border – maybe a deep lace? Who knows??

Since spending a whole day doing housework last week, we’ve been making an effort to keep on top of all the boring stuff – don’t you just hate ‘putting away’?  What do other people do with all their ‘stuff’?  Do they have a huge cupboard hidden away somewhere where it all sits – and then falls out in a heap when they open the door?  The flowers I bought, following my house-love day are still blooming beautifully and I brought in some roses from the garden too …

A silhouette of sunflowers on the big worktop in the kitchen – the fly curtain is redundant just now ‘cos the door’s always closed – it’s bright and cheery though and hides the grey skies!

Who says there isn’t any sunshine?

Reflections and candlelight – a sofa full of cushions, Mary Rose Young on the shelf, roses from the garden, pink tulips and a new foxglove in the garden …

Must be summertime!

Adaliza x

PS – see the finished Misty Morning blanket post here.


11/05/2012 § 16 Comments

Ripple One – my first ripple blanket is finished!  And – the sun came out to celebrate!


I hooked away at the foundation chain and first row, whilst watching Wales win the Six Nations Triple Crown (its rugby, if you’re not Welsh), on 25 February and I finished it last evening 10 May.  That’s 75 days by my counting.

155 single rows (most stripes are 2 rows of the same colour) and she weighs 1.6 kg.  She’s 1.55 m from below the pillows to the bottom of the bed and 2.10 m wide, including the pineapple border.  I haven’t crocheted pineapples for at least 30 years – they’re fun!

Now I mentioned this morning that she’d challenged my perceptions.  Almost every day for months, I’ve measured  progress by holding her up against me, with the stripes horizontally placed.  Then, as I made more progress, I laid her on our bed – my beloved, who has become very attached to this blanket, kept asking if it was going to fit on the bed – but with the stripes placed horizontally she wasn’t wide enough to keep both of us warm.  I pondered and fussed for weeks – whilst still increasing the rows!  The solution was staring me in the face – as most do, if you wait for a while – turn her sideways!

I added a few rows and a simple red shell border to the top and bottom borders but wanted something just a bit showy for the sides. So when a rummage in a local charity shop revealed a huge bag of beautiful Robin pure wool, in a non-challenging grey, my mind was made up – pineapples all the way!

It took me a few attempts to reconcile myself to stripes going sideways, but all is well in ripple-land now. I’m so pleased with her. Last night we slept soundly, and this morning, when I woke I put my hand outside to feel her – such a sense of achievement.  It’s great to make something, to enjoy the journey and snuggle up in the result.

Tomorrow I’ll be in Alton – in sunshine hopefully – at the Art & Craft market.  Pop by and say Hello.

Enjoy your weekend.

Adaliza x

PS Read about her Easter journey here, although she appears in other posts too.

Ripple Wave …

14/04/2012 § Leave a comment

RiPpLe OnE

has been out and about over Easter …

We began the journey towards the Easter holidays in warm sunshine, a row or so most afternoons after work, while the sun was still packing a punch!  Flora Quacky Duck enjoyed pecking at stray strands whilst Belle and Misty kept a watchful eye, as usual, on whatever I’m doing!

Then we journeyed west – back to my home in Wales …

We stayed on an organic farm for B&B – super stylish!  Ken and Amanda are an innovative, artistic and extremely talented couple with a lovely family (and collie dog) and an amazing home. Handmade furniture, home-cooked delights including fresh-from-the-oven hot cross buns at a candlelit breakfast, there’s a farmshop and glamping opportunities.  If you’re thinking of travelling west and want somewhere beautiful to stay, visit Nantgwynfaen Farm – really – it’s well worth a visit and the local rural/coastal scenery is the best in the world (maybe I’m a bit biased)! 

Then we went to Bath.  A few times each year, if possible, we escape – just the two of us, for some peace and quiet – a chance to enjoy time together away from the bustle of family life.  This time, Ripple One came too …

In Henrietta Gardens yesterday morning, I mooched out for a spot of calm in the Quiet Garden.  I’d just spread Ripply out for a quick photocall when along came Kitty – a Kitty who obviously knew a comfy spot when she spotted one!

I love the way that Ripple is sharing my journey this year – I’m buying balls of wool when I see them and there’s no real plan.  I like life to be like that – no targets, fitting different parts of life around each other without pressure – home, family, work, patchwork, dogs, crochet, garden – I’ve loved taking time out over Easter, to relax and enjoy and Ripple is good company in my quiet moments, wherever I am.

Today is a VERY special day – April 14th – and it’s our Wedding Anniversary!

Twenty-eight years ago, we married each other, here in Winchester with best friends and family sharing our day.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and at Lainston House, they took the tables and chairs outside for us as we enjoyed a less-than-formal wedding breakfast on the lawns!

Happy Anniversary – to the Love of my Life!

Adaliza x

Spring into Crochet …

29/03/2012 § 1 Comment

Spring has definitely sprung!

Hasn’t it been a glorious week?  I’ve enjoyed an hour or so in the sunshine every afternoon after returning from work – crochet in hand!

Having mastered rippling – more on that in a minute – I saw a photo of a stitch called Larksfoot and had to have a go …

It’s a very simple stitch and I’ll do a little tutorial very soon but I played around with a sample panel …

Isn’t Larksfoot just the Springiest name for a crochet stitch?

and mounted it onto a vintage wool cushion.  I had to restrict myself to one panel ‘cos I mustn’t get diverted from my ripply journey …

This is real freestyle blanket-in-the-making.  There’s no plan and I buy balls of wool that I like the look of – as long as they’re pure wool DK, and they’re pretty, then they’re in!

It’s growing fast, but not too fast ‘cos I’m really enjoying every ripple along the way.  And no, I haven’t forgotten Hearts & Flowers …

but it’s so special that I keep it for holidays and times when I can make every block along the way hold a memory.   Maybe another one will be finished over the Easter holidays.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

Adaliza x

Gypsy Rose blanket …

11/02/2012 § 39 Comments

Wow – I’ve finished!

Gypsy Rose crochet blanket details:

Yarn: Julia – designed by Kristin Nicholas  About 14 balls I reckon – all different colours. Wool, alpaca & mohair.

Purchased from : Webs, USA (beware the import duty that you pay when it arrives in UK)

Kristin’s blog Getting Stitched on the Farm is well worth a visit if you like farms & yarns, collies & sheep + all sorts of other really interesting stuff!

I had the yarn shipped over last Autumn and have gently created circles in squares over winter.  The border is the simplest double-crochet – a different colour for each row.  Then all around with the shell border and a splash of Fuschia.  I love it – it kept my knees warm on a mammoth journey yesterday as we took it in turn to drive and doze (whilst not driving)!  I don’t just love it –

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this blanket!

It’s heavy, warm and vibrant – it make me feel happy and is a perfect size for lap, shoulders or over a chair.

I have loads of wool left – over 30 balls!  Yippee – I can start another one now!!!!!

By the way, Cornwall is amazing today.  I must finish some other projects this week so that I can make the most of this amazing light.  Good thing I brought my little portable Elna machine, 2 bags of fabric and a tub of wool!  Wouldn’t be a holiday without some designing & creating, now would it?  The collies have just returned from their second walk along the beach, digging, chasing ball and paddling!

Misty on lookout!

Flora is at home with the boys.  This was the cottage that we stayed in when I found her – it brought it all back when I passed the gateway where I first saw her as a tiny chick.

Adaliza x

Read about that BORDER and how I chose the colours Between the Lines

Enjoy that?  See my latest blankets :

Carnival 2013 – the most colourful blanket in the world!

Ripple One 2012 – the joyful colours of Spring and early Summer.

Misty Morning 2012 -subtle shades reminiscent of mist in the valley

Strawberry Moon 2017 – soft crushed pinks with blues and greys hooked by the seaside in Cornwall


Are you sitting comfortably?

31/01/2012 § Leave a comment

The old garden bench would have done you proud this afternoon, when the last few rays of winter sunshine appeared and sent a warm glow across the frozen garden …

Homespun patchwork cushions and a couple of crochet blankets that I made yonks ago!  Wish I could find the pattern for the aran one on the bench seat – think it was in a Phildar book circa 1980 and meant to be a bedspread, made from crochet cotton!  It’s a super pattern and it’s my favourite old blanket from the back of the sofa, frequently brought into use to keep my knees warm (like Grandma)! Unless I’m crocheting something that already covers them, of course – I do get chilly knees!  I wonder if the Queen gets chilly knees?  She often has a blanket over them when she’s out and about!  Maybe it’s a blue blood thing – my grandmother had airs and graces!

The cushions are all free-motion quilted on the patchwork side, with beautiful thick weave cotton backs.  I haven’t made a stripey patchwork cushions before, but I love these – they were great fun to make.

I’ve been wanting to design something with birdies for a while too …

There must be trillions of designs with birdies in birdcages going on at the moment, but these two are obviously in love!  She has a frilly tail and his crest has gone all bananas and twirly!  Always love a boy with curls!  They can of course fly away through the open bars, but they’re all caught up in their little dome home with a heart on top!

I’m just putting the finishing touches to a few purses and then everything will be labelled and packed up ready for the trip to the Monteagle Gallery on Friday afternoon.

If you’re anywhere near Yateley, Hants, then do pop in and have a look.

Enjoy that bit of sunshine, if it’s in your garden, but don’t take your hat and coat off – it’s freezing out there!

Adaliza x

PS Flora is just chasing a blackbird and a pigeon on the patio – it’s SO funny!  The blackbird is pecking at an apple that I threw out and the pigeon is clearing up Flora’s lunchtime feed scraps.  I don’t know whether she’s feeling amorous or territorial, but she waddles purposefully towards them and looks mystified when they fly off!

Linking up to     enjoy what everyone else has been creating & cooking!

Between the lines …

30/01/2012 § 12 Comments

Gypsy Rose, my crochet blanket, is coming along …

I shared the beginning of our journey together last week (here) and I just adore the circle into square pattern that I ended up with – a variation on many trials!  Thirty-six squares later, I made the decision to stop making squares and add a border.  I came up with this one (from Crochet Bible) …

Now, it doesn’t look exactly inspiring, in my opinion.  But I closed my eyes and thought about how it could look in a myriad of colours.

Close your eyes and try it …

does it work?

You bet it does …

It’s the simplest stitch ever.  I double-crocheted a row all around the edge of the squares and then just add row on row of 1dc, 1ch – it’s that’ simple.  A slip stitch to join the end of the row and on to a new colour with 3 ch to start the row.

What I have discovered is that as the pattern grows, I need to think carefully about the way the colours work together …

See how the colours in every other row link together.

I’m so enjoying the journey of this blanket.  With my quilting, I feel driven to finish a quilt and have frequently cut out the next one before finishing the quilting, but this wool by Kristin Nicholas is so amazing, I almost want it to last forever!  Having said that, I do have a whole tub of yarn left!  In fact, I may finish this one and make another one simply using this pattern!  Decisions, decisions – eh?

So, the lesson I’m learning from Gypsy Rose, is to read between the lines – see beyond the obvious, don’t be afraid, trust your judgement and live a little!

I’ll keep you posted!

Adaliza x

UPDATE:  See Gypsy Rose finished here

More of my blankets:

Carnival  2013 – the most colourful crochet blanket in the world!

Ripple One 2012 – the joyful colours of Spring and early Summer 2012.

Misty Morning 2012 – subtle shades reminiscent of mist in the valley

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