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

A little bit of hooky …

27/01/2012 § 6 Comments

Maybe it’s because there’s a chill in the air …

would that explain my sudden desire to crochet?

Or could it be this most delicious collection of yarn, that’s got me in the mood?

Last October, or thereabouts, I happened across Getting Stitched on the Farm – Kristin Nicholas’ blog.  I was hooked (excuse the pun) and am a regular visitor, sharing in the highs and lows of farming life in Massachusetts.  On this particular day, the very first time I visited, Kristen’s yarn Julia – a heady mix of wool, alpaca and mohair – had just been discontinued and was being offered for sale at a discount from Webs.

Now, anyone who’s anyone from over-the-pond will doubtless be familiar with Webs, but I had to know more!  There I found the yarn, in glorious technicolour,  the colours made me swoon!  It was cheaper to buy it and get it shipped than it was to buy the equivalent yardage from a local store.

I purchased a box full and could hardly contain my excitement when it arrived (despite having to pay the import duty which I wasn’t expecting)!  Then, in December, my great friend who lives in NY popped over for a visit and brought me some more for my collection!

I’ve uummmm’d and aarrrrgh’d over what to make and a while ago I settled on my pattern …

My original choice of colours included a vivid scarlet and a couple of others, but this stuff was selling out as I was clicking on my basket!

I’m making a blanket – for me, well us – the family!  It’s my Gypsy Blanket – those hot, tangy hues are full of character and charm.

I’ve been hooking away in quiet moments now and then, but want this to be a gentle make.  No deadlines to meet, or market date for this one.  I’ve put together 36 squares but I’m thinking I may stop there and work outwards with a border, to give maximum drape.  What do you think?

As usual, when in doubt, I dug out one of my crochet books …

I love this book and use it as a reference so often.  The projects actually interest me less than the stitch library.  I think I’ve settled for this stitch …

a textured tweed that requires little brain power and will enable me to interlock colours all around instead of simply working in stripey rows.  What do you think?

Have you used this stitch?

Will it drape well?  Let me know your thoughts.

Now, I’m off to walk the dogs, dodging the downpours, hopefully!  What happened to the glorious sunshine from this morning when I was still in work?

Note to self … must get on with planning early retirement!

Enjoy your weekend …

Flora’s loving the rain!

Adaliza x

PS Just added in the link to Webs yarnstore, in the US.

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