A little bit of crochet in the garden and yet more plants.

crochet in the garden

I’ve spent two days enjoying a proper sunny day in the garden!  Although I’m prone to burning, the sun heals my rubbish skin so I jumped outside to try and get mending. One of the things I like about crochet is that you can do it any where, so I took it outside with me.

crochet blanket nearly finished

It felt mightily hot ( compared to what I’m used to), but it was lovely. I’m nearly finished with this blanket now. These photos were taken on Thursday and I was stitching together the last row of circles. I’m now on the border.

crochet in the sunshine

Will I finish it this weekend? I dunno. It’s been a stop/starty project that has been interrupted by many other projects, photos of which, I will probably post next week.

emmet playing outside

I discovered that I had company whilst I was sat on the bench. Poor Emmet. He’s obviously been playing in the sand pit because he’s covered in the stuff.

courgettes veg patch etc

The courgette plants seem to have doubled in size in the last few days. Looking forward to eating those. I also got around to putting out the lettuce too, which the pigeons seem to be enjoying. There are a few of us that think about pigeon pie sometimes.

peach roses and fern

This is a nice looking corner of the garden, hidden in there somewhere are some cute little geraniums. The peach rose was in a pot sat in the dark behind a crumbling old shed when we moved in to our house. When we sorted out the garden the following spring, I chucked it in the ground and it is doing very well.

pink geranium small

These little geraniums are very cute but I’m not sure I’ve put them in the right place. They were too far back and getting swamped, so I dug them up and moved them forward. I’m still not sure they’re in the right place and the trauma of moving them might have disrupted their growth. I need to think more about where to place things.

rozanne, geranium.

These rozanne geraniums are crazy and have had no worries at all. This is their third year and I should probably split this plant. I think I’m supposed to do that in the spring. Anyway, I should probably go and help a two year old make a father’s day card. We’ve been painting this morning and it’s only 7.40am. He thinks mornings are great.

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Sewing machine adventures and walking in the country

sewing machine

This is my cranky old sewing  machine (it’s not mine, it’s my Mum’s). It likes to be used a certain way and it has taken me over two decades for me to really understand it.  I reckon it’s been that long anyway. I’m sure this was the machine I was allowed to use when I was little.

toadstool bag in pieces

Here are the pieces of my toadstool bag. Hmm, I was going to try and add a magnetic clasp to this to make it proper snazzy.  It’s not something I’ve done before. Sadly, I’ve lost my recent purchase of said magnetic clasp. Shame.

purse sewing pattern

I didn’t get very far with the toadstool bag before I realised that birthday presents had to be made for the weekend. Two small purses are being made from a really good online tutorial at skiptomylou. I’ve used the pattern before, about a month ago and I really liked it. Deffo a go-to recipe for a nice present.

new crochet owls

I’ve also been working on a crochet pattern this week. I’m excited by it. Way more than I thought I’d be. These are the prototypes that I’ve been working on. I typed up the pattern and handed it out to my crochet friends for testing. It turns out that pattern writing is tricksy. And because it’s so tricksy, it is far from being ready to release into the wild. Soon.

red salston manor

I had a lovely time on Tuesday evening. I went for a walk along the river Otter. These are the chimney tops of Salston Manor, I can’t believe it is sitting empty! Absolutely bonkers.

There’s a group of  people who meet regularly to walk around nearby places. Nice places, obviously. And no dawdling allowed. This time, we managed to squeeze in a quick drink at the pub too!

sunset bridge over river otter

I took a ridiculous amount of photographs but never really stood still to take them. Therefore, I have a huge selection of blurry pictures and only a few that managed to refuse the blur .

cows at sunset

The first time I joined the Weekly Walk I didn’t take my camera. Then when I did, I didn’t make an effort to use it properly. Tsk.

cows in a field. sunset

I don’t really mind cows. They’re OK. Moo.

crafting projects await.

working on a continuous join as you go

These are things that I am supposed to be working on but really, they’re just sitting on the shelf waiting. I will finish them soon. Other things I’m more interested in have taken over.

woolly wormy ends

I’ve completed the worst bit of the latest blanket; sewing in the ends. I am useless at crocheting over them as I go and sometimes you can see them in the finished product anyway.

crochet circles ready and waiting

It’s enormously satisfying to see them in a nice pile once the nasty bit is over.

Laying out crochet circles

I laid out the circles in an order that would do (there’s no point in overly fussing about this) and got started. I use the photo to make sure I keep on track. I also have a stack of each row high up on a book shelf, out of reach of the kids.

starting a continuous join as you go

I’ve only used this technique once before. Crocheting in a continuous join. I found a great tutorial at babylovebrand.net via Pinterest.  I couldn’t work it out on my own. I gave a half hearted attempt to design a method myself but meh, it was too much hard work. It’s fabulous that people share this kind of thing. It’s been a huge help.

hooking together crochet circles

I got about two rows in when I realised my mistake. I had made what I thought was all of the centre circles when I decided I wanted some green too. So, I quickly worked up about 10 green centres and went on my merry way with the rest of the rounds. When I came across the first of the green centred circles I thought it was  one off, but no. It turns out, all the green centred circles have only 15 spoke thingies, not 16. Bum. I’m going to have to make them again. Don’t want to.

sewing pattern for a bag

This is a sewing project I have waiting. It’s all cut out but I haven’t started it yet because I want to put a magnetic clasp doodah on it and I never have before. New things wait until I find the patience to give them my full attention. I know that it’ll be wonky. I know. I’m a slapdash sewer. Anyway, it looks like a lovely project and it’s another Pinterest find from thinkliz.com. I’m making the big version.

simplicity sewing pattern

This is a project that has been waiting a long time. I bought the pattern about two years ago. Last month I found some fabric and finally cut out the pattern pieces. Once again, It’s waiting, sitting on the shelf waiting to be made because I should probably try to adjust the pieces so it’ll fit me. I love sewing but I don’t remember the last time I made an actual dress. It was probably when I was a teenager. The fabric is from Fabricland,  I bought it when I went to Southampton.

You can follow me on Pinterest if you want to! And Facebook, which is over there on the right!

One completed doily

spring garden in the morning

I took this photo yesterday morning around 6.30. It looked lovely in the garden. It was a bit cold but that didn’t stop two children barging past bare foot, in their pyjamas.

doily edge

I finished my doily. I got around to blocking it so that it looks neat and tidy. If I make this pattern again, I’ll add an extra round of single crochet in the main colour before embarking on the final two rounds of contrast colour. I think it would look neater this way.

cotton crochet doily

Now I just need to work out what to do with it. Where should I put it? Not got a clue! I’ve put it in various places but can’t work out what looks good. Maybe I’m not a doily person after all. It just looks daft. I’d better make another one, just to be sure.

blocking crochet doily

This was the blocking process; pinning it out on a piece of cardboard covered in a tea towel. I also put clingfilm round it to hold the tea towel in place. It got a light spraying of warm water and I left it until it was dry. The cardboard wasn’t that thick so I did manage to poke my legs with pins quite a few times.

pot plants for the patio

The garden looks good at the moment. I keep going out to take photographs but not quite achieving what I want.  Mind you, I don’t think I will, not without learning how to use the camera properly. I need to locate the instruction manual and become less of a “point n click” person.

speedwell in the oregano

There is speedwell growing in my herb bed, it decided to move in last year. It’s a good looking weed though so I don’t mind it being there. It’ll soon be overcome by the alarming amount of self seeded borage that’s started to show.

7am spring garden

I’m working on two crochet projects at the moment and a couple of sewing projects. It’s half term week though, so I’m not able to do as much as normal.

I’m making a crochet doily

new yarn to play with

I bought new yarn with some birthday money.  Usually I use double knit or thicker so this is a new thing as it’s much finer. I got it up the road at the garden centre! It’s DMC Natura cotton. There were a lot of colours to choose from but I narrowed it down to my favourites. I bought the book from Amazon a year or so ago and it has some beautiful patterns.

next project, doilies!

I started my first project from the book yesterday; a rectangle doily. If you’re into crochet then surely, you’ve got to make at least one doily? I’m now very much on track with old ladying the front room anyway.

first few rows of crochet doily

It was fiddly to begin with because I’m not used to using the fine yarn but it got easier. I don’t know how well I’d do if I used proper lace making thread. I thought I’d ease into it gradually, rather than go straight to crippling my hands with a teeny tiny hook and teeny tiny thread.

starting to edge crochet doily

It is also only a little doily, so it has been nice and quick to work up.

edging doily square

The book has been translated from Japanese and I thought that it showed in the awkwardness of the writing.  Some basic crochet language is left out and replaced with more literal prose.  I definitely needed the pictorial diagram to go with the step by step instructions.

crocheting final round

I’m nearly done. Just the final round to go and then it’ll need blocking to stretch it out and neaten it up. Thinking of a round doily next… However, I still have to crochet these together:

crochet circles ready and waiting

Will I get round to it this week? I managed to sew in the ends last week and that’s the worst bit.

 

Granny shawl number two!

I have finally finished and blocked my second shawl. I like it a lot. So far neither of my shawls have made it out the front door, I am not quite brave enough to go out wearing one yet. Maybe up to school and back? I’m not sure. The farthest I have ventured is into the back garden, floating about around the flowers pretending that I am not in a terrace of houses and that the neighbours aren’t there wondering what I’m up to.

vintage looking granny shawl

It looked a bit iffy before I blocked it because I went rogue with the pattern. It’s the second time I’ve used Made by Leen‘s April Flower Shawl pattern and I will probably be tempted to make it again.  But not any time soon because I have a very long list of other things to make besides shawls.

new crochet granny shawl

Once again I went for a different edging. That way, you know no one else has the same. I used  Edie Eckman’s Crochet Borders book again (pattern no. 22) but changed the pointy bit. In retrospect I’m not sure I should have tinkered with it so much, but I did and once I’d done it, I wasn’t going to unravel it all!

Another granny shawl

These colours are much more me than the first crochet shawl although I do love them both. It’s the same stuff; Stylecraft Life DK. It has wool in it so it is nice and warm. I have loads left over which will go towards making a flowery blanket, that is somewhere on my to do list but nowhere near the top.

spring garden flowers

This is the garden that I’ve been floating about in. Actually, we have all been in the garden this weekend and no one did much floating about. The grown ups did digging, planting and building whilst the children played and partially destroyed the grown up’s hard work.

not as sunny as yesterday

That clematis is only a few years old and looks pretty awesome already.

clematis

Look at the awesome!

 

 

Shawl making

I have seen loads of shawls about in the last year, some really nice ones. It’s the ultimate Granny accessory. Naturally, I wanted one, so I made one! And now I’m making another.

Here is my first one. I found a lovely free pattern, the April Flower shawl on Made by Leen.

shawl finished

I changed the border as I fancied something a bit pointier, I used Edie Eckman’s  book Crochet Borders  to choose which I wanted. I also swapped to a different colour in the middle of the broad stripe but for the most part I have stuck to the pattern and I think it’s great! It was very to quick to make and now I am nearing the end of my next shawl using the same pattern.

shawlstripe

 

I love the colours. They’re much better than the first one I did, where I grabbed colours without thinking. I’ve tinkered with the stripe on this one, just to make it different from the first one I made. I have no idea which border I’ll choose next but I have a couple of ideas. I might also stick to the original pattern for this one, it’ll make it softer.

noedit

I have used Stylecraft Life DK for both of these. I got it in the sale in my local shop. I bought more than I know what to do with, but that’s OK!

I’ve got loads of projects in my head but I should probably finish off the blanket which I started before the shawls. There are 100 crochet circles in a bag, hiding in the cupboard under the stairs. They are waiting to have their ends sewn in. Boo.