A few more crafting projects started and some summery garden stuff.

fox and raccoon crochet brooches

Okay, I think these are the only finished things this week. They’re little crochet brooches. The pattern for the raccoon is from issue 33 of Simply Crochet magazine. I made the fox so that he had a friend. Same pattern just different colours. The raccoon pattern is designed by Becky Garratt. I looked at her blog and I like it very much.

Drops Karisma selection

This is new wool for a blanket that has been “commissioned” (my Sister in Law has asked me to make it).  The colours have been taken from a tile from a victorian fireplace. I’m assuming that once the blanket is finished, it will drape beautifully somewhere beside the fire on a cold winter’s day (or something like that). It is Drops Karisma and seems ok, I’ve not used it before. I have made a tentative start but the pattern I’ve chosen might need tweaking.

collection of petal patch granny squares

Last week I started the Petal Patch blanket. I found the pattern for this on Betsy Makes and it makes a change from the standard granny without going crazy. I really like it. I have pretty much pilfered the colour scheme from Attic 24’s Harmony blanket.

petal patch granny square

I can’t decided whether to complete this first, or put it aside whilst I concentrate on the fireplace blanket. I know what I should do but I also know what I want to do. Actually, they will both be fun to make so I guess it doesn’t really matter. This Petal Patch blanket will take at least a few weeks more though as I want about 100 squares and so far I think I only have 25. I haven’t been working as fast as usual either. This is because of a hurty wrist and a yarn tangling toddler.

ardennes fabric

I bought this fabric in May, I think. It isn’t posh quality but it was less than £3 a metre, so I don’t care.

Ardennes dress fabric

I made a bag out of it first and this week I hope to make a summer skirt. If, once I’ve finished, it looks good I will post some pictures. I should probably take a picture of the bag too. I have found what looks to be a good free pattern for the skirt.

embroidered sweet peas

This isn’t my hand, it belongs to my blanket wanting Sister in Law. She is into embroidery and when she visited last Friday, she whipped it out whilst me and some other fab people did our crochet. I wanted to share it simply because I like it!

blue anagallis

Moving on from the crafting projects I am reminded that the garden is thirsty. These Anagallis are my new favourite flower. For about five years it was a Salvia, which I think is called Cambridge Blue but my Mum gave me some Anagallis seedlings after I spotted it in her garden last summer. These guys look like they need a drink.

summer garden flowers

Both the Salvia and the Anagallis are here. I expect the Salvia is feeling a bit miffed now.

garden view

Down at the bottom of the garden, the Crocosmia is just beginning to flower. It was here when we moved in. I don’t mind it too much, so it has been allowed to stay. This picture doesn’t show the Lavatera that has come up behind it but it does show the Salvia, which looks so much better in real life.

summer garden from above

I went upstairs and took a picture. Everything is looking quite nice from this angle!

Hopefully I will get the sewing machine out tonight. I’d like to make a start on that skirt.

 

Handmade elderflowers are better than real elderflowers.

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I think it was the weekend of Father’s Day that we saw lots of elderflowers blooming in Grandma and Grandad’s garden. Six year old and Daddy filled a little trug with elderflowers because six year old wanted to make elderflower cordial. I hate the stuff, it sucks. I do not get why everyone loves it so much. Blurgh. Any way, seeing as he’s only  six, I obliged and helped him make a drink out of the pretty but stinky flowers.

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It was a made up recipe because we didn’t have things like citric acid. I whacked in a tonne of sugar and loads of lemon juice. It was far too sweet but mixed with fizzy water, we got away with it. He made me drink some.

Anyway, playing with these flowers gave me an idea for an elderflower without the stench. I quickly sketched out my idea and got stuck in. I decided to sew a brooch using felt. The last time I did felt sewing was when I made a cherry blossom needle case. It was one of my first blog posts and no one saw it!

beginning elderflower brooch

Cutting out the little flowers was a fiddly job. I didn’t bother using the templates for those, just cut little circles and snipped petal shapes into them.

elderflower design taking shape

I have white felt and off white felt. They are both different sorts of felt. I wanted to use the off white but I think it must be 100% wool because it is mega fluffy and breaks away at the edges very easily. I decided to make two brooches as I wasn’t sure which felt would be the best. In the above picture you can see I have used off white flowers on a white felt backing and vice versa in the other bloom. The extra woolly felt was definitely not good for the small flowers.

outer crochet purse

The beginnings of this purse is going to be the thing I pin the brooch onto. Originally, I was going to do it applique style and have the flower as the purse’s design feature. It turned out I couldn’t be bothered to do that so I added a little brooch clasp instead and that way I had a brooch or bag decoration!

To make the purse, I chained 34+1 and did enough rows until I was happy with the length before dropping the first stitch of every row for about eight rows (it might have been ten rows!). I then did six (maybe eight?)rows with a 2tgr at the beginning and end of each row. In the last three of those rows I made the button hole. To do this, I missed two stitches in the middle of the row and chained two instead. In the following row I made two single crochets in the space and then did the final row normally. Apologies, probably not the best instructions in the world but I didn’t write them down very clearly. Before fastening off it’s a good idea to go round the edge of the entire piece with single crochet for a neater result.

I used a 4mm hook and double knit yarn.

lining crochet purse

I sewed on the lining by hand and cut a hole for the button to go through. The button hole (also hand sewn) is messily stitched because I haven’t learned how to do it properly.

open crochet purse with lining

I folded the bottom up and crocheted the sides together (whip stitch would be good too). I forgot to go round all edges first with the single crochet, so I botched it, as usual. To rectify my error I attached some yarn to one of the corners and just single crocheted along the flap edge. Seeing as this is a prototype, it’s not bad. You learn as you go, I suppose.

a crochet purse with both elderflower brooches

I absolutely prefer the brooch on the right. It is brooch number two. The first one I used darker embroidery thread for the middles of the flowers and it  doesn’t work for me. I also went crazy with some dodgy french knots but they don’t work for me either. The flap is curling up so it looks wonky, but it isn’t really.

elderflower brooches

Yep, the left one is such a newb. Deffo the one on the right for me.

crochet purse with elderflower brooch

They look lovely together! I’m pleased now. I think, if I was going to get brave and open an Etsy shop, this is the kind of thing I’d want to sell.

elderflower embroidered felt brooch

So, that is the new thing I made.

Back to crochet this afternoon I reckon. And after a week of feeling rough I have my appetite back just in time for slow roasted pork and veg from the garden. All is good. Hurray!

Little crochet flower pattern

bunch of little crochet flowers

I’ve noticed that I have shared quite a few things I’ve made from other people’s patterns on here  but there hasn’t been much that, has come directly from my own brain. Sooo I am going to rectify that now and share a pattern that I’ve come up with myself.

It’s a pattern for some little flowers. I’m sure there are lots of similar ones out there but this one is nice because I created it for my friend’s daughter. She wanted some hair clips with crochet flowers and this is what I came up with.  There are two sizes because the first one I made was  just a bit too big to stick on a hair clip so I down sized it. I don’t remember if I took photographs of the orginal flowers I made, it was about two years ago!

bunch of crochet flowers

Please excuse me if the pattern doesn’t work, I’ve never done this properly before. My note book has words and pictures that I can just about decipher, translating that has been…interesting…

For both of these I used a 3mm hook and Stylecraft Special DK. I’ve written the pattern in UK terms.

Small flower pattern.

Chain (ch) 6 and join with a slip stitch (ss).

Round 1.

Ch3, 1trb into the ring (counts as 1 pair of spokes). (Ch5, 2trb into ring) x5. Ch5 and join with a ss to the top of the ch3.  [6 petals]. Fasten off (Fo).

joining round 2 crochet flower

Round 2.

Join new colour with a ss in between a pair of spokes. Into each 5ch sp (space) make 6dc. Ss in between each pair of spokes. Join with a ss to the first ss. Fo and sew in ends.

little crochet flower

Extra small flower pattern.

Ch5 and join with a ss.

Round  1.

Ch2, 1 half treble (htr)into ring (counts as 1 pair of spokes). (Ch3, 2htr) x4. Ch3 and join with ss to the top of the ch2. [5petals]. Fo.

small little crochet flower

Round 2.

Join new colour with a ss in between a pair of spokes. Into each 3ch sp make 4dc. Ss in between each pair of spokes. Join with a ss to the first ss. Fo and sew in ends.

With the help of a glue gun just wodge these on a hair clip. I can see lots of them together on a head band too or do whatever you like with them!

lots of crochet flowers

There, my first pattern. I do have more that I’m going to blog about including one that I am completely in love with that, is very cute indeed. I want to see if I’ve got this one right before I get over excited though. I’d love to hear what people think but please don’t hate it!!

Some random crafting and baby vegetables

mohair shawl

I made this  a couple of weeks ago. It is a mohair mix that used to be a jumper in the 90’s. It was unravelled by a 92 year old woman and remade as a shawl by me for her daughter (my Mother-in-law!). The pattern is the Elise shawl I found on Ravelry. It was nice and straight forward to make.

blocking crochet

It needed blocking, which I did directly on the bedroom carpet. I don’t have any fancy blocking boards (if such things exist). I’m not sure this method is recommended but it works for me.  Any way, it turned out well so that’s all that matters.

handmade reversible bag

As an accompanying gift to go with the shawl I made this reversible bag. The tutorial is  clear and easy to follow. A few years ago I made a knitting needle case for my Mother-in-law out of the same fabric so I thought it would make a nice matchy matchy present. If I remember correctly the fabric was from Ikea. I probably bought it about four years ago. Hmm,  I obviously didn’t press this bag very well.

hook yarn and crochet

I also made up a very quick project from the book Hook, Yarn and Crochet by Ros Badger. I bought a ball of King Cole Cottonsoft DK especially for this one. This was beautiful stuff to use. I’d love to make a baby blanket out of it but can’t justify it at the moment. If any one I know begets a child then I might consider spending the extra to buy some.

blue crochet lamp shade

It’s a lamp shade cover! Now I’ve remembered that I still haven’t sewn in the ends yet, as soon as I finished it, it was shoved straight on. Maybe I’ll do that job today. It left the room a little bit darker but I like it. With the left overs I made four little coasters but I haven’t taken any pictures of those.

first veg

At the beginning of the week I came with up some excuse that these new vegetables were ready to eat. In reality they were super small and probably needed a weeny bit longer suckling from their roots.

baby courgettes and broad beans

Nevermind, we ate them anyway! I fried them in butter with garlic and lots of salt and pepper. Looking in the garden yesterday, everything has replenished and there are definitely some spoils to be had. Properly grown this time I reckon.

Good, now I feel as though I’m catching up with crafting projects. I have a few things half done and some things waiting to get started but I’ve also ticked other things off the list, which makes me feel better.

The blanket that took a very long time to make

 

green blanket in garden

At last I have finished and it turns out it’s not that big. I had thought it was going to be just a bit smaller than a single bed size but it’s probably a third of that. I also thought I’d made somewhere over 100 circles but when it came to getting them all together, there weren’t that many.

green crochet circle blanket

I think some circles went missing, or I completely miscounted. It is only 8×11 , which is rubbish. Seriously, I was expecting more. But there is that feeling  of having completed a job that means when you are wrong you really don’t want to keep on going. So I gave up on doing any more, and I’m glad I did because as I wrote in this post, I had do redo some anyway. In the end, it turned out I only had to make two extra circles as I forced the other ones to fit with some jiggery pokery (they were on the edge where it wouldn’t make such a difference). If you look closely you can spot some really bad crochet.

green blanket hung up

I’ve taken a ridiculous amount of photographs of it but none of them show the actual colours. I’m not sure how to rectify this, so I’ve given up chasing the perfect photo. The pictures I’ve taken on my phone do it more justice. I think I’ll put those on my facebook page, which is over there on the right!

Meg's Veg

I was originally inspired the colours of Meg and Mog books. I’d been reading the books to my youngest [2] and I kept thinking that the colours would make a nice bright blanket. I remember drawing Meg and Mog pictures when I was at primary school.

Meg and mog castle

I had a surplus of green yarn in my stash from some abandoned idea. That ended up being the main colour just because.  I then got started, which was in April or thereabouts.

meg and mog garden

I didn’t really pay close attention when I was actually picking out the balls of wool so the end product doesn’t really look like it has anything to do with Meg or Mog.

finished green crochet blanket

It’s incredibly bright in real life. It’s all Stylecraft Special DK as that is what they sell in the shop down the road. The pattern for the circles comes via Tiny Tin Bird. It is by Priscilla Hewit and I printed out the PDF a couple of years ago with the intention of doing something blankety with it then. I didn’t get round to it until this year.  It’s the slowest thing I’ve worked on, probably ever.  I think it’s due to not liking it very much! It’s the colours not the pattern. I’m not sure. It’ll come camping with us in a couple of weeks and I won’t mind of it gets scuffed up.

For the edging I gave up on finding something new and used one I have used quite a lot;  Attic 24’s bobble shell edging but with three slip stitches between each bobble to have a little gap between them.

In the mean time, I’ve got a couple of small things on the go and another blanket I want to make.

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.

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.