A cottage garden in spring.

my garden. spring rain.

It’s not really a cottage garden, it’s my garden made to (kind of) look like one. This is totally self indulgent but I want to record what the garden looks like at the moment because I think it’s pretty. Apart from round the side to the left, that’s a mess (mostly leftover stuff from the fancy pants new patio and kids stuff).

my cottage garden

It’s frequently changing and next week it probably won’t look the same at all. And then I’ll take more pictures and do another post…and I’ll become obsessed. I’m already a tiny bit obsessed.P1110436

 

We did the garden five years ago and it’s my job to keep the plants maintained. I kill quite a lot of plants but thankfully, most seem happy. The plants that die are most likely to have have poisoned by me because I was too liberal with fertiliser. Some of them definitely don’t enjoy overdosing on it. And other stuff just doesn’t like the soil, I guess. I don’t know what kind I have.P1110431

 

I am just getting into container planting at the moment. Pots look great in number but they do get thirsty. I’ve got a lupin in a pot and he seems to be enjoying it. Loads of flowers are going to pop up soon. The lupin in the bottom bed is already in flower, this guy is behind. If it’s got flowers, I suppose he is really a she. Whatever.

yellow rambling rose

This yellow rose is the first of what will be many on the rambler. Last year in a February storm, we chopped it back to a foot high because it was torn from its moorings. It spent the rest of last year recovering and growing. This year I reckon it’ll be fabulous. That’s If the green fly don’t attack it too much. And it does have a little bit of black spot and a touch of mildew too. I keep forgetting to spray it. Oops.P1110493

 

The alliums aren’t happy with me. They’re being drowned by a japanese anemone. I’ve pulled up some of the anemone to give them room but a few have given up and decided not to bother growing anymore. Fingers crossed I get at least five. Mind you, it’s not as if I planted any bulbs last autumn, they’re from the year before. More will have to go in this year.

Crikey, I never thought I’d geek out about gardening. I’ve started young. This is what old people do. harrumph.

flowers on my crochet doily

Still using my doily too!

In a few days I’ll put up some crochet pictures. I’m working on a blanket that’s not behaving itself.

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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.

 

Playing with picture frames

two rainbows!

On what was a bit of a weird weather day, I decided to try something I’ve been thinking about for ages. Over the past couple of years I’ve been risking jumble fingers by collecting loads of old picture frames from jumble sales and junk shops.

a bunch of old frames

I have now got too many lurking in drawers and other nooks and crannies so it was about time I did something with them. Mostly, the pictures inside the frames are not that good and it won’t be too hard to chuck them away. Sorry Kylie.

faffing about with frames

I bought mount board and a cutting tool thingy from Amazon ages ago but have only just got round to playing with them properly.  I’m not very good. Not sure I’m keen. I quickly gave up on the bevelled edge as my lines were wonky and I was in danger of slicing off a finger. I will try again but I’ll take a break first. Will give it a go in a couple of weeks. I’ve got a lot of frames to get through.

framing pictures

I had a bit of trouble deciding on which picture to choose. I don’t know why, because ultimately, I will be able to frame an awful lot of pictures. Any way, I went for one I’d drawn myself as that is what I fancied. I do have lots of old books to cut up too though. I love old illustrations, especially from children’s books. I’ve got a good collection of them, some of which are waiting to be chopped up!

make shift sticking of picture frame

I’m not sure I even did it correctly, but I’ve played around with it and hopefully stuck it in the frame securely. I used the old picture as the backing and wodged it in tightly. I have avoided buying any pins/nails and hook type things, relying on what is already stuck in the frame.

waiting for more detail

This is the picture I chose. It looks crappy unfinished, with no colour, but I got my colouring pencils out and I’m actually very pleased with it.  Most of the time I’m not really sure what I’m doing, but I know that it’s fun and I’m enjoying playing pencils! Such a dweeb.

next step, practise a neat bevelled edge.

I was inspired by the woodland bluebells I saw in Dorset a few weeks ago and I used one of the photographs I took to sketch the scene. Not exactly a replica…hmm.

my first framed picture!

I’ve got to work on the angled edge of the mount board, I think it’ll make a difference in the presentation. But, I might just be being fussy.  The only thing now, is to work out where to hang the picture! And all the others (whenever it is I get round to doing those too).

 

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!

 

 

Spring in the woods.

Okay, this isn’t going to be about craft but I want to post these pictures because I’ve been to a lovely place and I took some photographs. We went to Dorset this weekend and went for a walk in the woods.

path through the woods

I’m feeling a bit peeved over the quality of the pictures I’m taking so this is me trying to practise. However, taking pictures of crochet or sewing on a dull day is a bit different to clicking away when surrounded by the beauty of the woods. Plus, these might still seem crappy to others…

bluebells and garlic

We usually come here once a year to look at the bluebells and wild garlic and to have a family barbeque not too far away.

dorset spring

I love this spring. I am always tempted to drink from it. It probably gets deer and badger wee in it though, so it’s not a good idea.

peacock butterfly

This peacock butterfly didn’t move much, maybe it was dead?

spring at dorset

Fairies have got to living somewhere around here, surely. I saw a massive deer but it spotted me before I saw it and bolted. spring stream

The above picture is where I spotted the deer.

upon the faery hill

Those trees upon the hill is where we were. It could be a fairy hill?

wild garlic in spring

We are planning a camping holiday here in the summer. The children have never been camping before. It will be an interesting experience I’m sure!

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.