Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Dhaveena's Blanket

After my first post , when I told you about the finished library blanket and my plans for the cotton blanket, I realised that I am currently working on two other blankets. There is also a bag full of yarn ready to make into a blanket as soon as one of the ones currently being worked on is finished.

So today I'll tell you about one of the blankets I'm working on. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK 100% acrylic. I bought a ball each of Pale Rose, Meadow and Spring Marl in my local wool shop. Actually the Spring Marl is Extra Special! At the time I wasn't really sure what I was going to make with it except I knew it would be a crocheted blanket of some sort.

From left to right: Meadow, Spring Marl and Pale Rose
I started making small Granny squares - just three rounds each - using a 4mm hook. I joined the squares on the go so that the result looked a bit like gingham. As I was crocheting I thought this would make a lovely blanket for a young girl. Then I decided it would be nice for a work colleague's daughter; a three year old called Dhaveena. Next decision was how big to make the blanket. Single bed size seemed a good idea. There was no way I had enough yarn so I calculated how much more I would need of each colour. Approximately half of the squares will be Spring Marl, a quarter will be Meadow and the other quarter will be Pale Rose.
Off I went to my local wool shop to buy the extra yarn I needed only to find that the Spring Marl has been discontinued. I tried umpteen online wool shops but couldn't find it anywhere. Just as I was about to give up and rethink the whole thing, I found somewhere that still had some of the Spring Marl in stock. I ordered plenty just to be sure!
Dhaveena's blanket is progressing nicely. I have about a third of the squares done now and I think it looks well. 
Dhaveena's blanket

Yarn and blanket

Some day soon I'll show you the other blanket that I'm working on. It's made using hexagons.

I'd love to hear what you think of Dhaveena's blanket. I hope you like it. And, of course, I hope she'll like it too.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

This and That

Hello again. I thought I'd give you a bit of a tour round our garden. First, though, I'll tell you about Friday. My dad and I wanted to go shopping in Banbridge and just had to stop off for coffee in our favourite coffee shop. The Greenbean serves delicious coffee as well as scones, tray bakes and snacks. We had cappuccinos and a berry scone between us.

 Here is the wall in the Greenbean. Doesn't it look great?

When we got home I tackled the rhubarb patch. About 6 lbs went to a few friends and neighbours and about 10 lbs into the freezer. There's still a lot left and more will grow later in the year.

Anyway, back to the garden. These photos were taken around 8:15 on Saturday morning. There's not much Iife in the apiary; too cold for the bees to come out.

We put up more bird boxes this year so we now have about 20 dotted about the garden. We can watch the birds bringing nesting material so they can build in the boxes. There must be eggs or even baby birds in some them by now.

This is what I do with the ends cut off after sewing them in. They go into an old bird feeder and then the birds can use them in their nests.

These are the apple trees blooming. The pear and plum have already bloomed earlier.

I love the spring flowers, especially the anenome and clematis. You might just about be able to see the wisteria ready to bloom.

We have blackcurrant, blueberry and raspberries. Also a gooseberry bush in another spot. Here are the strawberries starting to flower. The garlic is well up too.

Later on the husband got suited up in his bee suit and went out to do some work on the hives. There's not a lot to do at this time of year really. He checked the frames to make sure everything looked alright and he added more supers to each hive. This allows for the number of bees to grow and gives them somewhere to store the honey. At the height of the summer there will be approximately 60,000 bees in each hive.


While the husband was occupied with the bees I baked a carrot cake for my dad's 86th birthday. I had looked quickly at the recipe earlier in the week just to make sure I had all the ingredients. I hadn't used the recipe before and didn't read through it all. A mistake. When I came to make the cake on Saturday I discovered that it was supposed to be baked in the Aga roasting tin. Massive! I went ahead anyway but used sponge tins instead. I only had walnut halves so tried to chop them in the blender. I ended up with walnut dust. And not having quite the required amount of walnuts, I added some diced dates. I started putting the ingredients into my baking bowl and soon realised they would never all fit. It had to be transferred to a bigger bowl which was full by the time I had everything added in. It was pretty hard to get it all mixed as there was so little room left in the bowl. But I managed it eventually and put the mixture into my sandwich tins. There was still loads left over though, so I also managed to fill a dozen muffin cases. I got these from Lakeland - I love the Russian theme. After all that, I expected the carror cake to be a disaster, but it turned out well. The recipe for the cream cheese icing produced a huge amount so after icing the cakes and muffins I froze the rest of the icing.

Shortly after this the sky darkened and we had torrential rain, hail, thunder and lighting.

Well I hope you enjoyed that bit of a tour round the garden and will come back again for another look.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

My First

Hello everyone. I'm glad you've found my blog and are taking the time to read it. This is my first post on my first blog so I hope you'll bear with me until I get used to doing this. I've wanted to start a blog for a very long time so now this is it.

You can read a bit about me at the right hand side. Basically I love making things. Mainly crocheted things or knitted things. For example, here is a crocheted blanket that I've just finished....

Crocheted blanket
This blanket is a very generous single bed size - big enough to get wrapped up in. It is made using acrylic yarn and a 4mm hook. The squares are various sizes all finished with a round of black to join.
Here's what it looked like last week before I got all the squares joined.

Almost finished joining all the squares

Squares needing the final round to join

My husband has named and claimed the blanket. It's to be The Library Blanket. Funny enough, we don't have a library but if my husband can manage it, we will have (some day).

Now this is more exciting; I have got myself some Sirdar Cotton DK (from my local wool shop, of course). Here it all is in my box.
Sirdar Cotton DK

The colours are (from left to right and top to bottom) Vanilla, Seersucker, Light Taupe, Toasted, Sundance, Honeysuckle, Tranquil, Bluebird, Sailor Blue, French Navy, Darling Bud, Hot Pink, Black Violet, Larkin and Cottonfield. The names of the colours are lovely; much nicer than just giving each a number. There are two balls each of 15 colours so a total of 3kg of cotton. The plan is to make 6" squares. A lot of 6" squares. One hundred and forty four to be exact. Yes, that's 144 squares. When joined they will become a blanket for a king sized bed. The Sirdar cotton is really nice to work with so I'm looking forward to making this blanket. I also treated myself to a new soft grip hook just to make the whole experience even better.

Well, I think that's enough to get us started. Please fell free to leave me a comment.

All the best for now.