Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Amaryllis

Just a very quick post to let you see my amaryllis. It has flowered and is gorgeous.

This was what it was like yesterday; two flowers blooming and one bud still to open.

Early this morning, with bright sunlight streaming in, I found that the third flower had bloomed.

Then, just a few hours later, when the rain had started, this is what it looked like.

I love it!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Thanks for Guessing

This is the picture I showed you in my last post. Thanks to everyone who tried to guess where it is. No-one got it right! This is Stornoway. We visited here very near the end of our holiday. Unfortunately I still haven't got the holiday photos sorted out to let you see them. We've had people staying. That's my excuse!

Anyway, what about a spot of crochet? Before I went on holiday I finished a cardigan for myself. It is worked from the bottom up, fronts and back all at the same time. When the armholes are reached you crochet the sleeves. Then the cardigan is finished by crocheting the sleeves into the main body and continuing to the neck, decreasing as you go. The pattern is from my Crochet Noro book.

I'm really pleased with it. Not least because it fits me (unlike the dreaded Aran coat which I have yet to un-knit). Do you see how the beech hedge has produced gorgeous new leaves?

Here's a close-up of the pattern. Three rows of trebles (UK) - or double crochet for US readers - followed by a row of V-stitches. Very simple but effective. The yarn is Stylecraft Senses Lace. I've used it before for a little shrug I made last year.

A couple of evenings ago I started trying out some of the patterns from the Boho Crochet book. There are lots of very beautiful items in this book! Very tempting indeed.

The Annie blanket looked simple so I tried a small sample. Then I realised it would make a lovely cosy for my one-person cafetiere. What do you think? Isn't it cute?

It's just some leftover scraps of yarn; all 100% acrylic. A mix of Stylecraft Special and Robin yarns. I used some blue buttons to keep it on.

Finally, here is our amaryllis about to flower. It first flowered shortly after the New Year of 2014. Then it flowered again after a couple of weeks of the first flower dying. Nothing more until now.

When it is in full bloom I'll let you see it again.

At last I've remembered! I keep meaning to tell you something but when I'm writing my posts I forget. Remember I told you about roasting rhubarb? Well, have you ever tried spreading roast rhubarb on toast? Or on a pancake? Or on a scone? Like you would use jam? It's delicious! Go on, give it a try. And talking of rhubarb, that reminds me that there's still lots more out there waiting to be roasted.

All the best for now.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Two Good Reads Tag

Thank you all very much for the lovely comments you've left recently. Good wishes for my dad's birthday, congratulations on my blog birthday and appreciation of the gorgeous Winston.

Thanks also to Irene at Life by the Sea for nominating my blog for the Two Good Reads Tag. I'm really chuffed! Irene also has another blog called All Occasions Cards, Papers and More.

The nomination came when I was away on a short holiday. It'll probably take me a while to get all the photos sorted out but here's one to give you a clue.

Actually, we only spent a few hours here. Anyone know where it is?

Now I have to pass on the nomination to two other blogs. This is the most difficult bit; trying to choose only two! I really enjoy reading Christina's blog called A Colourful Life. And Katie's blog, Life with the Crew, is also an excellent read.

To participate you just need to display the logo, link back to my blog and make two of your own recommendations.

That's all for now as I have lots to do! Hopefully I will be back soon with pictures of our holiday plus some crochet. Bye for now.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Let Me Introduce Winston

This is Winston, our Light Sussex rooster. Isn't he a beauty? He's in charge of our brood of seven hens. They like nothing better than to go free ranging over the lawn, picking up insects and whatever tasty morsels they can get.

I shouldn't have started naming the hens but I did. This is Ruby, a Rhode Island Red. She's one of our oldest hens and is getting very heavy.

When we got our latest batch of hens I decided not to name them any more. They are all pure bred as this means they are much better natured.

They all lay an egg almost every day so we're getting five or six eggs a day. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with using them so I give quite a lot away to friends.

Hens love bread. I was feeding them some while taking these pictures. They run round like mad trying to get every wee crumb. They even jump up and peck it out of my hand.

Have you ever seen a chicken running? It's the most hilarious thing ever!

These two are obviously having a squabble over a piece of bread. Not a very dignified pose!

Nonem has to get into the middle of it all, hoping to sneak a little bit of bread too. If she can't get any bread then a bit of a tummy rub will do. Look, she's lying on my feet!

All the best for now. I haven't forgotten about showing you how I roll a skein of yarn into a ball. Just need to get myself organised.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Another Birthday

Today is this blog's first birthday. I never thought I would find enough to write about for a whole year. I've really enjoyed keeping the blog and especially reading your comments. I hope you've enjoyed it all too.

This is also, coincidentally, my ninety ninth post. To celebrate, here are some photos of daffodils that are still blooming in our garden. And narcissi too. They must all be quite late varieties as a lot of the other daffodils are long past.

And some non-daffodil flowers just in case you're getting bored.

Let's see what happens over the coming year!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A Birthday

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my tapestry. You are very kind.

This is just a very quick post as I have lots I need to do. Tomorrow is my dad's eighty seventh birthday! We went to the Greenbean in Banbridge for coffee plus a scone for me and a raspberry and coconut traybake for him. A lovely treat though we do it pretty often anyway!

I don't need much of an excuse to go out for coffee. Actually, confession time, we went yesterday afternoon as well. Just because.

I wanted to show you my pear tree. It hasn't flowered like this ever before. I'm hoping we'll get lots of pears from it this year.

This was one of the apple trees a few days ago.

Now all of a sudden it's flowering. The rest of the apple trees are just ready to burst forth.

The copper beech hedge is looking rather sad now that it is losing its old leaves. But the buds are there just ready to produce new leaves for this year.

As you can see, the sheep and lambs are now in the field beside us.

The sheep are quite heavy now and the lambs are growing really quickly. A couple of times a sheep has rolled over onto its back and not been able to get up again. The husband has had to nip into the field and put them back on their feet. If they're left too long like that they will eventually die.

I'm really hoping the weather will improve a bit. April was very dry but May is making up for it. We've had so much rain. The temperatures are low too though, hopefully, there won't be any more frosty nights.

There will be more birthdays to come soon. If it's yours today, or soon, then have a great day!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

My Quaker Tapestry

On one of our holidays to the Lake District, we visited the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal. We found the exhibition extremely interesting and the detailed embroidery is so well done. Many people, all over the world, added their bit to the tapestry. When we were leaving, we visited the gift shop. As well as a string of tiny red bells for Christmas decorating, I also bought a tapestry kit. My favourite was this Sheep & Dog kit.

When I got home, I enthusiastically started my tapestry. But interest waned and crochet or knitting took crafting priority. I put the tapestry away in a drawer, nice and carefully. At times I completely forgot about it being there. Sometimes I remembered about it and felt guilty for not working on it. Occasionally guilt got the better of me and I worked a few more stitches on the tapestry, only to put it away again for another few months.

Recently I decided that I was going to finish the tapestry. I was determined. So it came out of the drawer and stayed out until it was finished. Which wasn't all that long! If I'd just kept at it it would have been finished years ago.

Well here it is. This first picture shows it still with the ring from the embroidery hoop.

Here is a closer view. Quaker tapestry is very 'free hand'. There are only a few stitches but you can work them in any direction and build up the picture. It is almost 3-D with the stitches really portraying the textures of the subject.

I'm really pleased with it and all that remains now is to get it framed. Soon.

If you are ever near Kendal this would be a great place to visit. They have a coffee shop too, though we didn't go to it. It is award winning so should be good. I can't remember now why we didn't go as it's very unusual for us to pass up a chance to get coffee and a scone or cake!

I'd love to hear what you think of my Quaker tapestry.