Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A Lap Blanket

Here's a little lap blanket I made recently. I used some left over Aran weight yarn and a 5mm hook to make this. The pink is 50% wool and 50% acrylic and the yellow is a Stylecraft 100% acrylic. The pattern for the motif was in a Simply Crochet magazine a few months ago.

Can you see where I ran out the yellow yarn and had to use pink?

Each motif was started with a yellow circle and then the pink flower part was done. So that's two motifs that just about cross the middle of the picture below. I joined the motifs as I made them. There was a hole left where four motifs were joined. Yes, the blanket is full of holes, but this was a considerably big hole! So I made the yellow flower/star to fill in the gaps.

I'm really pleased with the results and hope that whichever elderly resident of the Manor Nursing Home gets to use it will also be happy with it.

Thank you so much for the very encouraging comments about my St. Petersburg blanket. Well, I'd better hurry on as this is just a quick post to let you see what I've been crocheting. Bye for now.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

St. Petersburg Blanket - Finito

The St. Petersburg blanket was started last May when we were on our Baltic cruise, which included a two day visit to St. Petersburg. There have been many breaks from crocheting this blanket but I've always loved to get back to it and do a bit more. Now, finally, it is finished. Ready to put on our king sized bed just in time for the cooler weather.

The first mention of my cotton blanket was in my very first post. The yarn I chose was Sirdar Cotton DK and used two balls of each of the colours Vanilla, Seersucker, Light Taupe, Toasted, Sundance, Honeysuckle, Tranquil, Bluebird, Sailor Blue, French Navy, Darling Bud, Hot Pink, Black Violet, Larkin and Cottonfield. The plan was to make 144 different 6" squares from the 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans book by Jan Eaton. I worked it all out in advance and drew up a chart with the number of each block and where it was to be placed. However, once I started crocheting, I quickly realised that I didn't like the mix of blocks worked round and round with blocks worked back and forth. So I changed to make all the blocks of the round and round type. Now there were also some of the blocks in the book that I just didn't like the look of so, in the end, I had to repeat some of the blocks but using different colours. I suppose it's a sort of sampler blanket.

Another thing that I changed in my plan was that I made the blanket with eleven rows of twelve squares rather than twelve by twelve.

The square below is called St. Petersburg. Well, I had to include it, didn't I? In fact, I crocheted it while we were docked in St. Petersburg! You can just spot a little bit of the border below the St. Petersburg square. I did eight rows of griddle stitch in different colours. Look at this post for an explanation of how to work griddle stitch.

Not all the colours were what I would call 'my colour' but, by using with other colours that I do like, each square really pleased me when it was finished.

The squares were all joined as-you-go which meant that, once the blanket got to about a third of it's final size, it was very heavy and hard to work with. By the time I was working on the last row I could hardly manage the joining! I'm not likely to do this again, but if I did, I would leave the joining to the end and crochet the squares together.

Please let me know what you think of my blanket; I hope you like it!

Here's a picture of our pet dog called Nonem. I tried to find one for my last post but couldn't. Then today, when I was looking for something else, I found this picture.

She looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth but she's crazy.

Thanks, as always, for your lovely comments.
(For new readers, if you want to see why I say finito, have a look at this post).

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

There's No Time Like the Present

First of all I'd like to thank you for the very lovely comments you left about my shawl and outfit for the wedding. Only that I had said I would show you what it was like, I think I probably wouldn't have bothered posting my photos! I really don't like seeing myself but in the end I just went ahead and did the post.

Well, I'm delighted to have been nominated for another Liebster award, this time by Jodie of Lupey Loops blog. I really enjoy reading Jodie's blog which is very interesting and informative. There's no time like right now to just go ahead and answer my questions.

Jodie has suggested that her nominees select between five and ten of the questions she was posed and to answer them in any language. I'm going to stick to English! So, here goes.

What is the composition of your family?
My husband and I and my father all live together. I have two grown-up sons who no longer live at home. 

Do you have pets?
We have a Jack Russell terrier – not full bred. She’s getting old and tired now but still has bursts of energy. We keep hens as well and my husband is a beekeeper. The hens and bees aren’t really pets! Here's a picture of me with some of the bees.

What do you love to do besides crochet or knitting?
I like reading, playing the piano and cooking or baking.

What is your occupation?
I am a computer programmer (software developer). I’m still writing programs for the mainframe so I'm a dinosaur programmer!

What do you really dislike?
I suppose it depends when I’m asked the question what the answer will be. I dislike rudeness, false tan, bad grammar, not being able to do something as well as I’d like and wasps.

What is your biggest fear?
I’m very afraid of heights, especially if there is water below.

Do you have a large stash of materials?
In my opinion, yes I do. But when I see what some other people have then I realise it isn’t all that big. It’s all relative, I suppose.

Of which creative project are you most proud?
It’s hard to say. I’m very pleased with two of my latest projects; the sea glass shawl and the big cotton blanket.

I'll be doing a post soon about the blanket.

What else would you still really like to learn?
I’d like to learn how to spin yarn. I have a spinning wheel but don’t really know how to use it so I don’t try. I’m afraid of wrecking it!

Jodie didn't mention about passing on the award but I think that's the point, really. Since I've done this before, a few times, I'm just going to nominate a couple of other blogs.

Fourmi writes Frugal in France

Lina has gone back to writing Photo.Knit.Dog

Fourmi and Lina, can you please answer the same questions that I've answered? Or, if you prefer, just answer a selection of your own questions which will let us get to know you better. Then pass the award to some other small blog(s) that you enjoy reading.

All the best everyone. Hopefully my next post will be to show you my new crocheted blanket.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Sea Glass Shawl Goes to a Wedding

On Friday the 4th of September we headed off early to board the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead. The crossing was very calm and we arrived about lunch time in Wales. We then started our drive across Wales and into England, right down to Bournemouth, on the south coast, where we planned to stay.

The traffic was really heavy so the journey took a long time. We were so hungry when we arrived that we decided to eat in the hotel bar rather than trying to find somewhere in Bournemouth. The food was very nice; we had a sharing platter. The waiter exclaimed that we were the first couple he'd ever come across who managed to finish everything!

On the following day we drove to Salisbury for the wedding of a dear friend. That's him with the white hair in the middle of the picture. And that's his very beautiful bride. The wedding ceremony was really special.

There's my husband all decked out his new suit, shirt, tie and shoes.

After the marriage all the guests drove to a tiny village in the New Forest for a reception to be held in a marquee. We were very fortunate to have some lovely weather that day! The marquee wasn't on a slope; that's just my bad photography.

The marquee was erected in the grounds of a very old church. I'm standing at the side wall in this picture.

 This is it; the sea glass shawl and the rest of the ensemble.

The reception meal was delicious and we got a chance to talk to lots of the guests and some friends. It was all quite a relaxed affair and very enjoyable.

Afterwards we headed back to Bournemouth for a walk along the sea front. A lovely way to end our day.

If you haven't already read about me making the sea glass shawl then have a look here and here.

I'm sorry that time is being squeezed yet again and I haven't had time to comment on your blogs for a while. Hopefully I'll get it done soon. Thanks for reading my blog and leaving your comments. It's the comments that make it all worthwhile. Bye for now.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Lavender and Plums

A few weeks ago I decided it was time for the annual refresh of the lavender in my flowerstone. If you look back here you can see last year's.

Lavender is one of my favourite flowers, well a herb really, so we have lots of it in the garden.

It's great for attracting bees and sometimes it seems like the whole lavender bed is buzzing.

I just fill the holes in the flowerstone with the lavender stems.

Several stems in the bigger holes so there's plenty.

And here it is sitting on the kitchen windowsill.

We have a few others pieces from this Blue Clematis range of Uig pottery; three jugs, a garlic pot, a jam pot and a large oven dish. Looks like some of these are discontinued.

Summer isn't officially over just yet but I'm so glad that the Autumn is very nearly here. I'm relieved to just stop waiting for the good weather to come and enjoy the beauty that comes with Autumn. Last year we had a very plentiful plum harvest that you can read about herehere and here. This year's harvest has already been picked and eaten; all three plums! Actually there's a fourth plum but it's too high to pick so it's still on the tree.

I'm sorry I haven't had much time to read all your blogs and leave comments. Hopefully I'll soon get there. Thanks for the comments you leave on my posts. As always, I really enjoy reading them.