Montage – May

In May I showed you how I was working on adapting a pattern to make a pair of slippers. I am making the second one now! I also showed you the new larger pot holder I had made and some recent purchases of crochet hooks and a whole variety of yarn. I have just included the rainbow yarn in the montage.

May montageThere were also many photographs of flowers in my garden, especially clematis and lily of the valley. I made some crochet flowers too: poppies. There were also photographs of the apples to be.

I shared a whole load of photographs of pages from my knitting and crochet journal and finally details of my late celebration of Christmas with my family.

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And yesterday was …………. Christmas

No post yesterday as it was time for Christmas!

Yes, Christmas transferred from 25th December due to my being in hospital.

I am pleased to relate that I managed to cope with it all quite easily so I am now officially ‘better’! Of course I did spread preparation out over the weekend and had an enforced rest on Sunday afternoon to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, which was good as I get a bit hyper when planning a big occasion.

It started with a Carol at the door from some visitors! “We wish you a Merry Christmas” of course.

Later I managed to take some photographs of the table all dressed up for the big day while having a sneaky Campari and soda with my daughter and preparing vegetables. My daughter helped with peeling and mashing the parsnips to save my wrists!

table laid

I had finally bought a book on napkin folding a while ago when I found a cheap onenapkin folding bookand had busied myself making different designs for each place setting.

The napkins weren’t perfectly square and were so large that for four of the folds I reduced the napkin size by folding the corners to the centre before following the book. However I was still pleased with the results.

Going round the table, widdershins, here is a close up of each one.

My place-setting a pin wheel windmill. pin-wheelGold chocolate coin, extra.

Son: boot bootGranddaughter: rabbit rabbitSon-in law: shirt shirtDaughter: fleur-de-lis fleur-de-lis I can see from the photo that it got a bit squashed when it fell off the table and I haven’t straightened it properly 😦

Family friend: Clowns hat.clown's hatThe crackers were provided by my son who bought them after Christmas when they were being sold off at a much reduced price!

Goldgold crackerand a sort of brown. brown crackerNow I have to admit that once everyone came in and we had crackers, followed by food and wine, I was much too busy to think of more photographs. However I am having a second Christmas lunch today from the leftovers so I will give you a taster from that,

There was chestnut stuffing and bread stuffing and bread sauce. stuffings and bread sauce

Turkey and sprouts and parsnips together with sausage and bacon rolls (but they ate all the bacon!) and cranberry sauce.meal on plate

(I was fortunate to discover that you can get English parsnips even this late in the year: a bit woody in the middle but tasty. I also found frozen sprouts. So all traditional vegetables!)

[Also roast and boiled potatoes, not shown because I avoid them.] And, of course, gravy. gravyGood thick Welsh gravy! meal with gravy

Afters was cheesecake and or strawberries and, if desired, cream. aftersA bit hot for Christmas pud (and it was a very hot day!) and anyway my son ate it all when there was normal Christmas!

All followed by rest, presents (bought by my daughter), a walk and charades!

I think I can say “A good time was had by all”.

Of Clematis and Apples

Just another post from my garden – because I can.

The flowers on the ‘Lemon Dream’ clematis I showed you have died but down below there are more.

Lemon Dream clematis

There is also a flower from the other clematis I planted next to it. (A shorter one called ‘The Vagabond’.) The Vagabond clematisThe other side of the garden my ‘Diana’s Delight’ clematis has suddenly put on a great show. Diana's Delight clematisYou can see that it is planted just to the side and almost behind my rosemary and you can see a Christophe allium just opening.

The apple blossom has all died and I have little blobs of what might be thought of as unsuccessful blossom appearing all over the garden old blossombut on the tree there are signs of future apples, tiny appleseven more in some places. even more tiny applesAnd I did make some more bread – a granary loaf this time but have spared you a photograph. 😉

Knitting and Crochet journal

This post was inspired by a reply to a comment I made to this post on https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/scrap-happy-adventures-with-junk/which was about creating a ‘junk journal’.

I have a journal but mine is quite different.

The photographs you see are of pages in the order they occur in the book (obviously they are a very small selection). I took the photographs quickly on the floor of my study on a sunny day. (Taking more than one and making them perfect seemed too much of an effort!)

Now my son has a tendency to buy me quirky presents sometimes and they are often tech related. One birthday or Christmas he bought me this. Polaroid printerIt is a small printer that prints tiny prints straight from a camera. The prints are sticky under a backing. At the time I really wondered what I might use it for but I kept it. However it has proved invaluable for creating pictures for my journal.

Now my younger daughter one birthday or Christmas bought me a book with blank pages journal coverfrom Paperchase: a shop that sells mainly decorative paper products. I really love the way three of the butterflies have movable wings.

I shared my attempt to make a copy of this book for my daughter HERE.

Again I wasn’t sure what to use it for but then I had a brainwave and my Knitting and Crochet Projects journal was born.

Here is the first page. I start with a few basics for reference.first page

And then I move on to a few charts and instructions for making basic things. Like my own way of making Granny Squares. diagramsI have never made a Granny Rectangle but, if I do, I have a reference to the way I liked best here!

I also added diagrams of how to do the ‘Magic Loop’ a name shared by both knitting and crochet for quite different things.more diagrams

Now I planned to use black ink for crochet and blue for knitting but you can see I am already forgetting!

This is my first project: a hexagon blanket based on a pattern on the Attic24 blog

first projectYou can see I include charts where it seems to help or save space. They are not always in colour and sometimes I try and photograph them off the screen and include as photos but that is less successful.

Here is a knitting chart that I worked out to create a pattern of adjoining hexagons with three different textures. knitting chartI included a photograph of the hat and scarf where I used it.

Sometimes it is impossible to include details of all the patterns but it is still useful to have a record. Here are details of a doll I made for one of my grandsons.

photographs of doll

When I make socks I like to wait till I have a few pairs and record the basic details. Up to now I have always used a toe-up method with short-row toes and heels.
lots of socksSometimes I want the book to contain details of a complicated pattern I have created, so much, that I add in a printout.adding a printout

I include the details of things I have made from other people’s patterns as well as my own.other people's patternsI have a red A4 folder which is full of printouts of other peoples patterns and also some of my own ones as a supplement to this, so if I want to make more seahorses, the pattern is there, but here I have added details of how I made the finished hanging.

This is where I am about to add details of another make.starting a new entryI cannot write straight easily so I start by drawing pencil lines that I rub out later. Also the book is always behind where I am, so every so often I spend a morning catching up!

At the back of the book, working forwards, I make a list of projects I have in mind for the future. This is the first two pages of this: one for knitting and one for crochet. future projectsYou can see I have completed all the crochet ones but still have not done all the knitting ones. Of course not all projects get listed here only ones I may make in the future and don’t wish to forget.

I am now three quarters of the way through the book but recently my daughter bought me another book from Paperchase. new journal cover

So I have somewhere to continue when I finish this one!

 

Poppies

Not the real ones I am afraid!

When I was a child although we lived in suburbia there were hay fields (with hedges) and a copse at the back of our house. In the summer there were red poppies and all sorts of other flowers in among the waist high grass.

No, these poppies are for Remembrance Day. I have a friend who every year spends many hours selling poppies and for next year she is making knitted poppies to offer people, along with the many options offered by The British Legion. I said that if I could find a crochet pattern I liked I would make some crochet ones.

Now as you may be aware when I crochet real life objects I like them to be as realistic as possible, so it took a long time to find a poppy pattern I liked. But finally I found this one – https://picotpals.com/2018/04/18/iceland-poppy-pattern/ There is also an earlier pattern for red poppies but this one is better.

First I made a white one. as it would be easier to see the stitches. 

But then I got out the red yarn I showed you in a recent post and made a red one. I had intended to make the centre of the red poppy in dark green and cream, as I thought that was close to a real poppy, but my friend said “no!” for remembrance poppies the centre had to be all black. So that is what I did and so didn’t bother with the extra radial stitches.

Although this yarn is my usual Stylecraft yarn it seems a bit soft and fuzzy which I don’t like very much as it gives less definition to the stitches. Joining the two layers together so they didn’t swivel round was something I found a bit tricky; so I found a way to make the centre layer attached to the under layer but it did make doing the stamens a bit more tricky.

Here are all three together. 

Garden update

My garden is very important to me even though I am not much of a ‘gardener’.

So I like to share what’s happening.

I was very pleased a few days ago to see the first flowers on my clematis that I planted not last autumn but the one before. At one point I wondered if it had died but no.  clematis beginning to open

And then yesterday They had really opened out. clematis fully openThey are called “Lemon Dream” and do have just a very faint scent.

More scent below though again you need to go close.

Lilies of the valley don’t photograph easily so here is just a peek. lily of the valleyAnd further along in the same bed I was pleased to see that my Lenten Roses are still making a brave show, though now they have faded from dark pink to a more dusky purple. Lenten roses

Projects for life!

I seem to have been spending rather a lot on yarn lately but all with good ideas for using it!

I bought what I thought was enough for the slippers. More on this.

And I also needed a 7mm or (knowing me) an 8mm hook. So since they were relatively cheap and as I wanted different colours if possible I decided to buy an 9mm and 10mm hook at the same time. crochet hooks

Because they are thick I find them as comfortable as my Clover Amour hooks to use.

Now I had plans to make some more socks for my daughter and granddaughter like they had beforedaughter's socksgranddaughter's socks

but with different colour toes and heels so it seemed a good time to buy this. sock wool

And while I was about it, since it would mean I didn’t have to pay postage (so it makes them virtually half price!), I decided to buy some of the new Stylecraft colours. Stylecraft yarnI like having different blues and greens to choose from and the buttermilk will do for my dinosaur.

Maybe that would have been enough for now but then I discovered (don’t tell James!) that I didn’t have enough for the slippers because I hadn’t realised that the slippers would need to be scaled up more than I had estimated, especially with regard to width. Luckily the yarn was now reduced and I could get the same dye lot. Drops AlaskaTwo more should be more than enough but I bought three again as the cheapest way to get just above the ‘free postage’ figure and it is great yarn and I am sure I can use it for something, maybe with the same sort of yarn left over from this. cardiganThis jumper looks more grey than this! In fact as I had over estimated I used it for my cushioncushion

where you get a better idea of the colour. I still have almost a whole ball left over.

And then as I browsed. I fell in love with this sock yarn. fancy sock woolNow I had promised myself that I would only make socks from yarn I had already but this looked so amazing in the pictures of made up sock; I just had to buy some.

I am very fond of this crochet hat. crochet hatI wear it more than any other; just pull it on. But it does need a wash sometimes so I planned to make another in rainbow colours and I found this.

rainbow yarn

I bought two balls because I am not sure if one will be enough and if it is, someone else might like a similar hat! or I could make mittens!
Now I wouldn’t have got up to the free postage amount just with that but I needed some more Stylecraft colours for a blanket I have in mind to make (mostly from leftover yarn I have already but some colour amounts are too small.) So I bought this. Stylecraft yarn

The red will also be useful for some poppies I am going to make.

And lastly

On Saturday I went to Haskins garden centre and came back with these. plantsHobbycraft is next door so I had to go and have a look around. I fell in love with this jumper! pattern(A lot of falling in love lately!) I was about to leave the pattern there for another time but then I saw they were selling the yarn as 3 for 2. So I bought three balls, just like the picture. Marble chunky yarnI used this type of yarn yarn for a shrug earlier shrugand although it is acrylic it is comfortable to wear and work with.

 

 

Little pot holder meet your big brother (or sister?)


Some time ago I showed you the pot holder I made. Original post HERE.small pot holderThis was great for picking up the lid of my saucepans with this sort of handle saucepan lidwithout burning my fingers.

However I soon realised that it was no good for picking up the lid of my set of three steamer saucepans. steamer lidSo recently I made a larger version. two pot holdersThe big brother (or sister) of the original. I used about twice the number of stitches to start.

And here is another little and large pair. More on this in due course!

April Montage

In April I once more shared a lot of cooking and flowers. There were the Hot Cross buns and Simnel muffins I made for Easter time and a couple of loaves of bread. The same ideal recipe but first as a Farmhouse loaf and then as more of a Bap shape. Now able to get out into the garden, from the middle of the month, I created a few flower portraits.April montageI also managed to fit in some knitting and crochet. I made one of my Celtic Coasters as an Easter present for someone who doesn’t like chocolate. (I know how can you not like chocolate!) And for knitting I made a pair of socks from the wool left over from two other pairs of socks made with similar yarn. I was pleased with how they turned out and aim to make similar socks with other leftover sock wool. Finally I manged to get round to completing my latest cushion.

And although I don’t normally add other things to my monthly montage posts. Since this replaces my normal Monday post, I will add some photographs of things that have made me happy this last weekend.

Here is yet another loaf of bread. Made from my favourite recipe: half white and half wholemeal this time. half and half breadAnd here is my breakfast! breakfast(Interestingly, I realised that although I don’t buy much organic produce, the flour for the bread, the peanut butter and the honey are all organic, either bought because I like it or because it was a good price.

And lastly a photograph of my apple tree full of blossom. apple treeThis is maybe my favourite time of year: seeing the apple blossom and the forget-me-nots and, in my previous garden, the bluebells, all at the same time.

At Last! I finished my cushion

I have really been procrastinating with regard to sewing up the two sides of my latest cushion.Celtic crochet knot work for cushion and Celtic knitted cables for cushionMainly because I am never confident when it comes to sewing and I thought that I ought to wait till I was feeling really strong and alert, however last Friday I had nothing to take to “Crafty Coffee” and so was reduced to taking the two sides of the cushion to sew together.

I am glad I did as it is now off my conscience and brightening up my chair!

Here you can see the Celtic crochet knot work side cushion on chairI notice that the cushion is so puffy that the strips are tending to pull apart and show the inner but I don’t think it matters.

And here is the Celtic knitted cables side. cushion on chairI think it looks very smart!

In order to close it in a way that made it easy to remove the cover if it ever became necessary, I crocheted an extra strip to the cable side and sewed on three odd buttons that I had in my button jar. cushion closureAnd lastly: on Saturday, as if by magic, the apple blossom appeared on the apple tree.