For those who like such things – more flowers and bread

I took the pictures for this post a week ago but was too busy to put it together.

So here is some views of my garden recently.

I was pleased to find that my Vagabond clematis had a new flush of flowers. clematisbut less so to see that the slugs had been busy lower down. slug damageI was surprised to find that the fuschia seemed a little more compact than last year, fuschia bushthough I prefer it that way.

The lavender that I planted last year had grown into a much bigger plant lavenderand as this is just next to my favourite sitting place, the smell is quite delightful.

I took another picture today, the flowers have really opened. lavender closerThe golden sage is looking very happy. golden sageThis will mean pruning next winter I think, as I know what sage is like!! (Like the card the leaves are more yellow than this!).

My roses were in full flow. patio rosesI bought them because of the scent but they seem to have far more petals this year which is not so good for the bees I believe.

Now Bread

I made another granary loaf granary loafand photographed it this time.

Next morning I cut some slices for breakfast.

Here are two of them. two slices of breadand here is breakfast.breakfastThree slices covered with peanut butter or fig conserve or honey. Yum!

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Sunlight

Joining in with Wild Daffodil’s photo challenge.The prompt for this month’s photo challenge is Sunlight.

All of these photographs are from the archive.

First a water lily and it’s shadow.

water lilyA rose glowing all the more because of the sunlight.

RoseSun on a spider’s web spider's webcreating shadows on the grass.

Shadowsand lighting up a cloud. sun behind a cloud

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.

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. 😉

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

Flowers and my garden

I am really beginning to feel that Spring is coming.

Last time I showed you a portrait of some forget-me-nots, forget-me-notsone of my favourite flowers.

But when I went out later into the back garden, I realised that the forget-me-nots were happy colonising odd locations like here in this crevice forget-me-nots in creviceor growing in the wall. forget-me-nots in wall

I also noticed that the pulmonaria (also know as lungwort), that I had pulled up rather ruthlessly last year because I thought it was swamping the snowdrops, had managed to survive. pulmonaria

I was very happy to hear the hum of bees as they went about their work of collecting nectar and when I went out the front to photograph the flowers on the rosemary I managed to get a couple of opportunist shots. Just point at a distance and hope. Working at this resolution gives lots of opportunity and these next two photograph are using just the original pixels. Not quite in focus but usable I thought. bee on rosemary

and another sort of bee. another bee on rosemary

Of course we have had a fairly wet time in recent months and the paving has suffered. However I tried a little bit of cleaning with a scrubbing brush and water and you can see here the difference that it can make. clean and dirty pavingA large area to clean up though. It will have to wait till I am feeling a bit more energetic.

I am a great admirer of Leanne Cole and her flower photographs (Find the latest here). Just click on the tag below the post: ‘floral friday’ to find more, or use this LINK

And so I have been trying to make similar myself. I think my style is a little different to hers but I hope you like them.

First the lithodora: another of my favourites. lithodora

And the pulmonaria pulmonaria

And a daffodil. daffodil

There were just two left, relatively small flowers on very tall stems.

Past and future!

Had a bit of a funny week. On Monday I saw the consultant prior to my fourth and final chemo cycle. He decided that I should not have the infusion this time, only the tablets which left me both relieved and anxious. Relieved that I wouldn’t have to face the increasingly unpleasant side effects and anxious in case it lowered my chances of survival. I was just coming to terms with the fact that this meant I could eat cold food and go out walking when I began to go down with a virus. One of those funny viruses where there aren’t many outward symptoms but you just feel rotten.

Anyway in spite of all this I have put a post together for you.

You may have noticed that most of my posts lately have included crafting and bread and flowers. This is because these are the three things that keep make me happy and keep me smiling!

I will start with the bread this time, but scroll to the bottom if you are not interested in this part.

I decided to make a loaf like last time but to make it like the bap loaves I remembered from childhood. However I was so anxious that it didn’t get as flat as a pancake, because the dough was so soft that it was actually not quite flat enough. bap loafHowever the bread was good. here are three slices for my breakfast! 3 slices of breadTwo other things that have been lifting my spirits are the fact that when I do go out I come home to these forget-me-nots in some pots in the front garden (or front step as my younger daughter would have it!). forget-me-nots in potsThey are not really meant to be there but I haven’t had the heart to uproot them.

forget-me-notsso pretty – and an arty version. arty pictureAnd when I look out of the sitting room window when sitting on the settee, I can see the buds coming on my apple tree. apple tree in budHere’s a close up. buds openingI haven’t been feeling up to doing much crochet and haven’t any knitting but I have been thinking about future projects.

There are these slippers to make for James. slippersAnother thing I am planning to do is to buy some plain sock wool when I buy the yarn for the slippers.

I made these socks – socks for daughterand thesesocks for granddaughter

for my daughter and granddaughter. Since they like short socks, I reckon I have enough wool left to make another similar sized pair if I use different wool for the toes and heels.

More long term projects

I also have an idea for using up my scraps of yarn by making a cover for my cloth shopping bag.

It’s the one you can see in this photograph, though more grubby now! It will more than double it’s weight but will make it look pretty. So do I do it?

cloth bag

I used a scrap of yarn to make this piece of corner to corner crochet.corner to corner crochetAnd have used it to work out how much yarn I will need for the project. However I may still decide to use the idea for something else as I am not sure if I have that much scrap yarn.

I have also been working on an idea for another blanket. There is something very soothing about making a blanket. I just love ripples, so this is another ripple blanket in Autumn colours. I have been playing with different colour arrangements: something planned this time, not random. The idea is to make one the same size as my sea and sand blanket; i.e about 2ft x 4ft.

I have come up with two ideas, though I have not decided exactly which yellow and greens I want to use, especially as Stylecraft seem to have added quite a lot of new colours.1st colourwayThis was the first one, though of course I can’t get the colours spot on, yellow seems particularly hard to reproduce but maybe I just don’t know the right setting.

Later I wondered if this would be better. 2nd colourwayBoth pictures started out as a photograph of actual wrapped pieces of Stylecraft yarn. I suppose it was the lighting when I took the photographs, but the second one has a different texture.

Which colour way do you prefer?

Finally my hybrid socks!

I have finally manged to finish the hybrid socks I started after finishing the rainbow ones. Hybrid because I used the left over yarn from my recent mini mochi socks and that left over from the pale rainbow ones I made years ago. mini mochi 2 sorts of yarnHere they are. hybrid socks

I was rather pleased that they came out so long as I wasn’t sure how long that would be. You can see from the odd orange part on one sock that because there was, for some reason, more yarn left over on one ball, I decided rather than waste it to use if for the other sock. This of course adds an extra half inch.

Here is one of the socks laid over the earlier ones. sock length comparison

Unlike the ‘Rainbow Socks’ I feel I can start wearing these right away!

And, for anyone who might be interested, I can’t resist sharing a photograph of my most recent and possible ideal, at least for me, loaf of bread. latest bread

I have always preferred soft rolls to crusty ones and in fact my favourite bread when I was a child was a bap. The artisan bread I have made tends to have a crust that is lovely straight out of the oven but later just seems rather hard, especially for my bread knife. Now the milk bread I made had a much softer crust but the texture was a little cake-like, so I thought I would try the same recipe but using half milk and half water. The result had a thin easy to cut crust and a proper bread like texture.

Interestingly I have a recipe in my bread book for a Scottish Bap and that is half milk and half water. I am making some pizza bases as I write this and next would like to try some foccacia!

And finally a few photos from my garden.

I was delighted to see that the one bed was full of scilla siberica scilla sibericaand the primroses were also coming on nicely. primroses

There are some more, not yet in flower, further along.

I was also pleased to see that the Lenten Roses are doing very well even after all that snow. Lenten roses

Going, Going, Gone!

I have been plugging away at the cables this last week and am probably spending more time knitting and should be able to show you the finished cushion, or at least the cable side, next week.

However one other thing I have been doing is recording the snow in the garden.

The photographs have all been taken from indoors through the window of the patio doors, so they include reflections but are maybe worth sharing as a record of how it can be with snow in Southampton.

I showed you what it had been like on Thursday.

ThursdayWell the next day we had a much better amount. Friday late afternoon This was taken Friday late afternoon.

But the next morning it was already receding. Saturday morningAnd when I looked out yesterday. Sunday morningThere were just patches round the edges.

However by mid afternoon it had all gone. Sunday mid afternoonThe white you can see in the flower beds is eggshells.

But I was pleased to note that the daffodils had emerged intact. daffodilsand even the Lenten Roses that I was worried about, seemed in much better shape than I expected. Lenten rosesI also made some more bread and tried adding cuts. loaf of bread