Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Thriving, sorting and reading.

Some beautiful flowers that M bought me recently. I've cut out the pollen stems as I'm not keen with QT about. He doesn't tend to go on the dining room table but... cats, they're a law unto themselves.

My orchid plants, I'm both amazed and pleased that they're both alive and well a year later. More impressively they've both flowered again. Usually the only safe plants for me to care for are Christmas cactus, see here for more photos of orchids.

I've been having a good sort out of my wool and other craft storage. Unfortunately I can't keep everything altogether all in one room, there just isn't the space. There's some in the lounge that I'm currently working on, some stored in the bedroom and some colouring in the front porch. Then there's craft books on the landing bookcase and magazines in the dining room. The new storage unit has cotton yarn in the top lift-up flap, then below 4 pull-out drawers for other yarns here. There's more yarn in the storage box on the shelf and an ottoman in both the lounge and the bedroom, both are full of craft stuff too.

As my crochet blanket is getting too big to carry about with me to craft circle, I've started crocheting a few other smaller projects. This beautiful One-Skein Chevron scarf I saw when browsing Thistlebear's blog and instantly loved it, the lacy wavy lines are easy to do, here is the link to her blog. Jennifer crochets her beautiful scarves for teacher's end of year gifts, which I think is a lovely idea. The pattern is by Dena Stelly and can be found here and the yarn I've used is Stylecraft special aran, in pale rose, seen here.

I will definitely be making this scarf again but will take Jennifer's advice and use a larger hook size next time. I started off using a UK 5mm but in future will use a 5.5mm hook. I did crochet a few rows in the bigger hook size to compare and it looks much better. I will of course unpick those few rows and continue to the end. If you look closely at the photograph, you can see the wider part. It's an inch wider too.

I've finished the book for the book club early this month and am feeling quite pleased with myself. I finished it at the weekend and have seen on Fantastic fiction that it's part of a set, though I'm not sure if the characters appear in all or whether it's just the titles that link together conveniently. The series is called Four Series and the titles can be seen here. I will need to put some questions together for the newsletter.

I booked a table in our usual pub in the village for the family and teen 1 & 2 friend who stayed with us over the weekend. The meal was their Friday night fish n chip special and as usual it tasted really good. My family pull my leg about always being in there but 10 times a year and another for the WI Christmas meal along with any family meals is hardly 'always'.

As I'm not behind on the book club read (for once), I've been able to catch up on my own books. Could this new leaf turning over be a regular occurrence, oh I hope so. A full list of Katie Fforde's books are here.

Thank you for reading, do leave a comment.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Taking a break

Hello, I'm sorry I've not been blogging for a while. We've been a way for a long weekend at a Christian festival plus taking a break. This is the second time we've been and already we can't wait to go again next year. When I started writing this blog I made a conscious decision to keep my faith in God separate and only talk about the things that interest me such as crochet mainly, with some knitting & sewing and cooking has crept in too. I think for me, it's fair to say that when I commit to something I do put my all into it, a kind of 'all or nothing' approach. But here's the thing, Jesus is a major part of my life and it's not easy to exclude Him. It feels like having a best friend but never talking about them. He is my all-in-all, the giver of perfect peace, although I accept He doesn't have to be written about in my blog, He does shape my outlook on life. 

I appreciate not everyone has the same views as me and as it happens, I didn't take any photos of the event or our time away. We were very busy having a good time with friends at the festival. I did do some crochet in our new - to us - caravan, but not a lot. Which brings me to my next thing to mention. Having been following other peoples blogs, I've seen people feeling pressured to produce work constantly, from writing patterns to showing photos of the start and finish of projects but never the in between updates. Almost like it was too embarrassing to 'still be working on...' 
Some have abandoned writing blogs altogether and have switched to posting snaps of finished work on Instagram.

Although I've not been 'churning out patterns' or finished projects on my blog, I have felt the need to 'have something to share' on here. My original purpose was to show finished projects and in writing about them on here, I would have some accountability to stay motivated to finish them. 

I've decided I'll continue to blog but will take it slower and enjoy more of what I do. I was writing 2 blogs a week, I will see how things go but for now and will commit to 1 a week. I'd like to enjoy what I do, to learn new skills too and live in the moment rather than always thinking - what next. 

Above is a few more of the beautiful plants in my Mother-in-laws garden taken on our last visit earlier this year. I think the colours are very cheery and bright. The first picture is of the flowers on the pond waterfall.

Another spot of crocheting in the car on our journey to The Peak District. I took teen 2 washcloth with me and managed to finish the border before we arrived. It was a very hot car journey and I remember feeling glad that we had air conditioning, whatever did we do before air con. I'm going to start crocheting one for M soon in green with plain blue stripes. I've added an extra row, top and bottom as it was quite small and rectangular in shape. He's very pleased with it which is good. It was from this pattern book, any aran weight 100% cotton will be ideal for this. Although it says dishcloths, as I've mentioned before, if it's crocheted in soft cotton, it'll be perfect for washcloths.  

So my blanket update, this was supposed to be a CAL - crochet a long. I think it should've been finished back in February but it's been put to one side many a time. It's been lovely crocheting it but I'm finding it's too big and warm to carry around and sit with it on your lap in warmer weather. Here is the information regarding the attic 24 Moorland blanket.

I've been on Bella Coco's you tube channel and crocheted the African flower.

If you fancy a go at this, the links for the tutorial are here, here and here. You'll notice that the videos are in 3 parts. It was crocheted using Stylecraft DK pink yarns - candyfloss, pomegranate and claret, the lilac and cream coloured yarn were my own. I'm a bit disappointed with the finishing square shape, it's not as square as I'd hoped. I may do some more of the many squares on Bella Coco's channel and link them with the same colour edging to make up a very random sample blanket. Whilst on you tube I noticed another lady had a similar tutorial here, this time with 8 petals. Her method for finishing off with a square is more satisfactorily pleasing in my opinion though overall I do think Bella Coco's tutorials are superior in quality and clarity.

Do post your photos of your African flower attempts or other projects you've been working on over on my face book page here

Thank you for reading

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