This is an occasional blog – I try not to swamp it with too much about any one of my interests – so I’m not a daily blogger by any means. But if you’ve found me because I’ve commented on your blog … you are especially welcome!

The only other blog that I try to keep up to date is The Hen Garden – if chickens are your interest, do go and take a look.

Older posts now in this blog have been imported from other blogs I’ve kept over the years … I hope the links and images are still functioning, my apologies if that’s not the case.

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Havana CALย worked in leftovers, and finished on New Year’s Eve 2018 … no new yarn was purchased during the making of this blanket!

I’ve seen it worked in so many colourways … all beautiful. My favourite has been a dark background colour with alternate rows in brighter yarns – ideal for using up small scraps – but having worked the border in Midnight Blue, I know I can’t use it for a whole blanket as I simply can’t distinguish the stitches I need for the pattern, even in the brightest light.

With the leftovers I had, I struggled towards the end to find colours that felt right so I did it over a couple of times, eventually staying in the blue/pink range rather thanย switching to the greens I had available. I also needed extra length as my blanket was rather wider than the original pattern, so created a simple panel of my own design.

I loved this so much – both the creating and the result – that I’ve already begun another ๐Ÿ˜ฎ this time in a more deliberate choice of colour (blues, of course – I feel so much happier working in blues!). I’m making the blanket itself just slightly smaller, so as to work the extended border with a mosaic pattern … the border is a lot of work on blanket this size and the extended border adds several inches to the finished article. (This is the first time ever I’ve needed a YouTube video to help me with the technique, but it’s really quite simple once you ‘get it’ ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I love the final texture … weighty but soft with a lovely drape. It’s worked in Stylecraft Special DK, with a 4mm hook.

Note to self:ย I’m not totally convinced by the simple border – it’s worked as a double layer, so you don’t have to sew in any ends (of which there are hundreds). I reduced my hook size as instructed, but I may go down another size next time as it still buckles slightly. I will hide the slip stitches along the edge that form the foundation for the border too, since you use a totally different colour and I don’t like that it shows when done according to the original pattern.

When I finished the 6-day blanket (see previous post) I wasn’t ready with a new project, and none of my existing projects are simple enough to quickly take up and hook in front of the television!

But this caught my eye … Cherry Heart’s Dotty Darlings, part of this year’s Stylecraft blog tour. It’s not often I find something there I like or want to make, but it’s always worth a look.

At only 110 stitches across, it’s baby sized and quick to hook up …

It only took me two evenings, and I’m ready to go with another television project, and, once I’ve completed one of the more complicated projects, I have another in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

So many projects and so little time … !

I’m still playing with the sea theme colours:

from this patternย though it took me a little longer than six days ๐Ÿ™‚

The Forget-me-not Dots blanket is now with friends in Kenya, taken as a gift when DH went to stay with them ๐Ÿ™‚

 

This Way Blanket by Susan Carlson

DD2 is now doing an MSc … and her room at Uni is cold (though she hasn’t yet worked out how to operate the heater in her room, which might make a difference!). So she put out an appeal for a blanket (and a can opener, but that’s another story) …

This was on my hook … so no sooner finished, and ends sewn in, when it gets packed up and sent off, so no time to show it off to the Craft Group at church!

… but a very different result ๐Ÿ™‚

Forget Me Not Dots by Cherry Heart

My version* …

Any my own variation made with the left overs …

… which isn’t quite finished yet, but will have a much simpler border ๐Ÿ™‚


*I chose to join the squares with the main colour yarn, and to dc through both loops … compare mine with the original to see the difference:

This post was written a few months ago, but I didn’t want to post it until the blanket had been gifted!

This is for my god-daughter and her new baby (not yet born!) ๐Ÿ™‚

The idea began with this post from Cherry Heart … I had a whole pile of leftovers from other blankets, and mini squares seemed an ideal way of using them. So I set aside some colours and started hooking … at less than 10mins a square, the pile grew satisfyingly quickly. But I wasn’t quite content with just mini squares. So I looked around, played with a few patterns, and eventually wrote my own:

I currently have the luxury of a spare bed (DD1 moved out in February), so I planned the blanket by laying all the squares out (11 x 15 minis), and stitching them together in situ (dc from the back, back loops only as it gives a clear definition to each square) – far easier than stacking them in rows and trying to remember which row is which!

I stitched in long lines, in a darker, contrasting grey, which creates a simple geometric contrast on the front.

I then used the same grey to make a simple dc edging. I was planning to do more, but one row looked neat, so I stopped there.

From the back:

I am so pleased! The colours are perfect – and I still have sufficient left over to make one for myself ๐Ÿ˜€

Colours used: Stylecraft Special DK: Sherbet, Cloud Blue, Aster, Lemon, Citron, Sunshine, White, Silver and Grey for joining and the border [153 minis, and three flower solid squares]

But before I do that, I already have another project ready to go …

๐Ÿ˜€


August 2018 – He’s here!

I’m not a frequent blogger by any means … but it has been a while. I don’t often write about our home life – boring! – and am always conscious of personal security while on the internet, but last year I wrote about how Mum had come to live with us after a fall at home –ย  seeย here.

We had an up and down year … some good days, some bad. But it was a privilege to be able to love Mum by caring for her. After all, we had lived at some distance ever since getting married. Mum didn’t once complain about her loss of independence, and liked her room – in fact she preferred to stay there than engage in family life (I made her come down for meals!). I took her out two or three times a week, and she found some new favourite places to visit regularly.

In early May Mum collapsed. I found her crumpled on her bathroom floor. She remained unconscious for 36 hours, appeared to wake up and then fell asleep – I don’t mean that she died ๐Ÿ˜ฎ At some stage in those first 48 hours Mum had a stroke that affected the sleep centre in her brain (the thalamus). The thing she dreaded most had happened, and she didn’t know a thing about it … she was never awake long enough to discover the extent of any resulting weakness, though she was quite able to help the nursing staff when they washed and dressed her each day – she just couldn’t stay awake long enough to eat or drink sufficiently. We had a few, brief conversations, and occasionally she was clearly in a different time line – had the baby come? Yes, 23 years ago! Once, when I told her she was in hospital, she asked me if she would be OK. I was honest in my reply that I didn’t know … but she’d fallen asleep before I’d finished saying it, ‘I don’t know’ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We had to make a decision. At the doctors’ suggestion, we supported her nutrition and fluid intake for 10 days, to see if there were any signs that the stroke would dissipate, that she would wake up. But with no indication of change, we then focussed on making her comfortable. She passed away a year to the day that she fell and broke her hip, less than a year after moving here to be with us.

We saw God’s hand in every detail … the timing (I was getting towards needing a break and didn’t know how to make it happen), the details (Mum died just before DH had a holiday booked so he could visit DD1 – I was able to join him at the last minute), the people (the nurses caring for her, friends caring for me, the funeral director), but most of all in the fact that Mum wasn’t distressed or in any pain, she simply died in her sleep.

I have moments of feeling guilty about the decisions we made, but mostly I’m OK. I hang on to that last fact … it was so easy, when she could have been so distressed.

It feels now rather like having a fresh start. I had stepped back from most commitments, so before I get stuck in again, I have opportunity to reassess them. And I think I might book a holiday …

Mum on Brownsea Island in 2012 … part of her 80th birthday treat.

Remember this?

I had some yarn left over from Autumn Leaves, so decided to do a scrap blanket, using the square pattern from this blanket by The Patchwork Heart.

I needed 96 squares (8×12) … when I’d done enough, I invited DD2 to help me arrange them – she has a far better sense of colour than I do. Only rather than arrange them, she divided them into two piles … the blues and greens in one, and the yellows, reds and oranges in the other, announcing in no uncertain terms that she didn’t like the two mixed together.

So I had to make another 96 squares for the sake of finishing two blankets … only once I’d finished the reds and yellows and had hooked them together, I decided a) that I preferred the green/blue colour combination and b) that I wanted it larger.

I also learned that I really do need to sew ends in as I go, as it makes for a much neater join, and, when you’ve finished you’ve finished! (So the yellow/red blanket isย  languishing in a project box with some ends still waiting to be sewn in *blush*)

In the meanwhile, Cherry Heart published her ‘Forget me not dots’ blanket pattern, and I decided it was the perfect edging for my scrap blanket. Having settled on my size (10 x 15), I continued making squares (in between other projects) …

I have loved making this blanket, and I love the final result ๐Ÿ™‚

From: The Hen Garden

Dust bath

The new girls are making themselves at home … This is Esther in a well-established dust bath just by the Cube. And this is Dorcas, excavating a new site by the feed station … a useful by-product of bug-hunting.  

Eggs

We’re not totally sure who is laying … but certainly a hen, an LS bantam and a true bantam! The wind egg on the end is the tiniest little egg we’ve ever had ๐Ÿ™‚ We took down the fence between the two broods and they are gradually adapting. Organising the pecking order was a little […]

Almost another year …

My last post was written just after my mother came to live with us, and there’s been little time for blogging since. However, Mum had a stroke and passed away very peacefully a while back now, and while I can’t promise to write here regularly, I do want to update you with the goings on […]

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