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… in a few weeks. I was intending to post my Australia journal and photos a day at a time; however, a house guest has kept me from accessing my desk for a couple of weeks now (as it is in the spare room), and the redecorating project we were expecting to start in May has been brought forward (when my desk will be relocated), so it will be a while before things return to normal. My apologies.

In the meanwhile, I have managed a ‘short’ post on my hen blog, so do go and take a look if you have a minute to spare!


Still on the theme of stars … I have just finished a star shaped blanket for a god-daughter (to be). Not at all a practical shape for a blanket, mind you! This is now blocking on the lounge carpet, pinned in shape with cocktail sticks … no danger of rust. It’s the first time I’ve bothered to block anything, but the points were curling in, so I thought I’d give it a try. I have simply sprayed it with cold water and it has about 20 hours to dry before we use the room again 🙂

Next time, I might try crocheting alternate colours/rounds in opposite directions … it helps keep Granny squares in shape, and I suspect it will do the same to this star pattern.

The photo isn’t really true to colour, this pic was taken on my tablet in artificial light, but you can see it’s pink, at least!

This week I cleared the floor of DD1’s bedroom, now that she’s back at Uni for her final year. One of my ‘finds’ was a bangle, part of a set that I eventually located, abandoned, on top of a cupboard. As I sat down with my crochet for a coffee break, I had an idea …

I had some crochet cotton leftovers, so I practised a star … well, more of a pentangle really, since it would need another couple of rows for the star shape to become evident. Then I went back upstairs and retrieved the bangles, around one of which which I worked the chain spaces of the points of the last round of the star. I finished by chaining a hoop. Then I did it again with some red sparkly thread … I’m really pleased with the result 🙂

The colour in the pic isn’t great, but the finished Christmas decoration is bright and sparkly … and was quick to make. So we have some new decs for our tree this year … and DD1 will never miss a thing 🙂

I haven’t added a border … the edge is fairly neat and it’s only for my own bed 🙂

The second ‘Butterflies’ shawl is finished …

So time for a variation … dragonflies …

I suspect it might take  a little more yarn as it’s rather less lacy, but I intended to use an extra ball of yarn for  a slightly larger shawl in any case. I’m pleased with the pattern and enjoyed working out the placement of the motifs. The basic pattern has a repeat of  16 stitches so in theory there are numerous variations possible!

The clamshell blanket is taking a while to complete, but I’m about halfway now.

I’m still loving these colours!

I have been a little distracted … I keep a bag of yarns ends handy, to try out any new stitches I see, so recently I set up a zig zag pattern with scrap baby wool to see if I like it enough to make a blanket … I’m still not sure, but I’ll finish my sample piece as a pram blanket.

Perhaps I will like it more in a thicker yarn, so I will put it on hold. The thing is, I have a stash of pinks I want to use after all those blues … but I may have a plan. Someone somewhere (? Facebook) mentioned corner-to-corner crochet (C2C) … so I looked it up, and gave it a try …

My sample was only a small square, but I really like the effect. I can see something cot-sized in pink being fun to make! However, there is no easy way to sew in the ends, and I have not yet found a satisfactory method of working them in as I go, so I need to work on that. And of course, I still have a blue butterfly shawl on the go, small enough to carry around with me. So perhaps my slow progress with the clamshell is really a lack of focus?!

I’m aware that there is rather more on this blog about crochet just now than anything else, so have been considering starting another just for my yarn adventures … but I have found a plethora of such blogs out in the ethernet, and am not convinced any contribution I might make would be of any real value. So I don’t mind if you skip a post or two!

Having settled on a blanket made of squares (pattern Lise), I realised that while I liked the project, it wasn’t what I needed to do. Mostly I crochet (or knit) to keep my hands busy (and maybe to stay awake) while chatting or watching tv … and Lise was going to take too much concentration. So I looked round the many patterns I’ve bookmarked, and remembered Cherry Heart’s clamshell pattern.


I went through my stash of colours and settled on seven I think work together – what do you think? I decided to make a smaller blanket this time, cot or knee sized, multiple of 8 +1 stitches, so 161 … but after a few colours realised my edges were too ragged. So I ripped it out and started again …


Much better! I’m having to mark the first stitch of each row, to be able to find it again at the end of the next row … especially the rows that begin with slip stitches. But the pattern itself was fairly straightforward to master. I think I’d like one of these on my bed, so I’ll finish this and then do it again … possibly even in the same colours.  That should keep me going for a while 🙂

… continuing a conversation God has started through his Word and his grace.

Keller, ‘Prayer – experiencing awe and intimacy with God’ , p.48


I finished my ‘Spice of Life’ crochet along 🙂 I’m really quite pleased with it, although I can see several faults in it. And I’m well into my second attempt … making a whole load of different mistakes and trying out some tips and tricks* I picked up from the FB group for the project.

But my biggest mistake was right back at the  beginning … I wanted to make a slightly larger blanket as I had plenty of yarn left from the first yarn pack … the pattern repeat was supposed to be 12 stitches (plus one for turning), so I added 24 to the original cast on of 157 = 181. Only I miscounted (is that a word? You know what I mean),  and added an additional 44 instead (I count in 20s when knitting or hooking) = 201. And then to make matters worse, I ‘lost’ 3 stitches in the first treble rows = 198. I didn’t discover my mistake(s) until I counted stitches in preparation for the first pattern rows, but I couldn’t face ripping it all out to start again, so I did some calculations and found to my surprise that a pattern repeat of 6 stitches worked perfectly well, so I added one stitch in the first pattern row = 199 = 33×6+1! Perfect … if rather larger than I intended 🙂

It might take me rather longer than the first, but it will be perfectly serviceable,  and much brighter …


*If you’re at all interested,  the two main tips and tricks I’m using are a foundation treble start and a standing treble colour change.

I long to understand prayer. If God knows all things before we even begin, what is the point? If it is simply that in prayer we draw near to God and shape our lives and desires by it, why are we encouraged to present (our) requests to God … Philippians 4:6 NIV … Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God?

Another verse I love is Isaiah 40:31 NIV … but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength. In the ancient version from which I learned memory verses all those years ago it reads, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (KJV) … I can cope with prayer as ‘waiting upon God’. But somehow that’s not enough. It doesn’t fully explain the transaction of prayer … for I take it that prayer is a two way process.

As I was thinking about these things yet again this morning, I remembered a mnuemonic I worked with a few years ago –


Starting with praise lifts our focus onto God’s faithfulness and his provision in every area of our lives. Then we realise how little we deserve his grace and mercy, so we come in repentance. Only then do we see the full glory of our Father God, so we bow in adoration, yielding our lives to his service and purposes. At that point, we wait … in expectation, trusting in his promises. Finally, we make our requests, shaped now by his love and character, confident of his sovereignty yet also his imminence.  The journey can take only minutes, or hours (and it’s good to spend hours in prayer from time to time) but even this morning I found it restoring … and immensely humbling.

Philippians 4:7 NIV

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

From: The Hen Garden

It’s been a while …

… since I last posted; there’s been a lot going on. But while I’ve not had time to blog about the hens, they’ve not been neglected! Now that the building work is finished, we are able to let the hens out to free range … it took a while for the Three Amigos to find […]

Who’s the King of the Castle?

We had a bit of a move round to give us access the one last raised bed I still need to empty. The girls are now in a much more open space on some fresh grass – but I’m still reseeding much of that side of the garden after moving the other beds, so we will continue […]


That was easy! As the new girls began to show signs of laying – their comb getting brighter, and crouching – we began to take the back off the Eglu Go, so they had to go and share the nest box in the Cube when they wanted to lay … there were a few spats, […]

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