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A Sunny Week

This week has been unseasonably warm and sunny here. Many things have been germinating in the garden (although sadly the first lot of spinach hasn’t appeared at all). Myself and the small one have been out in the sun most days, “det’s do in da dahden” being a common phrase this week. At the weekend we had a picnic and a nice walk round a pond, and another big long walk on Sunday.

During the week we’ve had to water the seeds, and the plants in containers. We have a Christmas Berry Tree that I won in a radio competition last December, it’s in a container outside and is blossoming nicely. It actually has more blossom than this now, the photo was taken earlier in the week, but it’s still pretty.

Christmas Berry Blossom

There’s some rhubarb that I think we shouldn’t pick this year because it was only grown from seed last year and it needs to mature. I was impatient about that and bought some to make rhubarb crumble with a few weeks ago.

Today was less warm and this afternoon we made a Chocolate and Banana Loaf together. It’s quite nice, a bit rich for the wee guy, and a little heavier than I expected (blaming toddler “not so gentle” stirring for that). Still, it’s yum, and I love it.

Here’s a sneak peek at something colourful that I started on Tuesday. The yarn was despatched on Monday and arrived the next day. Got to love great service! (Thank you Constant Knitter).

Sneak Peek

The picture was taken after a few hours of knitting, a few more have been put in since then (some of those have been spent deciphering the pattern/chart, but I “get” it now), but there’s still a long way to go. This item is going to go in the shop, so keep your eyes open for it if you like the colours.

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Gardening, and Another Shawl

This week the weather has been lovely, not too much rain and quite a bit of sun, so myself and the wee fellow have been doing some gardening. So far we’ve sown some spinach (two lots so far, the first lot should be peeping up through the soil just now, but it isn’t…), some carrots, some sunflowers, courgettes and tomatoes. I have spotted him poking at the courgette seeds when he’s playing in the garden so I think I might have to sow some backup courgettes as, if I remember correctly, they die really easily if the seedlings are damaged.

The tulips are out in the garden. Every year I have good intentions of moving them around, as all the tulips at the front of the house are yellow, and all those at the back are pink/purple. This year it will happen, as having a small person around who is very keen to “help” with digging makes it easier to make time for gardening.

Lots of days this week have been filled with “let’s go in the garden, Mum” and “let’s go for a walk, Mum”. Nearly 2 years old is a fabulous age!

Knitting-wise, I finished my newest shawl, and it’s been blocked and I love it!

Here are a couple of pictures, first one of the whole thing:

Fran_Full_Shawl

And now a close-up of some of the lace:

Fran_Portion_Shawl

I love this and although this one is mine -all mine- if you love it too, you can now request one in a colour of your choice through a custom slot in the store. There will be some “in stock” shawls at some point too, in this, and some other designs. I’m looking forward to knitting them all.

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k, p, yo, k2tog, ssk…

k, p, yo, k2tog, ssk, ssp, p2tog, ktbl, ptbl, tot, k3tog, sssk, s2p

If you’re a knitter you’ll understand at least some, and probably all of the above terms. If you’re not, this is “code” for various stitches used in knitting, and specifically in lace patterns. There are many more stitches in lace, but these are the ones listed in two particular patterns that I’ve been using lately. One is something for me, one was for a gift, but it turned out to be totally unsuitable and so I stopped “rushing” it a few weeks ago and finished it this week instead. You can see a picture of that one, but the something for me is still On The Needles, and thus Unsuitable For General Viewing.

This is the scarf that has now become known as “Scarf That Is Not For Mum’s Friend”.

ScarfNotForMumFriend_2Sm

I started making the scarf as a gift to send to my Mum to take to her friend when she visited for her birthday, but it turns out that she doesn’t wear scarves or hats, and even worse of all, she hates green. Well, my green scarf would probably not have been a Good Present, and I couldn’t think of something else to make her in the short time I had left after finding out these important facts, so I sent nothing. /sadface

The thing for me is the one that’s using most of those stitches above. I made a very lacy shawl as a gift for a family member for Christmas and after I finished all the hard work and blocked it I was delighted with the way it looked, and was hooked on shawls. So I made myself a warm one in January in a heavier yarn and I’m currently making a lacy one in 4ply yarn. I asked the lovely Knittybots to dye me some 4 ply yarn that matches my sort-of-oxblood boots (I sent a photograph for her to get an idea of the colour), and she did. It’s a lovely wine colour, with some darker and lighter variations – enough variation to be interesting, and not too much that it takes away from the pattern. You’ll have to wait and see for this one, as it’s not finished yet and shawls most definitely don’t look right until they’re washed and blocked (see Knitwear Care – link at the top of every page on this site).

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Dungarees, Playdough and Yarn Bombing

It’s been a busy week this week. The little buttons I ordered for The Mystery Item have arrived and there are now some colourful dungarees in the store. I’m delighted with the dungarees, I think they’re gorgeous and I’ll definitely be using that pattern a lot.

After fighting off all our various lurgies from last week we attended a bit of a family get together at the weekend, and celebrated our niece’s third birthday. I made her an “In Threes” cardigan in pink and purple cotton, and her Mum seemed to like it. Always a good sign. Pink isn’t really my colour, however I have made a few of these cardigans in pink so far.

Today’s Toddler Fun was home made playdough (I use this recipe:

playdough

We had Lots of Fun making squishy shapes and squishing the colours together, cutting them out with cookie cutters and generally mashing squishy stuff around. I didn’t manage to take a Happy Toddler picture, unfortunately, so that just has to be imagined. There was one, though, before we had to tidy up and stop squishing and mashing and cutting.

I spotted a link to this on Ravelry yesterday and was captivated by the whole idea. I’ve known about yarn bombing for a while, however this is just so different that it piqued my interest. I can’t believe that someone/some people took the time to create such an intricate work of art for the public. However did nobody notice them stitching that on, though? Must have taken more than a couple of minutes.

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Leap Year Blanket

At the beginning of the year I joined a group on Facebook dedicated to making a knit/crochet square per day this year and with the idea to turn them into either one massive blanket or several smaller ones. Anyone can join at any point, so if you’re interested, pop along to the Leap Year Blanket group and ask to join in. So far I’ve made all my January squares. I’m intending to make a few small blankets rather than one massive one. My first is a blanket for my cat.

Here he is:

Potter

I’m crafting his squares out of 100% acrylic as I had some to use up. Here they are:

January2012Squares

As you can see, there are one or two ends to weave in before these can be turned into a blanket. I also need a few more squares! The only square that I’ve completed for February is my “Leap Year Swap” square, which was for a lady that’s making her blanket out of 100% wool. I used some left over variegated yarn from my “Can You Tell What it Is Yet?” blog post item, and I edged it with some lovely soft undyed blue faced leicester yarn. It makes me want to make a 100% wool blanket too.

This is the one I made to send away:

MySwapSquare

And this is the one I’m receiving (from a different person):

ReceivingSquare

Coincidentally, we both made the same square, although I used variegated yarn, which I’m not convinced works with crochet, the other square (for me) has much nicer stitch definition.

If you’re a crafter-type person, you might spot the “deliberate” mistake in the square I made. Once I saw it I offered to make a new square, but the lady receiving it wants the flawed one, and who am I to argue with that?

A lot of us in the group have purchased what we call “the book”, “200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match” by Jan Eaton (you can buy it from Amazon here). This is the first square I’ve made from it so far.

I’ve also made a few batches of polymer buttons this week:

  • Too Big
  • Too Small
  • Great Size and Shape But Hole Too Small for Needle

I think my knitted items might have to wait a while before they can be accessorised with “Handcrafted by Skirty” buttons…