I haven’t been posting to the blog in recent weeks as often as I like – I have an old mistress – knitting commissions and a new mistress – the garden.
But oh how I am enjoying the garden. The pottering about in the evening, a little bit of idle weeding, noticing what it appearing, the odd bit of deadheading.
So my new mistress is stealing a little bit of my blogging time.
If you have been visiting this site for a while – you will know that it is the flowers that really ‘get’ me.
I adore them. In recent weeks I have been making a little wish list of flower must-haves and hopefully will plant a couple before the season is out. The more established roses have already begun to flower. I am just waiting for the first bloom of my birthday roses and I am sure it won’t be long.
The most fantastic aspect is beginning to bring those garden flowers inside. I can now walk past the supermarket selection with pride and think – ‘You know what I think I can cut some from the garden’ Hurrah.
When I started to make keyrings a couple of years ago I made this Stars and Stripes design for my American friend Elise. At the time she didn’t crochet much….but now my friends she another of my fly-away crochet addicts and also manages to design her own patterns.
Today was amazing to come home and realise that the wonderful Lion Brand Yarn website in the States has featured the Stars and Stripes design for their 4th July celebration! How cool is that? We are talking yarn royalty here. Anyway if you have time and want to make your own version the pattern is here.
When we were developing the content for Crocheted Keyrings and Charms we steered away from flags, but I think it is quite a popular choice for a gift. So if I ever write a second book maybe I will look into a range of flags.
Sometimes crochet is the perfect answer! Ok, we are only talking about accessories here, but this project is definitely in my ‘Why didn’t I think of this before!’ database.
This pattern is so simple and quick you could make a lanyard to accessorize your staff pass that would match every outfit.
Plus coming up to the festival season why not make one as a souvenir of your adventure – and perhaps one for all your friends. For a bit of bling I made one using Rico Design Essentials Cotton Lurex. I popped a little button on for extra interest.
I then made an uber chic version in navy 4ply and little gold beads. Personal, fun and adding just a touch of glamour to the corporate name tag.
If you fancy making your own version you can download the pattern for free here. If you do make one – please send a photo of your version!
Hello Lovelies, I have been merrily working quite hard in the background on a number of autumn commissions. Which means that I haven’t popped by quite as much these last few weeks to say ‘hi’. Well the yarn I am using is beautiful Artesano – gorgeous colours which have a depth and clarity which gives the garments you make a sense of luxury.
However we have been enjoying fabulous sunny weather here in Blighty for the past few days and knitting with this cosy alpaca aran has been a tad on the hot side. At one point I had to get up and wash my hands in freezing water just to cool the down.
Today I was able to enjoy outdoor knitting – my favourite kind. But with the bright sunshine my autumnal shades seemed a bit disjointed. I mentally transported myself to a windswept November day here in the North of England and knew immediately that I would be grateful for my summer labours later in the year. Hope you are enjoying a little sunshine wherever you are.
The new issue of Inside Crochet focuses on colour and is such a joy to look through. It features some lovely patterns from my friends Tracy Todhunter and Lynne Rowe, I also really love the cardigan on the front cover by Rohn Strong and the Dahlia Stole by Liz Mouter.
I was really thrilled to see the very cute pictures of my little jumper and bonnet in this issue.
Particularly this very CUTE picture which is so sweet. The jumper is a greater beginner garment for a new crocheter. I really enjoy making things for little people.
But do you know the most satisfying part of this issue is that there is a article ‘Getting Hooked’ where a newbie to crochet makes my Millicent Rabbit pattern from issue 34. That brought a smile to my face!.
I have to say that I read this real review with a small wince, thinking ‘Will it be good? will it be good?’ But luckily the end result worked and the new little Millicent Rabbit will be winging its way to a new baby soon.
I wonder if it is the combination of our strange seasonal weather in Britain in the last two years, but the bluebells have been astonishing this Spring. Last weekend we also went on a fabulously long bike ride in the Lakes.
We had used the trail before – but what we couldn’t know and didn’t imagine was how beautiful and astonishing the bluebells would be in the woods we rode through.
Bluebells had a place in my heart. This native woodland variety is slightly different to the more fleshy, Spanish variety we tend to grow in the garden. The bells are a more vivid blue and fall to just one side of the stem and the collective scent is heavenly.
It is almost impossible to capture their luminescence in a photograph. But look at this wildflower combination of the blue with the white campion.
I can remember significant parts of my life marked by walks through bluebell woods. A two day hike with school friends. Meeting a new friend in my new home in the North of England and my first trip to the Lake District. A special walk with my husband just after we had a baby Little B.
Bluebell woods feel secret, like stumbling on treasure.
On our ride we stopped to have lunch cooked by the river on our handy camping stove. (I usually forget either the bacon or the rolls when we attempt this). Big B sat and watched as our son went off to investigate the wood alone…we looked at each other, firm in the knowledge we never want to forget that moment…..
In the words of Little B…..’It’s like a bluebell paradise!’
Last weekend was glorious. Lovely sunshine and a little bit of heat. Spring has been so late that the leaves are still lime-green new and the some of the blossom was still on the trees.
We headed off to our beloved Lake District for the weekend and made an unscheduled stop at Sizergh Castle. What a fantastic little gem.
One of the most surprising and glorious aspects was the rock garden. Thinking about our own little patch we have been dwelling on whether to add a few more trees. We also have a little rockery section – a style of gardening which in past decades has fallen very much out of fashion. But my goodness as with everything comes full circle and rockeries are gaining popularity again.
The most astonishing aspect of the part of the garden what how much colour there was.
Little B loved running around and hiding and we spent a happy half hour investigating just this part of the garden. We then spent another happy half hour den building. The National Trust are doing a brilliant campaign this year called 50 Things to do before you are 11 3/4 and there are activities planned across their venues. It is great fun and we certainly were happy to fit into this age bracket as well.
Check out this pom pom blossom – a flower version of the tissue paper decoration I have at home. It is all very well getting inspiration from these iconic gardens, but is it getting any weeding done in our little patch? Who cares…I’m off to build another den.
I started my return to knitting ahem over a decade ago. My real motivation was to impress my then boyfriend (luckily now husband), but let’s not dwell on that statement. My poor friends had home knitted items thrust upon their delicate bairns. Fortunately these unsuspecting children were far too young to put up a fight.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to all those little creations. Most of the original wearers are now tall and gangly and will only wear an ‘Aunty Em’ hat out of politeness. My own work has developed quite a lot and grown into more adult wear or crocheted items.
But a couple of weeks ago I had a knitting flash-back. One of my dear friends had a gorgeous little girl just over a year ago. When I saw them recently little Ella was wearing a cardigan which I had made for her older sister 8 years ago. It was such a heart warming sight. The cardigan was well loved, but I thought it only fitting to make Ella her own version.
The original cardigan is a Zoe Mellor design Heart-Motif Cardigan, which I have altered. Apart from not including the heart design I have swapped a frilly cuff on the sleeves for a moss stitch. Ella also has some rather smart new shoes which have pretty flowers stitched on them so I have tried to replicate them with a little crochet flower motif. Making this little outfit has reminded me how gratifyingly quick the whole process is, I think I might make a few more.
One of my lovely friends made me this cheeky chap for my new office. How utterly beautiful! Miss R is one super talented crocheter – I taught her – now she is much better at finishing and much much neater than me. Darn it! But I tell you something I love a homemade gift and perhaps because I make things myself – not that many people think of that option for me. But it makes my heart sing! I just need to smuggle him out of the house before Little B spots and adopts.
Have a lovely Bank holiday weekend x
Wow Chatsworth – it is such a wonderful place to visit. In the middle of the Derbyshire dales, this beautiful stately home and garden just takes your breath away when you approach it from any angle. I have been visiting Chatsworth now for nearly two decades and it always excites me. Funnily enough we did a behind the scenes tour for my hen do. (That tells you everything you need to know about me).
We visited on Sunday when the weather was glorious. We spent a happy few hours in the garden.
Some of our party got very wet in the cascade. But that is part of the delight of visiting, there is something for all ages. Little babies paddling in the water, kids running and hiding in the maze and adults just taking in the stunning scenery.
I really like the way that modern sculpture is integrated into the landscaping.
So many of the installations appeal to children and adults.
Little B kept asking me engineering questions about the fountains and this amazing sculpture ‘Revelation’.
I had to refer him on to a more knowledgeable family member.
These photos really don’t do the experience justice – but if I am honest I was so absorbed in the fun I didn’t really stop to take photos. If you are in the area or visiting Britain for the first time it is one of the most stunning experiences – take a look at the website and you will be astounded. Will I be able to bring a little bit of Chatsworth into our little garden? Well I am very keen on willow work sculpture – so there is some potential there.