A few new crochet projects

Somehow I seem to be accumulating crochet projects - there’s just so much I want to get on and crochet. Well, not just crochet, but let’s stick with that for this post. I have at least a couple on the go - the main one is the Vintage Hearts colourful throw and the latest additions are these Granny Flora squares. Strangely they’re much easier than they look. They’re the last design I have to complete from the first section, and I’d left them until the end as they looked tricky. So discovering they weren’t has been a bonus.

GRANNY FLORA FROM THE VINTAGE HEARTS THROW

GRANNY FLORA FROM THE VINTAGE HEARTS THROW

The colours are great aren’t they? The completed throw is destined for our conservatory, and with the bold and colourful cushions I think it’ll fit right in. As well as this I’ve got the square a week green, natural and pink throw almost there. At one point I thought it might be ready in time for Christmas, but soon I realised that was just pure folly. The plan for that when it’s completed is to complement the material throw over the arm of our new sofas, in an attempt to prevent wear and tear.

But you already knew about both of those, so they’re hardly new are they?

This little box of colourful loveliness was one of my Christmas presents. It’s full of small stone or river washed scheepjes wool, with just about every shade imaginable. I spent a few days over the break just admiring them and pondering how I could use them and show them off at their best. I’ve decided on something a little different to my usual squares, and that’s hexagons. I’m thinking something with a flower centre with a couple of colours against a darker background.

colour everywhere in this scheepjes pack means I'm happy
SCHEEPJES STONE WASHED DESTINED FOR A HEXI “FLOWER” THROW WITH A DARK BACKGROUND

SCHEEPJES STONE WASHED DESTINED FOR A HEXI “FLOWER” THROW WITH A DARK BACKGROUND

I spotted a pattern online, with a pattern for sale but on further investigation only a hardcopy if you lived in South Africa, so that didn’t work. But of course I can’t get that pattern out of my mind so I’ve been trying to work it out from the picture. Strangely the centre of Granny Flora has helped a bit, although I’ve managed to draw a chart that looks as if it might work, I’ve still some testing to do before committing these little balls of wool to it.

My next project is already started, and it’s a lot less colourful than anything else I’ve even got planned. In fact every time I look at the photo below I’m convinced it’s black and white, then realise the bookcase isn’t.

MONO - NOT BLACK AND WHITE - QUITE THE CHANGE FOR ME

MONO - NOT BLACK AND WHITE - QUITE THE CHANGE FOR ME

I saw a beautiful Portuguese tile inspired throw in a magazine, full of yellows and blues and whites, just like my post of Portuguese tiles and patterns and in a complete shock to the system, I chose the monotone wool to complete this in. Clearly it will have a completely different look, but it fulfils my need for variegated wool and crochet, and I don’t think it will suffer for that. And, let’s face it, if I enjoy it and want a colourful version then I can add it to the list.

The tweedy wool below is for another project, this one without a pattern as such. I rarely wear a coat - I find the sleeves oppressive - and the fleecy type wrap I have is getting a bit bobbly. So in a spate of positivity I decided I could create my own. A colleague at work had made a scarf in a stitch I liked and the idea was sown. I’m intrigued to find out how this will work up, and also now wary about if it will work at all.

FOR A WEARABLE WRAP PONCHO TYPE THING

As I’ve no pattern, I haven’t really got much of a clue as to how much wool it’ll take - and so I’ve probably got too much, so I could be branching out into everything tweed - or having a very short wrap, who knows. Not me, that’s for sure - but even though I’d be happy to have this completed by the end of the winter, I suspect it may take a little longer to complete - because there’s one or two other projects to make progress with too, along with everything else!

But it’s good to have a plan!

Reflecting on my week #25

Well, hello there - it's been a bit quiet over here for the past week and that's because last week was the culmination of a busy few weeks at work. Life is starting to return to normal, although slowly as it's Tuesday morning and I'm only just writing this post. I've lots to catch up on - nothing exciting but the household chores and jobs that can be temporarily delayed, although it's worrying at how quickly they amass.  It's like they somehow know they've caught you at a weak point and tell their mates and so it all kind of snowballs.

Yes oven light, I'm looking at you. For the past fortnight the oven has been cooking in the dark, the new bulb is now ordered and hopefully will be here soon.  Of course, it wasn't easy to get out of the oven and there's no obvious markings of the model type on the front of the oven, so the instruction booklet needed to be found.  Luckily my compartmentalised brain had a rough idea of where they were - sadly my actual filing system is nowhere near as organised as my brain! 

MOH has been busy at work too and working at least one day of the weekends, so it's easy to see how things other than the bare minimum have been put to one side.  We've been a great team though and he's cooked much more than normal, and on weeknights too, than normal, and after a particularly long day he's been there to open a bottle of wine too (and vice versa!)

To join the oven light, one of our candle bulbs also expired. Slightly easier to remove but not so to replace it seems as these new style lights don't always work with dimmer switches.  Add to that the washing that seems to multiply and running low on basic provisions it was time for a serious "house" weekend.  And by basic provisions, I mean loo paper and wine, two things we absolutely didn't want to run out of!  

One thing that's been constant is crochet, and that's been a great way to find some me time. This weekend though, as I was catching up with my square a week challenge, I decided it was time to start prepping the squares which I'd already completed. 

The patterns say they should be approximately nine inch square, mine weren't, and so some blocking was on the cards. I'd researched (don't tell me you're surprised by that!) how and had bought a foam mat and some pins for the job.  I'd also seen wooden skewers used and as I had a few squares, thought I'd take this approach.

The result looks as if I'm torturing my crochet: 

blocking my square a week crochet squares

But already it seems to be working and as soon as I skewered the squares in place I knew it was worth doing as the pattern in each square was much easier to see.  The more squares I added the more the sticks were pulled into a triangle shape, so I used the pins for added staying power.

They've been like this since the weekend, and now I'm not sure how long to keep them on the rack.  I've already got another three to be blocked, but think I should taken these off before I start them, as adding more is likely to stretch the skewers further, and would look like a reenactment of the Princess and the Pea!

A side on view of the squares being blocked

But that wasn't all for the crochet, MOH in a bit more of a cleaning frenzy than normal called up the stairs to say my knitting (it's crochet!) was a bit caught up in the vacuum...

Oops - the Dyson ate the crochet

It fell off the sofa apparently, and was just a bit caught up. Pulling wasn't working, and no doubt he'd tried that before he called me, and so the whole head was taken apart and the wool retrieved, thankfully in one piece and looking none the worse for its experience.

Here's hoping this week is a bit calmer, I'm sure my crochet also has the same sentiments!

Reflecting on my week #24

Well that was quite a week of weather wasn't it?  But before we get onto that I've got a new book, and it's one I'm keen to get my nose into. While digging can be therapeutic, especially on the plot, when you're doing it over and over again and don't appear to be making any progress, it can get demoralising. 

Last year we saw a throwback episode of Gardeners World where Monty showed how ahead of his time Geoff Hamilton was, and we were both intrigued. We decided to have a bit of a go on the plot, but it wasn't as successful as we hoped. The weeds came back, and I suspect they're just waiting to spring back into action again. So when I saw this book pop up in my feed I thought it was well worth a shot and well, reading up on this approach will satisfy my inner geek need to know everything about everything, and then I can put the theory into practice.

A new book which sounds right up my street

I suspect that what let us down before was not putting a barrier down, although in theory we shouldn't have needed too. But again in theory, our plot should be so full of weeds either, but it is. I need to read the book though - in fact, I need to find some time to read the book.  

I'm already collecting cardboard, but that's in preparation for the conservatory work starting in April to protect our wooden floors and stairs from builder's boots.  I've a feeling that collecting cardboard might become a bit of an obsession this year!  

But it's too cold to dig now isn't it?  Or even no dig.  I should have got my broad beans in by now, I know - but I'm not sure if I was a broad bean, or any other kind of seed, I'd be tempted to do anything like germinate. 

The snow that was forecast, and the snow I was hoping wouldn't arrive, did arrive and pretty much the whole week was dominated by the weather. My day job is in comms so it also took up a fair bit of time to keep everyone updated, and you'll not be surprised to know that I have just as much to do as I do at home, and there's always something to keep me occupied.

On Tuesday - which was the first day of the snow here - I was, as usual, running later than I wanted to be. Luckily the powdery snow was better to walk on that the slippy, slidey stuff later that day, but boy did my legs feel it for the rest of the week. I don't expect I'll learn my lesson about leaving it until the last minute, but it's weeks like last week that I wished I would.

A tree in the snow in Greenwich Park

In my haste I didn't get to stop and take any pictures, but I did the next morning. The picture above is in Greenwich Park looking up towards the Observatory.  It's a view I see most days, but one that looks completely different in the snow.  I think this snow was different to normal too, the trees in our garden reminded me of the pretty, snow laden trees I saw in Germany last year.

It was nice to see close to home, but thank you, we've done that now, so that's enough!  Thankfully once the snow was done it disappeared pretty quickly and there was none of that slushy stuff that hangs around for ages to deal with.  Today has been balmy by comparison, and it was almost as if March had remembered the type of weather it should be bringing, let's hope it carries on remembering.

It was good to leave work a bit earlier on Friday, and I used the time wisely stopping off at the shops on the way home to ensure that I didn't actually need to go out for the weekend, and I was quite happy not to.  MOH on the other hand was itching to get out by Sunday with quite a severe case of cabin fever, so off he went on his bike, while I settled in with my Spring colours crochet blanket.

Progress on my Spring crochet blanket

I've made good progress since I last shared a picture and I'm starting to connect sections of the blanket to each other. It's grown too as each square has a neutral edging row added to it before the granny stitch joining row.  As you can see I decided to join the squares using the scrap, multi-coloured approach and I think it'll look great.

I'm keen to get these edged and joined before I need to move them off the spare bed. I know I could photograph them for positioning but leaving them in place seems much easier - and it's a good place to escape to as well.  A couple of times this weekend MOH poked his head around the door checking I was still alive and providing drinks ranging from cups of tea to gin and tonics - he's very well trained, and very good to me.

I've also managed to book our next trip away, we're heading to Devon to see family later this month. This time we're heading there via Bridgwater, which is a bit of a detour, but it means I can sneak in a visit to the Walled Gardens of Cannington and to Hestercombe Gardens. I've not been to the former before, but it looks great - and has a tea room - so I'm looking forward to that. I have been to Hestercombe before, we stopped there on a previous trip, but arrived later than we hoped so didn't make it past the Stables cafe. There's a theme developing here isn't there?!

I'm also trying to wangle a visit to RHS Rosemoor while we're in Devon. Although it's about an hour and twenty minutes from where we'll be, it'll be much closer from there than from home [insert pleading face]

I've another relatively quiet week ahead, but I am hoping to get along to a work movie night supporting International Women's Day, and get some more of that croche joined together - what are you up to this week?

PoCoLo