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!

Sofas, cushions and crockery

It’s been quite a while since our new sofas arrived. June in fact. Remember they were chosen and bought in record time, on the last day of the Habitat sale, which is actually a good time to go sofa shopping as we did get a good deal and extra discount for buying in store, rather than online. And when we let on to the salesmen we wanted two sofas, not just the one, they really couldn’t do enough for us. In most cases I’m sure people want the sofas they’ve just bought pronto, and so did we, but we weren’t so keen on having them in the house while the work took place in the conservatory, so that was something we

But this is the first time they’ve appeared here - and looking objectively at the picture below we need to sort out our power arrangements - but they’re just what we were after, and now we have the final cushions, the ones we bought recently by Carola Van Dyke I’m really pleased with how it’s all worked out. Originally the cushions behind the stag and hare cushions were supposed to be the colourful ones, but as soon as we saw the collage cushions, they were instantly demoted - it’s easy to see why, isn’t it?

our new sofa bedecked with cushions

Not only is the design of these cushions very us - we have a thing for hares and this is our second stag cushion, so it could be said we have a thing for stags too, but I’m also in awe of the textured collage, and you know how much I like a bit of colour. What’s even better is how well they go with the throw that’s been deployed over the arm of MOH’s end of the sofa, to save it wearing out and discolouring. I couldn’t have planned these to go better together if I tried.

A hare cushion for MOH
A stag cushion for me

Over Christmas in one of the craft groups I’m in on Facebook, someone posted a picture of a cow that takes a similar approach and many of the exceptional craft brains have suggested ways to reproduce that. I’m very tempted, but on a much smaller scale, perhaps on a card, one day. But back to the cushions, I never thought of myself as a tweed kind of person, but these cushions are just my thing, and if it’s possible to be in love with cushions, I’m in love with these.

You might be wondering what crockery has to do with my new sofas and cushions, and the photo below starts to explain that. They’re also my Christmas present from MOH, which I’m doubly grateful for as he doesn’t see why I need more plates, as surely we’ve got enough… Ah, but when they’re as pretty as this, and match our cushions, I think that changes things.

crockery to match the cushions

Now boiled eggs are on the breakfast menu more often than before - and they really are rather good. I’m on the lookout for the matching espresso set, which still seems to be out of stock everywhere - I’ve a suspicion that I may even make my own cow collage, before I find that set online to buy!

double sofas and twice as many cushions

So one last shot of our living room, which is the view that greets us as we walk down the stairs. I’ve gone for different cushions on the smaller sofa, as the whole matchy-matchy thing really isn’t me. I’ve still a cushion cover to make, and when that’s ready I’ll share more on the velvet cushions (with pom poms - I told you they’d be big in interiors) it’ll sit alongside.

But with ten new cushions in 2018 - there’s three more on the grey sofa in the conservatory, you’ve already seen the orange stag cushion and a sneak peek at the cushion mum made, also with pom poms - I think I’m almost at my cushion fill, well for a little while at least!

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Looking towards 2019 with tenacity

Sitting down to write this post I looked back at my similar post from this time last year where I pledged to be kind to myself. As I read through it I realised that many of the things I set out to achieve didn’t materialise and I was a bit downhearted.  Although I knew that often they didn’t happen for good reason rather than just life’s busyness, although at times I think that and the lethargy that had been building over the year played its part too it was still a disheartening read.  But it was only as I remembered I was meant to be being kind to myself that I realised that I had been after all.  Had I been driven by achieving everything, quite honestly I think something would have had to give.

So while I didn’t achieve everything I set out to, and while sometimes it’s been quieter here than I’d have hoped, and I haven’t been as on top of things everywhere, that’s ok as 2018 has been a tricky year for us.  But it’s been one full of family time with commitments reevaluated and with plenty of highs to counterbalance some of the lows.  We lost my FIL relatively quickly to cancer, but we’ve also celebrated eightieth birthdays for both mums with afternoon tea and a surprise weekend in Birmingham and that impromptu trip the ballet.  There’s been holidays, but not the big trip to the US as we thought, as it was more important to be able to get home quickly if we needed to.

There was some big work on the house with our conservatory revamp, and smaller jobs too with some new wallpaper, which you’ll already know I’m very pleased with.  Our garden - and time working in our garden - suffered though as there wasn’t much time to spare and we reluctantly also gave up our plot, as that was one thing too far, even for us. 

Overall though, I was kinder to myself, despite my first reaction when reading last year’s post.  I was still busy, and it was a busy year at work as well and as ever there was still lots to do (and most of it got done), and there was a promotion for me at work too.  However, the biggest act of kindness was finally taking myself to the doctors towards the end of the year and giving myself permission to slow down.

It’s clear that in 2019 I need to continue the kindness - and build on it - so the word I’ve chosen for this year is tenacity.  I’ve a feeling that I’ll need to approach this year with determination, patience and persistence and it’s a word that works in many ways, whether that’s related to pursuing my health to make sure I get the right answers, crafting and learning new skills and of course, booking that big holiday which is back on again, and this year we’re determined to make it happen.

We’ve a family wedding to look forward to as well and a milestone birthday for my dad, and who knows what other celebrations the year will bring.  No doubt there’ll be the usual house jobs to do, many left over from last year and we’re hoping to really make progress with the garden again, making sure we schedule in plenty of time to enjoy it too.

It’s not just our garden that we’re planning to enjoy, MOH has already started a list of restaurants and pubs we should visit, and more ambitiously I’ve places for weekends and short-trips.  I’ve some photo books to put together for the past three years, and I’ve some plans for my blog too, which include sharing many of the older photos which for whatever reason haven’t made it here yet. 

I knew I had a few posts that I wanted to write and photos to share, but seeing just how many means I won’t run out of content any time soon, and that’s without even doing anything new!  But even so, 2019 already feels like it’s got potential to be a busy year, and I’m sure that we’ll do our best to influence how it plays out as best we can, as much as any of us can.

What’s on your radar for this year?

Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash