Saturday, 30 July 2011

Border country

Hello dear ladies! Sorry it's been a while and I've been rubbish at even keeping up with all your lovely posts but this op has really taken it out of me. I returned to work this week (again!) and am amazed how tired I have been. I still get some pain but am generally feeling OK apart from the fatigue. I guess it will take time.

I wanted to share a book with you that I think is wonderful. I had a lot of comments on my Jewel blanket about the edging and this is where I got it from....

This little book is full of fabulous crochet borders all beautifully illustrated. Instructions are written out but also in diagram form.

Some borders are complex and some are very simple but I would say that the only really tricky thing is making sure you have the right number of stitches to begin with. Most patterns have a repeat so in order for them you work out you need the correct number of stitches. There are some that don't have a repeat and the number of stitches is irrelevant.

 And the author shows very clearly how to do the corners...

For my border, I used two of the patterns together and that was very easy to do.

The borders can be used for more than just blankets; they would work on garments or anything else that would benefit from a pretty crochet border. Even picture frames!

I love this book and would really recommend it to anyone wanting to make their borders a little bit special.

Enjoy your weekend! xxx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

New to me #2

You know, everyone now and then I come across a blog that just stops me in my tracks. This is one of them - Growing Flowers by Kiersten. This amazing lady lives in the deserts of New Mexico with her lovely family and she is a midwife! I have huge respect for midwives and often feel that, if I could push the rewind button, that is what I would have been.

You can tell from her beautiful writing that she loves what she does, that she has such love for the mothers and their babies, and that she is in tune with nature at such a special time.

I trawled through this blog and was just blown away by this wonderful woman's incredible nuturing spirit. And full of the most incredible pictures of newborns too! Go and see! xxx 

A huge thanks for all your lovely, encouraging comments on my latest project - the blanket that almost wasn't!!!!

Enjoy your week xxx

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

On the go :: something different

Good morning dear ladies!

As promised, I have some crochet to share with you! I have been working on a blanket for my sister-in-law. She chose the colours - sort of earthy shades - and so I set about trying to find a pattern. Well, I tried all sorts of things...

Triangles based on this pattern. It is a lovely pattern but I just wasn't feeling the love with these colours

Then I made some squares but again, it wasn't working for me.....

Then I tried another squiggly ripple....

Nope. Bacon rashers anyone?!

I was getting very frustrated at this point and was about to give up but then I found this pattern and it was love! And the colours were also similar.

This is what I've done so far......

It is very different to the blankets I have made previously and it is strange working with such a limited palette. I'm not used to using these colours either but, you know what, I am enjoying making this. There is enough complexity in the pattern to keep me interested and I think the colours work well here.

I am so happy to have finally resolved this as it was getting me down! A blanket is such a huge undertaking in terms of time and effort and I needed to be happy with what I was doing in order to finish it!

I'll keep you posted on progress.

Thanks for the comments on previous posts. Perhaps my next project will be a vulva blanket!

Enjoy your week xxx

Monday, 18 July 2011

Something beautiful :: something ugly

Hello dear ladies,

It's been a little while and I have been busy crocheting - I will share that with you very soon!

I was listening to Woman's Hour on the radio the other morning and heard a really interesting feature about the Shoreditch Sisters WI (Women's Institute) and their amazing project. They are a group of women in London who get together to meet, make and agitate. These women are currently making an incredible quilt to highlight the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). It is something I feel very strongly about and so was intrigued to hear that the Shoreditch Sisters are using craft to raise awareness. It is called the Embroideries Campaign.

The quilt is being made up of hundreds of...well....vulvas! Some are sewn, embroidered, crocheted, knitted. Some are made of velvet, silk, lace, fur. These little creations are works of real beauty - like flowers! it seems a really beautiful way to address a custom that is so very ugly. Apparently there is still time to add your own contribution to the quilt so go over to the Embroideries Campaign website and find out more.

Here is a little glimpse of what they are creating......

Back very soon with some crochet!!!! Yay!! xxxx

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Crafting in the news

An interesting feature in the Guardian newspaper today about the rise in popularity of knitting...and the role of blogland in encouraging people to start crafting. Just thought I'd share it with you....

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Getting better

Hello dear ladies! It's a beautiful sunny morning here in Yorkshire and I am feeling fitter every day. I have had such lovely comments and emails about my health so I thought I would give you an update.

As you can see I am smiling (in this photo taken by Little S. I've kept this one small so as not to scare you!) The antibiotics are finished (yay!) and I managed to walk to the park on Sunday afternoon after watching Rafa lose his title (sob). It is over the other side of the village and I found it quite tiring but could settle down and do some trashy mag reading while Little S entertained himself doing what boys do...

I walked to school yesterday to collect my son. This is a walk I usually do most days but it was the longest walk I had done after the op. It is about a mile in total and a lot of it uphill! I took it very gently, collected the boy and walked home slowly. I passed these lovely allotments and had to take a pic. I love allotments. There is always something going on in them, regardless of the season.

I got home and totally crashed on the sofa but I did the walk again today and am feeling better.

Of course, everyone knows that what one really needs when convalescing is....

This is such an easy recipe that I have even written it out for you!
Yoghurt pot cake

1 measure = 1 small yoghurt pot or plastic cup  

Heat oven to 180C

You will need;

1 measure of natural yoghurt

3 measures of plain flour with 3 heaped teaspoons of baking powder OR 3 measures of SR flour and 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 measure of sugar

2 free range eggs

1/2 measure of clear oil of your choice

Put all ingredients into a bowl and blitz with an electric mixer (or food processor). It should be quite a thick, sticky dropping consistency. If it isn't dropping add a little milk or more oil.

Bake in a prepared loaf tin or in muffin/cake cases. I used quite a small muffin tray and got about 20 muffins so this mix goes a long way. Bake muffins for about 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Cool and scoff!

Apparently they also freeze well.

Some ideas for flavourings....

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 handful of raisins/dried fruit
1 handful of choc chips
cocoa powder
1 chopped apple with some cinnamon powder
mashed banana
glace cherries
almond essence
mixed seeds
frozen berries
etc etc

Incredibly easy and very delicious!

Off to enjoy the sunshine now. Enjoy your day xxx


Monday, 4 July 2011

New to me :: Frills and Spills

Hello dear ladies - thank you for your lovely comments on the little kimono. I do hope some of you give it a try as it is super simple and very satisfying to do (all in one piece too!).

I often come across blogs that are just really lovey and I want to share them so I thought I would start a regular feature called New to Me that would introduce bloggy loveliness to all my lovely friends here.

The first one is Frills and Spills.....

Jasmine is a busy mum of two and student from Adelaide, Australia who makes beautiful crochet and yummy food.....(I don't know how she finds the time!!!!)

Do visit and admire her gorgeous hookiness...


Friday, 1 July 2011

Cosy cute kimono

Well, dear ladies, here I am convalescing from my appendix dramas and enjoying sunshine and tennis...and a little bit of crochet.

I finished this lovely little wrap cardigan/kimono for Jemimah and I am thrilled with it. The pattern, by Susanne Visch, is so easy (find it here) and each size will fit a multitude of little body shapes and sizes due to the clever wrap over fastening. I used King Cole Riot for the first time. I just love this self stripe yarn...fantastic colours and it is nice and soft too. I think this little jacket pattern is so versatile...for boy or girl. It could be made up in such a lot of different yarn combinations and trims making it unique every time.

Ready for a crochet fest?

Cute eh?

I also started on a blanket for my sister in law. She wanted something in earthy, natural colours so I have been experimenting with how it might look. I am mad about this wavy pattern but I just couldn't get into the idea of it being a blanket in these colours....too tiger stripe I think! So I have decided on a more geometric theme - triangles to be precise. I'll let you know how that goes!

Can I just say a huge thank you for all of your kind comments wishing me a speedy recovery.....knowing so many of you in the Canyon are thinking of me certainly helped!!! xxx