Saturday, August 12, 2017

Part 2:Getting Started - Crocheted Flower Garden Blanket Along

It's Saturday here, and as promised I have the info ready for you to join me at the kitchen table for a cuppa and some crochet!  I need to stress these are Not my patterns, the granny square has been around for years with various variations and this lovely flower pattern is a free pattern called  Flower Garden Granny Square by Hiromi Widerquist . Her original pattern is in Japanese and her "English" version in US terms . However I tend to use UK terms so I'm copying it to here in UK terms (and I have some slight changes to her original pattern). See below for the pattern. It's up to you how you want to make up your blanket, however I want all yellow centres so I've made up a few centres to have ready to build the flowers.

  I've decided to have different coloured flowers and backgrounds, but you might choose to make all your flower blocks the same colours. 

Remember you will be putting plain blocks in-between each of the flowered blocks so take this into account when planning your colours. 
When I put up the next post you'll notice the plain blocks are a  different pattern which I've adapted to make them the same size as the flower blocks , so remember to watch out for this.

Okay, so there you go, have some fun and don't forget to let me know when you've made some so I can come and have a look.  Can't wait to see all the different flower blankets/ cushions that develop.   Have fun!
hugs Sharm

The Flower Block:
Row 1: (yellow centre)- ch 4, join with a ss to form a circle. *dc, ch 4 in loop* do this 8 times.  cut yarn
Row 2: (Petals) - Join your petal colour in any 4ch loop. In each loop *ss, ch 3, 2tr, 3 ch, ss,ch 1*
Repeat * * in each loop and finish with a ss into the top of the 1st dc.  cut yarn.
Row 3: (I've used white here for each of my flower blocks so the petals stand out - the actual pattern refers to this section as the leaves)- Join your new colour with a dc in the ch between any two of the petals.  Work * ch 4 behind each of the petals, dc in each ch 1 space between petals*  continue *  * all the way around finishing with a ss into 1st dc.  Do not cut yarn
Row 4: With same colour ss into the next ch 4 loop. Ch 3, 2 tr, ch 2, 3 tr in same loop. This makes the first corner of the square. *3tr into next loop ;  then 3tr, ch 2, 3tr in next loop (corner). *  Repeat * * around until you have the 4 corners done. 3tr into next loop.  ss into top of 1st 3ch.  Cut yarn.
Row 5: (your background colour) - Attach colour to any corner space, work 1st corner (ch3,tr 2, ch 2, tr 3).  *3tr groups in each space between the 3 tr groups of previous row, across to next corner. Work 3 tr,, ch2, 3tr (corner)*.  Repeat * *to complete the row and ss into top of 1st 3ch.
Here is where I've altered the pattern -   Row 6: using the same colour from previous row work 1 tr in the top of each previous tr stitch all the way around.  When you get to the corners 2 tr, 2ch, 2tr.  You should have a total of 16 stitches from corner to corner.  Cut the yarn
Row 7: Change to your border colour and repeat row 6. You should now have 20 stitches on each side of your block.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Crochet Flower Garden Blanket Along

I'm making a flower garden crocheted blanket for my granddaughter Jacey for her birthday in October. As I mentioned in the previous post, I thought there might be some of you who would enjoy crocheting along with me to keep me company.  You might decide to make a cushion cover with just a few blocks rather than a whole blanket, but you will be surprised just how quickly these little blocks multiply and become rather addictive lol!

Here is my "plan" - I've decided to leave out the last row as I think with borders that 7 blocks across and 10 blocks down will work fine!  That gives a total of 35 plain blocks and 35 flower blocks! 

The blocks each measure approx. 5 1/2 inches with the borders, so this might help you get a rough idea of the size you want.

I've decided to use 4 main colours with 2 extra colours for variation.  I'm using 8ply (dk) cotton (since my granddaughter lives up the top of Australia where it is quite hot for most of the year).
You could easily use another type of yarn or stash dive for whatever you have on hand!  If you want to know just what I'm using, its Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton in Snow, Daffodil, Wild Lavender, Pink Rose, Primrose, Peach and Meadow.  Snow is being used to edge each block and join them together, and it also sits in behind each flower.  I think the white makes the flowers "pop".  All my flower centres will be yellow (daffodil), however I plan to change the flower colours as well as the background colours to make a lovely bunch of flowers! 

I'll leave you to go stash diving or decide on colours and gather all your supplies together!  You might want to dedicate a special basket for this project so its easy to pick up and work on.  I'll be back on Saturday with the pattern and a cuppa to sit and crochet together  ............
Thanks to those who have emailed me to say they might be joining in!
Hugs Sharm

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rainy Weekend

We had quite the rainy weekend here, even getting some sleet during one of the storms that passed through! We haven't had sleet here in the 7 years we've lived here, but apparently the mountains got a metre of snow during that storm so I guess it's no wonder we got something icy here!  With FNWF on Friday the table soon began to fill with projects ....... Friday morning. I finished off the cushion covers for Son and DIL birthdays and parcelled them up and took them into the post office, so they are in transit between here and Townsville!  
They ended up with 4 covers and I have 2 more to make them to complete the set ( hopefully for the

anniversary in September ......otherwise Christmas which will merge the 2 colour schemes together).    By the way, Jax loved his birthday blanket (hard to believe our youngest grandson turned 7!), made with the colours that he had chosen from the Bendigo Mills Website.  My DIL took a photo of him the next morning as he dragged his blanket out with him to sit and have breakfast - made my heart melt!  It makes all the time spent making it worth while when you see it appreciated like that!
Next I got to work on the Rabbit Hole BOM which I'm behind in after struggling with those houses to build the village! I'm working on the suns to go in each corner next to the houses and managed to get 3 completed with 2 actually attached. Patterns get released on the last day of each month so I think I'm currently working on the May block - hoping to get caught up or close to it by the end of August before the next one is released.

Just before the front was joined .....
And whats a little sewing without a bit of knitting ...... a couple more rows of my Sleepy Hollow jumper (sweater for all you US gals), and the front is now joined together .......  its a slow work in progress this one since I have so many other projects currently on the go.  I would really love to be wearing it right now, but in reality I think it will more likely be next winters apparel!
By this time you might say the weekend was moving on and with it the table became a little full with all the things I was working on ..........  So with the cushion covers in the post it was time to get working on Jaceys ( granddaughter) birthday blanket. Her birthday is the start of October.  I've had to sit and draw up a bit of a plan to get an idea of how it might look and how many blocks I'll be working on  ....... around 70 by looks of things with some plain and some flowered.  
I'm using a plain granny square in between a flowered granny for this blanket.  By the time the squares are joined and I do the border, it should be pretty close to a single bed size!  I'm using all Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Cotton for this and using a 4mm hook.  The pattern is a free one - perhaps you'd like to join in with me and keep me company while I do this blanket? If so you might like to start thinking about the colours you will use - I'm using 7 colours on this, but you could use as few or as many as you like!   As I said I'm using Bendigo Cotton as I love the drape it gives, the large 200gr ball and the bonus of its price!  My colours are:  daffodil, Snow, wild lavender, pink rose, primrose, peach and honeydew.  Snow will be the edges of each square and the joining colour.  Details on this blanket will be here later in the week for anyone wanting to join in the fun ......

Till then have a great week!
Joining in with Wool on Sundays and FNWF




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Back to all things Home ......

I've had a rather extended weekend with rostered days off on Thursday, Friday and again yesterday!  That meant I had time to get my cleaning, washing, numerous errands done including taking Scruffy to the vet yet again (this time for an injection to help with his arthritis and a check up on the toe) ....... getting all of that done left me to have the time to dedicate to some crafting!  I spent  a wonderful few hours on Saturday with a friend from the local Ravelry group meeting up at the cafĂ© here in Bundalong and getting a one on one spinning lesson from her!  So my first actual  spinning of more than a tiny handful .......

 and then learning to ply it and turn it into a skein! A rather small skein I admit, but hey, it's my first ever and I'm soooo pleased!!!!  As has been the case in the past, I took my wheel up (another 2nd hand one which I thought was right), but alas it was missing a vital part! (This was the case with the other wheel I tried to learn on a year ago) .... Luckily Jill had brought her travelling wheel and let me learn the basics on it.  Hopefully the missing part will be replaced before too long.

 While I was out spinning and knitting, Pete was busy with some of his burls.  It's great to see him having time to do some crafting of his own, and I can't wait to see how these come out!  We've been burning these bits of wood for years in our wood fire without even thinking twice, until recently when our friend from up near Gympie showed Pete what he had been doing with some of them, so since Pete had a few here he is giving it a bit of trial .......

 It's been soooo cold here this past week I felt I needed a beanie that I could pop on for around the garden and out walking! A lovely easy pattern which I enjoyed making.  I picked up a couple of balls of Cleckheaton Country naturals from the Wangaratta Woollen Mills when I was there meeting up with the girls last week - I haven't used this yarn before, but I was really happy with it - lovely to work with, nice and squooshy lol and it feels quite warm!  In fact I'm sure I picked up a couple of balls of this when we visited Cowra a year or so ago .... I need to pull it out (or perhaps in with the stash now living in Qld??)

Getting back into basics I managed to get some baking done on Sunday morning as well. I really do enjoy baking from scratch and using whatever fresh ingredients I can ...... Managed to use some of our pumpkin for the scones, fresh walnuts for a date and walnut loaf that was still in the oven when I took the photo, and lemons from one of the ladies up the road for the lemon drizzle cake!  We are set for snacks for the week and then some!  Over the weekend I also set about knitting up a few swatches - it seems that Laura Aylor is having a Mystery Knit Along which will make up some type of shawl/ wrap ....... its all very mysterious ........  You can make it in either fingering
weight (4ply) or dk (8ply) and there are 2 sizes of wing span 70 inches or 80 inches. After wrapping a tape measure around me, I'm happy to go with the 70 inches and since I'm after a lighter wrap (hopefully for those cooler mornings/evenings down by the beach lol) I'm using fingering weight - some wollmeise in Igor and some 4ply Bendigo Luxury in Mink and mixing those with some delightful Cascade Heritage Silk - all from my stash I might add!  I think they look nice together, although it took 3 swatches to work out which size needle I'll be using ...... let me know if you plan on taking part in the MKAL!  Click on the link above to see more about it.  I love the way the colours look against the wood - seems it would be a lovely wrap to wear through the woods as well ..........

Yesterday I decided I needed to bite the bullet and get those houses finished off for the Down the Rabbit Hole BOM ........ it felt very good to get them finished off and sewn together! So now I'm caught up on the May pattern at last!  I had soooooo much trouble with these houses and I've had to add bits in and they sure would not get any prizes for sewing or quilting, but they are done!  I sure hope the rest of the quilt gets better from here .........    It's lovely to feel like I'm actually beginning to catch up on some home things again! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Home Alone

This weekend just gone was the annual Bendigo Wool Show weekend, but this time I didn't end up
going.  It's difficult to make too many plans too far ahead when the house is on the market, and so Pete was asked to go on a fishing weekend with a couple of guys from here, so I declined heading to Bendi since it's difficult to work out accommodation and such at short notice on such a busy weekend, plus  Scruffy wasn't keen to stay home alone for the weekend, so I opted to stay  home with him and let Pete take off fishing to Lake Eildon............. It was certainly worth it since he came home with 5 nice trout of various sizes which gives 7 meals (8 if you count the one I cooked straight away on top of the wood stove and gobbled up lol).  His first time fishing for trout! What a shame we don't have a smoker.
Frost on the Front Yard, Bird Bath frozen solid

Meantime, I contacted some of the girls I usually go away with as there are a couple of car loads that head down from the Canberra area each year and pass through Wangaratta so they can stop
Frost on the hollyhocks and sweet peas
at the Woollen Mills here.  It's kind of a shame the mills here are not anywhere near as good as the Bendigo Mills, still it was a great opportunity to catch up with the Canberra Crew and after leaving them and heading down the street I also ran into one of the girls who travels down from Bega! We managed to catch up over a quick bite to eat! I did manage to still purchase a couple of balls of yarn which will at some point turn into some socks and a beanie!
Winter Therapy

Being home alone for the weekend meant I pretty much spent the time in yarn heaven with girly movies playing on the television lol,   It was sooo cold, but the fire inside was going well and I had the top of it covered with my kettle for ongoing cuppas, some sweet potato chips and a pot of yummy soup ready for whenever I felt like it!  - I finished knitting the Winter Therapy Scarf, and I also finished the Peach ripple crochet which is part of the cushion cover set for DIL and son, and have started the Meadow Ripple one.  I'm trying to get a set of 6 completed - so 3 down with 3 to go!   I managed to get a short burst of sewing done on those houses for the "Down the rabbit Hole" quilt - I can't say I'm enjoying making the 40 houses 
Peach Ripple Cushion Cover using Bendigo Cotton Yarn
and I'm now a month and a half behind in the BOM, so I am going to have to get them finished! I have all the body sections completed, and just have 8 more roofs to finish (paper piecing), after which they can be put into 4 rows of 10 houses on each side and hope and pray they end up the right size!!

Apart from that, Scruffy and I did a bit of garden work - cleaning out the chook pen and getting a couple of garden areas ready for some planting, and managed to get some snail mail written........   But apparently the weekend is over already!!

I do hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Woolly Hobbit Weekend

8ply cotton yarns
It's been raining here since Wednesday this week, so its been particularly wet, cold and wintery this weekend!  After getting the groceries and errands run early Saturday morning, which included picking up a parcel from Bendigo Woollen Mills ........, it seemed absolutely perfect for knitting and crochet!
  During the week I finished off 2 of the crochet cushions which will be part of birthday gifts for son and DIL in August. 

I made a start on them whilst we were away, and I've made a start on one of the ripple covers now to! They are all getting made using Bendigo Cotton 8ply which has such a lovely drape and is so soft and lovely to work with!

With Foxtel having a marathon running of "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings", and the rain still going outside, I was a very happy little beaver surrounding myself with yarn!  I've been a lover of Tolkien since I was a teen - way, way before the movies were even thought of!  I made a bit more progress on my latest Therapy - a scarf pattern by Laura Aylor and one of my favourites.

Now that we know we are going to still be down here over Winter, I know I am in need of another jumper (sweater for those of you in the US ) ...... and perfect timing as I decided I wanted to knit up another of Laura's patterns - Sleepy Hollow.  Don't you think this photo of our tree outside fits with that name??  I was disappointed that I wasn't able to catch the raindrops coming down, and the fog lifted just as I came out to take the photo! 

Anyhow I pulled some of the yarn out from the stash that I kept here (my stash is now split between here and Maryborough - not really sure how that's going to pan out yet ???)  This yarn is
a country spinners variety, from the Woollen Mill in Wangaratta. I love the shade of mauve, kind of a dusty colour.  It's a DK weight (8ply) for those of you wondering and seems to be knitting up nicely so far, although I'm sure it will slow down a bit when I start on that cable work down the front.
I've had a few people ask about the crochet rug I made for the verandah at Maryborough and I'll be making another blanket using that same design and plan to share it here on the blog.
So that's pretty much been my weekend here, and I have to say it's been delightful lol

Also want to link this post in with "Wool on Sundays", even though I'm a week late!click on the link to go and visit Rainbow Hare!
Wool on Sundays

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

As Holidays End

Its a little sad that holidays come to an end.  I'm back to work this morning, but realised I didn't end up doing the wrap up from Maryborough. More work got done on the house with Pete sanding down the back stairs which had partially lost the lacquer from them.  We decided to just use oil to coat them as it can be walked on almost straight away and is easy to reapply. I managed to unblock the drain on the dishwasher and we got a few bits of furniture into place, and Pete patched the hole from the old air con.......  and I did a little bit of crochet work .  We did manage to get to one of the Sunday Markets in Harvey Bay where we picked up this lovely old lamp and coffee grinder. 

We also found a lady who was selling little Desert Roses and purchased 3 of them for Dad who was to arrive on the train from Brisbane that afternoon. We had invited him to come up for a short visit if he wanted to see us while we were closer, and also give him a chance to see our home. While it seemed he enjoyed the visit while he was there, apparently he was not at all happy that I didn't agree to going around all the real estate agents to start looking for something for him. 
 After having gone through 5 processes of organising places to move to for him at his requests (2 of which ended up as actual moves and the other 3 falling through due to him changing his mind once it was time to sign things )- all within the past 2 and a bit years ...... and him not being happy with any
once there, I have to say I'm not going through that process again when I know he is in a safe environment and in an area he lived in for most of his life, and was always wanting to go back to.  After having adult children living with us until a couple of years ago, around the time that Dad moved down to Yarrawonga - we feel it's time for us as a married couple to actually be able to do something for us and make plans for our future. 
After taking him to the train station on Tuesday morning for his return journey, I have to say I felt quite washed out!  The following day both Pete and I came down with something - I'd say the flu as it was very "flu like", but I'm not entirely sold on that.

Pete also put up my swing chair on the veranda where I had
imagined it would go, and finally I was able to add the crochet blanket that I had made just for this spot.  I love how it looks in this spot on the veranda, and I was very happy to get a chance to try it out ......... the perfect spot for the winter afternoon sunshine!
 Scruffy agreed with me and was happy enough to get his photo taken on it.  I might also add that he decided to try out the Vet while we were up there - one of his toes came up quite swollen and with a ulcerative type wound on it which needed attention.  Of course it only happened the day before we were ready to leave - antibiotics, cream etc etc!!!!  The vet even phoned us 2 days later while we were travelling back to check on how he was doing!
Oh, and we were able to get rid of the piano that had been left here! You can see it going down the stairs in the top photo! After Pete getting a builder to come to have a look at something, it turned out he had been the owner prior to the ones we purchased from and he had actually been the one to do many repairs to the house bringing it back from being in a state needing repairs!  He told his wife about the piano and  we were more than happy to give it to them!  They organised a removalist to come and collect it and they left us with some old photos of what the house had looked like back in 2003 when they first purchased it and over the next years to 2009 as they made restorations to it.

We left Maryborough on Thursday after the electricians finished putting in some more lighting under the house.  So long little fella, look after the place till we get back here again!

 After spending the night with our friends in Curra it was time to make the long trek back home to Bundalong - 12 hours driving on Friday with an overnight stop at Parkes in a pet friendly cabin,
and then another 6 hours on Saturday and back to a temp of -5!   I'm pleased I ended up with an extra couple of days off at the start of this week.  The house echoed when we got home with all the furniture that was moved, and so I've moved a few things around (again!!), to make it a little more "home like and lived in".  Now today it's back to work .................
Cows along the Newell Hwy