Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Late Weekend Wrap Up

Here I am making a very late weekend wrap up! I meant to do this on Sunday, and then yesterday
since I had the day off, but here I am before work today finally getting this posted! FNSI  hosted by Wendy was on. After getting the flower garden blanket finished my stitching was minimal for the entire weekend ...... I started playing around with a pattern  using some of this heavy cotton brought back from US when my daughter was over in Hawaii for a holiday earlier in the year

And ....... we have our eldest grandson Jarryn who has his birthday in early November and is also getting a blanket.  He picked these colours (black is a little tricky at night), but its working up quite well and looks very "boy" like.  This will be another Ripple Blanket, but slightly larger in size as he has a double bed now he is in his first year of high school! French Navy, Black and Sambucca Crush all 8ply cotton from Bendigo Yarns.  The sambucca was a limited one so I've had to sit and work out the stripping for just the 1 ball. I did this by weighing the first 10 rows of the black - so we shall now watch and see how that goes lol  The Navy is looking bright in this photo


While sitting out on the veranda yesterday (finally a nice day), I glanced over to see that Cliff, our
Lorikeet of 17 yrs, had found a little gap between the 2 cages to go for a climb on the outside of his cage!  To date he hasn't flown away - and quickly heads back into the cage if he thinks you might be going to take his ball!

I managed, after much debate and hubby and I having a discussion regarding colours and how neither of us were overly keen on the extra colours used for the Sunflower section of the quilt - to actually cut out the pieces.  I've yet to get them pinned on ready for hand-stitching into place.  No photos yet ...... instead I'll show you the enamel dishes I picked up from the Sunday Market which will be getting put to various uses.......    Have a great week, even if like me,  you have to be heading to work for the rest of it!
Hugs Sharm

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Whoot, Whoot!!

Yep! You guessed it lol ...... I arrived home from work a couple of days ago to find the parcel of yarn waiting in our mail box.  I was pretty excited after a whole week of waiting to be able to get back to the Flower Garden Blanket I'm making for our granddaughters 9th birthday in a couple of weeks time.  As you might imagine, as soon as dinner and clean up are done each night after work, I've been busy working on it ......... and today ..... after playing yarn chicken (and winning) with the rose pink yarn I managed to finish the last stitch!!  Hooray!!! 

Tonight I have to sew in all the ends that didn't get crocheted in during the process and then it can be wrapped up ready to post to Townsville.   I love the design made when these blocks are crocheted together - its like little butterflies ....


I debated about the type of border - First I wanted to do the row of Treble right around in white to balance it out, then did a treble row of Rose Pink.  After laying it out on the floor I decided I wanted something a little "flowery" to finish it off ...... kind of like nice little flowers on the edge of the garden ....... so this is what I ended up with and I think it does the blanket justice.  What do you think? 
 

So here it is -without those ends sewn in yet ...... its meant to be heavy rain here the next few days and I wanted to take advantage getting a few outdoor shots of it.  I wanted to thank those of you who joined in crocheting along with me and I've enjoyed seeing some of the lovelies you have been making. Also wanted to thank those of you who have left comments or emailed me during this project.  
 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Waiting ........

I
'm not particularly good at waiting .....especially when I'm waiting on a yarn order to arrive!  I didn't win the yarn chicken with the snow cotton for the flower garden crochet blanket and last Saturday Evening I did an online order for more from Bendigo Woollen Mills ....... So its been 1 entire week that I've not been able to continue working on the blanket, hence instead of being able to show you the finished blanket - you get to see the "waiting to be finished" blanket ((sigh))

But rather than mope about it, one usually has other projects that also need to be worked on .... like the Down the Rabbit Hole BOM - only 1 Dresden plate flower to finish handsewing down ......

then I move onto the corners which have sunflowers in them - colour playing with fabrics while I have the quilt on the floor.


I'm almost at the point of being able to split for the sleeves on my "Sleepy Hollow" sweater.  I'm using some yarn I picked up at the Wangaratta Woollen Mills a couple of years ago

And I also did a few more rows on the Mystery Knit Along that Laura Aylor has had going. I have to say that at this point I was in a total mystery as to how this will turn out - I know its to be a type of shawl/wrap.  You'll have to wait to see how it turns out!

I didn't do much walking at all over the weekend - I was still mentally  and emotionally exhausted from a stressful week at work, which thankfully ended well right at the end of Friday Afternoon!  When I did finally drag myself off, I was blessed to see the black swans swimming by with their 4 little babies (cygnets as they are known) - I had to take the photo on my phone so its not fantastic.





Scruffy has been struggling the past couple of weeks as the longer and colder winter plays on his arthritis and he struggles to walk far some days.  He will be 15 years old in 9 days time!  Sometimes, he just wants to stay warm in bed ...... can't say I blame him when we only get a top of 12C for the day!!!



Hope you all have a great week and you are making progress on whatever you are working on! Hopefully my yarn order arrives this week and I can finish off the Crochet Flower Garden Blanket!
Hugs Sharm ....... Must finish the embroidery on this little tea cosy too!!

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Pincushion Parade Party


Today marks the 3rd Annual  Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade held by Ida over at her blog here.  If you pop over you'll be able to visit lots of other blogs all with pincushions on parade!  I'm afraid some of my pincushions are going to be very jealous since they can't all take part in this years parade - you see a number of them were packed up and taken up to Maryborough back in June.  I truly thought we would be living up there by this stage, but alas, the house here is still waiting to be sold ............... I'm just extremely thankful that I didn't pack up all my sewing, knitting and crochet bits. 

So these are the pincushions who managed to remain here with me.  The round woollen one with the embroidery is one I designed and made many years ago now, when I used to do lots of hand embroidery work (before the days of studying to become a nurse). The little mouse , the square and the cupcake all came as gifts from various places ..... swaps I think (they have been with me for quite some time now and the little mouse has been a long time favourite of mine).  The carrot sits within the hussef I made at the start of the year designed by Sarah Fielke and linked in with the "Down the Rabbit Hole " BOM quilt that I'm making this year (and am 2 months behind in due to my trouble with building the village houses lol).   I debated about how to parade the pincushions and with a bit
of sunshine out yesterday afternoon I took them to sit next to some of the bulbs that are flowering - they look lovely and much as I would love to cut a bunch to take inside - once cut they don't smell very nice at all (I discovered that error last year!).  Look at my poor old Eiffel Tower - it has seen better days (just look at my header photo taken a few years back). The bulbs have grown up inside it and have it held like the leaning tower!


One of these pincushions will be getting lots of use this week as I hand sew down these Dresden flowers that I put together yesterday .......... they make another part of the Rabbit Hole Quilt.  Hubby is enjoying the process of putting in his thoughts and was quick to point out that one of these is more a girl colour and the other a boy colour - just to remember this when they are getting placed around the quilt (in other words - make sure his side of the bed has a blue flower and not a purple one! lol).   I'm just hoping they end up balancing the colours out - there are sunflowers yet to go in the corners and then another thicker border to make up before I'm caught up - yep, 3 months of patterns to try getting done during September! 
  At least I have the Crochet Flower Garden Blanket almost finished - except I ran out of white and have had to order more!  Just 2 more blocks to border and a dc around the outside in white - that was all I needed but alas, it will have to sit and wait for the arrival of a new ball! (see posts below for info on making your own crochet flower garden blanket). Till next time, have fun looking at all the various pincushions out there
Hugs Sharm

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Spring Time

Yesterday was the 1st of September which is the official start of Spring here in the southern hemisphere ..... We still seem to be getting frosty mornings!  With clue 3 of this MKAL completed (yes, its another one of Laura Aylors - now known as Fogbound Knits) .......

I was pleased to join in with Cheryl who hosts Friday Night with Friends!  Having yesterday off work, I got going in the morning with my main plan to work on the crochet flower and plain blocks  for the Flower Garden Blanket I'm making for granddaughters birthday.  I managed to get quite a few done and only have 1 left to go before I finish the borders on them and join them together.


I've been thrilled to see some of you have joined in with me on this project and I've managed to get a couple of photos from some of you to share your progress!  These are from Lin  and Janine Don't they look great?


This morning I decided to take a break from the hook and work with some of the produce that's filling my kitchen benches.  From our compost pile we managed to get 4 large pumpkins and so I'm using one of those to make up Pumpkin and Ginger Soup - It's simmering on top of the wood heater as we speak and I kind of made up the recipe so I'll let you know how it goes - I added the juice of a lime (I was given a few of these by one of the ladies at work who has a lime tree in her back yard). 
So while the birds might be busy nesting young chicks, the chooks
have started laying and the citrus trees around the district are putting out plenty of Vitamin C!  Pete brought home  a handful of lemons the other  night and it was met with such delight by me, that the next night 2 bags full were brought home!  That's a lot of lemons, so I'll be juicing most of them and freezing the juice to use later, and I also need to freeze some of the peel while I think of it!  Actually, I wouldn't mind having a go at making some crystallised lemon peel ??? hmmmm, I'll have to think on that ..... but in the meantime this morning the kitchen has been humming as I turned some of them into Yummy Lemon Butter (or Lemon Curd as it's also known); our favourite Lemon Drizzle Cake (recipe from Attic 24); and I experimented with a batch of "Lemon Cookies" - only making the one tray as I wasn't sure ........ BUT .....YUM!!!  We will be having more of those in the future ...... I took a recipe from the web and changed it a bit to suit me:

Lemon Cookies:
100 gr unsalted butter softened
50gr caster sugar
150g self raising flour
approx. 1/4 cup lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
 
With a wooden spoon beat the butter and sugar together, add the lemon juice and zest and beat till well combined.  Now gradually beat in the flour.  Roll into small balls and place on a greased tray. Using a fork dipped into flour, press the fork down on each of them and sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar over each of them.  Place in a moderate oven for approx. 15mins or until they look done.   Enjoy!!!

Hopefully we begin to see some warmer days soon - a work visit the other day  had me driving down past Mansfield and took me past the views to Mount Buller  ...... Still snow capped for now, and the weather forecast seems to hint at a bit more cold weather and rain over the weekend!  So since I'll be spending the rest of the day inside, I might take a look at what pincushions I have here ready to take part in The Pincushion Parade that is being hosted next week by Ida.   Enjoy the rest of your weekend ...... I'm off to get a slice of Lemon Drizzle cake to have with a cuppa ...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Part 3 - The basic Block

I wonder how you went with your flower blocks?  Sorry I'm a few days late getting this out - bit of trouble with photos downloading .......hmmmmmm
I've been busy working on both the flower blocks
and the plain blocks so I can make up rows.  I find it very rewarding to make all the blocks for a row at a time and then crochet them together to see a whole row complete!  Before joining them together, I lay out the first couple of rows which helps me to work out what balance of colours I want.  Even though I have that initial design layout in my notepad, I haven't added what colour the flower petals will be, so laying them out helps to spread the colours around!  You might also notice that now that I'm down to row 4, I've changed a couple of the blocks around - its all about getting a nice balance with the colours.  Of course if I'd just stuck with one colour for the flowers and one or two colours for the background, that would have made it somewhat easier and a little quicker lol.  I think it took me a good couple of hours on the weekend deciding just how that row 4 was going to look!  You will find the pattern I'm using for the plain blocks below.  I've had to change it up a bit so that it would end up the same size as the flower blocks.

I really am loving the Bendigo Cotton - such a lovely drape and nice amount of softness to work with!

When joining the blocks together I place the 2 right sides together and then use a dc stitch to join them together. I crochet in as many loose ends as I can so that there will be fewer to do at the end of the quilt!  Each finished block should have 20 treble stitches on each side making them easy to join together.You'll notice the plain blocks are a different pattern which I needed to adapt to make them the same size as the flower blocks - make sure that once you finish your colour rounds the first border round (white in my case) is made using dc (or sc for US terms), first and then follow with a treble row right around.  

The Flower Garden Plain Block : (please note this is an adaptation of the granny block)
Start with 4ch and join with ss.
Working out of the ring  for Row 1:    3ch, 2 tr; 2ch, 3tr; 2ch, 3 tr; 2 ch, 3tr. join to the top of 3ch with ss before beginning each new round when using the same colour thread I work a ss back into the loop just made.
This is after  the 2nd row round - see the ss to get back to the loop

Row 2: 3ch  2tr, 2ch, 3 tr ( first corner,) 2 ch,  group of 3 tr, 2 ch 3 tr into each of other 3 corners
Row 3 & Row 4: On this row do the corners the same, but only 1ch between the corners and the spaces for the middle group of 3 trs   
At the end of row 4 you should have the corner groups and 2 groups of 3tr between them. Cut your coloured yarn and attach the white yarn anywhere along an edge.
Ch 1, dc into the tops of the trebles along the edge - do not make stitches in gaps between the groups of trebles, but do ensure you work all the way from corner to corner. At the corner loops 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc.  You should have 16 stitches from corner to corner along each side. (3 for each group of trebles on previous row = 12  + the 2 extra in each corner you just made) Do not cut yarn ...
Final Row: ch 3, treble into each stitch along the edge with corners being 2 tr, 2ch, 2 tr. You should now have 20 stitches from corner to corner (the same amount as the flower blocks). 
I haven't written patterns for anyone before so if this needs better clarification please ask! Again this pattern is taken from numerous other granny blocks that have been around since the dawning of time and I have adapted it to fit my needs.
You should now have a lovely bordered plain granny to go between your flowers.  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!


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
Linking in with Wool on Sundays


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