Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Raspberry ripple




Snippets of this blanket have featured in a few posts while it was a WIP, but at last it's finished. This was supposed to be a Christmas (2013) blanket, but I think I was a little ambitious with the timing - but hey, I'm dead organised for Christmas 2014.





I started with absolutely no plan, other than I wanted a red and white blanket, and thought the ripple pattern might be fun to do as I'd seen some rather beautiful ones on other blogs.  





I followed instructions so brilliantly set out by Lucy at Attic 24 and I was away, crocheting ripples in no particular order.





By the time I had got to what I thought was half way I decided I wanted some order to the rippley chaos, so just made the second half a mirror image of the first.  Simples! (Just how I like it, I find complicated too traumatic.)





It may get a border in the future, but for now it's OK as it is and besides, I have a Nordic shawl obsession going on at the moment.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Growing

Exciting times, first little seedlings are popping up:





Some of these seedlings will grow up to 5ft tall, such is the wonder of nature. There's also something very pleasing about the the unfurling, bud-bursting stage before the plants give us their full glory or a tasty harvest.  






Propagation is probably my favourite bit about gardening and there are a number of ways to make new plants, but instead of trying to remember which method for which plant I always go to Carol:



I love this book, it's a mine of information and a pleasure to just read.


* * *

The ripple blanket is now fully grown and, after a slow start, my Nordic is coming along ...


... but I desperately want to get to the colours! 



And where's that yarn-tail fairy when you need her?  




Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

PS:  Nothing to do with anything in this post, but I rather fancy a steam cleaner.  Does anyone have one, which one did you go for, has it become an obsession or is it just sitting in the cupboard?  Any comments on this gratefully received. 




Thursday, 20 March 2014

Animal crackers

This rather space-age-looking object is a Bee Station.




It can either be used as a bee nesting site by stuffing the dome with straw or dry grass, or as a bee refuelling station by filling the bottom with a sweet sticky mix of sugar dissolved in water and honey.  I try to fill my flowerbeds with flowers that are particularly attractive to bees and butterflies, so I'm going to try and give them the best of both worlds and set up the Bee Station as a nesting site.  We may not get any tenants, but the offer is there.  The difficult bit is keeping these three busybodies away from young seedlings:

Daphne


Florence


Gladys


None of which could stand still for long enough for me to get a decent photo! 

Been playing with animal crochet this week.  The tutorials from Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me and Dragana at Dada's Place are nice and easy to follow. Perhaps these will embellish a couple of cushions.  




And yet more cross-stitch WIPs in the back of my cupboards (I think my cupboard might be an entrance to Narnia, it certainly doesn't seem to have a back).  Chickens this time, one just about finished and another not yet started:




Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Intarsia it is not

My last post was about trying out intarsia; however, now I think it's probably not intarsia, but tapestry crochet.  I've looked at websites to try and get a clear explanation, but there seem to be conflicting views, some websites seem to say that they are one and the same thing.  

It all amounts to changing colour, but I came to the conclusion that there is a difference. Intarsia is worked by using bobbins or butterflies of yarn which you pick up as and when you need to change colour and this means that the pattern can be seen clearly on both sides of the work (although I think you can still tell which is the wrong side). You can see how it works here.  

Tapestry crochet is where you join in your new colour but, while working your new colour, you enclose the original colour in each stitch so that it doesn't get left behind and is ready to pick up when you need to change again (if I'm still getting it wrong please tell me).  The wrong side of the work with this method is not as neat.  There is a good demonstration of how it works here and this is the method I used in my pincushion for the pink centre blocks.




It didn't take long to work and I'm quite pleased with the result but it wasn't all plain sailing:  I had worked my pink yarn into the second white block before I realised that I didn't need to - doh!  

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Trying out ...

... intarsia.  I was bowled over by Jules' harlequin blankets here at Little Woolie and thought I would have a go so I had a quick look on Pinterest for some ideas.  A small project this time as my making-everything-blanket-size plan is probably why I have so many WIPs.  I did manage to come down in size with a cushion for my last project, so this time I'm going miniature.


Not sure whether I'm doing it quite right, but I will press on and see how it turns out.

I enjoyed making this little chatelaine years ago and have also enjoyed using it, but with use it has become a little grubby in places.  I'm considering washing it and would be interested to know if anyone's done this and whether it survived.  


I think we're in for a sunny happy weekend here in Kent so some much needed attention will be paid to the garden - the bright pink gardening gloves are primed and ready to go.



Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x