Note to self…

…check that memory card is in the camera BEFORE taking lots of beautiful pictures of crochet, yarn, food and flowers and then packing it all away.

Surprise!

I had a surprise delivery this morning.

8 skeins of Debbie Bliss Andes that I don’t remember ordering.

That’ll teach me for looking at yarn websites after a few too many glasses of wine!

Still, the colours that I ordered were gorgeous!  Now I just have to find something to do with them…

Yarn porn

Another crochet artist’s blog mentioned a yarn I had never heard of before, and so when I spotted it at one of my Local Yarn Stores (LYS) I had a feel.

And WOW!  It had a lovely range of colours, a beautiful shine to it and is so, so soft and silky it’s to die for!

It is called Andes, by Debbie Bliss yarns.

Debbie Bliss Andes

Only problem was, it was £5.99 per 50g skein.  That’s a lot of money.  The lady who used this yarn in her blog spent over £50 on a scarf!  But the result was beautiful.

So I looked around online and managed to find a bargain, at £4.90 per skein, from HCS Crafts online. I added 6 skeins to my basket and no longer had to pay any postage either, so I was very happy!  I ordered a selection (6 or 7 skeins) and they arrived quite promptly, so I can recommend the seller.

I love them.  The colours are beautiful and actually go very well together.  I am inspired.  I shall have to play with them.  I ordered some of the more muted colours (I know, not like me at all) and I know they do a few brighter/deeper ones.

I have balled up two skeins so far.  I shall work on the rest later this weekend.

Can you tell the sun is shining.  I love working with yarn and colours in the sunshine.

Fiddling with the widgets.

Because that’s such a cool sentence it deserved its own post.

Isn’t it odd that people who have hobbies spend a large proportion of their hobby-time blogging/posting/reading about it online.  I have spoken to so many people who blog/post in forums about this hobby or that hobby and then complain that they haven’t “finished this project” or “had time to do that bit,” and not really put two-and-two together.

I’m one of them.

I spend a lot of time on ‘Ravelry’ looking at fabulous patterns and occasionally posting in the many, many forums.  I have a few blogs pinned to my Google homepage, so I can stalk them for new posts.  It’s all so exciting and yet my crochet/writing projects get put on the back-burner while I spend hours reading and looking at new patterns/yarn.

In fact, I have just pulled out a beautiful shawl I was making for last summer that I have yet to finish.  My Raspberry Lace shawl.  Raspberry Lace Shawl

I intend to get it done in time for this summer.  The shawl is based on Eva’s Shawl but will have an All Shawl border.  I used a picture of the Work In Progress (WIP) to make the current banner for the blog.  Isn’t it a gorgeous colour!?  It’s in lace-weight cashmere that was coned for machine use, so it has been oiled to make it easier to work with.  When I’ve finished it I can wash all the oil out and it will fluff up beautifully.  I am sooo looking forward to that moment.

Work in progress on my Raspberry Lace Shawl

Work in progress on my Raspberry Lace Shawl

Isn’t it scrummy?!  I’m using two strands, in slightly different shades, to give it more dimension.  But it has been a hard slog because each row gets longer and longer.  Hundreds and hundreds of tiny stitches per row and it is still going.  I can’t wait now to get it finished.  At least, from here, I shall have a different pattern to follow (the edging) and hopefully this will add a bit of interest to the work.

Raspberry Lacy Shawl

That is… if I have counted correctly and the pattern works.  If not, I shall be crying into a pint of cider and complaining woefully to my totally-disinterested family.

Pottering in the garden…

…for the first time this year. Finally the weather is nice enough. Still a bit nippy, but the sunshine was glorious and my poor Bay Tree desperately needed re-potting. It has been sitting patiently in the conservatory, soaking up what little sun there has been for the winter, and getting watered only when Mummy remembered. Which I don’t, very often. Still, it is now cosy and happy in lots of lovely new dirt, and has been watered well. New shoots are starting to come up and new leaves: it has a growth spurt about this time every year, which I look forward to. Unfortunately, as I transfer it outside during the summer (too hot in the conservatory for anything living) it managed to catch bugs. And weeds. So it has been quite poorly. I have sprayed it and removed the damaged leaves. I have high hopes of its recovery. It’s a sturdy little plant!

Re-potted bay tree

Lovely new shoots on my tree!

I also added more fat balls to the bird feeder. Soon the little birdies won’t need me, which will be a bit of a shame, as I like seeing them flutter around the feeder cage every now and then.

Spring has sprung on the driveway as well!  I took these after a shopping trip to Tesco.  How exciting to see all the flowers out in the sunshine!

Spring on the drivewaySpring on the driveway 2

I was persuaded by a lovely lady in Sainsburys yesterday to try a new Smirnoff Lime drink – which you can drink neat on ice or with a mixer.  It’s 14%, so with a mixer it is not as strong as, say, a gin and tonic.  But it has a very sharp lime flavour which was gorgeous and refreshing with a tonic this afternoon in the sunshine.   I had to take a hammer to the ice in the freezer though.  It hasn’t been used in so long all the cubes had stuck together!

Right!  I’m off to check on the roast.  I have a new crochet post for you soon.  Yarn porn.  Love it, love it, love it!

No pastels here please

As usual I am inspired by the many cool people who knit and crochet across the web.  Their projects, patience, energy and creativity never cease to amaze me.

A friend in my knitting group has just popped twins.  So now I (and the rest of the group) find myself in panic mode.  Twins.  Both boys.  And we need to produce baby things.  We are, of course, her knitting and crochet group.  We couldn’t just ‘buy’ something, oh no.  We have to labour intensively over lengthly projects in baby-safe yarns that are machine washable.

I refuse to make anything in pastels.

Baby Blanket

So blanket number one has been started.  It’s using Lucy’s ‘Granny Stripe Blanket’ pattern from Attic24.  She is a star and a constant inspiration.

Baby Blanket

Not-a-pastel-baby blanket

I really love these colours!  They are so… perfect.  Particularly for this time of year, when the days are starting to lengthen and the sun is peaking out.  Fewer grey, miserable clouds.  Let’s celebrate with bright, colourful things.

Stylecraft Stash

Stylecraft Stash

What else could I do to celebrate spring?

Which reminds me. Note to self: re-pot bay tree.

Go for it!

So I didn’t realise how much the first post was really hard to write. Writing about it made so much sense at the time. I’m not sure about it now, but I shall leave it. This is a blog after all and therefore not perfect.

On to the second post. I now know how novelists feel after they have published their first book.

“What?! You need me to make the second one just as good?”

Looking back… that shouldn’t be hard. So here goes…

Darn – now what?

Procrastinating in so many ways

Starting a new blog… well, re-starting an old one because your last one failed.  Why?  You only posted two meaningless posts in about a year.  Deciding to really give it a go this time, as you have something to say.  Hobbies to talk about.  Crafts you are now quite good at and knowledgeable about.

So, full of drive and enthusiasm you spend two hours browsing themes, choosing one and setting it up. Fiddling with the widgets.  You then set up a folder on your desktop, with sub-folders for articles you may write (yes, really!) and photos/pictures you may use.

And finally you spend ten full minutes looking for a new icon for your blog folder because the standard Windows 7 folder icon does not ‘reflect’ your new enthusiasm for your blog.  It’s also not pretty enough.

Image of my pretty new Blog folder.

Can you tell I work in a primary school?

So, colourful new folder created – check.

Subfolders for work created and labelled – check.

Blog created and set up to look pretty – check.

Now you open up Microsoft Word.  Type “Blog Entries – the drafts.”  Date the first entry and go for a cup of tea.  Come back.  Close it all down.

….you’ll do it tomorrow.

New-old blog

So I have re-vamped my blog.  Given it a complete spring clean.  Deleted the few old posts that were here and chosen a nice, new theme.  I like this one.  Very clean.

Let us start with a clean slate.