Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer Wandering

The weather is gorgeous here at the moment. Not too hot but pleasantly warm and a gentle breeze to take the edge off. My perfect weather. I took the children for a walk through our village, past the allotments and up past fields of golden wheat to try to find a wood. Well we found the wood but couldn't find a way in! We did spot lots more of the big brown hawker dragonflies I talked about on Monday. Clearly this was where ours had been blown over from. We also found some fur that looked like it had come from a badger, very exciting :-)

I'll have to go back there with my camera some time so I can show you how lovely the view was at the top of the hill, looking out across trees and rolling fields and watching the tractors bringing in the harvest. Very idyllic.

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We covered 2.6 miles at a fairly gentle pace but now we're home I think I'm going to follow my cat's example and find a cosy spot to curl up in and do some knitting

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I've got another inch of the ribbing to go and then the main part of my cardigan is done. Maybe I can get it done before the end of the Summer holidays?

Happy knitting everyone :-)

Monday, 28 July 2014

Summer days

With having 4 children at home keeping me busy I've not really had much time for blogging, crafting or even sitting still lately! Already though I can see the children settling in to their new routine and playing together. I love listening in to their role play games :-)

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I'm on to my Dad's second sock now, it's a good mindless project. My ripple blanket is nice to work on in the evenings when it's a bit cooler. During the day it can get a bit hot having it on my lap!

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To mark the start of the Summer holidays we had a tea party. A selection of chicken, ham and egg mayo rolls was pretty much the healthiest it got!

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Homemade potato salad is one of those foods I could eat all day. Just boiled new potatoes, some sort of onions whether red onion, spring onions, shallots etc., a sprinkling of mint and then mayonaise to mix it together. Yummy!

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Pudding was lovely too! Fresh strawberries, scones with clotted cream and jam and a few ready made cakes to chose from as well. I would like to point out that we didn't manage to eat everything in that one meal, I think the left overs lasted a couple of days at most lol

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Mr Soaring Sheep found this massive dragonfly in our garden yesterday. Sadly it was dying so we didn't get to see it fly. We think from googling that it's a female Brown Hawker

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Just look at the size of it :-o Eeep!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Keep Calm Craft On

We had a bit of sad weekend. One of our hamsters had developed a condition called Cushings. It causes muscle wastage, fur loss and a compromised immune system. Unfortunately some small wounds on his stomach became infected and overwhelmed his little body so we had to make the decision to get him put to sleep. We've lost 3 hamsters this year but he was special because he was the first one I'd had since I was a child.

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He was such a gentle character, I'm missing him a lot :-( Sleep peacefully Sherlock x


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I'm working on my cardigan and blanket this week. The children break up for their Summer holidays tomorrow so complicated projects are not an option! I've hopefully worked out the maths correctly for adding extra length to my cardigan and I've got another 2 inches to go before I start the ribbing at the bottom. Then it's just button bands and sleeves.

I think my ripple needs a red row soon to keep the colours in balance. I frequently have to lay it on the floor and squint at it to work out what to use next. I can't bring myself to just pick out a colour at random! Especially with such a wide range of colours.

I'm going to have a hot cup of tea and do some knitting now. Gotta make the most of the house still being quiet! Have a good week everyone, keep calm, craft on

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

FO - Bigger Squares blanket

This cosy sofa blanket was started as a way of playing with a particular palette of colours. I had no idea what size I wanted to make or how the final design would look. It's come out wonderfully though :-)

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As you can see, it's the perfect size for snuggling under :-)

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For the edging I did a row of double crochet in purple, then 4 rows of treble crochet with the stitch worked into the gap between stitches in the previous row to try to get a more blurred colour change. Finally I finished it with another row of double crochet in purple

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Our girl cat, Rosie, was curious to see what we were up to

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Boo!

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She got away ;-)

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I made this blanket using Stylecraft Special DK because it's soft and washable. It was also in my stash! The squares were just simple granny squares, there is a nice tutorial on Bunny Mummy's blog. I joined the squares together using slip stitches.

Linking up with Yarn Along, WIP Wednesday and Keep Calm Craft On

Monday, 14 July 2014

Lady Bower Reservoir

We're really enjoying the children being old enough to go cycling. This weekend we had a long drive to meet up with my in-laws in the Peak District to cycle round Lady Bower reservoir. It was 11.3 miles all the way round according to my bike's odometer. It was a perfect Summer's day, warm but not so hot you don't want to move at all. Gorgeous :-)

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I gave the Smallest a ride on the back of my bike. She fell asleep towards the end, the first I knew about it was her helmet bashing against my back as she nodded forward

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We were surprised how low the water levels were, I guess it fills up more in the Winter

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My little cyclists :-) Can you see the hill on the right of the picture, the path follows the same line! We pushed our bikes up that bit!

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Such a wonderful day out :-)

This week is the last full week of school before the Summer holidays start. Next week the children only go in for the first 3 days. I'm trying to strike balance between getting the house clean and tidy before the little darlings are around to mess it up all the time and also enjoying those few hours of time to myself. I think this morning I'm going to work on my neglected ripple blanket :-)

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Have a good week everyone

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

WIP Wednesday

So busy at the moment, I'm sorry my blogging has dropped off a bit. I'm not really finding much time or enthusiasm for crafting lately.

Yesterday morning I helped my daughter's pre-school with their visit to the local allotments. They got to see raspberry plants, potatoes being dug out of the ground, peas in a pod and even a very rare sweetie tree that they were all able to pick a sweet from ;-)

This morning I was busy doing some work for a friend and it seems to have rather tired me out! I'm looking forward to spending an hour or two this afternoon sat on my sofa and finishing off my blanket edging.

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I've got another round of treble crochet to go and then I think I'm going to do a round of the purple double crochet stitches again to frame it. Just need to give it a gentle block after that and it will be finished :-)

My Dad's socks now have a heel but haven't really progressed much beyond that. We're planning a long-ish car drive in the next few days though so I can hopefully work on them then.

Happy crafting everyone :-)

Linking up with Keep Calm Craft On and Yarn Along

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday in the garden

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- I bought some new geraniums (pelargoniums) to replace the bedding plants munched by the slugs
- I wish I knew what the white flower is called, any plant experts around?
- I also bought a hardy fuchsia called "Dollar Princess". We're going to plant it in the ground once we've moved to our new house.
- I've finished sewing in the ends on my blanket, working on the border now. Not entirely sure what I'm going to do yet!
- The flowers, my blanket and my happy pink table and chair make me smile

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Frann Marr's Circular Cast On and a hat

Today I've got a quick hat to show you but before I do I wanted to share this mini tutorial for a pretty cast on. It works well for knitting things with a circular shape, such as a hat or a ball. I like the way it leaves a star shape at the top of the hat.

Firstly you need to make a slip knot. There are hundreds of videos and instructions out there so I'm going to assume you know how to do this. You need to make sure that the slip knot tightens by pulling the tail end of the yarn, not the working end

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For this cast on I worked 12 stitches. Obviously you may need to adjust this depending on what your pattern tells you :-)

Knit a stitch through the slip knot but leave the slip knot on the left needle (new stitch is on the right like normal). Do a yarn over and then knit another stitch through the slip knot again, 3 stitches on the right needle and 1 slip knot on the left.

Keep repeating the YO and then knitting 1 stitch until there are 11 stitches on the right needle (or one less than you need for your cast on)

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Finally make a purl stitch through the slip knot and drop the slip knot from your left needle.

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Divide the stitches up for your favourite method of small diameter knitting (magic loop, 2 circulars, DPN's) and follow your pattern's instructions like normal.

When you have knitted a few rounds you can tighten up the cast on. This is my favourite bit. It starts off looking messy and holey like this

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But then you pull on the tail of the original slip knot and it tightens up to look like this :-D

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Neat and pretty :-)

So now I've waffled on about how I cast on for my hat, it's about time I showed you how it turned out :-)

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I love the sweet little ear flaps!

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It's made using some Lorna's Laces sock yarn that the lovely Nics Knots sent me as a prize. The pattern is by Sarah Ronchetti and is called Taupo. It is sized from premature to large adult and is perfect for using up your sock yarn scraps. This one is the child size and I used 41g of yarn.

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Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along

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