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April 2015
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May 2015

Meet Julia and Joan

Over the bank holiday weekend we welcomed these two little cuties into our family...


The black and silver chook is a Silver Nick and her name is Joan, after the bitchy Joan Collins. She is a feisty bird with a big attitude.
The brown chook is a Gold Line and her name is Julia after a cat that the girls met in Greece. She is a very curious friendly little sweetie.

By the end of their second day in the run they had flattened all the grass that had grown since the last of our first brood of hens died.

They've settled in so nicely, putting themselves to bed at night and making sure they eat plenty grit to help with digestion.

Josh is his usual indifferent self where chooks are concerned although they haven't been allowed to free range yet!

My kidsilk WIP is not finished as I had hoped, although I am making good progress and plan to complete it by Sunday.

Happy sunshine days!

Ciao xx

Pashmina - 7 years to finish

When mum and I first bought the Rowan beads, buttons and lace pattern book and Rowan kidsilk haze yarn to make this beautiful pashmina/shawl I expected it to be a project that challenged my crochet skill and pushed my confidence but I didn't expect to be finishing it 7 years later.

Pashmina book

I picked it up again a few weeks ago and found 16 completed squares, I need 100 for this pashmina.

Pashmina stacks

I remembered back to 2008 when I needed the pattern to complete every one of those 16 squares. I remember abandoning squares when I made a mistake and couldn't unpick it due to the nature of the yarn. I remember doubting my skill and knowing that I wasn't going to mange a project like this. Like any craft practice makes perfect and I realise now that this project was too ambitious. A year later and I would have manged fine.
I put it away in a drawer and you know that feeling when you put a project down and just don't want to pick it up again. Yup I had that for 7 years.

Pashmina square

If I was starting this project today I would make a very different colour choice. I would love this in shades of grey with a touch of black and cream. Would I make it again? Yes, yes I would.

I am so glad that this project is nearly completed. I can't wait to wrap it around my shoulders and feel the softness of the yarn and enjoy the cosy warmth of it's caress. The end is in sight.

Ciao xx

Colourful living

Usually the weather prediction is nicer than the reality, but this weekend it was the other way around. On Friday the weekend prediction was cloudy and a little cooler, so I was prepared to spend most of it indoors sorting and clearing and cleaning, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was in fact sunny and bright and actually quite warm.

We had a stuff to do in the morning, but by 1 o'clock we were home and settled on the bench to enjoy an al fresco Mediteranian/eastern European inspired lunch.

Garden lunch

This polish sausage is just delicious, we buy it often to either pop under the grill or on the gas BBQ. The yellow blob is a polish mustard which is perfect for this sausage and just the right taste of spicy.

After lunch I thought I would take advantage of the weather and sit out.

Garden blanket

I left my blanket and magazines on the kitchen counter as I popped to the loo and came outside to see my darling best husband and laid it all out for me and poured me a drink! He really is something special <3

Of course the cat joined me and did his best to be as cute as possible...

Garden Josh sleeping

But then decided that he didn't want me to be distraced by the magazine as I wasn't giving him enough attention...

Garden Josh magazine

He bored of me before too long and posed by the peonies where it was a little cooler.

Garden peonies

I do love to sit under a blue sky and soak up the warmth of the sun.

Garden sky

I discovered the Brown Stitch blog today. There are some lovely patterns so i'm bookmarking this one for a future project!

Speaking of projects, I am 90 squares into the 100 that are required for my latest WIP. Photos and update later this week, promise! My plan is to finish by the end of the bank holiday weekend so I can move on to my next finishing school project.

There is much to do this week in preparation for my lovely step mum and sisters arrival on Friday. It will be very strange for us all to be in the same house after 10 years. My poor darling best husband is not going to know what hit him!

4 sleeps!

Ciao xx

Retro Granny Pot Holder

Oh I love this weeks Great Schemers colour scheme. So vibrant and they just screamed retro to me. At first I wanted to find an intarsia rose pattern as I thought I might knit a pot holder, but that just didn't feel 70s enough!

Pot holder

I decided that it had to be a granny and I needed to get a rose pattern into the little 3 treble clusters.

The pattern is very simple but be warned there are A LOT of ends to sew in and if like me you hate them then just a few of these squares will be all you can manage.

So, the foundation circle and round one are in yellow, followed by two rounds of pink. For round 4 I made green granny clusters in the corners and filled in the straight edges in black.
You can carry the colour at the back of the stitches to prevent all those ends but I didn't want the bright green to show through the black.
Then do one final round of black and to finish I did a round of double crochet in grey.

The more I look at this square the more I love it and the possibilities are endless. You could use each of those three bright colours as solid 4 round squares with a black 5th round and then dot the retro granny through the blanket. Here is a little excel sample......

Retro granny sample

Of course you can tone the colours down and go for a more cottage garden look!

Cottage garden colour palette

Oh my hat this has really started something in my brain now. I want to make this rose granny blanket!!

Pot holder close up

Oh happy crochet colour inspiration :)

Ciao xx

The big yarn stash

As I continue to strive for a tidy organised house I realise just how much stuff I have. Sorting my yarn has been an eye opener and I really need to either use or donate a large amount before I even think about bringing more into the house. What I would really like is a little team of outworkers who can whip up these preplanned projects and get me up to date!

My current WIP is coming along nicely and i'll take some photos and share progress soon. I am embarrased to admit that this project has been on the go for about 7 years!! But as my crochet skill has improved I am enjoying it so much more.

Of course having this many WIP's means I have alot of bags and baskets to keep them in. And this stash is now way out of control.

Baskets and bags

YIKES, there are 6 more bags/baskets not photographed.

So now I need to make a huge decision. What do I do with them all? I am vowing right now to never have this many WIP's on the go at once, ever again. So really I don't need them. OMG did I just say that?? I don't care if I need them or not, I WANT them all. Gosh I could never ever ever ever part with any of my lovely baskets.

But I also have no idea how I can possibly keep them as I have no place to store them, especially the lovely large static handled baskets, that just don't fold any smaller!

I will not be thinking about baskets this weekend though as my littlest sister arrives to stay for 3 nights before whizzing off to Greece!

Happy weekend!!

Ciao xx

Bag brooch

This weeks GSoT colour scheme was shades of berry with lime green and orange and I knew straight away that I wanted to make a flower. When I saw it next to my flowery Cath Kidston doctor foster bag I decided to make a brooch for my bag to add a bit of dimension but also double as a badge for me if I was out and wanted a bit of bling.

GSoT bag brooch

It's a very simple flower pattern with a double petal and I added some beads to the leaf to match the stitching on the leaves of the bag.

I'm thinking that these would be cute as a key ring or bag dangle too, and super quick and easy to make to pop in Christmas stockings!

Colour me haPPy!

Ciao xx