Tag Archives: flowers

Stitching Summer

A happy-sunny-smiley hello to you, my dearest reader! Isn’t it truly lovely to feel the warm kiss of sunshine on our cheeks once again? Especially as it has been such a long time a-coming… Have you spied my shawl pic floating above? I bet you have; I know how quick you are to spot a freshly crocheted creation! It is indeed the shawl I made from a pattern in the book ‘Modern Crocheted Shawls & Wraps’ by Laura Strutt, which was intended to challenge me a little as I hadn’t experimented with any intricate crochet work before. Following my venture into the unknown pastures new of lace shells and puff stitches, I emerged with a rather fabulous shawl. Originally said shawl was supposed to have been completely dove grey but after using two balls of Sirdar Snuggly 4ply yarn and believing there were no more (a thorough search with associated ranting of: “I just know there’s another ball somewhere!Has the sofa eaten it again?!” was made) I fashioned the border edging using a Stylecraft 4ply in parchment. One day later, guess what turned up in my knitting basket? We shall speak of it no more…

You know I showed you some rather summery socks last time dear reader? Well there’s more! A terrific pair in gorgeous green…

This pretty pair was requested by eldest darling daughter, who stated quite adamantly (and rather dramatically I hasten to add) that she did not want, nor never would want, strped socks on her feet, so I had to rather reluctantly put aside my exciting self-striping sock yarn and opt for a plainer shade of yarn. Of course the yarn she selected just had to be the one I had set aside for a cardigan for myself, didn’t it! As soon as I had completed said socks, my beloved self-striping yarn was back on my needles once again…

Is it just me or does anyone else become thoroughly excited at the beginning of a new ball of self-striping yarn? Do you too yearn for that little thrill of anticipation as the yarn unwinds and a new coloured stripe appears as if by magic on your needles? Oooh, the very thought sends ripples of glee down my spine… Talking about stripes, my other darling daughter (the one who will allow herself to be adorned in knitted garments of a striped nature) has requested a striped jumper in three shades of pink: raspberry, pomegranate and pale rose Stylecraft dk yarn to be precise…

I’m using a pattern by Sian Brown from issue 164 of Knitting Magazine, although not the gentle ombre blue shades she used, more ‘shout-out-loud-it’s-summer!’ shades instead – definitely no subtle ombre shading with this one!

Well that’s all for now folks, I shall leave you with a selection of summery pics from my wandering walks but until next time dear reader: keep on crafting…

Knittingness…

Hello there my lovely reader! I do hope my latest bloggings finds you full of the joys of Spring and bursting with fresh ideas for seasonal stitchings. As you can see, my cosy cardigan in khaki is complete. I’m muchly adoring the colour and following a gentle steaming, the Stylecraft yarn has once again produced a garment with a delightful drape. My second knitted niceness is my jolly jumper which has a moss stitch ribbed pattern to the front and back, adding a gorgeous texture to the rather wonderful self-striping effect of the Stylecraft Vintage Life yarn I used…

Sublime colours, aren’t they? Darling daughter has already tried it on and put a request in for a duplicate! Still on the knitty theme, I finally found a use for a couple of balls of Yarnfair self-striping yarn: a rather jaunty pair of slouchy socks…

This pretty-in-pastels pair is for darling daughter and as I’d forgotten quite how much I like knitting (and wearing) hand-knitted socks, I already have the itch to stitch another pair, so watch this space…

Remember that scrappy blankie I was working on from time-to-time? Well, it’s finished! Not only has it used up a fair stash of yarn scraps that would otherwise have gone to waste, it has also bought a smile to darling daughter’s face with all its super stripyness…

Of course, as one has two darling daughters a second scrappy blankie is already been hastily hooked up as we speak…

Over Easter I produced a prickly pair of embroidered cactus, courtesy of a Mollie Makes free craft kit I had hanging around…

Quite a couple of cuties, are they not? They have definately sparked a yearning for a spot of stitching; I’m thinking flouncy florals or beautiful botanicals…

Well I’m off to peruse a few embroidery books for inspiration, so I’ll leave you with a few seasonal shots from my latest wanderings. Until next time dear reader – keep on crafting!

March Makings…

Hello dearest reader! Yes, Spring has finally sprung (hurrah!) and it’s wonderful to spot all the darling daffodils and pretty primroses blooming in the big outdoors, as well as filling my home with the perfume of heavenly hyacinths. As you can see, I have been busy knitting myself a pair of March mittens to warm my chilly fingers on my wanderings. They were made from James C Brett’s ‘Lakeland’ chunky yarn, using a Sirdar knitting pattern. I’m just loving all the yarns with tonal shades in them at the moment, hence my choice of yarn for my latest jumper project: Stylecraft’s ‘Vintage Look’ life double knit yarn in a shade called ‘Autumn’…

If you’re wondering what happened to the khaki green cardigan I was knitting, well it has been completed (and looks lush) but is still awaiting the adornment of a few buttons which have yet to be purchased, so hopefully I will have a photo for you next time…

All these beautiful blooms bursting into life inspired me to start a little Spring scribbling on a floral theme. I added colour to this inky pattern with a few colouring pencils…

…but I’m not sure whether to leave this inky doodlings alone, or to add a splash of colour with watercolours…

Don’t flowers just fill your heart with joy, dear reader? Well I’m off to return to my jolly jumper project, so until next time – keep on crafting…

Crafting Colour…

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And a jolly-cheery hello to you, my dearest reader! Don’t you just adore this time of year? I love watching the trees erupt into a blaze of glorious jewel-like colours, along with foraging for acorns and chestnuts (sorry squirrels) and picking pumpkins in their glorious array of shapes and shades. As you can see in the photo above, I love to fill my home with a constantly growing collection of autumn’s bounty (once again, apologies squirrels) which tones in quite happily with my crochet cushion cover, in shades of silver, graphite and mustard. Granny squares are most definately my not-so-secret passion at the moment, for not only did I crochet a cosy cushion cover using the groovy granny square, I also made a beautiful baby blanket…

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…which I am calling my Peony Poppet Blanket, as it is in peony shades of pale peach, fondant, candyfloss and white. The granny squares didn’t stop there however dear reader, for I have finally finished the Blossom Baby Blanket I started back in the spring, which is composed of pretty little candy-coloured squares of sherbet, white, candyfloss and fondant…

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Cute colours aren’t they? Colourful colouring has also been occurring in my Mollie Makes colouring book, with a bit of botanical beauty…

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Of course, it will probably soon be that time of year to crack out my wonderful winter wonderland colouring book, so I can cosy up in front of the fire for a spot of festive fun with my colouring pencils (rock and roll!) I’ve already been busy puzzling, another perfect pastime as the evenings begin to darken earlier…

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Well that’s all for now, dearest reader. Here’s wishing you a happy Halloween – stay spooky but keep crafting…

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Summery Stitchings…

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No, you’re eyes do not deceive you dearest reader, that is a completed cream quilt of many, many squares in several stitches you see before you! Darling daughter is dutifully delighted with her beautiful blanket and I’m oh-so slightly sad that my pursuit of patterns to tempt my knitting needles is over. Never mind, here’s some close-up pics of those many, many squares (70 to be precise) each and every one unique (yes, 70 different stitch patterns) for you to feast your eyes on dear reader…

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bear with…

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there’s more…

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…and more…

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…ooh, don’t forget that lovely, lacy border…

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If you feel the urge to crack out your knitting needles and grab yourself a stash of yummy yarn to start your own blanket of many, many squares, then go for it dear reader! All I did was to select stitch patterns that required 37-39 stitches per row in order for the squares to be of a similar size. My squares were all knitted in double knit yarn on 4mm needles and I found the stitch patterns from various sources, including Debbie Bliss books, knitting magazines and the Deramores stitch blog amongst others. Of course you don’t have to aim for a huge number of squares, you could always make a smaller, equally lovely blankie, with just a few knitted squares. You could even make a fab textured blanket from simply mixing squares of plain knitted squares, such as stocking stitch, garter stitch and moss stitch, or even choosing cool colour combinations – there are endless possibilities to fit individual abilities, just give it a go…

My summery stitchings continued with a candy-coloured granny square blankie, edged with a splash of sunshine yellow for the scalloped border…

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Isn’t it a cutie? I used shades of lemon, spring green, cloud blue, wisteria and clematis Stylecraft Special DK. Using the same summery shades, a bounty of bunting was also created to match from a pattern by Nicki Trench in her book Cute & Easy Crochet…

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Such a cheerful bunch of bunting! Well that’s it for now dear reader, I do so hope you are muchly blessed with many, many hazy-lazy, sunshiny days until the next time we meet. I’m off to stitch in the sunshine, so shall leave you with a few of my favourite flowery pics from some summery-sunny walks…

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Stitching Seaside Shades

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A warm and sunny hello to you, my lovely reader! I do so hope you have been enjoying some summer sunshine of late and have escaped being drenched in dreaded downpours. As you can see, I have been crocheting delightful-deckchair-style, seaside stripes of cream, mustard, denim and meadow, which will hopefully adorn the headboard of a darling daughter of mine very soon. Simple treble stitch blankets are a pure joy to work on – so simple and soothingly rhythmic.

My pretty pins have now found a new summer abode courtesy of a Mollie Makes free kit, in the shape of a sugary-sweet, pretty-in-pink, shades of summer pin cushion…

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Adorable, isn’t it? Whilst hooking up this little beauty, I also remembered just how fond I am of the rather jolly old granny square. As a result, I am currently working on a candy-coloured granny square blankie, of which I will share a pic of next time (can you bear the wait, dear reader?)

Remember my cream quilt of many, many squares I have been beavering away on for a while now? Well, you’ll be glad to hear that I finally finished stitching together all 70 (yes, 70) of said many, many squares and have subsequently embarked upon the mammoth task of knitting a border. Of course, as darling daughter has selected a lacy stitch for the edging of her cream quilt, said border is not such a chore after all; you know how much I love knitting lovely, lovely lace…

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Ooh, I’ve also been crocheting a bounty of bunting in summery shades too, so shall share pretty pics of their jaunty jolliness next time, promise. I’ll leave you with a few fancy, flowery pics of prettiness, dear reader, as I wish you endless days of lazy, hazy sunshine. Keep on crafting…

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Stitching, squares, shawls and such…

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And a happy-hello to you my dearest reader! I do hope that you are bouncing around in the sunshine, full of the joys of spring like a newborn lamb. However, fear not if you are feeling a little damp and dismal in dreary drizzle, for I have some oh-so-cute-as-a-button pics coming up later, that will have you ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ with delight. As you can see from the above photograph, I have been happily stitching stems for the ‘Azure Bells’ embroidery from Landscape magazine which I’m currently working on. So far I’ve dabbled in stem stitch for the stem (so fitting) along with satin stitch for the leaf and I can’t wait to break out the blue thread to start stitching those tantalising blue bell flowers.

On the crochet front, my first ever shawl has been completed (the one from a Mollie Makes pattern) and I have to confess dear reader that I am rather chuffed with it…

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Of course now that I’ve finished it, I’m itching to get started on another one…But, my darling daughter’s cream quilt is so very nearly finished that I’m cracking on with it at full steam now, as I’m just finishing off the very last knitted square…

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…after which I can start sewing all those many, many, many squares together. Of course that does involve totally monopolising the lounge floor for a few days, while I rearrange said many, many, many knitted squares into a pleasing pattern! Anyway, now the moment you’ve been waiting for: the cutie-pie pic parade! I was lucky enough to visit the rather marvellous Devon County Show on Saturday, so summon up all those ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ in preparation for some cute creatures of the rural variety. First, gorgeous goslings…

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I know, fabulously fluffy. Now for one of my favourites – baby Indian runner ducks!

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And then there were the cuddly and comical alpacas…

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I also watched a bit of horse jumping for the first time and was suitably impressed…

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…such stunning animals…

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Well I do hope you are all overloaded with cuteness and feeling all warm and toasty inside. If you are still sadly lacking on the sunshine front, I do have some fabulous flowers to banish any remnants of dull dreariness you may be suffering with…

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Well, by now you should be full-to-the-brim with heart-warming cuteness and summery sunshine meaning my work here is done, so I shall leave you basking in a rosy glow of gladness while I crack on with the crafting. Until next time dear reader, take care…

Shall Share Shawl…

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…with you dearest reader, my first attempt at such a garment – what do you think? It’s in its early stages as yet of course, but I’m loving my choice of shawl shades…

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The pattern is from issue 66 of the marvellous ‘Mollie Makes’ magazine, although I did wander away from the all-green colour as depicted in the pattern, opting instead for a striped combination of colours (once I had had a little play around with my beloved yarn pegs) that were pleasing on the eye. I have to confess dear reader, crocheting shawls may become rather addictive, so watch this space…

Remember that blissful blanket I was upcycling from the back of an old headboard cover- the one where the front section has already been transformed into a cosy cushion cover? Well, I managed to complete it over Easter…

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So what started out as a rather useless block of silver grey crochet, has now been transformed – via the magic of a crochet hook wand – into a thoroughly useful blankie. Hurrah!

Keeping with the crochet theme, a bounty of bouncing bunnies was created for my spring display, via a crochet pattern in the spring edition of the lovely ‘Landscape’ magazine…

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Amazingly, each bunny is made from a single knitted or crocheted square, sewn up in such a way as to form a bunny shape, as if by magic! Easy-peasy!

Landscape magazine has also inspired me to attempt a little floral embroidery on linen…

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…I can’t wait to start stitching. Ooh, I must crack on with those knitted squares for darling daughter’s dream cream quilt as well though; I’ve made over 40 now so the dream is nearing reality! Keep on crafting…

So, a Sunless Summer Spent…Saving the Universe!

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Well hello my lovely blog-reading friends! I hope you managed to have some fun this summer, despite all the gloomy damp weather. It was all a bit disappointing wasn’t it? As the sun failed to make many appearances in the sky for us, I have added a sunny yellow glow to my bloggings for you, by way of the delightful dahlia pic above. I just adore dahlias: so vervaciously vibrant they can’t fail to cheer you up.

If you managed to escape to anywhere exciting for the summer dear reader, I hope you managed to find some sunshine, for we certainly did when we visited wonderful Wales for our hols. During our time there we enjoyed the many delights of Cardiff such as the castle..

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…all very impressive with rather a lot of steep steps that were fine to climb up but somewhat scarier to descend (eek!) We also loved ambling around the many Edwardian and Victorian shopping arcades…

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…enjoyed a brew and Barabrith in the many cosy coffee bars…

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…we wondered at the many delights of Cardiff Bay, or Tiger Bay as the locals call it…

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…such as The Roald Dahl Plas…

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…the mighty Millenium Centre…

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Oh, and did I mention that we saved the universe there too? Yes indeed, we visited The Doctor Who Experience and had an epic-awesome adventure working with the current Doctor Who to save the planet from various aliens…

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…and generally had a fab out-of-this-world experience…

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We also visited the beautiful Barry and Barry Island, where we walked in the footsteps of TV’s Gavin and Stacey and I’m not gonna lie to you, it was crackin’!

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We were made up to visit Trinity Street where Stacey, Gwen (not Gwen from Budgeons), Bryn (don’t mention the fishing trip) and Doris lived, Marco’s where Stacey worked, the arcade where Nessa (sort of ) worked…

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…Boofy’s their chip shop of choice…

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…and sat on the same wall that Gavin, Stacey, Smithy and Nessa all perched on for that final episode and looked out to sea…

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…genuine!

Back in England, we had a delightful day out in Teignmouth: still as serene as ever…

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…a trip to Totness and Dartington…

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…and gazed in awe at the beautiful, big, big skies of Budleigh…

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What have I been crafting up this summer? Well for starters I’ve only been at the chalk paint and had a go at a bit of upcycling! Yes I ‘updated’ my ‘dated’ solid pine bed with a lick of pebble grey chalk paint and I have to confess, I am rather chuffed with it…

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I must warn you though dear reader, painting furniture is seriously addictive, as I have been eyeing up other suitable candidates around my abode that look ripe for a quick makeover! My new watercolour paints had a quick testing too…

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…and my ink pen enjoyed a little ‘mindfulness zentangling’ or doodling as we know it…

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My crochet hook worked up a sweat on a chic chevron cushion I designed with a buttoned closure on the reverse…

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…along with a whimsical wall hanging for darling daughter, complete with tickly tassels and dreamy driftwood…

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A trio of charm bracelets were crocheted from a Mollie Makes’ kit and as there were three I let my two darling daughters squabble out the distribution between themselves; far too dangerous an area for me to venture into…

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My knitting needles have been happily stitching up some cosy treats for autumn, such as a textured caress of a cover for my notebook…

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…several squares in many, many patterns, in glorious greys for what will one day become a warming throw…

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…and a cosy cushion cover in gorgeous grey stripes of a selection of stitch patterns…

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I had a little go at crafting with leatherette via another Mollie Makes kit, this time a tropical cocktail of a couple of brooches…

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Thankfully there were two of them, so I was spared any teenage traumas when it came to sharing them out – phew! A bit of baking was also enjoyed which produced a lush lemon loaf…

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…it didn’t last long mind you! Bit like our summer… Well I will leave you now dear reader and as I began my bloggings with a dahlia, so I shall end with a dahlia, well, a jug full of the dashing darlings actually! Keep on crafting…

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Bountiful Blossoming Blooms

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Yes indeed dear reader, summer has well and truly arrived in my garden, as you can tell from the bountiful blossoming flowers that have appeared on my courgette plant in the photo above! Courgette flowers are definately not ‘backwards in coming forwards’ as far as blooms go, for they are indeed rather enormous and rather yellow. They do however perform the most breathtaking magic, by turning into one of these beauties…

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Rather impressive is it not, dear reader? My first ‘crop’ I do declare, but maybe just a ‘cropette’ seeing as it’s just the one. My pepper plants are also producing perfect peppers of the green variety…

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…and to top it all, I’ve only gone and grown real live olives on my little olive tree!

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There has been much excitement in our household dear reader, at the tentative initial success of our petite patio potted allotment efforts!
It’s delightful to sit amongst the bounty of blooms in my garden, all buzzing with the hum of happy honey bees. Ho hum…

There have also been a few ‘blooms’ in evidence in my latest sewing project, for I have finally finished the cute-as-pie Lucky Bear free project from Mollie Makes. The flowery embroidery was a joy to stitch and has left me yearning for more floral-fancy needlework and as for the little bear himself, well I was so enamoured with the cheerful chappy that I just had to draw him…

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He’s quite a flowery, fanciful fellow isn’t he? Talking of fancy flowers, my coloured pencil sketch of the cottage garden hollyhock ‘bloomed’ (pardon the pun) this week…

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I just love the blousy blooms of the handsome hollyhock, don’t you? On the knitting front, the delightful diamond lace stitch cowl I was knitting is now complete…

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…which leaves me with an empty pair of knitting needles and in a bit of a quandry as to what project to pick next, from my infinite list of ‘oh I must try that’ to-do list! I also have an endless list of ‘ooh I so have to bake those beauties’ cakes and cookies to-do list. One such scrummy delight was baked up during a rather miserably muggy day of rain at the weekend: my oat and chocolate chip cookies. A Facebook pal has requested the recipe, so as promised here it is…

Oat & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
4oz (115g) butter
4oz (115g) dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3-4tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla essence
5oz (150g) plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4oz (115g) rolled oats
7oz (200g) milk chocolate chips

Apologies for all the ‘ounces’ reader, for although I declare myself to be fully ‘metrical’ whilst in public, at home behind closed doors I am totally beholden to my dear old imperial chums: pound and ounce!

Method:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs, milk and vanilla essence, beating well. I usually add a little flour with each glug of eggy mix, so as to prevent curdling hazards.
2. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, stirring until well mixed.
3. Fold in the rolled oats and mix well, then add the chocolate chips.
4. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. Place 2 teaspoon-sized heaps of the mixture on a greased baking sheet or one lined with baking parchment. Leave room for them to spread a little and press them down a bit in the centre with the back of a spoon. You should be able to make about 20.
6. Bake the little beauties in a preheated oven set at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 10-12 minutes, until they are just starting to colour at the edges, then carefully transfer them to a wire cooling rack with a spatula.

These cookies are of the soft and squidgy variety even once cooled, but you must devour at least one whilst it is still warm from the oven, as they are divine! They are also extremely fabulous when warmed slightly and eaten with ice-cream but they are also lovely just enjoyed with a cuppa…

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Mmm, don’t they look delicious…sorry dear reader, but my cookies are calling me so I will leave you to bake, blossom and bloom my friend!