Tag Archives: lace knitting

Farewell Winter

IMG_20181202_101115_060.jpgHello there dearest reader! I thought I had better update you on all my winter crafting pretty sharpish, considering that spring is advancing at a rapid pace (if not already arrived in some areas!) As you can see, I completed my autumn granny square blanket which provided much comfort from the winter chills on many occasions. It’s definitely a firm favourite. Remember the Christmas granny square blanket I was working on? Well, I just about managed to finish that festive little beauty in time for Christmas (phew!) so it was a much-used snuggler for all those festive films…

IMG_20181230_130757_186.jpgI think Santa even approved…

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Remember all those blocks I was knitting for my autumn colour block blanket? Well, I eventually managed to sew them all together into a pleasing ensemble (involving endless faffing around on the lounge floor, oh how fussy I am!) and added a final flourish with a striped border and a cute little picot edging…

IMG_20190216_112055_482.jpgIt was knitted using a pattern from Knitting Magazine but I changed all the colours for Stylecraft yarn in shades of copper, walnut, mocha, gold, graphite, bottle and burgundy with a couple of stitch pattern alterations as I dislike a blanket with lots of loops on the back which  I always seem to be catching things on!

Continuing with the knitting theme, I purchased a rather lushious cake yarn called Colourwheel by Sirdar in gorgeous autumnal shades and I used the free lace scarf pattern that accompanied said yarn to make a sumptuous scarf…

IMG_20181231_145621_018.jpgI simply adore working with cake yarns; I find it so thrilling to witness the colours changing, as if by magic, while I’m knitting. Bliss…

After purchasing a few balls of Stylecraft Life Marl in nutmeg from a charity shop, I decided to knit a shawl using a pattern by Brian Smith in Knitting Magazine. It has a fascinating curved stitch pattern as it alternates with a contrasting yarn, in my case a graphite grey shade, and is knitted on a circular needle…

IMG_20190216_114324_694.jpgI have also begun to knit myself a cardigan in a simply stunning dark charcoal double knit yarn by James C Brett which has a dash of Merino in it and believe me, it is so so soft and a joy to work with; a real comfort for the mind and soul…

IMG_20190216_113252_251.jpgFor this very, very dark grey number, I’m using a pattern by Purl & Jane, a knitting design emporium based in North Yorkshire, which is proving a joy to follow due to its ease and simplicity. As a result, I can knit and concentrate on a thrilling TV drama without losing the plot (of the drama and the knitting pattern!) so it’s a win-win situation.

IMG_20190216_115653_575.jpgAs you can see, I’ve also been dabbling in a little ink sketching. I love to draw directly with an ink pen as I find the instant creation of a permanent image on a surface so satisfying; the crisp visual contrast of black on white is so appealing. I must do more…

Well, that’s all my musings for now dear reader. I do hope you had a warm, restorative winter hibernation and that you are ready to burst into the season of spring with vigorous joy. I will leave you with a few pics of my recent wanderings around the stunning city of York, until next time dear reader, keep on crafting…

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Summery Stitcherings

Well hello there dearest reader! How are you coping with this rather sizzling heatwave we’ve been experiencing? I find any temperature over 22° a bit too sticky for me but I do love the happiness-inducing sunshine. As you can see from the pic above, I have completed the Granny Goes Large crocheted blanket from a pattern by Cherry Heart, using double knit yarn from Stylecraft and isn’t it truly glorious! I just love how it lifts my mood whenever I glimpse its joyous colours. True to form dear reader, I have indeed begun another blanket…

It’s my summery ripple blanket in a delightful mix of many colours of Stylecraft double knit yarn: pomegranate, petrol, teal, empire, stone, silver, cream, soft peach, candyfloss, sage, duck egg, sherbet, turquoise, raspberry and cloud blue. Phew! It’s a cacophony of colours composed by myself and the darling daughter who is the excited recipient of said blanket for, guess what, it is already complete…

…and darling daughter is smitten with it, particularly the border in a petrol shade which really grounds all those riotous colours. Fear not dear reader, another ripple blanket is already being hooked as we speak, a little something I’m calling my Yorkshire Dales Delight in Stylecraft double knit yarn shades of khaki, cypress, meadow, mocha and grape…

Can you imagine the delightful Yorkshire Dales as you gaze upon it? I had the added joy of actually working on it right in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales in our holiday cottage this month, bliss.. Pics to follow at the end of this post, promise.

As you can probably guess, despite the humid heat, I also have a pair of knitted socks on the go although they are a rather lacy summery sock from a pattern called Valentine Socks by Emma wright in Knitting Magazine, which I’m knitting in a delectable duck egg shade of blue-green…

Can you see the little sweetheart pattern emerging? So cute… I have also been doing a spot of embroidery, just experimenting with different stitches over fabric…

It’s such fun selecting different shades of embroidery silks and drawing patterns with thread; I can highly recommend it.

A little charity knitting has also been attempted again, this time for The Sailors’ Society in the form of knitted hats. The charity is an international maritime one that supports seafarers and their families…

I used various shades of double knit yarn doubled to create my own chunky yarn to knit the hats with, as combining two different shades of yarn together makes for interesting mottled effects, very pleasing.

Finally, with a nod to the onset of autumn next month (yes really) I have begun knitting an autumn block blanket based upon the pattern by Jo Allport in Knitting Magazine called Mystery Blanket but I’ve just changed all the colours for a more autumnal selection. I guess it will still be a mystery for you dear reader, as the colours and patterns of each block will only be gradually revealed to you as I work on them. I hope you can bear the suspence! To help you out I have two blocks for you today (I spoil you, you know!) the first one in mocha…

…with a geometric effect and the second block a lace pattern in graphite grey…

You’ll just have to wait to see the patterns of the other blocks and the shades I have selected! Enjoy the rest of your summer dear reader and remember: keep on crafting…

Winter Warmers…

Yes it’s that time of year for warming wraps, snuggly scarves and socks, socks, socks, for winter chills are lurking just around the corner. As you can see, I finished my rather gorgeous shawl knitted from a Knitting Magazine lace pattern, using Papatya cake yarn in autumnal shades and I just adore it (muchly). Remember that lovely green shawl I was crocheting from Simply Crochet magazine? Well dear reader, you’ll be pleased to know it turned out to be just as soft and sumptuous as everything else I’ve made using James C. Bett’s ‘Misty’ yarn;see for yourself…

Still on the warming wraps theme, I knitted up a simple scarf in garter stitch for my darling daughter, using blocks of her favourite autumn jewel colours of Stylecraft dk yarn: gold, copper, graphite petrol and burgundy…

And so to socks, for as you know dear reader, I always have a pair of socks on the go, this time I’m using a dk super-soft yarn by King Cole called ‘Sprite’ in a Capri shade, although I think the colours of dark navy, purple, pink and green remind me so much of the northern lights that I think it should have been called Aurora…

In my capacity as freelance Christmas toy elf for Santa, I have once again been crafting up a few cuddly creatures for Christmas gifts for tiny munchkins out there. You’ll be excited to know that I have a new crocheted creature to introduce to you: Felix the Fox…

Isn’t he just the cutest in his jolly green jumper? I also crocheted another mouse toy but altered the sizing so that it turned out a rather pretty-petite half the size of my usual mouse toy…

I know, she’s just too delightful for words isn’t she? Of course I just had to craft up another cheeky monkey…

And yes he’s already been up to his usual tricks…

Ooh monkey you are such a cheeky chimp! Well, that’s all my crafty creations for this time dear reader. I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite autumnal pics from my recent wanderings and remember: keep on crafting…

So Summer Slips Away…

…and autumn arrives with a calming coolness…well it certainly did this rather chilly September 1st, the first morning of autumn, for whilst dashing through the park to post a card before the collection time, there was a definite chill in the air which actually felt fairly pleasant after all the humid, stickiness of late. As you can see dear reader, I am eeking out the summer vibes with another pair of socks (yes I am still addicted to sock knitting), this time in summery seaside stripes with one of my fave self-striping yarns from Yarnfair using Anna Wilkinson’s pattern again, which I am rather worryingly beginning to commit to memory… Still on the sock theme, you remember the pair I was knitting in summery shades of strawberry? Well here they are…

Aren’t they super? Well darling daughter was certainly delighted but her delight with my knitted bounty did not stop there, oh no, it continued on to grow into utter euphoria on completion of the sugar-sweet sweater in candy colours too…

My other darling daughter was also delighted to be the proud recipient of a pair of super-stripy socks in carnival colours and here they are in all their glorious garishness: ta-da!

Remember that cardigan I was knitting in that gorgeously soft James C. Brett Misty yarn from a Sirdar pattern? Well I finished that sooo soon simply because that yarn slipped oh so softly through the fingers…

…and unsurprisingly the cardigan is now a firm favourite with me. Talking of favourites, whilst on holiday in Yorkshire (more of that later) I purchased my very first yarn cake:oh my, how exciting are they? What an invention, am thoroughly besotted with them and if you haven’t indulged in the joys of cake yarn then you are missing out dear reader; if you feel there is something missing in your life, it is probably because you need to fill it with an enchanting cake yarn! Using my little cake of wonders I decided to knit a lacy seasonal shawl using a pattern from Knitting Magazine…

Aren’t the colours glorious? I can tell you’re tempted to nip out now and grab yourself a couple of cake yarns but hold fire dear reader, stay with me just a little while longer and I will release you very soon. Promise.

Have you heard of Yarndale? ( http://www.yarndale.co.uk ) Well if not it is a rather fabulous weekend event of all things wool-related held in Skipton, Yorkshire and each year they ask the wider yarn-loving community to knit/crochet a specific item to help raise money for a deserving charity. This year the charity is Mind and the yarny item of desire is a heart, so my crocheted heart in cotton yarn has already been posted off to Skipton (just wish I could have squeezed into the envelope with it)…

All the hearts will be displayed with the help of the very talented Lucy of Attic 24 blog fame ( http://www.attic24.typepad.com ) along with countless other volunteers. As you have probably guessed dear reader, I had a jolly jaunt all the way up to Yorkshire for a week this summer and oh my, what a wonderful week it was; Yorkshire is just beautiful and we felt so at home there. We visited many, many memorable places including the RHS Harlow Carr Gardens…

Haworth…

The home of the Brontes…

Skipton Castle…

Skipton market town…

Skipton Woods…

Ilkley…

Betty’s Tearooms…

York…

The Yorkshire Dales…

…as well as many other equally stunning places, all whilst staying in a farm cottage with views from the windows such as these…

What a wonderful, wonderful week(sigh). Enjoy the first few days of autumn dear reader and I’ll leave you with one last view of Yorkshire, but remember: keep on crafting…

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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Such Snuggly Stitchings

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Ta-da! Yes, it’s finally complete – my cuddly, cosy throw of many, many squares and I am so pleased with it. I bet you can guess what I was stitching away at all over the festive period…

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…but it was a pleasure and a joy…

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…and looks jolly fabulous adorning my bed. Of course darling daughter tried to kidnap my pride and joy, only relenting on condition that I knit her one in cream and pale grey. Crafty minx…

As well as knitting the rather addictive lovely, lacy border for my fabulous throw whilst watching festive films, I also dabbled in a spot of colouring-in…

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That’s right dear reader, a perky pair of birds (which I turned into thrushes with a bit of extra shading and detailing) nibbling on holly berries…

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…along with a snowy tree in a wintery sky…

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Further snugglesome stitchiness has also been knitted up in the form of a rather earthy/woodland toned scarf. The first section was knitted in double moss stitch, in a rather fitting mossy green…

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A section of lovely lattice stitch in a rusty brown followed…

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Chic chevron stitch in charcoal grey came next…

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Then there was a slip-stitch honeycomb pattern in honey-mustard…

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Finally, there was risotto stitch and dark, dark brown…

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So I’m off to stitch more snuggly, dear reader and remember: stay warm, snuggle up and keep cosy.

Making Merry Makings

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Hello there my lovely reader friend! I do so hope you are full-to -bursting with festive fun-ness and other such seasonal sillyness. As you can see, I have been busy baking my merry mincemeat muffins, complete with a sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar…mmm…

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…and the merry mmm-ing doesn’t stop there, for instead of our normal, everyday crumble, we had a ‘Crimbo Crumble’ with apple, brown sugar, cinnamon and seasonaly-sweet merry-mincemeat!

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My gorgeous-in-grey cosy throw has now been all been sewn up – a definate labour of love sewing all those many, many (many) squares together…

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…I must confess that I muchly preferred knitting all those sumptuous squares of several stitch patterns! The blankie does look rather super though and is just in need of a lovely lacy border which I am currently knitting…

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As I became somewhat addicted to trying out different stitch patterns, I ended up with a rather huge pile of squares, which has therefore formed a rather huge blankie, requiring (you guessed it) a huge long border. Luckily, I love knitting lovely, lush lace and as I have a massive pile of Christmas films to watch, you can guess what I’ll be up to for the festive period! Here’s wishing you oodles of fabulous festive fun dear reader and I’ll leave you with a few seasonal shots of some sparkly-twinkly lights. Merry Christmas☆

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And So to Sew Squares…

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…and such a stack of them too! Yes, I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to know that I have finally finished knitting all the squares I needed to complete my cosy throw dear reader; all 63 of the little darlings! I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with all the many stitch patterns I tried out and was actually a little sad to cast off the final square, as well as feeling a trifle daunted by the prospect of all that ‘sewing-together-of-squares’ scenario… Fear not dear reader chum! For I have summoned up a copious amount of courage to complete the trying task ahead of me ( along with lashings of tea and cake, of course).

Maybe it’s all the rain we’ve been having, but my doodlings have been feeling the blues of late, hence this little ink and watercolour paint piece I refer to as my ‘big blue blooms’…

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…and this one which is quite simply ‘blobby blue blobs’ (self-explanatory really)…

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In an attempt to cheer my sketchbook up, I created a little festive cheer with a seasonal sketch of one of my favourite birds:the robin…

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A little cutie, is he not? Bless his adorable red breast; doesn’t he just warm the cockles of your heart, dear reader chum? And I did so enjoy having my colouring pencils out for a play again, so much so that I dabbled with a dash of colouring-in, with my new grown-up colouring-in book on nature…
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A rather restrained and ‘grown-up’ start by me on the title page, but on the next page I just went wild with an exotic explosion of crazy colours because that’s how I roll and it is my colouring book after all…

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Now I definately feel like I have released my inner child with a nostalgic childhood pastime. Well, I can’t hang around here passing time with you dear reader, no matter how endearing your company is, for I have a skyscraper of a stack of squares to sew together, so I can have my cosy throw ready for snuggling up in once that frosty-chilly cold snap arrives! And sew on and sew on…

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Delightfully Doodly Days

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A happy hello to you dearest reader! I hope this latest bloggy-bit finds you with a smile in your step and sunshine filling your soul, whilst enjoying the hazy-lazy days of summer. As you can see, I have been dabbling with doodles and giving my faithful Sharpie pen a good workout…

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Wait,there’s more…

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Oooh, I do love a doodle; I find it so mesmerisingly medatative and relaxing. If you’ve never tried it, do give it a go dear reader. You don’t need to be an amazing artist – just grab a pen, take it for a wiggly-squiggly walk across a piece of paper and then add a few patterns of your choosing to all the shapes you have created. Go on, grab those felt tips and embrace your inner child! But don’t draw on your face or on the furniture…

My notebook has also been subjected to a few jaunty jottings of the floral variety…

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…and I was so taken with the hollyhock sketch I was toying with, that I drew another version in my sketchbook so that I could add a blush of colour to it with coloured pencils. Here is a work-in-progress pic…

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My knitting needles have been busy recently, as I’ve been passing through one of my ‘loving-lace-knitting’ phases. In times of stress (two teenagers in residence: I need say no more) I often seek solace within the rhythmic and repetitive repeating patterns of a lovely lace stitch. So far my stressed inner karma has been gently eased by the fanciful Fishtail Stitch…

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…then nicely nurtured by the beautiful Branching Lace Stitch…

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and finally gently jollied along by the dazzling Diamond Lace Stitch…

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My glorious garden has been flowing with fanciful flowers in abundance whilst the sun has been shining dear reader, including my rock rose and forget-me-nots…

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…the lovely love-in-a-mist (can you spot the bee?)…

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…my fabulous fig, which one day will yield fruit, one day…

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…oh-so-pretty violas…

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…heavenly herbs…

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…and such succulents…

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Gardening for flowers feeds the soul, but this year I have dabbled my green fingers into the world of gardening for food to feed my family! It’s all very exciting dear reader, for now I am the proud owner of a fledgling gooseberry bush…

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Did you spot the gooseberries? As well as an oh-so-young olive tree that has teeny-tiny olives growing on it; a selection of strawberry plants…

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…and a tiny-but-terrific tomato plant…

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…from which we picked our first few sun-blushed tomatoes at the weekend, causing huge excitement in our household: our first crop!

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These little beauties were added to our first crop of salad leaves and herbs that had been happily sprouting away in the sunshine…

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…and although it wasn’t a bountiful yield by any stretch of the imagination, it tasted divine. Fear not dear reader, for those meagre morsels were not the sole source of our sustenance this weekend: they merely formed a small accompaniment to our main meal, as I would hate to leave you with an image of me and two ravenous teenagers squabbling over a couple of tomatoes and a handful of herbs and salad leaves! Growing flowers is fun and growing food is further fun and I can highly recommend it, even when you start (exceedingly) small as I have. So go out and enjoy the sunshine and remember…

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