Tag Archives: scarf

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…

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Oh so snuggly…

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As you can see dear reader, I have begun the new year with a new blanket, crocheted from many, many squares (108 to be precise) in autumnal shades of Stylecraft yarn and finished with a frivolous trim of oh-so-delightful crocheted ruffles. I’m all set for sofa snuggles, yet darling daughters have taken a liking to it too, so let the blanket battles begin!

My trusty knitting needles now have a new project on the go: a cardigan in khaki double knit yarn, with deep ribbing to the hem and cuffs…

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I’m using a King Cole pattern and Stylecraft yarn but I’m still pondering my choice of buttons-shall I plump for wooden ones; a vintage style; ceramic beauties or just plain green? The possibilities are endless but intriguing. Whatever happens the end result will hopefully envelop me in snuggliness.

A super-soft shawl is also in the making; a further item to contribute to my quest for feeling oh-so-snuggly…

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I just love how the lace pattern develops with every row, as it looks so effective and textural. I’m using a gorgeous grey 4ply yarn by Sirdar, which is rather aptly named ‘Snuggly’ so it was obviously meant to be! I’m following a pattern from Laura Strutt’s book ‘Modern Crocheted Shawls & Wraps’ and can’t wait to get working on it again. Once finished, I’m sure it will keep me wonderfully warm on winter walks but for now I will leave you with a few frosty photographs from my most recent winter wanderings. Until next time dear reader: keep on crafting…

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Beautiful Blanket Beginnings

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Yes dear reader, my cream quilt quest has begun, as requested by my darling daughter. Many, many squares have already been knitted in a buttery-soft, cream yarn, as I feverishly satisfy my addiction to trying out different stitch patterns. Who knows what new stitch pattern I might stumble upon? Let the adventure begin…

Still on the knitting theme, my latest scarf in autumnal shades has been completed and suitably renamed as my ‘Wodland Walk Wrap.’ Take a peek…

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Another cosy-cowl was also completed, this one simply knitted entirely in moss stitch…

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It was a partially finished project found lurking at the bottom of a bag of yarn I was sorting; I had been wondering where it had disappeared to! I also did a bit of nifty upcycling when I turned an old headboard cover I had crocheted some time ago from groovy granny squares into a cuddly cushion cover, with the addition of a few vintage buttons…

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One wet, windy, wild day was spent doodling wise words in ink, with a whispering of a floral flourish…

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Along with a heavenly houseplant hash…

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Well, spring has oh-so-nearly sprung dear reader, so I hope all your bulbs bloom brightly and I had better get back on with that blanket…

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.

Falling For Autumn

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A happy-hello to you dear reader chum! Here’s hoping my latest bloggy post finds you full of autumn cheer; for who can fail to smile at the gorgeous array of jewel shades adorning the trees right now? Whilst wandering in the crisp air of the chilly outdoors, I am always foraging for little seasonal treasures to bring home, rather like a large squirrel, except I don’t eat the items of course, they are purely for display as you can see in the pics above and below…

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I have also collected together some rather sumptuously earthy, autumnal shades of yarn, which are just crying out to be knitted into a cosy cowl of some description. I’m thinking stripes of alternating shades using different stitch patterns, we shall see…

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Currently, I am knitting a skinny scarf in a gorgeous coppery-brown shade of cotton yarn, in a lovely lace stitch…

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This also has a scattering of tiny pearl seed beads knitted into the cast-on edge (which you can’t see in the picture, unfortunately) and this will be repeated for the cast-off edge as well. I’m just loving knitting a lace stitch once again and the yarn has such a beautiful sheen to it too, much like a burnished brown autumnal oak leaf.

As for crochet, well one of my darling daughters requested a ‘granny-square-type-dreamcatchery-thingy-in-earthy-natural-colours-with-driftwood-and-tassels-and-stuff-you-know?’ so I came up with this…

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It ended up on the wall by her bed, so I am assuming it was just as she ordered- phew! I also had a go at the freebie little loom kit from Mollie Makes magazine, which was also claimed by said darling daughter with a quick: “Mine!” once I’d finished it…

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My cosy throw is coming along well, as I am still busy knitting many, many (many) squares in various shades of grey and in many, many (many) different stitch patterns…

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I just adore experimenting with new stitch patterns and have found the Deramores blog a super source of unique ones. Well I’m off forthwith for a brew and a little taste of Christmas: mini stollen bites, mmm…

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I will wish you a happy Halloweeny time dear reader, just don’t get too spooked…

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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!

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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