Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Happy Feet

Do you like my new socks?

Aren't they a vision of beauty?

As you know, I'm no knitter.  They were made for me by my wonderful multi-talented friend Ali.  (It was Ali who knitted my Robin Wristees.)

Self-striping yarn fascinates me.  It's too clever.

They're not just aesthetically pleasing, the yarn (Bluefaced Leicester) is lovely against your skin and keeps your pinkies toasty warm.  It's name, Mind The Gap, is pure genius and was apparently inspired by the London Underground.  You can find out more about it here on Ravelry

It comes to something when your children see you lying on your bed in your pyjamas with your bottom propped up on a pillow and legs akimbo, trying to take a photograph, and don't even bat an eyelid!

They have, however, threatened to disown me if I venture out in public in my new socks.  I'm thinking white sandals ...


Please note, this is not a sponsored post but an appreciation of British yarn and, most especially, darling friends.  Oh, and fabulous socks! X

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Break

Towan Beach, Newquay

Crantock Beach, Newquay

Crantock Beach, Newquay

Crantock Beach, Newquay

Crantock Beach, Newquay







Rather unexpectedly, our Easter this year was more about wind-whipped hair, sandy boots and cornish pasties than chocolate eggs and hot cross buns.

It was all very last minute but we went down to Cornwall for a few days.  Newquay to be precise.  We made the decision, managed to secure accommodation in a caravan holiday home, packed our bags and went.

We had a gloriously sunny Saturday but Easter Sunday was horrendous.  It bucketed with rain for the entire day.  Monday was a mix of the two.  Ahh, the inimitable, unpredictable English weather!  No matter, we had thought to throw waterproofs in with our shorts.

We clambered up sand dunes, picked our way around rocks, chased seagulls, made daisy chains, sought shelter in doorways, got lost in narrow, high-sided lanes, gorged on Cream Teas, snoozed and walked until our thighs ached.

Some friends were staying nearby so we met up each evening to eat too much and drink too much.

I've never really been very good at spontaneity but now that the children are a bit older, I'm finding that I'm getting much better at it.  And thank goodness for that.

Hope your weekend was every bit as enjoyable as ours.


Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter

I took my first cup of tea out into the garden, this morning.  The sky was clear and the most beautiful shade of blue.  The sun was shining brightly but not yet providing much warmth so I wrapped my dressing gown quite tightly around me.

I carefully picked my way down the narrow path, towards my viburnum, to inhale its pretty fragrance.  Its tiny creamy buds are all popping open to form large floral pompoms.  It really is looking quite stunning.

I forget whether it was the tiny flashes of colour within its boughs or the barely audible cheeping that first caught my attention ...

Have a truly magical Easter weekend, my lovely friends.


PS.  No chicks were harmed during this photo shoot (though blue chick did need a bit of a lie down - he's not so great with heights).


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Crochet Baktus Wrap

I finished my baktus.  Do I like it?  Yes, I do.  I really, really do.

It's super snuggly as a scarf but I'm also thinking of the summer and those long alfresco suppers when the sun has dipped and there's a slight chill in the air.

In fact, I'm making another one in cornflower blue.


The details ...

As I mentioned before, I used this pattern as my guide, three balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in 'apple' and a 5mm hook.  I'm quite a tight crocheter so using a smaller hook wouldn't have resulted in enough drape as the whole thing is worked in double crochet (US single crochet).

I doubled crocheted all around the edge, then gave it a gentle hand wash and a jolly good blocking before adding the simple pink trim.


Friday, 4 April 2014


"It's Spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"

Mark Twain

Thursday, 3 April 2014

This Week

I'm crocheting a baktus scarf/wrap.  At least, I think I am.  I don't actually know what 'baktus' means.  It may be something to do with the fact that it is worked in one strip, from one end to the other, without a centre seam.  It may also be something to do with the fact that it is supposed to take only one ball of yarn to make, in which case I've been disqualified already as I'm just about to start ball number three.

If you search 'baktus' in Ravelry, you'll find lots of examples (mostly knitted) but this is the pattern I'm using as a guide.  Except I'm not using sock yarn but Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in apple green (adore that colour) and a 5mm hook.  Plus I may have made a few other minor tweaks.  So far, it's just been a lot of double crochet (US single crochet) and very little else but I hope to move on to the edging after tonight.

That is, of course, if nobody minds me removing the remote controls first.  Honestly!  That's exactly how I found my crochet one morning.  No respect!

I've started my cut flower planting in earnest.  I popped a few packets of bulbs in my trolley when I went shopping which have now been planted and I have placed a teeny order for a selection of seedlings which should be delivered in a week or two.  Thank you so much for your cat deterrent advice - Comberspud, I laughed out loud at your lion poo suggestion!  I found some cat pepper at a local hardware shop which, so far, seems to be working magnificently!

I had a lovely Mothers' Day on Sunday.  I say lovely, it was pretty low-key but the bickering was minimal which was definitely a treat.  Blondie Daughter wrote me a beautiful poem inside a handmade card and Blondie Son presented me with a bunch of flowers.  They're already looking a little tired but I'm going to squeeze every minute out of them - one day soon it won't be me he's buying flowers for.  Sad face.

I've hauled my little case of spring/summer shoes down from the top of the wardrobe and am officially in 'shoe transition' phase.  My winter boots haven't been put away yet; they're still in easy reach but so now are my pretty slip-ons.  I don't have lots of shoes but, without fail, I forget what I do have and opening the case is always a little bit like a shoe-Christmas!  It's quite hard knowing what to wear at this time of year.  Would you believe I was gardening in a vest top at the weekend?  I'm chuffing freezing today.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

I'd Rather Have Flowers On My Table ...

I was lucky enough to win the most fabulous book in a recent giveaway hosted by Debbie on her blog, Serendipity Patch, called The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley.  I don't own many garden-related books and don't profess to be very green-fingered at all but I do love flowers.  I love them in the garden and love them just as much in my home.  I feel slightly bereft if I don't have a pretty posy on my kitchen table, mantelpiece or bedside table.  (Debbie reviews the book on her blog here.  While you're there, do take a few minutes to check out her crochet, it's just gorgeous.  Her spring flower blanket is in my top ten favourite blankets of all time!)

Well, this book has completely inspired me.

Did you know that approximately 80 per cent of the flowers available to buy in the UK are imported and may have travelled up to 25,000 kilometres by the time they reach our homes?  I might be being naive but that strikes me as crazy given that we live in such a green and pleasant land.

I only have a smallish south-facing town garden but I have resolved to grow as many cut flowers as I can this year.  I've made the most of the recent glorious weather and cleared a bed and several pots in readiness.  (Any tips on how to deter next door's cat from pooping in the freshly dug soil will be extremely welcome!  Bertie is more interested in sunbathing than patrolling his territory.)

I hadn't also realised how many of my existing plants can be cut and brought inside, starting very soon with my viburnum and crab apple blossom.  (Look at the colour of that sky.)

Of course, I have been trimming my lilac and using the branches for my Easter Tree, for a few years now.  Last year's.  The year before.  This year's are now in situ, all ready for decorating.

Meanwhile in the garden, I couldn't resist a bit of instant colour so I bought an armful of inexpensive polyanthus plants.

Gosh I love spring.