Friday, 2 December 2016

Five On Friday - a random five!

It is great to be back with Five On Friday, thank you Amy for organising this yet again. My blogging has been on a back burner for a little while so it is good to be back in blogland.

1.  One of the main reasons for my absence from blogland has been the fact that I am working to a deadline to get my Sunshine blankets completed. As my regular readers will know I set myself a target of producing twelve blankets to be donated to a local residential care home to give to the residents for Christmas. I completed twelve blankets but then on speaking to the home I decided to try and get a couple more done (well thirteen would be unlucky wouldn't it)! I now have thirteen completed and am well under way with number fourteen - I am really down to the wire with this one. I have planned to get them all photographed and packaged on Monday next week ready to take to the home on Friday afternoon. Hopefully I will manage to get this one done in time. Here is a photo of it in its current state.

I will hopefully be back soon with a crochet related post - I have lots to show you.

2. I treated myself to a slow cooker a few weeks ago and I am loving it. During this cold spell we have been having I have enjoyed warm tasty meals and it is ideal for Slimming World recipes - my current favourite is Campfire Stew, so yummy and tasty. The main ingredient is a gammon joint which you shred up once cooked and mix in with the sauce, the meat just falls apart once cooked, I will be making this lots more.

3.  When I was on holiday at the end of October I treated myself to a new Christmas decoration which I love. I haven't decorated yet but just got this out to show you. The dome just sits on a base and is battery operated. However you can sit the base on a saucer and use a night light if you prefer. I am looking forward to getting the tree and the rest of my decorations out but I anticipate I will have a couple of weeks of nagging to do yet before the men folk will get my tree out of the loft! They definitely don't get excited about the onset of the Christmas season.

4.  Having read Amy's blog today about having an untidy desk I suffer from the same syndrome. However over the past couple of weeks I have made an effort to become more organised. I am lucky that a friend gave me this stationery carousel for all my numerous pens etc. Thank you Janice - I love it!

5.  Carrying on with the organised theme I saw one of these in my friend's house and just had to get one. It is an Ikea Raskog cart (trolley according to my DS2)! It is brilliant, so much room in the trays and already my crafting corner has become a lot more organised. I still have a bit of sorting to do but this is such a handy gadget. I love the little magnetic tins that are easy to attach to the sides of the cart. 

Please visit Amy's link up page to find links to other five posts. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

A beautiful morning for a walk in the countryside

Who can resist a walk in the countryside on a bright sunny November morning?  I certainly couldn't.

Our walking activity has slowed down just lately for various reasons so it was so good to get out in the fresh air and sunshine.

We chose one of our favourite locations and set off with camera in hand. One thing we noticed was how many holly berries there are this year - is this the sign of a hard winter to come?

I will let the photos do the talking and hope you enjoy them.

Thank you for visiting if you have made it this far. Have a great weekend and I will be back with another blog post soon.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

A special crochet project

I have recently had the great joy of taking part in testing a crochet pattern for the very talented Sandra from Cherry Heart.

The pattern was the Getting Ziggy Shawl and I first saw this design on Sandra's podcast episode 13 and fell in love with it. However I was disappointed that the pattern was not available at the time but looking forward to when Sandra was able to release it. I am pleased to say that she released the design for testing last week and I was very happy to be selected as one of the testers. I have never taken part in testing a design before so this was an exciting project for me to be involved in.

The recommendation on the pattern was to use a merino/silk yarn so I visited a local yarn store on Friday to select my yarn. I chose a 4 ply yarn by Fyberspates which is 45% silk/55% superwash merino called Scrumptious in purple and glisten. This yarn is just about the most soft and squishy yarn I have ever used and was an absolute delight to crochet with.

I could not wait to get home and get the yarn wound into cakes ready to start the pattern. The pattern is termed as 'advanced' but everything on the pattern was clearly explained with helpful photos to guide you, especially on the edge shaping which was the most advanced part but which gives the shawl its beautiful shape.

Here is a photo taken on the second day of crocheting, I really could not put my crochet hook down so it was lucky that I had four clear days of not having to to to work so that I could really get my teeth into this project.

Not a lot else got done over the four days it took me to complete this design, it really was an addictive project and my hook was on fire! 

I completed the project on day 4 and then set out to block the shawl. I am pleased to say that it blocked out to the correct size perfectly.

I couldn't wait to take it off the blocking mats and try it on. I am never sure how to wear a shawl, somehow they always seem to look better on other people than on me so I tried it first wrapping it around a coat hanger (pinching Sandra's idea) to get an idea of how it would drape.

Here is is laid out flat so you can see the shaping.

And finally, it was time for me to try it on. I should have done something about my hair before getting my DH to take a photo and selected a better backdrop than the garden fence but as usual was in too much of a hurry.

I couldn't be more happy with how this has worked up, I have loved being part of Sandra's testing team, This design did take a fair bit of concentration and after being a crocheter for over fifty years I have discovered some new techniques which I will be able to use for future projects. The pattern will be released by Sandra on Ravelry very soon. I love the colourway she has used and I am already thinking of new colourways that I can make this design in. 

Friday, 4 November 2016

Five On Friday - Rosebourne

Hello, Friday again and that means one thing - linking with Amy from Love Made My Home to bring you another 'Five On Friday' post.

This week my post is all about a new garden centre that has recently opened on my home patch. DH and I thought we would go and investigate at the weekend as I wanted to purchase some bulbs.

The centre is called Rosebourne and it is much more than just a garden centre as the photos below will show:

1.  The first thing you arrive at as you walk through the entrance is a large food hall come farm shop come delicatessen, everything looked gorgeous but as my mission was to buy bulbs for my garden I steered my way past all the goodies on offer - it would be very easy to get carried away and spend a small fortune.

2.  Next we came to the fancy goods section, there were some lovely things here and I did purchase a couple of large storage bags made from recycled plastic bottles which I am going to use to attempt to tidy up my great big wool stash! Amongst other things were some very nice Wrendale products which I love but again I managed to resist.

3.  Christmas: Oh my goodness, there was a massive area given over to all things Christmas. I am wondering what they will fill it with once the festive season is over - will have to wait and see I guess.

4.  And finally we reached the garden centre bit:

5.  So what did I end up buying:

I was given a voucher for my birthday so I purchased a bucket of tulip bulbs with that.

I also purchased three more pots, a few more bulbs and some compost and spent an hour or so when I got home planting up the bulbs I had purchased plus some I had been given for my birthday. I am a bit late planting my bulbs this year so fingers crossed they will be ok and I will have a gorgeous display come the Spring.

Well that is it for this week. Don't forget to go and have a look at Amy's blog where there are links to lots more 'five' posts. Have a lovely weekend.