Friday 23 July 2021

Back in My Comfort Zone

After having a whole month of doing nothing crochet wise I started getting the urge to pick up my hook again. I had no definite plan about what to make so I started looking through these.

 My daughter's friend passed these on to me a few years ago and I do enjoy looking through them although to date I've only made one thing out of them a shawl.

I've never used it but I did enjoy making it and I'm sure I will use it one day, shawls don't seem to be that popular here in the UK.

I came upon a very simple looking baby jacket and because the challenge for NHAP this month is for new-born baby jacket and hat sets I decided to give it a try. 

It was easy to make and the pattern was straight forward enough but what a lot of holes treble crochet (UK) seems to make. I didn't like the holes at the beginning of rows and found myself doing a lot of weaving to fill in the gaps once I'd sewn it together.  

(I have since remembered how to rid oneself of those pesky holes at the beginning of rows and for those of you who don't know how, I'll share it with you next time.)

I much prefer a closer texture for a small baby jackets and like to use either dc or htr stitches (UK) I won't be using this pattern again.

The hat pattern was my own and you can find it here

So on to the next one, this time it's one I've used many times and it's quick and easy to make

Baby Girl Shell Sweater and Hat

I have adapted the pattern a little by adding a button band and I have altered the sleeves and worked them flat rather than in the round as stated in the pattern also using less stitches so that they aren't so wide.  

You can find the free pattern here.

I have just started another baby jacket using a free pattern I found online many years ago, I seem to have accumulated an awful lot of patterns over the years, nowadays it's not necessary to have a printed copy as it's easy enough to view the pattern online but I like to have a paper copy too, my plan is to try those that I have and either keep them or throw them away. The shell one above is a keeper because I'm sure I will use it again. 

Another great CAL is starting soon it's the Leticia Flower Garden CAL 

Isn't it beautiful, it's made in both overlay and mosaic crochet. I love the pattern and I will be buying it as it's cheaper for the duration of the CAL but I won't be making the blanket just yet it's another one for the to do list.

Other things...

I had a lovely time babysitting little Mikey yesterday, It's like being a kid again, we had a wonderful time drawing and colouring, dancing to nursery rhymes and here he is playing with his colour lab I have to say an awful lot of mess was made, my fingers are still blue, no amount of washing will rid them of the food colour dye and Mikey's is even worse.😂

I wish I was quite a few years younger, looking after little ones certainly takes it out of you I was shattered by the end of the day but it was fun.

Sweet tasting tomatoes from my garden yum!

This last one is for Amanda ...

This is taken from my bedroom window, it's a wall feature in my neighbours garden I think it looks very pretty and I may just copy the idea next year.  Amanda is looking for a shelving idea for her balcony you can read her post here.

Well I'm off to get ready for Canasta, it's one of the few u3a groups that are meeting up again, we meet at the Golf Club every Friday afternoon.  Today we are going to have a buffet lunch before we start playing cards so it should be a very pleasant afternoon. 😊

Have a great week.

Friday 16 July 2021

A Bit Of Garden Chat and Other News

 I'm quite restricted about what I can grow in my garden because the soil quality is so poor.  I have heavy clay soil and very little of it, when I dig down I'm lucky if I find a spades depth of top soil before I hit hard clay, bricks and rocks underneath. I have also got trees on the rear outside boundary of my property and the roots have spread a good distance into my garden so they make digging any sort of substantial  flower bed impossible.

I had great plans for this corner, I intended to dig a corner bed, I had it measured out and had even bought the edging for it.  When I tried to dig however I was met with hard thick roots far too difficult for me to deal with and so I had to compromise.  I have found that unless you have unlimited cash or a strong man at your disposal compromise is key.

All of these plants are in containers, the conifer at the back is in a planter and I'm hoping that the roots will be able to penetrate down through the mangle of tree roots underneath. The fatsia is planted in a trug, after reading Linda's post about open bottomed pots it gave me the idea of cutting out the base of the trug which was cracked anyway and planting the fatsia in that and hopefully the roots will find a way. One advantage of having pots is that they can be changed around to give each plant a spot in the limelight.

As you can see I am letting my lawn grow and I love the clover, I used to cut the grass every week to ten days or so and now I'm leaving it for three weeks, it's lovely to see the bees flitting from flower to flower. Can you see the flower spikes on the cordyline? They are very pretty when they first open and the scent fills the garden it's quite powerful and the bees love it. I remove the spike as soon as it has stopped flowering as the plant looks very tired and looses lots of it's leaves, unfortunately I can't reach those at the back so I have only managed to remove one this year.

It's amazing how quickly the garden changes even from day to day at this time of year. This is my garden today, the pictures above were taken a week ago. Can you see the purple clover next to the little apple tree? I left it to grow and cut around it when I did cut the grass, I'm going to see if I can add clusters of wild flowers into the lawn for next year.  The apple tree has only a few apples this year it's usually laden but it means that the apples will be bigger and they usually taste lovely.

The three stone tortoises have had a make over this year as they were looking very tired, I painted them with acrylic paint and then varnished them to protect them from the elements, and waiting in the wings....

The rabbit family, I'm trying to decide which colours to paint them, all suggestions welcomed. 

This is the third year that little pot of yellow pansies has flowered, I think they look lovely with the hosta as a backdrop.
This morning finds the sweet peas crying out to be picked, the orange lilies shining in the background  and my tumberlina tomatoes ripening quite nicely I should have a harvest very soon.

A little posy of flowers from my garden

In other news
  • I lost a hearing aid! it's so easy to loose them when wearing a mask, every time you take your mask off the hearing aid comes out too so you have to be so careful, obviously I wasn't careful enough this time, but luckily I didn't have long to wait for a replacement and it was free but next time I'll have to pay £75 I hope that there won't be a next time!
  • I still haven't got my refund for the treadmill! it wasn't on my credit card statement again this month, I have been in touch with them and they have asked for statement evidence which I have given them. I await a reply.
  • I have been to Manchester with my daughter to visit my nephew and his family, it was lovely to see them and we stayed in a nice hotel overnight it had an amazing view if the city, it looks quite drab in the photo as it was a dull cloudy day. It's amazing how going away even for a short break does you the world of good especially if you can connect with loved ones.

  • For yesterdays walk, Baz and I took the train to Seaton Carew which is about a 25 minute ride away and walked along the promenade back to Hartlepool, we stopped half way for coffee in a lovely cafĂ© right on the sea front and then continued on to Hartlepool where we had lunch of fish n chips, not exactly healthy when the whole purpose of the walk was supposed to help us keep fit! we had a walk around Hartlepool Marina and then took the train back home clocking 18,450 steps not bad at all I think. 

The weather has been lovely of late cloudy but nice and warm long may it continue! I hope that you all have a lovely weekend. 

Friday 2 July 2021

This And That

This week has gone so fast I have to think back to try and remember what I have done each day, nothing of great interest it has to be said. 

The u3a website was down for a few days and it was literally a nightmare to try and get it up and running again, it involved trying to get in touch with the person who had set the website up in the beginning in order to get access to the account area so that I could update a payment card, I needed the card details from the treasurer a simple thing you would think but no, the people involved were on holiday, there were a lot of emails going back and forth before it was sorted.

 The weather wasn't that great on Wednesday which is my long walk day, the solution was to go and visit the MetroCentre, my friend Baz has never been there before which I find amazing really the place was opened in 1986 and it's not that far away. 

I wasn't going to shop I'm not really a great shopper if I need something then I will go search for it but I won't shop just for the sake of it, dare I say it bores me! I went there purely for the exercise because that place is huge, I lie because I was also going for coffee and lunch any excursion is only worth embarking upon if there is coffee and maybe food in the offing. 

All objectives were achieved, coffee was drank, lunch was eaten AND we walked over 10,000 steps without getting wet, Baz saw the place for the first time I asked him what he thought his's huge!! I don't think he will be bothered about going again. Having to wear a mask all day wasn't great either but we were indoors and they are the rules.

Last weeks walk was in Herrington Country Park which is just a 10 minute drive away from me and The Penshaw Monument is just over the road.

It's hard to believe this park sits on what was previously Herrington coal mine which closed in 1985, work on the park began in 1996.

The park itself is lovely to walk around and is skirted by plentiful wooded area's to get lost in should the mood take. 

We came upon this beautiful cemetery, some of the gravestones date back to 1854.

We eventually crossed over the road but not to walk up to the monument, I have done so in the past and it's a very steep climb I'm not sure this much older body would manage it now but I will try it sometime maybe at the start of the walk when I have more energy.

It was to sit in the café garden and have that much deserved coffee, you can just see the monument in the background as you sit there


I can't believe it's July already my favourite month of the year is June and it's gone,  I'm always sad when June has ended because it's the start of fresh new summer growth and the promise of  warm summer days, all things seem possible, by the time July arrives half of the year is over already.

Last month for the first time in too many years to count I didn't pick up a hook or a knitting needle, it felt so strange not to have some project to work on but I'm not in the mood, my mojo has gone right out of the window nothing seems to be inspiring me. We will see what July will bring.

I have however kept up with my personal challenge of completing a month of my cross-stitch 12 days of Christmas each month, only three more months to go!

Have a great week.