Moppets, poppets, hearts and flowers – crochet makes such happy hours

Am now venturing into amigurumi territory. This heart didn’t turn out exactly like the one in the pattern I used. Somewhere along the way I lost stitches and had fewer rows to decrease than I should have so it’s turned out a bit wonky. Nonetheless, it’s still cute as a button and am delighted with the little dote. I did try my hand at a snail, as well,  but wonky is too cute a word to describe the deformity produced on that occasion.

See the little pillow box? I was in Blanchardstown  and a shop called Sostrene Grene caught my eye. To me, it’s  the love child  of Ikea and Tiger. Lots of quirky, nice bits with a Scandanavian feel to them. And not at all expensive, either. I spotted a pack of these water-coloured, inkylicious  pillow boxes and popped them in my basket. The colours are just lovely.

So, bearing in mind that the list of things I want to make – or, to be more accurate, need to complete, is growing like Jacob Marley’s earthly chains,  I now want to make a short length of amigurumi hearts bunting. There aren’t enough hours in the day any more. I don’t even know what still needs to be finished. I come across all sorts of things in bags and boxes half done that I’d forgotten all about. Isn’t that the way of many of us? I wonder if you’re the same – I bet you are … **hoping I’m not the only one**

I was able to make a little earwarmer headband, though. Quick and easy pattern. It’s a minty green  yarn with strands of silvery, shimmery interwoven fibres that give it a pearl-like lustre and lift the flatness of the colour.

I’ve been looking through crochet blogs and books for inspiration (finding some WONDERFUL tips along the way such as Chainless foundation rows  on Little Monkeys Crochet blog) for flowers to decorate crochet hats and found some lovely specimens  in this one:

And used a couple to embellish another little Annie Bonnet:

How can you not love crochet when you can make such happy things?

More looking and hooking

Nice things in small packages. I made the little label in Illustrator using a rough brush to stroke the outline of a rectangle to surround the text. The text was measured to ensure it fitted inside the new textbox.

The pink paper is a mulberry mix – I think. Rarely see it these days and it was bought a few years ago so my memory may not be serving me well, here. Notice the flecks of gold and silver in it? It’s so pretty.

What’s inside?

A crocheted cloche hat for the new baby. I made four of them. Each time going up a size as mine turned out far too small for Freyja.

And another little package with little somethings in:

A flower ring headband…

A three-chain flower headband…

… and a large single flower headband.

It seems to have been quite some time since I did anything other than crochet. I am enraptured with colour, texture and pattern. It’s becoming almost an obsession. I have promised myself a couple of Furl crochet hooks for birthday or Christmas. They are uber expensive but extremely beautiful. Google them and have a look. I only want a couple in the sizes I tend to use most often – certainly cannot justify the expense on more.

This granny square is made from popcorn stitches and, if I don’t get too distracted by amigurumi hearts, will make 18 of them to stitch together to make the body of a woolly tote bag. White for the joining stitches will make the whole thing really pop.

Jess is enjoying a saunter round the garden more often these days. She takes her time and smells the flowers as she goes along. Gracie is the complete opposite. She zooms out for a good sprint across the lawn and only stops to smell something more intriguing, like other cat smells…

This little manny was taking a drink from a little dip that had caught some rain. I had some Photoshop fun with him and coloured his shell pinks and purples. I had to run in to get my camera but no need to have dashed, he hadn’t gone far. The thought ‘moving house’ came into my head and wondered if it was a sign, lol!

 

This is a close up of the most gorgeous pink gerbera I had in a bunch of flowers recently. It’s so pink and lush. Simply beautiful.

 

And these. Aren’t they just gorgeous?

 

And these.

 

The garden is also filling with colour – and scent. Wild garlic smells very pretty and is a nice scent to catch walking towards the house.

I have lots of these… Solomon’s Seal. We used to call them Fairy Bells when I was little. Apparently, Solomon’s Seal is a medicinal herb that has many healthful properties. It can be used as a herbal tincture or supplement. It can provide relief, healing or repair to sports injuries relating to tendons, joints, ligaments, bones, bruises, connecting tissues, cartilage, etc. It can also soothe gastrointestinal inflammation and injuries. It is alleged to be effective for menstrual cramps and PMS. And, it apparently can be used to lower blood pressure and relieve dry coughs.

The big question is ‘How’? That, I don’t know but Google is our friend and will ask it at some point.

 

Dandelions abound. They are so robust, resilient and so life-intent that you’d need a full-time gardener on dandelion watch to stop their infiltration around the garden. The seed clocks are really lovely. The gossamer-like parachute that carries the seeds off is such a pretty sight.

You can eat dandelion leaves as you would rocket or lettuce. Just don’t pick any from the road side as they will have systemically absorbed lead and other particulates from car exhaust. Pick from a back garden, free from such contaminants, then wash and chop them into salads as you would any other edible salad leaf. The leaves of the dandelion have diuretic properties. I wrote about them some time ago here: Dandelions.

 

Almost as tenacious and life-hungry as dandelions are these daisies. They march ever onwards invading and conquering the lawn. I love these flowers. When the sun goes in, they close up their flowers and have a daisy nap until the sun comes out again, then they all pop open with a ‘Yay’ and say hello to the bumble bees.

I’m noticing a good few more red-bottomed bumble bees. These are lovely fat bottomed boys and nice to see buzzing about purposefully and mindfully around the garden.

 

There are plenty of yellow poppies. They self-seed and are quite happy doing their own thing as and where and when they want.

 

These sunshiny poppies brighten the garden. I like to see these free spirits all around.

I have loads of bluebells down the bottom of the garden though I think they’re dying off a bit now. Grannies nightcaps and snapdragons are blooming very happily and filling in some colour as the bluebells fade away. I didn’t take any pictures of them, though.

I have pots of pink tiny flower *bushes* (for want of a better word) but couldn’t tell you what they’re called. They make big splashes of pinks and reds and refuse to go unnoticed.

The many hydrangeas are getting ready to bloom. I can see the buds colouring up and soon they will pop and be proud, loud, brash and ostentatious as they always are but deserving all the attention they demand. They are always surrounded by some flame-coloured  Crocosmia, or Orange Devils. Them and the hydrangeas dominate the front garden and just colour me happy.

Lavenders are coming along well, some gerberas, lobelia, pansies, forget-me-nots and other flowers here and there, are coming along. The lawns are generously sprinkled with lawn daisies which I love!

Anyway, time for tea. Cheese on toast with red onion marmalade will do nicely.

Back from the UK

My trip to the UK was truly wonderful with a big family occasion welcoming a new baby into the clan. Don’t babies bring such joy?! And the little one is so perfect, so beautiful and so adorable. Her name is Freyja – from the Old Norse meaning “lady”. It is the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology.  Now if that isn’t a lot to live up to, what is?!

That’s probably as personal as I ever get so no more of that.

Except for the view from the back of the house:

The view is spectacular but, as you can see, is at the top of a very steep hill. Very steep.

The weather was fine, no rain which is always a huge plus here and across the Irish Sea in England. Both sailings were smooth and the only choppiness was my hair – textured and choppy now.

I had an emotional reunion with the bag I left before Christmas. I flew that time and brought more back than I left with and swapped my bag for a bigger one from my son. He’s been promising to post mine back to me since December…

I’ve pleaded abandonment issues and separation anxiety but nothing moved him sufficiently to actually post it back.

It’s just a back-pack and I was joking about the anxiety and separation issues. I am glad to have it back though.

We popped to some little towns and browsed the small town shops which, most refreshingly, weren’t just the usual High St brands that are just everywhere. A suitable item for me, here:

 

This was in Skipton, home of Yarndale!

Sheep bunting – very apropos.

 

Lots of hand knitting and crochet articles for sale. I loved this elephant:

 

An old fashioned red telephone box. It’s looking a bit the worse for wear and bird droppings (skanky – please clean it up – it’s such a pity to leave it in this condition). No idea, ie, I very much doubt if it’s in working order, but what a fab, properly British icon it is.

 

Unfortunately, the shop was closed so could only gaze through the window at the pretty things inside. I love these jugs – I think they’re Polish pottery. Maybe I’d have bought one but would that have been silly bearing in mind I had a train journey to Holyhead and a ferry to catch back to Ireland? Of course.

But I did buy some pottery. And it wasn’t just a jug.

I was looking in a charity shop in Altringham and saw some more Stone Henge Mid Winter. A bloody great load of it. Plates, side plates, coffee pot, cups, saucers, bowls… and just £15.00. I had nothing to bring it back in. Terrible temptress manager lady GAVE me a free suitcase. Old fashioned but pretty new looking. Antler – I’d heard of the brand. Had wheels and a small corner handle to pull it along by. Soft-sided though. But they gave me an absolute ton of tissue paper and bubble wrap…. I can resist anything but temptation. It was a done deal. I couldn’t refuse. The crockery was bubble-wrapped and the case padded out with paper and clothes and secured as best we could manage.

This particular design is called Nasturtium and was the last design by Jessie Tate (I think that’s her name).

 

Even the lid of the coffee pot was decorated.

 

 

 

Next day I was back to Holyhead and the ferry to Dublin. A glimpse from the porthole as the ferry neared land:

 

Nothing to ‘sea’ here, lol. Obviously, it was plain sailing and I arrived safely. The dinner set mostly survived though I was reconciled to losing most of it, I really was. I decided that even if the lot was broken, it only cost £15 and was worth the punt and effort. Only crockery that would get broken not my heart or anything!

To my surprise and great happiness, there was little damage! I lost a large dinner plate and a side plate in transit, that’s all!  I still have 5 large plates, 5 side plates, 4 bowls, 8 coffee cups with saucers, and a coffee pot with two lids.

It was a glorious find. Mr T thought I was bonkers but knows how determined I can be and he didn’t have to lug it along – it was a solo journey. Thanks to my son for helping me to the platform with it and the kind help from charming and gallant English gentlemen who helped me on and off the train with the suitcases.

I am now crotcheting like mad and have a baby cardi and various headbands with flowers on the go.

For the time being, my obsession with hearts and dried lavender will have to be put aside. Baby things are becoming an all-consuming passion!

Shake your booties!

Still absolutely loving these crochet hearts. They make such sweet eye candy and use up those oddments of yarn that could otherwise end up as ratty nests in the bottom of bags stuffed in the back of cupboards.

This one has some dried lavender with a few drops of pure lavender oil to give it some sweet smelling scent with calming properties as well.

The tiny yellow flower is from Attic24 and is called ‘Teeny Tiny Flower’.  The white flower behind it is a variation of the Flax flower pattern that can be found in ‘100 Lace Flowers to Crochet: A Beautiful Collection of Decorative Floral and Leaf Patterns for Thread Crochet’ by Caitlin Sainio.

I put up the link to the heart pattern a couple of posts ago.

I made this one, also with lavender, to pop onto a little wooden coat hanger with the cardi (KNITTED – and I really don’t like knitting and rarely do it but for this pattern, I made an exception).

And, just because I have conquered crocodile stitch and wonder why I found it so mysterious and difficult, another pair of croc booties. These have a few sprinkles of sequins. I have squashed the booties in my hand to text for scratchiness and couldn’t feel them so hopefully, over a pair of socks, these will look sassy and keep some little toes nice and warm.

I shall be in the UK this coming week. I am sure you have a fairly good idea why…

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