Summer days

My jaunts to the UK and back were fun and hope to go back soon. I made some cushion covers and sent them over when I got back – I knew they’d love that fabric though I must admit the hedgehog in the picture above does have the look of one who’s been on the beer all afternoon – look at the eyes!

I’m hoping that Hickeys still stock it as I’d like to get some more. I have a fancy for a tote bag or two. Will soon see – am off to Blanch to do a bit of shopping and will have a look-see.

Well, we had our blazing June three days last week. So guess it’s time to put away the garden chairs and start knitting some thermals.

I hope I’m joking.

The garden isn’t looking as glum as the weather. The hydrangeas are pinking up nicely and, out of nowhere, a poppy literally popped out!

One day – nothing – next morning the flower had burst out like a shooting star. I wish I’d been there to actually see it.

The hairy pod case it split out of in its excitement to see the world were flung onto the grass below like a pair of wooly slippers:

Hairy slippers!

The daisies are wonderful. These grown in magnificent swathes and were a favourite of my old tom cat who loved to sleep in his daisy bed  on warm summer days.

This is a small clump but there is a lovely bank of sprawling daisies. Each year they claim a bit more of the lawn – which suits me. When we moved in the lawn was a regimented rectangle and everything was contained in straight lines. Nothing grew outside of its given plot. Those days are over. I’m far too lazy to constantly check their growth and progress and I like the way the plants nibble away the edges to soften the garden into natural shapes.

And

I have hebes.

There. I’ve come out and said it… Maybe there’s a cream for it…

No, really, it has gloriously imperial purple coloured flowers and the bees love it. It’s always busy with bees, humming and buzzing away in their lovely biddy-bum way. I took a nice shot of one of them but it’s on my phone and I haven’t had a chance to move the pics yet.

Anyway, off to get ready and get out early so I can get back to doing some bloody painting this afternoon. Will this pleasure never end?

Draught Excluder

Giving my sewing machine a bit of a run lately. I made a draught excluder to take to the UK along with the cushion as presents. The fabric is just the ants pants! I love it. I’ve had it sitting in my cupboard for far too long instead of making something with it to put it on show. So maybe the wrong time of year… but weather in the UK is pretty much the same as over here so am sure it will come in useful.

The whole time I sat sewing, Jess was giving me the hairy eye – like I owed her a tenner for taxi fare or something! Turned out she wanted a shrimpie treat. Rods and backs…. Tesco do economy frozen shrimps that I keep as little treats for now and then; unfortunately, cats don’t have the same concept of time and the boundaries between then and now get very blurred.  I rinsed a handful under the hot tap to thaw them out and she soon had them scoffed and was a Gladys Glumbucket no more.

So soon be off to the UK, a nice long weekend there. Hope the weather stays fine.

Cushion Applique

A distraction from crochet – amazeballs – appliqué letters on a cushion. I finally used some of the Harris Tweed I bought a wee while ago (see here) and made a cover for a cushion (or possibly a pillow) for an Ikea feather-filled ‘cushion form’.

I used Bondaweb fused onto A4-sized pieces of fabric and put them through my trusty old Epsom Stylus Photo 1400  and printed a letter (in outline)  onto each of them. This made cutting the letterform out fairly easy and sharp.

I folded the cushion front horizontally and then vertically to find the centre front and then used tailor’s chalk to draw a couple of straight lines to align the tops of the letters to. The spacing was pretty much eyeballed. When I was happy with the arrangement, a deft and nifty squeak with the chalk here and there outlined the position for them to be ironed to.

The letters were fused, one at a time with a hot press of a steamy iron over a clean linen tea towel.

Then it was off to the sewing machine to zig-zag around the outline of each letter. I can adjust the settings for the length and height for the zig-zag stitch on my machine so I quickly ran a few samples to see if the settings were satisfactory.

You know the rest. Once the appliqué was stitched down, all that was left to do was to sew the cushion pieces together. It was an envelope-closure and so was made in three pieces.  A couple of hems and then the outsides – double-stitched. Regular straight stitch and an overlock (not a real overlock as I don’t have one of those machines) but a good approximation of one.

There. Job done, nicely stuffed and ready to be packed for its jaunt over the Irish Sea next week as it’s a house warming gift for a couple in the UK that I will be popping over to see this week.

My Sail-Rail ticket is booked. I was planning on flying but thought that even though I’m not off to Manchester on this occasion, following the recent dreadful events there recently, airport security would be on high alert everywhere, I whould imagine. And even though I would probably have flown Aer Lingus, the recent BA computer system crash won’t have helped matters at airport terminals generally.

So a life on the ocean wave for me – but I do love it. I really love the sway and kilter from the wind and waves and being just able to walk about freely is also very appreciated.

And I’ve promised myself that I shan’t be bringing back any more dinner sets. *Caveats*

Of course, nothing (at the moment, anyway) could totally displace my crochet mania.

There was another Amazon delivery… more yarn…. beautiful Baby Bamboo…. I was taking a picture of it when Gracie decided she was ready for her close up.

 

The yarn in all its colourful glory.

I’ve already made a Victorian Lattice Square (Ravelry – designed by Destany Wymore). It’s deceptively easy to make and is very pretty.

 

It’s not blocked so is a bit wobbly looking. Or maybe it just is wobbly.

 

I also got a lovely hooky bowl recently. Very practical and attractive, don’t you think?

Am loving the lustre and  sheen on the bamboo and the happy colours.

And, have started on a Vintage pattern – a Call the Midwife baby afghan. So pretty… So many unfinished projects… (lol)

And Gracie got fed up with Lights, Camera, Action. She declared it ‘A Wrap’ and went off to find somewhere to settle down for a bedtime wash and a good sleep. What better than my Poang? All my furniture is covered with throws and blankets these days. One, to be easy to wash and two, because I like my girls to be comfy.

Have a great weekend.

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?

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