Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Crochet, crochet

I always have some sewing on the go,

usually several things,


more like

tens of things.
But last year
I fancied a spot of crocheting.
It had been some time since I last picked up a crochet hook.

I wanted to make some Granny squares.
One of the reasons

I like crochet so much

is because you can just make it up as you go along,


I had a go at making some squares.
But I wasn't convinced by any of these.

It wasn't until earlier this year
that I came across a pattern that I liked
over at Attic24.
And unusually for me
I went ahead and crocheted 25 squares,
straight off,
enough for the front of a cushion.
I need to choose some fabric to make the cushion,
before sewing up the loose ends,
blocking the squares
and stitching.
I like the colours I've chosen.
And I enjoyed making them

I've been so smitten with crocheting
that my sewing has taken a back seat.
I was hoping to make great progress with my hexagon quilt.
But I haven't,
it got put away for a while.
I was so keen to carry on crocheting
that I bought some wool when I was in the UK.
It's a double knit wool,
an important fact
when it might just as easily find itself tucked away for a long period of time.
But more importantly
there were lots of colours to choose from.
So I limited myself to 6.
I also had to consider what would fit in my hand luggage on the way home.

I've used flash on all of these photos,
and I don't think the colours look as nice as they really are.

I already have my next project lined up courtesy of Vanessa from Do you mind if I knit,

Apologies, can you Google Attic24 and Do you mind if I knit.
I will put them up when I can, only I cannot get the punctuation I need!!!
These !!!!! exclamations are okay I see!!!!

Edited to add:

In fact reading through this post you can see that I have written it at different times because sometimes I can use a question mark but not others.
And while Im at it, why do I spend ages getting the spacing right with my lines
and then when I post
the computer does its own thing.

Well back to crocheting...
Did I say 6 balls?
Yes, there was a lovely deep pink in amongst them as well.
Now , where did it get to?

On my travels to the UK
I took a handful of crochet hooks with me.
My sister had mentioned she wanted to learn to crochet.
She had taken a couple of crochet books out of the library
with the intention of learning to crochet
so she could make some softies.
But she hadn't mastered it,
or perhaps she hadn't tried,
I'm not sure.
So I showed her the rudiments of
foundation chain and a couple of stitches.
She was quick to learn
and soon got the hang of it.
Then my daughter joined us for the weekend.
I showed her how to crochet.
She started out a bit awkward
and unsure whether she would ever get the hang of it.
But after an unsteady start

she got into the swing of it.
She was really enjoying it
and keen.
So when she left to return home,
the pink ball of wool went with her.
I'm sure it's gone to a good home.
After all she sews some nifty little softies
as you can see from this owl she made for me a while back.

Ive written about it before
last year.
It sits in my workshop.
A lovely inspiration.

Back to my Ripple blanket.
The pattern for this is also care of Attic24.
Once I had finished crocheting my granny squares
I was still keen to continue crocheting.
So I looked around and I found a collection of wool,
various amounts,
different thicknesses,
random colours.
Most from some that mum had used for knitting.
So in true repurposed fashion
I fashioned them into my blanket.
I had seen The Ripple countless times in blogs
and I never imagined making one myself,
too time consuming,
even boring!
But no, not at all.
I started and I love doing it!
It's rhythmic,
True the colours would not be my first choice,
and the wools are a mixture
so I'm having to be creative with my tension to allow for the difference in the wools.
But I love it
and I will be so pleased when I get it finished,
and that will be whenever the wool runs out,
finish it I will.

This post has been sitting around for ages
waiting for me to finish it.
I think because the computers
yes both of them,
just will not behave as I expect them to,
so it makes posting very frustrating at times!
Anyway since starting this post
two weeks ago!

my daughter has started her own blog
which if you would like to call and visit her, you can either Google Take your love to spar,
or click on Siobhans comment on Little Things, my previous post.
Im sorry, but I am having problems with both of the computers in different ways!!!
She has some more of her owls in her first post.

I think I will post this now while I have the chance.
Im sure I could have written tis better, but.......
Or is it me!!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Little Things

X is for Kiss.
Continuing with A-Z Monday
or to be more exact
Z to A Monday as we work back up through the alphabet to A
with Jen at

Every now and then I send my grandson something.

At Eastertime it was a snowflake of Easter Bunnies,

At Hallowean

I made him a bat and a ghost out of fabric.

Just little somethings

for a 4 year old.

One time I added a row of cutout paper kisses.

A row for him,

a row for Mummy,

a row for Daddy

and a row for his Uncle.

He loved them.

Time to send him some more.

Note that this has been posted late.

When working on it

the computer decided to shut down!

So I had to return to it

on the spare computer

when it was free.

Monday, 20 July 2009

A-Z Monday

I thought I would join Jen over at to post a picture to illustate the letter of the week.
This week is the turn of the letter Y.

My favourite colour is yellow,
and you already know that I love flowers.
So what better way to post my first picture for A-Z Monday by combining the two.
I'm not sure what the flowers are,
maybe Strife?
They grow like weeds anyway,
so easy to grow,
they grow themselves.
I think they look nice against the green.
We have several splurges of them in our garden,
unkempt things they are.
A yellow splash of colour.
Just how I like my flowers.

My first offering for A-Z Monday!
I look forward to future Mondays.
Pop over to Jen's to see who else is participating.

The flowers are not the only things that are wayward round here.
Our computer is acting up!
It means I'm not able to get round and visit people as I would like.
I started today's post and then had to leave and come back to it when the computer agreed to co-operate.
It's all very frustrating!

Ahh well,
these things are sent to try us.
Let's hope I manage a post tomorrow.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

In the Pink

Happy 25th Birthday to my daughter!

Here she is with her son on a local beach in Northumberland last February.

I love her pink hair!

Not sure what colour it is at the moment.

She probably won't thank me for posting this photo of her,

(which is why I've chosen one where you can't really see her).

She doesn't like having her photo taken

so she tells me,

though Facebook would tell me different.

So a Happy Happy Birthday to her,

and I hope that the weather stayed fine for the party she was having this afternoon.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

A Tour Round the Garden

It's been raining forever
or at least that's how it feels.
It's nice to be on the inside looking out.
But when it comes to taking the Hounds out for their walk,
it isn't so nice.
It's a case of getting all our coats on
in an effort to protect ourselves from the constant rain.
The walks have become quite a chore today
as the rain has continued.
We've kept to the track where there is more room to walk
rather than ploughing through long wet grass
and ducking beneath wet branches.
Not nice when it drips down your neck!
In addition to the rain and coming back soaked,
It has got a bit colder,
my fingers are feeling the cold as I hold onto the leads.
It has been so wet even the Hounds have had second thoughts about going for a walk in it.
They don't like the rain.
In between their walks I attempt to dry off their coats ready for the next walk.
I have to change out of my wet trousers, that's how wet it is.

When we come back from a walk,
we come in the back way so we can stand on the terrace
sheltered from the rain.
The Hounds all stand in a row
waiting to go inside.
But not before they have
had a good rub down.
They just love that.
It makes the walk worthwhile.

So to try and forget the rain
I thought we would
take a tour round our garden.

The first photo (above) is a little pot hanging in the porch at the front door.
It was given to me by my sister
many years ago from one of her travels to Greece I think.

The photo below shows a boulder surrounded by grasses and some other plants.
It is in the middle of the lawn more or less.
There are lots of loose boulders in this area of Sweden and it is quite usual for them to be incorporated into the garden landscape.
Our garden like many Swedish gardens in Dalarna (that's the county)
is informal.
It suits us.
It is easy to manage
and pleasant to be in
or to look out onto.

The birds enjoy it too.

We don't often see the Thrush.
I've never seen it feeding with the other birds.
It's always hopping about the garden looking for worms when I do see it.
Here it's looking for food for it's young
I only ever saw one fledgling.
The Pied Wagtails I showed in an earlier post were successful
in having young.
I know because earlier last month
they were often on the eaves of the terrace
peering in through our back door.

Did I mention our lawn?

Can you believe that this is a lawn?
It's full of wildflower plants.
One of the things that I continue to marvel at in Sweden is how rich the flora and fauna is.
Some of the leaves that you can see in this photo are from the plant Ladies Mantle.
It is a cultivated plant in the UK and looks lovely after it's been raining and the drops collect on the hairy leaves.
Suitable for our current weather then.

This shrub stands in the middle but over to the right on the lawn.
My dad used to have lots of shrubs in his garden
and this would have been one of them.
It looks particularly nice on the lawn
with the branches sweeping over in arcs.
Even in the winter when it is dormant
it still looks lovely because of it's shape.

Peering through the branches
you can just catch a glimpse of the barn.
Can you see the giant sieve standing outside?
I've never seen one so large.
When we inherited the barn
there was some old farm bits and pieces left inside.

I showed this Peony in an earlier post.
It was in bud then but a lot shorter.
It has grown taller
but several weeks later
it is still in bud.
It's also covered in ants.
I don't know what they are after.
I will have to ask my friend
the ant expert.
There are lots of ants here.
I could write a post about them all to themselves.

Back to the more conventional.
A rose climbs round the dinining room window.
It looks lovely.
Unfortunately it doesn't have a fragrance.
I won't buy roses unless they do these days.

Walking on past the window
we round the corner of the house and there past some outhouses are
some wildflowers.
Can you see the forest in the background?

This is a Scabious
another cultivated flower that grows in the UK gardens.
Not sure what the insect is though.
Nor this one.
It is yellow and black like a bee or a wasp
but not.

If we go back to the front door
and turn to the left,
a path takes us to my workshop.
You might just catch a glimpse of the hammock there if you look closely.

You can also see the path to the left here which leads off into the forest.
A popular walk with the Hounds when it's not raining.

Here we are standing in front of the birdbath looking over to the forest.
We'll have to take that walk into the forest another time,
Mike is still away with the camera.
Well that was a nice way to get away from all the rain
and the wind which has started now.
Till next time!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Uniform of Greyness

Ullswater in all it's greyness.

Whenever I'm in the UK I like to try and at least get to The Lakes,
even if I don't manage a walk, (a proper one).
One of my favourite places is Ullswater.
(I'll see if I can get our other computer to do the link properly, this one still won't highlight words!)

I was only in the UK for a week,
and the weather deteriorated following our walk, (see yesterday's post).
But I was determined to get into The Lakes.
So my sister and I took a trip on what turned out to be a very cold day.
At one point I pointed across the lake to where I thought I saw snow
of all things.
And right enough, on the local news that evening they reported snow having fallen!
Despite the cold and some rain,
we took a walk along the lakeside.
I thought it very considerate of the family in red to stand there
lending a bit of brightness to an otherwise grey pallor.

I don't know whether it was the cold numbing my brain as well as my fingers,
but the lake slopes...

I managed to get it right with this next one.

Sailing is quite popular on the lake.
I don't think I've ever been sailing,
boating yes,
but not sailing.

The cold didn't seem to bother this family.

But I did wonder whether these fishermen felt the cold.

This is one of the steamers that run regularly on the lake.
I've travelled on them a few times, and no matter what the weather is like,
it is a lovely way to see the lake and the fells.

Despite the weather,
Ullswater is always worth seeing.

Just a shame I didn't have anymore half decent photos of the lake.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The English Countryside

Last month I flew over to the UK for a visit with family.
I stayed with my sister and her family in Cumbria.
The weather was beautiful and quite hot to begin with.
So the day after I arrived,
my sister and I decided to go for a short walk with our cameras.
She has a new camera too.

This mosaic is a compilation of some of the photos I took on that walk.
They are taken in Cumbria near the Eden Valley.

The countryside was beautiful.
Everything was lush.
The weather started out warm,
but got hotter.

The walk started out short,
but got longer.
We found some lovely long country lanes.
Where the air was filled with birdsong.

You have an idea from these two photos how far we walked.

We had lovely views from them into the distance.

We were enjoying the walk so much that
the half hour walk
turned into three hours!
I was keen to take lots of photos
as I remembered the last time I was in the UK
the weather was not conducive to taking good photos
and I was disappointed with the photos I brought back.
I think that made the walk longer
because the views were lovely eveywhere I turned.

I took this photo of a Blackbird feeding it's young
in my sister's garden the following day.
You can see that the weather has started to dull over a bit.
I'm not sure what the Blackbird is using as an impromptu feeding table.

I will leave you with some Sky Kisses
taken on our walk.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Top Dog

It is so quiet here.
The hounds have been fed and watered and walked,
not necessarily in that order,
and this is their quiet time.
Their tummies are full,
they are satisfied,
they are cool.

It continues to be hot here,
too hot for me.
And what comes with hotness?
Yes, thunderstorms.

They have been rolling around Bun Mountain Cottage now
for the last few days.
In fact since Mike left on his travels
a few days ago.
When we get thunder here
we have been advised to unplug all our computer connections
otherwise we might loose connection altogether,
resulting in a call to the IT expert to come and
fix it.
So all day up to now
I have been unplugging the connections
rendering the computer
Until the thunder
goes away.
Which it has done now.
And it sounds so peaceful
after the really torrential rain earlier.
Fortunately the thunder wasn't quite so bad.
Not as bad as the other day.

Some dogs don't like thunder.
Rufus doesn't.
He was getting a bit worried
when the thunder was rumbling around the mountain,
(small hill),
for a few hours.
He got steadily worse.
The panic grew in his eyes.
Then there was an enormous clap of thunder right overhead!
During all this time he hadn't known
what to do
or where to put himself.
He'd come to me for comfort,
or I'd go to him and stroke him and talk quietly to him,
but he wouldn't,
When that great big clap of thunder happened overhead,
he shot over to the corner of the room
where Paddy was lying on his bed.

I've noticed before with dogs,
how they will try and get into a corner
during a thunderstorm.
Our previous greyhound,
didn't like thunder.
He trembled when it thundered
and it was impossible to calm him.
He used to try and get himself into a corner.
I think he tried to hide from the thunder.
Well I think this is what Rufus was trying to do,
unless of course
he thought that
Paddy could save him from it!
Rufus was squashed in the corner
sat upright,
behind Paddy.
Paddy didn't move an inch,
he wasn't bothered at all about the thunder,
or having a companion on his bed.
Which is unusual,
as Paddy can be a bit of a grump
if anyone disturbs him when he's on his bed.

A bit later Rufus was sick.
Fortunately not on Paddy.
I've never seen a dog react in that way before.
It seems so out of character as well,
likes to be top dog.
He's usually happy go lucky too.
I don't think we've seen him like that before.
Fortunately he didn't seem too bad earlier today
when it thundered.
Though he did join me in my bedroom last night.
I was just falling asleep
when the thunder started.
Rufus came
for some human comfort and reassurance.
He settled okay.

I wasn't going to write about Rufus or the thunder,
I was going to tell you where I went in June.
But I'll save that for another day.

you just have to
go with the flow.

Now, what photos shall I choose?

I know.
I have been trying to make photo mosaics for months now,
and was probably not feeling very confident about signing in to allow use of our photos.
But on return from my trip I played around with some of the photos and made a mosaic or two.
Here's one made of photos from that trip.
Walls seem to be the subject.

But where are they?