Friday, 27 May 2011

A lovely award

Thank you so much Jacquie at Bunny Mummy!  Jacquie is one of my real big-time crochet blog gurus, so I'm really thrilled to get this from her.
I'm slightly worried now because I need to think of ten interesting facts about myself to share with you, as part of this award.  Eeeek!  After much head-scratching, I've come up with the following nuggets for you:
1) I really hate peas.  Really, really hate them.  I even have to pick them out of curries, so that I have a little pile of yellowed beasts sitting ominously at the side of my plate.  Urgh.
2) I've got a piece of pencil lead stuck in my left index finger, it's been there since I was about seven.  I've also got a little bit of glass embedded in my heel, which happened when we had a car crash when we lived in New Zealand in 2001.
3) My first word was 'shoe' (I'll say no more...)
4) When I was a child I really wanted to be a vet.  That or an astronaut.  I'm actually not either.
5) I've visited 21 different countries (though since I've had children, I've only managed a weekend in Dublin and two days in Barcelona with work.  Ha ha ha)
6) When I was little we had lots of animals - pigs called Pork Lunch, Bubble and Squeak; sheep (including a psychopathic ram called Rambo, natch) and loads of chickens - my favourite was called Scrawny and she got eaten by a fox.
7) I didn't pass my driving test until I was 31.
8) I'd really, really love to be able to sing.  Tragically, I'm so bad that my own children actually laugh at me when I try.
9) I met my husband when I was 19.
10) There are only nine interesting facts about me in the whole, wide world...
I'm going to pass this award on to Jooles at Sew Sweet Violet because she makes really, really beautiful bunting and as I've said before, I've got a bit of a bunting fetish. x
PS - There is some very exciting news on the springtime throw-front...more in my monthly crochet round up tomorrow!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New recipes for you!

Just to let you know that I've added two new recipes under my 'cake' tab at the top of my blog.  Butternut squash and sweet potato soup (yeah, I know, not strictly 'cake') and nana's gingerbread, which doesn't look terribly rock n roll, but which tastes uh-may-zing.
I'd really love to hear from you if you've made any of my recipes (that's if you can still move...) x

Monday, 23 May 2011

I'm so square

I've been a busy bee these past couple of days: lots of little squares flying off my hook.  I am determined to finish my springtime throw sometime soon...  I've only got 44 of these little beasties left to make (is this the time to confess that I'm making it 2/3 size?  Ahem) and my mission for our little half-term break next week join them all together!  I'll keep you posted. x
PS - thank you so much for your lovely comments about my treat scarf and middle nut's willow fish - he was really, really thrilled by them. 
I've got two more recipes to add to my 'cake' tab and I'm going to put up a 'how to' for my treat scarf on my 'crochet' tab (just for you, Homebird!)  Just need to get my act together and actually do it now...

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Does anyone know...

...what this is???  I recently inherited two of these lovely pot holders from Mr N's grandma, and I just can't work out how they're made.  I'm pretty sure they're crochet, looking at the way they're joined, but I've never seen the stitch before.
It looks like they're joined in double crochet, but I could be wrong...  And I just haven't got a clue about the waffle stitch.  I have been looking at these little lovelies with visions of me whipping up some sort of White Company-inspired waffly throw for my bed (which will, of course, instantly endow me with a White Company-inspired house/wardrobe/lifestyle).  The White Company does do a good waffly-type throw, don't you think?  Talking of which, has anyone else been covetously checking this out?  Sigh....
So apart from staring at pot holders (there I go, reminding myself of Homer Simpson again) I've been doing a bit of charity shop shopping.  What do you think:
I was very pleased with my rather bargainous 50p jelly mould.  No idea what I'm going to do with it, but still - it looks nice on my kitchen windowsill.  I was also rather pleased with this lovely little tin:
Even more so, when I saw this on the bottom of it:
Well, anything that might once have had a connection to chocolate's got to be good! x

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Treat scarf ta-dah!!!

Soooo....yippeeeee!!  I have finished my scarf and I have actually worn it too!  I am so excited about this little project - I have loved everything about it: I love the yarn (Sublime cashmere, merino, silk), I love the stripes (hooooow long did I take to decide on stripes???), I've loved making it up, and I love, love, love the long, swingy-ness of it.  Hurrah!
So, would you like to see it in all its stripy glory?  I hope so, cos here come the photos....!
And here it is being rather cringingly embarrassingly modelled by a headless me; see, it's long and swingy:
ooh, and now it's short and wrapped up.
There are three things I have learned from this project: 
1) it looked best when I did only one chain at the start of each new colour change, even though I was using treble stitch (if I did two chains, it made the edge wavy - shame I only realised this half way through...) 
2) I need to work out how to get all the right sides of the rows facing the same side - is this what frogging is?  (Why does that word sound a bit dodgy to me?)  In this project I have the rows going right side, wrong side, right side (you get the gist), but I don't think it matters as you can't see it really.  
3) When you're doing stripes in highly-contrasting colours like this, I don't think weaving the ends in as you go works very well, because you can see the old colour yarn through the new colour row.
You live and learn...
It's not just me that's been a crafty bee lately either; middle nut came running out of school the other day waving this rather lovely little objet (check me out, a French word - ooh lah lah):
Willow weaving?  In Reception?  Brilliant!  This lovely fish now hangs proudly on our bathroom wall, and every time I look at it, I think about how proud I am of my boy, for so many reasons.
I'm going to leave you with this slightly dodgy photo of a lovely book cover I found the other day:
I keep seeing variations on this colour combination and I'm definitely feeling a slight tingle of inspiration.  Oh god, mentally I'm moving on to my next blanket, even though I haven't even nearly finished my springtime throw.  I.  Must.  Remain.  Focused.  I have two WIPs at the moment: my throw and my secret Fimo-related project; and I absolutely must get on with them before starting something else.  I really, really must...x

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A weekend, in just ten minutes

I have to be especially speedy with my blog post tonight - Mr Nut has to use the computer for job applications, and he's currently sitting next to me just looking at me in a way that, tragically, doesn't mean 'I really adore you, you are simply wonderful' (though, underneath it all, I'm sure he does...) but instead he's looking at me in a way that says 'if you don't type at the speed of light and get off that bloomin Blogger, I will have to tie your hands behind your back and steal the laptop from under your nose'.  So, you see, I need to be quick because I'm getting looks.
Due to the silent pressure being exerted on me, I can't do a run down of my weekend (which has been a pretty darn good one) as I'd planned; so instead I'm going to show you a few photos I took on the walk we all went on this afternoon and I'm setting myself the challenge of summing up the past two days in just ten words.  Hmmmmm.  Photos first, I think:
Couldn't go for a walk without taking a gratuitous beech shot - oh, how I do love these trees.  One day I will win the lottery and I'll buy a house with a garden big enough for some beech trees (or hey, why think on such a small scale?  I'll just buy an arboretum.  Gotta have a dream...)
My baby girl, in her baby boy's shoes.  Bless her.  I wonder how long it will be before she has an Opinion about boys' shoes?  She already has an opinion about most other things.
Right-ho, now my ten words.
Mojitos (spooky that you mentioned those, Cuckoo; I had the best one ever yesterday!)
Scary car
And there we have it - my weekend in a nutshell.  Hope yours was good too x

Bits and bobs

I just love the colours of this drink/straw/glass/tablecloth combo.
Blogging really has opened my eyes to the fact that there are actually other people out there who look at everyday things like this and feel a little thrill of inspiration too.  It's great to know I'm not alone!  Poor big nut - he really wanted his banana milkshake and I cruelly said he had to wait while I took a photo - will he be scarred for life?
The past few days have seen a fair amount of rain in my neck of the woods and really, it just looks as though everything's had a good wash.  Everything had been so dusty - the car was a rather fetching shade of beige and the boys were coming back from school with shirts that were, quite frankly, about as un-white as it's possible for white shirts to be - but now order is restored - the car is once again red and the boys are back to their usual white-with-mud-splashes uniform.  Phew.
The countryside is now a beautiful, vivid green and the garden is looking full and lush:
And remember the sad-looking pansies that I blogged about in my 'Apathy r us' post?
Well, they have gone absolutely mad and the pots I put them in now look like two huge yellow and purple pom poms.
On the crochet-front this week, I've been putting some serious hooky time into my treat scarf, which is actually now starting to look like a proper scarf and not just a stripy rectangle; and I've been showing my springtime throw some love too - I'm now up to a square count of 200 (oh god, that actually doesn't sound that good, considering I've been working on it sporadically since February.  Boo)  Another little something has been getting underway too:
Some more little 3D hearts have been slipping from my hook.  This project seemed like a great way to use up the left-over yarn from my small flower squares cushion and it involves Fimo (which I haven't used since I was about twelve) and I'm saying no more for the moment!!  Ooooh, mysterious.....x

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The treat scarf is underway!

To say I've been indecisive about what to do with my lovely, lovely Sublime yarn (which I blogged about in my 'we love Dorset' post), is a bit of an understatement.  I am normally Captain Decision (hmmmm, maybe I'm normally even Captain Hasty Decision) so it was a bit of a surprise to me to find myself in such a mahoosive quandry about this project.  I knew I wanted to make a scarf, because to not have this yarn worn against my skin would, quite frankly, be a crime.  But could I for the life of me decide what pattern to make?  No.  I could not.  In fact, I even had a wobble about the colours I'd chosen, and ended up swapping the petrolly grey one for another ball of the greeny colour. 
When I got back home from our few days away, and began to think about what I might do with my new yarn, I realised that to have only two colours is a bit of problem.  Just one colour?  No problem.  Lots of different colours?  Great.  Two colours?  Whaaaaat???
I initially toyed with this design:
But after making seven of the blighters, I realised that I just wasn't feeling the love for these swirly squares (pretty though they are).  So I unpicked the whole lot and sat down and scratched my head a bit more.  Then I had a cup of tea.  Then I looked on Ravelry.  Then I had a glass of wine.  Then I slept on it.  Then I realised the thing that had been staring me in the face the whole time: it could only be stripes.
Classic, lovely stripes.
And I'm really lucky, because I have a personal crochet assistant, who is on hand to help me at all times x

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Cushion appreciation

This is just going to be a very quick post today - I have finally decided what to do with my lovely yarn that I blogged about in my 'we love Dorset' post and am itching to get on with it as I think it's going to be pretty quick to make and the thought that I might soon be able to actually wear it is very, very exciting indeed.  So I'll just show you a little something I made the other day for a bit of instant gratification:
I thought that my little flower squares cushion was looking a bit lonely all on its own on the sofa, so I made a friend for it out of some deckchair fabric that I bought on my recent trip to Dorset.
It's not quite as rock n roll as my CK-inspired lovely, but I still love it, and I don't hyperventilate quite so much when the children go near it with sticky hands, so that's a bonus. x

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Wot a luvverly weekend

I love these little bluebells that middle nut illicitly picked for us when we were out for a walk on Sunday.  He was at great pains to point out that they were for me and daddy to share.  So we both look at them, sitting on our kitchen windowsill looking all pretty. are the edited highlights of our lovely, long weekend.  Taking the boys to school this morning really was a bit of a shock to the system - we've all still got our holiday heads on.  We've had three weeks of at least some of the family being off school (you might remember me mentioning previously that Mr Nut is a teacher) and what with the weather being so fabulous, it's almost felt like summer!
Food featured prominently for us (scoff scoff):
It had to be a Victoria sponge on Friday, in keeping with the royal theme of the day. Wasn't the wedding just lovely?  I actually cried when she got out of the car - she just looked amazing.  (Sigh)
We went for a picnic with some lovely friends on Monday.  They forgot to bring any actual picnic food with them, but luckily they did have some sweeties.
Phew, thought we were going to go hungry for a moment there...
We had another picnic on Sunday, just us this time.  We went to a beautiful reservoir about an hour away:
The boys made us laugh so much.  They're just the best of friends and really, I can't imagine one without the other.  I can get a bit damp-eyed and squishy just thinking about them messing about together.  Inseparable.
Hmmmm - can you see any rocks to throw in?
Oooh, yep, hang on, I've got one...
Great! Stand back!!!
And now they've got another little buddy to hang out with:
Brilliant x