Friday, 22 April 2016

Catching Up with Five on Friday

March and some of April has flashed past spent mainly helping and caring for a loved one. I am back home now and enjoying having full internet access again. Yes it is available on my mobile phone but I just cannot get on with the small screen for more than the essentials. I am having fun catching up with blogs, seeing what friends have been up to and having instant access to information. The enforced cyber holiday had its merits, but having the phone was cheating really. The ability to send and received texts and messages from friends was a great support at a stressful time. It seems like forever since last taking part in Five on Friday. My Five this week are  things I have been trying to catch up with.

1. The Garden

The garden has been busy getting on regardless with the arrival of Spring. Bulbs growing and flowering. A blackbird has been very busy building a nest in the ivy on the back fence. There has been lots of activity from the wrens too who seem to favour the hedge. The beauty of nature is that it just gets on with doing its own thing, responding to the seasons, light levels, temperature and weather. Spring is definitely my favorite season.

The renewal of life brings hope. Shaking off the darkness and shadows of winter. Some of the shadows may remain but seeing the first flush of colour from plants and trees and watching the birds building new homes brings a lightness to my heart.

2. Time to walk in the woods

The weather has been kind this week and a friend and I went for a walk in one of our favourite places: the local wood. The bluebells looked glorious in the sunshine together with celandine and wood anemones.

We found a path we had not explored before and it led to a small pond with a very handy bench close by. So we sat enjoying the sunshine and listening to the birds and the drumming of a woodpecker high up in the trees. Suddenly a muntjac deer appeared making its way quietly through the undergrowth.

A delightful afternoon was rounded off with a visit to the cafe, which has the best home made cakes. We sat outside overlooking another pond and a heron arrived looking for a fishy snack, whilst we enjoyed tea, lemon cake and chocolate chip shortbread.

Yarny Projects
3. Crochet

My ripple blanket was finally completed this month. I discovered Attic 24 last year and was inspired to start crocheting again. I loved the colours in Lucy's Ripple blankets but particularly wanted to use Autumnal colours, so chose a selection from the Stylecraft Special DK range from Woolwarehouse.

It is not subtle by any stretch of the imagination but I am pleased with how cosy and warm it is both in looks and feel. I would probably opt for more earthy, gentler tones next time but  bright, vibrant colours always seem to grab my attention first.

 4. Knitting

Not quite so vibrant as the blanket is the Spiral Staircase shawl I made for a friend's birthday. This free download by LizAnn Petch was found on Ravelry. I used Drops Delight Turquoise/Purple print and really enjoyed watching it grow and how the colour variation changed with the increasing number of stitches. For extra embellishment I added small tassels to the points using the left over yarn. Not really a Spring Birthday gift but it can still be very chilly in Yorkshire at this time of year so I hope it comes in useful!

5. A little bit of stitching.

Knitting and crochet have suited my mood better over the last few weeks and to be honest it is easier to pick up and drop at short notice than stitching.

The Capability Brown piece for the Embroiderers'Guild and National Trust joint exhibition at Stowe was completed just within the deadline in March but I will write about that in another blog.

Some easy stitching was needed and what could be easier than working with felt. A friend had commissioned a cactus for her daughter a while ago, so that was first on the "To Do" list. Finally it was safely delivered and I had a lovely note on Facebook this morning from the recipient to say she was really happy with it.

It is good to be back with Five on Friday and I hope there will not be such a long gap to the next one.

There is lots to write about......... two JETS meetings, Capability Brown project, a great weekend workshop with Gwen Hedley............ just need to find time to get on with it!


  1. Your garden looks as though it is doing very well! Lovely to see your crochet and knitting, I love the colours you chose for your ripple!! Thank you for joining Five On Friday this week, I do so appreciate it and enjoyed reading your post. Hope you have a great weekend! xx

    1. Thank you Amy, it's good to be back. X

  2. Such a beautiful garden, hard work to return to when you have been away. Great crochet blanket, I too love the beautiful bright Autumnal colour combination. Take care.

    1. The garden looked after itself, which was a complete bonus and joy to return to!

  3. Hi Annie, I was just reading your blog when you left a lovely comment on my blog! Thank you so much for the kind words. I love the beautiful photos of your garden above but I am especially intrigued by the blanket and shawl you created. I'm in the midst of making a another ripple blanket in what I call the colors of Turkey. And, I've always wanted to make something with Drops yarn. The shawl is such a beautiful design. I hope your weekend is off to a wonderful start. My best wishes to you, Pat xx

    1. What a lovely coincidence Pat. I hope you will post pictures of your ripple blanket when you complete it, I would love to see what colours you are using. The Drops yarn was great to work with. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x

  4. What a pleasure to visit and read your blog. Lovely photos. I was quite intrigued by the Spiral Staircase shawl you made for your friend's birthday. Love the colour combination and your tassel embellishment.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Coming to you via Amy's Five on Friday.


    1. Thank you Brenda, the shawl was an easy pattern and really fun to make. Have a good weekend. x

  5. Lovely to see your pictures in this post. I too have crocheted one of Lucy's lovely blankets but those tassels are wonderful. Presently crocheting hexagons and loving the ease of working while watching television. You are so right that it suits a certain mood the way embroidering does not. Happy Stitching!

    1. I agree Jocelyn, crocheting is great for relaxing when you don't want anything too taxing. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and maybe do a few more hexagons! x


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