Friday, 29 April 2016

Five on Friday: New beginnings

For Five on Friday this week I thought I would share some new projects that have begun  this week. Is it the effect of Spring? There have been some very chilly mornings but the sun has shone creating a mood of optimism. Time to start new challenges.


1. My first ever CAL

Until recently I did not know what a CAL was. A friend mentioned she was doing a knitting KAL and I had to ask her what she meant. Apparently it is an event where people get together to knit or crochet for a common purpose. Shortly after our discussion I came across Marinka Slump's blog acreativebeing.com and read about her last CAL idea: Last Dance on the Beach. Her story, which you can read here, really struck a cord with me. Although I have been very fortunate not to have been personally touched by mental ill health I have friends who cope with it in their families. It is often hidden and can be a sadly neglected area of health provision. 
This inspired me to take part in my first CAL.


I chose "Dance in the Sea" as the colours reminded me of many happy years sailing in Greece and Turkey. Whenever I need to relax I try to imagine I'm on a beautiful beach or splashing in the sea. My days of dancing on the beach maybe over but in my head I am skipping and twirling across that sand!


The first week's squares are completed and I have learned to do popcorn stitch. They just need blocking now - another new skill to add to the list.


This week, Week 2, it is star stitch and attempting to get the tension correct to match the sample tension square. 
I am looking forward to learning lots more stitches and skills over the coming 14 weeks.

2. New Shoots

There are lots of pots in my garden and half the pleasure of filling them is growing the plants myself.I do not have the space to grow everything from seed so cheat by growing some plants on from mini plug plants.

  
There is something very satisfying about potting them on into progressively larger pots and watching them grow. They can be quite demanding; having to make sure they are warm, have enough light, ventelation and are well watered. However, they bring irresistible pleasure when I go out each morning to check on them.


They start out on a rack in the conservatory.........
.......... then graduate to the plastic mini greenhouse in the garden to toughen up.


It has been a challenge this week with frosty nights but they are looking pretty healthy. 
Fingers crossed they stay that way.

3. New Knitting

After the success of the Spiral Staircase shawl I shared last week I decided to start another. This time in pinks and purples.


It looks darker in this photo than it actually is but I like the randomness of the stripes.  My mother recently gave me all her old knitting needles and the pair I am using here were from that set. I am not sure if it is all the years of use but the yarn moves really smoothly on them and they are a pleasure to use. 


The points have been altered and are slightly smaller and shallower than the original pattern. I'm not sure whether to decorate them with tassels again or maybe go for beads this time. That is a decision for when the knitting is finished.

4. New Buds

Despite the cold and frost this week the cherry tree blossom is just beginning to emerge. It is a miniature tree, which was planted two years ago and is growing in a large pot. 


Last year it actually bore fruit with small bunches of cherries. It was most unexpected as I thought the tree would need to be more mature. A real treat of tart, juicy berries. Mind you, the blackbirds were quick to spot them too! 

5. New start on an old project


These needle cases were started quite a while ago but have been sadly neglected in a drawer in the workroom. The linen outer covers were prepared with Liberty Lawn strips and a couple had been embroidered. I finally picked up my sewing needle again this week and progress is being made.


There are two more to embroider then completion of the inside can begin. Soon, (very soon I hope) there maybe new stock for my Etsy shop. It has been a long time coming!

Well, I had better get on with more stitching,
or shall I knit,
the crochet squares need finishing too............


Linking up with Amy at Love Made My Home



18 comments:

  1. Lovely healthy plants you have there! And I admire your embroidery.

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    1. Thank you! I am keeping my fingers crossed the plants survive this chilly spell of weather we are experiencing.

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  2. Your stitching is wonderful. Wink's story is so sad, hopefully it brings awareness to those in need. I have made several Hitchhiker scarves that look very much like yours.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Thank you Meredith. It is tragic Wink lost her battle with that awful illness. She was such a talented young woman. I hope her story encourages people to talk about mental illness as it is so often hidden. Take care.

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  3. Great spring projects! I look forward to seeing more of your blanket and very pretty embroidery and hope that your plants all grow really well for you! Thank you for joining Five On Friday, I hope you have a fun weekend! xx

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    1. There is a real incentive to get on with my projects now so I can share the completed items! Have an enjoyable May weekend. x

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  4. Lovely knitting. I really like the colours and the shape of your Spiral Staircase shawl.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you! It is continuing to grow and I will have to swap to a circular needle soon. Have a good weekend. x

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  5. Love the popcorn stitch on the squares. How impressive. I used to knit little squares, but never got farther than that. I will be back often to find out how your quilt is going.

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    1. The popcorn stitch was new to me and much easier than expected unlike this week's star stitch which has been a challenge!

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  6. What a lot of lovely projects, you're crocheting is so impressive. My, my, my, all those plants, what a garden you're going to have.

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    1. Hopefully as the weather improves it will be time to get the plants out into the garden. It is beautiful and sunny here this morning so looking forward to pottering outside later.
      Have a lovely weekend. x

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  7. A wonderful time of year for the start of new life in the garden and wonderful new craft projects. The crochet is beautiful, I love the colour combination.

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    1. There were two other colour combinations available in the crochet project but I was immediately drawn to this colour combo. Really looking forward to it growing steadily.

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  8. Hello. You have shared such lovely things this week in your post. I loved following acreativebeing.com and was so sad when I read what had happened. The CAL is sure to be a fun project. Your plants are amazing; you really have a green thumb. I book marked the shawl you are making as Ravelry as it looks like such a fun knit. Thank you for sharing. Wishing all the joys of the coming week, Pat xx

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    1. Thank you Pat, I'm really enjoying the CAL although this week's pattern has been quite challenging to get the tension correct. Have a good week. x

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  9. Wonderful projects - I especially like the needle cases. The CAL project sounds interesting and you've done some beautiful squares.

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    1. Thank you Lorrie, I'm struggling with Week 3 square at the moment, but hopefully with practice I'll get there!

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