Monday, 30 November 2015

Yarny Things

Thank you so much for your kind comments on my last post welcoming me back after my little break. That is what I love about Blogland - it's such a friendly place, isn't it?

While I was away I got busy with my crochet hook and used some gorgeous hand-spun wool to make a couple of autumnal items. The yarn was a buy from Etsy several years ago, and I've been saving it for the right project. In shades of fallen leaves with little glass beads spun into it, it was the perfect choice for a little autumn pot. I used a 5.5 hook as the yarn was chunkily spun, and went round and round in a spiral until I decided it was time to start the sides. I like to crochet pots this way, experimenting in a freestyle sort of way and letting it come to life as I go. I decreased at intervals until the sides started to rise, and then just went round and round until it reached the height I wanted. Here it is - can you see the little beads at the bottom of the pot?

While we were away I bought these rather sweet felt balls from a craft shop in shades of orange and brown. I used the rest of the wool to crochet a long chain.

Then I crocheted some little leaves from cotton yarn in complimentary shades and attached them with the little felt 'berries' along the length of the crocheted chain to make an autumn garland.

I was pleased with how it turned out, in warm seasonal hues and very tactile indeed.

Here it is hanging in my shed with some autumnal pictures. I love the pale blue walls, as I think it's a colour which seems to go with almost anything. Perhaps it's because it's the colour of the sky?

As well as decorating the shed, I have been busy crocheting for two little people. Two of my friends have had babies recently, two sweet little boys. So I made them each a little ball to play with, made from crocheted pentagons and stuffed with a little bell in the centre to make a soft tinkly sound. I used a pattern on Ravelry, but haven't been able to find it since. There are lots of similar ones there if you're interested in making one.

I made the other one from cotton yarn in shades of green and blue.

I've also been busy knitting myself a scarf. I know, I have been busy, haven't I? You may remember that last January I began knitting a scarf in a pale blue linen yarn? Well, I wasn't happy with it and put it away for a while. Recently I started it again, this time in a 3 by 3 rib which I really love. It's coming along well, and is so very soft I can't wait to wear it. I'm drawn to these icy blue shades once again, this one bordering on grey, perfect for the wintry months ahead.

Right, I have one more catching-up post to do this week, and then on to things wintry and Christmassy - hooray!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Back Again

Hello again! I'm back, feeling a bit more refreshed and healthy after my break. I'm eating less stodge and I've joined a gym! It's been a much-needed pause in which I've found the time to catch up with myself and sort out my priorities. While I was away we had a little holiday in half term which was a real tonic, and some surprisingly mild November days, along with lots of rain. I've watched the riotous colours of autumn reach a peak in October and gradually subside as we move towards winter. Things are looking rather soggy and drab outside now, and the hours of daylight are diminishing noticeably. I found a string of white fairy lights to brighten up the house, and lit candles to bring a bit of twinkliness to the unending grey days. Where has the sunshine gone? It came out for a short time when I was at work last week and I almost fell off my chair with delight. We have to make our own light and warmth at this time of year, and I very much enjoy doing it, cosying up indoors, and taking the opportunity to get outside for a walk when I can.

Here are some of the things I've been up to while I've been away:

Putting up last year's crocheted autumn wreath and some richly-coloured cards and postcards on the wall in my shed. I do love those jewel colours and earthy tones.

Arranging my home-grown honesty in a home-made vase (I am not a natural potter), and making a little autumnal still life with acorns, a lantern and and old wooden bobbin.

Admiring the translucent honesty seed pods which make me want to draw them. 

Saying 'goodbye' to the last of the cherry leaves. The wind two weekends ago saw them all off, leaving the tree bare. It's now easier to see the birds which perch in its branches and come to the feeders.

Finishing reading Simon Armitage's 'Walking Home' which I enjoyed immensely. I was with him every step of the way on his Pennine walk and couldn't help but laugh at his dry sense of humour.

Having bought some liquorice and fennel tea a while ago, making my own with fennel seeds from the garden and liquorice root from the health food shop. Delicious, and surprisingly sweet.

Sweeping up heaps of fallen leaves which gather in drifts around the house and along the paths.

Enjoying the wonderful colours of the squashes and pumpkin on our window-sill,

Then roasting them in the oven in olive oil, salt and pepper. Also delicious.

Stopping off at Salisbury Cathedral for a wander instead of driving past, as we usually do.

Enjoying the tranquility of the cloisters, and appreciating the architecture (as well as a coffee in the lovely cafe).

Waking up to yet another tangerine sunrise. Glorious.

I hope you've been able to fit some fun things into your life lately, and that if you live around these parts you're able to stay toasty and dry out of the high winds, rain and colder temperatures that are heading this way. Batten down the hatches and put the kettle on. The perfect excuse for curling up somewhere cosy and relaxing!