Tuesday, 23 February 2016


We've just had half term here at The House with the Blue Door and it's been a good one. I was really looking forward to a week off work and school for D and I, and P had a few days off too. Usually we head off on days out and such like, but this time, apart from a lovely trip to see my parents, we stayed mainly at home and got some jobs done around the house. We moved some furniture around, had a big clear out in a couple of rooms, redecorated a bit and did a few repairs which all felt like quite an achievement, as there doesn't seem to be much time for this sort of thing in term-time. I also spent some time making things which really re-charged my batteries. As you know, I've been trying to be more mindful over the last year or two. Instead of rushing to finish and be productive, I try not to mind too much when my creative projects take a long time to finish, and I take the time to enjoy the process of making something.

I'm pleased to say I finally finished my blue/grey scarf last week and have been wearing it out and about. You may remember I started making it back in October, and have knitted a few rows here and there when I could. I am very pleased with it and love its soft linen drapeyness. It's knitted in Rowan Creative Linen in 'Foggy', in 3 by 3 rib, and I started and ended it with 4 rows of moss stitch. I like to think back to the autumn when I began it. We had gone on holiday to North Yorkshire (I will show you that post soon) and I knitted it in real fog as we drove over the North York Moors. I like to think that I knitted a bit of Yorkshire into it as well as all the other places I've taken it over the winter. It contains the fallen leaves of autumn and the frosts of winter. I like that thought.

The weather was very cold and bright for most of the week, and made me feel very happy and energised. Around me the colour-palette of the seasons is changing again to the fresh colours of early spring. On my windowsill there have been little dark blue, inky irises.

There are also heavenly hellebores.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I love them very much with their shy, drooping heads which reveal the most exquisite flowers when you lift them up.

 As always, I pick a few and float them in water so that I can appreciate their beauty. This is a seasonal ritual for me which never fails to make me smile.

I also got my crochet hook out last week and was inspired to make myself an apple cosy in which to take my lunch to work. My friend Jane always brings her apple smartly dressed (and cushioned) in a rather lovely teal blue one, so I decided it was time I made one too. The pattern is from 'Simple Crochet' by Sara Sinaguglia, and was published last year in my Landscape magazine.

The knitting needles have come out too, and I've started to knit a set of napkin rings from the book I showed you in my last post. They'll all be in pastel colours, and I'm going to decorate them with different crocheted flowers. It's a simple project, and I shall enjoy choosing the colour/flower combinations. Jane and I grabbed the opportunity to meet up again at the weekend for another of our creative afternoons.

While I crocheted and knitted, Jane needle-felted, and as we busied ourselves we chatted over coffee and cappucino swiss roll (such a treat) and fruit, and vowed to do this more often.

 The chance to spend a whole afternoon being creative is not to be sneezed at, and I always find that doing it with a friend is very inspiring as we come up with all sorts of ideas and plans.

The creativity didn't stop there. I got my sewing machine out last week and, after making tie-backs for my home-made kitchen curtains, I sewed a little curtain for some shelves in our bedroom where I keep my bits and bobs. It's a vintage Laura Ashley fabric called 'Polyanthus' and I ordered a few metres on the internet after spotting it a couple of years ago. Back in the 90s I'd made a patchwork with a tiny piece, and had always wished I'd bought some more, so was very happy to find it. Our room's looking much more tidy and organised now.

It was a good week off - just the right mix of relaxation and productivity, and I feel rested and ready for the week ahead now. I shall leave you with some signs of spring that I spotted out in the garden this week. There are buds on the clematis,

and the apple tree,

and burgeoning hazel catkins.

I can't wait for spring! 

See you soon x


  1. Sounds like a lovely afternoon, lovely to see your flowers, I love it when you can bring a little of the outdoors inside x

  2. I also can't wait for spring .......
    your scarf is verry nice ..i love the hellebores ...
    thank you for vissit my blog ...have a nice day

  3. Gosh you have been busy Cathy! Lots of lovely things. I like the sound of your apple having a jacket. The hellebores are so gorgeoys. Glad you enjoyed your week. x

  4. Sounds like a fantastic half term Love your scarf and an apple cosy is a brilliant idea - I must try and find a pattern. Your irises made me smile - the purple and yellow ones are one of my favourite flowers. Enjoy the rest of the week. xx

  5. Catkins are a real sign of spring. You have done loads of crafts. I want to get s few hellebores for flowers/colour at this time of year, do they need special treatment.

    1. Hellebores are lovely, aren't they? No they don't need special treatment and seem to be equally happy in sun or shade, although they're often thought of as shade-loving. If you plant them when they're small they take a couple of years to flower, but if you plant several different ones they will cross-pollinate. Hope you enjoy them!
      Cathy x

  6. Thank you for a lovely mixed and inspiring glimpse into your world.

  7. So lovely to catch up on all of your news. Your scarf is lovely, I really like the colour!! Hope you enjoy wearing it lots. xx

  8. Wow, you certainly fitted a lot into your half term break, far more than I managed. I love your scarf, it looks so soft and snuggly, just right for the cold weather we are experiencing at the moment. How lovely to spend a crafting afternoon with a friend, I always feel motivated when I get together with my crafty minded friends. Your irises are beautiful and I love your way of displaying helebores, they are such beautiful flowers. xx

  9. Hi Cathy,
    What a lovely post!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful projects and photos with us ;)
    Greetings from Chicago~

  10. Looks like another happy, busy week. Lovely flowers, those irises are gorgeous. And the scarf isn't bad either :-)

  11. The apple cozy is adorable! Hope you get to carry many apples in it over the next few years!

    Take care
    Crochet Between Worlds


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