Friday, 26 February 2016

Future Charity Blankets

I have chosen a crochet related post as my Five On Friday this week (as usual hosted by Amy at Love Made My Home). As some of you know I am making 2016 a year where I am trying to do as much as I can, in my own small way, for charity, so  have challenged myself to make twelve blankets to donate to a local residential care home for them to distribute to the residents at Christmas plus I am making another blanket for an old school friend of mine who is running a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House in Southampton (a home where family of sick children can stay so they can be close by the hospital where their children are being treated). My friend's grandchild has been in hospital since she was born awaiting a heart operation and the parents are staying at Ronald McDonald House which is entirely run on charity donations so this is very dear to my friend's heart).

I have already completed three blankets this year (the butterflies on them are the symbol of SIBOL (Sunshine International Blankets of Love) which is the organisation that I am creating the blankets for.

When I am creating the blankets I am always thinking ahead and trying out new ideas for future blankets so my Five On Friday are squares that I have lined up to be used later this year. Apologies that some of them don't look very straight at the moment, these are just the prototypes and when I am making the squares for real they will all be blocked properly.

This daisy design will be my next blanket and will be the one to be donated to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House

I love this snowflake design although the navy border looks very dark on here, not entirely sure which colour(s) I will use for the border yet - watch this space!

African Flower hexagon, I have my colours lined up for this one, you will have to wait and see what I come up with but looking forward to starting on this.

Maybelle flower square, I am planning to crochet this one with lots of different colour flower centres and possibly edge each square with cream.

Circle of Friends square (this is a great design for using up little bits and pieces of wool left over from other projects - I don't usually mix random colours together but this design calls out for just that and should make for a cheerful colourful blanket.

I hope you have enjoyed this week's Five on Friday and will go and seek out other Five on Friday posts that are linked from Amy's blog.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Welford Park

Time for Five On Friday again, I am sure I don't know where the days are going to. Once again I am linking with Amy at Love Made My Home on her 1st Anniversary of Five On Friday. Do go and pay a visit to Amy's blog where there are links to more Five On Friday posts.

This week I am bringing you photos from a visit my DH and I made yesterday to Welford Park (where Bake Off is filmed). Primarily we went to view their famous snowdrop woods but there is so much else to see there. This was our first visit on what I hope will become an annual pilgrimage. The sight of the snowdrop woods was just breath-taking and it has been so difficult just choosing five photos to show you so I have cheated slightly by putting some non-snowdrop views into a mosaic and counting that as one picture.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing these photos and if you love snowdrops and are in the vicinity of Newbury (Berkshire) please go and pay a visit, it is open until early March from Wednesday through to Sunday and the entrance fees (which are very reasonable) all go to various charities. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Yarn Along

I am joining with Ginny at Yarn Along for the first time. I have been intending to join in with Yarn Along for a few weeks and have finally managed to get my act in gear this week (could be something to do with the fact that it is half term and I am not working this Wednesday)!

Yarn Along is where bloggers whose favourite hobbies are knitting/crocheting and reading share what they are working on and reading each week. In my case I love to crochet and on my hook at the moment is my 3rd Sunshine (SIBOL) blanket. If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I am making these to donate to a local residential care home at Christmas and my aim over the course of the year is to complete at least twelve blankets. 

The book that I am reading at the moment is Amy Snow by Tracy Rees which I am greatly enjoying. This was recommended to me by a member of The Year In Books which I am participating in this year.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A Mixed Bag

I seem to have so much to show you today of events over the last few days. Sorry I know this post is going to be picture heavy but hope you will stay with me. We have had a few glorious days with bright sunshine and frosty mornings where you just want to get out and walk in the countryside.

The first such day was last Thursday so we set off to St. Mary Bourne, I am sure regular readers will recognise some of these views but the great delight this time was the River Bourne. It has been a dry river bed since the end of May last year but the water is now flowing again, a welcome sight.

Two weeks before when the river bed was still dry

What a difference two weeks make!

Now for a change of activity - over the weekend I completed the second of my charity blankets, this is another Sunshine International Blanket of Love which will be donated to a local residential care home.

You might remember me showing you these squares on my blocking board ready to be joined. I have tried a new way (to me) of joining this blanket using the continuous flat braid join which I have to say I really like and now I have got the hang of it I will definitely be using it again. It is great to be able to join the whole blanket plus crochet the edging without having to break the yarn and sew in those dratted ends!

Blanket number 3 is in process but I will keep photos of that back to show you next time.

Yesterday dawned another cold and sunny day so we set off for Hedge End where there is a big retail complex. Because of my weight loss I needed some smaller size clothes (how great is that) so we spent the morning shopping and spending far too much money before stopping off at one of our favourite eating places, the Brigadier Gerard at Horton Heath for a delicious lunch.

Having eaten far too much what better way to walk it off than go for a walk in Stoke Park Woods on our way home.

And finally (you might be relieved to hear) we get to this morning where we enjoyed a walk around our local patch.

I love the sunlit tangled branches on the tree below and the crocuses and snowdrops in the park were beautifully displayed in all their glory with the sun shining on them.

I hope I haven't bored you completely so if you are still here many thanks for reading and viewing my blog. Until the next time .....

Friday, 12 February 2016

Tools Of My Trade

Friday's seem to come round so quick these days and it is time for Five On Friday again, once more I am linking up with Amy at Love Made My Home and this week I am bringing you the tools of my trade (in this case the things I use on a daily basis to do my crochet). I do like to have lovely quality tools to use to assist me in my crafting - whether it be crochet, knitting or cross-stitch so thought I would show you some of the bits and pieces I wouldn't want to be without for my crochet projects.

Number one is my wool winder, I like to wind my wool into cakes using this gadget. It is well worth the time spent on the winding process and you will see why when you see tool number two. The winding process is quite therapeutic (except when the wool decides to knot as you are pulling it from the ball).

Number two is my yarn spinner, this holds the cakes of yarn which I pop on the floor or onto a table next to where I am crocheting. This is much easier to work with than having a ball of yarn leaping all over the place as you crochet.

Number three is my lovely collection of Clover Amour crochet hooks. I have used many types of hook over the years but I find these the best. They are not the cheapest hooks around but are so comfortable to use. I was getting stiff joints using the traditional aluminium hooks but I have no trouble with these at all.

This is number four and I am cheating really as there are several items photographed here but they are all the little bits and pieces you need around you as you crochet - tape measure, darning needles, scissors and pins.

And finally, number five is my newest acquisition which if you are a regular reader of my blog you will have seen recently. This is a blocking board which is used to block out the squares to the size you require. It makes a huge difference to the look of the square once it has been blocked and this is rapidly becoming a tool which I cannot do without.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing my five items this week. Have a good week and look forward to seeing you again same time, same place, next week.