Friday, 14 May 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

Happy Friday, let's see if this week my blog post goes to plan!

For early birds last week (and thank you to Michele for messaging me)
you will have seen the bare bones of my blog post - just pics and notes.
It was a little insight into how I write the Friday post. 
As my week ticks along I upload photos and notes otherwise I sit down the day before 
to write and I just cannot remember what I've done! 
Pretty easy to remember my week this week - 
it's been work, work with a topping of...work!
I'm not complaining as this current full time lark is paid overtime - 
it may pay for some long overdue renovations to the VT. 

Crochet:

It's finished!
The Spiced Biscuits Blanket that I was pattern testing.
It had to be done by this Sunday so there was some speedy crochet. 
There is the option to make the border narrower - I was grateful for that.


The final border round was berry stitch - little bobbles, I like those.
If you follow me on Instagram I went a bit made with photos there.


I will be putting this one up for sale in my Folksy shop shortly.


My mission now is to complete all my WIPs - honest I really am!
I've written them down and there is five blankets partially started.
I MUST NOT start anything new until they are done.
I will then be able to work through my yarn collection...

Garden:

I have a sickly palm!
Any advice greatly appreciated.
I'm wondering if it doesn't like being in a pot?


Sweet Peas are sprouting - not sure if that's the correct terminology.


My Montana Clematis showing off.
The flowers are opening daily.
I like the bench but still wish I had my old wicker chair,
that  seemed more nature friendly.


Telly:

BBC1 - Line of Duty
The twists of turns of a specialised Police Anti-Corruption Unit.


I am SO late to the party with this one.
I have watched all the previous seasons but I was waiting until 
all episodes of season 6 was available so I could binge.
At the points when I'm supposed to be gripped by intrigue
I'm looking at the TV screen and thinking...
I'm not sure a beard suits Steve Arnott! 
Saying that, it is a telly show that doesn't disappoint,
I did find myself having to Google previous episodes just so I 
could place names. I've just got one more episode to go 
and amazingly I've managed to avoid spoilers on social media.
(Karenlotty - I'll let you know what I think of the ending).

Other stuff:

Pleased to report Elliott is well again after feeling poorly from his
second vaccination.  Mitchell has been in training for his new job,
there appears to be quite a bit of downtime between calls,
the man who is training him paints Warhammer figures and does cross-stitch! 
I may get Mitchell crocheting yet.

My Mum has just undergone some eye treatment, lasering,
she also has lots of other appointments to deal with.
She is still quite frail but managing to potter in her garden and 
plant up seedlings in her greenhouse. 

Littlelamb - pleased to hear you are out of hospital and hope you are recovering
well at your son's home.

And that's my week - apologies again no recipe,
we are freezer foragers at the moment!

This weekend I think a roast dinner might be on the menu with Elliott visiting.  
I'm deliberating whether to pop to the garden centre,
I need some large pots to go with the other dozen or so large pots I have,
I fear it is a little like buying yarn!

Take care friends, wishing you a lovely weekend.


Friday, 7 May 2021

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday (or not so happy first thing here when realising 
Blogger had not published my updated post!)
I typed a super long FDD in my lunch hour yesterday
that has now disappeared. 
I'm thinking it was because I had it open on both my laptop downstairs and
PC upstairs that it chose to save and publish the wrong version - grhhh! 
So let's try again...

How was your Bank Holiday?
I must admit it did not feel like a Bank Holiday but I was grateful
for a longer weekend.

The Charity Kit sold out fast last Sunday, I do think the layered style 
of cards are more popular. What do you favour?


Please allow an extra day or two for them to arrive
because of the bank holiday.

Crochet:

Working full time seriously hampers crochet output!
I am pleased that I've managed to do all 64 squares of
the pattern testing project that I am doing -
Spiced Biscuits Blanket.


And the joining has begun...


There's a huge border to be added, 26 rounds and I need to have this done
by the 16th, I think I'll get there - nothing like having a deadline to 
get you into action.
I'm really happy with the colours - I see the ocean, sea foam,
Elliott announced 'they look like toothpaste colours!'

And the commission is finished, the one I called 'big and boring'.
Now it is finished I take that back, it's lovely, soft and squidgy.
Bella and the cats had their eyes on it as a nice bed so the photos
were quickly snapped before it was packaged up and sent off to its new home.


I used James C Brett Amazon Super Chunky - 14 balls in total with a 12mm hook.
I will be updating my Crochet page here on the blog shortly.


Garden:

We have had some downpours this week and everything has had a growth spurt.
And look who is back - the squirrel has buried his afternoon snacks in my 
huge tree pots (thankfully those get covered in more plants come Summer)


He goes from pot to pot and then sits on the fence and nibbles his snack.
I know my neighbour find them a nuisance but I think adorable.
Bottoms up!


Telly:

When I've sat down of an evening this week by constant viewing has been:

The Medici - Netflix
The struggles of the family who are the bankers to the Pope in the 1400s.


Three seasons to dive into.
So the Medici are real but the writers had a whale of a time embellishing
this I'm certain.  It is full of intrigue, murder, twists, gorgeous hair,
sumptuous gowns and I'm certain their teeth were never that white! 
That aside, I've found it wonderful viewing and the timeline is accurate,
the right people die at the right time! 
Dustin Hoffman stars in the first season along with Richard Madden -
Games of Thrones fame.

Other news:

I'm still being very cautious and not venturing very far at all.
My hermit status suits me, I've got very used to the food shop 
delivery once a week and walking Bella in my lunch break.
This is how she spends her afternoon whilst I'm back working -
she's not the most productive co-worker but I'm grateful for the company.


Elliott had his second vaccination this week and has been a little
poorly afterwards - the usual symptoms so I've been administering
motherly advice - plenty of fluids, paracetemol etc - he is picking up now.

And talking of poorly - so sorry to hear you are still in hospital Littlelamb,
I hope you will be home soon.

And I think that wraps up this week - sorry for the blogger mishap 
this morning.
I know my original post had a few more items but I'll save those for 
next week.

Take care friends, have a lovely weekend - let's hope it warms up.



Sunday, 2 May 2021

Charity Kit Day - May 2021

 Hello friends

Happy Charity Kit Day.


Thank you for stopping by and taking a look at this month's kit. 
Each month a donation is made to a different charity and this month it is 
Caenhill Countryside Centre, a project which brings countryside learning 
to children, young people and communities.


I am so pleased we have a mix of big and little charities again this year.
To keep track of charities there is a tab at the top of my blog here.  
It details the 2021 chosen charities, clickable links and 
there's general kit info over there too

And here is this month's kit:
lots of layers of cream and with your choice of flower colour. 


Included in your kit:

Ivory card blank
Ivory envelope
Die cuts – Fabulous Fretwork x 2, Captivating Squares x 2,
Flowers x 5, Leaves x 2
Stamped and die cut rectangular sentiment
Full instructions
(Items you will need: adhesives, foam pads, pearls/gemstone, inks/pens)

The kits are packed in recyclable paper bags and sent in a 'do not bend' 
envelope so they arrive in pristine condition. 


To make up the kits you just need a basic craft kit, all pieces are pre-cut.

The kit cost this month is £5.25
that's the total payment - inclusive of postage and packing.

Payment is via the PayPal link below.


If you wish to purchase but would prefer not to use PayPal, please email me:
hope-chances@live.co.uk

I'm happy to help with alternative payment arrangements.
It is possible to purchase multiple kits,
there's an option with PayPal for that too.



If you would like to support the kits but do not need one right now,
there is a 'Ko-fi' button', at the top of the blog, it's not really for coffee...
all donations enable me to purchase card blanks, envelopes, the paper bags,
sticky labels etc used each month.
It is truly a great help each month with Ko-fi donations,
so lots of thanks to those who donate.


Take care friends, as always - huge thanks for your support
and have a wonderful Bank Holiday.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

Happy Friday and hope you are all well.

Is it Friday? I think it's Friday.
I am in a muddle of days this week and likely to be for a while
as I'm currently working full time for my city job.
We are super busy so I've been asked to do more days 
which is wonderful as I'm still working from home - no commute! 
I have found it way more tiring than expected, I've been in bed at 9pm each night.

Work has seriously hampered other activities though so less
crochet this week.

Crochet:

Pinksparkle asked last week whether I sew or crochet my squares together? 
I use the JAYG method (join as you go).  
I admit when I first tried it I got myself in a muddle but I followed Lucy (Attic 24) 
instructions here (scroll down quite a bit to find the method).  
I also drew myself out a little plan and now I've cracked it - perseverance does pay!
  
It does create a little more of a ridge between squares as pictured in my 
Hello Spring blanket below but I like it and it is effectively 
crocheting a final round and joining - so possibly economical too?


I'm enjoying my pattern testing project - The Spiced Biscuits Blanket
and I'm working on the final rounds of the squares
before joining. The little bobbles take quite some time...


Garden:

Isn't Spring just wonderful, I never tire of being amazed by little buds appearing.
There's a period between Spring and Summer where everything is just right
with plants, their size, shape and then it all goes a bit mad.

Montana Clematis is festooned with buds.
This one is planted in the most unsuitable pot but comes back each year.


And this Clematis is a very different flower with rich burgundy 
droplet flowers, I'm truly a Clematis fan.


And overjoyed this week to discover this...


If you squint there's a tiny tiny leaf appearing and this was the Clematis
I thought I had lost - work hard you little beauty and you may turn into this...
Florida Sieboldii.


And Sweet Peas are in - well some are.
Not the neatest job and I need to top up the soil and 
I need more loo rolls - something random I never thought I'd say! 


If you are looking to purchase Clematis online I definitely recommend 
Taylors, all their plants have 2 years growth so are well established.
Compared to the ones I bought last year in garden centres and DIY stores,
the Taylor ones are way better.
Their website is here

Telly:

I've been on a Netflix hunt this week and found two gems -
both need you to suspend reality and go on a bit of an adventure.

Letter for the King - Netflix Original

A young squire holds the fate of the kingdom in his hands as he 
embarks on a quest to deliver a secret message to the king.


I had overlooked this but then realised it is the same actor who is in
His Dark Materials and thought I would give it a go.
It's good - not great as I think some of the younger cast are not quite
credible but veteran actors hold it up well. 

Shadow and Bone - Netflix Original

Sinister forces plot against a young soldier after she 
reveals a magical power that may unite her world.


OK if you can get through the first episode and grasp what is happening
then stick with it - it gets better and better.
I spent time trying to work out what time period and place this was supposed to be
but it's impossible to work out, it's a mix of Victorian, Russian with modern elements.
That dashing chap in the photo was Prince Caspian - he's a bit meaner in this! 


Charity Kit:

On Sunday it is Charity Kit Day (didn't that come around quickly?)
and this month the chosen charity is Caenhill Countryside Centre.
Ahead of Sunday here's a little sneak peek of the kit.


Kits will be available from 7am on Sunday and I will do my
usual roundup of splashing it across social media.

Other stuff:

On the home front - Mitchell starts his new job next week,
he will have the long commute to Elliott's old room which is now his office.
(Sort of regretting I didn't make that my office!)

My freebie Freecycle shredder has been working overtime,
isn't amazing what paperwork we accumulate.
(I know you were all burning to know that!) 

And I think that rounds up this week.
I hope the weather is kind to us all for Bank Holiday,
keep safe and well everyone and please stop by on Sunday.


Friday, 23 April 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

Happy Friday and welcome to another week's worth of waffle!
I do appreciate you stopping by.
My blog posts are a diary for me and an opportunity to
share some bits and bobs with you all.
So without further ado...

Crochet:

It's crochet heavy week this week.

Some weeks back I mentioned Tom Daley had taken up crochet and knitting.
The man is amazing, he is now designing patterns including this cute child's jumper
called the Granny Belt Pullover.


It is a charity pattern with proceeds going to the Brain Tumour Charity
so I immediately purchased even though I do not have children this size,
perhaps I can adapt it for Bella?

All the details are here.

My crochet projects are making steady progress so it seemed perfectly
fine to start another one!
I am pattern testing for a clever designer Sylwia Trojanowka on Instagram.
It is the Spiced Biscuits Blanket. 
The original blanket is browns, oranges, creams,
I have chosen these coast colours.
Each square takes quite a bit of work with those bobbles but only 60+ to do!


Karen asked last week how do I deal with the ends?
It is a real bug bear with crochet especially when making granny squares,
so many rounds leads to zillions of ends.

I've read up quite a few methods/ideas and once thought I could just knot them and snip -
BIG MISTAKE - I ended up with holes and remaking the whole project.
I know some people weave them in whilst crocheting and I've tried that too
but just wasn't sure if it was perfectly secure so yes, 
I sew them in - each and every single one.  

 It's not the best job but I do it as a I go otherwise facing a pile of squares is daunting. 
I've found the key is to have everything to hand, 
your scissors and needle right by your side - my enormous pin cushion helps here.
And something to use for a little bin.

What needles? 
I've done some trial and error with these and discovered I favour these ones,
with a bent tip.
Some crocheters like to use Chenille Needles- they have a much sharper point.
This is the link to the needles I use -  
they have jumped up in price so possibly cheaper elsewhere.  
Saying that, I've been using the same needle for all my blankets and it hasn't worn out.

And now for a a little tutorial.

The reverse of completed square with the final round of two yellow ends to be dealt with.
I don't leave too much tail, I'm quite thrifty!


Looking at the bottom yellow end first, thread and weave through
the base of the stitches.


Then weave back through in opposite direction.
I've found by bringing the yarn up to the edge of the square 
you don't find as many little ends poking through.


That one is now ready to be snipped close to the edge.
Now thread the outer end and weave downwards.


And back out through to the outer edge again.


Snip!
You may want to pull gentle when you snip so the end disappears back
into the crochet, but don't pull too much.


The finished square and I think the corner where 
you've weaved in the ends is virtually unnoticeable.


Hope that helps, I'm always happy to chat about any crochet questions,
I'm no expert but learning.

And in other craft news - May's Charity Kit it is underway,
I still haven't forgotten how to do some die cutting.

Telly:

The Syndicate - BBC1

Season 4 of this drama written by Kay Mellor.
Each season focuses on a syndicate of lottery winners.
This time the lottery winners are from a dog kennels/groomers.


It's light entertainment, a bit silly but I guarantee at some point
you'll be thinking of buying a lottery ticket.

Taskmaster on Channel 4

Greg Davies is the `Taskmaster' in this game show 
that challenges the wit and wisdom of five celebrities, 
who are all putting their reputations on the line. 
Sidekick Alex Horne assists Davies in setting up unique and 
ridiculous tasks for the competitors.


I've recommended this one before, a new batch of celebrities are now
facing challenges and honestly, their reputation really is on the line.
It's surprising, people who you assumed were really clever 
fail at the simplest task.

Garden:

Hazel - thank you so much for sending Sweet Pea seeds to me, very kind.
I'm looking forward to planting these.
Did I imagine it but are you supposed to put the seeds to soak/freeze
beforehand?


There has been a slight delay in planting as the milkman forgot to deliver the soil.
Yes, you read that right - my milkman - he delivers all sorts, it is super handy,
well not bread though as foxes run off with that - even when placed in a container.

Home stuff:

Excellent news in the Emberson household this week,
Mitchell has landed himself a new job - working in IT for offices at Bose -
the people who make fancy speakers, headphones etc.
We celebrated with Prosecco and a takeaway of KFC -
we know how to be classy here!

That's both my boys in IT jobs so I'm good for anything computing -
not so much with DIY - still haven't got handles on my kitchen cupboards!
 
Joking aside, it has been a big relief - jobs are so hard to come by 
and he worked really hard to get the interview and pass.
Here he is - I'm not sure which one is posing the most! 



In other home news:
not a great deal of baking going on but I can confirm the air fryer
is still in constant use - frozen pastries cooked in it are perfect.
We've realised we go a whole week without using the regular oven
so that's got to be economical.
If anyone is looking to purchase I can highly recommend these brands:
Morphy Richards or Cosori - 
I did a lot of research and these came out on top.

 

And that wraps up my week - another one that flew by.
This weekend I'm crocheting like the clappers to get the pattern testing 
up to date and soil permitting - those sweet peas are going in.

Take care friends - have a lovely weekend.


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