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.


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...


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


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...


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.

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.


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.


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

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.

Friday 16 April 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

Well, this Friday has certainly crept up and surprised me, 
the days have flown by.
How are you?  
Have you chosen to venture out - shops, pub garden or, 
like me, still in hermit status?
I feel the only place calling to me is the garden centre but I'll hold off 
for a while longer.


It's squares, squares and more squares!
I do like the rhythm of making squares, also a lot easier when you've
got cats/dog on your lap.
I'm working on two blankets at the same time - go me!
I've got as far as round 2 on all squares, each blanket has 81 squares in total.

This is Hello Autumn.

And this is Hello Summer.

I'm not sticking to an actual colour plan, I just lay the squares on the 
balls of yarn as I go making sure there isn't any duplication.
Sounds good - let's hope it works!


Despite the weather doing its hardest to revert to Winter,
I am thrilled that my Clematis plants have tons of buds.
Especially glad as I thought this one had died!

The trusty Montana.

This weekend's project - planting Sweet Peas and using loo roll middles for pots.
I'm calling this middle age excitement!

Home and stuff:

Each week as I sit down to write the FCD I look through my phone as 
to what photos I have taken.  
I rely on my phone so much as a record of time going by.  
So easy to snap photos instead of reaching for a bulky camera, 
in fact I sold my camera last year - it had been languishing in a drawer for too long.

And whilst scrolling through my phone I found this photo....

For quite a few years I kept up with photos in a jar, recording days out etc - 
this was part way through 2019, oblivious of what was to come.
The jar would certainly look lean right now. 

Along with phone scrolling I also keep up with social media.
Two of my friends have exciting news/items.

Tea Leaves and Reads are offering a lovely treat box with one of 
Carole Matthews brilliant books - all the details are here.
Such a nice gift to send to friends/family.
The book arrives wrapped in paper, string and a wax seal,
isn't that a nice traditional touch.

And my friend Tina Ashton (you may remember she designed stencils for 
Hope and Chances) is launching a range of stamps with Funky Fossil.
This is Heartfelt Tree.

And one of Tina's beautiful finished cards.

Details are here.


 What did I watch this week?  
I actually had to think really hard - that is bad isn't it.
There has been a lot of crime watching on Britbox but this little
gem popped up and I definitely recommend.

Spring into Summer - ITV Hub

The lovely Alan (Fred) Titchmarsh (looking a little older than I remember),
celebrating the great outdoors from the heart of Hampshire.
Each episode features a celebrity guest.
Farming, animals, plants and building a gazebo in the first episode.
Easy watching and there's a reason Alan is on Classic FM, he does have a silky voice,
so good to nap to too! 

And that was my week.
I've been super busy with my city job - thankfully still working from home.
I'm in the midst of writing a handbook for new starters,
I'm learning new stuff myself about the firm and I've been there 20+ years - oops!

I shall leave you with this image, I espied it online and I thought it was spot on.
Well, maybe with the addition of crochet. 

Take care friends, have a lovely weekend and I look forward 
to catching up with you again next week.

Friday 9 April 2021

Friday Chat Day

 Hello friends

Hope your week is going well, Friday has come around quickly again.
Weather wise - sunshine and snow! The world really is topsy-turvy.

How was your Easter?
Ours was very quiet, Elliott (being in our bubble) stayed for the weekend,
a roast dinner was requested and to be honest I enjoy feeding him up.
I don't think he is fading away living in his flat but I'm not sure it is 
always the healthiest of foods - I notice a lot of pizza boxes!

As I type this blog post I'm looking at a little jug of daffodils cut 
from my garden, some of them have triple flowers.
I deliberated whether to cut them but I though I would enjoy having
some indoors.

It is my first year of growing daffodils and I chose a selection of varieties.
I meticulously wrote them on plant sticks but the winter weather has worn 
off the names!  A bit of guesswork now.


Quite an industrious week on the crochet front.
Sorry (not sorry!) lots of photos of my finished blanket.

This is Hello Spring.

I am pleased I went with cream to join the squares and loved doing the border,
that bit is my own design, very simple but hopefully effective.

I am delighted with how it has come out, for ages beforehand I 
stared at the balls of yarn hoping the colours would work and be Spring-like
and I think I've grasped it.

This one is now available in my Folksy shop, gradually re-stocking that
as had a little flurry of sales recently.

I'm now working on Hello Summer - much brighter  (along with a quite a few other projects!)
Also thinking best way to store yarn, I bought enough for 
a few more projects and there's only so much a wicker hamper can hold.


Have you tried Freecycle?
I may have mentioned it before.  A local online group where you
can make offers/requests for items - all free.
This may not be newsworthy but here goes...
this week I espied an office shredder, ours broke years ago and I then
used to take my shredding to work with me - we have industrial shredders there.
With working from home the shredding pile had grown so I was 
delighted to see one available on Freecycle.

Turns out it is the same gentleman who gave me terracotta garden pots last year,
he said he remembered me - not sure if that's good or bad! 
In turn and in my ongoing mission to throw something away every day,
amongst other items - a dartboard (sorry Mitchell!),
baking tins and books left our home this week.


Sort Your Life Out - BBCiPlayer

Stacey Solomon and gang take on a family home to sort out in 7 days.

Whether you are a Stacey fan or not she does have a flair for organising
and upcycling and she got to play on these strengths during this show.
Emptying a large family home of all its contents and placing them in a huge
warehouse for the family to choose what they want to keep or get rid of.
Back at the house the team are doing a makeover but using a lot of existing 
furniture and items.

This is like crack cocaine viewing for me! 
Right now just one episode available - I definitely want more.
If you viewed it are you thinking about chopping up your stairs??

The Irregulars - Netflix 

Misfits investigate a series of supernatural crimes in Victorian London
for Dr. Watson and an elusive Sherlock Holmes

 I had been eagerly awaiting this - I need not have been so eager!
It's okay but I confess it doesn't quite strike the right balance for me,
the music seems incongruous, the acting is only occasionally convincing
 but the murky Victorian London scenery is impressive. 

Charity Kit:

Lovely support for this month's Charity Kit, a few are still available so 
if you missed it, fancy another please click here.

I used my fairy cake recipe featured last week (here)
to make a further batch of cakes.

All a distant memory now - snaffled up! 

And that rounds up my news this week, all a bit quiet with telly and crochet
still being my favoured pastimes (and eating a few Easter eggs).

I hope you are all doing ok and wishing you a lovely weekend.

Take care friends.

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