Wednesday 12 January 2011

Ripple Afghan Finished!

I think summer has been waiting for me to finish my winter work…it’s been unseasonably cool this year (I am not complaining) and I have fortunately enjoyed extra evenings and cool afternoons to finish those last stubborn rows.

Phew....My stripy ripple blanket…finished!

85 x 65 inches

So much work! So many rows! So many hours!

It's a longish one because I wanted it to be tall enough to actually cover my DH's feet!

No technique, I just used up whatever colours I had in whatever turn I felt like. Sometimes, the following morning, the colours I teamed up looked different from the night before...but I think, overall, it works.
And I addded  two borders, a green and a black which keeps the rows behaved.
A finished crochet blanket is such a satisfaction.

What now? Well.... launch of the next BOM of course…

Sunday 9 January 2011

Finished Afghan Garden!

My flowery afghan is finally finished.
Another WIP taken off the shelf!

I had some fuchsia yarn left over from the flowers so I added and extra border…I made several changes from the pattern and overall I’m happy with it. Next time, though, I will do things differently. I will join as I go.

What was I thinking when I made 94 separate motifs???

Blocking can work miracles for garments, but I think that it flattens loft in blankets, so after a quick wool wash rinse, (double bagged to prevent agitation) I straightened out the afghan to breath. 

No steam, no ironing, no blocking. Normally I don’t end my afghans with a wash, when they are done -they are done, but because it was made over several months and my tension changed, I wanted to shake it out.

After a spin, I laid it out in the sun (it was very hot yesterday) and it dried beautifully. I’m very happy with the quality of wool. And I am so glad that it is finished now because it is a deep winter blanket and I didn’t want to be working away at it any longer in the heat. Now I just have to finish my ongoing ripple blanket.

It is super heavy – I love the weight, it feels so decadent.
I have thrown it over my crocheting tub chair and it’s a perfectly cosy corner now.

All my wool blankets are folded with a rosemary sachet or lavender wand.

Today I realised that I am out of both! It's something I always like to have on hand for blankets, drawers, cupboards, the pantry, window ledges...there are so many uses. I cant be without one!

Does anyone else still make these?

Although a session of sachet making is on my To Do List, and I didn't have time to run them all  up today, I decided to snip some lavender and just make a single one for this afghan so I would feel it was properly and completely finished.

I couldn't stand the idea of folding this blanket away over summer without a wand. 

The bees are still buzzing by my front garden. I decided to trim the bush and as I took the stems, the bees were hanging off my bunches! I had to move extra slowly so they wouldn’t become agitated.

I have left this a little late this year (surprise surprise).

The best time is spring when the lavender is fresh and just starting out - at the moment the stems are woody and dry (even after last night’s cool change and rain). Still, I persevered and although not as pretty as early spring wands, it will do nicely.

It feels good to be finishing projects
and moving along to the next thing…

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Bees & Lavender

Thanks to so much unseasonal rain this year, the lavender is lush, bright and scented. This shrub is by my front door. Last week I stepped outside and I had to look again because at first I thought it was covered in was golden and sagging- but no - it was covered in bees.

I have never had bees visit this close and in such numbers, it's fascinating to watch. The lavender is humming non stop and seems to 'move' with the activity.

This morning the lavender was a little quiet, (maybe the bees  have moved on?) but there were still enough coming and going to take these pics.

They dart around so fast, I just held out my camera and snapped. There were plenty of fuzzy ones I deleted right away, but in between I managed to capture some close ups.

Isn't lilac and lime simply stunning?
 I don't have a quilt in these colours... (I can feel another WIP coming along)

And whilst I was inspecting the passion fruit flowers, I discovered a craftily hidden nest from last season. It isn't high up, about  1.6m on a curved frame - but it was concealed enough to keep it hidden from our roving neighbourhood cats.

I still marvel at the ingenuity of bird nests, they are so beautiful. 

You'd be forgiven for thinking that I'm spending my days strolling around the garden- but no - I am hard at work and looking forward to seeing my WIPs come together quickly and finally get finished.

And of course, the new BOM is coming soon. How soon? real soon!

I am working, working, working..

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