We’ve had a good dose of sunshine this weekend here in Worcester. It’s been lovely to be able to take some time out and just enjoy the garden for a few days. I began by tidying up a few of the pots and tubs in the back yard. Some of my pansies have survived the winter despite an obvious all out attack from the slugs and snails, leaving the odd patch of bare soil here and there.
Now you never know with the English climate if this might actually be the only real sunshine we get all year. Then again, we’re just as likely to have a heatwave too but, just in case, I’m taking no chances and getting my quota of sunbeams while I can.
So this weekend I’ve practically lived in the garden. Not to say I haven’t been ‘working’ of course. I’ve alternated short bursts of gardening with much longer bursts of blanket making. Now that’s the kind of ratio of chores to crochet that I like! You can see a visual representation of this in the photo below. A very small bag of gardening tools is dwarfed by a very big basket of crochet. That’s called getting your priorities right!
On Saturday I tidied up the sunny spot near the back door. Sweeping it clear of last years leaves and squashed up, shriveled grapes (technically raisins I suppose, though I didn’t fancy eating any!) and hunkered down here for a while, much to the disgruntlement of Tigger who prefers to think he owns this bit of bench whenever the sun comes out.
Though as the day warms up I actually don’t mind a shady spot so I move on over…
…and Tigger moves on in. I think he’s daring me to reclaim the space but you can see he’s getting quite old these days and I think he deserves a spot of sunbathing on a comfy blanket. He can stretch out in style now!
In between the sweeping and the dead-heading good progress was made with my crochet, so I felt very inspired to do the same on Sunday – weather permitting. And permit it did. In fact it was even warmer than Saturday.
The colours in my blanket really look pretty in bright sunshine. I’m suddenly feeling really impatient to get it finished.
On Sunday I moved up the garden, sweeping a path through yet more leaves and winter’s strewn debris. There were lots of twigs and flower pots everywhere as a result of a spate of strong winds a few weeks ago, but it was worth doing just to sit and admire my handiwork from a new vantage point. This bit of the garden gets a patch of sun into the evening so I’ll be spending some well earned down time at the end of most sunshiny days here, I hope, hooking away at a project or two as the year progresses.
It’s not long until Tigger discovers the newest desirable residence in the garden! Let’s see if I can squeeze in there as well. I know he likes to sprawl a lot but I think there’s room for two of us.
Looks like he’s preparing himself to tolerate my company…maybe. Or is that a look of love? It’s so hard to tell with Tigger sometimes.
Tigger is closely followed by Mojo whose nose looks slightly out of joint by Tigger’s presence on the bench next to me.
But he patiently waits until the coast is clear and then takes up position, just as the sun comes out again. And here we sit for a good long while, companionably listening to the cathedral bells coupled with the wood pigeons cooing and the seagulls squawking. Very pleasant indeed.
As a result I have very nearly finished my Mexican inspired striped blanket. I have to join it in the middle either side of the last Granny Square stripe as I chose to work the piece in two halves to make it more portable for car journeys and general out-and-aboutings, of which there have been a few this Easter.
Monday evening’s work was to join the two and then to decide – to darn or not to darn. You see initially I was thinking of some sort of tasseled border so I could escape my nemesis of hours spent with a tapestry needle. I infinitely prefer the hours spent with a crochet hook instead! But looking at it I figured the yarn ends were a bit sparse to make a decent fringe without adding in a lot more of them to the edges of the blanket.
It was going to be less time consuming to weave them all in than it would be to cut and trim the rest of the yarn needed for the tassels.
Besides the edges do look quite raw and a bit wobbly, despite my careful attempts at keeping everything as even as possible so I think the addition of a border of simple Granny Stripes will work wonders. That’s decided then.
So as the sun begins to sink I make a good start on those pesky yarn tails. Kept extra warm by the return of Mojo who settles down on my lap for another long while.
Hopefully I’ll be finishing this project off in dribs and drabs over the coming week. I intend to make the most of any more sunshine. It’s been a real pleasure to work in good light for a change. This blanket was started as a winter cheerer, an antidote to grey days spent in woolly jumpers, and dark evenings tucked up indoors, curtains drawn, lights down low and heating up high.
Here are the yarn tails I’ve dealt with so far, now I’ve just got the same amount to do on the other side and then on with the final border.
I’m glad that on closer inspection in the harsh light of day there are not too many mistakes or miscounted stitches. Those that are there don’t notice much anyway when you look at it in all its glory. It even looks pretty neat on the back as most of the darned ends are at the edges. I can’t wait to show you the finished thing!
It’s getting chilly again as I head in and call it a day. The view west from my garden is gorgeous with the wispy clouds and gentle glow that heralds the end of another lovely evening.
I feel very lucky to have such a pleasant little spot to spend my time in and the sunset behind the cathedral is the icing on the cake, even if I have to stand on tip toes and peek over the fence to actually see it!
April 22, 2015 at 5:57 am
Wow! Your blankets look so lovely in the garden photos.
April 22, 2015 at 9:06 am
Thanks 🙂 A bit of sunshine always helps!
April 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm
That is one awesome blanket! I only see one pattern stitch I know and that’s the Granny Square…..what are the others? And the flowers you showed are my favorites…mine are blooming to here in Colorado, USA. Wonderful kitties. Please can you tell us more about the blanket you are doing and the stitches? Thank you for sharing.
April 23, 2015 at 10:48 am
Hi there! Thanks for your lovely comments. Glad to hear you like the blanket 🙂 I’m planning a blog post on the stitches with some hints and tips about putting the blanket together very soon, so do check back and all will be revealed!
May 13, 2015 at 10:16 am
Gorgeous blanket it looks wonderful.
May 14, 2015 at 1:31 pm
I love your posts, always so colorful….sunny day, happy face pansy’s ( a personal favorite here), lovely kitties and your work is just amazing! Would like to know what kind of border you will do for the afghan/blanket? And where did you find that darling little cactus in the hat? You imagination of stitches and where and how to use them amazes me…hope to get a reply…I’m sure your busy creating! Thinking of this wonderful blog spot in USA, Colorado.
May 15, 2015 at 9:55 am
Hi Roxie, thanks for your lovely comments, they made me smile 🙂 I do love a bit (or a lot!) of colour in my home/garden/life! I just made a blog post about making the blanket and included a bit about how I’m creating the border (very simple, more granny stripes) which you can find here: http://mojimojidesign.com/2015/05/09/mexican-stripe-basic-stitches/.
I have more mexican blanket updates to share soon, so you can see how it all worked out. As for the sombrero wearing Cactus, he’s called Carlos and he’s from a pattern in my Etsy shop and comes along with his little donkey friend Dante. He was such fun to make and is now my favorite pincushion!