Post half term catch up

20170520_140029 (1).jpgAs a mum with a husband who works in a school, life for us very much moves in motion with the academic year.  We have just had our half term break which means we all experience a shift in routine, for hubby and the kids it’s a chance for some well earned wind down time and for me it signifies less crochet time some serious adventure time. Our half term was super busy, lots of trips and experiences as well as some quieter moments too.  The above shot was taken during a picnic, I spotted this beautiful blue butterfly fluttering round this bright pink flower and couldn’t resist a photo!

So here’s a little round up of what I’ve been up to recently.  There was a forest walk…

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a beach trip…

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where I was able to try out my new crocheted beach bag.

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Hubby and I enjoyed a night away without the children, something we haven’t done in a couple of years. We chose to stay in Winchester where we visited the Cathedral…

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and the Great Hall…

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which holds King Arthur’s Round Table (now known to date from the 13th century, but still very impressive)…

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We went to the Living History Festival at the Weald and Downland Museum, a place which is very special to us. My husband and I had our marriage here 4 years ago and we visit it often, particularly when they are holding an event.  We saw musketeers…

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and Knights fighting…

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and an amazing horse drawn fire engine…

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which raced to put out a fire in a tiny wooden house…

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And lastly my daughter and I enjoyed a day together on Monday, which really was so special as we don’t often have this time just the two of us. We went out for a drink, some shopping and then a picnic lunch where we did some crafting in the park together…

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Such lovely memories of a super special week.  I hope you’ve gained some special memories lately too.

Lots of love,

Juliet xx

 

Spring Forward blanket stitch: Tutorial

This tutorial is written in UK terms.

Skills needed: Slip knot, foundation chain, UK Treble stitch (US Double crochet stitch)

Begin by chaining a multiple of 3 plus 1 plus 3 stitches.  (This is so that you can begin and end each row with a single treble stitch, which will make your edges straight.  For this example I have chained 34.)

Row 120170511_113457_001.jpgWork a single treble stitch in the 5th chain from the hook, I’ve indicated above where your first stitch should be.  Then work one more treble stitch in the next stitch along.

20170511_113627.jpgNow you are ready to work your first slanting treble stitch.  Begin working this stitch in the stitch before your first treble as indicated above.

20170522_115743 (1).jpgWork the first part of this stitch around your two existing trebles.  This can be a bit fiddly, but just ensure you insert your hook into the chain stitch from the front (the same way you do normally) and then pull the loops loosely around your treble stitches. You are essentially working the treble stitch in the same way as normal, just pulling it around two existing trebles.  You should have three loops on your hook.

20170511_113903Then yarn over and pull through two loops, you should have two loops left on your hook.

20170511_113927.jpgThen complete your stitch as you would do normally by pulling a loop through the last two loops on your hook.  You now have a slanting treble around your two initial treble stitches!

20170511_114016.jpgSkip one chain stitch and work a treble stitch in the following chain, as indicated above.

20170511_114318.jpgWork another treble in the next chain along.  Then work another slanting treble by inserting your hook into the skipped chain, as indicated above.

20170511_114420_003.jpgWork the start of your slanting treble around your two trebles loosely, as above.  You should be left with two loops on your hook once you have done this.  Then finish the stitch as normal, just as before.

20170511_115028.jpgContinue this way until the end of the row.  You should be left with a single chain at the end of the row, see above where I have placed my needle.

20170511_115240.jpgWork one treble stitch in this last chain and fasten off.  Now we are ready for the second row so turn your work.

Row 220170511_115628.jpgOnce you’ve turned your work, attach your new colour **.  Chain 3 in the top of the first treble stitch.

20170511_115856.jpgThen skip one stitch, and work 2 trebles in each of the next two stitches, just like we did for round 1.

20170511_115923.jpgIn the skipped stitch, begin working your slanting treble over your two trebles in exactly the same way as before.

20170511_115951.jpgFinish your slanting stitch the way you complete a normal treble.

20170511_120316.jpgContinue working this way until the end of the row.  You should be left with a single stitch, as indicated above.

20170511_120410 (1).jpgWork a single treble stitch in the last stitch.  If you’re adding another colour then fasten off.  Turn your work and repeat row 2 until the blanket is the size you want.  That’s it!

** Note: if you do not want to change colours every row, then simply chain 3, turn your work and complete row 2 in the same way as written using your original colour.

20170522_142547.jpgAnd this is how your blanket will work up.  It makes a lovely fabric which is light and airy so really good for this time of year, but substantial enough for you to feel secure with it wrapped round you.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful, if you have spotted any errors (this is my first ever written tutorial after all!!) then do let me know!  This stitch is fully reversible and has a lovely rhythm to it, so I really hope you enjoy trying it out.

Speak soon,

Juliet xx

p.s. If you decide to make a blanket with this stitch and you’re on Instagram, then do use the hashtag #springforwardblanket and tag me in your pics, I would LOVE to see them!

Bits and bobs

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Why hello hello, it’s very nice to be back here in blogland!  I will be honest with you and say that I’m not posting as often as I would like.  It’s mainly because I have been suffering from a fair few bugs of late which have stolen my ‘crojo’ (love that word!) and my ability to string words together coherently.  Also, hubby has been going through a bit of stress at work as he’s beginning teacher training next year, so there have been a fair few forms, frantic emails and phone calls going on to make sure we’re doing everything right, as well as lots of overtime to fit in lesson observations.

The above photo was taken on a little trip to a forest near us.  My hubby, son and I often walk there when lovely daughter has her swimming lesson.  It’s become a bit of tradition to do this, particularly as she doesn’t like us to watch her swim.  Our latest trip was so lovely, the sun was shining and we found this huge Redwood.  I do so love trees, their age and stature makes them seem so magical.

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This little guy, honestly he really is the cutest.  This is my three year old son and his Duplo plane which he made all on his own, he was so proud!  It contains a motorbike and a pilot sitting proudly at the front there, which of course had to be Batman.  I love to watch my two kiddies play, it’s such a fascinating thing to see them formulate their own little stories and worlds.

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Speaking of little worlds, my daughter is absolutely obsessed with Sylvanian families at the moment. She has a little rabbit family who live in this house in the little people’s bedroom and she is always setting it up for them so they can cook, watch television, or just sit and have a chat.  I absolutely love peeking in every now and then to see what she’s set up for them next.  Love that imagination so much.

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Ohh, a little bit of summer on my mantle.  I noticed this morning that some of my Roses are in bloom in the garden so I thought I’d pop out and cut some for my first summer posy.  It gives me a lot of pleasure to see it there, I can’t wait for those warm days.

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And here is my current crochet wip with a focus on that gorgeous texture, I’m hoping to make some serious progress with this blanket over the next few days now that I’ve found my crojo again.

Speak soon,

Juliet xx

 

♥Three things about today♥

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What an absolutely gorgeous day we’ve had here today, the sun has been out in all her glory and there has been a soft warmth in the air, the kind that ever so slightly hints towards the summer.  Here are three things which have made me smile today:

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#1  A bright blue sky.  What can I say about that colour other than it is absolutely gorgeous?  Gazing up at a sky like this, listening to the birds and watching the clouds go by is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

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#2  In my garden.  I planted these gorgeous succulent plants a few weeks ago and I have to say I love them.  I am what I would call a keen but not very committed gardener, but I have quite a collection of these unusual little plants which I am hoping to make into a bit of a feature in the garden this year, once the weather is a bit warmer.

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I spied lots of super cute baby plums on my tree the other day and I was truly beside myself with excitement.  I planted this tree about 4 years ago and this is the first time it has ever tried to fruit.  Here’s hoping they mature nicely and we manage to harvest some before the birds do!

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#3  Crochet on my lap.  Oh I do so love working on this blanket.  As you can see I have made some progress, but not as much as I have been hoping for.  I seem to be suffering with a bit of RSI in my crocheting wrist at the moment, so I have been reducing the time I spend crocheting each day in the hope that this will help.  If anyone has any tips/tricks for managing it I would be very grateful for the advice!

I hope you all found something to make you smile today.

Juliet xx

Blog post The First: spring is in the air

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Hello!  Well this is very exciting, my first ever blog post.  I have to say there was a period of time when I thought this would never happen. I have been intending to blog for so many years now but have never quite had the confidence time to do it.  I graduated from the Open University last year after 5 years of study and I really don’t think I could have been consistent with my blogging during that time, but now I can!  I have been entirely absorbed by all the amazing blogging talent out there and am extremely excited to have a go at being part of it, so here goes…

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I thought I would start with a bit of colour inspiration for my current project.  I’m making a spring themed blanket using a stitch I have not come across before but thought would make a great blanket.  The colour choices for this blanket were not greatly considered I have to say, they were certainly influenced by the flowers and plants I have in my garden, but honestly I didn’t labour over matching everything exactly.

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So here it is, what do you think?  I am absolutely loving this project.  Even though I didn’t try to match my colours exactly, I was still the queen of procrastination when it came to choosing them and in the end I just had to force myself to start and hope it all worked and I have to say, I think it does.  I was hoping to have a little more to show you, but this morning I had to frog 9 rows because I started one of the rows at the wrong end, like you do.  It meant that the slanting treble stitch was slanting the same way randomly in two of the rows and I just couldn’t handle that.

If you would like to have a go at making a blanket using this stitch, I am working on a tutorial at the moment to show how it’s done.  I’m hoping to have it ready this week.

Thanks for reading, chat soon!

Juliet xx

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