Rainbow spring flowers

You’ll know by now that I have a bit of a fing about rainbows. But if you saw my last post, you’ll also know that I’m picking around with lots of little projects at the moment so don’t (yet) have any major new knitted housey-ness to show you. Actually I’m taking a mini-break from the house-colouring theme of this blog to knit jumpers for the toddler twinnage in many shades of lovely Adriafil Knitcol. But I’ve been thinking about rainbows, too, in particular the beautiful spring flowers that are all around here at the moment. Look, I made a collage, just for you. All these flowers are either in my garden or photographed locally  and I just might have sneaked a camera into the local garden centre to nab the greens because I couldn’t find them anywhere else.

rainbow spring flowers :-)

rainbow spring flowers :-)

Given that this village was traditionally at the epicentre of the cherry-growing universe, I really should get out and photograph some of the gorgeous blossom round here at the moment, but in the meantime, enjoy the rainbow.

More knitting on its way…

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A restless post of several little bits

Since the ridiculous, monstrous, ludicrous, in-what-crazy-state-of-inebriation-did-I-conceive-this-idea stained glass window afghan was finished, and also since the large crochet hippo settled in to life here in the old brewery, I’ve been picking at various projects in a desultory way. There’s a jumper* in the background that gets a bit of attention late at night. There’s yarn-bombing the outside of the house, very much a work in progress over the breakfast table. (Trust me, there will be photos soon.) There are sample pieces of stranded knitting for a tutorial I’ll be posting soon:-

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And there’s a dress for my lovely cousin’s imminent baby arrival:-

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Yeah, the baby will need to grow a tad to fit into this, unless she wants to get lost somewhere amongst the hem ruffles, but I figured that everyone gives you newborn stuff when you have a baby, so I’d look ahead a bit.

Can you tell that I don’t really like picking at little projects? I like a big, meaty, over-ambitious project to complain about. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll find something soon.

 

*translation for North American folks: sweater.

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Meet Hieronymus, the happy hippy hippo

This blog is (supposed to be) about knitting and crochet for the home. Hence that bonkers, never-again-even-if-you-paid-me stained glass window afghan. (In case you’re wondering, I’m currently sitting on the aforementioned afghan, and it’s also liberally adorned with toddler porridge, Thomas The Tank Engine stickers, and assorted toys. Is nothing sacred in this house?? NOTHING?!)  And hence the even more over-ambitious projects I’ve got planned for elsewhere in this old brewery.

But.

You know that feeling a girl gets, sometimes? That I-must-crochet-a-floral-hippo feeling? Well, last week I got that feeling, and I got it bad. Here is the result. People, meet Hieronymus. Hieronymus, meet people:-

Crocheted hippo

Crocheted hippo

And again:-

Hippo on tour

Hippo on tour

…And again:-

Yup, it's a hippy hippo.

Yup, it’s a hippy hippo.

And finally, with me and the Stoic Spouse and the Toddler Twinnage on board:-

TheTwistedYarn on tour

TheTwistedYarn on tour

You want the pattern, yes? It’s the Happypotamus by Heidi Bears. Easily searchable on Ravelry, or PM me if you have trouble finding it. Heidi Bears also does a rather beautiful frog.

By the way, until I stuffed it, the Stoic Spouse said it resembled road kill. I would like you all to know that I am no longer on speaking terms with the Stoic Spouse.

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Puts down crochet. Observes natural world. Smiles. Picks up crochet again.

…Of course the advantage of finishing the ridiculous monster afghan is that almost any other knit/crochet project now seems quick and easy. I’m currently dabbling in floral hippos. But more on that very soon.

Meanwhile, despite the omission of any kind of meaningful winter (the flooding doesn’t count), spring has most definitely sprung in rural Oxfordshire. I just thought you might like some more blossom. This is blackthorn:-

Blackthorn

Blackthorn

And so is this:-

More blackthorn

More blackthorn

Beautiful?

Oh, and there were teasels:-

teasels

teasels

I know it doesn’t really fit with the housey theme of this blog, but there will be much floral crocheted hippodum very soon. I just couldn’t resist. Am itching to photograph it for you…

 

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Um, it’s done.

*whispers*  The rainbow stained glass window afghan is finally finished…

*whispers more quietly* …Apart from weaving in most of the ends. But what are a thousand flippy-floppy slippery unravelly cottony ends between friends? And won’t someone think of the children! Unpicking this beast could keep the toddler twinnage cheerfully occupied for hours.

You want to see a picture? (Please don’t say no. I’d have to cry, and that might embarrass us both.) A couple of caveats, though, before the photographic reveal:-

Caveat, the first: No, that’s not a real cat.

Caveat, the second: Yes you can see straggly ends trying to make a run for it. They Shall Be Dealt With just as soon as I regain my crocheting mojo.

Big afghan covers fugly sofa

Big afghan covers fugly sofa

Now, let me tell you that this thing is heavy. 2.4kg / 5lb 4oz, which is heavier than one of my twins at birth. It’s a couple of metres/yards in diameter. And it’s taken ten weeks of fairly intense hooking to make. I shall not be making another one.

I used, um, quite a lot of yarn, the equivalent of 48 balls of Rico cotton: that’s over 4km/2.5 miles of yarn. Hmmm, not so impressed with that stat. I’d been hoping to post, “I crocheted the distance from Oxford to Paris” or somesuch, but, “I crocheted the distance from here to the nearest supermarket” doesn’t quite cut the mustard. Clearly my next project (other than the housey yarn-bombing) needs to be  bigger.

Anyway, here’s another picture:-

Yes, it's the afghan. Again.

Yes, it’s the afghan. Again.

More seriously, thank you for your encouragement. There are plenty of people commenting on this blog who’ve said some very kind, supportive things. I’ve appreciated your generosity very much, especially at 3am whilst doggedly double-crocheting yet another round of black. Thank you.

Here’s another photo. I had to stand, wobblingly, at the top of the twinnage’s slide to be sufficiently high up to take it.

The afghan

The afghan

 

 

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Spring has sprung, the grass is ris… so the poor ol’ Stoic Spouse had to get the lawnmower out

Yes yes yes, kind followers, the ridiculous afghan is nearly done.  But I’m at the stage where a single round of stitches takes well over a 50g ball of yarn. That’s a lot of stitches, and I’ve got three more rounds to go. Anyway, the blighter might’ve been finished already if I hadn’t also been doing sneaky preparation for a couple of other projects alongside the magnum opus. Projects of much colour and fluffy fairisle loveliness, I hope. Also the yarn-bomby-housey-thing. And a little (or big) something for my lovely cousin’s newborn.

As you know, we – the toddler twinnage and I – potter around rural south Oxfordshire looking for oddities, but this week, we’ve just been looking for spring. We’ve admired newborn lambs at the farm round the corner:-

Sheepsters

Sheepsters

We even spotted the lambs gambolling, which I failed to catch on camera, but which is at least considerably less worrying than lambs gambling - that would’ve been a shocking indictment of modern society. (Apologies: poor humour runs in the family.)

Anyway, there are many (beautiful) pictures of daffodils in the blogosphere just now, so I’ll share instead two of the million or so violets that carpet our garden at this time of year:-

Violets

Violets

And also some pinky-red flowers that evolve into weird semi-edible fruit just outside our window:-

Weird pinky red flowers

Weird pinky red flowers

And – because I love you – some cakes and cookies that I’ve just baked in honour of my Mum’s birthday:-

Cake

Cake

And some seedlings that’ll one day be peppers, cauliflowers, courgettes, tomatoes of various sizes, sprouts, potatoes, and pak choi. Some of them are looking limp because they’re sulking about a recent transplanting. They’ll get over it. Dinner will be ready some time around July…

Seedlings. Dinner will be ready... later.

Seedlings. Dinner will be ready… later.

And then I’ll get back to the *******************************ing afghan. Just a few more stitches…

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Feeling Blue

The dark blue is done! (Are you new to this marathon-length saga of crochet? I’m referring to this.) The end of the rainbow is nigh. I nearly have a giant rainbow stained glass window afghan with which to cover my scruffy old sofa, or possibly a wall, or possibly both because it’s so damn big, and I am more than a little cheery about this little fact. There is only some sewing-in, then some black, then some purple, then some more black, left to go.

Most of the afghan has been worked in one piece, round and round (and round), endlessly flicking from black to colour to black to colour, and thus leaving a million or so ends in need of weaving in, that’ll make me cry, nay weep, further down the line. But just a few of the colours comprise heptagons that are made separately and then sewn into place. Dark blue is one of these. I have just crocheted 32 heptagons. Thirty-two is actually quite a big number. Look!

32 crocheted heptagons

32 crocheted heptagons

And look!

Here they are again

Here they are again

Now to sew them in. And then to finish the afghan for the big reveal. Because what I really need to be showing you is my yarn-bombed house, which is very much in progress…

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Outclassed by stylish penguins

I’m knitting and crocheting super-fast, I promise. Finished objects to be provided for your delectation/scorn (delete as appropriate) very soon. I’m on to the penultimate colour of the giant rainbow stained glass window afghan. Nearly, so nearly…

But in the meantime, I have to share something with you. If you (a) knit, and (b) have Facebook, then I guarantee that roughly eleventy thousand of your closest friends will have posted links to knitted penguin jumpers on your timeline in the last few days. All in a worthy cause, I know. So I won’t share a link that you’ve doubtless already seen. But I must, just must, post THIS, as the last word in hardcore penguin fashion:-

knitted penguin jumpers

knitted penguin jumpers

And how wonderful are these?! I especially love the old-style Penguin Books logo, though I guess the penguins themselves prefer the fishy one. Knitting genius. Which one is your favourite?

And yes, I do realize that these aren’t real penguins.

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I do love a grumpy statue, so I do.

 

You probably don’t need me to say this yet again, but I will: the monster stained glass window crochet afghan is still in progress. But it’s nearly done. An over-excited ta-da post is coming soon. Much has been neglected in the pursuit of crocheted completeness.

So. Meanwhile. And. Well as it happens, the twinnage and I have been out and about again, pottering around the countryside seeking quirkiness, as we do. Let’s talk about that whilst I busily brandish my crochet hook.

I’ve posted a lot lately about our crazy floods, and much of the watery insanity is still there, but there are signs of spring now, too. Exhibit A:-

Blossom

Blossom

Pretty, no?

And today, we went in search of statuarial weirdness, and found it a-plenty. As a bibliophile, I love the curmudgeonliness of this reader. You just know that he’ll never buy a Kindle.

Grumpy but literate statue

Grumpy but literate statue

Nor will his mate:-

imageBut at least he’s fared better than his friend who’s fallen into the lake:-

image

 

But enough. I must return to my crochet.

 

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The MADS awards 2014

I owe somebody a big thank you. I don’t know who you are, so I’ll have to just say this publically. Some kind soul has nominated TheTwistedYarn for the ‘Best Newcomer’ category of the MADS awards (bloggy prizes for people with sprogs). I’m very very touched. Thank you. Here’s some love:-

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Yes, it’s another rainbow-hued bit of loveliness – I’m definitely having a moment.

I don’t expect to win. The finalists are selected, apparently, according to how many times their blog has been nominated for a particular category, and I don’t think my one rather lovely nomination is going to cut the mustard on its own. It would be truly amazing to be a finalist – they give you dinner. Actual dinner at a big evening event in London.

But getting to the dinner stage of things would involve being nominated lots of times and realistically, the competition is too stiff. There are so many wonderful blogs out there. In fact, I’m going to go and nominate a couple of them right now, because even if I don’t win, it’d be lovely to know someone who did…

MAD Blog Awards

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