Tag Archives: Crochet flowers

Finishing Touches

No, really: I’m practically done.

All that remains after a year or so of work on that completely crazy project is to sew/crochet the thing together in its final setting. I know that a fair few of you have generously walked this journey by my side, for which I can only thank you for your extreme patience. In a few days’ time, I’ll be able to photograph and show you the finished object in situ. I just hope that it’s been worth the wait. In the meantime, here are a few shots of the finishing touches that I’ve been adding over the past week or so. They’re all additions to the garden, because that’s where I’ve been able to go wild, so to speak.

I made some terracotta pots, and planted them with flowers that may or may not be tulips. For reasons that will be clear when you see the finished thing, everything in the garden has to be fairly flat, so they’re not particularly tall pots.

crochet flowers in pots

They were made by single-crocheting round and round, increasing by one in every stitch in the soil colour, then switching to the terracotta colour and adding a couple more rounds without increasing stitch count.

I used my Stylecraft Special shade-card to choose the colours. Just for the record and in case you’re crazy enough to want to replicate something like this, the soil is ‘Dark Brown’ and the pot edge is ‘Copper’.

And there are flowers in ‘Turquoise’, too.

Someone suggested a cat. So meet Gemma. (Stylecraft Special, ‘Black’, whilst we’re on the subject.) Don’t worry, she’s not going to catch that fish.

The real Gemma is a sweet animal whom the twinnage and I often pause to stroke on our walk to school.

I’ve replaced all the messy-embroidered lily pads with neater crocheted ones.

And I’m making some pebbles for the edge of the pond, just so that all the newts and frogs can climb out easily.

It feels quite meditative, working round and round to create these little stones.

So that’s about all. I ‘just’ need to do a bit of sewing to join this ol’ beast together. Y’know, I might almost miss it once it’s done. Almost.

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Let Them Eat Cake. (And Chocolate).

Chocolaty felicitations to those amongst you of an Eastery inclination. And even if Easter isn’t your thing, I hope you have some cocoa solids handy anyway. Because, well, chocolate.

Given the ongoing grey/damp outside, I’ve been creating colour in the indoor flowerbeds. This. Project. Is. Going. To. Be. Finished. Very. Soon. Or. I. Will. Scream.

Begonias Begoni-ing

Begonias Begoni-ing

The plants/foliage are aggressively crocheted, and then I’m embroidering on the flowers.

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But never mind that, it’s Easter. Despite the fact that we’re not very good at seasonal celebrations in this house, something of an arms race has developed this weekend. After the Stoic Spouse’s home-made hot cross buns on Friday, I decided to make a simnel cake (well two, actually, so that we could give one away).

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Not to be outdone, the Stoic Spouse is at this very moment preparing a feast of duck à l’orange for later tonight. Early indications are that it smells good. Hmm, not sure how to better that. A home-made six-foot-high statue of the Easter bunny worked in chocolate? I’d better get carving…

There's a LOT of fruit in simnel cake.

There’s a LOT of fruit in simnel cake. So much that it could possibly count as a health food. Possibly. If you squint a bit.

Anyway, simnel cake is delicious. Recipe for the cake here, and for the marzipan here. Home-made marzipan is much more alcoholic nicer than shop-bought. Inspiration for the whole thing comes from my good friend Selma, who is much better at seasonal celebrations than I am.

I didn't have any brandy, so I made do with Grand Marnier. Life is tough...

I didn’t have any brandy, so I made do with Grand Marnier. Life is tough…

Unlike Selma, I’m not good enough at adulting to plan ahead and soak the dried fruit for two days in alcohol, orange juice, and lemon juice, so I plopped it all in a pan and warmed it on the lowest possible heat, as a way of encouraging the currants and sultanas and candied peel to get thirsty and soak up a little of the delicious juice. I’m not sure how far it worked, but I swear I got drunk on the fumes.

Drunk raisins

Drunk sultanas

There are lots of glacé cherries in a simnel cake. There are even more in two simnel cakes. Ditto eggs:-

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But it smells gorgeous as you add the ground mixed spice and the boozy fruit, and beat the mixture until your arms ache.

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Seriously, though, I recommend making your own marzipan. The only disadvantage other than cost is that it’s not as malleable as the shop-bought sort.

Eleven apostles.

Eleven apostles.

You glaze the top with egg, and then you dice with failure by popping the whole thing under the grill. It’s one of those times when there’s a two-second difference between RAW and IRREVOCABLY CHARRED. You have been warned.

Not taking my eyes off this for one second.

Not taking my eyes off this for one second.

It’s worth it, though. The layer of marzipan through the middle of the cake is just delicious and will be mandatory in all cakes when I become Ruler Of The Whole World.

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So then of course, there’s all that cake to be worked off. The weather has been vile, and so the ****ing, ****ing, ************ING running has been even more of a chore than usual. (I may have graduated to lycra and fitness trackers, but I’m still a gasping, wheezing, exercise-phobe in my heart.) So here is a picture from yesterday’s run. My running partner has disappeared off to the Alps to bask in the snowy sunshine amongst the mountains. I bet she was wishing she was back home. Drowned rat number one:-

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And this was at the end of today’s run. Drowned rat number two.

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I’m going for a hat-trick of sodden-ness tomorrow.

No, this is not fun and it’s not my hobby.

Happy Easter, folks! 🙂

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Begonias And Barn Owls.

Sometimes, I think that barn owls must have been designed by a six-year-old.

(There is crochet coming later in this post, but I just need to get the barn owls off my chest, so to speak.)

What You Lookin' At? (A barn owl, actually. Photo credit: Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons.)

What You Lookin’ At? (A barn owl, actually. Photo credit: Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons.)

Don’t get me wrong: they’re beautiful and magnificent birds of prey, but they do have some odd design elements. I’m writing this because I saw one up-close at dusk the other day. It flew alongside my car for a moment, just as I topped the Berkshire Downs ready to descend into Oxfordshire. There I was, zooming along at the wheel of the Stinkwagon, when a huge white-winged apparition appeared beside me.

I haven’t seen a barn owl for years, so I was very happy, but I was also puzzling over why a beast that relies on swooping unseen on its prey in the gloom would be so, well, bright and white and visible. See? Must’ve been designed by a six-year-old. And how un-aerodynamic is that great heart-shaped flat face? If you pitched up at the airport and your plane had a flattened front like that, you wouldn’t seriously expect it to be able to take off, would you? Again, six-year-old. I rest my case.

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Anyway, now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s talk about crochet. And possibly knitting. And let’s not talk about running, because my dignity has gone AWOL after I landed on my backside in the mud right in front of my friend when we were out running this morning.

As you can see from the photo above, the final stage of the big crochet house-related project is back on, because this thing just needs to be finished. The Flymo pictures on my phone are because I’m considering crocheting a mower lying on the lawn. At the moment, I’m working some begonias around the edge of the grass. I started by aggressively and semi-randomly hooking the greenery:-

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Yes, that’s greenery, even though it looks kinda blue in the photo.

And then I went and had a rummage for some begonioid colours. (Yes that is indeed a word, as of right now. It makes perfect logical sense.)

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And we have begonias! Though there are a fair few more to go…

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(By the way, photos taken in a gloomy, fire-lit room of an evening, which is my excuse for poor quality.) Proof:-

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So I’m on the case, and nothing* is going to be allowed to distract me. Can’t wait to show you the finished object.

Oh, did I say distraction? Well there is the un-small matter of a new knitting design. Its colourwork is… complex:-

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*Except children, work, house, redesigning the garden, sorting the allotment, seeing friends, reading, drinking too much wine, other knitting and crochet projects, and baking.

Oh, talking of baking (see how distractible I am?) I made some beer bread the other day using the Stoic Spouse’s home-brew. Blimmin’ stuff tried to escape from the tin while it was in the oven. LOOK?!

mutant loaf

Which slightly begs the question, WHAT ON EARTH DID YOU PUT IN THAT BEER, STOIC SPOUSE?

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Knitted flowers, crocheted flowers

Work on the blog header continues. Now that the header itself is finished, I’m crocheting/knitting some foliage and flowers to go round the edge. Progress is slow:-

Crocheted and knitted flowers

Crocheted and knitted flowers

I am particularly keen on these rosebuds. It’s amazing what you can achieve at 3am when you’re too preoccupied to sleep!

Crocheted rosebuds

Crocheted rosebuds

All the flowers are from this book. ‘Tis the only book on the subject I could find locally, but I do like the fact that it’s bicraftual, rather than focusing on solely knitting or solely crochet:-

100 Flowers To Knit And Crochet

100 Flowers To Knit And Crochet

It’s cheering to be creating these blooms on a cold, grey day. That said, I just found this beauty right outside my front door. Look, you can even see the creases in the petals where they were folded inside the bud:-

Late poppy

Late poppy

And the bell pepper plant on the windowsill carries bravely on. Next year I’m going to plant a whole little hedge of these peppers indoors. They are SO easy to care for.

Bell pepper

Bell pepper

 

 

 

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