Raspberries and a new crochet top

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Despite a lovely long hot summer, this year our raspberries are ripening rather slowly… a little like my blogging of late, the pickings so far for 2015 have been pretty slim!!!

crochet top free patternLife just seems to be getting busier and busier. The lovely relaxed days of summer have become all but a distant memory and now that  school is back (actually they’ve been back for two weeks), there is so much more on and after school activities are back in full swing. Ive also been working more (and traveling with my job) which makes spare time a rare commodity.

crochet top free patternHopefully this lovely crochet and chiffon top makes up for the wait!

Ginko crochet top 5Simple and easy to make, this top is lovely and cool – perfect for the hot weather we are experiencing. It took a while to get the hang of a small hook and fine cotton in my hands, but once I had the knack, it was lovely to work with. Working with heavy wool in the summer = not my idea of a good time!

crochet top free patternThe only modification I had to make to the pattern was to add a lining/undershirt. Because the crochet lace at the top is so fine, and the bottom is so sheer, I needed a little something underneath – so I whipped up a knit (t-shirt type material) singlet in a similar pale blue which I attached to the inside at the shoulder seams. It worked perfectly, and using the over-locker (serger) means it only required a few seams to complete. If you didn’t want to make something specially, I’m sure a slip or singlet in a complementary color would also work just fine. Ginko crochet top 4I love the rose fabric, which took quite  lot of hunting to find – I almost purchased something else but decided it wasn’t quite right, I was so glad when I found this because I knew it was just what I had been looking for. I was so glad that I waited!

If you’d like to make this lovely top for yourself, check out the pattern and most excellent tutorial over at Genuine Mudpie, thanks Trish I love it!crochet top free patternI really wish I could share some of these fabulous raspberries with you all :) Of all the fruit and veges I grow, they are my favourite crop. Requiring no special treatment and not much water, they give us a huge return –  and the taste, did I mention how good they taste? Honestly they are to die for. Luscious little pearls of sweet AND tart that just burst on your tongue. Bliss!

Hope you are having a wonderful week, and enjoying a small (and healthy) treat where ever you are!

Love Janette xoxoxox

Lacy

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Summer is in full swing here, its hot, but not only that, the humidity is verging on ridiculous. Needless to say the thought of crocheting wool isn’t that tempting just now :)

So instead I’m working on something suitably light and lacy… in a lovely cool shade of lightest blue 2ply cotton:Lacy crochet 6 Lacy crochet 5 Lacy crochet 4 Lacy crochet 3 Lacy crochet 2 Lacy crochetWhat are you working on at the moment, something seasonal? How’s the weather where you are? Janette xoxo

PS. Welcome to all the new followers! Do pop by and leave a comment, and if there is anything I can help out with, sing out :)

A new crochet cushion

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Crochet triangle cushion 8Ive finished my first crochet cushion of the year…Crochet triangle cushion 6   Very soothing in blues and greens… just the thing for the hot days we are experiencing right now!Crochet triangle cushionYou can find the free pattern for this cushion over here at Solstrikke… Solveig is fast becoming my crochet cushion muse :)Crochet triangle cushionThe triangles are simple to make and strangely addictive… The only deviation I made from the pattern was to use half double crochet for the back, simply because double crochet seemed too loose… Crochet triangle cushionI really must learn to crochet more tightly…Crochet triangle cushion 9Maybe tomorrow, for today I’m too hot so I’m going to pour something cool into a tall glass and sit on the couch with my feet up!

J xoxoxox

Girl’s crochet cardigan

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Girls Crochet cardigan free patternIt’s about time I got around to showing you the crochet cardigan I made for Maia, which I finished in December, but what with Christmas and holidaying at the beach and general post holiday laziness I have been a bit slow getting up here on the blog.Girls Crochet cardigan free patternIt’s adapted from a free lionbrand pattern which was a really nice pattern and a great starting point.

To modify the pattern I used an 8ply cotton, the largest pattern size (the original pattern was for Worsted/10ply yarn) and a 4mm hook. I wanted something longer and more classic than the cropped cardi, so I made the body significantly longer than the pattern stated (just kept repeating the body pattern until it looked about the right length). Because the sizing was a little out I had to reduce the yoke a little to get the fit right for my 7/8 year old (it was too big around the arms for her).Girls Crochet cardigan free patternThe beauty of a simple pattern like this is that you can adapt it to suit your needs and the yarn you have available. I guess the only word of advice I’d offer is that if you are going to deviate from a pattern (or use a different yarn and hook than is recommended), is that you have the person you are going to be making the garment for close by so you can try it on and check the fit frequently as you are crocheting.

Another reason this took so long to show you the finished piece is because Maia’s tolerance for my photography ‘habit’ is significantly lower than it used to be. So after these few snaps, this… Girls Crochet cardigan free pattern…marked the end of the photo shoot!

Have a wonderful week everyone :)

Janette xoxox

Christmas 2014

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Because we had been on holiday for a week just before Christmas, this year Christmas day seemed to sneak up with alarming speed. We were lucky to spend the day at home with visits from parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties and cousins.

Christmas 2014 3The tree was its usual eclectic mix of ornaments both brought and home made, lovingly assembled by the children in early December. There were, of course, an abundance of packages beneath the tree…

Christmas 2014We celebrate Christmas in New Zealand in mid-summer so there is plenty of fresh summer fruit to enjoy. Strawberries and cherries feature a lot on kiwi Christmas tables… although we do like to add in a bit of mistletoe and some fake snow to accompany the far-from-home reindeer for a bit of Northern hemisphere white Christmas spirit. Christmas 2014 2This year we ate outdoors, the deck brightened with an abundance of colourful blooms from the garden…

Christmas 2014 5Arranged and deposited around the place (and I’m very proud to say all from my garden!)…

Christmas 2014 6Because it was so hot we opted for outdoor cooking, so the dinner was cooked in our pizza oven – we enjoyed perfectly roasted turkey and lamb.

Christmas 2014 4And an assortment of salads and baby potatoes (and maybe a glass or two of wine)!Christmas dinnerNot to mention a LOT of delicious dessert… which left us all feeling a little like this guy :)

Christmas 2014 7Merry Christmas, from my family to yours! I hope you had a wonderful day filled with love, joy, family, and delicious food. I’d love to hear all about it!

Janette xxxoooxxxooo

 

Holiday update and giveaway winner…

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Sorry this post is a little late… you see we were on holiday at the beach for a week, having a gloriously relaxing time, which was – as I’m sure you can imagine – just wonderful at this time of year. I had intended to post a quick update from my nice newish (it was only 6 weeks old) smart phone, sometime on Monday. That was until it became acquainted with the bottom of the ocean, got in a huff and now isn’t talking to me anymore. In actual fact, its not doing anything anymore. Well except sitting in a bag of rice praying for a miracle (ok the praying part, that’s me).

Anyway so we got home on Tuesday afternoon and since then I have been up to my eyeballs in Christmas preparation. I thought I’d share a few of our summery holiday snaps. But if you are really keen to find out the giveaway winner, just scroll to the bottom of the post :)

Pilot bay dec 2014 2Maia Dece 2014 2SeagullMt Beach10848640_904375889615013_1423785348868164582_oBeach collection Pilot bay dec 2014 3Carter dec 2014 crab Maia birthday 2 2014 Maia birthday 2014Maia and Carter Christmas pillowcase 2014Pilot bay dec 2014

Thank you to everyone who entered in the Crochet Pretty e-book giveaway.

Without further ado the winner is (drum roll please)… Rose Griffin, who said:  Love the draw string purse! Add me to the list!! I want one!!!  Congratulations Rose, if you send me an email Ill send you the details for claiming your prize :)

Happy holidays everyone xxoo xxoo

A review and a giveaway

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Today I’m sharing a quick little project from a lovely crochet e-book I was asked to review…

Crochet flower brooch Its a wee crochet flower brooch, made using 3 ply cotton and the pattern can be found in an e-book by Natasja King called Crochet Pretty

Crochet flower broochThis is just one of 10 lovely accessory patterns in the book. I’m thinking the little drawstring bag from the cover will be next on my list because I have some cotton left over from the tangerine cardigan Ive just finished for Maia (more about that soon) and I’m sure she needs a little bag to go with it! If I hurry I might be able to get it finished in time for her birthday on Thursday! I also really love the earrings. To see all 10 patterns from the book over on Ravelry, just click here.img_6590The really neat thing about Crochet Pretty is that its interactive, so there are links to lots of helpful extra information and it even includes some instructional videos  and an interactive quiz! There are also clear step by step instructions, with beautiful photography. I love that because its an e-book its perfect for using on my ipad.

If you want to buy the Crochet Pretty iBook, you have to hop on over to
Read the rest of this entry »

Tangerine crochet

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Tangerine crochet 4This week Ive been working away on a cardigan for Maia. I was going to save it for her birthday, but I’ve had to have her try it on numerous times to get the fit just right (its a modification of another pattern), so now she is monitoring my progress and (im)patiently waiting until its finished.

Tangerine crochet 2The color is gorgeous, not too girlie but still a lovely soft sherbert tangerine color, just right for summer and an almost-eight year old miss who has recently developed an aversion to pink. I guess the pink I had planned for the trim will have to stay in the draw!

TangerineThe rainbow in these shots comes from a crystal prism I have hanging in the dining room window, I hadn’t realised it was in the frame until the sun came out and I began taking photos.

It’s pretty though, don’t you think?

Sea foam

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This week I’ve been crocheting at every opportunity, I’ve really been trying to finish something, anything, from my growing list of projects.

And what do you know, with a little bit of perseverance and a healthy dose of self restraint, I’m excited to present my newly finished (right down to the ends all being sewn in, gently washed and blocked) Square Sweater:
Crochet pullover top 3
Really? Square Sweater? A name like that doesn’t really do this top justice, its beautiful; light and delicate, a blend of two yarns, one pure wool, one wool mix with some threads of green, blue and red… so I’m calling it something much more inspiring: my Sea Foam Sweater.

Although in all fairness to the designer it is a square shape and made up of hundreds of little squares.  But I’m sure you will agree, its way too cool to be called square!
Crochet pullover top 4
While I’m here, I can’t resist sharing this gorgeous rose which is now in full bloom.
Apricot roses 2
Who doesn’t love an apricot rose? And the smell… heavenly! Apricot roses
Ok, back to the top…  close up of shoulder:Crochet pullover top 2And a close up of the pattern detail. I’m happy to report this pattern is an absolute gem, it’s super easy. This delicate, complicated looking pattern is made with only a two row pattern repeat, and each row is almost identical, so that means minimal counting, which translates to being easy enough to crochet in front of the the tv (or when kids are around) without too much concentration! I enjoyed this so much I want to start another. Immediately!Crochet pullover topAnd finally, this is me, in my Sea Foam top.
Not a back view or a shot with the head strategically cut off like you usually find around here!  Gulp! Crochet square sweater
Have a wonderful week, friends ☺️

Crochet Tornado

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I’ve been crocheting up a storm! At last count I had 4 projects on the go AND I have ordered some yarn for a cardi for Maia, so there’s a flurry of activity to try and wrap up at least one of the projects currently underway before I go and pick that up… not to mention a moratorium on any more new projects! So much crochet to do, so little time :)

In the photo below, I’m working on a simple shell top. I’ve finished one side, and should (hopefully) finish the other tonight, then be on the home run to blocking and edging. If you’re interested, you can find out more about the pattern here, but I’m sure I’ll be back with more progress soon!

How’s your week going? What are you working on? xx

Nov Crochet WIP

Giving pottery a go

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Thank you for all the lovely comments about my last post, I feel so blessed with your kindness :) The weather is still all over the show, and while its no weather for tomatoes or cucumbers, most of the garden is looking gorgeous, and this weekend I have three roses, and my peony coming into bloom – lets hope there’s not too much wind! I’m sure there will be more flower photos soon!

What’s the perfect way to spend a wet Saturday? At the local pottery workshop open day! The children tried their hand at throwing a pot on the wheel, free form clay sculpture and raku glaze.  It was a first experience with clay for them and they both had so much fun. One of the (many) unexpected joys of motherhood is seeing my children experience something new for the first time, especially when they adore it! I have to admit I was itching to have a go myself, pottery is something I have always wanted to explore more and I think today’s visit has convinced me to sign up for classes next term!

Carter on potters wheelMaia on potters wheelMaia and Carter Raku glazeMaia pottery flowerMaia and Carter clay sculpture Carter's cermic pendantMaia pottery vase

 

Here’s a couple of little video’s, Maia building her pot on the pottery wheel:

And Carter building his:

What are you up to this weekend? Have you tried any new crafty experiences lately? Much love, Janette xox

 

Pink and purple

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How’s your week going? We are in the midst of some very changeable crazy weather, it’s hot, cold, wet, fine, thundery and windy – sometimes all at the same time. But then I guess that’s allowed now we are in mid-spring!
Pink and purple flowers 4
Despite the weather (or maybe because of it) my garden is blooming into life. I’m loving the almost black of those darkest purple violas…
Pink and purple flowers 2
Not to mention the vibrant blues, mauves, yellows, brightest cherise and palest pinks. Ok, I admit, I love them all!
Pink and purple flowers
Maia and I walked around the garden, chatting and snipping, then brought our collection in to scatter and be admired on our kitchen table…
Pink and purple flowers 3
Later, the blooms were arranged into 4 tiny posies by the children.
Purple flowers in a vase 4
Aren’t spring flowers just beautiful whichever way you look at them?
Purple flowers in a vase 3 Pink flowers in a vase
They really make my heart sing! So what’s blooming in your garden just now? What’s colouring your world?
Purple flowers in a vaseI hope you have a bright and beautiful week xoxoxo

In my bag you will find…

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Crochet bag 6My crochet work bag is full of all kinds of helpful bits and pieces, and it occurred to me you might like to take a look :)

Crochet bag 7Top Row L – R: Dr Hauschka rose hand cream, embroidery cotton, sharpie, pencil, quick unpick, Mousie, hooks! Crochet stars (Ill post a pattern sometime) small container with lots of important stuff, pink beads, scissors.

Middle Row L – R; Crochet cotton, this flower, glasses for fiddly bits and at night (old age!), safety eyes, this flower.

Bottom row L – R: Foxy (pattern sometime), Lip balm, marble (no idea what that’s doing in there???), knitters needles, crochet cotton, lace. Crochet work

My project work continues, but is going to require a trip to the shop this afternoon… see that short length of white. Yep it ran out. Hope I can remember which brand I brought (the band is long gone), wish me luck!

So what’s in your crochet work bag? Anything you can’t live without? xxxJ

In my world

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Here’s a few random little snippets from my world recently…

We are now mid-spring here in New Zealand and the weather is warming up. My garden is growing at warp speed – more on that soon. Its a rare occasion to see Tui in my garden, but this week there were a couple sipping on flax flowers. Birds, you will note, are well outside my photographic expertise!Tui in flax flowers

Speaking of flowers, Carter expressed his inner floral artist at school for their gala event. He had such a proud Mummy! Here’s his sand saucer;Sand saucer

ButtonholeCarter buttonhole arrangement arrangement:

Miniature garden:Miniature dinosaur garden

And glitter jar/upside down jar arrangement:Carter glitter jar

Walking on the beach, with toes out – much more palatable now the weather is warming up, hmmm might need to dig out some nail polish!Walking on buckland beach

Drinking lots of smoothies… mostly berries, sometimes with greens, but always with added chia (don’t blend them)!Berry Chia Smoothies

Carter the spider: Crter in spd web sml

Maia doing her best impression of a sculpture: Maia statue auckland art gall sml

Tillandsias hanging in my window… the best low maintenance pot plants, driftwood and macrame optional!tillandsia

The building (and rebuilding) of fairy houses is in full swing:  Fairy house Oct 2014

As well as raising seeds and planting seedlings like crazy, I’m propagating a variety of plants… this is my kitchen windowsill, and I’m happy to report that every eastern and southern windowsill in our house is also home to a large number of small jars with lots of other potential plants for my garden! Propogating cuttings

Our crochet loving cat (actually I think its the wool he loves!)Catand crochet

Finally, here’s a shot of a little blue crochet (one of two projects) I have on the go… more on that soon :)Blue crochet

What’s happening in your world? xxxoooxxxx