Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Sunday 28 February 2021

February roundup.


Just one purchase of yarn, bright colours to add to the sock yarn I already have,  I got the last lot of bulbs for the garden online, a bit more expensive than I needed to pay, but my choice to have them ready to plant before I fill the garden with plants and colour, plus my 3 new small pots. My spend is about the same as in previous years, the garden is now having more spent on it.  No clothes purchased, I'm still enjoying my finished handknitted jumper. The book was a reference book on British trees and wildflowers. The flowers were my Alliums. I am still reading library books and a few on Kindle.

We have been really good again, no waste food, we had 1 big shop from Tesco for a change, middle of the month, we are both now going to the village shops again, but not too often. Using our local shop has helped reducing the plastic coming into the house, we are using loads of their products, taking our own containers to refill, and purchasing all our loose fruit and veg. 

Car passed its Mot, but we did need 2 new tyres, expensive but expected, the car was purchased in 2014 and has not cost me much to run, in truth I do not do huge number of miles, when we come to sell it will be 'one lady owner, low mileage'. I also filled up, I have no idea the last time we put petrol in, last year sometime, can't decide if that's a saving or a cost this month. No unexpected cost in the house this month, the heating was on much more, now it's only on for short periods, but we are on a monthly plan, and are in credit so the amount we pay should not change. We have always been good at not wasting electricity, I turn everything off, I hate seeing things on standby.

We did nothing towards losing any weight this month, but will now start again in the hope of losing 14 pounds by the summer, this will be less than I lost last year, and bring me down to nearer  the weight I want to be.

We managed our be kind, this month, hubby had loads of bird feeders he's not using, so he popped them on our local Facebook page and a lady asked for them to go in a garden at a local small hospital, so we walked to the local pet shop and got seed, nuts and fat balls, so the feeders can be used straight away. Money well spend, the lady was very pleased. 

Friday 26 February 2021

Big ideas

At the top of my blog I have pages, one marked Finished items showing all my work over the years, to start with they were mainly cross stitch, but sewing, crochet and now knitting are shown there. In this photo are a mixture of some of the bigger cross stitch designs I have made, I still have some, but most have been gifted. In my 1st ever blog post I explained the title of this blog, it shows my love of poppies and patchwork, but not sewn fabric patchwork, I loved to make big stitched patchwork, I loved stitching each of the 6 different designs shown here. 
I do have a very good stash of silks (Floss), in my cabinet, which I have collected over the years, they store really well in these drawers, and have sat waiting for me to start stitching  again. 
So with the white 28 cwt evenweave from my stash, purchased back in 2017, I have an idea forming, to mash all these designs together and make on huge design, I will keep it for myself to use. I will stitch with 1 strand, making another fine stitched project, I love the tiny stitches. 
For the start of this project I can use my big hoop, later I will need to move to my Q snaps, they do not hold my work as tight as they did when new, if anyone has any suggestions on how to make them tight again, please let me know. This is a satisfying start to a big project, which already I know I have loved stitching the elements before. 
I do get to use this lovely bag I made years ago as a project bag, it's fully lined so nothing can get caught, I have a huge file in there with all the designs in and the start of the collection of threads I use. I often on big project reuse shades around the design to bring it all together, some of the designs have the shades I love, which drew me towards them in the 1st instance.  The patchwork on the front of the bag was an early attempt for me, there is another panel on the back. 

I did say after making a new design and finishing my Christmas tree last year I would finish some more WIP's, but they are not working for me, to finish them would be just to say they are done. None are any I would keep and use, the only item I am keeping close by for me to revisit is my Winter Watergarden, which was purchased back in 2011, it's stitched on 32 cwt linen, and stitched 1 over 2, I do love the threads in this work and would love to get it done, but stitching 1 over 2 I have found difficult, I found myself unpicking loads of bits, I have thought of getting a new canvas and restarting, but there are loads of hand dyed silks which I have already used and hard to replace, one day I promise myself. 

So here I am starting a huge project, I don't think we are going to be set free anytime soon, and I don't want to knit another jumper or crochet another blanket, and I need to fill my days. It also helps as I want to do things outside in the garden and there is very little to do, with so many long days ahead, I hope to have my lockdown design finished, I'm not sure if I will frame it or make a huge cushion, that decision will be made nearer to the finish line. I mainly stitch in the day time, I have another pair of socks to start for hubby and there will always be reading time.

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Another jumper

My jumper is all done and finished.
It again fits well, I am pleased with the design and colours, all were my own choice, it's using the same yarn as my last jumper, but it is much lighter, there are no threads carried behind my knitting. 
I purchased far too much yarn for my 1st jumper, as I was using one pattern for the design and another for the size, I had no way of knowing how much I needed. Drops baby merino is a stock yarn for me, I love using it. This is what is left on the 3 colours, I found a small ball of navy, so playing yarn chicken was not as bad as I thought. These will be added to the other colours I have left over from my blanket, I don't have many whole balls now, just the natural colour. 
I have daffodils starting to flower in the garden, they grow best in my side bed, the whole area is full of leaves, I prefer the bigger blooms, but for now these tiny tete a tete will lead they flowering season. I do have tulips, but I always grow them in pots as they rot in the ground. 
The garden is looking good, I do need to get out and start some tiding of the whole area, but our ground which is heavy clay is just so wet, so with a dry fore caste for this week, I am waiting tomorrow and Friday should be warm.

I have coriander and parsley growing in my pots, they are still in my office in the sun with a plastic bag over the top,  and I have planted my latest head pot, again it's in the office. I do like to keep plants in the office, it's sunny and warm and I see them everyday, so I can ensure everything is growing OK, I have to be careful as hubby does not like plants taking over the space, I would have plants everywhere if I could. 

I hope to be outside this week, I have flower seeds to sow in the greenhouse, I have very little space inside the greenhouse, so I will need to move things around for space for seed trays. I have late summer flowering bulbs to pop into the ground, and the top corner of my side bed to sort, nothing huge, just enough for me to feel good. It's lovely to have a sorted tidy garden, but I do enjoy projects, but every tiny bit of space has been used in this small garden.

I have not read any books in the last week, I have enjoyed my knitting, I have now pulled out patterns and all the supplies to start my next project, it's another bit item, something to keep me busy until we can get out and enjoy time with friends and family. 

Sunday 21 February 2021

Get a head

Another one, say hello to this lovely pot, it did have a candle inside, but we melted it out and reused the wax, the bottom does not have a hole in so I will use it for succulents. I've not named him yet, but I do love his profile. 
For my birthday last November, daughter got me this lovely pot, I am having another go at growing Hyacinth, we do not have a airing cupboard in this house, so I find it difficult to start these and get the growth to a decent height. Sadly this is another fail, the tall bulb at the back only have leaves and the front bulbs if they flower will not grow any higher.  I won't try growing them again. 
This Orchid blooms are opening up much quicker than others I have grown, they do look good in our sitting room, I always enjoy these stunning delicate blooms. 
The body of my jumper is done, I spend hours knitting each day, I would rather be in the garden, but it's just too wet, each section is 40 rows deep, plus the rib at the neck and bottom, just 3 colours no used in my previous jumper.

I am going for my fastest knit ever, I'm still not sure if I have enough navy yarn, I am going to knit the block on 1st sleeve, and then swap to block on 2nd sleeve, followed by the colour change stripes, by that point I should know if I have enough navy yarn, if I need more yarn, I can add in the stripes and not get an issue with colour match. I have some yarn ready to start a pair of bright socks for hubby, he has been wearing his handmade socks and is now a convert to them, something to do if I have to wait for yarn to arrive. 

I have popped Parsley and Coriander seeds into my new pots, watered and covered with a clear plastic bag, hoping for growth soon, they are both in the office but will end up in the kitchen. 

I am in my greenhouse more, I have a few spring plants which I am hoping to plant in the week, the weather will be dry and warm which will help settle them into the ground. Every part of me is itching for the garden to wake up, we do have spring flowers around, giving pockets of colour, but I can't wait to see the bright colours of summer flowers. I have one job to sort, the back corner of my shed is very wet, I have moved everything away from the area in hope the air will help dry things out, I purchased it back in 2014 and this is the 1st time the wet has been inside, it is tucked back into the corner, so we can't get to the outside, I have everything crossed it can be sorted. 

Friday 19 February 2021

Raining again

We had Will and George whilst mummy had another hospital appointment, baby is doing well, it was wet so a day inside. 
The boys always play together, Will is a kind gentle big brother, the only thing we say is 'not so close Will' as George likes his own space. We were exhausted after they left, it was for us an earlier start to the day, a few times I looked at the clock thinking it was much later than it was. Hubby made fruit pancakes for lunch with ice cream, we all loved them. 
The cats are not going out much, their mat is dirty from wet paw prints, but they love this spot next to the radiator. we are in the process of teaching George, when they are in their baskets they want to sleep and not play. Purdy (black and white) does love to play with the boys allowing them to stroke her, every time they visit she always comes out to play. 
I'm knitting like mad this week, I have separated the sleeves and I am now working on the body, I am playing yarn chicken with the navy shade, I think I have just enough, I have no way of knowing until I have knitted the design, I could cut the block colour by one row to ensure enough yarn, I will have to think about it. 

The weather has made it a dull week, with rain most days, just that awful non stop heavier than drizzle rain, if you go out you get wet not soaked, it's much warmer, which is good, by this weekend it's going to be much warmer than normal and dry, so I am dreaming of time in the garden on Sunday.  We have not walked to the local shops, after our Tesco big shop delivery on Monday, there is nothing we need. 

We did get some sunshine on Thursday, but the ground was so wet, so not able to be outside in garden. Also on Thursday Will had his 4th birthday, he went to preschool as normal, and came home to balloon's and cards and gifts and a treat of McDonald's for tea, it was a tiring day for him, so we did not speak to him, he had lovely new toys to play with. Today we stretching our supporting role and popping over for cake and cuddles, it will be nice to leave the house, it's about a 10 minute drive to their house..

I keep saying I am bored, but honestly it's not boredom, it's the feeling of being caged, even if it is in our lovely comfortable home, with hubby who is a good companion. I am not complaining, I am trying to understand my feelings, I have always loved this home and garden, we have everything we want here, my small stash of craft items suit my taste at this time. Summer is always better, I thrive when outside in the garden, being tucked away inside for so long, watching the rain and the dull starts to the day, which brings the spirits down a level. I know I'm in a safe place, there are loads of others who are suffering with all types of fears and worries, we can hide from this virus, and as more people have their vaccinations, we can see a small light at the end of this huge black hole. BUT we need contact and laughter together with those we love, and as things feel as if they are improving the desire to be free is growing. 

Wednesday 17 February 2021

New start

These yarns are leftover from my last jumper, I knew I had ordered too much, but as I was not following a design as it was printed, I had to guess how much of each colour I required.

I often use this notebook to scribble in when I am working a design, it's good to be able to pop back and recheck my thinking before or even during my knitting. The scribbles are the outline to see if it will work, as with everything it evolves as it grows. 
So another new start, I decided not to use the white, it's good to have that colour in my stash, just 3 colours and stripes. The pale pink is better at the top as its the smallest amount I have, there are 288 stitches on each row, rising to 384 just before I separate the body and the sleeves. 
I did finish socks for SIL, he loves them, so I will make another pair and a pair for hubby, he loved the orange and grey together, so SIL will have different bright colours. 
This is the last book written in this set, there should be another one, but I have to wait until it has been published, this ia book 14 this year. 

So our weather is warmer again but that means dull grey days and rain, still not able to be outside in the garden, I have been checking the birds water, but happily it's not frozen any more. I now pop to the greenhouse most days, I have seeds which I am going to sow this weekend and hopefully be able to get the summer bulbs in the ground. 

Monday 15 February 2021

Valentines day in lockdown.

We always swap cards, but in this strange year we did it differently, card shops are shut, online cards cost the earth, so when I was sorting my memory box a while ago, I kept a couple cards, these were from 2018, don't tell anyone.
We tried to get an afternoon tea from a local lady for Sunday, she was fully booked so we decided to ask her to deliver on Saturday, we missed lunch and enjoyed our treats along side a bottle of Prosecco, the contents of the box for 1 person. 
 Huge amount of food, all freshly made and wonderful, took 2 attempts to eat it all, Prosecco went straight to my head, so lovely afternoon nap, tea cups there just for show. 

These books are brilliant and not too huge under 300 pages each, I do love the story line, the main DCI is a bit jump and then think about it, but they are just stories. Books 12 and 13 read this year. 
I hope to finish these this week, they are very simple to make, the yarn does all the hard work, I decided to make the heels different colours, SIL loves colour. 
It was a brilliant weekend our afternoon tea for Saturday was really good, we were pleased we did not get it on Sunday as we did not want much for our evening meal. Hubby cooked a lovely meal on Sunday evening, we had a good bottle of red wine with our meal, so a pleasant couple of days. Other than walking to the village for my jab on Saturday, we have not been out, Saturday was cold, Sunday the rain came, the only thing worse than being out in the cold is being out in the cold and wet. 
I have had my note book out, I am planning another jumper to knit, I had so much yarn leftover from my last jumper, 4 different colours to play with, I'm almost certain of the design. I will still have more yarn left, but its one of my stock yarns, so I'm happy to have loads of colours, photos in next post. My socks should be finished soon, so I'm ready for a new cast on. 

I think after reading all the comments on my last post, we are all feeling the same, this lockdown is hard work, we need to see friends and family, we need to sit together and laugh, we need coffee and gossip, it's good for our soul. 

Saturday 13 February 2021


I love these pots, they are a nice size and were a good price, a bit of fun for the kitchen. 
I have been purchasing fresh parsley and coriander, they never regrow, and I am adding to the plastic plants pots, which I don't need. So these will look lovely on the kitchen windowsill, at the moment they are filled with compost in our warm sunny office, once the soil is warm I will sow seeds. 
I purchased the lovely yarn for SIL socks and was told it was lost in the post, so I ordered these wonderful colours, the following day the missing yarn arrived. Opal is perfect sock yarn, so I have plenty now to knit with. This year I am not making knitted socks for gifts, other than those who ask for them. 
These silk Alliums are just what I was looking for last summer, to add to the vase of silk summer flowers, they came from Dunelm, ordered online and a good price, all 3 for the cost of 1 bloom elsewhere. 
This little shelf is perfect in the greenhouse, all my small pots can be displayed together, often the tiny pots look lost, this year I want to add to my collection of stranger looking plants, often they are sold as tiny plants. 

Like so many people I am spending more time online, looking for ideas, filling time, these days if you look at anything, your social media is then full of reminders of what you have been viewing. I am seeing  everywhere Tia the turtle, I love her and I would like her, but check the price, really!! is it just me, it's very overpriced, I can afford one, but really, is it theft overpricing. 

Nothing I have purchased was expensive, other than the yarn, each purchase was under £20, other than the plant pots, they were items I have been looking for, most since last summer.  

I have had my covid jab this morning at our local GP surgery, I knew it would all go smoothly, hubby had his jab there 2 weeks ago. My brother will have his jab next week, so the protection is rolling out, still we will stay at home, even if its boring, I would love to spend time in the greenhouse or garden, it's just too cold. I am itching to sow seeds, still a bit too early, I don't have so many this year, just 5 different flowers. 

So back to the Internet, I can read and knit only for so long, what are you doing to pass time in this lockdown. 

Friday 12 February 2021

Oh so cold.

Tuesday morning, we did have more snow over night, but as you see we have missed most of it, which has disappointed Will so much. It was gone by early afternoon. It's just so cold, the house is lovely and warm, we are getting up later in the mornings, still giving me loads of time for reading and crafts.
Book 11, it was an interesting read, a book of 2 stories, the police and the bad guys, very honest as different people get caught up in the plot. It's one of a set, so other books would be easy to read as the same police officers will have a different case. I've now gone back to the last author to read the final 2 books written so far, for once I want to read what happens next. 
1st of SIL socks is finished, I am going to cast on the 2nd sock, should have done it brfore but I've been reading, his sock looks huge but the stretcher is for my size so not really working for his bigger size. 
I am loving my warm handknitted jumpers, I made this one a couple of years ago and have not worn it much, last winter was really mild. Please note hubby photo bombing.

This week is a stay at home, keep warm and find things to do, which for me is easy, I have so many crafts, knitting is top at the moment, but I have pulled another cross stitch WIP out to finish this month. I have to go out on Saturday for my covid jab, at 65 I was not expecting to be called anytime soon, but our local GP practice put a note on the local Facebook page in my age group (65-70) asking people to come forward for their jab, without hesitation I booked my appointment. 

Its a bad few weeks for my weight loss, I am craving sugar fixes, which for me means chocolate, and I am giving in to them, Cadbury cream eggs are top of the list, I normally try not to have these before March, but I can't resist them this year. Hubby is good, he not a chocolate person, but I see him shake his head every time I reach for a fix. 

Hubby and I were talking on how well/poorly we have been on various issues we wanted to change, we are pleased with stopping unnecessary 1 use plastics coming into our home, using our local shop is brilliant we take our own containers. We both are now wearing most of the contents of our wardrobe, reusing everything we can, less things coming into our home, we are not perfect at this, but much better than we were. But both agreed we are slipping on our meat free days, we both understand how much resources are required in the production of meat, we mainly eat chicken and fish, but we are not sticking to meat free days, so we agreed from 1st of March we would be vegetarian for 2 days each week, which is where we wanted to be, neither of us want to go fully vegetarian, but we both feel strongly on the need to cut back meat production. We do not eat such big portions, and often we get 4 portion and split them into 3 portions for us to share, we do have some lovely recipes, but hubby is looking for more, winter months with all the comfort foods had been harder for us. I do feel if everyone was able to be plant based 1 or 2 days every week it would help with so many things, including global warming, which would be easier than asking everyone to give up meat. The other subject I feel strongly on is the production of cheap food, it is very hard to value food which has cost so much to produce, but sells so cheaply, the amount if food wasted in the home, thrown out not used is discusting and I know most of you reading this do not waste food. But again if it cost more, the producers would have a fair price, the cost would match most of UK suppliers, less food miles, and less waste at home. Sorry packed my soap box away. 

Tuesday 9 February 2021

What next

I have started another pair of socks, these are for SIL, he loves the socks I made him for Christmas and is always wearing them, he is working at home, so I said I would make a couple more pairs. I purchased the yarn last month, knowing he would love the bright colours. 
Books 1 and 2 of a new to me crime author, easy reads, not too gory, books 9 and 10 for this year, read on my kindle, next I will pick one from my library books. 
I made my jumper to use this hand dyed yarn, and sadly the shade in this yarn blended too much with most of the colours I used in the jumper just finished, so I did not used as much as I expected, so I will have to think of another use for this beautiful soft yarn. 
I have used this as a project basket next to my chair for years, but in truth, it's far too small, so I have changed the use and popped all my smaller books and patterns inside, now when George gets close to my stuff, it can be picked up in one move and looks much neater and tidy. I am now using a hand made bag made back in 2017, it's huge and perfect for the task. 
When it's cold outside your new handmade jumper with hand knitted socks are perfect, and when later I sit and read, I have my hand crochet lap blanket, I timed the finish of this jumper to perfection. Please note my hair is still looking good, I last had it cut in early December, it's now a long bob.
Another stay at home weekend, daughter popped in with a bit of shopping, our support bubble works both ways. Plenty of reading and knitting time, whilst hubby watched rugby on TV, he's happy Wales won their match. Hubby has had his cataract sorted in his right eye on Friday, it was a short procedure at our local eye hospital, the left does not need doing, so we are being careful for a while, already he says he can see much better. 
Monday we woke up to snow, just a very light dusting, which hung around all morning, not enough to settle, but enough to make Will very excited. I did have to pop to town, the car is due it's MOT on 16th, we called our local garage at end of Jan, they suggested we called back nearer the date, we called on Friday (5th) to be told they were fully booked until past the due date, not amused comes to mind. I popped to a couple of shops, to pick up a few items, and then back home, it was bloody cold outside ( soft southerner comes to mind, it was about -4)
So no plans to go out today, not sure if we will see Daughter and grandsons, today or tomorrow, plans are to stay inside in the warm, the temperature has dropped and with the wind it is cold outside. We had another sprinkling of snow last night, not enough to turn everywhere white, and it's very crunchy feels more like ice than snow. 
I do have to get 2 new tyres next week, they did not have the ones we wanted in stock, car passed its Mot, so very pleasing. On a better note our local doctors surgery has invited all over 65 for their covid jab, mine is booked for Saturday, they are ahead of most other places. 

Sunday 7 February 2021

Another finish

My jumper is finished, I used Drops Baby Merino 4ply and knitted in the round, the pattern was for DK, but I managed to size it correct using another 4 ply neck down knitted pattern. I'm glad I stuck with 4ply, this is a very warm jumper, I changed the design from a short sleeved short summer jumper into a warmer style. 
I decided to make the sleeves my own design, I had to ensure I cast off enough stitches to not make the cuff bulky, the sleeves were 90 stitched round and I took them down to 60 stitches, but could only decrease once finished with the patterns, I love the pink and blue on each sleeve.
The underarms on a knitted down jumper can be tricky, often there are gaps as stitches stretch, so as I was sewing in the ends I did a darn along this area to ensure there are no thin patches.  
So the finished jumper, not to everyone's taste, but I do love it, the fit is good, the colour design sits together when worn, so for me this is a win. I would use this pattern again, the details can be found here, but the style is very different than my jumper. 
Having made a knit down jumper knitted in the round, so there are no stitching up to do, which I always hate and I never make it as tidy as it should be, these are the ends I had to sew in after all the colour changes.
I really love this soft yarn, it's 100% wool and with being baby wool it has less lanolin, which always gives me issues, so I am able to wear for longer. I used about 100 grm ball of each colour, which means I have loads left and could make another jumper, for now it's all back in my stash. 
I started knitting on 20th of January, so a very quick knit, the only shaping was on the yoke down to the sleeve separation and at the bottom of the sleeves, the pattern was so simple, just 6 rows of 1st colour, add 2nd colour and work 7 rows of 'k3 1st colour, k3 2nd colour', repeat until end, then 6 rows of 2nd colour, just ensuring the loops at the back are not too tight, I could knit whilst watching TV. In our 3rd lockdown having plenty of time, I knitted most days, it grew very quickly. The hardest part was ensuring I got the size right as I was using 4ply and not double knitting yarn. I did not over think the colour selections, what to put where, I did use 7 shades the original design only had 5, I had planned not to use the blues, but they added to the design. The back neck fits perfectly, the design uses a German turn and add system, which builds the back neck higher, it does feel much better. 
So my 2nd finish of 2021 is a success, and just in time for the cold weather due this week.

Friday 5 February 2021

Blooms inside

I have popped these silk flowers back into this jug, it sits on the kitchen window sill, and add a bit of colour, these flowers are 3 years old, when not in use I store them in huge plastic bags to stop the dust getting in, they are in storage longer than they are out. The last of the Christmas greenery is packed away, it was Candlemas day earlier this week and old traditions says all decorations should be removed by this day. 
My new Orchid, purchased last week is looking good, it was signed as having 2 stems, but this was one of many with 3 stems, I love white Orchids, these will bloom for months and make the £7 spent on the plant very good value. The 2nd photo are the resting plants in the corner of the sitting room next to the patio doors for light and behind our sofa for safety. 
My nastie (cactus) jar is doing well, I made this a couple of years ago, when you could pop to a shop and purchase items. The 2nd plant is my coffee plant, these were purchased as a small plant in a coffee mug, they were crammed in and I decided to see how far I can get these to grow. 
Plants in our sunny office area always do well, I have tucked the string of pearls in Betty's hair back up, I would rather wait a bit longer for her hair and have really thick strands. The 2nd plant is my baby pineapple plant, I purchased the mother plant and the small fruit did not fair well, but the plant had babies, this is the best so far, I have 1 other in the greenhouse.  

It's a beautiful sunny morning after heavy rain in the early hours of the morning, it's still cold and we have been promised it will get colder over the next couple of days, there is snow in our weather forecaste, but I am not expecting much, we are shielded from most weather by the Isle of Wright, we last had snow 2 years ago and then not much. 
I am hoping to knit more on my jumper, I have just the rib on the body to finish, not my favourite and I intend to make the rib longer, to match the style of the jumper, the patter was for a short summer jumper, mine is a long winter style. I have caste on another pair of colourful socks, and I have started another book. 
Not much happens here, no visit's as hubby has a hospital appointment this afternoon, so we have stayed at home and not seen anyone. We do spend time watching the small birds in our garden, their feeders are always full, so they know a visit is always good, I can spend hours looking out at our garden. 



Related Posts with Thumbnails