Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mmmm, cake...

Go on, have a virtual slice with your cup of tea. The good news is that it's zero calories for virtual cake. (In reality, the last slice was snaffled this morning. Tayberries and blackcurrants freshly picked specifically for this cake from our garden). xxx  

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Garden chevron blanket - finished

 Finally, some sunshine arrived so I could take photos of this blanket. I finished it on Monday night - about 3 hours of sewing in ends over two nights whilst watching tv, so not bad going. After falling out of love with this blanket (because it was taking sooo long to make) and not being overly fussed about finishing it, I am now extremely happy with it. I folded it up and left it on the side for a few days without really looking at it but now I have taken these photos out in the sunshine (where it's going to be used) I'm relieved that I love it again. Doesn't it look great against the decking?
 Here's the original inspiration for the blanket - a Habitat cushion which will be used on the cane chairs outside (if we ever get any decent weather - it has rained twice since I took these photos an hour ago!).

And here is the yarn that I used - Rico Essentials Cotton DK at £1.50 per 50g ball. I would estimate that the blanket cost £25 to make. I have some yarn left over, not a lot, but maybe enough to make a cushion front or to make crocheted flowers in the future.

And I have already started on my next blanket ! That's right, I am a crochet machine!!! Will post next week with details. Must get that shawl finished too - not much more to do. Have a great rest of the weekend. x

Monday, 13 June 2011


Puzzlewood - what can I say? If you are anywhere in the vicinity of the Forest of Dean, make sure you visit Puzzlewood. It is stunning (the photos do not do it justice) and has been used as a film location for Doctor Who and Merlin. Truly beautiful.

Just a short post today as I have some more ends to sew in - will show you the finished blanket in the next couple of days. x 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Camping in the Forest of Dean

A post about camping with no photos of the tent - how did that happen? (Too busy having fun to think about taking photos of the tent set up.) Yes, we did indeed go camping and it was gloriously sunny and hot when we got to the campsite. Once the tent was up and all our camping gear laid out, we were so hot and bothered that we needed a rest in the shade and I even had an afternoon nap, which is unheard of! Can I just point out that when I say camping gear, I mean everything but the kitchen sink - we even acquired a tent carpet for this trip. Yes, I didn't know you could get tent carpets either but you can and we got one and it was very comfy under foot even though it was painful to look at - mint green tartan doesn't really go with bright blue and orange tent! We also watched some neighbouring campers pack up to go home and realised that they had packed light, only bringing the essentials and therefore getting packed and ready to go in super quick time. We glanced around at all our stuff and secretly wished we had left some of it behind after all!

The scrumptious photo is the breakfast that my eldest very kindly cooked for us on Saturday morning. She had some homework during half term, asking for her to find some instructions to make something, then try them out and see how easy they were to follow. As we were going camping, I suggested maybe she could follow the tent instructions or making a bacon buttie for breakfast instructions. (Did you see what I did there?!) Well, she chose full english breakfast and boy, was it good!
We went to the beautiful Forest of Dean, which we have visited several times before and we cannot go there without a trip to Newland. This church is sometimes known as the Cathedral of the Forest due to its size. It's absolutely stunning and has such a peaceful setting. And to add to its charm...
...this pub is bang opposite. When we told the kids that we were going back to the Forest of Dean (the last time we went was approx. 3 years ago) my youngest asked whether we were going back to the Ostrich. She remembered it for 2 reasons - the delicious food and Alfie the dog. As soon as we walked in, the dog came straight over to my youngest (I wonder if he remembered her - rather he just loves children) and curled up at her feet when we sat down at our table. So sweet. We had another fantastic meal there and I hope we will be going back again soon.

It was a rainy day so we decided to go to Clearwell Caves near Coleford. I have to admit that I'm not all that interested in caves but the information about the people who mined there for iron ore was fascinating. And guess what I found down the mines -
A crochet blanket - I don't actually know why it was in there, I was too busy trying to work out what stitch it was worked in!
Sorry for the close up - it looks fairly grubby and in desperate need of a wash, but I had to show you the v stitches. I'm not sure how it is worked but I think I might have to try it at some point. If anyone knows what stitch it is, please let me know.

We also went to a place called Puzzlewood but it deserves a post of its own. I took a fair few photos there so it will take some time picking the best ones so I don't bore you with ALL of my holiday snaps! 

Talking of crochet, must get the chevron out and do a few rows whilst watching the tv. x 

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Loganberry or Tayberry?

Hello! We are back from camping - a day early due to the weather - torrential rain all Saturday night and then rain pretty much all day Sunday so we decided to leave Sunday afternoon. We had a fab time and managed to do all the things we had planned. Will do a separate post with photos later on this week.

Just a quick post today as I need your help. I went to look at all our lovely things growing in the garden as I knew they would have grown due to lots of sunshine and a bit of rain over the weekend. I discovered that the "raspberries" had started to change colour and had grown quite considerably in size. In fact, they are far too big for raspberries and with a little bit of a search on the internet and a chat with my Mum, we think they may be loganberries or tayberries, but which one I just don't know. Any ideas? Any recipe ideas? We have a few, but not enough to make jam. I am hoping that our crop will increase next year once I have properly weeded around them.
I have got some fruit net so I will cover them over today to keep the birds off. I think I may chop back that shrub that's mingled in amongst them too.

If you have any clue as to what these berries are, please could you leave me a comment. I would be most grateful. Always nice to know what's growing in the garden (and also what you are eating!). Thanks.

Right, better hang up yet more washing and get back to the gardening. x

Thursday, 2 June 2011

We're going camping!

That's right, we're away for the weekend in the Forest of Dean, in our trusty tent for 3 nights. We put it up in the front garden a couple of weeks ago to make sure it was all ok and here's a photo. Very blue, but happily with this season's orange. We may be considered trendy at the campsite, doubt it though! Eldest daughter has promised to cook us a fry up for breakfast one day - not sure how she's going to do it with a smallish frying pan on a camping stove but as long as I don't have to cook...

We have already packed the boot of the car and it all fits, just! I'm taking a book and my crochet, tea bags and wine. I am sure we will venture out and about at some point but I'm hoping the kids will make friends at the campsite and entertain themselves so us adults can get some R&R. I'm sure I'll take a few photos so I'll be back next week to let you know how we got on. Please don't rain...