Tuesday 7 June 2016

Snapshots - May 2016

Hi again, here we are at the end of May to go through the month in snapshots. The weather this month was unusually mild and even summery, and it was lovely and often quite hot to be outside. We took plenty of strolls around the garden looking at things. I thought about the work ahead, to do when the weather is a bit cooler and the growing season has stopped, and the cats chased things and climbed trees.

It's really been a beautiful end to the season. There are autumn leaves and colour everywhere, and the last of the roses to be picked and admired.

There's also been plenty of crochet this month. I got some Circlepuff Squares completed! (Still plenty to go.)

Some more gorgeous autumn scenery... left, the fernery at the Timaru Botanic Gardens, right, Queen Elizabeth rose in my front garden.

Kitten pics! The boys continue to grow and be adorable.

It's time for bringing in leaves and seedheads and making autumn arrangements.

Some more of the month's crochet. I painted my blocking board and used it to block Circlepuff Squares. I also made and blocked more Jan Eaton squares.

I guess I didn't have enough projects on the go, so I started a new one. These squares are Jack and Lydia from the Sophie's Universe blanket pattern. I'm absolutely dying to make a Sophie one day, but in the meantime these squares were perfect for this project, which will be a project bag. A simple cube with a square for each side and some handles on top, and each square will be different aside from the central motifs. So they have been a lot of fun to work on, mixing and matching colours and stitches for each round.

Also in this collage is some autumn garden beauty - camellia Elfin Rose, and brilliant blue viburnum Davidii berries.

The cosmos has finished in the front garden, and its seed heads have been picked clean by finches. It's time to clear out this new bed in the front, so I can plant it up properly. I really did enjoy the sense of enclosure created by the bushy cosmos, so I'll definitely try to create a screen with shrubs, but I hope to keep it from getting too dense like it has along the fence line. We've just chopped out some shrubs and trees that were past their expiry date, so I have room for quite a bit of new planting and I'm excited! But more about that next month :)

For a few years now I've had it in the back of my mind that I would like to learn to knit socks. Hopefully, this will be the year that it happens! I've been following the YouTube podcast Crafternoon Treats, and the host Kathryn is in the similar position of being a crocheter wanting to learn to knit. She recommended the Linus shawl pattern as being a good one to start with. So I found the pattern and ordered some yarn and needles, and I've been knitting away, very clumsily at first! I'll go into my knitting more in another post. This yarn is from Wool Warehouse in the UK, and I really hope I like sock knitting as I have a good stash here! Even with postage and the exchange rate, it was cheaper and a much better selection than we can get here in NZ, so I'll be ordering from there again.

I had another piece of happy mail at the end of the month - a beautiful ATC from my talented friend Mayumi in Japan. It's been handpainted and stencilled with the lovely pansy design. I love the vintage style of it and had great fun laying out this wreath to photograph!

It's been a pretty good month really - good weather, plenty of craft and pretty things. Let's hope June is filled with more of the same.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Circlepuff Square Crochet Pattern

Circlepuff Square crochet pattern - US terms

Round 1: make 16 tr in magic ring.
Round 2: join next colour between 2 tr. Ch 2, make puff stitch in same sp (*yarn over, insert hook* 4 times - 5 loops on hook. Yarn over and pull yarn through all 5 loops - puff stitch made.) Ch 2, puff stitch between next 2 tr. Continue around - 16 puff stitches.
Round 3: join next colour in a ch 2 space. Ch 2 and make 16 puff stitches as in round 2 - but yarn over 5 times for each stitch, and ch 3 between puffs.
Round 4: join next colour in a ch 2 space. Ch 4, 2 tr in same sp. 3 dc in next sp. 3 hdc in next sp. 3 dc in next sp. 3 tr, ch  2, 3 tr n next sp (corner made). Continue around, finishing with 3 tr, ch 2 in same sp you started in.

Tips for puff stitch: pull your hook up a little each time you yarn over to keep the yarn fairly loose, so it is easier to pull through on the last yarn over. Try not to wiggle the hook too much as you pull through so it doesn't catch the loops.
When sewing in the ends, give a good tug on the end from the beginning of the round as this makes the ch2 at the start as small as possible.


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