I've been playing with flowers...
...and seem to have created a little crocheted flower garden.
Most of the patterns (the best ones, in my opinion) were from this book. I started off with the auricula, shown on the right hand page above. Fortunately I had all the necessary colours in my stash and thought the shades looked so lovely together that I carried on with a few more patterns.
I've had a few people ask which brand of yarn I use for my blankets and get surprised responses when I answer that most of it is from pound shops. Three of the balls above were indeed from the pound shop and the mauve one still has its band on, so the brand I most often use is Premier Value DK" and sometimes "Premier Value Baby DK". It's just 100% acrylic and is fine I think for blankets and cushion covers, etc. If I'm making something to wear I'd use yarn with a lot more wool content. When I bought much of my stash a 100g ball did cost £1, however most shops stocking it now sell it at £1.25 to £1.50. We don't have a handy good local yarn shop (I have a little daydream of opening one!) so the pound shops were the next best thing. I also didn't want to spend a lot on yarn at first as I wasn't sure if I'd be any good at this crocheting lark. Charity shops and ebay have supplied the remainder of my blanket yarn.
Returning to the flowers, I do have plans for most of them, as you'll find out later...
I decided to take a proper photo of the blanket as it was at this time. I think it's developing nicely though I'm rather worried I'll run out of some of the key colours - yarn which I bought on ebay but didn't keep a record of the brand or shade at the time. I know better now.
Have some more cherry strudel cake.
OK, here's how some of the flowers from earlier (plus a couple of ones from even longer ago) look now. I've sewn on little beads for centres and have then sewn them onto fabric covered hair bands. I'm sharing a stall at a forthcoming nursery shopping event (it's on Friday, eek!) so wanted to get the hair bands ready for then.
I also made some butterfly hair bands in brighter colours (I have to confess to not knitting these butterflies but buying them from someone else who can knit!)
A picked the bright pink one to keep for herself.
We've also been back to the loch again. It was a school holiday today so we packed a picnic and the bikes and set off.
The simple joy of bikes and puddles.
More hogweed to keep me happy.
The view from our picnic spot. It was a little cold at this point, but brightened up and developed later into a sunny afternoon.
A swan and cygnet. Apparently it's the last cygnet left at the loch, all the others having already flown away.
The swan standing is the resident whooper swan (yellow beak) who remains at the loch year round as he has a damaged wing.
Knapweed in the sun.
And just to finish off, a very recent photo of the blanket taken under lamp light just before starting this post. It is now 7 squares by 6. If I have enough yarn I'd like to make it 8 x 10 which is another 38 squares, almost double the size it is now. Hmmm, I think I might need to settle for 7 x 9, "just" 21 squares more, if I can...