Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My 'Life is an Allotment' Analogy

I feel like I'm about to make a confession...

Those gorgeous daffodils above didn't come out of my garden, they came out of my allotment.  And I know most of you already know that I have an allotment, but the enormity of this little project is something I've been hiding even from myself.

You see, my little plot is actually pretty much half a field.  I think it's quirky and, as my dear friend would say, quite 'gourmet'.  My husband, who is a self-confessed 'do-er', thinks I've got my work cut out.  And he's absolutely right - if a sane woman had a 4 day-a-week job, a family, a house and a determination to fill the homes of England with crochet blankets, why on earth would she take on a 440m squared, overgrown, bramble-infested allotment?

The thing is, I've decided that the size of it is its saving grace.  When I stand at one end I can't even see the other end.  It's huge.  And completely unmanageable for one woman and a spade.  And so I only manage a bit of it.  And while I'm fighting brambles and planting stuff at one end, the other end is completely controlled by nature.  Wonderful things happen down the far end.  I leave it alone, and it rewards me. 

A bit like life, really.  Some bits of life are easy to manage, tame and keep under control.  Some bits are too big and too thorny.  You can tackle them with a head-on, petrol-driven solution, or you can choose to step back and be patient.  And just occasionally, when you have a little faith and trust, nature takes control.  Life brings you daffodils.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Denim love

I've been having a yarn clear out (you know - use more wool, make space to buy more wool...) and this gorgeous ball of denim has been sitting on the shelf for a while.

It's made by Twilley's of Stamford, and I can't find it for sale anywhere other than eBay or online vintage wool shops, but I had 3 x 50g balls and no room for new stuff, so decided it must be project time!

It's a tricky one to work with.  Not like the easy-going Stylecraft Special DK I've been working with all through the winter.  This yarn feels like you're crocheting denim.  And it behaves like denim too.  The care instructions warn you that it will shrink with the first wash, then subsequent washes will create a gradual fade, just like denim.  And it lets you know that it means business.  My fingers were aching after a few rows and I realised I'd have to loosen things up a bit.  I also realised I loved it.  Like I love my jeans.  Hardworking, strong, made for doing stuff.  This is no gentle scarf yarn.  These little balls are going to make me a 'get out there and carry my stuff' kinda bag.  Well, a little bag...I only have 150g... a 'get out there and carry my little stuff' bag.  So actually quite cute, really.

I'm using the herring bone stitch, which creates a tight, structured pattern.

Front and back done, and they're having their 'shrink wash' while I have my cup of tea.

Come back soon - I'll share the herring bone pattern with you with some basic instructions.  It's really easy.

Happy making,whatever is on your hook right now!