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Monday, 6 April 2020

"I Love You Blue Kangaroo"


Does anyone remember the book "I Love You Blue Kangaroo"? It was a book I read to my children when they were little, about a girl called Lilly who has a blue kangaroo. It was a book really about getting a new younger sibling. In the end Lilly gives all her other toys to the new baby, but not Blue Kangaroo.


I thought I would have a go at making a blue kangaroo from my new Kangaroo Family Pattern. I've decided to give everything that I make from this pattern to an Australian environmental charity. Something has happened recently that has made me think hard about why I write my rather obscure patterns. (I may write about this when it is resolved.) On one of my mornings off from my proper job I volunteer for an environmental charity, and fortunately can go on doing this from home. I am going to try and write more patterns for endangered animals, and donate any profits to charity. Last year I spent a really long time trying to knit a realistic pangolin. I couldn't quite get it right, but may return to my notes and have another go.

Watched a documentary about pangolin last Christmas.










They are such fascinating creatures - not reptiles but a mammal with scales. They are critically endangered because of the market for their scales.

So thinking about children's books, I would love it if you would like to leave a comment with your favourite children's book. Either that you read to your children or grandchildren, or perhaps from your own childhood. To get the ball rolling I am going to start off with any books by Shirley Hughes, especially the Alfie and Annie Rose stories.


Meanwhile my progress on knitting a cushion with the wool I showed you is going well. I love the way the colours look together, and will show you the finished cushion soon. I have also ordered some wool online, so now have supplies to knit socks for husband and a sweater for my daughter, so I have quite a lot to work on during this confinement.



https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for April. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Ginx Woolly Linx Party April



Welcome to Ginx Woolly Linx Party for April.  Your projects for March were amazing, and as ususal it was very hard to pick the features.

Julie from Sum of Their Stories has shared this pattern for a lovely lightweight shawl. I find this type of knitting a bit scary, what if you drop a stitch. But her post has given me confidence to give it a try.

Alexandra of Eye Love Knots teaches us how to make these cute little applique carrots. She has used some for plant labels, and I am sure they could be used for all sorts of things at this time of year when there are lots of Easter rabbits about.

Lilah of Lilah's Treasures has made some really stunning crochet earrings and pendant. Aren't they great.

And finally Gema of Hebra de Lana has made this lovely little hedgehog purse. Check out all her photos to see how beautifully it is made.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
 
Remember if you were picked as a feature you can put the "I was featured" button on your blog. 

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Kangaroo Family Pattern


I showed you a taster of my new pattern a few weeks ago, but it has taken me a while to get to the finished stage. The kangaroo is very much in the style of some of my other knits, as he is not huge. Finished kangaroo is about 4 inches tall. So not a cuddly toy, more like a little model, that you could keep in your pocket or attach to a school bag. 

I have tried really hard to make the kangaroos realistic, but am knitting a few now in brighter colours, just for fun. My starting point for this pattern was my only magazine published pattern, which is called Australian Animals, and was published in an Australian craft magazine calledd Homespun. These were really miniature animals, which could be used as pendants.

I have spent so much time looking and thinking about kangaroos in the last few weeks, so I may have another go at scaling up, to make a really cuddly kangaroo that a child could take to bed. 


I realise the news may have slightly moved on from the terrible fires in Australia, but I am going to send 100% of any sales from this, and my previous Australian Animals, to a charity called Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Please message me if you would like to use my pattern to make kangaroos to support this or other Australian wildlife charities.


This pattern uses a lot of my usual techniques. Pieces are knitted flat, there is a little icord knitting, and some short rows. A good point is it does not take a lot of wool, 9g for the whole family. The pattern will be available on ravelry, Etsy and LoveKnitting later today.


I am in the country, and most of my stash is in London, so there may not be very much knitting for a while. I did put four 100g skeins of bulky wool, 12ply, in my bag. Would love you to suggest what I could make with this. I don't think there is enough for a garment, but I would like to make something that uses all the colours, as they look so great together. I also put in my little box of embroidery threads, so that might also be an idea for some alternative crafting.



I am thinking of you, and remember crafting is a really good way to relax. I am lucky to have a garden here, and we have been very busy planting, which I will update you about in a week or two. Or if you can't get out, why not start writing that novel that you have been thinking about writing for years?  I am trying to think positive. How lucky we are to have the internet. How nature may to benefitting from us being indoors. How resourceful and adaptable mankind can be.

https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for March. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.








Monday, 16 March 2020

Gardening Diary March


I almost forgot about my monthly gardening update, as I am in town, and have three more weeks until I will be in the country. (Although as I work in a school, perhaps it will be sooner.) My daughter's school is currently closed for a deep clean, and son's university has put all teaching online, so he is heading off to Cornwall tomorrow. It is very strange times, and I do wish we could all be together, and since in the country we barely know anyone, reducing social contact will be no problem. But here in my flat, other flat-owners have been emailing to check if anyone needs help. My hope is that difficult times will bring out the best in people. It is hard not to feel a bit worried at the empty shelves in the shops. Last night I could hear my son coughing in bed, and lay there thinking, oh no we only have about ten teabags, what will we do! But he is fine, and I have bought a box of tea. 

I have digressed a bit, so back to the gardening update, pictures sent by my husband. The one above is where the jerusalem artichokes have been planted. No sign of them yet, and the spreading weeds mean there is work to do. 

Rhubarb looking good. I think this is the first one we planted.

First early potatoes are planted. He said there was a surface frost this morning, but hopefully they  are safe underground.
 
Onion sets, which I planted, seem to be growing.

... and same with the garlic, which he planted.

Is this a lavendar? Husband thinks so, and the leaves look right, but it seems very early.

And finally to finish off, a lovely bank of primroses.



I really can't wait to get there, as I am sure there are other things we should be planting. Hoping for some nice sunny days soon, out planting and weeding.


https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for March. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.





Sunday, 15 March 2020

Kangaroo Pattern in Progress


I'm working on a new pattern. As usual it is taking much longer than I anticipated. It was the idea of a friend on instagram. This is version number two, as the first attempt was laughable. Still a lot of work to do, but I think I am getting there. I try really hard to make my knits as realistic as I can, but with kangaroos there are a lot of types, and they do seem able to stretch themselves into different shapes. He is just posing in front of a computer screen. But there is one feature of a kangaroo that I have not even started on.


https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for March. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

My Very Own Mini Cooper



I have made my fair share of knitted mini coopers over the years. I have tried to do a count up, and think it is at least 15, but I have have missed some. But finally I have made a car for myself, and it is going to live on the back shelf of my very own mini cooper.
  

This knitted car is smaller than the usual cars I make from my Mini Cooper pattern, as I decided to knit it in Cornwall over the half-term holiday. I rather stupidly only took the needles for the wheels. The body of the car is knitted on larger needles. So I had to really adapt the wheels so they were in proportion.


It sort of upsets me that real life minis seem to be getting bigger and bigger.  Occasionally you still see an orginal mini, and they really are like a different car to the mini countryman. Little confession - I was quite keen to get a Fiat, but was over-ruled, and now we have the mini (called Neville) I really love it. It is very easy to park, but also quite nippy when needed. I am taking my daughter out in it for driving practice, and she finds it a lot more powerful than the driving instructor's car on which she is also learning.













https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for March. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Ginx Woolly Linx Party March


I don't know if it is conincidence, but don't the projects for February look nice together, and perhaps it is the pastel colours, but they remind me that Spring is on the way. 

Heart Deco has shared the pattern for these reusable crochet make-up removal pads. I am all for a project that is reducing plastic waste.

Zeleni Trenutki has made this super pink sweater for her daughter. Isn't it great!

Con Hilos, Lanas y Botones has made some beautiful shawls. Check out the other ones, as they are all great.

and finally Nealichundderdickeopa has been making some little Harry Potter-inspired knits. The book they come from has also been featured by another visitor Ulrikesh Smaarting. Lots of other fun knits here for Harry Potter fans.

Apologies if you weren't picked this month. I enjoy looking at all your projects and blogs, which are so inspiring. Thanks to everyone for supporting this party.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
 



Remember if you were picked as a feature you can put the "I was featured" button on your blog. 





Friday, 21 February 2020

Gardening Diary February


After a lot of rainy days, we have finally managed to get out and do some gardening. And as it looks like the rain will be back soon, we have been gardening all day. 

First I wanted to show you how well the rhubarb is doing. In fact I was so happy we have got another crown from the garden centre. This new one is called Victoria, and has an upturned plant pot covering it.

I spent most of the day working on the herb patch.  I did a lot of clearing of last years growth, and it is encouraging to see a lot of new growth starting underneath. I can recognise quite a few of the herbs: oregano, fennel, sage ... But one of the bushes I did not know, and had to do a but of searching online. This is the bush before, and I think it is cotton lavender. It looked good, but it says that you need to prune back hard, or it will go leggy and shapeless.


So this is what it looks like now.  I do hope I have done the right thing.  We also cleared a lot of ivy in the herb bed, and inside the polytunnel, which now looks all ready for some new plants. Decided to give up on the strawberry plants, as we don't know how old they are, and will get some new ones.


I also did a little bit of actual planting. I bought some onion sets quite a few weeks ago, and they have started to grow in the bag. So I have planted them out. I think it may be a bit early, as we could still have frost or even snow, but will just have to see. They are red onions, called Electric.

The other thing that I was hoping to plant are jerusalem artichokes. They are something that we grew before when we had an allotment, and were very easy, and very tasty. But none of the garden centres seem to have any tubers, so I have bought some on ebay, and hope they may come before I have to go back to London. So not much news, but I think when I report back in March there will be a lot more going on.

https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for Feburary. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.






Monday, 17 February 2020

Some New Birds on the Block


Down in Cornwall again, and spent much of the first day indoors, sheltering from Storm Dennis. And surprisingly there seemed a very different selection of birds to look at from my kitchen window. The normal groups of tits were all there (blue, great, coal and long-tailed), but there were a large number of finches. At one point I could see six gold finches, and they seemed like quite an argumentative bunch. But they also seemed to like sitting in the bushes and on the fence posts near my birdfeeders, which helped me in my aim to get a few more natural looking photos.



The River Tamar was very flooded yesterday, so perhaps these birds had had to leave their normal territories. Today the river is back within its banks, and I have not seen any sight of the finches. I slightly wish I had made a bit more of their appearance.


Apart from the goldfinches, there was also a few of this bird, which I think is a siskin, and chaffinches. I also saw a grey wagtail, and then a grey heron down on the pond. I didn't manage to photograph these, but it was nice to see the heron fishing in the pond.




 I wonder who will turn up next.


https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for Feburary. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Fingerless Gloves


I had left my gloves in the country, so decided to make myself a new pair. I have used this pattern before, when I made these mittens and gave them to a friend: Margot's Garden Fingerless Mittens.  


I love the design, and fingerless is usually my favourite sort of glove. Perfect if you have jobs to do, or photographs to take. I didn't look back at the previous post, but once again I extended the ribbed sections for the wrist. 



https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for Feburary. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Nuthatch and Woodpecker


Sometimes I think that the nuthatch is teasing me. "Yes ha ha, I'm here on the feeder, but I'm not going to sit on the side facing you." But eventually after watching for quite a while, he did come round to the other side and show himself, and I even think he might have been posing a bit for me.







I have the same problem with the woodpecker. He flies down to the feeders, and likes to sit on the palm tree, but frequently peeking at me from the other side. Sometimes even the minute I pick up my camera he is off. Back he goes to sit in the big oak tree. I can see him up there, but he is too far away. Again with a bit of patience I have managed to get some photos of him. He is so beautiful it is worth perservering.







https://ginxcraft.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/ginx-woolly-linx-party-march.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for Feburary. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.