Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring Time Wreath Ta-Dah

I finally made it to the grand Ta-Dah moment for my Spring flower wreath, just in time for Easter. I'm a little nervous to be sharing with you, what is my first every crochet project. Before this I'll only ever made a few granny squares and some snow flake decorations. With my limited energy levels it's taken me about twelve weeks to complete my wreath, originally I had planned to have it made in time to celebrate the Spring Equinox, but with one thing and another I simply ran out of time, so I was determined to complete it in time for Easter.

Yesterday I shared with you a recap of  all the flowers I've been making, you can read about them 'here' so today I thought I would tell about how I put it all together. 

I bought a polystyrene wreath and then knitted a green strip in stocking stitch to cover the wreath, giving me a base to attach my crocheted flowers too. The knitting actually took quite a long time, as the wreath seem deceptively small, but I got there in the end.

I then began the task of pinning the cover to the wreath, sewing and pinning as I went, to tell the truth I found this part a bit tricky.

Gradually working my way round making sure that the cover on the front of the wreath was smooth, as it had a tendency to wrinkle up in the inner circle of the wreath. As you can see I did this all from my comfy bed, which is where I do most of my crafting. So I had to go on a bit of a pin hunt once I was done!

Eventually I had a covered wreath that looked like this and it was time for the fun part of attaching the flowers.  Which I had to wait until the next day to start as I was exhausted, I had run out of energy and gone way over my pacing time for the day. It really is no fun having a chronic illness.

One of the things I'd been wondering about all along was how I was going to hang my wreath, I had thought about attaching a curtain ring, but then I had a bit of light bulb moment when I opened up my sewing box and saw the stitch markers, a perfect low energy solution. yay. So at last it was time for the flowers.

I decided that the best thing to do was pin them onto the wreath, I dipped the pins in PVA glue so that they would not work loose over time. I bought some pretty coloured pins and I also use some beads in complimentary colours on some of the flowers.

As you know from previous posts I've been playing with the layout of my wreath as I've been making the flowers. I made a template out of card by simply drawing around the wreath, so I had pretty good idea about where I wanted to place the flowers before I started pinning. Do you want to have a look?

Here's the top of the wreath.

The lower left side.

The lower right side 
and Ta-Dah!

          The finished Wreath.

I added some pink polka dot ribbon to the wreath and some smaller flowers to the inner circle which  originally had not planned to do, as too much of the green background was showing through. This is not a wreath 'where less is more'!!!

 I think it has turned out OK though. What do you think I'd love to read you're comments and see what you make of my Spring time creation. Just before I go I wanted to say a huge thank you to Lucy at attic24, for her inspirational blog and all the wonderful patterns she shares.

Wishing you all a Happy Hoppy Easter

Clare x

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Spring Time project:: Nearly there

It's been a long time in the making but this afternoon I finally starting assembling my Springtime wreath, above is a sneaky peek at the wreath, in advance of tomorrows grand Ta-Dah moment, I've just got a little bit more to do and then it will be complete and just in time for Easter. yippee so exciting.

I first decided to make a wreath to celebrate Spring time at the New Year, you know, one of those crazy new year resolution ideas. So this had been quite an ongoing project for me, with my limited crafting time due my health related pacing program. So today I thought I would post a little recap of the flowers I've made along the way, not all of them have made it into the final wreath, but nothing is going to be wasted as I'm in the process of making some of the spares into brooches for a charity auction, more on that another day.

So the tale of the flowers began on the 4th January when I made my first every crocheted flower.

 I then made this Rose.

Then this little blue butterfly, using embroidery silk.

Followed by these

Then these Anemones

then some Polyanthus

Followed by some Attic24 Daffodils

then more Roses

And finally today I made these Cherry and Apple Blossoms, as I needed yet more flowers to fill up the wreath.

Then came the knitting, I knitted and knitted and knitted some more until I had enough to cover this polystyrene wreath, but more on that tomorrow, when I'll be telling you how I put it all together before the big reveal of my completed Spring time Wreath.

Happy Crafting
Clare x

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Easter Llama

Today's post is going to be all about 'The Easter Llama' her name is Llavinia and I made her as a Easter decoration last year. I liked her so much that I couldn't bare to pack her away with all our other Easter decorations, so she has spent the last year hanging on my blossom tree lights.

The Easter llama pattern came from issue twelve of 'Mollie Makes' magazine, which is one of my favourite craft mags and if you want to make you're very own Easter Llama, you can still download the template 'here'

 I used pink felt for the body of my llama and white for the face, feet, ears and tail, I simply cut out the pieces using the template from the magazine.

I then embroidered the face and attached it to the llama along with her hair. Before this I had never done any embroidery and probably could have done a better job with her face, but it doesn't look to bad from a distance!! I then used blanket stitched  to sew the body together using a pale blue embroidery thread attaching the ears feet and tail as I went. I  then stuffed my llama with cotton wool.

Then it was time to make a pretty flower, Although I was making Llavinia the llama I decided I preferred the simpler flower on one of the other Llama's so I opted for that. I made the flower using pink and green felt attaching some beads and decorating the flower with some sparkly embroidery silk, you can just about see the sparkle in the above photo.

I think she makes a lovely change to the Easter bunny, who must get very tried delivering all the chocolate eggs, so I'm sure he'll be only to happy to have some help from his llama friend.  My little llama is quite tiny only about 7cm tall.

Here she is today nestled in my blossom lights, resting up ready for next weekend, as for me I'm still plodding along with my knitting for the wreath I'm nearly there, hopefully my next post will be the grand reveal moment for my Spring Time Wreath

I've been so busy crocheting flowers this year that I haven't had time to make any Easter Cards, so above is a selection of the cards I made last year, some of the attachments I bought (the eggs) but the others are upcycled. The chicks, flowers and bunnies were recycled into cards from the previous years Easter crackers, I'm so thrifty I couldn't just throw the used cracker away, when they could be used for crafting.

Happy Crafting
Clare x

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cushion love

Morning all, well we've made it to Spring time at last, with yesterdays Equinox. With one thing and another this week has been quite a difficult one for me. So this post is going to be a 'here's something I've made earlier' kind of affair.

I'm still slowly plodding on with the knitting that will be the background covering for my Spring time wreath I'm only about half way through, what seems like never ending rows of stocking stitch, which is not very exciting to blog about. So today if you don't mind indulging me I thought I would share with you, my love of cushions.

I don't know what it is, I just can't help myself, I have so many dotted around the place. In fact I soon  may have to seek help, or I may well find myself buried under a huge pile of them. But still I'll see one in a shop or a pattern in a magazine and I'll know I just have to have another one.

These are cushions that are in the summerhouse, obviously they are not all out at once, I dug a lot  out of the blanket box some I rotate in summer time and in the winter the futon has a burgundy chenille throw that the darker one match, some are old ones, ok  no excuses I'll admit that's a lot of cushions. eek.

This confession will not come as a surprise to my friends and family who are well aware of my cushion addiction, in fact right now as I'm typing this I can hear my sister saying 'but do you really need another cushion', to which the obvious answer is always YES! There must be others like me, I can't be the only one with a cushion compulsion?

As you may know I'm in the midst of knitting a leaf cushion, which you can read all about it here . For the last few weeks it's been sitting patiently in my stripey beach bag while I been concentrating on completing my spring time wreath, but today I thought I'd share with you some other cushions I've made.

 The first cushion  was knitted using Moss stitch, which is one of my favourite stitches, this pattern like the leaf cushion was found amongst the pages of my mum's Women's Weekly magazine. At that time I was very new to knitting and  as it was listed as a easy make I knew it was the cushion for me. It's made using Rico Creative Fliz yarn, which is pure joy to knit, on oh so chunky 8 mm needles. The perfect make for my first ever cushion.

I wasn't quite up to making the button holes, I'm not quite sure why they kept going wrong, as I find it so easy to make a giant hole in my knitting, when I don't need too, so I did cheated a little bit, by using some large pop studs. Then all I had to do was sew the buttons onto the cushion, I used some lovely big shell buttons which I adore, I suppose I should also confess that I have bit of a button and ribbon addictions too, since today seems to be the day for confessions. Here it is in the above pic looking little bit more lived in.

The other cushion I'm going to tell you about today is made with this lovely stuff, oh the wonderful colour of it. I made this cushion as a secret Santa gift, for a creative group I'm a member of on Facebook. I'm normally not a huge fan of synthetic yarns preferring the real stuff if you know what I mean but I couldn't resist the colours and waviness of this magical scarf yarn.

I originally bought several balls of this yarn when it first came out a few years ago and made scarf's for some friends as Christmas gifts.  At the time I thought it would make a wonderful cushion and squirrelled away the left over yarn ends in my stash box with the intention that one day I would attempt to make a cushion.

So the Secret Santa gave me the perfect opportunity to try and make a cushion from this yarn. I bought a small cushion pad and basically just knitted to the size of that. I luckily had just the right amount of yarn to make the front of the cushion, so it was meant to be. I knitted it as per the band instructions on 8mm needles, in places underneath the wavy yarn the white of the cushion pad showed through, so I lined the front of the cushion with a piece if purple linen. I then knitted a simple back for the cushion in garter stitch using Hayfields bonus aran in a matching purple and Ta Dah this is how it turned out.

I'm so pleased to see that it worked as a cushion and hoped very much that the person I made it for also liked it's colour and frilly waviness, just as much as I do and luckily I think she did :0)

As for me and future cushion creations, well I have my eye on a pattern for a crocheted ripple cushion. Maybe I'll make it with the left over crocheted flower yarn. I'm sure it will be a challenge as I've never attempted a crochet cushion before.

Happy yarning

Clare x

Sunday, 17 March 2013

March :: Pick and Mix

It's pick and mix time again here at the Summerhouse so help yourself to a sweetie. Just like February's Pick and mix 'here' this post is just going to be about little bits and bobs of Summerhouse living.

Views and Snowiness

Here at the Summerhouse it's still freezing, I took this shot this morning and some of Monday's snow is still lying around over in the fields.

Mondays and Tuesdays snow was the 7th dollop of snow we've had here this winter. Just when I thought it was finally Springtime and all the flowers started opening up.

The Easterly winds began to blow a hoolie and the snow fell again. So I've not been missing much in the outside world, while I've been stuck in my cosy bed resting.

Crochet and Yarniness

Attic Inspiration

As you know, since the start of the year I've been making lots of crocheted flowers for my Spring time wreath more on that  'here' here and'here' I've been using some of the flower tutorials from Lucy's blog at
Attic 24. So I was please to see a couple of weeks ago that Lucy is also making a wreath of flowers for Easter. I can't wait to see her wonderful colourful Spring time creation.

Here are so Daffodils I've crocheted using one of Lucy's new tutorials.

Talking of the wreath, I think I'm nearly there with the flower making. I took this photo earlier when I was having a another layout planning session. What do you think? I think maybe I need to make a few more blue flowers to balance out all the pinks. I'm still only about half way through knitting the background to cover the wreath, so it's going to have to be a Easter completion date as the equinox is this Wednesday, and this week is going to be a bit of a hectic one here at the Summerhouse.

While I remember these Teeny Tiny Butterflies I have crocheted for the wreath are made using embroidery thread, aren't they cute? I found the pattern on a blog here which is sweetly called 'Little Birdie Secrets'

UK crocheter's be aware it's in US crochet terminology. I didn't realise at first and I got in a bit of a pickle, but once I'd printed off a stitch conversion chart there was no stopping me. Such clever people coming up with all these adorable patterns.


Look how lovely these Paperwhites are, I do love a spring bulb, I couldn't resist taking a pic of these lovely indoor bulbs when they flowered last week, so stunning although the pollen levels and fragrance is some what overwhelming for us hay fever sufferer. I think once they are finished 'P' is going to plant them in the garden to see if they will come up again next year.

I was also given these pretty Gerberas last weekend as a treat, such wonderful colours, how can they not cheer you're heart.


A couple of weeks ago a friend and I attended a new 'craft club' that has recently started up in our town. It's held once a fortnight, so I'm hoping to be well enough to go along again, so I'll let you know how that goes.  This time the lady who runs the group showed us how to make this 3D card. Other than this and my Mother Day Blossom card 'here' I've not made any other cards as I've been so caught up in my yarny world of flower making.

Garden Visitors

The other day when I blogged about spotting this Green Woodpecker in the garden, I mentioned in a comment that I would tell you all a little more about the birds that are visiting the Summerhouse garden and it's many feeders. So over the last couple of days I been keeping a watch and here are some of the birds I have seen. I attempted to take some photo's but it didn't go well so here are some photo's I've found online and some I've taken myself,  you'll easily be able to tell the difference, mine are the larger more out of focus ones ;0)

Wood Pigeons
 Great tits
 Coal Tits
 Blue Tits

 Flock of white Doves who are always feeding in the garden, no idea who they belong too.
Collared Doves
 A gang of Long tailed tit's
Just to name a few and of course how could I forget our friendly Blackbird.
 Phew that's quite a lot.

Just before I go, on a more serious note here in the UK from the 24th-30th March it's Tick Bite Prevention week you can read all about it 'here' on BADA UK's page.  Lyme Disease is a such terrible illness if undiagnosed and in the UK there is little awareness of it.
So this is really for anyone who spends time out and about in the countryside or in there gardens, you should really check out this link as you could be at risk of tick bites and Lyme Disease.

I hate to finish on such a serious note so, anyone for a Chocolate flower aren't they sweet ' Merli and Dylan (our cats) gave them to me last week (with a bit of help from 'P') when I was stuck in bed with a terrible cold, which also caused a flare up. Oh the fun of Chronic illness.

Merli loves to help with, well everything !!! the crocheting and the blogging, here he is helping/hindering last weekend while I was attempting to write the tutorial for my crocheted Anemone pattern, he managed to climb between me and the laptop, so he was sitting looking at the screen making it impossible to type, the little monkey.

Any road I best be off no time left to talk about music today, maybe next time.

Have a great weekend 
Clare x.