Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dahlia Mero Star

This is what I call a flower.......................

I bought the tuber for this Dahlia at a local garden centre - I shall definitely be returning to see what other gems they have. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Garden Diary - 25th August 2013

Delightful Dahlias.........

At last my Dahlias are blooming beautifully, I grew most of them from corms so I'm quite proud of them, take a look. 

Sir Alf Ramsey

This is quite simply the biggest Dahlia I have ever seen - it is called a Mero Star. 


However I'm still anticipating the Asters which are all in bud but taking a painfully long time to bloom. 

Some are annuals grown from seed.

Some are grown from last year such as this Aster Chatterbox.

Some are new plants from the nursery.

And this beautiful blue Aster which I bought last year is budding but much smaller than last year.

Lastly, it has been a brilliant year for butterflies and here is a Peacock one. 

Monday, 12 August 2013

WIP Report 34

How many WIPs? 5

Shadow Sox
Summer Garden Sock Blanket
Rustic Pru Two
Lacy Flower Bag
Twinkly Pink

How many WIPs started since last report? 3

Retro Zig Zigs
Lacy Flower Bag
Twinkly Pink

How many WIPs completed since last report?  3

Twinkly Fern
Thai Palace Cushion
Retro Zig Zags


Retro Zig Zags

This top is a conflation of two 1980s patterns. I like the zig zag pattern of the vest top with the style of the string vest! I did make both of these back in 1985 for my holiday to Crete, but sadly couldn't find any decent, focused snaps of them. 

For my Knitting Knotes see here.

Thai Palace Cushion

This cushion is destined for my patio. For my Crochet Notes see here:)

Twinkly Fern 

For my Knitting Knotes see here. 

Lacy Flower Bag

A chance to use up leftover yarn - always satisfying. 

Twinkly Pink 

This is basically another version of Twinkly Fern - except for the fact that I am doing a different Sirdar Sunseeker lace pattern on the top. 

Shadow Sox, Rustic Pru Two and Summer Garden Sock Blanket

No changes to these at present since the last report (they are wintery projects).  

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Knitting Knotes - Retro Zig Zags

Completed Retro Zig Zags


Yarn: Stylecraft Cotton Classique (4 x 100g balls) Tropical Paradise
Needles: 3.25mm 3.25mm ciruclar needle and 5mm
Yarn sewing needle
3.75mm crochet hook

22 sts and 30 rows to 10cm

Finished measurements

Length: 24 inches / 60 cm
Length to armhole: 16 inches / 40 cm
Armhole to shoulder: 14 inches / 20 cm
Finished chest size: 48 inches /  122 cm

This top is a mash up of two patterns that I first made in about 1985 for my holiday to a sleepy little town called Malia on the gorgeous island of Crete. Malia is no longer sleepy - in fact no one sleeps there, it is a party town full of drunk Brits - not my cup of tea at all these days.

I bought this yarn to make a short sleeve cardie - but looked at weight not yardage and didn't have enough - really I should know better at my age. So I decided to make a summer top and began thumbing through my old patterns. I wore the white lacy top a huge amount during the summer of 1985 but I didn't wear the vest top much because the pattern had gone a bit wrong, although it doesn't show too much because of the textured yarn. When I began knitting it this time I realised that row 8 and row 10 are in the wrong order - aged 19 I might not have realised that.

Also this time I decided to do stocking stitch but the actual pattern is in garter stitch. 
You can use any lacey pattern of your choice:)


  • Using 3.25mm cast on 113 sts and knit 12 rows in 1x1 rib.
  • Next row - decrease 4 stitches evenly across the row. 
  • Change to 5mm (I love the drape of this yarn on 5mm needles).
  • Begin 20 row lace pattern and continue until * 6 pattern repeats have been completed. (120 rows)
  • Divide for neck and complete one side at a time - 30, 49, 30
  • Keep pattern correct - dec 1 st at neck edge on every row until 25 sts.
  • Knit to row 10 of the pattern (130 rows in all).
  • Cast off


As for back until *
  • Begin 20 row lace pattern and continue until * 5 pattern repeats have been completed. (100 row)
  • Divide for neck and complete one side at a time - 40, 29, 40
  • Keep pattern correct - decrease at neck edge on alternate rows until 25 sts.
  • Knit to row 130 ( or row 10 of the 6th pattern repeat). 
  • Cast off.

Sew up shoulder seams and side seams leaving gap required.


  • Pick up and K1 P1:
  •  - along the back - 10, 49, 10
  • - along the front - 40, 29, 40
  • Knit 12 rows in rib pattern.
  • On rows 4,5,6,7,8 - decrease 2 sts - one either side of each shoulder line (4 sts in total per round). This gives the neckline a nice round shape. 
  • Cast off in rib.
  • To add further shape to neckline and make it sturdy - thread a piece of the yarn through the rib pattern on the wrong side all the way round - but don't pull this too tight. 


Using 3.75mm hook - do 3 rounds of double crochet (US = single crochet).

Weave in all ends and block. 

A bit boxy when lying flat - as it is holey I wear it with a white vest top - overall I'm very pleased with my mash up of 1980s' patterns. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Garden Diary - 3rd August 2013

Blooming Marvelous in Suburbia 

In my August garden are some fabulous blooms and I still have the Asters and Dahlias in bud. 

Hydrangea - with some electric blue and deep pink blooms - looking stunning in the dappled light of my woodland glade. 

Bourgonville - recently purchased and has a fresh bloom already. 

The Jewel Bed - newly planted with the addition of a Lobelia and a Phlox. 

Cosmos - grown from seed. 

Lynthrum - purchased at the Eden project two years ago. 

The Hot Bed - loving the Gaillardia at the front:)

Pansies - from last years pots and tubs and a chrysanthemum regrown from last year.  

Crochet Notes - Tudor Rose, Cappuccino Lace and Daisy Loop Bed Topper

Using Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky and Rowan Aran Cotton with a strand of lace added. 6mm hook. (8 balls of blackcurrant and 1 teal.)...