On the Hook, 28/3/20

This morning I woke with a headache, and was feeling a tad on the negative side. I now work from home until further notice and this week has been really busy and stressful. Suddenly I was a little less keen to come sit at my computer and do my usual crochet update. After painkillers and a little bit of time spent reading on the sofa, I’m back. Today I’m going to use my computer for fun things, not work, so here we go with this week’s update. Normality is good.

I will get back to the Kaleidoscope CAL at some point, but for now I’m doing whatever feels good at this moment.

I’ve been working on my lilac cardi and it’s looking a lot more like a cardi now:

Just reached the point where we do a bit of shaping as we come to the waist point

I signed up for Yarn of the Month recently with For the Love of Yarn, as I wanted to support their small business. When my first skein arrived I thought it was beautiful, and was pondering what to make with it. But … I have never encountered an actual skein before. I’ve only ever used balls of yarn, and I didn’t know what to do with the skein. I worked out that you need to cut a few ties, but then I got in a big mess and ended up with just a big old tangle of yarn. I felt pretty stupid at this point. Surely everyone else knows what to do with a skein?! So what ended up happening was several evenings of untangling. I got very frustrated with myself at points and put it down for a few days, but eventually yesterday on my lunch break, I finally got all the last tangles out and ended up with a neat ball of yarn. Of course, having finally achieved this, as soon as I was done with work, I had to make something with it! So here we are – my rather random shawl that I’m making up as I go along and will be as big as the yarn allows. If it doesn’t reach a useful size, perhaps I can use next month’s yarn to make it bigger. At least next month I have more of a clue what to do with a skein, so hopefully won’t take so long before I can actually crochet with it!

Here’s the shawl so far:

The colours fit in well with a lot of the yarns I’ve used lately – greens, teals, blues
A close up so you can see all the colours, and the rather random pattern I’m creating!

Spring is springing – Daisy

Daisies are popping up everywhere now, brightening up the grass with their yellow and white. They are very common, and sometimes ignored in favour of more ‘fancy’ flowers, but I love their simple beauty. Especially lovely are the ones with pink tips, so pretty!

Spring is springing – Wood Anemone

Down in the woods, if you know where to look, the Wood Anemones are starting to appear. There’s not many yet, but if you look hard you can find them. Soon there will be a carpet of Wood Anemones and Celandines strewn across the woodland floor!

Spring is springing – Celandine

Where Primroses and understated and gentle in their yellowness, Celandines throw all that aside and are unashamedly bright and brash. I love gentle yellows, but I also love this bright yellow, brightening up the hedgerows and verges with their splashes of sunshine.

Spring is springing – Snake's Head Fritillary

It’s reassuring to see that despite everything, spring is still springing all around us. Some things are still normal, still happening in the usual spot, in the usual way. It’s all to easy to be consumed by anxiety and fear in these difficult times, so finding something that feels reassuring is especially welcome now. I’m going to schedule a post a day over the next week showing some of the signs of spring found around my garden and village, to hopefully help us all to find a bit of calm among the chaos.

Today we have the Snake’s Head Fritillary. I bought this from the lovely Number 21 Flowers a couple of years ago, and am very happy that they keep on reappearing each spring.

A couple of weeks back there was just the one flower out looking pretty decked out with raindrops
There were more flowers on their way beside it
And a fourth flower just getting started
Today there are 4 flowers in amongst the grass looking very elegant

On the Hook, 21/3/20

Despite the massive changes going on locally and around the world, some things are still the same. I’m clinging onto those things, holding them close, and trying not to dissolve into a puddle of anxiety. So let’s keep normal service going and do my regular update of what I’ve been crocheting this week.

Like last week, no progress with the Kaleidoscope CAL, but I’ve been working on my lilac cardi, and took a short break from that to make my daughter a scarf/shawl.

Let’s start with the one that’s finished 🙂

Here’s my daughter beautifully modelling her new scarf/shawl. It was made with some stash yarn and a very large hook! The yarn is Sirdar Denim Ultra – Mega Chunky with Cotton and Wool. Not sure if they make this anymore, it’s from the depths of the stash, and is probably older than my daughter is! I needed to use a 10mm hook which felt so weird compared with the 4mm I’m using for my cardi.

Here’s what it looks like when not worn. It’s a gently sloping triangle very much like my rainbow scarf/shawl, but obviously a lot chunkier! I only had 2 balls of this yarn, so I just kept on increasing until I was coming to the end of ball 1 and then started decreasing so I wouldn’t run out before the end. It was a quick make, just took a couple of evenings.

I’ve been working on the cardi as well, and I’ve just got to the armholes, always an exciting point to reach.

Busy as a Bee (but not a Bee!)

It’s hard to carry on as normal when the world is in chaos and we’re all wondering what will happen. But it’s important for our mental health to try and do normal things, especially when there is nothing practical we can do to make things better. We can feel helpless and anxious, so keeping busy and taking our mind off it at least for a while can help.

In the summer, you often find that a particular flower or group of flowers descends into chaos on a warm sunny day, with many insects gathering. To them it probably all seems calm and ordered, but while you’re watching many insects flying about it can seem chaotic. Sitting among the chaos of nature, it’s possible to find calm. Let’s hope we can all find moments of calm and quietness, among the chaos across the globe. Wishing you good health, both mental & physical x

These hoverflies (not bees!) are all busy on this thistle flower, going about their business.
This shot gives more of a chaotic feel as the hoverflies busy themselves on this ragwort as another flies in.
Hoverflies also enjoy a tasty dandelion, and in this photo they’re a mass of wings and stripes in beautiful chaos.
And just to show that it’s not just the hoverflies who are busy, here’s a scabious flower with a busy hoverfly (top) and a busy bee (bottom)!

This post was inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Chaos.