Family Postcards, Writing

POSTCARD – Returning Home!

So it has been a while! I have carried, and delivered our beautiful new addition in the safest way possible for our family. After a few exhausting weeks I am finally able to potter about and I am thoroughly enjoying meeting the demands of our newest addition.

Our family are besotted by their new sister and I am proud to see the joy in their faces in every second they focus on our little girl. So despite being quiet on my blog our world is a little bigger and brighter now we have been blessed again…

So the new demands on our family have been met in quick paced re-organisation and we will enjoy meeting the challenges over the next few months to improve our home to address the needs of our expanding family.

My allotment is set aside until spring which will give me plenty of time to recover and enjoy the festive season as a family, eventually I will find a little time to focus outside but until then, I look forward to preparing for Christmas.


Knitting Pattern

Knit – Free Poppy Pattern!

This pattern was designed due to a world war 2 trip my daughter is attended recently, as the beret I bought did not hold it’s shape very well I decided to add a knitted flower to give it added form.

However with the up and coming Remembrance day on the 11th of November;

Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.[2]

With the sale of fund raising poppies been on for a week, several of which we have already purchased. I felt it was a good time to re-post the pattern, I am planning on making a few small token projects using the pattern.

As previously discussed the only patterns I have are for crochet poppies, I decided to have a go at making my own:

First Petal;

Cast on 12 stitches. (Red Wool)

Pearl one row

Increase beginning (beg.) stitch, knit 5, increase 1, Knit 5, Increase end stitch. (15 stitches)

Pearl One Row (15 stitches)

Increase beg. stitch, knit 7, increase 1, Knit 6, Increase end stitch. (18 stitches)

Pearl one row (18 stitches)

Increase beg. stitch, knit 8, increase 1, Knit 8 Increase end stitch. (21 stitches)

Pearl 1 row (21 stitches)

Thread through the stitches and tie off. (leaving 20cm of thread to finish)

Second Petal;

Cast on 12 stitches. (Red Wool)

Pearl one row.

Increase beg. stitch, knit 5, increase 1, Knit 5, Increase end stitch. (15 stitches)

Pearl One Row (15 stitches)

Increase beg. stitch, knit 7, increase 1, Knit 6, Increase end stitch. (18 stitches)

Pearl one row (18 stitches)

Increase beg. stitch, knit 8, increase 1, Knit 8 Increase end stitch. (21 stitches)

Pearl one row (21 stitches)

Increase beg. stitch, knit 10, increase 1, Knit 9 Increase end stitch. (24 stitches)

Pearl one row (24 stitches)

Increase beg. stitch, knit 11, Increase 1 stitch, Knit 11 Increase end stitch. (27 stitches)

Thread through the stitches and tie off. (leaving 20cm of thread to finish)

Poppy Heart;

Cast on 12 stitches. (Brown Wool)

Pearl one row.

Knit one row.

Pearl one row.

Knit 2 together to end.

Thread needle through stitches and loosely stitch the exterior stitches to cup the centre

To make up;

The first petal loop is sewn through the second petal, to make a snowman shape when linked together. It is essential to keep the stitching neat if it is to be added to a pin or brooch. The heart is then sat in the centre of the flower, using red thread to the centre loop of the flower by the exterior stitches of the cup until secure. Once satisfied in the shape of the poppy secure the flower cut back the excess wool.

To add leaves;

Cast on 2 stitches. (Green Wool)

Pearl one row.

Increase beginning stitch, Increase end stitch. (knitting the stitches between)

Pearl one row.

Repeat for seven rows.

Decrease beginning stitch, decrease end stitch. (knitting the stitches between)

Pearl one row.

Repeat until last stitch and cast off.

To Make up;

Attach to the back of the flower ensuring they stretch out form between the conjoined petals.

To add a Stem;

Cast on twenty stitches (Brown wool)

Knit 4 rows and Cast off

To make up;

Stitch together edge to edge and tie off. (leaving 20cm to work)

Secure to the back of the flower at the centre of the heart. (cutting back excess wool)


As you can see it turned out quite well, although the picture does not do it justice due to the sparkly red wool that I chose. It took less than twenty minutes to make, for seasoned knitters you basically increase stitches at the beginning, centre and end for the petals and pearl between the knit rows.

It would not take long to produce a whole basket and repeating the second petal three times, around the centre heart you could make a large more symmetrical  oriental poppy instead. Whatever the use this quick project is one I will use again as it so simple to create, it is ideal for using up old wool and could easily be strung together to add a table drape or as a cascade arrangement on several strings across a ribbon.

Just a few things I may try if I get a little time!

Happy Knitting!


ref; Wikipedia – Remembrance Day



























Allotment, Grow Your Own, Harvests, Writing

GYO – Halloween Harvest!

This week the visit to the allotment was brief, the lawn lush and green is not yet a field and as I entered I noticed the water was just over the 350 litre mark. Unfortunately our roof felt had taken a knock in some heavy winds so we will have to return to fix it at the beginning of next week.

Our Broccoli plants are healthy and the first harvest had set a few small florrets, the carrots in our box are finally recognisable but will be left until next year. My time was not set for digging over this week, I chose a simpler route. The damp proof fabric which has kept the weeds off the second half of my bean bed, has been repurposed for the potato bed which had started to send up shoots.

Despite the potential crop I feel that they will stay dormant under the plastic, The nettles and weeds that were starting will rot back nitrates into the soil. So with only a few weeks to go until our baby arrives, I have made the executive decision to let it break down naturally to be dug over early next year. At a time where I can concentrate on removing the established brambles and digging over the final space.

My first square beds which I have struggled to keep the towering weeds from emerging are to be built up with scaffolding boards to ensure they remain clear as the first of my strawberry patches has required weeding on every return despite being dug out, manured and raised slightly. I will be replacing the plants this year as the inherited ones have barely produced any fruit.

My beans produced a large trug’s worth of harvestable pods this week, so after adding a few to a chilli on Tuesday I have set the rest to dry inside. I will be using the beans to set next years crops as these are such a resilient variety they have coped with the severe frosts and still managed to secure their foot long pods. The late crop are still climbing and with the warm sunshine I hope they last until spring to allow an early crop.

Surprisingly my tomatoes are still producing fruit, ripening several a week which has allowed me to have fresh tomatoes with cheese in wraps. A delicious addition as the warmth of summer becomes a memory the taste is still fresh, I have left the plants and will keep them until they begin to die back naturally. I have noted on a few posts they have been successful with overwintering and I find the idea worth the experiment.

My Nasturtiums and Calendula are thriving still, a riot of orange, red and yellow to brighten up the cool days. It really is surprising how much survives despite the cool weather, the mild days allowing for a few additional weeks of growing is an added bonus.

Halloween became a riot of pumpkin carving and face paints, once we had received a few visitors we ventured to a friends who celebrates by devoting her front garden to a skeleton and ghoul festival, it really is an investment of time and energy which all who visit enjoy.

We have always made it a home project, my children were never fans of costumes and face paints, so it was never more than a box of chocolates at the front door and our carved pumpkins. This year, a few banners, carved lanterns and balloon scarecrow’s were our donation to festivities, our fabric spiders and knitted friends were hung inside as a fun addition. Although to my daughter the balloons provided the evenings entertainment, that and enjoying the funny faces of her siblings.

I was proud of our collection of pumpkins which we had grown, they all got to decorate their own and for the first time my eldest daughter successfully completed her own carving. As I am proud of them all, they looked fabulous in their chosen outfits, although not all bother dressing for the occasion, it is good to see them enjoying every minute of the evening in their own way. Afterwards they had no problem in falling to sleep, neither did I after another busy day.

So as my Autumn Garden has filled my collection of pots providing a wonderful display of colour on the cooler days, we have settled into the season with growing and harvests in abundance. A few weeks and we will be embracing the change that an ever expanding family brings and I look forward to meeting our precious addition and sharing the experience with my wonderful family.

Happy Harvests!




Home Craft, Recycling, Storage

DIY – Reclaiming space!

This week I have focussed on preparing for our new arrival, after many years working around our existing furniture and finding myself juggling the needs of our large family we finally got a break.

An impromptu search on a local selling site found a wall unit requiring a new home, for many years our kitchen has been home to our reading and crafting materials which had become a rather disorganised space. Some where that you pass through for dinner or settled in to do holiday work, not a place comfortable enough to sit and relax.

last year my husband built a corner bench that was designed to fit our room perfectly and would allow all of the children to fit in one space without the clutter of chairs. After a few days he had completed the work and I had the chance to varnish the wooden top and used a white paint to cover the sides below. The benches we had priced up for our space were a few hundred pounds each and far to flimsy for the wear and tear of family life.

The cost of the corner bench was around £50 pounds for the wood, the paint and wood stain was a mixture of products used around the kitchen previously to ensure the wood matched.

After a few hours organising and clearing the space, we cleared out the old units and I painted the kitchen wall which the unit was to be placed against. Our large American fridge was found a new home and the painting  was finished in no time. Later that evening my husband collected the unit which we had found for a bargain price of £70.

I have to say I have admired these units from afar so, as our Halloween began I was blessed with a new dining area, which finally delivered the space and tranquillity we could finally appreciate as a family. The final addition to the project will be a few new chairs to go opposite the table we purchased a few years previous, hopefully something we can up cycle to match our new space.

I have many gems which fitted perfectly into the cabinet, adding a few well-chosen items acquired from the charity shop which matched the pottery I already had completed the finish. All items which would have cost a small fortune from the garden centres from which we had previously seen them.

So, despite the lack of blogging I have managed to prepare a space in perfect time, it is priceless as it will allow me a space to work with the children, relax, bake and share a good meal.

Happy Recycling!