Tuesday, 24 May 2016

My Spring Garden blanket

This is my Spring Garden blanket, inspired by the colours of our garden in Springtime of course.

Quite often when I do a blanket, I don't bother to draw it out, plan it too much. I usually know what I want to do and apart from a few scribbled notes in the little journal I keep next to my chair, not much goes down on paper. However this time I was a little more thoughtful about the whole thing.

This was the basic idea, it got changed a little as new colours came to mind, new flowers inspired me.  The wool is Stylecraft Special, a wool much favoured by crafters for crochet especially as it is a joy to work with, the range of colours is quite spectacular and it's reasonably priced, which is important if you do big projects. And leftovers make great leftover blankets! Or stripey knitted scarves. Or tea cosies. Or bobble hats even!

The deep pink/white/pale pink/lavender represent the hyacinths. Cream/pale lemon/saffron represent the different varieties of daffodils. The two shades of blue with claret in between represent forget-me-nots, muscari and wallflowers. The purple/lime green/orange are some of the tulips. And each group is separated with green to represent the foliage.

The edging I made up. It's one I first used decades ago, made it up as I went along and I like the effect it gives. It's a simple chain 1, skip 1 on alternate rows, and the first and last row of the edging are half trebles.

It's a lovely colourful throw, and like most of those I make, destined for my favourite hospice charity shop. And on a grey, cold day like today, it's a real cheerer-up!

Thursday, 5 May 2016


The memory is an amazing tool. And not easy to describe how it works. Some of the best descriptions I've read have come from neuroscientist Dean Burnett, who describes short term memory as being like writing your name with a sparkler. It typically lasts between 15 and 30 seconds, any longer and it's long term memory.

Memories perhaps don't disappear, they're just lost, you can't dredge them up. They're in there somewhere, you know they are, but how frustrating is it when you need or want to recall something, and it just won't come out?

And why is it that as we get older we can remember past events from twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty or more years ago, yet struggle to remember what we had for tea yesterday?

The picture of me in my previous posting brought back memories of sixty years ago. The dress was pale blue and white, toile du joy material, with a tiered, frilled skirt and it came from Marks and Spencers. I know I loved wearing that dress and was sad when I no longer fitted into it.

I can remember my first day in my first job, fifty years ago, standing outside the carpet showroom waiting for my boss to arrive in his red E-type convertible. Oh I loved that car! I think that was the start of my love for fast, sporty cars - and their drivers, or one at least.

But what's brought about this trip down memory lane is tomorrow's date - the 6th May. It was on that day in 1972 that I married the love of my life, Keith Penfold. It was Cup Final Day and the owners of the hotel where we had our reception, family friends, put a television into a separate room so that the men could sneak in and have a look at what was going on.

Keith and I began as penfriends in late January of that year, had our first real meeting six weeks later, and married just three months after that. He was 25 and I was 21. He came into my life, turned it upside down, filled my heart with love and joy - and it was the same for him. We thought it would always be that way.

But life can be a bitch sometimes, because just four years later in August 1976, he collapsed and died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage. I found his body. It was a day that is imprinted on my brain as indelibly as the day we married. The day we parted. But he is with me still in spirit. Life moves on, new memories are made, but the memory of my short time with this gorgeous man will never fade.

Some memories make you laugh out loud, some make you weep inside. But all are a part of who we are now. And the sad thing is that in time, maybe even those memories that make us happy will fade. 

But that's life.....