Sunday, 19 May 2013

Garden Politics

It's been a while again since I last got a chance to write on here, as usual there are many reasons. Little P was a poorly thing for a whole week, and only her Mummy would do - she did not leave my side poor thing. It was sad seeing the usually bubbly little thing so lethargic and miserable. She tried her best to be happy but it wasn't easy! It was a tiring week for us both, and I was so happy when her antibiotics kicked in and she perked up. Now she's back to bouncing around and wearing me out in a completely different way, but one I much prefer!
I'm enjoying this 'free-time' while she is out and about, to sit down in the sun in the garden. Yes, sun. Yesterday it felt like winter again, today it is beautiful. Crazy English weather! But on a nice English summer's day there's nowhere else I'd rather be (well, almost!) 
I've been quite taken by the garden and nature lately, I must be mellowing in my old age. For weeks and weeks, I've watched a pair of blackbirds (dubbed Mr and Mrs B) build a nest in a clematis in the garden. They then disappeared for a few days, and I felt sad that they weren't going to nest in our garden. But then they returned, and she laid eggs and the pair took it in turns to sit on them and guard the nest. It was lovely to see them so close up. Then there were frantic trips in and out of the nest with food, all day long. The chicks had hatched! She continued guarding her territory, dive-bombing and large birds thats entered the vicinity. Yesterday, I came downstairs and opened the blinds, to see two young fluffy blackbirds hopping along after Mrs B in the border at the back of the garden. Wow! They are super cute and  just bundles of fluff really. I then sat and crocheted by the window watching the young fledglings explore their new world. It was amazing to watch, I don't think I've ever really seen baby birds just out of the nest like that before. I did get a little bit obsessed with watching them, but I'm glad I did. Later I went into the garden and heard a bit of a commotion - and then I saw a seagull with a baby bird in it's beak. I was horrified and thought 'nooo, not my babies please?!' 
It turned out to be a baby starling - we have a lot of them nesting in the gutters here. But I was then on fierce seagull/crow patrol. I swear, if one landed near my babies I was going to scare it sooo bad! So, that took up yesterday. I'm happy to be sitting in the garden now, and I can hear them chirping away in the bush. Poor Mr and Mrs B are still working tirelessly to bring them food, and I thought I was a busy mum! In fact, as I've been sitting here typing, one baby has flown right past me on his maiden test flight and landed a couple of metres away from me. Dad was close behing telling him to get back to the nest! He was escorted back promptly, but I can hear him flapping his wings in the bush now - he's eager to be off! The other one doesn't seem quite so adventurous, he's quite happy to be perched up high in the bush and be fed.
I've tried to get photos but I haven't had much luck yet! I have been taking snapshots of the garden springing into life, albeit a bit later this year! I love playing around with my camera and will showcase a few of my faves...

An Erythronium pagoda (Dog's Tooth Violet)...

A special daffodil called 'Pheasant's Eye'...

A type of Muscari (grape hyacinth)...

And a montage of some others I took...

On the crochet front, I'm afraid I don't have too much to show. It's not that I haven't been crocheting my spare time away, it's just all the things I'm making still seem to be gifts and I can't show them yet! There's a big project, a designing project, and as usual, lot's of baby things - why so many babies all at once? 
I can show a couple of the things I've made and given as gifts, as they have been received now (gratefully I hope!) First up was a little fox, made for Little Lady's bestest friend's second birthday. I trawled the internet for something I hadn't made before and that I really wanted to, and came up with foxy - the KISS series Fox by K4TT.
I made him using Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo and a 3.5mm hook, and he worked out quite well I think! He was a bit tricky around his face (constant colour changes) but I love how he turned out. The level of detail in the pattern is amazing, I love the shape of the tail, how it swishes round.

Next up, was a gift for my brother's girlfriend, an avid West Ham United fan. I put my football rivalry to the side and made her a Hammers monster in claret and blue. He is cool, I rather like him! It was the FreshStitches Mr Toothy pattern again - I just love that monster so much!

And a couple of baby gifts to finish up - the 'Chubby Teddy Rattle', a lovely free pattern I found on Ravelry - it's very quick and easy to whip up (I have in fact made 3 as I like them so much!). I used the trusty Baby Bamboo again, it's just so soft for toys and easy to work with. I also purchased a few 'rattles' to put inside. They are little plastic discs which rattle nicely, as I found the bells just don't work - the sound gets muffled and they don't sound too great (if they do sound at all).

I also made a rabbit snuggler for a little lady born in February. Another free, quick and easy pattern I found on Ravelry. It's quite sweet and I like the other choices of animal to make - the owl is very nice!

Finally, another FreshStitches pattern... it's that Alastair the Caterpillar. A very quick and easy project, but very cute. I used Rico Creative Cotton for this as FreshStitches uses Aran (worsted) weight yarn for most of her things, and I didn't want him to turn out tiny!

So that's that for now, I'm going to get back to the sun (it really is quite warm now) and maybe crochet a bit until my little Lady returns, so until next time...

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