Monday, 21 July 2014

Make it Monday - Holiday Crochet


I'm still making my way through my year long crochet mood/memory blanket and took the colours I need for it away on holiday with me.


Since we've been away though, I've taken a break from granny squares and hope to play a bit of catch up on it soon.


Instead of the plain squares from my blanket I have been working on a couple of different patterns I have had pinned on my Pinterest crochet board for a while.


The first was these doilies.


I was quite pleased with them because it is the first time I have made something using only a chart pattern rather than a word pattern. You can find the pattern here. It is only the chart but it's actually pretty straightforward to work it out.
I really love the next doilies I made. I'm planning on making quite a few of these up!


Again, the pattern for these is available online and you can find it here. It includes quite a few pictures to help you out.
I can't decide which of the colour combinations I prefer for this one. All of the colours are from my blanket project!


I didn't take a break from squares completely because I wanted to try out this own square. Calum is wanting me to make this square for the blanket to represent his birthday.


And finally, I've been making up a batch of these Maybelle flowers and turning them into squares using this tutorial here. I wasn't too happy with this square here, my first one, as I think it's a little too big, but I've made quite a few more with a smaller hook size and I'm much happier with how they look.


I'm thinking of making them into a cushion or something smallish rather than a blanket.



The snippets of crochet I've managed these last couple of weeks have been largely outdoors, enjoying the beautiful summer we have been having.



A blanket on the grass for myself and Fraser, while the other boys play football or shinty beside us.


And the reason that I only manage little snippets of crochet here and there is because this little man mastered crawling forwards a little over a week ago. Which means that this is the view I often face as he decides he would much rather head off for an adventure than sit on the blanket with his toys.
After all, it's so much more fun to go off and touch this grass stuff!




Life just got even more exciting for him now!



Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sand in our toes (and hair, and bags, and shoes.....)

According to the weather forecasters, today was due to be one of the hottest days of the year. I think I might have even read somewhere that it could be the hottest day in 10 years!


I tend not to pay much attention when I hear the media say such things though, as when they say that the UK is about to experience a heat wave, or whatever else they are talking about, what they actually mean is that the South of England is going to experience it.


It seems that it did turn out very hot down south, but the weather away up here wasn't too shabby either! It was, in fact a perfect summer day. Hot and sunny, with enough of a warm breeze to keep the big flies and the dreaded midgies away.


It was just the right sort of afternoon to spend at one of my favourite beaches - Traigh Mhòr (trai vore) which means Big Beach in Gaelic.


Fraser seems to be really getting a feel for sand now with all these beach trips!






Calum (11) and David (8) always make a bee-line straight for the sea.










I joined them in the water, which was actually quite pleasant once you got over the shock of that initial coldness!















Once I had put my camera away I was jumping over the waves, falling over them, and getting completely soaked along with the boys.
Meanwhile daddy, Fraser and Alasdair were keeping cool.


He just loves that sand!


Of course there had to be a spot of shinty....


....and sandcastle building....



...a little cricket....


...and some sliding down the sand dunes.









Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Calum the crofter

Let's start tonight's post with that photo of Calum (11) at the show again.


He loves to look after animals and, like I said before, wants to have his own island croft when he is older. He has plans to have plenty of sheep on his croft and so is keen to learn more about them.
The best way to learn is from someone who has been keeping sheep for a long time and so he loves to go and spend time with one of the elders in my dad's church. This man is known in the surrounding villages for how good his sheep are and each year at the agricultural show he wins prize after prize for them. Calum says that this year he won 18 rosettes and about 5 trophies! Whenever we are home he very kindly invites Calum along to his croft to spend some time with him looking after his sheep and showing him around his croft.
Yesterday Calum went along and had a great time. He took lots of photos of the sheep and I have to share some of them with you. I promise not to share them all, and they are all just sheep, sheep and more sheep but he really did capture some good photos of them!


One of the jobs they did was cleaning the sheep's feet. Kind of like a foot spa for sheep!




They also rounded up some sheep to move to another croft. They had a little help from the sheepdogs for this. That's another thing Calum loves about going to visit. He loves seeing the properly trained dogs doing their work.










Nearly all of the sheep are Blackfaces, with a few Cheviots as well, but he has one Blue Faced Leceister. Don't I sound like an expert? I'm not, I'm just passing on Calum's information here!
He said the Blue Faced Leceister was very happy to pose for the camera!




Although this one here looks like she (I'm guessing here!) was quite happy to pose too!


To get the sheep to the other croft they herded them into a trailer attached to this quad bike and then drove them along.





As well as seeing to the sheep they also dug up a few tatties and Calum came home with a bag of lovely fresh potatoes. We had them with our dinner tonight and they tasted so lovely and earthy.




Who knows, perhaps one day Calum will have one of those sheep rosettes from the show for himself! After all, he is learning from one of the best!