Sunday, 29 July 2018

Little T's Garden

Hello friends.  I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time, but with one thing and another it has gotten pushed to the side and forgotten.  This heatwave that has been going on for what seems like forever, has finally broken and I am loving the freshness of the air and the sound of the raindrops outside my window.  This gives me the perfect opportunity to take some time to write on my blog.

Everything is growing really well this year with all the hot weather.  It has taken some considerable efforts to keep everything watered though and little T has been very helpful on that front.  As you all know we do not have a garden at home and so our allotment garden has become our haven and we love to spend as much time there as possible.  Mostly little T likes to sit in a shady spot and read while I get on with the gardening.  He does love to help with planting new things though and has asked for his own "bit of earth".  So we decided to make a small bed for little T to call his own.  We have chosen to implement the square foot gardening method, this way he can grow lots of different kinds of vegetables all in a small space...

How to make a square foot garden

We built a 4 foot square raised bed purchased from Amazon.  The planks easily slotted together with a bit of help from a rubber mallet.  The bed was placed directly onto the weedy grass so we covered the bottom with a mixture of old cardboard and newspaper (this blocks out the weeds).  We then added some mostly rotted homemade compost in the bottom and topped it off with a couple of bags of bought compost.  

We added small nails at 1 foot increments and then made a square foot grid with some twine. 

Little T added his chosen plants...

Cabbage and strawberries...

...  and found a furry caterpillar hiding in the grass.

Have any of you tried the square foot gardening method?  Please let me know in the comments below...

Take care

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Recipe - Bramble Berry Vodka

This hot weather has been doing crazy things to our berry patch at the kitchen garden.  We have so many berries ready for picking and many more ripening on the bushes.  Little T has been really enjoying picking them and enjoying the berry crumbles even more. 

A couple of years ago I made some blackberry vodka and it was delicious, so I thought I might have a go at a mixed berry version.  He's how I made it...

Bramble Berry Vodka

You will need...
A few handfuls of berries (we used blackberries and the mystery berries, you can read about them here)
Sugar to taste (around 150 g)
Vodka (the cheap kind is fine)
A large jar

First give the berries a good wash...

...then add them to your jar...

...tip in the sugar...

...and cover with vodka.  

Give the jar a good shake and leave in a cool dark place for a few weeks shaking every day until the sugar is dissolved.

When your vodka is ready it will be look all gorgeous and berry coloured.  It can now be strained and bottled.  Be sure to have a little taste to check for sweetness and adjust if necessary (you might need to test a few times just to be sure).  Oh and try not to drink it all at once...

What's your favourite thing to make with summer berries?  I would love to hear in the comments below...



Pattern Testing - Granny Square Summer Bonnet

Hello everyone!  I have a new pattern ready for testing.  It is a cute granny square baby bonnet perfect for keeping little ones cool in this hot weather we are having.  This is the first of 3 sun hat patterns and will be released as part of an e-book. 

Granny Square Summer Bonnet

If you would like to take part in testing this adorable pixie style sun hat, head on over to The Testing Pool on Ravelry where the test will be taking place.  You need not be an experienced tester or crocheter.  This pattern is suitable for beginners and I will be available to help all the way through the process.

Enjoy the sunshine!


Friday, 29 June 2018

Pattern Testing - Gingham and Daisies Baby Blanket

Hello everyone, I have a new pattern ready for testing.  It is a cute baby blanket featuring a lovely gingham pattern dotted with daisies.  What new baby wouldn't look gorgeous wrapped up in this?  

If you would be interested in helping to test this blanket you can sign up here on my Facebook page or head on over to The Testing Pool on Ravelry.  All testers will receive a free pattern chosen from my store as compensation.  You don't need to be an experienced tester as long as you have some crochet experience I can help you with anything else you need to know...

Look forward to hearing from you

This pattern can be found in my Etsy Store...

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Lullaby Lodge Kitchen Garden - June

With this gorgeous weather we have been having recently, things seem to be finally taking off at the allotment.  What with the really cold winter and late start to spring and also the pesky birds and slugs, we haven't had much growing this year so far.  We have had a few strawberries but everything else has been playing catch up...  Even though we have not had any great harvest, it is lovely just to sit in the kitchen garden and enjoy the sunshine.  Living in a small flat really makes me appreciate the space we have at our allotment.

Last year (our first year of growing) was a constant battle with the weeds.  One which I cannot say we won...  So this year we are trying things a little differently and keeping the majority of the ground covered in black plastic.  We have a lot of perennial weeds to tend with including bindweed and nettles.  Also the previous tenant was growing horseradish which has spread over most of the plot.  It puts out really deep tap roots and is impossible to dig up.  I am hoping a year or 2 of the black plastic will eradicate the worst part of our weedy problems.

So lets take a little look at what is growing on our plot right now...

Planted through the black plastic we have a number of yellow zucchini (courgettes) and come patty pans.  Aren't the zucchini flowers so lovely and cheerful.

This plant is just about ready for it's first harvest.

The bush beans are flowering and just starting to make their tiny baby beans.

In the mini green house we have tomatoes, aubergines (eggplant), chillies and bell peppers.  

We inherited a number of bramble bushes which didn't fruit last year as they had been cut right back to the ground.  So we have been waiting excitedly for a whole year to see what they would be.  This one I believe is some kind of raspberry and blackberry cross perhaps a Loganberry or Tayberry?  If anyone knows please do let me know in the comments below...

The pretty blackberry flowers are rapidly turning to berries and I can't wait to start harvesting.  I can see lots of jam making in the future.

Looking forward to our first real harvest and sharing more pictures from our kitchen garden soon.

Ta ta for now

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Cute Bobble Edging - Crochet Tutorial

If you are looking for an edging that is both perfectly pretty and super simple, then this is the one for you.  It's great for those blankets that you want something a little less girly around the edge.  This is one of my favourite go to borders and is so, so simple, making it perfect for beginners.

US Terms

dc - double crochet
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch

This border requires an even number of stitches around your blanket.  If you have an odd number, simple increase or decrease 1 stitch on the first round.  Or if you are like me just fudge it (it's only 1 stitch).

Attach your yarn anywhere on you blanket with a sc

Work sc's into every stitch along each side and 3 sc into each corner stitch

continue in this way around your blanket and join with a sl st to the first sc

Now turn your blanket over and work from the wrong side, dc in the first stitch and...

sl st in the next stitch

Repeat these 2 stitches around your blanket and join with a sl st to starting stitch.

This is how it looks from the front

The effect reminds me of icing piped around a cake, so cute!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and don't forget to share your photo on the Facebook group page.

Take care

You might enjoy...

This post contains Amazon affiliate links...

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Pattern Testing - Knitted One Ball Shawl

Hello lovely people!  This is just a quick post to share with you a new pattern that I have been working on.  It is designed for beginner knitters and uses the popular yarn cakes which come in a variety of gorgeous colours.  The shawl is knitted in garter stitch making is very easy for newbie knitters.  It features an asymmetric shape with cute sewn in tassels and a shawlette style.  A larger shawl may be maid simply by using 2 balls instead of 1.  The shawl can be worn in many different ways, around the shoulders or as a cowl.  Caron Cakes is recommended for this project, however any similar yarn may be substituted...

The pattern is currently undergoing testing over on my Facebook page and if you are interested, I have space for a couple more testers.  Testing is very easy, you simply follow the pattern and report back with your views on ease of understanding, clarity etc and check for any mistakes.  As compensation for all your hard work you will be gifted a finished copy of the pattern or alternatively you may choose any other pattern from my store...

If you would like to take part head on over to Facebook and leave a comment on the shawl thread.

Ta ta for now