Just in time for spring, I have finished the warmest jumper I have ever crocheted. It's the Berry Dipped Raglan by Little Golden Nook. I like it very, very much, especially those huge, bobble-covered sleeves.
I added rows for extra length on the body (always an issue for me at 5'11") as I like my jumpers on the longer side.
Actually, it's a touch bigger than I anticipated, but this just means that I won't be terrified to wash it on a wool wash in the machine. I followed the pattern for the size 12-14 as I wear a 14, but it came out more of a 14-16 (UK sizes). So, a little bit of shrinkage won't be a bad thing!
I used 21 balls of Drops Nepal in the Goldenrod colourway, with a 4mm hook for the neck, cuffs and hem, and a 5mm hook for the body.
I love the way the huge bobbles stop and the tight cuff starts, I really like that contrast. The other thing I love is the tiny leather tags with my initials and a ball of yarn and crochet hook, which I ordered from Etsy. I like to know which is the front and back of my handmade jumpers when I put them on (even if there isn't really an obvious front of back) and miss the labels sewn inside. These little leather labels are a nice touch.
I received a new cookery book for Mother's Day (I dropped heavy hints) by my favourite food writer, Anna Jones. I really love her recipes - they are so easy and delicious - and her books are some of my most used. This one looks excellent. I will definitely be doing a cookery book review of this at some point. Also, I haven't forgotten that I received some wonderful new cookery books for Christmas, and have been cooking from those a lot. I will try and write some of my cookery book posts over the Easter holidays.
I'm still buying daffodils, hyacinths and pussy willow. It's such a treat to be buying spring flowers after autumn and winter.
It seems like each week I spot more and more colour on our walks. Catkins and camellias and daffodils, yes, but now there is hawthorn blossom in the hedgerows, primroses popping up here and there and magnolia trees coming into bloom.
The garden is also waking up. I have euphorbia, hyacinths and tete-a-tetes in bloom, wild muscari growing everywhere, and the tulips I planted last autumn are on their way. Every year, I save the hyacinth plants I buy in the supermarkets once they have gone over, and store them in the shed. I plant them outside the following autumn, but I often feel that hyacinths are wasted outside because they're so short you often can't really see them in bloom. I'm wondering about how to re-pot them so that I can have them as indoor flowers again.
For now they reside in this gorgeous trug my parents gave me for Christmas to replace the old washing up bowl I usually use when weeding. At the moment I am trying really hard not to get it dirty. I realise this is ridiculous but it's so pretty!
That's all our news really. The kids are now back at school full time and loving it. My work and teaching course are going well although it continues to exhaust and challenge me in new ways ever week, but I do still love it. I'm really looking forward to Easter weekend - it's one of my favourite holidays - especially since John has some time off over Easter. We have lots of things to do around the house and garden and I've just ordered some seeds to plant over the two weeks off. I am thinking about what to cook and eat for Easter lunch. We usually have roast lamb, but we're thinking something different this year. Probably still lamb, as it's so delicious and such a treat, but perhaps cooked as a tagine or spicy stew, with roasted vegetables, couscous or bulgur wheat, and lots of interesting side dishes. I don't know. And then there is the Easter baking too: chocolate cornflake nests, egg-shaped cookies, some kind of cake. Ah, I love this time of year.