Watermelons, Lotus Flowers and Mermaids

I always think of June as the start of summer and know that, for the next few months, many of you will spend at least as much time gardening as you will knitting and crocheting. I’m a reluctant gardener but do love knitting and crocheting in my garden (the picture is the view from my favourite knitting chair. My latest projects have both been great outdoor projects – both relatively small and light and both very portable. My knitting project is the Watermelon Baby Cardigan and my crochet project is the Lotus Flower Baby Blanket.

I fell in love with the Watermelon Baby Cardigan pattern as soon as I saw it on Ravelry and the designer, Stitchylinda, has generously provided it as a free download. This cute cardigan is knitted in one piece from the top down and is a very quick project – I finished it over two delightful evenings, sitting in the garden with a glass of wine. The pattern had been sitting in my Ravelry library for a while, waiting for the right yarn to come along. The solution came thanks to Ricorumi, a lovely cotton DK in 25g balls – perfect when you just need small amounts of colour. There are 60 shades to choose from so you’re almost guaranteed to fins the colour you need.

60 shades of ricorumi

My second project is another free Ravelry download. The pattern for the Lotus Flower Blanket is generously donated by Hooked by Robin and is supported by video tutorials, making it an ideal project for anyone looking to improve their crochet skills. The pattern is specifically designed for a Scheepjes Whirl but you could you any 4ply/fingering weight yarn. I usually choose a different colourway from the one shown on the pattern but I loved this so much that I copied the designer and used Sherbet Rainbow. Curiously, this also reminds me of watermelons – funny how things work out. The yarn is a lovely smooth blend of cotton and acrylic and I really enjoyed the colour transitions as I worked. I’m a very loose crocheter so I worked my blanket on a 3.50mm hook instead of the recommended 4.50mm. I still only had sufficient yarn to work 46 rounds (the pattern is for 50 rounds) but my blanket is still a decent size and I’m delighted with the overall result.

i love to listen to audio books whilst knitting and crocheting in the garden and my current listen is The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower, a wonderfully atmospheric historical romp through eighteenth century London. A widowed merchant, Jonah Hancock comes into possession of a mermaid and, as a result, meets Angelica Neal, an accomplished courtesan; a meeting which impacts on both their lives. The book is rather racy in places (some of it is set in a brothel) and the writing is seductive and spell-binding. The Audible version I am listening to is read by Juliet Stephenson and she captures the tone and voices of different characters beautifully – I feel like I know them.  I’m almost halfway through the book and really enjoying it – well worth a listen or a read.

It’s the book chosen by my Book Group so I’ll report back after we’ve had the chance to discuss it. In the meantime, I’ve still got over 9 hours of listening time left so best select another project!

Happy knitting and crocheting – and happy listening.

Julie x