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Sunday, 25 April 2021

Happiness is … Auriculas in bloom, socks that match their stripes and Ric Rac on steroids!

 Happiness comes in a terracotta pot, brimming full of auriculas. It's so satisfying to compare their performance with last year, and see how they're filling out and prospering. 

Auricula
Auriculas

I've had these beauties for a few years now. They came from root cuttings that came from plants that once blossomed in my great grandma's garden, so they mean a lot to me. 

Auriculas
Auriculas

It's also a happy event when you salvage a down-on-its-luck/ half dead plant from the "Reduced-to-Clear" section of the garden centre and nurse it back to health. I found this little chap (below) looking sad and forlorn on the Shelf of Shame back in January. I've been watching him carefully, and was really happy to see that he's covered in buds that promise to open out in wonderful deep red auricula magic.

Auricula
Auricula

This week I was also very happy with a delivery of giant ric rac trim. I had made a cotton skirt (Simplicity 2906 - my go-to pattern for a simple pseudo-circular cotton skirt ) and, whilst I was very happy with the monochrome vibe I thought that a serving of giant ric rac around the hemline would finish it off nicely: go big, or go home!

Ric Rac trim
Giant Ric-Rac Trim

Simplicity 2906
Simplicity 2906

I was happy with the result, and even happier to discover that I had enough giant ric rac left over to trim a couple of gift bags to boot. I'd used smaller ric rac on the smaller bag, but it wasn't nearly so good.


I've decided to use these bags, made from dress-making off-cuts, to "wrap" presents in, instead of using single-use wrapping paper that's destined to be ripped off and chucked in the bin. They're lined with some silky black skirt-lining, and ought to be sufficiently useful to their recipients to have a life beyond the delivery of the present within. 


One of the things that helps to keep the cut-edge of the ric rac from fraying is this nifty fray check liquid. A little goes a long way, but it's good to keep things in condition where you have to wrangle cut edges. 

Prym Fray Check
Prym Fray Check

Happiness is finishing a project successfully. I love knitting socks, and the best bit is when you get to the end with all your stripes matching right down to the tips of the toes. It's a simple kind of magic, that involves nothing more than noticing where in the colour repeat you started the first sock, and then unwinding the wool until you match that place when you cast on the second sock. I love stripey socks, and I have to salute the West Yorkshire Spinners with how beautifully they've chosen their colours and repeats on this offering: Signature 4 ply in Robin.

West Yorkshire Spinners
Sock Knitting: West Yorkshire Spinners' Signature 4 ply in Robin 



Anyway that's all for now. Happy Sunday!


Bonny x


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