I'll go straight in with my Smile for this week, and here it it.
Yes, I have finally completed my Sophie blanket. It is heavy and warm, and covers our bed perfectly. (The centre will lay flatter when I have blocked it).
It is really made up of several patterns.
The inner circle started out as Sophie's Mandala. Then it was made into a square with some flowers worked into the corners, and this was Sophie's Garden.
It continued to grow with various rounds of criss-cross fences, more flowers, and then a wider border with butterflies on it, and finally some more lattice work fencing, and this was Sophie's Universe.
You will probably have noticed that some of the colours have changed. This is because this photo and the one above it are not mine. They are the photos off the patterns I used, because it is so difficult to get a good square photo of such a large piece of work.
But back to my blanket now. Many people stopped at the end of S.Universe, but it was not big enough for me, and when others also said this, it was suggested that we work a round of two squares, used alternately, and these squares were called Jack and Lydia. I chose colours from my blanket to make each of these, and they looked better than I had expected.
Then I wanted a way to finish it off. All the above components were designed by Dedri Uys, and their patterns can be bought on the knitters site, Ravelry. She also designed a narrow border but again I needed more so my blanket would fit our king size bed. Someone from a Facebook knitting page pointed me to another designer on Ravelry who had designed a much wider border of 35 rows, using elements of the Sophie patterns, especially for anyone who wanted a bigger blanket. So I have been working that. It is Anne Grethe Bjerrrgaard's border - Sophie's Univese Growing Up.
This took a long time, not because the stitches were any more difficult, but really because the rounds were now so big. The blanket weighed heavy on my lap and I have been battling with the heat as I tried to do one side each night, determined not to put it away unfinished again this summer. And finally I made it.
It has been a challenge and I have mastered several new techniques as I worked through it, but I love the bright colours, and when next winter brings the chills, we will be glad to have it over us I am sure.
Finishing my blanket is not the only thing I have done this week. On Saturday we took a break from everything to go to a seventieth birthday of a friend in our village. It was a splendid affair, held at a local hostel, and there were around 120 guests. The room had been beautifully decorated.
It started off very warm when we arrived, but later they turned the air-con on and it became more comfortable. There was a good hot buffet overseen by the bar staff.
There was also a very good band, and soon people were up dancing and singing.
I have spent much of this week round at my friend's house, finishing off her packing, and accompanying her to lawyers, and other appointments. On Wednesday afternoon our friend with a courier van came and collected all her boxes, ready for delivery on his next trip to UK in July. With an empty house, and just a few loose ends to tie up, she is now ready to return, so she is flying out on Tuesday. I shall miss her, but I am glad she will be close to her sons.
In the evenings I have been working on some craft projects, mainly finishing off items for our son's wedding, and making family birthday cards to take to UK with me, which will save me a lot in postage.
We also fly out Tuesday, though not until the evening, and we shall be away until the following Tuesday, so next Friday there will be no blog post from me. We will all be busy making the final preparations for the wedding on Sunday.
We have been getting up a bit earlier in the mornings so we can walk the dogs before it gets too hot. Even then they really don't want to walk very far, so we use a shortened circuit, and then bring them into the house to cool down. On Tuesday Kim stopped to sniff around a wall, and when I looked I saw this beautiful moth. Kim didn't hurt it, so I hope it managed to crawl away into a dark corner until the night time.
After breakfast most days, I come down to my room to check my e-mails and Facebook before getting on with that days chores, and every day this week I have been deafened by a pair of magpies, shouting at our cats in the green zone. I think they must have some babies down there, but there is no need for all the noise. The cats don't even seem to notice them, and they are too hot and lazy to climb trees to find their nest. One magpie was sitting on the fence pole just outside my room but I couldn't get his photo because I have black bars (rejas) on the windows, and wire netting on this one to deter the stray cats from bothering Arwen. So I crept outside with my camera, but of course he flew further away. He was sitting on a roof top across the green zone and I took this photo of him, still shouting. My little camera has a good zoom on it, and I was quite please with the clarity of this.
Then he was joined by his mate, and they stopped their racket for a while. But they'll be back tomorrow, and every day until those babies have flown the nest I expect.
I have been trying to work my way through the oddments in the fridge before we go away. We are only going for a week, but some things won't keep that long. So I have made several smoothies at breakfast time. It is a great way to use over-ripe bananas, and any other fruit that is lurking in the salad box. Usually I add a raw carrot as well, just because I can, and you would never know it was there. This one was made from a banana, cherries, a few strawberries, one tangerine, frozen melon and a carrot, and it was delicious. A real glass of sunshine to start the day.
I have had two sessions of physio on my arthritic shoulders this week. It was so hot today, and I really didn't want to drive over to Vera for it at 5.00, but when I got there, the room was comfortable cool, and I dare say it did me some good. It was lovely to come home and have a cooling dip in the pool before tea.
Well I have an exciting week ahead, and I'll be back with all the family news the week after. We have chosen the right week to travel to cooler climes. It has been in the mid-thirties all this week and they have forecast three degrees hotter from next Tuesday, so it could be hitting forty degrees. We usually only get that sort heat in late July and August!
For now I will just link up with Rocking Your World, and Annie's Friday Smiles, and I'll see you all again in a fortnight.