Thursday, 29 January 2015

On & off the Hook...

A few posts ago I promised I would share some current crochet projects that I have on the hook at the moment plus a few things I have already completed.. So here goes...

The first is a blanket that I am making from 4-round granny squares. I'm unsure how large I will make it, I guess I will just keep going until I'm happy with the size. I adore granny squares as I think I've mention in the past. I find it the most pleasurable way to use up all my scrap yarn...and I have PLENTY of that around here! I'm just using DK yarns and a 4mm Clover soft touch hook ( my hook of choice, I never use anything else and have one in each hook size...small & large!). I tend to make the squares in batches..make say 10 just in the 1st round and then complete the 2nd round on these 10 and at the end sew in the ends.

I always 'join as I go' after reading Attic24's tutorial on this. I can honestly say I was overjoyed when I grasped this method and it has proved a godsend! The pretty little bag in the picture was a great purchase I made in Home Bargains before I left the UK. It was a knitting kit...but I just loved the bag. It so reminds me of Cath Kidston..a bargain at £4.99..I keep all my supplies in it so I can crochet on the go whilst I travel...

The 2nd project is this extra large 16 round squares Granny Blanket. Again this is all made in DK scraps yarn with a 4.5mm hook. The individual squares are turning out at approx 13 inches each, so it doesn't take long for the blanket to grow. I have plans to make this one large enough for a sofa cuddle blanket so it needs to be approx 6ft x 4ft. I've calculated that it will probably need 24 squares in total (6x4) plus a simple border. I tend to use a lot of Stylecraft Special DK as I find the quality is excellent, plus it washes like a dream and the colour range is fantastic.

Up next is the Pastel range!! This is/was a special order from a best friend whose daughter is getting married THIS year..( sounds funny saying 'this' year as it's been organised for sooooo long!). Anyway the request was for some pastel shade floral and heart garlands to decorate her home for the wedding floral and heart garlands it was! I gathered all the supplies I had with me in Mojacar ( the vast majority were back in the UK) and was surprised at the varied colour range. The yarn is a 100% Egyptian cotton thread No:5 and I used a 3.75mm hook.

Once I was happy I then trawled Pinterest, Ravelry and Google for varying sized flower motifs. I came up with loads and got quite carried away! The order was for 5 garlands however as I had gone quite mad with the motifs I had enough to make an extra one.. They have since been dispatched via the Spanish postal service back to the UK....I'm waiting to hear from her that she has received them safely?!

I'm sure she won't mind me showing you this sneak preview of them!

Now the penultimate project is one that has been swirling about in my 'crochet to do' memory for ages... My take on a Hudsons Bay blanket!!!

Google it and you will see its a classic design from North America and I love it's simplicity. I'm unsure if I will knit it in garter stitch or crochet it yet, but whilst we were at the market in Huercal Overa on Monday, we were wandering through the pretty back street and voila...there was a yarn shop! Well it's rude not to go in isn't it, and the lady owner and I came up with this combo...pretty close don't you think?

The yarn looks between a DK and Aran weight so I'll have to make the dreaded tension square before I embark on this one! It's also 100% acrylic so will wash and wear well. Also unsure of size yet...

Lastly this is a project that is a wedding gift for the aforementioned daughter of my friend. I completed the majority of the project last year (2014) whilst here in Mojacar. All that needs to be done now is to join the items together and complete it. I carried the whole project with me all the way down from the UK, so it does have a huge carbon footprint..sorry!!!

Well that's it for now...phew that seemed a long one! At least I've stuck to my side of the agreement and posted some yummy, yarny, crochet goodies on the blog! ( see that's why I called the blog Maid (made)in Mojacar.... Get it?????

Until next time....adios.x


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Lazy Sunday...I wish!

We had every intention of having a super relaxing Sunday after totally exhausting ourselves at the Jova Sports Gym open day yesterday...

We both had a great day participating in 5 half hour sessions which were all FREE!

Zumba, GAP, Step, Active Pump and Spinning....gosh that's was knackering I won't lie to you.

I was SO tired last evening I was in bed BEFORE 11pm, which for anyone that knows me well, is really early! We both expected to wake this morning and be unable to move let alone walk! But we were ok!

So this morning we were off early to Villaricos market for our fresh fruit & veg and I am sorry to admit we both had the largest chocolate covered croissant that you've seen in your life...well after yesterday we deserved it! It was devine....

We decided then to travel up along the coast road to Aguilas to visit Decathlon..

The store is open on a Sunday, plus their sale was on so we stocked up on sports apparel...well John bought more that I did.....Now he's sorted plus he's spent all his Christmas Euros!!

We then decided to go exploring and found Aquilas Golf that we had seen from the motorway but were unable to locate. After a bit of Google Earth exploring we found the route.. It's a spectacular setting for a golf course that is located at the foot of the Sierra Aguilon mountains with breathtaking views of the Pulpi bay below...

We then decided to stop for an impromptu mini picnic and quickly dived into the Consum mini market that was open in San Juan de la Terreros for supplies.. Barra de Pan, Jamon, Queso, Tomate and patatas fritas and we were sorted!

This area is quite pretty and the new Mar de Pulpi development has restarted its building programme after many years of laying idle, so it's nice to see things are picking up for the Spanish economy at last..

There's a great view from here and the beach front properties have great vistas like this..

And this...

Not bad eh?!

Homeward bound we travelled back along the coast road where numerous amounts of cyclists were spotted...this area is a popular training spot for professional and amateur cyclists and Triathletes..

Back through Garrucha we spotted this humongous Spanish flag and thought it summed up our perfect day Spain...

Next time crochet update I promise.... Only I felt guilty I hadn't posted since the middle of the week.. And if I don't post regularly my Mum tells me off!!

Adios amigos..x


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Happy Birthday Wendy....

Just a little post today to say "Happy Birthday Wendy"....
My older sister would have been 60 today, but sadly we lost her to cancer a few years ago......
I know if she had come to Mojacar she would have loved the weather, the scenery, the history and especially the flora & fauna...she absolutely LOVED plants, flowers, shrubs....anything to do with gardening really and she was really good at it too!
So as a 'Happy Birthday' wish to her I have gathered a few of my most vibrant, colourful photos of plants, flowers, shrubs and trees that I have snapped over the years in the surrounding region...
There's barely a day goes by that I don't think about her.....xxxx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Seat 600's....Villaricos market...local flora & fauna....

Sunday's here in Mojacar for us are usually a low key's a 'do whatever happens' sort of day. We just let it evolve & see what the day brings us..

We decided that we would visit Villaricos market which occurs each Sunday morning as we needed fresh vegetables for soups and also our evening meal..

On the way along the Paseo towards Mojacar we noticed a Seat 600 classic car meet along the front. So we parked up and walked towards the crowd that was gathering...

The Seat 600 was made in Spain from 1957 until 1973 under licence by Fiat. The vehicle has become an icon of the period and it's not hard to see why with these beauties on display! All colours shapes and sizes were parked up..quite beautiful!

It appears from the various badges and banners on the cars that the enthusiasts had traveled from afar afield as Almeria and Cartagena.

We then traveled onwards to Villaricos which is approx 20 kms along the ALP118 to visit the Sunday market.

Villaricos is a small, unspoilt fishing village which maintains a typical Spanish feel. It has two harbours that sit at each end of the village linked by a broad promenade which is very pleasant to stroll along at a leisurely pace. The Sunday market meanders through the streets and within the village square.

On the way back to Mojacar we took a detour through Vera Playa and ended up driving through a residential area. We pulled over to admire a beautifully manicured garden/floral area running down the centre of the carriageway. The abundance of plants and flowers were quite staggering and someone had spent a huge amount of time and effort tending to this wonderful display and we both thoroughly enjoyed wondering through it and snapping photos...

All in all we've had a lovely day...even if it started to rain later on....

Next time I'll show you some crochet 'scrumptiousness'.....promise!!


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Hiking up the hill...

Today we decided to take a hike up to the Cabezo Maria hermitage in Antas.

It's the famous hermitage that you can see on top of the hill outside Antas from miles around..

The hill is actually the remains of the central lava column of an ancient volcano. Local legend says there has been a shrine up there since the early 15th century.

The walk up to the top is not an easy climb and you must ensure you're steady on your feet as it's quite steep in places..

Once you reach the top you are met with a very pretty building which was totally rebuilt in 2011 which saw it's reopening on 12th August 2012. A statue of the Virgin Mary was carried up and the local bishop scattered holy water around.

The building has been beautifully restored and the views you are rewarded with once you have tackled the climb are well worth it....You can see all the way to the blue Mediterranean sea..

Of course you should never go anywhere without a flask and some homemade fruitcake so we took a well appreciated stop at the summit to devour this before we decided to make our way back down..

As the sun started to get lower in the sky we started the decent...I make it sound as if we had scaled Everest don't I....but it is about 225 metres high!!

So all in all we had a great afternoon...the weather was clear and crisp and the sun was shining..and the skies were SO blue. One thing we always notice when we are here in Spain is how clean the air quality is so everything seems to be more just 'pops'!

All that was left to do was to take the obligatory 'selfie' to commemorate this momentus ascent!

Until the next time....Hasta luego! x










Friday, 16 January 2015

Test post via Blogsy...fingers crossed!!

Well I've tweaked the settings and taken advice from the brilliant online assistance from Blogsy (aka Lance!) and I'm just about to see if it's back working??

The 'Pacific Basin' in in the port of Garrucha filling up with gypsum ready to make plasterboard for the building trade....things are on the up!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The one that got away....

I had every intention of posting yesterday, but for some reason unknown to me I cannot for the life of me get my posts to publish via my Blogsy App that I bought and paid for!
Very, very frustrating to say the least!!

Anyway I am going to try and post one using this basic Blogger goes....

Yes I know you're all having such bad weather back in 'Blighty' but I just couldn't resist... Here is what I've had to put up with this afternoon!

I've been on the 5:2 diet since August 2014 ( all thanks to Matt Tiley...thanks Matt!) and all joking aside its the ONLY diet that I have ever followed, and it works, and I've stuck to it..can't get better than that can you..
Tuesday's and Thursday's are what I call "down days", these are the 2 days that I only consume 500 calories, the other 5 days I can have 2000. Anyway I get fed up drinking decaf tea and coffee all day (decaf is lower or sometimes zero calories!), so I came up with this...
It's just chopped up lemons, with a small squirt of Golden Syrup and topped with boiling hot water.
I surprised myself, it was ok!

Lastly, remember the "love is" comic strip cartoons from the late 1960's?.. Well this sprang to mind when I spied our trainers airing in the warm Mojacar sunshine...we'd just returned from a gruelling hour long session of Zumba with Alison at the Jova Sports Gym, located on the ground floor of the Parque Comercial here in Mojacar.

Well enough said, I'm now going to see if this will post... And then it's back to the drawing board with the Blogsy app to try and determine WHY it won't work now!!! HELP!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

I Love Granny Squares!

There I've said it, and I don't mind who hears it!!

I absolutely adore making crochet granny squares and when I saw this vintage sun top whilst Googling "granny squares wearables" I thought I can adapt that...surely!

The trouble was that the model from the 1970's was obviously a weeny size 6 or something and I'm not! But no worries, I wasn't deterred..I can work around that!

So I gathered all my 4ply 100% cotton thread I had and set about adapting the pattern. I worked a large granny square and then just added rows around the edges and length until I was happy with the sizing...

As I mentioned before I always block everything so the ever favourite blocking board was dispatched onto the terrace to dry in the Mojacar sunshine!

It looks rather on the large size doesn't it, but once it was off the board it draped rather well as I had used a larger hook, probably a 5mm or near about, I don't always write everything down, I know I should just in case I want to make another sometime.. this was the end result...what do you think? It is a great little cover up and tucks nicely into your beach bag..

Just one footnote...since making this and having the photo taken I've lost 1.5 stone in weight so I don't look such a "umpa-loompa" in it!!

See you tomorrow for the next instalment. x


Friday, 9 January 2015

Back Tracking....

One of the main reasons I set up this blog is to show and share my craft creations that I make whilst I am here in Mojacar, Spain.

So for this and some future posts I am going to trawl back through my photo archives and show off some of my favourites...hope you like them!

The first was a delicate summer top from Simply Crochet magazine issue 5. A perfect summer top with dainty edging and a super flattering empire line waist detail. An easy-to-wear vest for our hot summer days here in Mojacar.

The pattern called for Egyptian cotton yarn that I did not have so I substituted it for a local yarn from my wool man on Garrucha market. It is called Perle by Alvelana, S.L. And it's is a DK weight with a lovely Perle sheen to it. As I had purchased one 100g ball in EVERY colour he possessed I had little trouble in creating my scrummy jewel effect mini granny squares.

I used a cream for the main body which make the mini granny square colours 'pop'.
I always block a finished crochet item, whether it be a blanket or an item of clothing and with all the sunny days we get here it's never a problem to get the item dry! I have an old pinning board I picked up at a car boot sale years ago, and I brought it over from the UK with me. I pin the item out with headed pins and then just spray with cold water in a spray bottle. Works a treat every time!
What do you think?...
Tomorrow I will share another past project with you, so until then..



Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Fiesta de Los Reyes - The Three Kings

Today, the 6th January 2015 is a national public holiday here in Spain due the celebration of the arrival last evening of the Three Kings...Melchor, Gazpar and Baltasar.

Magically they appear throughout the region, some on camels, some in trucks or trailers and even boats as was the case last evening in Garrucha..

As they parade magestically throughout the town they toss out handfuls of sweets to all that are waiting! It's meant to be for the children but I did see quite a few adults in what looked like full on rugby scrums!

It was a magical evening and we still enjoy it, even though we go most years. The weather stayed dry, it was quite a chilly night but wrapped up warm with scarves and gloves we were fine...

Jan 6th is a family day when everyone comes together for special meals and gift exchanges. They say that nowadays in Spain Christmas Day & 6th January are getting equal celebration with the children's gifts often divided between the two days but there are still families on the "No Santa" side who only give their gifts on the 6th.

This morning the sun was shining ( as usual!) and it was off to our Zumba class at 10.30am at The Kimrick, Mojacar.

The Zumba class is run by Alison Bramwell who is an excellent teacher and has many classes throughout the week here and at the Jova Gym at the Parque Commercial, so if you are interested come along!

On the way back from the class my eye caught this beautiful plant growing over a garage. I think the plant is called a Flame Vine, Golden Shower or Orange Trumpet Creeper. It is a rampant climber and carries cascades of bright tubular flowers.....Stunning!

Well must dash, I have sunbathing to do! xx

(Oh P.S. I have finished my apple green garter stitch sweater, it could do with a few tweaks around the sleeve area, but overall I am happy with it, and best of all it is wearable!)


Sunday, 4 January 2015

As long as I live...

As long as I live in Mojacar I will never tire of the view that greets me every time I walk through my front door. We live in the top apartment in Las Cumbres (literally translated means 'the summits') so that does give us a spectacular 180 degree view...which is breathtaking.

The forecast for today was good, & it certainly didn't topped 37 later so I spent a very pleasant afternoon knitting another garter stitch sweater..

I found this pattern in the Lion Brand website and it is in fact a crochet pattern. I thought why not try and convert it to knitting and once I had established my needle size by whipping up a tension square ( saves all the tears later on!), I literally just converted the pattern by substituting each instruction into knitting. This is the 3rd one I have made, the first was a crochet version in cream, pure Aran, the 2nd was knitted using a Spanish yarn that I would say was between DK and Aran, and this version I am knitting in DK yarn using 7mm needles to give it a decent drape effect. If it fits I may take a photo and post it....maybe!! If anyone is interested in the pattern it is the Lion Brand Easy Classic Top, pattern No: 70475AD.


All the Christmas decorations were safely stored away today ready for next we're all gearing up for the Three Kings celebration which occurs tomorrow evening. We've not decided yet where we will spend it, however Garrucha always puts on a great display with the Kings arriving by boat into the port.

So until tomorrow....xx