Hello lovely picnicers/pick-nickers/pick knickers (how DO you spell that??),

Have you got all the lovely squares we’ve made so far ready?  Well, this week we’re joining them all together!  By then end we will have a cute mini blanket and I have just a few tips that will hopefully make things a bit easier for you.

Firstly, when joining the squares, just make sure your tension is not too tight so that the pieces lie nice and flat.

Follow Eleonora’s pictures for your placement and they will show you that the river scene is in the four corners with the lovely flowers taking their place in the middle of the rows with the basket rectangles in between each square.

To put them together, place the right sides facing each other (very important!) and the pattern says to dc the corresponding 26 stitches together, so ignore corner ch2 on both pieces.  Count your joining stitches as you go to make sure you are not missing any stitches. Finish off your yarn at the end of each joining row.

To make sure you are starting in the right stitch hold a piece with the front facing you and put your hook through the first stitch on the left had side from the back, you can then push your hook through the first stitch of the square you are joining to and pull your yarn back through both stitches. This ensures you are not going through the ch2 by mistake. Then count as you dc through 26 stitches on the edge of both pieces.

Keep referring to the picture and to your work to make sure that you are getting everything in the right place and the right way round!  I will admit I did have one river square the wrong way round and had to unpick the join to set it right!

Eleonora tells us to join the central gingham square once all the small squares and rectangles are joined and it does feel like juggling an octopus at times, but take your time and you will soon have it under control!

 

Border

The corners on this first border round (in colour G, Meadow) are a bit different to the kind of corners most of us are probably used to. When you finish your last stitch of the side, you just do a chain 2 and then straight into the first stitch of the next side. In fact in this whole round, you just ignore the corner chains and just crochet into the stitches.

On border round 3 (colour E, Cloud Blue) just be careful to read the instructions at the start of each row. It starts and ends with a dbtr in the first 2 and last 2 stitches.

On border rounds 3 (colour E, Cloud Blue) & 4 (colour F, Bluebell) it doesn’t say fasten off, but do fasten off at the end of each round.

Round 4 & 5 are worked in to the back loop only.

Border row 6 uses front post stitches again. Don’t forget to make FRONT post stitches you put your hook from FRONT to back which puts the stitch at the front of your work and for BACK post stitches your hook starts at the BACK of the post and the stitch is on the back of your work. You will be making back post stitches in round 7.

 

Round 7

Just be sure with your stitch placement in this round. The pictures below shows where to work the fpdtr and where to work your next tr.

 

When working the fpdtr, try and pinch the base of the tr post you are working round to hold it firmly in place. This post has been made into the back loop only of the previous round so is only through a single strand, just be careful not to stretch it too much. Don’t worry if your blanket starts to look a little ‘fluted’ in this round. The next round will bring it all back in line.

 

Theses two rounds are creating little strawberries! Very cute!

 

Round 8

 

I just thought I’d show you the stitch placement for the tr and the fptr

 

And that’s it for this week! A mini picnic blanket! Isn’t it super adorable!

 

My gift to you this week as your reward for getting to the end of the blog are some facts about tea!  I know, I’m really spoiling you!

 

We Brits love a brew!  And Yorkshire folks are no exception!  I was quite surprised to read that the average cups of tea supped per day in this fine county is 4!  I actually thought it would be far more than that! It certainly feels like the kettle is always on in my house…until it’s time for a gin of course!

Two of our city’s feature in the UK’s top 10 of tea drinking cities, with Leeds at no 5 and York scraping in at no 10! We are lightweights compared to Northern Ireland residents who top the UK charts with an average of 7.9 cups per day!

The answer to many problems! A good cup of tea with a friend can make many an issue seem less overwhelming! And in Yorkshire, we even have our own blend of tea!  Unsurprisingly called Yorkshire Tea!  It is specially blended to suit the elements in the water supply!  How incredible is that?!

 

Around the globe, tea is often taken without milk, but we Brits love a drop of the white stuff in our cuppa!  Apparently, the roots of tea with milk dates back to the 17th century when tea was a delicacy and the well to do of our land drank their tea from such delicate china that it would crack if the tea was too hot, so milk was put in first to cool it down enough purely to preserve the china!  Now this might prove controversial but to my mind this is hard evidence that when making a cup of tea brewed in a pot, the milk goes in first.  That’s also how I do it.  But when making a mug of tea with a teabag, the milk goes is second! It’s a bit like the age-old scone debate!  Jam or cream first!  I think there is a difference of opinion on that one too.  Personally, I’m in the jam first, cream second camp!  Ooooo tea and scones! There are few things better than that in my book!

In 19th Century England, it was commonplace for people to eat only breakfast and an evening meal.  The 7th Duchess of Bedfordshire is said to have complained about feeling tired and hungry in the afternoon and started taking a pot of tea and a snack in her boudoir at 4pm!  She started asking close friends to join her for ‘afternoon tea’ and it became a rather social event. The practice was soon adopted by society women and moved into the drawing rooms of the nation.  Although a full afternoon tea is considered a treat these days, a cup of tea and something sweet to eat mid afternoon is fairly commonplace in the UK.

Personally I am a huge fan of tea! Good coffee has it’s place, but tea is welcomed at anytime! And I know I am not alone.

Tea seems particularly popular amongst writers!  I found lots of quotes and here are some of my favourites

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough of a book long enough to suit me.” – CS Lewis

“Wouldn’t it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn’t have tea?” – Noel Coward

“Tea is one of the main stays of civilisation in this country.” – George Orwell

“I must drink lots of tea or I cannot work.  Tea unleashes the potential which slumbers in the depth of my soul.” Leo Tolstoy

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James

“Tea! Bless ordinary, everyday afternoon tea!” Agatha Christie

So all hail the humble cup of tea! And on that note, I’m off to put the kettle on…again!

See you next week

 

Julie x x