Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sea Blue Hooky


I was all cosy on the sofa the other evening, wrapped up in my ripple blanket with a nice cuppa and a copy of Country Living magazine.  I noticed that twilight was infusing the blue sky with it's velvety darkness and I suddenly had an urge to start a new crochet project...darker nights make me want to dig out my hook and a stash of soft wool and get busy.  The next day, I took myself off to the local wool shop and browsed the shelves looking for the right shades for my new scarf.

Yes, another scarf.

I cannot help myself when it comes to making scarves - it's because it's such a portable project, and pretty quickly made up I think, so I enjoy making them.  Plus, it's always nice to have a cosy and colourful collection to dip into come the colder weather.

But this time, I wasn't after bold, bright splashes of colour.  This time, I was trying something very different ~ I was on the lookout for sea blues and greys, the colours that I associate with the coast in winter...I envisaged a smooth, round, charcoal coloured pebble encircled with an elipse of white sitting in my palm...I saw pale blue skies, with gulls wheeling high above on the thermals...I saw stormy grey blue seas, wind whipped into frothy white waves that crashed onto pale sandy shores...I felt the cool, bleak wonder of a beach walk in January, discovering bleached driftwood and tiny white shells sprinkled on the tide line amidst muddy brown fronds of seaweed.

I wanted to find these kinds of colours for my scarf.  And I discovered Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK and I was smitten.

The shades of this yarn are beautiful, and capture everything I was thinking of.  I also had a pattern in mind for this scarf, which is called the Starburst stitch.  You can probably get a free tutorial online for this stitch, but Im using the one that's in Handbook of Crochet Stitches.

I like how the Starburst stitch looks a little bit like waves on the ocean...

I must admit, despite being landlocked and yearning for brisk Autumn walks on a beach, I do like this time of year in these parts.  The countryside is slowly fading, the carnival of Summer packs up it's glamours and slowly moves on, replaced by that chill in the air, an undefinable feeling, a wistful sense of something passing...of log fires and hot chocolate, of walking in crunchy leaves down lanes where the air is tinged with the scent of a bonfire.  All of these things have me yearning to be in the kitchen making delicious things... aromatic parsnip and apple soup...*recipe can be found in October Edition of Country Living Magazine*

There is something very comforting about home made soup, fresh off the hob and dished up with a warm baguette, generously buttered and served with a big mug of tea.  It is comforting, and reassuring and homely.

I do enjoy these small comforts, they help me to make the transition from Summer to the colder months ahead.  I know I'm one of those souls who, despite liking each season enormously, deeply laments the passing of the warmer days.

I'm currently tucked up indoors working on a commission painting; I'm also starting new sketches for the solo exhibition I am in next year, at Studio 61 Gallery, in Derbyshire.  This is my first ever solo exhibition and I'm thrilled to have been invited to show with the gallery.

Also, for the first time in many moons, I have agreed to do a Christmas fair - it's hosted by the very talented Kate Brazier of Kate Creates, and I'll be down in Newton Regis on the 8th December to sell some Christmas and Coastal wares!

I can feel a cup of tea coming on now, I'll see you next time - thanks for bobbing by.


  1. Beautiful post Julia. I LOVE the colours for your scarf. Perfect sea tones for this time of year. Autumn is my favourite season x

  2. A lovely cosy post with wonderful describing words that conjour up the full sentiment of your post and leaves one feeling warm & cosy too....
    Love the scarf ~ its going to be very warm & snug come the Winter chill....
    I shall look forward to seeing the end product....
    Bringing heaps of SM!LeS....

    jULiA and CatchaDraghonfly

  3. Dear Julia,
    As always I find your blog truly inspirational. I love your new scarf, the choice of colours is spot on with the colours of the sea at this time of the year. I have been looking at the stitch pattern and have found that in some places they also call it "pin wheel stitch".
    I'm nearly finishing the book " A year by the sea" by Joan Anderson after your recommendation. Despite it wasn't chosen by the bookclub girls (it was a finalist, though!) I decided to read it anyway and I am really enjoying it. For some reason it is one of these books that I have to read one chapter at a time and reflect on it instead of continuously like any other novel. Did you find that?
    It's been really busy round here recently and have noticed that I missed your survey. Is it too late to reply? Look forward to seeing your final product but I bet it will be a wonderful scarf.
    Pati x

  4. I love the colours and pattern of your scarf. I also feel an urge to crochet as Autumn approaches!

  5. What an utterly gorgeous scarf! I love Autumn too- today I made another lovely batch of tomato soup- enough for three lunches in the winter to chase away the cold days and remind us of summer!

  6. oh your scarf is beautiful Julia, the colours are perfect x

  7. Country LIving is my favorite magazine!!! And you're right - that stitch DOES look like waves. Beautiful!

  8. Love the eloquent way you've described the passing of Summer.
    The colours you've chosen for your scarf look so beautiful together.
    Congratulations on the invite for the solo exhibition. It looks like
    you're going to be very busy in the coming months :-)

  9. Julia, like Pipany, I also very much like the look of your crocheted scarf...the stitch really meets with the yarn texture and colors so well.

    This is a lovely time of year. Farewell to summer, while the weather is still filled with lingering warmth. Greetings to autumn with the promises of new energy that the chillier air will bring. We can chose whether to enjoy outdoors or indoors and always make a good decision!

    I've also got quite a few projects underway, some very new (some yarn arrived in yesterday's post) and some more of the continuing type, relying on established supplies.

    it's not yet 7:30 this evening and the sun is already setting.

    Pumpkin alert!

  10. Hi Pati,
    I read the book the same way as you did, and found it nice to reflect on each chapter as I went off to sleep. It's one of my favourite books of the year so far. As for the survey, you are still welcome to take it if you'd like to - just click the link at the bottom of the post it's on and it should take you to the 4 questions.
    Thanks for your lovely comments, have a great weekend,
    Love Julia x x x

  11. Juila I am in love with your new scarf. Fact.
    The soup looks delicious and when you said the recipe is in the October edition I'm very happy because I have that copy at home! I haven't got to the recipe page yet because I savour every page to make it last as long as possible!
    Well done with the exhibition and the christmas sale. You're sure to do very well with your beautiful work.
    Jess xx

  12. The colors you chose for the scarf are perfect. Love the 'waves' pattern.

  13. what a lovely post, very inspiring. I didn't get to the sea this year and I feel your yearning. The scarf is going to be gorgeous, I think I might have to make one, I'm considering buying the book. Would be great to see how it comes along, have a good weekend, Heather

  14. Well hellooooo! Your scarf and those colours are just wonderful. Oh I wish I could crochet!!

  15. I am beginning to crochet so feel very inspired by your beautiful scarf.

  16. What a beautiful collage of the seaside - made me feel all warm and as if I was on holiday!

    The stitch you used on your pretty scarf does look like waves and the colours are spot on.

  17. Oh what a sweet, homely post. I adore your new scarf pattern and the wool looks fab. I am itching to start a new project too and need to order new wool. I think I may just have to get that mag just for the soup recipe. It looks lovely. xx

  18. Nice story. I am going to try and make this if it kills me. I can not wait to retire, I will be moving to Gulf Shores Alabama to be near the water. The beach seems to calm my soul. Off to the yarn store!

  19. where can i learn to make this stitch?! its just gorgeous!!!!

  20. I was wanting to know the colors that you chose for your scarf!


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