Puppy Rescue Sunday

On Sunday I volunteered to help transport a puppy into foster care from Essex to Somerset.

The charity SAR –  Sprocker Assist & Rescue -is a new charity made up of a network of Sprocker  Spaniel owners who offer help to people  struggling  with their Sprockers for whatever reason. They have experienced owners, trainers, & behaviourists, on hand to help owners work through problems & usually help the dog stay in its current home.

If necessary the charity will also arrange foster care & then find new permanent homes for the dogs.

On Saturday a call was put out for volunteers to help  transport this little one from Essex to Somerset & I am in the middle on the M25. There were 4 of us in this relay – someone picked him up from his home & brought him to me, we let him out for a play & comfort break in my garden, then I did the next leg to Buckinghamshire, took him for a little walk & then handed him onto the next volunteer, who met up with his foster carer in Witshire.

Here he is having a play in the garden- Tilly is not so sure as he is a very bouncy puppy!

This little pup has not had an easy start, he has already had several homes, & not surprisingly he is quite needy at the moment- he has separation anxiety but is fine if there is another dog around – he is a beautiful specimen & has been well cared for, so once he is assessed, I am sure there will be plenty of people wanting him to join their family. 

He is now happily playing with his new foster siblings & causing havoc whilst being assessed. 

For more information on the Sprocker Spaniel & SAR follow the links below.

Sprocker Assist & Rescue

The Sprocker Spaniel


Crochet Bra Top Experiment

I have been crocheting for around 18months & made lots of different items mostly small in order to learn new techniques, Recently my son’s girlfriend suggested I made a bra top, as they are all over the summer music festival scene and the shops.

I have never made an item of clothing in crochet but started doing some research & thought it might be fun to have a go.

I found this basic pattern for the cups & had some leftover cotton from my knitted knockers & started construction. 

After the cups were joined together – using google images for inspiration- I started to add a bottom band, with a foundation row of single crochet, then a couple of rows of treble crochet. The lacy bottom is just a *sc, ch3, loop* pattern & I then added sides by working some of the lacy loops sideways decreasing as necessary to make a band around the back & leaving ties of long chains. I added straps which were just rows of sc, with long chains attached for ties,  then edged the cups & straps with a simple *ch3 miss 1 sc * pattern. & the edging is inspired by this Hooky Trim by lucy at Attic24.

  This was a bit of a ‘make it up as you go along’ pattern with adjustments to fit along the way. I had to reduce the length of the back as it was too long but for a first attempt I thought that was pretty good.

My second one started with the same basic pattern for the cups but I adapted it to add extra rows on one side to give more coverage.

I also added a couple of rows of *tr miss 1 tr* under the cups so that the ties could be threaded through to pull the  band in & give more support. A few rows of single crochet & a different edging pattern that I found online. I made the ties from 3 long chains plaited together this time. This was a much better fit & went off to a festival on the wearer!

My third attempt was a commission!! my friend’s daughter saw my first one & asked me to make one for her hols.

  This was a little simpler in construction – still threading a chain through the band to form one of the ties & attaching a second one at the bottom of the band – I didnt have long to do this one so the band was v simple *htr ch1 miss1* then second row *htr into ch space ch1* pattern. Similar edging to before.


She was very happy!

This was a great experiment – crochet is very adaptable & these bra tops were quite easy even fora novice like me!

I used DK cotton & 4mm hook for all & adapted to fit by doing more rounds on the cup pattern as necessary.

I hope I have inspired you to have a go too:) Now back to my squircle baby blanket…….


Mutant Flowers

If you saw my earlier post re: Essenden open gardens you will know that I purchased several plants from the gardeners during that day.

One of them was this magnificent Argyranthemum or yellow Marguerite, it has been amazing & has really taken off since I planted it 6 weeks ago. The flowers are plentiful & a really vibrant zingy yellow, fading to cream as they age – it looks great from my kitchen window – its a real splash of colour.  

The other day I noticed something strange – a couple of the flowers were ‘Siamese Twins’ – the stem had 2 flowerheads that were back to back – a very strange mutation which I think is called fasciation?? Although -these flowerheads are not deformed -there are just 2 of them!!

Interesting phenomenon – much prettier than the usual fasciation where flowers look weird & abnormal – these are perfect identical twins.

This part of the garden is coming along nicely now, we have reduced the size of the bed, added strips of turf either side, the compost bin area has been tidied up & we have used old slabs that were lying around to make a ‘paved’ area – this is temporary as we will replace the shed soon.  

The bed has been planted with yellow, orange & blue/purple colour scheme. We kept the existing Strawberry Tree & dwarf Conifer & planted a Phlomis shrub, the yellow Marguerite, a couple of orange Gerberas, 3 Verbena Bonariensis, some orange Geum, (not flowering yet), a blue Geranium & some blue Asters & orange Californian Poppies from my mum’s garden. Hopefully by next year it should be in full bloom & looking great.

(The dog has already christened the new turf!)

The view from my kitchen window is beginning to look much prettier!