As you may recall, while I was away for my week by the sea, I began a second crocheted flower cushion. You can see the beginnings of it in my holiday window seat here. It grew much more quickly and easily than my first version (even allowing for my difficulties with keeping an accurate count of anything over ten stitches!) It's exactly the same delightful Lucy of Attic 24 pattern as before which you can find on Lucy's blog here but in very different colours from my first rosy one. Not early-summery, pale pinks and lavenders, deep rose and crimson reds with light gooseberry greens and pale blues for contrast this time, but more late-summer-nudging-into-autumn colours.
The colours of dahlias and chrysanthemums - deep burgundies, wine reds, tawny golds and burnt oranges lightened with some soft white peach, apricot and old rose. Not my normal palette at all but very much my mother's and as it is a birthday present for her next month that is as it should be. I am really pleased with the result and I hope my mother will be too. (She doesn't read this so I am not spoiling any surprises by showing you an advance peep by the way.) I can't believe how different it looks from my first version. Of course it's obviously the same pattern and everything but its mood is different, if I can put it like that, and actually I have really enjoyed working with these very different colours.
I don't want to abandon my normal palette entirely but it's been really good to spend time with a different one for a change and making something for somebody else (whose colours I know these are) has been enormously liberating - it's taken all the angst about whether a departure from my colour norm will jar horribly with my other makes and silenced that whispering voice in the back of my head that would otherwise have kept saying "These colours are not you, Mrs T!" It's freed me just to enjoy the colours for their own sake. Very liberating indeed. Anyone else find this?
And the really interesting thing is that I've found, on finishing the said cushion, and returning to my hooky basket to start something new, that although I naturally gravitate back to colours I loved before, I am seeing them slightly differently. Although the ground is the same it is also subtly different if you see what I mean and I find myself wondering more experimentally and less predictably about colour choices than before this project. Interesting. I'd be fascinated to know if anyone else has had a similar experience with colour especially with colour that they wouldn't normally think was "them".
And just to echo my finished cushion the dahlias are in flower most spectacularly in my garden.
I love dahlias - they are so opulent and flamboyant and they are also user-friendly to grow - you stick the tubers in the ground and let them get on with it. My kind of plant! They don't like severe cold and I think you are supposed to lift the tubers in the autumn and replant them in the spring to avoid losing them in a very harsh winter but mine, I'm afraid, were left to take their chances. They are so beautiful this year though, that perhaps I must take the extra trouble this autumn. The only snag with their wonderful rich pom-pom heads is that their deep, soft petals appear to be favoured to an extraordinary degree by earwigs chilling out on holiday. I do not like earwigs. They are not exactly harmful creatures but they do bite and are not easy to trap and remove. The jug of dahlias in the pic had to remain outside until all vacationing earwigs had checked out - much to their disgruntlement!