Wild flowers of the Med Steps


You will have noticed that of late, the Med Steps have featured very heavily in my blog posts, mainly because I’ve spent quite a lot of time climbing them recently. The one thing which has really left an impression on me, apart from the aching muscles, is just how beautiful it looks at the moment with all the wild flowers in bloom. I believe in these last few weeks I have been lucky enough to see them at their absolute peak. The poppies, candytufts, and countless other flowers which have fleetingly made their presence known and brightened up my walks.

I have been taking lots of photos of them to share with those of you who haven’t seen them for real, and I had intended to do a blog post all about them, so here it is. 

The only problem is, I don’t know much about wild flowers and the idea of researching their names etc left me cold (it would most probably make the most boring blog post anyway), so that would just leave along stream of photos of random flowers (also boring). I thought long and hard about how I could bring them to life and capture their magic both for you and for me.


 

Then I came up with an idea, (a slightly strange idea perhaps) to try to recreate the flowers in yarn. I have a book of flower patterns 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet by Lesley Stanfield and the internet is full of ideas and patterns for crocheting all sorts of wierd and wonderful things so I started investigating. Wow, the world was my oyster, there was so much potential out there that I thought I could really do this. 

But what would I make? A blanket? No, the last one took over a year to make – I’d lose interest. A bag? No, it would soon get battered and spoiled as I used it, plus, it may look a bit odd for everyday use. Then inspiration hit…Remember I made a wreath at Christmas?

Last summer, when I was in England and blessed with lots of fantastic craft supply shops to frequent, I bought two polystyrene wreaths but so far I’d only used one. Inspired by the beautiful wreaths made by Lucy of Attic 24, I thought what if I covered it in crochet to represent the Rock of Gibraltar? There’s the greenery of the steps, the sky and sea and then add the crocheted wildflowers to that? Oh my, that’s it! I have got loads of creative ideas fizz popping in my head now, I need to get cracking.

So first things first, how on earth do I chose which flowers to include? Well Gibraltar’s National Flower, the candytuft is an obvious choice.

Then we have the poppies, with their papery thin petals nodding gently in the sea breeze. They are so delicate and yet stunning against the other greenery of the Upper Rock.

There’s a fair amount of lavender too, and that’s one of my all time favourite plants. The fragrance is so calming and comforting.

So it’s time to get started. I began with crocheting the cover for the polystyrene wreath in shades of green, grey and blue.

And here it is…

It looks a little bare don’t you think? Time to decorate… first a daisy?

Next a thistle…


I made a couple of sprigs of lavender using this pattern.          

There are some really dainty wild sweet pea kind of plants up there at the moment:


We can’t forget the poppies (this one I had to knit):

So to one of Gibraltar’s national flowers… The Candytuft. Could I find a pattern for one anywhere? Could I heck. I had to ‘invent’ one. Based on a pattern in my flower book but with a candytuft twist:


And of course, I can’t forget the little critters who enjoy the wild flowers too…

The butterfly came from the flower book and the bumble bee was made using this pattern from Attic 24. One of my favourite critters in this part of the world though is the lizards, I used this free Ellie Skene Ravelry pattern to make Gordon the gecko:

Next it was time to assemble the wreath…

I played about with the arrangement for a while and added a dandelion, a buttercup and various different shaped leaves before sewing them into place. Are you ready? Here goes :


Time for a few gratuitous close ups ;-)… The wildlife:

Florals:

Perhaps the world’s first ever crocheted Gibraltar Candytuft!:

I’m pleased with how it turned out, it’s currently hanging on the back of my front door. It brightens up my hall and reminds me of the many hours I’ve spent walking past the gorgeous wild flowers of the Med Steps and the fun I had making it. I now promise I’ll stop banging on about the Med Steps for a little while, I know I’m getting boring ;-).

Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday Sevens #7 22.11.15

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Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins blog. It features seven photos from the last seven days.

1 Watercolour class

This week at watercolour class, we worked on poppies again. This time we were were inspired by a beautiful photograph of poppies which my teacher has. Unfortunately she doesn’t know who took the photo so I can’t credit him/her but I’m rather pleased with the result.

2 Dressmaking class

Ta-dah! I have completed my first ever wearable skirt! I’m rather chuffed with it. It’s ready just in time for Christmas party season and will go nicely with a sparkly top I think. Next project: a gathered skirt.

3 The Rock!

One late afternoon this week, I found myself on Eastern beach looking up. It’s really quite imposing that rock of ours and because it’s always there I sometimes forget about it. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, it’s still here…

4 Sunshine!

On a different afternoon this week I ended up at Camp Bay (also known locally as El Quarry, as once upon a time it was one), on the South-western side of Gibraltar. It was a really glorious day, the sun was bouncing off the sea and was really quite dazzling. On days like this it feels like an English summer’s day when you are in the sun, but if you head into the shade it’s starting to get a little bit chilly. I know that for those of you experiencing frost and snow at the moment, my concept of ‘chilly’ differs from yours, so please excuse me :-).

5 Greenery

This little green oasis is one of my favourite spots here in Gibraltar. It’s called South Bastion and is a regular stop off on the tourist trail as visitors stop to take photos of the statue of Nelson which is close by and it’s directly opposite the Trafalgar Cemetery. I love it here as it’s always lush and green and I’m a greenery loving kinda gal. Sadly, it’s not quite as tranquil as perhaps the photo suggests as it’s right next to a busy road junction, but it’s still lovely.

6 Christmas projects 

It’s officially started, I have begun my Christmas makes. Here are a few snowflakes I’ve had a go at, hopefully they will be a little less curly when I’ve had a chance to block them. Just over a month to go!

7 Christmas lights, again….  

Please indulge me just one more photo of the amazing light show we witnessed at the Gibraltar Festival of Light Christmas light switch-on ceremony on Friday evening. It was a really lovely event and featured, along with performances by local children of singing and dancing, a great light show beamed onto the City Hall. If you missed my last post about the evening, you can find it here.

That’s all from me for this week, I hope you are having a great weekend. Thank you for stopping by.