Sunday, 20 November 2011

Weekend walks

Lovely sunny day today so I took Lucy for a walk: we took the local ''chicken -run'' route. Pippa had refused to come and I wasn't in the mood to drag her along today.
It's been such a busy week, Miss Y 's music concert on Monday ( glee club) , Crochet class on Tuesday- my ladies learned to do granny squares and brought scarves and hats and a flower that they'd made- wow sooo pleased! Wednesday dancing at the University after working late at the office as well as Newbury driving the A34 in thick fog, Thursday collapsed with a migraine but managed to visit Lucy Clark by evening, Friday more migraine and late evening sewing - dance dress try-outs, Saturday IKEA- Miss Y benefitted from a new desk, bedside unit and desk-chair, in the evening I almost didn;t go but was very glad I went dancing in Oxford.
I danced 10 dances and learned 6 new ones, it was such glorious fun .
Today I walked and sewed the sofa cushion covers.... Phew no wonder I'm feeling so tired?
New shoots near Moreton on a very early walk with JJ, Saturday ( 9 am!)

Moreton on the way home, two sloe trees had been cut down- sad face- and another tree has shrivelled sloes on it still, I wonder why?
This was today at about 2pm on the chicken walk...
Lovely path, autumn colours.
Lucy thinking of rolling in something?

Then back home again, greyer now and a bit chilly.

Lucy loved it.
Making a crocheted tartan sash to wear for dance classes when I'm dancing ''as a man''.
This is the progress on the sofa thus far. By 8pm today I have also finished one of the back seat cushions and have inserted the zipper on the second. Had to stop as I need a few more metres of piping cord.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Charitable giving: crochet and baking

Say hello to Lennie the Lion, my first ever finger- puppet! For Operation Christmas Child of course.
Pattern from Inside Crochet mag, latest issue: #24 with the weird green baby hat on the cover.
OK ok hand embroidery has never been a forte of mine...Kinda cute though?
At 17 degrees C and sunny at 1pm on 13th NOVEMBER????? aMAAAZING. This was Cuttlebrook where at last the leaves are falling/ have fallen. Tiny bit of autumn.

Lucy BEHIND me , what's going on? She usually races ahead.
Lovely trees.
Lucy panting. Maybe she's too hot? Or unfit? Or exhausted? We walked from the top of the upper High st today AND stopped off at the Children In Need stall AND had walked round the block at home with Pippa too.
Such gorgeous trees.
No she definitely didn't want to walk, she's still way behind.
Here are just some of the delicious cupcakes Miss E baked on Saturday 12th. With Hummingbird bakery recipes and Hummingbird frostings.
Aren't they lovely? I'm just sorry I didn't get a photo of the PUDSEY BEAR ones she iced by hand with a yellow bear face and spotted eye bandage? And she did some RAINBOW ones too.
She was baking ALL day from 8 am to the evening and had shopped at Waitrose on the Friday evening for all the ingredients. ( huge bill but never mind) We're sooo PROUD of her!!!!
And here they are a team of 4 from year 9 AHS manning their charity bake sale stand in Thame.

THANK YOU to the people of Thame who supported them as everything SOLD and they have just over £150 to give to the CHILDREN IN NEED charity! WELL DONE girls!
And this is the left front of the white cotton SALICE I finished yesterday evening at the Autumn concert at AHS. Miss Y was in the GLEE club performance. The music and singing was of an outstandingly excellent standard and that's speaking honestly, as a classic FM devotee, not as a mum. I thought I'd video-ed it on my i-phone but ooops I got only a small part and somehow all you can see is my skirt, not sure why. I'm certain I focused on Miss Y who was in the front row.
So proud of BOTH my daughters! WOW.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day

I was discussing this only yesterday: how does one keep the paper remembrance day poppy looking good if not pristine, do you have to buy one new every day?
I have been wearing my paper one since November 4th , it went to a dance and then daily after this on coats, cardigans and tops to remain visible but it got very folded and crushed looking?
Then I saw some home-made ones on Ravelry and resolved to crochet my own today, for today.
And finish it before 11 am to wear for the 2 minutes silence.
It's made with Sirdar baby bamboo in cherry red and some sage green DK Patons pure cotton.

I used a 3.5 mm hook, but would have preferred a 3mm to have it even tighter, couldn't find one in time. Chain 2 and then work into the first chain.
Each petal is: approximately:* 1 dc, 1 Half treble ( HTr), 2 Trebles**, 4-6 Double trebles then repeat from * to ** in reverse order. Work 2-3 petals depending on preference. Finish off and sew small a black button into the centre. For the leaf: chain about 20 then work a dc into the 3rd ch, followed by 2 dc 1 per ch, 1Htr, 1Tr, 2DTr, 1Tr,1Htr,1dc, slip stitch the remaining chains to end. Sew in ends and sew leaf onto poppy flower at back, angling so it sits at 11 o'clock when you wear it.
Mine tend to flop over which I think is rather nice as that's exactly what real poppy leaves tend to do? If you don't like this you may want to sew a piece of wire along one edge or make the leaf double sided by working back along the other side of the start chain.
Sew on a brooch back or medium safety pin - as long as it's smaller than the flower -and doesn't show.
Wear your poppy with pride and please still make a suitable donation to the poppy-appeal fund.

Let's remember with reverence those who died for us so we may live this wonderful free life we're blessed with today.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Durham and Operation Christmas Child- crochet HAT pattern.

Sunday last I had the privilege of travelling comfortably by train to Durham to spend some time with a dear friend from the late 1980's who I had seen very little of recently. I was also in for a treat: a walk around Durham, which I have been longing to do for a few years- and it was SUNNY!
Suitably impressed by the cathedral and castle I was awed by the interior and loved the wood, the frescoes, the triangle carved stone decorations which looked like many layers of ric-rac along the arches.
Can you remember Harry Potter and other Hogwart's students walking along this quad?
This wood ceiling fascinated me, the new wood so plain but the OLD wood so patterned, almost like a pelt of wild fur or moire taffeta?! The older wood panels are below the newer ones in this shot. The picture should be ''clickable'' for magnification if interested.

Back outside, we had a lovely walk and I was surprised how small and compact the city-centre was. I had always thought it rather huge as the view from the train station as the train pulls into Durham is one of the towering cathedral and castle with the city below and the river curling through. A view I had seen so very many times on my way to and from Newcastle upon Tyne when at University there for 5 years. But in practice it's much smaller than York.
The rose window, with a postcard of the colours below.
The castle, student accommodation now: LUCKY students, but suffering from subsidence...
Walking down from the cathedral to the river.
Looking back up from a bridge.

I am still very keen to find out WHAT these birds are? There were many on this weir in the river. Some all black, some black and white. Long sharp yellow beaks.

oops, window didn't load rotated to the right as planned.

This one shows the corrugated edges look or the ric rac edging as I described?
Monday morning I walked from the IBIS hotel- very bad night DO NOT stay there if you have a choice- along the walls of York to the University Biocentre. Took about an hour.
And I was extraordinarily pleased to be able to use an app which showed me the way on my phone....aaah the little joys of new toys, we don't grow up do we? I just LOVED the way the little blue dot( ME) moved along the route as I walked from red dot to green dot.
Here's the hat I made on the train journey from Haddenham to London: in just an hour!
Pattern to follow below. It's for OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD.
Am not entirely sure of the scallop edge: does it make it look like a teacosy???
This is the top of the hat without the pom pom.
And here's the scarf I made earlier- Blue Peter style- in just ONE evening. All in UK term double crochet stitches, worked in the BACK loop only.
This is the reverse side.
Pom poms are to be fixed to the ends. Here's the fab clover pom pom gadgets I use a lot. Pom Pom in Progress as it were. Lent my middle size to a student so will make the small ones this time.



Marble comes in 200g balls and the hat used only 56 g, the scarf used 94g

6 mm crochet hook.

It's that time of year again: time to fill those shoe boxes with gifts for children not as fortunate as one's own!

Warm hats and scarves are needed as well as pencils,paper,soap,beads( for a girl), and other appropriate small toys.

I must admit I do buy the gloves/mittens to go with the above set from Thame market on a Tuesday!

The hat is finished with a simple shell border of* 5 trebles in one stitch skip 2 sts, work a dc in next st, skip 2 sts, repeat from *AND an optional pom-pom.

Made with a 6 mm crochet hook and part of a 200g ball of MARBLE CHUNKY by James Brett.

The hat used up 56 grammes and the scarf 94 g and they easily fit both a child's head and into a small child sized shoe box( from Clarks).


Chain3 and close with a slip stitch., work 3 chain then 15 trebles into the circle.

Chain 4 and work 1 treble 1 chain into each treble : ending with 15 trebles and a chain3 masquerading as a treble with a chain space between each.

Chain 3 and work 1 treble into the top of each treble and 2 trebles into each chain space: ending as 48 trebles( include the 1st 3 chain as a treble).Close each row with a slipst into the 3rd chain.

Continue in trebles working one into each treble and starting each row with a chain3, close each row with a slipst as before.

After 9 rows working staright without increases: change to dc as follows:

chain 1 and dc in everystitch with a sl st into the chain, repeat for 5 more rows( 6 rows of dc in total)

chain 1 and work dc in the front loop only ( to create a foldline) all the way around, sl st in ch: 48sts.

work a further 6 rows in dc as beforefinishing with a crabstitch border if desired or a shell stitch border as described at the beginning.

Make pom pom ( 35 mm) and attach to hat. Work in ends.

Fits adults as well as most children aged 5-10.

In the photographed hat I used two different colours of the yarn to add a few stripes. It can be made all from the ONE ball. Yarn available on-line from purple Linda crafts, google for information or message me. It's exceptionally soft and nice to work with as long as you have a metal hook.

SCARF PATTERN: as an oval.

Uses about 100g of James Brett Marble Chunky(mine weighs 94 g excluding pom-poms)

A 7 and 6.5 mm hook.

A pom pom maker by clover or custom- cut card rings.

Gauge not essential: my sample scarf measured 11 cm by 174 cm .

Chain 150 with the 7mm hook and change to 6.5mm hook.

Chain 1 and then work a dc into the 3rd chain from the hook, continue to the end stitch where you work 2dc in the last stitch. Do not turn, but work 2 dc in the first loop on the other side of the starting chain.

Then continue working a dc in each loop until you reach the last loop of the chain on that side. Work 2dc in the last loop and 2 dc in the dc on the other side, then continue across working in the back loop only. The back loop is the loop of the V furthest away from your body.

Continue until the last dc on that side and work 2dc in the next 2 dc, one from one side and one from the other side. You will have completed row 3 and starting row 4. Continue in this manner until the last 2 stitches in row 5 where you work 2dc in each of the last 2 dc on that side AND 2dc in each of the 2dc at the start of row 6.

From now on you increase in the 2 stitches either side of the midline at each end ( ie 4 stitches in total) making 8 dcs into these stitches. The rest is 1dc in each dc.

Complete the scarf at row 13 when about a quarter way along the side by working a slip stitch per dc in about 10 stitches , pull yarn though loop and cut yarn or if you are using pom -poms at the ends finish at an end. Sew in ends.

Make either 1 large or 3 small pompoms for the each of the ends and sew them on.

Variation 1:

Alternatively you can work the scarf as a rectangle working back and forth in either back loops only or both loops or a variation which keeps all the ‘’lines’’ on one side of the scarf.

Variation 2:

You can work the scarf as a rectangle cross-wise across by using a start chain of 24 sts and working back and forth, keeping edges straight Work as many rows as desired and finish with fringe at edge.