Sunday, 20 August 2017

HEALTHY cycle ride on Phoenix Way

 The day dawned sunny and after my taxi duties taking Miss Y to Waddesdon Manor and I had done some tidying and housework I was keen to go walk and cycle.... Here is my trusty steed out of the garage.
 At the same time as it happens in Amsterdam, Holland JJ was buying Miss E this new bike!
 Here she is cycling!
 Then Lucy said : woof I want to go WALKING!
 Brilliant Dutch bikes are!
 Oh OK then I'm going to SULK! You can go cycling. And at 15:15 I left and cycled at first because I have walked the same bits of the Phoenix way rather often recently and it's getting a bit same old same old.
 So I cycled and fast, this is after 30 minutes : 15:45. this was on the right
 This was just behind me.
This was on my left at the 30 minute point from home.

 Here's me and my bike.
And this is the way ahead. I think I'll do another 15 minutes...
 By the railway.

 looking back
 looking sideways
and then on I cycled again.

 This was at 15:58 and it was getting busy with cars and a bit dull
 So I turned back but where was I in those 43 minutes?
AHA. Just passed Horsenden Manor.

Now cycling back again.

 The green tunnel bit

 By some nice fields and beginning to feel fatigue. Near Black gates, the second set.

 The way home lies ahead...
And here's the fabulous bike, back home again.
It was 90 minutes fast pedalling but booho my FITBIT Surge did not register it at activity or exercise at all!
WW reckons it's only worth 8 SP and I ate 7 of them when I got home as 2 mini HOT X Buns...HA HA HA. Delicious.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Machine Knitting and hand -knit history

 Hey there, so I am back and with a new craft that I am trying to re-master: KNITTING!
( sorry for the absence I have been sewing and also DANCING and WALKING a lot and have lost 18 lbs to be below my WW goal weight, this with family and work has been keeping me very busy for many months)
The fair-isle jumper above was knitted in about 1974-1976 by hand by my good self with acrylic yarn sold in big balls from the HEMA . I bought it out of my pocketmoney which was very little, and designed and knitted it all by myself. My granny MIMI had taught me the basics of knitting and I did the maths and a tension piece, sourced a diagram of the key pieces with sizing and went for it!
I used charts from a monthly magazine I had at the time called ARIADNE which I received in Wassenaar, Holland where I was living at the time. It's loosely based on a mix of Nordic ( the ice stars) and Peruvian ( the lamas) charted designs which had been published by the magazine.
The odd choice of colours was due to my wish to be able to wear it a lot, I had pine green corduroy trousers at the time as well as a lot of brown ( mum's choice for me) and a red pair too.
The ribbed V neck band overlaps at centre front as I had not learned to miter the centre point.
 Now we get to 1992 and my first set of machine knitted jumpers made in North Wales in Dwygyfylchi.
This one is in Lilac cotton Cannele from Yeoman yarns with the dark purple which is a Chenille for the tall Irises, soft cotton 4 ply for the yellow daffodils and green ELSA mohair for the leaves.
These photos were taken in MAY 1992 and it is heartwarming to see my much younger self cavorting about in joy at the sunshine, the bluebell fields, the waterfall and showing off the new jumper I had just created and finished. I was actually hiking boots my dad bought me in 1973.

 In September that year, 1992 I bought a book by Rowan and Brother and in it was the following pattern: a Nordic design called SETERSDAL.
 The above is the official picture and below is the jumper I made for Simon, my husband, following the pattern exactly. Except I made it in machine washable non tickle pure wool 4 ply. In navy and white.
And I used a ribber properly for the first time making those welts for the body and sleeves!
That DECEMBER: 1992 I designed and made my reindeer jumper, and woulkd you believe I have worn it every Christmas and December since! 1992 to 2016!!!24 years!!!
Alas so much wear has rendered it quite frail, it has holes and moths have had a go at the neckband so one of my objectives for 2017 is to have REPLACED this jumper with an IDENTICAL replicate in all wool 4 ply before CHRISTMAS 2017!!!

 ALAS however I have lost all my notes, the tension piece, and ALL of the punch-cards so am currently trying to re draft the charts for all these bands and will then need to punch a new set of cards unless I splurge on a Designa knit 8 and cables AND a new lap-top so I can chart these patterns into my Brother 940 instead. ( the original was made on my Brother 840).

 It won best Christmas jumper in the office in a competition in 2008...The prize was chocolate...
moths have had a meal out of some of the inner neckband and I had to repair it by a bit of hand-stitching.

 It had a cut and sew neckband I think....
And the lower hem and sleeve bands are fair-isle one side and plain on the inside. Very well planned out.
The rose red is a jolly chenille but this has not worn well. It has worn out completely in places.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Another Birthday, Some new passions

This is more of a journal style update, no patterns or recipes.
Had a birthday, was at a dance which was also a party, had a rather drastic new haircut and been shopping for new clothes.
Have been feeling very blue a lot and not much crochet has been done for far too long and although there has been some sewing, I have not addressed the growing mess my fabric/ patterns/ wool/ craft materials stash creates in the ''home''.

I need to do this both because it's getting quite bad but also because I want to have a go at machine knitting again, it is something I used to do in the 1990's quite a lot. That was just before the tapestry work phase.

These are some of the lovely flowers I was given for my birthday...
My photo previews are not loading up properly and I have not noted down the numbers of each photo so I have to leave it here for today, bye bye
Have a good bank holiday weekend! May Morning in Oxford tomorrow and we'll be dancing in Radcliffe Square at 6 am!
So an early night for me then...

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Cabled COWL and adapted Earflap hat pattern in honour of the SNOW we have just had.

This is an adaptation and amended existing pattern so I will only describe the adjustments and then you'll need to acquire the pattern to do the rest but the cowl is all mine so a full pattern for this is below.
The hat started off as the Moonstone hat in the magazine ''Crochet now'' Issue 11.
Crochet now can be found on facebook, pinterest, instagram and issues can be acquired from

This is the original hat, the ribbed section did not work out for me, did not suit.

For the hat I have used 122 grammes of a smooth aran weight yarn ( UK terms), which I had lying around in my stash.
I followed the pattern to about row 15 except for stopping any increases by row 9 as my hat was getting too big for me  
and used a 5 mm hook throughout.

By row 9 the first truly pale green row in the hat above I have:
{1 front post treble ( slanting away from the inner shell pattern), 2 Trebles, 1 chain, 2 Trebles( this sequence is the inner shell pattern for this row), 1 front post treble/FPTR ( slanting)} this group is repeated exactly 12 times.
And that includes the the start of the row group which starts with a slanting 3 chain as the ending front post treble of a group before starting the next {..} group.
The groups form diamonds outlined by post trebles and with inners of shells which start small, increase and then decrease again.
In the green section the inner consists of 4 rows but after that all diamonds are only 3 rows long.

These 3 rows are defined by :
row 1 : FPTR, 1 Tr, 1 ch, 1Tr,1 FPTR
row 2: 1 FPTR, 2 Tr,1ch, 2Tr, 1 FPTR
row 3 : 1FPTR, 1Tr, 1ch, 1Tr,1FPTR. 
the adjacent diamonds decrease when the above increase and vice versa and that's all I think I can say.

I finished at 16 rows in navy on a widest inner diamnd row with the FPTRs sides of a diamind lying adjacent to the FPTRs of the next diamond shape.
These inner shells for the scallop border.

At the back I have  5 scallops clear I used 2 for the earflap, there are 3 scallops clear at the front and then there's the next earlflap across 2 scallops. ( 12 scallops in total).

Working the EARFLAP:
Over 6 rows I used 3 colours: deep green, pale green and pale blue.
Row 1 over 12 stst:
1dc, 1 HTR, 1HTR,1TR x 6, 1 HTR,1HTR,1dc and turn. each of these stitches is into one stitch, the 6 Tr are 1 treble in each stitch of the scallop ( NOT 6 in one st)

row 2: ch1, skip first st, dc in next stitch, ( 1FPTR,  1BPTR) 4 TIMES then a dc and a ch and slipstich to close row. the FPTR / BPTR is a standard ribbing pattern.
row 3 : pale green- attach yarn and work a dc, work the appropriate FPTR or BPTR to continue the ribbing pattern over the central  6 sts, then a dc and a ss to turn
row 4: 1 ch ( counts as dc), ribbing over 6 sts, dc in last stitch ans turn.

row 5 as row 4 but in pale blue.( 8 sts)
row 6: ch , then  dc 2  together , ribbing over central 3 sts, dc 2 tog and slip stitch to close.
Repeat for other earflap.

Finish: dc all around edges: round the scallop brim edge and around the earlflaps as one round, 1 loose dc in each stitch, tighter in the corners and loosely around the curve of the earflaps or add a few extra stitches so the edge stays lying neatly flat.

I made 2 size pom poms with the CLOVER pom pom maker: 6.5 mm for the top and 2 of 4.5 mm for the ends of the cords.

CORDS: these are 28 sts chained with 5 mm hook and then I have gone back up and down slip stitching all the way until I had a width/thickness I liked.
( 2-4 times)

Sew in ends, sew on the pom poms and attach the cords or if crocheted directly onto the hat, finish cords and attach pom poms to ends.


COWL: this weighs 142 grammes and measures  72 cm in the round and is 25 cm high.
There is scope to put a drawstring in the top edge if you want is more warm and snuggly than this.
Again I am just using remnants of aran yarn so I ran out of the blue and only had a little deep green left and this is seen in the repetition of the stripes.
It is almost the same aran and shell pattern but I wanted my diamonds crisper than in the hat where the FPTRs lie adjacent and then diverge again, I wanted mine to cross and make a neat point.

My cowl is 18 ROWS
the photo below is only a section of it the completed one is at the end.

Chain 986sts loosely,  or use  a 6mm hook , then change to 5mm and slip stitch closed to start the pattern

Set up ROW1:ch 3 ( counts as a TR), then work a TR in the next chain, now comes the repeating pattern: * skip 1 ch, work 2 Tr in the next ch, work a ch, work 2 Tr in  the next ch ( bigger shell made), skip 1 ch and work 1 Tr in each of the next 2 ch**.
Repeat 15 times until you have 16 large shells between lined of 2 Tr, you omit the last 2 Tr as the are at the beginning, close with SLIP STITH( ss).

ROW 2: ch 3 and work a FPTR round each of the 2 trebles in row below, work the 2 TR, 1ch 2Tr shell into the 1 ch space of the shell below, then work a FPTr onto the next treble and repeat that.
So you now have a large shell into the ch space of the same shell in the row below and all trebles are sanding proud and they now have FPTRs on them. Close with a ss, I prefer to hide the 3 ch and work FPTRs on all trebles that need it pushing the 3 ch to turn into the lining as it were, but you can count it as a stitch if you prefer.

ROW 3: ( this is where we start the slanting parts): 3 ch , 1FPTr round the 2nd treble,*** work a 1TR- 1 ch - 1 TR shell into the 1 ch chainspace and work  FPTR onto the next treble, NOW
working into the space between this and the next treble work a 1TR-1ch-1TR shell and then work the FPTR onto the next treble. This makes the FPTrS SLANT.
Then you repeat this all around and close with ss, You should have 16 complete repeats which are starting to look like standing triangles or wigwams?

ROW 4: THIS is where we make the POINTS!

Ch 3 and  start to work a FPTR onto t trble at the left side of an expanding section, i.e. a treble which slants to the left but do not FINISH the FPTR, before completion, part work a FPTR onto the adjacent treble slanting to the right and finish them together : an 2 FPTRTOG.
They will have a single v at the top showing the are joined stitches, 2 into 1.

then work a 2Tr-1ch- 2TR shell into the chainspace of the next shell ( the expanding shell section) and repeat the 2 FPTRTOG with the next 2 trebles. Repeat all around and you close with a ss and you will have 16 pointed wigwams?! With expanding diamonds starting up in between?

Now the pinted section of the triangle also signifies the widest part of the diamond section so these will now decrease and the slanting will go the other way.

ROW 5 is a repeat of row 3 except that you work the FPTRs round the peak of the wigwams and each 2 such FPTRs are separated by a shell: 1Tr- 1 ch-1 Tr which  is worked into the
 top v which joined the FPTRs, you have to look behind and dig a little but it's obvious enough?
the next shell 1Tr- 1ch-1Tr is worked into the ch sace of the bigger shells below, thus decreasing one diamond and starting others alongside.

Row 6 is like row 4 except you will see that the points are moved over a bit to create those defined diamond shaped spaces which are each filled with 3 rows of shells.
a small shell, a larger shell and then a small shell again.

And that's it.

Repeat until you like the height and finish or keep going , like I've stated mine is
 18 rows.

If you want to have it closed near the top, wear it upside down and chain a drawstring to be threaded through the ch spaces in the set up row?! A cordcan be threaded nicely between the paired trebles and through the shell chain spaces.

VOILA   I hope you like it and that this will keep you snug and warm this winter and many winters to come!