Coming up roses… and violets

Tea | Friday January 22 2010 | 10:14 pm | No Comments | Tags: |

Rose and violet drops

I LOVE sweeties.  And my favourite sweeties in the whole wide world are so luscious, decadent and indulgent that when I have a box of them I only eat one a week to eek them out.

Charbonel et Walker Rose and Violet Creams are the best, but embarrassingly expensive.  Every now and then I am given some as a present and I have to admit that once I even bought myself a box, which is the absolute height of indulgence.   They do, strangely, taste of flowers.  Not that I’ve ever eaten flowers, but how they would taste from the smell.

Imagine then my delight when I was given this jar of Carluccio’s Italian Rose and Violet Drops for Christmas.  All the flavour and taste of my favourite chocolates in a jar containing 100’s of them.  Why did I not know of these before now?  I get the flowery, sweet taste again and again and again without the guilt of them costing about £1.00 per bite!  And I don’t mind that there’s no chocolate on them!

So this evening I’ve got my PJ’s and fluffy socks on, I’m crocheting and I’m eating rose and violet drops.  I would offer you one but they’re mine, all mine!

The Art of Crochet

Craft | Wednesday January 20 2010 | 8:32 pm | Comments (7) | Tags: , |

The art of crochet‘Have you seen the new crochet magazine?’ Everyone’s been asking me!  I’d seen the adverts on TV and finally bought a copy of issue 1, a bargain at 99p (future issues £2.99)!  The patterns looked OK, a DVD to get you started, 2 balls of yarn, a 4mm crochet hook, gifts with future issues, extra gifts if I subscribe within 7 days, loose pages to slot into a forthcoming folder, squares to crochet every week to make a blanket, complete  in just 120 issues.  Perfect!  I mean, what? Wait a minute… how many?   

Now, I am not the most frugal with money [blush] but this didn’t add up.  Well, it did actually… to £358.80!  Yes, you get all of the above, but thinking about it more closely it wasn’t really so tempting.  I love the thought of crochet goodies popping through my letter box every week, but they send them in bulk every 4 weeks.

And the yarn is 25g of 100% acrylic.  I wouldn’t expect a top quality wool, but a nice cotton would be more than passable.  The patterns look OK on the whole, the type you get in knitting and crochet magazines mainly.  I do think there would be some things I’d make over time, but certainly not all of them.

I love the idea of making a blanket with all the squares from each issue, and I have been tempted by Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket Club, but its knitting not crochet and I don’t think I have all the knitting skills to complete it successfully. 

So shall I subscribe because it’s another crochet thing to read and play with or shall I spend my £358.80 over the next 2 years on a couple of workshops, several crochet books, quite a few magazines and lots and lots of lovely yummy scrummy yarn?  Decisions Decisions!!

The Blanket Revealed

Craft | Tuesday January 19 2010 | 9:29 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , |

I am so excited about sharing these pictures of my finished baby blanket because I am delighted with the result. 

The ripple pattern was really easy once I got started and got a few rows into it and it’s really easy to remember.  Its basically in 4 stages each of 4 stitches: 4 uphill, 2 increasing to 4 over the top of the hill, 4 downhill and 4 decreasing  to 2 in the valley!  Simple as that (do refer to Attic 24 for the full version – you won’t get far on my shorthand alone – that’s just what I said in my head as I went along). 

The blanket measures 60cm x 80cm (24 x 32 inches) and used just under 8 balls of the Patons Fairytale DK; 4 each in blue and pastel multi.  I changed yarn colour every 3 rows so that the stripes weren’t too close together and so that the ends / yarn changes were not all on the same edge of the blanket, as I do find they an add a little bulk.  I didn’t sew in any of the ends until I was finished so that was rather a chore, but I’m rubbish at doing things as I go along.  When all the stripes were finished and the ends sewn in I felt the edges were not as smooth as I’d like so I finished all the way round with double crochet in the blue yarn.  I feel this kind of tied all the stripes together too and gave it a ‘finished’ sort of look too.

It’s another month before baby Jimmy, who will receive this blanket, is due to arrive so I will wrap it up nicely and keep it carefully for him.  I don’t think his Mummy reads this site, but if she does she will be in for a lovely surprise if she sees this here.  I think I should make her a lovely treat too as she’s doing all the hard work, isn’t she!

Here is the finished blanket:

Baby blanket folded

Baby blanket edges

baby blanket close up

Baby blanket open

Knuts about it!

Craft | Sunday January 17 2010 | 3:13 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Although leaving the house was the last thing I felt like doing yesterday I had set my heart on going to Knutsford, and going to Knutsford we did. 

My main purpose was to go to Fibre and Clay as I wanted to get some lovely yarn to crochet something for myself.  I’m right in the middle of baby projects at the moment and looking forward to using some luxury yarns and vibrant colours just for me.

As usual Riana and her team were really helpful and remembered me from their crochet course last August!  I had to admit to having not touched knitting since then, in favour of crochet.

I didn’t go tooooo mad but I did buy a few lovely things.  I chose a book which I had been looking at online a few days earlier which didn’t really appeal until I was able to flick through it.  Loop Vintage Crochet by Susan Cropper contains 30 patterns for garments, accessories and the home.

Fibre and Clay stocks a great range of yarns and had quite a few in the sale – and it turned out all the ones I chose were reduced!

 Fibre & Clay shopping

I got 7 balls of Louisa Harding’s Flotsam in a gorgeous pink to crochet a wrap from the Vintage Crochet book, 2 of Miraso Hancho, a red and purple hand dyed merino, and 2 of Rowan 4 ply cotton in a rich aubergine plum shade.  I don’t yet know what to do with the Rowan Cotton, but it is in my mum’s favourite colour so I shall make something for her with that.

So this will be my next project – the ‘Ava’ wrap from Vintage Crochet:

my next project

 

We also went to Waterstones and I got 3 novels to get myself back into reading, as I have got out of the habit in the last month or so.  I also got some pretty little butterfly post-it type stickers, just because they were so gorgeous – and useful as little bookmarks and place markers when following patterns.  Caveman can’t leave a bookshop without a) buying more books and b) saying ‘I just don’t have enough time to read’!  He was true to form on this occasion, but I wouldn’t want him any other way!

Books & butterflies

 

All in all we had a rather lovely afternoon out, followed by dinner in Pizza Express and then home for an evening playing with yarn and books!  A perfect Saturday!

TFI Friday

Craft | Friday January 15 2010 | 11:51 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , |

I don’t know when I was last so glad to reach Friday evening.  I haven’t had a particularly hard week in the day job but I have had a headache since Monday!  Yes, 5 whole days and nights of sore head and eyes!  As a result I have not done anything crafty all week.

Last Sunday I finished the baby blue ripple blanket, which I am so delighted with and will post pics over the weekend.  I have another to make for someone who doens’t know if they have a boy or girl arriving so on my way home from work this evening I dragged myself to the Trafford Centre to go to John Lewis and bought the same yarn, replacing the blue with cream.  This matches really well with the mixed pastels of the contrast yarn.

Despite wanting to do nothing but fall asleep on the settee watching Corrie this evening, I started the new blanket.  It’s rather a monotonous pattern but that was just what I needed!  However, sleep is now starting to get the better of me.  I can’t believe I’ll end up going to bed tonight earlier that I would on a school night!

I am looking forward to tomorrow as Caveman and I are having an afternoon out to Knutsford.  It’s highly likely to involve tea and cake and I shall be visiting my fave LYS, Fibre and Clay, and I think I deserve a treat!

i can has tea?

Tea | Saturday January 9 2010 | 8:29 am | No Comments | Tags: , |

Another great lolcat to share with you.  This time tea related and with my very favoruite type of cat in it… so cute!

i can has tea

see more at Lolcats and funny pictures

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