A little taste of heaven in Yorkshire

Craft,Tea | Monday November 2 2009 | 7:38 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , |

Oooooooh I’ve got so much to write about, but its going to take some time.  Caveman and I are just back from a fabulous, relaxing and much needed week away in Yorkshire.  We stayed in a little cottage, near Ripon, called The Old Telephone Exchange and it was so beautiful that the whole week was a joy.  My heart has just gone skippity skip looking at the website again to add the link here.

Prior to our week away we said we didn’t mind what the weather was like as Caveman would take his guitar, I would take my crochet and along with a pile of books we would be snug as bugs.  And that’s just what we did.  Real fire, curtains closed against the wind and rain, tea and cake, a big bag of yarn and crochet hooks and my lovely chap – all the things that make me happy in life.  I’m quite a simple girl really!

We did venture out a few times and I have some lovely purchases to report.  But in the meantime here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite and to make me wish we could have stayed forever.

Crochet stuff

tea, cake and fire

Can you tell what it is yet?

Craft,Tea | Wednesday October 21 2009 | 11:58 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , , , |

I’ll forgive you if you have to look at this a few times and screw your eyes up a bit to work out what it is!

I’ve always looked longingly at amigurumi wishing I could make something so small, cute and neat and with my new-found crochet skills I felt the time was right. 

Although the little ‘creatures’ are sweet, something else caught my attention at Lion Brand.  You’ve probably noticed by now I love tea in many forms and tea with craft is a great combination.

amigurumi tea cupSo here is my attempt! OK, so I’m not saying it’s my finest work, but it’s a start and I thought it only right that I share it. 

I decided to enhance the original pattern with a saucer and ‘T’ on the tea bag tag just in case it isn’t clear what it’s meant to be.  I followed the pattern for the handle exactly but it is proportionally very chunky, so I’d try for a more delicate version next time.

Funniest of all though I am going to give this to a fellow tea and craft loving friend.  If she’s reading this she’ll know who she is.  Lucky girl…. maybe!!  My only concern is that she may choke on a custard cream laughing at it!

(It’s a little crochet tea cup and saucer with dangly teabag in case you’re still wondering!)

The long and narrow of it

Craft | Thursday October 15 2009 | 9:24 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , , |

string bag with shoppingYay… the string bag which I have been crocheting the last few days is finished! And its FAB!!  About half way through the same 9 stitches over and over and over again I thought ‘this isn’t worth it’ but as I got nearer the end I was spurred on.

I don’t think you can see it very easily in the pictures but I really like the way the handles are formed, by doing a couple of rounds along the top of the bag, then making chains the length of the handle and attaching them a little distance along the top.  You then do a few more rounds, going over the length of the handles.  Cool, eh?String bag stretched 2

Of course when it was finished I just had to put some shopping in it to show it off.  And doesn’t it look great, until you do one thing…

When it’s got things in it and you pick it up it is sooooooooooo stretchy!  It is substantially stretchier lengthways than widthways and becomes very long.  Not quite to the ground, but nto far off it.  I don’t know if that’s because of the thickness of yarn and hook I used or something so I might try slightly different proportions next time.

But I do think its great.  Did I say I was going to give it away?  Wondering if I can go back on that if the intended recipient is unaware…

BTW, I was going to make soup with those yummy leeks but just couldn’t be bothered tonight so maybe tomorrow.

Black Letter Day

Craft | Wednesday October 14 2009 | 4:53 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , |

There are several kids in my life (none of which are my own I will add) and kids love things with their names on then. I am sure its a way of having a little control and identity in your life when so much of it is governed by others, or maybe that was just me. 

Anyway, back to my point!  To date when I’ve wanted to make peronalised things I have drawn letters in a haphazard way which turned out kind of OK, as shown on this bag I made for Lucy, but not the prettiest.  I can make, sew, knit, glue, crochet, hammer, felt etc but don’t ask me to draw or write anything by hand.  So I needed a plan!

Lucy lettersLucy denim bag

I decided to choose an appropriate font, blow it up, laminate it and cut out the letters to use as templates.  It wasn’t ideal for two reasons 1) the letters took  a g e s to cut out so my hands hurt really badly and 2) even laminated, the letters are quite thin so not the easiest to draw round as templates. 

However, I love this curvy, chunky font, which is Cooper Black in 200pt so each letter is around 5cm / 2 inches tall.  I think it will look great in felt and bright colours for kids, or even on a laundry bag for us grown ups saying ‘smelly socks’.

letter templates

Stringing it out

Craft | Tuesday October 13 2009 | 6:22 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , |

string bag reducedI love string shopping bags, hate paying for carrier bags and never remember to take reusable bags with me to the supermarket.  So here’s something I thought I’d try and, hey, its working!

I looked at a few patterns for crocheting string shopping bags and decided to try this one from The Purl Bee.   I had already bought some Patons 100% Cotton 4 ply for this job, as  previously posted  when I had a bit of a crochet shopping binge, and it’s finally time to give it a go.

Lo and behold, this bag is so easy!  Its quite a marathon task because after the first 6 rounds it is a completely repetitive pattern, but sometimes that’s just what I need and enjoy – no thought required.  So far I think I am about a third of the way through. 

I haven’t changed the pattern as such, but I am using a slightly finer yarn weight and hook size, so I think it’s coming out a bit smaller.  Next time I may change to 9 or 10 chains in every link (instead of 8 in the pattern) or use a larger hook, but I’ll see how the finished size turns out.  Also a little reminder – this pattern is from USA so single crochet is double crochet in the UK.

Unfortunately, I may not reap the benefits of my own work because I may generously give it to my friend Andy, who I am meeting this weekend, as he is a proper dippy hippy (his own words!) and loves all things homemade.  I am sure it will be appreciated, and I’d always be forgetting to take it to the shops anyway!

Some knitting with your tea?

Tea | Monday October 5 2009 | 9:32 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , |

Tea hutsCaveman and I spent a jolly afternoon at Willowpool recently.  It is technically a garden and antique centre but I feel that description is way short of reality. 

It is a sprawling mixture of all sorts curios spread around rambling grounds with everything from old bikes and typewriters to fairground rides and crumbling angel statues.  All of which you can buy and take home for your garden.  There are also plant of course, and old doors, plant pots, archways, pillars, benches…. I could go on!

But this pales into insignificance compared to one thing: The Tea Rooms.   And with the tea there was knitting, yes really!!  I’ll get to that in a minute.

  Enormous pudding

 

 

The tea room is mainly outdoors in little huts and gazebos.  We were lucky enough to get one of the huts which was really cosy and had funny little tree trunk type seats!

As we were deciding what to choose from the menu there were all manner of huge plates and bowls of food passing by.  I expected these were to share and didn’t for a minute think one of these would be put in front of me. 

I ordered Willowpool Dream Delight – cream, strawberries, creme Anglaise and crushed meringue.  Wow it was massive!  I like my grub but there was no way I could have managed to eat all of it and even Caveman couldn’t finish it after his own cake.

They also used the most charming mismatched china with lovely teapots and tea cups.  I feel inspired to start a new collection!

Now, I’m sure you’ll be wondering where knitting comes into all this.  Well, I’d been sitting at the table for about 5 minutes before I even noticed the cute little knitted sugar bowl cover!!!  So it was only a little bit of knitting amongst all the intrigue at Willowpool, but even the tiniest piece of knitting is still knitting!

 

Knitting AND teaKnitted sugar bowl cover

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