Just a thought…

Tea | Sunday August 9 2009 | 10:35 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: |

How long is it since you saw teabags that are square and still stuck together when you open the box?  I always wondered what they did with the corners when they cut the circles out for round ones!!  These Yorkshire tea bags are a lovely and nostalgic touch of common sense!


square tea bags

I’m Hooked (part 2)

Craft | Sunday August 9 2009 | 9:57 pm | No Comments | Tags: |

It’s only been one week since I learned to crochet but I’ve not stopped since!!

I finished the first granny square and then made another 3, and even took yarn and a hook with me when I was on holiday this week!  Although the colours and yarn combinations below aren’t necessarily the best, I am rather pleased with the results. 

 4 granny squares

As I liked the granny squares so much, and think they could be very versatile, I bought a great book called ‘200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, throws and afghans’.  It is full of great combinations of stitches, colours and patterns with ideas on combinations of squares that work well together to create a full project.  Each pattern has a rating of difficulty which helps too, and all the blocks should come out the same size so can be easily combined.

I chose a fairly simple pattern to start with and got going and I’m really pleased with the results. I’ve got lots of things I want to make the squares into and plan to start scarves and cushion covers initially.  I also plan to try a more lacy pattern next.

crochet square

Squares and blocks will be a great way to use up small scraps and balls of yarn left over from other projects so I’m looking forward to using up some of my stash, but I must tryvery hard to use colour comibinatons tastefully!

Sweet tooth?

Tea | Saturday August 8 2009 | 11:37 pm | No Comments | Tags: , |

As if I hadn’t had enough yummy tea and cake this week we decided to go to the Sweet Tooth Cupcakery in Chorlton this afternoon.  Wow, what a selection of cupcakes!!  Most of the cakes have celeby names,  including Dita Von Teese, Kylie and Quentin Crisp.  The shop has a cute and quirky 1950’s interior including Formica tables!

As the shop was quite busy we chose a few cakes to take home, in a box tied up with ribbon, where Caveman produced the most beautiful tea set and we had tea in the garden!!!   We had (clockwise from top left below) a Kylie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mint Royale and a Barbara Windsor, which was my personal favourite as I just love lemon.




The cake was light and fluffy and tasty with rich, sweet icing.  Kylie and Priscilla had raspberries through the sponge which was really yummy! 

And just 10 minutes later it was almost like they’d never been there…

Empty plates

And is there honey still for tea?

Tea | Friday August 7 2009 | 9:08 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , |

I’ve been to the most beautiful tea shop imaginable this week.  Caveman and I spent a few days in Cambridgeshire and I was desperate to go to the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester.  As a fan of Rupert Brooke and tea it was a joy!  Beautiful location, fascinating history, yummy cream tea, swarms of wasps… oh yes wait, that ain’t so good but the wasps are another story entirely! 


The Orchard also has the Rupert Brooke Museum with lots of mementos, cuttings and pictures of him and those around him, particularly from his time in Grantchester.  Although small, there is lots of information there, including his death in Greece.

And then there was the tea!  I have to admit I was rather influenced by the romance and history of the place so they could have served me tepid, dirty water and a rock and I would have been happy.  Despite that I can honestly say the cream tea was delicious.  Massive homemade scones, a big pot of tea, real butter and strawberry jam.  Ok, so I didn’t have honey but that’s a minor detail.  Until I have the chance to return, I shall dream happy dreams about Grantchester; unforgettable, unforgotten.


I’m hooked!

Craft | Saturday August 1 2009 | 6:46 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , |

I have spent today at a crochet workshop at Fibre and Clay in Knutsford and I think I got over my hurdle of where to stick the hook (so to speak!!).  Sarah Hazell was the tutor and there were 9 lovely ladies all keen to get to grips with hooks instead of needles.

We started off with a crocheted coaster which gave us practice in the main stitches and how to follow a crochet pattern.  This started off a little tricky as I just couldn’t work out how to hold the hook and yarn properly as my insitinct is to do this in a simialr way to knitting.  However, I am pleased to say I started to learn my double crochet from my half trebles and the result is here:

Crochet coaster

I just have one more row to finish the pattern then it will be ready to hold a lovely cuppa.

After (a lovely) lunch we started on granny squares which are something I have long been keen to do.  After just the first round I ‘got it’ and was in happy frou-frou world where I could just get on with it.  I started thinking of all the lovely things they could be used for and the yarn I have squirelled away that I could use to make them.  I am very pleased with the results of my first granny square and I may well finish it and start another before the day is out.

First granny square

I think I’m hooked!!  (Sorry, had to use that line).  There’s something about crochet that I find much more logical and sensible than knitting and I think it may be more versatile in terms of shape.  I’m off to Cambridgeshire tomorrow for a few days and likley to have crochet in my pocket this week instead of knitting.   I’ll report back soon with my achievements (even if that’s just lots of granny squares!)

Many thanks to Sarah and everyone at Fibre and Clay today for a great day.

Knitting Lifeline

Craft | Thursday July 30 2009 | 7:03 pm | No Comments | Tags: , |

I love reading knitting books, magazines and websites and have just read a brilliant tip!  Modern Knitting gives the following advice for using a Lifeline when knitting a complex pattern, such as lace or cable:


If you’re knitting a tricky pattern and there’s a risk you may need to unpick it (or frog) to fix a mistake, leave yourself a lifeline. Thread a tapestry needle with a smooth thin yarn (dental tape works well) and weave it through the stitches on the needle. You can then pull the stitching out back to your lifeline, confident the stitches will be held safely. The lifeline can be pulled out easily when the work is finished. Essential for intricate lace patterns – I wish I’d known about this one earlier.’

Having given up on some stitch patterns in the past, or even resorted to sending them to my mum to complete, I think this is the best knitting tip I’ve heard.  I’m about to start knitting a Debbie Bliss waistcoat which is all cable so I will use this technique until I get into the swing of it.

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