3 Happy Hookers

Craft | Monday July 25 2011 | 11:00 am | Comments (9) | Tags: , , , , , , |

3 Happy Hookers

Today I have had so much fun making a mess in a public place!  It was my first experience of yarn bombing, and a first of my partners in crime: 2 Sarah’s and Kathy! 

I know it’s not good to just cut to the chase, but above you’ll see one of our finished pieces on the back of a bench.  One of the Sarah’s had to leave by the time this was taken but from left to right: moi (yes really! I must have had a good day if I’m happy to show a pic of li’l old me!), Sarah and Kathy. 

The basic plan was to cover a bench or the back of a seat in the Waterside Plaza in Sale, south Manchester.  We had some panels already made by others and a few other bits and pieces.  My contribution was a pretty little piece made to look like a lawn with daisies on it.  

There are loads and loads of pictures from today so I am going to put them all in a set on my flickr page  and there are different ones on Kathy’s flickr too.  I’ll put just a selection in this post.  Do go and have a look, after you’ve read all of this, of course! 

My favourite image from the day

 

Anyway, there were so many great  moments – here are just a few of them: 

 

  • Kathy coming over all hot and bothered when the local constabulary came to say hello!
  • The look of horror on Sarah’s face when I had to use a knitting needle to reach the owl out of a tree (I think she thought it would hurt him!!)
  • Spending hours and hours laughing in the sunshine while decorating trees with knitting and crochet!  Who’d have thought it!
  • Trying to join the edges of pieces of knitting or crochet wrapped around a tree – it’s rather difficult I can tell you!!
  • Realising one of the trees had no leaves on it and crocheting some to make it look better.
  • The look on people’s faces when the realise what you are doing.
  • Stopping  for tea and cake and more crochet at Bean and Brush (where Sarah works) and deciding to decorate their tree while we were there.
  • Plotting the next time!!

 

We did learn a few things too!  Mainly that next time we will do it without being part of another event.  Today there was a community event being set up while we were doing out thing.  We got the impression that everyone thought we were there as part of the event, and thought we would stay to teach people to knit and crochet, which was never our plan on this ocassion.

And one other lesson, we spent a lot of time standing and admiring our handiwork!  That probably isn’t the idea so next time we plant the bomb then get out of there, or at least stand back at a discreet distance and watch!

Supplies

Preparation!

Tree cosy (and it matches Kathy's cardi)

Public crochet

 

I whipped up a pocket for leaflets and Sarah gatecrashed an art class to make a label!

The day wouldn't have been compete without tea and cake (and more crochet)

After tea we anonymously passed by, and loved people hanging around our work!

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Fun with friends

Random | Wednesday January 19 2011 | 11:50 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , |

There’s nothing like spending time with friends to make you feel better so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this week!

Have you been to see The King’s Speech?  It’s sooooo good!  It’s really funny which I didn’t expect and it’s also really interesting.  I am fascinated by the period in history between the two world wars too so I really enjoyed that.  Colin Firth was brilliant in the lead role and I can really understand why he is winning awards for it!  Another reason why it was so good to go to the cinema this week… my friend had a free ticket so we shared the cost of the other ticket!  Bargain!

There’s also been a bit of yarn shopping!!  I have been meaning to go to Black Sheep Wools, near Warrington, for ages and Kathy and I had spoken about going before Christmas but it was closed for refurbishment.  It opened again last week so off we went.  Oh, it’s sooooo good!  (yes in this post everything is sooooo good’)  It’s really big for a yarn shop and has a really good range of brands, prices and qualities of yarn.  There are also lots of accessories and loads of embroidery and cross stitch things too.  I didn’t go too mad – well, I’m a girl of limited means now aren’t I!!?  I’ll show you what I bought another time, but here’s a peek in Kathy’s bag, and some pictures of the shop:

And then this afternoon there was cake!  It is my friend Jayne’s birthday today so she invited lots of the girls round and had her 2 teenagers on tea and coffee making duty (I must say they did a sterling job!).  Jayne had made lots of cakes: the victoria sponge was sooooo good and absolutely delicious.  We all had a really good giggle!  In fact after a couple of hours we had decided to set up our own version of the WI and meet fortnightly for carrot growing contests, trips out, reading groups, exhibitions and crafts.  Mad but true!!!

Here’s the cake:

When things aren’t feeling very good for me I can find it too easy to stay indoors and shut myself away.  That was fine when I still had to go to work every day, but now I could go days without having reason to go out.  I’m still not sleeping very well so not 100% but hoping that with a bit of time I’ll start fully enjoying my time not working!  So long as it doesn’t last too long that is!!

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Crochet and Cookies

Random | Wednesday December 1 2010 | 7:25 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , |

So the snow continues!!!  I’m resigned now to just sitting this out at my sisters and enjoying the break.  Nothing’s going to happen fast and when the snow does stop falling it will probably take a while to get the local roads clear enough to get out.

 

In the meantime I am starting to put my time to good use.  As I showed briefly last time, I have started crocheting here.  I never travel far without some sort of crochet and a few days away from home usually involves lots of options so I’m not forced to work on something I don’t feel like.  So I have rustled up a pair of wristwarmer mittens!  Just the thing for this weather obviously!  Pity they are not thermal, but hey, who needs thermal when there’s pretty!!!

The snowball is an optional extra!

I used Austerman Step sock yarn (shade 133) that I bought a month or two ago for just this job!  I did start with a 3.5mm hook but just didn’t like it so frogged it and used a 4mm which I’m much happier with.  Isn’t it funny how 0.5mm makes all the difference!  There’s no pattern, just a rectangle of crochet to fit the length and width of your hand / wrist, slip stitch up the sides leaving a gap for your thumb, then add a picot edge!

This morning the kids wanted to bake so my sister rooted around in the storecupboard and improvised a little and we made choc chip cookies.  The main improvisation was that the chocolate chips came from a left over Halloween lollipop and come Christmas chocolate coins.  They went down a treat with a cuppa when the job was done.  Happy kids, happy grown ups: and well fed too!!

From this:

… to this!  All in the space of 30 minutes!

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Anyone for crochet?

Random | Monday November 22 2010 | 5:02 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , , , |

I am starting to discover advantages of being ‘between jobs’.  Having time to myself during the week is enabling me to do the things and see the people I haven’t had much time to spend on or with when work gets in the way.

Friday was just such a day when I went to see Kathy for come crochet and catching up.  About 2 years ago Kathy and I were both knitters and trying to find someone to teach us the basics of crochet, but didn’t succeed.  We then, separately, discovered and took the day course at Fibre and Clay and have both spent a lot of time crocheting since then.

Kathy is a fiend for going to auctions and ‘finding’ things and has some lovely and interesting old sewing boxes full of goodies:

We were wondering if our sewing boxes will be discovered and drooled over in years to come when sewing and handicrafts have another renaissance!  I can’t imagine so but I guess the women who had these boxes originally would have said the same.

We took Kathy’s fostered (yes, really fostered) dog, Monty, for a walk round her allotments which was really an eye-opener!  I have never been on an allotment before and now I want want want!  As I live in a flat I have no garden and an allotment seems like a great idea.  However, maybe that’s just a dream because I have time at the moment. 

Brussels sprouts, leeks and onions all getting big and tasty underground:

 

 

Back home we had yummy tea and toast and set about the inaugural meeting of our newly formed crochet group.  There are many knitting groups locally but none that just focus on crochet. Between us we know a whole 5 people who crochet and decided it would be great if we could get together from time to time to share ideas, skills, projects etc.  Maybe this will grow and along the way we will discover other people to join us.  Do you live in South Manchester and fancy getting together with other crocheteers?  If so drop me a line.  We don’t have any definite plans yet but if we do develop I’ll set up a Ravelry Group and take it from there!

So our first meeting was two members and a dog called Monty.  Great things from small acorns grow!

 

 

I want to finish with showing you just one of the lovely things that Kathy has in her home.  A little tawashi (Japanese dish scrubber) in the shape of an apple slice.  Unused of course, because it’s just too darn cute to get dirty!!!

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The Elves and the Cakemaker

Tea | Friday November 12 2010 | 8:59 pm | No Comments | Tags: |

Now that I’m on my way to being a lady of leisure / one of the great unwashed (I haven’t worked out which yet) I have time to do some things I haven’t normally been able to do during the working day.  This afternoon that meant popping to Chorlton with a chum for a coffee and a mooch.

A few months ago On the Corneropened on Beech Road and it’s a great mix of cakes, old lp’s and books and the best mix of old furniture and crockery you could ever dream of! 

Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me – how silly of me.  [Note to self: always carry camera!]

We had really lovely cake and coffee and were having a good chinwag with owner Steph who was telling us about the different cakes.  It seems the really yummy ones are made by elves!!  Yes, really… elves!!!  Steph leaves plastic boxes in her porch and every morning there are beautiful, fresh cakes in them!  Why aren’t there cake making elves where I live?

Since I didn’t get any pictures you’re going to have to check out their website, or even better go along for yourself.  I can highly recommend the sponge cake with strawberries on it!!!

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The Butterfly and the Pig

Tea | Thursday October 7 2010 | 10:03 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , |

As if by magic I’m now in Scotland to visit my family.  OK I admit it, not by magic, by car power!

I arrived here about lunch time and within an hour of being here I was off out with my sister in law, her mum and my mum for afternoon tea!  How perfect an arrival that was!

We went to The Butterfly and the Pig in Glasgow!  Great name yeah?!  I’d not heard of it until recently and what a find it is!  The tearoom is an absolute delight and the afternoon tea well, let’s just say we were all very full for a long time.

My favourite things about it were the mismatched crockery and old linens on the tables.  The decor and accessories are just my taste and I could have happily had all of it at home, although I probably don’t need that many tea cups!

 

The tearoom itself has a great mix of dressers, wooden chairs, pews and mirrors.  We sat in a window seat under a sash window, with tweed cushions – a great place to watch the world go by too!

And what was the afternoon tea itself like, you may be asking!  Well, I think these two pictures answer that question!

 

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