High teas and happy days

Craft,Tea | Wednesday June 23 2010 | 4:15 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’ve just had one of my very favourite sorts of weekends: family, kids, cake and crochet!!  Caveman and I went to Scotland for my new(ish) niece’s christening so it was a busy and tiring weekend.  However, in between the travelling and the cake I managed to get come crochet done in the sunshine which was a joy, as I am normally just hooking away indoors in the corner of my sofa, in front of the telly and / or laptop.

Anyway, after the church bit of the christening, which I guess IS the actual christening!) we went to the Strathaven Hotel, (Strathaven is where I grew up and some of my folks still live there) for high tea.  I spent a good hour thinking, out loud much of the time, ‘now, why have I never had high tea before’.  My sister insists that I have but I really can’t remember.  High tea consisted of a main course (gammon steak in my case, other options included fish and chips), served with a cake stand full of little slices of tray bake cakes, scones, pancakes and bread and butter all washed down with lots of tea or coffee. 

Then came the pièce de résistance!  A plate groaning with homemade meringues sandwiched with fluffy soft whipped cream!  My sister and I managed not to resist several of these (each!!).  Be honest, could you?

I am ever curious about traditions and etiquette (particularly of ‘polite’ society) and had to look up the origins of high tea and found that the UK Tea Council describes it thus:

For the working and farming communities, afternoon tea became high tea. As the main meal of the day, high tea was a cross between the delicate afternoon meal enjoyed in the ladies’ drawing rooms and the dinner enjoyed in houses of the gentry at seven or eight in the evening. With the meats, bread and cakes served at high tea, hot tea was taken.

After all that food we crashed out in the lounge of the hotel where thankfully there were no other customers as 20 of us, including 4 excited children, would have soon scared them away.  We spent the rest of the day catching up, playing with the kids and taking lots of pictures of Erin in her christening gown with various family members.  I still can’t work out why she vomited on me 3 times over the weekend though!  I’m not that scary!

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with my folks, watching some football (yes, really, I watched some of the World Cup) and getting some of my hook-a-long blanket done.  In the process I competled my first full cycle of all the colours!  Yee ha!!!

I read a lot of crochet and craft blogs and often people refer to it being too dark to take pictures of their works and waiting for an opportune time.  I am no expert in photography so wasn’t too sure what this was all about, thinking hte flash made up for it – until I was able to take the pictures below in my sisters garden.  Don’t the colours look great?  Don’t I wish I had a garden and didn’t live in a flat?  Yes to both!!

I have now started on the second round of each colour now and I am jolly well delighted with it; the neatness, colour order (despite all the pondering).  Can you spot the little mistake?  I am going to handsew two little imitation crochet stitches in to put it right.

Now I’m back in Manchester to the same old wondering, as I sometimes do, why I live so far away from the people who are most improtant to me!!  Ah well, such is life!

Share

19 little balls of yarn sitting in a row!

Craft | Thursday June 17 2010 | 5:54 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been merrily hooking along with Attic 24’s hook-a-long for the past week or so and loving all the gorgeous colours of yarn.  And it’s a real pleasure to be making something for myself after lots of making for others and making for craft fairs.

However, Ive had quite a dilemma with the yarn.  I started off with the first few colours in the order that Lucy had started but I have a few different shades so needed to go my own way at some point.  I just couldn’t decide which order to use them in.  I’m completely rubbish at throwing caution to the wind and mixing it all up so I needed to plan the actual order.

With 19 balls of yarn that was going to take up a lot of space if nothing else,  I cut a swatch from each ball and played around with those but just couldn’t get the full effect.  Then I lined up each ball along the back of my settee and left them there for a while.  I found that living with the colours for a few days really helped.  I kept spotting something that wasn’t right and did a little jiggery pokery.  OK, a lot of jiggery pokery.  I even ripped a few rows of the blanket back when I got it wrong.

Now I think I’ve got it right and I am nearly finished my first full circuit of each colour.  For the most part the colours flow from one to the next fairly well, with a few obvious changes in direction along the way.  I am so delighted with the results so far and I’m enjoying making it so much its very exciting to have a big project on the go.

Share

From Manchester to Bucharest

Blogging,Craft | Monday June 7 2010 | 5:29 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , |

Some things just take a long time to come to fruition and for Anca there was a long, long wait for her pincushion swap, but she sent me a very excited email this afternoon saying ‘My pincushion is here!’.

The first pincushion I made for the Fox’s Lane Pincushion Swap aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages ago disappeared somewhere in the postal system and Anca, my swap partner and I were both really, really disappointed.  After exchanging several emails about where it could be I downloaded a claim / complaint form from the Royal Mail.  While it is possible to report it as missing, it is virtually impossible to claim for the lost contents.  They want receipts for everything: how is that possible for hand crafted items I made myself.  I’m not at all bothered about the money side of it, but the principle of that makes me more than a little gggrrrrrrrrrr!

Anyway, I couldn’t possibly leave Anca without a pincushion, so I made another one and I didn’t tell her I was sending it!  Sneaky huh??  I posted it ‘international signed for’ so it was receipted and tracked from door to door.  I wasn’t taking any chances this time!! 

I’ve already written up details of themaking the pincushion itself but now that I know the second pincushion has arrived safely in Bucharest I want to reveal all the details of my side of the swap.  I wrote up a post about 2 months ago in anticipation of the pincushion parcel arriving with details of all the little goodies I sent Anca and I still want to share those, despite them disappearing, so the rest of this post is from that original draft:

I was very excited when I first looked at Anca’s lovely website Happy hang around and started thinking of what I could make for her.  She has a coffee shop in Bucharest so I felt a donut pincushion was just perfect.  Coffee and donuts are a perfect combination in my opinion.

The other exciting thing about Anca is that she LOVES owls – more than I do I think.  Therefore, I just had to send her a few little owley things.  I found the pattern for lovely little owlets at Littlegreen and although this one I made has slightly squinty eyes I love its cute and homemade look.

I really enjoyed choosing and wrapping up the little parcels to send to Anca, a complete stranger apart from what I’d read on her website.  The knowledge that I was able to make and chose a few little bits and pieces as treats for a stranger was very exciting.

Anca also loves postcards and is part of a postcard exchange called Postcrossing.  I chose the best of a rather poor selection of postcards of Manchester to send.  Apart from Manchester United Football Club there aren’t really any particular landmarks that make Manchester instantly recognisable unless you already know the city, so I just chose one with pictures that seemed to be taken in this century.

To complete the package I got a few little owl stationery things to send too.  I love stationery so it was fun chosing them.

Many, many thanks to Kate at Fox’s Lane for organising this swap.  You can see some of the other gorgeous pincushions made for the swap in its Flickr group.  It’s been the first I’ve taken part in and I am sure it won’t be my last.  Maybe I’ll even organise one myself.  I have an idea of what I’d like to swap so let me know if you are interested and I’ll keep you posted.

 

The original whole swap package (sadly missing!):

Share

Hook-a-long

Craft | Wednesday June 2 2010 | 7:33 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been after a new crochet project.  A big project.  Something to get my teeth into.  A blanket sized project to be precise.  And as if by magic Lucy at Attic 24 has started a granny stripe blanket hook-a-long just at the right time!  A lovely colourful yummy stripey granny stripe blanket!  Perfect!

The yarn is Stylecraft Special double knit which is 100% acrylic.  I’ve used similar before and it is a good practical, easy to work with yarn.  It’s also great value and comes in loads of colours!

So far I’ve made only a couple of minor changes from Lucy’s instructions.  I ordered a couple of slightly different shades of yarn, as I’m not keen on an awful lot of blue and there was a lot of blue in Lucy’s shade selection.  However, there were a couple of balls out of stock so I’m waiting for 4 to follow to complete the selection below:

 

I’m also using a 4.5mm hook.  I just wanted it to be a little thicker and bigger without having to add more stitches.  This will use a bit more yarn but I have a extra to start off with, when the remainder comes.

Look how much I’ve done so far…

 

Well, I only started this evening (and you can’t see from this picture that it’s actually about 2metres long)!!

There’s just one thing I don’t understand.  Why did I buy this bright orange yarn?  It doesn’t match, it wasn’t in the recipe and yes, it did look this shade on screen!  Words fail me!  Needless to say it won’t be going in the blanket but if you need any hi-vis crochet, give me a shout!

 

Now that I’ve got plenty of crochet to do, I’m away to get on with it!

Share

Puncushion Swap: The Make

Craft | Tuesday April 6 2010 | 12:50 pm | Comments (5) | Tags: , , , , |

Since last weeks craft fair is done and dusted – onto the next thing…  my contribution to the pincushion swap organised by Fox’s Lane!

I’ve racked my brain and rummaged around the Internet.  I’ve ransacked my stash and I’ve routed out the ideas.  I was torn between sewing or crocheting my pincushion and I even considered a make that included both. 

But in the end I settled for crochet to make a rather simple but, in my opinion, cute little pincushion.  What swung it for me is what the recipient does for a living as it is appropriate linked to that.  I’m not going to say any more that may give away who she is but when she receives it I hope that a) she knows what it is and b) she sees why I chose it for her.

The raw ingredients:

So what is it going to be…. a donut, that’s what.  I found the pattern on Ravelry and really enjoyed making it.  I was torn between making a donut or a slice of cherry pie and given that Caveman and I have been watching Twin Peaks (again) recently it was a hard decision to make.  I just had to remember that it wasn’t for me!

I used yarns from my stash so I can’t be sure what they are for definite but I think the cream shade is Patons Smoothie.

I took lots of pics as I went along so here are the stages of the recipe:

Hmmmmm donuts! 

Don’t you love the shiny pins as sprinkles.  I need to buy some more pins to send in the pincushion as these few are from my own pincushion for artistic purposes only at present, but it wouldn’t be complete without them!  I do hope the recipient likes it when the parcel pops through her letterbox along with a postcard of Manchester and a couple of other little treats to make her smile!

 

Share

Baby AND Blanket

Craft | Tuesday March 9 2010 | 6:31 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , |

I promised you a picture of my new niece Erin if her mummy and daddy agreed to me posting it, and how could they resist showing her off. Here she is looking snug as a bug with her blanket made by auntie Fi and a bunny!

Erin with blanket

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share