Flat top!

Craft | Saturday October 2 2010 | 7:17 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , , |

I’m having a bit of trouble with a circle!   I’ve crocheted many circles before and they have come out round and flat, but not this one.  It’s not critical that it’s completely flat, as its for the top of a hat, but if you’d seen some of the versions before this one you’d agree they definitely wouldn’t have worked.

So this circle has been ripped back more times than I care to remember.  I ended up more or less making up each round as I went along.  Standard circle increases on each round weren’t working and in the end I have repeated each increase pattern for two rows instead of putting more stitches between each increase with each new round.  It seems to be working!  It isn’t completely flat, but that’s OK for this project.

This circle is the top of a beret for my sister-in-law as it was her birthday yesterday.  Don’t worry, it’s not going to be late really as I’m off to Scotland this week and will see her on Thursday.  Good job as with this cold autumnal weather she’ll need it to keep her ears warm!  Brrrrrrr!

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Happy Stats (yes, it’s back!)

Blogging | Monday September 20 2010 | 5:40 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , |

So it’s been a tough few weeks.  I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve had a happy skippy smiley time and been away having fun.  But a few corners have been turned and myself and others are starting to get back to ‘normal’.

Family wise there are things going on which won’t be over soon.  But it’s these times that remind me why family comes first.  First, last and everything in between actually!  And they always will.

As for work and pending redundancy, well… time will tell.

I wanted to record a few happy things as from the past few days so welcome back to Happy Stats:

  • Having my say!  As part of my redundancy (or any redundancy) there is a consultation period before any final notice is given.  It’s a chance to give feedback on the situation, its impact etc.  Well, I had a lot to say.  Sometime there are advantages of being very pedantic.  I’m a stickler for policy and procedure, but also for fairness.  After several days of crying, I spent the last few weeks researching, thinking and getting my head round things and this past week its all come together into really quite a harsh report that I submitted at work last Friday.  Now that it’s out of my hands I feel a combination of relief and apprehension.  But as I said, time will tell!

 

 

 

  • My new Cath Kidston pillow cases.  They make me smile to myself when I lie my weary head upon them. (Look, you can see them in the pic above!)

 

  • Preparing a guest post for someone else’s blog!  Ooooooooh, fancy that!

 

  • Starting to plan my Christmas makes, and receiving orders to make other people’s presents too!

 

  • Oh Comely magazine!  Fantastic, witty, stylish and quirky. GO BUY IT!  I can’t put it any plainer than that!  (If you read Issue 2 come back and tell me how much you laughed at the article about posting things in the mail!  I cried laughing!)
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What a week!

Blogging,Random | Tuesday August 31 2010 | 12:53 pm | Comments (6) | Tags: , , |

I’ve had a heck of a week, and one that I certainly don’t ever want to live through again.  As a result Happy Stats are cancelled this week as I’m finding it very hard to celebrate anything.

I was told at work last Thursday that I am to be made redundant after over 11 years working in the same place.  I will be here until just before Christmas and there is a chance during that time something else will come up and I could be redeployed, but I have to admit I am already be finding it very hard to stay motivated and positive.  It wasn’t completely unexpected, but I certainly wasn’t ready for it right now and had hoped that other options would have been discussed and considered before it came to this.

I’ve heard and thought ‘oh, it could be an opportunity’ and ‘what about doing more craft based work’ and yes either or both are a possibility.  But for now I need to think a lot, wallow a bit, get used to the idea, get angry, get upset and then eventually start working out what I’m going to do.

On top of that, the very next day actually, someone very close to me had some tough news health wise and it did give me a bit of perspective.  However, it’s horrible when everyone is so upset and worried and all I want to do is be there and help.

I have managed to get some respite in crochet over the weekend and been back working on the granny stripe blanket but I’ve been so tired its not really given me any pleasure.  I am hoping that once I’ve caught up on sleep and got over initial shock and upset that things will start to feel a bit more normal.  Not least because I have present making to get done this week.

Normal frou-frou should be resumed soon but in the meantime, I intend to pootle about a bit, moan a bit and have a good boo from time to time.  But don’t worry, there will still be crochet!  There will always be crochet!

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Boxing Clever

Random | Sunday July 11 2010 | 11:56 am | 1 Comment | Tags: , , |

I’m always impressed, and more than a little jealous, at the remarkable ‘finds’ that people find:  beautiful old crockery, immaculate hand embroidered linens, colourful vintage glassware!  I never find anything.  Until now that is!!!

On a recent incredibly hot day Caveman and I stopped at a local ice cream parlour (don’t you love that term? ‘ice cream parlour’ it just conjours up images of the 1950’s for me) which was next door to Wowie Zowie.  It’s a great retro shops which sells, in its own words, ‘fabulous vintage things from the 20th century and beyond…’

And look what I found!!!

Can you believe I walked right round the shop once before I spotted this!!??  It’s a really beautiful old cantilever sewing box.  It is in brilliant condition and even inside the drawers are really clean.  Although I am very untidy, I do love places to keep things, even if I don’t always put things in those places!

This is a great little piece of furniture, beside the settee, to hold all my little bits and pieces of sewing and crochet equipment which do need to have a place.  These are actually the things that I am good at putting back because I find nothing worse than getting into a piece of work and needing a thimble or a particular type of needle and not being able to find them!

I might line the drawers with pretty paper just to add to the delight every time I open them and I am yet to fill it up.  Maybe that will be a gradual process as I use it.

 

 

 

 

I’ve had a very busy few weeks with lots and lots of housework and organising because my sister and her two kids have been to visit this week.  We had a fab time wit lots of icecream, laughing and fun.  They left on the train yesterday and I was more than a little sad waving them off.

Also had an (unsuccessful) job interview which took up a lot of time in application and preparation so still somewhat disappointed after the amount of energy I put in. 

I have found a plenty time between those activities to crack on with the granny stripe blanket and I am really enjoying that.  I have found it goes particularly well with Wimbledon and World Cup!!! 

So back to normal now with nothing major on the horizon for a while but it gives me some time to get on with some making and doing.  The other benefit is that I now have quite a tidy house, which really isn’t normal (that table top in the pictures is normally covered in sewing machines and related paraphernalia), and might help keep my mind a little straighter.  Hopefully I will be able to keep it up.  Time will tell…

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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!

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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

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