Normal service has been resumed

Blogging | Wednesday May 26 2010 | 10:24 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , |

I can be excited about my website again, because it works again.  You may not have noticed at your end, but at my end I have been very, very restricted in use of my own website, behind the scenes and even the front end you’re looking at now.  I have spent about two months tinkering with bits and pieces on my laptop and netbook but nothing worked.  Other sites and functions were fine, but not frou-frou.  Only after about 20 minutes did anything eventually load so trying to write posts and upload pictures over that sort of timescale just wasn’t going to work.

Various friends were consulted and advice given, tried, tested and ruled out.  There was only one thing for it – practical hands on technical support!  And there was only one person for that job – Warren!

After lots of tea, a few cakes (well, it was hard work) and three hours, I present you with a fully working and fully restored frou-frou service.  And to go with it a re-invigorated blogging me!

‘What’s been the problem?’ I hear you ask! (OK you may not be but I’m going to tell you anyway.  Actually, I’m not going to tell you – these are Warren’s words below!)

‘Here’s pretty much a summary of what I did to fix it.  I think the firewall and winsock ones were the most likely to sort it, but here goes from the top:

Go to a Command Prompt (start / run / cmd) and then type:
* netsh winsock reset
* netsh interface ip reset
* netsh routingip  reset
* netsh firewall reset

Once all done, restart the PC and then check the site access.  I also enabled routing and remote access in Services (services.msc) but possibly that wasn’t necessary to do.’

It seems that this may be caused by an Orange mobile broadband dongle install that somehow corrupted the winsock interface or the firewall settings.  When we  then turned the Windows firewall off, as the settings were persisting and stopping certain items from downloading quickly, it seemed to be cured!

The most annoying thing in it all was that the site that it had the most impact on was the one I own and run.  I probably wouldn’t have been so wound up by it if any another site affected!

So now you can look forward to all the posts that I’ve had in draft in various forms awaiting pictures, editing and publishing.  I shall try not to splurge all at once, got a craft fair this weekend to get ready if nothing else. 

Oh, and see those green crochet coasters in the pic above… watch this space!

Until the next time, which I am already looking forward to, ta-ra!


Snail Mail – Update

Craft | Tuesday April 27 2010 | 12:14 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , |

Following my last post, I am pleased to report that the mystery of the missing pincushions is becoming clearer.

Last night I emailed Anka, from Happy hang around, who I have made the donut pincushion for to let her know that I am her swap partner and that I was concerned that it hasn’t arrived.  You may have spotted Anka before as she commented on my pincushion make post!  I really didn’t want to have to reveal that the donut was for her until she received it, but given the passage of time I wanted her to know its on its way!

Anka was delighted to know the donut was for her, having already spotted it on flickr and here, and said that Romanian post can take aaaaaaaaaaaaages.  She has promised to let me know as soon as it arrives.

In a strange twist of fate while I was writing my email to Anka I got a comment on the site from Tracylea from Homegrown-insanity who has made a pincushion for lil’ ole me!  Turns out that the postal service has failed somewhere and the parcel aiming for me was returned to Traceylea in Idaho, USA.  That’s going to be one well travelled little pincushion when it arrives.

So it seems mystery solved and we are all at the mercy of our respective postal serivces.  However, despite that, I love the thought of the new connections I now have with people in Bucharest and Idaho, all because of 2 humble pincushions!  You’ve got to love that!


Crochet Lesson

Craft | Friday February 12 2010 | 10:18 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , |

Have you ever taught someone to crochet?  I only learned to crochet 6 months ago but believe that I’ve got enough knowledge and skills in it to get someone else hooked – well, I have done enough of it in that time!!

So I was delighted when my friend Claire asked me to show her the basics!  Last night we had a great evening of 3 c’s – crochet, cuppas and catching up!  Perfect!

I crochet without thinking about the movements and actions you do to actually form different stitches any more, as most come automatically now, so it was a bit of a challenge initially to show someone how to do that.  But by actually doing it in slow motion I was able to break down all the steps to show Claire.  After a couple of hours we had covered foundation chains, turning chains, double, half treble and treble crochet, as well as that basic that anyone starting crochet needs to master – where to stick the hook!

Claire’s just text to say she’s been crocheting today, so I hope I’ve found another ‘crocheteer’!  I read on a blog this week that instead of ‘crocheters’ we should be ‘crocheteers’!  I love it!!  Apologies though, as I can’t remember where I read it and went through all recent posts on my RSS reader and can’t find the article, so I can’t credit it.  If it was you then drop me a line!

On that note, this crocheteer is off to crochet!


A Grand Day!

Craft | Tuesday February 2 2010 | 1:31 am | No Comments | Tags: , , |

I had such a good day at the Horse and Jockey Arts and Crafts Fair last Saturday.  It wasn’t mad busy, I didn’t make my fortune and I didn’t sell all my things.  However, none of that matterred.  I had lots of fun, met some lovely people, got a feel for what people were interested in so got lots of ideas and I was joined by a few friends at various times throughout the day.

Here are a couple of pictures of version 1 of my display.  After I set up I had the opportunity to move to the ‘pitch’ of someone who cancelled at the last minute so I had more space.  Unfortunately by then Caveman had left with the camera, but it was just a more spread out version of this.

H&J 30jan10 2

H&J 30jan10 1

The Horse and Jockey Fair is a regular event, on the last Saturday of every month.  I am not able to do February but I have booked for March.  I have lots of ideas and plans for new stock, so keep reading over the next couple of months for an idea of what is coming up, and put 27th March in your diary!


Everyone’s at it!

Craft | Tuesday January 5 2010 | 7:54 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , , |

I know lots of people who are pregnant at the moment and it’s making me twitchy!  No, silly, not my hormones!!!  My crochet hooks!!!

Whenever I hear of the patter of tiny feet my initial excitement for the happy mummy and daddy to be soon turns to thoughts of crochet opportunities and right now they are rife!

The things I love about making for babies are the colours, the delicate yarns, the anticipation for the expectant family and the appreciation with which home made gifts are received.

My friend Anne became a granny to baby Joseph just before Christmas and even though I don’t know Joseph’s mummy I have made him a cosy hat.  I based it very loosely on a pattern from Haakpoes for sizing and made a couple of alterations.  Instead of stripes I used one main colour (blue for a boy, of course) with contrast turn up brim and tassles.  I love the ‘noodle’ on Haakpoes hat but it didn’t look quite right on mine so I added a few twists to the top instead.  The pattern says its for a 3-6month old but I have no idea what size a babies head is so I hope it doesn’t only fit him in the summer!!  However, the way the weather is going here at the moment we may still have snow!!

Doesn’t this look cosy? However, a strange phenomenon occurred, whereby the variegated yarn didn’t variegate itself very well and came out in chunks of colour rather than stripes!  I think it adds something to the hat in a funny sort of way, as you can turn it around and have a different hat for every day of the week!

 baby boy blue hat

My sister in law, KellyAnn, and one of my closest friends, Mandy, are both due in the latter half of February so I haveplenty time to create some baby gifts for them.   I have already started work on a blanket which I am really pleased with.  I have wanted to tackle a ripple pattern for some time and a baby blanket seemed the perfect opportunity.  Lucy at Attic 24 has lots of beautiful and colourful crochet blankets to I tackled her Neat Ripple Pattern.  I had a few false starts, mainly because, as usual, I cut straight to the simplified version of the pattern without looking at the great walk through that Lucy had done.  Turns out I needed my hand held and when I had read it all fully it worked a treat.  Here’s the work in progress:

 Ripple baby blanket

I’ll add more pictures when it’s finished.  Turns out Ali at SnipSnapHappy has been having the same ripply thoughts as me too!

It’s worth mentioning here the yarn I’m using for these baby items.  It’s one I picked in a different shade for a little phone case a few months ago and I really like working with it.  Its Patons Fairytale Colour 4 Me DK machine washable 100% wool.  It’s labelled at double knitting but I beg to differ as it really does have a slightly thicker handle.  As a result I’m using a 5mm hook and that feels just right.  There are loads of shades available and its a great price (around £2.60 / 50g ball).



Craft | Saturday January 2 2010 | 7:50 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Happy New Year to you!  I hope 2010 brings you good times, good health and lots and lots of craftiness.  Those are the things I dream of for the year ahead anyway!

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks with my birthday, Christmas, New Year, visiting family  and lots and lots of snow! I spent Christmas at home with Caveman then we went off to Scotland to visit our respective families and most importantly see my nephews and niece.  If there was one thing would make me move back to Scotland it would be them.

The weather was a real challenge, with near knee deep snow in places, frozen roads and sub zero temperatures at all times. The coldest I was out in was -9°c at 9pm one evening, so I can only guess how cold it got in the middle of the night.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr…

And now that the gifts I have made have been given I can share what I’ve been working on for the past few month or so:

A teal / green curly wurly scarf for Rhona:

teal spiral scarf

 A flowery scarf for Jemma (a fellow crocheter):

floral scarf

 Button heart for Rhona:

Button heart

Spiral brooches for a few people, in different colours:

pink grey spiral brooch

A ‘made it up as I went along’ bag for Lucy (age 5 ¾):

 made up as i went along bag

with a sherbet scarf to match:

 sherbert scarf

A butterfly hair clip holder for Lucy:

pink and yellow butterfly hair clip holder


The sherbet and flower scarves are variations of patterns from my favourite crochet book The Happy Hooker, about which I have lots to write at a later date.

I hope all your crafted gifts were well received, and maybe you even received some yourself too.

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