Better late than never for Betty and Cath

Craft,Tea | Wednesday December 16 2009 | 3:20 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , , |

I’m embarrassed to say this post should have been written about a month ago!  But its been nonstop round here; craft fair, Christmas shopping, weekend in London and busy busy in the day job and I’m now stuck at home with a cold! 

So I thought what better time to write about the goodies I got in Yorkshire (all those weeks ago) while I’m sitting under a blanket with a cuppa.

I have two sets of loveliness to report.  I think I’ll start with tea.  I had been really excited about visiting Harrogate, not least because it is the home of Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms!  Purely by coincidence (honest) we ended up parking just near Betty’s so headed there first.  As expected there was a long queue and everyone was saying there was up to a 45 minute wait.  It’s no secret that I love tea, but balanced with my hatred of queueing, I was not going to wait. We decided to have a look around Harrogate and return. 

After a good look around Harrogate, including trips to Duttons for Buttons and Cath Kidston (see below) we returned to find the queue just as long.  There was only one thing for it… pop into the bakery and take some goodies home.  Here are the things I got:

Goodies from Betty's

A lovely lemon cake, tomato and herb loaf, Betty’s Tea Room Blend tea and a cotton Betty’s bag to carry it all in.  Yum!

And then there was the Cath Kidstonshop.  I have never been in one of her dedicated shops before, only the section in Selfridges nearby at the Trafford Centre (which is virtually my local shops!).  I have never particularly thought of myself of a fan of Cath Kidston, but my heart did skip a happy beat when I saw all the colourful and flowery loveliness in the shop.  I just couldn’t resist.  I am ashamed to say I have yet to do anything with the lovely things I bought (back the the aforementioned busyness I guess).

So what did I get, well, a pretty little selection!

Cath Kidston goodies

I got 2 pieces of gorgeous cotton print fabric (I had a really hard job choosing which ones as cotton print fabric is my favourite of favourites, especially little repeat prints), a set of matching tins, a little butterfly brooch and a little green glass salt and pepper pinch pot.

I plan to use the fabrics just for myself.  How selfish is that??!  I think I might crochet some cushion fronts and back them with these fabrics.

I must be getting into the Cath Kidston thing as I have since bought her Sew book too!  Not had the chance to make anything yet, but it comes with the pattern and fabric for the bag on the cover, so that seems like as good a place as any…

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It’s nearly tomorrow!

Craft | Wednesday December 2 2009 | 11:10 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , |

And tomorrow is my first ever craft fair!  I’m so excited I can hardly think about anything else, despite having lots going on in the day job and Christmas itself, and all the associated craziness, looming large.

I think I’m all ready to go.  Tonight I’ve been packing things up and decided to use the gorgeous paper bags I have bought for the occasion.  If you want to know what’s inside them you’ll just need to come along!  OK, so I guess you’re not all local, so I’ll post some pics after tomorrow night.

Here are some of my little parcels containing the goodies I have been working hard on in the past few weeks, as well as those I’ve had stashed away awaiting their first public appearance!

all packed up

I’ve also been working on my display.  I have a pink torso display, pink and white spotty cake stand, red flat metal Christmas tree, glass sweetie jars and pretty glass dishes. I also have some pink battery operated fairy lights.  Colours are largely red, pink and white.   Sounds ghastly doesn’t it?!!  However, I am sure it will be just the right balance of Christmasy, girly pink and and pretty, sweetie yumminess!

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Buttons from Duttons

Craft | Friday November 6 2009 | 11:17 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , |

Buttons from DuttonsI haven’t gone into this in much detail on here before, but I’ve got a bit of a thing about buttons.  Quite a big thing about buttons actually!

So imagine my surprise and delight, during my holiday in Yorkshire last week, when I stumbled upon a shop in Harrogate called Duttons for Buttons!   OK, it’s true… I knew it was there.  In fact I was beside myself with excitement about visiting it! 

How heavenly is a shop with floor to ceiling buttons… big ones, little ones, blue ones, plastic ones, glass ones, silly one, kiddy ones, glass ones, stripey ones. 

In fact if you couldn’t find a button to match your project here, it probably doesn’t exist.

 

I decided that rather than buy buttons I could get elsewhere I’d get something unusual and that I couldn’t easily get elsewhere.  So here is the little selection  chose.  I also got the tiniest pair of scissors.  Ideal for trimming little thread ends.

Buttons

 The dark purple and the black and white buttons are glass and very pretty asnd unusual. Unfortunately you can’t see the purple too clearly but they have a lovely swirly shape in them. 

The black and white ones are very unusual and have a delicate feel, but they’re not fragile. 

As for the brown ones, I just thought they were so unusual and look like macaroons.   I think they will look great on a chunky knit.

Maybe one day, if I’m feeling brave, I’ll show you my button stash!

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Hooked Up

Craft | Saturday September 26 2009 | 12:32 am | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , |

Well its ages since I got my delivery of new crochet hooks, but here at last is what I think of them, and the other ones I have tried.  Before I even write a word on the Clover plastic hook you’ll see in hte picture below what the main problem was!!!

3 crochet hooks

So, here we go:

Clover Reflections

Clover 4mm crochet hook broken

When I first got this hook, in a Clover Reflections set of 3 in a tube case (you’ll soon realise I LOVE things that come in their own holders) I was really impressed.  3 hooks, in 4mm, 5mm and 6mm, great colours, case, soft handles, ergonomic design – what could be wrong with that?  Well, after only about one week of use the damage shown above happened.  I have a very standard and even crochet tension and was using double knit yarn so there was really no excessive pressure on the end of the hook.  This set cost approximately £15.00, so not the cheapest hooks either.  I was really disappointed this one broke as it was comfy and colourful to use and the 4mm is size I most commonly use.

Traditional Aluminium

Traditional 4mm steel crochet hook

This is the type of hook that is most commonly known in crochet hooks, and probably the most traditional type.  It’s strong and everlasting and just goes on and on doing a good job.  What more could you ask for?  Well, this type is now available in a coloured finish which adds a bit more pleasure to their use.  I have found that the embossed size and brand name on the shank to be a bit irritating on my fingertips, but then I am a sensitive gal and the little things in life tend to annoy me.  All in all a great crochet hook, reliable and a great price at around £1.20 for 4mm.

Prym Soft Handle

Prym 4mm soft handle crochet hook

I’ll admit it up front that I saved my favourite til last!  When my Clover hook broke I set about finding an alternative and bought a set of Prym Soft Handle hooks from PurpleLinda Crafts.  I am really delighted with these hooks and the 4mm has been in constant use since they arrived.  The handle has a soft, non slip finish.  The metal hook is smooth and strong and easy to use – and I particularly like the shame of the actual hook.  I do find it can get a little sticky depending on the yarn I am using but I give the end a quick rinse with a little washing up liquid and I’m off again.  I have been careful to keep the handle dry as not sure how it would cope.  I have a set of 8 of these hooks, in 2mm-6mm, for £12.99 which is great value, and they are also available individually for around £2.00 for 4mm.

I’d love to hear what your favourite hooks or needles are and why.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

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Shiny stuff

Craft | Sunday August 30 2009 | 9:31 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , |

This week I got a parcel of shiny new crochet goodies I had ordered from PurpleLinda Crafts  (highly recomended for huge stock, quick shipping and only £1.99 postage for the whole order). 

As I only had a couple of  crochet hooks (including a broken one!) I bought a set of Prym soft handle hooks, 2mm-6mm, along with a couple of larger plastic hooks, 8mm and 10mm.

new-crochet-hook-selection 

I also got a few balls of Patons 4ply 100% cotton.  I hope to crochet some string shopping bags and delicate bracelets and pendants and thought this would not be too fine or difficult for a relative beginner to work with.

patons-4ply-cotton

As usual I picked my usual favourite types of colours, in strong earth tones.  With my new selection of hooks, lovely coloured yarn and lots of ideas, I’m certainly not losing my new passion for crochet any time soon!

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