Brrrrrrrrrr

Craft | Sunday February 28 2010 | 2:16 am | No Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I have so much to write about as its been a busy old week, and a very eventful one too.  Its going to take several posts though to cover it all, so this one is just the opener.  

I’ve spent the last week in Scotland with my family, awaiting the arrival of a new baby (more soon) and its been very, very cold and a bit snowy.  Fortunately we didnt experience the severe snowy weather that some areas had this week.  However, I live as a ‘soft southerner’ (their words, not mine) now so I found it very cold.  Now I’m back home in Manchester, not a snowflake in site and I’ve got a cold – but my own bed will make it a lot better I’m sure.

I spent the first half of the week with my sister and her family and loved just hanging around with them, taking the kids to school, family mealtimes, homework, cbeebies etc. 

My sister has a lovely new coat and when we were out shopping she spotted a yarn, Patons Smoothie in Red Mix which matched it so I got roped into making her a scarf, in the same style I made for my niece and her cousins earlier in the year.  Its a pattern from The Happy Hooker  book and is a bit of a staple pattern for me.  I completed it in one evening so it is definitely a quick and easy project.

This shade is Red Mix, but I’ve called it Blood Orange as I think that’s exactly what its like, not quite orange and not quite red.  There’s also a little bit of steel grey, plum and coral in there too.  The pictures may not do the colour justice I’m afraid!

Here’s the end result

Blood orange scarf

Blood orange scarf folded

Being as critical as I am of my own work I feel obliged to point out my own mistakes!  My sister insists she cant see them, and that they don’t matter, but I know they’re there.  Are you like that?  Do you look at the things you’ve made and look for the mistakes?  Anyway, after the first row we decided the scarf wasn’t long enough so there’s an ‘extension’ which is only noticeable in the middle of one row, but it is there.  That’s one of the things that’s so great about crochet though, you can add on with great ease.  Also, I ran out of yarn about 12 shell loops from the end!  Luckily I’m using the same yarn for another project (details soon) but from a different dye lot.  The shade difference is very subtle, but its there!

Despite its faults my sister is delighted with the result and it has been much admired by her firends.  Orders taken girls!!!

Just one final thing for now… I LOVE LOVE LOVE Patons Smoothie and I’ve used it for quite a few things recently – its great for crochet for so many reasons.  I think it deserves a post all of its own, so watch this space.

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MMX

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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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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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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A little taste of heaven in Yorkshire

Craft,Tea | Monday November 2 2009 | 7:38 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , |

Oooooooh I’ve got so much to write about, but its going to take some time.  Caveman and I are just back from a fabulous, relaxing and much needed week away in Yorkshire.  We stayed in a little cottage, near Ripon, called The Old Telephone Exchange and it was so beautiful that the whole week was a joy.  My heart has just gone skippity skip looking at the website again to add the link here.

Prior to our week away we said we didn’t mind what the weather was like as Caveman would take his guitar, I would take my crochet and along with a pile of books we would be snug as bugs.  And that’s just what we did.  Real fire, curtains closed against the wind and rain, tea and cake, a big bag of yarn and crochet hooks and my lovely chap – all the things that make me happy in life.  I’m quite a simple girl really!

We did venture out a few times and I have some lovely purchases to report.  But in the meantime here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite and to make me wish we could have stayed forever.

Crochet stuff

tea, cake and fire

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And is there honey still for tea?

Tea | Friday August 7 2009 | 9:08 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , |

I’ve been to the most beautiful tea shop imaginable this week.  Caveman and I spent a few days in Cambridgeshire and I was desperate to go to the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester.  As a fan of Rupert Brooke and tea it was a joy!  Beautiful location, fascinating history, yummy cream tea, swarms of wasps… oh yes wait, that ain’t so good but the wasps are another story entirely! 

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The Orchard also has the Rupert Brooke Museum with lots of mementos, cuttings and pictures of him and those around him, particularly from his time in Grantchester.  Although small, there is lots of information there, including his death in Greece.

And then there was the tea!  I have to admit I was rather influenced by the romance and history of the place so they could have served me tepid, dirty water and a rock and I would have been happy.  Despite that I can honestly say the cream tea was delicious.  Massive homemade scones, a big pot of tea, real butter and strawberry jam.  Ok, so I didn’t have honey but that’s a minor detail.  Until I have the chance to return, I shall dream happy dreams about Grantchester; unforgettable, unforgotten.

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