Patterns are fun …eventually

Hello All

The sun has got its hat on. Hip hip hip hooray! Yesterday was a wonderful day for a train journey to my favourite city, Carlisle. A day when all my bus train bus connections came together and travel was an absolute pleasure.

As you know there is little chance of finding me on a train without wool and a project. Yesterday was no exception.

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In truth however I was running scared. I thought after the bauble success of last week I would try another pattern from the colourful “Boho Crochet” book edited by Merenke Slump. My knees turned to jelly when I realised I was moving from a two star to a THREE star skill rating. What was I thinking?! FPtrs and FPdtrs awaited along with surface crochet and sl st into blo (don’t ask, spare yourselves).

But before I could hook my way through a new crocheting learning curve my train had pulled in at Carlisle station. I had a little time before meeting with my friends at Tullie House Museum. Time for a visit to the library to pick up some light reading and settle down with a cup of tea.

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And yes that is brilliant sunlight casting shadows! Apologies for getting so excited but we don’t get a lot of sunshine in Cumbria. Infact like Nosferatu caught out by dawn we squinted, we fidgeted, we MOVED to get out of the rays. We may not get much sun but when we do it is stunning. Our eyes need time to adjust.

It was lovely meeting up with my friends but all too soon I was time to go our separate ways. A beautiful train ride later and I was back home and it was time to face my ‘Star Fruit Pattern Rug’ fears. Gulp.

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts.  I discovered I didn’t know my WS from my RS!

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Oops!

But having discovered this fundamental I started to get to grips with the lingo and enjoy myself.

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The Star Fruit shape began to form as I worked in the surface crochet. And the motif came together with the addition of the third colour edging.

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In no time at all I had three motifs completed. Only another 67 to go and I’ll have a rustic new rug!

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In case you were wondering I am using a 4mm hook and these chunky rough dyed rug yarns from Farfield Mill.

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Patterns. Pah! Nothing to fear after all. Next time 4 stars. Bring it on.

Until next we meet, Moke x

What’s on the kitchen table?

Hello All

Having said last week that Spring had sprung this weekend has been f-f-f-r-r-r-e-e-e-e-zing. Best spend the day in the warm with copious amounts of tea and a small (ie I have a chance of finishing it) craft project.

So what is on the kitchen table this week? Having a giddy flash-back to ‘Play School’ … what is through the …. round window? (I always wanted the round window). Enough of the 1960s back to the kitchen table:

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Time to set about a wee bit of crochet inspired by “Boho Crochet” edited by Merinke Slump until

 

I have two half orbs. Then only a few stitches follow and …

voila! a bauble

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with all it’s playful possibilities. Sparkle-y yarns for celebrations and your favourite colours for interiors …  all worked in a trice.

Infact it was finished too quickly. The great outdoors is still less than inviting so it is back to ….

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the sock-a-thon. Which as a dedicated woolly crafter I am doomed I mean duty-bound to complete.

What crafts have kept you busy this weekend? and who remembers Gonks?

Until next we meet, Moke x

Build Me Up Buttercup

Hello All

When a friend at work mentioned that there was a local charity project to raise money by the sale of wool crafts I decided that I must find a way to beat the bus sickness blues.

Much as I love the stunning landscape and its changing nuances it is a long daily journey to work and while I am fine looking out of the window I struggle with anything that means bending my head. That has meant reading and crafts are out …. oh woe is me.

Then an inkling of an idea. If I stick to crafting simple patterns on the ‘straight’ (the Romans didn’t touch these roads or were defeated by our mountainous topography), less lumpy-bumpy, bits of the road I might manage the odd brooch or two.

Practice first. I turned to an old favourite for inspiration,

With so much choice what to do? Start at the beginning with the easy crochet patterns and work my way through. Off we go.

First the lovely Hellebore,

A very satisfying make but with three colours fiddly. A certain recipe for a stomach churning journey. Next!

Let’s build up a buttercup ….

Pretty little thing. But while small is beautiful it is also a tad tricky for someone with fingers a bunch of bananas would be proud of. Lest this go the way of Goldilocks and the Three Bears … too fiddly …. too tricky …. shall we move on to ‘just right’ …

…. the madness of the Chrysanthemum.

Flamboyant yet simplest to do. Yippee. Despite its woolly wildness it makes a striking corsage brooch. Any suggestions as to yarns and methods to make it fit any occasion gratefully received.

Now I have a pattern I can replicate on the bus AND three little contributions for the charity sale.

Reading on the bus next …..

Before I go. My good friend JH came over for cake and a cuppa yesterday. We are both to become grandmothers within weeks of each other so you can imagine we had a lot to talk about and look what she made for No1 Daughter ….

Woof-ely and beautiful. Needless to say both No1 Daughter and I were very very grateful for such a wonderful handmade pair of baby bootees. Thank you JH.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Wind the Bobbin Up

Hello All

In the words of the nursery rhyme it is time for me to wind the bobbin up ….

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and bobbin suitably wound time to start on a new project. I have in my cloth stash a beautiful few yards of batik fabric that has been crying (sobbing, even weeping) to be made up. I also have a pattern (no cross and dot scaling required) for a top that is right up my street.

Batik Fabric and Simplicity Sewing Pattern

Scissors ready? Eeeeeek.

Cutting out the pattern

Phew. Cutting done. Its time for a bit of  sewing

Basting

and of course pressing,

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I’d hoped to get finished today but I had one little job that needed to be done and that called me away from sewing my new top. But it’s almost there. Only sleeves … and (gulp) buttonholes to go.

That little job? One of my colleagues is leaving us soon to have a baby. As she knows she is having a boy chance for me to make a pair of little crochet bootees in Baby Boy Blue.

Hope she likes them.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Little Things

Hello All

No 1 Daughter is home for a fews days and we are all excited. My girl is expecting …. her own girl! I have kept this under wraps for some time because it is up to mum-to-be how and when she wants the news shared but she has now said I can tell my lovely blog readers that I am going to be a grandma (or Omi in my case).

This has been a hard secret to keep. Especially as I wanted to share with you some of the things I have been making.

As soon as I heard I searched my woolly stash and found two balls of Rowan felted tweed,

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perfect for the project I had in mind,

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a striped boatneck sweater (jumper!) from the easy to follow “What to Knit When You’re Expecting” by Nikki Van De Car:

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I love this book and it was one of the first I bought when I learned baby was on the way. The patterns are stylish and use beautiful soft yarns. I was really pleased with the results and now we know the baby is a little girl I’ll be adding a tiny blue skirt-dress to go underneath baby’s first Omi-made jumper:

I have friends that have been knitting baby ware for years. No babies on the horizon but just because they like knitting baby clothes. Strange folk I thought. Sure they always have something beautiful and handmade (only slight envy in tone here) to give new mums and dads but otherwise why?! Now I know!!! How wonderful to quickly knit up a whole wearable garment from fantastic yarns for a fraction of the price. Why did I not come to this sooner?

Scared of investing a huge amount of time (I am easily bored) and money into large projects for myself (and I mean large if its for me…) I rarely knit anything other than socks and mittens. But now that I have discovered the delights of knitting for little people there will be no stopping me. This baby and maybe her siblings and cousins (no pressure No 1 Son) will be swathed in woolly wearables.

Anyhoo I must get back to my 3.25s ….

Until next we meet, Moke x

PS Baby is due 13 December. Mx

PPS I get nothing for telling you about yarns and books I love. Mx

Remembrance

Hello All

Today at the 11th hour we will bow our heads in silent remembrance. I remember sons on opposing sides. My mother’s family my father’s. All those who lost their lives to fight for their countries. The pattern of my day echoed this duality.

My poppy finished.

I walked into town to watch the Remembrance Sunday parade which culminates at Kendal’s War Memorial with a mark of appreciation for the British forces past and present. As my good friends know anything to do with old soldiers makes me cry and there was quite a bit of sniffling on my part as I watched the musicians of the sea cadets drumming through the main street to herald a small corp of young soldiers and the veterans behind them.

It is very moving. The more so as the moment is shared by a large gathering. Children on the shoulders of fathers or ushered to the front of the crowd by mothers. Grandparents whispering to small ears what the ceremony marks.

As I walked home I caught sight of a little memorial created by the toddlers of the nearby nursery,

Despite its sad origin I can’t help but find it a hopeful sight.

Back home it is time to acknowledge my other self as I listen to the radio coverage of the commemorations taking place in Germany today. It is 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down. I remember that period of history vividly as it occurred shortly before the birth of No 1 son and being a superstitious soul I took it as a good omen.

Wars tear families apart in my case it brought mine together. Through the Second World War my father came to this country and met my mother. Even in the darkest of hours thankfully love survives.

Until next we meet. Moke xx

PS For those that would like to know the pattern for the poppy came from one of my old favourites:

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Moke xx

Twinkle Twinkle

Hello All

When I was a library lady one of my favourite tasks was to lead Toddler Tales every Monday morning. It was a great way to start the week. The chaos of little people, parents, grandparents and carers all momentarily calmed by coming together to sing rhymes and listen to stories.

Most beautiful of all was the sharing of nursery rhymes which all the generations could share. Simple couplets so ingrained in our memories that we instantly recall them as soon as the first magic words are said. One such has to be “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. It brings a little tingle to the back of my neck recalling how sweet it was to hear old and young voices combined to sing this lovely poem.

And what brought about this happy memory? Good friend B sent me a link to a crochet pattern! Thanks to a free Moogly pattern you can use up your yarn scraps to make your own little stars.

With a couple of minutes to spare, a few basic tools,

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and even the scrappiest of scrap,
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you can make up a simple decorative star in a trice. Have fun trying different yarns and hook sizes

and perhaps add another point

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to create your own perfect twinkling star.

Ah well time to hook up a few more stars – it’s kind of addictive – and start thinking about presents and cards and all things Christmassy….eeeeekkkk …… maybe I’ll just enjoy making stars and keep Christmas thoughts at bay until December.

 

Until next we meet, Moke x

PS Sorry I vanished last week but my internet went off!!! Zut alors! Mx