Author: ahookerswidower

POSH YARN BOMBING IN ANTRIM

A while ago the wife was asked or volunteered (not sure which) to crochet a line of bunting for a yarn bomb event, so the said bunting was designed, made and sent to one of the organisers of the event.DSCF6315

Today was the day of the event which was called Spinning Yarns (a festival of colour, creativity and craft). It was a two days festival, and what a festival it was. As the organisers put it “set in the stunning Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House. Spinning Yarns is a must do event for those passionate about yarn or simply seeking a great day out. Come along to be entertained and inspired“, well put I say. I must say it was great and even I enjoyed it. It was nice to meet some of the people who had worked so hard to get everything set up.

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You have all heard of yarn bombing right? The action or activity of covering objects or structures in public places with decorative knitted or crocheted material, as a form of street art. That’s the dictionary definition. You can all thank Magda Sayeg for starting it all off in 2005 (so she claims) Do you know differently? Technically it is illegal as it is a form of graffiti!!! I must say it looks to good to be graffiti, it is art. To the person who could not understand why people do it (yarn bomb) I say look around you, see what joy and colour it brings to a sometimes grey world.

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Where was I? Back to today and our visit to the event. Before you entered the door you were met with crocheted flowers in pots and lots of decorations of different shapes and sizes, which were all looking great. There were lots of stalls and opportunities to buy to your heart’s content. One of the first things you saw when you got through the door was a lovely knitted river which was set in a part of the gardens. The hard work that had gone into it made it so amazing. Such great details like boats and swans to name but a few. I must admit the thing that I liked the best was the Yarn Bombed mountain bike which was near the entrance. There was lots of nice food to buy too. With plenty of displays and demonstrations throughout the day. I must admit after meeting so many crocheters and their friends the day has generated more than one or two ideas for other blogs, so watch this space.

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I must say it was good to meet some of the other half’s (widowers) and exchange that odd knowing glance or nod knowingly to be the partner of somebody who loves crocheting, yarn or knitting. I enjoyed the event, but I did meet some who had that look on their faces (the one I have on my face walking into a yarn shop), which means “what am I doing here”. I hope the photos show what a great day it was. Sometimes the photos do not do it justice. To all the ladies who did not get into the photos, because you were not there I say ‘sorry we missed you’. Thanks again for all the hard work put into the day, for us it went well. After taking some photos and saying our goodbyes it was time to walk through the rest of the gardens and look at the yarn bombing there. Again there were some great examples of it, although there were some of the flowers still in bloom the others had been made to look like they still were with the crochet and knitting. There were lots of what looked like very large Dorset buttons, a great selection of fairy friends and the large blanket (which we had a hard time of keeping Ginger the blanket thief off) and my favourite the small watering can bursting with colour. Space and time does not allow me to share about the other crocheting groups and there work, the woman who has 60 bags of a special stash (which she is determined to start to work through, the thoughts of Mrs Grann E.S. Quaire on the event and the Alpacas, there are other days and other blogs for all that.

 

The moral of the story is if you missed it this year look out for it next year or if you go and visit the gardens soon you will still see some of the yarn bombing left in the gardens (as long as the weather allows). Till next time keep up the good work and keep on crocheting, as for me I am off to finish the “artisan food” we bought.

Top of the world ma (I mean Grann E)

The question is have you been taking your crochet to strange or interesting places? Mrs Grann E.S. Quare has been on another holiday and has been to the top of the world.  When I say top of the world I mean the top of Ireland or the highest place in Ireland. That place is Carrauntoohil, the highest mountain in Ireland at 1038 meters or 3406 feet.  A wooden cross was erected on the summit, a privately owned commonage, in the 1950s by the local community. In 1976 it was replaced by a 5 m (16 feet) tall steel cross. In 2014, the cross was cut down by unknown persons in protest against the catholic church, but it was re-erected shortly after.

Depending how fit you are it can take as little as two hours to get to the top, it took me and Mrs Grann over four hours. Still having her photo at the top is one of the most famous or iconic places in Ireland to do (well that is what the local guide was telling his group of Americans at the top). I must say it was a slog to get to the top. One of the quickest and shortest ways is to go up by the ‘devils ladder’.  This is a gully full of big boulders and smaller loose stones. It is said that it is getting harder and harder to climb because of all the people climbing up it making the stones loser and loser.

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This is one of the things on Mrs Grann E.S Quare bucket list (things to do before you die or get frogged). We got to the car park nice and early or so we thought, (there were already ten cars and vans parked and away up). While we were getting ready for the climb there were two cars full of ‘young bucks’ pulled up, most of them just in shorts and trainers carrying a bottle of water each. Grann was not impressed (even less impressed when they passed us coming back down, when we were only half way up the devils ladder). The views were amazing (the photos do not do it justice). we had a lot of time to appreciate them every time we stopped to take on water  (lots and lots of water) or catch our breath. The weather was nice and sunny and in the 20F. It was a slog at times but worth it in the end. That is another thing off the bucket list, I have told her she is on her own when she goes bungee jumping!!

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I must admit I could not see even the harden of you taking your crochet with you up to the top of Carrauntoohil. Is there any where you have taken your crocheting that if you told us it would be heard to believe? Mind you having heard so many stories about stashes and yarn road trips, also having gone on holiday to return with even more yarn (I swear she can smell a yarn shop over a mile away) it may not be to hard to believe. To all other hookers widowers, I know what you go through and we should all stick together. Then we can help and support each other.

To all the crocheters out there keep up the good work. To all the other half you can call me any time for help!! Keep on crocheting and giving me things to write about.

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A WATERMELON CAKE!!!!

What can I say, but I love cake in all its forms. Funny title you might think, all will become clear as you read this blog. Let me take you back a few weeks when the wife asked me to go to the shop and get her a cake. How could I say no?? I could not believe my luck as we do not get many cakes in this house on account of my belly being a tad to big. Which cake is your favorite? Is it chocolate or just a plain sponge, then there are cream cakes, carrot cake, the list goes on and on. It could be your favorite is a little different like a swiss roll or a battenberg, As I was taking the money (a twenty pound note, I thought this is a big cake) off the wife dreaming of the cake and all the temptation there in, when I was pulled out of my dream with the quote “I want the watermelon hell raiser one”. What, did I hear you right a watermelon cake??? (I do not like watermelon). Yes you heard me right, the cake is watermelon colour!!

Whirls & whirlette together

Watermelon Hell Raiser & Turkish Delight with Black Whirlette

Some of you may already know what I am talking about. The cake that my wife was talking about is not the cake that comes to my mind when I think of cake, but a special yarn that starts off one color and gradually changes in to another colour. The effect can be spectacular.  The wife has made a few shawl’s with this yarn which are amazing. There is a pattern for one in the patterns on this blog. Annie’s Shawl – Sunrise

Annie's shawl 1

Annie’s Shawl – Sunrise made with Dandelion Munchies

They do cost a lot more than other balls of yarn, but you only need one ball. There is also a great range of colours, you can see that a lot of work and energy has gone into getting all the colours together that match really well. Of course this makes them really, really hard to resist!!!  – A thing the wife can’t do and so far she has used Dandelion Munchies, Raspberry Rocky Road, Lemon Cassis Cream and has Turkish Delight and 2 cakes of Watermelon Hell Raiser sitting waiting to make things with.  She will tell you herself she is addicted, or as a member of the Scheepjes facebook page said ‘You are a Collector’

Lemon cassis cream whirl

Lemon Cassis Cream being made into a top.

Hear is a list of some of the other colours (they are very descriptive). Blueberry Bambam, Popin Candy, Green Tea Tipple, Slice ‘O’ Cherry Pie and Rosewater Cocktail (to name a few). The list goes on and on. The wife also has her eye on Sea Breeze Tease.

What is the moral of the story?? Well if your partner says they are popping down to the shop for a cake, be afraid, very afraid as you might not be in for a treat. It might be yarn instead of sponge!!

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Thanks again for reading this blog, and all your support. keep on crocheting till next time.

It is finished (at last)!!!

I am sure you have felt a sense of achievement when you have finished a project you have been working at for a while. We have heard the cheers in our house (the neighbours will have heard it as well). This is all very well but let me take you back into the portals of time way, way back when the wife last finished a cal for a blanket and the call went around the house that was the last time she was doing a cal. Why? You may ask as I did. The answer was that it had taken so long and near the end it was just so heavy. You can imagine my surprise when over 9 weeks ago I went to pick her up from the crochet club to be told she was doing another cal!! I thought you were not doing another one were my first words. She claims she had been persuaded this would be a good one to do (the crochet club is a dangerous place to go to).

The story has been unfolding for over nine weeks now, and what fun we have had, the wife waiting for the next lot of rows to be released in the Cosmic cal by Helen Shrimpton every Tuesday morning. There has also been moments when things had to be frogged. Comments like – When will it end? Or I think I will end it now on the white. I was on hand to point out that she had said that the last cal was supposed to be the LAST. Also there to offer support like it is up to you what you do and when you finish it. Now we can say it is finished and lovely it is to.

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Now that is not the full story, oh no. There was an incident about two-thirds of the way through which could have been a blog in itself. Have you ever done something which seemed a good idea at the time, but looking back at it you think why?? It could be something as simple as thinking certain colours go together, but after making the project you realized it was a bad idea!! It could be that you have had too much of the old falling down water (booze), done something that made sense then but now in the cold light of day realize that it was a bad idea (I have in my younger days but that is for a different blog). There are times that my wife comes back from the crochet club with the project the same size as was when she went in two hours ago. She explains that they were talking so much they had to keep frogging it back because of making mistakes. In the end they all just gave up and concentrated on the gossip. This example is a little different. The statement from the wife went  “I am too tired to crochet tonight, I will just watch some telly”.  I went in an hour or so later to find her crocheting!! “I thought you were too tired to crochet” I said, she said “I couldn’t resist!!”  I then said, “What happens when you crochet when you are very tired, you makes lots and lots of mistakes, which all have to be frogged back when you are not tired and you realise what you have done”. On she went making stars, frogging them back, making more stars, frogging them back, making more stars, frogging them back until she gave in and left it.  I can truthly say they looked nothing like they do now. The next time she says she is to tired I will take my life into my hands and take the crocheting off her for her own good (I may not live to write another blog).

What is the moral of this blog?

1:- Think twice before you crochet.

2:- If you can crochet with your eyes closed keep on going. (A thing the wife can do as she crochets when she nods of only trouble is she then has to frog it all back).

3:- If you are tired and the crocheting is difficult, please leave it till the morning (this will save you so much pain).

4:- Listen to your other half sometimes they are right.

As always keep on crocheting and thanks for your support. Till next time.

£20 IS BURNING A HOLE IN MY POCKET

Did you know that last week (Saturday the twelfth) was Yarn shop day? I didn’t and the wife clams she knew nothing about it eiher!! This time I will give her the benefit of the doubt, because she could not hide her surprise at all the things that were going on at the yarn shop. I think also she would have tried to gather more money for her visit to lovewoolni. There was 10% off all stock that day.

Dorestt Button PinkThe morning was planed with a visit to said shop for a work shop on how to do Dorset Buttons (and it was free) run by Rosemary from Simply Spun. This time the daughter had decided to go along as well as she was so impressed with the Dorset button that her mum had done the last time.  I was warned that the wife would probably be purchasing more yarn (no probably about it). After dropping them off at the shop, off I went to do my own thing. Then at the prearranged time I went back to the shop. Which was about three hours later! There were still lots of people milling around the shop and the wife was standing with two bags one of which was free. I was told I would have to come back to the shop as they were running a competition for something done by crochet or knitting and I would be bringing her latest shawl so a photo could be taken and her shawl then judged with the rest of the entrants for a prize (she did get a reserve prize which she was amazed by as all the entrants items were amazing).

Yarn Shop day Mug

The last thing she said before leaving the shop was and I quote “the hubby will come back with the shawl I will not be coming back”. On the trip home she explained all about yarn shop day and how she had twenty pounds left which she did not spend (I was so proud of her and how she was able to act with restraint in the shop). Home we went with all her goodies to pick up the shawl and drop the wife off at home. The nearer and nearer we got to home the more and more she was going on about the £20 pound in her pocket. This is where the £20 was starting to burn a hole in her pocket! The conversation was turned to a certain ball of yarn, or should I say cake of yarn which would be less than twenty pounds with the discount. Home we got, the wife stayed in the car and the shawl was got. We then retraced our steps back to the shop as the £20 pound was burning a major hole in her pocket.

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Annie’s shawl – Sunrise

Scheepjs Whirl Cake

The cake that burned a hole in the pocket!

The other people in the shop were surprised to see her remembering that she had said she was not coming back. The photos were taken and the shawl put back in the bag. The twenty pound did not last long. The yarn was bought and the change spent on a lucky dip in which she won a ball of yarn and an entry into a draw for (among other things) a free spa day. Which if she wins I am sure she will take me I hope, she has already promised to take one of her friends from the crochet club. If you missed yarn shop day this year, put it into the diary today so you do not miss out again. I am putting it in my diary for next year so I can plan to avoid it.

 

Keep up the good work. Keep on crocheting. If you did not miss yarn shop day what bargains did you pick up? Till next time.

Annie’s Shawl – Sunrise

 

A DUMMY AND A 4MM HOOK PLEASE

Have you done something that seemed a good idea at the time but looking back you know it wasn’t the smartest idea you’ve ever had? It could be that you need only a moment or two to think about it. Why? Because there is a certain incident that comes to my mind straight away (something you look back on with regret or it makes you cringe). For me it was the time I ran the Preston half marathon. Why would you regret that you ask? Too make it clear I should say I ran the half marathon without any training. Yes, that is correct, I ran a half marathon with no training. It was many years ago now, at a time when they done little checking on what you put down on your form. They just wanted as many people as possible to attend (unlike today when you are lucky if you even get to run) and I was young and foolish (very foolish). I also put what I thought was a reasonable time on the form, not knowing that the time would put me near the front of the starting line (sounds like a sketch from a comedy show right?). I still have many painful memories of it now, but I do have the medal somewhere. Now you are probably thinking you’ve not done any thing as dumb as that, or you’re thinking that’s nothing compared to what I have done!! It could be you thought putting those colours together was a good idea, looking at them now you have some frogging to do.

Do you ever look at old photos and think really? What was I thinking? We were not looking for that type of dummy the other day because if we were we would not have to look to far!! We were looking for a shop dummy or mannequin (for artsy-fartsy photos). I did offer to pose for the photos but I was told that I was not the right type of  look (or the same thing in not so many words). This was discussed at the crochet club on Monday night and the owner of Love WoolNI said we could borrow one of her dummies. I must say at this point there were lots of other ideas suggested at the crochet club, some of which involved me and a green bridge across the Bann river   (thank you ladies). I wouldn’t like to know about the ones I was not told about! The offer of the dummy, which was very kind, was accepted. This however, meant that I had to go into enemy territory (the yarn shop). Quick I thought to myself hide the wallet, but I made the rookie mistake of not checking for the wife’s purse.

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Off we went to the yarn shop to use the dummy for the artsy-fartsy photos (which turned out not too bad if I say so myself), for the wife’s new free pattern (link at the bottom). We explained to the shop assistant Linsey (I think that is her name) about us using the dummy. She even helped us set it up and made some good suggestions on what photos to take (thank you again to Linsey and Valerie owner of Love WoolNI). Packing camera and shawl up we were about to leave the shop when the wife said she needed to buy a 4mm hook. A 4mm hook? (I questioned as she has plenty of hooks at home) and her favorite hook is a number 4mm.

“I need one as I am using all my other 4mm hooks in projects at the moment,” (how many projects is that?). I kept my mouth closed as I thought a 4mm hook is nothing compared to the bag of products she came home with a couple of weeks before – that’s for another blog post.  Anyway out we came with just the hook and a happy wife with the photos of her new shawl.    As promised here is the link to the new pattern (the wife has named it after her mum and also, it reminds her of the sun blazing into a the sky after a dark night hence the name.  To the next time keep crocheting and if you have any funny stories I would love to hear them.

Annie’s Shawl – Sunrise

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The Hooker turns to the dark side!!!

Yes it has happened! I could not believe it at first, was it really true? Could I believe my own eyes? That the hooker (my wife) had discarded her hook for two needles. It is true she has turned to the dark side. Are their people reading this who think it is ok? Do you turn to the dark side?. Why you ask, because a while ago she released a pattern for her Art Nouveau crochet blanket and a few people who do not crochet wanted to do it by knitting. So the wife worked out a plan to knit it then write the pattern for her and anyone else who wanted it. The plan went on longer than she first thought, but it is done.

Are you one of these people who can and does put your hand to any type of crafting? It could be you make cards or do some type of needle work (I have been known to go and do a little cross stitch). I do have proof of it. Scrapbooking is another craft many people enjoy. It could be that you just crochet and nothing else (which is fine).  Just think if you did other crafts how many unfinished projects you would have!!!  Another thing where would you keep all your crafting things? Lets go back to the project in hand, Someone like me would think that all you had to do to change from a crochet pattern to a knitted one would be to swap the different stitches over, not so. The wife had to knit it, which means we now have two Art Nouveau blankets (you cannot have to much of a good thing) and there was just as much frogging in the knitted blanket as there was in the crochted version.  The wife although she gets fustrated at the time with the frogging it is soon forgot especially when she sees other peoples photos of her patterns. Today we seen a photo of one of the Art Nouveau panels of the Peacock, which looked great.  It is good to see other people making some of the patterns the wife has made.

On another topic, I was watching the TV the other day. It was one of those programs when you bring along something to be valued by the experts. The experts turned to the owner of the object and asked how much she paid for it. She did not want to say the price as it was a girly purchase!!  This is the first time I had heard this saying which means you buy it and destroy the invoice so the other half does not know what was paid for it. I feel I must bring this matter to the attention of all non crocheters to look out for those two words “girly purchases”.  I too will be on my guard, listening out for these words or others of a similar nature. You have been warned. Still if you or I let the other half go to a yarn shop with a full purse what do you expect?? But that is another story for another blog. Thanks again and if you know of other words which mean the same as ‘girly purchase’, please let me know. So I can keep all non crocheters informed. As always keep on crocheting.

Art Nouveau Knitted Blanket