Mrs Gran E. S. Quare

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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Mrs Grann E.S. Quare goes 50m under.

Yes Mrs Grann has been on her hols and has a story or two to tell. After thinking about it we have decided to tell you about the trip to the Marble Arch Caves and surrounding geo park. We were going to tell you about Mrs Grann E.S. Quare surfing but after an incident with a crocheted bikini we have put that off untill Mrs Grann has recovered and can bring herself to talk about it (the less said about that the better, for now)!!! We hired out a cabin by a river for a few days and invited Grann to come along (no persuasion needed, as it was free for her). On the Monday morning we set off for the Marble Arch Caves for an 11 am tour around them. Mrs Grann had a great time, we all did. Unfortunately the boat part of the tour was not available for our tour so we had to walk it.

The Marble Arch Caves were spectacular and amazing as the photos will show (I hope). We had to walk down 150 steps to start our tour (and 150 back up at the end of it). Because of this, visiting the caves is not for everyone. We did not get the chance to take photos of Grann in the caves as we were on a time scale and did not want to hold the rest of the tour up, because there were features in the caves that were only lit up when all the tour were together. On coming out of the visitors center I forgot to take photos of Grann outside (silly me). We had a great day in the caves. There were lots of features not just stalactites and stalagmites. I do not think that the photos do it justice. At one stage of the tour we stopped in a big cave and told to look up, the guide said we had reached the deepest part of the walk which was 50 meters below the cafe above. It did not feel that we had gone that far down, but there you go. Things that you do not notice when you are enjoying yourself.

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I must be getting on a bit because when the tour guide introduced himself I thought he cannot be long out of school. The daughter thought he was cute. I am getting to old for that stuff (are you). Is it just me?  After the tour we went into the presentation room for a short film about the history of the caves and how they were discovered. This is where our trip hit a bit of a snag. When we went in we wondered why so many of the other people in the room were looking at us (we put it down to the fact that it was near the end)!! Too our surprise it was not in English but German. Shortly after that we left. There was a big group of German tourists visiting that day (2 – 3 coach loads) so they had arranged to show it German. We will have to go again to see it. There is a lot more to see other than the caves and a lot to do as well. Still it was a great day and Grann loved it.

It was also a great day as it got us out of the wife’s hair, which meant she could sit by the water’s edge and crochet to her heart’s content. I must at this point thank the people at the wool mill in the area for not keeping there signs up to date, because try as we might (yes I did try) we could not find it. Unfortunately we loved it that much we are going again later in the year. I think this time we will find it (better get saving for the yarn, it is going to cost). This would be a good holiday for you I think, because 1 – you get your other half out of your hair and 2 – you get lots of free time to crochet of course. What could be better? Right!!

While we were there she made a new Jute Bag Cover which of course has turned into a free pattern Blue Blocks Jute Bag Cover

Jute bag finished 1

What more can I say, just keep on crocheting. Till next time.

Mrs Grann E. S. Quare visits the Giant.

Yes that is right Mrs Grann E. S. Quare at the start of the year is off to see the giant (the Giant’s Causeway that is). Some of you may be thinking right now what is the Giant’s Causeway? There will be others who will know or you might have visited there. For those of you who have not visited let me explain, It is a place full of wonder and magic. There are two ways of looking at it, the scientific way or the way of legendary stories (me and Grann prefer the legends way). Local people here believe that between the hexagons, the mythical features carved out in the rock and the tumbling sea, there is real magic. You may not see it straightaway, but if you come to this place. and stand on the stones, uncover the legends, use your imagination and just wait. It won’t be long until you feel it. The Giant’s Causeway is steeped in myth and legend. carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool, who left behind an ancient home full of folklore.

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There is also the scientific way to look at it. A geological wonder with over 40000 interlocking basalt columns, the Giant’s Causeway is the result of intense volcanic and geological activity. The Causeway provides a glimpse into the Earth’s most ancient past. An epic 60 million year-old (so some say, others say only tens of thousands) legacy to the cooling and shrinking of successive lava flows. It is no surprise this place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I must say (and Grann agrees) when you look at the causeway as the locals do there is so much magic in the air.

The site is now run by the National Trust. After parking the car and buying my ticket (Cheryl from the trust said I did not have to pay for Grann, as she is not a real person. I told Grann she got in free because she is a celeb). There were people from all over the world on the stones today, from France, Spain, Russia, USA as well as local’s. There were a lot of people taking photos so we moved on up to Organ were I took some photos of our day. there is a little stub on your ticket which can be exchanged for a complimentary audio guide. This would be a good thing to use if you are visiting for the first time (it adds to the experience). On we walked round the coast up the Shepherds Steps (of which there are 162). Then we followed the path round the cliffs back to the center. there are lots of different walks from the easy green to the challenging yellow trail. There is also a bus which takes you to the steps and back (for a small fee).

When we got back to the Visitor Centre Grann insisted on playing in the interactive spaces. Grann loved the “guess who has been here by the poo left behind (what fun). There were also other displays and film etc, to watch, which covered both sides of the story of the Giant’s causeway. I have been before and I will go again (with or without Grann).

I must ask, how are your goals going? Have you started or finished the projects you have planed or have you like so many all ready given up? The wife has started the kit I bought her (she ordered) for christmas and has already had to do some frogging. I would just like to say a big HI to all who are doing the Bond blanket, were ever you are. This still seems to be the most popular projet the wife has designed. All that is left to say is do not give up, keep crocheting.

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1st project of the year finished. Ponchette using a Wendy bought pattern and King Cole Urban yarn colour Red Kite (both were on the wife’s box behind the counter box for Christmas)

Canada’s Birthday (and Rachel’s too)

This weekend Mrs Grann E. S. Quare is helping to celebrate two birthdays. The first one is in our home the 21st birthday of our daughter Rachel. Yes the banners are up!! So that every one knows that Rachel is 21. Like most of us at that age she is a little embarrassed, but likes the fact that we care and remembered. We will be out later with family and friends to make a fuss of Rachel. I am sure Mrs Grann E. S Quare will be in the middle of it.

Rachel Ballydougan Mrs G S Quare

To think that twenty-one years age my wife gave birth to our wonderful daughter. Where has all the time gone? What were you doing twenty-one years ago? Were you even born then? Lots of thing have changed in those years. I have not got any taller, but I have got a little bigger around the middle. I also know that a lot of you out there have been crocheting for all those years. Go on tell us how long have you been crocheting? Do you still have the first thing you crocheted? Do you remember what you crocheted? Was it a granny square? Most people start there, or are you a bit different and started with something else. As for Grann she was in the thick of the action at the meal for the birthday girl!! Grann enjoyed her meal of roast chicken breast on a bed of mashed potatoes with seasonal veg and thick onion gravy (left nothing). Followed by the birthday cake , not a small piece but a great big chocolate fudge cake. We ordered a cake for ten, but after everyone got a piece (served with ice-cream) there was enough for about twenty more servings. What are we going to do with it??

Cake Mrs G S Quare

Then it was on to opening the presents, which of course Grann was in the middle of (you would think it was her birthday). I forgot to mention the fact that the owner of the restaurant sang happy birthday to Rachel the birthday girl. This did embarrass her a little (but that is what parents are supposed to do right?).

Pandora Mrs G S Quare

The second is the 150th birthday of Canada. 1st July is Canada Day, the national day of Canada, celebrating the anniversary of the British North America Act, an important step on the road to Canada as we know it today. This year marks the 150th anniversary, If you’re wondering why we should celebrate Canada then just imagine what your life would be like without the likes of Shania Twain, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson and, erm, Justin Bieber…According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, Canada is the 7th happiest country in the world. Canada has the most doughnut shops in the world per capita. Maybe this is why they are so happy? Over 200,000 pancakes are served during the Calgary Stampede. Perfect to go with all of the pure Canadian maple syrup, after all, Quebec is the top producer of maple syrup in the world. Did you know that? Mrs Grann E.S. Quare has visited Canada a few years ago now and loved it. Well I think that is enough of Grann’s adventures for now. there will be more on another blog (if you want it). Keep on crocheting.

Canada Day Mrs G S Quares

Mrs Grann E S quare goes to Narnia (Belfast)!!!!

When Grann said she was going on a trip, I was not that bothered about going untill she said she was off to Narnia. That defiantly got my curiosity and interest going. What! Where did you say (the ears these days can miss hearing things). Getting on a bit you see. I said I am off to see Jack (C.S. Lewis to none locals) in Narnia. Have you got the wardrobe then?? No we are going in the car to Belfast. Belfast is not that magical to me, but to smaller eyes at certain times of the year it can be.

We arrived in Belfast early afternoon and parked up close to C.S. Lewis square When I say we I mean me, Grann, Ginger (the blanket thief) and the wife (who did not need much persuading after the mention of cappuccino and ice-cream). It was a nice sunny afternoon which was a nice surprise in its self. As Grann can get a bit excited when she goes out (she does not get out that much these days), there was no time for sitting around so off we went to explore. The first thing we saw was the big man himself (Aslan), keeping a watchful eye over all the visitors.

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For those of you may not know Grann much, she is one of those people who does not go looking for trouble, but trouble always finds her. After warning her about who to trust and who not to trust, also warning about the turkish delight Grann went on ahead. Around the corner she went and bumped into Mr and Mrs Beaver, when we caught up Grann insisted that we take a photo of her with them both. The smile on her face was like a Cheshire cats grin. So far so good I thought, Grann was managing to stay out of trouble (a first for her), but the day was not over yet. On she went right into trouble!!

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The next time we saw her Grann was eating from the palm of somebody’s hand none other than the Snow Queen (curse the pull of Turkish Delight). Grann had just ignored all we said, she does act like a child.

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We ran to her rescue to no avail, it was too late she had been thrown to the wolves. The next thing we saw was Mrs Grann E. S. Quare flying through the air towards the open mouth of the wolf. To find out what happened to Mrs Grann E. S. Quare read the next blog!! (cliff hanger).

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Now on to my next topic?? Only joking. As the picture shows Grann ended up in the mouth of the wolf, what could we do? We started waving our arms about and shouting (we looked a pair of eejits). This was part of the plan, to distract the wolf so Mr Tumnus could rescue her. It worked despite our best efforts. All ends happily as in most stories. We had a great time at C.S. Lewis square – a nice place to visit. There was a coach load of tourist visited while we were there.  If you are ever in Belfast why not call in?

Mr Tumnus 3

Mrs Grann E. S. Quare goes traveling

Yes you heard me right Mrs Grann E. S. Quare goes traveling or should I say where is the most interesting or strangest place your crocheting has been? You are going to see some of the places that Grann has been with me these last few weeks. You will also hear over the next few months about some of her exploits and about some of the funny or strange places she has been.  Do you take your crocheting with you? Has it been by the pool?, or on a stunning beach? (please let us all know).

Mrs G Square Ballyliffen 1

I have been thinking about this for a few months now, about writing something different to hopefully keep you all reading and looking at the blog. To give you something that is out of the ordinary to think about, so you don’t get bored with some of my blog posts. I heard recently on Facebook or was it a craft channel ( I cannot remember), to always have a crochet hook or two with you just in case an opportunity arises to crochet. I thought wait a minute, what planet is she on? Why?, because I know of lots of crocheters who would never leave the house without the latest project or THE CROCHETING BAG.

I don’t need much room for Mrs Grann, she fits nicely into a pocket or bag and can go anywhere.

Where has Mrs Grann E.S. Quare been recently? Mrs Grann has been on her holidays to beautiful Donegal in the south of Ireland. Which she thought was very strange, because we had to go north from where we are in Northern Ireland to get to the south of Ireland  (only in Ireland). The photos show Grann on the beaches on top of mountains or hills. She also visited the site of a Wellington Bomber crash but it was too windy  for her to get out of her mode of transport (my bag). Which left her thinking are we wise??  You have to go to these out of way places for the spectacular views. One of the places Grann visited is a place called Malin were part of Star Wars VIII was filmed, with more being filmed later this year. It is a lovely place as you can see from the photos.

Summer is on its way, the weather is getting better and the sun is coming out. It is time to get outside and take your crocheting with you. I hope your tension is always right and you get as much praise and appreciation as you deserve.

Hopefully there will be more photos of Mrs Grann E S Quare soon (she has even got her own heading on the pages for you to go straight to so see where she has been).

Before I go I better mention the wife did of course take at least one crochet project with her on our holidays to Donegal (notice I said at least 1, I think there was 3 that came with us).  Anyway as some of you know and have been waiting patiently for our return and to get back into routine the Art Nouveau project is now in full swing.  The pattern for the Iris cushion is now on sale and she is busy crocheting the Tulip, she has made a page under patterns to keep you all up to date when the next block is done.  Art Nouveau Project

I think that is all for now, hope you are all having wonderful weather as what we are having.

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