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The return of the blanket thief

As most, if not all of you know about the Art Nouveau project and all the cushions that came from it. I must say it has taken quite a long time for my wife to make the patterns and crochet them all. During all this time Ginger the dog (aka the blanket thief) had shown no interest at all in what was being crocheted. Not once had Ginger bothered with the panels that were being made into cushions, and there were lots. eighteen to be precise, nine fronts and nine backs. The dog seemed to know there was no blanket here. Now do not get me wrong, Ginger likes cushions if they are not in the right place (as far as she is concerned) she will move them by scratching and kicking them until she gets them just as Ginger wants them. This can mean one or all of them landing on the floor, with her standing with the “what a good girl I am” look on her face. Ginger also rearranges the rugs to suit her, in other words in to a big pile or mess!!

After reading that you can see that no interest being shown in the Art Nouveau project what so ever is strange. After all the blocks and cushions had been done the next stage was to do the joining strips for the blanket, then block them all. Still Ginger shows no interest, because as far as she is concerned there is nothing to interest Ginger there. Then came the final stage of the blanket, putting it all together.

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Wait a minuet, I SAID WAIT A MINUET. Immediately there is movement from Ginger, no interest has turned into a desire or an obsession to claim the blanket for herself!!  Yes just after two of the blocks had been joined together she knew it was going to be a blanket. All of a sudden Ginger became the wifes best friend, only leaving her side for food, water and walks. At first she is a bit annoyed she cannot lie on it. Day after day Ginger sits at my wifes feet waiting and watching for the blanket to be finished. When the wife gets on the second row Ginger cannot sit on it but she has realised if she stands on all fours she can reach the Art Nouveau blanket with her tail and she wags and wags with all her might. Ginger what are you doing? She tries to look as innocent as she can. As the blanket gets bigger and bigger more and more she tries to clams it. This time the wife is determined not to let Ginger claim the Art Nouveau blanket. The blanket is kept off the floor as much as possible, every time the blanket drops down then Ginger is on it like a shot. When that happens she is sent packing. After the blanket is finished it is very hard to keep her off it especially when the photos are being taken hence the photo with Ginger posing on it. You will be glad to know the Art Nouveau blanket is packed away safe and sound away from the blanket thief!!  Although the wife wants to put it back on the bed as she loves it on the bed – even though that means we will never see Ginger as she will claim the bed as her new resting place, a well the things you do for the ones you love – the two legged and 4 legged loves. Till next time happy crocheting.

ginger-the-blanket-theif

Art Nouveau Project

Art Nouveau

What type of picture or scene does Art Nouveau make in your mind’s eye? Do you think of a certain time or person or image? It takes you back to an era between 1890 and 1910 (some say it was at an end by 1905). Art nouveau came from a saying that ment “house of new art”. It was a reaction to the academic art of that time. It took its inspiration from the lines and formes in plants and flowers. The movement started in Britain and came out of the arts and crafts movement. The first thing I thought of when the wife said she was doing an Art Nouveau project was curves. Natural curves found in nature with a free-flowing movement. What names spring to mind? William Morris, Philip Webb, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, to name but a few. There designs are still sought after today over a hundred years later. It would be good to have a piece or two for a rainy day.

Art Nouveau blanket outside

Well it is one thing to be inspired by nature it is another to design something from it. Which these men and woman seemed to do with ease. Now to the Art Nouveau Project. I can say with certainly that there has been a lot of planning put in to this project. First things first, what is the topic of the project, then the designing of it. Hours and hours of research. Then lots of drawing etc,. What colours? Then of course the order for the wool!! Two boxes this time, with the wife insisting she did need that much for this project. Turning the drawings into patterns next. Can you do that? Are you good at doing your own patterns? It baffles me! Next the crocheting followed by the blocking (that’s where I come in). I must say there were one or two tricky ones this time (with a little patience and determination they were soon sorted. Last but not least putting it all together.

I know there are people who have already started some of the designs as cushions. the patterns are written as single cushions or all the graphs can be got in one pattern for the blanket  which you can make in to cushions (using your pattern for the back of the cushion). Links to patterns is Art Nouveau Project

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Now I know that we give a lot of patterns for free, but not this time. Mainly because of all the work that has gone into it. I am sure you can appreciate that. I must say that the end product looks amazing, but to celebrate the finishing of the Art Nouveau project the wife is running a competition and 3 lucky winners will be sent the pdf for the blanket.  All you have to do is follow a hookerswidower blog, follow the wife’s facebook page 2nd Bench Along and share her post about the competition on her facebook page.

Just one more question to ask, how long will it be before I am called into action again.

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

Petrol is a colour!!!

Yes that is right, Petrol is a colour. Up untill recently it was just fuel for the car and lipstick was something in the makeup bag or on someones lips, right? Looking at a recent delivery of yarn for the wife I contemplated the fact that I have had a great education in colours recently. When you are asked to get some yarn out from the stash (you have to be trained to do this as you could be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of yarn). At one time a few years ago if this was asked of me I would need a very good description as to the exact colour (old school you see, red is red green is green etc,). Now it has got to the stage I know Stone from Parchment, Bottle from Meadow, Lipstick from Matador. With this knowledge comes the realisation that you do need so many different shades to get the exact colour for the project, to get it just right, (I thought it was just a ploy from the yarn companies to get you to purchase more yarn). Thank you dear wife for that education (this is not just an excuse to buy all the shades that Wool Warehouse have).

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The question I am now asking is do you see things in multi colours? I can no longer look at things and say that is a nice red top, no-no no!! I now say is that top Tomato or Claret. Saying dark or light blue etc, is just not good enough. Do you look at things in shades? Do you look at yarn and think of the person that would suit best? What can I make for them? Or that is a lovely colour, it would look good as a shawl.

We were on holidays a few weeks ago and yes you guessed it we ended up in a yarn shop!! Do you do the same as my wife who when walking into a yarn shop is like a moth going from light to light or should I say from ball of yarn to ball of yarn (I like to make her happy). Not being able to settle on one type of yarn or colour and with the shop owner there to help us to see all the different colours in each type. We walked out with a bag full, I did say I like to make her happy!!

At the moment my favorite colour is Empire (a lovely shade of blue from Stylecraft), which is strange as I am a Liverpool fan and love all things Red. To end this blog I say get your hooks out hookers and crochet the world a rainbow.yarn

The beat, sorry Bond goes on.

The popularity of the Bond project goes on and on. Who would have thought that when it was started it would be so popular? People are still looking and getting the patterns to do it. Someone from the USA looked at the patterns eighty times in one day!! We knew the patterns were good and we are thrilled that it has impressed a lot of different people.

We got a lovely message from Jennifer Hart-Bilmer with a photo of her finished blanket which looks great. this is the reason why Jennifer made it. ‘My dad is a huge James Bond fan. As soon as I seen the first square I knew I had to make it for him. There is a lot of work and love in this afghan and it was worth it! Thank you for sharing your awesome graphs. You did a fantastic job making them!’ 😊

This is such a lovely story, I hope you dad likes it (I am sure he will). When you get messages like this, it makes all the hard work worth while. All the hard work the wife did that is. If there is any one else who would like to share please do. Thanks once again for all the comments and likes.

Also this week we were messaged by Ivano Cheers who was the stunt double for Daniel Craig in the latest bond film, thanking me for mentioning him in the blog called Daniel Craig is impressed (well almost). Ivano thinks it is a nice post, so if Daniel is not impressed Ivano is. Ivano is filming a film of his own at the moment (I hope it is a success). It was good to hear from him. You can see more of him on Facebook or Instagram. So you never know who is watching you or reading your blog.

Until the next time happy hooking.

Mission Accomplished

Bond all joinedIf you did not already know The Bond project is complete. It is finished, done, mission over, mission accomplished, ended, stopped. You now have all you need to make this great blanket for yourself or for that someone special in your life. A chance to show how much you love someone stitch by stitch. Thanks again love. Everything except from the yarn (lots and lots of yarn needed). Some of you will have all the yarn and all the right colours needed for this project. Others will be able to be a bit creative with the colour scheme if you know what I mean!! Others still will see this as the excuse needed to put a big order in for yarn (not that many of you need an excuse).

It took the wife eight weeks to make.

Let me tell you how it all began. My wife wanted to do something for me for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. She loves crocheting, as you know (and me, I love Bond), as you now know. That was that, so she started the planning of it all, with more precision than any Bond mission I know of. There was all the questions about the Bond films. Some of them she remembered from years ago, she did not need to watch them. Others she had not heard of, which meant she had to watch them (I watched them along with her for moral support of course). The things we have to do for the ones we love right?

Things started at a good steady speed (like most Bond films), because we had all the time in the world right? Then things started to pick up speed, as the project was to be done for Easter. At one point she scared the living daylights out of me by informing me that two parts of the blanket were to be blocked on the same day. I was ok with one every three days, but like one of the famous chases of Bond which got faster and faster ( on snow and roads) which lead to a climax so did this project. Easter is neatly here and the project is finished.

Now starts the hard work of keeping Ginger (the blanket thief off it)!!

ginger-the-blanket-theif

Can I have a quick word on blocking and  tension. How can a thing go so wrong? I have had some funny shapes to block. Each block was to be 14in x 15.5in. How come I got measurements from 12in to 16in?

All joking aside I just love it. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU. You have been doing things like this for the last twenty-five years to show your love for me. Lets all share the love and keep crocheting and sharing.

Quantum of Solace

Link to the Bond patterns The Bond Project

Bond Blanket first half

Bond Blanket second half

Back to basics

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Do you remember the first thing you crocheted? Did you start with a granny square? Were you amazed at what you could make with just one hook and a little yarn?  Well I can say looking at the projects my wife has done and seen some of the many things others have made by crocheting I am amazed. I would like you to look back in your mind’s eye and think of when it all began. Who did you learn from? Who taught you? Remembering those days with fondness, it could only be a few weeks or months that you have been crocheting. Lets take a moment today to thank the person who introduced you to this wonderful hobby or passion we call crochet. It could be so many years ago that you do not want to count. Thinking about that, who have you taught to crochet? It could be that you see your mission in life is to spread the word, to teach all the world (well all that you meet) to crochet.

The history of crochet is said to start about 1823 no less (knitting came first then they improved it). Everyone who crochets is part of that history. In years to come history will record with the upturn in crafting crochet has come back into fashion with young and not so young picking it up and taking it forward and you are a part of that. Lets push it forward, ok you push it forward and I will blog about it.

ROW 1

Now let me get this right, there are five basic stitches you use and everything stems from them? Is that right? I know nothing so I hope I am right. Now you have mastered the basics why not try a butterfly stitch or a popcorn stitch or even a crocodile stitch (who makes up these names?) It could be you have tried these stitches and some I have not mentioned. Have you invented your own stitch ( I am not talking about something you fudged). The name crochet comes from the old french word which means small hook. From the granny square and beyond keep on crocheting.

The Bond project is still going strong with new people finding out about it all the time (someone from Chile was looking today). We are on the last leg of it , I should say the wife is on the last leg. Which means I only have five to block. This means I am now an expert on blocking. If you have any questions about blocking I am quite willing to offer my advice on this matter. Till the next time.

The Bond Project

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