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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.

Annie's ahawl 9

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.

Annie's ahawl 9

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

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.

10,000 and Counting!! + A Free Pattern

Ten thousand what you ask? Ten thousand visits to this blog, which is a milestone. This is something to celebrate. Now I know that to some people 10,000 is not much to others it is a massive amount (it is to me). I would like to thank you all for your support and all the nice comments and likes. With out you this blog may have stopped by now. It is good to write and be creative (which a lot of you are). It is even better when your work is appreciated. I normally only look back at some of my previous blogs to make sure I do not say the same thing twice, it is always better to look forward, to expand you boundary and push yourself but, with such a milestone I have done a bit of looking back.

There are somethings that has surprised me like, Daniel Craig is more popular than Johnny Depp (the wife says she is not fussy either will do). That is because people keep looking at the blog about Daniel Craig but not so much the one about Johnny Depp. Lots of you like the blogs about Mrs Grann E.S. Quare and of course The Blanket Thief. Also a lot of you commented on the one about Leaving it at your Backside.

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Now the question we ask is why have we had 10,000 views? It is of course because of my charm and charisma and the way I make you laugh (only a part of it). I know if the wife did not share the free patterns with you all the blog would not have reached 2000 by now. The figures prove it. There is a lot of traffic when another pattern comes out. There were nearly 1400 visits when the Bond blanket came out. A big thank you to all of you who showed us your finished version of this (it did bring a lot of joy to the people it was given to and to us). Speaking of free patterns there will be a free pattern for you all at the end of this blog.

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I know were most of the praise and thanks should go to and that is to my (lovely, brilliant ,amazing) wife. First of all for putting up with me for so many years (if only the rest of you knew how hard that is). Second for all the daft and silly things you do which gives something to talk and write about and last but not the least for coming up with so many good ideas for thing to crochet and then turning them into patterns. The new free pattern is a blanket with a pattern which runs through it. The pattern matches all the way through the blanket, even though it is done in strips and then joined up together. When you look at it you will see how clever the pattern is.  Crossover Blanket

Here is to the next 10,000 ( well 9979 to be precise we have had 21 visits since I started writing) Thanks once again keep commenting, liking, sharing with others and most of all keep on crocheting.