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.

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW.

The question is asked what do you do when you are snowed in? Well crochet of course. Did you get any snow? Did it miss you? Do you still have it. We got some which ment that we were stuck in for 24 hours which is ok if you have the essentials, bread tick, milk tick, coal for when the electric went off (just for two hours or so) tick and yarn tick. what more do you need? I do know that some of you would have put yarn at the top of the list. I do know some people had it so bad that crochet or yarn were not on their minds. We were ok – it caused a bit of inconvience but nothing major.

At one stage the wife turned to the dark side (yes she turned to knitting) for a while and all the projects were moved on a great deal. (A new crochet pattern and the Art Nouveau blanket in knitting – (due to her arthritis she can only knit a few rows at a time before the pain gets to bad, its the same when holding the yarn with crocheting and she ends up reverting to holding the yarn with the right hand as the pain in the left hand gets unbearable). We both work from home so being snowed in was no excuse (which is the first disadvantage I have found in the last three years). I must admit that not as much work was done as should have been (just to hard to get out of your nice warm bed in a morning). You just have to get out of that bed or the crocheting will not get started (do any of you crochet in bed?). If I could get away with being in bed for most or all of the day I must admit I would. Before the snow came I was going to write about something else, what?? I here you cry. Read on.

Before the snow I went to pickup the wife from the gossip club (sorry the drop in crochet/knitting group). When I did I spotted a lovely ball of yarn she had bought It was one of those that goes from one colour to another, this one went from black to yellow. There were many different colour combinations which all looked nice. “Do you like the ball of yarn I have bought?” she said.  “Yes, very nice” I said. Then came the words that no husband wants or likes to hear, and I quote ” I will not tell you how much I paid for it”. My reply was ” it is your money, you can spend it on what you want”. At that moment I was thinking it must be really bad for her to say that. The price was not told to me at that time. With her friends going through all the colour combinations she had missed I thought that it was going to get worse (it did not).

Scheepjs cake

What is the most you have paid for a ball of yarn? If you tell me I will not tell your other half, your secret will be safe with me!  What was the price of the yarn? £20.99. To some of you that will be far too much money for a ball of yarn, to others that will be nothing to what they pay. Thinking about it money is relevent to what you have. A premier league footballer thinks nothing of buying his girls handbags for £10,000. As others only have that to live on in a year. One of my friends said he had got a bargain in the sales. He had got a certain pair of gloves for only £100 (they are special gloves for mountain climbing), to me that is no bargain. Another man I knew thought nothing of spending £60 a week on a hair trim in the 90’s (the car he drove was worth twice as much as my house at the time.

If it makes you happy and you can afford it what does it matter how much it is, right? That reminds me I must hide the recipt for my new walking boots from the wife (joke). Make the world a better place keep on crocheting.

LEAVE IT AT YOUR BACKSIDE!!

Do you or your partner use the saying ” don’t leave it at your back side”? The wife says it to me a lot (I know you may think this is hard to believe, or not). OK  I admit it I do from time to time leaving things sitting around, but only because I think that I will need it again soon (or its a lazy day for me). Are you like this or do you keep things neat and tidy all the time? I once visited a friends aunt and as soon as you put your cup down she was up and took it into the kitchen to wash it and put it away. A lot of people like things in order so they can find them quickly when needed. I must say that if I leave something sitting at my backside I know where it is, unless it is moved and put away!! Is that you or your partner? This leads to other questions like what is the difference between a car mag and a ball of yarn? Or a screwdriver and a crochet hook?

Apparently there is a lot of difference between a car mag and a ball of yarn!! One can be left where ever and when ever around the house and the car mag must be put away if you are not reading it, not leaving it at your backside. Does this rule apply in your house? One rule for yarn and crocheting?? Another for my (or your partners) stuff. As the pictures will show there is a lot of leaving yarn, patterns, hooks etc., left at your backside (which is not covered by the don’t leave it at your backside rule). Were as on the other hand there is no proof of tools, mags, etc., seen anywhere. ‘I rest my case me lord’. There are two reasons for this, first I didn’t take any photos of my stuff and secondly I cannot get into the garage or shed (as they are too full of my stuff).

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Another question I have is, do you do any crocheting or knitting at these weekly get-togethers or “work shops”. Or is it just an excuse to drink coffee or tea, eat biscuits or tray bakes, and talk or gossip?? The wife brought home a Dorset button and a bit of Swiss darning (I much prefer Lancashire hot-pot and Irish stew) from the one she went to this week. They were both very nice (there will be a blog about them at another date). I may have to go and do more research on this, or pay one of these things a visit one week.

So to sum up the blog for this week, if you leave your crocheting at your backside, expect your partner to leave things at there’s (that is my excuse and I am sticking to it). Keep up the good work and keep on crocheting.

ALL MY LOVE FOR EVER.

Yes folks it is that time of year again when you must take time out of your busy schedule and tell some one you love them (here is something different why not tell them as often as you can?). Valentine’s day is the time when things like flowers and certain gifts go up in price for a week or so. Still it is a good as time as any to say dear I love you. There are certain thing’s you associate with Valentine’s day like flowers, chocolates, cards and jewellery. Some of the lucky ones will get a ring, some will be expecting it others not. In Ireland there is a certain ring that is connected with love and the expression of love, that ring is called the Claddagh ring. Let me give you a quick history of the ring.

The Claddagh ring, if you have not seen a Claddagh ring they are usually gold with two hands holding a heart with a crown on top. The crown represents loyalty the heart represents love and the hands represents friendship. The tradition of this ring is said to have started in a fishing village called Claddagh near Galway…. The ring was first made in the 1600’s.  There is lots of speculation as to who first designed the Claddagh ring with Bartholomew Fallon and Richard Joyce to name but two. They are given as friendship rings, but mostly as engagement and wedding rings. It is also tradition in some families for a mother to give it to a daughter when she comes of age (as a sign of love from the mother to the daughter). This is what my wife did (although this is not a tradition in either of our family’s) when our daughter reached 18. She now wears it with pride as the wife gave it to her quoting the rhyme/poem that is associated with the ring –

With my hands I give you my heart

and crown it with my love.

 

There is also a tradition of were the ring is worn it shows the person who is wearing it there relationship status

  1. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is single and may be looking for love.
  2. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is in a relationship.
  3. On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips: the wearer is engaged.
  4. On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist: the wearer is married.

There you go all you wanted to know about the ring. There is another reason for this blog and it is a free pattern just for you (I know you love the free patterns). I hope you give and receive all that you wish this valentine’s day and congratulations to all that got a ring this time. Keep on spreading the word and keep on crocheting.

Claddagh Ring Cushion

Cushion 2