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.


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).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

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.

Mrs G S Quare GC 2

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.


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)


Yes it is that time of year (how can you miss it with all the perfume ads). Looking back on last year and what I wrote, I knew the blog had to be written a different way so hence the title. This is a great time of year giving lots of people time to reflect on the year gone by and the things which are important (not just crochet and related subjects). To some it is family to others a time of rest or a time to give thanks. What do you like about this time of year? It also means more time to crochet. Also time to plan for all the crochet  projects (and yarn required) for next year.

Finished Star

Back to the title!! I am ready to admit that like most (but not all) men, I am terrible at getting the present for the wife right. I must admit I do have my moments (now and then). This year we have decided to do it different. (For all those guys who get it wrong take note). I was informed by the wife that there was a box sitting at the back of the counter of love wool NI (the wifes favorite yarn shop in are local town) with my name on it!  Filled with yarn, a pattern and a project to do over Christmas (she is insisting she has nothing new to do). All I have to do is take my wallet and pay for it. That sounds good to me because it means the wife gets what she wants and I get it right this year (which is always good). This is a good way to take some of the stress out of Christmas.


A few other things to mention, you can now buy the wife’s paid patterns via the blog, which will save you looking for them on other sites. If you buy a pattern from the blog  we will send it to you via your email and until the 31st of this month you get 25% off them (if bought from the blog). We hope to be bringing other things to the blog, more on that next blog.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Which just leaves me time to say a big THANK YOU for all your support and to wish you a Happy Christmas, hoping your other half gets it right. If not show them this and get a box with their name on it.

Reindeer 5

The Museum of Crochet

Thinking as you do about crocheting (as you are never to far from another projet), the question came to me is there a museum of crocheting?  Apparently there is in the USA near San Francisco. It is a small trailer not big enough to swing a cat in (not that I would). It is run by Shari Elf who does not crochet but wants to learn how to. It is mainly full of crocheted cats and dogs.

Crochet Museum

Is there anything you have crocheted that you would exhibit? It could be that you have lots of finished projects that would be good enough to show, others of you have things that could be exhibited but you do not think they are that good (they probably are you know).

If  I was to set a museum of crochet up it would have to be a big place with lots of rooms and plenty of space. (It could maybe be virtual that way you would need only a little room.) You would have to have a room for the history of crocheting. It is said to have started in the early 19th century. The first known printed pattern was in 1924 in a magazine in Amsterdam , before that they printed plates for people to follow. Crocheting was formerly known as shepherd’s knitting. It was just passed down from family member to family member or from friend to friend (I bet you all still do that today). We could talk about the fact that Queen Victoria sparked off a trend of crocheting as it was said at the time  “if it is good enough for the Queen then it is good enough for me!!”

queen victoria crocheting

I do not think we would get away with that today. Moving on…

The next room could show all the types of crochet hooks from the very start of crocheting to the present day, so that would be from bone to wood to plastic up to carbon fibre. If you only had one type of each hook it would be a small room.

crochet hooks

Next would be a room dedicated to the secret stash. This room would be split into sections one dedicated to the secret purchases and smuggling in of said yarn contraband. Yes we would have an example of the shopping trolley or bag with the standard false bottom. Also examples of the false receipt showing a small purchase along with the real ones that show the real cost of the yarn!!  The next section would be all the ingenious ways over the years the secret stash has been hidden.


Then one of the – if not the biggest room – the room of the never finished projects. This would be the room that would be visited the least as it would bring back so many bad memories to most.

We move on to the last two rooms of the museum, first the sensory room. were you can feel all the yarn as much as you want, touching the yarn with your fingers then rubbing it up and down your cheek just to get the full effect of the softness of it (there will be no shop owners here to tell you to stop rubbing the yarn up and down your face).

fluufy yarn

Last but not least the room with all the finished projects and lots of time and space to admire and comment on all the wonderful finished work. I know to some of you this would be just like walking through your own home but just on a grander scale.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Can you think of other rooms that should be in the Museum of Crocheting?

Till next time keep them hooks moving.

Mrs Grann E. S. Quare is off again

Many people think because Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland it has always been the center of power and commerce etc,. It has not always been so. When Grann learned about this she went off to explore and find the truth. (just like Miss Marple in an Agatha Christie novel). Where did she go? I hear you ask.  It was a place not to far from were we live and that is Dungannon which now has a big visitors centre and viewing tower which gives you great views of the area and shows you the remains of old buildings and the history of Dungannon.


All did not go to plan (it never does with Grann!!). You will see in the photos all that is still left of the great buildings Just a few towers and try as she might she could not force the lock or get through the railings to get inside of whats left for a good old nosy (health and safety whats that?). It was no surprise to me that the security guards kept an eye on Grann. It is a good job that I am there to try to keep her out of trouble. In the end I had to pull Mrs Grann E.S. Quare away with the promise of tea and something to eat (always does the trick). It was a nice sunny day and we all enjoyed our visit. We did not have time to look at the museum today,  we will be back.


The history which Grann learned on the day of our visit to Dungannon was it was the home of the Red Hand of Ulster – the walled town of Dungannon on the hill was the strong hold of the ‘O’Neill’ clan which ruled large parts of Ulster from the 13th to the late 16th century until the English gained control of Ireland, Hugh O’Neill had built a castle here but burnt it so the English couldn’t use it.

In 1602 Dungannon was captured by Lord Mountjoy and in 1603 Hugh O’Neill, The Earl of Tyrone was regranted his lands and castle. He fell out with the Crown and in September 1607 after the nine years war, fled through counties Fermanagh and Donegal for Spain hoping for support to recapture Ireland from the Protestant planters but ending up in Rome under the protection of Pope Paul V.

This was the end of the O’Neills reign in Ireland. In 1610 during the “Plantation of Ulster” Dungannon was granted to Arthur Chichester who built a new castle that was briefly seized by Phelim O’Neill in 1641 and 1646 before being rebuilt in 1689. In 1692 the site was sold to Thomas Knox (later Knox-Hannyngton) who built a “gentleman’s residence” around 1790 but was abandoned in 1856. The two towers you see today are all that remains of this building. Now this is the place Mrs Grann E.S. Quaire went to investigate. If you look on YouTube you will be able to find a program when the Time Team visited and did what they normally do.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now to change the subject and bring you a bit more about crocheting or should that be yarn. We (the wife and I) leaving Mrs Grann E.S. Quare at home went shopping for tiles. Did we come back with tiles? No we came back with four balls of yarn instead!! Four balls of Giga cotton four ply no less (got off lightly) to help the wife plan a new set of graphs an idea she has been thinking of for sometime (watch this space).

I should have known when she said she had come across a new wool shop in town (Love Wool in Portadown), and we can call in while we are there that we would be spending sometime in this new shop. Anyway while there and the wife was admiring all the lovely yarn one of the conversations I over heard reminded me of a previous blog I had written about the secret stash you all seem to have and I quote ” I am not buying any more yarn untill I use all the yarn under my bed” (reminds me of what my wife says on a regularly basis). Just be careful what and were you say things you never know who is listening.

Keep on crocheting, keep up the good work.