Haken

YARN IS HIGH FASHION IN PORTADOWN

The fashion shows in London, Paris, and New York are over for another year so it was time to move to Portadown for one night. Yes that is right for one night only the fashion world of yarn comes to Portadown.  The show was for a good cause which was Macmillan. I  must admit according to all accounts everyone had a great night with a chance to purchase as much yarn as they wanted (OK that was a bit of an exaggeration because we all know if the crocheters and wool lovers got what they wanted in yarn they would all need a forty-foot trailer to take it home). I am sure that all the other halves could not handle that. Another thing would there be enough space for it?? Back to the fashion show – as they say over here the ‘craic was great’, and all for a good cause. Looking at the photos afterwards it looks as if all the models (and host) did a great job. I think all could and should be on the front of the glossy mags such as Vogue etc,. A big well done to all involved. You can all give yourself a pat on the back.

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The only thing I was a bit disappointed about with the show, was there was only one thing on show that was crocheted – a scarf. All the other garments were knitted and I understand that the show was to show off all the new yarn types and colours. Looking at the garments (I might be wrong but) I think they could of all been crocheted.

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The next question I must ask is have you ever been to a fashion show? Have you ever been in a fashion show? Where you the star of the show? The thing I liked about this fashion show was that everyone was natural, they were not trying to be someone else they were themselves. Because of this they all looked great. In many fashion shows and glossy mags people are made out to be “perfect”, forgetting no one is. There is no need for air brushing or for an inch of makeup. We are who we are. Yes we can be the best we can, but there is no need to try to be someone else!! A lot of people are beautiful on the inside and that is far better than being “perfect” on the outside and not so on the inside. Many years ago I realised I would never win a beauty contest (I once got second in monopoly) I have done a good job at being me. Lets all do the same.

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There was lots of other things organised for the weekend like hand knitting among other things, which you will all be told about in a different blog.

For all of you who are not crocheters or yarn addicts (yes it is a recognised addiction). Just a tip, if your other half goes out to a charity event and claims not to have bought any yarn just check the car boot before you leave for work!! Also if your partner comes back with a free goody bag, you can be sure they have added there stash of yarn into the goody bag. As for V we know all about the other room and whats in it  (how much will you pay to keep it quiet??)!!

As always keep up the good work , spread the word keep on with the crochet (and please, please, please use some of your stash before buying more yarn)!!!!

They are in good company.

The title is different from the one I started with. I first used the title you are in good company and then thought about it. When we look at the rich and famous we mostly, if not all have the mind-set that they are better or special compared to us!! That is why I changed the title. Famous people are famous because of us (the general pubic). The ones that have the longest careers are the ones who know they are in a privileged position. You can soon go off someone if they are arrogant to the people who made them famous in the first place.

I decided to look and see which famous people crochet. Did you know some (most) search engines on the internet think knitting and crochet are the same (I know you say how can they?). In 2013 a certain Katie Parry admitted she had taken up crocheting in the evening to calm herself down after a gig before bed (does she still have time for it now?). Madonna is supposed to be a big fan. Have you heard of famous people who crochet? It is said the great Aretha Franklin was a crocheter (I had started writing this blog before Aretha passed away and like so many of you it was a sad day when she passed, we have so many memories of her songs and admired Aretha as a person for what she believed in). Bette Midler also is said to crochet. It seems a lot of singers are crocheters. There is also a few actors who crochet like Meryl Streep, Debra Messing and Jane Seymour to name a few. So if you bump into any of these celebrities you will know what to talk about.

The question is who else crochets? How long is the list, are any of your idols or heroes crocheters? Are you theirs? I and many others are amazed at what can and is designed and made by all who crochet. Some of the things made are stunning and they make you question how on earth was that made and it so beautiful it stops and makes you look twice? To some it is easy to think of ideas, make them and then write a pattern! Are you one of them? If you are it could be that one of these stars are doing one of your patterns right now and are saying to themselves “how do people write these great patterns”.

Did you know that it is very fashionable to wear crochet garments over the last few years (the celebs have caught up with you the trend setter). In the sixty’s people like Lulu and Paul McCartney along with many others wore crocheted clothes, because it was the height of fashion. As they say what go’s around comes around and fifty years later they are back in fashion with lots of well-known designers using crochet again. It is so popular in fact that there are web sites who just publish photos of celebrities in things that are crocheted, from hats to slippers!! You are the trend setters so keep on setting those trends.

Till next time, keep on crocheting those fabulous things and keep adding to the list of famous people who love to crochet. As someone once said ‘all I need is a hook, some yarn and lots of chocolate’.

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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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

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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’

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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.

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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