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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’.

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.

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

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.