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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.

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.

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.

Poncho

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)

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Let me start by wishing you all a happy new year. I hope you have not already done something that you regret!! Looking back at 2017 I can see a great year. With lots more ups than downs (I hope you can all do the same). The blog has gone from strength to strength with more followers, and lots more views from more countries, lots of which I had to look up on the map! For all of which I am so grateful. If you had a bad year I hope this one will be better for you. We can all look forward to this new year with hope. At least we know there will be a lot of crochet to do and you can all look forward to that. Did you get a lot of crocheting done over christmas? Or did you just party all the time? The wife got two projects finished over Christmas (one of which was started and finished over christmas which is a bit of a record). The first was a jumper for herself and a parasol for the daughter which was beautiful.

Drops Lacey Jumper

Drops Lacey Days Jumper pattern 162 – 27. Yarn used Drops Cotton Light – Light Jeans Blue (34)

How do you plan your year? Do you plan at all (just take it as it comes)? Do you plan your crocheting first then everything after that? Do you set goals (which I am going to try this year)? Hopefully this means I will get more done!!! Also which should leave me more time for other things. This year on the blog you will have lots to look forward to. There will be changes along with things we have done before. We hope to start vlogs on how to crochet, from beginners up to the hard crocheting stitches. Which will be a help to all I hope. There will also be the return of favorites!! So lots to look forward to.

Parasol

Pattern Amazing by Patricia Kristoffersen. Yarn used Stylecraft Special Aran in White 1001

This just leaves me time to say a BIG thank you for all your support in 2017. For all your comments and likes they are much accepted and I hope you will keep coming back here for more. Once again I wish you a happy and healthy new year. Till next time keep on crocheting.