Wednesday, 25 November 2009

November Nudging Winter and Christmas ..............

Oh dearie me - mea culpa not been at my blog ...but sadly not been at all well this past month much catching up to do
So many Pics to post and Projects to tell you all about I just dont know where to start
Serious backlog issues here - though not achieved much this past month at all ..... :-(
  1. lots pics to post on Geneva, local Suffolk scenery and fungi ........latter gone mad in our garden
  2. projects include :-
    1. Fabulous soft mohair 12 point ripple circular afghan - just a warm fuzziness of comfort and bliss in a stunning rusty red .....perfect for long cold winter nights in front TV
    2. A cream shawl-scarf for friends Xmas
    3. A multi coloured shawl-scarf for another friends Xmas
    4. Been designing new quilting projects - one in silks and a pieced rug in sheepskins
    5. Quilted and about to bead padded wall hanging to act as headboard and then to make a pieced quilt to match  - the fabric is stunning - 'George Spencer ' fabric
Trying to think what else I have been up 'White Tiger' - our book club book - loved it - we discuss it this evening also read 'Road to Lisbon' - that I really enjoyed and 'Mr Mani' - which I chose for last book club book (generated lots discussion) which I loved interesting to see what the next book will be

Realising thatXmas around teh corenr and precious little achieved in preparations ...things to make as gifts loom large on the horizon!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Time flies ......................

Hi everyone - sorry for lack posts. Due to 2 reasons
1 - away in Geneva for 2 weeks ..........................wonderful weather and actually managed to see a few things - despite the M.E.
2 - The Revenge of the M.E ........just been sooooooooooooooo tired and in sooo much pain :-(

Anyway more later and some fab pics!

Before I bore you with pics of Geneva and what I did manage to see ..... had the most wonderful welcoming group of mushrooms growing in our grass .....................stunning group had to take a few pics ...................

This view even better - invasion of the triffids ............

Took oodles more close ups of that wonderful structure of ribs etc

Anyway tomorrow will post pics of Geneva .............sunshine n warmth autumnal nights give that slight chill to the air ..............

Friday, 18 September 2009

Shelob's Lair ...........aka ..............My New Larder

The other week poor DH was shanghaid into putting up shelves to sort out my chaotic larder - seeing as I hate cupboards - am little so can't see into them!
So poor chap was press-ganged into putting up shelves - well 3 days later I have this now ...........shelves, wine, cookery books, small appliances, a stool for me to peruse aforesaid books whilst imbiing wine plus my Victorian cupboard - all moved in there and everyting visible and in its place. Yeeee haaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

The cupboard is full of all my jams and baking supplies in storage containers ................

All my lovely jars and note my vintage Kenwood Chef a working original and I have all the attachements (came  from a pal who got them as a job lot with something else he wanted at an auction - how lucky is that!?)

My red wine - the silver recycling paper bin and big cookery books - the yellow bin one of the bird food bins in neighbouring utility room

My stool - browse recipes with a glass of vino!

The white wine and champers ..................

See all organised - tins/fruit/dry goods in sections ...........

Girlfriend coming this weekend - suspect there will be a few bottles wine less by end of the weekend ................ reminds me better defrost the smoked salmon - we are rather partial to scrambled aggs and salmon in mornings with glass Bucks Fizzzzzzzzzzzz !

Slugs and snails

Well another Friday and another week has sped by ..........where does all the time go ....I am sure time is speeding up .............

No posts of late due to the ME - spirit and body all wilty and just no spare energy

Missed out on dinner out with girls on Tuesday due to the ME was just sooooooooooooo very tired - crashed out and zzzzzzzzzzz'd - which was a great shame as usually a good night . About once a month we all meet have dinner at a restaurant (arranged by one of us), who acts as host, she  nominates a Charity and we all contribute £10 painless raising of funds - next time another arranges the evening each having a turn hosting evening and choosing charities and as a bonus we have a good night out as well
Such a painless and effortless way to raise funds for charity!
........... Later that same evening I was coping with a flooded bathroom - see below

Book club was a good evening on Wednesday - my turn to host the evening, so all came to my house ........ so chose 'Mr Mani' by A B Yehoshua as the next book to read .... maybe explains why I am sooooooooo tired took me a week to tidy up the drawing room ie remove heaps wool, books, magazines!!

So the freeform work came to temporary halt .......but sort of back on track (bit wobbly) and a few more Jasper blobs rolled off the crochet hook ...including a few fossil look-a-likes - ammonites and a sort of bivalve scallopy thing - soon be  a case of find that fossil!
Still unsure what they will all be assembled as ..................... but fun in the making

Anyway here are a few pics of latest blobs n fossils ..............

As you can see the grass is a bit greener from the 3 month drought - we had one evening of torrential rain - Tuesday. The roads outside were rivers and as the rain washed off the dry moss from the roof = blocked drain which meant water backed up into the bathroom = flooded bathroom. So instead going out to dinner was mopping up the worst. Next day was deep cleaning - including  removing a few interloping snails ready for bookclub and mucking out drians - such a luuuuuvverly task (thank goodness for rubber gloves!). Anyway was one waterlogged event I could have done without!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Jasper - Agate Mark II

It rains its cold, its wet, its grey,its dark, I have all the house lights on its soooooooooooo dark - miserable - so no sitting in conservatory today - be too cold for me
This weather plays havoc with the ME - am all stiff & ache all over - you feel like you are coming down with a bad case of the flu all the time, (so you never quite sure if it really is the flu - let alone anything Swine-ish),  crossed with feeling as if you have been stomped on by a large herd of tap dancing elephants all wearing ginormous pit boots doing it with attitude! Whether they are wearing pinnk tutu's or not is rather irrelvant!!
So crawled into a big deep HOT bath and tried to soak some of the aches away - think I shall have to resort to medication - which I hate

Anyway refuse to moan - just have to get on with it

Meanwhile all things Agate..........Think this one will end up being called Jasper ................. made 3 blobs last nightand a shell. Think I might try felting these ..........don't know yet..... ..thinking about it

These are the wools - cones of shetland - but think have to add some other wools as well as not enough shades but will mean adding mohair and different weights so shall think about it - but its all expermimentation - you win some and loose some

Anyway pics of progress of all things jasper and agatey wondrousness freeformey blobbies

Note the nautilus/ammonite shell - bottom right? Well you have to have the odd fossil or two - have to think of a few others as well

The Ammonite shell has already been washed - see how the fibres have opened out and are more fluffy and the colours have brightened ...?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Moss Agate ....its dry

This the plain side with no ends etc

Well another day dawned - sunny and mild
See typical English all we talk about is the weather - which here in East Anglia has been dry and very windy past weeks ................. my grass is brown, trees are wilting - lost our second tree - a willow bit the dust (last year lost the Mountain Ash/Rowan  - no not the yarn)

Well decided my green freeform piece - now a shawl looked more like Moss Agate than lichens ............. so renamed it
It has been washed and curently drying outside in the fresh air - looking good colours and fabric much softer

Finished my Book Club book - City of Thieves - David Benioff - which was good. The artmosphere, bitter cold, conditions of War in Leningrad and the exploits of the young Jewish lad very well described ............ maybe it was that rather than the weather that was making me feel so cold ......... brrrrrrrrrr

Now as I am hosting book club this week - am tidying (which includes moving all my wool/magazines etc) upstairs and must select teh next book for them .......... of dear and cant decide which or what book ................ and cakes to buy/make for them to eat

ITS DRY ...............and much softer in texture and colours which are also brighter

This side with all teh ends knotted and plaited - awaiting beads etc 
 See how much softer it is and colours brighter

Now collectd a few cones for agate mark II ......................... be cream and rust and a stone colour .................

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Lichen Shawl

Well it's getting there - after a long snooze yesterday and feet up in evening finished crocheting it and building it together with additional fillers .............. thnak goodness for safety pins holding the pieces together as I cobbled it together

So ended up with a semi-circular shawl ............brought ALL the ends to one side and been plaiting and knotting them ................. maybe add a few beads etc to brighten it up. Now to wash it ...... anyway few pics below prior to being washed!

This is prior to crocheting together with a surface crochet technique - so no lumpen seams!

All the main pieces set out on our coffee table in drawing room. You can see in the background the HUGE rust/brown/grey Kelim I bought its c 22'x13' and just about covers most of the room - except for a bored around the room - but adds much needed colour in a cold north facing room! Whatever I think its a fabulous rug and so pleased to have found it in a lovely furniture shop (Edwards) in Hadleigh of all places..............

This is the front - all the ends plaited and ready to be knotted etc

A detail of one of the sections with an infill piece

This the reverse side - no ends - but you could wear it/ hang it on the wall whichever side you wanted

Anyway for my first scumble/free form piece of crochet I am thrilled to wash it and then decide if to embroider ends on surface &/or add beads etc ..............

Think maybe I should have made a rectangle - then it could be a walhanging piece of art as well as a shawl - sooo it will just have to hang on the wall as a curved piece then I could have felted it ...............maybe for next piece

I was warned that it would be addictive and certainly is!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The ME biting back

Well very tired today .....bad night
The ME at times just takes over and not a lot you can do about it ...means a very quiet day today - so snoozing in sunshine be order of the day

Friends I have not seen for months popped round for a coffee earlier - great but find it very tiring talking to people.

His nibbs left earlier in morning and on his way to Tokyo for the week - another conference - but saw him for a few hours before he left after his return from Dublin in small hours Friday am

Made some more progress on the Lichens - another growth as it were and some grown a bit bigger as well - lol
Perhaps crochet a few more flowers for the pink bag ........................

Pics maybe later ........ see how I feel

Anyway wilting fast here and need rest and a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, 11 September 2009

Progress Jim - but not as we know it...........!?

More green lichenous green blobs flew off my crochet hook last night - as I waited for his nibbs to return from Dublin ..........while the Cat is away the Mouse will play .....with all things wool
It seems to be taking on a shawlly shape .....but that is how the shapes are arranged

Quick reshuffle ...............

Is it a blanket ..............a cushion cover ................. wall art ................... who knows at this stage - do I finish off all the wool and see what it will grow to the classic SteveMcQueen film 'The Blob' ....................... scarey thought

On another front - the pink bag is now felted and drying ...awaiting final beading and embellishing .......

So feeling virtuous and very productive at the moment :-)

However I know I should be doing other things - more mundane - such as ............. cleaning the house (ugh) and all things domestic - Domestic Goddess I am not! More like Domestic Grunge - things are clean - just chaotic but organised (in my mind that is) .......... trying to organise my wool and fabric stash so can find things easily

Anyway all things domestic beckon .................. dusting,hoovering ................ and I think some breakfast would be good!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Scumbling and Freeforming ....... what liberating fun!

Last night tried my hand - for the first time- at freeforming or scumbling
  • Very addictive! 
  • No counting stitches
  • No pattern following (not that I ever do)
  • No gauge issues .................... just pure fun!
  • Very liberating!!
Have a box of vintage green shetland wools - which always shrink when you wash them due to all the oils, stitch and tension and colours change as oils wash out  - so you never quite sure of size or colours you will end up with - so thought ideal for this doesn't matter what size it ends up as!

Anyway will call it Lichens - as they are all shades of green ..........see what I mean!

See what I mean all greens - plus a big cone of dark green boucle -  which will be great for texture!

So after a few hours - well ended up crocheting into the small hours ..................this is what I ended up with!

Definitely lichens! No idea what they wil end up as - shawl ....... waistcoat ........pillow ........blanket/afghan ...............any ideas???

The 3 pieces of lichen

Close up Lichen A

Close up Lichen B

Anyway they were great fun and will add to them when I can - also see what they look like when washed and blocked!
Anyway I think they are really funky n fun out of a box of rather dull greens - remember after washing they will brighten up! :-)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Crochet - Krazy Toy Blanket Pattern

Today is now bright and sunny - but not as nice as yesterday ....... let us hope it continues.

What I shall try and do is add on projects I have done in the past and new ones as I progress - patterns will be posted!

Last night I finished my Fat Bottom Bag, which I had started the day before............ now to felt and line. Below is a pic of where I was the other day ..........

Since then I have made a few flowers to add to it and of course handles - be a bit silly without. So short shoulder length are what I have gone for.
By the way I am also on RAVELRY and ETSY - same username SingularOne (keeps it simple).

Thought I would add something I have made a few years ago - a simple toy blanket I made for a friends grandchild (boy) - for his teddy bear. This was simple to do and made from about 10 bright colours with the predominant colour being white. So ideal for using up all those scraps and odds and ends. Its based on a simple log cabin design with a co-ordinating wide border.
Its an ideal present for a child (think Christmas!), christening present, childs learning project

The photograph is very high resolution - so you can easily see the stitches
Level difficulty: Easy - a beginner project

Materials: odds and ends of about 10 colours with one ball main colour (in this instance white) if you wish to buy - a ball of each colour you want or their favourite colours (hint - let the child pick the colours)
So if a girlie doll blanket - pinks and whites / a boy teddy - probably anything but pink
I used odds and ends of an acrylic in a medium weight

Hook: G or an H - really depends on the wool/yarn used (hint - keep it soft and supple)

Starting square (traditionally is red representing the hearth of the log cabin - I used orange as I didn't have any red and was closest)
Chain 11 in orange
Sc in 2nd chain and in each to end - 10 sc
Sc for 10 rows - end colour and break off
Choose next colour (hint: try to balance the brights, darks and white as you go)
Turn square one turn to right or left, (hint - but whichever way be consistent - so the 'logs' continue in the same sequence)
Log 1
Row1: Take white slip stitich into corner chain 1 and work 1 sc in each row end = 10 stitches
ch1, turn and work 10 sc till end
ch1, turn and work 10 sc till end
So 3 rows (if you want fatter logs do 4 or 5 rows)
End colour (hint - work over colour ends as you go - saves alot of weaving in afterwards!)
Log 2
Take purple and work 1 sc in each row end and each stitch across (so if you have done 3 rows you will ahve 13 stitches
Repeat as for Log 1
Repeat sequence until you have 20 logs

1st row: Start in any corner with white slip stitch and chain 1 then sc around in each stitch - make a sc chain 1 sc in each corner and to join sc in corner (same as where you started) chain 1 and slip stitch into starting stitch (so you have in effect a sc ch1 sc in the starting corner)
End off
2nd Row: Start in any corner and repeat
Continue sequence for as many rows as you want ...........
In this instance 10 rows
Last row finish off and weave in end and any ends you have not enclosed
Finished - now it wasnt that difficult was it ................


  • Instead of going around with the 'logs' you can do them in opposite bands (court house steps)

  • vary the width of logs - so some are fat others thin

  • have light and dark colours grouped on opposite corners rather than evenly distirbuted as I had done

  • theme your colours - all shades blue or pink or green or yellow

  • make 4 squares and then crochet them together - add another border around the 4 squares and you have a matching baby/toddler snuggle blanket

So just be creative - have fun (thats what it is all about)

It really an easy pattern - beginner
You can even use it to teach a child how to crochet their own toy blanket as its a small project

Hope that gets a few people started in crochet - its fun - easy and fast!
Please let me know how you get on/need help etc  - and what you have made
Love to see your finished projects

Now had better get on with my day - morning coffee finished - so bye for now

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Coooooooooo now where do I start?

Well am entering the Land of Blog - and why you might well ask as sooooooooooo many of you out there already?
Well I plan to use this to publish my designs - crochet, sewing, crafting etc
So its a case of watch this space and see what I come up with - I have a backlog of designs to post ....................... some simple some more difficult
So I shall try to put a star rating grading from easy-peasy to japanesy (ie difficult) - borrowing from that old school nursery rhyme

Anway more later .......................