Monday, 19 March 2018

March - Must get organised!

Hello everyone, hope you are well. It's halfway through March and about time I got organised. I'm not going to wait for the perfect time. I'm jumping in and starting now! It doesn't help that I'm still trying to sort out diet issues. I won't go into details suffice to say, when it's not a good day, I'm too tired for organising anything.

Following The Flylady Routines, Zones and Babysteps on a stop / start routine of sorts, here is:-  

My Week

Breakfast - Cereal, at the moment gluten free cornflakes or toast and marmalade with M - homemade bread.

Weekly menu 

Monday - Left over roast beef, yorkshires and chips

Tuesday - Chicken chasseur and rice

Wednesday - Stew and Dumplings

Thursday - Chops and mash 

Friday - Pizza

Saturday - Roast Gammon joint 

Sunday - Leftover roast with chips

To do list -

Morning routine - up early and dressed to shoes.
Before bed routine - shine sink, load launch pad and put clothes out ready for morning
Early night

Focus on
The master bedroom, wardrobe, shower room ------ decluttering 15 mins daily in this area.

Book hair cut

Exercises - 2 x daily stair rises (for tendon) - One day I'll dance again!

Repair a dog! (a knitted one) for a friend's child

Block finished square

The cleaning -

Monday - shopping

Tuesday - hoovering & wash floors

Wednesday - dusting  

Thursday - bathrooms

Friday - Weekly home blessing 10 mins each - 
                      hoover, dusting, floors wash, bathrooms, wipe kitchen, beds 

Saturday - clean cooker, fridge

Sunday - Ironing

Fun bits -

Knit and Natter
Film night

I'm reading - The Dream Catcher by Maria Barrett

I'm listening to - Summer at the Lake by Erica James

What's on the hooks or needles - Crochet square for 'Weekend Stitches' and a washcloth.

I'm in the mood for cooking - Chocolate cake & Flapjack

Fly Lady Ref     Dressed to shoes (this week)  Friday

Thank you for reading about my crazy 'must get organised' plans.
Please leave a comment and let me know -

Are you organised?
Would you like to be better organised?

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Weekend Stitches - Treble, Half Treble (UK)

tr, htr

Hello and welcome to 'Weekend Stitches', I hope that you are well.
This square, will measure 20cm sq when finished. The previous square that I crocheted used a variety of the same stitch dc. This time the crochet stitches I'm using will add height. They are tr in cheviot - grey and htr in saxe - light blue. These stitches are wider and less dense than the dc, so I've reduced the number of chain stitches to keep the width the same.  

All the detailed information of the yarn including colours and hook size, conversion chart and close ups on 'where to put your hook' can be found here. NB I'm using UK terminology. Conversion chart here.

A word about chains 

Turning chains - at the beginning of each row

1 chains for dc (sc)
2 chains for htr (hdc)
3 chains for tr (dc)
4 chains  for dtr (trc)
5 chains for trtr  (dtr)

Starting chains

In a starting chain this number may be different. A pattern will instruct you how many extra chains to add to a row of chains.
It can be a bit tricky to push the hook through the first row of chains, there are 3 strands of yarn in each ch st.
Pushing your hook through 2 strands on your hook will give a firm edge.
Pushing your hook through one strand will give a looser edge.
A consistent method will produce a neat edge to your project whichever method you choose.

The 10 rows of trebles are much higher than the 10 rows of double crochet in the previous square.

Treble Stitch (tr) {US dc}

Yarn over hook, insert hook through V stitch, yarn over hook. 
Turn hook downwards, catch yarn and pull through the V stitch - (3 loops on the hook).
Yarn over hook, pull yarn through 2 loops on the hook - (2 loops on the hook).
Yarn over hook, pull through both loops on the hook - (1 loop on the hook).

To begin this square, chain 36 + 2 with cheviot (grey) dk yarn.
Row 1 - tr in the 4th chain from the hook - through both parts of the V
              tr in each ch to the end of the row, turn

Row 2 - ch 3, ignore the stitch at the base of the chain, tr in the    next st
Regardless of how many chains made with the hook, ignore the stitch at the base of the hook and insert hook in the next stitch. 

tr to the end.

tr 10 rows, fasten off.

My thoughts on the treble stitch -  The stitch process is longer than the dc but it's an easy stitch to do. The stitch height enables the length of crochet work to grow fast. The tr is common in blankets and granny squares. Being less dense than the double crochet, consideration is needed on the width so you may need less chain stitches to start.

Half Treble (htr) {US hdc}

Yarn over hook, insert hook through V stitch, yarn over hook.
Turn hook downwards, catch yarn and pull through the V stitch - (3 loops on the hook).
Yarn over hook, pull through all 3 loops on the hook - (1 loop on the hook).

This section in saxe (light blue) htr.
Row 1 - Join on new colour and chain 2, ignore the stitch at the base of the hook and insert hook into the next stitch.
htr in each stitch to the end of the row, turn
Row 2 - ch 2, htr to the end.
htr for 10 rows, fasten off.

My thoughts on the half treble stitch - The stitch is between the height of dc and tr, the process is quick and simple. It produces neat rows of dense stitches making it suitable for washcloths or dishcloths that are stretched and squeezed.

Double Crochet (dc) alternate rows of front loop / back loop {US - sc} 

Insert hook through back or front loop only, yarn over hook, pull through loop - (2 loops on the hook).
Yarn over hook, pull yarn through both loops - (1 loop on your hook).

This section in cheviot (grey) dc. 

Row 1 - Join on new colour and ch 1, ignore the stitch at the base of the hook and insert hook into the back part only of the next stitch, 1 dc. 
cont dc in back part only of each stitch to the end of the row, turn.
Row 2 - ch 1, dc in front part only of the next stitch.

cont in this way until the end, fasten off.
Cont row 1 and 2 until desired length.

Sew in all ends.

Next time, I'll show the complete blocked square and my thoughts on the double crochet -
 front / back loop (alternate rows). Photos to follow of this part (both sides). 

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.
Thank you for visiting, do let me know if you've tried these stitches.


Friday, 16 March 2018

Celebrating - Five on Friday

Hello everyone, I hope you are well. Today I'm joining with 'Five on Friday' with some random things happening in my home this week. 

1)  Crocheting  


I've found a pattern on-line for a washcloth which I'm crocheting for M. The aran weight yarn is actually a green colour as opposed to this nice turquoise colour shown in the photo. The pattern is simple enough - alternate stitches of dc and tr (uk terminology) incidentally the pattern is written in US terminology. I found when making this washcloth / dishcloth that I needed to go up a hook size for the chain. After the initial chain stitches, further rows of crochet disappointedly formed a rainbow shape.  My crochet obviously gets looser as I progress. 

2)  Enjoying

Last Sunday was Mother's Day and for anyone with a caring role within the home I hope you had a lovely day. In particular I thought about my 'little brother' over the weekend, who has brought up his (now) teenage daughter alone, since her toddler years. Nobody plans to find themselves abandoned and doing the job of both parents. I hope you know that you are appreciated and valued for who you are and not just for what you do. 

Some presents from the teens. A cookery book, a bottle with a message in it for me from teen 1 and breakfast in bed, porridge and orange juice from teen 2. Some good traditional recipes in here that I shall enjoy cooking.


3) Visiting

On Sunday we visited my parents to wish my Mum a Happy Mother's Day. I took the Daffodil card with some flowers and other goodies. The details of the card and pattern link to attic 24's design is here.


My parents were having a bit of a clear out in their garden and they've passed on some patio dwellers. A wooden lady who needs re-strawing - her (straw) hair has all fallen out, bless her. She was a Christmas gift from us originally and now we have her back. 


The wooden figure was accompanied by a few plant pots of winter flowering Pansies, Pinks and a rather handsome frog.

4) Baking  

I baked some chocolate cake for film night, I made it gluten free so it's suitable for anyone. The original cake in this book is a round sponge sandwich topped with nuts. With melted chocolate in the recipe and a butter cream topping, it's very rich. I think these mini eggs from Aldi taste as good as the Cadbury ones. Maybe I need to buy a packet of each to do a proper taste test, lol.  Below is the trailer for the film we saw.


5)  Listening  

I'm listening to an audible book it's an enjoyable but slow story, flitting from past to present. If you're interested in book restoration, the enigma code and wartime lives this book will keep you entertained. Erica James explores relationships and this one doesn't disappoint. Saskia (a book restorer) has tragically lost both her Mother and Grandmothers. Now living with her Father and Grandfathers she discovers a notebook concealed within a bible. See here for an pdf extract. 


Thanks for stopping by to read.

Did you enjoy Mother's Day last Sunday?
What are you reading or listening to?
What are you making?


Friday, 9 March 2018

It's all in the 'ing' - Five on Friday

Hello everyone, I hope you are well. Today I'm joining with 'Five on Friday' with 5 random things  enjoyed in my home this week.

1)   Making cheese and onion pasties.  I've made pastie slices for speed. The recipe is 1lb plain flour, 8oz butter, pinch or 2 of salt and water to mix after the breadcrumb stage.  I cut the pastry dough in half and roll out for 2 trays 12x10" approx in size. You can of course cook a meat version.

I then divide the chopped potato, onion and cheese (all uncooked) and sprinkle with herbs and seasoning between the 2 trays. Using water to stick and beaten egg to coat, they go into the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Each one divides into 6 for my family. We usually save the ends for lunch the following day.

It's a quick meal when we are rushing out for film night. 
You could serve 1 slice with chips, but we are rushing and there is - potato inside. 

1 b)   Watching this film, it was extremely moving.

2)   Enjoying homemade mushroom soup with wraps for dipping as I haven't made any bread.

3)   Listening to this book on digital audio books. It seems a very slow book but I think it's about to improve. I love Erica James' books. I do have the paperback copy but would've given up by now if I was reading it.

4)   Buying these ginormous red grapes from the market. They are about 3 or 4 bites a piece and positively dwarf the store bought ones.

5)   Enjoying the bulbs. The Amaryllis from last year is shooting up now, the Spring Flowering Muscari Armeniacum (jug) has a tete a tete (tin) companion now. I couldn't resist it, we popped into Lidl after teen 1 careers fair, I wish I'd read this before we went.  Still, he did ok so that's good. It was a good evening providing information and a healthy dose of hope and ambition. Just what's needed for this generation.

Do have a look at the other blogs on Five on Friday, the quilt on Marie's blog is just amazing.

Have a good week end.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Spring - Mother's Day - Easter Card in 3D.

Hello everyone, I hope you are well. I was going to post this at the weekend but thought I'd send it early in case you wanted to make a daffodil too. There are many possibilities, a Mother's Day or Easter card, a broach, or a bunch attached to stems (green garden sticks) in a jug. Now that the snow is just a distant memory here, many people are starting to think about spring. Every year I see on social media, photos of the most beautiful daffodils both fresh and crocheted ones. I gaze at the pretty flowers wistfully thinking 'oh if only I had time'. Well this year I was determined to make time and not be late! 

This crocheted daffodil is the design of Lucy at attic 24, she has a full colour photo tutorial over on her blog here. The design of Lucy's is easy enough to follow using - slip stitch and chain stitch, dc, htr and treble stitches in UK terminology. She starts with a brief explanation on 'how to do each stitch' and gives an equivalent in US terminology too.  She includes guidance for blocking the daffodil as it will start to curl. 

Making a 3D card.

I've attached a safety pin to the back of my flower and stuck it to the green card with 3 strips of double sided sticky tape. I bought my coloured cards with pre-cut apertures over 20 years ago from Craft Creations here.  I'm making 3 cards for now, I may make some more later. Selfishly I'm going to keep one for myself... just because. The other 2 will be for Mother's Day cards so if you know the 2 Mums I talk of, please keep it a secret. Thank you. The yarn is some from my stash in yellow, orange and green. The crochet hook I used was a size 3.5 mm. You could of course use a lemon yellow and white.

I've since purchased a new spray bottle, mine was pathetic and hard to press. I'm hoping that future water spraying to block crochet will be easier. Already my leaves are curling again, tomorrow I will try giving the leaves a light ironing on the reverse side. 

The start of a daffodil looking like a star / Christmas present - beautiful candle holder

Sparkly table runner won in the WI raffle

I loved crocheting this daffodil, though in future when I block any work, I will return to a more rigid surface as before with the square in weekend stitches. Many people say they find their craft work relaxing, this definitely falls into this category. With the points crocheted up and down both sides and the trumpet done in the round with a frilly picot trim, followed by the 2 leaves, there's nothing tricky or boring about it.

In other news, the teens are delighted to be back at school and college again. I'm starting another crochet square which I hope to share at the weekend. I've asked the teens to pick a few recipes that they like the sound of in the new book for the Cookery Calendar Challenge. Who knows, they may even like to cook them! Tonight's dinner was a family favourite, Spaghetti Bolognese. Personally I think it needed more tomatoes in it. It had garlic and one tin of tomatoes plus a glass of red wine, dried basil and black pepper with the mince, onion and streaky bacon for added flavour.

A friend of mine, who bought me the candle holder, also bought me a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry. A few evenings last week I had a glass in the evening with an ice cube in the glass. It tasted nice. Yesterday In Aldi, I thought I'd risk trying their 'look alike' bottle of Croft Pale Cream Sherry. Again, very nice. Honestly, what did we do before Aldi, Lidl and Heron. There were hardly any flowers in Aldi so the tulips were purchased at the CO-OP.

M noticed that the Amaryllis from last year is growing well, an inch from this mornings watering. Bookwise I'm reading the book club read - The Girl Before by J P Delaney. I won't be recommending it. If rope was involved, I'd think I was reading Fifty Shades.

What are you making at the moment, do you fancy crocheting a daffodil?
What are you reading? 
What's for dinner tonight?
Cake for the week? 

Have a good week, any questions about anything please leave a comment.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Weekend Stitches - Double Crochet Square Complete

Block 1 complete

Hello, welcome to 'Weekend Stitches'. I hope that you are well. First of all, thank you very much for the encouraging comments that you've written last time on 'Weekend Stitches'. Some have already made a sampler blanket in the past, with different crochet stitches. Others are itching to 'have a go' at some new stitches. 

So how did you get on, did you have a go at the different variants of Double Crochet (dc) / US (sc). You'll notice below that I've blocked my first square. Apart from the fact that it's 'the done thing' for a more professional finish, it has made a real difference to the size and general lay of the square. The 3 middle sections overall, 
were looking narrow in width.

I measured the work, sprayed water on both sides of the crochet square, then pinned the work to dry. Despite the strange camera angle, it measures 20cm width and length.

First attempt at blocking

UK Terminology  (UK/US conversion chart below)

From last time - the bottom section in lime, 
10 rows in basic dc - with the hook in both parts of the V stitch. 
Next in cheviot, 10 rows dc back loop only. 
Then in gold, 10 rows dc front part only. 

Back and Front Loop Double Crochet  (Saxe) [light blue]

Row 1 *work 1 Back Loop dc, work 1 Front Loop dc 
repeat these alternate stitches to the end of the row, chain 1, turn* repeat for 8 more rows.
Row 10 work 1 Back Loop dc, work 1 Front Loop dc to the end, fasten off.

Double Crochet  (Cobalt)

Work 9 rows only in basic dc (as the lime section).

I measured my work (20 cm sq) and stopped on 9 rows for the last section. I may add a border later in a stone/cream colour to join the squares together. 
Below is a re-cap of the colours I've chosen and photos of  'where to put your hook' as a quick reminder. 

Materials used

Jarol Heritage DK,  Wool Rich 100g, 55% wool, 25% Acrylic, 20% Nylon.

Lime (137), Gold (140), Saxe (110), [light blue], Cobalt (148)

Jarol Heritage Tweed DK 100g, 50% Wool 20% Premium Acrylic 25% Nylon 5% Viscose 

Cheviot (02) [grey]

Hook size  - 4mm

Insert your hook here

Insert hook through both parts 

Insert hook through back part only

Insert hook through front part only

US/UK Crochet Terms.

single crochet (sc)double crochet (dc)
double crochet (dc)treble (tr)
half double crochet (hdc)half treble (htr)
triple crochet (trc)double treble (dtr)

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.
Thank you for visiting, do let me know if you've tried these stitches.


Snow Days - Five on Friday

Hello, I hope you are well. Today I'm joining with Five on Friday to show five things that have been happening here. This week has been a strange one. I've been full of cold all week and haven't felt well at all. I don't know where I'd caught it from. The last 2 that the family had, I managed to avoid. The teens have been off school and college since Wednesday due to closure / no buses, all because of the snow. I'm not sure how Lincolnshire compared to other parts of the country in the UK but, they were happy to be off.

1)  In the garden

My garden, the 2 large trees that the Christmas lights are usually strung around.


No washing out today. In the summer, this border is usually full of colour and bushiness.

The bird table with a variety of seeds, nuts and fat balls. A feeding table which provides some entertainment for the lovely QT. He 'chatters' away to them when he's safely inside out of harm's way. He's only caught 1 bird in the 3 years we've had him, though he's never out for long.

Talking of QT, he went to the vets yesterday having routine thyroid blood tests. Good news, he's gained much needed weight and his blood pressure is down. The meds are working. He was cuddled and praised for being so calm and quiet during the test. I don't think I'd like a needle in my neck vein on a regular basis but then who would. His next check should be in 6 months time, so stabilising. 

2)  No sunshine on snow days

My bulbs are happily growing in strength. Though it's bright, it's not particularly sunny so the dancing sunshine (plastic plants) 'don't feel like dancing'. The teens had one each, many years ago. The one wearing shades was in teen 1 bedroom but the swaying side to side in the morning sun, 'disturbed' his sleep. Oh dear! They sit on a windowsill downstairs now.

3) Last weekend

Last weekend we made up some more mincemeat. I know it's not Christmas but we'd run out. I can't eat sorbitol containing fruit (fruit with a stone) including apples and cherries, so it's easier to make our own. Whenever I make a pie, it's handy to make up a few mince pies with any leftover pastry.

4) Baking bread 

M has made 2 lots of bread this week in the Kenwood mixer. 1 loaf and 6 rolls at a time ready to prove in front of the fire. We've given up on breadmakers, they keep breaking, so we bought a mixer and prove the bread then bake it ourselves. To make - put all the ingredients in the mixer, mixing for 1 minute on low and 3 minutes on number 2. Place the folded dough in well greased tins, or divide into rolls on a lined baking tray. Leave to prove until doubled in size and bake the rolls for 15 mins and the loaf for 30 mins at about 190* / Gas 5.  I think the book is out of print so I've included the recipe with the baking times & temperature, that we find works well. If using the fast acting yeast, only one rising is needed.
M has been off work a fair bit too, as a driver instructor it's a brave person that'll take a new learner out of the icy roads. On Monday alone, the test examiners were cancelling tests and that was before the weather turned really heavy with snow. The beer bread was put out ready to make, a Christmas present which is still waiting to be made.

5) Some crochet

I've been listening to some Erica Jacobs digital library books whilst crocheting sneezing. If you'd like to make your own, here is the flower pattern and here is the square pattern. I used Wendy 100% cotton red, Stylecraft 100% cotton white and a 3mm crochet hook. I also finished my first crochet block for 'Weekend Stitches' on my blog, including blocking it, a process I've never done before but am impressed by. Before I blocked the square, the corners were curling up and the 3 middle sections were tight and narrower than the rest.

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog.

This week have you...
Had a snow day? Got things ready to do and promptly 'not done' them? 'Crafted' anything?
Listened to a story?

Please leave a comment, have a good week.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...