Friday, 30 March 2018

Bring me sunshine - Five on Friday

Hello everyone, I hope you are well. I'm joining with Five on Friday to celebrate Good Friday. Some of these photos were taken today and some last weekend.

1) Inside cheerfulness 

2) Cheerful baskets teen 2 and M planted these up last year, last weekend I noticed that the flowers were opening up again.

3) Pots and borders - need to do some weeding. 

4) Finished washcloth for M. I took it up to the bathroom for a sunny photo. For the washcloth pattern here I added a border of dc (uk terms), aran 100% cotton yarn and used a 5mm crochet hook. I also added a few more rows to the pattern to make it square. 

5) QT 'resting' in the sun for a change. Cats, they say they sleep 18 hrs a day. I'm sure it's more than that.

Thank you for stopping by to read my sunny Five on Friday.

I don't usually put anything Christian on my blog but as it's Easter, I'll leave a link to UCB - United Christian Broadcasters. On this site you'll find all the info for radio stations and shows, reading 'word for today' and 'word for you today' and more.

Have a lovely Easter.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Weekly organise

Me on a mission

Hello everyone, I hope you are well. Thank you for your comments last time, it seems you were all very wise and 'I was not.' I think I was over ambitious, especially as I suffered a few bad days with diet issues. Like this, I'm too tired for organising anything at home. So still with the same thought of not waiting for the perfect time, I'm jumping in and starting now!

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

My Plan for the Week 

Breakfast - Cornflakes or toast and marmalade - homemade bread.

Menu for the week

Monday - Left over roast gammon and chips

Tuesday - Tuna pasta bake

Wednesday - Chops and mash

Thursday - Pasties  

Friday - Creamy masala chicken and rice - teen 1 offered to make it (his choice for Catering exam at school a few yrs ago)

Saturday - Roast turkey or chicken 

Sunday - Leftover roast with chips

Morning routine -
*up early, dressed to shoes. 

*Swish & Swipe one washroom 

Afternoon routine

*Exercises - 3 x daily stair rises to heal tendon.
*1 x 15 min de-cluttering in the zone - lounge.
*1 x 15 min cleaning job.

Before bed routine
*clean sink, load launch pad and put clothes out ready for morning
*Massage - tendon
*Early night

The cleaning plan 

Monday - shopping

Tuesday - hoovering 

Wednesday - wash floors 

Thursday - dusting

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

Saturday - 

Sunday - 

Fun bits -

Craft Circle (essentially a knit n natter)
Knit and Natter 

Film night
Good Friday - the teens holiday begins

I'm reading - The Dream Catcher by Maria Barrett

I'm listening to
 - Milly Johnson - Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe.
(I've listened to Milly Johnson - The Pudding Club, which I recommend. It was entertaining with lol moments. The language is fruity but normal for Milly's books).

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

I'm in the mood for - Chocolate cake & Prosecco - teen 1 passed his driving test on Monday! 

Links   Dressed to shoes (this week - the living room)  Friday FAQ

Thank you for reading about my crazy 'weekly organise' plans. I'm hoping this will be more realistic, but we'll see. 
Please leave a comment and let me know -

What are your plans for the week - boring or fun bits?
What made you happy last week?
What are you looking forward to this week?

Have a good week whatever you do.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Weekend Stitches - Double Crochet (UK) - Front / Back Loop (alternate rows)

Block 2 complete, each section is 10 rows

Hello, welcome to 'Weekend Stitches', I hope you are well. This next square has been blocked and like the first square, measures 20 cm sq. To recap, I made a chain of 36 + 2 stitches.  I then crocheted 10 rows of treble crochet (tr, US - dc) followed by 10 rows of half treble crochet (htr, US - hdc).

NB I'm using UK terminology. 
Conversion chart here

All the detailed information of the yarn including colours and hook size, conversion chart and close up photos of 'where to put your hook' can be found here

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

Insert hook through back or front loop only (1 row of each),
yarn over hook, 
grab yarn (turn your hook down to hold fast the yarn) 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.

With 36 stitches from previous row, I crocheted 10 rows as follows:-

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 (V) stitch to the end of the row, turn.

Row 2 - ch 1, 1 dc in front part only of the next stitch.

cont dc in front part only of each (V) stitch to the end of the row, turn.

Cont row 1 and 2 until desired length, fasten off.

Sew in all ends.

Square 2 alongside square 1

My thoughts on this stitch

It was easy enough to do, one row in the back half and one row in the front half of the V stitch. You just need to remember which row you've previously done until you recognise the stitch. Especially if you put the work to one side for a while. For the same number of rows in tr or htr, your project will be dense but grow slowly.
This stitch creates dense rows of soft ridges and crocheting rows in different colours would emphasize this. It would suit projects such as washcloths, bags or cushions. 

Colours used so far

First square part 1 & part 2
Second square part 1

I hope you've enjoyed 'Weekend Stitches' so far. I've certainly enjoyed putting it together and comparing stitches within a swatch sample. I'm not sure which stitch I'll be crocheting next time. I've purchased 2 new colours since these colours (above).
I'm still wanting to keep a 'Coastal theme - Lincolnshire style' with the sand dunes, marsh grass and seals.

Perhaps I'll start next time with the 2 new colours -
Winter White - shade 139
Teal - shade 131

Until next time, thank you for stopping by.

Do you have a favourite stitch that you like to use - crochet or knitting?

Have you made a craft item to reflect an area of interest to you eg:- in crochet, knitting, sewing? Such as in knitting - Mind the Gap socks, In searching google for these, I came across Christina's blog and have enjoyed reading her take on them.

If you have any questions, do leave a comment.

Thank you for visiting, do let me know if you've tried this stitch.

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.

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. 

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.


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