A Better Bookmark

Those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I wasn’t entirely happy with my Celtic bookmark because it was quite large and a bit thick. I posted the pattern but then, using the bookmark in one of the larger hardback books I have been borrowing from the library lately, I realised that I had left something out of the pattern!! so removed it.

However more recently I realised that if I made the bookmark in #20 cotton it would be smaller and thinner. new and previous bookmarksThis is why I bought the cotton thread I showed you here. recent yarn purchasesI used the cream #20 thread and some red that I had already to make another bookmark and being very happy with it have published the pattern in my Ravelry store – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/celtic-bookmark-2 – Getting it right this time!

Here are the two bookmarks compared with others. bookmark comparison

In #20 cotton thread this makes a bookmark approximately 5.5 inches by 1 inch (14ch x 2.5cm). I think this is the best size and thickness for a bookmark

in #10 cotton thread the bookmark is 7 inches by 1.5 inches. (18cm x 4cm). This is fairly thick but useable in larger books as I have found.

As you can see here.

larger bookmark in large bookand the new one in a smaller book. new bookmark in paperback book

inside the same paperback library book. new bookmark on paperback bookSo what do you think?

Photo Challenge – Waste

I couldn’t get too excited about the topic ‘waste’ and didn’t want to photograph my rubbish but then looking at the little pile of ends on my work table in the sitting room gave me an idea.

This is something I have shown before but is something made from these waste ends that I am still collecting to make something even bigger. Photo Challenge photographAnd this is the one my granddaughter made. Granddaughter's bowlShe insisted that the strands had to line up!!

Thinking of hot pads

One of the early people who bought my Celtic Coasters pattern asked me for some ideas of how I might use the pattern to make a hot pad. At the time I suggested a few ideas based on my recent work on expanding the coaster into a table mat. However when I recently had an idea for another Celtic design, that I knew would be bigger than a coaster made in my usual cotton yarn, once again I began thinking ‘hot pad’!

I wanted to try the new design in ‘chunky’ yarn and wondered if the DMC XL cotton could be the right thickness. The recommended hook size appeared to be 6-7mm and I had a 6.5mm that I had inherited from my mother so it seemed worth a try.

When I went to Winchester, the first shop I visited, because it was near the bus station, didn’t have the DMC but they did have the Patons yarn in the photograph. which had a recommended hook size of 6-7mm and was at a reduced price so I decided to buy a couple of balls in my favourite colours.

I found the DMC yarn in the second shop, though they only sold it in very pale, neutral, sort of colours. At least this was blue even though very pale.

It is worth noting that neither yarn describes itself as either chunky or super chunky on the label.

So I came home, got out my hook, and crocheted a strip of trebles in both yarn. It was obvious at this point that there was a great difference in the thickness of the two yarns. A difference I had already suspected.

It became obvious to me that. whereas the Patons was probably about a chunky weight. the DMC was much more of a super chunky.

So I wondered what would happen if I made one of my original coasters in the DMC. Of course I only had the one colour but I though that I would give it  a go and produced this. As a comparison here is the coaster style hot pad compared to a wooden mat I use on my dining table for extra heat resistance and a trivet that I use on the worktops for saucepans. The mat is about 7 inches and the new hot pad about 6 inches.

I actually think that this is a better solution to the “how do I use the coaster pattern for a hot pad?” question as it produces a much thicker pad.

The Patons is not 100% cotton so not really the best thing to use for a hot pad so in the end I decided to make my new design in my current DK weight cotton and see how it would look. Hot padI was really quite pleased with it, though I would change the starting point for the main strips. (Not that it matters really!!)

I think that if made in chunky weight cotton it would come out about 8 inches across.

So the question is: do I buy some chunky weight cotton in five different colours and make one? Especially as I don’t even use my trivets very much. I tend to put hot saucepans on my chopping board, a ring on the cooker that is off or my steel draining rack.

The only snag I found with the ‘coaster’ in the DMC cotton XL was that it took just over half a ball; otherwise I could have used up the rest by making another one!!

 

A Dorset Adventure – footnotes

I showed you the guest house where I was staying but on the last day I suddenly thought that I ought to take a couple of pictures of the inside. So I took a picture of the dining room where guests had breakfast. Then went back to my room and tidied up the bed to take a photograph there. You can see I didn’t do it very well. If it had been done properly the pillows would have been even.

I also thought that I would share a few of the quick flower photographs I took as I went about.

I am a real sucker for interesting flowers and these were on a front wall in a nearby road. Not sure what they are but they look a bit like a sort of sedum.

I found this up on the Giant’s Hill at Cerne Abbas. Then the day I went on the walk to Thorncombe woods I passed this in a garden in Dorchester. I chose this photograph because it also includes some blue flowers which look like the ones I have growing all down the drive at the front of my house.

Later not far from Hardy’s cottage I had to stop and take a photograph of these poppies that looked so gay in the bright sunshine. (And if anyone objects to my use of adjective. I don’t know another one that describes the scene more perfectly.)

Another small make and some new yarn

When I bought a map of part of Dorset for my visit to Dorchester I was pleased to find this Sign on OS mapon the outside of the map.

I already have Here maps and Google maps on my phone and they are very useful when I am in a town but they are a bit lacking in the middle of the countryside so this could be a useful addition.

Unfortunately I discovered that the OS app only works on iOS and Android but at least I have an Android tablet and it does have the benefit of a larger screen.

I discovered that the app would allow me to find my position through Wi-Fi on my tablet but it was fairly obvious that it did not have gps which was not so good.

When I got home I tried to work out how to link my phone which has gps to the tablet which doesn’t. The only option when out and about was to link the Wi-Fi on the phone to the tablet which was at least possible as long as I had paid for Wi-Fi on the phone and had a phone signal.

But then my son bought me one of these! GPS dongleAs long as you are outside it connects fairly quickly.

So all I needed now was a way to carry it about with me safely.

I had made a case for my tablet when I first got it. tablet caseAnd the obvious thing was to attach something to it.

After some thought I made this: GPS dongle and piece of crochet

which I turned into this: device in case

which held the GPS device securely. case closed

and which I then attached to the orignal tablet case. new case attached to original

I have also bought a copy of the New Forest map with a mobile download and there is one from my Winchester map so I am all ready to try it out on my next walk in the countryside.

Now the yarn

Last Thursday I went to Winchester shopping to buy yarn and came back with this.new yarnsIt all came from the same shop except the DMC Natura XL.

I had hoped to buy some #20 crochet cotton in at least white or cream as I had practically used up all of the small ball of white that I had. The shop had obviously decided to stop stocking the Anchor thread  😦 but at least I managed to get large balls of white and cream (#20 Aida) and a large ball of beige (#10 Aida) and two small balls of white and cream (#10 Artiste) cotton as a job lot for £3. Since one of the large #20 balls would have set me back about £3 getting all that for the same price was a good bargain.

One thing I knew the shop had was the Beachcomber yarn on the right.

I had made a dishcloth in some of this cotton a while ago dishclothand found that it soaked up water and wrung out much better than one made with standard dishcloth cotton. The dishcloth took over half a ball so I did not have enough to make another and although it works better that the normal dishcloth cotton it is als0 let durable and so now had a big hole in it.

The shop was selling the cotton at a reduced price so I decided to buy two balls. So with what was left over from the original I should have enough for thee or four new ones.

The other cotton was bought with an eye to another project which I will tell you more about next week.

 

Monthly Montage June

I offered photographs for three of the month’s Photo Challenge subjects: Favourite, Cross and Wave. Normally I try to arrange these photographs next to each other and in sequence but that was too tricky this month but I expect you can see which they were. Monthly montage JuneReally a lot of photographs this month as I also did an update on my garden and five posts about my visit to Dorset, though I have only included two of the photographs here.

Otherwise it was mostly crochet: more Celtic style coasters, some other recent makes and a request for pattern testers for my US version of the Real snowflakes.

Just a bit of fun – but useful!

I have always thought of ‘pot holders’ as American as we have oven gloves in this country but I saw this fascinating pattern for a pot holder and I thought that it might just be handy.

My saucepans have metal curved handles and they are great saucepans but sometimes the handle does get too hot to hold with bare hands and I have to grab a dish cloth or tea towel to protect my fingers.

So I took some of the spare cotton I had bought to make the bath puffs and made one.

Pot holder fnishedThe thing that totally charmed me was what you did next which was to fold the sides over to get this. pot holder foldedSewing up was easy. pot holder sewn upHere is the other side. other side of pot holderI wondered if it would be big enough but thought if it wasn’t maybe it could be used as a coaster. pot holder next to coasterand I could make a bigger one

but it works fine! pot holder in use

A Dorset Adventure in Five parts – Day five

My last full day in Dorset.

I had decided that after my day of walking to Hardy’s Cottage and back it would be wise to plan a less energetic day in case I was feeling tired.

I decided that I would go to the coast and had been trying to choose between Bridport and Lyme Regis but in the end I decided to go to Charmouth as it looked to be a smaller quieter place.

I caught the bus and had a pleasant ride through the Dorset countryside.

Then a gentle walk down to the beach. I went and had a look round the study centre and them ambled out onto the beach itself. Charmouth beach

I felt obliged to hunt for fossils though I didn’t really expect to find any as there seemed to be regular organised fossil hunts.

However I already have a couple of fossilised shells that I collected sometime in my late teens. Not sure from where.fossil shells

But I took a photograph of the grey crumbling cliffs. It looked as if a little stream ran down here. cliff

I also took some photographs of interesting rocks. (I often do this when I go to a beach). rockand evem more interesting rockand this pile someone had made. pile of rocks

Having clambered over the rocks at the far end of the beach I walked back to look for something to eat.  There was a cafe that sold some savoury items and I settled on a pasty which I ate sitting on the other side of the beach on the stones in front of the beach huts. other side of beach

As you can see from the photographs is was a very hot sunny day and I longed for a bit of shade but having decided that there wasn’t any I decided to buy an ice cream and catch the bus back to Dorchester.

Last week on what was the hottest June day for forty years I went to another beach that I must say I enjoyed a lot more. It is also a ‘Dorset’ beach though when I moved into the area it was in Hampshire.

It is my favourite ‘day trip’ beach. Highcliffe beach

To me it is quite ideal. There is a café

cafe
Photograph taken on an earlier visit

(though not a restaurant so I generally take some cheese and biscuits and a piece of fruit,) up on the cliffs set in the grounds of Highcliffe castle.

Highcliffe caste
Another earlier photograph

The trees and bushes create a pleasant backdrop to the beach which has sand, if you want to make castles, but also pebbles that you can sit on not to get your towel too sandy. The beach is ever so clean and so is the water.

 

And when you have had enough sun you can go up and find some shade and sit and look at the sea. seeing the see from shady spotIt is the addition of this shade that makes it so ideal.

I get there by catching the train to Hinton Admiral and I was pleased to find that about two thirds of the walk to the beach was also shady. I can’t stand too much sun now I am older.