Beer and Buses

I have a few more posts ready to be created that I could have shared with you but I decided to share what I was doing last Saturday as I was pleasantly surprised that the photographs I had taken, mostly in a hurry, weren’t too bad.

I went with my daughter and family to the Isle of Wight for the first day of the “Isle of Wight Classic Buses, Beer (& Walks) Weekend”.

My son-in-law is a member of CAMRA’s National Executive and my daughter loves all sorts of buses and trams so it was an event to please everyone.

When we took the Red-Jet from Southampton the weather looked dark and cloudy but it had cheered up by the time we got to Newport.

There were several bus routes which (if you know the Isle of Wight) were all as one might expect centred around Newport. 0520-buses-at-newportI took a photograph of this red Routemaster bus that is the classic London bus 0520-red-london-busand a row of buses.0520-a-row-of-buses I also took some green ones. 0520-a-row-of-green-busesThe one on the left being the Green Line Routemaster bus I remember from my childhood.

I also photographed an open top bus. 0520-open-top-busWe rode on two open top buses. This was taken while sitting on the first one. 0520-on-top-of-a-busIt rained while we were on the second one but luckily the seats were dry when we got on!

When we had arrived in Ryde we had had our first beer. 0520-the-king-luddAnd later bought some fish and chips and sat to eat them looking at the sea and the great long pier. 0520-a-long-pierLater after our trip on the open top bus we had another beer. 0520-yar-bridge-innThis pub had music in the marquee (very loud!).

Unfortunately by the time we reached out third pub in Shanklin it was raining quite heavily.

Though I did take my camera out as we waited for our last bus to photograph a rainbow. 0520-rainbow-and-sky-onlyWhere is a cornfield when you need one!

A rainbow isn’t quite as romantic over houses. 0520-rainbow-with-houses

Photo Challenge – Autumn

I looked around and decided that the Autumn colours are not at their best yet and so I decided that instead of taking a new photograph (and how can you capture Autumn in just one photograph anyway) that I would create a gallery of some of the Autumn photographs I have used on my blog previously.

If you click you will get to see each photograph full size. Not all the same as they come from different posts. Note the Gallery does not work in the WordPress Reader you have to go to my blog!

A New Real Snowflake Pattern

Those of you who have been following this blog for a long time may remember when I collected a number of photographs of actual snowflakes and created crochet versions for seven of them. Patterns hereReal snowflakes to copyAt the time I decided that the snowflake in the top left of the picture would be too hard for me to make. (As an aside: I also decided that the eighth snowflake (bottom middle) was too textured to be able to do justice to it in three or four rows.)

This was for two main reasons.

  1. It would have to involve using picot type stitches and I had been unable to make satisfactory picots.
  2. I was afraid that the arms would end up floppy.

However since then I have discovered where I was going wrong and how to make picots that lie flat. I also saw some snowflakes with a similar style of points in this book: which gave me encouragement0192-bookand I have been making some snowflakes to be sold in a local charity shop using acrylic yarn and a 2.5mm hook and found that with that size hook, even acrylic snowflakes can end up very firm.

I started off using that size hook rather than a more obvious choice of 3.5mm because I had been given a Clover Armour hook of that size and was really enjoying using it , so was reluctant to use an ordinary hook. 0517-new-snowflakeAnd here is a comparison with the original photograph. 0517-comparison-with-real-snowflakeYou can see that even with my crochet not being 100% even it is still more symmetrical than the original!

For anyone who is interested in making one (or more!) here is the pattern.

Note that whereas the other snowflakes for which I created the earlier patterns all end up a similar size this one is necessarily a little larger. 0517-snowflake-comparison

Snowflake Pattern (UK terms)

I crochet fairly tightly so all I can recommend is that you chose a 2.5mm hook or even smaller, for DK (worsted weight) yarn depending on how loosely you crochet. For other weight yarn use a hook much smaller than you would normally use if you want the points to hold up under their own weight. This can mean that not all the yarn pulls through on a stitch sometimes and it has to be redone!

Start: With a magic loop or 4ch circle if you prefer (but I think that a magic loop is better as you can pull it really tight.)

Round 1: Work 6dc into the loop or circle and slip stitch closed

Round 2: 3ch (= 1sr tr) then into 1st dc work (tr, 6ch). Work 2trs followed by 6ch into each of the following 5dc of the previous round. Slip stitch into the third chain at the start of the round.

This last round creates the points and is the trickiest round. It is really a matter of making five picots but adding an extra slip stitch to hold both sides together on the last two. I think where you add the extra slip stitches is obvious as it is the hole at the bottom of the picot on the opposite side.

For anyone, who like myself, finds their picots don’t look right the answer I found was when slip stitching to use method two of my four ways to crochet into a chain.

Round 3: (The following is repeated six  times, you can omit the final slip stitch for the sixth repeat and just sew in the end.)

7ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook, 4ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook, 8ch, slip stitch into eighth chain from hook, 4ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook. Here you work an extra slip stitch into the same stitch as the stitch for the second of the earlier four chain picots. Then 4ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook, plus an extra slip stitch into the same stitch as the stitch for the first of the earlier four chain picots. 3ch and end by slip stitching into the second of the two trebles.

Then working into the 6ch loop. Dc, hdc, 2ch, dc, 2ch hdc, dc. Slip stitch into 1st tr of next pair.

Finish: Pull the centre tightly closed, if using the magic loop. Sew in the ends securely and then pull the points and loops hard until the snowflake lies flat and looks even. Or else pin out on a board and leave for a while. 0517-snowflake-pinned-on-boardAs always, I welcome any comments on the pattern, especially pointing out errors!

Here is a photograph of the snowflake suspended. As you can see the points really do stay stiff! 0517-hanging-snowflake

The Evolution of a Wave

0515-000-wave-sign I love photographing water and, although I would like to try long exposure photographs of water if only I could find the time, I really like taking photographs that capture the moment.

I had a wonderful chance a couple of weeks ago of photographing the sea at Seaton. I am always trying to capture the perfect wave photograph but find it so hard. However this time the sea was quite rough and so I could see the waves forming and I took loads of photographs. 0515-001-rough-sea

These are just some of them.

These first two are more for the beauty of sky and sea. A translucent wave 0515-002-wavesand a breaking one. 0515-003-foam

Now for the evolution!

Here you can see the water as it rises up 0515-004-the-riseand here how it starts to tip over0515-005-the-fallinto a rolling wave.0515-006-breaking-waveNext it crashes down in a wealth of spray0515-007-the-crashonly to flow back leaving a shallow layer covered with foam. 0515-008-the-flowThen as the water recedes it is sucked back with the distinctive accompanying sound.0515-009-the-suckHere you can see the rise, the fall and the splashing spray all in one photograph.0515-010-evolution-of-a-waveI hope you enjoyed these views of the sea. I could stand and watch it for hours!

Photo Challenge – Button

As a F1 fan I suppose one of my first thoughts was of Jenson but when would I get a photograph!

So being otherwise a very prosaic person I then came up with this: Photo Challenge1640-button

It is a button: one of the buttons on this coat Coat from Desigualthat I bought for my daughter’s wedding. You can see my hair in a good light still looked brown back then.

The coat is from Desigual and every button is different though a couple are similar, just different colours.

Here are a few more: Green buttonand Many coloured buttonThis is the only photograph I had to crop slightly because if I got to close the front part was too much in shadow.

And Metal buttonNot sure if I should have had all the button in focus for this one but maybe it makes it seem more mysterious. Mystery is our topic for next week. Not sure what to do for that!

Shower Puffs – follow up

I have discovered where I was going wrong using the puffs. I was not getting them wet enough. When I made sure they were full of water then the shower gel would froth up. Not as much as with the netting puffs but with one of my shower gels, that frothed far too much in the past, this was a very good thing!

However the small one Three puff size comparisonin this picture, that I was using, does feel a bit too small in use so I decided to buy some more cotton yarn. (100g balls so I would not need to have a join.) Cotton yarnAnd made one according to the original pattern (except for the start! This time I worked 10dcs (US scs) and then 4 into each instead of 40 trs (US dcs).)

And I produced this. Pink puffMaybe I was wrong to concentrate on making something that would dry more quickly.

The small puff I have been using took three days to dry when just hung up in the shower.

The small puff I was using weighed a little under 25g. This one weighs 65g.

I also made a puff in the blue cotton but this time I decided to start with my 40trs (US dcs) equivalent start and then try the alternate chain and trebles instead of all trebles for the other rows.

The resulting puff was a little smaller and squidgier and weigh between 40 and 45g. (This is good in that you could make one out of a 50g ball or two out of 100g). This means they would cost about £2.50 each if you made two. Just a bit more than the netting one.)

Blue and pink puffThis is taken in the shower as I had used the pink puff and it was still damp.

I didn’t find that the blue puff lathered up any better than the pink one and they actually work as well, if not better, with soap than shower gel in my opinion. (I stopped using soap in the shower, as if I dropped the soap it would often break, and went on to shower gel. The cotton puffs might be a way to go back to soap though I don’t know if that would be cheaper!)

As to how long the different ones take to dry. That requires more time. The greeny grey tiny one took three days to dry. I don’t know with the pink or blue ones as at present they are both still damp!

General Conclusion

The original pattern (  is as good or better than my alternatives, though may well take longer to get dry, but maybe if it is in constant use that doesn’t matter too much. Cotton shower puffs are soft on the skin but much harder to get to lather up so you know which bits you’ve washed! From my experience with dish cloths they should last a lot longer than the netting ones so although the original cost is greater, it would work out cheaper in the long run.

Monthly Montage – September

Although I have been knitting none appears in this month’s montage! The Photo Challenge topics were: Courage, Rich, Deep and Above. I expect you can work out which was which. September montageQuite a bit of photography this month as I also gave you two posts about my holiday in Weymouth with my granddaughter. These did include the trial for a possible crochet scarf. The posts seemed to come in twos all of a sudden with my also giving you two posts on my attempts at a crochet shower puff.

Photo Challenge – Above

Maybe I am taking the easy way out ( I still seem so busy and tired!) but here is my offering for ‘above’. photo-challenge1639-aboveIt is the cake I made for son on his recent 41st birthday.

For those who might be interested it is a coffee and walnut cake with chocolate butter icing decorated with walnuts and giant buttons and just one candle! Maybe forty is a good time to start counting again. Forty-one candles might be a fire hazard!

(I liked the look of the cake so much that I took a few pictures not realising it would do for this week!)

(And my son said it tasted good, though it might have been better if he hadn’t sounded so surprised! He normally tells me to buy shop cakes to save effort.)