A Pair of Slippers

I recently finished the slippers I told you about. crochet slippersI will be giving them to the person I made them for on Tuesday. Hope he likes them. But then he has tried one on before it was finished so hopefully nothing has changed in the meantime.

Here is another view. slippers from another angleThey are made with two strands held together of Drops Alaska in Dark Turquoise and an 8mm hook. The pattern I started from was by Erika Knight. You can find it here – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/slipper-boots-7 but I adapted the pattern for a much bigger size.

I have not added the leather patches for the sole and heel but I hope someone else can do that.

Here is a final view from above. slippers from above

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Yet another project!

As those of you who have been following my blog for a while will realise, I am very fond of Port Meirion ‘Botanic Garden’ china.

Now, some time ago my daughter bought me these tea cups. I really like the shape as it makes them suitable as coffee cups as well. six cupsThe four in the front are some of the flowers designs that are also on the ‘oatmeal’ bowls. Perhaps for that reason my two favourite designs are the one at the back the scarlet pimpernel and broom ones.

Here is a photograph with my four favourites at the front. six cups other arrangementYou can see the pimpernel and broom ones on the right and get a better look.

Normally they don’t get used except when I have people here for afternoon tea which is rarely. However, in the summer, I do like to take a tray with a cup. a teapot and a jug of milk out into the garden and have two or three dainty cups of tea and maybe a cookie or a piece of cake.

The problem is that in an ordinary tea pot the tea will ‘stew’.

So several years ago I bought myself this glass teapot made by Bodum.

Bodum teapot

It is very clever in that the central part is a bit like a cafetière except that the plunger has no holes. So when the tea has brewed, if you push the plunger down the tea leaves are locked away.

 

However the teapot holds one litre, so when making tea just for myself, I only fill it half way, which is only just enough for the hot water to reach the tea. And recently the plastic at the top, which holds the filter part in place, has got broken, so when you tip the teapot to pour the tea, the central part starts falling out.

Now over the years I have made two teacosies for this teapot and am especially fond of the current one. You do have to remove it to pour the tea but it is so beautiful and fun!teacosyBecause of the issues with the central part coming loose and the size, I decided that I would look to see if I could get a smaller pot with a removable filter, as I know that these have become available, and I found and bought this one. new teapot

It is called a ‘Stump Teapot’ and comes in two sizes: a one-cup version that holds 400ml and a two cup one that holds 530ml. I bought the two cup one, as the other looked a bit too small.

Being ceramic it should naturally keep the tea hotter than the Bodum glass one or my steel teapot, but I still think that I would like to make it a cosy.

Not sure what but it will be a crochet project.

cafetière cosy
Pictures from earlier posts

Now do I make it in rainbow colours or blues or greens to harmonise with my two cafetières that it will stand next to?smaller cafetière cosy

All my previous cosies have been experiments in different sorts of knitting or crochet; so what do I try this time?

(If I went down the blue/green route, I had thought about using the Drops Alaska, 100% wool aran weight, yarn left over from my cardigan and the slippers I am making.)

Any suggestions gratefully received.

 

A dinosaur for my grandson

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a dinosaur for my grandson.

First of course I had to look for a pattern. I discovered that there are very few books for knitted or crochet dinosaurs; in fact I only found one of each and reviews on Amazon suggested issues. The dinosaurs pictured were also not quite good enough, not realistic enough. There were some on Ravelry that I was almost tempted by but they cost more per dinosaur than buying a book.

Then I found a FREE pattern that was just perfect.

Well almost: it was in Spanish.

However with a bit of help from Google Translate and a table of Spanish crochet terms for where Google faltered, I was off.

You can also find it here on Ravelry – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dinosaurio-t-rex

So meet the dinosaur. Dinosaur looking at you

I made his head, body and tail first then his limbs.

This was where it began to become more difficult. front limbsTo make his front legs you first make his toes then link them together to continue up the limb. They involve a magic loop then spiraling from just five dcs (US-scs). To work in a circle, especially such a small circle, it is easiest to work at the back of the circle however that means that the right side is inside and it wasn’t until I had finished the legs that I realised that they were inside out!!

So undoing down to toes, turning toes right way out and redoing limb.

At least this meant that I didn’t make this mistake with the back legs. back limbs

BUT

Theses toes were fatter underneath and the feet are quite shapely. I had not looked at the diagram that says how to join the toes before doing the feet, But when I shaped the feet I could tell they were not bulging in the right places so more undoing. I had a bit more difficulty when it came to understanding the method of creating the heel but eventually I got it right and then I just kept going following the instructions precisely. Do you like his knobbly knees? So clever.

The instructions for shaping the face were also amazingly detailed. Showing exactly where to insert the needle. head shapedThe dinosaur pictured in the pattern had plastic eyes with yellow irises but I only had all black safety eyes so I added a bit of yellow felt.

Then I had to make the teeth!

I made all the teeth in white acrylic yarn only to realise that they were much too big. acrylic dinosaur teeth

Recourse to the pattern showed that the pattern suggested making the body in an aran weight yarn (I had used DK) and then making the teeth in something that appeared to be about 4-ply. So I decided all that I could do was to try #10 crochet cotton.

Teeth were not easy. Only three stitches into a magic loop then increasing gradually. At first I was remaking each tooth maybe half-a-dozen times before I could get to the end!!!!! This was in acrylic, cotton was even harder, but I did get into a bit more of a rhythm eventually!

And twenty-one in all with three different sizes involved.

But when I had finally made all the teeth and then sewn them securely and evenly in his mouth, he looked suitably fierce. head with teeth

Now it was a matter of joining head to body then back limbs, then tail, which partially covered the back limbs, and finally the front limbs.front view of dinosaurA few ridges down his back and he was complete. (As you can see there were some bits in cream too! The foot claws were a bit like the teeth! and black for inside the mouth.)back view of dinosaurAnother view. another view of dinosaurAnd marching across the plain. dinosaur marchingI had to use him leaning against the chair to take these photographs but using a cardboard cylinder under his tail he can stand freely. dinosaur with tail supported

Poppies

Not the real ones I am afraid!

When I was a child although we lived in suburbia there were hay fields (with hedges) and a copse at the back of our house. In the summer there were red poppies and all sorts of other flowers in among the waist high grass.

No, these poppies are for Remembrance Day. I have a friend who every year spends many hours selling poppies and for next year she is making knitted poppies to offer people, along with the many options offered by The British Legion. I said that if I could find a crochet pattern I liked I would make some crochet ones.

Now as you may be aware when I crochet real life objects I like them to be as realistic as possible, so it took a long time to find a poppy pattern I liked. But finally I found this one – https://picotpals.com/2018/04/18/iceland-poppy-pattern/ There is also an earlier pattern for red poppies but this one is better.

First I made a white one. as it would be easier to see the stitches. 

But then I got out the red yarn I showed you in a recent post and made a red one. I had intended to make the centre of the red poppy in dark green and cream, as I thought that was close to a real poppy, but my friend said “no!” for remembrance poppies the centre had to be all black. So that is what I did and so didn’t bother with the extra radial stitches.

Although this yarn is my usual Stylecraft yarn it seems a bit soft and fuzzy which I don’t like very much as it gives less definition to the stitches. Joining the two layers together so they didn’t swivel round was something I found a bit tricky; so I found a way to make the centre layer attached to the under layer but it did make doing the stamens a bit more tricky.

Here are all three together. 

Little pot holder meet your big brother (or sister?)


Some time ago I showed you the pot holder I made. Original post HERE.small pot holderThis was great for picking up the lid of my saucepans with this sort of handle saucepan lidwithout burning my fingers.

However I soon realised that it was no good for picking up the lid of my set of three steamer saucepans. steamer lidSo recently I made a larger version. two pot holdersThe big brother (or sister) of the original. I used about twice the number of stitches to start.

And here is another little and large pair. More on this in due course!

At Last! I finished my cushion

I have really been procrastinating with regard to sewing up the two sides of my latest cushion.Celtic crochet knot work for cushion and Celtic knitted cables for cushionMainly because I am never confident when it comes to sewing and I thought that I ought to wait till I was feeling really strong and alert, however last Friday I had nothing to take to “Crafty Coffee” and so was reduced to taking the two sides of the cushion to sew together.

I am glad I did as it is now off my conscience and brightening up my chair!

Here you can see the Celtic crochet knot work side cushion on chairI notice that the cushion is so puffy that the strips are tending to pull apart and show the inner but I don’t think it matters.

And here is the Celtic knitted cables side. cushion on chairI think it looks very smart!

In order to close it in a way that made it easy to remove the cover if it ever became necessary, I crocheted an extra strip to the cable side and sewed on three odd buttons that I had in my button jar. cushion closureAnd lastly: on Saturday, as if by magic, the apple blossom appeared on the apple tree. 

Past and future!

Had a bit of a funny week. On Monday I saw the consultant prior to my fourth and final chemo cycle. He decided that I should not have the infusion this time, only the tablets which left me both relieved and anxious. Relieved that I wouldn’t have to face the increasingly unpleasant side effects and anxious in case it lowered my chances of survival. I was just coming to terms with the fact that this meant I could eat cold food and go out walking when I began to go down with a virus. One of those funny viruses where there aren’t many outward symptoms but you just feel rotten.

Anyway in spite of all this I have put a post together for you.

You may have noticed that most of my posts lately have included crafting and bread and flowers. This is because these are the three things that keep make me happy and keep me smiling!

I will start with the bread this time, but scroll to the bottom if you are not interested in this part.

I decided to make a loaf like last time but to make it like the bap loaves I remembered from childhood. However I was so anxious that it didn’t get as flat as a pancake, because the dough was so soft that it was actually not quite flat enough. bap loafHowever the bread was good. here are three slices for my breakfast! 3 slices of breadTwo other things that have been lifting my spirits are the fact that when I do go out I come home to these forget-me-nots in some pots in the front garden (or front step as my younger daughter would have it!). forget-me-nots in potsThey are not really meant to be there but I haven’t had the heart to uproot them.

forget-me-notsso pretty – and an arty version. arty pictureAnd when I look out of the sitting room window when sitting on the settee, I can see the buds coming on my apple tree. apple tree in budHere’s a close up. buds openingI haven’t been feeling up to doing much crochet and haven’t any knitting but I have been thinking about future projects.

There are these slippers to make for James. slippersAnother thing I am planning to do is to buy some plain sock wool when I buy the yarn for the slippers.

I made these socks – socks for daughterand thesesocks for granddaughter

for my daughter and granddaughter. Since they like short socks, I reckon I have enough wool left to make another similar sized pair if I use different wool for the toes and heels.

More long term projects

I also have an idea for using up my scraps of yarn by making a cover for my cloth shopping bag.

It’s the one you can see in this photograph, though more grubby now! It will more than double it’s weight but will make it look pretty. So do I do it?

cloth bag

I used a scrap of yarn to make this piece of corner to corner crochet.corner to corner crochetAnd have used it to work out how much yarn I will need for the project. However I may still decide to use the idea for something else as I am not sure if I have that much scrap yarn.

I have also been working on an idea for another blanket. There is something very soothing about making a blanket. I just love ripples, so this is another ripple blanket in Autumn colours. I have been playing with different colour arrangements: something planned this time, not random. The idea is to make one the same size as my sea and sand blanket; i.e about 2ft x 4ft.

I have come up with two ideas, though I have not decided exactly which yellow and greens I want to use, especially as Stylecraft seem to have added quite a lot of new colours.1st colourwayThis was the first one, though of course I can’t get the colours spot on, yellow seems particularly hard to reproduce but maybe I just don’t know the right setting.

Later I wondered if this would be better. 2nd colourwayBoth pictures started out as a photograph of actual wrapped pieces of Stylecraft yarn. I suppose it was the lighting when I took the photographs, but the second one has a different texture.

Which colour way do you prefer?

Crosses and coaster

Been quite busy really the last few days.

On Thursday I decided to make some Hot Cross Buns.

[Now this third cycle of the chemo is not much fun and I am struggling a bit so don’t be surprised that things I have been making are not up to my usual standard that is rather far from perfection anyway!]

I decided to use the food processor to save time and effort and therefore to make my usual dozen in two lots. One all white flour, with sharing with my son in mind, and one lot my normal half and half.

I had a bit of a hiccup with the first (white) ones as I forgot all about the sugar until I had mixed in the fruit. So not wanting to leave it out I them added some and kneaded it in.

You can see the resulting buns have a slightly uneven look. crosses on first lot of buns

I have yet to master making the crosses perfectly and although I made a cross shaped dent in the buns before piping on the flour and water cross, which I think is an improvement, I decided the mixture was too runny!

Cooked first lot cooked and glazedThey look a bit odd but do taste okay.

The second time I remembered the sugar! crosses on second lot of bunsBut I added more flour to the piping mixture and this time it was too thick and didn’t want to let go of the piping nozzle!

Cooked buns cooked and glazedthey look a bit more respectable and also taste fine, though have a firmer texture than shop ones, that I like. Is this ambiguous? I mean I prefer the home made ones!

I bought lots of Easter Eggs for family members but one person doesn’t like chocolate, (I know how can you not like chocolate!),

so I made them a Celtic Coaster in colours I though they would like. first attempt at coasterPreviously I had made them some bunting. buntingLooking at it now (writing this post in advance on Friday!) I didn’t realise I had used red as well. When I made the coaster I thought the purple was the best colour to blend with the other three. So I pulled out the purple strip and replaced it with a red one. amended coasterPersonally, from an aesthetic point of view, I prefer the purple but this hopefully will co-ordinate with the bunting and so be much better!

Just a bit of a catch up

Started into the chemo last week. I found the most tiring aspect was not, as yet, a side effect but having to make sure that I did not encounter cold: objects, food, drink or air. At least this only applies for the first few days so should wear off soon! However having to boil a kettle every time you want a drink, even just to take a few pills (and there have been lots of pills!) is a bit if a pain and gets wearing.

All this has made me think more of just resting in between, not even done much sock knitting (except when hospital appointment was delayed by an hour and a half!)

Also my daughter came to stay for a couple nights and we had a lovely day on Saturday, visiting the Sea City Museum in the morning, then going to a Greek restaurant for a late lunch followed by home by teatime for a restful evening.

I did think however that I could share with you the next knitting project on my list that I am a little afraid to start in case a make a mess of it.

If you remember this recent crochet that I was going to use as a cushion cover. cushion coverWell the big question was what to do for the other side.

In the end I thought of this cardigan cardiganThat was meant to wear over summer t-shirts but makes my arms itch. Now I have quite a lot of  wool over which is obviously not very suitable for clothing and decided that maybe I could use the wool for the reverse of the cushion and knit a Celtic style cable square. This would give me an opportunity to learn more about cable knitting as so far my only attempt was the collar of this jumper. 

I found a pattern for a celtic style pattern I liked but the chart looks a bit daunting! chartThere is also all the swatching and counting to get the piece the right size. But maybe I might start it soon, with socks for when I go out and this at home.

Where have I been

I am sure some of you will be wondering why I have not posted anything for a while as up to now I think I had manged at least one post every week.

Well, without going into too much detail, let us just say that I ended up in A&E 18th December having a fairly serious operation the next day. Not one that you can just bounce back from either, so I spent Christmas and New Year in hospital and am now back home mostly just trying to fit in some resting with essential household activities like feeding myself and washing clothes!

The feeding myself is the best bit as, although the hospital food was fairly healthy, it didn’t taste as good as home made: some things being better than others.

I got someone to bring in my most recent blanket: my sea and sand smooth ripple blanket and it was amazingly useful for wearing round my shoulders when sitting in a chair, to a little extra warmth in bed when I needed it. I actually took a photo on my phone to share. Blanket on hospital bedThe things that impressed me about the ward I was in and the NHS in general is that the hospital was very clean and shiny, the nurses were very kind and supportive, the bed was amazingly comfortable and medicine seems to have gone very high tech which is great except for when the machines decided to bleep from very little provocation.

I was also able to have my mobile phone with me which meant frequent contact with family was possible. All my children and grandchildren visited me so in fact I had visitor(s) most days.