CAL 37-39 Is this getting boring?

I do wonder sometimes if most of my followers don’t find my weekly CAL post a bit boring. I am not bored of course; I am really enjoying the CAL and happy reviewing my progress.

I did find the first of this week’s squares a little boring however.

Square No. 37

And even in my chosen colours I am not especially enthralled; maybe other peoples choices will be more exciting.

Square No. 38

Now this square I like a lot more.

I decided that with it called dahlia square that the colour in my selection that most said ‘dahlia’ to me was yellow.

I think it would actually make quite a good centre square for the blanket and might end up using it that way.

I am not sure I have been making the popcorns 100% correctly but they end up looking the same so that’s okay for now as far as I am concerned.

It appeared to come out much smaller than no. 36 but actually I found it would stretch to be the same size so hopefully it will be right in the end.

Square No. 39

Who is Gavin I wonder?

This square has an interesting texture that I like to look at but did not find so easy to work as I was always afraid I was maybe choosing the wrong stitch to work into.

I chose the colours to be a sort of landsacape with grass at the bottom and sky at the top and rows of flowers (or maybe in some cases water) inbetween.

I was actually more pleased with the result than I expected to be which was a nice surprise.

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I have been finding the recent dull weather a great strain as it has made taking the photographs very difficult. Today, however, I found a solution. I am using my SAD lamp and it gives a very good light to take the pictures by as you can see above.

I have only recently bought the SAD lamp.

I spent last winter never feeling fully awake and wanting nothing more than to hibernate so I decided that I couldn’t stand another winter like that and would have to try something. And I must say that the SAD lamp has worked a treat and I actually feel more energetic than I did through our long dark summer.  🙂

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Liebster Award

Patricia over at DaniellaJoe has very kindly nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award, so very many thanks to her. And I recommend you to go over and check out her very creative crocheting.

As a recipient of the award here’s what I have to do:

Post 11 random facts about myself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated me and nominate 11 blogs for the award:

Posting 11 random facts

  1.  I am sixty-five years old.
  2. My favourite colour is blue.
  3. I have three children and four grandchildren.
  4. If I had a pet it would have to be a cat.
  5. I have a BSc Hons in Mathematics.
  6. I was born in Singapore.
  7. I have always been creative but I have only taken up knitting and crochet creatively these last few years.
  8. Both my parents came from Wales
  9. I love cooking.
  10. I love walking in the countryside.
  11. I would be lost without my computer.

Answering 11 questions

I am presuming that the questions I have to answer are the same as Patricia answered.

1.  What are you most proud of? Not sure I am confident enough to feel proud of anything.

2.  What makes you happy? Sunshine and rainbows.

3.  What is your most prized possession? Probably an aquamarine ring that belonged to my mother.

4.  What are you afraid of? too many things.

5.  Why do you blog?  to share with others.

6.  How would you describe your style? Style? What style?

7.  What are you most grateful for? every new day.

8.  What is the best book you have ever read? The Count of Monte Christo by Alexander Dumas is one of them.

9.  What food do you hate? I don’t hate any food.

10. What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” aka “super dorky” song? If it makes you feel guilty it can hardly be a pleasure.

11. What is your favorite holiday? I suppose it would need to include sea, mountains and some old castles or churches.

I would like to alter the questions for those to whom I am giving this award to the following:-

  1. Why did you start a blog?
  2. How many blogs do you follow?
  3. What makes you happy?
  4. What are you most grateful for?
  5. What is your favourite food?
  6. What sort of weather do you like best?
  7. Which famous person would you most like to meet?
  8. Where would you most like to go for a holiday?
  9. What sort of books do you like to read?
  10. What style of music do you prefer?
  11. What characteristic do you hope other people will most value in you?

Nominating 11 blogs:

In chosing these blogs I have explored those that I follow, people with blogs who follow me, and other crafty people on WordPress.

Anyway here are eleven blogs that I feel deserve the Liebster award. I think that they haven’t received the award before but of course, as always, I may be mistaken in this.

And this is not to say that all the other blogs that I appreciate don’t deserve it too.

BLOGS in no particular order.

  1. http://sincerelysarahandcrafted.wordpress.com/
  2. http://cuteasabutton82.wordpress.com/
  3. http://woolhogs.wordpress.com/
  4. http://mycraftytherapy.wordpress.com
  5. http://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com
  6. http://homemademagnolia.wordpress.com
  7. http://poppygoeshappy.wordpress.com/
  8. http://veldagia.wordpress.com/
  9. http://thestitchsharer.com/  
  10. http://dragoncrossing.wordpress.com/
  11. http://floridianfibers.wordpress.com/

Why not go and check out these blogs maybe you will find one or more that you really like.

CAL 34-36 Pink, pink, pink? I think not!

Yesterday morning, I had only finished two squares so it was a question of: did I create a post for only two squares? or did I delay till I could include all three? Being such an orderly minded person I waited.

Square No. 34

Why orange for this square? No Cottage Garden related reason, just the fact that, being me, I looked ahead and shared out the colours between the relatively few single coloured squares and this one was chosen to be orange.

One could think oranges perhaps but that is hardly very ‘cottage garden’ with our weather, or there are carrots of course.

I am getting quite relaxed about bobbles these days and I liked the fact that with this one there was no tricky counting: a gap of two dcs between bobbles is so easy to do.

Square No. 35

I like this square though I found it a little tricky to start with.

From previous squares I had built up the idea that Jan Eaton made her chain stitch sections very tight so I did this with the 3ch on the first row and the 5ch on the 2nd row, only to find that the resulting section was anything but flat.

So I started again and this time made the chains as I normally would. Even this was not entirely flat but after I had done the third row it was looking acceptable so I continued.

I think that it has a slightly exotic look to it and could imagine that a blanket with this as the only square, or maybe with it paired with another simpler square, could look very attractive.

I was determined not to make it in pink; not that I have anything against pink.

If I saw it in my cottage garden, I think I was thinking Clematis as there are some with four large petals. I had originally planned to have the blue and green the other way round but I think that it probably looks better this way.

Square No. 36

I have had to redo this square (new picture above) as I didn’t find it as easy as I imagined as I wasn’t sure what to do at the end of the rows and think I guessed incorrectly the first few times. It also looked awfully uneven in the photo. The second time I swopped the narrow row colours round which makes it more like the one in the book.

However it was a novelty to be using htr for a change, less rows too!

It is almost pink, as the Stylecraft ‘clematis’ yarn is somewhere between pink and lilac in my estimation. Otherwise I couldn’t find any particular attribution for it.

Granny Ripple blanket latest and more

I am beginning to see that writing a blog in the winter is tricky if one doesn’t like using flash for photographs.

The light has been so bad today that even at it’s best I had to resort to flash to photograph the furthest I have got with the granny ripple blanket, my scarf and the yarn.

I have been working hard on the blanket since my last post inspite of life being busier than normal and after two days I had got this far and felt so pleased that it was coming out as I had hoped.

To date the picture below shows the furthest I have got and you can see how the colours will go. I have just begun on the spectrum colours with the ‘violet’ end of the spectrum.

I am regarding this as a pleasant, relaxing, background project as I am starting it much too late for this winter. I have various other short term project that I will be doing as well over the next few months and of course there is the CAL but I will post occasional updates on the blanket’s progress.

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Another thing to share with you concerns the scarf I made from the super chunky yarn my daughter gave me for my birthday.

When I first made the scarf this was how I wore it which made me wonder if I should have made it longer so that the weight would keep it in place.

However since I have been wearing it for real, I  realise that as the scarf is so thick, the traditional knot method of wearing a scarf actually works very well and this way it is just the right length.

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The last thing to share is that I have just taken delivery of some more yarn:

some colours I fear I may run out of for the CAL, white because I used most of it up making the snowflakes and two new colours that I want to use for an experiment in joining the CAL squares together. If and when I get around to that I will show you.

CAL 31-33 In spite of everything!

Life has been extra busy this last week, so I have made no attempt to stretch or straighten the squares and although the light was good yesterday, by the time I got home it was fading and after several attempts I gave up on getting a better picture of the one with the stripe.

Luckily all these three squares are easy to make with no issues.

Square No. 31

Although this is entitled ‘Primrose Square’ I decided that I had had a yellow flower and it was about time I had a pale blue one and anyway the flower had the wrong number of petals for a primrose.

I thought that whether yellow of blue the flower does not stand out very clearly in this design, though I enjoyed making it. It was pleasant to work and quite straightforward.

Square No. 32

In terms of my cottage garden fancy this square represents a beam of sunlight shining through the leaves.

As expected, it turned out a little larger than most of my squares, just like the first square which is based on the same diagonal pattern.

I had no problems this time and, though I did stop to check the number of stitches from time to time, they were always correct.

Square No. 33

I could have chosen to turn this into another rainbow type square but I decided to keep to the pink and gentle shading, though of course, given my colour scheme,  I had to incorporate other colours than pink.

It will need to be stretched to make it square but then that is the same as square no. 21 which was worked in the same way.

Very straightforward to make however.

Genesis of a Granny ripple

In July I showed you the yarn I had bought for my next blanket.

Well it has taken me longer than I expected to get started but here is the story if how I decided on the pattern I would use.

While I was still making my hexagon blanket my mind was already looking forward to the next blanket I would make.

I decided that the choice was between a granny stripe and a ripple blanket but wasn’t sure which, so I made a couple of samplers as cafetiere cosies. I decided that I preferred the feel of the granny stripe but liked the look of the ripple though I might have preferred bigger ripples. So the idea of seeing if I could make a ‘granny ripple’ was born.

I like a challenge so I decided I wouldn’t look for patterns but try to work up my own.

My first attempt at a sampler turned out like this:-

I felt it was more of a granny zig-zag than granny ripple and that the zig-zags were too frenetic so I tried again:–

I thought this was better but it was still a zig-zag rather than a ripple.

I knew that it was the double increases and decreases that had created the pleasant ripples in the pattern I used for the cafetiere and so far I had been unable to see how to incorporate more than one in a granny blanket. But then I had a breakthrough and realised that the problem was that the granny rows alternated between an odd and even number of treble groups whereas for the ripple blanket all the rows were the same. So I decided to only work the increases and decreases every other row.

Success!


I had decided to interleave the colours as in some of the ripple blankets I had seen.

Later I wasn’t sure if the way I had worked the increases and decreases was less symmetrical than that on the ripple blanket and so I tried a few variations:-

The middle is the first one – the one I shall use

But decided it was a case of ‘first time lucky’ and that I liked the first one best.

Then I tried another version of the above ripple but interleaving the colours in a 1 2 4 2 1 pattern instead of a 2 4 2 pattern but I have decided that I find the single rows a bit bitty.

Finally I decided to reverse the rows as worked originally so as to start with the easy row with no increases or decreases as seen below.

I have decided the colours and showed you them in THIS POST

namely

As you can see it is going to incorporate a spectrum array of colours and will use Stylecraft  DK yarn and it will be a little larger than the last blanket so as to be more of a winter bedcover.

I will hopefully have finished enough of the blanket by next week to show you how it is getting along.

An edging would be appropriate for this pattern

I have not yet decided exactly what I am going to do for an edging but it seems to me that you could either use trebles singly or in groups or double crochets for a firmer edge.

I am planning quite a deep edging.

CAL 28-30 Sunshine and flowers!

Square No. 28

I know it is the wrong number of petals but there was something about this square that made me think Evening Primrose but maybe yellow rose would be better.

The flower for this square was a lot easier to work than the earlier Waterlily square (no. 16).

(One thing I forgot when I first wrote this post was that I had to reduce the number of initial chains from twelve down to eight as twelve made the ring just too long.)

The only thing that I found at all tricky about this square, apart from the initial chains, was the normal problem I get when you end up with rows of dcs and in the corners have to work 3dc into the midddle dc of the previous row’s 3dcs. I always find it hard to be sure if I am working into the right space. I think in future I am going to use crochet markers, just to save my eyes from struggling.

When I work squares that I imagine as individual flowers, I tend to have the flower in the middle surrounded by green for leaves and then blue for sky, so I was tempted to amend the pattern and replace the single row that was the same colour as the flower with pale blue but the yellow looked so bright and jolly that I decided to keep it exactly as the pattern.

Square No. 29

I like to think of this one as rows of different coloured flowers growing together. On ‘Gardeners World’ I remember in one programme they had an area by the greenhouses where they grew flowers to pick. So maybe this is my flowers to pick area. 🙂

I am getting to quite enjoy bobbles and not have to undo them very often (as I do when they don’t come up to my exacting standards 🙂  ).

Square No. 30

This is definitely my ‘Sunshine’ square: a square of forty rising suns.

It might make a pleasant pattern to work up for a shawl or blanket.

There is a * missing in row 2 but it doesn’t really matter as what you have to do is quite obvious.

I didn’t find I was remembering the four rows very well and had to keep looking to check at the beginning of each row but otherwise I found it very straightforward.

The finished Flower Cloth

At last I have finished my Flower Cloth.

This will enlarge if you click on it.

Had a lot of trouble with the photographs as the light has been so low. It’s brightening up now but I think these will do.

Luckily my camera will take pictures at a twentieth of a second that are usable.

Here is the cloth as it will be in use

I use my second bedroom as a study (you can see my computer in the mirror) and I have a pine topped table in there that was my grandmother in-law’s kitchen table long ago. When I have guests to stay it becomes the guest bedroom and I use the table as a dressing table. I decided that a pretty crochet cloth would just add a touch of elegance.

Here is a close up of the edging.

I did several rows of granny groups of trebles like the main squares but using up the different colours as well as the two greens and finished off with some granny ‘corners’ but I used 3tr, 3ch, 3tr rather than only 2ch because that made them pointier.

A few statisics:-

I bought nineteen 50gm balls of Rico Essentials Cotton which ended up costing about £40.

One each of: Tangerine, White,  Cobalt Blue, Fuschia, Purple, Cardinal and Banana.

Two balls of Fir Green and ten of Grass Green.

And this is what I have left.

The finished cloth is just a little under 40ins (1m) square).

I can’t say how long it took to make as I started it in June and had thought it would be finished by the end of August but then I started making socks and lots of other things and it got a bit neglected for a while.

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I thought that I would also share with you some pictures of the cakes I made on Saturday. The light was even worse then!


I was going to the cinema with my son to see Skyfall and as he often walks me home afterwards and comes in for a cup of coffee I decided I ought to have something to offer him.

They are just normal two egg creaming method mixture and standard butter icing.

I got thirteen out of the mixture. So now I have cakes to have with my tea as well!

CAL 25-27 Christmas comes early!

These are obviously meant to be ‘Christmas’ squares but of course I didn’t do them like that because anyway the colours pictured are not in my colour range.

Square No. 25

I was very pleased with this one as I simply did each row at a steady pace and it came out beautifully square and within the general size range.

I used the yarn from both ends of the blue (background colour) ball for working either side of the tub and tree to avoid having to cut a separate length or having loops or too many ends.

Square No. 26

A snowflake with eight sides! Well I am sure you can guess what I think of that. Anyway white was not one of my chosen colours so I have made it into a flower.

It is a bit lacy for a blanket I feel. Sort of drafty!

I made one alteration to this pattern. For round three I slipstitched into two of the 9 chains before starting the ch, 2dc … because although it did look from the picture as if Jan Eaton had followed her pattern, on all the other 2dc, 5ch, 2dc groups the 2dcs were near to each other at the top of the loop and without the slipstitches this would not happen for this first loop.

Square No. 27

I actually made this square second and it would have been straightforward except for one thing…………………

It is maybe worth mentioning that when I was a child I was always good at mathematics but I had one big failing which was when it came to tests, I was so eager to get ahead and do the question that I often did not read it properly and so got the wrong answer.

I can see I am a bit the same with crochet patterns including this one.

I got as far as row four on the pattern found the spike stitch relatively easy, thought ‘this is really simple’ and proceeded to repeat the four row stripes in my chosen colours.

I had almost finished when I went back to the pattern to check that the total number of rows was thirty two and realised that my square did not look like the picture and that row eight which also contained spike stitches had them further along. Gave a big sigh and undid as far as the beginning of row eight.

That will teach me to read the pattern properly next time won’t it? 🙂

Of course this one also displeased me by not being square but since squares 27 has one more dc in width to square 25 making it wider but also has two rows in height, less – I said to myself  “What did you expect?” “If 34 rows gives just over 5.5 inches then two rows represent about a third of an inch!” I will definitely have to learn how to block.

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I find it interesting looking thorough the patterns that as far as a quick scan can discover that the puff stitches of last week and the spike stitches of this appear to only be used in one square each whereas other stitches like the bobble and popcorn stitches are used in several. Perhaps Jan Eaton is not very keen on either puff or spike stitches.

October Montage

Well what have I been up to this last month?

It is perhaps not representative of the time spent that the twelve squares for the CAL take up so little of the picture.

I have also been trying to finish my flower cloth, partly so that I can put it in to use and partly so that I can start my next big project which is a blanket, the yarn for which is sitting in my spare room.

I also needed to get started on my crochet Christmas cards both to enter them for the Monthly Challenge and to hopefull have a full quota by the time they need to be sent. Most of the stars have been crocheted on the bus going to visit my daughter and grandsons.

Otherwise I shared a bit of my past crochet attempts and some lengths of yarn that are probably for working the background of tapestry pictures.

As well as my autumnal stroll round Southampton Common that was not as autumny as I had hoped.