Two beautiful but very different churches

I don’t know if anyone is likely to be interested but on Sunday I went with a group from my parish on a ‘pilgrimage’ to two very different but beautiful churches in Basingstoke.

The first is the older and smaller one that is no longer used on a Sunday it is dedicated to the

Holy Ghost

I took these pictures.

All round the walls and celing the images are all interrelated in terms of the Jesse Tree and the Vine.

This is the picture of Jesse holding a root on the side wall of the sanctuary.

And this is another one of Abraham and Issac

The theme is continued on the roof.

The roof of the nave

and the ceiling of the sanctuary.

I thought the tabernacle showing the traditional picture of the pelican feeding her young was particularly beautiful.

Round the wall of the sanctuary there are also pictures representing symbols of the Passion.

and in the main body of the church a picture of Pentecost

as well as Stations of the Cross.

This one anachronistically includes St Thérèse of Lisieux

There was also a lot of stained glass windows.

We then went on to the very modern church that was built to replace this one when it became too small.

St Bede’s

Here I photographed the main items of interest in what is a very plain but striking building.

When you enter, you find the baptismal pool.

and straight ahead on the back wall a niche with a very modern taberbacle based on the idea of the burning bush.

There is the main altar on the same side in the centre.

And on the back wall a niche for a very modern statue of Our Lady.

Outside they have a spacious courtyard with a fountain and silver birch trees.

We ended our visit by being treated to a sumptious array of tea/coffee and cakes and sausage rolls provided by the parish.

Our parish priest was in this parish previously and oversaw the building of the new church. He came with us and explained all the symbolism and I am sure is the reason that we were treated to the very unexpected spread at the end.

What did I do this afternoon?

Well! I continued knitting the white socks.

I worked up a bit of a guesstimate chart for something I want to crochet where I can’t find a pattern.

And then I went out in the not quite pouring rain to see the Olympic torch arrive in Southampton.

I had decided to go to Bugle Street in the old part of the town. Since my new camera is quite small I managed to hold my umbrella in one hand and the camera in the other and take some photographs in spite of the rain. I felt that it was more a point and shoot photo session than a series of considered pictures but I was pleased to find that I had enough worthwhile pictures to put together this post.

When I arrived people had begun to gather.

Most were standing on the pavement but some people had not had to leave home!

After a while the excitement mounted as the advance guard came up the street.

There were police motorcyclists and cars,

(I didn’t know the police are on Twitter!)

The official olympic torch relay cars,

Various sorts of advertising, of course!

By now everyone was getting very excited and my ears were assailed by a terrific cacophany from children with their ‘only £1’ whistles.

The police were there trying to get people to leave enough of the road clear for the vehicles to get by.

And then at last it came past….

The Olympic Torch

On down the Street it went.

Until it was almost out of sight.

Hat and Scarf revealed

I have now finished my hat and scarf for the “Made It” Challenge and here I am wearing them.  If you’ve been here before this is the corrected picture my son did for me. The colour is really more blue but it ‘s the best we can do.

Here is another picture of the Hat and Scarf

The camera does seem to have a problem photographing this yarn!

The reflective nature of the yarn seems to make it harder than normal to take a decent picture.

I think maybe it took me more time to work out what I was doing and the pattern than to make the final hat and scarf.

I showed you the sample hat that I made in the earlier post. Well I made the hat to that pattern and tacked together the seam only to realise that it was not deep enough for comfort and  so I increased the garter stitch turnover slightly and double the number of rows of moss stitch. At least I only had to undo as far as the end of the garter stitch. 😀

The scarf was less problematic once I had decided the number of stitches to cast on.  But I kept doing sums in my head and on the calculator trying to check how long it would be with different numbers of stitches.

But all came right in the end and so I will share the pattern with you here and add it to the top menu as well.


This took just over the two balls so I have amended the pattern slightly so that it should be able to be made with just two balls. The one I made had an extra row of garter stitch at the start and an extra row of moss stitch for the body.

The tension for the yarn used is 9 stitches and 12 rows to give a 10 x 10cm (4 x 4 ins) square.

Using 2 balls of Sirdar ‘Big Softie’ Super Chunky yarn and 10mm (UK 000, US 15) needles

Cast on 54 sts

Knit for the first 11 rows.

Then Rib (this is to help the hat fit).

Repeat (K1, P1) to end – for 4 rows


Moss stitch

Row 1: Repeat (P1, K1) to end
Row 2: Repeat (K1, P1) to end
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 – 6 times more

Then Row 1 once.

Next Row: Repeat (P9, K9) three times.
Next Row: Repeat (K9, P9) three times.

Shape the top

Next Row: Repeat (K2tog, K7, K2tog, P7) three times
Next Row: Repeat (K6, P2tog, P6, P2tog) three times.
Next Row: Repeat (K2tog, K5, K2tog, P5) three times.
Next Row: Repeat (K4, P2tog, P4, P2tog) three times.
Next Row: Repeat (K2tog, K3, K2tog, P3) three times.
Next Row: Repeat (K2, P2tog, P2, P2tog) three times.
Next Row: Repeat (K2tog, K1, K2tog, P1) three times.
Next Row: P2tog to end.

Draw yarn through remaining 6sts and pull tight.

Join the seam remembering to reverse it for the first 11 rows as they form the turnover.

(Added later:- Having worn the hat for a few month it became a bit looser. If this hapens to you, you can correct it like I did by threading some elastic (I used what I know as bead elastic but shiring elastic would probably work too.) through at least the top and bottom rows of rib from the inside. It shouldn’t show on the right side and even if it did the turn up will hide it.)


This used almost all of what was left of the three balls to complete with the fourteen repeats less one row of the pattern which gave a scarf about 57 inches (145 cm) long. So with three whole balls you should be able to make a scarf this length without having to worry, like I did, that you might run out of yarn before you finished the last repeat and have to undo some.

[Of course if you bought six balls you could have as roomy a hat as you wished and a scarf over 6ft long!]

The tension for the yarn used is 9 stitches and 12 rows to give a 10 x 10cm (4 x 4 ins) square.

Using 3 balls of Sirdar ‘Big Softie’ Super Chunky yarn and 10mm (UK 000, US 15) needles

Cast on 16sts

Knit 2 rows

Then start pattern

Row 1: K2, K6, P6, K2.
Row 2: as Row 1.
Row 3: K2, P1, K4, P1, K1, P4, K1, K2.
Row 4: K2, P2, K2, (P1, K1) (P1, K1) P2, K2, K2.
Row 5: K2, P3,  (P1, K1) (P1, K1) (P1, K1) K3, K2.
Row 6: K2, P3, (K1, P1) (K1, P1) (K1, P1) K3, K2.
Row 7: as Row 5
Row 8: as Row 6.
Row 9: as Row 5.
Row 10: as Row 4.
Roow 11: as Row 3.
Row 12: as Row 1.
Row 13: as Row 1.
Row 14: as Row 1.

Repeat this pattern as often as you wish omitting the last row for the last repeat and ending with 2 knit rows to mirror the start.

For those who like such things (and I do) I have included a knitting chart for the scarf.

If you are unfamiliar with such charts there are two things to note

  1. You start at the bottom right with the first right side row, working from right to left and proceed to the row above (a wrong side row) working from left to right and continue in this upward zigzag fashion throughout. You can see the rows are numbered where you start.
  2. That an empty square represents a knit stitch and a dot in a square a purl stitch on right side rows and on wrong side rows it is reversed so that a dot means a knit stitch and an empty square a purl stitch.

The above may seem a bit crazy when you start (it did to me) but as you can see the resulting chart actually represents the appearance of the knitting.

I think that the above patterns are accurate but if anyone notices a mistake, please let me know.

Rising to the Challenge

I decided that I would take up Maryanne of WoolHogs’  suggestion that I should make something for the “Made It” monthly challenge with the yarn and knitting needles my daughter bought me for my birthday; the only question was what?

I couldn’t find any patterns I liked on the internet but I decided it was about the right amount for a hat and scarf. (Though I later realised I might have been better to just aim at making a scarf but I do like the hat so much :-)).

I have never ever knitted with yarn of this weight before so I asked a couple of people what sort of patterns would work well with this sort of yarn. They both suggested some sort of cable pattern but I have never done cable and (as you will realise, if you have read my previous posts about knitting scarves) I have a preference for scarves that are reversible so I decided to look for something else.

Then I remembered this book:-

I wasn’t especially inspired by the couple of patterns that they declared to be reversible but I found a chart I had put together for a hexagon textured pattern.

Some time ago when I saw this pattern in the book I realised that it ought to be possible to create a textured design of hexagons even though they didn’t include one. (Because of course I am crazy about hexagons).

So not wishing to experiment too much with the yarn itself. I knitted a couple of samples in some DK yarn I had using the number of stitches I thought might be appropriate and came up with these

The one on the left seemed to show off the hexagons to better effect so it became first choice.

But what about a hat?

I decided to take my favourite hat (one I think suits me as I am not really a ‘hat person’) and a tape measure and the stated tension on the yarn band and work up a pattern for a hat that would go with my hexagon scarf

and came up with this –

I am now into making the hat and scarf but everything has not been plain sailing and in fact I decided to make another couple of scarf samples as I realised that with the earlier ones I would run out of yarn or have a very short scarf!

However I think it will come right in the end and when they are finished I will do a follow up post and submit them for the “Made It” challenge.

Watch this space!

Oh! and the jigsaw is definitely of a duck because I have got this far.

A Pig, a Pattern and a Party

I decided last Wednesday that as I would be seeing my granddaughter on my birthday, I ought to take a little gift and decided to crochet her a small animal and a pig looked easiest.

I had a couple of patterns but I was afraid they would be too big and so after getting a couple of pointers from them about shaping the snout, I sat down with some yarn and a hook to work up my own pattern.

And Lo! a Pocket Pig

The pattern is HERE

I wasn’t sure how she felt about pigs but luckily she loved him.

Saturday was my birthday. I hadn’t intended to show you my presents but they were so typical of each giver that I thought I would

My younger daughter, who wasn’t able to be part of the Party because her husband is still unwell, gave me a cotton bag with a picture of a duck – she verges on being a vegetarian and loves animals and knowing the meal was to be duck I think this was her comment on the matter. She doesn’t like jigsaws, but her husband does and she knows I love them, so I also got a jigsaw – no picture – so I won’t know what it is till I finish it! Since I took the photo I have however put the white pieces together and I think it might be a duck too with it’s head under the water.

My son likes techie presents so he got me a black Wii wheel as he felt that with a black remote a white wheel looked wrong. He went to all the trouble of ordering it from the States as you can’t buy them in the UK at present. He also got me a nun-chuck, as I have two remotes but only one nun-chuck. He made the card himself, the picture having been originally created on his Nintendo 3DS.

My older daughter bought me some unusual chocolate and special herb tea but mainly two pairs of rosewood knitting needles and five balls of Sirdar big softie super chunky yarn as with my blog she thought I ought to have something knitting related.

For the curious this enlarges so you can get a closer look

I have never knitted with yarn this thick so I will need to find a pattern.

Now to the Party

My older daughter has lived in Aylesbury for about the last ten years and of course every time I tell someone that she lives in Aylesbury they always reply “Where the ducks come from!” (UK joke). The ducks for sale in the supermarket however are not Aylesbury ducks  but a Chinese breed, I believe, so I rather hankered after one day tasting a real Aylesbury duck as they were reputed to be rather fine.

Having watched a TV programme that reported on a current breeder of Aylesbury ducks and the fact that there were several restaurants that served them. I suggested to my daughter that we should get together a family party and have some Aylesbury duck in Aylesbury on my forthcoming birthday.

In the end we decided to go to the King’s Head Hotel in Ivinghoe a few miles from Aylesbury as they had a very good reputation.

We had a wonderful meal and I had a wonderful day.

I just took a few photos when I thought of it, in between enjoying myself, but I think they are good enough to share.

When we first arrived at the King’s Head we had a few drinks and nibbles.

Then we went in to the dining room and a beautifully laid table.

And this balloon, which is now floating in my bedroom (hence photo), floating behind my chair.

I had the fish soup for my first course and it was the most delicious soup I have ever tasted.

They then brought us an apple and calvados sorbet

and after that they brought the ducks and carved them at the table

And here is my plate with accompaniments. The vegetables were on a separate plate.

We each chose something from the dessert trolley to finish the meal.

Lots of choice. Between us we had raspberry pavlova, sherry trifle, huge brandy snap filled with cream, caramel soufflé, lemon tart. I also remember seeing strawberries and a chocolate mousse on the trolley.

None of us had cheese but they had a whole trolley full of different cheeses.

We then went into the garden for coffee.

Here is a family group photo. The zany one is my son. Can you see the pig?

After this we went back to Aylesbury and later had tea and a special cake. The candles are meant to be like that and give away my age if you can read the code.

In my son-in law’s family birthday cakes are always Battenburgs and so that is what he made me.

And just to end up: a little girl with her birthday present from her grandma.

One Lovely Blog award

DaniellaJoe at nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award.

So thank you very much DaniellaJoe; I feel so honoured to be nominated and am very grateful for this vote of confidence in what I am trying to do.

She has a lovely blog herself so go and look.

What I am less happy about is the demand of being awarded since I am having difficulty in finding another fifteen blogs to pass it onto, certainly if I keep to the criteria I set myself previously see HERE.

So many blogs are too well established and/or have the awards already or are too new to know how they will turn out.

But I have managed to find six blogs to give this award to so rather than delay I will nominated these six people for the award now.

I am also supposed to reveal 7 things about myself.

(I can see I can’t count as I only listed five things for the Versatile Blogger award recently. Well they are both odd numbers! – so I’ve numbered them this time.)

  1. One of my favourite foods is duck (sorry to any vegetarians or fluffy duck lovers) and I am going to have a special duck meal this weekend.
  2. My favourite colour is blue and I especially like wearing blue and pink.
  3. Even though I am now retired I never find enough time to do everything I would like to do.
  4. I enjoy using Wii Fit to keep in shape.
  5. I even play games like Mario Kart on the Wii.
  6. I also enjoy computer adventure games. The first ones I played were text adventure games – a bit like a radio play rather than television.
  7. I also like jigsaws both with real pieces and on the computer – well you can’t lose the pieces that way!

The Rules are:-

The Rules for accepting this Award is as follows:

1. Add the award to your blog.
2. Thank the blogger(s) who gave it to you.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Award to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

So I nominate:-

Crochet Again –  especially bright colourful crochet.

Clothmonkey –  lovely variety lots of crafty things.

A Conversation with MOO – relatively new but crochet and sewing looks beautiful and creative.

divinedebrisjewelry – I was going to award her the versatile blogger award but someone has already done that and her jewellery is so beautiful and she is amazingly prolific.

Home, Heart and Hook – mainly bright colourful crochet but cooking and photos too.

morganhausen – because she does such lovely knitting and crochet.

And now I must go and tell them…………………….

Great Giveaway

I meant to include this in my post yesterday but maybe it justifies a separate post.

Chipper Nelly is having a giveaway to celebrate getting to 200 folowers.

What’s on offer are three different possibilities: some really lovely blocks in a box or three blocks and an old key with a home made tag or nine handmade luggage labels. They are all based on the illustration to Lewis Caroll’s Alice books.

So click on the picture to pop over and have a look. I am sure you will love them too.

SORRY link is working now.

It wasn’t working because I changed the picture and forgot to reinstate the link.

WIP, a Problem and a question

I have finished the first of the white socks. I don’t know whether it is adequate to the purpose and I have discovered that these long white socks with turnovers are available on the web. You just have to search for ‘kilt hose’ instead of ‘knee length socks’ or indeed any sort of ‘socks’.

I discussed it with the person for whom I am making the socks and he did say it would be nice for all of the band to have the same socks. So I don’t know. Anyway I have shown him the sock to see if it even fits properly.

And I have got this far with the flower cloth that plays second fiddle to the socks. Which is about a quarter of the way through the central part.

Now the problem and question

It always seems amazing and wonderful when one is nominated for one of the blogger awards and I have recently been awarded the Versatile Blogger award for what is the fourth time and also the One Lovely Blog award for the first time and I must start to look for people to pass it on to but this gives rise to the problem and question which is:-

“How many blogs can one conveniently follow at once?”

Whenever I find a blog that seems worth recommending to others it is also a blog that I would be happy to follow. I am following all the fifteen blogs I found with the recommendations I fudged a bit for the first two nominations and was beginning to actively follow some of the ones I recommended last time around when I got the last two award nominations and suddenly found myself wondering when I would reach overload on blogs! and whether I would have to start to be super picky.

So I was hoping that some of you nice people out there could tell be how many blogs you manage to follow on a regular basis.

I would be ever so grateful for a little feedback here as I don’t want to follow too many and then have to start un-following blogs.

Two final things

There may have been a BIG notice up about not taking photos of the knitted and sewn ‘High Tea’ when I went to Mottisfont Abbey (mentioned in my last post) but for any one who is interested there are some photos HERE.  Maybe this was before they put up the notice.

And I had my first opportunity to try my Mint Jelly today. [see…tely-different/ ] It was a little firmer than I had expected but otherwise was very good. (Actually when it was cooling, at one point I was afraid it wouldn’t set at all!)

A Feline and Flowers

Firstly, I have to admit that I allowed myself a naughty two days off from making my flower cloth and socks to make this:-

I found the pattern at The Green Dragonfly’s blog HERE (isn’t her cat delightful!)
and because she has seven different coloured stripes of course I couldn’t resist making it into a RAINBOW cat.

My younger daughter is especially fond of cats so I have made it for her as an un-birthday present and I will take it round later today. (She doesn’t read the blog).

I have also had a lovely day out visiting Mottisfont Abbey. Yes, it was an abbey originally but was made into a family home and is now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.

I caught the train and then walked across the fields.
There was a cow field,
then a wheat field,

then a hayfield

and in spite of all the rain we have had none of the paths were muddy.


There is lots to do at Mottisfont Abbey.

There is the house

that has been kept as it was earlier last century.

There are also displays, including one I wasn’t allowed to photograph: called “High Tea”, that consited of sandwiches, scones and cakes all either knitted or made out of fabric. Great fun!

There are  grounds with statuary

also all sorts of trees and a stream

and sheep in a fenced off field.

You can even go in and get up close if you wish!

I had taken my grandaughter here last summer in August when they had a special fairy themed exploration challenge but the roses were over then, so now above all I went to see their walled rose gardens in all their glory.

There are rose arches

and people enjoying the gardens

and a fountain

(I usually make the pictures just the right size for the blog but all the photos below will enlarge if you click on them so you can get a closer look)

some wilder looking plantings,

But above all


Aren’t they beautiful?

But I think these are my favourites.

And I even mange to get a few photographs of bees.

I hope you enjoyed sharing my day with me.