Mainly bees……….

Not a lot to show you this week. I was going to work on my seahorses but I seem to have mislaid one! I know I saw it somewhere recently but can’t remember where.

So I finished a floor cloth 0550-floor-clothsince I thought it would last longer than the shop sort and I believe on getting down on my hands and knees with a cloth to clean the floor.

I also made a couple of crochet orchids. 0550-crochet-orchids(I devised the pattern about eighteen months ago  ago – and had so many helpful comments I became lost in indecision. There was also the question of size since some sprays of orchids have flowers of different sizes and also how to create the stems.

However I have now seen sprays of four equal sized flowers in shops so I am making one of them! There were suggestions for making multi-coloured orchids that I would like to try but I decided to just start with white. I am using my original pattern which I think is the best I am going to get.

However as that is not very exciting I thought I would share some photographs of bees that I took in Chichester last Autumn plus one of a different sort of bee I took in my garden. 0550-bee-1The others are all square. 0550-bee-2-squareI love the veining on their wings. 0550-bee-3-squareThey are so delicate 0550-bee-4-squarewith frilly edges.0550-bee-5-squareAnd such fluffy bodies!0550-bee-6-squareI think these are what are called white tailed bees. 0550-bee-7And one (I think it is a honey bee) from my garden.0550-bee-one-square Except the first, that is on a buddleia plant, they are all taken while feeding on sedum plants.


Pineapples everywhere!

I am aware that these photographs were taken and processed rather quickly as I am a bit short for time.

Patricia over at Daniella Joe’s blog was interested in pineapple patterns so I thought I would share the ones I have. They were obviously very popular in the past.

These are from two books that were my mother’s.

The smaller book is called “Modern Crochet”."Modern crochet"Price is two shillings and sixpence for youngsters. Also called a “half crown” – eight to the pound!

The main pineapple motif offered was this:"Modern crochet"- basic patternsWith another one for a bedcover."Modern crochet"-bedcover patternBut the best book is this:Best Pineapple crochet bookEven cheaper! only one shilling. Probably older.

This has lots and lots of motifs. This for a runnerRunnerbut with a dressing table version as well.Dressing table matsA similar motif that could be used on it’s ownSimple motifor to make a centrepiece.Centrepiece

A motif to be used for either a bedcover (left) ot tablecloth (right)Bedcover or tablecloth motifsand another similar one for the same two purposes.More bedcover or tablecloth motifsAnd one just for a tablecloth.Tablecloth motifFinally, some table mats: thisTable matsand this.Fancier table matThe first of these last two designs was used by my mother for a cloth on the dining table on which sat the wooden fruit bowl.

A bit worse for wear now. I think she may have intended to make another before she died. It is made in #40 crochet cotton.Mat my mother madeI had originally intended to make this for my table till I decided a larger one would be better.


My latest Rainbow project

This is a very special project that has been on my mind since the early days of my blog.

Once I was comfortable with crochet, I knew that I wanted to make something to go on my dining table. The early thoughts were actually fairly monochrome but one day I saw this rug – – and I was inspired.

What could be better than something made up of hexagons that was also a spiral!

(I really like multiple spirals – Bedcoverviz. my bedcover my mother made for me.)

One thing that has always fascinated me is the fact that the rainbow that is essentially linear – longer to shorter wavelengths – is paralleled by the colour CIRCLE which goes round and round!

Here was a chance to use that since hexagons meant a six colour spiral and I have always considered the indigo to be a bit redundant.

And if the hexagon motifs were actually snowflakes! what could be better.

When I shared my new snowflake motif and my Snowflake bookmark pattern in January 2014 what I was planning was this cloth but I didn’t want to share the whole idea yet as I didn’t know when I would fit it in.

I had mentioned it earlier here –

The size was largely determined by how many motifs I could get out of one ball of yarn.New yarnThis is the yarn I bought last October. Including one ball each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet and two balls of dark blue for the edge. I was going to make the central motif in white but I had that already.

I didn’t find time to start it till this February and it might have been finished before Easter if I hadn’t got distracted by other things!

A first I had terrible second thoughts as to whether it was going to look any good but by the time I had spent a week on it and it looked like this.After 1 weekI felt reassured.

Because I can and because I am so happy I will show you various stages in it’s developement.

The coloured spirals complete.Spirals completedThe dark blue (indigo!) edging added.Blue edge addedFinished off with a white chain edging.

Final rainbow spiral clothI wasn’t sure which way to put it on the table.Cloth parallel to sidesorCloth across tableNow recently the cloth I have had on the table has been this:Childhood tea clothwhich was the teatime cloth my mother made that was used when I was a child. (Just a bit of nostalgia!)

Aren’t the rabbits cute?Embroidered bunniesBefore that I was using this.Mother's crochet clothAlso made by my mother.

Which is now replaced by this.Rainbow spiral cloth

Everyone in my Friday craft group seem to just love this and there is a women in the craft group who wants to make a bolero for her daughter using these motifs (though all in the same colour). So in due course I was intending to supplement the bookmark pattern with further instructions on joining the motifs in case anyone else would also like to use them.

Some statistics:-

Yarn was Rico Essentials Cotton (DK) 50g balls. One each of: Red (02), Pumpkin (87), Banana (63), Grass-Green (66), Turquoise (33) and Purple (18) and two of Cobalt Blue (32), with small amount of white.

Size 4mm crochet hook.

21 motifs for each coloured spiral. 42 motifs for edge. Total of 169 including one white central one.

Finished size from side to side is about 30 inches (75cm) and 35 inches (87cm) corner to corner.

Time taken in the region of 50-60 hours including sewing in the ends. (Spread over about six weeks).

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.

*   *   *   *   *   *

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!

Flower Cloth update

Life these days hasn’t been all about Rachel’s CAL.

Apart from the monthly challenge, I have also been working on my flower cloth.

And I have now finished the central part.

This will enlarge for a closer look

Because crochet is so stretchy it was surprisingly difficult to spread it out on the carpet so as to have it exactly square. However that was quite a good thing as it needed stretching to make it properly flat. (Maybe blocking is a good thing?).

When I planned the cloth originally and tried out the squares in DK yarn they came out at 4 inches square but when I got the cotton yarn, because it was a bit thinner although nominally DK, the squares were smaller so instead of being 36 inches the cloth is at present only 32 inches (but it was only 31.5 when I first spread it out!) so I may need to add more edging than I had planned but we will see.

Now for the Patterns

These are the patterns I devised for my Flower Cloth and I have added the hexagon I derived from the three colour twelve-fold flower square that I used for my peg bag.

I have also added them to the top menu.

In order to give a fairly firm finish, the treble groups are worked without the one chain links you find in granny squares but otherwise they have a lot in common with the granny square concept.

A Note about the charts:- I have used the international symbols for the stitches but I could not find one for the half double treble (UK) half treble (US) so I invented my own.

As I have provided charts the patterns are only in UK crochet terms.

As a guide to size: I used a 4.5mm hook and Rico Essentials Cotton DK for my flower cloth. When I had used DK acrylic yarn and a 4.5mm hook the squares came out at about 4 inches but were slightly smaller with the cotton yarn.

Twelve-fold flowers

A: three colour

B: Two colour

Start: First chain 4 and join to form a ring. (Or use the magic loop if you prefer.)

Row 1: Ch3 to count as first tr then work a further 11tr into the ring. Join with a slst (12sts)

Row 2: Join new colour and pull between trs of previous row. Next ch3, to count as 1st tr, tr into same space then continue working 2tr into spaces between each tr in previous rnd. Join with slst (24 sts)

‘A’ rows give the larger three colour flowers.

Row 3A: Join new colour and pull yarn between the two trebles of pairs on previous row, ch3, to count as 1st tr and work 2tr into same space, then work 3tr into every 2nd space. Join with slst. (36 sts)

Row 4A: Join background colour and work as 4B.

‘B’ rows give the smaller two colour flowers.

Row 3B: Join background colour and pull yarn between the treble pairs on previous row, ch3 to count as 1st tr and work 2tr into same space, work 3tr into every 2nd dc space. Join with slst. (36 sts)

Row 4B: Bring the yarn up in one of the spaces between treble groups and ch3 (counts as 1tr), 2tr into same space. Now for a corner, so into next space, (2hdtr, 1dtr, ch2, 1dtr, 2hdtr) [I use double trebles because the circle needs the extra space for a corner.] 3tr into each of next two spaces, then repeat corner sequence. Now, continue around the circle in a similar way to a granny square, just using the hdtr, dtr sequence in the corners and no 1ch between clusters.

Row 5: Work in a similar way to a granny square, starting in the middle of a side, but without the 1ch between 3 treble groups on the sides. Keep the 2ch in the corners.

Eight-fold flowers

Start: First chain 4 and join to form a ring. (Or use the magic loop if you prefer.)

Row 1 : Ch2 , then work 1tr into the ring (making 1st bobble), ch1; ( 1 bobble stitch, ch1) x 7. Join with a slst.

Row 2 : Join new colour and pull through a space between bobbles ch3 (counts as 1 tr), 2tr into the same space, ch1. Continuing to work into spaces between bobbles, (3tr, ch1)x 7. Join with a slst.

Row 3 : Join background colour and working into the spaces – ch3 (counts as 1tr) 2tr into the same space. Then into next space (2hdtr, 1dtr, ch2, 1dtr, 2hdtr) for ‘corner’. Alternate 3tr groups and corners into following 6 spaces then join with slst.

Row 4: Ch3 (counts as 1tr), 2tr into same space. Now continue around the circle in a similar way to a granny square but without the 1ch between 3 treble groups on the sides. Keep the 2ch in the corners. Join with a sl st.

Row 5: Work granny square wise as Row 4. Join with a sl st.

As you can see here if you use only as far as the row with the (2hdtr, 1dtr, ch2, 1dtr, 2hdtr) corners you can get a little mini square which is also attractive.

(This applies to the twelve-fold flowers too.)


First three rows as twelve-fold three colour flower rows. Note the difference between 3A and 3B this is what gives the starlike quality to the second row.

Row 4: Join new colour and pull through space between treble groups, 3ch, 2tr into space. Then work a corner = 3tr, 2ch, 3tr into next space. Alternate 3tr groups and corners into spaces as in the chart and join with a slst.

If you find any typos or mistakes in the patterns please let me know and if you use them I would love to see what you made.

Yay! I’ve finished a sock for me!

Here is the first of the socks I am making for myself. I could maybe have cast off even more loosely but it fits and is so lovely and soft. And of course I also love the muted rainbow colours.

I can wear it straight or turned over

I have started on the second one and with luck it might be finished by the end of the month if I don’t get distracted.

And here is an update on my flower cloth.

I have done a bit more of it and now it looks like this.

Not halfway yet but it contains every sort of flower except the twelve petalled darker pink ones.

And as a future endeavour

I am joining Rachell’s CAL  and have ordered the book. The picture of the book is showing in the ‘Posts I Like’ on the right.

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!)

Devising a Flower cloth

This time I decided to use my own patterns.

When I thought about what I might do when I had finished my hexagon blanket, I decided that what I could do with was a cloth to cover the table in the guest room/study.  The room’s main colour is green, so that together with my love for flowers suggested a ‘flower’ cloth.

I thought making it from a collection of granny squares would be a good idea and I tried a few flower granny squares that other people had done but I wasn’t entirely happy with any of them and they all came out slightly different sizes, so I decided that I would have to work out my own patterns.

I wanted to take my colour inspiration from real flowers and I wanted a variety of different designs.

I ended up with a three row, twelve-petalled flower; a two row, twelve-petalled flower and a two row, eight-petalled flower.

The first were inspired by calendula marigolds, different sorts of water lilies, cineraria, and morning glory,

the second by all sorts of daisies

and the last by the eight-petalled dahlias that come in such a wonderful array of colours.

Since it was a cloth, I decided to lash out on some cotton yarn and bought the Rico Essentials Cotton that I showed you in an earlier post.

Of course I couldn’t have got that far with out a bit of experimenting and planning.

So I made a few sample flower squares in the acrylic yarn I had to hand.

[I am not using the white flower in the above, maybe it is more of a star, but I will use the other three.]

I also practised a few alternate edgings but haven’t decided which will be most suitable.

I then planned out an arrangement of the different types and colours – not going to be random this time.

I have given myself a little time off from the socks and have started on the first row.

This will enlarge


One other thing I have done lately is to make some

stitch markers.

I have been looking at ones that other people have made and wondered if they would be a good idea but really wanted to see them before I bought any.

I had been using pieces of yarn while knitting the socks but suddenly I worked out a way I could make some for myself, that were fine enough not to interfere with the stitches for the socks, using shir elastic and some odds and ends of beads I’ve had even since my teens.  They may not be as classy as the ones on the web but they work.