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.

 

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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

Montage – May

In May I showed you how I was working on adapting a pattern to make a pair of slippers. I am making the second one now! I also showed you the new larger pot holder I had made and some recent purchases of crochet hooks and a whole variety of yarn. I have just included the rainbow yarn in the montage.

May montageThere were also many photographs of flowers in my garden, especially clematis and lily of the valley. I made some crochet flowers too: poppies. There were also photographs of the apples to be.

I shared a whole load of photographs of pages from my knitting and crochet journal and finally details of my late celebration of Christmas with my family.

Knitting and Crochet journal

This post was inspired by a reply to a comment I made to this post on https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/scrap-happy-adventures-with-junk/which was about creating a ‘junk journal’.

I have a journal but mine is quite different.

The photographs you see are of pages in the order they occur in the book (obviously they are a very small selection). I took the photographs quickly on the floor of my study on a sunny day. (Taking more than one and making them perfect seemed too much of an effort!)

Now my son has a tendency to buy me quirky presents sometimes and they are often tech related. One birthday or Christmas he bought me this. Polaroid printerIt is a small printer that prints tiny prints straight from a camera. The prints are sticky under a backing. At the time I really wondered what I might use it for but I kept it. However it has proved invaluable for creating pictures for my journal.

Now my younger daughter one birthday or Christmas bought me a book with blank pages journal coverfrom Paperchase: a shop that sells mainly decorative paper products. I really love the way three of the butterflies have movable wings.

I shared my attempt to make a copy of this book for my daughter HERE.

Again I wasn’t sure what to use it for but then I had a brainwave and my Knitting and Crochet Projects journal was born.

Here is the first page. I start with a few basics for reference.first page

And then I move on to a few charts and instructions for making basic things. Like my own way of making Granny Squares. diagramsI have never made a Granny Rectangle but, if I do, I have a reference to the way I liked best here!

I also added diagrams of how to do the ‘Magic Loop’ a name shared by both knitting and crochet for quite different things.more diagrams

Now I planned to use black ink for crochet and blue for knitting but you can see I am already forgetting!

This is my first project: a hexagon blanket based on a pattern on the Attic24 blog

first projectYou can see I include charts where it seems to help or save space. They are not always in colour and sometimes I try and photograph them off the screen and include as photos but that is less successful.

Here is a knitting chart that I worked out to create a pattern of adjoining hexagons with three different textures. knitting chartI included a photograph of the hat and scarf where I used it.

Sometimes it is impossible to include details of all the patterns but it is still useful to have a record. Here are details of a doll I made for one of my grandsons.

photographs of doll

When I make socks I like to wait till I have a few pairs and record the basic details. Up to now I have always used a toe-up method with short-row toes and heels.
lots of socksSometimes I want the book to contain details of a complicated pattern I have created, so much, that I add in a printout.adding a printout

I include the details of things I have made from other people’s patterns as well as my own.other people's patternsI have a red A4 folder which is full of printouts of other peoples patterns and also some of my own ones as a supplement to this, so if I want to make more seahorses, the pattern is there, but here I have added details of how I made the finished hanging.

This is where I am about to add details of another make.starting a new entryI cannot write straight easily so I start by drawing pencil lines that I rub out later. Also the book is always behind where I am, so every so often I spend a morning catching up!

At the back of the book, working forwards, I make a list of projects I have in mind for the future. This is the first two pages of this: one for knitting and one for crochet. future projectsYou can see I have completed all the crochet ones but still have not done all the knitting ones. Of course not all projects get listed here only ones I may make in the future and don’t wish to forget.

I am now three quarters of the way through the book but recently my daughter bought me another book from Paperchase. new journal cover

So I have somewhere to continue when I finish this one!

 

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. 

Projects for life!

I seem to have been spending rather a lot on yarn lately but all with good ideas for using it!

I bought what I thought was enough for the slippers. More on this.

And I also needed a 7mm or (knowing me) an 8mm hook. So since they were relatively cheap and as I wanted different colours if possible I decided to buy an 9mm and 10mm hook at the same time. crochet hooks

Because they are thick I find them as comfortable as my Clover Amour hooks to use.

Now I had plans to make some more socks for my daughter and granddaughter like they had beforedaughter's socksgranddaughter's socks

but with different colour toes and heels so it seemed a good time to buy this. sock wool

And while I was about it, since it would mean I didn’t have to pay postage (so it makes them virtually half price!), I decided to buy some of the new Stylecraft colours. Stylecraft yarnI like having different blues and greens to choose from and the buttermilk will do for my dinosaur.

Maybe that would have been enough for now but then I discovered (don’t tell James!) that I didn’t have enough for the slippers because I hadn’t realised that the slippers would need to be scaled up more than I had estimated, especially with regard to width. Luckily the yarn was now reduced and I could get the same dye lot. Drops AlaskaTwo more should be more than enough but I bought three again as the cheapest way to get just above the ‘free postage’ figure and it is great yarn and I am sure I can use it for something, maybe with the same sort of yarn left over from this. cardiganThis jumper looks more grey than this! In fact as I had over estimated I used it for my cushioncushion

where you get a better idea of the colour. I still have almost a whole ball left over.

And then as I browsed. I fell in love with this sock yarn. fancy sock woolNow I had promised myself that I would only make socks from yarn I had already but this looked so amazing in the pictures of made up sock; I just had to buy some.

I am very fond of this crochet hat. crochet hatI wear it more than any other; just pull it on. But it does need a wash sometimes so I planned to make another in rainbow colours and I found this.

rainbow yarn

I bought two balls because I am not sure if one will be enough and if it is, someone else might like a similar hat! or I could make mittens!
Now I wouldn’t have got up to the free postage amount just with that but I needed some more Stylecraft colours for a blanket I have in mind to make (mostly from leftover yarn I have already but some colour amounts are too small.) So I bought this. Stylecraft yarn

The red will also be useful for some poppies I am going to make.

And lastly

On Saturday I went to Haskins garden centre and came back with these. plantsHobbycraft is next door so I had to go and have a look around. I fell in love with this jumper! pattern(A lot of falling in love lately!) I was about to leave the pattern there for another time but then I saw they were selling the yarn as 3 for 2. So I bought three balls, just like the picture. Marble chunky yarnI used this type of yarn yarn for a shrug earlier shrugand although it is acrylic it is comfortable to wear and work with.

 

 

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!

April Montage

In April I once more shared a lot of cooking and flowers. There were the Hot Cross buns and Simnel muffins I made for Easter time and a couple of loaves of bread. The same ideal recipe but first as a Farmhouse loaf and then as more of a Bap shape. Now able to get out into the garden, from the middle of the month, I created a few flower portraits.April montageI also managed to fit in some knitting and crochet. I made one of my Celtic Coasters as an Easter present for someone who doesn’t like chocolate. (I know how can you not like chocolate!) And for knitting I made a pair of socks from the wool left over from two other pairs of socks made with similar yarn. I was pleased with how they turned out and aim to make similar socks with other leftover sock wool. Finally I manged to get round to completing my latest cushion.

And although I don’t normally add other things to my monthly montage posts. Since this replaces my normal Monday post, I will add some photographs of things that have made me happy this last weekend.

Here is yet another loaf of bread. Made from my favourite recipe: half white and half wholemeal this time. half and half breadAnd here is my breakfast! breakfast(Interestingly, I realised that although I don’t buy much organic produce, the flour for the bread, the peanut butter and the honey are all organic, either bought because I like it or because it was a good price.

And lastly a photograph of my apple tree full of blossom. apple treeThis is maybe my favourite time of year: seeing the apple blossom and the forget-me-nots and, in my previous garden, the bluebells, all at the same time.

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?