Thursday, 27 February 2014


I am really pleased that my friend Lucy likes her new scarf that I made for her. 

Well before Christmas I crocheted myself a scarf and have worn it ever since, hence the 'loved' look about it.  I also made two more - one in pinks and purples and another in manly colours of grey, green, navy etc.  They both went to good homes and I didn't take a picture of them unfortunately.

Lucy's was crocheted on the long side and I had in excess of 200 chain initially.  Top tip when using this number of chain - I marked after every 20 when I made them; it can be a piece of contrast wool but definitely saves time counting.  I always do this when making long chain or crocheting a garment to ensure that I don't 'lose' stitches on the way.  You can move the marker up a row each time. I adapted another pattern to get the wavy lines and just carried on until I thought the scarf was wide enough.  Not sure of the actual length but it was about 60"-70" long!  Anyway Lucy likes it and that is all that matters.

My own scarf is crocheted on the diagonal.  I started with one red corner and increased on one side only until I had enough colours and then repeated these.  I love it and even wear it indoors.

Lucy's scarf
My own scarf

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Some sewing at last .....

I have been busy finishing and making things over the weekend and I am delighted to say that the 'broomstick' crochet scarf is finished!
Over 72" long - taller than me!!
I don't think that the picture does it justice, but there are subtle colour changes within the wool.

I am really pleased to have mastered this technique and have already started another one using a fine mohair.  Took a few false starts to get going as the wool is so fine but progressing well.  As it is in black I thought it could be a dressy scarf.

I also had a go at making these two little items which could be used at Easter.

Quite difficult to take a photo and hold the camera so this might look a little out of focus.  Squeeze the sides and the mouth opens and it can have a little treat inside it.  Ellie, my granddaughter, knew that the grey one was a bunny without seeing the tail.  Phew, I thought she might think it was a mouse.

I started my Christmas Challenge about WW1 but then discovered that I had no wadding.  I often join pieces together but on this occasion had no pieces big enough.  Note to self - think and plan ahead!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Such a busy few days that I haven't been able to post.  Went to the U3A monthly meeting where I am Treasurer for the History Group.  As we have a few coach trips coming up it was quite busy taking the money for them.  Artist Charles Bezzina was our guest speaker and he showed photographs and paintings of his time as artist in residence in Greenland. 

First street shrine in Rushden
Thursday afternoon was the monthly History group meeting entitled 'World War One Remembered'.  We had a DVD of the history of the Burton Latimer war memorial which has been moved three times to make way for road widening etc.  It is now back where it started!!  This was followed by 'The Street Shrines of Rushden'.  These were wooden shrines erected in streets, by local subscription, to commemorate those who went to war and those who did not return. There was a lockable box underneath where cigarettes and money could be left to provide 'comforts' for the boys overseas.  The flowers were changed regularly.

152 men went to war from this one street.  This was dedicated on 3 February 1917.

From the local paper in January 1920 "Rushden had lost 400 gallant sons and a very large number of the 2,500 men who had joined up had returned maimed and broken."

More information about the street shrines can found on the Rushden Heritage website.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The visit of the grandchildren passed off with only minor glitches.  Ben (8) was kicking a football in the park when he trod on it by mistake and fell to the ground with a slightly sprained ankle.  However after a few tears he was up and running with a hop and a skip in a few minutes or so.  Ellie (4) fell over and had a small cut on her hand, with blood, so I cleaned it up from my first aid box in the car and felt that a visit to the toy shop was in order where small items were purchased.  Took over 30 minutes to make up their minds but Osborne's is a brilliant shop.


I am now dashing to get ready for my local U3A (University of the Third Age) monthly meeting.


I belong to the History Group amongst others and tomorrow's meeting World War 1 is the topic.  My father served 1918 - 1919 and I am trying to show his Brigade's progress during that time, as we have some of his trench maps annotated in his handwriting.  I find this so fascinating because at this stage, the troops were moving very fast through North East France and into Belgium.  The war log of the time says that "the King passed through the village".  Unfortunately I cannot work out which village from the co-ordinates given!!  I think expert help is required so if anyone out there knows anyone please let me know.

As a footnote I must add that my father did not get married until World War 2 when he was 43.  I am not that old.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Just a quick update because as it is half term I have my grandchildren with me for two nights!   I shall probably need to lie down in a darkened room at the end of their stay.

Just a quickie though:-

Grandson (8) to me - "Granny I do love coming to stay with you"

Me - thinking wonderful loving cuddly warm thoughts - " Oh that's lovely"

Grandson - "I like the little packets of cereals you have for breakfast"!!!!!!

Notes to the uninitiated - he was referring to the Variety packs which I buy as I have no idea what they eat.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Yesterday evening I went 10-pin bowling with the 50+ Adventure Club.  For the last two visits I have been the ladies champion, scoring strikes and spares to clock up a good score.  Thankfully I didn't score very well last night and I was pleased.  However it was a great social evening.

Please visit our website:  http://www.fiftyplusnorthantsadventureclub.org.uk/  and if you fancy being a 'recycled teenager' please contact us!!  We have a very full programme for 2014.

This morning was crochet club at Poppy Patch http://www.poppypatch.co.uk/ and though Jo, our instructor couldn't be with us, we had a very productive morning.  My broomstick crocheted scarf has grown to 24".
I am enjoying this and the group thought you could make some interesting items with this stitch.  I will investigate and see if I can find some free patterns online. 
I absolutely drooled at a bag of multi-coloured Stylecraft knitting wools through Attic24. 
I MUST RESIST, I MUST RESIST, I must resist - resistance is crumbling!!  But I have two of my grandchildren coming to stay on Sunday for two nights as it is half term, so this will take my mind off knitting wool.  I hope the weather improves as rain is lashing the windows, the trees are bending in the wind and it is so dark.  Roll on summer.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Twice a month I go to an embroidery class.  This is a sewing craft which I wish I had taken up earlier as I am a complete novice which shows, as the other ladies in the class produce absolutely stunning work - stumpwork, goldwork, Jacobean wool work etc.

When I decided to start embroidery I went to a day class at the Royal School of Needlework, but as the piece did not get finished it languished with all the Unfinished Objects (UFOs) in the cupboard.  However a friend told me about the class she went to, which though full was the place to go.  I had to wait for a space, but once there decided to finish my RSN piece.
Gosh, was it nearly six years ago I went to the RSN
When this was finished the next project was to embroider the top of a wooden bowl I had been given. 

Satin stitch, not brilliant I know, but I enjoyed doing it.
I have just started a drawn thread sampler, but have spent many weeks working on a practice piece.  I might show this later but it may not photograph very well as it is cream on cream.

Tonight is 'Linus' at patchwork group.  I am currently quilting my two premature baby quilts, which is the chosen size this year.  I will have the binding on by this evening and hope to finish them at group.  No picture of these on my blog because they are my versions of two well know cartoon characters and I might get had up for copyright!!   To cheat I might be able to take a photo at group where they are included; I'll see.  My blog on 7 February gives details of Linus quilts and their link. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Just got back from my Monday morning Nordic walk with Fiona our instructor, and others.  Due to flooding on our normal route, we had to walk in town and we still clocked up 4.5 miles by going through alleyways and footpaths which I didn't even know were there.

Stock Nordic walking picture and not me!  Could be in the summer though
It certainly cleared out the cobwebs from the weekend when I didn't go out at all!!  I can't go out next Monday because as it is half term I have grandparent duties, so will get my exercise in other ways!

Apropos of absolutely nothing at all, but in connection with the weather, I tapped my barometer on Saturday evening hoping it might rise.  It sank to the lowest that I have ever seen it - quite frightening.  It has risen slightly this morning, but is still very low.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Update on the crochet

Over the last two evenings I have had a further successful attempt at a new stitch for me.

Broomstick crochet
I haven't found it as quick as normal crochet as I have to put the giant needle either under my arm or between my legs (don't ask too much about this last!) depending on the row I am on.  I haven't found which is easiest but I have now got the hang of the stitch.

I am using a cheap acrylic yarn, in case anything went wrong, but it has some shading in it which I think is quite attractive.  Thank you to http://www.stitchcraftcreate.co.uk/ who have this as a free download on their site.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Where does the time go?

No sewing done for two days due to other activities and the crochet that I had done was unpicked last night because I had done it wrong!!  This last was not entirely negative because I was trying out a new stitch and I couldn't understand the pattern, but I suddenly realised what to do as I was going to bed so I will have another go later.

I now have three patchwork projects on the go:

- The Jacket (see previous posts)
- Linus quilts for Higham Piecemakers  and
- my Christmas 'Challenge  from Piecemakers.  This is to make something with a connection to World War 1, as the centenary of the outbreak is being celebrated this year.  I have ideas but am still researching the project.

Linus quilts are something that we make every year and this time we are concentrating on small quilts for premature babies. Last year our group sent Linus150 quilts.  This is their website, so please see what they do:  http://projectlinusuk.org.uk/

Here is a much loved floor cushion that I made for one of my great nephews.  As you can see 'Transport' is the theme.

I find making these large cushions such fun as they tend to be completed quite quickly.  Once I have completed the three previous projects I will start making some more floor cushions to sell, so WATCH THIS SPACE!!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lovely day yesterday, in Cambridge, with my little 4 year old grand-daughter, Ellie.  Having gone in on the bus, because the pushchair was broken, we walked through the city to 'The Beaderie', because a friend had been on a course there and hadn't bought all the beads she needed.  Sort of thing I would do!!  It was quite a long walk to Magdalene Street but Ellie skipped along happily, but needed a bribe of some refreshment on the way back.  She got it of course, because Granny also needed her morning coffee.

I have dabbled in beading, making a few small items but this shop has some beautiful beads.  We spent some time looking at all the strings of beads and the displays of individual ones.  It makes me want to have a go again, but I have too much to do at the moment!!  Ellie loved all the bright colours and the flowery shaped beads and I promised that I would help her make a necklace in a few years time.


Anyway, must get some sewing done or another day will be gone without a stitch being made.  At least I go to 'Higham Piecemakers' tonight so some hand sewing will be accomplished if I don't talk too much.

Monday, 3 February 2014

The 'Jacket'!!

I have cut out the pattern pieces, but if you follow my fb page you will know that I was dithering - should I use lightweight wadding or not.  I have decided to follow the advice of others and go for it, but of course I haven't got enough, so I will get some next week.

Here are photos of two other jackets I have made for myself and both are well loved.  I used the same pattern for both and made up patchwork 'fabric'.

Slightly more dressy
Same pattern just different fabrics
The new jacket is a work in progress but anyone who knows me will know that I don't do pastels so when I saw this Fabric Freedom material I fell for it. So here it is, with it's lining.

F943 Clear Cut Fabric Freedom


Saturday, 1 February 2014

It has taken me all morning to set up this blog, so I hope it works.

If you have visited my fb page you will know I am trying to make a jacket.  However I fell at the first hurdle - the pattern sizing.   I bought the pattern on the internet having seen it on a dummy at a show.  I wear UK size 16 on my top and the pattern was for 36-44!!  Even after checking online with the company I could not find out what these sizes were.  Luckily I made up a muslin copy in size 40 (thinking it was my bust size) to check for sizing and found it was 4 inches too small and even size 44 would not have fitted!!!

So I have reverted to another pattern which I had already but not used and does tell me the UK sizes on the outside and looks right.

I will let you know how it goes.