Category Archives: Family
It’s been a while since I posted about my crochet, probably because I’ve been so busy either trying to finish Crochet-a-longs, or CALs as they’re known as in the crochet world, and also because I’ve been desperately trying to learn what I could about British Politics – I’m not sure whether to laugh, or cry, that I’ve become involved right at this time, but I’m going to persevere, which means doing an awful lot of reading!
Fortunately, there are some wonderful Bloggers around, that lay out what’s happening, and what it means for us all, so I’m now slowly begining to understand where the UK stands politically – and, boy, it’s frighteneing!
Anyhoo, I thought I’d get away from that for one evening, and continue showing you all the things I’ve been crocheting over the last year or so – I believe my last post about it was on May 3rd – here’s a link: A Few More of My Offerings
The last project I showed you was two shrugs I’d made for the daughter of a friend but, after that, I went through another awful patch of ill health, and so couldn’t do any crocheting 😦
The CAL was called Scheepjes Flight of Fancy Wrap, and it was done in weekly increments. I started the project on 10th June, and finished it on 1st September.
I was really taken with the wonderful yarn used here, by a company called Scheepjeswol . With this CAL, I was using one of their yarns, called Scheepjes Linen Soft , which comprised of 47% Cotton, 27% Linen, and 26% Acrylic, which made for a strong, and durable, yarn to use.
Here’s the Project page I created on Ravelry, which gives you the details: My Flights of Fancy Wrap The colours used were gorgeous, and reminded me of peacock feather, which I love 🙂
Here’s my finished project, which I gifted to a dear friend:
The next project I made, was finished on 19th September, and was something that I made for my daughter to give to a friend. Her friend loved kooky presents, especially if they had something to do with the body, so I crocheted her two seperately coloured, and sized, eyes – including the optic nerves, too 🙂
I had come across the pattern by chance, at this link: Crocheted Eyeball by crochetninja, and just loved the idea of it – and making it was fun, too 🙂
I used various yarns from my stash for this, mainly acrylics, if I remember true 🙂
I’m told the recipient loved them 🙂
My next project took me a bit of time, as my health was becoming quite dicey again, and I was still working on another CAL, too.
A friend was making up a package to send over to her grandchildren, a young girl and boy, and I offered to make them something. I showed my friend some of my patterns, and she found the one she wanted among one of my favourite Amigurumi Designers – Moji Moji Design or Janine Holmes, using her real name 🙂
Janine had recently released a new design, called Katie the Caterpillar – so how could I resist? Lol
I started making the two caterpillars, and managed to finish them by October 12th, just in time for them to be shipped to their new owners in the USA 🙂
I used acrylic yarn from my stash again, and I think a lot of it was Red Heart yarn, as I had so much of it in my stash. I used the same colours in both, but just used them in opposite ways, as you can see in the pic. That way, we hoped the children wouldn’t fight over which one owned which caterpillar 🙂
My next project, was the CAL I had started on August 2nd. I didn’t actually finish this until October 31st. This was another Scheepjswol CAL, designed by another amazing Designer that I love: Julie Yeager.
The design was called: Summer Mosaic Afghan, and you can buy the pattern from Ravelry, using the link provided 🙂
This time, the yarn used was Scheepjes Stonewashed XL, a wonderfully soft, but strong, mixture of 70% Cotton, 30% Acrylic.
Here’s the link to my Ravelry Project Page, and the colours and amounts used for it: My Summer Mosaic Afghan.
This was a pattern I loved, with a yarn I fell in love with, too. I made this CAL for Mr Night Owl, and it was fun and games trying to crochet it, where, and when, he wouldn’t see it all, as I wanted it to be a surprise for him, for our wedding anniversary that year. It was a couple of weeks late, but he forgave me when he saw it 🙂
I have to admit to being totally exhausted by the time I finished the Afghan, and it wasn’t until almost mid-November before I took up my crochet hooks again, and that was because I had received my first box, from a company called Little Box of Crochet.
I’d come across them via my monthly crochet magazine, and the story behind their starting caught my attention, so I decided to subscribe for 6 months, to see whether I would enjoy it.
The first Box came with everything needed to make my first Little Box Project, and this was 3 different types of toadstools:
- The first was Aminita Muscaria, or Fly Agaric. I finished this on November 10th.
- The second was Stropharia Aeruginosa, or Verdigris Agaric. I finished this on December 12th.
- The third was Hygrocybe Persistens, or Wax Cap. I finished this on January 15th, 2016.
These were designed by Kate Bruning, of Greedy for Colour, and were made using Scheepjes Stonewashed, with a small amount of silver yarn to give them a christmassy feel – and enough to make them into tree decorations if I’d wanted to 🙂
My next project was one I made for fun. My husband, and a good friend of his, have a running joke about Wood Nymphs – and, no, I’m not getting into that, as it would take an entire new post of it’s own! Lol
Anyway, we had been invited over to his house for a meal and, as a joke, I decided to make him a Wood Nymph hat, and this was the result:
I had found some Red Heart Camouflage yarn in my stash, and so added some flowers and bells to it, then made it a caveat that he had to wear the hat whenever he went hunting! 🙂
I don’t know why, but he tells me he hasn’t been hunting ever since! Lol
On the 19th of November, my Dad died.
I was devastated, as I was too ill to travel the 360-odd miles needed, to get back to my family home, to attend his funeral.
I really didn’t know what to do with myself, and felt helpless that I couldn’t say my goodbyes to him, nor comfort my Mum the way I wanted to. I spoke a lot to Mum on the phone and, wonderful woman that she is, a few days after Dad’s death, she suggested that I crochet something that reminds me of him, and send it to her, so she could put it in the coffin with him, and so that I knew there was something of mine with Dad in his rest.
My first thoughts were of his being Irish, and that special humour he had, that every Irish person I’ve met seems to be born with, and so I decided to crochet symbols of his Irishness – one for me, one for Mr Night Owl, and one for our daughter.
I looked through all my thousands of patterns, and settled on a combination Shamrock/Four-leaved Clover for myself, a Leprechaun for hubby, as he’s as mischeivous as one himself, and a Pot-o-gold, with rainbow, for our daughter, as she has always been our symbol of wealth, happiness and joy.
A week had gone by this time, and I worried about getting them done in time for the funeral, but I managed to finish them, one each day, by the 29th, where I then quickly packed them up, and a friend sent them, post-haste, to my Mum. Fortunately, they got there in time, and that’s where they lay now, keeping my Dad, that funny, chronic, joker company.
I have to admit to finding it hard to concentrate after that but, in early December my Little Box of Crochet, for that month, arrived. Purely for distraction, I decided to give it a try, and the design came from Heather Collins, whose Blog, Pink Milk, was one of the favourites of the Little Box team, and was something that caught my fancy, too, and so I thought I’d give it a go.
The pattern, this time, was for a wonderful pair of Wristers, made with Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino. As soon as I saw the pattern, I knew I had to make these for my daughter 🙂
Fortunately, we have the same size hands, so I was able to make them to fit her easily. I also made her a second pair, but this time with yarn from my stash, in Black and White, as she loves monochrome, too, but more to my own design 🙂
I finished making them on the 5th and 6th of December 🙂
I’ll tell you about the rest in another blog 🙂
I was looking at Shana Rae’s Blog earlier on: Shana Rae’s Books, and she wrote a challenge to her readers: To look at two pictures, and see what we could come up with from them.
I normally get my inspiration by just typing whatever comes into my mind – a sort-of stream-of-conscience writing, where odd ideas will pop into my mind as I write, but I have occasionally used pictures, mostly when I write poetry, so I thought I’d give it a go to write a very short story 🙂
A breath of wind stirred the layers of dust as the door reluctantly opened. The squeal of the hinges showed the years of neglect, and it seemed to Laura as if there were a miasma of gloom darkening a room that, in other circumstances, and long ago, had once been bright with lights and merriment.
As she looked around the ruins of her past, she sighed in despair, not knowing where to start first. The once loved glass-fronted cupboards, that had held the history of her family, were now gaping wide, some of them bereft of glass, and all of them covered with the neglect of ages. It seemed that people had sheltered in the house, and they had cared nothing for what the room had once been. She saw that some of the frames had been broken to use as kindling in the large stone fireplace that, in wintertime, had constantly held the warmth and light needed to chase away the cold.
Laura slowly walked into the room, and gingerly perched on a chair left abandoned in the middle of the room. It sat besides a round table, that held a few of the books that had been taken from the cupboards – at least these hadn’t been used for keeping a fire going, nor left strewn across the floor like the detritus of the ages!
Laura looked at the books, and realised that they were actually some of her favourite ones from childhood. The fairy tales written in them had been read to her by her parents at bedtime – a much-loved action that immediately brought back to her the sound of their voices, the laughter as her father deliberately changed the stories to suit them to her own wishes. She remembered those times, when her little family had spent long winter evenings in front of the fire and, at Christmas, when the tree glittered with decorations, and piles of presents sat expectantly under it, just waiting for Christmas morning when they would all open just one present each, until her grandparents arrived for dinner. She remembered how even her grandparents would pile into the presents, excited as children themselves…….
But those times were dead and gone, and Laura knew they would never come back again. She put down the book she had been holding while her memories played back to her, and sighed a weary sigh. She knew she had a lot to sort out if the house was to be made saleable, and sitting, thinking of a past long dead and buried, wasn’t helping it get done.
Brushing the dust from the book from her hands, Laura stood up again, and with a determined stride, she walked out of the room, ready to get the cleaning things needed to sort out those dusty old memories.
It’s been an age – again – since I blogged anything, as I’d promised to in the new year, so, as I’m actually feeling almost human today, I decided to use what energy I’ve got to make good on that promise 🙂
I’ve been keeping all the pictures of my crochet projects in 2 folders – one folder being of the things I’ve already posted on here, and the other folder, of the things I’ve yet to post.
I had a look at the latter earlier, and couldn’t believe just how much stuff there is in there!
I’ve got nearly 50 items I’ve made since 2014 – including some large projects – and it amazed me just how much I’ve been able to do, despite my health problems getting worse.
Because of the time since I made them – and not noting down all of those impportant details for everything – I can only give you the details I can recall, so do please forgive me?
To start, I want to show you a picture of a shawl I made for a dear friend – I think the pattern I used was ‘Coraline in the Wine Country’, which I found on the Simply Collectible site, here: Wine Country Shawl-Wrap Crochet Pattern
I used Red Heart Unforgettable in Stained Glass – one of my absolute favourites 🙂
I made this in 2014, sometime in the late summer, I think, although I forgot to put a date on it 😦
The next thing I made, was still in 2014 – a little hat & Jacket set for a friend’s doll – I’d made other outfits for her in the past, so this was no problem. I don’t remember what yarn I used, as it was a remnant from my scraps, and I made the outfit without using a pattern, so I can’t help there – I wish I’d written it down as I went along, but my memory failed me again 😦
I used tiny pearl beads as the buttons on this – I think they really set it off nicely 🙂
My next project, was a headband for my daughter – with her wild and long dreadlocks, she uses headbands a lot to keep her hair away from her face, and I just love making diferent ones for her 🙂
For this I used a gorgeous DK yarn, a silvery-grey shimmer yarn, though I don’t remember the make of it – and have none left to have a look at the label. For the decoration, I used a lovely button/brooch thingy I bought from eBay – I got 10 of them as, although I didn’t have a project in mind when I bought them, I knew they’d look great on something – and I was right 🙂
I’m not 100% sure, but I believe it was the following pattern I used: Turban Knot Headband
My next project was for my hubby. This was now November, 2014 and, being winter time, it was really cold out, and he didn’t have a really cosy jumper to wear while out fishing, so I looked among my patterns, and came across one from the Red Heart site, called the Father Pullover. I’d only tried to make a jumper for hubby once before, and that was many years ago, when we first moved to Wales. I used to knit then, and I made him a jumper with the arms slightly longer than usual – hubby has long arms – but what I’d forgotten, was that the pattern was for a drop sleeve – so the jumper turned out suitable for an Orangutan! Lol
Anyway, I had some lovely Red Heart yarn, in just the shade of green that hubby loves, so I had a go – and I was very happy with the result 🙂 Hubby still wears this, and loves how warm it keeps him. It’s also hard-wearing, and washes well (much needed after a fishing trip), so we’re both happy 🙂
The pattern can be found here: Fishing Pullover
The next thing I made was a summery chemise top for my daughter (I like to get things ready for the warmer season for her). I made a headband to match, using the same stitches as the top – unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the pattern and, although I’ve searched high and low, haven’t found it, as yet. I hope I can find it again, as I remember enjoying making this – I think I had only recently learned how to make the popcorn stitch that was used in the pattern, and was having fun making them 🙂
I’ve got hundreds of patterns just for tops alone, so I’ve given up looking for the moment – but if I do find it again, and I remember, I’ll let you know what the pattern’s called 🙂
I also can’t remember the yarn I used – this was another DK shimmery one in a light silver colour, as you can see 🙂
At the same time of making the chemise top, I also made a circular shrug for my daughter, too. This was from a pattern by Rachel Choi, that I got from Crochet Spot while I was still a member. I adapted the pattern, as I didn’t have quite enough of that lovely shimmery yarn to make the arms, but it turned out okay, and my daughter loved it 🙂
The fastening I used was one I found in my sewing box – I think it’s a cloak fastener, but it did the trick in keeping the two edges fastened 🙂
The pattern can be bought from here: Circular Shrug by Rachel Choi
The next thing I made, was a gift for a friend who loves Geckoes. I found a pattern to use on Ravelry, by a designer called Ellie Skene. Her pattern was free, and was easy for me to make, so I was very happy with it – as was my friend when she received it a little while later 🙂
There’s one thing I can see looking back on it now, and that is I’ve overfilled it, so the filling shows through the stitches 😦 I know better now 🙂
Here’s the link to the pattern: Gecko by Ellie Skene
My daughter’s boyfriend was complaining of the cold, so I then went on to make him some fingerless mitts. I used scraps from my yarn stash – probably red heart, as I’ve always got that in stock – and I used a pattern by HappyBerry to make the half-fingerless gloves he wanted.
The link to the pattern is here: Half-fingerless Gloves
This next project was, once again, for my daughter. I’d come across a wonderful pattern by Rachel Choi, on Crochet Spot, and I had a lavender DK yarn, Supersoft Baby Shimmer, that seemed perfect for the job, and just calling out to be used. I’d not made anything like this before, and was determined to give it a try. I was pleased with the result, and my daughter loved it. too 🙂
Here’s the link for the pattern: Diamond Eyelet Wrap by Rachel Choi
In March, 2015, I came across an amazing crochet pattern, that I knew I had to make for my daughter. She is pirate mad, and it was if the designer had her in mind when she made it 🙂
I got the pattern free, in an ebooklet with 10 other patterns, by Interweave. The Pattern was designed by Amy J. Shimel, and she called it Dread Pirate Sam (but, of course, it’s actually Captain Jack Sparrow by any other name!)
I had a lot of fun making this, and my daughter absolutely loves him 🙂
Here’s a link to the free pattern ebooklet: Pattern #2: The Dread Pirate Sam by Amy J. Shimel
Well, I think that’s about enough for now – but I do promise to come back and show you some more of my projects 🙂
Hope you all have a great time with your crochet 🙂
I hasten to say that this doesn’t mean that I’ve haven’t done any crochet work – it just means I’ve been so overwhelmed with health problems, that writing about anything I managed to make was just too much – plus, there was also the restraint that a lot of the things I was working on were presents, and I didn’t want the recipients seeing them all before the right time 🙂
In my last crafting post, I mentioned that I’d had the privilege of testing a pattern for a wonderful designer, Dedri Uys, who’s Blog is called: Look At What I Made (she can be found here:
She wanted people of all levels of skill to test out a cute bonnet pattern, using the Crocodile Stitch – something I’d not come across until then – and she bravely allowed me to give it a try 🙂
This is what I made:
I think that’s one of the main aspects of crochet work that I love most – there’s such an infinite variety of ways it can be brought together to make so many things, that I’ll never get bored with it 🙂
I also tested a pattern for another lovely designer – Candace Glabas, who’s Facebook Page, Crochet Dans L’air and The Grey Lady, is full of wonderful craft work:
Because I didn’t have the appropriate yarn to use, and was already waiting on an order of my favourite Red Heart Yarns, sent from the USA, I made it up to the thickness needed, using three strands of DK yarn I had in my yarn stash – a dark purple, a lavender, and a white. I used 2 buttons from my button stash as a closure, and I’m very pleased with the result – as was Candi, thank heavens 🙂
Since then, I’ve made quite a few items – including some bunting in various leaf patterns for a friend’s craft stall – which I forgot to take a pic of! But I’m hoping that she will take one of it in use and, if so, I’ll show you on another post 🙂
I’ve been quite busy making winter outfits (hats, scarves and gloves), for my parents, as it’s their 58th wedding anniversary on 27th December and, as they both use scooters to get around now, I figured they’d keep a little warmer with some snuggly winter wear 🙂
I was given some gorgeous cream-coloured Aran Yarn, flecked with tiny spots of green and brown, which was, unfortunately for me, 25% real wool, and so was a total trial to use – but I was determined to make a really warm set for my Dad,and so I made him a lovely warm Hat, a scarf to match, and some Glittens – or fingerless mittens – that I’d got as a Premium pattern from Crochet Spot, which can be found here:
The set was designed by a lovely lady, called Sue Pendleton and, if you like these, then you should go onto Ravelry, where she has a load of free patterns to be used – you can find her patterns here:
|See the vintage button in the flower? 🙂|
|Here are the gloves/mittens 🙂|
By the time I’d finished making the set, there was plenty of the accent colour (the Tea Leaf) left, and so I decided to make Mum an extra gift of some Leg Warmers to keep her legs snug on her scooter – and a pair of light house slippers to wear indoors 🙂
I followed the pattern, except that I left off the frilled edge and buttons down the length 🙂
I made a Narwhal, and an Octopus – unfortunately, I can’t find the photos I took of the Octopus, but there’s a nice photo here (even if Mikey did get the place I lived wrong – it’s Wales, Mikey, not England! Lol), along with my Narwhal:
I’ve made quite a few other bits and pieces but, until they are given to their recipients, I can’t show them on here, in case they see them before time 🙂
I do hope this has made up for my silence for so long? 🙂
. . . . are sometimes very hard to find, let alone think about.
When life starts handing you the pits, instead of the cherries, all the stuff that can weigh you down can get in front of what’s still good in your life.
But, if you just take a few minutes, and try to think of the pluses, instead of the minuses, it’s amazing how many things you can come up with.
So here are my cherries:
I’m thankful that God had such a sense of humour that he made me. I know he has a sense of humour, because I do, too, under all the pits 🙂
|Start as you mean to go on? 🙂|
I’m thankful that I was given the gift of carrying a child for 9 months under my heart. Having been told I’d never have children, this was such a gift for me that I still thank God every day for my beautiful, amazing girl 🙂
|Hubby, & Brex at 1 hour old 🙂|
I’m thankful for a husband who is so unselfish that he always puts myself and our child before himself. My hubby is an amazing man, and we will be married for 30 years in October – and I love him even more than I did at the beginning and, even better, he loves me like that, too 🙂
|True Love 🙂|
I’m thankful for a warm, dry house. We lived in so many places that were falling down around our ears – houses that weren’t that old, but so badly built that we had to battle mould or drafts all the time. We now live in a 300 year old house that is as warm, and snug, as we need, and wanted 🙂
|Fred, guarding the house 🙂|
I’m thankful for the gift of love that our dog, a Jack Russell Terrier called Fred Barker, gives unstintingly to us. He will be 19 next march. He is as deaf as a post, and is so arthritic he has a job stepping over the tiny lip on his bed but, the minute he sees either of us, his tail wags, and he gives us that amazing doggy smile we fell in love with when we first rescued him 18 years ago.
|Fred, aged 10.|
I’m thankful for our cat, Kushka, who was rescued as a tiny kitten. We took her into our home, and our hearts, when she was barely 6 weeks old, and had to keep feeding her replacement milk for a month as she had been in such a bad way. She’ll be 5 next birthday, and she is my constant companion, lying as close beside me as she can – she has always seemed to be aware that sitting on me would only bring pain. She purrs like an engine when pain takes me over, as if she is trying her best to soothe me, and she has always been there for me, no matter what.
|Kushka, breaking in the new cover I crocheted 🙂|
I’m thankful for the gift of crochet. I hadn’t crocheted before I started to learn last July, and had got into a bad place in my head when I’d had to give up knitting and cross-stitch, as my hands couldn’t cope with either any more, so to find that I was able to hold a crochet hook enough to use it, was a fantastic thing to happen to me 🙂
|My Spring Fling cushion cover.|
I’m thankful for the internet, as it took me out of myself, and brought a world full of the most amazing people into my life, and into my heart. After I got housebound, the world became a very drab place, as I had come from a large family, so was used to company, and noise, and all the other things that come with family life. I had always loved visiting all of our many friends homes, and going places and seeing people whenever I chose to, so to be housebound was a kind of torture for me but, once I had the internet in my home, it opened up a world of possibilities I couldn’t have imagined – and also enabled me to keep in touch with my daughter, wherever in the world she goes 🙂
|Brex, in an Amazonian village, in Peru 🙂|
I’m thankful for the bounty of things that surround me, for internet shopping, for a free health system that is very much needed for me now, for the chance to be able to do what I can to stay focussed on the future, so that I can stay true to myself, and true to God.
|Me, on our 29th wedding anniversary 🙂|
I’m thankful for the chance to have lived this life that I have – whether good or bad! To have been born in a time, and a place, where women are able to make whatever life they dream of, and for the chance to be able to have my voice heard all around the world.
I’m not sure whether it’s good for a small lion to be going hither and thither only a few weeks from birth but, apparently, when Brex told him she was headed to Boomtown to do a stint with Slamboree, and then make her maiden performance with her own group, The Gutterstars Collective, Ragga Rory told her that, if she didn’t take him, he would hitch-hike by himself, until he got there, too!
Brex wasn’t too pleased at having such a young lion threaten to go out into the world on his own, so she told him he could come – provided he didn’t misbehave the way he had at the previous festival!
Ragga Rory had the grace to look slightly ashamed at that, though Brex still wasn’t sure whether he also had a guilty look, either. After all, she hadn’t heard yet whether Australian piggy had been seen since 😦
But, after promising to be as well behaved as he could be, Brex took Ragga Rory along with her. She was going to Boomtown early, as her group had to rehearse on the stage where they were doing their maiden gig, as they’d been rehearsing in all sorts of warehouses, or places where they could use fire. So Brex and Ragga Rory set off to join the rest of her crew, and her Slamboree pals.
Brex had warned Ragga Rory that she was going to be particularly busy over the next few days as, rehearsing with two separate crews, with one of them her total responsibility, wasn’t going to be easy for her. But Ragga Rory promised he would behave himself, and stay in their tent being a good little lion.
On the journey to Boomtown, Ragga Rory had been really pleased to make a new friend – a chimp called Gabba Babba – who kept him entertained throughout the journey with all his tales of the festivals he had already been to.
Ragga Rory really enjoyed the tales, and hoped that he could behave himself this time, so that Brex would keep taking him with her wherever she went. Gabba Babba was really up on all the latest music, so he spent a lot of his time while they travelled, bringing Ragga Rory up to date, though Gabba Babba found that Ragga Rory was a little tone deaf – but he figured it wouldn’t notice with all the crowds that would be at the festival.
After a while on the journey, Gabba Babba felt tired, and went to sleep, so Ragga Rory asked if he could come forward, so he had a better view of the countryside around them as they travelled.
Much to his horror, everyone insisted that he wear a sun hat, as the sun was quite strong at the front of the van, so Ragga Rory reluctantly put on the strange garment they came up with.
He wasn’t sure why there were so many muffled giggles, and got a bit upset that nobody would share whatever joke was going around but, very soon, all the road signs indicated that they were nearly there at Boomtown, so Ragga Rory forgot everything else, and looked forward to whatever was going to happen in the week ahead . . .