Friday, 31 January 2014

Stripes of my own.....


I have been reading blogs for around 2 years. However, I don't read a huge number, and the ones that I do read tend to be 'craft-focused' and in particular 'crochet-focused'.

Now for all those people out there who are either bloggers themselves or just read blogs, there can be very few with an interest in crochet who have not visited the blog written by Lucy and called Attic24. I came across Lucy's blog a couple of years ago when I first tiptoed into the blogging world and like so many before me I was cheered by the colours of her craft and wowed by her woolly works. And her blog is so friendly too. She has a Facebook page with almost 150,000 followers worldwide! She is a legend!

So here is my Lucy inspired project - my very own crocheted, striped blanket! And I absolutely LOVE it. I actually think I could eat those colours....

So this blanket is destined for my king size bed.

I am double crocheting throughout and I am using Patons 100% cotton DK which gives a fantastic stitch definition. In fact the stitch definition is so good I decided to crochet just simple stripes, back and forth. I think the stripes and stitches gives the blanket plenty of interest without making it anymore complicated. 

I took my time choosing the colours and width of stripes, and made small samples to see how it all worked together. My only regret is that I think the blanket should have been about 12cm wider. When I crocheted the foundation row it stretched across the bed comfortably but I have since read that you need to make the foundation row a bit longer than you think as it tends to shrink a little once you start crocheting - oh well, you live and learn. I'll know next time (- there will be a next time?)

I am using 7 colours which I will repeat 6 times - and I am just over half way. Yippee!

So what do you think? Do you like it or are the colours not to your taste?

More inspirational blogs another time!

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, 30 January 2014



"Jeremy who?" you may be asking. Well, in this case I am talking about Jeremy Irons.

I fell in love with Jeremy Irons when I watched the TV serialization of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. I nearly wrote "I first fell in love", but realized this was incorrect because I think it is safe to say my love affair with Jeremy Irons lasted as long as the showing of the TV serial.

The serial was broadcast in 1981. Jeremy played the role of Charles Ryder, with Anthony Andrews taking the role of Lord Sebastian Flyte. The very striking Castle Howard in North Yorkshire was used as the fictional mansion Brideshead. Construction of Castle Howard began in 1699 and took over 100 years to complete. The house was designed by John Vanbrugh, and is truly impressive and well worth a visit. (I've provided lots of links for you to follow if you are interested in learning more...)

So why I am talking about Jeremy Irons and Bridehsead Revisited? Well, this is the reason...

I belong to a book club and 'Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder' (to give the book its full title) is our next read. And I was pretty excited when I spotted this Penguin paperback in a charity shop while visiting Matlock. The back cover shows more of the actors including Sir Laurence Olivier as Lord Marchmain.

I have to confess that I have never read 'Brideshead Revisited' and I'm looking forward to doing so. I am quite sure that reading this Penguin version will bring to my eye delightful visions and memories of Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews enacting the roles of Charles and Sebastian. What a treat!

Did you watch the TV serial? Have you read the book?

Hope you are enjoying your current read!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Work games


I consider myself fairly lucky in terms of employment, I have a job, almost full time, that on the whole I enjoy. At its best it is stimulating, challenging and varied. At its worst it is frustrating and boring. Besides the vexations brought on by that oft quoted subject 'admin', my other main trial is 'office politics'.

Success in my organisation is clearly achieved by 'playing the game' and the problem is, I am just not cut out to play that game. I don't make a big noise about the work I am doing, even though I am ticking all the right boxes, suggesting that I am doing a pretty good job. I don't have the right personality to 'toot my horn'. And I probably don't utilize the right vocabulary - although hold on a minute, I managed to squeeze in a good word then, did you notice? Yes, that's right, 'utilize' instead of good old 'use'. What is wrong with 'use'?

And what are the rules to this game? There are certainly no written rules, and no doubt the rules that prevail in one organization are unlikely to be the same rules that apply to another organisation, even if they are of the same ilk. And would the rules that apply to one person equally apply to all?

Do you find office politics a trial? How do you cope with office politics? Do you play to the rules?

To finish today I'm leaving you with some photos taken while on holiday in the summer of 2013. We stayed at High Lidmoor Farmhouse in the North Yorkshire Moors. High Lidmoor is a holiday let managed by the National Trust.

The cottage is a traditional stone built farmhouse located at the end of a long farm track.

The peace was palpable.

The views were stunning.

And the weather was fantastic.

Just look at that evening sky. Enjoy.......

(P.S. please click on the photos if you wish to see a larger image)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The little people

Good afternoon,

We live in a houseful of people. A small number of them are living, breathing humans but the vast majority are the little people.

We share our home with cowboys and pirates, gymnasts and knights, rock climbers and policemen. They live in castles and ships, on shelves and in cupboards, in bedrooms and the living room.

They are generally well behaved, displaying a strong tendency to stay in one position for most of the time; occasionally one goes astray but they are soon recovered. But, despite their somewhat impassive appearance, these small people are capable of taking on life in an instant - all it takes is an injection of movement from the humans in the house. Suddenly, whole new worlds and kingdoms open up in our house, limitless adventures beckon and abound...

I managed to persuade a few little people to group themselves for a photo.

How many little people inhabit your house?

Monday, 27 January 2014


... "Our jungle fighters want socks". So says the poster designed by Abram Games (1914-1996) and reprinted below as a postcard (purchased on a recent visit to the Churchill War Rooms in London).

Of course I didn't hesitate to buy the postcard; being a knitter myself I am more than happy to display this image in my house, but I appreciate that for me it presents a little bit of humour, a far cry from its original intention. I like the picture as presumably the statement was aimed mainly at women, and yet it isn't the most obvious image that I think would appeal to the majority of women. Does the tangle of green wool represent the dense growth of the jungle?

More examples of the work of Abram Games can be found here. Games was appointed the Official War Poster Artist in the Second World War and designed 100 posters. The website states that Games believed the "biggest impact came from the simplest of designs". This is true for so many things in life, whether designed by humans or nature.

Well, I learnt something new today - always the sign of a good day.

Friday, 24 January 2014

super stripes!

Good morning

What is it about human nature that it is often the little things that make us happy? I had one such heartskipping moment of happiness yesterday - not my only moment of happiness of the day I hasten to add, it was just that this came at an unexpected moment and from an unexpected source.

A couple of months ago I was browsing the magazines in a local store, as you do, when a photo in Country Living's November issue bowled me over - it was a photo of a relatively simple striped knitted blanket on a double bed but I LOVED IT! In fact I so much wanted that photo for future inspiration I nearly bought the magazine just for that ONE photo. Then I reasoned with myself that it hardly made economical sense to buy a magazine for one photo. So instead I logged the image in my mind. Then .......

..... yesterday I decided to have a quick look at the magazine stall at our local market. This trader sells a wide range of out-of-date magazines, covering topics as diverse as angling, running, model trains and glamour magazines. I used to be a very regular customer purchasing cross stitching and knitting magazines, however, he rarely has anything of interest to me now, except the occasional house and home magazine. So yesterday, as I was passing, I casually picked up one magazine and quickly flicked through it and one photo leaped off the paper and yes I'm sure you can guess, it was the photo of the striped blanket!! Without a moment's hesitation, out came my purse and and for the princely sum of £1 (I nearly said 100 pennies but that actually sounds quite an extravagant price!) the magazine and that inspirational photo were mine!

So by now I'm hoping that you are eager to see the source of all this excitement - and I hope that at least some of  you like it as much as I do, here goes......

I apologize for the quality of the photo - but thanks to Country Living for a bit of inspiration. This photo was taken from issue November 2013.

Interestingly for me, in the same article there are some photos of knitted curtains which look fantastic and must be soooo warm  and I'm delighted to see they are somewhat similar to the blanket I am crocheting at the moment - alternate grey stripes with bright stripes. So many project ideas .... so many unfinished projects ..... so little time .....

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Starters ......

Here goes!! .....  And pow! I've jumped into the world of blogging.

How many before me have made this first step into the world of blogging? How many new bloggers have pondered "what shall I write?" How many have speculated "will anyone read it?"

So why should I be any different? But maybe I'll take a bullish stance (which rather goes against the grain) and I'll assume that I must have something interesting that someone out there will enjoy reading. Otherwise, why on earth would I consider blogging again?

That's it, blogging all sewn up for today, now where's that cup of coffee .....