Sunday, 28 October 2012

Christmas? Bah Humbug NOT YET!!!It's OCTOBER

Please look at the DATE on this newspaper: yes it's only the 26 OCTOBER , not November, not December
and yet they have a Christmassy headline. Yeuch! Is that a sign of this recession?
We haven't had halloween or Guy Fawkes yet and here we are knee deep in Christmas decorations etc.
There was a time when Christmas lights in Oxford Street and Regent Street were switched on on the 5th December? And a dear friend of mine's family did not decorate their house until Christmas Eve! Now THAT's tradition for you.
Here's the Christmas decorated store of John Lewis on Oxford St:

And there was a strong theme of star wars in legoland at the entrance to the toys : you have to pass through this to go to the wool, yarn and fabric section...
 The friendly R2D2

Darth Vadar is it?

It was nice being in London and I went on the Oxford Tube , which was comfortable but did take two hours and I was home much later than if I'd caught a train to Haddenham as I then had to drive home from Oxford Park ;n Ride. A lot cheaper though, especially with my student card discount : £13 RETURN!!!
Friday felt as though it was the 13th, I stupidly got my right thumb stuck in my own car door: a d.i.y. injury so to speak but jolly painful all the same.

Had to leave the car at work, felt sick and faint for ages and missed out on an evening of jewellery making demonstrations and workshops. Then in the frost my car battery dies at work so we couldn't collect my car on Saturday but had try again today.
As you can see I still tried to crochet late Friday night but held the hook between index and middle finger instead.
The girls have carved their PUMPKINS today so when I've photographed these they'll appear tomorrow.
As it's HALLOWEEN soon and NOT Christmas yet.

Macleod's Fancy at the Oxfordshire Branch RSCDS Annual Ball

This is a dance I didn't know very well and I was mildly shocked to find there would be no recaps at the ball this year! I did remember that there were recaps last year and I also recall Mick telling me in the summer dances at Summertown that he wasn't exactly looking forward to doing the recaps so maybe that's why they decided NOT to do them this year. Although it was a good fun evening, the lack of recaps introduced an element of fear not to say terror into the proceedings and two things happened: I smiled a lot less than is usual for me - I was fearfully concentrating- and I danced less dances than I otherwise would have done.

And this is one of those, I am grateful for a lady who showed me the way to the gallery so I could video this dance from this excellent viewpoint.

 Here it is THIS is how you dance this dance.

MACLEOD'S FANCY  (J4x32)  4C set                                                                            J Drewry  RSCDS Bk 33
 1- 8     1s+4s set diagonally, 1M+4L ¾ turn RH & cast up/down own side back to place while 1L+4M cast down/up own side & ¾ turn RH back to place
 9-16    All dance reels of 4 on sides, ending as  at start of reel
17-24   2s & 3s turn 1s & 4s RH into a St Andrew's Cross, all set & turn crnrs to end 1s in 3rd pl & 4s in 2nd pl on own sides having passed other crnr RSh
25-32   1s & 4s set & cross over (Ladies dancing between Men) & dance ½ Fig of 8 round end couples to 3rd/2nd places (giving RH at top, LH at bottom)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Noro Silk Garden Jacket FINISHED

 It's a lovely slim fit on my new slim form: 8st 9 don;t you know?!!! Almost ALL my other knitwear is way big on me now. So this makes a lovely change.I think I prefer the back to the front?!!

 Lucy just HAD to claim this new blanket didn't she?
 Started this in early October and it grows very quickly despite the hook size, have adjusted the pattern in terms of stitch preference and as to gauge as I crochet loosely but could not face going down 2 hook sizes! 
So I have redone all the maths to cope with MY gauge. I'm using a 3.5mm hook and 4 skeins of Silk Garden  sock from NORO, purchased in a passionate moment from John Lewis in Oxford Street, after having attended two days of a SAGE bookkeeping course in North London. The pictures from the book and the idea of doinf the pattern had already been playing on my mind for a while and when I saw ''my'' colours in a heap of silk garden sock yarn and they were all of the same dyelot- a rare event- I went with my instincts and bought it on impulse. That was 25th September and now less than a month later I'm wearing it! It's the fastest turnaround ever for a GARMENT and with such a small hook too! ANd I'm working a 6-7 day week, with study on 2 of my days, bookkeeping at weekends and the day job as ususal, so I'mn really only crocheting at leisure evening times or on the bus etc. Quite a few small changed were made:
And I wanted long sleeves not 3/4 so I amended that also.
Second sleeve almost finished and that’s within a week .
Am loving the tweedy colour changes, but the twist tendency in the yarn make it challenging to crochet with. 
The pattern is the lime green and black version in the new book Crochet Noro which I have ordered from Amazon. 
Hey I finished the second sleeve on Friday night 12th October and today Monday 15th I have finished the entire cardigan, it fits superbly and I LOOOOOVE IT!!! 
I did wing the yoke in that I devised my own way of decreases on the raglan lines to create the yoke working from the bottom up. 
And the sleeve length is perfect! That’s very rare for me, usually they are far too long and rarely are they too short. I love the edging in the pattern but I went a bit further and added two to three more rows to get more vertical stripeyness into the front. 
And my neckline is a little higher to accomodate the classic shirts and polonecks that I’m planning to wear it with. 
And I have 50 g of the ysrn left over!

FINISHED ON 20.10.2012 and weighs 355 g.
And it’s not a personal pattern but isn’t on Ravelry yet. The project is but not the  pattern.
It’s in the NORO CROCHET book due out soon with a preview available on amazon. I have pre ordered it and it was due out in UK in November 2012 but that has now been changed to February 2013 for some reason and I COULD NOT wait that long!!!

Am so very very happy with this, but what shall I make next?

Corfu part 2

The holiday was in fact from 5th August to 12th August and I am finally catching up a bit on photos awaiting a bit of sharing and display. Besides on such a grey and chilly wet day here with lots of study, sorting, washing and accounting chores to do a bit of remembered sunshine is good for the spirit.

 It was incredibly hot with temperatures above 30 degrees Celcius every day so we were either in the shade or IN the water: mostly the sea but sometimes the pool. And Miss E sometimes reclined in the hotel room in the hottest part of the afternoons for a siesta and some English TV watching.

 The food was lovely, especially not having to shop for it or cook it! We had booked half board and thus enjoyed a marvellous buffet at breakfast and dinner and went lightly with salads and frozen yoghurt at lunchtime.

 In the late afternoon: usually after 5pm it got very very windy and the parasols and beds would start to be blown over or across the sand.

And always we were plane spotting...! As well as the local wildlife: lizards.

Corfu part 1

Ah the SEA! How I had longed for a view of the sea. This is my first glimpse when exploring the hotel.
It's on a steep cliff, hence the railing and from the pool edge we are looking down to the private hotel beach.

see the monastery? this was out first view of it. Early evening on the Sunday of arrival.

 And the following morning at the hotel's beach this is what it was like:

 It was very near the airport so there was noise but it was fun watching the planes come in to land or take off to go home.
Looking back at the hotel from the beach, the steep lines are the blissful lift which ferries you from the hotel to the beach, blissful because doing that descent and ascent in the HEAT would have been challenging to say the least.
More to follow soon.

Friday, 19 October 2012

New skills in crochet and cooking experimentation

 My latest project is this dachshund from Knitting magazine September issue 106, i only bought the mag for this pattern as I had a picture just like it in style from a crochet artist for many years now and had meant to have a go at copying it but you know: there's never enough time! Then I saw this pattern for the exact same thing and there you go: HAD to have it. I'm doing it in Anchor magicline as I had lots in my stash.
 The body above is this really weird shape but a lady on Ravelry has also made it already and her shape was the same so it must be OK.

I'm also finishing the NORO boxy jacket this weekend because I finished the second sleeve last Friday and the yoke on the Saturday and even the front edgings have been done, I just have to finish the sleeve edges and sew all the ends in and locate the perfect button.
I've a ticket to a BALL next Saturday and it got me thinking about this dress I bought last year but have to do some re-making on. Not that I can get it done by next week but for the next dance  or Ball maybe, it's that season now isn't it? The dress is black strips of satin with net and it flares superbly but I had to remove the nylon lining as I'd be allergic to it and I plan to re-line it with royal blue cotton in the bodice- nice and cool for dancing- and royal blue satin lining for the skirt. And of course having bought it to fit snugly last November it's now a bit big as I've gone from a 14- 16 to a size 10.

I digress: I tried it on the other day and the girls said it was horribly ''GOTH'' so I got to thinking that I need to tone down the black even more with 'something'' down the 18 bands of satin.
I was thinking applique flowers or simple but striking embroidery? Or suddenly this morning I thought: BEADS! A crocheted beaded trim!
So off I went- away from my textbook on statistics I was supposed to be studying-to find my book on beaded crocheted edgings: Oya as they are called in Turkey.

This is the book and although I have had it for ages I have not as yet made anything from it.
I used Rowan knitting beads- again from quite a few years ago as I could not find a fine needle that was NOT a beading needle, and this allowed me to thread the beads with a fine tapestry needle. I used DMC BABYLO 20/12 and a 1.25 mm hook. I could face the 0.75 mm recommended in the book.

 A bit tricky and fiddly to do at first but I rather liked the result, except that the edging in the book was too unidirectional to be applied to a ribbon so in the bottom sample I present my own adaptation.
Am really pleased with the result, although it may need 8 beads in the centre , I will decide in the morning with daylight whether I like the effect on the ribbons. I would need to repeat my sample 72 times at least and for this will need more beads also.

Meanwhile we've been cooking up a storm at weekends as we don;t go out to save money etc etc. Austerity don't you know.
 This is my own recipe: totally three bean lasagna with a creme fraiche and grated cheese topping. Before and after oven shots.
 Got rated very highly and all dissappeared into family tummies pronto. Then there was the NIGELLA macaroni cheese a hot fave we haven't enjoyed since 2011.

the top one has bits of bacon added and the bottom one was made in a cake form so I can freeze it for the girls when I stay in Oxford for dancing.
 Divided into 4 for freezing as portions.
 Turkey meatloaf didn;t look so good but tasted just fine and dandy.
 This is a WW recipe and this is what is was supposed to look like:
 And here's me saying cheerio in a mohair cardigan I crocheted in early 2005, it's a bit big on me now but a great warm one for these chilly days! We haven't got the heating on yet.

Noro photos coming soon.