Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Hooray, hoorah, whoop-dee-do....ta-dah !

Earlier this week, having finished knitting my Shwrap and with no other projects yet started I
realised there was nothing for it but to buckle down and finish
 the blooming ends on my Perpetual Blanket that have been sitting
 there looking at me for quite some time now.
In total there were 10 rows of 22 bobbles .... I know !
And each one needing to be carefully finished off in the neatest possible way.
A plan was needed and the solution was of course ... chocolate !
With six rows left to be finished I would give myself a little reward of
one delicious Cadburys egg at the end of each completed row.
Excellent, that should work !
And it did...... it's done !
The Blanket of Perpetuity is complete...
and I am in love
It all started back when I saw Jules completely heavenly mixed stripey  blanket
and from that moment on there was no looking back.
Having chosen my colours and made up a pattern the blanket has slowly been
 growing since early last Summer.
Many a happy hour was spent in last Summers beautiful
warm days sat in the shade crocheting a way...
 .... and it took me through cold winters evenings in front of the fire.

LOTS and LOTS of evenings were spent dealing with the ends.
Now probably if I had been very clever I would have worked these in as I went -
but, hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing !
Jules came up with the best suggestion ever of simply making a fold over border
 all the way around the blanket that could encase all the ends and that
 certainly saved a lot of extra work.

It also gave the blanket a beautifully firm edge,

and added a lovely weight to it.

 And so , here it is, in all its bobbly glory !
As mentioned before I have issues with randomness
 ( wish I didn't, but I just do... )
and so, unlike Jules blanket I decided on a pattern that repeated but still
 allowed enough of an effect I think.
When I'd finished the border I added a little scalloped
edge just to soften the overall effect.

And I do just love it ....
And, if I may be so bold, please may I just show you the reverse..
Look, it evens looks pretty presentable on the back...
so worth all those hours of sewing in the bobble ends.

This blanket will be added to the two others that are in our caravan
 and whilst the sun was out this morning I took some pictures of them all...

....with the green daisy blanket that I made last year that
is super warm on our caravan bed,

... and with the burgundy sofa blanket for those chillier evenings.

I completely love how they all go together but are all that little bit different too.

Haven't as yet mentioned to my lovely other half that one more blanket
 has been added to the 'Caravan Collection' but
 I'm sure he'll be fine about it ( ! ) , maybe....


Monday, 17 February 2014

A weekend of ♥'s ...

Keeping in the spirit of St. Valentines this post is all about the things that I 
have ♥ed this weekend...

...Toasted Hot Cross Buns and tea after work on  Friday afternoon...

... one very spoilt dog curled up next to me on the sofa...

...some more wool for my wrap, so beautifully packaged from LoveKnitting...

... a Friday evening just knitting ...

...Saturday morning view from my bedroom window...

... the sun desperately trying to make its way through the clouds...

... a lovely morning making Save the Date cards with eldest daughter Meg, 
who got engaged last weekend !...

... finding cats in various places around the house making the most of the warmth..

(... definitely coming back as a cat., they are true masters of chilling...)

.... Open windows on Sunday morning, and SUN !!!! ....

... a big pot of homemade Ratatouille that will do dinner for the next couple of days ...

... my Valentines present from lovely hubby, it only took the smallest amount of persuading that we needed another heart in our house ...

...  its new home in the sunshine on the stairs ...

.... from tea infront of the fire on Friday to tea in the garden on Sunday morning...

... little bursts of Spring beginning to shine through ...

... and finally that by yesterday evening my wrap had grown this much...

.. little things I know, but all adding up to a very happy, homely weekend.


Monday, 10 February 2014

Try and try again ...

When I got in from work last Wednesday there was a much awaited parcel sat on the kitchen table...
my new book from Juju Loop's !
I had been so excited about receiving this and it did not disappoint. 

It has several truly beautiful wrap patterns in it ... and the layout 
and photo's in the book make it a real feast to look at.

I think if I hadn't already decided on the wrap I have chosen to make I
 would have uhmed and ahhed for some time over which one to pick.

The colours and yarns they have chosen are quite gorgeous.

But this one it is...
the Prairie Shawl.

My yarn was already chosen and bought ...
time to get started.

 That all sounds so simple and straight forward doesn't it .... 
...and then I looked at the pattern !
Oh man .... I think the pattern totals 5 pages with 5 charts, and written instructions as well.
I looked at it for a bit and then shut the book.
I then looked at it again a few minutes later, 
strangely it looked much the same and hadn't got any easier.
Add to that the fact that I haven't knitted anything for several years
 and it suddenly all seemed a little overwhelming.

However, the NEED for me to have this beautiful wrap far outweighed any further 
doubts and having told myself that I am an intelligent woman and it really would be 
very silly to let myself be beaten by this and that it is, after
 all, simply just stitches written down I looked at the pattern again. 
I cast on 246 stitches, 
very strange after crocheting for so long now with just the 1 stitch, 
and made a start...
...I made that same start three times altogether...
and it has to be said there was fair bit of huffing and puffing and a small 
amount of rather choice language thrown in for good measure.
But, after 3 evenings of working on it this is how far I have got ...

... it's a start and I am SO happy that I persevered because I really feel quite proud of myself now.
Admittedly there's a long way to go but I won't be giving up any time soon.

The other really, really exciting thing that happened this weekend was that a friend and I took the train to London to go and see Warhorse at The National Theatre in Drury Lane.
We had been given the tickets as Christmas presents and it was such a treat to have something all booked up and planned, all we needed to do was to get ourselves there.
We got to London for around 4pm and had a little mooch around Covent Garden, stopping for something to eat before heading off to the Theatre.

I have wanted to see this production for so long and even more so since seeing the film, as I couldn't imagine how such a complex story could be converted to be a stage play.
I had seen the horse puppets several times on the television and was quite transfixed with how real they looked, never still for a minute and with all the perfect mannerisms of a horse, from twitching ears and flicking tail to all the little snorts and whinnying, and stomping of hooves.

To say it was a triumph doesn't even begin to describe it.
It was compassionate and real, intense and brutal and utterly, utterly breath taking.
 I am still thinking about it constantly.
 It was impossible to not believe that the horses were real .

And most of all, with it all having taken place 100 years ago this year it was so poignant.

One million horses were taken from Britain to France during the war, with only 62,000 returning.
However hard we try I think we will never be able to truly know what it must have been like.

Needless to say, if you get the chance to see this production don't hesitate for a minute.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

This and that ...

Before I even begin this post all I can say is ...WOW ! 
Sooo many lovely comments on my For the Love of Grey post,I was completely blown away ..
.. thank you all my lovely bloggy friends.
And I am very happy to report that I am not alone in my passion for all things grey.
It would seem that there are many of us out there - and I would like to commend Chrissie for her excellent detective skills in immediately hot footing it  to the internet, sourcing grey nail varnish and reporting straight back to HQ !

Quite surprisingly for me there is a little more colour in todays post, first being in my 'perpetual' blanket.
It still continues and I am having to be really very firm with myself in getting on with it as whilst I was able to wrap all the end of row ends in a rather nifty little fold over border - no such good fortune with all the endless bobbles that seemed such a good idea at the time.
I'm sure it will be worth it in the end but each row of bobbles takes about half an hour to tie off and sew in, and interesting work it is not !

So, I have found myself getting really very distracted from this task really very easily.

Just before Christmas I finally managed to get round to the much overdue job 
of sorting out all the various bags and piles of wool from all their little hidey holes around the house and I now feel extremely self righteous as everything is where it should be and order has been restored.
And even better than that I can see what wool I have ....
which has been brilliant when I'm looking for small little inbetween things to make.

These small inbetween makes have tended to mostly be of the scarf variety ( 4 to date ) but when I sat and counted the other day I realised that 5 Man Hats have been made since the beginning of January as well.
They have certainly proved to be a bit of a hit with 2 out of the 3 Boyfriends happily sporting them.
( I should explain here that obviously these are not my Boyfriends, what with being happily married and all , but Daughter Boyfriends ! )

They really are the simplest hats ever and I have all the pictures ready and waiting for 
me to write up the pattern.  
By my reckoning there's not a lot of crochet makes for the men folk so it has given me a very warm and happy feeling to have produced something that has been so happily received - and more to the point, worn !
Better still, I am slowly but surely using up all my little odds and ends of leftovers.

Now, this last hat, well, what can I say !
Being curled up on the sofa yesterday feeling very coldy and a bit yuk generally I thought I'd try a pattern that I had found on Ravelry for a Minion Hat.
A couple of hours later and look !

It certainly put a smile on my face and made me feel a whole lot better 
and an order has already been placed for Boyfriend 3's 21st birthday present.

Just lately whilst looking through all my favourite blogs I have noticed that many shawls are being carefully worked on, with some truly beautiful results.
Now, as much as I love them, I'm just not sure that I am a shawl type of person, bizarely its something about the pointy bit down the back.
 But much as I have tried to put this thought to one side, when I was sat at the weekend, cold nicely brewing, I really could see the appeal of something other than an all enveloping blanket to provide a bit of comfort and warmth.
I love scarves and also wraps, but there is just something about the delicateness of a shawl.
Maybe, I thought , I need a Shwrap !! 
A wrap type shawl without the pointy back bit !
This thought naturally took me straight to Pinterest and there it was......
in all its wonderful, bobbly glory.... exactly what I had in mind.

Before too long and with the amazing powers of the Internet I tracked it down to being a pattern from a book called juju's loops.
Ten minutes later and the book had been ordered, paid for and happily is now winging its way to me.

Don't you just LOVE the internet ?
I can't wait for it to arrive and to get started.
It has to be said that I haven't knitted for some time so either this will prove to be '"fun and challenging" or it will mean a quick drive to Mums to ask her if she can make it for me !
I'll let you know.