Saturday, 30 May 2009

New crochet books

I overslept this morning which is hardly surprising considering how little sleep that I have had in the last few weeks. I was woken up by a loud thud on the doormat. It was my new crochet books from Amazon. I was surprised to see them this early as I only ordered them on Thursday evening and I chose the no postage option which usually delays the books by a day or so.

The book on crochet and knit flowers is well worth the £7+ and I am going to make use of it later for some more flower brooches. The crochet sweater book contains many patterns that I will make, perhaps not fashionable for the young but practical for me who doesn't always want crochet to be openwork and lacy.I will take some photos of the contents of the book later. The odd ball book is a disappointment. Silly pillows and baby hats with fun fur fringes around the face are not my idea of using up odd balls. The only pattern that I think I will use is baby shoes but I will adapt from the mohair in the book. I mean - just who puts babies in mohair slippers? Have they never heard of wet sticky baby fingers and shedding mohair? The thought of all of that mohair finding it's way into a baby mouth is unthinkable. I am sure that some of these designers for children and baby wear don't actually have children of their own otherwise they would use far more practical wool that withstands the rigours of multiple washings that a normal baby generates during the course of a day. My son could get through at least 3 changes of clothing in a day when he was a baby and there would have been no way that I would have been hand washing and pulling into shape anything he wore.

As I said yesterday the wool for the rest of the mermaid tail arrived yesterday and I diligently crocheted most of a ball last night by the light of my lamp. This morning in the sunlight it became apparent that the colour has varied considerably from the first ball that I had crocheted a few weeks ago but as the pattern is intricate and the triple trebles are playing havoc with my wrists there is no way that I am undoing it all the way to the beginning and starting again. The wool is fluffy and I would probably waste loads of it as the strands tend to weld themselves together in crochet. Each ball appears a slightly different to the other when I look at it in the sunlight so there isn't a lot that I can do about it and I am certainly not faffing about doing a couple of rows from one ball and then changing to another, and then another. Fish have different colours so I will just have to hope that the changes don't show too much on the photos. That is one of the drawbacks from hand dyed wool. It can vary considerably from ball to ball.

The weather is lovely today but I haven't seen much of it so far. I just feel incredibly tired as I usually do when I have too much sleep. I hate lying in bed as it spoils the rest of the day for me.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Crochet Flower Corsages

As I am still sorting out the ribbons and buttons from the loft I haven't had much time for crocheting. I have just been making some little flower brooches for the raffle. I have ordered a book from Amazon about crochet and knitted flowers. I had seen the book at the last Knit Out and thought it was a good idea and then got an e voucher from filling in an online survey so I put it towards the book. It should arrive early next week. Then I can make some more brooches or corsages as I grandly called then in the title. The ones I have made so far have been adapted from free pattern that I found on the net. I think that I would rather wait to see the better ones in the book before I make any more.

Sorting through the boxes from my loft has brought back many memories as I keep coming across things that remind me of my parents. Happier times when we had the shops and everything in the world was rosy. Sad times when I remember the utter misery that I felt when I realised that I had no choice but to close the last shop.I felt that I had failed my parents by not being able to carry on financially with the shops after their hard work over the years.I had thought that I would be in the shops until I retired but some things are not meant to be. Things like divorce, having to remortgage the house, family illnesses, visits to nursing homes and subsequent deaths got in the way.

If I could have weathered the storm during the last knitting slump no doubt the credit crunch would have got me now. My bank manager refused me a loan on the grounds that I was an unsupported woman with commitments a thing he would never get away with saying now. Who knows which way my life would have turned out if I had been granted that loan to rescue the business that I had neglected during my Father's final battle with prostate cancer. We never know what life holds for us and it's probably as well. My mother always used to say that knitting would revive and be as big as it ever was. I am just sorry that she didn't live long enough to see her prediction come true. Sorry that I am not still in the family business to be part of it.It breaks my heart to try to search about in shops, that carry less than a quarter of my stock, for things that I stocked and now cannot find anywhere except online where the P&P costs more than the item.

The sun is shining and I will probably sit in the garden with my crochet for a while if it's warm enough. I have got the rest of the wool now for the crocheting that will form the mermaid tail for the calendar shoot so I will be doing a bit on that if I can remember where I am up to with the pattern as I started the first ball several weeks ago.Vicky called around today to deliver the rest of the wool for me but could not stay as she was off to the Trafford Centre.

First it's a spot of lunch and Loose Women on TV before I decide what to do next.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Crochet Flower Headbands

These little headbands are what started me on my quest to have all of my craft supplies in one place. I realised that I would want a small piece of elastic for the back of each headband but that my elastic was in a box in the loft. I could, of course, have bought some elastic but as my knee and I are not friends at the moment the thought of a tram ride for a yard of elastic was just too much to contemplate.

I managed to get a lot of sorting done yesterday but needed to enlist the help of the teenager next door to lift the boxes down from the loft for me. He was out for the day so they didn't get lifted down until he arrived home at 6pm. I then got side tracked by looking inside every box and trying to reorganise what was in there. My upstairs looks like an explosion in a haberdashers at the moment but I am confident that it will look far tidier when it is finished although I dread any visitors today! Why is it when you have a good sort out it looks far worse than when you started for a day or so? At least when I have finished I will know which box to look in and the box will be easily accessible.

I found the elastic and so was able to make the headbands but of all the thousands of buttons that I had I only had cream ones that were the right size and shape for the centre of the flower so I hope that they look OK.

The pattern for the headbands is from Crochet Today Special Baby Issue May/June but it really is so easy that I am sure that you could improvise a headband similar if you don't have the magazine. Just make a chain long enough to fit the head with a small gap for the elastic, and then crochet all around the chain (both sides) with UK double crochet and then make a shell of UK Trebles inter spaced with a UK double crochet making sure that the shells line up in a wagon wheel effect. The flowers are simple petal flowers with a hole in the centre large enough to be buttoned onto the headband thereby making the flowers interchangeable. The ides being that instead of crocheting loads of headbands you just make the one or two and make dozens of flowers in different colours to match outfits.

I know I am a bit of a hippy flower child at heart but rest assured that I will not be wearing one of these. They are intended for the Knitting Noras raffles.

Today I have to do some shopping before I settle down to sorting out my bedrooms again. I doubt if much crochet will get done today but I can live in hope of that burst of energy that will make me whizz around like a whirlwind. (I wish)

I didn't have a good start to the day as I ordered a repeat prescription online from my doctors and spelt my last name wrong. It was a typo but honestly after having my married name for over 40 yrs you would think that I could learn to spell it by now!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Organising my Stash and Sundries

The photo today is two more bookmarks that I made last night. I think I have finished making them now. On to something else now.

As some of you already know I used to have wool shops. When the last of these closed I was left with lots of bits and bats. Ribbons, elastic and buttons that didn't sell in my closing down sale. These usually reside in my loft but since I have been making bits for the raffles I have needed to go up into the loft to find lace and ribbons so I have decided to use my tiny box bedroom as a stock room. Trips to my loft are fraught with danger at the moment due to my dodgy knee and an unwieldy loft ladder. I think therefore that I will be safer with everything to hand. Last night I wanted a piece of elastic and knew that I had some in the loft so this prompted my decision to bring everything downstairs.

I have wrangled the single divan bed against the wall to make more room.I need to keep it for visitors. Why do mattresses not have handles any more? The mattress had a life of it's own when I tried to wrestle it into position. The full packs of wool in my stash are easy to store. I have a bookcase that I am using for those but it is so hard to store the part balls of stash wool that tangle themselves together at the slightest movement. I tidy them up and put them into storage boxes and then go back later to find that the unravelling fairy has been into the box and tangled the ends together again.

I want my dining room back. I am not the tidiest of people at the best of times but having balls of wool, ribbons and lace all over the lounge and the dining room whilst I make the raffle projects are starting to get on my nerves so it must be bad! Normally I don't notice.

I haven't as yet brought the boxes down from the loft so wish me luck and pray that I don't fall down the loft ladder carrying a box. I will let you know if I managed to get everything down tomorrow. The room is very small so it will be a really tight squash in there.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

More Crochet Bookmarks

Just a few more crochet bookmarks that I have made for the Knitting Noras raffles. I think that I have made enough for a while so am trying to think of other small items to make. I still need to spray them with a little starch especially the red hearts as they are curling at the moment.

I don't really have any news today. It has been rather a lacklustre day on my part. I just feel tired so maybe a couple of early nights are on the cards.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Crochet fine mohair scarf

I was given a ball of Laines Du Nord Kiddy Print Mohair Sh 600 for a raffle item. I had not used this mohair before so decided to crochet an openwork scarf as I wasn't sure how far one ball would go. I was surprised just how far the one ball went.Although the scarf is narrow it is of passable length. It is always difficult to crochet with mohair as I am never quite sure if I have crocheted into the fluff or the whole stitch.

It was sunny this morning so I went out into the garden to do a bit of crochet but finished up chatting to Julie over the fence as Poppy had come through it once again to visit me. I am not sure if I was the attraction or the fact that she had seen Oscar next door's cat (who I am feeding as they are away) come in the house for his breakfast. The cat wisely legged it upstairs and I had to hobble as fast as I could to close the door to the stairs before Poppy chased him. Undeterred Poppy kept trying to get through a closed door to get to the cat.

I haven't done much today. I had planned some housework and some crochet and in the end nothing got done. Ah well tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Crochet bookmarks

I have been making bookmarks for the raffles. I looked on Ravelry but quickly realised after making the blue pineapple one that they are designed for very fine crochet cotton which I don't have. I then improvised my own designs but they have all turned out on the bigger side as I only had 4ply wool. They have cost me nothing as they are made from oddments and bits of ribbon that I already had so I shall just have to hope that people like them and read big books!

I have started another scarf with a ball of fine mohair and if it progresses today whilst I am out in the garden I will post a photo tomorrow.

Today I went to the farmers Market in my local town. I think I expected it to be as good as the one in Ramsbottom and whilst a lot of the stalls were as good the vegetable stall was,to me, a big disappointment. I was so looking forward to all of the varieties of vegetables that the stall in Ramsbottom has but I came away today with just some potatoes, carrots and a string of onions. They didn't have any of the different varieties like purple broccoli and purple cauliflower. All they had was a few spring greens, turnips and ordinary white cauliflowers.

I did get some lovely lamb chops and a shoulder of lamb from the same people who do Ramsbottom market and some garlic and herb cheese (good job that I love alone) so I am looking forward to my Sunday dinner. It's just a shame that I will only have carrots to go with the lamb and new potatoes.

Poppy came back through the fence again today and seems to want to be with me. She is a barker though and drives me mad with her constant barking. Slightest noise and she is wuffing away. She is 9yrs old so it's a bit late to try to change her habits now. Last night I went into the dining room and there was the black cat from 3 houses away striding around as if he owned the place.. I said to Julie my neighbour that I must be Dr Doolittle and talk to the animals as they all gravitate to my open patio door. I am supposed to be feeding next door's cat as they are away but apart from breaking up a cat howling contest early this morning I haven't seen him to feed him. This is rare as he normally is in the house by now. Perhaps Poppy is keeping him away. She has just come back in the patio door again despite Julie trying to mend all the holes in the fence and privets. I suggested that we just get a gate between us and leave it open! When I walk up the road all of the local cats and dogs come to me for a pat and a stroke as I go by. I am rubbish with babies - they cry when they see me but give me an animal and I am fine. I am the one who gets the pub cat sitting on my knee all night, despite the owners sayint that the cat doesn't like people as a rule, and the pub dog curled up under my chair.

I am off into the garden to take advantage of this glorious sunshine as it might be the only day we have for a while. My washing is dry so I might iron in the garden. Can't stay indoors on a day like today.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Crochet Hat and Scarf Set

I finished off the hat and scarf set made from oddments of Rowan RYC Lux. I have made the hat on the small side although it will just about fit me as a beanie as I thought that the colours would appeal more to a child or young teenager.It is destined for the Knitting Noras calendar fund raffles. I found the medallion stitch in my pattern stitch book and thought that it would make a nice change from stripes.

Last night I was playing around with bits of wool to make crochet bookmarks but I think really that fine crochet cotton would be the best thing to make them with. I don't have any of that and don't feel like a trip to a wool shop that sells it so I will just have to manage with the scraps of wool that I have. I will carry making them until I think of something else to make. I will put photos of the finished ones on the blog tomorrow. I keep thinking of small items that would not be too expensive to sell and yet would appeal to people.A lot of the things I think of would be better knitted and I am more of a crocheter especially when quantity is needed.

Today I haven't done any crochet as I have attempted to mow the lawn and then Julie, my next door neighbour, came into my garden and cut my side of the hedge. Both of these chores left me with piles of clippings to shovel up and that took me some time as my back and knee are still not up to too much bending. Poppy, one of the dogs from next door, was determined to come into my garden and house and spent all of the afternoon digging a pathway through the hedge. She had such a triumphant look on her face when she managed it. Julie now has a garden with skirting boards all around it in an attempt to keep her in. She said that she felt like such a bad parent that her dog wanted to be with me instead of her. I think it was more a case of Poppy found the waste paper basket of Buster's squeaky balls the first time she came through and that was the novelty drawing her back again.

Some of the Knitting Noras are attending a Craft Fair tomorrow afternoon at Smithills in Bolton. They will be teaching anyone who wants to knit and of course spreading the word about the Calendar to all and sundry.

Some of the Noras appeared in print in the Bolton Evening News\

You have to go to the bottom of the page that first appears and then click on the next button (not the next button in the middle) to read it. It is promoting the fact that we will be on BBC TV

Time for tea now and then perhaps a bath before settling down to my crochet. I am looking forward to the Farmers Market tomorrow to stock up on loads of fresh goodies.

Friday, 22 May 2009

BBC date has been changed

As promised yesterday here are the photos of the triangular shawl that I made from 5 balls of Rowan RYC Soft Lux. As yet I do not know who it is intended for but I will take it along to the next Knit Out of the Knitting Noras and see what the group wants to happen to it next. This time I can't tell you which pattern I used except to say that I adapted an extremely old shawl pattern from a book (possibly Studley) that lost it's front cover years ago. I have done a couple of close up shots so that maybe you can follow the pattern stitch. The edging is, of course, my own as I didn't have enough yarn to make fringing. Sorry about the photo quality but as per usual it is dull and dismal here in Manchester. So hard to photograph brown when the sun doesn't shine.

I am still working on a 3 coloured scarf for one of the raffles that we are holding towards the calendar printing costs and hope to have that plus it's matching hat finished tonight. Bev managed to get in touch with the BBC and we now have a revised airing date for the film about our Naked Calendar that the Knitting Noras took part in. For those of you able to watch BBC1 we are now on at 9pm on June 4th. The programme is called The Calendar Girls - 10 yrs on. We didn't take part in the original W.I calendar we are just in the programme along with them.

Thanks for the birthday wishes Beansieleigh but shh don't tell anyone I am actually months older than Cher. We share the same age at the moment but in November I will gain another year. I was watching Loose Women on TV the other day and one of the panelists said that women pick an internal age and stick to it despite what their chronological age is. Until recently I would have said that my internal age was somewhere in the 40's despite the crumbling exterior that I look at (briefly) in the mirror each morning. I feel a lot better about myself if I don't look again after I have fixed my hair and make up (if I am going out). I hate those mirrors in the ladies rest rooms or changing rooms that can make even the most gorgeous look horrendously old and haggard. Well that's my thoughts but maybe it's just me that looks washed out and haggard and everyone else looks fine. We should campaign for soft flattering lighting in the ladies loos and changing rooms.

Talking about birthdays I once received a card and it said - Ladies of a certain age should sit in a flattering light and inside it said Maybe you should try sitting in the dark! - and that card came from a very close (at the time) friend! Wonder why she is not on my friends list now. I was only about 40 something at the time.

My neighbour's young daughter overheard me telling her mum about the TV programme and she said you are not all going nude are you? Oh that's gross. Out of the mouths of babes? Mind you at that age they think anything that isn't young, trendy and supermodel is gross so I take comfort in that.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

More photos of Blue Curacao

Here are some more photos of Deb's Blue Curacao shawl. It is so hard taking photos in between the rain showers and with my web cam indoors which alters all the colour. I am pleased with the way this shawl has turned out mostly because I loved working with Rowan Cashsoft aran and because I managed to get a single point, well fan, on this shawl for the first time.

I have another shawl wet blocking outside at the moment. Wet being the operative word as I have to keep an eye on the rain or it will be wetter than when it went outside. I will post photos of it tomorrow. It is just a triangle shape shawl that I ran up yesterday (sign of an idle day or what?)

I am still thinking of small items to crochet for the Knitting Noras raffle and have come up with a few thoughts but nothing on the hook so far. Planning takes much longer than the crochet sometimes.

I have had an e mail today from a friend who has just come back from a holiday in Tenerife and said it was hard coming back to all this rain after wall to wall sunshine out there. I wish that he could have brought me some sun back in his suitcase and I am getting really fed up with this wet weather.

I haven't spoken of my knee in the last couple of posts. Let's just say nothing has changed which is why I am in the house 24/7. I think this is why I am feeling so miserable about the weather. When the sun shines I feel better inside no matter what ails me.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

I am the same age as Cher

Today is Cher's birthday. She is 63 - the same age as me. I know, I know you can't quite believe it as obviously I look so much younger. Pause here while you to fall on the floor laughing. OK so I don't look younger than her but at least all of my bits (lots) are my own and I haven't had inches of skin removed by a scalpel. It's just pure jealousy on my part although I doubt if I would be brave enough to go under the knife for vanity even if I had all of her money. I will just stick to slapping on the wrinkle cream that we all know doesn't really work but we keep on buying it just in case. I might get tempted into having at least 16 pints liposuctioned from by belly and thighs if I could afford it.

I have finished Deb's Blue Curacao shawl by Doris Chan. It is made in Rowan Classic Cashsoft Aran which is lovely to work with. It has 57% extra fine merino and 10% cashmere. She has the honour of having the first shawl that I managed to make absolutely to the pattern. Doris Chan was kind enough to point out to me where I was going wrong when I asked for advice on Ravelry. Thanks to her explanation and following the close up photo of the bottom fan, showing it from it's start to the edge, that she sent to me I managed this one just fine. Yeah for Doris! At the moment the shawl is outside drying from it's wet blocking. There isn't a mistake on the shawl edging on the bottom left hand side by the way. It was just me I put a pin into the wrong place on the edging which I have now rectified. More photos tomorrow.

Another dreary day but at least it is not raining. I really wish that the summer would arrive and bring some sun and warmth with it.

I am off to think about which crochet project to start next.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Sweet Pea Shawl finished and fringed

The sweet pea shawl for Bev is finished and fringed. It has taken 8 x 50 grams Jaeger Cotton DK. I had to try to photograph it in between the rain showers as today is yet another miserable Manchester day so sorry about the quality of the photos today.

Last night's filming at the Kings Arms was a laugh. The BBC film crew were certainly not as good as the ones who filmed the Knitting Noras last week. It was two ladies. A camerawoman and a fluffer (I kid you not that is what she described her job as). The fluffer got to ask the questions and let's just say her job title was very apt. She could not get her head around whether we were knitting or crocheting despite being told knitting has two needles and crochet has a single short stick with a hook. She would start off - "So what are you knitting?" to be told well actually I am crocheting! She got everyones names wrong despite asking first. At the end of the interviews and filming we got told that we will be on North West Tonight for one minute fifty seconds but she didn't know when it was going to air! I wasn't one of the few who were interviewed so if you do happen to see the clip then look out for a flash of blue as that was the colour of my sweater. I would love to know how she got her job as a fluffer as I can think of quite a few people,Charlie for one, who would have made a far more professional job of the interviews than she did.

There is a bit of doubt as to when the "Calendar Girls 10 yrs on " is airing. We had been told a date but Bev has now found out that Ashes to Ashes is showing in the TV slot supposed to be allocated to us. Bev is going to find out when we will be on so I will update you when I find out.

Today I will return to Deb's shawl that I put away when Buster was here. His hair didn't stick to Bev's cotton but would have turned Deb's wool into mohair!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Filmed once again

Tonight I am off to the Kings Arms Salford where a film crew from the BBC are set to film the knitting group for North West Tonight. I am a member of this knitting group as well as the Knitting Noras but I just haven't been down for a few weeks. This time I will be one of the crowd making up the numbers and not being interviewed. It is about Artyarn and the knitting club in general. They will also be filming ArtYarn's new project 'The Knitting Orchestra' on the 27th May. If you would like to know any more about the knitting orchestra then follow the link to Artyarn by clicking on my blog title. I regularly read the blog as it always contains very interesting articles about art and knitting world wide and is not solely about Rachael and Sarah.

I have got to the edging and fringing stage of Bev's shawl but I won't be taking it with me as it is a bit difficult to fringe anything at a knit club. The light in the Kings Arms isn't very bright so I won't be taking Deb's shawl either or I will be faced with a lot of unravelling when I get home. I will have to find another project to start before I go.

Today I have been washing bedding and generally de hairing the house from Buster's visit. He is moulting badly so has left a liberal sprinkling of hair everywhere. Thank goodness my vintage hoover still has a good suction.

Off now to sign some autographs (joking!) and choose something to take with me to work on at the Knit Out.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sweet Pea Shawl

When I first started Bev's shawl I was a little unsure on how the cotton would look crocheted on a 5.50mm hook. At first it was looking a little stringy but as I am progressing the weight of the cotton is pulling the pattern out so I think when finished and blocked then it will look OK. I am using Jaeger DK Pure Cotton and the pattern is Sweet Pea from The Happy Hooker Stitch & Bitch book.

I didn't do much crochet last night as my totter (can't call it a walk) with Buster left me more tired than I though it would and so I dozed in front of the TV due to being a little doped up on painkillers and finished up in bed before midnight which is unheard of for me. Needless to say we were up with the birds this morning as I had my quota of sleep long before the alarm was due to go off.

There are some events in the park today but I am not going even though it is very close. Buster doesn't cope too well with crowds and lots of children and I would not leave him at home to go on my own. I am looking forward to next week when we are having a one off Farmers Market on the precinct. I hope that it is well visited as it would be so handy to have these markets now and again. Sometimes my niece takes me up to Ramsbottom to the Farmers Market there. The veg and the meat are so fresh.I am going to eat stuff from the freezer this week to make some room for my goodies.

My knee is having a better day so far today so I may attempt another totter with Buster before he goes home this evening. Hopefully he will settle after that and I can get a bit of crochet done (wrists permitting) What I need is some warmth and sunshine to ease my old bones. Roll on summer. Let's hope this year we get a warm one.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

I have a weekend visitor

I have got Buster for the weekend. He was an unexpected, but welcome, visitor. My son and his wife had made other arrangements for both of the dogs but they fell through at the last moment so they have taken Skye with them and I have got Buster. I don't mind having him but he is too much for me permanently at the moment.Plus he is shedding like mad so I look like a yeti every time he comes near me despite my brushing him through night and morn. He is in doggy sniff heaven as since he was last here I have looked after Zippy the Staffordshire Bull terrier and Bear the Siberian Husky and they have left their scents everywhere.

I had a calendar given to me for Christmas which has a knitting saying on it for every day. Yesterday's saying was particularly apt considering Buster's shedding has halted my crochet somewhat. It says
"Knitting folklore says that if you knit a strand of your hair into your work, you will forever bound to the person who receives that work. In my life , this means that a lot of people are forever bound to my cat."
As my hair sheds all the time and I am always unwinding it from my crochet there must be quite a few people out there forever bound to me and an awful lot of people forever bound to Buster!

As you can see I have finished off the crochet sweater that I was working on when the filming for the BBC was going on. I crocheted it all freehand just using a well fitting sweater as a template. It took 10 balls of Patons Fairytale Velvet which although has a recommended needle size of 4mm I found to be quite thick for a double knit and it worked up quite closely on a 5mm hook. I worked up from the bust line to the shoulders in two separate pieces and then worked the body and the sleeves downwards so there was very little to sew up. I made the sweater empire line in an attempt to draw the eye away from my expanding waistline. The pattern stitch is a well loved 5 treble fan alternating with a double crochet. I like this stitch as it is pretty but also a close stitch for a sweater and can be worn without the need of a camisole.

I have put Deb's shawl to one side while Buster is here as the wool is lovely but will act like a magnet for his shedding hair. I have started a cotton shawl for Bev as cotton does not attract dog hair. I am using the Sweet Pea pattern from The Happy Hooker Stitch and Bitch and I just hope that it doesn't look too stringy when it is finished.

Caroline from the Knitting Noras called today as I had stupidly left my coat in her boot when she gave me a lift to the Knit Out a few weeks ago. I showed her the cotton shawl and we decided that it might look better as it grows and then gets blocked out when it is finished. It will be quite openwork and lacy but that might be a good thing with cotton as a shawl would weigh heavy if it was worked closely.

No crochet done so far today but I am hoping to get a bit done tonight.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

The calm after all the excitement

I think that I am starting to calm down after the excitement of the last couple of days. Firstly I would like to thank everyone who stops by and leaves comments. I really appreciate them even though I rarely mention it on the blog. You really lift my day ladies. In answer to a couple of comments I have copied the link to the TKN blog to take pre-orders for the calendar and if you click on my blog title it will take you there. If you know that you are definitely going to buy one (or more)once they are available it would help us greatly to get a general idea of how many we are needing to order from the printer when the time arrives. The more we order the cheaper the printing costs will be but we don't want to over order and be left selling the calendars to any people passing by. Mind you I am up for a bit of pouncing, if needs be, provided they let me "mug" the handsome eligible men of my neighbourhood and frisk them down to find their wallets. I think the threat of that alone will make them give me the money for the calendar and run!

Ailsa I will definitely sign a calendar for you and will even throw in a personal appearance for free, as I can't guarantee it will be signed before posting, if I can find the right bus to your area. I will do anything legal to sell a few calendars as all the money is for such a good cause (Christie hospital for anyone who might be reading this blog for the first time)

The soon to be famous "As seen on TV crochet sweater" is progressing and is starting to get sleeves. I still have no idea of the finished result as I now only have 2 balls left and really need longer sleeves and a bit more on the body length. The tie is actually at empire level on me (downside of having boobs) so although it looks long enough on the photo it is still stopping at waist level on me.

I have started another Blue Curacao shawl in Rowan Cashsoft Aran for Deb one of my fellow Knitting Noras. The colour is closer to the photo of the ball rather than the start of the crochet one. The weather is so dull today that the camera flash brightens up colours and makes them appear lighter.

I am making this shawl and a couple of others for fellow Noras as my personal fund raiser for the calendar. Before any copyright police start screaming at me I am not infringing the copyright rules of patterns (or at least I don't think that I am) as I am not selling them or asking for any money from the shawl recipients for my labours. I am using their own wool and saying that if they are pleased with the end results then please give a donation to the calendar fund. One day I will have a site and be able to sell some of my crochet but until I can use some patterns that are all my own designs that idea is still a pipe dream for me.

I am hoping that I might settle down to some crochet today as the old knee could do with a rest after my walk up to Tesco yesterday but looking around me I think I do need to make an effort to tidy up. I love chaos when I am crocheting and it usually looks like an explosion in a wool shop all around the house. Having said that eventually I take a hard look and think enough is enough - it's time for a tidy, dust and hoover, I think today is one of those days.Perhaps if I can find a cupboard with some empty space so that I can scoop it all up and hide it in there?

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Knitting Noras are filmed by BBC1

Yesterday was a very exciting day. Bev picked me up in the afternoon to attend my first photo shoot for the Naked Knitting Calendar. Thanks for the lift Bev as I would have hated to have missed the day's fun. We were being filmed by BBC 1 so that we could be included in the same programme as the famous W.I Calendar Girls. Wow what an honour to be included in a programme with them.

The programme is about the W.I Calendar ladies 10 yrs on and I presume how they started the ball rolling for other ladies to "bare all". From what I could gather from the lady who interviewed us the programme is touching upon the subject of body issues. She asked us how we felt about having photos taken for the calendar without clothes and how we regarded our bodies. Deb and I told her, off camera, that having had major surgeries and sporting quite a few scars between us we wanted to do it for the confidence it would give us as women. For me as an older, overweight lady I would like to look good in a photo so that I could feel womanly, and dare I say it sexy, once more (if only for the moment) as during the last year those feelings have gone out of the window somewhat. Hobbling about stooped like an old lady with a stick, dressed in practical clothes, doesn't exactly conjure up a picture of the woman that I really feel that I am inside. I am getting old and everything is migrating southward so I need to do it now whilst I still have a chance of looking OK. I can always tape the photo to the mirror and pretend that I look like that everyday!

I didn't feel at all nervous about having my photo taken and having the camera crew there was easy to ignore, unless someone asked me a question and then I got tongue tied and a bit nervous.They left lots of sound gaps in the conversation and I didn't know whether I was supposed to chatter on and fill them or stay silent. I felt quite comfortable in the studio and were it not being filmed for the BBC I would have done my naked photo shoot there and then! The studio is in quite a woody aspect at Rivington Bolton and it felt private and intimate enough to shed inhibitions so I think I will be OK when it's my turn to get my kit off for the camera. A bit of Reggae or Salsa music to get me in the mood and I will be very happy.

Laurie Jeffery, Vicky's husband, who is our photographer took the photo of me that you see on here. I think he has managed to make me look good which is a tribute to his expertise as a pro photographer. I would like to assure you that the knitting needles in the hair are for the photo and not something I normally walk the streets wearing (although it could start a trend). Vicky has updated the Naked Knitting blog with more photos that Laurie has taken of us and of the BBC crew and if you click on the blog title then you can share the experience with us.

The BBC crew followed us to the Blundell Arms in the evening for a Knit Out. After they had finished the poor cameraman almost knocked himself out on one of the beams in there. He is a very tall guy and although he ducked under the beam he must not have ducked far enough and gave his head such a whack that he dropped to the floor. He will remember us for a while as I bet he is sporting a huge bump and bruise on his head today that will remind him of the Knitting Noras!

The crochet photo today will be remembered by me as my "famous featured on the TV" sweater. I managed to crochet 2 x 50 grams during the course of the day. At the moment it looks like a tunic as I have not yet made any sleeves.

If you want to see the programme we were told that it should air on Bank Holiday Monday 25th May on BBC 1 at 9pm. The title is The Calendar Girls - 10 years on. The interviewer promised to tell us if the schedule is changed.

It's back to the real world for me now. I shall, of course, be available for signing autographs and personal appearances after it has aired. Well a girl can dream can't she? We are all entitled to our five minutes of fame in our lives.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Sera Lace Top

This is the Sera Lace Top by Doris Chan from the Interweave Crochet magazine Fall 2007. I have made this for Lisa so I can't show it in wear just yet. I will have to follow Lisa about with my camera and hope that she tries it on tomorrow. As you can see from the magazine photo the pattern stitch will spread in wear making it very lacy but if I tried it on then it would be lace stretched to it's limits!

I can't tell you what the yarn is that I used as it was a cone (possibly 4ply acrylic) that was in the bag of oddments that Lisa gave me to make the Granny Takes a trip jacket. I decided that it was too fine to incorporate in the jacket so found a different use for it.

The sweater for me has grown a little. My wrists were hurting yesterday so I didn't make as much progress as I would have liked. I don't know if you can see from the close up photo that the shell pattern goes upwards for the yolk and I am now crocheting downwards in the round to make an empire line shape. I am still using the Jewel sweater as a template for size. Hopefully more photos tomorrow - wrists permitting.

The sun is shining but it is still a bit windy. I am missing sitting out into the fresh air in the back garden for a crochet. I could still go but it's not quite the same feeling if I am wearing my fleece. Roll on summer. My arthritis and I are looking forward to some warmth. If I ever win the lottery then I will definitely move to a warmer, less damp, climate.