Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas round up


As promised I have the Holly pattern for you. I know that there is a very famous holly pattern out there from Attic 24 but this is very different and doesn’t have an amazingly long tutorial. Oops sorry about that. I also have a symbol pattern. I find them really easy to read but I appreciate that many people do not so I have tried to write this down too, aaarrrgghh.


Chain 10, dc in the second ch from hook.working into the foundation ch htr in next tr in each of next 2 st. ch3, sl st into 1st of 3ch. htr in next tr in each of next 2 st. ch3, sl st into 1st of 3ch. htr in next st. Into last of foundation chain work dc, ch3, sl st into 1st of 3ch, dc. htr in next, tr in each of next 2 st., ch3, sl st into 1st of 3ch. htr in next, tr in each of next 2 st ch3, sl st into 1st of 3ch. htr in next sl st in 1st ch.

I made 2 sewed them together and used a modified tiny tiny flower as a berry. The modification is just do round 2 and forget round 1. Or you can do it unmodified if you like.


Thanks to all the supportive comments re the housework vs crochet debate. You told me exactly what I wanted to hear and I can show you the result of the rest of the day on Friday, I even had it blocked before bed time. Here are the details,

Yarn: Galaxy 2 balls (it has sequins)

Pattern: South bay shawlette


Finally may I introduce to you my very good friends. Good looking bunch aren’t they?

They visited us for the weekend and we had the best time ever. The lady is my bestest buddy from school and my chief bridesmaid and has NEVER failed to be there for me when I needed her. Her Daughter, (girl genius) is my goddaughter and its always a joy and privilege to spend time with her. Our husbands first met when we honeymooned in France at their home when we were too poor to afford a holiday, it was a risk but they hit it off. Their son has had an amazing year and is a face that you will be seeing a lot of. He will be staring in the BBCs dramatization of the borrowers 7.30 boxing day bbc1. He plays James the boy who discovers the borrowers. I am very much enjoying fame by association (I’ll take whatever I can get)


I’ll be back after the big day now, I hope you all have a great festive time whatever and however you celebrate.

Love to all



Friday, 16 December 2011

Dilemma. Well not really.


Beloved friends coming for Lunch on Sunday. So much cleaning to do. Many preparations to be made. However I have yarn with sequins. What am I to do?

What anyone would do, quick hoover to salve conscience followed by hooky heaven and a frenzy on Sunday morning employing child and husband helpers. Did I just delegate?

Friday, 2 December 2011

Bobbin Robbin


Finally I am pulling out my finger. Here are this years ferrero rocher “hats”. This time Robin shaped. They are similar to the puds I made last year and they are all free to you to use. All the designs are on my shelf but robin is  here.

I even don’t mind if you sell your work for personal profit, why would I? Its your work. Just don’t sell the pattern. Feel free to pass it on to fellow crafters. I am especially glad to have you use them to raise charity funds.

These will be on my craft fait table on Sunday, along with these brooches. I made mistletoe brooches last year using the 100 flowers to knit and crochet book. These are my design with a much reduced teeny tiny Lucy flower for a berry. I only have a picture chart for the leaf so far but I hope to share it with you soon.


I am going to put the fire on and whip up a few more of the robins for family and friends.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Snuggly snood


Oh dear I really am getting worse instead of better. I have loads to blog about but do I ? No! No wonder I lost a few followers.

I have been busy making. I am at a craft fair on Saturday and will be sharing my makes with you just as soon as I have photographed them. The above pictures are of my latest thingy. Its basically a long scarf that I then joined into a loop. They are all over in the shops here in the UK. This time last year we had a major freeze (my pipes burst do you remember?) So I got myself all organised. Scarf that covers neck and head, grippy boots, new gloves. Alas we are in the grips of excessive mildness. The pattern that I used has since been removed although I still have it in my ravelry library as a pdf. I can tell you how I did it if you are interested.I used 4 ply yarn.

Here in the UK we are having a day of industrial action by the public sector workers over pay and pensions so I am entertaining my son who I am particular friends with after an excellent parents evening and an even better baking session where he made chocolate orange bakewell style tart (part of an invention test for GCSE hospitality and catering) He has orange rind in the pastry, a layer of orange marmalade on the bottom of the tart case and a chocolate topping. Its beautiful, just like him.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Summer hols part two

We spent Half term in Northumberland.




Houses. (This is Earl Greys house and yes I did have a cup)


Paddling (or plodging as we call it up here)


The Holy island of Lindisfarne reached only by a causeway at low tide.


Huts of upturned boats.


So many castles.


The Farne islands. Home to families of grey seals pupping right now.


Picnic on the beach.


More plodging


More beaches


More castles


Hmmmm…. standing in the line of fire.


Alnwick castle. Home to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and where the first 2 HP films were shot.


Halloween fun.


First ever electrically lit house in England.


Clan Howe, Happy days indeed…….


I cannot recommend this part of the country enough. We’ve been going for years and never get bored. Its a magical place, full of history and romance. *sigh*

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Good heavens woman where have you been?

I thought I was doing better but it appears not. I have been up to things but just not showing them. Here is a round up


Made this which is needed now the frost has arrived this morning . It is knitted and went well I think. Its a lacy pattern which is something I wanted to have a go at, but it is just a scarf. There seems so much more to learn with knitting. For example I fancy having a go at this but it talks about wrapped short rows. There is a link but knitting at the computer is a bit hard. I need something like it ( no bow) for wintry running as I get earache.


Had a birthday (lets not go there) but yes lets because it meant that I was sent pressies, including one from far away.


My blog friend Louise sent me treasure of the utmost deliciousness. I don’t have many friends that would get me craft things for a present yet it is what I yearn for.

One of my friends is a paper crafter and she has encouraged me to dabble a bit in fact we made these at a class recently.



I made her this for her birthday and I love it so much I nearly didn’t give it. I will make myself one next week during half term. Details here


So you see its all go, I ‘m just not very organised and I am not famed for the written bits. More pictures and less writing is what I say. I will go and scrape the frost off the car and head to Harrogate, it would seem that Spanish weather is a distant memory now.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Dear “the Spanish”,

This week when I took the dog to have her ear stitched, (yep it was a bad weekend at Howe towers) I wore socks inside my shoes and a cardie as befits this time of year. Yesterday I was back in shorts and flip-flops. Thank you, thank you for sharing your weather with us. It is such a treat to be out in the warm sun. I do hope you have not left yourselves short and that you have enough sunshine left to ripen those oranges that keep me going through the winter.
OK so the sun has caused fog to form in the mornings and yes my hair does look like Crystaltips after the morning walk, and yes I had hoped not to have to paint my toenails or shave my legs until the festive season, but hey.
This is Crystaltips for all of you who aren’t british or over40
Perhaps we could make this a regular thing. Like when we have had snow since October (as I believe we are due) and February and 2 burst pipes comes around and It has been dark for 17 hours every day. Perhaps I could give you a call and you could arrange our weather systems into an optimal channelling arrangement? Could I also book 2 weeks at the end of July/ start of August? Its my wedding anniversary you see and I fancy a barbecue.
There will be some who complain and say that it is too hot but I urge you to take no notice, they WILL get used to it.
Well its lovely to chat but I must get out in the garden and build up the vitamin D stores before the big freeze. Thank you once again, I very much look forward to working with you again in this matter.
Your friend

Thursday, 15 September 2011

We plough the fields and scatter……


Chutney week has now drawn to a close. I am now asking permission to go and scrump as well as offering to pick for wronged neighbours and giving jars of “I’m sorry” chutney. Karma restored? I do hope so.

I have added ketchup to the list of preserved items after I picked what must be the last of the tomatoes. I cut them in half and marinated them overnight in balsamic vinegar and oil along with thyme and tarragon s&p. I then slow roasted them for 2 hours in my fan oven at 120. I then ate some smooshed on lovely bread for lunch. There are no photos as I fell on it like a woman possessed. This might work with out of season tomatoes and make them taste better. (not the nasty pappy pink ones that you get in pubs as a garnish that are never EVEN DRESSED!!!!!!!!!!) Sorry, pet hate of mine. Undressed salad, even if it is only a garnish, is unforgivably sloppy and very probably the cause of tonnes of food waste. Well would you eat it? Me neither. Woo, went off on one there. I’m going to give it some thought and do an entire post about pet hates. I have a birthday coming up and as the years go by I feel the grumpy woman catching up with me and like nothing better than a good moan from time to time. Not all the time I’m mostly sunny really.

So, no more chutney, we move on now to crab apple jelly of the mint and chilli varieties so watch this space.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Bad wind

Woo that got your attention! Truth is I find myself in the tail end of a one time hurricane. I felt the need for distraction from what's going on outside. So here I am!!

Firstly can I say a huge thank you to all those who comment or read. I am always amazed by the generosity of bloggers. Free knitting advice, inspiration and encouragement with the running, heaps of delicious food, someone even liked my hair. Cue Snoopy style skippy dance

I say blogging is distracting me from the weather but fact is the kitchen is distracting me from that.

Today I am dealing with windfall pears, tomato and chilli's.


Chilli Jam, quite pokey.


Pear and walnut chutney

Its all leading to a life of crime however as I needed 8 oz of cooking apple that I didn’t have but that my neighbour who is on hols does have. Yes friend I’ve been scrumping.

I now need to get rid of some of my preserves as I am drowning in them. I love making it (eating it too) but there is only so much a girl can get through.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sharpen your hooks! Ponchos are IN.

While shopping in town today I have seen ponchos on sale in at least 2 different retailers. Why am I excited about this? Well as a woman in posession of a large stash of yarn and in need of a new project what could be better?

I was given my first poncho in 1973 (hand crocheted by my Grandma) and I am fairly sure I was still wearing it in 1976 with my hot pants whilst toting my clackers. My hot pants cut me in half but my faithful poncho kept me warm as toast and was amazingly resilient when I was car sick on it.

I remember making myself a grown up one when Martha Stewart (whoever she was) left prison wearing one. I wore it as  Spring outerwear and felt like a proper Charlie. Oh my goodness how embarrassing. Still I think the young people may look ok in them. There are so many lovely ones on Rav.

I like this one very much, the construction is simple yet has impact. Granny stripes would work well too I think.


This is my effort, now consigned to the “what was I thinking” file.

Oh dear maybe not then.

Monday, 22 August 2011


The only problem with taking your hols at this time of year is that you come home to a mountainous pile of fruit and veg that need dealing with urgently.


So far I have;

Tomato soup, Passata roasted on the leftover heat of the barbe, Celery soup made today and enjoyed for lunch, all in the freezer

I have of course had much of the produce fresh in salads etc. or out in the garden, peas find it hard to make it indoors. The dog also loves them. Just the teen to convince. He has had beetroot and declared it ok. He was especially keen when I explained that genetically he was quite likely to have golden wee wee as a result.(sorry about that)

I also have so many plans for pickles preserves and chutneys plus various dishes which I can freeze and enjoy later in the year.

I look forward to sharing the process with you.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Home again. Was I anywhere near your house?


On the way there


View from the apartment


Lizard point




Eden Project




St Michaels Mount


Here too


Lots of this kind of thing.


On the way to London for a few days so we could visit our 5th Doctor Who experience. We are now staycationing and visiting local attractions. We live in the most wonderful part of the country and are trying not to take it for granted.

The accommodation is free now and five star I’d say but days out are pricey. So far I have been to

Scarborough – cold

Leyburn ( wensleydale railway) and 2 brewery's (Masham)

Pictures when it rained – expensive and scary (super 8)

Today is Huddersfield to go into the longest canal tunnel in Europe.

If I have been anywhere near where you live, do say Hi. I've had the best ever time this country is lovely. Lucky us.

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