Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Another Festival Beanie Slouch Hat

So, just last week I made a Festival Beanie Hat from a Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs pattern.

As it was for Marie, I had to make another one for Shona.

She wanted it made longer so it sat further down on her neckline, so I added a good few more rows, including more fluffy bits.  Everyone loves fluffy bits!

The beauty about it being longer is that you can wear it long....or puff it up on top of your head.  Either way looks good.  (But the puffed up version looks so much more fluffier!)

All they need now is a festival...

Which do you prefer?  Short or long?

Monday, 29 July 2013

8/50 Stitches for Afghans

I am working through this book - 50 Stitches for Afghans by Darla Sims.
You can find previous reviews HERE.

So, this is Square 8. I am using Patons 4ply Cotton in Raffia.

This square consisted of a shell stitch and a picot stitch.  In my opinion it would have been nicer without the picot stitch as it just wobbles about there looking out of place, still, it's not my pattern is it and it is nice to learn all these new techniques.

The pattern was easy, peasy to pick up once I got going, and worked up really quickly but I had a nasty curved corner, I pulled it out and followed the pattern twice, but it still curved.  I can easily sort it when sewing the squares together but there is obviously an error there in the instructions.

Squares so far:

ps: The Amazon links are affiliated  if you click and buy I might get a few pennies.  Just so you know :)

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Festival Beanie Slouch Hat

I have been testing patterns for Sharon from Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs again, the last one I tested was the felted crochet bag, and before that the overly cute Sea Turtle who I named Harry.

I wanted to do this hat for ages after seeing Sharon's on her blog. I emailed her to see if she would be releasing a pattern and ended up being on of the lucky testers  :)

I offered to make one for Marie (above) and she wanted purple shades, so I picked a selection of purple (and complimenting) yarns, some glittery, some fluffy, some just plain, and got to work.

Sharon's instructions are very easy to follow, and the resulting hat was super funky and a little bit mad.

I think I will make another with a longer body, as this one didn't quite seem to be long enough, watch this space ......

Friday, 26 July 2013

Royal International Air Tattoo

Last weekend I attended the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford.

I was first introduced to this show about 12 years ago when I met my then-to-be-husband, Andrew.  He treated me and my three kids to a lovely day out.  We thought it would be a long, and perhaps boring, day for the kids who were only about 7, 9 and 10 at the time, but they thoroughly enjoyed it and when it ended at 7pm in the evening we had to drag them out having been there since early morning.

Since then we have been back a few times and it keeps getting better and better.

This year we went with our good friends Lezley and Ian and went for the two days, the plan being one day one to watch the air displays and on day two to look around the static displays.

Day 1 saw us get up at 7.00am, head to Asda for breakfast, leave Asda about 8.15am for the 40  minute drive to the showground.  We know from experience that there is a little queuing, we anticipated about an hour, getting us into the ground in time for the 10.30am start of the air displays.  Humph!!  We actually got parked and out of the car just before 12 noon, missing the first few displays, including the Vulcan and the Apaches. The Hubster was not best pleased.

Day 2 saw us getting up at 6.00am, eating snacky breakfasts in our room and setting off at 7.00pm.  We got in at 8.45am so had a little wait for the displays to start, but on the plus side we got an excellent pitch right down at the front of the runway.

We pitched camp (four folding chairs and a towel) and cracked open a cocktail or two.

While the Hubbies took lots of photos....

As it happened, day one was a little cloudy so the air displays were 'bad weather' displays, the next day was much better weather wise so the full displays were shown.  We ended up watching the air displays on both days and just having an hour each evening to glance quickly at the statics  :)

Amazingly gorgeous weather for which we were very grateful for, except for the stingy sunburn even after applying two lots of factor 30 sun cream.

My favourite display has to be the Vulcan, I don't know what it is about this machine, maybe the way it glides through the sky like a prehistoric bird, or the fact that at one point we thought we were watching her last ever flight.  Luckily the 'Vulcan To The Sky' organisation has managed to get her up again this year.

Second favourite has to be the Aerobatic teams, of course we have all heard of the Red Arrows, who are excellent, but also good are the Frecce Tricolori from Italy and the Royal Jordanian Falcons from Jordan.

There was the Battle Of Britain memorial flypast......with a Lancaster Bomber, a Spitfire and a Hurricane.

....and fabulous displays from the helicopter display teams too.  (There's a guy in the back of this Chinook, with one of those huge foam hands on to wave at the crowd with)

If you would like to see a few more photos you can find them HERE on my 'Photography by Sooz' Facebook page, but I am a bit disappointed with them this year.  Daddy L offered to lend me his camera with the more powerful lens on, but I declined - stupid me!  I won't make that mistake next time.

It was a lovely weekend, made even better with lovely weather, lovely company, lovely hotel rooms, even lovely toilets at the show.  Happy days.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Cathedral Rose Afghan - update #1

When I was away in Gloucester and Fairford last week I took my Cathedral Rose project to keep me out of  mischief :)

I crocheted on the Travelodge bed...

and I crocheted inbetween aircraft displays at the Airshow.

So, this is where I am at with it.

The middle section is done, and edged with black.

I didn't want to take loads of yarn to the Airshow, so I just took a ball of Hayfield Bonus and made a pile of purple parts.
The second day I took a ball of the Sirdar Click and made a load of patterned parts.

The next stage will be to edge the purple ones in black and start assembling them.
The patterned one are for a little later on in the project.

Shona keep asking why I haven't finished her ripple blanket yet, I am so bad at starting new projects before finishing old ones off.

Some blog layout changes

I have had to change my blog layout, due to the comments box being missing.  Usually a refresh would have sorted this out, but for a few days now the comments box has just been refusing to show.

Hope the new format is not too difficult to get used to, I preferred the old one personally but it's no good if the comments box is not there.

Hopefully now you can post  :)  Do let me know if you hate the new format, I can fiddle about and see if I can find a more suitable one.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


We had a few days away this weekend  to visit the Royal International Air Show in Fairford.

We stayed at a Travelodge at Gloucester Quays and what a lovely one it was too! Some Travelodges can be a bit tired looking, but this one was modern, fresh, and at just £33 a night, great value for money.  It had air-con, a big squashy king-sized bed and was spotlessly clean.  (That's a phone on the bed, not something unmentionable  :) )

But guess what?  We checked into out room, went to the window to look at the view, and saw a Hobbycraft!  Just can't get away from the place  :)

Of course, I just had to go for a little visit  :)  Didn't make one purchase though, how good was I?

Underneath the Travelodge is an outlet shopping centre, so we had a lovely wander about on our first night, then ate at a Chinese buffet restaurant called Angel Chef which was very good, but full of noisy kids - and we ate too much!  Why do we always eat too much at buffet restaurants?  Making sure we are getting our moneys worth, that's why!

Just round the corner from the hotel was Cromwell Street.  Infamously linked with Fred and Rose West. Now, sad as it may seem, I have a morbid fascination with serial killers throughout the world and across the ages, and having read a lot of books on Fred West I thought it would be an opportunity missed if I didn't just visit and pay my respects to the poor girls who lost their lives to an evil couple.

The street was much narrower than I expected, the houses smaller than they looked in the news coverage, even though they were three story ones, and of course number 25 has now gone and in it's place is a few bollards and a walkway.

Back at the hotel I did some crocheting for my Cathedral Rose project - well, you have to take a project when you go away.

I will blog about the Airshow soon, once I have taken the photographs off my camera.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Cathedral Rose Window Afghan

I've started a new project...  I have not finished quite a few that I have on the go yet though, but I just can't resist starting new ones as I find them.

This one I found in my app store when just randomly searching.  It is an Annies Attic pattern and available on the app store for just £4.99.  Isn't it a stunner? Go search for it.  :)

So, ratching (it's a Cumbrian word) through my wool stash at home I find the most gorgeous pink and purple yarn that has a one inch colour change and should work beautifully.  And the best think I have enough!

I worked it up..

Yep, works for me, now to go and find the colours to go with it.  Only problem was it is an ungraded yarn, I don't know the thickness, I guessed chunky, but on getting to Hobbycraft the chunky is too thick and the Double Knit is too thin.  Short of running two strands together I have to re-think my plan.

So I decide on Double Knit  (simply because you get more length to a ball and it will work out cheaper  :)  )

I found a Sirdar Click in a rather nice colour - not sure how it will work up yet but I am confident it will be fine :)

and teamed it with deep purple and a stone beige colour, oh and or course black.


I will keep you up to date as I progress  :)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Crochet Daisy Pattern

After fiddling about trying to make daisies for my hat, I made another but this time taking step-by-step photos - just for you.

I don't know if this has been done before, but quite probably, however this one came right out of my head - I banned myself from Googling a pattern as I wanted to see how I went with my experimenting.

You will need scraps of yellow and white yarn. I prefer the cotton yarn for these as it defines the stitched beautifully.  I used Rico Essentials Cotton DK in Banana and White.  I used a 4mm hook.

This tutorial is written in UK Crochet Terms.

So, start with yellow and a magic ring- this is simply a wrap of yarn around your fingers, and catch your first stitch into it.  It can be a little be tricky to master, but it means you can close that little hole up very close which looks a lot neater.

  • DC into the magic ring 12 times.
  • Pull the tail tight so the ring closes up.
  • Slip Stitch (SS) into the first DC to close.
  • Working on the INNER LOOPS only (see where my hook is?)
  • Attach white and Chain (CH) 9.
  • SS into the next INNER LOOP
  • Repeat all the way round.
  • CH 9, turn your work over and now you will be working into the OUTER LOOPS  (see them?)
  • Work as you worked the front, pulling your yarn through the last stitch to finish.
  • OK, it looks a little scraggy now so spread out your petals.
  • Work in the ends, leaving one long white one to use to sew your daisy onto whatever you might be sewing it on to and Voilà!
  • Make more.

Would love to see what you do with these, so be sure to send me some photos or a link.