Saturday 30 November 2013

Have I?

Have I got enough wool left to finish the other side?

Have I guessed the correct width for the covering of the poinsettia heart wreath? (My prize heart form has not arrived yet - only the yarn.)

Have I followed the pattern correctly?

Have I the heart to I disturb him?

Have I got a moment to crochet another snowman?

Have you got time to spot him tomorrow?

Thursday 28 November 2013

Lucky me

- the flowers I bought myself the other week are still going strong. I cut them down today and put them in a smaller vase.

I did the same with DD's flowers. They'll last another week for me. Aren't they colourful!

- my tomatoes are still turning red and I picked these this morning. I'm not watering the plants and I've just left the unripe tomatoes on to ripen in their own time. I'll give the plants another week before I cut them down.

- part of my prize for winning a guessing game at Apple Blossom Dreams arrived this morning. I won some free wool and a heart form to make a Christmas Wreath. I know what I'll be starting tonight. Thank you so much Astri and Annette.

- I have some more followers. Hello and welcome. I hope you enjoy your visits.


Wednesday 27 November 2013

Snowman Crochet Garland Tutorial

Last year I made a Christmas Tree Garland and the year before a Snowflake Garland. This year it's going to be a Snowman Garland with the basic snowmen made as follows. (UK crochet terms)

1.  BODY - Crochet 10 dc into a magic ring. Pull the end and slip stitch into the first stitch to make a circle.

2. Crochet 2 dc into each dc. (20 stitches) *

3. No need to slip stitch to next round, just continue with [2 dc into the next stitch followed by 1 dc in the next]. Repeat the bracket instructions until you have crocheted 30 stitches. Slip stitch to the next stitch and fasten off. Sew in the ends.

4. HEAD - Crochet as for the BODY up to the asterisk * then slip stitch to next stitch and pull about 6 inches of wool through the loop.

5. To attach the head to the body put right sides of head and body together and slip stitch into the back of about 4 or 5 stitches. Fasten off and sew in the end.

6. BUTTONS - Thread a needle with black yarn and sew 3 French knots for the buttons, wrapping the yarn 4 times round the needle. The pictures show how do sew the French knot. 

Pull yarn from back to the front and take a small stitch
next to where the yarn comes out. Wrap the yarn 4 times
around the needle.

Holding the wrapped round yarn, pull the needle through
your fingers so a knot is formed.

Pust the needle to the back to secure the knot.

Move on to the next button.
7. EYES and NOSE - Sew 2 French knots for the eyes but only wrap the yarn round 3 times. The nose is a chain stitch.

Yarn up from back to front. Take a stitch and wrap yarn
around the needle.

Pull through and secure the loop by pushing needle
through to the other side and fasten off.

8. To make the scarf ch 25. Leave a long end at the beginning and a long end at the end to make a fringe.

Thread the end of the yarn through the end of the scarf.

Tie a knot around the end of the scarf.

Cut the loop and the end of the yarn close to the scarf.

Unwind the yarn to make the fringe.

9. EARMUFFS - Ch 25 leaving a long end at the beginning and end to sew the chain into earmuffs and onto the head.

Make 25 snowmen for the garland.

Different features and hats can be crocheted for each Snowman.

10. TOP HAT - Ch9
Starting in 2nd chain from the hook slip stitch 3.
Ch1, dc in next 3 stitches, ch1, turn.
DC 3m ch 1, turn.
Dc 3, fasten off.

To count up to Christmas the snowmen can start off without their scarves which can be added each day. For this year I shall give DD a single snowman each day and at the end of 25 days I shall crochet them all together to make the garland. See if you can spot a snowman in the December posts. Click on the Advent Calendar label to view them all or click here.


I am linking my Advent Garland to KC's Court this year for a really Advent Bloggy Christmas!

Sunday 24 November 2013

This and that

This is the last collection of runner beans which I will dry out and save for seed.

That is the end result of ...

this - a pumpkin cake recipe from schooldays.

This is a Hanukkah card I made for a friend and ...

that's the way I hold my right needle when I'm knitting.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Kitchen Window - November 2013 plus extra!

Nearly the end of November - time flies by.

I thought I'd treat myself to a bunch of seasonal flowers. The bit of trailing plant going across to the cooker died but the rest of it is still going strong. My conkers seem to be multiplying. At the left hand side is a device that shows you how much you are spending on electricity. Oo - er!

DD had a birthday and her work colleagues sent her flowers. It's pretty floral in this kitchen.

Mince pies here I come.

While the cooker was on I roasted the pumpkin.

Right - recipe at the ready ...

and the mincemeat was made the other day.

Looks like the pumpkin's ready.

It was a lot of messing around taking off the skin but it came away quite easily.

The seeds were duly washed - good job we're not on a meter - and then roasted with butter and salt. The pulp was mushed and will be stored in the freezer.

I'm now 'resting' from all the work in the kitchen and have started a new project, the result of trying to help KC's Court. I'm quite enjoying knitting again.

Soon be Christmas!

Sherry time is sooner, though!


Thursday 21 November 2013

Thank you

Botswana (a friend's home made

New followers - hello there.

Helpful comments - I'm going to have to tackle the pumpkin.

Bloggers who joined in with the Sunshine Award.

Everyone who helped with the Bloggy Blanket Chain. It's now back with Peg, who will then send it back to me to add the border. (Unless anyone would like to finish it off and donate it to a good cause.)


Monday 18 November 2013

Don't throw it away

DD bought it for Hallowe'en.
DD didin't use it.
DD doesn't want it now.
DD gave it to me.

Now what can I do with it?


Saturday 16 November 2013

Sunshine Award

Thank you to Jo over at Through the Keyhole blog for giving me a Sunshine Award. (This is my 3rd award. Read about the others here.) I'm always happy to accept because the questions are all different each time.

'The Sunshine Award is an award given to those who inspire us and bring sunshine into our lives.'

There are a few simple rules:-

1) Include the award logo in your blog post.

2) Link to the person who nominated you.

3) Answer 10 questions about yourself.

4) Nominate other bloggers.

Jo's 10 questions are as follows:-

1) Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Yes, certainly do.

a. Get up at a reasonable hour, not too early.
b. When the children were small they dragged their bag of presents into our bedroom and we all got to see what Father Christmas had brought.
c. Prepare Christmas lunch, with help from anyone who is at hand, in the morning.
d. Eat at 1pm.
e. Open presents from around the tree after the Christmas meal.
f. Watch the Queen at 3pm.
g. Eat chocolate.
h. Have a turkey sandwich when next hungry.
i. Have a bath and lounge in front of the tele.

2) Do you eat turkey on Christmas day?

Yes, it's always turkey, sprouts, carrots, leeks, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, roast and mashed potato with gravy. Oh and pigs in blankets. 

3) Christmas pudding, Christmas cake or mince pie, which is your favourite?

Sherry trifle is my favourite.

4) Where do you spend Christmas day?

At home.

5) Approximately, how many people do you buy or make presents for?

DH, DD, her boyfriend and his mum, DS, his wife and her parents and maybe the cats. That's about 8. Oh, and one friend who usually buys us a present even though we tell her not to. Here's a sneak peek of one pressie.

6) What is your favourite Christmas song?

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby. All together now!

7) What is your favourite Christmas film?

I don't have one. I like to see films just once, not over and over again.

8) Do you have a real or fake tree?

Always a real tree but I do have small fake ones here and there. I love the smell of a real Christmas tree and love the tradition of dressing it. (Oh that's another tradition, isn't it.

I also decorate the house with Christmas trimmings and make my own Christmas cards.)

9) What's the best and worst presents you've ever received?

I don't think I have a best or a worst. I always want a 25 Beautiful Homes mag and some Pears soap but they don't always materialise.

Christmas present bag

10) What are you looking forward to most this Christmas?

A houseful of Christmas spirit from all within.

I nominate all those on my Blog list as candidates for this award and anyone who follows this blog regularly. You bring sunshine into my life each evening and you have definitely inspired me to make, bake, sew, crochet and try out many new ideas.

Bring me sunshine in your smile,
Bring me laughter all the while.
In this world where we live there should be more happiness,
So much joy you can give to each brand new bright tomorrow.
Make me happy though the years,
Never bring me any tears.
Let your arms be as warm as the sun from up above.
Bring me fun, bring me sunshine, bring me love.

Bring me sunshine in your eyes,
Bring me rainbows from the clear blue skies.
Life's too short to be spent having anything but fun,
We can be soon content if we gather little sunbeams.
Be light hearted all day long.
Keep me singing a happy song.
Let your arms be as warm as the sun from up above,
Bring me fun, bring me sunshine, bring me love.

And here are my 10 questions for anyone who wishes to answer them in one of their posts. I'll keep the questions appropriate to this time of year. Please link back here so I can read your posts.

1. What would be your first thought if you saw the first flakes of snow falling from the sky?

2. Let's suppose you had to dress someone's snowman. What hat would you put on its head?

3. Do you celebrate this season? If so, how?

4. It's cold, wet and blustery and you have to go out. What do you wear on your feet?

5. What game would you recommend for a seasonal party for friends and neighbours?

6. You are going to a seasonal party for friends and neighbours - how would you like to spend the evening?

7. Do you have a favourite decoration for putting out at this time of year? Please describe.

8. Have you written your Christmas cards yet?

9. Are you making or crafting anything seasonal at the moment?

10. There's always something to like about each season. What do you particularly associate with this season?