About Me

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Hi, My name is Kate and this blog is all about my adventures of happy living. By that I mean crochet, chickens and cooking. Here's to the good life - and being a good wife! xxx

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hooking Block (Plea for help!)

I feel very lost all of a sudden. The past few weeks has been a hurried flurry of lots of WIPs and ideas and Ta-Dahs! This morning I woke up with Hooking Block.

That's right, Hooking Block. Dreaded middle earth of yarn world. A state between the excitement of a Ta-Dah and the pathetic "I don't know what to do next" moan.

I do have my Vintage Vertical Stripe Blanket which is a mix between a chore and a joy (depending on the mood) but this is growing each week and I am happy with it being the project in the background that has no pressure to finish - just a faithful friend that one day, hopefully this year, will be in the Tad-Dah category like the rest of his friends.

I sat and worked out some maths this morning in honour of the blanket. I guess I wanted to know rates of growth and how much more I wanted to do on it.

N.B. Please excuse the following .... ***brain spurting out maths nausea**** WARNING!!!!

I started with 28 glorious balls of 100g yarns, so a total of 2800g.

I have now done 3 rows in each colours so that's a total of 84 rows. Each ball has about 75g left on it which means I have used up 700g out of the 2800g I began with.

So if I have used 700g and made a total of 84 rows, each row uses about 8.5g.

Am I mad???? I am getting somewhere ....

There is now 2100g left, so 2100g divided by 8.5g (1 row) means there is the capacity to do a further 247 rows with the yarn I have left.

At the moment the blanket is 186cm long (i.e. very long) and 70cm wide (84 rows remember), so each row I do adds another 8.33mm to the blanket.

So if I add another 247 rows onto it the total of the blanket, minus the dimensions of a beautiful border would be a whopping .......

186cm x 275cm.

Woooooooooaaaaaawwww ......

Actually I only need to make the blanket to reach about 200cm so I guess after all that crazy calculations I need to do 156 more rows that's five more rounds of colours, plus a border and that means.....

I'll have 28 lovely balls of 32g left in my stash. Imagine the possibilities .... flowers, granny squares, bunting ... then Christmas .... oh gosh!

Just one more thought - if I aim to do 1 row a day, then I could have it done by 27th of Dec, which could leave me with 3 days for a border in order to get it done for 1st Jan 2013.

Do you think I could do it? I'd really have to concentrate on getting it done, and be strict on doing a row a day, and if I didn't that would mean catching up. We will see. Maybe.

If you do want to know how to make one see here for a tutorial. You don't have to go mental like me and do a mahosssive one. I have seen some beautiful baby ones recently in soft colours with a nice simple boarder that look lovely in their push chairs.

*                *                *

Thank you for bearing with me ... new followers, I don't blame you if you fancy a little backtrack on that "follow me " button .... but if you want a piece of mind as to why you chose this crazy person to follow blogging, I am feeling under the weather, its very hot in Staffordshire at the moment, and if you still aren't convinced trawl through some older posts .... this is not normal - I assure you.

Now onto the centre of my writers, oops, I mean Hookers Block.

I have brought some new yarn. Beautiful, colourful, squeezable and delightful new yarn. Look at it, just sitting there, untouched.

Agggrrrrhhhhhh - what do I do with it???? Friends - please help!!!!!

Do I make a sample blanket and try lots of new squares which will be transportable for my holidays coming up.

Do I make a gift for someone - if so what!?

Do I make something for the home?

Do I make something to wear?

I simply do not know what to do. If you see anything do please let me know! I'm begging you!

From a lady gone crazy.



Monday, 23 July 2012

Olympic Bunting Ta-Dah


So today has been a weird day. Last night I started feeling a bit feverish and had a very sore throat and head. Last night may possibly have been the worst nights sleep ever and today I have had to have the day off work because I feel so rotten.

Let's hope it doesn't stick around - I've not been the luckiest with regards to health the past couple of months!

A bit of relaxation was certainly required so it was a long morning snoozing in bed and then a curl up on the sofa under a blanket watching a good old girly film which goes by the name of Ghost.

While I was watching the second man of my dreams (Craig being my first) haunt Demi Moore I got well and truly stuck into my Olympic Bunting Project.

I've been working on this for two weeks now and found it a refreshing little project while I've been mastering the art of knitting.

On the train home from London I careful made twenty one tiny little bunting (using the same method as my birthday bunting but only 15 chains across).

I have then spent the week nights going around them with a red yarn in triples, and finally a blue - putting two traipple clusters in each corner section.

Twenty one lovely little British flags. Isn't it just great to live here right now!

I am going to make three lots using seven flags and give one to my lovely Dad who is taking us to the stadium to watch the Hockey. Eeeek - very excited!

I will give the second to my sister for her to wave when we are there and the other one will stay nicely on my welsh dresser throughout the games.

Kate xxxx

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly

We have been blessed with the most fantastic warm weather today. We had planned to gloss the bedroom but it has been mega quick due to the warm weather making the paint dry fast. So I have had unexpected time to play!

Plenty of hooking time, lots of fresh smelling washing to hang out, and lavender to harvest.

We have five huge lavender bushes in the front and back garden and I certainly wasn't going to pass on lots of free lovely scented bag fillings! I have been busy chopping them back (just before they turn) and then collecting all the lovely ripe, scented heads.

Its been the most glorious job and now they are resting and drying in the conservatory. The house is filled with the most glorious relaxing scent.

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.

So what more of an appropriate day to share some reason's to be cheerful. (Do join in! and let me know!).

Here is reason no 30 - take a look here to see for yourself how lucky I was!

And I dread to say that a lot of this has been consumer this weekend! Ooops!

And this next reason refers to realising that we had over forty eggs in the cupboard and despite giving lots to our mums they just seem to breed when we are at work!

So off I popped along the street with little egg gifts for the neighbours. I thought I would be out for a few minutes, but I must have been out for two hours, and had numerous cups of teas, and toured lots of living rooms! It was a really nice way to spend the evening. Rather Good Life I would say!

It looks like it was appreciated because I then received this ... how touching! A hen pin cushion!

And this week, Thursday's knitting class couldn't have come sooner. I was beat by the end of the week, and that treat on a Thursday really gives me one little extra burst of energy on the Friday. They must put something in the biscuits!

Isn't it easy to be cheerful on such a beautiful day!

And now I refer to Sunday dinner at Craig's Mums house today. Amongst all the partying for Laurence's birthday, regular vino consumption, house work and painting it was a welcome offer! Roast Beef, Yorkshire Puddings and hmmmm .... no washing up.

So, there you go! ..... even Mrs TT mouse looks happy sitting on in her new home.

Also I watched the end 30k of the Tour de France. We done Bradley Wiggins! What a race!

Bradley Wiggins

Now make sure you have a chilled and lovely sunday evening. I will be sipping some pimms in the garden and then watching the Tim Burton Alice in Woderland while doing some hookin'. Bliss!

Kate xxx

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Blissful Saturday

Its official. The sunshine is out in Staffordshire. Craig is playing cricket and I am left to play house!

I woke up and immediately finished of adding my blog blanket squares before sending it off the the next lucky recipient.

My friend Nicky at our knitting class did a lovely purple square which matched Mum's. As it was a blog blanket I wanted it to have snippets from things I have blogged about. So I used wool left over from my happy birthday bunting and did the centre of the square using Tunisian Crochet technique.

Just to digress slightly;

Last night was my brother in laws birthday. It was his extra special 21st and it was the official grand revealing of the birthday bunting. Everyone loved it. Tonight we are going to an Indian Restaurant with all the family to celebrate.

Laurence is the most extra special 21 year old. He has Down's Syndrome and is the most special man in the world. Happy Birthday Bruv! He got spoilt rotten with a holiday on a cruise, an ipod and a Wii (he is moving into independent living this year sometime so he got very spoilt!). He is crazy mad about snakes and me and Craig brought him a B movie about a Boa and a Cobra who fight lots ..... hmmmm, horrible. However I can honestly say it was his favourite present. When anyone asks him what he got. he says the DVD .... and a cat!!?? He he!

Back to the sqaures;

Here are the three squares together ... a little bit of a strange combination at the moment, but once everyone adds their own colours and ideas I think it will be the most splendid techni-coloured dream blanket!

The second thing I couldn't wait to do was get in the garden. The front bed was very over grown with remnants of wild geraniums, wiry poppy stems and straggly forget me knots. I had a real good cut back. Then got a bucket of chicken poop and mixed it all in to the soil (let me add at this point, this does not make an attractive plot, but after a few days the soil is rich beyond belief).

I then scattered some Aqualegia and Poppy seeds with a little wish of hope for next year and turned the soil again.

Then I started planting. I put in four geraniums, six fucia's and four unlabelled plants that were getting sold of at Wilkinson's. I paid a grand total of 30 pence for them all and am absolutely certain that a few of them will take .... with a lot of TLC of course.

I also planted some freesia shoots that have been promising to break out for a few weeks and I felt they were finally strong enough to make it on their own in the big bad world of a garden bed.

Its looking pretty weird at the moment, with lots of cut back shoots, chicken poop and half dead plants .... but give me three of four weeks .... I'll surprise you!

In the mean time, here is a shot of how the garden is looking at the moment. The is the view from the kitchen window .... excuse the mess!

I spotted beautiful fat bumble been visited honey suckle flower to honey suckle flower. It looked like it was having a great time!

I have also cheered the place up a bit with a lovely Campanula in a tea cup on the conservatory coffee table,

and a vase of purple and yellow goodness out of the garden. There seriously is anything more satisfying that having fresh cut flowers in your house .... never mind from your own garden! Ahhh bliss!

Now I am going to enjoy a late lunch of sausage and onion sarnies (must be the lack of BBQs this year that makes me crave a hot dog!) and am going to crack on with my special Olympic themed project .... more on this Friday for when the Olympics start! Can't wait!

Kate xx

I will leave you with a collage of garden photos from this morning.

One Lovely Blog Award

I happy to see that Jaclyn had nominated me for the one Lovely Blog Award.

Thank you ever so much. It is nice to be appreciated and also have the honour of appreciating others.

I have to share 7 things about myself, so here we go.

1. I love music - everything. From 60's to drum and bass, musicals to techno and classical to pop. I mean everything .... oh apart from the recent R and B and Emo stuff.

2. I have about 700 DVDs - mainly British Comedy's and World Films and collect these with my husband.

3. I studied Performing and Visual Arts at Uni and have a pretty broad knowledge which I guess is why I like such a wide range. My dissertation was all about the development of child art up to the ages of 11.

4. I have worked as a florist and did a wedding which appeared in Cosmopolitan Weddings.

5. I have sung in a band who made it big in Japan.

6. I once did a paper interview about a band I was in. While I was waiting I had to have a coffee with two other people who I really got on with. It wasn't until the article came out I found out it was Vanessa and Corin Redgrave.

7. I play piano, cello, trumpet and sing, but can pretty much put myself to any instrument and play by ear.

Now for the blogs I admire who will get the reward too :) (In all honesty this is the mean part because if I miss any one out I am sorry!) xxx


And finally I will contact them all to let them know they are appreciated!

Kate xxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Blog Blanket & Swap

What a super week.

I can't believe the lovely post I have had.

Today I received a parcel from Mum. I am Square no2 for the blog blanket she has started. I then have to send it off to the lovely Arwedd.

She also sent some really thoughtful and beautiful gifts! I couldn't believe it when I was opening it all. I literally squealed with delight. Even my husband got excited when I pulled out the vintage cotton reels.

And also look at the Jasper! I can't wait to make a nativity with him. As Mum writes about here.

This weekend I will look forward to making the second square and sending it on.

Thank you Mum xxxxxxx

Earlier this month I also took part in a blog swap hosted by Hookin' with Lala. The theme was Great Britain and I got partnered off with Jenny from The String Empire.

It was so lovely getting the swap and opening it all up. As it was a Friday night it was also very welcome due to the Thornton's! Yummy! I also got a felt flower coaster, a union jack badge, a lovely home made card and some makeup.Thank you Jenny.

Here is what I sent. You may recognise the bird from my tutorial here. I made here an extra special swapping one as Jenny said she liked birds.

I also made here a needle book, a little shabby in a few places but I going to perfect this one and hopefully do a yarn along maybe in a few weeks!

Thanks for reading as always and a welcoming and warming HI to the new followers! I also check out my followers blogs!

Love xxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tunisian Crochet

I thought it was about time I revealed my arm chair covers and cushions I have made. I admit they were finished about two weeks ago but they have fitted in so well to our living room decoration they have become part of the furniture.

I used the Tunisian crochet method to make these and it is really easy once you have been shown how. It is also the most therapeutic type of working with yarn I have encountered - this may be because it is very fast growing which has a great reward factor, or because its very easy.

I was also so excited because the hook was especially made by my teachers husband so it is really special to me.

I used a really simply stitch - I know there are probably hundred out there which I can't wait to explore, but even the simple stitch is really effective.

When people asked me what I was doing (and people do because its like knitting and crocheting all mixed together!) I said its Bonsian or Tunisian Crocheting aka Shepherd Knitting. When I said Shepherd Knitting it painted a vivid picture of a hot country with a shepherd boy sitting watching the sheep and killing time by knitting wool that his mother had just made from the sheep's coat.

I googled Shepherds Knitting and looked through the images and found some absolutely fascinating photos and drawings.

I wonder if the stilts were so the shepherds could see further.

Aren't the pictures amazing. It makes me feel that working with wool is the most authentic art form and we are all carrying on something that isn't just traditional but also is worldly and cultural.

Has anyone else had a go? Let me know if you have. I'd love to learn more!

Kate xxxx

Monday, 16 July 2012

Mrs TT Mouse


My friend at work is having a baby and as she will most probably be showered with knitted jumper and after knitted booties, I fancied doing something different. At Knitting Class I shared this desire with my very dear knitting companion Nicky who recommended little mouse. Baby friendly and cute beyond belief I was super excited about making one.

It is fast and easy and I would love to share the pattern with you.

(N.B. It is called Mrs TT Mouse after a lovely blogger who came into my mind on several occasions when doing this project ... go check her out!).

Main Body

Cast on2sts and K 1 row.
Ist Row
(k1, m1) twice, k1 (5 sts)
2nd Row
3rd Row
k2, m1, k1, m1, k2 (7 stitches)
4th Row
5th Row
k1,m1,k2,m1,k1,m1,k2,m1,k1 (11 sts)
6th Row
7th Row
(k1,m1,k1) twice, (k1,m1) twice, k1, (k1,m1,k1) twice (17 stitches)
8th Row
9th Row
10th Row
11th Row
(k1,m1,k1) four times. (25sts)
12th Row
13th Row
14th Row
15th Row
(k2,m1,k1) eight times, k1 (33sts)
16th Row
17th Row
18th Row
19th Row
(k3, m1) ten times (43 sts)
20th Row
21st Row
22nd Row
23rd Row
24th Row
25th Row
k1, (k2 tog) ten times, k1, (k2tog) ten times, k1 (23sts)
26th Row
27th Row
28th Row
29th Row
k1, (k2 tog) five times, k1, (k2tog) five times, k1 (13sts)
30th Row
31st Row
(k2 tog)  three times, k1, (k2tog) three times (7stiches)
32nd Row
 p2tog, p3tog, p2tog (3sts)

Then cut the yarn and thread through the three remaining stitches. Draw it tightly, and the secure with a knot.

I added my tail and whiskers at this point.


Cut three lengths of yarn. Knot the end and do a tight plate and then secure with a knot.


Cut four lengths of yarn and knot in the centre. Sew this to the middle of the back of the nose and then use a crochet hook to put the whiskers through to the front. The cut to size.

Then sew up the body and stuff it to make it a fat little Mrs TT Mouse.

You are very nearly there ..... just the eyes to sew in with some coloured wool, either side of the nose. The finally you will need to make two ......


Cast on three stitches and knit a row.

1st Row
(k1m1) twice, k1 (5sts)
2nd Row
3rd Row
k1m1, k1 to last stitch, m1, k1 (7 sts)
4th Row
5th Row
k1m1, k1 to last stitch, m1, k1 (9 sts)
6th Row
7th Row
k1m1, k1 to last stitch, m1, k1 (11 sts)
8th Row
9th Row
10th Row
p1, p2tog, p to the last 3 sts, p2tog, p1 (9sts)
11th Row
k1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2 tog, k1 (7 sts)
12th Row
p1, p2tog, p to the last 3 sts, p2tog, p1 (5sts)
13th Row
k2tog, k1, k2tog (3sts)
14th Row
p1, p2tog the pass the st over the other and fasten off.

With the knitted side facing outwards sew each ear above the eyes. So there you have it. Your very own Mrs Mouse.

As my friend Nicky pointed out you could make a whole family. Just use little needles for a baby, and bigger needles for a daddy. I made the mummy using 4mm.