20 Dec 2009

Sunday morning preparations

Sunday mornings are usually spent in my kitchen cutting, chopping and prearing everything in advance for Sunday Lunch. These cooking apples are going to be made into a scrummy Apple Crumble for pudding and a few stewed down to make the apple sauce to accompany the pork and trimmings I am doing for the main meal.

Whilst doing these preparations I love to listen to Carl Chinn on BBC Radio WM 95.6.  He is on air from 10.00 - 1.00pm and is a font of history regarding Birmingham and the surrounding areas.  He always manages to take me back to my childhood and early years with his reminincences (sic) and features of people, places and times gone by.  Today he had a gentlemen on his show promoting a book - In and About Aston.  I was Aston born and bred and this book features photos of old Aston alongside new photos of the same places as they are today.  All the local book shops have sold out of their copies apparently and Ted  has offered to send out copies that he has at home in time for Christmas.  So I called the telephone number that he gave as a contact and  spoke to his lovely wife Maureen.  I asked for the book to be sent and enquired about payment, thinking that a card might be requested. NO!.  Ted is sending the book out WITHOUT prior payment, just an invoice for a cheque to be sent upon receipt.  Now I love this faith in human nature and really hope that nobody who receives a copy of the book from him let him down with their payment, but blimey, in this day and age, who would take that sort of chance?  Perhaps there is a little bit of naivety going on here but I hope the spirit of Christmas lives on.

(apologies for the lack of links I am running on a tight schedule today regarding time)

9 Dec 2009


Anyone with a 3 month old kitten will know all about the trials and pitfalls of attempting to put up and decorate the Christmas tree whilst the said kitten is in the same room!!
This is Jess, a new arrival at Neet Manor who is going to earn her keep by acting as Chief Rodent Control Operative (aka Rat Catcher)! You see keeping chickens also has some downsides and rats are the main bugbear. So hopefully once the rats get a whiff of Jess on the prowl they will clear off to pastures new and leave us free of their nuisance. Did I say she was a barn cat? Her Mum was a farm cat and did exactly the same job that we have given her, so hopefully rat-catching is in her genes. She certainly seems keen on the log-pile (aka Rat Towers) up the garden when she is outside, so we will see.

These lot seem comfortable - don't they? Introducing my 4 young chicks. They are 12 weeks old to be precise. I hatched them myself. The two brown ones are pure Welsummer but Dad was a bantam variety and the two grey ones are also Welsummer (Mum) but have a Brahma as a Dad. So they are all brothers and sisters and they roam for miles around the local area, always appearing for lunch and afternoon tea at the appropriate times!

These two are Marans, both hens, again hatched by myself and just coming in to lay for the first time. Chickens are comical characters as anyone who keeps them will know, they get into everything, (mostly stuff you would prefer they didn't) and will take liberties at every opportunity.

7 Dec 2009

Hello Hexagons!

I have finally succumbed and tackled my first hexagon

I used the brilliant tutorial over here to get to grips with it. Be warned though, DO NOT enter the link if you CAN'T crochet or...... if you CAN, you will be doomed to a winter of fantastic inspiration, very addictive projects and some lovely sunny banter from Lucy.

Of course, now I have done my first hexagon I couldn't stop at that could I? So now there is a project in the making using only stash yarn (this is my goal this Winter - to craft with as little expense as needed).

2 Dec 2009

Crochet balls - this time

To keep up with my 'colourful' mood that I am feeling at present, I have rustled up a few little crochet balls to dangle from my Christmas tree.

I will post a picture when they are dangling off the said tree.

28 Nov 2009

How much do you like Cath?

Do you like her £30 more to pay for wellington boots with her name on? Yes £30!!

These are my boots that I brought this week from Aldi (UK) for a grand sum of £8!

They are IDENTICAL in every way, apart from Caths' colourway and spot design, but I think I can live with that one.

I spotted the difference when I was flicking through a free CK Christmas brochure that came with a magazine after I had brought my boots and I couldn't believe my eyes.

27 Nov 2009

Felt ball delight

Take a selection of 100% pure wool (or any yarn that will felt if washed without special care or rovings especially for the purpose).

Wind into a ball, not too loose nor very tight. Here I used a bit of thicker yarn in the centre as the mohair I was using was very fine.

Wind into a nice ball that holds it shape well. I get to the size of a walnut, but you may prefer something larger or tinier (especially if you want beads)

Here are some more made using Garnstudio Drops Eskimo which is brilliant for felting.

Now felt the balls using the 'hand' method. You can use special needles to dry felt, but this way is very satisfying and relaxing. There are lots of very good tutorials out there on the Web describing this process.

Place the wet balls on a rack or something similiar to aid drying. Once they have dripped to the point of being damp, I place them along the back of a radiator and let it do its job.

Once dry you can sit back and admire your handiwork.......

Or you can get busy decorating and let your imagination run away with you.
These are destined for my Christmas tree.

Happy felting!

(PS- hopefully Blogger will allow me to post next time when I want instead of making me wait a week!! Grrrrr!)

9 Nov 2009

Babette frenzy

This is a piece of work that just begs to be kept going. I started last Tuesday and have now done this whole section of the blanket. I am using Garnstudio Muskat yarn which is 100% cotton in glorious saturated colours. It is worked in treble crochet (dc in US) and uses the Target pattern from 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. I have slightly altered it by only using 5ch at the corners as that suits my tension/yarn better and gives a tidier look. There is a Flickr pool dedicated to Babette Addicts and also a Ravelry group.

6 Nov 2009

Babette love

This is the birth of my Babette creation. Only another 192 squares to go!

Hopefully it will turn out just a gorgeous as this one

More to follow................

5 Nov 2009

Crochet cushion cover

This is a WIP that I picked up the other day that had languished all Summer in the Dreaded Craft Cupboard. I had made about half the squares but decided to rip them all out and start afresh.

I HATE this part of crochet work! It is always a dread at the thought of getting stuck in with sewing and snipping (I'm pretty sure I am not alone with those thoughts?)

BUT once it is done and you have the completed item, all horrible thoughts slip away.

I now have to look for a white cotton cushion cover to attach this to and I am also thinking white or multi-coloured pom-pom fringing around the edge also? I have searched t'Internet but not come up with anything, so any UK-based help would be appreciated?

Hello There

Welcome to my little World if you have come over from Neet Designs or you have stumbled across me by chance. I apologise in advance if we seem a little 'bare' in here, but please pop over to Neet Designs as all links there are still relevant and will be transferred over to here very soon.
I hope you enjoy your visit.