Category Archives: sewing

a-hem. . . Hodge has reminded me . . .

click to go to amazon listing for Hodge’s #1 book

… rather vociferously, I might add, that his books are all on amazon, and I’ll list them.

I was thinking of adding a note that the author & artist get more dosh if purchased from them rather than amazon, but haven’t confirmed that yet.

So if you absolutely must have a copy, click a pic and order

click to go to amazon & Hodge’s #2 book


Otherwise, take a breath, and I’ll let everyone know when I’ve gotten an answer.

I do beg EVERYone’s pardon, particularly His Good Self, for not including the proper links Monday.

(Yes, Hodge, I remember that piccie and I hear what you’re telling me… next time it won’t be the handle between those teeth…)

The old, now sold bookstore’s Facebook page is still up & running, so you might find some of the older versions of Hodge’s adventures there.

(I’d have checked that out for you before posting, but ever since I closed my FB ~ before all the craziness really got going in ’15 ~ a gigantic “Sign In or Sign Up” fills my screen. Talk about sour grapes. . .)

click to go to Hodge’s #3 booklet on amazon. It is waaay too short, and definitely good!



not quite friday’s crochet & natter

Hodge, the bookstore cat, is ba-a-ack

We’ve been having another spell of coolness and I’ve been luxuriating in it and not getting much done besides crochet.

But my scarf got finished last night whilst watching some of the Oscars, mostly with the sound off so I could just look at the gowns.

Here’s a quick batch of piccies … click any one to read everything (looong captions), as hovering won’t work. Sorry!

And lastly, my former bookstore owner & friend, Keith Peterson, sent me a copy of Hodge’s latest book last week, which I instantly devoured.

In case you’ve not heard about Chicago’s most famous bookstore cat, you can read more about his vibrant secret life here and here.

friday’s knit & natter

What’s been happening since last Friday? Lots, as it turns out, including enjoying the quietude of a foggy Wednesday.

Unfortunately, it turned quite hot after the fog, so not much progress since. But enough to entertain, I hope. 😉

With several good suggestions last Friday (thank you all!) I spent last weekend trying them all out, as well as having a go with Wild Daffodil’s squirrel pattern.

trying out that squirrel pattern ~ click to go to Sandra’s far better example!

She’s put up lots more photos which I need to go back to as I got stuck about the 4th row. Am delighted that she has several other crocheters also working on squirrels, as I’m a real beginner with this sort of pattern.

scarf progress
First I checked my crochet book (amazon listing in US & UK) for treble and double treble stitches in case I needed to translate. Below are Righetti’s Crocheting in Plain English directions along with my samples.

Had to try out Attic 24’s Woodland blanket pattern as well, so went to several other colours & yarns to give that a go. And decided it wouldn’t work for my scarf as I have those gorgeous autumnal colours too firmly in mind to settle for just mustard.

I also discovered that the dye lots are very different. This current huge ball seems to have only the faintest hint of purple, whereas the small leftover I was using last week is quite purpley. I think I’ll just use up the large ball. Good thing I discovered that now!

Working the treble stitch was not too cumbersome, and I did several rows to try to get used to the stitch, but a different thought kept coming to mind. More on that below.

Also did several rounds with a double treble and that really threw me “for a loop.” Too many loops – they kept falling off in the middle of every part of a stitch. Way too frustrating! Have put that aside for future, more limited use.

Then tried my idea: A large hook (K/10.5) and plain US double crochet (UK treble). The bigger hook was the thought that kept coming to me whilst I was doing the other trials.

So I’m taking the easy way – considering the heat – and haven’t looked back. As you can see, I should have. But I was good, froggied back and started counting consistently.

This weekend will continue almost to 80, so have little planned but staying cool. Reprieve comes nest next week – yeah!


curing the monday blahs

click pic to go to photo on The Rain Shed site. the web site has the true colour – this is a bit dark.

It has been a nasty, gray, rainy Monday so I’ve holed up with my newest find: BBC’s A Stitch in Time and the presenter Amber Butchart.

U.K. Lovelies can view on their iplayer, but ‘usins’ everywhere else must resort to an alternate (youtube).

Having watched the second episode last night (they’re about 28 minutes each) I decided to start at the beginning and not get distracted…

But alas, lunch did it. Plus a growing list of Things To Do that will include a spot of long distance natter and tea with one of my Yorkshire friends. (The Atlantic is a bit of a drawback, but Edison and the internet make it easy.)

So what’s been laying on my sewing/cutting tables seems like forever, whilst my sewing mojo is MIA?

Up top it’s a crazy print from The Rain Shed bought last January & designated for exercise togs. Don’t laugh! My idea is more yogic so the trews will be very loose, and I’m using the renfrew pattern for the top. Again. (I’ll get it right eventually.)

Just to liven things up I got this tissue rayon knit cut last week, using the free Hemlock pattern

from Grainline.

wonderful soft tissue jersey with very subtle colours of navy & dark green

Granted, I’ve had this pattern ‘aging’ and I understand they withdrew then reissued it. This is probably the original. Heigh ho, we’ll give it a go.

Meanwhile, am enjoying these from last week’s mini-Galentine’s Day celebration and hope they brighten your Monday as well!.


crochet & natter friday

Cathy, over at Nanacathydotcom, does Knit & Natter Fridays, and she also crochets, so I’ll join in with my ickle quandary.

Just last night I was working on this little scarf, using up some stashed yarn left over from a shawl I finished some time ago… Oh, dear, it was July 2009 in Chicago… Better late than never.

I decided not to do a hat, and already have a shawl… a scarf seemed appropriate.

Decided to try some rows of single then double crochet (that’s American for double & treble crochet in U.K.) to see if I liked it. I don’t.

Then I realised I could ask my dear readers whilst tying in with Cathy’s post — goody!

Now what to try instead? I’m not bothered by frogging the whole thing, and think probably one airy stitch might be the best, considering the colour changes.

I say ‘airy’ because upon washing, the shawl did felt up a bit, and it was originally quite airily stitched.

What do you all think? Puh-lease make any suggestions that come to mind as your assistance is so much appreciated!

The yarn is hand painted 50% merino/50% silk “Precious Aida Pastel” bought at slashed end-of-supply sale in my old, now sold, Chicago neighbourhood store.

It does feel yummy. I couldn’t resist it despite including that lavender (?) which I normally never go near.

It’s almost ten in the morning here across the pond, and I’m finishing a cuppa  whilst editing this. Those of you in Blighty must be finishing lunch. I usually read (e)mail at breakfast and only just realise how British that sounds.

Should be off soon on this cloudy and too-warm-for-February Friday. Guess we’re in the season of daily 20-degree temp shifts. Sigh.  Time to pull out summer dresses.   Double sigh.

  ❤  ❤ Happy Weekend Knitting-Sewing-Crocheting, Lovelies!  ❤   ❤


P.S.Looking at this again I may just frog it soon as I’ve got this posted!