Tag Archives: crochet

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!


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!

borrowed cats

Yes, all my cats are borrowed. Less cat hair on the fabric, no shredded pattern pieces (why do they love that?), litter boxes or smelly fish tins.

But also no soft furry critter to welcome you home, curl up by your feet on stormy nights, or nestle in your lap when you need a cuddle.

Pluses and minuses.

ad hoc noodles: bits of jacob’s cream crackers

Ah, well. That bowl of chicken soup was all mine the other day, as were the grapes and

homemade bread.

Because fall’s nipping the air somewhere the bread machine got cranked up last weekend.

It makes a weird-looking loaf, so will try to remember to take a photo of some toast.

My big surprise has been sitting down to learn that granny squares aren’t too diffy after all. Not planning no blankets, mind you. But it made a change from all the cuppa mats I’m still churning out.

not too bad, but it got ripped anyway, for a smaller hook & more practice

Although officially Autumn since last week we’re still

feelin’ eighties but the last couple of days the sun’s started setting earlier. A comforting sign.

I got out one of my favourite table toppers, made a quick cuppa, and enjoyed a read through a Corinna Chapman book.

She’s (they’re?) cat people, too.

[long pause to make a cuppa & grab the book …]

“The Mouse Police slunk to my feet and gave me that look which cats reserve for moments when they are finding the human world unbelievably trying and are about to call their union.” Devil’s Food, Kerry Greenwood, p. 2.

“Horatio emerged … He sat down in the kitchen, paws folded, tail carefully disposed, the picture of a cat who has been far too deeply asleep to come to the aid of his human, even though no one expects cats to do that stuff anyway …” Ibid. p. 4.

Come to think of it, as Corinna’s a baker of bread extraordinaire, she might have had something to do with my loaf …

the final word is, of course, from His Good Self:
Here’s messin’ with you, kid…

The latest news on Hodge is he’s outta work and busy with a third book and probably booking appearances in … France? He’s guested in a book that’s gone global…

Keith decided to retire, and is soon to go up UP (pronounced “you-pe,” the upper peninsula of Michigan) to view what should be stunning foliage. Camera hopefully in tow!

remembering esther

does your parchment paper begin to burn even below 400℉ as sides of mine do?

Every Labor Day I remember a neighbor named Esther. A dear and very talented woman, I once asked what she did on Labor Day.  I always labor on Labor Day, she said. And now, so do I, in her memory.

edible, but not too…

Had been telling myself all week that it’ll be September soon and time to bake scones again.


Labor Day weekend’s goal was peppery olive oil scones with Parmesan cheese (from this book).

NOTE added 5 Sept.: This recipe is made specifically for olive oil, not butter. It is not a simple substitution! Read remarks in Alston’s introduction, available here as she specifically discusses substitutions!

Remembering I’m not fond of whole wheat (wholemeal) flour in this recipe I used plain, and decided to try Greek yogurt instead of soured-with-lemon milk.

Big mistake because Greek yogurt isn’t nearly as runny as buttermilk or plain yogurt and the dough wouldn’t form into a ball.

I added milk several times, albeit in tiny amounts. That overworked the dough.

rather dense . . .

I used a different combination of herbs, and didn’t get enough to add much flavour.

The just out-dated flour and baking powder probably didn’t help.

At least they didn’t burn!   😳

Neither did the loaf of wheat bread I threw into the machine this afternoon. Mind you, I almost forgot the salt. And the paddle – an essential if you expect the machine to do any mixing or kneading.

Ah! Home-made bread to toast in the morning.

On the sewing front, am making progress with the winter fabric, washing and loading into large zip plastic bags. Now just need to do a bit of a sort and it should be done. Unless I find another pile in some deep, dark corner . . .


using up yarn.