Another hat for my push biking honey…….

cycling hat and vintage threads

 

On Saturday it’s my boyfriend’s boyfriend and as his big present* won’t be published til maybe Summer I thought to make him another little cycling hat.

I’ve made him a couple of Winter weight ones recently (one for Christmas and one last weekend for Valentines which he’s been wearing each day this week and looks right posh as he cycles off to work)….I’d been saving this fantastic raspberry tweed for a Radclyffe Hall inspired waistcoat but then thought it would suit as a cycling hat as it’s really bright (so nice and noticeable to car drivers).

 

inside seams

 

As always I used one of the patterns from The Little Package company, this style is the three panel hat.

The fabric was from Sylvia, it’s a lovely soft tweed, and is pretty thick.  It was very prone to fraying though so even though I cut it out with pinking shears(which is supposed to help with that) I then covered the inside seams with some fantastically shocking pink bias binding….the binding was from a great little vintage clothes shop on St Benedict’s Street in Norwich which sadly wasn’t open for long, it was a tiny little shop but as well as some nice clothes they also sold packets of binding, sewing threads and buttons for repairs in keeping with the age of the item.

 

raspberry cycling hat

 

To begin with I was going to sew this on a machine as I’ve got a pile of other sewing that is currently taking up a lot of my time……

I’m working on two new quilts (Miss Olive of the The Little Red Roaster is soon to get the best present in the world ever……sisters! Her mum is having twins and her dad has ordered two quilts for the soon to be arriving twins.  I made a quilt for Olive the other year and the ones I’m working on now will have more of an old timey feel to them……once I’m totally happy with the designs then there will be pictures)

I’m also designing a new dog coat (one for a whippet this time so quite a different shape to the ones I’ve been making…..it’s a bit like trying to design a dress for Mae West, all chest and then tiny waistline and hips.)

…..however I ended up sewing it by hand, I just love the soft feel of hand sewing, and yeah, it took me a little while longer, but as it was for my sweetie I certainly don’t begrudge that time spent.  I’m very fortunate as although he doesn’t sew himself he can tell when something is hand sewn. The Dewhurst Sylko threads are, as always, a joy to use, in part their names are lovely and smile inducing (frivolous pink never fails to cheer) but the thread has such a nice feel, it’s really silky and strong.  In my experience it rarely tangles and is my go to thread for handsewing.

 

( I’ve got sisters so can only say for me how great it is to have them however I’m sure brothers are just as nice)

* the big birthday present will be the new Cyclecross book by our favourite photographer Balint Hamvas.  In case you don’t know what it is, Cyclecross is like cross country but on a bicycle.  Now when I was at school cross country was just the worse thing ever (I didn’t like PE at all and would have much preferred to spend my time reading)..however watching other people get cold, muddy, wet is just fine……to begin with I wasn’t so fussed but then I looked up from a book and said “oooh who is that” and promptly fell in love a bit with Niels Albert (who sadly had to retire due to heart problems….he was an amazing cyclist and very easy on the eye)….so thank you Niels for first turning my eye to the charms of Cyclecross……there is also women’s Cyclecross which is even better in my book (Sanne Cant is my absolute favourite cyclist…..) Balint is an amazing photographer, he goes to all the races, gets as cold, wet though maybe not so muddy as the cyclists and takes the most fantastic pictures.  So a huge huge huge thank you to him.

 

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All set for autumn with a granny scare scarf….

granny scare

I want to do a little trumpety trump trump fanfare……I’ve finally finished sewing in all the tiny woolly tails on the back of my “granny scare crochet scarf”….. actually they didn’t take all that long, I’d just rather not be doing woolly things in the summer when it’s lovely and warm…however we had such a wet and miserable weekend (weather wise only…indoors I actually had a rather lovely long weekend with the Arpette..watching favourite films, sewing in woolly tails and having no end of pots of tea and cuddles with the cat…the sun even got out for a few hours late Sunday afternoon and we went for a gorgeous long walk over the Marshes, along the back of the train track.  We investigated and explored some woody parts we’d not been before, so it felt like a proper expedition…picked a basket full of blackberries and in all had a rather nice afternoon…we even met a new doggy friend called Abby…her dad  had a dog treat in his pocket and she took it from me so carefully….I’m sure dog walkers are the friendliest of folk)…….anyway, because the weather had turned and was wild wet and windy (oh my, talking of windy…the cat was terrible….he had terrible wind, and because he was indoors because of the rain we were very aware of how whiffy it was…he’s like a little trumpety old man)….I thought it wise to find up the “granny scare” scarf and sew in the ends…I also added a few more squares as it wasn’t quite long enough to wrap around my neck as comfortably as I like.

finished scarf

I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out…I half played with crocheting an edge and doing a fancy little picot stitch on the ends but I decided I preferred it as it was, so any embellishments quickly were un-ravelled and I gave those sections a little pull so the squares neatened up again.

I suppose I could block it but I don’t think it really needs it, by the time it’s been wrapped around me a few times it will be impossible to see if it’s been blocked or not (also I know either The Arpette or the cat will stand on any pins while it is blocking so it’s as easy in the long run not to bother)

finished granny scare

All of the wool is tapestry wool, most of which I bought in a huge bundle from a charity shop back at the end of April…I’ve bought a couple of new skeins where I wanted to use a particular colour and didn’t have it, but for the most part this was all charity shop and car booty tapestry wool….

If I’d had the money I’d have just gone wild and bought one of every colour in Jamiesons of Shetland wool as I really love their wool, and their colours are amazing…however the funds wouldn’t stretch that far (maybe one day) so I happily settled for tapestry wool…. actually tapestry wool comes in such a vast array of shade and hue that it didn’t particularly feel like settling in the slightest.

And while I appreciate this scarf might not be for the most faint of heart as it’s so bright and colourful, I think it’ll help to banish the winter blues on even the most down cast and dreary of days……

scarf

On average I found one skein (measuring 8 metres) makes one centre, one middle and one outside round…..so a combination of three skeins makes for three alternate coloured squares (though I mixed mine up a lot more than that)

You can make up a whole load of the tiny squares using just two rounds and then set them aside before joining them together for the third and final round.  I think it’s important to have good light to work by, partly because if not you’ll get achy eyes (yay…and now I’ve got this in my head, many apologies if I spread it to you too….) but also it’s quite hard to see how some of the colours look when the light is poor.

I used a 3mm crochet hook to work the squares (it makes for quite a chunky square but that is how I prefer my crochet to be) though you could use a 4mm…I tried that size to begin with and it was fine (I just prefer my crochet to be tighter)

The scarf is made up of ninety nine squares in all…..33 rows with 3 squares in a row….

It’s crocheted together as you make it….and the stages of the scarf and how you “join as you go” can be seen in the links below to previous posts.

crocheting a scarf whiles on a day trip to Holt

inspired by Nanny Mcphee

join as you go granny squares….

join as you go granny squares part two….

joining together granny squares as you go part one….

joining together granny squares as you go part two….

Joining together two pieces of crochet… a tutorial part two

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Joining in a new square on three sides…….  make 3 chains in your new square, and make 2 more double crochet stitches into the corner.  Make a chain before inserting the hook into the first side where you are joining your square.

Wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through and then wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook.

 

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Make another 3 double crochet stitches into the corner of the original square.  Insert the hook in to the gap of the above square, wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through and wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook.  Make 3 more double crochet stitches in the original square.  Insert the hook in to the gap of the above square, wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through and wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook.

 

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Make 3 more double crochet stitches, working them into the corner of the original square, insert the hook into the last corner of the side square…. wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through and wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook…

 

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Now insert the hook in to the corner of the next square (the green one in the picture)…. wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through and wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook.  Make 3 more double crochet stitches in the corner of the original square.

 

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Insert the hook into the side square again, wrap the yarn around the hook….. join as you did for the previous side…..

When you reach the corner, make 3 double crochet stitches in the corner of the original square,

Insert the hook in the remaining corner of the side square (the green square in the picture)…

 

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Wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook.

Make 3 double crochet stitches, insert the hook into the corner of the next square (in the picture it is the brown square) … wrap the the yarn around the hook, pull through, wrap the yarn around again and pull through the stitch on the hook… continue joining as you did for the first side……

 

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When you get to the corner, make 3 double crochet stitches and make a chain before inserting the hook into the last corner of the joined square (the brown square in the picture)…

 

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Make another 3 double crochet stitches in to the corner of the original square…..

 

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Make a chain before making 3 double crochet stitches into the middle gap of the square and make another chain before joining and finishing off.

 

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This then joins the blocks of crochet together.  It’s so addictive because the blocks join up so nicely.

This uses English terminology so a double crochet stitch is an American triple stitch.

Joining together two pieces of crochet …. a tutorial part one

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I’ve finished crocheting some blocks of small squares for my Nanny McPhee inspired scarf, and I’ve sewn in more tiny tails than you can shake a stick at.  Crocheting the squares into small blocks makes the project heaps more manageable.

 

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It’s really easy to join the blocks together, and if you’ve sewn those tails in then it just makes this so much lighter to handle, and easier to work.

 

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Crochet the first two rounds of the granny square.

 

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Attach the new colour for your third round, make 3 chains, and then make 2 double crochet stitches, working into a corner of the square.  Make a chain…..

 

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Work into the top left corner of the square you are joining to… wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull the yarn through the stitch on the hook.

 

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Make another 3 double crochet stitches in the corner of the original square….

 

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Continue joining to the square above, insert the hook through the gap in the square, wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook…..

 

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Continue working and joining along the edges of the two squares… in the right hand corner of the original square, make 3 double crochet stitches in the corner, make one chain before inserting the hook through the bottom corner of the above square, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through, wrap the yarn around the hook again and pull through the stitch on the hook and then make another 3 double crochet stitches in the corner of the original square.

 

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Make a chain and then work 3 double crochet stitches in to the gap of the granny square, make another chain, and then make another 3 double crochet stitches into the corner square, and make one chain….

 

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….before inserting the hook into the bottom square of the new section of crochet you want to join into…. wrap the yarn around the hook and pull though, wrap the yarn around the hook again and pull through the stitch on the hook.

 

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Make 3 more double crochet stitches into the corner, then insert the hook into the gap of the square you are joining to…. wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through, then wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook.

 

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Insert the hook into the top corner of the original square and make 3 double crochet stitches, make a chain before inserting the hook into the bottom left corner of the square you are joining to…

 

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Wrap the yarn around the hook, pull through and then wrap the yarn around the hook again and pull through the stitch on the hook.  Make 3 more another double crochet stitches into the corner of the original square before making a chain, making another 3 double crochet stitches into the gap along the edge of the square, make another chain and then join in and fasten off.

This uses English terminology so a double crochet stitch is an American triple stitch….

 

Join as you go crochet squares …. a tutorial part two….

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Joining as you go is my favourite way of joining together hexagons and it’s fast becoming my preferred method for joining granny squares together too.  It can seem a bit pfaffy to begin with, but as long as you take a deep breath at the tricky bits (basically the corners) and maybe have some cake or biscuits at hand to help relieve any stress, then you’ll soon be unstoppable.

 

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I wrote yesterday about joining in a square at the start of a row…. it’s a little bit different when you join in a second square because now you need to join the square on two sides.

 

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Just like the previous post….. work as much of your new square as you need.  Join the first sides together the same as before.  However, in the corner which will be joined on two sides….. make 3 double crochet stitches but do not now make a chain before you work the corner….

 

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Instead, just insert the hook straight into the bottom corner of the first square you are joining to (in this case the yellow, cream and brown square), wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through, then wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook….

 

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Now insert the hook in to the second square you are joining… (in this case the yellow, orange and dark brown square)…. wrap the yarn around the hook, pull up through the gap, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook….. and then make a further 3 double crochet stitches into the corner gap of the square you are joining in.  That’s the corner worked.

 

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Continue joining the side of the new square…make 3 double crochet stitches into the next gap, insert the hook into the bottom gap of the square above and wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the gap, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the stitch on the hook…

Finish joining in the new square as shown in the previous post.

 

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And that’s your new square joined in on two sides.

I’m finding crocheting these squares incredibly addictive, working this size means my scarf is super portable and there is no laying lots of little squares out on my carpet trying to join them before Bernard strolls in and decides to either re-arrange my carefully laid out squares, or to take a nap right in the middle of them!

It’s also a great way to keep on top of colour choices, when you are making the squares as you go along the colours naturally change and you don’t end up with a pile full of very similar coloured squares (which is what I find seems to happen when I’m joining the squares at the end)

 

Join as you go crochet squares…a tutorial

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I’ve been crocheting more little wool squares for my Nanny McPhee inspired scarf.  It’s such a good way to build up your piece of crochet quickly, I can’t really see a down side to it (apart from it making any crochet project even more addictive… it’s hard to put anything down when you can see it growing before you so quickly…) and already I’ve got another project slowly forming in my head, which I think will suit this joining method really well.

Joining as you go is a little bit tricksy to begin with, but to be honest, any joining of crochet pieces seem to be a bit fiddlesome….  just make sure you have a cup of tea and some biscuits and you’ll be fine.

This is using English terminology (so in case you don’t know, an English double crochet stitch is an American triple)

 

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So to start, you’ll need to crochet a square.  Normally I only work one chain in my corners and don’t work a chain between the groups….however, this method really does work better when you leave 2 chains in the corner space….. so make your square (figure everyone knows how to do this but just in case……   cast on, make 4 chains, join to make a small circle, make 3 chains and then working through the centre of the hole, make 2 double crochet stitches, make 2 chains, make 3 double crochet stitches, 2 chains, 3 double crochet stitches, 2 chains, 3 double crochet stitches and then 2 chains. Join and cast off)

 

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Add your second colour for the second round.  Join the colour in at one of the corners and then make 3 chains, and 2 double crochet stitches, all through a corner hole.  Make 2 chains and then another 3 double crochet stitches through that same corner hole.  Make 1 chain, and then 3 double crochet stitches in the next corner hole, 2 chains and then another 3 double crochet stitches.  Work like this around so you have your square.  Join and cast off.

 

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In timely Blue Peter fashion, I’ve joined up a few squares already, the new square wants to be joined along the right side bottom corner.  You can join it from the left side if you prefer.  It doesn’t make a difference.

 

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So, join in your new colour for the third row,  make 3 chains, and then 2 double crochet stitches through the corner hole, make 2 chains and then a further 3 double crochet stitches through the same corner hole. (start of side two) Make a chain, then 3 double crochet stitches in the next gap of the square followed by another chain.  Make 3 double crochet stitches into the next corner hole, 2 chains and then another 3 double crochet stitches, in the same corner hole.  (start of side three) Make 1 chain, and then 3 double crochet stitches into the next gap of the square.  Make another chain and then make 3 double crochet stitches into the corner hole.

You are now ready to join the square in.

 

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Make a chain just after making the group of double crochet stitches….

 

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Keeping the yarn pulled tight in your left hand, slide the crochet hook into the corner hole of the square you want to join to.   You want to make sure your yarn is under your hook and not laying across the top of the square.

 

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Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the corner hole.

 

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Now wrap the yarn over the hook again and pull it through the stitch on the crochet hook.

 

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Now work another 3 double crochet hooks into the corner hole of your original square.

 

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Instead of making another chain like you did when you were crocheting along the other sides, you need to insert your hook from the top into the bottom side gap of the square you are joining to….

 

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Wrap the yarn around the hook, pull the yarn back through the gap, wrap the yarn around the hook again, and then pull the yarn through the stitch on the hook.

Continue again along the edge of the original square….. 3 double crochet stitches, then insert the hook from the top into the bottom side gap, wrap the yarn around the hook, pull the yarn back through the gap, wrap the yarn around the hook again, and then pull the yarn through the stitch on the hook.

Now you need to work your final corner.

 

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Work 3 double crochet stitches into the top corner gap of the original square, make a chain, then just as before…. insert the hook from the top into the bottom corner gap of the square you are joining into, wrap the yarn around the hook, pull the hook through, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through the stitch on the hook.  Make 3 more double crochet stitches into the corner gap of your original square.  Make a chain. (last side)

Make 3 more double crochet stitches in to the next gap of your original square, make a chain, join in and cast off.

 

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Reading how to do it without a hook in hand will sound a bit pfaffy, but actually if you give it a try you’ll find it lot easier.

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Nanny Mcphee …….

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With the change in the weather again (most definitely chilly again) …. I’ve been getting on with crocheting the Nanny McPhee inspired scarf.   The bag of tapestry wool just gets emptied out on the sewing table or on the sofa (much to Bernard’s delight.

I’m enjoying just making and joining as I go along, though I know I need to stop and sort those tails out before they get too many.

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I’m making little squares, joining them up into groups and then joining them onto the main scarf.

It’s 8 squares long so far and is already quite heavy.  Wool weighs heavier than acrylic yarn but I prefer to use it, it’s warmer for a start and I like the wider array of colours available when using the tapestry wool.

I think I’m going to need it to be about 32 squares long, and will probably make groups of six, eight and nine squares and then just join those blocks of colour in.  More to be able to keep this a portable project (something I can stick into my handbag if I’m taking a bus)  but also to help with the weight.

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It’s going to be quite a wide scarf, already the squares are about 6 1/2 inches, and I’ll probably crochet round a tiny border to neaten the edges off….. I was debating with myself whether to just have it two squares wide but I like the mix of colours with the three squares so much …… and I just think there’s nothing worse than a too skinny scarf because then you end up with a cold neck… I think with this scarf I’d be warm at the north pole!

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Regarding colours… each square is made up of three colours but two of them are more changes in tone or brightness…. so yellow, deep purple, lavender…….pale pink, apple, pine.  I figure that the scarf is going to be pretty bright when it is finished, and although I wanted it to be quite random, I thought a little bit of order was required.

As I’ve gotten older I want more colour in my wardrobe and home.  For years and years I dressed almost in black and now it’s always a last option… anything but most days.  I think this scarf will go with just about any colour… and if it clashes… well so much the better!

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I really am not looking forward to sewing the ends in… once I start it’s not so bad,  it’s just the starting… “it’s always the chore that gets put off longest which takes the most time” or something along those lines…. think I’ll just save them up for a wet and rainy weekend (hoorah for the British summer!!)

Crocheting a scarf whilest on a day trip to Holt…..

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A couple of weeks ago I bought this huge pile of tapestry yarns from a local charity shop (it was such a bargain, £6 the lot and when I got them all home and counted them, there was just over 120 different skeins, most of which looked unused) …. since then I’ve been thinking about what to use them for and because I’d been looking at some pictures of the lovely blankets and quilts in the film Nanny McPhee (which has possibly the nicest blankets in a film ever)… I decided to make a scarf inspired by those colourful blankets.

As I had a rather long bus journey on Friday (a day trip to Holt to see my friend Ruth who has just opened a shop there), I thought this would be the perfect time to begin yet another new project….because obviously I need another one of those… I’ve already got another crochet scarf part made (maybe a quarter of the way through), I’m still sewing the never ending tails of the granny’s paperweight blanket, piecing  the dresden plate quilt,  drafting the mini block quilt and I still need to baste and quilt the little square patchwork…… but, none of those can be made on the bus, and I don’t really like reading on bus journeys as it makes me feel a bit queasy (I’ve  found crocheting and knitting on the bus really good for calming travel sickness) so felt that some colourful crocheting was the perfect solution.

 

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I had a good idea of how I wanted the scarf to be, pretty much the same granny square pattern as my green and blue scarf, but this time I wanted it to be a riot of colour, clashing combinations….. a real head turner.  And, although I don’t mind joining squares together too much, I thought using the join-as-you-go method would help me add some semblance of order to where the colours are placed.

I’d used this technique when I was joining the pieces of the grannys paperweight blanket… it’s a bit weird and fiddly at first but it’s fantastic for joining hexagons.  And I think as long as you have a cup of tea, and have some biscuits or a Werthers Original at hand… then a few deep breathes and anything is possible.

I started off making squares of only two rounds, using a 4mm hook, and joining them together in the second round.  I was really happy with the colours but after just four squares I knew this was not looking to be the scarf of my dreams…..

So down tools… open a sweetie…. another rumpage in the wool stash and use a smaller hook…..

 

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I decided to make the finished square a little bigger, so crocheted them into rounds of three, and three being the magic number, used a 3 mm crochet hook…..  much better.

The squares that weren’t right can easily be unravelled and crocheted up again into larger squares.  I’m not really sure how many squares I’m going to need (I really do like a long scarf… not quite as long as Dr Who but enough to wrap round a few times and tie in a jaunty Romeo Gigli-esque knot).

 

I think I got on one of those super slow buses (the sort that stop at every little village on the route) because the journey was very long …. however arrived in Holt and it was pouring down with rain so not a lot of standing around enjoying the sites or shops… (Holt is a very pretty market town in North Norfolk with lots of lovely antiquey shops…. I had  a field day when I visited a couple of years ago with my friend Anne “queen of knitting” ), just had time to stick my head into the door of a couple of charity shops and then found my friend Ruth’s new shop…..to be honest Holt is a bit of a rabbit warren, lots of tiny lanes with independent shops, and courtyards with even more shops…..so I managed to get rather lost.  However, I finally found Glory Days.

 

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Glory Days can be found at number 5 Franklins Yard, tucked in just off Bull Street.

Walking through the door you kind of have to step back as your eyes don’t know where to look first.  Everywhere it’s colour colour colour.  Items are displayed on brightly coloured vintage dressers……parrot lamps, bunny night lights, busty ladies displaying papers for cupcakes, pretty lunch boxes, paper lampshades, stacking bowls, bright red battery radios, dachshund dog money boxes, deck chairs, kitchen wall clocks, retro inspired alarm clocks hammocks, bright pink bunny watering cans, huge parasols, lovely hooks for coats or bags, tiny little sets of crayons and colouring pencils…(phew… I feel like I’ve just played The Generation Game).. I think every pocket size is catered for.

Ruth is also stocking a small range of toys made by Sasha, so if you can’t find her at a craft fair then this is a great opportunity to find her amazing creatures (each one is hand made and really one of a kind so it’s going to be a case of buy them when you see them).

Ruth used to have a shop in Norwich (which was also called Glory Days) and I often used to pop in on a Wednesday for cups of tea and a good gossip.  I’d bring in my sewing and sit and do that while Ruth served her customers.  I even ran a couple of patchwork classes from the back of her little shop… Glory Days has been much missed in Norwich but I’m sure it will be a welcome addition to Holt.

I bought the set of bowls with the the lovely floral lids as I thought they would be perfect for any leftovers that need popping in the fridge.

 

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Along with the new items and some hand crafted things, Ruth has a few cheerful antiquey items dotted around her shop, carefully selected teacups and saucers, the odd teapot, Staffordshire statue (she had a gorgeous figurine vase when I was there).

She’d wrapped up this gorgeous boy for me as a gift as I collect Staffordshire dogs…. I hope I’ve sneaked him in so “no-one”will notice there is yet another dog on the window sill.

(everything gets beautifully wrapped in lots of coloured tissue paper so no chance of anything getting broken)

Glory Days doesn’t have a website yet but I think that is just a matter of time.