Yarn Festivals and Tea cosies

 

downloadI had hoped to put up a blog post much sooner but as usual things got very busy. I’ve been very absorbed in writing the past few weeks. I somehow seem to have found myself writing two novels at once. Not very ideal and not something I would have chosen to do. I was three quarters through a new novel when an idea came to me. In fact, a whole novel came to me and I had to get it onto paper. So I am now three quarters into a second novel and I’m loving both of them. I’ll be writing more about those on my other blog www.renham.co.uk in a few weeks.

Meanwhile back to crochet and knitting. Do tell me what you’re making. I’d love to hear about your projects.

First, let’s talk tea and what’s been in my tea cup the past week. As you know I love tea. I can’t resist buying new ones. It’s been fairly chilly here and today we had snow again so I’ve been warming up with a nice spiced tea. This week it has been ‘Spice Imperial’ by Whittard. It’s a full-flavoured black tea with aromatic cloves, zesty orange peel, sweet Madagascan vanilla and a scattering of yellow safflower petals. Perfect on a cold day. I recommend it.

So, with tea made, let’s look at my Work in progress. There are too many. Far too many and I’m going to have to restrain myself. It’s getting ridiculous. I’ve re-discovered my love of knitting too which means I’ve cast on several knitting projects too. I’ve also acquired some fab patterns too which have inspired me. Where to start?

PATTERNS AND PATTERN BOOKS

I bought this beautiful book ‘Homespun Vintage’ by Jane Crowfoot.

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The patterns are gorgeous. I want to make them all. They are mostly knitting patterns with some crochet thrown in. I love it. I’m so keen to cast on one of the cushion covers but am resisting as I have too many things on the go already.

Then there was this beautiful shawl in ‘Inside Crochet’ issue 96 I couldn’t resist this.

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I have purchased the yarn, West Yorkshire spinners signature 4 play in a lovely purple and have started. I haven’t got very far yet so I’ll hopefully have more to share with you next time.

I also bought from Hobbycraft the book Tea Cozies 2.

WORK IN PROGRESS

So, I picked up my knitting needles as I couldn’t resist this beautiful Strawberries and Cream tea cosy from the Tea cosy book. It’s such fun to knit and will look gorgeous when finished. I’m using a cream Double knit yarn that I had in my stash. The book was only £5 and there are some lovely patterns in it. As I love tea, this seemed the perfect project for my needles.

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Once I got the knitting bug I couldn’t resist looking at shawls and found myself checking out the Shawl Society. If you haven’t done so yet, I urge you to take a look. The patterns designed by Helen Stewart are brilliant. So much choice and the shawls are so enjoyable to make. Over the six months of each season of the Shawl Society, you’ll gain access to six exclusive, secret shawl designs and participate in lively, supportive KALs with your fellow initiates.  You can purchase season 1 from Ravelry. I’m currently knitting the Talisman Shawl and enjoying it very much. I’ll post photos in the next post as I haven’t got very far yet. Here’s a pic of The Talisman. It’s irresistable isn’t it?

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I also started making some mitts but I wasn’t happy with them at all. I’m still not sure whether to continue with them. What do you think? It’s been a long time since I have knit anything so I need to brush up on my skills.

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That’s it for knitting. Now onto Crochet.

I’m really excited to be taking part in my first ever CAL. I’m making the seaside stash blanket by Coastal Crochet. It’s a fun project. Eleanor publishes four rows a week and that’s all you have to do. If you’d like to join in pop over to her blog or her Instagram account and begin yours. Here is mine. I’m using DK yarn from my stash. It’s a great way to use those left over balls of wool.

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I’m also excited to be taking part in the Granny Cal which is being hosted by Rosina of ZeensandRoger.  blog. It starts in a few weeks. I’m very much looking forward to that one as I love making granny squares. You can find more details of this Cal over at Rosina’s blog or her Instagram page. I’m going to look at Granny Square projects over the next few days and choose what I want to make for the CAL.

I’m done some more work on my Wisteria Shawl although I must admit to having neglected it a bit as I find the yarn quite splitty. But I will do more. This is my progress so far.

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Finished Objects

I finally finished my ‘Sideways Blanket’ from ‘Beautiful Blankets Afghans and Throws’ by Leonie Morgan and I so want to make more from her book. I love making blankets. It’s so relaxing. I still struggle to understand border patterns but I’m getting there. Does anyone else find borders difficult?

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I made a tea cosy for a friend. A stump teapot cosy. It was fun and enjoyable making something for someone else. I really would like to make another one.

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So that’s it for my projects.

A final piece of exciting news is ‘Unravel’ a yarn festival held in Farnham Surrey. / I have booked my ticket and three of us from my crochet group are going. Please let me know if you are going as it would be great to say hello.

That’s it for this time. See you again soon and do tell me about your projects.

Much love, Lynda x

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Let’s Talk Yarn Festivals

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Hello again,

Welcome back to a Country Crochet. Doesn’t time pass quickly? I had every intention of writing a new crochet blog post every week. Wishful thinking on my part. Life and work put paid to that. If you’re at all interested in my every day life, and I quite understand if you’re not, then you can find me at www.renham.co.uk where I share some of the mishaps we had in 2017. If you want a little chuckle then that’s one place to go.

I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and got all your crochet gifts made.

But first, let’s grab a cuppa. By the way do send me your tea recommendations. I love to try new teas. This time I’m going to rave about The Tea Experience.  Their teas are fabulous and some are seriously to die for. Today I’m having a cup of ‘Angel Grey’ which has to be my ultimate favourite. I love Earl Grey and this is a twist on that. It’s so delicious with a subtle combination of black tea, orange slices and rose petals with a dash of bergamot and natural flavouring. If you love Earl Grey then you will adore this. I just love sniffing the bag. It certainly rates as one of my faves.  The Tea Experience did have a sample size of this tea. Pop over and have a look. It really is worth sampling if you can.

So, tea made, let’s now talk crochet.

I’ve been quite experimental the past few weeks and with my friend Louise I went to my first yarn fair. We went to Festiwool in Hichin, Hertfordshire. I was completely and happily overwhelmed by all the gorgeous yarn. I don’t know how I restrained myself but I managed to. I did however buy some lovely things. How can you not at a yarn fair? I’m by no means an expert on yarns but I’m learning so much as time goes on. It was a brilliant day and I really didn’t want to leave.

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I bought quite a few mini skeins. I’m not sure what I’ll make with them. But I’ll have fun deciding.
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I couldn’t resist this beautiful book.

I know we will go to many more as time goes on. The best thing about yarn festivals is that you get to meet lots of other crafters while getting loads of ideas. I was knocked out by the gorgeous hand made items they were wearing and I’m really keen to make more things that I can wear too. So, with the inspiration of Festiwool behind me I decided to try some new patterns and my first work in progress is The Sideways Blanket from the book ‘Beautiful Blankets, Afghans and Throws’ by Leonie Morgan.

I was unsure about starting this as usually when I work in rows I end up with a very strange shaped blanket but hey ho, not this time. I’m thrilled with it. It’s the perfect project for taking anywhere. I’m using all the stash I built up when I first started and I’m thrilled that those yarns are being used. It’s just acrylic yarn but the blanket is lovely and warm. I’m absolutely delighted with this and feel much more confident to work in rows which sounds such a small thing but I’m very excited about it. I thought I was destined to only make granny square blankets. I love granny squares but really wanted to branch out.

My second work in progress is a shawl. I went for a shawl from ‘The shawl Project’ book. This shawl is aimed at beginners which is perfect for me. I’m loving this and am using the yarn I bought at Festiwool.  Unfortunatly I can’t find the wool band. This is my first attempt at a shawl pattern from a book and I’m feeling very proud of myself. It’s slow but I’m enjoying it.

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It doesn’t seem like a year ago that I started my crochet journey and I’m really pleased at my progress.

I don’t have many finished objects as my progress is rather slow. I did finish the Oxford United blanket for my grandson and he was thrilled with that. I also finished some mitts for a friend. I hope to have many more finished objects for my next blog.

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It’s the perfect hobby on a cold dark winter’s night isn’t it? A cosy blanket on your knees and that feeling of satisfaction as you watch it grow?

I hope you received some nice crochet gifts at Christmas. I acquired three lovely books and I’ll chat about those in my next blog. I have so many crochet books that I thought it would be interesting to share them next time.

Do join me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can find me on them all as Lynda Renham.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year and it is all you hope it to be. Until next time.

Love Lynda x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Tea

 

T100AE012_white-rose_sha1Hello,

Welocme to my very first blog posting on Country Cottage Crochet.  I live in a country cottage in Oxfordshire and lots of crochet goes on here along with many other things. I hope to share all of them as time goes on.  But, as the blog post title says, ‘Let’s talk Tea’   Last week I went to the new shopping centre that has opened in the centre of Oxford. There to my delight was a T2tea shop. I was in heaven before I even entered. How can there be so many wonderful teas in one place. The choice was endless. It was tea heaven for sure. I love tea leaves better than anything. There is nothing better than sniffing the aroma of tea leaves and as soon as I sniffed the leaves of ‘White Rose’ tea I was hooked. Divine is the only word. I could have sniffed it forever. The lovely man in the shop offered to brew some so I could taste it. Oh, that was it. I was at the till with my box of ‘White Rose’ before you could say ‘Tea up’ If that wasn’t enough I then spotted their beautiful teaware. Well, seriously, how could I resist. So, the tea of the day today is ‘White Rose’ It’s not cheap, I warn you. It was around £12 for a box but you do get a fair amount for that and I think it’s worth every penny. I usually buy my tea online so this shop was a wonderful discovery. I love loose tea. I have teabags too but the best cup of tea is made with loose tea, I think.

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My lovely new tea cup.

You can never have too many tea cups can you?

Visiting the shops reminded me just how near Christmas is and I’ve still got lots of thing I want to make as presents. It’s the first Christmas I have been confident enough to make things for other people. I started to learn crochet last December. I needed something calming. My stress levels were far too high. My blood pressure was up and I needed something to focus my attention on other than work. Andrew, my husband went away on a course in London and I bough myself a hook and some yarn and followed some crochet tutorials. Bella Coco and Jayda in Stiches were my favourites to go to. I’ve linked them so you can check them out too. Although if you’re into crochet I am sure you know who they are. I also follow some fab crochet and knitting podcasts and you should be able to find them under blogs I like. I’ll be talking about a different one each time I post.

I thought I’d start by sharing my works in progress, of which there are many.

My favourite project at the moment is the doily I have been working on for

mother-in-law.

It’s the first time I have crocheted with Cotton and I enjoyed it so much. It was so relaxing once I got the hang of the repeat. I have now made two and am thrilled with them. I hope she will be too. There’s still some weaving in to be done. But I’m pleased with them. I used a pattern in Emma Lamb’s book ‘Crochet Home’ It has some gorgeous patterns. I don’t have the yarn band to tell you what the yarn was. I don’t know where it has gone. This is the story of my life.

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The second Christmas project I am working on is an Oxford United football blanket for my grandson. The colours are navy and yellow and I must admit working on the navy in the evenings is difficult. But it’s fun.They’re basic patterns I realise and I’m so admiring of people like Rosina of Zeens and Roger podcast who produce some marvellous things. I’m desperate to crochet a shawl. I’ve had a go at some basic shawl patterns. But more on shawl patterns in another post. Let’s talk blankets. I love granny squares but I’d love to crochet rows and make a blanket that way but I always find my blanket, after a time, curls in. Can anyone tell me why this this is and what I need to do to stop it happening? I’d love to try again.

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Oxford United Blanket

This most exciting thing that has happened on my crochet journey was Festiwool. A yarn festival held in Hichin, Hertfordshire. It was fabuous and I bought some lovely  yarn there. I’m dead excited to use it but nervous at the same time. I want to make something special with it and have my eye on several shawls but the question is am I brave and experienced enought to give them a go?

I’d love to hear about your crochet journey. I’m looking forward to making some new crochet friends and knitting, of course. Some weeks I’ll also feature some knitting I’m doing. Until next time. Lots of love.

Lynda xx