Tuesday, 25 May 2010

decision time

I've bought a skein each of drift and tulip from the Blue Sky Alpaca dyed cotton range! Amazing how exciting it is to buy yarn again, even 'once removed' on the web. I used Loop in London, who I've found to be good at calling me when there are issues, and prompt shippers. Also I think they have a gorgeous website.

Thank you for you comments...deciding is the hardest part, so many options! I'm going to go for mixed whites, mixed patterns, and just sort it all out once I've done all the crocheting. This way, if they stop producing the whites I'm starting with (though unlikely) I can use other brands/shades, and if I discover a great pattern in a few months time I can easily incorporate it.

I've had some fun today brushing up on my crochet...I realised I hadn't actually done very many granny squares before, and I found purlbee's wonderfully clear tutorial very helpful. It was also easier to start with string and a very big crochet hook, so I could understand the details better. I havn't yet attempted the garden square...I need to decipher some of the terminology first.

Monday, 24 May 2010

plans for a wedding present

So, I've had an idea for a wedding present for the pembrokeshire wedding couple ~ clifftop ceremony in a ruined chapel, picnic 'reception' on the beach ~ that I need some advice on

They live on a narrow boat, he is a buddhist, she is into crystals, reflexology, natural fibres, and a vegetarian. She is knitting him a sweater (don't worry, she already has the ring so won't be affected by the curse), and he has talked about knitting a blanket for their bed. Now you know them a little better. I have to say they are the most serene couple I have ever met, and she is particularly good-natured, calm and affectionate; an old-fashioned, lovely heroine.

My original idea was to make them a wedding quilt, however I don't think I can quite run to this, and although I'm quite happy with my beginner quilting skills, I know they are not up to making such an heirloom.

But I can crochet. So I thought I could make them a crocheted wedding blanket...in white yarn, maybe organic cotton, made up of pretty but not fussy granny squares. I know they are also keen on having babies straight away, so it could also be used as a baby blanket.

The questions are:

Which granny square pattern/s should I use?
Should I stick to one square design, or mix a few?
Should I use a few different shades of white? Or maybe a variegated white?
What yarn should I use? It needs to be affordable, but I want to use the best I can.

So far I've found a few patterns I like, and I'm quite keen on Blue Sky Alpaca's Organic Cotton yarn in these shades....

614 drift
616 sky
615 tulip

Garden, by
Patrizia Pisani

standard, by

What do you think? Any pattern/yarn suggestions, or advice would be very welcome! I'm quite keen to get started on this straight away, I haven't knitted or crocheted in months!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

hello again

Well, I've been away from the web for a while, and now I'm sitting here late at night, it's far too hot to sleep, so time to write my diary. Thank you for any comments I've recently received that I haven't personally replied to, I do appreciate them!

Lots of inconsequential bits and pieces have been going on; I got through a Brownie sleepover, with 5 and a half hours sleep (my lovely pink sleeping bag was very comfy); developed a new chocolate cake with my lovely sis (add whole milk, risky but worth it);

received a stellar late birthday present;

read 'Land Girls' which is really good, if a little silly; 

tried baking a new cake (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's) Lemon and Poppy Seed from one of the sunday papers;

and finally, bought a Norwegian flag for a little Eurovision party on Saturday night.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

wedding season

The wedding season is here, and its not just that time of year, but that time in my life, when all my friends suddenly start getting engaged.

The Chinese Pagoda at Kew

One couple is getting married in a few weeks time, and Mr HH is the best man. They've planned a 'full white wedding' in Kew, the neighbourhood in London in which they live, and the best bit is the reception in Kew Gardens. It's also a lovely excuse for a weekend in a B&B in this flowery part of the metropolis, and I can't decide whether to go to Hampton Court Palace, or the Tate galleries the day after the nuptials. Either way, I will report with inside details on the Kew wedding, should anyone be at the planning stage themselves.

Queen Charlotte's Cottage in the bluebell woods, Kew

But, it also means dress shopping. Alas, I am not much of a fashionista, or much of a shopper. I wear comfy jeans and cotton tops year round. So it was with serious trepidation that I began my trek round the boutiques of Bath. And they mostly are boutiques and independent little shops, Bath is packed with gorgeous little things with big price tags.

Happily, after a few hours trailing around the more affordable chain-labels, ie not the above, I managed to put together an outfit which I hope will do, being not to frumpy for a 25 yr old, but traditional enough for the formal wedding it is.

As the fashion magazines of a bygone era might put it: 'It's a dusky pink affair in faux satin which drapes beautifully, with a little white shrug for warmth, and 2 matching silk flowers, one as a corsage, the other to adorn the hair. Neutral hosiery and floral kitten heels complete the outfit.'

What do you think? Second opinions most welcome, as I really don't have much experience with these things.

Pembrokeshire coast

The second couple have plans for a Pembrokeshire beach wedding next summer, in medieval-style clothes, the third couple hope to eventually conclude their long engagement with a ceremony at the steaming, ancient Roman Baths in Bath, the fourth couple will wed in Westonbirt Arboretum, scene of their first date and proposal. I find other people's weddings fascinating, and will supply all the details in due course, should you feel the same.