Friday, 31 August 2012

back in the groove...

Far from being 6 weeks of crochet productivity it seems the summer holidays this year has been a long break from crochet. I am back on track with a new project, one that is working up so incredibly fast that it looks to be one of the projects that actually gets finished!

I am using up existing supplies of aran wool but may have to supplement it nearer the end for the sake of colour balance. It leaves an odd but ok selection of random colours in my Aran box that could be another blanket at some stage.

These squares are a whopping 14inches across. I've used half trebles (uk) for the 'plain' squares and two different stitches for the 'textured' squares. They will be arranged in a checker board effect. The textured squares use up a bit more wool and take a bit longer but they are simple enough to do without concentrating too

It always enters my mind to be more adventurous with colour but at the end of the day these are the colours that make me tick. I realised that when I nearly bought a novel the other day just because the cover picture was of a person in the most gorgeous oversized Aran tweed jumper on. I don't usually read murder and crime type books but that cover was very tempting!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

analytical thinking...

Or in other words; procrastinating! I've been thinking about my ufo's and working out why they have become so.

The pebble blanket is, on the face of it, a perfect portable project; take one colour, one hook and crochet as many hexagons as you like with very little concentration required. Problem: boredom and monotony (I am determined to finish it though!).

The ripple rug should be finished by now so what is holding me back? It could be the annoying issue with untangling three balls of yarn as I go.

So, with great thought and preparation I have started another blanket. Yes I know, logic seems to have deserted me! I'm avoiding stripes because I hate dealing with all those ends. I'm avoiding small squares to join as you go or sew together afterwards (not looking forward to that task with the pebble blanket as it is). I am also avoiding the monotony factor and I have also taken into account how quickly this blanket will grow... the result?

An Aran weight blanket using whopping 14" squares to be whip stitched together when I am happy with the layout. Each square is one colour but every square will be a different texture.

I am only using existing yarn from my 'Aran' box. I am on my second square, the first is a waffle kind of effect which I will photograph shortly.

An early start for mums taxi service to... Yes you've guessed it, cricket! Two trips for a training day and one match this evening about half an hour away. I am taking my crochet with me!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

...and on the subject of meals...

...and technology (see theme of last post), my boy has just made his own lunch, as he is apt to do when I am otherwise engaged (hanging out the washing). Not only that but he has messaged me photo's of it! Quite why I am not sure. The house isn't big enough that he has to walk miles to reach me so I guess it's because he's so proud of his creation:
Salad filled pitta bread
Chocolate cake
Time Out

Well half of it is reasonably healthy!

second childhood...

Mr H and I lit a wood fire in the garden last night and decided to wrap our dinner up in silver foil and cook it on the fire. There was a time when the children could tear themselves away from Playstations and Twitter accounts but alas no more. Instead, one grumpy teenager who had just had a shower and didn't want her hair to smell
of bonfire reluctantly retrieved her chicken and butternut squash dinner from the top of the garden. Where did we go wrong? Mind you, perhaps it is slightly eccentric to sit on logs and cook your dinner on anything less than a shiny new B&Q gas barbecue these days?

We did chicken, squash, onions, sweet potato and jacket potatoes and red peppers. Washed down with a tin mug of tea. Certainly a more substantial
offering than the tin of beans my brother and I used to cook in an old pan in the garden when we were kids!

Friday, 17 August 2012


See this adorable fluffy little creature? No I'm afraid I don't. I see a lean, mean killing machine named Mollie.

We've always pandered to her hatred of Catteries and bribed someone to come in daily and feed her when we go away. After all, she sleeps all day and prowls at night.

One year there was a family of mice laid out on the driveway for our return (gee thanks!). This year I have just uncovered (my nose did the detective work) the largest, most deadest, most disgustingest, creature underneath the computer table, ugh ugh ugh.

It's either a mouse on steroids or a rat, either way it's going nowhere til Mr H gets home!

Next year she is going to the Cattery.

moving on...

*J* has come to the end of his season as a county cricketer. The whole team have improved hugely and the level of cricket played is just a pleasure to watch.

The Holbrook Festival was the culmination of all that blood, sweat and tears; 4 nights and 4 days of cricket with an emphasis on fun and fairness (ie. giving the batters a fair chance to bat and giving the bowlers an even crack at the batters!)

As parents we've grown fond of all the boys and even from a distance when they are all wearing the same clothes and the same green caps it isn't hard to work out who is who, with their mannerisms and characteristics.

One of the things we hadn't expected was to have sleepless nights worrying about the question, 'just when do you step in and fight your kid's battles for them?'

A week on and we can safely say that *J* has learned that when it comes to friends, having all your eggs in one basket can sometimes lead to disappointments, and when one door slams in your face (literally) another, sometimes better one always opens. It was a difficult one for him to deal with.

We found ourselves having a conversation with him about forgiving and forgetting. Forgiving is necessary in order to move on, but not forgetting is essential in order to avoid making the same mistake twice. That's our take on it anyway; for a boy who has found himself a head higher than kids his own age since the age of 3 and often gets a bum deal because he's so laid back and easy going.

Still, I wouldn't have him any other way; we're kindred spirits J and I.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

home sweet home...

Phew, we are home after an intense week of cricket. I have calculated that we have generated about 15 washing machine loads; that's me busy for the next week or so.

It's been an interesting week, a learning curve for things other than cricket too.

We've also become pro's at packing picnics and making ourselves comfy on the boundary come rain or shine. It was mostly shine this last week and we all look like we've been to a hot country for a fortnight. Who needs expensive holidays abroad?

I didn't do any crochet at all. The cricket was far too exciting. I read a few books between matches though. Look out for 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls. I couldn't put it down and I haven't read a book like that for a long time.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

poo stopped play...

Yes, honestly... some poor boy landed in fox poo during a cricket match and poo stopped play while he was cleaned up by a flurry of cricket mums with wipes. It begs the question, at what age do children stop needing wipes?

Today's match was just the usual 'rain stopped play'. Gosh how dull. Nice rainbow though.