Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Wooohhhhoooo!!! Whilst I was busy cuddling I reached 100 followers so it has to be a Giveaway !

 I have to admit to having  been distracted by the most gorgeous bundle ever!


He has met all the family and been the star attraction at the Christmas celebrations.
Especially with his Great Grandma.


And I had not lost my touch!




But when I popped back in to "Chalky's World" I realised that I had hit the magical 100 followers!
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who have popped into my little bit of Blogland and left such kind,encouraging comments.
So now down to business -- I love a celebration so let's all celebrate the big 100 with a giveaway.
I have been so beautifully distracted I have no idea what it will be but please leave me a comment and I will get my thinking cap on!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Welcome to the world William Ivor Gilbert!


William Ivor Gilbert----  weighed in at 9lbs 12ozs.
He arrived at 8.20 on the 19th December 2011!


Well, William every second of the wait has been worth it!
Just Perfect and both your Grandma and Grandad have fallen totally in love all over again.
Only this time -- just with you!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Waiting for the train! Only a little bit late so far!



Well, we have arrived home and spent the day quietly preparing for Christmas.
The tree is ready except for one little, but very special new decoration!


A sweet little train I bought in Spain .
It is just waiting for a bright ribbon and our Grandson to be born.
Then it can be hung on the tree to remind us every year of his first Christmas.


We have had these little brass decorations for over twenty years but this one depicting Mary on the donkey making her way to Bethlehem where baby Jesus was born seems even more special this year!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Hasta Luego to Spain -- Teddy to go. Champagne to stay!!!

It is time to go back to the UK for Christmas!
 We fly home tomorrow the 17th.
 A very significant day as our first Grandson is due tomorrow.
I think he is waiting until we arrive home before he makes his appearance!
So the Teddy is packed!


I was hoping to have raised a toast with the Champagne but that will have to stay in the fridge until our return as we only travel with hand luggage!
We will have to find another bottle to wet the baby's head when he decides to arrive!


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A quick and pretty crochet garland.

Sometimes----
Sometimes you just want a little hooky project!
Sometimes you want to make a special card filled with home made love! 
Or a label for a home made gift.
Sometimes you want to to work an easy pattern and be able to adapt it.

And here is one I have enjoyed lately.
Ideal for the busy pre Christmas evenings.
Ideal for waiting to be a Grandma evenings!
Soothing and pretty!







Ideal to dress a little parcel with some chocolates tucked inside!



Perfect for a special card!



 I have tried to contact the lady who first wrote this little Garland pattern but I am not sure how to send her a Private Message.
I hope she does not mind me writing about it on my blog.
I know she must be a lovely lady because she works hard for the Loving Hands Charity Knitting Group I like to support.
  And you can ring the changes with little felt Christmas decorations!








Pattern. 
Row 1. --Chain 15 and slip stitch to make a ring.
Row 2 --Chain 1 to represent the first double crochet. Work as many double crochet stitches into the ring to make it full.Slip stitch into stitch in initial chain to complete first round.
Row 3-- Chain 2 to represent the first half treble. Work 1 half treble in the top of each stitch from the first row and slip stitch into 2nd stitch in initial chain to complete the 2nd round.
Row 4 --  This is the frilly row which finishes the pretty garland off! It goes like this. Chain 5 miss 1 stitch and slip stitch into the next stitch. Chain 5 ,miss 1 stitch and slip stitch into the next stitch.
Complete the round in this way. I never worry too much about counting the stitches before I begin this final round as it all seems to work out jut fine. If you want to make a little hanging loop work 12-15 chain and slip stitch to join!



And just recently I was jogging around Ikea when I spied these gorgeous red ribbons and it got me thinking about jugs of holly and ivy and Snowflakes and Garlands.
So a quick refreshing look at the pretty Crochet Snowflake pattern at lovely Lucy's Attic.
And here they are an assortment of snowflakes and garlands all beribboned and ready to hang when we get home.






Single Snowflakes.



Double Snowflakes!



Garlands with bells!




I hope you find time to have a little hookiness!
And as always plaese email me if you have any problems with the pattern!

Friday, 9 December 2011

A simple baby mitten pattern and no sign of the kittens!

Mittens!



So many years spent with the "littlies" has left me with songs and rhymes in my mind!
This week I wanted to knit some very simple baby mittens
As simple as can be!
So I decided to make up my own pattern and here they are!
Sweet in minty green!


A little bit of seed stitch to add some texture!


And a final pair in grey.


In case you want to make a pair or two here is the pattern -- it is so quick and easy and perfect for cold little fingers!

Using 3.25 and 4.00 mm needles and Double Knitting wool.


Cast on 24 stitches using 3.25 mm needles and work 10 rows of Knit1,Purl 1 rib.
Change to 4mm needles and knit 10 rows in stocking stitch. 1 row knit,1 row purl.
Shaping--- Starting with a knit row
1st Row--- Knit first 2 stitches together through back of stitches. Knit 8 stitches Knit 2 stitches together.Knit 2 stitches together through back of stitches. Knit 8 stitches. Knit last 2 stitches together.(20 stitches)
2nd Row--- Purl.
3rd Row---Knit first 2 stitches together through back of stitches. Knit 6 stitches. Knit 2 stitches together,knit 2 stitches together through back of stitches,knit 6 stitches,Knit last 2 stitches together (16 stitches)
4th Row---Purl.
5th Row--Knit first 2 stitches together through back of stitches. Knit 4 stitches Knit 2 stitches together. Knit 2 stitches through back of stitches Knit last 2 stitches together (12 stitches)
6th Row -- Knit first 2 stitches through back of stitches. Knit 2 stitches. Knit 2 stitches together .Knit 2 stitches through back of stitches. Knit last 2 stitches together. (8 stitches)


This method of working both through the back and front of the stitches gives a very neat shaping to the mitten.
Thread yarn onto a needle and thread through the remaining 8 stitches and pull up tightly. Fold mittens in half and sew side seam.

To make the little mittens with seed stitch work the stocking stitch rows as follows--
Row 1 -- Knit 1, purl 1
Row 2--- Purl1,knit 1
Continue in this way shaping as previously keeping the seed pattern correct (as much as possible!) on the decrease rows.


If you have any problems please email me!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Mad Hatter!!



I definitely know I can be obsessive!
There have been hedgehogs, bibs, bunting, birds and now I am definitely getting a bit obsessed about--
HATS!
Little tiny ones!
Our Spanish plumber and his wife welcomed their first Grandchild into the world two weeks ago
.But,she was in far too much of a rush to meet everyone and weighed in at 850 grams!!!!!
So, out came my needles and these little hats are on their way to little baby Luna!




I have made these hats for all the little babies joining our family this year.



And then it was time to move onto bigger things!
This one needed a makeover!


I always rely on my Crochet hook!


And then, before I left home I was asked for a special hat.
No pressure as the request was accompanied by these words--
" It's all I want for Christmas!"
So I have made these ---


I can feel a hat party coming on!
I think I will have to have a pile in the middle of the floor and play musical hats until everyone tries on one that they like and want to keep!
I wonder if it will be this one?



In case you want to make this super quick one here is the pattern-- Thanks to Jacqui who gave it to me.

6.5mm needles

cast on 60 stitches

rows 1-10 knit
row 11 - knit
Row 12 - purl
Rows 13 - 28 stocking stitch 
Row 29 - Knit 4, k2tog across row (50 stitches)
Row 30 purl
row 31 - knit
row 32 - purl
row 33 - knit 3, k2tog across row (40 stitches)
row 34 - purl
row 35 - knit
row 36 - purl
row 37 - knit 2, k2tog across row (30 stitches)
row 38 - purl
row 39 - knit
row 40 - purl
row 41 - knit 1, k2tog across row (20 stitches)
row 42 - purl
row 43 - knit 2 tog across row (10 stitches)
row 44 - purl
row 45 - knit 2 tog across row (5 stitches)

draw up and sew seam 

Or maybe this one?
This is the same pattern but I added a textured effect by mixing Stocking and Garter stitch.




Or this one!
I cast on the 60 stitches but worked the hat in rib. 
2 knit, 2 Purl.




Or one with a bit of a twist!
A Spiral patterned hat.
Cast on 60 stitches and garter stitch Row 1 and 2
Then work like this
Knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of the next row.Knit to the last stitch make 1 stitch then knit the last stitch.
Knit 1 row.
Repeat these 2 rows until the hat is large enough for your head.
Decrease in the same way as the original pattern and sew 1 end of the spiral tightly and I like to crochet 1 row of Double Crochet on the other end which gives a neat finish.




And one for me for the cold days back in the UK!




And of course one for the "Sporty One!"



Super Chunky wool and this pattern  --
Just make the ribbing part to fit and then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together on the next few rows until you have about 10 stitches to pull up and sew seam.


The good thing is that the others will be perfect for the " Hats for Homeless" project!
And a word of warning these obsessions are definitely catching!
Look what my dear Mother -In - Law who is 81 has been doing!




Over 100 hats for premature babies!
Who on earth would want to find a cure for this obsession!

Monday, 5 December 2011

My final woolly exploit until the Baby is born!

Last night our son and daughter - in -law skyped us and there is certainly some practising going on by Baby Gilberto.
And he carried on flexing his muscles all night!
I remember the last few weeks of labour very well --- The ultimate waiting game!
So,I decided to be one step ahead and got this little fellow finished!


Maybe he will be called Sticklebrick to remind them of their waiting gmae.
 It sounds as if we will not have too long to wait to find out what our Grandson is to be called!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Saturday, 3 December 2011

A different kind of Advent Countdown --- 14 days to go!




14 Days and Counting!


We are all patiently waiting for little Gilberto to arrive.
Of course his Mummy and Daddy are getting a little tired of waiting!
This is how I spent day 14 of the final countdown to his due date!


Thursday, 1 December 2011

These are a few of my favourite things! Memories of Grandma x




Memories and baking!



My Maternal Grandma was a farmers wife and a wonderful cook!
As I have said before she taught me everything I know about Crafting!
She was born in 1900 and her birthday was on the 5th of December.
So, of course I am thinking of her as a new month begins!

She ALWAYS had a cake in the tin, biscuits in the jar and a pie or pasty in the pantry!
So this morning I remembered her biscuits and found the old recipe!
I so remember being allowed to do the rolling and cutting but not the watching in the oven as I was such a daydreamer they would burn!!
Here is her recipe and it makes so many biscuits!
8 ounces of butter softened-- no Margarine was allowed near her baking!
5 Ounces of caster sugar.
1 Egg Yolk
10 ounces of Plain Flour!

Mix the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until creamy. Add the egg yolk and mix well.Add sieved flour and mix well
Roll til required thickness and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until pale golden. Re-roll scraps to get the maximum amount of yummy biscuits!
The oven today would need to be 160 degrees.
I guess you could add all sorts of flavourings but this was the recipe Grandma used.


Enough for us. 
One for Salome,the little Spanish girl who lives next door.
And enough for a little gift!



Something else she taught me was never to have the oven on for just one thing so next to the biscuit recipe was her recipe for a Boil and Bake Cake!

1 Cup of water
4 ounces of Butter
1 tablespoon of syrup
2 Cups of dried fruit.
1 teaspoon of mixed spice.
1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda.
3/4 cup of sugar.
Boil all these ingredients for 5 minutes.
Cool the mixture
Add 
1 beaten egg
2 cups of Self Raising Flour
Bake for approximately 1 and a quarter hours in a Moderate oven -- 160 degrees.
Or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Wow! The house smelt lovely and it was so easy to remember Grandma as I was baking.
Wouldn't it be lovely if you could just have them back for an hour or two and have a little walk down Memory Lane together!