Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Tutorial for Pretty Crochet Flowers.

I have been thinking about Mums everywhere. Lovely Mums who have made life special.
I am sure we all have universal early childhood memories of picking flowers for our Mums. By the time she got them they were often looking a little sad after being clutched very tightly in hot hands. But I was always pleased that Mum would stop the housework find the prettiest little vase and put them in pride of place. As the years passed of course the flowers became more sophisticated. Wrapped in cellophane and paper. They still bought joy to Mum. freesias were here favourites. But somehow the sweet poignant memories of daisies on the table are the ones I treasure most !

So my hooking and treasured memories of flowers for Mum.

How I hooked the Dark PInk Flower.

Round1. Chain 3 and slip stitch in the first chain to make a loop.
Working in this loop Chain 3 which represents your first treble.Work 11 more trebles and slip stitch in initial chain.(total of 12 trebles)

Round2. Chain 4 . Double Crochet in next 2 spaces.Chain 4 ,Double crochet in next 2spaces. Continue in this manner around the flower until you have worked 6 little loops.
Slip stitch into your first loop so that you start the last round in the right place.

Round3. Work 1 Double Crochet ,1 Half Treble, 1Treble, 1 Half Treble! 1Double Crochet in each of the 6 complete the round slip stitch into the initial base of the chain 3 and you have it!

Once you have worked your first flower the others are a variation on a theme.

The Light PInk Flower is worked as follows..
Work Round 1 in exactly the same way making 12 trebles in the initial loop.

Round2. Work 5 chains to make each of the 6 loops.

Round 3. Work.1 Double Crochet . 1 Half Crochet. 1 Treble 1 chain 1 Treble,1 Half Crochet, 1 Double Crochet in each of the loops.

The Purple Flower. Only the chain loops and final row change.

Work 6 chains to make each loop and decorate the loop with 1 Double Crochet. 2 Half Crochets, 2 Trebles 1 chain 2 Trebles, 2 half Crochets and 1 Double Crochet.

I am sure by now you are itching to try your own variations. The orange flower has bigger loops with more decorative stitches in each loop. And a little picot tip on tip of each petal would be so pretty.

So when you have made a whole bunch of these flowers the next step is to think what lovely things you could make. Ravelry and Pinterest are both a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration. I have so far made book marks and brooches with them. Most of all I have had fun working new designs. I hope you do too.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Been peeking out from beyond the Granny Square! Part One.

Firstly " Thank You" so much to Elisabeth for nominating "Chalky's World" for the Leibster Award. That really is a lovely thing to do and I really appreciate it.

Thank you also to all the new followers who are also making my blogging life even more special.

Anyone who follows life here at Chalky's knows I love Crochet best of all. It is quick and so rewarding. I love Granny Squares and blanket making. It is amazing how many variations can be worked. I was so happy to receive so many supportive comments about Iris' blanket worked in Mitred Squares. There is a tutorial in my side bar if you would like to try them.

We are in Spain just now and soon William is coming for his first holiday. When he comes to our house in the UK he heads straight for the stairs,across the landing to the Airing Cupboard where his toys live. I love to see the look of expectation on his face as he waits for us to open the door. Already he definitely has favourites.

We don't even have an airing cupboard here and we don't have many toys either. So, out came my trusty hook and I came out from behind my square Granny squares and made some hexagons .

My first attempt at some puffy ones ended up in the bin! So I tried some flat ones. First with big hexagons and a big bell. Then I adapted the pattern and made some smaller ones and tucked a little bell inside. It was fun finding the Spanish word for bell and going to the little ribbon shop in the village.

I am really pleased with them and look forward to William throwing them and hearing the little bell jingling. I left the smallest one with dips on the edges of the hexagons. Easier for hands to grip. I really can feel a little hexagon obsession starting and have come to realise that successful hooky hexagons all depend on the number 12. I will pop a tutorial in my sidebar as soon as I can.

I really do think a little set might make the ideal little present for our great niece or nephew who is due fairly soon.Pretty pastel colours and a sweet little bell.

Friday, 22 February 2013

A bouquet for Mothering Sunday with a difference.

Not every Mum likes chocolates. Flowers are lovely but I hate the hype that Valentines Day and Mothering Sunday brings. So I revisited a project I enjoyed a little while ago. It could make a present a little special particularly if your Mum is a bit Sporty.

A bouquet of socks.

The blogger App I have chooses to post pictures in the order it wants which makes tutorials very tricky but I am sure you you will get the idea.

Choose some pretty socks. Roll them from the toe and make a little bud shape. It is quite fun poking and pulling it until you get a nice rosebud shape. Pop a little elastic band around the bud and tuck a bamboo kebab skewer under the elastic band. Make as many buds as you like and arrange in a bouquet . I had some artificial flowers here in Spain which I added but I think it would look even prettier with fresh greenery.

Wrap in paper and cellophane and finish with a bow and a little heart. Perhaps your Mum would love it.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

How I keep track of the books I want to read. And my latest green light.

My memory used to be sharp,true and quick. Now,at times it is slightly more like walking through treacle.

Since I retired I have fallen in love with reading all over again. For me books are the ultimate treat. I love books,real books a wide variety of books.And of course people tell me that I must read this book,or this book or you will love this book. Great, but by the time I get to recommendation number three I have forgotten numbers one and two! Scraps of paper never work as I usually find them clean and unreadable in the back pocket of my freshly laundered jeans.

So now I use Amazon. I look up the book,then of course get distracted by reading reviews and then I just add the book to my wish list. This is a brilliant way of remembering the books you want to read. It becomes a kind of memory tool.

Of course if you are really lucky other people know you do it this way and will have a peek at your wish list and buy the book for you.
Double whammy.

My latest green light goes to this book. I enjoyed it very much. Poignant yet thought provoking.maybe you might like it too.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

My very special Tah Da! All done and loving it!

Before anything else can I say a great big "Thank You" to all the lovely people out there in Blogland who have started following life here at Chalky's of late. "Thank you" also to the lovely people who have brightened my days for a little/lot longer. I have given up worrying about the need my ego has for a little massaging. About how much I love to see my followers numbers rising and how many comments I get. I just enjoy it all.

Well I am so happy that the special Iris blanket is finished. I have loved working it and I have felt it the perfect way to complete the Circle of Life I talked about not so long ago.

Next I need to make about a hundred more squares for the BIG blanket. The tale of which is getting longer. I have had time to reflect on the Madonna type tension and my conclusion is not a happy one but ... Not now.

Just happy thoughts today.

Monday, 18 February 2013

A big green light for this latest book I have read!

Some books stay with you forever some pass by like paper in the wind. I think this book "The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas " will stay with me forever. If you have not read it you should.
I knew it was going to be good when my dear friend said " borrow it but I would like it back" so I wrote her name on the inside cover and am I glad that she trusted me enough to lend It to me.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

A Special Memory Blanket

Driving about 1700 miles to Spain gave me plenty of time to start a new project. The BIG blanket had to stay at home,it was just to big to work in the car.
The colours were chosen.Shades of pinks and lilacs. And the pattern just jumped off the hook. Mitred Squares to make a Lappycuddlyghan in memory of Iris to go to Mrs Twins and her wonderful collection of blankets for the elderly. I was so glad to have an unbroken period of time just to sit and hook. I decided to work,sew in ends and join as I worked and the result was so pleasing.

Now I just have the border to do and it is all done. Not too much thinking time. Nor too much hanging around time just the perfect full stop to all the arrangements.

Iris loved coming to Spain. She loved our little house on the hillside. Every night she used to look at the twinkling lights of the village below. And in the mornings she used to sit just outside the front door in the sunshine knitting baby hats. We have so many happy memories to treasure.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Traffic Lights for Books! Just a bit of fun.

I have said before I love books. I love everything about books and so far I have never made friends with my Kindle. But never say never.The trouble is I really want to read good books. Not necessarily all the same Genre or subject but books I don't want to put down. That can be hard sometimes.

So,lately I have read 3 books. One was great. One I didn't mind and one I wanted to finish and move on. As I was putting them in the carrier bag for Hannah's Charity shop I suddenly realised they were just like traffic lights. Green for Go,Amber for be ready to stop and Red for stop right now.

I often read of Blogland folk wanting a recommendation for a good book and I thought I would use the traffic signals every time I finish three books.You never know someone might agree or put a different slant on my ideas.

So my first Green light is given to this book.

I loved it and it was just right for tired evenings in bed!

The Amber light goes to this book.

Now,normally my love of anything to do with Rod Stewart is total and universal. But, the only Autibiography I have ever really enjoyed is " The Moons a Balloon" by David Niven. Sorry Rod I could listen to you sing all night but I did not enjoy the written word that much.

The Red light goes to this book.

Not because of the subject matter, that did not worry me one jot. But I got so bored that I would rather turn the light off and go straight to sleep than read it.

Perhaps we could share books using these colour symbols and get a Blogland book queue going?

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Phew!! What a few weeks.

I have been just lurking here at Chalky's. No posts, not even any trusty hooking. It seemed as if all our energies had to be directed on a fitting final farewell. A roller coaster week really.And one that has left me a little fragile and emotional.
My sister in law and I decided to arrange the floral tributes ourselves. We wanted to feel a real part of the last jobs for Mum. Iris' for Iris.

 A posy of spring flowers from her Grandchildren and Great Grandson William

And an arrangement for the Village Hall for the gathering after the service.

We were able to tell our story of our Mum and add little bits that weave the memories of a lifetime together.
Some heather from Beverley's garden which dear Dad bought back as a cutting after his first visit to their new house over the border. Some twigs of olive from our garden, remembering how she loved her trips to Spain. Rosemary tucked in for remembrance.

Of course everything went well. We cried.We laughed. We told stories. We listened to tales.We caught up with family we had not seen for far too long. We ate too much cake but, a message left on our answer machine said it all.--

" This is might be a funny thing to say. But I had a lovely day. You did your Mum proud."

What else could we ask for. Now it is time to adjust and quietly come to terms with the fact that our last parent has left us. We have to move up a rung on the generation ladder.Most of all we must try and make our climb as dignified and caring as they all did for us.