Saturday, 5 November 2016

Out and About - Riga, Latvia

A Bargain Weekend Escape

My friend and I recently managed to escape to Riga for the weekend courteous of Ryan Air. Whilst there we took the opportunity to see the ballet Peer Gynt at the National Opera House. This was my first ballet, we were in the second row and it was stunning. 

The ballet itself was 26 Euros, we paid £55 for the flight and £43 for two nights B and B, airport parking was £24 each and airport transfer was 15 Euros each. This makes a total of £122 and 41 Euros each for a weekend break and a night at the ballet. In comparison, to get second row seats at the English National Opera House is £125 plus £12 for a travel card.)

Here is a little tour round Riga. 

The Lutheran spire

View from the top of the Lutheran spire. 

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Crochet Notes - Idaho Falls Hat and Cowl

Idaho Falls

I was very lucky this Easter to be able to do a road trip with my hubby around Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The main purpose was to go to Yellowstone and see bears - which we did - real live bears, wolves, coyotes and so many elk and bison - amazing times.

Along the way I picked up some yarn in Idaho Falls - at a Walmart actually. I also went to the most amazing yarn store in Ogden, Utah, but more about that another time.

I picked up 2 balls of  Caron, Simply Soft Paints - Oceana (100g each) and have just made a hat and cowl ready for my next venture into more northern regions than suburban London very soon.

The cowl was made using a feather and fan crochet pattern found here on Ravelry.
Using 5mm hook I chained 136 sts and did 8 pattern repeats.

For the hat I used this pattern but I only did the rib body not the rib band. The body was 30cm long before I decreased for the crown - which took 5 rounds. I used a 4.5mm circular needle.

Here are some photos of the gorgeous Idaho Falls.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Knitting Knotes - Lavender waves

Yarn: Stylecraft Cotton Classique
Amount: 5 x 100g purple and 2 x 50g cream
Needles: 3.25mm and 4mm
Size: Chest = 116cm              Length = 60cm

Changes to pattern:

I added an extra cream wave on the length and did a cream wave on the sleeves.

I made the back neckline higher than the front - in the pattern they are the same.

Shape neckline from row 94 after garter stitch.

Shape neckline on row 106 after garter stitch.

Autumnal Garden Photos - just because I was in the garden photographing anyway.

Cosmos and Astrantia


Dahlia Carnival

Red Hot Poker and a Rose

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Knitting Knotes - Wedding Top (Sonam by Marie Wallin)

I completed my Wedding Top in time for my friend's wedding today on 3rd September, in fact I finished it a week ago. However I'm actually going to wear a blouse that I bought last week as it is a bit cooler. I am very pleased with this top though and have already worn it.

I used the pattern Sonam by Marie Wallin (my third Marie Wallin top Eldora and Eos being the other two).

I had some Stylecraft Malabar which I had bought for another top, but as the tension was the same as the Rowan Soft Yak I decided to use it. I got the yarn from Deramores and at £5 for 100g this cotton/silk top only cost £20

I made the size 16-18 and the only alterations I made were: no picot edging on the sleeve (I did it but didn't like it) instead I did another round of double crochets; and on the neck picot I did 3 slip stitches in between chains.

In garden news I must share with you my favourite Dahlia - Mero Star it is simply abundant with blooms.

Mero Star 

This Clematis has bloomed all summer and is still going. 

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Summer Challenge 2016

On 3rd September I'm going to a wedding - so I need an outfit. I have a lovely lacy dusky pink skirt but no top to wear with it. So I have set myself a challenge to make a top in time to wear to the wedding. Ideally I'd like to make some lacy mitts too.

All other projects are now on hold and the challenge has begun.

It's a Marie Wallin design and I'm using Stylecraft Malabar

Here are all the other projects now on hol.

Love Heart Socks - well you always have to have some socks on the go. 

Lavender Waves - front complete and back begun.

Ogden Scarf - using cashmere bought on holiday earlier this year. 

Idaho Falls Cowl - using yarn from Walmart - also bought on holiday earlier this year..

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Knitting Knotes - The Sparkly Lantern Top

I called this Sparkly Lantern top as the pattern I used for the top half was named Chinese Lantern. I got it from the Good Housekeeping - Knitting book.

Yarn: Wendy Supreme Luxury DK cotton sparkle
Needles: 3.25mm, 4mm, cable needle, 3.25mm circular needle
Final Measurements:
Length: 62cm
Length to arm: 33cm
Chest: 20cm


Cast on 110sts using 3.25mm - Knit 18 rows of 1 x 1 rib.

Change to 4mm - knit 54 rows st st.

Inc 1 st each end of every to row 68.

Inc 1 st each end on alt rows to row 75 = 126sts.

Continue to 33cm = row 76

Cast on 2 sts at beg of the next 10 rows = 146sts = row 86

Row 87 - Inc 1 st at the beginning. ***

*New row count*

Pattern 48 rows

Knit 3 rows st st = row 51

Divide for neck - 45/57/45

Knit 5 rows st st - dec 1 st at neck edge on each row = row 56.

Cast off final 40 - complete other side to match.


Complete as back to ***

Pattern 30 rows

Divide for neck 50/47/50 = row 31

Dec 1st at neck edge on alt rows to 40 sts = row 40.

Continue pattern to row 48.

Knit 8 rows in st st - cast off.

Complete other side to be the same.


Using a circular needle:

Pick up along back  6/57/6 = 69
Pick up along front 23/47/23 = 93

= 162st knit 12 rows 1x1 rib

Dec 2sts either side of shoulder on rows 3 to 12.

Cast off.


Pick up 120sts round rim of armhole knit 5 rows 1x1 rib.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Summer Garden 2016

17th July 2016

Better late than never - today I did all of my back garden tubs and tidied up my Cool Bed. 

I wonder what this will look like in September. 

First of all the patio area. The best thing about doing this so late is that it is now very cheap and I picked up some great bedding bargains. 

Next the Cool Bed - so called because I don't have orange, yellow or bright red. 

I love this Hydrangea

This area is looking very cottage like with the Hollyhocks, Lythrum and Monarda.

Dahlia Mero Star looking healthy again.


My Shady bed extension - this year in pink and white. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Crochet Notes - Three by Three Scarf

Generally I don't really make up my own patterns - but I had an idea for a scarf and after frogging several beginnings I managed to get the effect I wanted. I love the stitch effect but the triangle is a bit too deep where it didn't increase enough each row - however when wearing it this doesn't show - so I'm declaring it a success.

It is called the Three by Three Scarf because it is: three sided, uses a three row repeat, all of the stitches are grouped in threes.

Yarn used:  Shamu 4 ply Camel/Silk bought at the I Knit Fandango in 2015.
Hook used: 3.75mm
Other: beads for middle point.


ESB - Edge stitch at the beginning of the row.
Chain 5, Treble

ESE - Edge stitch at the end of the row.
Treble, Chain 2, Treble

UK Terms throughout

Row 1 - Chain 3 - slip stitch into 1st chain to form a circle.

Row 2 - Chain 3, 2 trebles into circle, turn.

Row 3 - Chain 3, 2 trebles into 1st space, 2 chain, 3 trebles into second space, turn.

Row 4 - ESB into 1st space, 2 chain, 3 treble into 2 chain space from Row 3, 2 chain, ESE into last space between trebles, turn.

Row 5 - ESB into ESE from previous row, 3 chain, double crochet into 2 chain space, 6 chain, double crochet into 2 chain space, 3 chain, ESE into ESB from previous row, turn.

Row 6 - ESB, 3 chain, treble into double crochet, 3 chain, treble into 6 chain space, 3 chain, treble into double crochet, 3 chain ESE, turn.

Row 7 - ESB, *2 chain, 3 treble into 3 chain space,* repeat * to* until you have 4 clusters, 2 chain, ESE, turn.

Row 8 - ESB, 3 chain, *double crochet into 2 chain space, 6 chain,* repeat * to * until you have 4 loops, 3 chain, ESE, turn.

Row 9 - ESB, *3 chain, treble into double crochet, 3 chain, treble into 6 chain space,* repeat * to * until 9 trebles have been completed, 3 chain, ESE, turn.

Row 10 - ESB, *2 chain, 3 treble into 3 chain space,* repeat * to* until you have 10 clusters, 2 chain, ESE, turn.

***3 row repeat begins now***

Row 1 - ESB, *12 chain, double crochet into middle treble of the second cluster from edge,* repeat from * to * until either 1 cluster is left, in which case it is 6 chain ESE, turn to finish or if you have 0 clusters left go straight to the ESE and turn.

Row 2 - ESB, 6 chain, treble into middle of 6 chain below or 12 chain below, *6 chain treble into double crochet, 6 chain, treble into 12 chain space,* repeat from * to * to edge stitch, ESE, turn.

Row 3 - ESB, *3 chain, 3 treble into 6 chain space,* repeat from * to * to edge stitch, ESE, turn.

Repeat these rows to desired size.
Last row - of pattern is a row 2.

Last row - 2 chain, double crochet into space twice, double crochet into treble below *6 double crochet into space, double crochet into treble below* repeat from * to * to ESE complete as per start of row and fasten off.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Out and About - Stockholm

I was lucky enough to go away with some friend to Stockholm last weekend. We had lovely boat trips, lovely walks and a trip to the Abba museum. I don't we scratched the surface though so I would love to go back because the city had a lovely feel to it. Abba is a cashless museum - so bear that in mind if you want to buy something in the shop. I can recommend the archipelago tour - stunning.

Here is a little montage.

Crochet Notes - Tudor Rose, Cappuccino Lace and Daisy Loop Bed Topper

Using Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky and Rowan Aran Cotton with a strand of lace added. 6mm hook. (8 balls of blackcurrant and 1 teal.)...