Monday, 23 November 2009

Cosy Crochet

Here we are, another week, another load of rain! Here's hoping you all enjoyed a good weekend and I know we mustn't complain about the rain which is nothing here as compared with poor Cumbria. This weekend was quite a relaxed affair which was rather nice and well overdue, I can't remember the last weekend we were at home we've been away so much. With all the nasty weather, there was no chance of planting my primulas which I optimistically purchased last week. It was just perfect for snuggling up indoors in front of the fire after a large roast dinner and getting on with a bit of hooking, though. Yippeeeee!

Having spent many an hour adoring Rosehip's blog (again!) last week, I was prompted to buy (another) crochet book which Beata had bought and from which she seemed to be crafting some rather delightful things. I particularly was loving her crochet-edged pillowcases and lusted after my own. I also had another project for which I was shortly going to be in need of a pretty edging. Convinced? Me too. So, off to Amazon Hen virtually went, and a few days later, there it was...

Oh my, let me tell you my friends, I am mightily pleased with this book. Leaving aside the fact that it is incredible eye candy, there are many gorgeous projects which I really can see myself doing and there is a brilliant introductory section at the beginning which taught me a lot, even beyond the basics.

The projects are split into three sections: Fashion, Accessories and Home. At the back there is a fourth section containing an excellent stitch directory which has many edging patterns (some vintage-inspired), a lot of motifs (grannies, hexagons, triangles) and also stitch patterns, some quite unusual. Shall we have a look? The weather, as I've bemoaned, is dodgy today so the photos less than perfect, I'm afraid.

In "Fashion", I am loving the harlequin edge to this dress and have a dress I could definitely use for this. That said, I can see this pattern working in many other scenarios too.

This edging shall be adorning my blue spotty mac as soon as I get round to it...

Revamp your shoes? With crochet? Who would have thought it?

As well as perfectly clear and concise instructions, there are excellent diagrams. I do love a good diagram.

In "Accessories", I've singled out this bird brooch, isn't it sweet and I think this would be a perfect adornment in many projects. Must give that a go (my mental list of projects is getting longer by the minute)!

Moving into "Home", I do love these trivets. I have seen images in mags with lots of them hung on a wall, purely as decoration and they look fab. Would I be putting my scorching hot pans on these though. Errrm, I don't think so!

I am rather taken with this crocheted bowl too. I have a little pencil pot along these lines which I bought from a local shop and I've been wondering how they did it. I shall wonder no longer (another one for the endless list).

Finally, this is a rather yummy shot, isn't it?

I put the book into use straight away. While we were away in Yorkshire I started on a round crochet cushion having seen some gorgeous ones in Anne's fabby shop. This is a project which had long lingered on my to-do list but I was galvanised into action! I started following a pattern in an old vintage copy of Bazaar (a personal favourite of mine). A slight hiccup ensued when I ran out of yarn part way through the first side. You see, I only ever really buy single balls of yarn because I just make little itsy bitsy things and I know that I can always get the Rowan yarn for my (never-ending) granny blanket. But oh no, a trip to the shops informed me that the yarn had been discontinued, shock horror. But oh, for the joys of the internet. I mean really, how did I cope without this marvel? Off I went and tracked down some more, half price too!

So, the first and second halves of the cushion completed, I yesterday crocheted them together, made a cushion for the inside (used pink fabric as I think having a white cushion inside dilutes the colourful yarn somewhat) and then came the important decision. The "adornment decision".

We three here in the HenHouse had a little discussion about whether to crochet the shell edging in my new green yarn or a rather yummy turquoise. 2-1: the green won. I used the pattern for shell edging as per the mackintosh in "Crochet Adorned". I decided I wanted a little posy of flowers in the centre. All these are made from the patterns for the flowers you see on the front of the book, adorning the cardi (one with a little alteration). They look a bit naff in this close-up photo, bear with me please!

Now I must apologise that I can't take a full-on shot of the cushion, my latest pride and joy, there is a reason for this. A reason which, I'm afraid was really rather expected, as Mr HH pointed out, because there is a certain furry creature round here who is rather partial to a spot of warm, woolly, oh-so-cosy and cuddly crochet. You likely spotted him hogging the banner at the top of the page!

Really, given he is cosying up with my new (most beloved and long awaited) cushion, you'd be forgiven for thinking that he might look a bit more gracious, as opposed to his , "I was asleep, your annoying camera flash has woken me up" face. The "Please go away, I am not going to look directly at the lens however long you wait" kind of look?

Secretly, Mr HH was right (drat!) I was rather thrilled by the little scene I found when I stepped into the bedroom mid-morning! I do love Charlie-Boy, cannot say "no" to him, he is the most marvellous cat, such a character. Such great taste in home furnishings, too, don't you think?!

Did you spot my lovely flowers, over there on my little bedside table? I just adore anemones, all those vibrant, clashing colours and at two bunches for £1, out in the rain, late on Saturday afternoon, how could I say no?

I've been indulging in some great bedtime reading recently. Mr HH bought me The Flower Shop for my birthday and I have already started snipping my flower stems on an angle and adding a touch of bleach to the water in the vase.

The Kaffe Fassett book, Quilt Romance, is his latest one and has scrummy photos. The location for the photos is Portmeirion in North Wales, Clough Williams-Ellis's Italianate village, (and the setting for the 1960's show "The Prisoner") which I have long loved as my parents used to take me there when I was younger and indeed, I fulfilled a little dream when Mr HH, the Munchkin and I rented a cottage there a few years ago. It really is a stunning place so this book is brilliant because it affords me a wonderful ogle at beautiful quilts in a beautiful setting. What more can I ask for?

Jane Brocket's book is an old favourite and probably most regularly to be found beside my bed. It's a bit like a blog in a book.

Aren't they stunning, and so cheerful, my bargain basement anemones?

By the way, I've been a busy little bee and have done a fair bit of updating over in my blogshop. You might fancy a look if you are making inroads into your Christmas shopping or fancy treating yourself.



  1. Hen, that was such a colourful and lovely post for a cold, grey and rainy morning here in Toronto Canada. Thank You!
    I must teach myself to crochet! and soon! xx

  2. Lots of lovely crocheting things. Your vibrant blog surely livens up a miserable dull afternoon! My favourite part of this post though has got to be the new blog header! x

  3. What a lovely cheerful post on this damp, cold day. I am DESPERATE to learn how to crochet. What a lovely cushion. Well done.
    I'm off for a nosy at your shop now.
    Rachael XX

  4. I'm ovewhelmed! So much lovliness. I really like the say tha crochet can be both retro and up-to-the-minute.

  5. I love your cushion, its so pretty, I made one like that a few months ago. That crochet book has been on my wish list for ages ive not seen inside it though, it looks gorgeous i really hope someone has got it for me!!!! I've just put a tutorial on my blog for crochet paper chains, i hope it dosent sound silly if you want to take a peek, im not sure if ive gone too far! he he! hope you have a nice week, fliss xx

  6. What a fabulous collection of books Hen & super new projects for you too!
    I have also had a quiet weekend & kept on thinking that surely there must be something that I have to do, but no, the fair is over for the next 6 months so nothing pressing to do - a bit flat after the excitement of last weekend!


  7. What a lovely colourful posts on such a dreary day.

    I was reading the Flower Shop book last night, what a coincidence!!

    Love your flowers, gorgeous colours.

    Sue xx

  8. Well, that cheered this miserable day thank you Hen. Truly awful out there, but so bright and lovely here. Great cushion and such a beautiful book too. Actually they all are. x

  9. Well done on the cushion, it is lovely and much appreciated too by the looks of things!
    I love anenomes and keep meaning to grow some, may be next year...

  10. Ah yes! That book! A few have recommended that book, and now, with your great review Hen, I'm going to have to add it to my shopping list. I always think it's nice to see the inside of a book, see what you're getting, rather than just the cover on Amazon. Oh sweetness that is Jackie Ginge, (have I got the right name? This is such a good demonstration of how bad I am at remembering names!) H and I came across the sweetest little cat while on Skye. She was ever so tiny, and didn't mind me giving her a cuddle. I love cuddling cats, they're like lovely cushions. And I love their purrs and miaowwws. Sadly, Hugo readily admits to disliking cats, if not hating them. To be fair to him, I did have a cat that was extremely jealous of him, and used to attack him.Jackie G does have excellent taste in home furnishings. How you doing Hen? you fully recovered from the fair yet? Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  11. For a minute there I thought you'd sneaked into my bedroom...same CK duvet you see!Then I thought hang on a minute...that's not's a gorgeous ginger cat.
    Lovely post,so cheery...and those anenomes are a sight for sore eyes on a day like this!


  12. C.Boy looks happy next to that lovely cushion Hen.....cats have the best time!x

  13. I do so love your Charlie Boy header. I adore cats and have 2 myself. Yours are all v beautiful and lovely. What a wonderful long post today and what a very inpiring book - it looks like you are going to have lots of fun with it. It will be good to see more of your lovely crochet! Your new round cushion is beautiful. The anemones are lovely - gorgeous colours, the little vase they are in suits them perfectly.

  14. I have never learnt to knit or crochet, but it is going to be one of my new year resolutions! That book looks great gorgeous cushion.....and cat!

  15. what fabulous inspiration, wonderful colours! Especially on this very grey of days, colour really cheers the soul.

  16. Love the post. Love the crochet. I think its about time I got my hook out again!

  17. Oh no! Now I want that book, and I can't even crochet properly yet! But I really want to, I wish I was as good as you are at crochet. You have encouraged me to keep trying. Lovely cushion! suzie. xxx

  18. Love your new banner photo! I have a little cat named Charlie as well but it's the one I named Malcolm who is a ginger tom.

    Thanks for the lovely book reviews as well. It's so nice to see all the great projects inside. Can't wait to see what else you make!

  19. I spotted your flowers! That photo is just perfect, that cushion is so gorgeous, the cat is cute. The whole thing is cute. I love it and your blog makes me happy!!! thanks

  20. Hi Hen, lovely blog, I am so inspired, so as I am a crochet novice is there a book that you would reccomend for me to get started???? Thanks Tracey

  21. So many wonderful crochet things, can't wait to see your versions.

    I agree with you on The Gentle Art of Domesticity book, its so warm and cosy and mine sits by my bed too.

    Victoria xx

  22. Between you and Cath Kidston's granny blanket, I've never wanted to crochet so much! I taught myself from a YouTube video (of all things!) and can't wait to check out some of the books you've posted about.
    The pink cushion is lovely.

  23. Hi Hen

    Just as I was trying to be good in the book department! Something else to be tempted by...Crochet adorned really looks worth having. My Aunt Suzy used to make little crochet baskets like the one shown in the picture.
    Charlie boy has great taste in bedding! I've just had to tell off Larry for chewing the table cloth in my work room, naughty boy! He tried to make up for it by climbing up my back and cuddling his face against mine. They know all the cute tricks don't they! Having a girly night tonight with Phoebe as Alan has gone to London to watch Arsenal play against Liege(Belgium). Hope weather is better over there than it is here...

    Isabelle x
    P.S: Love the cushion!

  24. You blog is always such a joy to read and to look at! I just love coming here for a nosey around, I am very addicted! I love how your vintage/granny-esque style just permeates everything you do, beautiful!

  25. Wow! Thanks for the kind words and the links!! My next post will be about the pillowcases with hopefully with some good shots... (I think there just might be a giveaway in there as well...) "Crochet Adorned" is very yummy isn't it?!...I can't wait to see how it inspires you -- Your cushion turned out beautifully -- like a scrumptious big cupcake!!.. I started a similar one a couple of years ago -- I'll have to finish it at some point!!

    Beata xxx

  26. Thanks so much for your nice review of my book, Beata herself sent me over to read it. I love the cushion you made and look forward to seeing more. I'm so glad you like it!

  27. Love your blog en your works!

    From Buenos Aires,

  28. Just wanted to say really enjoy your blog, love feasting my eyes on all the lovely colourful things and the crochet just takes me back to my childhood and makes me think of my Nana. She did the finest table mats, dressing table mats etc. in yarn hardly thicker than cotton thread. So many of these skills are being lost now, so keep up the revival !

  29. Wow you have a great collection! I think i might need to invest in some good books to help me with my crafting. Your cushions are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing I can't wait to see what you do next!


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