Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
I got it done by the wedding day. The day before! All finished in 53 days. I'm impressed by myself.
The yarn arrived, lots of Cascade Ultra Pima cotton hanks. It is absolutely gorgeous to work with, like crocheting butter. It has such a lovely sheen to it and works up heavy and soft. I did the baby blanket in the same cotton and used a 6mm hook for a blanket made up of lots of HDC (half treble) but this one was going to be a granny and being so big and heavy I didn't want it to pull, so went back to a 4mm hook.
The first four squares made up. Because I was in a hurry just to get it DONE I didn't sew in any ends. This is a mistake as you get a knotted misery at the end!
Nothing nicer than a cuppa and a quiet bit of crochet. Once I had the pattern down I did them production line style, a whole bunch of middles, then one log at a time in each colour.
So many possibilities as to layout.
Slowly more and more squares got added in.
Nearly used up one whole skein of each colour.
At this point I thought I wouldn't have enough of the dark brown to finish so my next target was to see if that was correct.
And to do that, I had to decide how many squares this blanket was going to take. 49?
I decided on 48, but still couldn't decide on the layout within that. I certainly needed more chocolate brown though, so ordered two more skeins.
Slowly filling in the gaps. At this point I'd decided that as Sarah liked the gold and purple colours best, I'd use this arrangement to highlight the gold, and then edge the blocks of four squares in purple.
The front looks good but the back is a monstrosity of eeeends! The middle two blocks were waiting for the extra chocolate yarn to arrive before I could finish them. I did some end weaving while waiting.
I did six blocks with purple edging, then weighed the rest and realised it wasn't enough to do all 12 blocks, so thought again.
I had quite a lot of gold left, so did the other six blocks edged in gold, with the plan to alternate them in the grid.
The four squares in each block were whipstitched together but the main blocks I decided to slipstitch together on the top with the copper yarn, so I did a line of SC round each block in copper first to make it look more even. Again, the fronts look wonderful....
The backs are a nightmare!
Finally all the blocks were together. I gathered up all the yarn I had left and decided just to do an edging of HDC all the way round until each colour ran out.
I used Bunny Mummy's flat edging technique and it came out perfectly without a single ripple!
This was as far as I got before I had to pack it to come to England, looking good on the front.....
Less great on the back. I decided that if need be I'd have to beg the mother of the bride to weave in the last ends rather than haul it back to Japan and run the risk of it being lost in the post.
BUT! I got every single last pesky end done the day before the wedding. I am so satisfied with this, it's probably the best thing I've done up till now and I sorely wanted to keep it!!
The day before The Wedding and The Blanket still had a million ends to sew in! First though, lunch with Uncle Harold and Aunty Alma. We went to the village fish and chip shop which is really good food at really good prices. And very kind service.
They are really very old now, at 86 and 91 and very infirm but they go into town on the bus every day and the staff here help them up and into their seats, and are so kind.
This is a "Mini"! Goodness knows how big the "Standard" plate is. This was more than enough. Cod and chips and tomato, cucumber and lettuce salad with sweet tea. What could be more English?
The ladies at the cafe offered to take our picture.....
So I took them! It's a real village shop with the staff calling all their regulars by name and looking out for them.
I had sticky toffee pudding with cream as well. Utter piggery but so good!
It ended up huge! Big enough to fit the top of Mum and Dad's double bed. I lay on it for scale, too! I'm really pleased with this, and I hope the happy couple will be too.
Before we left for the drive out to the pub we'd decided to go to for lunch, I had another go at photographing Bertie. He likes the camera so you only have a second or two before he's turning to look at and peck it! Not too bad this time. He's such a pretty bird.
We went to the Miner's Arms at Ashover. It's really nice - my first time there but Mum and Dad are regulars. You have to book, it's always busy.
The food was wonderful. I had the meat pie and it was just gorgeous. We got a large selection of vegetables as you can see, and also boiled and roast potatoes and chips, too which didn't make it into the photo as there was no room on my plate for them. The desserts looked fantastic but the main meal had been so nice I didn't want to spoil the lingering taste, not to mention I'm not sure where we'd have fitted one.
Even the view from the loo was nice!
There is a nice circular walk round the back of the pub so we decided to work of some of the pie.
Lots of very expensive houses. Not sure I'd want to live somewhere so isolated in the winter though.
There were so many wildflowers blooming. I decided to photograph every one I came across so my walking pace slowed to a crawl and a crouch as I tried to do justice to each new variety I saw.
Mum got fed up of waiting!
I liked this secret walled garden next to one of the very expensive houses we passed!
We met a very friendly cow.
It couldn't be anywhere else but England. I miss it so much when I see places like this.
The area is full of disused lead mines. This is the entrance to one of them.
Rails are still left in the ground where the trucks were filled with ore.
We stopped in at Pat and Keith's house. Mum and Dad have been friends with them since they were all teenagers. It was nice to catch up again.