Sunday, 18 January 2015

Anemone Pattern


It seems my faffing was actually more productive than I thought.  Thank you so much for your anemone love.  You asked for my pattern so, without further ado …


I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn and a 4mm hook.  My finished flowers measure exactly 5cm.

I have used UK terminology in my pattern but included US conversion in brackets.

Round 1 : Using Colour A (I used dark brown since I don't have a black), chain 2 and work 9 htr (hdc) in the second chain from hook (going through one loop of the chain only).  Join the round with a slip stitch to the very first htr (hdc).  Pull yarn all the way through stitch and, leaving a short tail, cut.

Round 2 : Tie Colour B (I used cream) to tail of Colour A and pull a loop through the same stitch (where you made a slip stitch to finish off Colour A).  Chain 1 and 1 dc (sc) in the same stitch.  Work 2 dc (sc) in the next and each remaining stitch of the round.  Join with a slip stitch to the first of the first 2 dc (sc).  Pull yarn all the way through stitch and, leaving a short tail, cut.

Round 3 : Tie Colour C to tail of Colour B and pull a loop through the same stitch (where you made a slip stitch to finish off Colour B).  Chain 1 and then work 3 tr (dc) followed by 1 dc (sc) in the same stitch.  *Skip a stitch.  Dc, 3 tr, dc (sc, 3 dc, sc) in the next stitch.*  Repeat ** to end of round.  You should have 9 petals.  Pull yarn all the way through stitch and, leaving a short tail, cut.  Thread tail of yarn through a tapestry needle and pass it through the base of the first petal, to the reverse of your flower.  Secure ends.

Leaf : Chain 12.  Slip stitch to first chain.  Chain 12.  Slip stitch to first chain.  Repeat until you have five loops.  Pull yarn all the way through stitch and fasten off.

(Clicking on these pictures should enlarge them.)

You are free to do with your finished anemones as you please.  Where applicable, a linky-poo back to me would be very much appreciated.  Thank you!

Feel free to let me know if you have any problems.

Happy hooking.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Yesterday








Sunshine,
two modest bunches of spring flowers,
a yarn delivery,
a surprise gift from a lovely friend,
a wonderful accolade from another and
a bit of faffing around trying to create a crocheted anemone for no reason whatsoever.
A good day.
A really good day.

xxx

Monday, 12 January 2015

Thank Goodness For Pesto





It's a lazy supper tonight.  Lazy but one of our favourites.  Pesto with pasta.  My children won't eat the ready-made stuff you can buy in a jar but they LOVE my homemade pesto.  To be honest, I don't think you can really compare the two - fresh pesto is a hundred times nicer and nutritionally far superior*.  It's shamefully easy and, as I was about to make it this afternoon (and it was still daylight), I thought I'd share it with you.

Ingredients

Two handfuls of basil (stalks too).
A handful of baby spinach leaves.
A matchbox-sized square of Parmesan cheese.
A small handful of pine nuts.
Two peeled garlic cloves.
Extra virgin olive oil (possibly a cup full - add gradually until pesto is the right consistency).
A generous pinch of salt (to taste).

Instructions

Whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor.

That's it!  :-)

Wrapped carefully, it will sit quite happily in your fridge for up to a week.

Each person only really needs a heaped dessert spoonful to stir through a bowl of steaming pasta - it's beautifully fragrant and a little goes a long way.

I don't just use my pesto in pasta - it's fabulous with chicken, baked potatoes, bruschettas and a small dollop in tomato soup is delicious.

*I think I've mentioned basil's powerful anti-depressant properties before - a must, in my book, for this time of year.

You can, of course, vary the ingredients for a slightly different flavour; I've used watercress and rocket instead of basil and spinach and have even added a few frozen peas for a sweeter taste.  I've also replaced the pine nuts with walnuts.  All combinations are equally as yumptious!

xxx

Friday, 9 January 2015

Any Other Business

Hello!

Would you mind awfully if I did a little blog-related housekeeping?  There are a couple of things I'd like to tell you; none of which I want to dedicate an entire post to.

1.   Crochet Patterns.  I've had to do a fair bit of investigation into the ridiculous new VAT legislation that came into force at the beginning of this year and then in turn have a jolly good think about how to proceed, if at all, with regard to selling my crochet patterns.  If I'm honest, it's been preying on my mind a bit over Christmas.

I have detailed the new requirements (as I understand them) at the bottom of this post if you're interested.  All sellers of downloadable crochet, knitting, sewing patterns, etc. are affected.  However unfair and impractical it is, failure to comply will mean we are breaking the law.  Marvellous.


Anyway, long story short, I've decided not to give up.  I think I have found the most workable solution for me.  I will continue to write and sell my patterns but, rather than automatic downloads, they will be sent as manually emailed documents (which are not included in the new legislation).

I'm sticking with my Etsy shop for now …


It's not ideal but as far as I can see it's the best way to proceed.  Looking on the bright side, I rather like the personal touch.  Phew.

2.  Facebook.  While I'm in self-promotion mode, I'd love to remind you that I am now on Facebook.  I'm always happy to chat so do pop by if you're in the vicinity!


3.  January Infinity Scarf.  Thank you for your lovely comments on my January Infinity Scarf.  I am delighted that a number of you are going to make your own.  I've been asked for more information on the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino colours I used so I've listed them here, best I can remember …


I had all the above colours in my accumulated stash and am afraid didn't make a note of the yardage I used.  If you were to go and purchase the yarn specifically for this project, it would prove to be quite expensive so I would recommend either using any double knit yarn you already have or perhaps using fewer colours.  I would like to think (and I am guessing here) that each stripe is approximately a third of a 50g ball of yarn.  You could opt for a four colour stripe repeat.  I think it would look just as pretty, don't you?

As for where my clothes were from ...


Hahaha!

4.  Inside Crochet.  The current issue (number 61), page 12.  Just saying!!! :-)


♥♥♥


From 1st January 2015,

"VAT on digital services will be paid in the consumer's country, not the supplier's country.  It will be charged at the rate that applies in the consumer's country."

(www.gov.uk)

At first sight, it probably seems very simple but the ramifications for someone like me are huge.

♥  Unlike every other type of business, there is no VAT threshold so I am liable whether I sell one crochet pattern or a thousand.

♥  I will have to register for VAT in each of the 28 EU countries.

♥  If you live in an EU country, outside the UK, and you purchase a crochet pattern from me, I will have to calculate your country's rate of VAT (they all vary), add it to your purchase price, generate and provide you with a VAT receipt and then pay your government accordingly.

♥  I will have to keep meticulous records and submit a detailed VAT return every three months.

At the moment, sales to UK and non-EU residents remain unaffected.

As you can see, it's completely unfeasible.  I am desperately hoping that the legislation will be overturned when common sense prevails but, until then, my (and every other micro-seller's) hands are tied. :-(

xxx

Monday, 5 January 2015

January Sucks

I'm in a bit of an early January funk so won't stay long.

When I'm Queen, there won't be a January.  I shall erase it from the calendar.

Where are we, the 5th?  Well I've had enough already.

January sucks.

Anyway, I wanted to quickly show you my imaginatively-named 'January Infinity Scarf' now that it is finished.


It actually began life here in, ahem, June 2013!  Goodness knows what I originally intended it to be; June seems an unlikely month to start a scarf, even for me.  


For whatever reason, not long after this photograph, I must have carefully rolled it up and popped it in my WIP bag and there it stayed for eighteen months.  Unloved and unfinished.  (Ashamed much?)

Until last week.



I like it.  I like it a lot.  In fact, I'm wearing it now, as I type.


The deets if you're interested …

Yarn : Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
Hook : 4mm (and 4.5mm hook for foundation chain).
Stitch : Half treble (half double US).
Construction : 30 (& 2 for turning) stitches wide x 20 rows for each colour.  11 colours in total.  Scarf measures approximately 64 inches in length.  Double crochet (single crochet US) last row and first row together, wrong sides facing.  Weave in ends (bonus points if you crocheted them in as and when you changed colours!).

Edited to add : see following post for the exact colours I used.



xxx

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Christmas, Crochet And Contemplation









After spending an obscene amount of time lounging around in my new snowman pyjamas, having a flagrant disregard for good nutrition, hurling both red wine and chicken liver pate onto a very forgiving person's carpet, dusting off my dancing shoes, winning Trivial Pursuit and losing Articulate (and still wishing it was the other way round), spending more money than I actually have and being gifted so many fragrant candles that I'm starting to wonder if my house stinks, I'm back!  Hello!

It's been a funny old Christmas.  A nice funny old Christmas but I've had enough now.  I'm itching to take the tree and decorations down and set-to with my vacuum cleaner and it's myriad of clever attachments.  I'm craving colourful food and am bordering on desperate for my little family to naff off back to work and school.  There, I've said it.  I haven't been alone once in fifteen days and I'm missing my own personal space.  Time to think, plan and just be without interruption.

I had every intention of leaping back here, gazelle-like, with my very own version of a 'Crochet New Year's Honours List' but some very sad news stopped me in my tracks.  On a pre-Christmas potter around my favourite blogs, I learned of the tragic death of Vanessa Cabban from Lisa at Mrs BoboBun.  Vanessa had a blog, Do You Mind If I Knit.  It was one of the very first blogs I ever came across and both enchanted and inspired me from day one.  Vanessa knitted, crocheted, sculpted and illustrated children's books.  She was the most unassuming girl and to this day I am convinced she had absolutely no idea how many people's lives she touched with her beautiful, colourful creations and warm and generous spirit.  Vanessa's ethos was to make time to knit at least a couple of rows every day.  You may well have come across her or her makes at some point but, if you haven't, do please go and pay a visit to her blog.  You'll see exactly what I mean.

To coincide with her funeral, at 11am exactly today, a large number of us on Instagram (and Facebook) all posted a picture of something we are currently creating or a particular memory of Vanessa, tagging it with her name.  It was a very poignant and emotional moment and wonderful tribute, and made me feel so proud to be part of this community.

So we are rapidly approaching a brand new year and I have a feeling that changes are afoot in 2015.  I'm not exactly sure what and am ever hopeful they are positive.  I have my usual sense of excitement tinged with very slight trepidation.

I hope you all had a super duper Christmas and I'll see you next year. ;-)

xxx

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Looking Back … August To December 2014








I'll be back in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I should like to thank you for your friendship and to wish you all a very, very ...
Love from Heather

xxx

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