Tuesday, 25 November 2014

merino knitted blanket and makes

I love this time of year, sitting in front of the TV knitting or crochet a blanket. I knit every night when I can and this week these are the things I'm completing. Well the wash cloth I finished on Sunday night, a quick crochet pattern edged with bright pink, all 100% cotton and lovely to use in the shower.

crochet wash cloth

I'm also working on spa cloths for my mum in DB cotton. I found this colour in John Lewis on Saturday and have almost finished the first one.

This blanket started out as a baby one, found here at Purlbee and I liked knitting it so much it is now almost an adult blanket to be gifted at Christmas (shhh). I love Debbie Bliis wool and this merino one has great stitch definition even when you are just using garter stitch. Its easy enough to stop and pick up again or add to as you find more wool. My plan is to finish it this week then pick up and knit along the long edge to create stripes in the opposite direction. Its very tactile, warm and snuggly and I have enough wool in other colours to knit myself one. That is when I've stopped knitting all the Christmas presents!

Debbie Bliss Rialto DK blanket

Next on my list is another Moss stitch snood, the pattern can be found here. This is for the lady who  manicures my nails and puts up with my endless ramblings at the hairdressers! She said she loved snoods and couldn't find one in burgundy. Well guess what? I found the wool and plan to start it once the blanket is done. So I have plenty to keep me busy during December and well into January. What projects are you currently working on?

Oh I almost forgot to show you my John Lewis free tote bag, cute and perfect for transporting knitting projects

mu John Lewis tote bag

Monday, 17 November 2014

our spa weekend away

We took off for a spa weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary (24 years on the 24 Nov) and stayed in the Hythe Imperial, Kent. After reading reviews from previous guests I was a little worried about what to expect with our weekend away; they didn't paint a very rosy picture of the Imperial Hythe. I’m not entirely sure what other people were seeing or complaining about to be honest; they didn't give a fair review and only commented on the negative things they found (some people will moan for the sake of moaning). A good review should have an even balance of information for the perspective guest, good and bad. From the moment we walked into the hotel we were given a warm welcome, with friendly and knowledgeable staff.

the Hythe Imperial

We were given a junior suite on the 4th floor with dual aspect windows with sea views, which was perfect for us considering we had booked a standard double. The Romney Suite we were allocated was excellent, tasteful d├ęcor and very clean with a large bathroom - ticked all the boxes. Previous guests moaned about the old decor to the hallways on upper bedroom floors. The corridors could do with a lick of paint and new carpet, but you don’t sleep in the corridor and it added to the charm of the Victorian building!

Romney Suite

our suite

early morning visitors

sea view from our bedroom

The ground floor of the hotel has had an extensive makeover, bright and welcoming and reminds me of hotels I stayed in as a child.  The ladies powder room had the most amazing toilets and sinks and lovely spa hand wash and lotions. Sorry I forgot to take pictures of the entrance and restaurant.

the powder room on the ground floor

powder room

The spa facilities were perfect for relaxing on a rainy November afternoon, offering a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and pool. We stayed there for a good few hours.

the Spa entrance

We opted for the inclusive meal in the Coast restaurant; which included dishes from the a la carte menu but highlighted in blue for inclusive guests, which was a bit silly as they were the same dishes. The whitebait and crab starters were excellent.

after dinner coffee in the bar

night view

After a restful sleep we finished our weekend with the excellent breakfast buffet, which was laid out in the restaurant. We can’t wait to visit again early next year.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

knit or crochet a poppy (Remembrance Day 2014)

my first attempt to crochet a poppy

Poppies are everywhere at the moment, the huge display at the Tower of London (Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red). Celebrating the WWI centenary this November. I thought I would join in and knit and crochet myself a poppy, I found this easy to follow pattern of just 12 rows. Or could try the crochet ones instead. I have made donations over the weekend and bought the paper and metal poppies but I plan to wear one of these on my coat. I'm now addicted and have crochet another 8! The other pattern for the one on my coat can be found here at Addicted to Making blog. You can also find another free crochet pattern here on the Wendy Poole web site.

Easy ribbed poppy pattern
Colour A 1 ball red yarn (this will make a lot of poppies)
Colour B Scrap of black yarn or black button
Body of Poppy
Using Col A Cast on 60 stitches
Row s1 –10 : K2, P2 across whole row(for a slightly smaller poppy do 8 rows of rib).
Row 11 : Knit 2 stitches together across the row (30 stitches). 
Row 12 : Slip 1 stitch, Knit 2 stitches together then pass the slip stitch over... repeat 
across the whole row (10 stitches).
Break off yarn with long tail and thread back through remaining stitches and pull tight. 
Join edges with mattress stitch
Centre of Poppy
Using B, cast on 16 sts. Cast off. Coil into a tight spiral and sew base to the centre.
Or use a black or green button with 4 holes and sew to centre of poppy. Add pin.
Crocheted Poppies
You will need some red wool and a black button.

Crochet Patterns
1. Three petal crochet poppy with 4.5mm hook
Ch 3, join with slst to form circle.
Ch 3, work 9 dc into the centre of the circle and join with slst.
Work the three petals separately.
Petal 1.
Ch 3, work 1st dc into same st, work 2 dc into each of the next 3 sts.
ch 1 work 2 sc into each st, tie off.
Petal 2.
work 2 dc into last dc of previous petal, work 2 dc into each of the next 3 sts.
ch 1 work 2 sc into each st, tie off.
Work petal 3 as 2.
Sew all ends in and attach button in the centre. Add pin
2.Two petal crochet poppy
Rnd 1: With 3mm hook and wool, ch2. Make 10dc in 2nd ch from hook. Join with a slst in 
1st dc. (10sts)
Rnd 2: *ch1 dc ch1 2tr in next st, 3tr in next st, 2tr ch1 dc in next st, slst in next 2sts. rep 
from * once again.
Rnd 3: *ch1 3dc in next 2 sts, 2dc in next 5sts, 3dc in next 2 sts,slst in next 2sts. rep from 
* once again. Fasten off.
Attach button in the centre. Add pin.