Thursday, 8 March 2018

Goodbye February, hello March!

Goodbye February and hello March!

I've read fewer books this February than I have for a very long time. I've been keeping a record of all the books I've read since 2007 and I checked back in my books read list;  there was one month where I read only three, but two is an all time low for me.  I used to keep my books read on a spread sheet (!) but when I started blogging in 2015 I used the blog instead. Unfortunately, whilst browsing through some past books read lists I noticed I have lost about six months worth of books read from just before the switch over. I expect they're floating around in cyberspace somewhere and if you find them could you return them to me please?

It was that dratted blanket to blame for my lack of reading in February. I can't read and crochet at the same time and when I'm crocheting I get a bit obsessed with finishing it...I wanted to start on a new crochet project -  a throw for my bed. I bought the wool online at a place recommended by Vix of 'Vintage Vixen' here. Cheap and cheerful but lovely colours. My throw will be in lavender and violet and I'm making it in the 'Willow' pattern block by Jan Eaton (below).

Image from Franney 
 I got the pattern from the book '200 Crochet Blocks' which I bought from you know where.... but I'm going to fill in the outer edges of mine and I'll be using a method to do it that I got from ''' here so this is what my 'Willow' pattern block will look like.

Image from hookandbake,
I'm only going to use two colours because of all the ends that have to be sewn in if you use lots of colours. It's okay on a small project like a cushion cover but not on a pretty large throw. On grandson's blanket there were 80 squares in two colours which meant 80 x 4 ends per square = 320 ends; plus the ends left over from crocheting the squares together and 2 ends each from each colour in the border - a lot of ends!

Last Saturday we went to London to visit OH's family. It was lovely to see them but what a cold day it was! I was frozen in my skirt and leggings. Everything was charity shopped except the boots which were a present from OH from Debenhams. Both tops were from the Red Cross 1.00 rail. I can't remember where I got the skirt from but it was probably Barnardo's in Ampthill or the Red Cross. 

This was my outerwear plus a pair of animal print gloves (charity shopped of course) but not seen here. The M&S cape was a Christmas present from OH back in the days when his company used to give him a M&S voucher for Christmas and he gave it to me - oh happy days! Now he gets one from A****n instead. Which he keeps - quite rightly!

Necklace charity shopped in Derry and all other jewellery also charity shopped
We also made time, despite the cold, for a rummage in Willesden and Kilburn. I bought quite a lot of things! A Boden dress from 3.99 in Geranium in Willesden and a small spider brooch 1.50; a short kimono type cardigan for 2.99 in a hospice shop, a necklace from the Heart Foundation shop for 1.50 and a jumpsuit. In the Kilburn Oxfam shop everything was 2.00. I bought a large floral print blazer in blue and green for the summer, a  skirt and a head wrap thingy. I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonable SOME of  the prices were - for London. I passed up a Max Mara orange corduroy skirt with a ruffle which was 6.00 and I'm sorry I did now...

The fire was a godsend in the cold and snowy weather we'd been having. OH lights it in the evening but on this particular occasion I lit it for the first time - hence the rosy cheeks... I'm wearing the sweater dress I bought Keech Hospice shop in Kempston for 3.99; charity shopped cardigan with a M&S t shirt underneath. I had planned to recce my bus walk on Wednesday, but as it kept snowing when I went to the bus station to catch the bus to Elstow and walk back, I decided against it; I did some errands and came home to the warm! I did pop into the 3:16 charity shop and bought some silver boots and three summer items for 2.00; a pair of trousers, a top and a full length slip. The third item was free as it was 'buy two and the get the third free'.

Leggings and boots are retail.

All jewellery is charity shopped and the head scarf is the one I bought on Saturday in Oxfam, Kilburn High Road for 1.00. It's rather strange; made of two pieces of material zipped together but there is no zip pull and it is slightly stiffened with wire -  so it doesn't slip about in the way the usual silk type head scarves do. It had a label in it that said 'Tammy Child'. When I looked it up online I was astonished to find that her long scarves (I think mine is a long scarf) retail at over 100 pounds!

Last week was such a lazy week for me. No walking because of the cold and snow.  I had to take the car for an MOT on Monday which it failed and had to go into the garage. On Tuesday I had to take it back for a retest - it passed but as it was being retested mid afternoon it meant no volunteering. All week it was bitterly, icily, cold with snow and on Thursday it snowed all day. I managed to get out to do the food shopping and that was about it.

These are the boots I bought on Wednesday; from Primark originally they're silver and were 2.50 . Trousers and tunic charity shopped, black blouse present from ex mum-in-law. It's 100% wool and very warm.

All jewellery charity shopped including my 50p zip brooch! I think I may have a coal smudge on my face...

On Friday I should have been taking the youngest grandchild for a hospital appointment at Addenbrookes in Cambridge but we cancelled it due to the dangerous driving conditions. All the schools in Bedford were closed. In the evening we were meant to be going to watch my brother's solo gig at 'The Stables' in Wavendon  here but that too was cancelled because of the weather. Such a shame. It is going to be rescheduled at some point in the near future.

So, as I was stuck at home on Friday and not able to go anywhere I decided to start a crochet project. I ruled out starting the throw for my bed as I want to save that for when we go to Ireland at Easter. I wanted something I could work up quite quickly and something that would be useful, so I hit on the idea of cushion covers. Using again - well the blogger is a fellow Bedfordian after all!  I decided on this:

Image from
The Happy Flower! I'm also going to use her join as you go method (JAYG) which is the white surround in the photo above.  I like the effect it has as it is a continuation of the pattern.  No more sewing squares together hopefully!

When you knit or crochet you accumulate lots of left over balls of wool; some balls are almost used up and others only partially used. I have quite a stash of very small left over bits of wool and I wanted to use up as much of it as I could. A pattern like this is ideal as it doesn't need much wool. By last Friday evening I had made five squares and what is more I also followed her advice to work the ends in as you crochet along and what a difference it made! No more sewing ends least fewer ends, as I didn't always remember to work them in as I went along. I was hoping to make two cushion covers out of all the mini left overs.

There are two miniature suitcases (both charity shopped) here of small odds and ends...

On Saturday I had a PJ day. I think it''s the second since I started blogging in November 2015; I have one roughly once a year. I wasn't going out anywhere - too cold and icy so I slobbed out! I did have to go and drop a grandson off but I just put my boots on and my coat over my PJs! I drove very cautiously I can tell you. I also find walking in the snow quite daunting as I'm scared of slipping and breaking bones. On reflection I should have tried walking in the snow and ice in my walking boots. Why I didn't think to do that I have no idea...

On Monday  it was as if we had entered into another climate altogether.  It was a lovely, sunny and snow free day and quite warm at 9 degrees.  I walked to the hairdressers and back and ran some errands in town clocking up 4.5 miles. I passed the 'Mercy in Action' outlet charity shop and I popped in...yes, you've guessed it I bought more stuff.  On their vintage rail I bought a pair of Abercrombie and Fitch red plaid wool trousers for 7.00 and a brown tunic/dress for 2.00.

I wore this outfit to do my volunteering at the food bank and the library on Tuesday.

This is the Boden dress I bought at the Geranium charity shop in Willesden for 3.99. It's made from fine needlecord and is fully lined. I wore my M&S fur gilet on top for warmth and blue tights bought online. Boots from Sainsbury's retail.

All jewellery charity shopped. I didn't even notice the teddy bear brooch on the gilet until I saw this photo. I often leave brooches pinned on garments then wonder why I can't find them in my brooch box!

I recce'd my bus walk on Thursday; I walked 7 miles in total. This was Thursday's OOTD.

Boots online retail. Kimono present from daughter;  black jeans Lidl; tunic charity shopped in Donegal
All jewellery charity shopped.

It's my birthday this week and there are plans afoot. On Friday, which is my actual birthday, I am going walking with my group in London. We are walking from Waterloo to the Houses of Parliament. The rest of the group are having a guided tour of the HoP, but I did this last summer with the middle grandson, so I shall be returning home to blow the candles out on my birthday cake. On Saturday all three brothers and OH are taking me out for a birthday meal. On Sunday, which is Mother's Day here in the UK; my daughter wants to take me somewhere in the afternoon. I don't know where we're going but it may involve tea and cakes...

Just a quick crochet update; I've made enough squares this week for one cushion cover; I just have to start joining them together.  I won't have time this weekend to do this but hopefully I'll be able to post a picture of the completed project in my next post. I also have enough wool left to make another smaller cushion cover, I think.

Let's hope March stays bright and snow free...


  1. Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day as well. I hope both days involve cakes!

    Your crocheting is lovely. I really like the look with the squares filled in-will be a real beauty, I'm sure.
    I hope March is snow-free for you and the only snowdrops you have are in the garden.
    I can't leave without telling you how much I enjoyed your outfits-the brown one at the top being my favourite.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Goody! Dessert and cake was involved in both events I'm pleased to say...

  2. Happy Birthday & Mom's day!
    What beautiful crochet work you do. Love the pink & black ensemble with the wonderful abstract print.
    Have a fab weekend!

  3. I've made a few crocheted blankets in my time and those ends are a huge pain! I try to get them in as I go, though - it does help. I also once crocheted an entire Barbie doll wardrobe (including the wedding dress) for my nieces - a great way to use up wool. I think I still have a box of wool around somewhere!

    Lovely outfits, as always - I need a PJ day! I really like that ball "moonstone" necklace.

    1. I like the sound of the Barbie crocheted wardrobe. I don't like doing small things I find it too fiddly. My daughter asked me to make her some crocheted heart bunting but I gave up as it was too small and fiddly...

  4. Happy Birthday and Happy Mothering Sunday, too! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and get thoroughly spoilt.
    Your crochet is absolutely gorgeous - Shaws do some lovely cheerful colours in their wool and their felt at 30p is brilliant for my miniature making!
    Love the Boden dress and what a find with that scarf.
    Your new fire looks wonderful. It took me an age to master the art of building a good fire. xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix.

      I left the fire making to Wes at first but one day I just went for it and it lit first time. I'm an old hand now...

  5. Happy Birthday Vronni! Hope you have a lovely day... I'm sure your family will make a big fuss of you today and on Sunday. I'm very impressed with your crochet plans, I've not tried join as you go, is it fairly easy to pick up? I've got so much stash it's obscene, lots of small oddments which is why I keep doing small cat blankets.
    The new log burner looks fab, I bet it chucks out some heat? xxx

    1. I am about to tackle the JAYG tomorrow so I'll let you know, Fiona.

      I'd love to see your stash! Mine fills a pouffe, a three drawer chest about the size of a bedside table, a small wooden chest and a wastepaper sized wicker basket - all full balls or almost full balls of wool. I will use it all up I promise!

      The log burner throws out most heat when we burn coal. We're going to bring turf briquettes back from Ireland so it'll be interesting to see how much heat they generate compared to logs and coal.

  6. Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day, Vronni! Hope the weather is as fine as it is here right now for your London walk. My favourite outfit is the one featuring the Boden dress. I often leave brooches on my jackets too and then wonder where they are. Especially if I've transferred the jackets to the out-of-season wardrobe! With so many of my blogging and real-life friends taking up crocheting, I guess it will only be a matter of time before I am taking it up. Have a wonderful, festive weekend! xxx

    1. Thank you!

      I can recommend the crocheting, Ann. I started when I was pregnant with my daughter (40 years ago!) did it for a couple of years and only picked it up again when I retired four years ago. I've bought most of my wool from charity shops...

  7. Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day, dear lady!, wish you enjoy these days and wish you lots of sun and no snow!
    I also love that Boden dress, such a fab piece, and that tunic and kimono in the last pictures!! And love your black & White ensemble, so elegant, and all your fabulous accessories!
    Those crochet squares look lovely, and it's a great idea to make something with leftovers (colorful!). When I was used to crochet, I also used a 'join as you go method', as it's so annoying to have to wait to crochet a lot of squares to sew them! Looking forward to see your blankets and cushions!

    1. Thank you, Monica. I'm just about to start n the JAYG method...

  8. Happy Birthday, gorgeous, have a wonderful day and enjoy your cake day on Sunday. Amazingly stylish outfits, please don't ask me to choose a fave cos my head would be in a tail-spin!
    Hugs, m'darlin', x.

  9. You are such a star charity shop buyer, Vronni. And far more successful than I am as recently I've been buying some quite expensive things in charity shops. Coats mainly, they've been my downfall this year! You have such an eye for jewellery, all are lovely. Also those leopard leggings - so nice! Yes, the snow made the walking difficult - my steps went right down that week.

    Have a really fab birthday on Friday! Enjoy, and can't wait to see what you wear.

    Very best to you x

    1. Thank you, Penny!

      I've been buying coats/jackets too - three so far in the past few months!

  10. I hope you had a fabulous birthday, I can't wait to hear about it all!

  11. Weaving in ends is the pits, I don't blame you for avoiding it as much as possible.

    I hope your youngest grandchild is going to be all right.

    Happy birthday for Friday!

    1. Thanks, Mim!

      Grandson is fine - he's going to have an operation at some point in the near future for a bone assisted hearing aid; a BAHA - he's deaf in one ear - and this appointment was for a scan of his head. We've already got a replacement appointment for a Sunday!

  12. Happy Birthday to you! I LOVE the larger knot on the red and pricey headscarf! It has a positively gypsy look to it. :)


Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.

Hello!  This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put ...