Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Joining the Dots.

After my last giddy post celebrating the joy of Spring - old Mr. Hay Fever paid a visit. This wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, except for the fact that I have tiny little holes in my ear canal bones so the moment I get a bit snuffly, I become so dizzy that I have to lie prone in bed. Thank goodness the medication has had time to settle it down somewhat, but it is very frustrating. As a result I thought that today was a good day to concentrate on joining all of the good dots together. 
First of all, going through Jonno's new book, 'Jamie's Comfort Food' by Jamie Oliver (of course and handsomely dressed on the front cover like the yellow Wiggle). This is a truly wonderful cook book and I've already marked about a million recipes with some extremely cute sticky labels.
Deciding to cook his Hummingbird cake and having the kitchen fill with the crazy-delicious smell of baking.
 Getting ready to make Spring pot plants.
 Having a brand new pair of turquoise gumboots to kick through pink petal confetti.
 Choose where to sit and enjoy the first few evenings of daylight saving... under the wisteria....
Or under the cherry blossom.
So going slowly at the moment does have it's compensations. Yesterday lying in bed I also had time to finish Jo Walton's amazing book, 'My Real Children' which is completely and utterly unputdownable. It's basically about an older women beset with dementia and torn between memories of two parallel lives, I became so involved and so attached to both possibilities that I couldn't bear for an ending where one may not to be real. Be warned though, it is one of those books that ruin you for anything you try to read after.
Time for lunch.
Lots of love,
Kate. xx.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blossom Loveliness.

Today is the first day of daylight saving. And surprisingly (the weather forecast was grim), the day has been warm and gauzily beautiful, bees buzzing madly and blossom puffing up trees.
Hugo and I spent the afternoon together - Archie was busy on the farm with Jonno earning pocket money and learning how to milk cows.
Hugo dragged a chair under our big cherry blossom, wrote a lovely letter to me and ensured that I had a cup of tea. He then jumped up and down with a branch so I would be showered with petals - isn't that the closest to heaven you can get on earth?
 A happy boy in Spring!
 I know I am biased but awwwwwwwwwww.
 Can you imagine how happy I was to see this envelope from Hugo waiting on my special chair.....
I hope whatever your weather is, you are having a wonderful Sunday too!
Lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx.

Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Crochet a Mini Vintage Caravan!!!

 Here it is - How to Crochet a Mini Vintage Caravan!!!
Materials.
1 x ball cotton dk cream
1 x ball cotton dk duck egg blue (or a nice vintagey caravan colour)
1 x pale blue cotton 4ply
1 x black cotton 4ply
1 x silver metallic 4ply yarn (I use Twilley’s Washable Goldfingering)
1 x 3.5mm crochet hook
1 x 2.5mm crochet hook
1 x black bead 
Stuffing

Abbreviations.
ch = chain
st/s = stitch/stitches
ss = slip stitch
sc = single crochet (double crochet in U.K. terms)
yarn a = dk pink cotton
yarn b = dk cream cotton
yarn c = 4ply pale blue cotton
yarn d = 4ply silver metallic yarn
yarn e = black
For the Front and Back.
Make 2.
This section is worked from side to side.
Row 1. Using yarn a and a 3.5 mm crochet hook, ch19. Turn, 1sc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Work 1sc into each of the next 17ch. Ch1, turn. (18) 
Row 2. 1sc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (18)
Row 3. 1sc into the first st then 2sc into the next st. Work 1sc into each of the next 14sts then 2sc into the following st. 1sc into the last st. Ch1, turn. (20)
Row 4. 1sc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (20)
Row 5. 1sc into the first st then 2sc into the next st. Work 1sc into each of the next 16sts then 2sc into the following st. 1sc into the last st. Ch1, turn. (22)
Row 6. 1sc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (22)
Row 7. 1sc into the first st then 2sc into the next st. Work 1sc into each of the next 18sts then 2sc into the following st. 1sc into the last st. Ch1, turn. (24)
Row 8. 1sc into the first st then 2sc into the next st. Work 1sc into each of the next 20sts then 2sc into the following st. 1sc into the last st. Ch1, turn. (26)
Row 9. 1sc into the first st then 2sc into the next st. Work 1sc into each of the next 22sts then 2sc into the following st. 1sc into the last st. Ch1, turn. (28)
Change to yarn b.
Rows 10 - 14. 1sc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (28)
Row 15. 1sc into the first st then skip the next st. 1sc into each of the following 24sts then skip the next st. 1sc into the final st. Ch1, turn. (26)
Row 16. 1sc into the first st, skip the next st, 1sc into the next st then skip the following st. 1sc into each of the next 18sts then skip the following st. 1sc into the next st, skip the following st then 1sc into the final st. (22)
Row 17. 1sc into the first st then skip the next st. 1sc into each of the following 18sts then skip the next st. 1sc into the final st. Ch1, turn. (20)
Row 18. 1sc into the first st then skip the next st. 1sc into each of the following 16sts then skip the next st. 1sc into the final st. Ch1, turn. (18)
Row 19. 1sc into the first st then skip the next st. 1sc into each of the following 14sts then skip the next st. 1sc into the final st. Ch1, turn. (16)
Row 20. 1sc into the first st then skip the next st. 1sc into each of the following 12sts then skip the next st. 1sc into the final st. Ch1, turn. (14)
Row 21. 1sc into the first st then skip the next st. 1sc into each of the following 10sts then skip the next st. 1sc into the final st. Ch1, turn. (12)
Bind off.
Lightly press.

For the Door.
Make 1.
The door is worked from side to side.
Row 1.  Using yarn a and a 3.5 mm hook, ch 8. 1sc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Work 1sc into each of the next 6sts. Ch1, turn. (7)
Rows 2 - 5. 1sc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (7)
Change to yarn b.
Rows 5 - 12. Work 1sc into each of the next 6sts. Ch1, turn. (7)
Bind off.
Change to yarn d and a 2.5mm hook.
Round 1. Leaving a 30 cm tail, ch7 then work 1sc into the left hand side of the door where the colour change between yarn a and b occurred. The chained section will be stitched across this colour change at the end. As with the windows, work 1sc into every st down the side until reaching the corner. Into the corner st, work 1sc, ch1 then 1sc back into the same st. Continue to work this way up each side and every corner until reaching the first sc worked. Ss back into the first sc. 
Bind off leaving a long tail then stitch the 7ch tail across the colour change on the door. Stitch on bead for a door handle and bind off the tail.
Use the 30cm tail to stitch the door onto the caravan’s front.
For the Windows.
Make 3.
The windows are worked from side to side until otherwise specified.
Row 1. Using yarn c and a 2.5 mm hook, ch 8. 1sc into 2nd ch from the hook. Work 1sc into each of the next 6sts. Ch1, turn. (7)
Rows 2 - 5. 1sc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (7)
This section is now worked in the round. 
Round 1. 1sc into every st until reaching the corner, 1sc into the corner st, ch1 then sc back into the same st. Repeat on every side, 1sc into every st until reaching the corners and then work the 1sc, ch1, 1sc into the corner st.
Round 2. Change to yarn d and repeat Round 1.
Sew one window onto  both the front and back sides of the caravan

For the Wheels. 
Make 3.
The wheels are worked in continuous rounds.
Round 1. Using yarn d and a 2.5mm hook, ch 2. Work 6 sc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Ss back into the first sc. (6)
Round 2. 2sc into every st until the end of the round. (12)
Round 3. Change to yarn e. *1sc into the first st then 2sc into the next st. *Repeat until the end of the round. (18)
Round 4. *1sc into each of the next 2sts then 2sc into the next st. *Repeat until the end of the round. (24)
Round 5. 1sc into every st until the end of the round.
Round 6. *1sc into each of the next 3sts then skip the following st. *Repeat until the end of the round. (18)
Round 7. *1sc into each of the next 2sts then skip the following st. *Repeat until the end of the round. (12)
Round 8. 1sc into every 2nd st until the end of the round. (6).
Bind off leaving a long tail for sewing the wheel onto the caravan.

For the Middle Band.
The caravan’s middle (the long strip that will form the roof, floor and sides) is worked from side to side.
Using yarn a and a 3.5mm hook, ch 9. 1sc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Work 1sc into each of the next 7sts. Ch1, turn. (8)
Next row. 1sc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. Continue on like this until 36 rows of yarn a have been made. 
Change to yarn b and continue on as before until 46 rows have been worked.
p.s. please ignore the pink yarn replacing yarn a in the following 2 photos - I had to retrospectively photograph this step and am currently working on a pink one.
Caravan Construction.

(This step makes sewing on the middle band much neater).
Once the windows and doors have been attached, take the font side of the caravan beginning with yarn a and a 3.5mm hook,  work 1sc into every st around the edge. Swap to yarn b when you reach the colour change between yarn a and b. Repeat with the back side. It is difficult to say an exact number of stitches to work around the front and back as the amount of single crochet’s worked each time can vary with your tension. On my caravan, I worked 33 sts around the blue section and 35 sts around the cream section.  Whatever you end up with will be fine. 
Stitch the back side and the middle band together with wrong sides facing. 
 The middle band will have to be slightly gathered for its curves to match up with the front and backs' oval shape.
Sew on the back window.
Sew the font side and the middle band together. Leave a gap and stuff firmly. Stitch up the gap.
For the Pin Striping (that's what Jonno calls it anyway - I say 'the nice-silver-definition-lines'.) 
Using yarn d, chain a length of silver long enough to wrap around the caravan from the right and side of the door all the way along the colour change line between yarn a and b, to the left hand side of the door. 
p.s. please ignore the wheels already attached to the caravan in the photographs below - it is much easier to add them at the end.... I found this out the hard way.
 Pin on.
 And stitch!
Repeat this around the seams where the middle band was stitched to the front and back sides of the caravan.
Once the pin striping has been stitched on (I had to include the photo above because it was so funny with the pins - like a caravan in love), attach the wheels to both sides.
 Don't forget the spare wheel. Very important..... it only takes one flat tyre to ruin a holiday!
I will do another tutorial over the next week on how to embroider a little name for your caravan. I find the little spot next to the back window is perfect for that.
Et voila! You are now ready to go camping.
Leave any questions in the comment section below and I will reply underneath.
I hope it all makes sense. Keep an eye out because I am going to make a Christmas decoration version soon.
Lots of love,
Kate. xxooxx.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Books.... and Running Late.


 First of all, let me just say how sorry I am that I didn't get the tutorial up today. I have worked so hard today to finish it but just didn't get there. My afternoon has been cut short a little bit as Jonno and I are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate his birthday (we spent last night watching the boys in their school play). So PLEASE FORGIVE ME and I will have it up tomorrow instead..... pinky promise!
 This is going to be a quick post as I want to put a bit of make up on before we head out (I've reached that certain age) so I will just show you what we have been reading in the house and will talk about them another day. 
This is the pile of books I picked up from the library the other day. I am so excited.... Lucy - can you see that I found some of yours!!!
So here are some bluebells picked to say "Thanks for your patience".....
Love Kate. xx
p.s. What have you guys been reading lately - any good tips?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jonno's Birthday.... and a Puppy!

Jonno turned 40 today. A very special day - apart from the fact that it has been flat out on the farm as our cows, while adoring of Jonno, still require milking and all sorts of other things that keeps them happy.
A highlight of the day though, was when Jonno's brother and his lovely wife came for lunch with their new little puppy Roxy - awwwwww. We are so in love.
 Meet Roxy.
 Roxy in an early crochet caravan husk.
Jonno's cake was delicious but a structural disaster. It was much easier to stick a candle into his favourite cheese (Waimata Blue Brie) which just happened to come in a special edition heart shape - wahoo!!!
 I love how bluebells are always out on Jonno's birthday. Wisteria marks my day.
And the caravan pattern is all written up waiting to be uploaded for tomorrow.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate. xx

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Mini Crochet Caravan!!

 Wahoo - I'm back in New Zealand and working on a new (and quick) free pattern for you. I've had so many requests for my vintage caravan which has been lovely but I'm nowhere near ready to release it (lots and lots of intricate maths is involved....). So in the meantime, I can give you this little one. Hopefully the pattern will be up by Thursday so keep your fingers crossed that the boys' school play doesn't take over life too much!
By the way, this caravan is still being worked on so it will be extra fancy by the time it's finished.
So nice to be back and blogging.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Watercolour Cut Out.

It's my last night with Mum tonight so I'm pretending to be very brave and grown up but of course secretly I'm feeling very sad.  A quick trip to Melbourne tomorrow to say goodbye to  family and then back home on Thursday. I can't wait to see Jonno and the boys so I have to keep that in mind.
More painting today.  I didn't like the background on this one so I cut her out.  I'm thinking that it might be fun to give her crocheted legs and ballet slippers. .. I think this may be the beginning of something new.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate. Xxx.

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