Friday, 30 March 2012


Finally completed second bedspread, this time crocheted  granny squares.  So this week the blog is granny themed 1) Granny Squares, 2) Kindle Granny Baking and more 3) What would Granny have knitted?/ Retro knitting 4) What would Granny have listened to.  So much is different now, and yet so much has remained the same.

1)Granny squares have truly stood the test of time and there are numerous patterns on the net and even novice crocheters can achieve an effective project, whilst the more advanced can enjoy the portability and crochet odd squares wherever they are, whilst travelling, waiting rooms, watching tv etc.   But it is easy to get carried away churning out numerous squares  but to avoid the tedium of sewing them all together in one fell swoop it is best to attach the squares as the project matures, otherwise one has a the seemingly never ending task of sewing them together and sewing in ends.

Below are some links for free patterns for granny square patterns that are available on the net
this site has lots of different size ones
there are some pretty advanced ones on here but some simpler ones too

 However, it is important to remember that US and UK use different terminology and a UK tr is a US dc.  But the patterns are still easy to follow once one has established which side of the pond one is sitting!  And in case a conversion is required:

2)Kindle Granny
Amazon had a free Granny Muffin cook book for Kindle this week that was really good, unfortunately when I came to put the link in today it was no longer free.  But I looked for a granny type free cook book and came up with this

This one was done by someone who is or will be an Amazing Granny!
 It is worth looking regularly for free kindle books as many really good ones are only available for a few days for free and then revert back to being listed with a price.

3) What would Granny have knitted/retro knitting. 
 With the resurgence of knitting, there are knitters who also like to knit vintage patterns, sometimes they knit the original and other times it is adapted to today’s yarns etc.  Here are some sites specifically dedicated to these knitters, and of it goes without saying there are free patterns on them!  Ravelry has no less than 2000 free vintage patterns!  So worth starting off there.  Then consider: ( a mine of patterns, take time to browse the site as the home page belies its potential)

For anyone who like fair isle and intarsia the yarn from is very reasonable, and lots of lovely colours.
Vintage knitting would be truly authentic with their yarns.

What did Granny listen to?
On Radio there were such old favourites as The Navy Lark and Aunty Beeb has kindly provided a taste of this here
Granny might still be following the oldest soap The Archers as it is still broadcast
She is still probably also listening to this long running programme which can still be heard or downloaded
Many grannys will have the coronation of 1953 as their first tv memorable programme and only a few homes had a tv then, so many neighbours crowded round to view the spectacle on perhaps the only tv in the street, and that may have only had a 9 inch screen! This is the sort of thing shown on the grainy screen, but no colour only black and white

Friday, 23 March 2012


A change to normal format to which I will return next time.  So next blog will have a couple of yarn reviews, and other crafty stuff.  Meanwhile…..

Rant time, so you have been warned!  Feel free to leave now and come back another time when I am not "incandescent with rage"!
Unless you live outwith the UK you will know we had a budget this week.
The same government that encourages people to work beyond conventional retirement age, has now announced that because pensioners have difficulty completing tax forms, the tax system is to be simplified.  This simplification has the effect of costing me financially.  So I wonder how I could be considered mentally fit to work but not capable of completing a form.  A huge chunk of my career involved form filling and assisting people of all ages to complete them.  Strange, then, that now my faculties and abilities will not stretch to putting my name on a form.

Double whammny too in the budget for those of my generation.  Not only do we lose the tax enhanced threshold for seniors, but we will not be eligible for the new flat rate pension when it is introduced.  So we will be sitting on the bus alongside other pensioners, who because they kept the stork waiting, will be substantially better off  than us, when their state pension is put into pay.

Budgets inevitably produce winners and losers.  But to win and benefit from this budget one needed to be rich.  Not only rich, but not prepeared to pay tax conventionally, and in fact to take every step to avoid paying the tax due.  The punishment for this tax evasion?  Mr Osborne has decided to reduce the amount of tax the rich have to pay in the forlorn hope that now they will dig deep and avoid evasion tactics.  Oh bless.  How bloody naeive is that?  Well probably not that naeive, just making sure he and his cronies come out of a budget unscathed.

Well I may be past working full time, but my feet will still take me to the polling booth, where I and many of my peers will ensure George Osborne and his fellow MPs will hopefully be toppled.   Especially the Lib Dems who sold their soul in a Faustian pact with the Tory Devil.  How Danny Alexander and Nick Clegg and Vince Cable sleep at night I will never know.   

As you will have ascertained if you are still reading this, I am not a happy bunny, and not in fit state to write a nice crafty blog.  So am off now to cool down.

If anyone else wants a rant, feel free, there is a comments box on here.

Friday, 9 March 2012


It has been a week of unbelievably stupid instructions!  I bought a jazzy kneeling pad for when I am gardening, and surprise surprise the instructions told me to place the pad under my knees!  No!  How innovative, and there was me thinking of balancing it on my head.  
Dominic has bought a snazzy new motor that goes like the proverbial off a shovel, but gone are the days when the owner’s manual gave need to know stuff like recommended tyre pressures and service intervals, no this car came with a 300 page manual (the entertainment system has its own separate tome).  The book even showed the pedals and named them.  It reminded the driver of this manual gear box car to depress the clutch when engaging a gear.  Are we supposed to read these on the dealer's forecourt before driving off?  If not, it is a bit late when you get home to find out you should depress the clutch to engage gears!

Perhaps it is because we are too litigious as a society that manufacturers resort to relating “the bleeding obvious”.
I don’t know if all these are genuine examples of silly instructions but there are some amusing ones on these sites: 
crafty site/twitterer/facebook page:  Yellow Sherbet.  I found this site has some really delightful cards/stitch markers/accessories, all sorts!   I will be going back again
 Veggie sites recommendation
For some   nice recipies and not all exotic ingredients one never has to hand!   
 For inspiration: did you know these famous people are vegans (site also has some interesting recipes)
Feeling frugal as the recession bites?
Apart from the well known there are some alternatives:  (talk about planning ahead! Buynothingday is November 2012!)   Feeling posh but skint?  Label conscious? and finally for wannabe Sloanes! 
On the hooks/needles

The huge horse blanket sized afghan/bedcover continues to grow.  Got halted on the socks I was knitting as I found the wool was not right, it was overspun and tight twist for a yard, then underspun and loose the next yard, and just not feasible for me to knit decent sock.  No, I had not spun this!.   So I wrote off to the manufacturer in Germany and sent a couple of pics of the offending yarn, and they have said they will send replacement.  Mr Postman has yet to oblige.