Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Knit-mas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our Hookery ladies.  See you in 2013.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas crochet

They tell us that the Christmas season is upon us so, on that note we decided to have our full works Christmas party at The Dock tonight.

There was a very delectable spread of goodies as, of course, our followers have come to expect

A Christmas tree

And candles

Canapes and pate with crackers and very gooey cheese

Some crochet work on display

Anne wore her Christmas slippers

And of course Santa just had to make an appearance!  Thanks to B for the Santa pressies, very thoughtful.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyoneHope to see you in 2013.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

As simple as ...

One ...

 Two ...
 Three ...

Quick as a flash!  Aran, with a high % wool, had a great attraction on a cold Sunday afternoon.  At least I have her approval for my current project :-)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

In the throes of winter ....

.... or a winter throw.

This was originally my autumnal afghan, but as we are now into December I somehow think that I have missed the intended season.  It will have to be my winter workpiece instead.

Unfortunately, wrist wrangling, all that twisting to work the crochet hook, has been causing me some painful difficulties with my wrist and elbow so I've had to lay down the hook, wool and granny squares for a while.  What a shame!  This is the afghan's status quo - half finished.
Meanwhile, I've started another project - on knitting needles.  Shhhh, don't tell the others or I'll be ex-crochet clubbed!!  It's a double-stranded aran piece but I will say no more until it is more advanced.  I bought the aran at Yarn4U in St Georges Market - great value.  Knitting hasn't hurt my arm at all.  Here's a little tempting sneaky peek.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hookery in my dining room

I had Hookery show up at my front door tonight- which was very lovely indeed. The full story here.  Suffice to say that there was no hooking but lots of Herman...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Autumnal afghan

Crochet work at The Hookery has been progressing quite slowly recently but I have some work underway on another big project.  Here are some initial photos taken at home on a lovely bright Saturday morning posed using autumnal items from the garden. 

 I have about half of the blanket crocheted together and this is what it looks like so far.  The colours are a tad washed out in this next photo - maybe I should go back out into the conservatory and re-take the picture on a sunny day?
 Mags, I do admit that my creative photography isn't a patch on yours.

Monday, 19 November 2012

What gives?

Hey, you guys? What are you all making? Christmas presents, hats and scarves to stave off the cold for you alone, blankets, bags or bootees? Car cosies? What, what, what?  I've lost a chain somewhere in the latest ripple rows and can't find it.  Must try to rejoin the fold sooooon. xx

Friday, 9 November 2012

Gail Blanket #2

This is Gail's second blanket.  Gorgeous, I know! I will confess to having been initially distracted by the gorgeous bed, but the blanket is fabulous too!
I think that the colours just sing.  I imagine it's the sort of blanket that makes you want to live in your bedroom.  Just absolutely what you want at this time of the darkening year.
The squares are worked together so that you can see the joins on one side, but not on the other. I think that this is very clever.  But then, this is Gail. Of course it's clever!

Thank you ....

09 November 2012
Dear Hookery in the Bookery,
A Big Thank You from St Mungo's
Thank you so much for showing your support for St Mungo's Woolly Hat Day by responding to our call to knit hats. We had an amazing response from knitters all over the UK (and a few from abroad!) making our Woolly Hat Day a huge success.
At the Woolly Hat Day bus in Broadgate Circle, Liverpool Street we sold an incredible 250 of your hats to the very appreciative general public in one day (luckily enough it was the first very cold day of winter!). We have also sold a number of hats on eBay alongside our celebrity hat auction and the hats continue to be sold on eBay up until Christmas - perfect as an additional stocking filler.
We will ensure that any hats left over are given to our outreach teams to offer to people who are sleeping rough.
The money that is raised through hat sales allows us to do so much more than just provide a roof. Our specialist healthcare, training and employment teams are dedicated to helping homeless people recover from their experiences and really turn their lives around for good. Last year our Skills and Employment team supported over 1,000 people to find work, training, further education or take part in a range of other activities. We also supported just under 2,000 people with their mental health and substance use problems.
Thank you so much for helping us bring hope to homeless men and women.
Best wishes
Alice Eastwood
Community and Events

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Apparently there is a shortage of red wool to knit poppies this year .....

Patricia, it must be your fault - after all you did translate that Russian pattern!

Help Hombolo

Ladies, on the back of our successful St Mungo charity hat appeal, I have a personal request.

My son, Matthew, has just come back from a trip to Tanzania where he was building houses for two weeks.  He was out with The Leprosy Mission Northern Ireland

The group took out with them many gifts for the villagers including sports equipment, footballs, clothes, blankets, toys, tools and grow bags.  I noticed that some of the blankets had been crocheted - the lady in the red blouse is holding one.
The team hope to go back out again next year and I would like to send out some crocheted blankets.  Could I ask my 'hooker friends' for some assitance in this?  I think that this would be a very personal gift and we could use up our leftover wools.  Ladies, you have a year to get hooking and any number of contributions would be very welcome. 

Many thanks

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Spookery hookery in the bookery

Well we survived our first night at hookery in the bookery with one less founding member.  Life was dull without you Mags but we invited some other equally adventurous characters to join us in the staff room .....
This is Patricia's latest project complete with her little helpers.  Note, someone has given her a hand!
The little paper pumpkin sweet holder was made by a Brownie leader Rachel from St Patrick's Church where The Dock is based.  Don't you think he looks much better close up?
And this is a glimpse of Heather's winter throw which isn't progressing just quite as quickly as she would like.
I have to tell you that the ghosts and pumpkin bag were made by Deirdre who works in the bookery place during the day.  The pumpkin bag was also made with some leftover St Mungo wool.  I didn't realise until now that we are also recyclers because Mags also mentioned in yesterday's blog that her autumn garland had St Mungo wool in it too.

Come on ladies at The Dock, some posts please ......

Bookery's End (for Mags!)

I'm typing this on my first official night as a non-Bookery worker. I am not adjusting well to the transition!  I have not, contrary to my usual aspirational declarations, got the dinner dishes cleared, nor have I been spending quality time with my family. I have been adding the final final touches to my Autumn Garland!
I started it somewhere around mid-October, on a Thursday night in the Bookery- last piece of Hookery that I did in the Bookery, as it transpired.  Guru Patricia, obviously, sorted out the best technique for my chain.  This is a 4mm hook working its way through my unknitted St Mungo's hat!

Ah but then, here's the Patrickia.  Then I used a 6.5mm hook and simultaneously worked on a chain using the original thin chain as yarn.  But as this still hung a bit too limp I also started working with an 8mm hook and made a really chunky chain from the medium chain that sat patiently in the middle.  Great result if you're looking for a heavy rope-like chain from which to hang things.  Also great entertainment for a morning in bed after Book Club with a husband in Glasgow and two children reasonably occupied about the house...
So here is the finished result- well, minus the final final touches of two more pieces for each end tonight.
I used four yarns- St Mungo's, a ball of red from the Afghan sampler box, a small ball that I suppose I stole from the Aran we worked Lorna's fiftieth birthday cafetiere cosies from, and an amazing thick felting wool that I bought ages ago in Craftworld.
The felting wool made two gorgeous leaves and one huge flower that hangs right in the middle.  By far my favourite pieces.

The flower pattern came from the set text- it's the flower that sits on the Peaked Toddler Hat. Patricia found me the two leaf patterns, saving me my nearly first Etsy purchase!  This open leaf I didn't like in the wools I had, though you could say that it curls in a very spider-like way which could be appropriate enough for the spooky season.  However, the maples I loved.  All three were very easy to work, even for me!
So there we go. I will be looking forward to visiting the Bookery soon, and counting on being back at Hookery at the Dockery or wherever. Much, much love to Heather Boss and Patricia- I am very proud of this group that we formed, and am amazed at how it has taken on its own impetus and form.  Happy Hooking  from Pumpkin Land x

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A cute and cuddly crocheted cow

Alas not much is happening on the crochet front at The Bookery over these first few weeks of term.  We have been busy with new students and staff shortages so the hooks and yarn have remained in our bags.  So, I thought I would tell you about a trip I had last week.

Yarn-bombing and cows have become very fashoinable and news-worthy items in Northern Ireland recently.  Yarn-bombing is a world-wide phenomenon and has even reached our sandy shores most notably in Newcastle and in Belfast.   The cows are part of Cow Parade which is an art project and has seen decorated cows appearing all over Northern Ireland in touristy areas, at local council offices and  commercial venues and in parks.  The statues are funny and definitely conversation-provoking. 

Last Saturday I took one of my frequent trips into town to visit St George's market and just look what I found - a yarn-bombed cow from the Cow Parade.  She was't there on my last visit but hopefully she'll be left alone to chew her cud and won't be sold at the market.  At least it is only a farmers', craft and collectibles market now so she should be safe.

Here's a better picture of 'Herself' showing the beautiful crochet work.

As you can see, I had a hot chocolate while I was there!  Javaman does really nice coffee and other hot drinks - very warming on a cold, frosty, autumnal Saturday morning, or any Saturday in fact!  Beautiful hand-crafted foods and other items and music while you shop.  What more could you ask for on a Saturday morning?

We promise to have some photos of our own work to show you next week ......

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Returning to Autumn Term at the Bookery

Apparently there are some non-Bookery hookers at the Dock tonight, but last week we were all here, some of us briefly!  With the falling leaves and darkening nights Heather Boss, Patricia and Mags are back at work, where it all began. Because only Lindsay and Niqi arrived at the Dock they came to see the source of the fun.  So here we all are, set text in hand.

Tonight in the Bookery Heather and Patrica are well into their  new term project. Mags, obviously, will be working slowly away at all the same things!  Target, though, might be to finish the ripple within a year of its own beginning, which was over the Christmas holidays last year- hmm, ambitious for Mags.....

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Grand finale!

What a brilliant night we had on Wednesday.  A night of show and tell, holiday hookery photo competition and, of course, food.

In our photo competition we had 6 entries and an amazing 3 tied for first place which just goes to show the calibre of the entries and the photographic skills of our members.  Not wanting to exclude the three non-winners by congratulating the winners I will not name anyone.  Suffice to say that as it was all just a bit of a laugh and something to think about on holiday, each entrant was awarded a small token prize because, after all, it isn't about the winning but about the taking part.  The photos are below but you can see larger versions elsewhere in this blog.  Oh, and this photo is pre-voting just so that you don't know who the 3 top secret winners are.
We all brought along (and artistically displayed) our completed items for our show and tell.   Some members were absent so their items aren't on display.  Lindsay gets the top award as she travelled back from Glasgow just for hookery and came straight from the boat.  There are many more items already 'on the hook' already.  Some Brownie Guides, passing through the halls after their meeting, were quite amazed by the display of work.
To give you an idea of our output over the summer months we have made ...... Deep breath ...... 2 cafetiere cosies, 3 rosy posy tea pot cosies, 2 blankets/throws, 3 afghans, 3 beanie hats, 6 scarves, a bobble hat, 1 pair of slippers, 2 patchwork bags, flowers (geraniums, Russian poppies and roses),  a hand grenade (better not to ask!), hair decorations to go with school uniforms, pretty crochet trims for tealight holders, a ripple blanket, mittens, 2 cat-design blankets, 1 baby blanket, a pram cosy, a wonkey donkey, a teddy, mug warmers, jam pot covers and a full set of clothes (dungarees, jumper and hat) to fit a baby-sized doll which is to be auctioned for charity plus10 St Mungo hats.  Most of these items have come from our favourite textbook and pictures appear elsewhere in our blog.

As usual we were good to ourselves and had yummy edibles.  This week, as it was our final night of summer hookery, we brought along some extra goodies. Lynne brought her home made, mouth-watering, Victoria sponge just ooooozing with jam and real cream.  Niqi had made some scones (still warm) and brought some of her delicious homemade strawberry jam to go along with them. Tea break in the staffroom will definitely NOT be like this on a Wednesday night unless someone speaks to the boss? 

We have now reached the heady heights of 15 like-minded women meeting up every week for crochet, a chat and a cup of coffee - wow! Alas the group will be splintered for the next few weeks due to work commitments.   Hookery in the Bookery will recommence as term starts again on Monday and the 'founding 3' - Patricia, Mags and Heather - will be back in the library.  Back we go to where we three started nearly a whole year ago - thanks Mags for both you and your ripple blanket.  How is it progressing, by the way?  All others of the summer's newly enthusiastic members will continue to Hook @ The Dock and will remember us (temporarily) absent friends.   So, you may see some confusing posts from two locations on the same day but, fear not, we haven't fallen out and there is no disharmony in the ranks.  After Christmas we hope to hook on alternate Wednesdays at The Dock and Chez Moi as before.

Until the next time .....

Monday, 17 September 2012

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Autumn term begins for Hookery

After the brief (but welcome) warmth of last week Autumn has arrived and the new term begins. For the time being we are still following alternate Wednesdays at Heather's and The Dock, but we need to come up with a revised plan if founding members are going to be able to attend this side of Christmas. Bring your diaries next week.

This week was quite quiet, but a lot of work taking place.

Knit one

Purl one

Fancy one

New project - cat blanket is complete

Another new project

Progress on another Patchwork Bag

Ripple above and more beautiful samples below

Mum's Christmas present - thanks to Lynne for winding a ball from my skein