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      Crochet poppies and randon musings

      30th October

      Wearing my poppy with pride
      We are nearing remembrance day and I decided I would like to make myself a crocheted poppy.  Last year I made myself a crocheted ring ( crochet ring ) but this year I wanted to wear a poppy on my coat with pride.  My husband pointed out that I was missing the point of not buying one as it was all to help our heroes.  What he didn't realise or understand was that I was going to be donating anyway and  not taking one of the paper poppies, so the charity would still get my money but I would not be using their resources but still promoting the cause by wearing mine.  Asked if he wanted a crocheted poppy, he replied with a resounding, "No!"  Those that follow this blog will remember that he struggles with  my crochet addiction and thinks it is my form of cocaine!

      A quick search on line produced what I thought was one of the best looking poppies out there, why try to reinvent the wheel when there is already a great (and free) pattern out there.  I give you my preferred poppy from blog and internet land...


      I did not have the teddy bear/doll's eye for the centre of the poppy as suggested so instead this is what I did.

      Rough idea about how to roll the crochet
      Using black yarn, its a tricky colour to work with, but necessary for the poppy.

      Chain 12
      Into the second chain from the hook dc and then dc into each chain till the end. 
      fasten off leaving a long tail.
      Roll up the crochet into a tight roll, see drawing
      Then sew in the loose threads, it almost forms a ball, I think it works well.

      Sew the black centre onto the poppy and leaf and attach a brooch fastening onto the back, et voila.

      After posting on my eclectichomelife facebook page, someone said I should sell them.  Well for me that's not ticket, but I mentioned that if anyone wanted one and would donate money to the British Legion then I would make them one.  Within the hour, I had 10 requests...

      Breakfast and my production line

      All made and ready to wear

      Wool from the Shetland islands
      What else has been going on here in the eclectic house, well as said my husband is a tad exasperated by my crafting, he's a gentle tease with a grain of truth behind it and I do not often make him anything.   However this past summer whilst sailing the boat to the Shetland islands he purchased a new boat jumper.  In fact he loves it so much he wears it almost all the time when not at work.  The only issue he has with it is that the neckline is lower than he is used to and as he is a man who feels the cold asked for a neck warmer to match.  Could I find matching yarn anywhere, I could not, but then in honestly, I did not try very hard.  He mentioned I should get in touch with the Shetland island company and see if they could help.  What a great place Shetland knitwear is.  Each time I rang or emailed, there was immediate response, they did what they said and were helpful and efficient.  I so wish all companies were like this.  So now I have matching yarn and the snood has begun.  My home life will be calm and the teasing may stop just for a while....hehehe    Should you be interested,  the webpage is here, it's not the best or most modern, but what a helpful company with wonderfully hand knitted wear. shetlandknitwear

      It's half term here, school holidays are my favourite time of the year.  It means we are no longer ruled by that silly clock and I am no longer that banshi woman with hair flaying wildly from the wind that I produce from running round after the children ensuring they have completed all the school tasks, music practice, and rushing from one training session to the other.  I metamorph back into the person I once was pre children into a calmer gentler person who can laugh and have fun, in essence, I am a much nicer person in the holidays.  You hear of these women who cannot wait for their children to go back to school who drag their children kicking and screaming to plonk them by the school gates, me, NO!  I'm the opposite, I barricade the door and do not want to let my children return on the Monday morning.   They in essence  turn into the adults on Monday and remind me that by law they must leave my house and return to the educational establishment that creates in me this nagging monster... ohh noooo, I'm not looking forward to Monday...

      This holiday we have stayed at home at the bequest of the children, who wanted lazy home days and to see friends, so we have stayed even more chilled than usual and took in the lovey Windsor Great Park and that especially of Saville Gardens.  Autumnal leaves were played with, kicked about and thrown in the air, trees were climbed and a walk and talk with friends ended the day extremely well, ahh the holidays...

      The queen's swans, all swans in the
      UK belong to the queen

      Autumn sun and fabulous shadows

      These swans were really teasing each other

      Fun in the gardens

      Spectacular autumnal colours

      In other news it was my birthday and my wonderful family bought me a microwave glass fusing kiln, I shall be inundating you all with glass, if I haven't already...

      Removing the kiln from the microwave you can see
      the hot glow from the melted glass inside

      Each kiln will fire slightly differently, this was
      my first piece and was not quite fired enough, I am learning

      And finally my fifth thing to share with you is there is always hope.  I planted these bulbs back in the beginning of September and was almost ready to give up on them, but this morning whilst making my coffee, I spotted the first peak of the green shoot, yeah!

      Can you spot what made me jump whilst
      choosing my bulbs at the garden centre?

      Finally after 8 weeks there are shoots...

      For those that missed it I also posted this week about my month of crochet, photos from everyday this month, all in one post, do click the link to see:  Photo a day crochet

      Sharing my five things with you this week along with  Amy and all the others for Five on Friday.

        Hope your week is full of hope 

A month of crochet

27th October

I love Instagram, its all about the visual, the photos, the insta post and response.  There is nothing (so far) that I do not love about it as a social media platform.  This month I have been fortunate enough to be part of an ever growing number of crochet addicts that have joined in with Ashley from the great blog lasydaisyjones, here is her post about the setting up the crochet a photo a day for a month post: A photo a day

So without further ado, grab yourself a coffee as this may take a while here is my month of photos posting all about crochet.  I will add in the extra four days not shown below,  post October 31st.   Got your beverage?  Then let's begin...

This was the post on Instagram that made me excited and want to join in...

Day 1
Say 'hi'

How to introduce oneself?  In the end I opted for a large and small hook and a simple written 'hi'.  What would you have done?  It was interesting from Day 1 to see how each person interpreted the same idea in a different way.  The rest of the month was no exception.

Day 2
Current WIP

I have several works in progress, some have been sitting there for months, umm, actually one for almost two years now...

Day 3
A colour combo

I love this blanket combo, I'm not usually a pink person, but I love these muted colours and somewhere in there is what we call in Norway, gamle rosa, which is old fashioned pink and I do so like that, a chalky pink.

Day 4
A blanket

I had several to choose from but I love reds and this was made at the beginning of the year on my first ever crochet course that I taught, this will be it's first Christmas outing and I am excited to be snuggling down under it soon.

Day 5
Chunky or lace

It had to be chunky for me as I have not yet branched out into the world of lace, but one day.  Making my own t-shirt yarn was fun, this was written as a guest post for the very talented Phil at The Twisted Yarn, T-shirt yarn, guest post

Day 6
Preferred hook

I have far too many crochet hooks, but I do seem to return to this very simple hook made in Norway which used to belong to my grandmother, then mother and now me.  I love it.  All that hooking(?!?!) that has been produced by this little hook...

Day 7
Square or circle?

These past 12 months have seen an enormous number of mandalas being made, but I still love a granny square best.

Day 8
Future project

The littlebeenz, has so many beautiful patterns and I loved making her Sunday shawl, I've bought this Monsoon stole pattern too, so sometime after Christmas this will be my go to make, can't wait.

Day 9
Fave stitch

In UK terms, I love a treble stitch, it's so fast and you can hook up something so quick with it.

Day 10

I could not choose between these two as they were made to compliment each other.  I love these as they are only crocheted on one side and the other I used oilcloth, so they can be used outside even on damp furniture or grass and not be ruined.  We use these ALL the time outside.

Day 11
Fringe or border?

I love a good fringe me, but it's borders all the way in crocheted items that I make.

Day 12
Fave book

I do not actually have a favourite crochet book as I dip in and out of so many, but his has perhaps been the most useful for me.  I would not want to be without it.

Day 13

As with many who crochet there have been numerous scarves made along the way, this was made a couple of years ago, but I still am in love with the colour combination of this variegated yarn.

Day 14
Fave make

Despite  being made three years ago now, this 5 metre long heart bunting line is still my favourite.  It's so colourful and jolly and is brought out on many happy occasions that just seeing it now brings a smile to my face.

Day 15
Yarn storage

I was lucky enough some years ago to acquire old staff room pigeon holes.  Using chalk paint one sunny day I created my yarn storage, see post here... Yarn storage

Day 16
Where u crochet

There is no set place where I crochet, I crochet, wherever and when ever I can...

Day 17
Fave yarn

At present my favourite yarn is a toss up between cotton yarn and the chunky Rowan alpaca, it's soooo soft.

Day 18
Christmas make

This was hard for me to choose as there are so many, but in the end I opted for my Christmas cork trees, just love their cuteness.

Day 19
Who taught you?

Originally I was taught by mamma as a child, but soon fell out of love for crochet and became more interested in sewing, spinning and weaving.  More latterly after spending a long summer with mamma, she reminded me of crochet and with her help and you tube, I have not looked back.

Day 20
Vintage pattern

I did not have anything for this, but turned to mamma's crochet and this cardigan brings back many memories.  Mamma crocheted this sitting at her mother's hospital bedside...

Day 21
Pastel or brights

I love the feel of pastels but I am always drawn to brights.  

Day 22
This was my commissioned piece for a large UK company to help them in their environmental week.  Meet Eric the Green Champion.

Day 23
A crochet blog

To choose just one?  This was so hard.  In the end I opted for the great blog of Annette, whose Nordic shawl I have made and love to wear.

Day 24

Most who crochet will eventually crochet flowers but what to do with them all?  I hit upon the solution of making some into rings, here is a small selection.  See post here... Crochet rings

Day 25
Yarn stash

As well as having a great yarn storage, current WIP's are often stored in bags all over the house in each room, so should I have a spare minute or two, I can just pick up and squirrel away a few minutes or hours...

Day 26
A gift idea

I was supposed to wait until December to reveal any gift ideas, so here is a sneak view of one completed gift.  I find men not only hard to buy for but very hard to make for too.  There are only so many hat, scarves and mittens one can wear!  So a mittened ice scraper it will be this year...

And finally today...

Day 27
Stitch markers

I tend to use whatever is to hand from safety pins, paper clips, odd pieces of yarn in a contrasting colour to that which I am working on, the odd homemade stitch marker and I have a few bought ones too.  Never next to me when I need one though!!

We still have four days left of the month and you can see the themes in the top photo from Lazy Daisy Jones.  I shall not spoil the surprise and add them in now, but will come back to this post, post Oct 31st and add them in.

Hope you have enjoyed my journey of my crochet life through these photographs, it sure was fun putting them together.

    What's your month been like?  

Too many ideas but is there enough time?

23rd October

I'm full of ideas and keep seeing things I want to try, are you the same?  I'm not very disciplined and so as soon as I see something and the minute I have a spare second instead of being good and finishing other things I have begun, I make the first tentative steps on a new project.  Is this you or are you the antithesis of me?

Here I share with you snippets of my works in progress, cannot reveal all as much is in preparation for Christmas and although I keep banding this word about, I know for the majority of people it is far too early so I will restrain myself.

Presents  and home décor in the making...


Christmas red, cannot get enough of it

Can you guess what this will be?

Almost finished...


I am LOVING THIS!!! My own design too!

This one is easy to guess

Glass fusing

Am addicted to glass fusing

Bet you can tell what this is...
So here you have my three types of makes but this would not be Five on Friday without sharing five things.  What else do I do in the week when not making?  Like many I work, but happily for me not full time, showing photos of my work would bore you to tears  but I do manage to do other things and this week has been a GOOD week, thank goodness!!! 


I managed a lovely walk, to blow away those cobwebs and unlike others I am not going to share my lovely autumnal leaves with you as I'm sure you've seen so may but thought you might like to see some of the houses I passed by on my walk out from home, welcome to Oxfordshire..

Old Penny Farthing on the front wall of the house

How well tended and looked after is this house

Going out

This week I had a date!!  I took my daughter out to the theatre and we watched a Shakespeare play in Oxford, The Tempest.  It just blew my mind.  The cast were exceptionally good, the setting and production excellent, the entire stage was strewn with clothing, in the hundreds, not unlike my teenage son's bedroom, there were tens of lines of hung washing and the opening scene with the shipwreck took place inside a washing machine with the cast using Ariel for the washing powder. Those that know the play and live in the UK will understand this last bit.  But my goodness the music for this production was entirely conducted by one very talented man and hundreds of water filled glasses, what he could produce with these was incredible.  A great night.

Oxford Playhouse

All these are men's shirts!

Even for me though spying this huge Christmas tree on our walk to the theatre I was a little saddened, it's only October!!!

Christmas tree, bit early don't you think?

Hope you have had a good week and that life is rosy for you all.  Joining in today with  Amy sharing my five things with you today, crocheting, knitting, glass fusing, walking and going out!!!  Pop over and see what others are sharing.

  Are you a disciplined maker
or do you love beginning projects like me?