Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It is five minutes off being Wednesday here, so once again it is time to open up our little crafty corners for the world to see. If that sounds like an interesting idea, pop over to our host Julia's Stamping ground, and find out all about it.
It has been a funny old week here in Spain. A dramatic change in the weather has brought us wild and windy days, and some very wet ones. It is also several degrees colder and although around 18 degrees may not sound very cold to you, our houses are designed to be cool in the summer and they have few features that make them warm and cosy in the winter! We have no heating except a couple of mobile calor gas fires, and with bare stone floors, and ill fitting windows, it is often warmer outside than it is in doors. So our thoughts are turning to evenings spent in one room with a blanket round our knees and the TV on. That means I need something to do to stop me nodding off! Usually I do some knitting, but having made a very large number of jumpers and hats for the fish and chip babies of Africa this year, I decided to do something different. The man who has shipped our knitting to Uganda now has an imbalance of little jumpers in his store and he has asked us to turn our hands to making blankets.
Spanish wool is not at all like what we are used to, being rather harsh, and usually nearer to aran and chunky weight than double knitting. But fortunately I know an English lady in a town near here who imports British wool and she has  a small shop in a wooden 'shed' in her garden. Monday was one of her regular sale days so I popped over and stocked up on a good mixture of colours.
As I finished a run of cards this afternoon and then cleared everything away, there is no crafting on my desk tonight  so I thought I'd show you what I am working on instead. I have two blankets on the go. (I get bored doing a big project so I like some variety). First I have a selection of pale, bright and darker colours which I am using to make strips of Tunisian afghan crochet. I am changing the wool to make it look like squares of each colour.
It is years since I did Tunisian crochet but it is very easy, and grows quite quickly. I have lost my Tunisian crochet hook so I am making do with a broken one, but for these short rows, it is long enough. I like the texture of the work, and it will make a good, warm blanket.

For my second project I bought some pretty pastel wools. They remind me of a dish of sugared almonds. I am using these to make a Bavarian crochet afghan. This is a new skill, but I followed a basic pattern to learn the stitch, and now I am set to keep going. After the yellow there will be a white round and then back to the blue again and so on until it is the size I want. I am not sure how I will get on holding it when it is a bigger piece of work, but we have only been asked to make our blankets one metre square or slightly larger, so I should be able to manage that.

And finally I must share something very special for me. As you are aware, our five sons came out together to help us celebrate both our birthdays a couple of weeks ago. Our youngest son, Ben, is very musical, writing songs, singing and playing the piano, saxaphone and guitar. He only does it for pleasure but he often puts a video on you tube, so I can see what he is doing. I was expecting him to come over, so I had borrowed a piano so he could entertain us all at our party. But he then surprised us by singing a little song he had made up especially for us. Many of our party guests were like us, older ex-pats, and we all miss our families back home, and our friends were very taken by the way we have stuck together as a family, and when Ben sang, 'there wasn't a dry eye in the house'. This week Ben has sent me  what he called "a rough, live recording" of our song so I am sharing it with you here. After all it is not every week that you get a song written especially for you is it? Click on this link to hear it. There is a lot more of his music on youtube, and if you are interested you can find him under the name Zerendipity. He writes and sings a wide variety of music and also covers  other people's songs. This is a link to one of my favourite covers.


JoZart said...

Such a lovely post with your crafting and notes of your life in Spain but Ben's song for you is so good. It is so touching but what a dry sense of humour he has too.
Jo x

fatmonica said...

What a fabulous song!You must be so proud of Ben.I love the crochet you're doing,it looks so pretty.Look forward to seeing the finished blanket.

MaxineD said...

What a great track - isn't it awesome when families stick together - we are blessed with that too!
Love your crocheting, and I too love the Tunisian technique. The Barvarian pattern looks really lovely - must find the pattern:-)

Helen said...

So sorry I didn't return your visit last week - it is not like me to miss all the fun so I must have been busy! Time to play today though :-) Wow Kate - Ben's song bought a tear to my eye too - Ben has a lovely voice and although he has written this song to you both I identified with it completely - especially the car journeys practicing homework. Happy WOYWW from Helen 56

Annie said...

Thanks for the link Kate....I'm sat here blubbing like an idiot now [it's my age!]. What a special thing for Ben to do for you....you really are blessed.
A x

Sandra (Stamping For Pleasure) said...

Looks like you have your hands full there Kate! Really like the look of the second multicoloured square.

Keep up the good work.

Sarn xxx

veronica said...

wow, Kate, you are busy! Haven't done tunisian crochet for years, but remember that it did grow quickly - love the sugared almond square, that is a really pretty pattern and very delicate colours.

jill said...

Lovely post & thanks for sharing your lovely crochet , such lovely colours. jill #61

Twiglet said...

Gorgeous crochet - I love the pastel colours too. Will pop back and listen to songs when I can get on our PC. (Don't know why I can't do it on the laptop!) x Jo #70

Andrea said...

my you are busy the crochet is beautiful especially the pastel colours. I hope the weather improves and thanks for sharing some of your special moments with us. I'm going to click on the link of your sons music thank you for sharing it with us is have a wonderful week x#67

Jean Straw said...

I like the look of your Bavarian crochet, very pretty. I loved Ben's song as well. Jean x

Lunch Lady Jan said...

Ben's song was fantastic - so personal and funny! Amazing present :)
Love the sugared almond yarns you bought, they're knitting up really nicely, aren't they? I love that crochet stitch, it's beautiful.
Hugs, LLJ #58 xx

Shoshi said...

Aww Kate, that song brought a tear to my eye too! It was marvellous. You must be so thrilled that he has so much talent, and that he wrote a song especially for you! He's got a lovely voice.

Your crochet is great! I've never done Tunisian crochet. It's nice to be doing something different, isn't it. I'm really enjoying doing my knitting at the moment.

Thanks for your lovely comment, and I'm glad you like my Remembrance page. I'll be posting about it once it's complete. I've never tried putting leaves through the Cuttlebug! That would be fun to try.

Happy belated WOYWW,
Shoshi #28

Shirley-anne said...

hello Kate , thanks for calling in .
Love your handy work with wool , the blankets will be beautiful .
Love your "batch baking" too. My family elders used to say that too . The 20 cards will be treasured I am sure .
hugs Shirley-Anne

Carol said...

!! Are there no end to your skills knitting and know blanetsand crocchet? You are a busy bee.
Carol x