About Me

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United Kingdom
Hi there & welcome to Annie's Place. A place inspired by and named after my late Grandmother Annie. Somewhere I can be creative, and share my love for all things handmade. I like nothing better than sitting with hook & yarn, crafting something home spun & completely unique, or rustling up some yummy baked goodies. I live in a town with a beautiful embankment, situated on the River Great Ouse. You may know me as CosyKitty on Ravelry. Why not stop a while.....?!!

Friday 28 June 2013

New yarn, new ideas, new inspiration

Happy Friday 
Dear Readers 
x x 

I'm happy to report all is well here at 'Annie's Place', Wimbledon is in full swing and I've got everything crossed Mr Murray can pull something out of the bag this time around. Young Laura Robson is through too, which can only be a good thing for British Tennis. Here's hoping......

I've had a most welcome arrival on my doorstep this week, some new yarn to play with!! My little box of delights contained some softfun from Scheepjes. It's a 60% Cotton / 40% Acrylic mix, which as the name suggests gives a very soft, snuggly texture. It comes in a range of colours, I'd definitely like to sample the full palette! I have a few ideas whirring round my head, one of which is a fairly simple circle in a square motif. I'm thinking of writing up a tutorial for those who may want to try it?! 

I've made real strives recently to get out and about, breathe some fresh air and stretch my legs. It's  been immensely beneficial in many ways. I've been led by the proverb 'seek and ye shall find', and boy have I found some beautiful places on my travels. I promised myself I would become better acquainted with the local area I grew up in, and I've not been disappointed. 

The Three Locks at Stoke Hammond is a lovely spot. Situated on the Grand Union Canal, it offers visitors the opportunity to see a fully functioning 3 tier lock system in operation, with the added bonus of having a lovely pub restaurant right next door. Dating back to the early 1900's, it's full of character and is the perfect setting for a meal or drink with family and friends.

And look what just happened to be ascending the locks the day I visited. This lovely vessel adorned with pretty flowers. I nervously watched as it negotiated each flight, slowly slowly making it's way to the top. Traversing this canal must take nerves of steel, there wasn't much room for this barge I can tell you! 

Before I go I just wanted to mention these cute little note cards from Abacus, I picked up on a recent trip to a local garden centre. Yes, garden centres seem to sell everything these days! As some of you already know I have a fetish for cute cards and gift wrap, and these are no exception. I just love the photography on these. I can't tell you how much I wish I owned those shelves and everything on them!! Very country chic don't you think? 

Right, better scoot Andy will be 
walking onto Centre Court soon, 
can't miss it.....!
till next time
x x x x 

Thursday 20 June 2013

Reasons to be cheerful

As you all know I'm pretty crazy for all things crochet! My pile of wips is ever increasing, and the instant gratification I get when I see everything stacked up together is immense. Layer upon layer of hooky heaven. Ahhhhhh, so satisfying. 

I feel a real sense of achievement, knowing I've managed to create something that will hopefully be enjoyed for many many years to come. Something my family can keep that has been lovingly made by me, and that will be around long after I've gone. I know that sounds a little morbid, but isn't it lovely to be able to leave something so personal behind, every stitch painstakingly worked? I think so.

In actual fact I was asked by a very sweet lady whom I had a chance meeting with earlier this week 'what do you do with all the crochet you make?'. My answer was simple. 'It just covers my home, making me happy!' 

The lady I speak of is Kate, the proprietor of the very lovely shop you see pictured above Matilda Bay. I was having a mooch around one of my most favourite villages Woburn, yet another chocolate box place in the heart of Bedfordshire full to bursting with lovely things to see and places to visit. You may well have heard of the Abbey or the Safari Park, two of the many fantastic attractions in this picturesque Georgian village. 

Kate will be celebrating quite a milestone in September this year, her 20th Anniversary since the shop first opened it's doors. She has a very enviable position right on the Market Place, and her store is filled to the rafters with gifts to suit everyone's budget.  

As soon as I walked in I was met with a smile, and the array of goodies on display was a feast for the eyes. I browsed a while, both upstairs and down. See, there's a lovely spiral staircase to the rear of the shop that leads down to a basement where you will find lots more treats to tempt you.

She even stocks some of the Cinnamon Aitch notebooks that I spoke 
about in my post here, back at the start of the year.

She was kind enough to allow me to take some snaps of her wares for the blog, (albeit very surprised that I'd want to) and I told her of my love of crafting, in particular crochet. She was very warm and happy to chat for a few moments between customers. As you can tell I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there, and came away with not one, but two gorgeous new scarves. I seldom treat myself, but I just couldn't resist the urge to take them home with me! They are a must have accessory after all, right? So why not pop in and see all that Kate has to offer! You won't be disappointed.....  

It definitely gave me a reason to be cheerful....

back soon
x x x x x x x x  

Thursday 13 June 2013

Colour Junky

As I look out of my window here in my little corner of England today, the wind is blowing quite ferociously through the trees and the clouds are grey and menacing. This is supposed to be Summer right? If it weren't for my ability to escape into a basket full of happy coloured yarn, I'm sure I would feel quite miserable. Talk about an instant mood enhancer! A few hours spent immersed in my own hooky world does wonders  for me you know?!! Hands up who's with me on that?

I've been SO overwhelmed by the response I've had this last week to my solid 'Willow' block project. All the fantastic feedback has given me a real boost of confidence, reassuring me that I should continue to experiment with new ideas, so I thank you ALL for that! And with that in mind, I'd also like to WELCOME all my new readers who've recently found 'Annie's Place'. I'm so happy to have you here, and hope you enjoy all my creative ramblings?!!

As you can see I've moved on with crocheting my squares together. Nothing complicated, just a very simple double crochet seam. I really do want to look at more advanced techniques for attaching blocks together, but for now I'm quite satisfied with this easy, and neat result. Being self-taught I tend to stick to my tried and tested methods, but will endeavour to step outside my comfort zone at some point soon and try some more intricate methods.  

Prior to the inclement weather of recent days, we did have a few decent sunny spells. I've lived in Bedfordshire my entire life and am ashamed to say I really don't know this beautiful county as well as I should. There are so many hidden gems in this part of the East, I'm determined to explore. 

I think you do take forgranted what's on your own doorstep. I'm certainly seeing things from a different perspective now I'm older. I've always been a lover of landscapes, and we have some beautiful scenery only a few miles out of town. The British countryside is definitely the jewel in our crown.

Don't you think this makes for a rather lovely setting? 

Taking riverside walks at Willington is one of my favourite things to do. When I'm at the spot you see pictured above, I can't help but think of The Waltons. I could just imagine Elizabeth, Ben, or Jim-Bob messing around in the water there. As a child I dreamt of visiting Walton's Mountain. I will get there one day!  Maybe some of you reading this can relate, or perhaps even reside in that beautiful part of the world? 

Let's hope the rain we have today makes 
way for some glorious sunshine, especially 
as Wimbledon is nearly upon us!

Anyone for Tennis?

x x x x x

Thursday 6 June 2013

Solid 'Willow' Crochet Block How-To

Hello lovely people, thank you for being so generous with your comments on my last post. I know the Jan Eaton 'Willow' Block is a firm favourite for a lot of the seasoned crocheters amongst you, so it's lovely to hear that my simple adaptation of this pattern into a solid block version has proved popular. I'm sure many of you would find it super easy to interpret what I've done just by looking at the pictures I posted, but for those who've asked I've put together a very basic tutorial. 

The main body of the pattern can be found on page 106 of the block directory, in the book 200 crochet blocks for blankets, throws and afghans. Jan's pattern has the centre motif openly framed by four rounds of crochet, but I've chosen to encase the centre motif in just 2 rounds, with no visible gaps.
You can choose any number of colour combinations, but I've decided to use one colour for the whole centre motif and another for the border. I think it works really well. So here goes; I'm working on a 3.5mm hook with 100% cotton yarn. Once you've followed the first 5 rounds of Jan's pattern from the book you can choose to either fasten off and join a new colour (like I have), or carry on with the same colour to completion.

It really is a very simple concept, so I hope you find these instructions easy to follow. As with my Happy Flower Tutorial, I must point out I'm by no means an authority on writing up crochet patterns, so forgive any mistakes you may find, but by all means let me know about them should you spot any. 

Just click on the pics for a more detailed view

UK Terms

There you have it, 
see I told you it was easy!!!

Happy Hooking
x x x 
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