'Knitting Fog..!' Early morning mist in fields surrounding our village

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Celebration Crazy

I really like the Celebration Shawl designed by Doris Chan, once I found my way around the increase row, which was not explained properly in Crochet! World as far as I am concerned, I got on like a house on fire.  I have since crocheted two more, one in Cherry and Lynx for my daughter Michele, and another in Aplle and Raccoon for my friend Maryjo.  I'm thinking of crocheting a second one for myself in Sky Blue, for chilly summer evenings.

I worked on each of these shawls on afternoons and evenings over three days.  The eyelash rows took up more time than the main yarn, plus the fibres needed to be teased out afterwards.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Celebration Shawl

 The 'Celebration Shawl' was designed by Doris Chan and the pattern published in the January 2004 issue of Crochet Magazine.

The original yarns used are now discontinued so I substituted Wendy 'Party' in Camel #556 for the main panels, and Sirdar FOXY Badger for the fur trim.  It is beautifully soft and warm.

My only problem with the pattern was on Row 3, a very simple row, but it could have been a bit more explicit with the instruction over the central part of the row where two increases take place.  I finally figured out what I should be doing by examining the pattern photo with a magnifying glass.

I have two more shawls to crochet from this pattern, one for a friend in the USA and one for my eldest daughter.  Several friends here in North Yorkshire have taken a liking to it also.

I obtained the Wendy 'Party' yarn from Kemps online shop, it was on special offer at 69 pence per 50g skein.
and the Sirdar FOXY came from Linda at:
http://www.acornknittingyarns.co.uk/ via Ebay at a Buy it Now price which was very reasonable.

Monday, 20 February 2012

I decided to follow up the Velvet Flake Beret design with a matching scarf, crocheted in simple double crochet with single crochet 'keyhole section. The .pdf version is available at http://www.ravelry.com/

Velvet Flake Keyhole Scarf

Materials: 50g Wendy ‘Velvet Flake’ yarn

Crochet Hook: 6.00mm [J – 10]

Basic Stitches: ch-chain, lp-loop, st-stitch, sc-single crochet, dc-double crochet, yo-yarn over. (American Stitch Guide used.)

Special Instructions:
Ch. 1 at beginning of row counts as 1 sc.
Ch. 2 at beginning of row counts as 1 dc.
Shell group: Work 3 dc into one stitch of row below.
Reverse Shell group: Work 1 dc into each of next 3 stitches until 1 loop of each dc remains on hook, yo and pull through all 4 loops on hook.


Due to the nature of the yarn, it is not easy to see individual stitches; you will have to rely on fingertips to find the next stitch, especially when working the single crochet Keyhole section, and corresponding section. Also use a row counter or paper and pencil to keep track of where you are.

Keyhole Scarf
Row 1: Ch 19, dc into 3rd ch from hook, dc into each ch across. [18 dc]
Row 2: Ch 2, dc into each dc across.
Rows 3-7: Repeat Row 2.

Row 8: Ch 2, work 1 dc into each of next 2 stitches until 1 lp of each dc remains on hook, yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook, work Reverse Shell over next 3 st, repeat to end of row. [6 Reverse Shells]
Row 9: Ch 1, sc into top of each Reverse shell group to end. [6 sc]
Row 10. Ch 1, sc into each sc below. [6 sc]
Row 11: Ch 1, sc into next st, ch 2, skip next 2 st, sc into each of last 2 st. [Keyhole made]
Row 12: Ch 1, sc into next st, sc into next 2 ch, sc into last 2 st. [6 sc]
Row 13: Repeat Row 10.
Row 14: Ch 2, 2 dc into same st, [1 beginning Shell made], work one Shell group into each sc across. [6 Shells – 18 dc]
Row 15-48: Repeat Row 2.

Row 49: Repeat Row 8. [6 Reverse Shells]                    
Row 50: Repeat Row 9 [6 sc]
Row 51-54: Repeat Row 10.
Row 55: Repeat Row 14. [6 Shells – 18 dc]
Rows 56-61: Repeat Row 2. Fasten off.

I designed this scarf to go with the Cosy ‘Velvet Flake’ Beret, which can also be found in the Ravelry Database.

 Jackie S Brooks Design (c)
Please acknowledge source when using this pattern

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Cosy 'Velvet Flake' Beret

Well I never thought I would start wearing hats, I've never been a hat person.  The only exception being my Mistress Holly Claus headdress worn at appearances of Santa and Holly during December each year.  But due to certain meds I have to take now I really feel the cold these days, especially my head, which is where most of our body heat escapes.  So I crocheted myself a Beret, one specifically for Wendy 'Velvet Flake' yarn which is incredibly soft, feather-light and cosy to wear.  I like it so much I am going to crochet several in different colours.  It is easy to crochet and can be done in a day, the pattern is available as a pdf. Ravelry download from my designer page, or you can copy it from here.

Cosy ‘Velvet Flake’ Beret

TIP: Use a marker at the beginning of each row.
The band fits loosely, which is good if you have curly or wavy hair you don’t want flattened, but if necessary you can thread a length of shirring elastic through the band if you wish it to be more secure.
Ch. – chain, sl.st. - slip stitch, dc – double crochet, hdc – half double crochet.
Materials: 50g Wendy Velvet FlakeCrochet Hook 6mm - [J/10]
Crochet Hook 3.75mm - [F/5]

With 6mm – [J/10] crochet hook chain 5 and join into ring with a sl.st.
Row 1. *ch. 5, sl.st. into ring, repeat from * 6 more times, ch. 2, dc into base of first ch. 5 loop. (8 loops)
Row 2. sl.st. in last loop made, * ch. 5, sl.st. in next loop, repeat from * to last loop, ch. 2, dc into sl.st. of first loop.
Row 3. sl.st in last loop made, * ch. 5, sl.st. into next loop, ch. 5, sl.st. into same loop, repeat from * ending with ch. 2 and dc into sl.st. of ch. 5 of beginning loop. (16 loops)
Row 4. Repeat Row 2.
Row 5. Repeat Row 3. (32 loops)
Row 6. Repeat Row 2.
Row 7. Repeat Row 3. (64 loops)
Rows 8 though 11, repeat Row 2.
Row 12. ch. 1, hdc into same loop, work a hdc into each loop, sl.st. into first hdc.
Change to 3.75mm [F/5] crochet hook 
Rows 13 through 15, repeat Row 12.  Fasten off. 

Jackie S Brooks Design

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9.11.01 Where Were You? A Commemorative Poem

September 11, 2001, where were you?

I was there, beside each one.

You say that you will never forget.
Where you were, or what you were doing,
At the very moment you heard the news,
The disbelief and the horror you felt
As you watched this tragedy unfolding.
I was there, beside you too,
Did you feel My presence with you?

In a smoke filled room in one of the towers
I gave strength to a man who phoned his wife
To tell her he was about to lose his life,
With peace in his heart he said "Goodbye,
But Honey it’s OK, I am ready to go."
I was with her too when she received his call
Ready to uphold her if she should fall.

In a stairwell much further down
A woman cried out to Me in her distress,
For 50 years her life I wanted to bless
Knocking on the door of her heart each day,
Until at last, she is asking Me in.
Now I can enter and answer her plea,
"Yes I’ll take you home, just believe in Me."

Down below at the Towers entrance
The injured are ministered to by a Priest,
He is one of Mine and he is now released,
To minister to his Flock in Heaven
Eternal life his reward for faithfulness.
He heard My voice and answered My call,
I was with him to the last and he gave his all.

Great courage and self sacrifice
Was shown by many on that terrible day,
My heart was breaking but I did stay
To comfort with My presence there
In the hearts and prayers of My believers.
And for those who in faith called on My Name
I was there when their last moments came.

In all four planes and in every seat,
In every Prayer that was sent My way
I was there as they held the terrorists at bay,
I was with the crew as they were overtaken
and the planes nose-dived into oblivion.
As some recited Prayers and Psalms
I wrapped them all within My arms.

Some met Me for the very first time,
Others sought Me with their last breath.
Some cursed and turned away from Me in death
In panic some could not hear Me call their name
"Come to Me, this way…take My hand."
But I was there for all, afraid or brave
If only they would allow Me their souls to save.

I was everywhere on this Earth that day
In Texas, Kansas and London, UK
Delhi, Hong Kong and Bergen, Norway,
I saw every face that watched TV
And saw the tears that flowed freely.
I stood beside you all at that terrible time
When your blood ran cold at this terrorist crime.

September 11, 2001 was not your final day,
The day and the hour is not for you to know,
Will you seek My face now and be ready to go?
I knock at the door of your heart every day
But I cannot enter in until you ask Me to stay.
I love you My child and I patiently wait
But please seek Me now before it’s to late.

Jackie S Brooks©
11 September 2003

Monday, 15 August 2011

Part 4 - Virtual Tour of Yorkshire

Well it's been a long time getting here, too much illness, both mine and my son Mike, we very nearly lost him to a life threatening infection in his arm that required removal of flesh, he spent approximately two months in hospital and had to have plastic surgery.  He is now slowly recovering.

So here is Part 4 :

Ripley Castle, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

It is a nice day for the next part of our journey to Ripley Castle, just a few miles out of Ripon. The road passes through countryside again, and a couple of villages, it is a busy road, wider than most but still with bends to catch the unwary. It is lined with trees for the last mile or two, and most times as we pass by we will see one or two bunches of flowers and maybe a soft toy attached to one of the trees, a sad reminder marking the spot of a fatal accident. It seems people never learn, speeding round bends or overtaking on blind bends, the prominent sign beside the road recording how many accidents have occurred within the last 5 years might as well be invisible to some.

We reach a roundabout, to the left the road heads for Harrogate, the second exit leads into the village of Ripley and to the castle entrance. The castle has been lived in by the Ingilby family for 700 years, quite an achievement considering how easy it was to fall out of favour with the Kings of England in the early days and lose your castles and land as a result. The castle is open to the public and also the grounds and flower gardens. The last time I visited was when the ‘Sealed Knot’ society came to the castle, they dressed in the costumes and uniforms of the Royalist and Parliamentarians and staged a mock battle, complete with horses, rifles, cannons and pikes. They even had their camp followers, wives (and strumpets) who tended the wounded, and sometimes robbed the fallen. They even arranged to do a mock pike charge toward the spectators at the end, even knowing the roped off gap between them and us was wider than any pike, it was still quite a scary experience to stand one’s ground as those fearsome looking soldiers lowered their pikes and charged us whilst yelling their heads off!.

Time for a sit down and a cup of tea or coffee, and maybe a full cream tea in the tearoom before leaving to visit Fountains Abbey. Ripley is also famous for it’s ice cream, so we must be sure to try it out.



Fountains Abbey

We leave the castle and make our way back to the roundabout and take the next turn off to the left on the Pateley Bridge road, just a very short distance and we turn right onto a narrow lane which leads directly to Fountains Abbey. Some people claim that Rievaulx Abbey is the most beautiful but I do not agree, for me Fountains Abbey is by far the most beautiful. Like most abbeys in England it suffered at the hands of King Henry VIII during the dissolution of the churches and abbeys, Henry’s revenge against the Pope who would not agree to his divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, when he wished to marry Anne Boleyn.

Fountains is a Cistercian abbey, founded in 1132 in what was then considered land not fit for human habitation, it was probably quite wild and isolated, but had plenty of wood, stone and water to hand so the monks could start to build their community. It is in the most beautiful setting, with the River Skell running through the extensive grounds.

Jim and I visited Fountains frequently during our courting days, we loved the peace and serenity of the abbey and grounds. In an inner courtyard we found old fig trees, still producing fruit, and up near the boundaries there were hazel nut bushes among the trees. Visiting during one of the moonlit evening openings at that time was very special, they would have Gregorian Chant music playing and it was just magical, unfortunately I don’t think they do that now.

One winters day Jim and I visited Fountains and the grounds were thick with snow, we wandered about well wrapped up and with our wellie boots on. I decided I was going to stamp out a huge heart in the snow, complete with our initials and an arrow through it. I jumped and leaped about and we fell about laughing afterwards. Jim thought I was crazy. A few weeks later we went back and realised that where I had been jumping and leaping about was right on top of the lake, fortunately for me the ice and snow had been thick enough to take my weight!

The Deer Park at Studley Royal dates from medieval times, it has around 500 deer, Red, Fallow and Sika. During the rutting season it is advised that visitors stay on the pathways, the deer are wild and could be dangerous if approached at that time, Studley Royal House was burned down shortly after WWII

There is so much to see at Fountains Hall, the Abbey and the Deer Park, so be sure to check out the links.


Our next trip will be a Mystery tour.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Part 3 = Virtual Tour of Yorkshire

Coxwold, Thirsk and Ripon

Today we are heading south west towards Thirsk, Ripon, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park. We will take the back country roads again, we could go via York along the main roads, but for scenery the back roads are much nicer. From our village of Little Barugh we make our way to the village of Amotherby 4 miles away and join the main Malton road to Hovingham, this road is actually 2000 years old, having originally been built by the Roman Legions that were based at the Malton Roman Fort, formerly known as Derventio and named for the river Derwent that passes between Malton and Norton. We pass through farmland and several villages, Appleton-le-Street, Barton-le-Street and Slingsby. The le-Street is always an indication of former Roman presence. They always built their roads from a central hub like the spokes of a wheel, and always very straight. Later influences such as the Vikings and Normans who invaded our island may have created diversions and bends in roads to accommodate reclaimed land. Now that the harvest has been gathered in, some of the fields are still white with stubble, though most of the huge round bales have been gathered in and stored in the barns, other fields have already been ploughed up ready for the next crop. We may find ourselves trailing behind a tractor pulling the huge fearsome looking plough shares, though they are not as big as the massive Harvesting machines that seemed to take up the entire road when they were travelling from one farm to another during the harvesting. Very few farmers here could afford to buy one for themselves, so the machines are shared among many.

Hovingham Hall is the family seat of the Worsley family, their daughter Katherine married H.R.H. Duke of Kent back in 1961. Her father was the Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire. If you click on the link for Hovingham you will see a view of the backside of the house overlooking the park. The road we take passes on the right side of that view, they have a large herd of cattle in the park as well as on land on the other side of the road. There is a stream that runs down towards the house with a small hump-back bridge over it that is a public right of way, and it is a pleasant walk if you are not afraid of walking amongst the cattle.

As we carry on up the road the fields on either side give way to forest and the road is an up and down switchback full of bends. There are deer in the forests, at springtime the verges are covered in primroses and in May the ground beneath the trees turns blue with carpets of bluebells. This road is where we often find ourselves travelling through green tunnels as the trees meet overhead on this narrow road. Eventually we come to open fields again and turn right at a T junction to head down towards the village of Coxwold, as we come down the winding hill we get our first glimpse of the Kilburn White Horse, then pass Newburgh Priory and a large man-made pond were ducks wait for visitors to feed them and swans glide majestically.

In Coxwold the old schoolhouse there has been a Tea Shop and Bed and Breakfast House for many years now, originally run by a German ex-POW and his Yorkshire born wife, now retired. The business is being carried on by new owners and they serve delicious high teas: ham and eggs, bread and butter, cakes, scones with strawberry preserve and cream and big pots of tea. On the other side of the road opposite the School House Tea Room there is a pottery and a woodworkers show room, the Coxwold Cabinet Maker, he did his apprenticeship with The House of the Mouse at Kilburn: http://www.thompsononename.org.uk/robthom.html all their furniture trademark was a tiny mouse carved into every piece.

The Coxwold Cabinet Maker uses a unicorn’s head as his trademark.

As we head out of Coxwold we pass the church of St. Michael’s on the left, the original church was built on the site of a pagan temple about 757AD, it has an unusual octagonal tower,

At the edge of the village is Shandy Hall, home of the eccentric parson, Laurence Sterne who wrote ‘Tristam Shandy’ and ‘Sentimental Journey’ back in the 18th century, his home, which is still a lived in home, is also a museum to his memory.


Leaving the village we travel for a couple of miles towards the A19, getting an even better view of the Kilburn White Horse, carved into a cliff face on the right across some fields, At the top of the cliff there is a gliding club and a notoriously dangerous road winding steeply down Sutton Bank, an alternative route to Thirsk that I do not care to travel. (I travelled up the bank one night in a decrepit groaning Ukrainian coach, supposedly the best Yalta had to offer, when we had 27 Ukrainian Christian visitors to our town some years ago. I thought it wasn’t going to make it and we’d all have to get out and push!)


We turn onto the A10, a major road leading directly into the market town of Thirsk, passing a group of Gypsy caravans and Vardo’s parked in a lay-by. Towards the end of May many Gypsy caravans and colourful horse drawn Vardo’s head north to Appleby for the annual Horse Fair.

Thirsk was the town in which Alfred White, better known as James Herriot, the Veterinary Surgeon of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ fame began his career. I met him in 1986 at the old house where he and Siegfried Farnon lived and worked from, he was greeting visitors and fans from all over the world and signing autographs in copies of his books. He was a dapper white haired man and very pleasant and interesting to talk to.

From Thirsk we head for Ripon, back out onto a relatively busy country road and fields, passing through several small villages and over the A1, a very busy road from north to south, at this time there are major roadwork’s going on constructing a couple of large roundabouts to cope with the traffic entering and exiting the off-ramps.

Ripon is another market town, where some of my ancestors lived. My great x 3 grandfather Thomas Pybus was a Saddler and had a shop in the market square, his middle daughter Annie Maria and her husband Joshua Illingworth were my great x 2 grandparents, and their eldest of twelve children, Blanche Lillian, was my great grandmother. Joshua was originally from Bradford, born to a large musical family. He was a Lay Preacher and Chorister at Ripon’s famous cathedral, and he also had his own musical group that played at Harrogate Spa. I pass through Ripon every month and stop to bank there and shop. I always look up at the windows of their old shop with living quarters above, half expecting to see a young Blanche Lillian looking back at me. Annie Maria and Joshua were married in the Cathedral.


http://www.ripon-internet.com/Category/135.html More photo’s

Ripon still has a Watchman who goes around Ripon every night at 0pm and blows his horn.
The custom of blowing the wakeman's horn every night at nine o'clock, maintained to this day, is said to have originated about AD 700. It was probably at first a means of calling the people together in case of a sudden invasion, but was afterwards a signal for setting the watch. A horn with a baldric and the motto "Except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain" forms the mayor's badge.
The sentence in green is emblazoned across the frontage of Ripon Town Hall.

http://www.stripes.com/news/american-plays-a-part-in-english-horn-blowing-tradition-1.48836 This one should really interest you!

Well I am going to leave you here in Ripon for the night, there are plenty of B&B’s and hotels to stay at. I will see you tomorrow for the continuation of the journey to Ripley Castle, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park.
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