Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meet Peter and Pauline Bunny

It's been a fun week here at Lilly My Cat.  Peter and Pauline Bunny have come over to say "hello" since it's that time of year again when they make their annual appearance.

Peter is on the left with his sporty striped sweater.  Little Pauline is on the right decked out in a spring green dress with flowers.
Bunnies wouldn't be bunnies without their fluffy white tails:
Pauline's dress was so much fun to make.  I knitted her dress without a pattern, making up the shape as I went along.  I crocheted some tiny flowers for embellishment:
Here they are decked out in their finest Easter outfits in their respective Easter baskets:
I had such a fun time making these little knitted bunnies.  When I was in London last fall I picked up this book from Hatchards bookship in Piccadilly.  It's filled with these bunnies and wonderful Easter eggs you can knit.

I bought one skein of Dale of Norway yarn for Peter but I used some leftover DK weight yarn for Pauline and it worked great.  Their ears are lined with pink, fuzzy angora wool and their tales are white angora.  Who knows, maybe they will make another apperance next year dressed in a different outfit!

On another note, yesterday my mailman delivered my colorful yarn for the stripey blanket I am going to make.  
I received 17 100 gram skeins at less than $2.50 each.  And, the shipping from the UK to California was just over $6.00!  I can't believe the bargain I found.

For those of you in the UK, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day.  Please try to stop by Handmade Harbour
where you will find lots of creative ideas.

My best to each of you until next time,

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Crochet Easter Basket

Hello.  I've been absent from this post for a couple of weeks and I have missed everyone.  I thought I would be able to share with you my new afghan I have been crocheting.  But, unfortunately, I ran out of yarn and had to buy more :(

So, instead, here's what I created this week out of leftover yarns.  It's an Easter basket.  I used worsted weight yarn and made up (most) of the pattern myself.  I used a plastic container I found in my kitchen as the basket liner.

 I started crocheting a pinwheel doily pattern for the bottom.  You can find the pattern here.
**Note** I crocheted a "two chain" space instead of "four chain" in pinwheel pattern.

I followed the doily pattern through round 7 and then did a row of single crochet all around.  I then began building the basket using double crochet stitches.

After doing a few rows around, I put in the plastic container to make sure it will fit snug.  I decreased a few stitches so that it would fit properly.  

I finished off the edge with a popcorn stitch which made as follows: 1) work 4 double crochets in same stitch. 2) drop current stitch from hook. 3) insert hook into 1st double crochet you made. 4) put dropped stitch back onto needle and pull through double crochet stitch you have on needle.  I did a single crochet between each popcorn stitch.

I've had so much fun knitting bunnies and eggs so this basket will be filled with lots of goodies.

As usual, I'm a little behind times but recently I discovered this wonderful pattern for a beautiful crocheted blanket.  It originally was a "crochet along" and I discovered the idea over at  Love, Lucie.

It was the brainchild of Hannah Davis over at Not Your Average Crochet.  Here's a photo of her blanket:

Doesn't it look like a fun project?  Every row is a different pattern.  Thank you Hannah for sharing this fun, exciting pattern.  

And for the yarn selection, the yarns are already pre-packaged  at Deramores.  The pattern calls for 11 skeins but you can use more depending upon the size you want.  This pre-pack at Deramores consists of 17 skeins of yarn and it's a great bargain.  (Search for coupon codes and it will discount your order so that it's an even better bargain!)

I can hardly wait until my yarn arrives from the UK!  Talking about yarn, the afghan I ran out of yarn on, is crocheted with Red Heart Super Saver Yarn.  This was the yarn that my Grandma always used and it's still a standard out there.  I haven't knitted or crocheted with this yarn for many, many years.  I know my local craft stores carry it but they don't have the full range of colors that are available.  When I ran out this week I went to my local craft store thinking I could easily pick up one skein and guess what?  None in that color was available!  So, I turned to my other favorite site, Amazon and found what I needed there.  I love Amazon.  They have great prices, too!

That's about all I have to share this week.  I'm excited to hear what each of you have been up to.  Please feel free to say "hello".  I love hearing from you guys!

take care,
 P.S.  Lilly sends her greetings! And, says" don't forget to stop by Handmade Monday to see some great craft ideas"!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Visit to Coughton Court, a National Trust Property

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted anything, so today I will share with you my visit to Coughton Court in Alcester, Warwickshire, England.  I visited this lovely National Trust property last fall. 

This historic property has been home to the Throckmorton family for over 600 years.  The entry to the grounds is through the original stables area which now is a bookshop and gift shop.

The Throckmorton family faced persection for their Catholic faith.  This occurred following King Henry VIII's reformation.  They were branded as traitors in their own country because of their Catholic faith.

Above is a wing of the estate where the current Throckmorton family lives.  I thought it was fascinating that the family still occupies this property after these hundreds of years.

This is the main entry to the home.  It was so much fun to tour the home on a self-guided tour with docents in every room to answer any questions you may have.  The furnishings are all original.  My favorite display was a cape embroidered by Queen Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's first wife).

Coughton Court was the setting for the Gunpowder Plot which took place in 1604.  The main players in the plot rejected the Church of England and were kinsmen of the Throckmortons of Coughton Court and other old Catholic families.  They had to practice their Catholic faith in secret.   Guy Fawkes was one of these people who took part in this plot.  The picture above is taken from the turret on the roof of the building.

Here you can see the lovely English countryside from the roof of the building. Isn't that green landscape beautiful?  (Maybe because they are blessed with all that rain!)

The grounds of Coughton Court have lovely gardens that you can stroll through.  In the background of this picture you can see the spire of one of two churches that are on the estate.

The Throckmorton family have restored the gardens and here is a lovely tree lined walkway.

It was a lovely way to spent an afternoon.  I have visited many old homes but this home in unique in that it not only has beautiful old furnishings but also holds a place in the history of England.  I forgot to mention that there is a wonderful little cafe on the grounds where you can enjoy a lovely lunch and tea. 

Too bad I don't live in England because if I did, I think I would spend all my time visiting National Trust properties.  I hope you have enjoyed this little slice of history.  Please remember to stop by Handmade Harbour where you will meet some wonderful craft people and get lots of great ideas!

Until next time, blessings,


P.S.  I want to add a little tidbit in regard to the name of Throckmorton.  I visited Ft. Worth, Texas numerous times these past couple of years and Throckmorton is a prominent name in that city.  From what I read, it seems that the Texas Throckmortons descended from these Coughton Court Throckmortons!