We have been having a few power cuts lately and now some snow has fallen. I'ts perfect weather to cosy in by the fire with a nice warm drink, a bit of crochet and some reading.
It must be the season and the stormy conditions, because our reading has taken a distinctly survivalist, self sufficiency sort of turn. I found this book, Self-Reliance by John Yeomans up in the loft a few days ago. I remember flicking through it years ago and didn't really take to it at the time, but it called to me from the discarded book shelf as I looked for something else. Its actually quite interesting, and having begun at the beginning, I now get the slightly tongue in cheek tone, and it seems a more relevant read. He has some great money saving ideas, and tips for coping in difficult situations (such as power failure and hurricane winds) and I like his take on self-reliance as moving in and out of the consumer society as we need to. Good for dipping into and there are plenty "why didn't I think of that" moments too.
I am also reading Cold Antler Farm on my kindle app. Its a nice gentle read, and I so relate to many of Jenna's anecdotes - especially the sheep ones. Perfect for dark nights with no bedside lamp.
James and I are reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. A 13 yr old boy is stranded in the Canadian forest and has to learn to survice with nothing but a hatchet, which we think is an axe in English. My goodness, it is so exciting! We only have 2 chapters to read and there has been much discussion on how we think it will end. Don't tell us....
Oops I nearly forgot to mention my current project. I've just been dabbling with little bits of things lately - a hat, beginning to square off the circles on my Bullseye blanket, a few rows here and there on the ripple. I have just begun to crochet another circle cushion cover to go in the living room.
I crocheted a hot water bottle cover last week. It is a very cosy thing indeed. I made it up as I went along, so it is extremely improvised. I'm not very good at explaining patterns, and I can't guarantee anything, but here is how I did it anyway:
I used 1 skein of Sublime organic merino, for the main colour and scraps of merino from my stash for the granny squares. 3 buttons
Crochet 2 sides.
Side 1 (front)
Make 4 granny squares in whatever colour combination you like - I used this pattern
Using MC, single crochet squares together. (dc UK). I like the raised edge to show on the front.
SC along bottom edge
turning chain 1
SC 5 more rows.
SC 3 rows
Sc 3 rows decreasing 1 at each edge for shoulders of bottle
Count your stitches and SC into middle 12 - chain 1
SC 6 more rows, increasing 1 at each end of this and every alt row to cover neck.
SC up sides to neaten.
Side 2 (Back)
Decide where you want to place the buttonholes. I used 3 - one at each edge and one in the middle
Crochet as side 1 but work 9 rows of sc
On row 7, make buttonholes by missing 2 stitches at desired place. I think I did mine at 3, 15 and 27, but your measurements may be different.
SC both sides together, leaving top and bottom open.
Weave in ends.
Sew on buttons to bottom edge of front, corresponding with buttonholes,
Insert hot water bottle and snuggle.