Tuesday, December 1, 2009

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

I have recently read many beautiful posts about the Advent season and how various folks celebrate it. I would like to share with you this beautiful little calendar that is hanging in my kitchen. The first window is now open, and I found a tiny candle hidden behind a lamp hanging outside one of the quaint buildings. I find these old fashioned calendars absolutely charming.

I thought it time to bring you all up to date on some activities that have been going on in Santa's workshop. Having decided that I did not like the way the multi-colored crocheted scarf with the circles in the squares was coming along, I unraveled the squares and have converted the design to a more lacy effect. These little loopy rings are fun to crochet and link together.
The above picture shows one end of the scarf, and the photo below shows another end, so that you can have an idea of how the colors flow. I have at least another two feet of scarf still to complete.

I had a shocking discovery this afternoon, when I discovered that my beloved rotary phone did not seem to be operating. For now, I will rely on my very primitive mobile cell phone, that was given me as a bit of a joke years ago. It was to be for emergency use, and so is now stepping into the spotlight.
Tomorrow, I am going to see if there is some sort of connecting wire available that will bring the rotary phone back to full strength.
It's time to return to Santa's workshop, as many calendars are now reminding me that December is underway.
Best wishes to all as you enjoy this season's excitement and joy.


  1. Hooray I'm the first to leave a message Frances.!

    I do so love the colours and knit of that beautiful scarf you have created Frances. Know it will look fabulous too folded over your winter coat.

    So sorry to hear that you have no connection to your land line phone at home, we rely on our phones to stay connected with friends and family. The mobile one will be very useful Frances in the meantime, and so important too if there is an emergency.

    May the coming festive season bring you as much joy as you have brought to us dear friend.


  2. Forgot to mention Frances, I love the Advent Calenders too. Opening a little window to the calender each day leading up to Christmas is a joy.


  3. Hello... I've just arrived here and I love the look of the scarf that you're creating.

    It's a magical time of year...

    best wishes for the season
    Ribbon :)

  4. What a lovely Advent calendar, Frances, so typical of the snowy English street.
    Your scarf is very pretty, I would have no idea how to do that!

  5. Oh GORGEOUS! What a beautiful pattern, so inspiring! I'm looking at them, and wondering how you make them.............. Would you care to share the secret? I'd love to make one too. The colours are beautiful, and it reminds me of Sophie Digard's beautiful work, sold in the Selvedge Magazine shop. Really, you've got something rather special an unique here.
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  6. How beautiful your colour sense is so vibrant! I love those old Advent calendars we had them as kids with a religious items or nativity linked iamge behind each. They are far more interesting than the modern ones with chocolate !!

  7. I do love that scarf. Such lovely colours and a delicate look about it. I forgot to get myself an Advent calendar this year. Must sort one out - and it would a traditional one with no chocolate! x

  8. Whatever is a rotary phone? Do tell? And why does it need a wire to connect it? And what has it to do with advent for which we have brought Theo a charming little chest full of 25 drawers (or is it 24?). Of course he is too young, but the idea is that you can hide anything (small enough) in the drawers - even perhaps a rotary phone. The scarf looks beautiful and with the wheels in the squares - almost rotary too.

  9. What a pretty scarf!
    I'm sure you'll have lots of people smiling at your reference to the rotary phone. We have one out in the garage - you know the phone company up here won't service them - they'll ask for them for their museums - really!

  10. Hello Frances,
    Enjoyed seeing all your creative projects. You look like you have been very productive.
    I smiled to see your sock, also trying this for the first time, encouraged by you saying it was easy, as I have not reached the heel yet. I have just made an old wicker toy pram look lovely again with pretty covers and a patchwork quilt, for the first birthday present.
    Now must start thinking of Gifts and cards. Glad you have had a good holiday, the cafe picture had my favourite fruit tart. It is good to hear you treating yourself to free time and being so creative.
    Milly x

  11. Hi Frances, I too would love to know how you make those beautiful little squares and how you join them together - do you have a pattern?

    Happy Advent to you and enjoy the season with or without connection to the outside world!


  12. You have such patience with your crochet, it is going to be a lovely scarf when it is finished.

    I have been looking for a nice old fashioned Advent calendar, all I can find are chocolate/cartoon ones. Yours looks nice and Christmassy.

  13. Hello and thanks to all you for your kind and amusing comments.

    Think that rotary phone is now permanently out of service. I have bought a cheapo new phone/answering machine that is now charging its battery.

    I left a comment for Vanessa over at her blog: do you mind if I knit
    My attempt in that comment was to give a quick version of my trial and error crochet pattern.

    Please do visit Vanessa's beautiful site, see my comment and see if it makes sense. In time, I could do a more clear version.


  14. I do like the old fashioned Advent Calnders. I had one from Germany - it was quite beautiful I remember it still some 35 years later!

  15. What a beautiful scarf Frances, and the colours are fabulous, all my favourites. I taught myself to crochet years ago and it is very relaxing.

    Have just enjoyed myself catching up on your blogs; glad to hear that you are on air again as soon as those batteries are charged.

  16. Hello again, dear readers. I think that Santa's workshop is getting to me, because I did not quite complete the process to leave that comment at Vanessa's blog.

    I will try to give quick instructions right here.

    Chain 4, join with slip st.

    Round 1. Chain 2, dc 11, join with slip stitch to create a ring of 12 dc.

    Round 2. Chain 5, sc into top of nearest dc from the circle of 12. Treble 1 (done by beginning with wrapping yarn twice round the hook. This leaves you at the top of round 2. Chain 5, sc into next top loop of round 1's dc circle. Repeat this to make four sets of double loops around the top of the dc circle of 12. Finish with a sc and a sl st to hold. Break of yarn and conceal the end.

    Now...to join a Round 2 loop to another Round 2 loop. Chain 5,insert hook into a prior flower's open loop, draw yarn through that loop, sc, then make a treble. Sc 1into the top of the next dc circle of 12. That will bring you back up to the to the open loop, so you can insert your hook into the next open loop, draw yarn through, and then chain 5. Then you anchor that chain 5 into the top of the next Round 1's dc circle of 12.

    Sc into top of next circle of 12, chain 5, carry on as before.

    If you look at the picture and sort of follow this, I think you can see what I mean.

    If I had more time, I would do a true tutorial, but sorry, Santa's workshop is getting a bit wild and wooly.

    Sorry for confusion. xo

  17. I must stop resisting Christmas and get into the swing of it like you. Your work is so beautiful.

  18. A lovely calendar, be sure to open only one window at a time?

    Your shawls are gorgeous too, isn't it wonderful to make things for others during this lovely time of year. Evenings spent by the fireside (or a warm radiator) perhaps listening to a play or music on the radio while the hands are busy making pretty things or tasty morsels to give to a few favoured friends, I can think of nothing more heart-warming to do.

    There's also always keeping up with blogging friends or even reading a good book, if you want to be really frivolous!

  19. Frances, thank you so much, you're so, so kind to give out this pattern, I'm so looking forward to trying it, and I'll be sure to show it on my blog and credit you fully when I do try it. So excting! Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  20. I am pleased that you gave the pattern for that shawl – I shall try it. It is quite pretty and the colors flow so well – very pleasing to the eyes. Thanks for explaining how you are making it.

  21. Advent calendars were the delight of my childhood but I have to admit that I used to CHEAT (oh dear!)

    Your crochet work is admirable and very lovely.
    As regards the phone, I have see quite a lovely bakelite retro
    repro but do not recall the manufacturer.
    Super to see you last evening.

  22. I love the advent calendar - it is just like the ones I remember from my childhood. The scarf looks really lovely - a great idea!

    Pomona x