Crochet calm & 2016

On a personal note it’s been a bit of a tough year, i work full time and help my husband run his business, ok, not so much help, I run his business and he goes out to do the work! But it’s been a nightmare this year, we took on some new employees and then brought in the work to help pay for them only for them to leave, and since then we’ve been pretty much chasing our tails behind on jobs etc. And too busy to take on more people, it put a huge strain on my husband and me but we made it to the end of the year without divorcing each other, just!

I put it down to crochet, as the stress of his business increased my hook started to move faster and my yarn stash got bigger, and boy I really have created some beautiful things and I’m proud of me, even if I do say so myself.

 I’ve always been known for having a short fuse and stressing about things when there isn’t anything to stress about, that fuse seems to be a lot longer now and I generally feel a lot calmer in myself, again I put it down to crochet.  

It still amazes me how with just one hook and ball of yarn I can make something beautiful. 

I’ve pushed myself too, I’ve looked at projects that look complicated and where normally I would not even attempt to complete them this year I’ve really gone for it I’ve started them and completed them and felt a real sense of achievement.

I started a crochet group at hobbycraft and doubted myself, I didn’t think people would turn up, but there has not been one week where I’ve been sat on my own, even on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve!  I’ve made what I would call real friends at our little group they’re all so lovely, we help each other with crochet problems, enable each other to increase our yarn stash and we have a laugh, it’s not my group it’s ours and I look forward to it every week.


I’ve taught my sister to crochet, like wow! Now that is amazing, she’s doing so well with it!  She loves anything with repetition and she too feels a lot calmer which is good.

I think what crochet has given me this year is time for me, time to switch off, to create, push myself and give, I love giving things away to those that really appreciate it.


My biggest crochet accomplishment this year has to be my mandala madness, and I’m no where near finished with it yet, it never gets boring, it’s beautiful and I’ve made it.


Another big achievement has to be my carousel I finished it, it’s not perfect but it’s mine


Anyway, I’m a little superstitious, we didn’t see 2015 out and 2016 in with a bang, so after this year we will be seeing 2016 OUT and 2017 in with a family party, best go and sort myself out!

Happy New Year to you all and thank you for taking the time out to follow me.

For the last time in 2016 Happy Hooking xx

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Frank and olive eve!

I was supposed to go to bed early tonight, picking my sister up at 07:15 in the morning so we can make our way to thirsk for Frank and olive crochet retreat, but I’m too excited to sleep!! 

I’ve almost finished my carousel!! Really got stuck into it this week, I’ve now finished those pesky hex’s and started in the round 5 border, the border consists of 6 rows and colour changes throughout, but I don’t think I could cope with anymore colour changes and ends to see in, plus I really want to use my favourite colurs from the middle (round 1) I’m pleased with how it is looking 


I also popped into Blacksheep wools this week and picked up a right bargain! Alpaca pom poms, they had exactly the same in John Lewis for ยฃ8 each, but Blacksheep had them in for ยฃ4.50 so I bought a black one for my daughter and a white one for mum, they’re so cute, so crocheted this hat for my daughter 


I’ve also just today finished one in grey Aran with the White pom Pom, but I forgot to take a photo and I’ve given it to mum already.

So this week has been carousel and hats for the big issue and my mum and daughter.  

I really wanted to get some wip finished so I can make a start on Christmas, this is the first year I’ll be making about 25% of my gifts

  • Frank olive jumper for mum
  • James C Brett flutterby mermaid tail for niece 
  • Mandala madness for my sister and brother in law
  • Carousel for an old work colleague
  • And bernat blast off snuggle blanket for my nephew

It’s going to be a busy few weeks that’s for sure!!

I’m half way through the snuggle blanket I started this week, but it was so hard to find the right yarn!!! The pattern recommended bernat blanket brights 10mm hook, I could not get bernat blanket brights here in uk, or anything similar, so I’ve had to adapt the pattern slightly and use Stylecraft chunky in a 6mm hook, but is looks really good!!


It’s certainly not going to be as soft and snuggle as it should be, the Stylecraft chunky is white rough, but I’m hoping my nephew won’t notice, he’ll be so pleased just to have his own space rocket!!

I’m a bit gutted I’ll be missing crochet group tomorrow, we had a good turn out last week with a few new starters and I actually got my sister crocheting in preparation for tomorrow, she chained, DC’d, and TR!!! And she did good! I’d love it if she got the bug I really would.  I just find it absolutely amazing how we can turn a ball of yarn into something beautiful just using a hook, so I’m hoping tomorrow she will too.  Ooh! We also had Warrington guardian come out to take photos of us on Saturday, it was a giggle, but I don’t think we’ve been in the paper yet…

Anyway I really must try and get some sleep, got a good drive in the morning!!! 
Happy hooking xx

So excited I could burst!

It’s was my birthday on Thursday, no biggie, another year older and all that! But I got the best gift I could of asked for, besides, family, health and happiness naturally! 

I’m lucky and I don’t really want for much, but I’d never go and spend a lot of money in myself, unless it’s yarn of course ๐Ÿ™ˆ, anyway, for my birthday my parents and my sister and brother in law clubbed together and got me something amazing!!! 


How lucky am I!!!! A whole day of pure relaxation, crocheting by a log fire in a country barn, being waited on hand and foot, with frank and olive!! Eeeeeeekkkkkkk!!!!! Apparently we arrive at 10am and have a bite to eat, then we go into a session with Frank and olive, break for lunch at 13:00 and then they have a guest designer coming in to do another workshop, the day finishes at 18:00, all yeah is included and there’s a Christmas gift under the tree, are you jealous!!!!! 

As designers I really like Frank and olives modern designs, so I can’t wait to meet with them! If you want to find out more about it or make yourself green with envy have a nosey at their page for the retreat www.thecrochetretreat.co.uk

Lily pond cherry blossom 

Ive finally gotten my head around block 3, I kept going wrong and couldn’t figure out why! Then I realised that I stupidly had 9 petals instead of 8 ๐Ÿ™ˆ anyway I’ve done all 4 now and I’m pleased with them, just goes to show, don’t crochet tired!


And I’ve moved onto block 5


I’m trying to bit of each bit of wip each day, if I can.

Carousel


A bit behind on this, I had to frog some of part 4 as I’d put my hexagons in the wrong way, again, tired! But just need to finish the other side, then block 5 which has already been released.

I love making blankets, and tops, but I’m not very good at anigurami! But I thought I’d give it a go, my brother in law is going into hospital on Wednesday to have some of his bowel removed, unfortunately they’ve found pre cancerous cells, luckily they’ve found them before anything more sinister occurred, but he’s obviously scared, he’s also a mega geek! He commission paints war hammer figures and is very talented, loves anything marvel, so I thought I’d make him an anigurami to take into hospital, I chose captain America, he is the bravest super hero (apparently!) please don’t laugh, it’s not very good, and my first attempt, if @itchy crochet is reading this she’ll have a chuckle! Anyway, I swapped the A for an I for Ian


Bad I know!!!

Anyway on with my mandala madness which is becoming hotter on my knees as it gets heavier!!
Happy hooking xxx

All things shiny, shiny…

Am I the only one who is a bit like a magpie when it comes to yarn and crochet patterns? Common sense would say to start one thing and bloody well finish it! But no not me! 

I’ve not blogged in a good week or so because for a few months I’ve been eyeing up Helen shrimptons Mandala Madness CAL, it’s already started and finished, but the pattern is all available on her blog.  I thought I’d just give the first round a bash because it looked quite complicated….big mistake…I’m hooked!  There are 18 rounds, and already I’m on round 7, I can’t get enough.  A few weeks ago my sister had asked me to make her a king size bedspread out of flowers, I found the pattern she wanted but when I really looked at it I realised it would take 2,700 flowers to make, so dismissed it quickly.  She’d asked for black white and grey to match her bedroom colours, so I stared round one using some Women’s Institute DK, well now I’ve had to buy more because I am going to finish this mandala! Here’s my progress so far:


Sue pinner carousel 

Magpie eyes has stopped me from doing a lot more on my carousel, but I’ve started round 4 today and I’m really enjoying it! I’ll get it done on time for Tuesday’s next release that’s for sure.

Hobbycraft news!!

Sometimes I avoid hobbycraft for buying yarn as they don’t do a lot of what I like, but a few months ago they took on a new knitting guru and she seems to have brought some life to hobbycraft for yarn!! Because they’re not starting to stock Janes c Brett noodle yarn (big thumbs up from me), Caron simply soft, which is fabulous s there are so many patterns out there for Caron and I often admire other people’s work when they’ve used that brand too.  They’re also sticking sugar and spice!!! I love their cotton! I’m so pleased, and even better news, they’re doing them on the 3 for 2!

Caron cakes 

It really gets my goat that Caron have given exclusivity for Caron cake yarn to Michaels in the US, really annoys me, because Michaels won’t ship to the uk, it makes absolute no business sense whatsoever, why limit your target market?! I’d love to get my hands on some Caron cake but my only option is Ebay at ยฃ30 a ball, so forget it, anyway, Blacksheep wools have actually started sticking s new yarn, very similar to Caron cakes, called Wendy evolution take a look at this!!


How nice!!!! And work from the box! One is for my sister who wants a cowl, she’s chosen the green, and the pink and black is for my bestie, another cowl as a Christmas gift, gorgeous aren’t they?! Who needs Caron cakes anyway!!

Anyway happy hooking xx

Weekly update ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„

I’m just getting ready to got to work in London for the next two days, so I thought I’d post a quick update.

So I made a start on the tree of life, it is such a beautiful pattern, but a little too expert for me I think, I’ve gotten into a bit of a mess with all the fpdc’s and bpdc’s and I don’t think it is quite looking how it should albeit it started off looking fabulous, I’ve got too much wip going on so I’ve given up! For now anyway.

Carousel part 3

Yes!!! Sue Pinner and Stylecraft launched part three of the carousel and I’m really enjoying it, I’ve never had the opportunity to JAYGO before but this pattern is full of it and I am loving it, no more joining at the end and sewing for what seems like forever!  

My finished part 2 piece


Please excuse the following picture, I didn’t have a flat surface so it is draped over my laptop and desk, but this shows you 3 of the 16 hexagons joined, I love it


Not 100% on the colourway still but I’m sure it will grow on me.

I’ve done absolute nothing on lily pond cherry blossoms or mums Christmas jumper, I need to start getting a wriggle on with those as my wip is building ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Little box of crochet
Ohhhhhhh I have been wanting these for ages!! This was Amanda blooms first ever LBC, before I’d even heard of her, well when I went to yarndale I managed to grab a box


I was trying to pace myself on carousel so last night thought I’d give one of these mushrooms a go, I am so pleased with it!!


I’ve got the other two to do, but they’re packed in my overnight bag for London tonight, the yarn from sheepjes is just simply divine.

Marriners yarn

You know those inserts you get in the magazine, the ones you never read? Well I’d read a lot of comments on social media about Marriners yarns, they’ve been around for a loooong time, well I found their brochure in one of my mags, if you’ve not looked at their site before, get on! Look at their prices! My delivery hasn’t come yet but I’ve placed an order for 8 skeins, including delivery ยฃ11.95, now that’s a bargain, well I think it is anyway from all of the comments and recommendations I’ve read anyway! They’re website is Marriner yarns its well worth a look at ยฃ1.00 for DK, I’ve ordered mermaid and plan to make a mermaid tail for my niece, and some other Autumn colours for a dinosaur tail for my nephew, more to add to the wip list!!

I think that’s all from me to be honest, best finish packing, sort my face out then off to London.
Happy hooking xx

On the mend

I’m still getting over the virus that started last weekend, it took the wind right out of me, literally, I ended up in A&E on Wednesday evening on a nebuliser to help my breathing, but feeling much better, and got my hook back on last night.

Whilst I’ve not felt like doing much crochet I did do a little online shopping!

My daughters friend came with us to yarndale last week, she’s just had all of her bedroom decorated and was in the hunt for some cushion covers, but we found that not many stalls were selling finished items, more the yarn and utensils to make an item, I felt guilty that we had to leave early so I said I’d make one for her bedroom.  She’s only young so I wanted to do something quite fashionable for her and lovecrochet had an offer on hoooked tshirt yarn, so I bought some ribbon xl


Now this really is XL, I thought I’d bought enough for two cushion covers, but two of these skeins barely finished 1!!  I also struggled to find a pattern for a cushion cover using tshirt yarn, so improvised and wrote my own, if you like it you can find it on etsy, anyway this is the finished result


I used a rib stitch, I’m quite pleased with it to be honest!

Hooks

I’ve been using some very pretty knit pro bamboo hooks with a cute Swarovski crystal at the bottom, but recently a lot of people have been speaking about clover amour, one person said since using clover she cringes using her knit pro! I thought I’ve got to give these a try, so they arrived yesterday evening


Verdict

Where have I been!!!!! These are a amazing!!!! They gliiiiiiiiiide through each stitch so smoothly! I’ve crocheted all day today and when I finish this update I’m going back for more, compared to my knit pro these are honestly like driving a Rolls Royce!!!!

I’m looking forward to crochet brocade tomorrow, I’ll be taking my carousel to join before the next release on Tuesday, if I get that finished I’ll also be taking lily pond, I’ve not done much on that recently.

I’ve also started this sneaky project, I found the pattern foc, and I had the yarn already so made a start on The Tree of Life isn’t it gorgeous!!!


Anyway I’m missing my clover hooks off to do some more! 
Happy hooking xx

It’s CAL carousel dayย 

So it’s 08:16, I’ve postponed my 12:00 London meeting to 15:00 so I can be home for 09:30 for the launch of sue pinners carousel CAL, so I thought I’d kill some time and fill it with a quick blog.


I’m a bit excited, I’ve got my yarn


And I’ve sorted my stash!


And I am ready to go!

I’ve got two CAL’s on the go, got the lily ponds too, I started block 2 last night and loved it! Check out this beauty


I learnt a lot from my last CAL, three things I learnt:

  1. My tension is pretty good
  2. Always measure as I go instead of winging it (just incase)
  3. Weave in ends as I go, it’s a pain in the rear

Oh If it’s not right FROG IT! It’ll be better in the long run

On Sunday I took my mum and my daughter on the emmerdale tour, if you’re not in UK you’ve may not if heard of emmerdale, but it’s soap set in the countryside and it’s been running for around 40 years, there’s a family known as ‘the dingles’ that live in a farm, and they’re always being filmed in their lounge, and very often I notice the crocheted blankets in the bank ground, so I managed to get a few pictures of them, apparently they’re donated by the general public, could this be a way to get rid of my Emma blanket?!  I have also read that Lisa Dingle is also a bit of a hooker and often makes them herself though 

It’d be amazing to see one of mine on tv!! Ha!
I also got a lovely mention on Instagram from one of the girls that joined crochet brocade group on Saturday, she’s been crocheting longer than me, but struggles to work more than 15 minutes before she starts getting pain in her hands, she’d been working on a tea cozy for over a year and only completed about 4 rows, she came to group on Saturday, and admitted she wasn’t finding crochet relaxing, I noticed straight away she wasn’t holding her yarn right, and her fingers were ridged, she needed to relax and not ‘hold’ the yarn but let it rest between her fingers and then flex her tension finger when needed, it’s hard to unlearn something you’ve been doing for a such a long time, anyway she left group doing exactly the same as when she walked in, I know she watches a lot of bella coco tutorials and weather I helped her or the online tutorials helped her I don’t know, but between Saturday and Sunday she’d actually completed her tea cozy and it looks lovely!!! So well done to her! 

Anyway another 42 mins to go until the launch……….

Happy hooking xx