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Showing posts from 2017

#backtoschoolsweatercal Progress Update

It's my turn again on the #backtoschoolsweatercal blog hop and this time I am following on from Sam, from Sam Simple Melody, to record my progress so far.

I am happy to say that I have finished my Ava sweater from the Dora Ohrenstein's Top Down Sweater Book and I have had plenty of wear out of it already.  The fit is flattering and I am so glad that I took the time to read all of the hints and tips and obtain my true measurements so that I have a truly wearable garment.

Pattern and Yarn ChoiceI used the recommended yarn - Berroco Folio in Bayberry and I crocheted a tension square to make sure that I was on gauge. For projects of this magnitude, I prefer to use the suggested yarn (if my purse allows) so that I can obtain the same results.  I chose to make a Large based on my bust and hip measurements and it was spot on.
Getting Started and progress The yoke was the first section of the sweater to be crocheted and I found the pattern straightforward and easy to read.  I must ad…

Free your mind and the rest will follow

When I have something on my mind, I sleep walk.  Whether it is something major or something insignificant, it will play on my subconscious and I will find myself out of bed either hovering over my husband (he does not appreciate this) or ushering imaginary children out of my house telling them to be quiet and not wake anyone up!  This happens to me on a regular basis and I try and clear my mind of anything that I can control.  Writing things down, telling Siri to remind me to buy ingredients - it all aids in the process of "freeing my mind".

I am known for not having multiple WIPs and people can't understand why I can't have various projects spilling out of my stash.  Perhaps this is why.  In a funny way it makes me anxious to have more than one project on the go and as I have said before (in the words of the glorious Ron Swanson) "Don't half ass two things, whole ass one thing".

Putting all of my energy into one project keeps me focussed and takes the …


This post is part of the Back to School Sweater blog hop and CAL. You can find last week's Blog post by Tamara Gooderham here. The next stop on the blog hop will be by Helen Eccles on 9th September, who will be talking about Yarn choice, inc. substitution, drape, cost, climate including caution. For more details of the CAL visit the Crochet Circle podcast group on Ravelry.
Crochet GarmentsHaving read Tamara's previous blog, I have to hold my hand up and say "Yes, I have enough crochet shawls." We all do.  There are so many fabulous garments to be made and we do not need to be afraid of them.  I started out with a simple stripy top from a crochet magazine - it wasn't too scary, and actually, I wear it a lot.  Crochet garments do not have to be complicated masterpieces that include every stitch combination going.  I have included below all of the crochet garments that I have made for myself, starting out with simple patterns, and getting more complex as …

Making Something out of Nothing

In my line of work I often catch myself saying to a child or children "stop making something out of nothing."  You know how it goes, a single flying insect in the classroom can erupt and seem like a swarm of bees has just descended to sting us all, with children jumping around and leaping onto their chairs.  There is always the child who wants to catch it and the one screaming (usually cowering in the corner) as if their life were in immediate danger.

The other day, my sister and I were chatting while we were crocheting. We were discussing the fact that we were fortunate to be creative people as we could basically make something out of nothing.  

As crocheters/sewers/knitters/crafters (circle all that fit) we can take a single ball of wool/fabric etc, and create garments, bags, accessories, toys and even shoes! You name it and we could probably make it.  We can make gifts for people, out of nothing, and put a smile on their faces.

So remember, when you pick up your tool of your…

We've got a good thing going!

You know when you are on to a good thing when all you want to do is spend time making/baking/eating/doing it.

Recently, Fay Dashper-Hughes from published her pattern for the Hove Beach Bag and it ticked all of my boxes:

✅ Learning a new skill
✅ Something that I am going to actually use/wear
✅ Supporting a fellow crafter

Now many of you have seen my progress on IG and know that I have made the bag and matching purse and I absolutely love it (so do you guys).  I loved making it so much, that I decided to order more yarn and make it again - and why not!  Once you find 'that' pattern, there is a feeling of accomplishment and then not wanting it to stop.

I have always loved making shawls and over the last year, I have ventured into making garments and pushing myself to tackle more daring projects.  This is entirely thanks to the crocheting community, who I can call friends, who invite me to take part in CALS, produce interesting patterns, and those wh…

Procrastination for the Nation!

I've never thought of myself as a procrastinator...until now.  I have been working on a qualification linked to my job for the last 2 years because, quite simply, it doesn't hold my interest and takes the enjoyment away from my work.  Give me a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and I will whip up a shawl in a matter of days.  Give me something academic to do and I will drag my feet and find everything else to do but the task in hand.

Recently, I decided to make the Chloe Cardigan from the Top Down Sweater Book and I had purchased the yarn that I thought would suit the pattern. It didn't!  I soldiered on but my heart didn't seem to be in it.  I put it to one side and other patterns started to call my name.  Because of my phobia of WIPs (I know!) I didn't want to start another project - I didn't want to continue with this one either.

Don't get me wrong, I love the pattern, it's just that the weight of the yarn was too light for the project.  I started to pr…

Money's too Tight to Mention

The good ol' days

Growing up, we didn't have a lot of money.  I remember me and my sister huddled around a Calor Gas fire in the living room, getting dressed in the winter months; my dad walking me to nursery in a pushchair because we didn't have enough money to put petrol in the car.  We did however, have knitted bed socks and Granny Square blankets for our beds - love was in abundance and we always had everything that we needed.
How much!

Coming from a frugal family means that I have carried this way of thinking with me into adulthood. In past years, I would look at the cost of yarn and think "I'm not paying that - you could buy a whole jumper for less than it would cost to make it". Sound familiar?

Change your way of thinking

There are ways around this and here are my top 5 tips for saving money when things are tight:-

Birthday/Christmas money - save it up and put it towards that yarn that you have been hankering after; take it to a special event like EYF.Charit…

I lost my heart in Lyme Regis

The back story

8 years ago, my family stayed at a cottage in Dorset.  It was the last day of the holiday and we had spent the day in Lyme Regis (the pint of prawns was not a good idea 😶).  My husband had bought me a gorgeous diamond encrusted, gold, heart-shaped locket around 3 months earlier and I wore it everyday.  Stay with me...

Oh locket where art thou?

When it was time to leave, I sat in the back of the car and I realised that my locket was missing. My own heart sank and I began frantically searching for it.  We all retraced our steps and drove back to the cottage to search every room and the shingled driveway.  It was gone - I cried.

New tricks

I was around 8 or 9 when my Nana's taught me how to knit and crochet.  Crochet was a skill that I picked up quite quickly.  Whenever they came to visit, I would sit with them and make small blankets for Sindy or Christmas candles modelled over toilet role inserts.  As the years went by and both Nana's passed away, I didn't really…

The kindness of strangers

The morning mile

I walk about a mile and a half to work.  Everyday, come rain or shine, I drop my daughter to school and carry on walking until I get to work.  Exciting so far isn't it?!

Shady happenings?

One morning, I traced my usual steps along my well walked route, when a silver Mercedes van pulled up in front of me and  wound down the window...inevitably Kidnapping flashed across my mind....,

The gift of kindness

I was actually greeted with a kindly lady simply offering me a lift.  She said she had seen me walking every day and wondered whether I hadn't a car; she told me she would drop me to "where I needed". I warmly thanked the lady but said I enjoyed my walk. As I moved on, it reminded me...

Crocheted Insta warmth

It reminded me of the "friends" that I have met on Instagram.  Women (and men) from all over the world who share a common interest - crochet.  I have received help, encouragement and even patterns from people who are just lovely strangers wantin…

You don't know until you try

Hello from the other side

I thought that I would give blogging a go. It's not that I haven't thought about it before, it's just that I didn't know if I would have anything to blog about. Well, you don't know until you try. This blog will be short bursts into my day which may consist of crochet and funny or thoughtful events.  
A little bit about me
My name is Jo, I live in the South West of England with my husband and 10 year old daughter.  I have a pet tortoise called Flash and he is 3.  I am a crocheter in my spare time and I can knit - although not as fast as I can crochet.  I learnt both skills from my Nana’s and I am so glad that I did.  
Current projects

Tote bag

 C2C Blanket