I know I always say it but I can’t believe how fast the year is going already. In January I went back to work after the holidays and we have all quickly fallen back into our familiar family routine. January is a busy month for me anyway with my husband’s and my daughter’s birthday so it always seems to be over in a flash and then before I know it we are in February.
As it was a significant birthday for my hubby this year I treated him to a weekend away for us both. We don’t get to go away together often and with Little G in the safe hands of my parents we took the opportunity to enjoy ourselves. We stayed in a lovely hotel in the Lake District; I don’t know whether you can tell from the picture from our hotel room below but it was snowing big fat flakes at us whilst we were there, totally different from home, however there was a nice wood fire in the bar downstairs…
So my little one turned 4 this year (which I’m still trying to get my head round – where did that time go!!!) and one of the activities we did together was to made her cake for her Nursery friends. There was a lot of munching on the rainbow cherries (aka smarties) more than actual decorating going on but we got there in the end. At the weekend she had another birthday cake at her fancy dress party with all her little friends. Some things never change though, just like last year she didn’t want the party to end! Our activity this weekend has been to write lots of thank you cards to everyone!
The CAL I completely decided to do on the spur of the moment, after being inspired by the fabulous Moogly CAL last year. I’ve always wanted to take part in a CAL and I remember thinking that the only way I would be disciplined enough to complete one would be to do one myself. It has been keeping me pretty busy behind the scenes and like anything new mistakes have been made and there are things that I would definitely change if I ever did this again…
What has surprised me though is that so many of you have joined this CAL with me! I never dreamed that there would be so many. There are now over 1300 people in the Facebook CAL group, which is held together by the support of 3 wonderful volunteer admins, and I know others are following on twitter and here on the blog.
I’ve been loving seeing all the variation in colours…
And I can’t wait to see all your finished final blankets!
Thanks to everyone who is crocheting a-long with me!
Well August has been a bit of a strange month where unfortunately not a lot of crochet happened after the first two weeks as I broke two fingers on my left hand. The doctors have said 6 weeks to heal and 3 weeks on I feel that they are beginning to – but I have yet to really pick up a hook! I hold my yarn tension between my little finger and ring finger on my left hand (do you?) and those just happen to be the ones I have broken – and because my methodology is so ingrained I can’t seem to adapt, so I am resting up for awhile instead!
Luckily to take my mind off things we had a family holiday to look forward to (I know I am lucky to have another one!) this time in the beautiful New Forest. We were blessed with good weather and thoroughly enjoyed our week there; though it was strange to have cows, donkey’s and ponies just wandering around the camp-site right next to us – like right next to us!
Crochet wise I did manage to release one pattern; a new crochet square for August for my personal mini challenge to design a new afghan square each month. Introducing Octagon Garden which is available now on Ravelry and Craftsy.
I’ve had some lovely feedback from people saying how much they liked this square which is always fabulous to receive.
The perfect square for the 8th month the Octagon Garden Afghan Square is a great stash buster! I had some fun using different colours to create different looks but the colour combinations are virtually endless! The ‘Octagon Garden Afghan Square’ pattern is not only the perfect square to add to a multi square themed Afghan or for a cushion. but it could be used for scarves, bags or pot-holders too!
I know squares for June and July are still missing…I’m working on it! Just need my fingers to heal! But I do have a pattern release and a pattern with testers at the moment so it’s not all quiet on the crochet front! So watch this space…
And there goes July! Another summer month over! But what’s been nice is that for once England has been blessed with uncommonly good weather!
We spend the last days of June and the beginning of July in France on our family holiday which was just fantastic. The camp-site was amazing with a great onsite indoor and outdoor pool with water-slides (which Little G loved!). We got to see a lot of the sites aroundBrittany, went on a boat trip, a miniature train and Little G even rode a miniature pony! It was just lovely spending time together as a family. We spent a couple of days at the beach… and I’m not trying to make you jealous but look!!
Though whilst on the beach I came across a really strange phenomenon; anescargatoire(I googled it) which basically means a collection of snails – and what a collection! I thought it was kind of beautiful.
It was nice to see that crochet was present in Brittany; on the top of the little shops many had these adorable little crochet pelmets! I swear I can find crochet anywhere!
It really was a wonderful holiday! We were all a little sad to leave; though there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed!
It was too hot to crochet on holiday so I didn’t actually pick up a hook the whole time I was there which was strange and I was itching to pick up a hook when I came back. So on my return I had some fun working on an amigurumi test for Gerald Giraffe which I blogged about here. I also released my own free amigurumi pattern the ‘teeny tiny daschund’ which I blogged about here. The rest of the month was taken up working on a sort of big something new (all will be revealed at a later date!).
One thing I have to confess to is that I am completely behind my schedule with my personal mini Afghan square challenge to design 1 new afghan square per month. Well I have designed the squares for each month I am just behind in getting them tested! I need to catch up on that – but the weather has been so nice; it’s a shame to waste it sitting inside on the computer!
That said I’m off to try and spend a bit of time writing up some overdue patterns for testing so watch this space!
Gosh May and June over and done with so fast that I missed posting about it! This year just seems to be zooming past so quickly The best bit of May for me was a family camping trip where we tried out our new tent as a test for our real holiday at the end of June. The weather was glorious and Little G absolutely loved sleeping in the tent in her special sleeping pod.
June, June what a wonderful month – although we had a LOT of rain in June we have also enjoyed some sunshine! We’ve had some nice family days out to craft shows, park events and local festivals which has been fun.
Crochet wise day one of June was super exciting as I was featured in Too Yarn Cute Magazine ‘Just for Guys’ magazine again this time with my ‘Making Track’s Men’s Hat & Scarf Set’. Mr. KCACO-UK had asked me to make him a scarf and it’s one of those things that I just hadn’t got round to making (my bad!). The ‘Making Tracks’ scarf (and later matching hat) was so named as my husband is a keen mountain biker and the pattern is supposed to resemble tire tracks. My husband was so pleased to receive something designed specifically with him in mind that I wished I had made it sooner!
The rest of the month was taken up with making the Spot the Giraffe Blanket for baby Thomas and getting ready for my holiday to France! I’ll do a post about that soon!
It’s been another busy month but I do prefer to be busy than twiddling my thumbs. Inbetween working and crocheting we’ve managed to fit in some fun family activities. We went to the circus (first time for me and little G), went on a day trip to the zoo and did lots of digging and planting in the garden. I’m not very green fingered (unless it’s house plants) but I do try! Last Bank Holiday Monday was spent very pleasantly in the garden planting pansy’s and viola’s in tubs and baskets for the patio with support from apprentice gardener Little G which she thought was great fun. As Little G’s favourite food is tomatoes we brought her a tomato plant of her very own and she thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting a plant in a plant pot just for her.
And just look how much it’s grown already!!!
Crochet wise I have been quite busy working on some big custom orders but still managed to squeeze in the time to release 1 new pattern and a 1 new FREE pattern into the world…
As it was all about Easter in April I released my Easter Bag Buddies which Little G loved using in the Easter Egg Hunt we set up around the house. That was such a magical afternoon seeing her little face light up with glee as she found each of the eggs we had hidden.
My new Afghan square pattern this month (for my self set mini challenge to create a new Afghan Square every month for 2014) was my Mini Filet Square which I blogged about here. I was really pleased with this square and I’m just waiting for someone to make a blanket out of the pattern and send me the photo (hint, hint!)
Now we are in May I am hoping to get the 3 big custom orders out the way (1 down, 1 half started and 1 to go) and I’ve got a couple of new patterns with my lovely testers at the moment so I’ve got enough going on to keep me out of mischief!
So it’s been a bit of a manic month! Lots of changes in my day job has meant that I have been very busy at work this month…and then I’ve come home I’ve had lots of things to do there too! I seem to have organised things as such that I have had lots of things to complete (tests and orders), get released (lots of new patterns this month) and pass over to my wonderful testers (to help turn my scribbles into sense).
This month I released 4 new patterns (which I think is a record for me!) and a new FREE pattern into the world…
Getting ready for Easter (and adding to my ‘On the Shelf’ amigurumi’s) I released my ‘Bunny on the Shelf‘ pattern at the beginning of March. I had such a time trying to get the feet just how I’d pictured them in my head but they came together in the end! I’ve have had such positive feedback about him; mainly how people love his cheeks! This pattern has kept me busy with orders I’ve had for Easter; I’ve got three to finish up this weekend and I am excited about making two in different colours.
Next release was Nanuk the Polar Bear lovey which was my first ever lovey design; I blogged about him already so you can read all about his creation here. I was super excited when he made number 9 for a short time on the ‘Hot Right Now list’ (for purchased crochet patterns) over on Ravelry (I’m still aiming for that no.1 slot at least once!).
I also finished off an order / new pattern for my first ever baby cocoon -it’s definitely been a month of firsts! This caterpillar set was so fun to work on and is super squiggly soft and snuggly. Unfortunately for me the baby it was ordered for isn’t even born yet so I’m going to have to wait awhile for cute customer photos!
My new Afghan square pattern this month (for my self set mini challenge to create a new Afghan Square every month for 2014) was my Solomon’s Cross pattern which I blogged about here. I was really pleased with this square and I’m just waiting for someone to make a blanket out of the pattern and send me the photo (hint, hint!)
The free pattern which I shared this month was little Betty Prickles; if you’ve not got your copy of Betty yet then why not pick up one now and have someone keep your pins safe. Finally I also managed to fit in two pattern tests this month…one that I can’t share yet and the other was the fabulous Exterminator Hat I blogged about here. Busy, busy, busy month…wonder what April’s got in store for me!
Ahhh February; cold, bleak dreary February! Unfortunately due to hitting my head my February hasn’t quite gone according to plan! Even though I bumped my head I did have a lovely time spending some quality time with Little G on holiday and for that I am thankful!
Crochet-wise some of my plans have had to be put on the back burner as I am still struggling with a bad head! I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to release my ‘February’ afghan square but these things can’t be helped; I’m hoping as my head improves I will be able to get it finished off in early March.
On a more positive note in my crochet world this month I released 3 new patterns and 2 new FREE patterns into the world…
The first free pattern I released was ‘Margaret’s Hug’ Healing/Prayer Shawl and I am absolutely chuffed to bits that this pattern has been downloaded from Ravelry and Craftsy over 1,500 times! I love the idea that people are making hugs for people who need them! If you’ve made one I do hope you will share a photo of it with me; either email me or send me a photo over on my Facebook page.
I also had fun playing around with some Jute string for my second FREE pattern release in February for my Shabby Chic Twine Heart; I definitely see more jute projects in my future!
So on a personal level January is a busy month for me as I have my husband and my daughter’s birthday so there is usually a fair bit of eating out and cake to contend with – not so good when I’ve just started my annual January diet migration! My gorgeous amazing daughter turned 3 this time and we had great fun making her birthday cake together with all the colours and toppings that she chose herself (I think it says something about me that I would have topped off the cake with pink candles!).
And in crochet world this month I finished up with a number of projects, did a pattern test for another designer and released two new patterns into the world…
The first pattern I released was the Inca-Trail Men’s hat. I was so pleased with how that hat turned out in the end; I actually like colour changing in crochet (it’s not everyone’s cup of tea I know ) but this hat just seemed to flow together. I can’t remember how I decided I was going to make something like this but I know I was inspired by the textiles, colours and patterns of the Inca’s . If you are looking for some inspiration just Google Inca Patterns there’s tons of patterns there that will keep you going!
The next pattern I released was the ‘Midnight Eagle Owl’ Afghan square. This year I have set my self several yarny-type resolutions and one of them was to design a new Afghan square each month. I was pushing it a bit with a new square for January but I got there in the end. And I was super excited that the square reached 29th on the ‘What’s Hot’ list on Ravelry (one day I will get to number 1 on that list!).
Also in January I finished off a customer order for a ribbon shawl which I really enjoyed making. I’d never worked with ribbon yarn before but it’s really opened my eyes at how many different types and colours there are out there. The customer choose Crystal Palace: Fall Herbs which is just stunningly shiny and gorgeous, the photo really doesn’t do the colours justice. I can just picture the shawl teamed with a simple little black dress at a party can’t you!
Then I had a fun customer order for a couple of baby guinea pigs; I love these little guys! The perfect pet and super cute – and quick to make. You can get your free copy of the baby guinea pigs pattern at the following link: free pattern.
Finally I finished off this month with the hat test for Inspired by Ainsley which has now been named the ‘Aspen’ hat which I posted about the other day. It’s been a busy ole month…but I have got a lot of plans for February including a free pattern that’s close to my heart which I will post about soon so watch this space!