Crochet Pattern Testers Wanted!

wp-image-1480039945I have finally written up an actual crochet pattern (begone, procrastination and doubt!!) and I would like to release my firstborn into the world as soon as possible πŸ˜€Β 

However, I’d really like a couple of lovely fellow hookers to test it first. It’s a nine round block called ‘Winter Sun’. I’m thinking intermediate level as there are a few front posts, but that said, if you’re an adventurous beginner, I’d say go for it – I’ve found the best way to increase my crochet skills has been to attempt patterns with stitches above my current capability, and learn as I go! I’m a huge fan of standing stitches, but I’ve also included alternative chain starts.

This PDF pattern includes a list of stitches used (US teminology), a couple of additional notes, and – what I consider to be, but I’m hoping you’ll correct me if I’m wrong! – clear and detailed instructions including stitch counts for every round (because I love patterns that have those!).

Pending positive feedback / minor revisions, I’ll then make the pattern available here as a free PDF download, which will be closely followed by a pattern for yesterday’s ‘Winter in the Glen‘ square.

If you’d be at all interested in testing this pattern for me, please doΒ get in touch. I will respond swiftly to any questions and would appreciate your feedback very much πŸ™‚


Granny Squares are the New Black!

This past week it’s been all about squares around here. Maybe my crochet subconscious is getting excited about International Granny Square Day next month? 😁

First up, I returned to the 2014 Look at What I MadeΒ Block a Week CAL, which I started way back in 2015. After seven blocks I lost momentum and as there are over forty blocks in total, returning to it got a bit daunting! Dipping my toe back in withΒ Popcorn ParadeΒ by Melinda Millar. I’m encouraged to note that my skills have improved a lot over the last couple of years, and it worked up really quickly.

I’ve also finished all the Willow squares for my latest baby blanket, twenty in all. Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of this pattern (from the excellentΒ 200 Crochet BlocksΒ by Jan Eaton). I weaved as I went – lesson learned! – and it was so great to be able to just get stuck in to the joining! Hope to finish up within the week.

Finally, yesterday I designed my own granny square! I’m so drawn to create my own designs and always have ideas roaming my mind, but I tend to overthink and wait, then wait some more. This time, I just grabbed my hook on impulse and this is what happened. So chuffed with it! Will write up the pattern in the week and share. It’s called ‘Winter in the Glen’ as I was just back from a walk in the village with my daughters and my original colours were inspired by it (we went for ice cream ahhhh too funny in winter – as a relatively recent Scottish immigrant I still find subtropical winters a huge novelty and delight!). I then worked through my notes in rainbow hues and it made me smile. Crochet makes me very happy 😊

One last thing – what is the difference between a ‘block’ and a ‘granny square’? Is it just the size or is there some more precise definition of each? I must research in preparation for the big day next month πŸ˜€ Do you have plans for International Granny Square Day?

Are you Feeling Lost in Time?

I’m feeling it! 😁 Lost in Time is a recently released customisable shawl pattern by Johanna Lindahl of Mijo Crochet. You can add it to your Ravelry queue here or go directly to the pattern here. I kept seeing it over and over again on Instagram and when I was gifted some gorgeous Italian wool last month, this beautiful popcorn-detailed pattern immediately came to mind!

I was initially a little concerned because said wool – Cool Wool Big Melange by Lana Grossa – is listed as worsted weight on Ravelry, and while Johanna explains that any yarn / hook may be used, all of her suggested yarns were lighter weight. The recommended hook size for Melange is 3.5mm, however, so I figured it’s more of a light worsted – certainly feels that way, but please do correct me if I’m wrong in making assumption based on recommended hook size? Anyways so I’ve gone with a 6mm hook in the hope that I’ll achieve a good drape.

So I’m on round 26 and I’m liking the drape thus far *phew* although only time will tell as it grows so everything crossed! There’s been a fair amount of frogging, which I blame on tired eyes and small children – certainly not on the pattern, which is a lovely pdf so no ads to wade through either, despite that it’s free. How generous is that! I have made an error in part of one row which is of course blindingly oblivious to me but I imagine not to anyone else, and as I was a few rows and three colour changes along when I saw it, I’ve decided to suck it up  – and never again mention it after this moment 😁 

I’m going for more scarf than shawl and as the pattern is a twelve row repetition there is a lot of room for size customisation as well as hook / yarn variation. At this point I’m thinking maybe another 3 repetitions.

A note on colour changes. I have a gazillion ends going on and should I make this again (def likely) I will go for a variegated yarn and most likely I’d treat myself to a Scheepjes Whirl – I’ve coveted some of that for a while and I’ve seen some lovely renditions of the project in beautiful Whirl colourways. Have you hooked with Whirl? How was it??

Have you made Lost in Time? What yarn, which hook? Do share 😊

Thoughts Turn to Spring

I’m a little bit ahead of myself here, but temps hit early 20s (Celsius) this week and yesterday I found myself soaking up the winter sunshine in a tshirt while my youngest daughter played barefoot in a cafΓ© sandpit. So I’m not feeling very wintery right now! Plus we are after all half way there – Spring begins on September 1st and, unlike in my native Scotland, seasons are actually distinct here in Subtropical Australia. Bring it on!

In terms of crochet, the realisation that temperatures will be starting to climb again before long does impact my plans. I wanted to make another couple of scarves, but two is definitely overkill at this point given the limited remaining wearing opportunities. I started and frogged a Ravelry pattern which shall remain nameless a gazillion times yesterday and eventually decided to admit defeat, so that easily crossed one off my list! I do have some lovely Italian wool that I desperately want to use before the season is over though, so I’m going to take a look at starting the Lost in Time Shawl this afternoon. 

There will be no more blankets this year either, except for my most recent Willow baby blanket (which is headed for the European winter anyway), and of course Sophie (now well into Part 5, below). She’s slow going but worth every minute and I’m loving making impulsive colour choices, including some glitter yarn left over from Christmas.

I finally finished my sliper boots, not my finest work – two different sizes, and I messed up the pattern on the second one too! I didn’t have the heart to frog yet again, and they were still wearable so I put that one down to experience – do not leave three months between slippers!

I have a little shrug still in progress, which I will endeavour to finish this week, and that’s it for the winter makes and current wips. So, what next??!

I’m thinking mandalas. From patterns, but also with a view to designing my own – and other things too. I’m an aspiring crochet designer and I need to get clear on my goals and start taking action. There, I said it! πŸ˜€

I’m also thinking about revisiting the Look at What I Made Block a Week 2014 CAL, which I started forever ago. I have seven complete squares, and it seems a shame to give up on them. I think there are 42 in total so now would be a perfect time to start with a view to joining and bordering late Autumn; and squares are perfect for the hot summer months (I’m still traumatised by last summer’s highs of 48c!). 

I’m also feeling drawn to more freeform. I sat the other evening and just let the hook lead and it was so much fun, I love working that way. It’s been called ‘painting with yarn’ and I so get why. Watch this space πŸ™‚

I do have a lot to say for myself today. Can you tell my iron supplements have started to kick in?! 😁

Are you heading toward winter or summer? Does your crochet change with the seasons? Or do you have specific areas of interest that are not climate related? What ever season you’re in, happy hooking 😊

Too tired to crochet?!

I’ve been feeling more tired than what I consider normal for quite a while, even for one with two small children that’s training for a half marathon. I finally decided earlier this week to get a blood test just to make sure my iron levels were ok, and turns out my hunch was right, and they are actually very low indeed, which explains a lot! I managed to caffeine through the last of the planned school holiday activities but by 2pm yesterday I was forced into my bed. Felt too weak even to crochet, which says it all! My doctor says the iron tablets should kick in within the week, and if there are any issues with those, I’ll go back for an infusion.

My half marathon challenge is postponed and I am so disappointed 😦 However, there will always be another event, and my primary focus now needs to be on getting back to 100% health. I am feeling pretty shitty and rather sorry for myself right now, I can tell ya! But, it’s a good wake up call to focus a lot more on what I’m eating (not just on what my fussy children are (not) eating!) and I’m very, very grateful that all the other tests (thyroid, kidney, liver, BP etc) came back normal. This is fixable, and I should be back to normal very soon. Blessed indeed to be in such excellent health as I embark upon my 44th year πŸ™‚

I do find it very, very hard to be idle, so these days of complete and utter enervation are extremely frustrating. I really don’t have the energy to focus on much of any note crochet-wise. My crochet corner is a real yarnbomb and not in a good way lol –  projects, hooks, notebooks and yarn everywhere and out of control. Cannot see where to begin / continue anything, is hard to describe this mental fatigue, especially when rectifying things or making decisions also requires physical movement! So I have settled for sitting quietly with the laptop and updating my Ravelry projects by going through my Instagram feed. I am now all up to date and can clearly see what wips I have going on, so I feel tidier in my head if not IRL πŸ˜€

No pics today, I do like a white WordPress with photo pops for colour but today all white I’m afraid – I have some lovely car crochet pics from this week in my Insta though, do head over and check them out (yup getting up to find phone and upload is just a bridge too far I’m afraid). Also I’d love to connect with more fellow hookers on Ravelry – please feel free to friend me (is that a verb?) – I’m just finding my way over there and would love to put it to better use πŸ™‚

OK enough from me, I feel I’m starting to ramble. Happy hooking all, I look forward to being back in it – this cold turkey is very unpleasant for a fix-a-day hooker such as myself! πŸ˜€


A Beautiful Day to Go Yarnbombing!

Yesterday was a perfect winter’s day – blue skies and sunshine, and warm enough not to need a sweater. Wonderful yarnbombing weather! I drove over to the next village in the morning and met up with one of my girlfriends and a bunch of other women from our valley. The event was organised by the local healthfood store in conjunction with Council, and is part of a wider initiative to bring more visitors to the area. My own personal motivation is just to make people smile 😊

Some people had brought prepared pieces like me, others were knitting in the street, and there were even lots of children making pom poms! It was just great. So much fun!

I crocheted my freeform / patchwork piece to one tree, and on another I hooked on an abandoned temperature blanket I started last year, a lovely long bright granny stripe that went lengthways up a whole trunk. Lots of people stopped to chat – there was such a good vibe from passersby!

Here are some of the other trees. Aren’t they fabulous?

Are you a yarnbomber? This is just my second time. It won’t be the last πŸ˜ƒ

Freeform Crochet

Two years or so ago I bought a copy of Renate Kirkpatrick’s Freeform Crochet and Beyond. I was at the very beginning of my crochet journey and I think I’d read an article somewhere about freeform crochet, or ‘scrumbling’ as it is also known, that piqued my interest. It’s a fascinating book and I made a whole heap of little freeform pieces with my then very limited stitch repertoire…and then I got distracted and forgot all about them!

Until last week that is, when I was hunting out abandoned and / or unfinished pieces while putting together some work for a local yarnbombing project. Digging around in the cupboard for some craft bits for my daughters I finally found the abandoned scrumbles – I’m not sure if that’s actually a noun but I like it so I’m using it! – and set to work piecing them together. It was so much FUN – I defintely see more freeform in my future! I added some flowers and beads, just because. Here is the finished piece, pictured in our recently most glorious winter sun:

And below is my whole strip for the yarnbombing – more on that to come! Right now, however, I’ve got lots of comments to reply to – thank you so much to all of you who read my yarny ramblings. It’s especially lovely when people feel compelled to respond to my crochet and / or my musings – I really do appreciate all of your comments ☺ X