Crojo Restored – Mandala Madness!

My crojo was fast disappearing last time I wrote – my latestย amigurumi attempt, while interesting, was not enjoyable – and I am not into crochet for the struggle! I crochet to relax; to clear and calm my mind; and for the pure joy of creativity and colour! So I put down the 2.5mm and picked up my trusty 4mm. I abandoned the splitty cotton and took out my basket of Patons Cotton Blend 8ply. And then my family went away for the weekend!! Below is what followed, in pictures โ˜บโ˜บ

Picot-Edged Mandala (Designer: Marinke Slump)

Crochet Coaster (Designer: Carmen Hefferman)

Tulips from Amsterdam (Designer: Haafner Linssen)

Dreamcatcher – using the first rounds of Haafner Linssen’s Dainty Daisy mandala pattern

Rounds 1-5 designed by Edie Eckman (Motif #3 from ‘Beyond the Square’); rounds 6-8 my own

And just like that, all is well in my crochet world once more! It’s great to try new things, and I will always strive to stretch the boundaries of my crochet skills – but if a project or technique or yarn just doesn’t feel good, I’ll stop working it. Life too short!

I wish you the crochet joy in your own endeavours that I am once again experiencing. Crojo restored and on fire! And now, back to my current mandala…. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š


Tiny Hook Tales

After a few weeks of school hols and family from overseas visiting, I’m now able to return to my daily hooking habit. Hurrah! 

In the aftermath of this unintentional hiatus I find I’ve lost all momentum on my afghan blocks, which is a bit sad – but as I’m now over two years into that project I don’t suppose another few months makes any difference! Instead, this week I’m having another go at amigurumi. Behold, the body of Santa – and one arm โ˜บ

Lord, but it’s fiddly! And not relaxing in the least. I am not a friend of the 2.5mm hook – even if it is one of my beloved Clover Amours! I’m using DMC Natura Just Cotton, which I was very excited to obtain but it’s driving me batty splitting into 8 strands all the time, a bit of a horror with a 2.5mm. 

There are of course much smaller hooks to be had, but this is definitely tiny to me, and I for one couldn’t go any smaller. I’ve been trying to practice by using the same hook and yarn to make a simple mandala coaster (using Marinke Slump’s Picot-Edge Mandala pattern) but while I love the way it’s working up, I’m just not feeling the 2.5mm. I like to relax with my crochet, not fight with it!

This will definitely be my last 2.5mm piece. I may try a 4mm / dk fairy. But then again, I may not – to be honest I rather feel the call of another relaxing and satisfying Willow project โ˜บ 

Do you like amigurumi? Did you struggle at first but then fell in love? 

Until next time,

Happy hooking!


Crochet Gnome – I finished something!ย 

For what feels like first time in yonks I have something to share for FO Friday, woot! He is only little but here is my friendly gnome.

I am new to amigurumi, and after a whole day working him, truth be told he didn’t even look like a gnome to me by the end! However, the next day I liked him much better – some time apart did us good haha.

The pattern is from a cute book called Crochet Your Christmas Baubles, which just arrived last week. Mr Gnome is worked in the (recommended) Stylecaft Special DK. Some of the other patterns recommend DMC Natura Just Cotton, so I’ve ordered (from Love Crochet – 15% off voucher here if you’d like one!) plenty of Christmassy colours for the Santa, elf and reindeer included in the 25 patterns. I’m working on an owl from the same book at the moment. There’s also a cute fairy and a couple of Elsa-type projects (hello fellow mums of Frozen fans!) so the book goes beyond just Christmas, which is added value I reckon. I am managing the patterns fine as a newbie to amigurumi and there are some helpful little notes at the back, too. The patterns are sorted into themes: Santa’s Grotto, Frozen Winter Wonderland, Fairy Tale, Scandinavian Style and White Christmas – definitely something to suit all tastes!

In other news, while looking for black acrylic dk for owl eyes in my stash, I found some variegated cotton worsted. I immediately forgot all about the eyes and accidentally started making a bag – oops! Yes, my motto is, You Can Never Have Too Many Wips (or bags) ๐Ÿ˜‚

Unfortunately now I’ve started working up the sides, I’m just not feeling the way the variegated is working up. So I’ve added some solid stripes but I’m still a bit meh about it…can’t decide what to do! It’s just not to my taste – but it would still probably make  nice library / treasure bag for one of my daughters. Hmmm…

If you’re not loving a project, do you quit or do you see it through?

And are you crocheting for Christmas yet?? ๐Ÿ˜€

Finished Project Friday – Little Owl

I’m loving the big wips I have going on at the moment – Sophie and Willow – but today I just felt an urge to start and actually finish something! I browsed happily through Edie Eckman’s lovely Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, but nothing spoke to me on this occasion and in search of a heart online, I fell upon this little owl pattern by Bunny Mummy Jacquie.

It made for a happy and satisfying little project during my last child-free afternoon before two weeks school holidays. My daughters think he’s very cute ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not sure how much hooking I’ll get done in the school holidays, but I’m sure I’ll fit some in. It is, after all, my therapy, and much as I love school hols, they can drive a mum nuts at times. So I’ll be reaching for my hook and yarn as often as my beloveds allow ๐Ÿ˜€

Octopus for a Preemieย 

I’ve shied away from amigurumi in the past because I find tiny hooks and finer yarn difficult. However, when I heard about Octopus for a Preemie, I decided it was time to leave my comfort zone!

It has been shown that premature babies can benefit from being able to grasp the tentacles of these tiny crocheted octopi. They are apparently reminiscent of the umbilical cord in the womb, and are also said to help prevent the baby from pulling on the wires they may have attached to them. 

Originating in Denmark, you can now find your area or nationwide group on Facebook for details of the strict safety criteria and process for submitting to participating hospitals. 

This is my test run octopus and my very first amigurumi ๐Ÿ™‚ He doesn’t meet my exacting standards, never mind those of the hospital, but I’m going to go down a hook size (so absolutely no stuffing is visible) and persevere! I made him with Flinders Cotton 8ply (heads up, Aussies – it’s on special at Spotlight at the moment) and a 2.5mm hook. I’m going to go down to 2mm, and perfect those twirly tentacles and facial features ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see below, he really is very little! Hence, fiddly. But I figure it’s just a question of practice, so I’m going to keep going. And my daughters are delighted we’re keeping this one ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you tried amigurumi? Are you participating in Octopus for a Preemie? Once I get the hang of this octopus, I definitely see a lot more amigurumi in my future!