Colour Me Happy Crochet

Another wonderful week of crochet has gone by, and the destash has continued most successfully! I’ve completed another few colourful kitchen cloths in cotton:

And over three metres of rainbow bunting in fun acrylic:


I love working with a big variety of colours, especially brights! Colourful projects are always especially feel-good for me. Are you the same, or are you drawn more to neutrals?

My Stylecraft Special DK stashbusting project continues apace and I’m getting a lot of joy out of it – doubtless I’ll be distracted by another project or two along the way to completion but the past few days I’ve been happy just making more Blooming Grannies (pattern by Margaret Hubert in The Granny Square Book). It’s a join-as-you-go blanket, my first and I’m sure it’ll not be my last. Love this join method – how about you?

Until next time, happy hooking!

Pam

Crochet Decluttering and StashbustingΒ 

Last week I decided it was time to sort through my crochet corner, which was becoming ever more disorganised with hooks, books, notepads, yarn, tapestry needles, stitchmarkers, stickynotes and wips.

First I assesed my various tubs of stash and put aside some ‘what was I thinking?!’ impulse purchases of clearance yarn, for the charity shop. Then I went through all my crochet books and separated the best loved from the rarely if ever looked at, which I will sell on or exchange for credit at a local secondhand bookshop. 

Next I crossed off my list the cancellation of a crochet subscription box that I just wasn’t loving (Secret Crochet Club), and decided not to resubscribe to Amanda Bloom’s Little Box of Crochet for the time being, purely because I have five beautiful boxes containing gorgeous little as yet unfinished projects neatly stacked on one of my shelves. (Where do the months go?!)

I organised and cleaned my entire crochet space (a corner of our family room, containing a bookcase with a chest at the bottom and sturdy shelves up top, and a desk and chair), and resolutely declared a total ban on all yarn purchases until my planned pilgrimage with friends to Bendigo Woolen Mills early next year.

Needless to say, within days I’d been forced to place a Stylecraft Special DK order with Wool Warehouse because my Stylecraft Special DK stashbusting exercise will require a couple more balls of Meadow and Rose for the border…you understand, don’t you? 😁

I did, however, bust some stash by having a brief but productive facewasher / dishcloth phase (pattern by Catherine Hirst in Granny Square Crochet). It was most enjoyable, and my use of Knitpicks CotLin and Dishie (adore these!) during this time certainly makes up for the Stylecraft purchase. So I tell myself. You get me. Right? 😁😁

Are you overdue a crochet declutter? Are you in the throes of some intentional stashbusting, or a total yarn purchase ban? How is that going for you? ☺

Until next time, I wish you happy hooking 😊

Pam

Books & Blocks

September turned into a sprint with lots of mum stuff going on and suddenly in the blink of an eye it’s October! I’m all for the slow life but there are limits to how slow one can in reality go with two boisterous little girls and a husband that works long hours – especially in the school holidays! It would be so nice to lie on the veranda appreciating the birdsong all day every day but people will need clean knickers and feeding (three times daily no less, how very dare they?! 😁)

Not of course that I’m complaining – as they say, no mess would mean no precious family, always worth reminding oneself of that, particularly in my darker moments haha – but I am always mindful of monitoring my mental health and ‘self care’ needs. It’s very easy for me to allow things to get frantic in my head, fuel with coffee and neglect to eat well enough – which is of course a recipe for burnout. 

While keeping an eye on these things, in the spirit of ‘slow’ I also stopped creating crochet deadlines for myself and only hooked when the mood took me, otherwise reading fiction in my down times – a great way to calm my often anxious brain. Crochet has its (vital!) place in my mental health toolkit, but I am prone to ruminating and catastrophising and sometimes recently I’ve needed a bigger distraction than the block patterns I’ve been working on, relatively complex though some of them are. 

I’ve devoured several novels in recent weeks and have thoroughly enjoyed them:

The Captain’s Daughter by Leah Flemming

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

A Pure Clear Light by Madeleine St John

I’m currently reading Freya by Anthony Quinn and loving it. I’ve been reading mainly non-fiction for ages and am truly delighting in getting back into fiction. Always interested in discovering new fiction authors – who are your favourites??

I guess it’s a measure of my usual hooky ‘output’ that although I’ve been crocheting a lot less, I’ve still done a lot more than I thought – 10 x 8.5 inch blocks! Here are 9 of them (you can find links to all the patterns in this blanket cal here)

Wishing happy hooking – and reading – to all 😊 Here’s to a fabulous month ahead!

Pam x

Wip Wednesday – Afghan Blocks

I’ve been really getting stuck into Dedri Uys’ 2014 Block CAL over the past week or so. I’ve had a lot going on – good stuff but hectic – and combined with an increase in symptoms of anxiety I’ve really needed my crochet therapy! These gorgeous block patterns meet my needs for creativity and calm entirely πŸ™‚

‘Wish Upon A Star’ by Melinda Miller

‘Never Ending Love’ by Aurora Suominen

‘Cocoa Puff’ by Melissa Green

‘Starfire’ by Melinda Miller

‘Winter Dream’ by April Moreland


‘Lace Petals’ by Chris Simon

Are you familiar with any of these designers? I’ve loved making their blocks and look forward to making many more πŸ™‚

Willow Baby Boy Blanket

My last Willow blanket was for a baby girl and, loving the design, I wanted to see if I could put a little bit of a masculine twist on it and create a baby boy blanket.

To this end I chose Baby Soft Steps by Red Heart Yarns in Aqua, Grass Green and Elephant. Then, instead of a pretty scalloped edge, I chose a slightly more angular border. I’m really happy with the end result and I’m looking forward to sending it to its new home πŸ™‚

The Willow square pattern is by Jan Eaton and can be found in her book 200 Crochet Blocks. I’ve crocheted 30 unique blocks from this book, including probably 50+ Willows by now – yes that one’s my fave πŸ˜€

The border is by the fabulous Edie Eckman. It’s #25 in Around the Corner Crochet Borders, a firm favourite in my crochet library.

I have developed a bit of a thing for squares and am now getting stuck back into another afghan with about 40 blocks in total, all different. I’ll share more next time. It’s very satisfying completing a small, intricate piece of work and I think it will make an excellent Spring/Summer project with a view to joining and bordering come Autumn. 

Do you like big projects made of little pieces? 

Until next time, happy hooking! πŸ™‚

Wip Wednesday – a List as Long as Yer Arm!Β 

So many wips, so little time! However, I remind myself that it’s not a race; it’s all good – just gotta prioritise sometimes. So, instead of digging into some Lincraft Cakes (because you can never ever ever have too many wips, not really!) today I returned to the Willow baby blanket I started at the end of June. It’s very close to completion now and I hope to be able to post it off to a special someone very soon πŸ’™

Last post I mentioned I started a bag which I’d gone right off as the variegated cotton worked up. I was so undecided about whether or not to stick with it but in the event, I did. Perhaps partly because I’ve not had a lot of crochet time during the day recently and the bag, worked in a simple single crochet (US) spiral was the easiest thing to pick up of a sleepy evening to get my fix! I don’t have a more recent pic, but I’ve added a lot more rounds of solids, and I’m up to the handles now – and still a bit hopeful it’ll turn out reasonably well. We shall see!


Right now, I’m going to reply to your lovely comments of the past week, and then join a few more squares. Here’s to getting stuck into the border tomorrow – love that bit!

Until next time – happy hooking!

Happy Granny Square Day 2017!

Belated wishes for International Granny Square Day! Did you hook a granny to mark this special occasion? Unfortunately I didn’t get any crochet time on the day itself, but I shared a few I’ve made in the past six months on Instagram, and in the days since I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the granny square explosion over there. I saw a really cool one with a spiral in the centre which inspired me to try my very first spiral myself this afternoon. Bit tricky but lots of fun!

Speaking of Instagram, @hooksandhills hit 2k followers overnight, which is quite a milestone! I’ve been on IG for a while but I’ve only really started actively interacting in the last four months or so. There is a fantastic, thriving crochet community over there and I enjoy great yarny chats with people from all over the world, plus of course one can’t help but be wildly inspired by the amazing crochet that people are posting on a daily basis. If you’re not already there, I encourage you to check it out πŸ™‚

In other news, as planned I’m blogging less and organising my time better. I wouldn’t say I’m totally on top of things – far from it! – but defintely going in the right direction. There is a little less dust – and a little more Sophie 😁

Until next time – happy hooking!