Winter Crochet

I’ve had a break from blogging these past six months, but not from crochet! If anything I am hooking more than ever. Happy days! Both my young daughters are now at school and here toward the end of the second term, we are nicely settled into our routines of sports, play and learning. Having school-aged children is a brand new and exciting chapter for me, having been a stay at home mum to little ones for almost eight years. I am increasingly involved in the running of our family business, but otherwise I continue to be a happy and grateful stay at home mum with a HUGE yarn obsession πŸ˜€

I won’t harp on with a six months update but will instead begin where I am. June has been a month of seriously getting stuck into finishing wips, especially crochet blankets, here in the Australian mid-winter. One of my blankets is running at over three years now! And there were many more! I’ve finished two crochet blankets this month, and I also thought I’d come to the end of Sophie’s Universe (pictured above) but I’ve decided I might grow her into a rectangle, so there may be a way to go on that one yet. I’m also working to complete another earlier CAL from the Look at What I Made blog, the block a week blanket (or on average Block a Month if you’re me). I’ve made 30 blocks, decided on placement, and am now ready to get into joining them. You can see progress on both these wips on Instagram if you do so desire πŸ˜€

One completely new development is the beginning of my journey as a fledgling knitter. This is a whole new direction for me and I am starting from the basics I learned as a child (knit and purl) and turning to YouTube for all the rest! So there will some needles as well as hooks from here on in πŸ˜€ I’m drawn by the possibilities of knitted wearables. I keep seeing beautiful knit patterns and wishing I could…time to stop wishing!

I also plan to start designing again. I have published one (free) crochet pattern, the Winter Sun Square, details of which are here. There will be more πŸ™‚

I think that’s it from me for now. I’ve got some ‘no knead’ bread on the kitchen counter that needs a tiny bit of bashing, and I want to make some hummus, and bliss balls. Then on to my daily chores after a bit of business paperwork, and it will be YARN TIME until the school bell goes. Woot!

Wip Wednesday – Weaving in Willows

Why oh, why! Did I not weave in my ends as I went?! But, I’m getting there πŸ™‚ Twenty-five blocks completed, now working on the last round of sc (US) in white, and weaving in. Then I plan to use a continuous flat braid join, new to me and I’ll share in more detail once I get my head around it.

I discovered a great tip from The Patchwork Heart this week – if you’re not sure if a ball will make it to the end of a block, weight it! Then this won’t happen…

Nightmare! However, crochet and learn, right πŸ™‚

Also in progress, pricing research. A much debated topic all over the place, as I’m discovering! I’d very much welcome your thoughts on this topic if you’d like to share your formula / rationale πŸ™‚

Finished Project Friday – Block Blanket

She is done! There were little girl squeals – can there be any more fabulous a response to a crochet gift?! My four year old daughter will be proudly taking her new blankey to preschool next week for resting time. Happy days πŸ™‚

I was able to get really stuck into the final stretch today because yesterday I had an accident with boiling water and ended up in the ED. Hurt like hell but dressed well and cared for. It’s on my hip so resting today in order to keep the dressing still and sterile. The German (my husband) took time off work to take over the school run and preschooler crazy, and I’ve been forced to sit on the veranda crocheting for much of the day. Nightmare, as you can imagine! Every cloud has a silver lining and all that πŸ˜‚

The border is #107 from Edie Eckman’s beautiful little book Around the Corner Crochet Borders. The blocks are from the wonderful 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. These are Book Depository affiliate links – I earn a small commission if you purchase either book by following my links. I think it’s clear from this and previous posts that my love for both these books is genuine indeed πŸ™‚

Now, where’s my hook? There’s lots of lovely afternoon sunshine left!

Wip Wednesday – Block Blanket & Fitted ShrugΒ 

Sophie has taken a back seat this week as I move further forward with my blanket – also because the next round involves popcorns, which I need to revisit, especially when they’re to be worked in fingering with a 3mm! Evenings are not the right time for new detail work – hopefully tomorrow when I have some child-free time during the day πŸ™‚

Meantime I’m making good progress with my blanket, with a little more joining and weaving each sunny Autumn afternoon. 

There are thirty-five blocks altogether, from thirty unique patterns to be found in one of my current favourite crochet books – Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks. I’ve bordered each block in off white and am joining using single crochet worked from the back. The joining is not quite straightforward because the stitch counts of each block are not uniform. But, I’ll get there! I’m looking forward to deciding on the border.

I couldn’t resist also starting a fitted shrug with cap sleeves in Caron Cakes Rainbow Sprinkles. I had to go up a hook size to get the correct gauge, fingers crossed it will fit! It’s the first time I’ve attempted a crochet wearable that’s not based on a single square or rectangle, so I’m in very new territory, to the extent that I haven’t taken out any stitch markers or weaved in any ends, just in case I have to frog the whole thing!

I also have a Basketweave mandala on the go, but it’s still very tiny so I’ll save that for another time. Meantime I’m out on the veranda with a mug of green tea and a blanket to join. Happy days πŸ™‚

WIP Wednesday – blocks and mandalas

As usual, I have multiple wips going on, but this week my focus is on two in particular. The first is a blanket for my preschooler, using thirty patterns from Jan Eaton’s gorgeous 200 Crochet Blocks. I’ve been working on this for many weeks now, and on Monday I finished number thirty and have now started adding an off-white round of dc (US) to each block, after which I’ll start the joining. I chose all the blocks randomly every couple of days and mixed colours from my palette of ten on a whim, so I have no idea how it’s going to turn out! Also, while in theory each pattern is for a six inch block, my tension on more intricate designs is tighter and I’ve had some trouble achieving uniform sizing. However, I’ve added rounds and / or substituted stitches as needed, and blocked religiously,  if with varying degrees of success. So, we’ll see! I hope to finish the blanket within a week or so; meantime here are nine of my favourites:Today I’m not feeling blocks though, I’m feeling mandalas! I’ve started another from the gorgeous Mandalas to Crochet by Haafner Linssen. This one is called Starry, Starry Night and I’ve chosen a rainbow palette, always a firm favourite of mine. I’m using Patons Cotton Blend 8ply and a 3mm Clover Amour hook.

Other work in progress includes this blog and my new Facebook page! I haven’t spent anywhere near as much time on either as I’d anticipated. I’m ever conscious of maintaining the joy though, and that means the actual hooking always comes first, if I have to choose! However, I’m getting organised, and have a great many plans. And I am mindful that nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished (Lao Tzu) 😊