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 😊

Wip Wednesday – Sophie, Willow & a Beanie

It’s the first week of the school hols and so far we have a good mix of home days and excursions going on – and there has been crochet, hurrah!

First up, a Sophie’s Universe update. I’m into part five now and still loving her soooooooo much! I’m really glad I bought the book (from Wool Warehouse – for some reason it’s not yet listed in my usual store, Book Depository), it’s just beautiful. 

I’m also making pleasant and steady progress on my new Willow baby blanket (pattern by Jan Eaton in 200 Crochet Blocks). Six down, fourteen to go!

Lastly, I ordered some Cleckheaton California 8ply on a whim last week while purchasing some Lincraft Cakes to try. It’s beautiful 100% wool and last night I started a beanie – the colourway is ‘Circus’ and I love it! I took it to the play centre today and got a few rounds in while my girls worked off some of their boundless energy with friends. I got chatting to another woman with wool in her hands – not a common sight! – who was doing Afghan crochet, which I’ve never seen before. So interesting! With a giant knitting needle with a hook on the end, which I assumed was a Tunisian hook but apparently not. I must google. Great to see public crochet and enjoy some impromptu yarny chat!

I’ve never actually made a beanie before, not wearing them myself. If it works out ok I’ll share the pattern I found. I plan to donate it to a charity silent auction that’s happening up the coast later in the month, in aid of brain cancer research. I’m not sure of the origins of this event but there seem to be several going on – search Facebook ‘Beanies for Brain Cancer’ for information local to you if you’d like to be involved.

And that’s it from me for now. Must get dinner on. If hols allow, I’ll be back Friday. Meantime, I wish you happy hooking πŸ˜€

Sophie’s Irresistible Universe

I finished Sophie’s Mandala a couple of days ago and couldn’t wait to start Sophie’s Universe. So I did! 

I first became aware of this beautiful pattern a couple of years ago but only plucked up the courage to get stuck in last month. Parts 1-3 can stand alone as a mandala, and completing it was a great way to gain the confidence to finally start working on the Universe. The pattern is magnificent – not only beautiful but incredibly detailed in terms of instructions, photographs, pointers and links to stitch tutorials. 

My mandala is not perfect, but in the making and sharing of my work I discovered that a small mistake that’s blindingly obvious to me is most likely unnoticeable to anyone else, and ultimately won’t take away from the finished piece as a whole. Indeed, the designer herself, Dedri Uys, commented on my Instagram, telling me that she keeps at least one little imperfection in every project – and she complimented me on my neat tension, and my colours! I’ve not been that excited about a brush with celebrity since the first time I saw my elusive neighbour Russel Crowe in the village cafΓ© 😁 And with encouragement like that, how could I not grab my hook and yarn and start Sophie’s Universe immediately! I’m just coming to the end of Part 3 now, so almost into exciting unchartered waters πŸ™‚

As an aside, while I was working on the mandala, I listened to Marie Segares interview Dedri on the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show. Dedri talks a lot about the creation of Sophie, and is very candid about her experiences as a designer. It’s a fun and inspiring podcast and well worth a listen. I’m quite new to the world of podcasts in general and crochet podcasts in particular, but I’m already finding some great crochet chat out there – I’ll compile a list to share soon.  Please let me know if you have any faves πŸ™‚

To Frog Or Not To Frog?

That was my question last night! I started Sophie’s Garden by Dedri Uys about a month ago. Progress had stalled at round 18 at the prospect of attempting popcorns in fingering with a 3mm hook – my being unfamiliar with all three elements πŸ™‚ 

I finally got stuck in again a couple of days ago, alas blissfully unaware that I’d already made a mistake! Not an earth shattering error such as an entirely missed tall front post stitch – which also happened but I caught it before too much damage done! – but one which caused all the petals to be ever so slighly asymmetrical, and which only became apparent to me after a good few more rounds.

The horror!! However, I couldn’t bear to frog all that work, so reached a pleasant compromise instead. I kept hooking until the end of Part 3, including the optional crab stitch round, to complete Sophie’s Mandala, instead of continuing with Part 4, which squares the mandala into Sophie’s Garden. All is not lost! Furthermore, it seems that while the dire consequences of one misplaced stitch are blindingly obvious to me, they are much less noticeable to anyone else. Are you your own worst critic of your work too?!

So, my Sopie taster is complete and I loved hooking her – a challenging and enjoyable project in which I learned so much! I’m now comfortable with popcorns, clusters and front post stitches, and enjoyed the crab stitch refresher. There is most definitely a Sophie’s Universe in my future πŸ˜€

Have you made Sophie’s Mandala, Garden, Universe or Extended Universe? Did you work from the free tutorials or have you invested in the recently published book? Would you recommend it? It’s my birthday next week, I think I might buy myself a wee gift… πŸ˜€