Wow… I can’t believe how quickly October has flown by. It has been an incredibly hectic month with lots of crochet progress and several other unexpected (some un-wanted) distractions. The autumnwal17 is now over and it has been an amazing experience. Laura of @goslingandplumb has been a great co-host and her attentiveness towards everyone on Instagram has been outstanding. I tried to keep up, but still missed lots. Life has been crazy busy and it’s been hard to manage my time to make sure I’m keeping up with crochet targets. The saying ‘life gets in the way’ has been more than true for myself and Katie this month; with both of us putting extra hours into work, and both of our offices are being re-structured in one way or another, organising/booking things for the wedding, the house falling apart, and a couple other things that aren’t to be shared online. Tired is an understatement… and we’re officially seeing wintery weather here in Cheshire; dark nights and cold air are affecting my energy levels. That being said, I have a lot to say about October; firstly I’m going to share with you my original WIP list for the #AutumnWAL17; then I’m going to let you know how I got on…
- Horse Blanket.
My target was to wash, block and weave, and that I did. I added a few more rounds to the edging then washed it, blocked it, weaved in the edges and steamed/ironed it again for good luck. I actually impressed myself with the finished object. I think the whole way through making this one, I was worried that the ‘customer’ wouldn’t like it… in the end they loved it. I powered through my loss of crochet-mojo and it payed off. Although the blanket wasn’t to my personal taste; I am proud of picking a difficult pattern for my first tapestry crochet.
- School of Wizardry Scarf
Katie’s scarf didn’t go to plan. I wanted to finish this in October, but I made progress then decided it was too wide; so, I frogged it and started again – hence no FO. I am happy with the stitch that I’m using, and I plan on writing up the pattern when I’ve done; so, I want to be happy with the dimensions. The stitch I’m using is particularly yarn-hungry so having a wide scarf wasn’t working well. I’m OK with having to frog this though… it will be worth it in the end. My new goal is to have this finished by Christmas. Hopefully it will work up quicker now it isn’t so wide 😉
- Fruit Salad TV Blanket.
My #autumnwal17 goal was to finish making the squares, and start edging them. I did this… even if I only edged 3 (it still counts, right?) This has been on on-going project so there is really no rush. My November goal is to have 20 edged in total. I think this is going to be a nice project to go into the new year with. Originally, I thought I could finish this for Christmas, but I think that is un-achievable. It’s more realistic for me to aim to finish my cosy stripe blanket for Christmas. The TV Blanket could be my first big FO of the new year. An easy project that I can work on over the Christmas holidays.
- Cosy Stripe Blanket.
I achieved my target of completing one colour repeat (13 stripes) in October; and realised it won’t take too many more colour repeats before I run out of yarn. I’m going to aim to finish another colour repeat in November and see how much yarn I have left. I think it is well within my bounds to say I can finish this for Christmas. This blanket won’t be as big as the Moorland blanket because I chose a Stylecraft colour pack with fewer skeins than what Lucy called for on her Cosy Stripe pattern. It doesn’t bother me though. I am in love with the colours and the way I arranged them in this blanket!
- Beanie Hat.
I bought this skein impulsively at Black Sheep Wools. I wanted to make a Beanie using the Neon Lights pattern by myboshi. However this yarn is way too thick for that pattern; and because I only picked up one skein I didn’t want to risk going up a hook size and playing yarn chicken. I used a size 6mm hook, and made up my own pattern to create a beanie that fits my head perfectly. (I may publish a Charlie-sized beanie pattern on Ravelry soon – * when I have a chance to write the pattern up.) I then sewed on a removable bobble and tadaaaa, I’m ready for winter. I’m actually excited to be able to wear it. The alpaca mixed with acrylic gives it a lovely fussy feel and it is incredibly soft and warm.
- Movie Night Cocoon Cardi.
I have made great progress on this cardi throughout the #autumnwal17, and I joined my 5th skein of yarn last night. It’s the first garment I’ve ever worked on and now I’m just continuing to add rounds until it is the right size; I don’t have far to go now. This is my WIP for the #backtoschoolsweatercal, and even though I think it’s the easiest pattern out there, if it wasn’t for Helen and Tamara’s CAL I would never have started this. They encouraged me to pull this pattern from my Ravelry Library and start my first garment. I’m excited that I’ll actually be able to wear something I’ve crocheted; I think it’s going to lead to a whole new area of pride. The CAL runs till the 17th November, so I best get cracking and finish it off. Even though the pattern is easy and simple, and I love the effect; it’s starting to get boring now and takes a longer each row to complete the round as it’s quite big now.
My goal for the #autumnwal17 was to divide my sock yarn into two and wind into cakes; and make a start on the Spring Fling socks by Vicki Brown. I changed my mind and started the Winter Wonder Socks as they were toe up and I figured it would be easier to see if they fit me as I made progress. I started making both at the same time… but they’re huge! I reached gage but I think I only need a medium. (I started making large.) So even though I achieved my target for October, it’s all going to be frogged and started again. That’s ok though – I’d rather make socks that fit me.
- The Super Simple Tunisian CAL #SSTCAL
Claudia and Hannah ran a lovely little Tunisian CAL through October, and even though I only made one out of four of the dish cloth patterns, I’m very grateful that they put this together. I have been put off learning Tunisian crochet because I didn’t have the time to sit and make something big. Claudia and Hannah pulled together some great resources and YouTube tutorials to help us grasp Tunisian crochet without having to spend hours and hours learning. I made a Tunisian simple stitch dish cloth for the #autumnwal17 – but I will most certainly go back to these resources at a later date to learn some other Tunisian stitches. Thank you, Hannah and Claudia!
Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast has been experimenting with home dying; and has introduced a monthly Dye-along to encourage us all to give hand-dying a go. Friday the 27th October was the first #fridayisfyeday, and I had been collecting Avocado pits and skins especially for this. I planned on dying a skein of sock yarn and a silk/merino blend dk. I decided to try and dye some white cotton and an acrylic/wool blend as well. I was very surprised by the results I got. The acrylic/wool blend didn’t take any dye at all – I wasn’t surprised by this. The sock yarn and silk/merino didn’t take any dye either… as soon as I rinsed the dye, it all washed out. This surprised me but it isn’t the end of the world. It just means I have two un-dyed skeins for the next #fridayisdyeday and I can try out different techniques such as food colourants or acid dyes. The cotton however took nicely; I dyed 1 skein of white cotton and 1 skein of mercerized white cotton in the avocado dye and dyed 1 skein of mercerized cotton with blackcurrant liqueur. I now have 3 skeins of cotton in a lovely gradient effect of soft, gentle, pastel pinks… and I think this technique is going to be perfect for making wedding decorations.
- Hand sewn Project bag.
This WIP wasn’t on my list for #autumnwal17, but I made it anyway. I gave sewing a go (even though I’m terrible at it and have no idea what I’m doing) I didn’t follow a pattern, but I’m impressed that I achieved a FO. I’m not in love with this bag but proud for trying… and I now have a little bag to keep my knitting in.
Overall, I don’t think I did badly on my #autumnwal17 goals. There has been a bit of frogging and several distractions but I still managed to get 4 FOs, and some hand dyed cotton. I also made lots of progress on WIPS that had previously been collecting dust; so al in all I’m pretty happy.
- Challenging myself to work to targets and goals has given me ambition and motivation; and as you can see above… I have set myself a new list of goals for November. Not only have I made progress during October, I also learnt a handful of new techniques. I learnt how to knit, Tunisian crochet, sew, make foundation double crochet, and how to dye yarn using avocado pits. 5 new skills that I can now develop. Maybe in the new you will see more sewn and knitted projects on the blog.
- Another reason October has been more chaotic than planned is because I finally emailed crochet magazines and asked for their seasonal call outs. I say finally, because this has been my goal since July… I just kept putting it off because of the old ‘imposter syndrome’ and not thinking I’m good enough. Eventually, with the encouragement from Katie and Fay I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’ This last month, I have designed, made swatches and put together 6 proposals which I have now sent in for deadlines. Fingers crossed in the next few weeks I get some good news. I’m not holding my breath, but even if I’m not successful; I’ve learnt how to put a proposal together for a magazine submission – so next time it will be easier. And, if I don’t get published; I have 6 designs ready to write up to publish myself. What’s to lose? I’m super excited and proud of myself. I’ve worked so hard for this and I’ve finally made the first step in the right direction.
If you made it to the end of this post then well done! That’s dedication and thank you for sticking with me… I’m hoping to carry on with this newly found productivity and keep making progress throughout November. Here’s a photo of my November WIP List…
See you next week…
Love Charlie, Xx