crochet · Free Patterns

Free Halloween Crochet Patterns…

I’m busy hooking up a sugar skull Rag Doll for my friend Sam @a_stitchin_time_and_space  as she LOVES anything Halloween, and I thought that this weekend I would share some of the free crochet patterns I’ve found on the internet so you can all get busy before Halloween arrives too. I also wanted to share Autumn patterns in this post but found so many Halloween patterns that my Autumn themed blog post will have to go into a ‘Part 2’.

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I’ve found 12 free crochet patterns that are cute, scary and easy to make.

1. Spin a Yarn Crochet’s latest design is perfect for Halloween. I tagged Sam and Claudia in this post on Instagram as I knew they’d love it. Sam mostly knits, so she asked me if I could make this for her. Of course I said yes… I’m hoping to finish it before Halloween for her.

Sugar Skull Rag Doll by @spinayarncrochet

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2. How cute is this little Dracula? Jillian at Spin a Yarn Crochet makes fantastic rag doll patterns that are easy to make, and guaranteed to look perfect when done.

Vampire Rag Doll by @spinayarncrochet

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3.  Another pattern by Spin a Yarn Crochet here. This little Frankenstein is even cuter than the Dracula. I have made several of Jillian’s patterns now and they are written very well and easy to follow. Check out her other patterns here…

Frankenstein Rag Doll by @spinayarncrochet

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4. I’ve been seeing crocheted pumpkins all over Instagram recently and they are so adorable and make great seasonal decorations. If I didn’t have so many WIPs I would love to make a few of these to put on the window sill at home. This pattern by the Caron Design Team for  Yarnspirations seems to be very popular, and you can see why…

Harvest Pumpkins by Yarnspirations

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5.  Here’s another popular pumpkin pattern. It looks as though the structure for this one is slightly different but just as cute. There is even a tutorial for making a needle-felt pumpkin…

Pumpkin Pattern by Petals to Picots

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6. How amazing is this spooky blanket? Perfect for wrapping the children up with a hot drink when they get back from trick or treating…

Halloween Throw by Michele Wilcox for Red Heart

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7 & 8. Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me has designed two brilliant wreaths, although I have to say I prefer the cat one 🙂

Bat Wreath Pattern by Repeat Crafter Me

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Black Cat Wreath Pattern by Repeat Crafter Me

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9.  This blanket by Rilla Edwards is a great project if you’re taking part in Zeens & Rogers C2C CAL, and is not only perfect for Halloween, but for the whole of Autumn.

Fall Corner to Corner Blanket by Rilla Edwards

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10. Look at the detail in this lacy shawl. I know a few people who would like this one…

Skull Shawl by kungen och majkis

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11. This bowl is one of my favourite Halloween patterns, and if I had the time I would be making this one and filling it full or sweets for the trick or treaters. It is so cute!

Ghostly Candy Bowl by Michele Wilcox for Red Heart

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12. Finally, I found this coaster pattern which would be great if you were throwing a Halloween themed party. I think they would look brilliant stringed up to make ghoulish bunting too…

Ghost Coasters by Kara Gunza for Red Heart

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Disclosure: I do not own any of the photos in this blog post, nor do I claim to. All designers are credited. I just wanted to show some of the cute and spooky patterns you can make for Halloween. Crochet designers put in a lot of work to release patterns for free and I am extremely grateful. Please click on the links in this post to show these designers some love.

Have a creepy time hooking these projects! Happy Halloween!

Love Charlie, Xx

 

crochet · Lifestyle

Yarndale 2018…

 

I can’t believe Yarndale was 2 weeks ago already. I think I’m going to struggle to find the right words to describe how perfect this weekend away was – but I’ll have a go. There are a lot of photos in this blog post, so if you didn’t manage to get to Yarndale this year, I hope my blog post gives you an idea of what it was like. Also, throughout this post I have linked my friend’s Instagram accounts so please go and have a look at all these amazing people.

FRIDAY

On the Friday I traveled up to Skipton with Fay @crochet_circle_podcast, Sam, a_stitchin_time_and_space and Bec @pixicactus. Unfortunately the lovely Sharon @mycrochetmakes couldn’t make it. When we arrived in surprisingly sunny Yorkshire, we wandered around Skipton paying a little visit to Pearl & Jane and Coolcrafting before landing in Alexanders.

Alexanders…

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Alexanders is a beautiful restaurant on the side of the canal, and we found a table in the sunshine and drank some gin and pulled out our WIPs. Coincidentally, we were all knitting socks. What a site! Four women sitting in the sun drinking and knitting in a fancy restaurant. Isn’t this what dreams are made of?

The time came around for us to go and find our accommodation which was set in a beautiful location of an old fashioned, quaint village called Airton, next to the river in an old mill building. Thank you Fay for taking the time to find us a beautiful place to stay, and for driving us up the M6 whilst we got to sit, knit, crochet and take in the scenery.

The Mill Apartment – Sykes Cottages

This was the view from my bedroom window…

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Friday evening we settled in our PJs with homemade sourdough bread and cheese scones (Thanks Fay) homemade quiche (Thanks to Sam’s daughter) and a baked Camembert and cheeseboard (Thanks Bec) I’d like to put up a picture here of our amazing buffet but we immediately stuffed our faces with cheesy bready goodness. The fridge looked hilarious stacked with naughty treats; cheese, olives, cider, chocolate and wine. We also attempted to convince Sam that ‘The Good Place’ is a fantastic binge-worthy programme on Netflix.

SATURDAY

Saturday morning came around, and we arrived at Skipton Auction Mart bright and breezy, caffeinated and ready for shopping! It was Saturday that I finally got to meet Claudia @crochetluna and she is so real, and full of colour, love and life. I also got to meet Sophie of @aspringsnowflake who is so un-apologetically positive, and delightful to be around. Between these two I was gifted a handful of badges and a mini skein of Woolfy Wool Yarn. [THANK YOU!] Sheepiness was in the air… and we were ready for the doors to open, all equipped with our weekend wristbands, shopping bags at the ready and wooly enthusiasm.

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Saturday was filled with yarn squishing, sniffing and shopping. I made a dash for Vicki Brown to get a skein of her popular Hendricks 4ply, and then to Riverknits to pick out colours for one of Fay’s new shawl designs. I had a list of things I wanted to get whilst at Yarndale, and I managed to get everything bar a ball of West Yorkshire Spinners Candy Cane Christmas sock yarn as it is now discontinued. Saturday morning Claudia and myself did a fair bit of enabling  and had a [very] successful shopping spree.

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I bought another knitpro symfonie short circular so I can knit two socks at the same time in an attempt to relieve second sock syndrome. At lunch time, we met outside with picnic blankets and packed lunches and despite the cool wind, we had a wonderful time meeting fellow crafters. Rosina @zeensandrogers and Tamara @craftyescapism met us, Kathryn @crafternoontreats, Nicola, @creative.explorer, Fiona, @fizxcrail, Lynsey @andthentherewasmorgan, Eleanora, @coastalcrcrochet and many others. The #sockalong2018 had officially started and many of us pulled out the beginnings of crocheted and knitted sock WIPs.

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It is the nicest feeling to feel as though your online community is together in person like a little family. Claudia had made us Crochet Clan badges to unite us, and we really missed all of our friends from around the world that couldn’t be with us.

Saturday evening arrived and Chrissie @chrissie_crafts had arranged a get-together in a Skipton-local called The Railway Inn. Here we met up with Becci and Markus @Riverknitsuk, Vicki Brown @vickibrowndesigns, Joanne Scrace @notsogranny and more amazing crafty people to have a meal and a drink. The food and service was amazing! Fresh, homemade, hearty British pub grub with the best company. We even gained a new member of the Crochet Clan; Kate @kcrofton. I would definitely recommend this pub for future Yarndale adventures.

After Sophie had tackled her humongous sticky toffee pudding, we decided it was time to leave so we could commence our Pyjama party back at the Mill Apartment. Claudia joined us on the Saturday evening for a sleepover and it looked like Christmas by the time we had all finished showing our wares to each other. However nobody’s haul could beat Claudia’s! 🙂

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We sat around in our PJs, drinking, eating sweet treats from Escondido, and finished the evening with Tequila shots (yes, we committed ourselves to salt and lime, and yes it was delicious).

SUNDAY

Sunday morning we enjoyed a coffee in the Farm shop next to the Auction Mart, and went in for round 2. I had already bought most of the things I wanted on the Saturday, so on Sunday I had a focused list of where I needed to go. John Arbons, another trip to Fine Fish, another trip to Vicki Browns and a search for some Aran for Hannah @thecosycottagecrochet new Mirage cowl/hat pattern which she kindly gifted to me recently. We had another picnic which was a lot colder than Saturday’s but got to meet the lovely @browneyedgirlgb who gave me the cutest magnet which I will put in my craft room. She also brought tasty homemade cookies. For the rest of the afternoon, I settled in the knit and natter area where Lucy @attic24 was vending with Wool Warehouse and worked on my knitted socks. (I know i’m working with the dark side here… but I am also crocheting socks too!)

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We were exhausted by this point, and ready to go home despite having the best weekend. Yarn shopping is tiring work , don’t you know 😉 So many thanks to Fay for driving our sleepy bums back to Cheshire. I think the stop for Coffee and Krispy Creme doughnuts was essential and the sugar boost was needed. I can’t explain the feeling of belonging I felt with 3 women I’ve only know for a year – but feel so incredibly at home with and comfortable around. Our #crochetclan is more than just people with a common interest (or yarn addiction) – it’s a family bursting with love, creativity and compassion.

Anywhere, here’s a quick round-up of what I bought…

My favourite vendors were Vicki Brown, Fine Fish Yarns, John Arbon Textiles and River Knits. I’ve probably missed out tonnes but oh well… I’ll just have to go back next year 😉

Love Charlie, Xx

crochet · Love Charlie Free Crochet Pattern

Bob the Blood Blob – Free Crochet Pattern

Crochet for Charity…

Earlier in the year, I was approached by Leukaemia Care UK with regards to #SpotLeukaemia which is Blood Cancer awareness month that takes place annually in September. Although this blog post is late, it has taken me a long time to write as I wanted to get it right. This is a sensitive subject, but so very important, and better late than never.  It doesn’t have to be September for you to be aware, and able to support such an amazing charity.

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#SpotLeukaemia is a campaign to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of Leukaemia and how to spot it earlier rather than later. I was asked if I could design a crocheted ‘mascot’ that people could make and share to help fund-raise and promote  education and understanding for this cause.

“September was the official month for the #Spotleukaemia campaign, but why not continue to raise awareness for this critical disease?”

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I was delighted and thought a small plush would be perfect as it would be easy to make, require few materials, and great for beginners through to advanced crocheters. I chose a blood drop as it can easily be visually related to the cause and is symbolic of the blood cancer.

Read an article about Bob the Blood Blob here…

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Make him and give him to local hospitals (enquire first) or make him and sell him to raise money for Leukaemia care UK (donate here). Or give him to friends and family – he is extremely cute after all. (I’ve just made one for my uncle who works in phlebotomy). Leukaemia Care UK is a fantastic charity that focuses on carrying the emotional strain that Leukaemia enforces on patients and their families and continues to support those in need and provide answers and advice. This charity aims to improve lives through earlier diagnosis, access to effective treatments, information and support. Please head over to their website to read more. https://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/

Spot Leukaemia

Click here for a printable Free Bob the Blood Blob crochet pattern…

Many people have been making Bob already…

 

However there is one Bob that caught my attention When I saw that a little girl called Arabella had been made a Bob, I approached Arabella’s mum to ask a bit about her back story.

Arabella was diagnosed with Leukaemia when she was only 4 years old in May 2018. She was transferred to Adenbrookes hospital where she received her first round of chemotherapy as a clinical trial. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful and she was put in a high risk group. She underwent a second round of chemotherapy before being transferred to Bristol for a stem cell transplant, despite non of her siblings being compatible for a match. Arabella had only 4 possible matches from the DKMS register, however her condition was so critical that her consultants didn’t want to risk the wait. Arabella undertook a transplant using an umbilical cord instead and was doing really well; however contracted a virus and chest infection soon after. She is now doing better and has been transferred back to Adenbrookes Hospital, which is one step closer to home for this incredible family. Arabella loved her Bob, and by making Bob you can help raise awareness for Leukaemia and in turn support little girls like Arabella and their astonishingly strong families.

Follow Arabella’s progress here… ‘Arabella Scannell Blog’

If you follow my blog, or my Instagram or YouTube, please support me by taking 1 day (Seriously… Bob can be made in one sit-in) out of your crochet plans to make a Bob and post a picture using the hashtags #spotleukaemia and #bobthebloodblob

Let’s show Instagram how thoughtful and caring our crochet community is. Please tag @lovecharlie.co and @leukaemiacareuk

Find me on Ravelry to upload photos of your Bob…

Love Charlie, Xx

crochet · Lifestyle

Let’s catch up…

It’s been a long time since I have published a blog post; but it’s not for the lack of trying or want. So I’m going to “take the bull by the horns” and “get my foot in the door” so to say, and brief you on what’s been going on… if you’re still interested, that is. And if you do read on… I’m sorry it isn’t exactly crochet related.

*Disclosure: Shit’s about to get real personal.

I have had, and still have a lot of anxiety surrounding this blog and my YouTube channel. In August last year I threw myself into both and it was great. I gave my “crochet career” everything I had and I felt as  though I was really achieving goals I had set myself. But I didn’t leave any time for myself, Katie or life in general. There was also a big stressor in our lives (I’ll explain shortly) and I burnt out. It’s taken me a long time to realise that, and I feel that I am struggling still – despite not feeling depressed and life is so much better now. I feel as if I failed.

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I worked so hard towards what I wanted and then I just stopped. I didn’t have the mental energy to reply to comments and interact with online friends. I was, and still am scared of what people will think of me when I “come back” after removing my online presence for so long without warning or an explanation. The anxiety and fear of failure has been crippling but I enjoy blogging. I like writing about crochet and my crafty life, and it’s a nice outlet from the 9-5 (or 8-5 in my case) Monday to Friday (and sometimes Saturday) job. I am embarrassed that I have been an awful friend to the kindest people who have supported me online, and still comment on my Instagram pictures. I’m sorry to anyone and everyone that I have let down.

Let me fill you in a bit more…

For 15 months myself and Katie lived in Gran’s old house with the best intentions of renovating it for various reasons I don’t need to share. We lived in a house that we were unhappy in, a house that caused tension with relatives, looked like a building site and felt like a warehouse. Several things went wrong whilst we were there; we didn’t see eye-to-eye with the neighbours and we spent most of the winter without heating for fear the boiler would pack in (it’s older than me). I had two birthdays in that house (literally) the first spent waiting for a charity furniture collection that was never arranged in the first place – and the second waiting for British Gas to arrive to attempt to re-light the pilot light on the aforementioned boiler. This house and the time we lived in it broke me. We both worked so hard, and it was too much.

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We never felt like we had a home together the entire time we lived there; never fully unpacked from the flat we lived in before, and didn’t even get the Christmas tree or any decorations out in December because we were both so miserable. (P.s I LOVE Christmas)

It was taking its toll on us both mentally and physically. This also upsets me because it was Gran’s house and I loved her more than anything and it feels disrespectful for me to have these feelings about her house. It shouldn’t have worked out the way it did but it happened and it’s over now. I was just exhausted and I didn’t want to be fake online and be like “everything’s great… crochet… crochet… crochet…” when on a Friday evening I’d cry on my way home from work because I didn’t want to spend another night in that house.

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My crojo was at an all time low, and I was scared I was losing everything after working so hard to build a following on here, Instagram and YouTube. I was finding it difficult to do anything and everything. Katie and I got engaged after 8 years together, and although both of us want to get married, we were finding it hard to be enthusiastic and excited. The house and situation was making us lose ourselves…

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At the beginning of the year we started to look for somewhere new to live: and eventually in May we found the house we’re living in now. In less than a month we had put a deposit down (we’re renting) and had packed up and moved. Within 2 weeks of moving everything was unpacked and I felt as though we had a home again. I feel so in love with Katie; and excited for our future. My crojo came back immediately – I have literally never crocheted so much (or finished so many WIPS) and it’s fantastic. Although I still have anxiety which is fogging my brain. It makes it hard for me to articulate what I want to say and that makes me feel stupid. I’m not depressed. I’m very happy. But anxiety is an issue so please be patient with me.

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We are still facing challenges… as everyone does. The stress and physical demand of our move triggered a flare up of Katie’s Ulcerative Colitis and she has been so poorly. Although we’re not out of the woods yet – she is  so much better than she was 2 months ago. [Thank you for the kind comments where I have mentioned this on Instagram] If anyone lives with a loved one who has a long term chronic health condition you’ll understand how mentally and physically demanding it can be for everyone involved – But you’ll also know how much love and strength there is in a relationship between both/all parties. Now Katie’s getting better we can start enjoying our new home to the max and more importantly start some serious wedding planning.

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Now I have published my ‘first’ blog post, the next should be easier. Then I have to tackle YouTube (which is scarier) but I need to pace myself, take my time, and learn how to balance things. YouTube is scaring me a lot, and even though I want to put content up, I don’t want to put pressure on myself unnecessarily so I’m going to concentrate on my blog and Instagram until I’m ready. I don’t know when that will be – but please don’t forget about me. Why not subscribe to my blog in the meantime?

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There are lots of exciting things happening which I’m looking forward to writing about and sharing with you including: –

  • The pattern I designed for Leukaemia Care UK.
  • Yarndale 2018.
  • Socktober.
  • A project I’m co-hosting in November.
  • Wedding crochet plans.

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If you made it this far. Thank you. Sorry for the brutal honesty, but I feel as though I have just got rid of a huge weight that’s been on my shoulders for months, and hopefully moving forward it will be easier to blog now I have explained what’s been going on with me. Thank you for all the love and support from the crochet community, my friends, and for Katie’s unconditional support.

P.s: there was no way I was putting photos of that house on here so I’ve filled this blog post with photos of our new place instead 🙂

Love Charlie, Xx

#MarchingForwardWAL18 · crochet

Tools – #MarchingForwardWAL18

 

Last week, it was been my turn to host the weekly theme for the Marching Forward WIP-along. I have been asking you to share the tools that you use to craft – whatever they may be, on Instagram.

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I LOVE looking at everyone’s tools and now I get to share my thoughts on our most loved, and curated collections!

From what I have seen on Instagram, the tools you use range from your bog standard (but loved all the same) steel crochet hooks, to soft touch, and ergonomic hooks. I say crochet hooks, as the majority of my followers crochet, but we all know there are so many other wonderful crafts out there, and they are all as brilliant as each other. But before I go into hooks, I want to share with you the most important tools that we have – The tools that don’t cost us anything, and a few of you have also shared on IG.

Hands & Brain…

Whether you’ve inherited your love of craft, learnt it easily, or worked very hard to learn a new skill. Maybe you learnt through YouTube Videos, your mother, your Grandma, the library, a class or a friend… None of us would be where we are without the use of our hands and our brains. I am extremely grateful for the full use of my hands, and that my brain allows me to express myself and create the things I imagine. If I lost the use of my hands, I don’t know what I’d do… learn to crochet with my toes? Not only does my brain allow me to craft, but craft also aids my brain, and can provide such a comfort and peace that is very welcome in the stressful world in which we reside. So, in conclusion to this very long, rambley point… my most important tools are my brain and my hands. We can all literally turn a bit of string into something incredible! (I know right? We are amazing human beings!)

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Crochet Hooks…

Well I have seen a lovely variation in the hooks that my followers have shared on Instagram. What struck a cord with me though, is how sentimental many of your tools are. You have shared tools that you have inherited from your mothers and grandmothers. As 70% of my wool and craft supplies are inherited, I can really relate to this. This last week I have been in Edinburgh for EYF – the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I was talking to a friend about inherited tools, and when her friends mother died, she gave her the knitting needles (as her friend couldn’t knit) My friend said that her friends’ mum would knit her something every year for Christmas, so the first year without her mum, my friend knit her a gift using her Mums old knitting needles. I couldn’t believe what a thoughtful and special idea this was. And how lucky this friend was.

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My Gran’s knitting needles

Our tools are extremely important to us and each of us are extremely particular as to what constitutes as the perfect piece of equipment. Our tools become an extension of who we are, and what we leave behind in the world after we have gone. It amazes me how material things last so much longer than we do, and for crafty people, these tools leave a part of the person, and allow us to carry on and keep them with us for longer. I made my Gran a crochet hook roll to keep her hooks in, and I leave them in this on the shelf. I take them out every now and again to look at them; although I am afraid to use them in case I lose or damage them. My Gran inherited these hooks from her mother and Grandmother, so there are generations of hooks in this case, and I can’t begin to imagine how many beautiful things have been made.

Birgit, @neat_sweet_petite a co-host of the Marching Forward WIP-Along shared her Mum’s crochet hook and said that when she uses it, she feels as though a part of her mum is crocheting with her. I think this is just so lovely, and true. Sam of @nans_olive_torana also shared an inherited hook of her Grandmas, and much like me, she if afraid to use it as the sentimentality is much more important than practicality, and she doesn’t want to damage it.

 

Storage…

Jars, cases, rolls and pouches – handmade or shop bought. It seems that we all have different preferred ways of storing our tools. Up until recently, I always stored my tools in a large pencil case. This case had everything I could possibly want, and was clear so I could see everything from the outside without having to rummage for ages To see how this used to look, and what I kept in it head over to my YouTube Channel ‘lovecharliecrochet’ and watch this video… (Hit subscribe to make me smile!) However, I think that I had overfilled it for too long, and abused it so that the seams split open. I also started to lean how to knit socks, and got many 9 inch needles and DPNs for Christmas. I wanted to be able to store these all together. I ended up buying a case off Amazon that has a place for everything. Here’s the link in case you’re interested…

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Notions…

Another important element to our list of essential tools are notions… Needles, stitch markers, calculators, scissors, measuring tapes, highlighters, notebooks and pens. There’s also the continuous publications of Magazines, not to mention Ravelry, Pinterest and Instagram as important resources for patterns and inspiration. I like to store small notions such as stitch markers in a small tin that Fay of the Crochet Circle Podcast gave me for Christmas, and the rest have a pocket in my new hook case. The tin is great as it can easily be moved between project bags. 🙂

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Anyway, here is my small insight into the tools I use, and my thoughts on sentimentality and how our tools are so much more than bits of plastic and metal.

Use the hashtag #MarchingForwardWAL18 on WIPs until the 31st March 🙂

Love Charlie, Xxx

#OneSkeinWonderlandCAL · crochet

#OneSkeinWonderlandCAL – Winners…

WOW! What an incredible CAL this has been! It has been amazing to see what everyone has managed to make with onlY 1 skein or 100g of yarn. Fay and myself have enjoyed seeing how many FOs there are, and there has been a phenomenal amount of FO posts on Ravelry and Instagram… 174 to be exact (excluding Fays and my own.)

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We would like to thank everyone who participated and interacted on the Ravelry chatter thread, used the #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL hashtag on Instagram, and posted in the Ravelry FO thread. We hope that you all relished the challenge of only using one skein, and were happy with the results. From hats to scarfs, socks to shawls, cowls to mittens… there has been a project from everyone within this CAL, and now when you buy, or get gifted a lovely skein of yarn; hopefully you won’t be so hesitant to chose a project for it. We hope that the FO thread on Ravelry will provide some inspiration and encouragement that you can make something wonderful with only one skein!

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There have been some absolutely stunning projects, and here are our winners. Using a random number generator, we chose 2 from the Ravelry FO thread and 2 FOs from the #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL hashtag on Instagram.

From Instagram…

@hayrie with her marvellous green Hilsborough crochet cable socks. Hayley has won two skeins of undyed yarn and a set of icing colourants. We hope Hayley enjoys playing around dying some yarn!

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@crafternoontreats with her clever use of variegated yarn to colour pool in this stunning cowl. Kathryn has won a lovely project bad made by Emya Handmade. The perfect size for One-Skein projects…

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From Ravelry…

Stephanie (aka tattedtatter) with her beautiful Boo Shawl. Stephanie has won the Accessories book by The Crochet Project, a lovely little book full of wonderful projects.

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Gill (@jpohren) with her lovely Calm cowl using Fjord Fibres yarn. Gill has won a gorgeous autumnal skein of Crafternoontreats yarn. We can’t wait to see what Gill will crochet with it!

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Here are a few FOs that stood out for us… I can’t show them all, although I would love to… (Please head over to IG and Ravelry to see everyone’s FOs – We loved every single entry)

We can’t wait to host this CAL again THIS year! Thank you so much to everyone who got involved, and helped to create the FO thread which is now a lovely database for One Skein projects.

Love Charlie & Fay, Xx

crochet · Lifestyle

My Cro-jo’s Under the Weather…

Where has my Crojo gone?

Well, it has been two weeks since I put a photo on Instagram or even picked up my crochet hook. What is wrong with me? This is unnatural for me. The thing is, I just haven’t felt myself… and I don’t know why. I’ve been having a think about why I feel like this, and I thought I’d share my thoughts.

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I want to be honest with you guys, and I want to share with you the good parts; but also the not so good. Social media means that a lot of us only get to see edited parts of each other’s lives, the tidy work-spaces, and uncluttered surfaces. Blemish-free skin and picture-perfect angles. This is all OK, and why would you want to share something that is not perfect?

Why would you want to share with your followers when you’re not feeling yourself? I’m scared that this post will prompt a bad reaction – but I don’t want to be fake, and I think it’s important for us, as a community (that is generally really supportive and kind) to be honest with each other.

This is kind of a therapy ramble, and I’m hoping that I’ll feel better after writing everything and getting it out. I may regret it once I’ve published though.

Maybe it’s just January blues… but here are the things that I think are bothering me.

  1. I am on a diet (*lifestyle change*) eating mostly raw fruits and vegetables, and fresh foods. I have cut down the takeaways and the chocolates, no longer buying microwave meals and pre-packaged lunches. Opting for fruit and salad, whole grains and home-cooked food. This is absolutely brilliant for me; and I don’t want to turn it into a negative. Although I’m half feeling like I have more energy and half feeling drained and tired. I think my body is just going through a trans-formative period of figuring out that it needs to take it’s energy from different sources. I definitely feel refreshed and ‘lighter’ (not in a weight sense) and I know that what I am doing is so good for my health and happiness.
  2. All the CALs… How many CALs are there this month? I already have too many WIPs, but recently I’ve felt overwhelmed by the amount of CALs I’m participating in and struggling to keep up. I currently have 2 WIPs for the OneSkeinWonderlandCAL, a shawl for the Olannandcrisscrosscal, and the Woodland CAL blanket… and a pair of socks I started a while back… and after counting how many WIPs I have all together, I feel overwhelmed. When I’m splitting all my time between 5 projects; it is hard to see any progress on any singular project. Also after having the Christmas break, and enjoying the time off crafting, I feel like my productivity has drastically reduced and pretty much come to a halt.
  3. SADs… well January has been cold, wet and miserable. The days are grey and drizzly, frosty and damp. The day’s are short, and the evenings even shorter. How am I supposed to feel optimistic, creative and energetic when the weather has such a draining effect on my mood?

I think I need to finish a WIP to feel better. I know this sounds silly, but I think when I finish something, I’ll feel like I have accomplished something and achieved something small. I think this will trigger an upwards spiral to feeling more myself. When I finish one WIP, it will be one less WIP on the list, and one less project to split my time between.

My plan is to forget keeping up with the Woodland CAL, and put it to the side until I finish my Cosy Stripe Blanket. It is a lovely blanket and the colours are stunning, however the stitch is slow-going, with every other row a row of dc in the front loop only. Much slower than both the Cosy Stripe and the Moorland CAL blanket. Quite frankly, I’m putting too much pressure on myself to keep-up with the weekly installments despite the fact I’m doing my own colour order. This is a WIP that I can pick up any time, so for now, it is getting put away until I have fewer WIPs on my list.

I am going to leave the Simple Shawl I am knitting for the OneSkeinWonderlandCAL, and concentrate on the Triangle Infinity Scarf (which seems to be taking me forever!) – I think because it is single ply… In fact, I am going to make my aim for the rest of January to finish the triangle infinity scarf and put my other WIPs on hold. I want to finish the cowl, then my second sock… which means that I have the Cross Cross Shawl, and the Simple Shawl left as working-WIPs. (With only 4 days left of January, I doubt I’ll even finish the triangle scarf… but at least February should start with a FO.

In February,  I’m going to concentrate on the Cosy Stripe Blanket and the Fruit Salad TV Blanket. Generally just trying to reduce the number of WIPs I have on my list to reduce the stress. Hahaa. I think I should never have counted all of my unfinished projects…

Today I’m spending the day at Liverpool Central Library with Katie. I’ve brought all of my to-dos with me, and I’m hoping some productivity will cure me. I have 2 new crochet magazines with me, Crochet Now & Simply Crochet, and I have commissions with me to work on. Lots of wool packed into a suitcase, and #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL admin to catch up on. 🙂 I am feeling positive about today – and I hope I can put the last fortnight behind me.

How do you get your Cro-jo back? If you have any tips please let me know! It’s making me feel so odd not crocheting constantly. Maybe the break is good… but It’s making me anxious. I hope I didn’t over-share in this blog post – I didn’t want to be depressing and moany. But I wanted to be honest with you guys, and I thought you may be able to help…

Love Charlie, Xx