#ChristmasEveCAL · #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL · crochet · knitting · Lifestyle

Christmas Eve CAL

So its that time of year again… We’re almost done running around like headless chickens, faffing around with Holiday preparations, and all we really want to do is sit down and crochet (or knit, or spin, or weave or sew… you get my point) This year, Fay @crochet_circle_podcast and I are hosting another Christmas Eve CAL. Crochet along… Craft along… your choice 🙂 Any yarn related craft is welcome.

Christmas Eve Cast on

A Christmas Eve CAL is where you start a new project using yarn that you’ve saved for a special project or received for Christmas. The trick is to let your loved ones know that you want to open any yarn presents a day early 😉 It is important to take a moment for yourself over the festive period, whether you have time off work or not – after spending the past weeks, if not months preparing gifts and handmade presents, buying, cleaning, tidying, wrapping, cooking and baking – Everything should be finished with and out of the way (unless you’re like me and still have presents to make in January) After working so hard, we all deserve some yarny, squishy goodness.

The CAL starts on Christmas Eve, and if you’re very excited to start a new project you can stay up and start 1 minute past midnight. I did last year, and I might try to do the same this year.

The CAL will be taking place across Instagram and Ravelry. Use the hashtag #ChristmasEveCAL on Instagram so we can see your makes, and follow the hashtag so you can make new friends and see what everyone else is making over Christmas.

Chatter and FO threads are over on my Ravelry group… Click here for the Chatter Thread, and here for the FO thread.

So what projects will you start?

I’ll be working on two projects for myself over the Christmas break. One of them I have already started – I started on Thursday evening at woolgathering. A new pair of socks using Vicki Brown sock yarn in Hendricks and Flamingos. I am in living for these colours and I am love how my project bag matches. I also treated myself to a pin from Sharon @mycrochetmakes and it matches perfectly; as though the three were made for each other.

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I am making contrasting toes, cuffs and heels, using @Winwickmum‘s basic sock pattern. The main colour is Hendricks, and the contrast will be Flamingos. I will then be able to make a pair using Flamingos as the main colour.

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But this isn’t my ‘real’ Christmas Eve project. On Christmas Eve, I will be starting Arria by Fay. I will be using Riverknits yarn in Eve’s Birthday. (Just a coincidence) This project has been in my queue for a while, and what better time to start than a time when we have time to rest and relax. I am really excited about starting.

Arria on Ravelry

The yarn I have for this is beautiful! And I chose colours that didn’t contrast so much as I want the triangle feature to be subtle. I can’t even begin to describe how pretty this colour way is, the photo really isn’t doing it justice.

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I can’t wait to see what you will be making. Please share on Ravelry or Instagram 😀 I also can;t guarantee that I will not start another project over the Christmas break. Hahaa, I can’t control myself.

I will be writing a blog post soon sharing some of our Christmas traditions, and some of the things I like to do at Christmas time. I don’t know whether it will be before or after Christmas, so have a lovely holiday everyone.

Merry Christmas!

Love Charlie, Xx

#WIPvember · crochet · knitting · Lifestyle

Goodbye WIPvember…

I can’t quite believe how quickly November came and went, and I seriously enjoyed every minute of WIPvember! I enjoyed co-hosting this WIP-along with the fabulous Hannah @andintothetrees, Zahra @tinyanaesthetist and Caroline @poppyseedsbeads, who are all so lovely and kind. I was astounded by the amount of people who participated and even more overwhelmed by the amount of WIPs everyone managed to make progress on and finish.

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My WIPvember progress pile…

I know I made so much more progress during November than I would have done if we hadn’t started #WIPvember – and even more importantly, I managed to abstain from starting any new projects (Apart from the two that I had to start) And although I have the urge to start many new projects, I also have a bug for productivity, and I want to go into December with the same attitude, and continue to finish off and make progress on my existing WIPs before the end of the year. However – I do have a few ‘Christmas’ presents to start (with the the intention of finishing in January)

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Hannah @andintothetrees asked what everyone’s favourite part of WIPvember was? How sweet are these replies?

WIPvember created a lovely, supportive community of crafters and I think what was so fantastic about it was that everyone was concentrating on the same goal. The diversity of projects was also amazing… from hats, and  socks, mittens, blankets, cardigans, scarfs, and embroidery to man eating flowers! Yes I typed that right 😉  Crochet, knitting, needlepoint and sewing.

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Hannah @andintothetrees weekly collage – Week 1

I loved that there was no prize for this MAL, and it was only people’s enthusiasm and love of craft that drove them to participate. There was so much support surrounding every single post and it’s heart warming to see our community spreading so much love and encouragement.

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@Lovecharlie.co weekly collage – Week 2 

 

Each of us took a week to look through your #WIPvember posts and create grids of projects. I will share those throughout this blog post. I absolutely loved scrolling through everyone’s pictures and reading how people were preparing for Christmas and progressing through their WIPs.

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@Lovecharlie.co weekly collage – Week 2

So I started out with 10 WIPs… and I’ve ended up with 7. I finished 2 blankets, finished a shawl and a pair of socks, and started an amigurumi cat. I also decided to frog two of my WIPs, as I wasn’t feeling the love or enthusiasm anymore.

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My finished Cosy Stripe blanket. Just look at that edging! 🙂 

Unfortunately I didn’t even touch my Criss Cross Shawl by Fay Dashper-Hughes but I will definitely be trying to finish this after I have a few Christmas gifts made. I did finish my Cosy Stripe blanket, which I wasn’t expecting. I am so pleased with this blanket, and haven’t stopped wrapping myself up in it since I finished it.

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Zahra @tinyanaesthetist weekly collage – Week 3

I’m not going to lie though, the urge to start new WIPs throughout November was strong! And what made it worse was seeing everyone else’s amazing WIPs. God knows how many new projects I’ve added to my queue on Ravelry throughout #WIPvember! Hahaa. One project that is really going to get cast on pretty soon is the Wheat scarf by tincanknits, and it’s allowed because it’ll become a (late) Christmas present. I saw @robsramblings WIP and fell in love. I know exactly who I’m going to make it for…

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Caroline @poppyseedsbeads weekly collage – Week 4

Which brings me to December’s list. Although I won’t be so strict with my WIPs through December, I still have projects that I have to make, and ones that I’d like to make more progress on. I have a list of shawls that I have to make for people but they don’t necessarily have to be ready for Christmas. I do need to finish the Amigurumi Cat ASAP so that will be a priority, along with my Christmas Candy Cane socks. I wanted to make a couple of Christmas dog Jumpers for my Mother & Father-in-Law’s dogs but I have run out of time.

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Caroline @poppyseedsbeads weekly collage – Week 4

December WIP List : –

  1. Knitted Candy cane socks by Christine Perry
  2. Amigurumi Ginger cat by Kendra Szpila
  3. DK knitted loft by Fay Dashper Hughes x 2
  4. Hendricks socks by Christine Perry 
  5. Criss Cross Shawl by Fay Dashper-Hughes
  6. Simple knitted shawl by Jane Hunter
  7. Wheat Scarf by Tincanknits
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One more heel flap and gusset to go, then I am on the home stretch… or should I say toe stretch?

There are more WIPs on this WIP list than I had on my #WIPvember WIP list – but I also have some time off over Christmas, and I want to be a bit more relaxed with goals this month. Last month I had an extremely busy month at work, and often didn’t get the time to work on projects when I usually would have. On the other hand, December is going to be filled with Christmas traditions and meeting up with friends, so who knows what I’ll achieve… I am excited to finish my Candy Cane Christmas socks… I’m going to put a ribbon and jingle bell on the ribbing 😀 And I am excited to get rid of the Cat commission. What I a mostly excited about though, is caking up my @vickibrowndesigns Hendricks sock yarn and getting started on another pair of socks. This was the FIRST thing that I bought at Yarndale 2018 and I am sooo excited. I am loving socks because I can use a special skein of yarn for each pair, and not only do they they allow me to try out new dyers and colourways without breaking the bank, but I am finding that my knitting skills are improving so much that my confidence with knitting is on the rise!

I hope you are all enjoying getting into the festive spirit as much as I am. Our tree went up on the 24th November, and we’ve already cracked open the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. The seal on the Roses tin is broken, and we will soon be making our annual Christmas gin for friends and family. I am so loving feeling the warmth and coziness of Christmas this year in our new home. The candles are all lit, and there isn’t a chair without a homemade blanket. Anyway, that’s my brief Christmas excitement out of the way. (I’ll write a proper Charlie Christmas blog post soon)

Love Charlie, Xx

#WIPvember · crochet · knitting · Lifestyle

WIPVember – Halfway Progress…

I can’t believe how quickly the last two and a half weeks have gone… and I am blown away by the amount of people who are participating in WIPvember. It is incredible!

I wanted to check in, and let you see how I’ve been progressing towards my goals for WIPvember. I have been a bit AWOL the last week for a few reasons… Last weekend I spent Saturday with Fay in Liverpool Central Library (One of my absolute favourite places)  looking through everyone’s posts for WIPvember and drafting some design ideas, and spent the evening looking after my Mother-in-laws dogs.

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William Brown Street, Liverpool

Sunday we had a family day and after walking the dogs around Marbury Park, we took them home and enjoyed a lovely roast dinner. I managed to do a lot of crocheting last weekend but unfortunately didn’t manage to catch the day light to take photos of the progress I’d made. (Apart from the blanket – but I will share that below…) Are you finding it difficult to capture content for instagram now that it is dark in the mornings and evenings? I’m finding I have to take several photos on the weekends to make sure I have content mid-week. (Something I obviously didn’t do last weekend as you can see from my IG) Oh dear! 

This week, I spent the first two evenings working on a Love Charlie pattern that I want to release before the end of the year, and the rest of the week I have either had plans, or been too exhausted to pick up a hook or needle. Work has been absolutely crazy this last week, and I haven’t managed to get any time during a lunch break to make any progress either… What a nightmare! But last night I got in a few hours, and today too… and tomorrow we’re having a movie day, so I’ll hopefully make a fair bit of progress then.

Anyway… to recap, here are my goals for the whole of November.

WIP-vember

  1. Finish Granny Square blanket.
  2. Complete 2 colour repeats on Cosy Stripe Blanket
  3. Finish Criss Cross Shawl
  4. Start & finish treasure Island Shawl
  5. Make arms & legs of ginger cat
  6. Make my Candy Cane socks.

The first thing I did in WIPvember was finish Katie’s Christmas Socks. Originally, I wanted to finish these as my second pair of socks for the #sockalong2018 but I ran out of time. I did however manage to finish these in the first week of WIPvember.

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I then started the Mustard Treasure Island Shawl, and my second Candy Cane sock… I was waiting on another sock needle so I could make both at the same time.  These have become my lunch time projects as they’re small and easy to get on with. 

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Once  I had finished Katie’s Christmas socks, I started working on my Granny Square blanket. I started by joining all of the 64 squares into 8-square strips. I managed to do this in an evening, and spent the next week joining the strips and adding an extremely simple border on it. This blanket used up stash acrylic in pastel colours, and it is the first blanket that I have constructed randomly. I didn’t arrange the squares before joining them, I just reached for the next one each time and added it in. Although this sounds like a simple task, it was a huge leap of faith for me as I am a bit (a lot) of a control freak and like things to be perfect. Thoughts: It saved a lot of time, however if the colours were more contrasting between squares, I think I would have laid them out first. 

I finished the Treasure Island shawl on Monday night. I don’t have enough good words for this pattern. It is my go-to pattern when I want another shawl or to make someone a gift. It is simple, easy to make, and designed by a fantastic person – Hannah from @thecozycottagecrochet This is in acrylic Stylecraft special DK in Gold, and is for one of my best friends. I chose acrylic so it is more durable and can be thrown in the washing machine easily. 

Last night, I made some limbs :’) I made two arms, two legs and a tail for the amigurumi ginger cat. This is already more progress than I planned for my WIPvember goal, but for now I’m going to put this WIP to the side to make time for my cosy stripe blanket and Criss Cross Shawl. 

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I think we may be going to watch Bohemian Rhapsody or the new Fantastic Beasts at the cinema this weekend so that’s exciting! And we’ve just started binge watching Killing Eve, so I think there will be a lot of progress soon. Next weekend I am out in Liverpool, but I may get chance to blog on Sunday (Unless I convince Katie to let me put the tree up early) How are you getting on with your WIPvember goals? I’m heading over to Instagram right now. I think I’ve got some catching up to do! 

Lots of love to you all, and I hope you’re having a nice weekend with plenty of crocheting and knitting. (Or any other craft!)

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 · 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

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

Blogmas 2017 · crochet · Lifestyle

2017 Reflections… Blogmas No. 10

Blogmas 17

Happy New Year! (I know I’m a little late) This is the final blog post in my series of Blogmas posts… Until next Christmas. 😉

How was your 2017?

My 2017 has brought me so many new experiences, opportunities, friends & achievements. This post is going to be a quick round up of my favourite & most treasured memories from the last 12 months.

2017 Reflections

Before I start, (in case you don’t want to read my ramblings) I just want to say a huge thank you to every single person that has encouraged and supported me on my journey to becoming  a crochet designer. If you’ve watched a YouTube Video, read a blog post or liked a photo on Instagram, whether you’ve liked one of my patterns on Ravelry, subscribed or followed; I am so extremely grateful and feel incredibly lucky to be part of such a loving and kind online community. Thank you, and I wish you all the best for 2018. I hope all your dreams come true!

Here goes…

January

January seemed to be full of baths! (I bought the Lush advent Calendar half price on Boxing day) and seemed to get itno the habit of having a luxury bath each week. I also worked on the Moorland Blanket CAL, and started to post my crochet on Instagram more than ever.

 

February

February I made lots of amigurumi Rabbits using a Tracy Coldwell design from Simply Crochet Magazine. I made one, then it seemed like everyone wanted one. I personalised them by embroidering initials onto their feet. I also managed to win a prize from Simply Crochet Magazine by using the hashtag #SCtreblemaker on a photo of a shawl I made using Elisabeth Davis De Herraiz‘s Cherry Sundae Shawl. This made me smile, as my New Year’s goal was to get a photo into the magazine. It just so happened that the photo was of a Shawl I started on New Year’s Day.

 

March

March was a busy month for me and Katie; and very stressful. We worked tirelessly everyday and to be honest it was a low point of our 2017. It made us appreciate each other though and we are stronger. If not for the tough times, the good wouldn’t feel so good. There wasn’t much time for Crochet and I became behind on my Moorland CAL.

April

April is my Birthday month and Katie had bought me surprise tickets to see Disney on Ice! It was wonderful & I would definitely go and see it again. (I really am just a toddler in an adult’s body) We moved house, and the weather started to change… Finally. I do love a bit of Sun! Apart from this, nothing else really happened; and there still wasn’t time to crochet, although I did gain a craft room, and finally started to sort through the craft materials I inherited from Gran.

May & June

Nothing much happened in May. June is always a month in which I remember my Gran, as it holds both the anniversary of her death, her Birthday and her name. This year (2017) I planted wild flower seeds all over her grave so that in the Spring and Summer it creates a small Wildflower garden for the Birds, Bees and Butterflies. In June I decided that I wanted to become a crochet designer. I had thought this for over a year but kept pushing the urge aside and letting negative thoughts swallow the idea down. I talked to Katie and I made the decision to start putting time aside to work on designs. Katie’s Uncle got married which was lovely.

July

In July I had an admission in hospital and had  a laparoscopy & appendectomy. I had been in pain for quite a while had various other health issues which turned out to be Ovarian cysts; and a complete coincidence but my Appendix was also inflamed. This discovery lead to me feeling so much better and being able to enjoy life again without pain (it was starting to affect my day to day life). I also finished the Moorland Blanket for Katie, who loves that she has her own crocheted blanket.

 

August

In August it was Katie’s Birthday and I surprised her with an overnight stay at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. We went out for a meal and drinks, and it was just so nice to have a ‘mini break’. We also got engaged in August! Katie finally proposed and I couldn’t be happier. We have a venue and registrar booked and now we have to plan the rest of the wedding. I also published my first blog post and first crochet pattern… the Trinity Stitch Dish Cloth. I also published my first YouTube Video and got an incredible reaction and support from the online Crochet community. Clarisabeth gave me a shout out on her YouTube channel Crochetcakes and I literally couldn’t stop smiling for days. August seemed to be a turning point for me, and my happiness. I finally made steps in the right direction to pursuing my dreams of becoming a crochet designer and very decision I made for ‘Love Charlie’ made me happier and just felt ‘right’.

September

In September, I had a WIP-Ban and worked on specific projects. This helped me to finish things that I needed to and helped trigger list-making for my crafting. I also met Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast & I also went to Yarndale for the first time (with Fay.) I can’t explain how grateful I am and lucky to be able to say I know a person like Fay. She is incredibly kindhearted and full of knowledge. To say she has helped me would be an understatement! I also participated in Hannah’s (Thecozycottagecrochet) September Shawl-along. I also attended Woolgathering Sandbach for the first time and met lots of beautifully talented knitters, crocheters and sewers. It is so nice to have found ‘my people’.

 

October

In October I co-hosted a WIP-along with Laura from GoslingandPlumb. We called it the #AutumnWIPalong and it was fantastic. So many online crocheters & knitters (and embroiderers) joined and encouraged each other. There was so much kindness and motivation, people who had never met cheering each other on. It was so heartwarming. I also went to London and made some new crafty friends. Flic, Helen & Corrine. I am grateful once again for Fay introducing me to these lovely, very talented ladies who share the same love for craft as myself.

 

November

In November, I finished my Cocoon Cardigan that I started for the #AutumnWAL17. It is my first ever crocheted garment and it is very nice and slouchy, and perfect for snuggling under and chilling. It is a free pattern on Ravelry by Alexandra Tavel called the Movie Night Cocoon Cardigan. Click here for Pattern. I also enjoyed watching’ I’m a Celebrity’… and dying yarn for #FridayisDyeDay using icing colourants. I was absolutely amazed with the results and have since crocheted both up. One was a DK weight and the other Sock weight which I bought from Laxtons at Yarndale. I also made a couple of commissions; a crocheted shawl and two sloths.

 

December

December has been a whirlwind. I decided to do Blogmas, with the aim of uploading every other day and publishing some free patterns and tutorials. Blogmas has been challenging but great! I have pushed myself and am very happy with how productive I’ve been. Christmas was lovely! I was spoiled rotten and am very lucky to have a family that appreciate and enable my love of yarn. I’m also co-hosting the #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL with Fay of the Crochet Circle Podcast, which encourages you guys to use up that treasured (or impulse bought) single skein of yarn with the aim of showing Knitters and Crocheters what beautiful projects can be made with only 100g of yarn. This way, next time you have a special skein; you can start right away without worrying about finding the perfect pattern.

 

There we go, in a nutshell, my 2017 was like a roller-coaster. I think that August was my favourite month. (Of course because I got engaged!) Hahaa, but it also triggered a lot of ‘firsts’ for me. August changed who I am and I plucked up courage from somewhere to start this blog and my YouTube channel and really commit to my aspirations. From August on wards, Love Charlie has continued to develop and it is very exciting. I hope 2018 continues with the same momentum.

Happy New Year again if you managed to read through my boring ramblings. Thank you for reading. My next blog post is going to be all about my 2018 goals and targets…

Love Charlie, Xx