#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

 

 

 

#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