#WIPvember · crochet · knitting

#WIPvember… TIPS AND TRICKS

WIPvember starts in only 2 days! So I’m going to share some tips and tricks that I hope will help you choose your WIPs to work on during #WIPvember, and how much you want to achieve.

WIP-vember

  1. GET YOUR WIPS OUT!

Firstly, I think it is useful to pull out all of your WIPS and have a good old look at what you’ve got. Then you can decide what you really need to get done soon rather than later, which WIPs you can leave for longer, and which ones you might want to frog.

Untitled design

Here is a photo of my wooly WIPs (embroidery and sewing not included). I took this photo a few weeks ago, so I have actually finished a few, and added a few since it was taken, but you get the idea – I’m snowed under with WIPs.

2. FROG!

Sometimes when you have had WIPs in a pile for a long time, when you pull them out again, you may not feel the same love for them as you once did. Looking through this messy pile, I found an old knitted scarf that I started this time last year when I was learning how to knit again; my tension has changed since I started it, and I also didn’t know to slip the first stitch of each row to stop the edges from curling… so that got frogged. I will start it again differently when I don’t have so many WIPs. I was also working on some crocheted socks for the #SockCAL2018 using some lovely Fine Fish Yarn that I bought specially for the sock-along at Yarndale. However I really wasn’t loving the process of crocheting socks. The fit wasn’t great and I loved the yarn so much – I want to use it on a project I know I’m going to love. After a week of trying to persevere, I had a nightmare about these socks and woke up realising I really need to frog these. So I did. I wanted to continue with these socks to fly the flag for crochet but I don’t think my troll feet are suited to crochet socks (or maybe I haven’t found the right pattern yet). And it wasn’t a problem with the pattern, just me. I’m not saying I’m never going to try and crochet socks again, but whilst I’m trying to clear out my WIP list, and get ready for Christmas… stressing over a pair of crocheted socks is nonsensical.

3. DON’T CHOOSE EVERYTHING!

After you’ve decided if you want to frog any projects, you may have already decreased the length of your WIP List – if so, well done. Then I went through my list (I have a long list) and decided which WIPs were on a ‘must-get-finished’ list and which were not so important. As it is coming up to Christmas, I have to include a couple of presents into my list to get finished in time, which meant pushing a few of the longer-standing WIPs back to the bottom of the pile. Put away any projects that don’t need to be finished straight away so they’re out of sight and out of mind, and pick 4 or 5 to work on. When you’ve done this, you can start to set targets for #WIPvember. Of course, if you want to just get on with it and not plan like an obsessive control freak, then go ahead… 😉 But I do love a bit of organisation 😀 Which leads me onto my next tip.

 

4. SET SMART TARGETS!

Use SMART targets to set your goals, so that you can actually accomplish tasks through #WIPvember.

  • Specific – Don’t be vague with what you want to achieve. If you want to finish a blanket, then that’s what you want to achieve. If you want to crochet 30 rows, then write it down. Don’t pick goals like ‘make progress on scarf’ or ‘work on shawl if I feel like it’.
  • Measurable – By making goals measurable, it easier to know when you’ve accomplished your goal. – ‘knit socks to 16cm’ is an easy goal to tick off, whereas ‘crochet blanket’ isn’t. If you are intending on working on a blanket, break it down into smaller tasks such as colour repeats, or sections (suck as total Granny squares to complete) so that you can cross each task off the list as you go to keep yourself motivated.
  • Achievable – Don’t set un-achievable goals. If you work full time, chances are you only get a little time in the evenings, and weekends to work on your WIPs. Don’t challenge yourself to 3 blankets, 4 shawls and 2 pairs of socks. It isn’t going to happen. Which leads onto the next point…
  • Realistic – Be realistic. Think of what time you have to work on your WIPs and what you can realistically achieve. If you have 5 WIPs to work on, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have 5 finished WIPs by the end of #WIPvember. But you can still make progress on all 5; and that is still an accomplishment to be proud of.
  • Time – This challenge is time measurable as we have a month to make progress, but if you want to be more specific; break the month down into weeks. Give yourself a week to work on each WIP or give yourself deadlines to keep yourself focused.

5. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!

Please don’t compare yourself to others. It is so easy to do when everything is online; but you really only get to see a snapshot of someone’s life, and we’re all different. We all have unique projects, skills, and lives, and one may have the time and ability to complete a whole blanket in a month whereas another may only be able to get halfway through a scarf. It doesn’t matter! Every bit of progress throughout #WIPvember is fantastic, and worth sharing.

6. ENJOY YOURSELF AND MEET NEW PEOPLE!

Don’t stress. Enjoy the invigorating feeling of smashing through your WIPs, and interacting with others on the same mission through Instagram. Follow others using the #WIPvember hashtag and comment and encourage each other – you may make some new friends, and meet new people. We’re all in the same boat, and we all love the same crafts. Have fun, and enjoy the process of ticking WIPs off your list, and having brand new FOs!

Once you’ve decided on you WIP list for #WIPvember, don’t forget to share to your IG feed and stories using the list template below, and the hashtag #WIPvember 🙂 We’ll be sharing our WIP lists on the 1st 😀

3

Have fun digging through your WIPs (or WIP mountains in my case) In my next blog post I’ll share with you what I plan on acheiving through November.

Love Charlie, Xx

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’.

13.png

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

2

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

1

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

3

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

10

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

9

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

11

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

5

Black Cat Wreath Pattern by Repeat Crafter Me

4

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

6

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

12

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

7

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

8

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

 

#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.)

1

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!

winners.png

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!

2

@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…

3

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.

5

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!

4

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.

My Crojo's Under the Weather....png

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

crochet · Lifestyle

December Progress and SMART Targets… Blogmas No. 9

With only 1 more day left of December (and of 2017!) I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up to. I’m also going to share some of my Tips for making goals in the penultimate days of 2017. I know a lot of you, like myself have a lot of motivation and like to set goals and resolutions in the New Year. I’ll share some of the methods I’m going to use for setting goals and targets.

Blogmas 17

I’ll make one thing clear – December did not go to plan. The reason why? My plan was completely wrong. (Part of the reason for sharing my strategy for making better plans in the future) I had made a list of my monthly goals without taking Christmas into consideration. I’m also stupid, and decided to do Blogmas when I already had a lot on my plate. But I don’t regret it for a minute! It has pushed me to get patterns out there that I didn’t want to leave until next Winter; and it has pushed my writing abilities whilst trying to keep up with an ‘every other day’ deadline. However, I was planning to publish a third pattern for the Hobbycraft 3 for 2 offer and make some mitts – they turned out way too chunky so I haven”t published the pattern. Please let me know if you’re interested and I may re-think publishing. They are just SO chunky! I’m going to have a think over the next few weeks and see if there’s something else I could make. 🙂

4

My original December list looked like this…

  • Finish Katie’s Harry Potter Scarf
  • Finish Cosy Stripe Blanket
  • Make 20 Squares for a Charity Blanket
  • Edge 20 Squares for Fruit Salad TV Blanket
  • Finish 2nd ball of wool on Chunky Knitted Scarf
  • Make 2no. Amigurumi Cacti

2

Here’s where it all went wrong.

  1. I wasn’t planning to make any Christmas presents; but in the end made 4.
  2. I didn’t plan to do Blogmas until the Christmas season started.
  3. I didn’t incorporate the time for Magazine submission work.
  4. Christmas is busy! and I underestimated the time that would be spent shopping/wrapping/preparing.

December has been incredibly busy, and I didn’t realise how much I’d achieved until I consulted my bullet journal last night. I realised just how different what I achieved was to my original list of goals. I decided to make a new list for December; despite only having a few days left. I think this ordeal has been a lesson in trying to chose more realistic, achievable goals for myself to avoid feeling disappointed.

My new list looks like this…

  • Finish Katie’s Harry Potter Scarf (Done)
  • Make Christmas Presents (Done)
  • Blogmas (Getting there)
  • Publish Hat & Cowl Pattern (Done)
  • Start #Oneskeinwonderlandcal (Done)
  • Finish 1no. Knitted Sock (Done)
  • Write up pattern & make ? for ? magazine (Nearly there)
1
Baggy 1st knitted sock ft holes… but I’m still proud!

See… how different is this list than the original list? It has taught me that maybe I should only start off with a couple of goals because plans can change midway through the month. I am trying to set goals that are SMART targets. I haven’t used these since High School – but I’m hoping that it will make me think through y plan more thoroughly before committing pen to paper (In a notebook I don’t want to tippex/scribble in… see how obsessive I can get?)

SMART-goals

SMART is an acronym and stands for:-

Specific – Set specific goals that relate to more descriptive items. Instead of saying your goal is to crochet, it could be, crochet a scarf and a hat. It helps to compartmentalize tasks so you can tick them off (and ticking feels so good!)

Measurable – Goals should be measurable; and if my monthly goal isn’t to finish a WIP, then the goal should be specified in terms of a measuarble goal. For example; finish a ball of wool, repeat a whole section of colours, reach a halfway point, make a particular number of squares/hexies/circles… etc. This way, it is easier to manage time and tick off goals when they are completed. Write down your goals so that you can tick, highlight or scribble each off as you achieve… believe me – it is very satisfying.

Attainable – This is the one that I really need to consider when setting my goals. Is it attainable? There was no way I was going to finish my Cosy Stripe blanket in Decemeber. I haven’t even picked it up. Who was I trying to kid? I think I loved the idea of finishing it before the end of the year and having a little Christmas present for myself. I think this is the hardest part of setting SMART goals because you can both over and under-estimate what is attainable and also it isn’t ‘set in stone’ what you can achieve from one month to the next. I think it is important to take into consideration what other committments you may have for that period of time, and whether other distractions are likely.

Relevant – (although I like to reiterate the ‘is it Realistic? question here.) Is your goal relevant to your overall aspirations? Does your goal relate to a bigger picture? For example, my goal of knitting socks contibutes to an overall goal of ‘Improving my knitting skills’, and making charity blankets contributes to my overall goal of stash busting and crocheting for a cause.  However I’m not too sure thet relevance is 100% necessary when it comes to crafting (unless it is your job) as it is not for exams and coursework. This is a hobby, and should be something you enjoy. Goal-making isn’t for everyone (I’m just weird and like to push myself)

Time-based – They all are because they are monthly goals… so the time-goal is the end of the month. However if you are making goals for the year (like I will be for 2018) it is important to have a ‘deadline’ to keep you motivated. For example in Crochet I could say, I want to make the Doppio Colleseum Shawl before I go to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival so I can wear it.

3

I hope you find some use in this random blog post. My failed plan for December has made me re-think how I should be setting my goals, and what better time to share my advice than the days before New Year when everyone is making new years resolutions.

Love Charlie, Xx

#OneSkeinWonderlandCAL · Blogmas 2017 · crochet · Lifestyle

Happy Holidays – Christmas Gifts… Blogmas No. 8

Blogmas 17

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday. This Blogmas is going to be an ‘All about my Christmas’ blog post and I’m going to share all the yarny gifts I received… I’ll also share a few bits that I made as gifts too.

Christmas Gifts... Blogmas No. 8

I wasn’t going to make any handmade Christmas presents this year as I found it very stressful last year. This year I wanted to spend more time designing my own patterns and working on ‘Love Charlie’ however there was no compromise for a handmade gift and I still ended up making  few.

This year, I made a scarf for Katie themed on Gryffindor house colours, a winter wreath, a sprout Christmas tree decoration and a felt needle book. Katie absolutely loved her scarf, and I really need to make a needle book for myself. It is getting hard to part with them.

 

For some of you, it’s time to go back to work – luckily I have a few more days to enjoy some time knitting and crocheting, spending time with Katie and eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate before the New Year diet kicks in.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was the ‘calm before the storm’, the house had been tidied and cleaned (I mean I finally put all the craft supplies from Christmas preparations away) presents were wrapped and I had time to start my Christmas Eve Cast Ons for the ‘OneSkeinWonderlandCAL.

 

Katie and I managed to binge watch the full 2nd season of the Crown in a day and it was so nice to be able to sit on the sofa in PJs drinking wine and actually relaxing – yes – relaxing. I thought I’d forgotten that word existed. Both of us have been very busy and stressed; so the relief of putting your feet up and turning your brain off was very well welcomed and appreciated.

 

Christmas Day

 

This year I spent Christmas with Katie’s family, swapping gifts, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and eating far far too much… all followed by singing Christmas songs merrily around the dining room table and Disney, 80s and 90s karaoke in the lounge. Dogs in Christmas jumpers, lots of yarny gifts, and my #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL WIPs to hand. What’s not to love?

9

 

 

 

Usually I enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them, but this year I was very excited for my presents as I had only asked for wooly bits and bobs. I was given so much more than I ever imagined and I have been extremely spoilt. I have lots to keep me busy for a long time. I am very grateful and thankful to my friends and family for their generosity and thought for me.

1

 

 

My next crafty venture is knitting; and knitting socks in particular. I asked for some of Arne and Carlos’ Pairfect sock yarn, Super Socks by Christine Perry, some short circular needles and DPNs. I was also given some wool wash and needle end protectors specially for circular needles. I literally have everything I could ever possibly need so there is no excuse. 2018 is the year to advance my knitting; and also have warm toes!

Katie bought me some beautiful River Knits and Fjord Fibres hand dyed yarn, some Wilton icing colourants and a double stranded sock blank ready for New Year’s #Fridayisdyeday. My Nan & Granddad bought me a yarn swift, so I wound up my #OneskeinwonderlandCAL yarn in my enthusiasm. I also received the KnittyGritty book, a Star Wars Crochet set, and my Mum bought me the Woodland CAL yarn pack ready for Attic24’s CAL in the New Year. My Mother and Father in Law also bought me another year’s subscription to my favourite Crochet Magazine, Simply Crochet.

Well, I sound like a spoilt brat now… and maybe I am.. but I’m a happy one – does that count? I hope you all got some crafty bits and bobs for Christmas – but more importantly, I hope you all got to spend valuable time with your friends and family over the Holiday period.

 

Christmas Gifts... Blogmas No. 8 (1).png

Boxing Day

On Boxing Day, Me and Katie went on a little trip to Liverpool in the afternoon. I bought this beautiful ‘project bag’ (supposed to be a cosmetics bag) from TKMax and it has a pocket on the inside perfectly sized for crochet hooks. This currently has 2 of my #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL WIPs in it so it is very roomy. We had a lovely Yo Sushi! meal and went home to do some online bargain shopping.

10

Overall I have had an absolutely amazing Christmas, and I have so many new projects lined up; I’m going to have to do some serious planning to stop me from having about 50 WIPs at one time. I can’t start them all now; although the ‘force is strong’ – forgive me; I’m preparing for our Cinema trip to watch the new Star Wars… Katie is very happy with my Star Wars Crochet kit) Hahaa. What did you get for Christmas?

Love Charlie, Xx