#OneSkeinWonderlandCAL · Blogmas 2017 · crochet

#OneSkeinWonderlandCAL Preparations… Blogmas No. 7

Blogmas 17

Are you ready for the Christmas Eve Cast on 100g Challenge?

I think I’m just about ready now… I can’t believe how quick Christmas has come around this year.

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If you don’t know about the #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL head over here to read about it, or head over to Fay’s The Crochet Circle Ravelry Group to find the chatter thread. FOs will be shared on a FO thread on the Love Charlie Crochet Ravelry Group. Three winners will be selected randomly on the 1st February from the FO thread.

oneskein

My first job was deciding realistically what I could achieve in January. But let’s be honest I’m not a realistic kinda gal. That’s why I’m stupid enough to pick 4 projects to cast in in January. Yes. 4! Am I crazy? (Or do I just have a WIP addiction) I’ve been working on Katie’s scarf for a couple of months now so I’m ready to start something new.

 

Yarn

First there was the job of picking what yarn I want to use. I know I’ve asked for yarn for Christmas; but I wanted to use some of the wooly bits I bought at Yarndale this year. It’s been sat in the same bag since September and I think it’s unfair to leave it there. This yarn is very special to me as it’s the first hand-dyed skeins of yarn I’ve ever bought (and had to cake up)

I have decided to use:-

  1. #Fridayisdyeday Laxtons sock yarn (Bought from Yarndale, dyed in November) This colourway was inspired by sunsets and fairycake confetti.
  2. Manos Del Urugauy Alegria (Lost the tag so I don’t know the name of the colourway or yarn content) But it’s colour’s are deep purples and blues.
  3. EasyKnits Fidget in Peach Melba, which is a lovely grey colour with vibrant pink and orange flecks.
  4. Fjord Fibres in Petal Power. This is the only skein that’s not from Yarndale. I bought this skein of Norwegian Sock Yarn recently after seeing on Fay’s Instagram how beautiful the yarn was. This colourway is a soft combination of delicate pastel shades and is so pretty!

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Patterns

It has taken me a long time to finally decide on what patterns I want to use. A couple of these patterns are ones that I’ve had my eye on for a while and others are last minute choices. Here are my final picks… if you’re still struggling to pick a pattern, check out the Bundle that Ravellers have put together especially for this CAL here

Spring Fling Triangle Scarf

The first pattern that I’ll be casting on tomorrow is the Spring Fling Triangle Scarf by Heather J Anderson. For this pattern I will be using my #fridayisdyeday hand dyed sock yarn and a 5.5mm hook. I’m hoping that this will work up quickly and show off all the colours I put into the yarn when dying. It is a free pattern on Ravelry. Click here.

 

Fantail Stitch Fingerless Gloves

The second pattern is the Fantail Stitch fingerless gloves by Hooked by Robin; and is a free pattern on Ravelry. Click Here. I’ve seen this pattern on Ravelry for a while and recently I’ve been suffering with cold hands when crocheting and typing and thought some mitts may help the cause. I’m thinking I may even be able to make two pairs from this Manos Del Uruguay skein.

 

Triangle Infinity Scarf

With my EasyKnits Fidget in Peach Melba, I am going to make a triangle infinity scarf by the Friendly Nettle. Click here. Zeens & Roger inspired this make as she has made a few and wore them on her podcast. She has also written a blog post about her love for this pattern. Click here to read. I picked up this Skein at Yarndale with this pattern in mind, and I think perhaps this was the only skein I bought at Yarndale where I knew 100% what I was going to make with it. This yarn is very tactile, and soft, and I thought the flecks of colour and geometric pattern would suit it well.

 

Simple Shawl

This pattern is the only knitting pattern I have chose and I am almost certain that I won’t finish this shawl by the end of the CAL. But the CAL is a challenge at the end of the day… and knitting for me is a challenge. This is also the most last minute choice of pattern (and yarn) for the CAL. I bought the yarn recently and is is so pretty that I can’t bare to put it away in the stash – but because it’s so beautiful; it took me so long to pick a pattern. I wanted to chose a pattern that would do the yarn justice and I wanted it to be perfect. A lady at Woolgathering Sandbach made this shawl recently and I thought it may have been a good pattern then. This Thursday, I was asking people what they would make with it and she suggested this pattern to me. I’m hoping I can pull it off! The pattern is free on Ravelry and is called the Simple Shawl by Jane Hunter. Click here.

Use the hashtag #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL to share your pictures on Instagram

I know I’m not going to get all four finished by the end of January; especially the knitting one, but I want to continue to develop my knitting skills and I do like a challenge!

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#OneSkeinWonderlandCAL

I can’t wait to start tomorrow. I hope you’re all as excited as I am. Two of my skeins haven’t been caked up yet as I don’t have a swift. But I have asked for one for Christmas so fingers crossed! 🙂

I hope you all have a lovely Holiday. Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy time with your loved ones and get some good craft time 🙂

Love Charlie, Xx

Blogmas 2017 · crochet · Love Charlie Free Crochet Pattern

Easy Crochet Bobble Hat Pattern… Blogmas No. 5

Blogmas 17

Now that you know how to make a detachable pom pom… (Click here for the blog post if you missed it.) You may want to make a beanie hat to go with it. My aim was to buy three balls of The Women’s Institute Soft & Chunky Acrylic/Merino Yarn and make a hat and a cowl. I have designed both and still have a ball left; so I’m thinking about designing some simple chunky mitts to match. If you go to Hobbycraft, the yarn is very often on a 3 for 2 offer so I wanted to showcase some simple patterns that you can make quickly with three skeins or effectively £8 (When the 3 for 2 offer is on) Hobbycraft is a UK based craft store; so if you’re in another country, any other chunky yarn will work. either 100g or 110m.

Easy Crchet bobble Hat Pattern (2)

If you need to make a last minute Christmas present, this hat can be crocheted in under an hour… and is a brilliant pattern for a beginner crocheter.

Easy Chunky Crochet Bobble Hat – Printable PDF

  • 1no. 100g ball of The Women’s Institute Soft & Chunky Yarn exclusive to Hobbycraft
  • 1no. 6mm crochet hook
  • 1no. detachable pom pom (Click here for tutorial)

 

Easy Crchet bobble Hat Pattern (1)
Cowl pattern to follow…

Stitch Abbreviations

  • Ch = Chain
  • Tr = Treble stitch
  • Sl st = Slip stitch
  • Crab stitch = rdc (reversed double crochet) worked backwards in reverse direction to the rest of the hat.

 

Rnd 1. Make a magic circle. Chain 3. 9tr into the magic circle. Pull tight and sl st into the 3rd chain of first 3ch. [10tr]

Rnd 2. Ch3 (counts as 1st tr) 1tr in same st. 2tr in each st around. Sl st into 3rd ch of 3ch tr. [20tr]

Rnd 3. Ch3. 2tr in next st. *1tr, 2tr in next st* Repeat around. Sl st into 3rd ch of 3ch tr. [30tr]

Rnd 4. Ch3. 1tr. 2tr in next st. *2tr, 2tr in next st* Repeat around. Sl st into 3rd ch of 3ch tr. [40tr]

Rnd 5. Ch3. 2tr. 2tr in next st. *3tr, 2tr in next st* Repeat around. Sl st into 3rd ch of 3ch tr. [50tr]

Rnd 6 & 7. Ch3. 1tr into each st around. Sl st into 3rd ch of 3ch tr. [50tr]

Rnd 8. Ch3. 3tr. 2tr in next st. *4tr, 2tr in next st* Repeat around. Sl st into 3rd ch of 3ch tr. [60tr]

Rnd 9. Ch3. 1tr into each st around. Sl st into 3rd ch of 3ch tr. [60tr]

REPEAT RND 9 UNTIL HAT IS DESIRED LENGTH

Final Rnd [Edging]. Ch1. Crab stitch in each st around (working from left to right) Sl st into last st. Tie off & weave in end. [60 rdcs]

Optional. Attach detachable pom pom using a snap fastener sewn to the top of the hat.

Easy Crchet bobble Hat Pattern
#lovecharliecrochetdesigns

Easy Chunky Crochet Bobble Hat

I would love for you to share your pictures on Ravelry and Instagram using the hashtag #lovecharliecrochetdesigns

This pattern has not been tested. Please kindly let me know if any amendments are required.

♥ Thank you to my beautiful Sister-in-Law for modelling my hat and cowl ♥

Love Charlie, Xx

Nb. This post is neither endorsed nor sponsored by Hobbycraft or The Women’s Institute. I just wanted to demonstrate what you could make using their 3 for 2 offer. (If Hobbycraft or The women’s Institute by any chance come across this post and would like to get in touch, please email lovecharliecrochet@gmail.com) Click here for Hobbycraft Website. 

crochet · Lifestyle

Sunday Funday…

As you know, I’ve been all about productivity and achieving over the last 3 months. It has been amazing and I have accomplished so much! Although this last weekend, I was supposed to spend a lot of time on my blog and publish a couple of patterns and tutorials – things didn’t go to plan. The weekend came and went so quickly and there are still no tutorials or patterns on the blog. That is because I decided to take a break from my to do lists and schedules and take some time for myself.

Things have been tough over the last few weeks, and although I don’t talk about it a lot, I actually suffer with SAD. That’s Seasonal Affective Disorder if you didn’t know, and it is awful. It affects me every year, and even though I know mentally that there is nothing physically wrong with me, I feel exhausted and lack motivation – I think that’s why I’ve been so dependent on lists throughout the run up to winter. I find it hard to get anything done when I get home from work and fight the urge to go straight to bed… which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to keep develop as a crochet designer, blogger and podcaster. Tired is an understatement. My crochet tribe is amazing, and I can’t express how grateful I am for all the encouragement and support there has been on Instagram. Anyhoo… I really didn’t feel like spending hours on the computer and I think I needed a distraction – something to concentrate on and something new.

On Saturday, we did some Christmas shopping, and at 4pm I ended up at Black Sheep Wools… because my amazing fiancée suggested I go 😉 On a whim, I decided to buy a circular needle and sock pattern for my first knitted sock. I thought this would probably be something that got pushed to the back of the pile… but I was really feeling the urge to learn something new. I thought ‘Am I crazy?’ I’ve never knit anything before, and have only recently learned how to do stocking stitch.

I started on Saturday evening on the rib. I started, ripped back and restarted about 6 times. Oddly though, I didn’t feel frustrated like I thought I would. There is something peculiarly satisfying about knitting that I never ‘got’ before. Although I’m sure I’ll be saying different when I reach the heel. I feel as though I’m going into this blind – but I’m really enjoying it so far.

On Sunday, Katie was going out for lunch near Black Sheep Wools, and I realised I needed another size needle for the socks. (I stupidly didn’t read through the pattern in my impulsive shopping spree.) I got to the shop and bought the size that I needed and then went to get some lunch. I had some lovely home made vegetable soup and a cheese and ham toastie then sat and worked on my sock. I am using Stylecraft Head over Heels sock yarn in the colour way Olympus. I got to the end of the rib (Finally!!!) and started on the knit stitch. I am knitting the Norwegian way so it is much quicker for me as a crocheter to knit this way. I am using a Sidar sock pattern and I think I’m going to attempt the short row heel. I then read through the pattern again (thankfully before leaving Black Sheep Wools) as I realised I will need some DPNs for when I get to the heel, so I went back to buy those and also a beginners knitting book full of images and tips and tricks. I also bought a new Sheepjes tote bag to put everything in and it matches my Crochet Sisters pin from CrochetLuna perfectly.

Click here for the Black Sheep Wools Website…

I then made my way to the cosy Rowan corner and plonked myself down on the comfy leather sofa covered in knitted blankets and continued to work on my sock, before asking the staff for a bit of advice on which heel to try.

I do feel guilty that I haven’t ticked things off my to do list and I do feel like I am behind now – even though I am the only one putting pressure on myself. I feel as though I deserved to have the weekend off and although we were very busy, it was a great comfort to spend a few hours on something that is completely separate to all of my targets and goals. But on the other hand I feel proud of myself for learning something new and giving the knitting another go, despite how much it scares me. Does anyone else ever feel like this when changing plans or rearranging personal schedules?

Thank you again to anyone who has provided comforting words on instagram – I don’t mean to be a Moaning Myrtle. I am honestly fine and it happens every year. It will be over soon enough and I will start to get my energy back when the sun returns. 🙂

Love Charlie, Xx

crochet

November WIP Progress…

It’s getting very chilly here in Cheshire, and to keep myself warm, I’m surrounding myself by woolen bits and bobs! The last few months I have used lists as an exercise of productivity and motivation; and November is no different… In fact, I have a new notebook to tick off crochet goals.

I have only one thing left to tick off for my November goals, and I’ll have to crochet like mad tonight to finish… I have 6 stripes left! I best get cracking (or should I say hooking?)

Here is what I’ve been up to…

#BWPhotoChallenge

Firstly, I took part in the #bwphotochallenge on Instagram. This challenge consisted of uploading a black and white photo everyday with no description or explanation. I found this quite difficult as I didn’t crochet everyday; but I hope I am glad in a way because it was an opportunity to show my followers a side that I don’t always want to photograph and upload. Some days were literally a photo of my lunch… or the box of Strepsils I was nursing through a cold.

 

Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl

I managed to start and finish a complete Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl in November. This is a free pattern on Ravelry by NJ Sharon & Debi Adams, and this one was commission for a work colleague. They liked the grey colour in the King Cole Galaxy DK from the  Mars colourway (which is grey & cream) I managed to find 3 balls f the Mercury colourway, which is sadly discontinued now, but is all grey. This is my second Butterfly Stitch shawl and I can’t recommend the pattern enough – it works up beautifully!

#Backtoschoolsweatercal – Movie Night Cocoon Cardigan

Although I made most of the progress on this Cardigan in October, I finished it in November. I love this cardigan! It is the first garment I’ve ever made, and I am very thankful to Tamara and Helen for hosting the #backtoschoolsweatercal as it encouraged me to finally get this from my library to finished objects on Ravelry. I used just over 5 balls of acrylic yarn I bought in Aldi earlier this year… if not last year… and it worked up lovely. It’s burgundy which is my favourite colour, and I have barely taken it off. It is a free pattern on Ravelry by Alexandra Tavel – Click here for the pattern.

 

 

School of Wizardry Scarf for Katie.

After the #AutumnWAL17, I changed my target for this scarf. Now I want to get it finished for Christmas. My goal for November was to get half way (An easy thing to measure as I’m using two balls of Caron simply soft) and I have done it and joined on the second ball. I am loving this scarf and the stitch I’ve used. I will publish the pattern when I have finished the scarf. I love that it is easily recognised as Harry Potter themed. I was inspired by the Gryffindor House colours, and am thinking this will be a great pattern for those that love Harry Potter like Katie (Who is currently on the last book… after re-reading the entire collection for the third time).

Fruit Salad TV Blanket

My goal was to edge 20 squares, and I have edged 25. I am going to set the same target for December… and next year I want to get this finished ASAP. This has been an ongoing WIP for a long time, and I think it will be nice to finally have this finished so I can snuggle under it. I also want to make a charity blanket in the same way – and I don’t really want 2 granny square blankets on the go at the same time.

 

 

#Fridayisdyeday – 24th November

Last #Fridayisdyeday, I used Avacado dye to susccessfully dye some cotton. This month, I dyed some wool (That didn’t take the Avacado dye) with Wilton Icing Colourants (that Fay of the Crochet Circle Podcast kindly lent me). WOW! I had so much fun! I am definitely going to be doing this again… I used two techniques to dye two different skeins of wool. Both from Laxtons, one BFL Sock yarn and the other 50% Merino 50% Silk DK Blend. For the sock yarn, I laid the soaked (in water & white vinegar) yarn out on a cling film wrapped table and used paint brushes to paint sections of the yarn in different colours which I’d mixed in an artist’s paint palette before hand. The second yarn (the silk/merino blend) I pooled different coloured dyes into the lid of a large palette… (Although any tray would work) then I laid the yarn across it. I then used a paint brush and used more concentrated dye mixes to add a few stronger patches of colour.

The first technique worked well and I am happy with the result, although because I painted only one side of the yarn, there are a lot of undyed patches. I like this effect, and I was aiming for this in some respects – although if you don’t like this look then maybe this technique wouldn’t work for you.

The second technique was a lot quicker and due to the larger quantity of liquid, and there are less undyed patches (if any at all?) Although there isn’t as much control with this method.

Overall I am very happy with my Icing colourant-dyed yarn. My next adventure is going to be a sock blank… I think 🙂

 

Amigurumi Baby Sloth & Ragdoll Sloth

These two were both commissions for a colleague. I loved making these pair! They were great stash busters, easy to make, free patterns from ravelry. Both designers had written up the patterns very well and the instructions were easy to follow. I recommend both patterns. The Amigurumi Baby Sloth is a pattern by The Twisted Crocheter, and the Ragdoll Sloth is by Spin a Yarn Crochet. Go and check them out – they are adorable.

Cotton Coaster

Things have been crazy at work over the last month. We seem to have been busier and more hectic; and a lot have things have changed. (Although I have a new desk now which is great 🙂 One thing that happened was the employment of a few more members of staff. All of the girls in the office have a crocheted coaster so when the new receptionist started I of course had to make her one. I made a pink coaster using DMC Natura Just cotton in the colour way Rose Layette. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before taking this into work… but it was very pretty. I used this free pattern by Bella Coco.

I have had a busy month and I’m really happy with the number of FO’s I have.

I’ve also worked on a couple of other things through November which weren’t on my goal list.

  1. A hat for Katie’s Nan (pattern will be published in the next few weeks)
  2. A hat for my sister-in-law to put on the dog – let me know if you want the pattern…
  3. A knitted scarf to develop my knit & purl skills
  4. Stitch Markers

 

 

Love Charlie, Xx

 

#AutumnWAL17 · crochet

#Autumnwal17 Round-up…

Wow… I can’t believe how quickly October has flown by. It has been an incredibly hectic month with lots of crochet progress and several other unexpected (some un-wanted) distractions. The autumnwal17 is now over and it has been an amazing experience. Laura of @goslingandplumb has been a great co-host and her attentiveness towards everyone on Instagram has been outstanding. I tried to keep up, but still missed lots. Life has been crazy busy and it’s been hard to manage my time to make sure I’m keeping up with crochet targets. The saying ‘life gets in the way’ has been more than true for myself and Katie this month; with both of us putting extra hours into work, and both of our offices are being re-structured in one way or another, organising/booking things for the wedding, the house falling apart, and a couple other things that aren’t to be shared online. Tired is an understatement… and we’re officially seeing wintery weather here in Cheshire; dark nights and cold air are affecting my energy levels. That being said, I have a lot to say about October; firstly I’m going to share with you my original WIP list for the #AutumnWAL17; then I’m going to let you know how I got on…

autumnwal17 list

 

  1. Horse Blanket.

My target was to wash, block and weave, and that I did. I added a few more rounds to the edging then washed it, blocked it, weaved in the edges and steamed/ironed it again for good luck. I actually impressed myself with the finished object. I think the whole way through making this one, I was worried that the ‘customer’ wouldn’t like it… in the end they loved it. I powered through my loss of crochet-mojo and it payed off. Although the blanket wasn’t to my personal taste; I am proud of picking a difficult pattern for my first tapestry crochet.

horse finished

  1. School of Wizardry Scarf

Katie’s scarf didn’t go to plan. I wanted to finish this in October, but I made progress then decided it was too wide; so, I frogged it and started again – hence no FO. I am happy with the stitch that I’m using, and I plan on writing up the pattern when I’ve done; so, I want to be happy with the dimensions. The stitch I’m using is particularly yarn-hungry so having a wide scarf wasn’t working well. I’m OK with having to frog this though… it will be worth it in the end. My new goal is to have this finished by Christmas. Hopefully it will work up quicker now it isn’t so wide 😉

HP Scarf

  1. Fruit Salad TV Blanket.

My #autumnwal17 goal was to finish making the squares, and start edging them. I did this… even if I only edged 3 (it still counts, right?) This has been on on-going project so there is really no rush. My November goal is to have 20 edged in total. I think this is going to be a nice project to go into the new year with. Originally, I thought I could finish this for Christmas, but I think that is un-achievable. It’s more realistic for me to aim to finish my cosy stripe blanket for Christmas. The TV Blanket could be my first big FO of the new year. An easy project that I can work on over the Christmas holidays.

squares fruit salad

  1. Cosy Stripe Blanket.

I achieved my target of completing one colour repeat (13 stripes) in October; and realised it won’t take too many more colour repeats before I run out of yarn. I’m going to aim to finish another colour repeat in November and see how much yarn I have left. I think it is well within my bounds to say I can finish this for Christmas. This blanket won’t be as big as the Moorland blanket because I chose a Stylecraft colour pack with fewer skeins than what Lucy called for on her Cosy Stripe pattern. It doesn’t bother me though. I am in love with the colours and the way I arranged them in this blanket!cosy stripes

  1. Beanie Hat.

I bought this skein impulsively at Black Sheep Wools. I wanted to make a Beanie using the Neon Lights pattern by myboshi. However this yarn is way too thick for that pattern; and because I only picked up one skein I didn’t want to risk going up a hook size and playing yarn chicken. I used a size 6mm hook, and made up my own pattern to create a beanie that fits my head perfectly. (I may publish a Charlie-sized beanie pattern on Ravelry soon – * when I have a chance to write the pattern up.) I then sewed on a removable bobble and tadaaaa, I’m ready for winter. I’m actually excited to be able to wear it. The alpaca mixed with acrylic gives it a lovely fussy feel and it is incredibly soft and warm.

beanie hat finished

  1. Movie Night Cocoon Cardi.

I have made great progress on this cardi throughout the #autumnwal17, and I joined my 5th skein of yarn last night. It’s the first garment I’ve ever worked on and now I’m just continuing to add rounds until it is the right size; I don’t have far to go now. This is my WIP for the #backtoschoolsweatercal, and even though I think it’s the easiest pattern out there, if it wasn’t for Helen and Tamara’s CAL I would never have started this. They encouraged me to pull this pattern from my Ravelry Library and start my first garment. I’m excited that I’ll actually be able to wear something I’ve crocheted; I think it’s going to lead to a whole new area of pride. The CAL runs till the 17th November, so I best get cracking and finish it off. Even though the pattern is easy and simple, and I love the effect; it’s starting to get boring now and takes a longer each row to complete the round as it’s quite big now.

Cocoon cardigan

  1. Socks…

My goal for the #autumnwal17 was to divide my sock yarn into two and wind into cakes; and make a start on the Spring Fling socks by Vicki Brown. I changed my mind and started the Winter Wonder Socks as they were toe up and I figured it would be easier to see if they fit me as I made progress. I started making both at the same time… but they’re huge! I reached gage but I think I only need a medium. (I started making large.) So even though I achieved my target for October, it’s all going to be frogged and started again. That’s ok though – I’d rather make socks that fit me.

sock progress

  1. The Super Simple Tunisian CAL #SSTCAL

Claudia and Hannah ran a lovely little Tunisian CAL through October, and even though I only made one out of four of the dish cloth patterns, I’m very grateful that they put this together. I have been put off learning Tunisian crochet because I didn’t have the time to sit and make something big. Claudia and Hannah pulled together some great resources and YouTube tutorials to help us grasp Tunisian crochet without having to spend hours and hours learning. I made a Tunisian simple stitch dish cloth for the #autumnwal17 – but I will most certainly go back to these resources at a later date to learn some other Tunisian stitches. Thank you, Hannah and Claudia!

tunisian

  1. #FridayisDyeDay

Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast has been experimenting with home dying; and has introduced a monthly Dye-along to encourage us all to give hand-dying a go. Friday the 27th October was the first #fridayisfyeday, and I had been collecting Avocado pits and skins especially for this. I planned on dying a skein of sock yarn and a silk/merino blend dk. I decided to try and dye some white cotton and an acrylic/wool blend as well. I was very surprised by the results I got. The acrylic/wool blend didn’t take any dye at all – I wasn’t surprised by this. The sock yarn and silk/merino didn’t take any dye either… as soon as I rinsed the dye, it all washed out. This surprised me but it isn’t the end of the world. It just means I have two un-dyed skeins for the next #fridayisdyeday and I can try out different techniques such as food colourants or acid dyes. The cotton however took nicely; I dyed 1 skein of white cotton and 1 skein of mercerized white cotton in the avocado dye and dyed 1 skein of mercerized cotton with blackcurrant liqueur. I now have 3 skeins of cotton in a lovely gradient effect of soft, gentle, pastel pinks… and I think this technique is going to be perfect for making wedding decorations.

dyed

  1. Hand sewn Project bag.

This WIP wasn’t on my list for #autumnwal17, but I made it anyway. I gave sewing a go (even though I’m terrible at it and have no idea what I’m doing) I didn’t follow a pattern, but I’m impressed that I achieved a FO. I’m not in love with this bag but proud for trying… and I now have a little bag to keep my knitting in.

Overall, I don’t think I did badly on my #autumnwal17 goals. There has been a bit of frogging and  several distractions but I still managed to get 4 FOs, and some hand dyed cotton. I also made lots of progress on WIPS that had previously been collecting dust; so al in all I’m pretty happy.

New Techniques…

  • Challenging myself to work to targets and goals has given me ambition and motivation; and as you can see above… I have set myself a new list of goals for November. Not only have I made progress during October, I also learnt a handful of new techniques. I learnt how to knit, Tunisian crochet, sew, make foundation double crochet, and how to dye yarn using avocado pits. 5 new skills that I can now develop. Maybe in the new you will see more sewn and knitted projects on the blog.

Exciting Ventures…

  • Another reason October has been more chaotic than planned is because I finally emailed crochet magazines and asked for their seasonal call outs. I say finally, because this has been my goal since July… I just kept putting it off because of the old ‘imposter syndrome’ and not thinking I’m good enough. Eventually, with the encouragement from Katie and Fay I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’ This last month, I have designed, made swatches and put together 6 proposals which I have now sent in for deadlines. Fingers crossed in the next few weeks I get some good news. I’m not holding my breath, but even if I’m not successful; I’ve learnt how to put a proposal together for a magazine submission – so next time it will be easier. And, if I don’t get published; I have 6 designs ready to write up to publish myself. What’s to lose? I’m super excited and proud of myself. I’ve worked so hard for this and I’ve finally made the first step in the right direction.

If you made it to the end of this post then well done! That’s dedication and thank you for sticking with me… I’m hoping to carry on with this newly found productivity and keep making progress throughout November. Here’s a photo of my November WIP List…

November List

See you next week…

Love Charlie, Xx

#AutumnWAL17 · crochet

Favourite FOs…

What is your favourite finished object? This is the question myself and Laura have asked ourselves over the weekend as part of the ‘Cheer Blog Posts’ for the Autumn WIP-along. I have spent quite some time over the last few weeks thinking and trying to decide what my favourite ever finished object is. I really can’t decide on just one… so I’m going to share my top 5 favourite finished objects. I would love for you to all share your own favourite finished objects on Instagram and Ravelry. Just use the hashtag #autumnwal17.

 

In no particular order…

  1. Moorland Blanket CAL by Lucy of Attic 24

This is one of my favourites because it was the first ever CAL (crochet-along) that I participated in. I started spending more time on Instagram and made friends with other crocheters who were taking part. It was the first time I noticed the strong sense of community there is online. I made this blanket for Katie which makes me love it even more to see how much she appreciates it and used it. Seeing your other half wrapped up all snuggly in a blanket that you’ve made is really nice – I can only imagine what it must feel like to see your children under blankets you’ve made.

 

  1. Hook Wrap

This project has made it to top five because I made it for my Gran. I also managed to use a sewing machine (all-be-it not very well). There are improvements I could have made which I learnt after (such as using extra fabric to fold over to keep hooks from falling out) but all in all, I was so happy with this and it was extra special because I made it for my Gran. I designed this myself, and it was probably one of the first things I made without a pattern. Now it is kept safe in my craft room with my Gran’s hooks, and my Great Grandma’s hooks. I haven’t pulled this out for a long time as I get all teary and start missing her a lot!

  1. University Piece… Ladder of Hope

This project is one of my favourites despite the fact it’s not very aesthetically pleasing. It has made it to the list because it was the first time I incorporated crochet into my art degree – and it was the start of me feeling comfortable with myself. I defied my art tutors, and got a first class degree! I felt as though I was finally doing something right, and this is probably the first finished object that made me realise just how brilliant the world of fibre and yarny goodness is. This piece of ‘art’ was also symbolic of how crochet was helping me through a rough patch in my life, and the ladder signified a way of climbing out of a depression. The blue colour was symbolic of the stereotypical ‘blue’ feeling, and the colours around the edge were a sign of better and brighter times. There’s a bit of arty sh*t for you 🙂

  1. Grandma’s Revenge Degree exhibition

…and here’s a bit more. So this was my final piece for University and I called it Grandma’s revenge. I used crochet, and influences of craft activism to make this piece, which was over 3 metres wide. I made 3 blankets and joined them together then stretched them around a wooden frame like you would stretch a canvas. When you stepped back – it looked like a painting. I was inspired also by impressionism, and how, if you stand close to a painting, often you can no longer see the picture, but only marks or even dots. I wanted to demonstrate that craft is equal to art, and the foundations of fine art were born in craftmanship. In the art world, craft is considered to be an ‘inferior’ word to that of ‘conceptual’, and I wanted to make something large enough so people couldn’t just walk past without acknowledging it. Tadaaa. And all of my passionate feelings towards craft and its value show just how much I believe that this piece belongs in my top 5 FOs.

  1. Granny square Bag

This is in my list because it is very special to me. I made this bag for my Gran’s birthday the year after I finished the ‘Ladder of Hope’ wall hanging for my art degree. I had a bag of squares left over, and I wanted to make something for my Gran with them as a thank you and a memory of her helping me to sew the squares together in the stressful weeks of trying to get a FO for a deadline! My Gran really enjoyed and took pride in the fact that she was helping me, so I knew she would love to have a token. I was incredibly proud of this bag because I lined it with some floral fabric… and I’m not a sewer. My Gran used this bag constantly until the day she died, and it is now in our spare room, waiting for me to go through it.

 

I feel mean to pick only five of my FOs (as if they have feelings) because there are so many others that could have made the list such as the Victorian Lattice Blanket I made for my Mother in Law, or the Poppy blanket I made for a friend… or the recently finished Butterfly prayer stitch shawl. But I think the fact that the projects I chose for my top 5 have meaning behind them gave them the extra edge over all of my other FOs.

What are your favourite FOs? I would love to know if like me, your favourite FOs have meaning behind them… or is it because you chose a challenging pattern and achieved a new skill? Share your photos on Instagram and use the hashtag #autumnwal17 to take part in the Autumn WIP-Along.

Love Charlie, Xx

#AutumnWAL17 · crochet

Autumn WIP Along 2017 #AutumnWAL17

Do you have a pile of WIPs that need some serious attention? Do you have a stash that is out of control (And about to take over the house?) Do you need to get projects finished before the Christmas season? Or maybe, like myself, you get fed up of not seeing any FOs and need a bit of encouragement to help along the way…

If the answer is yes to any one of the above questions, you’re in the right place!

Autumnwal17

#AutumnWAL17

I am so excited to announce the details of the Autumn WIP Along 2017… here are the basics…

  • 1st to 31st October.
  • Use the hashtag #AutumnWAL17 on social media.
  • Tag @goslingandplumb and @lovecharlie.co on Instagram so we can share photos of your WIPs (Works in Progress).
  • Share the ‘I’m joining the Autumn WIP Along badge’ to declare you participation and meet other Crafters.
  • A supportive, ‘cheerleading’ online environment to help each other finish a few objects (whatever craft you choose)
  • A non-bias WIP Along – All crafts welcome – *Knit, Crochet, Paper-crafts, Sewing, Baking, Painting, Photography, Needle-craft, etc*
  • Series of ‘Cheer’ blog posts and ‘WIP-agrams’ by myself and Laura.
  • Free Printable Calendar to plan you Wip-along.

Make new friends, receive advice and encouragement… Finish a few objects…

As you know, I’m currently on a September WIP-Ban… forcing myself to finish off a couple of WIPs that desperately needed my attention. My September WIP ban was inspired by Laura from Gosling and Plumb who enforced an August WIP Challenge on herself to finish off a pile of WIPs she found around the house. (Lets be honest – if you’re crafty… you’ll have a pile of WIPs hidden somewhere. If you don’t you’re in denial) The purpose of announcing these little challenges for ourselves online was so that we could be held accountable to actually attempt to achieve what we set out to… And it works! Laura completed several magnificent FOs (Finished Objects) during August, and I have finished 2 out of 4 WIPs for my September Challenge so far. It works because of the online support that is shared like a warm, comforting blanket over the internet. Friends you’ve never even met will cheer you on and offer advice from the kindness of their hearts.

“The aim of #AutumnWAL17 is to create a supportive group of Crafters who would like to unite and finish a few WIPs…”

The lovely Laura and myself are co-hosting the Autumn WIP-Along from the 1st October to the 31st of October. We have been planning this for a little while now and I think we are both very excited to finally release the details about what exactly the #AutumnWAL17 is. The aim of #AutumnWAL17 is to create a supportive group of Crafters who would like to unite and finish a few WIPs, whilst lightening up the change in season [and weather].

I'm joining badge

Why should I get Involved? You may be thinking… Joining in an online group seriously helps to finish off a few projects that maybe you’ve hit a wall with – A WIP Wall! And through Instagram, Ravelry and YouTube, you can ask us [and each other] questions, tell us your achievements and frustrations, and share your progress. We would love for you to get involved… The more the merrier as they say!!!

“Friends you’ve never even met will cheer you on…”

But I’m already participating in a KAL/CAL/CRAL… It doesn’t matter! Our Autumn WIP along is for Works in Progress of every craft. It isn’t a competition. There’s no Prize. No pressure. If you’re participating in some kind of ‘Along then share your progress with us too!

 

Autumn-WAL-Calendar
Free Printable Calendar to plan your WIP-Along – Click Here

How do I get involved? You may be asking… well, it’s pretty simple to be honest… If you save any of the images on this blog post and share on Social Media tagging @goslingandplumb and @lovecharlie.co on Instagram with the hashtag #AutumnWAL17, you’re in! Throughout October share your progress online – and make sure to tag us and use the hashtag so 1 – we can share your photos.. and 2 you can meet other people who are taking part. If you’re not on Instagram, there is a thread open on the ‘Love Charlie Crochet’ Ravelry group called #AutumnWAL17 where you can chat, and share your progress.

Each week, Laura and myself will be posting a series of ‘Cheer’ blog posts where we’ll talk about a few things that have inspired us to host this WAL (Wip-Along) and things we love about crafting. We will share pictures of any of your WIPs that catch our eye on Instagram [what I like to call ‘WIP-agrams’] throughout the month, and I’ll also be talking a lot about the #AutumnWAL17 on my YouTube Podcasts till the end of October. We encourage you to engage and interact with us and each other – as Laura said in her blog post, we’re not scary people.. and we’re pretty normal (as far as normal goes) Comment on each other’s progress, offer advice and encouragement, and share your thoughts. By the end of October we should all have made a bit of progress on our WIPs and quite possibly have made a few friends along the way.

 

 

I can’t wait to see what you’re all making! Make sure you read Laura’s #AutumnWAL17 Blog for a far more comprehensive post than the one you’ve just read 🙂

Love Charlie, Xx