#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.

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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 😀

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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 · 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

#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

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