#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

#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.

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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

#OneSkeinWonderlandCAL · Blogmas 2017 · crochet

#OneskeinwonderlandCAL Blogmas No.3

Blogmas 17

The third Blogmas post is all about the #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL which is the Christmas Eve cast on that Fay of The Crochet Circle Podcast and myself are co-hosting. The challenge is running from the 24th December to the 31st January and there will be 3 giveaways chosen at random from the FO thread on my Ravelry group ‘Love Charlie Crochet‘. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, and whether it’s winter or summer in your country, you’re all invited to take part, and that is why we have named our CAL #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL and not ‘Christmas-Eve Cast On’ despite the start date. Whatever your religion or beliefs, get involved with some yarny fun this Holiday season.

Whether you’re a knitter, crocheter, weaver, or any type of yarn enthusiast – this is the challenge for you. We are asking ‘What can you make with 100g of yarn?’

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Use the hashtag #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL on Instagram

Christmas Eve Cast on’s are quite common nowadays, but we wanted to make it extra special and challenge you to use a 100g skein of yarn that you have had in your stash for quite a while, or a special skein that has been gifted to you for Christmas. If you’re lucky you’ll get to open one early so you can start on Christmas Eve. Often I get gifted a ball of wool at Birthdays and Christmas’ but it gets left in the stash because I don’t know what I can make with just 100g of yarn. And when I do buy yarn for myself, I tend to over-buy because I worry that I’ll run out. Is this a common worry? Sometimes I even see one skein that catches my eye at the wool shop and buy it impulsively but don’t have any clue what I’m going to make with it.

We are asking ‘What can you make with 100g of yarn?’

With the #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL, we want to see how many different projects you can come up with that use only one skein of yarn… so next time you have that special skein… or an impulse buy (come on, you know we all do it) you can start a project straight away without hesitation and avoid condemning that beautiful skein of yarn to the stash for who knows how long!

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Check out Alice’s Instagram @alicecloseknit

As part of the CAL, Fay has held a giveaway of a gorgeous hank of Norwegian sock yarn hand dyed by the very talented Gilly of Fjord Fibres. The winner was chose randomly on Instagram and the lucky @alicecloseknits has won! Well done Alice. You now have a fantastic skein to get you started with the CAL. Fjord Fibres have some gorgeous colours, check out Gilly’s Etsy store here. Fay has a beautiful hank all wound up into a perfect yarn cake in the colourway Ice flow – it is stunning, and perfectly captivates the colour of Glaciers.

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@crochet_circle_podcast – Ice Flow

I have also bought a hank in the colourway Petal power and it’s soft, pretty colours are making it hard to not wind up and start now. Gilly has been holding a special advent on her Instagram, so if you like the look of her yarn head over to @fjordfibres to check for today’s discount offer; and get a hank (or two) for your #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL challenge.

At the end of January, three winners will be chosen randomly from the FO thread. Make sure to upload your pictures to the thread to be in with a chance of winning.

Head over here to view the chatter thread; the more voices the better.

Head here to view the FO (Finished Object) Thread.

We would also love to see your pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL, but make sure to enter your FOs onto the FO thread on Ravelry to be in with the chance of winning a prize!

I will be publishing another blog post before the 24th sharing my #OneSkeinWonderlandCAL preparations and patterns to give you some ideas. There is only one week left! So start picking your yarn and patterns, get winding and try not to start before the 24th. (I know it’s tempting)

Love Charlie, Xx

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

 

crochet

My fave Winter Warmers…

Autumn has gone, and Winter is officially here, and so I’d like to share with you some of my favourite Winter Crochet Patterns. Who doesn’t love crocheting hats and scarfs, shawls and Christmas gifts this time of year?

Smaller projects are great for last minute Christmas gifts to keep your friends and family warm through the colder season. So, in case you are struggling for ideas, here are my 10 favourite patterns for Winter Warmers and quick Christmas makes…

  1. MyBoshi Beanie (Simply Crochet issue 14)

Neon Lights Beanie Hat

This is such an easy and quick make. Who knows how many of these I have made since I started crocheting! It’s my go-to hat pattern because it is so simple. I love this pattern and it is very easy to adjust to different head sizes and lengths. It is also an absolutely fantastic last minute Christmas present… using only one skein of chunky yarn and it takes less than an hour to make.

2. Virus Shawl Scarf by Julia Marquardt.

This pattern had been in my Ravelry library for a long time before I finally got around to making it. The repeated pattern is very effective and easy to repeat after you understand the pattern. This is not ideal for those that don’t read chart patterns as I’ve not seen this as a written pattern anywhere. There may be on out there though!

3. Chunky Seashell Scarf by Nicki Trench

This pattern is in Nicki’s book Cute & Easy Crochet. It is a lovely, quick to work-up scarf. Although, from what I can remember it used quite a lot of yarn. I think I used 4+ balls of 100g chunky to make mine.

(Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of my Scarf as I made it a long time ago for my Auntie… The pattern is in Nicki Trench’s book Cute and Easy Crochet)

Image result for cute and easy crochet

4. Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl by NJ Sharon and Debi Adams

Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl on Ravelry

I recently made one of these for a work colleague for her birthday using King Cole Galaxy DK which has tiny sequins wound with the acrylic/wool mix. It is a lovely pattern that is easy to read and make, with both written instructions and hand-drawn charts. I am now in the middle of making a second butterfly stitch prayer shawl for a Christmas commission.

5. Boutique Weave Scarf by Nirmal Khalsa

This pattern features in the book, One Skein Wonders. It is soooo easy but so effective. It is a very clever way of making a scarf – and I definitely recommend you looking into this pattern. (P.S Maybe buy the book for the Christmas Eve cast on 100g challenge that myself and Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast are co-hosting this December) Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of this one either, but I do recommend the book.

Image result for crochet one skein wonders

6. Cosy Stripes Blalnket by Lucy @Attic24

Cosy Stripe Blanket Pattern

I’ve not even finished mine yet – but in the process of making this one, I’ve made 2 baby blankets using the same stitch. It is super simple, and very pretty and quick to work up. It looks beautiful in stripes or in a block colour.

7. Victorian Lattice Blanket by Destany Wymore

Victorian Lattice Square on Ravelry

I’m not going to lie to you… this blanket took a long time, and I had to concentrate on the pattern. But it looked so good when it was done! The squares are much bigger than your average Granny square blanket, and a lot more intricate. I was very proud of this blanket which I made for my in-laws. If you’re looking for a blanket that’s extra special, then I think this counts!

8. Cherry Sundae Shawl by Elizabeth de Herraiz (Issue 53 Simply Crochet)

I started making this shawl on new years eve. Whilst everyone else was drinking and singing, I was sat on the floor with a Jack Daniels Honey and crocheting – generally being very happy with my activities, surrounded by family, food, drink and yarn… My new year’s resolution was to get a photo into the magazine… and I did. This shawl made it into the magazine and I won a prize. I was so happy. The pattern is extremely well written and easy to make, and it looks beautiful when it’s done.

9. Sunburst Blanket by Marie Williams Johnstone

I made this blanket last year for a Christmas present and it was beautiful. It used a lot of wool, and there was a lot of ends, but the end product was stunning. This pattern is very well written and easy to follow. I recommend this blanket and I think it would be a great stash buster! Click here to see the pattern. 

10. Crossbill Cowl by Blue Ammonite Designs

Crossbill Cowl on Ravelry

I pattern tested this lovely cowl for Emma of Blue Ammonite designs this Summer when I was off work after my appendectomy. It is a really quick-to-work-up pattern using the lovely crossbill stitch. I think this would make a lovely Christmas gift for friends and family. Check out Emma’s Etsy for lots of other beautiful patterns.

Patterns that are on my ‘I want to make this one day’ list…

  1. Doppio Colloseum Shawl by Fay Dashper Hughes
  2. Triangle Infinity Scarf by the Friendly Nettle
  3. Easy Victorian Shell Mitts by Bron Green
  4. Custard Cream Shawl by Lisa Cook
  5. Victoria Shawl by Sandra Paul
  6. Blurre Shawl by Addydae Designs
  7. Hotel of Bees Shawl by Christina Hadderingh
  8. Urban Stripes Shawl by Zeens and Roger
  9. Holey Smokes Shawl by Zeens and Roger
  10. Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland

I would love to know what your favourite Winter Warmers are! Please leave a comment and share what you like to make in this chilly season.

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

 

crochet

Too Many WIPS – A Crochet Addiction

Hi Guys, My name is Charlie and I have a problem.

There, I said it. I am addicted to Yarn. I have an obsession with starting new projects. And whilst we’re at it… I also compulsively buy wool.

yarn stash cupboard
Photographic evidence…

Am I the only one with these problems? I don’t think so… (Or I hope not!)

Over the last month, I have made a lot of progress with ‘Love Charlie’ and I have successfully uploaded a Crochet Podcast to YouTube each week, as well as focusing on this blog. I have also published 2 free crochet patterns on Ravelry and am pattern testing for other designers. Phewww… Not only that, but I also work full time. Yes. 40 hours a week. I think I deserve a pat on the back!

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lovecharliecrochet on YouTube (Please subscribe) ❤

So my problem that wasn’t that much of an issue before, is actually becoming a bit of a bother. What I don’t want is for Crochet or ‘Love Charlie’ to become stressful for me. I want to enjoy every minute of it. So I’m having to learn how to manage my time.

The problem is… I now have:- 7 current WIPS, 4 designs to write up, make, test and publish, and at least 2 new WIPS for September, never mind the 4 blankets I already have the yarn and patterns for. (<- they keep whispering to me from the stash) Having such a long to do list is off-putting and I feel as though I’m really not getting anywhere. Working on so many projects and splitting my time up into tiny fractions – never completing anything or making noticeable progress. So without further ado, and before I have to cart myself to the local Yarnaholics Anonymous (I wish there were such a thing!) I decided it was time for a WIP ban, or at least a WIP-athon for September.

Here’s where this blog post gets collaborative. A massive thank you to Laura at Gosling and Plumb for helping me write this post. Not only for providing material, but also being a great inspiration. Over the last year, I feel we have become IG friends rather than followers. Please please please go and check out her Instagram and blog.

I have been inspired by the lovely Laura over at Gosling and Plumb (who has the sweetest Instagram account). Laura’s been concentrating on a handful of unfinished projects this August… and she is absolutely smashing her target. Blanket after beautiful blanket has been finished and photographed, and I can only imagine the sense of accomplishment she must be feeling. I know I’d be proud of myself if I had so many finished objects in such a short amount of time.

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Photos taken from @goslingandplumb Please go and have a look…

When I say beautiful blankets, I mean beautiful blankets. Laura has a serious eye for colour – her palettes are incredible, and I believe she mostly uses Stylecraft yarn which I adore. I messaged Laura to say that she had inspired me and I asked her what had influenced her amazing August WIP Challenge and here’s what she said…

I was inspired to start my August WiP Challenge by an Instagram post by @yarning_mama. She said that she not only hoards yarn, but also WiPs, and that she was banning herself from starting anything new in August, but would tackle some of her unfinished projects instead. That got me thinking – without even trying I thought of 6 things that were lying around waiting to be finished! So I decided to do the same, but knew that I’d be a lot more likely to actually stick to it if I made myself accountable to the good people of Instagram! 

Laura – Gosling and Plumb

I have some serious self doubt that I’ll be able to keep my hands from picking up any new projects… I am going to try my hardest (I promise) not to start anything new until I have finished a couple of WIPS that are in desperate need of completion. My only exception is… (I can make my own rules up, right?) if I have a design idea like my Blossom Coaster and just have to make it before the concept leaves my head, I may allow myself to start a new WIP…

coaster 3.jpg

However, I am somewhat afraid of loathing projects because I am forcing myself to finish them. I don’t want this challenge to suck the joy from crochet. Despite my worries, when I asked Laura what her thoughts about her August WIP Challenge were, I was encouraged even further. My mind is set. I’m definitely going to do this!

Despite my fears, I’ve actually quite enjoyed finishing off so many things in a relatively short space of time. It’s definitely helped having support and encouragement from our lovely crochet community on IG (and it’s so nice knowing that I’m not the only one that has trouble sticking to one project and actually getting things finished!)

Laura – Gosling and Plumb

There are five more days left of August, and I have no doubt that Laura will finish her 6th WIP on her to-do list. 6 WIPS! I doubt that I can finish so many WIPS in one month. I am dubious that I’ll even finish the four I’ve set myself to finish – although, like Laura said, making herself accountable to her Instagram followers has helped her a lot. I will post updates on my own account of how I’m getting on, so please keep encouraging me as I jog-on through this WIP-athon. Laura is right when she says we have a lovely crochet community on Instagram. I am so amazed and surprised by the amount of support I have received in the last month. I want to thank every single one of my followers and subscribers. Every comment and like widens my smile, and you guys are helping me to become who I want to be. (Soppy I know… But I’m a sucker for sentimentality)

I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for getting this far and, even though I lack motivation at times, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to finish the final UFO before the end of the month – hurrah!

Laura – Gosling and Plumb

Here are the four WIPs I am absolutely determined to finish!

LC September WIPATHON
My pile of To-Do’s!
  1. Finish pattern testing for Blue Ammonite Designs. I’m not bothered about finishing the whole Cottage Garden Throw this month, I just want finish the test for Emma.
  2.  Finish my Cath Kidston themed Baby Blanket so I can write up the pattern and ask for testers. (I also need to come up with a name for this beauty. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.)
  3. Tapestry Horse Blanket. I have spent way to long on this one and it’s not for myself, so I really need to prioritize this one for September. It has taken such a long time because I really need to concentrate on it and follow a chart. I can’t simply hook this one on car journeys and whilst watching TV.
  4. The last one hasn’t even been started. But I am SO excited for this WIP. I am taking part in Hannah’s crochet along (thecozycottagecrochet) She is hosting a September Shawl Along. I have had this yarn for a fair few months now, and a pattern lined up for just as long. I am using Galaxy DK yarn with the Butterfly Prayer Shawl which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I am also excited because this is my first podcast CAL i’ll have ever taken part in. 🙂 Woohoo!

So, I have 5 more days of ‘freedom’? Hahaa! And then it’s time to knuckle down and Hook It! I will keep you updated on my Crochet Podcasts on YouTube and I’ll let you know how I get on. Right now though, I better hop in the shower and finish packing… I’m off on holiday!  A week in the Lake District with my better half and about 3 bags of Craft-related goodies. I will post lots of photos on my Instagram @lovecharlie.co

Have a lovely weekend!

Love Charlie. Xx

**Special thanks to Laura for helping me. I enjoyed collaborating with another crocheter and I hope there will be more opportunities in the future. Good Luck on your 6th WIP. I know you can do it!