#WIPvember · crochet · knitting · Lifestyle

Goodbye WIPvember…

I can’t quite believe how quickly November came and went, and I seriously enjoyed every minute of WIPvember! I enjoyed co-hosting this WIP-along with the fabulous Hannah @andintothetrees, Zahra @tinyanaesthetist and Caroline @poppyseedsbeads, who are all so lovely and kind. I was astounded by the amount of people who participated and even more overwhelmed by the amount of WIPs everyone managed to make progress on and finish.

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My WIPvember progress pile…

I know I made so much more progress during November than I would have done if we hadn’t started #WIPvember – and even more importantly, I managed to abstain from starting any new projects (Apart from the two that I had to start) And although I have the urge to start many new projects, I also have a bug for productivity, and I want to go into December with the same attitude, and continue to finish off and make progress on my existing WIPs before the end of the year. However – I do have a few ‘Christmas’ presents to start (with the the intention of finishing in January)

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Hannah @andintothetrees asked what everyone’s favourite part of WIPvember was? How sweet are these replies?

WIPvember created a lovely, supportive community of crafters and I think what was so fantastic about it was that everyone was concentrating on the same goal. The diversity of projects was also amazing… from hats, and  socks, mittens, blankets, cardigans, scarfs, and embroidery to man eating flowers! Yes I typed that right 😉  Crochet, knitting, needlepoint and sewing.

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Hannah @andintothetrees weekly collage – Week 1

I loved that there was no prize for this MAL, and it was only people’s enthusiasm and love of craft that drove them to participate. There was so much support surrounding every single post and it’s heart warming to see our community spreading so much love and encouragement.

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@Lovecharlie.co weekly collage – Week 2 

 

Each of us took a week to look through your #WIPvember posts and create grids of projects. I will share those throughout this blog post. I absolutely loved scrolling through everyone’s pictures and reading how people were preparing for Christmas and progressing through their WIPs.

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@Lovecharlie.co weekly collage – Week 2

So I started out with 10 WIPs… and I’ve ended up with 7. I finished 2 blankets, finished a shawl and a pair of socks, and started an amigurumi cat. I also decided to frog two of my WIPs, as I wasn’t feeling the love or enthusiasm anymore.

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My finished Cosy Stripe blanket. Just look at that edging! 🙂 

Unfortunately I didn’t even touch my Criss Cross Shawl by Fay Dashper-Hughes but I will definitely be trying to finish this after I have a few Christmas gifts made. I did finish my Cosy Stripe blanket, which I wasn’t expecting. I am so pleased with this blanket, and haven’t stopped wrapping myself up in it since I finished it.

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Zahra @tinyanaesthetist weekly collage – Week 3

I’m not going to lie though, the urge to start new WIPs throughout November was strong! And what made it worse was seeing everyone else’s amazing WIPs. God knows how many new projects I’ve added to my queue on Ravelry throughout #WIPvember! Hahaa. One project that is really going to get cast on pretty soon is the Wheat scarf by tincanknits, and it’s allowed because it’ll become a (late) Christmas present. I saw @robsramblings WIP and fell in love. I know exactly who I’m going to make it for…

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Caroline @poppyseedsbeads weekly collage – Week 4

Which brings me to December’s list. Although I won’t be so strict with my WIPs through December, I still have projects that I have to make, and ones that I’d like to make more progress on. I have a list of shawls that I have to make for people but they don’t necessarily have to be ready for Christmas. I do need to finish the Amigurumi Cat ASAP so that will be a priority, along with my Christmas Candy Cane socks. I wanted to make a couple of Christmas dog Jumpers for my Mother & Father-in-Law’s dogs but I have run out of time.

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Caroline @poppyseedsbeads weekly collage – Week 4

December WIP List : –

  1. Knitted Candy cane socks by Christine Perry
  2. Amigurumi Ginger cat by Kendra Szpila
  3. DK knitted loft by Fay Dashper Hughes x 2
  4. Hendricks socks by Christine Perry 
  5. Criss Cross Shawl by Fay Dashper-Hughes
  6. Simple knitted shawl by Jane Hunter
  7. Wheat Scarf by Tincanknits
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One more heel flap and gusset to go, then I am on the home stretch… or should I say toe stretch?

There are more WIPs on this WIP list than I had on my #WIPvember WIP list – but I also have some time off over Christmas, and I want to be a bit more relaxed with goals this month. Last month I had an extremely busy month at work, and often didn’t get the time to work on projects when I usually would have. On the other hand, December is going to be filled with Christmas traditions and meeting up with friends, so who knows what I’ll achieve… I am excited to finish my Candy Cane Christmas socks… I’m going to put a ribbon and jingle bell on the ribbing 😀 And I am excited to get rid of the Cat commission. What I a mostly excited about though, is caking up my @vickibrowndesigns Hendricks sock yarn and getting started on another pair of socks. This was the FIRST thing that I bought at Yarndale 2018 and I am sooo excited. I am loving socks because I can use a special skein of yarn for each pair, and not only do they they allow me to try out new dyers and colourways without breaking the bank, but I am finding that my knitting skills are improving so much that my confidence with knitting is on the rise!

I hope you are all enjoying getting into the festive spirit as much as I am. Our tree went up on the 24th November, and we’ve already cracked open the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. The seal on the Roses tin is broken, and we will soon be making our annual Christmas gin for friends and family. I am so loving feeling the warmth and coziness of Christmas this year in our new home. The candles are all lit, and there isn’t a chair without a homemade blanket. Anyway, that’s my brief Christmas excitement out of the way. (I’ll write a proper Charlie Christmas blog post soon)

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