crochet · Lifestyle

Let’s catch up…

It’s been a long time since I have published a blog post; but it’s not for the lack of trying or want. So I’m going to “take the bull by the horns” and “get my foot in the door” so to say, and brief you on what’s been going on… if you’re still interested, that is. And if you do read on… I’m sorry it isn’t exactly crochet related.

*Disclosure: Shit’s about to get real personal.

I have had, and still have a lot of anxiety surrounding this blog and my YouTube channel. In August last year I threw myself into both and it was great. I gave my “crochet career” everything I had and I felt as  though I was really achieving goals I had set myself. But I didn’t leave any time for myself, Katie or life in general. There was also a big stressor in our lives (I’ll explain shortly) and I burnt out. It’s taken me a long time to realise that, and I feel that I am struggling still – despite not feeling depressed and life is so much better now. I feel as if I failed.

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I worked so hard towards what I wanted and then I just stopped. I didn’t have the mental energy to reply to comments and interact with online friends. I was, and still am scared of what people will think of me when I “come back” after removing my online presence for so long without warning or an explanation. The anxiety and fear of failure has been crippling but I enjoy blogging. I like writing about crochet and my crafty life, and it’s a nice outlet from the 9-5 (or 8-5 in my case) Monday to Friday (and sometimes Saturday) job. I am embarrassed that I have been an awful friend to the kindest people who have supported me online, and still comment on my Instagram pictures. I’m sorry to anyone and everyone that I have let down.

Let me fill you in a bit more…

For 15 months myself and Katie lived in Gran’s old house with the best intentions of renovating it for various reasons I don’t need to share. We lived in a house that we were unhappy in, a house that caused tension with relatives, looked like a building site and felt like a warehouse. Several things went wrong whilst we were there; we didn’t see eye-to-eye with the neighbours and we spent most of the winter without heating for fear the boiler would pack in (it’s older than me). I had two birthdays in that house (literally) the first spent waiting for a charity furniture collection that was never arranged in the first place – and the second waiting for British Gas to arrive to attempt to re-light the pilot light on the aforementioned boiler. This house and the time we lived in it broke me. We both worked so hard, and it was too much.

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We never felt like we had a home together the entire time we lived there; never fully unpacked from the flat we lived in before, and didn’t even get the Christmas tree or any decorations out in December because we were both so miserable. (P.s I LOVE Christmas)

It was taking its toll on us both mentally and physically. This also upsets me because it was Gran’s house and I loved her more than anything and it feels disrespectful for me to have these feelings about her house. It shouldn’t have worked out the way it did but it happened and it’s over now. I was just exhausted and I didn’t want to be fake online and be like “everything’s great… crochet… crochet… crochet…” when on a Friday evening I’d cry on my way home from work because I didn’t want to spend another night in that house.

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My crojo was at an all time low, and I was scared I was losing everything after working so hard to build a following on here, Instagram and YouTube. I was finding it difficult to do anything and everything. Katie and I got engaged after 8 years together, and although both of us want to get married, we were finding it hard to be enthusiastic and excited. The house and situation was making us lose ourselves…

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At the beginning of the year we started to look for somewhere new to live: and eventually in May we found the house we’re living in now. In less than a month we had put a deposit down (we’re renting) and had packed up and moved. Within 2 weeks of moving everything was unpacked and I felt as though we had a home again. I feel so in love with Katie; and excited for our future. My crojo came back immediately – I have literally never crocheted so much (or finished so many WIPS) and it’s fantastic. Although I still have anxiety which is fogging my brain. It makes it hard for me to articulate what I want to say and that makes me feel stupid. I’m not depressed. I’m very happy. But anxiety is an issue so please be patient with me.

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We are still facing challenges… as everyone does. The stress and physical demand of our move triggered a flare up of Katie’s Ulcerative Colitis and she has been so poorly. Although we’re not out of the woods yet – she is  so much better than she was 2 months ago. [Thank you for the kind comments where I have mentioned this on Instagram] If anyone lives with a loved one who has a long term chronic health condition you’ll understand how mentally and physically demanding it can be for everyone involved – But you’ll also know how much love and strength there is in a relationship between both/all parties. Now Katie’s getting better we can start enjoying our new home to the max and more importantly start some serious wedding planning.

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Now I have published my ‘first’ blog post, the next should be easier. Then I have to tackle YouTube (which is scarier) but I need to pace myself, take my time, and learn how to balance things. YouTube is scaring me a lot, and even though I want to put content up, I don’t want to put pressure on myself unnecessarily so I’m going to concentrate on my blog and Instagram until I’m ready. I don’t know when that will be – but please don’t forget about me. Why not subscribe to my blog in the meantime?

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There are lots of exciting things happening which I’m looking forward to writing about and sharing with you including: –

  • The pattern I designed for Leukaemia Care UK.
  • Yarndale 2018.
  • Socktober.
  • A project I’m co-hosting in November.
  • Wedding crochet plans.

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If you made it this far. Thank you. Sorry for the brutal honesty, but I feel as though I have just got rid of a huge weight that’s been on my shoulders for months, and hopefully moving forward it will be easier to blog now I have explained what’s been going on with me. Thank you for all the love and support from the crochet community, my friends, and for Katie’s unconditional support.

P.s: there was no way I was putting photos of that house on here so I’ve filled this blog post with photos of our new place instead 🙂

Love Charlie, Xx

Blogmas 2017 · crochet · Love Charlie Free Crochet Pattern

How to make a detachable pom pom Blogmas No.4

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Pom poms are great aren’t they? But if you love making home-made pom poms, you’ll understand the frustration of not being able to wash them. Bits of wool everywhere! The alternative is either very expensive, or not animal friendly. Here’s my handy tip to make your hand made pom poms detachable so you can easily remove them before throwing your garment in the wash with no damage or worry.

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Here are my instructions to make a detachable pom pom for your beanie hat.

What you’ll need

  • Pom pom maker
  • Scrap/stash DK yarn
  • Sewing Cotton and needle
  • Snap fasteners (I used 8mm but larger is better if you can find any)
  • Sciccors
  • Beanie hat that would like a pom pom

Step One

Take your pom pom maker and yarn, and begin to start wrapping your scrap yarn around one half of the pom pom maker (Wrap around both arms). I usually continue wrapping from side to side until the yarn is almost level with either side of the center so that I get a nice plump pom pom.

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Step Two

Once you have wrapped one half of your pom pom maker, cut your yarn off and close the first half. Repeat step one for the second half. Cut off and close the second half.

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Step Three

Take your scissors and slot them into the groove between both halves of the pom pom maker. Start to cut around your pom pom, making sure that the two disks either side are firmly pushed together. (You don’t want your pom pom maker to fall apart at this stage.)

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Step Four

Once you have cut around the entire circumference of your pom pom (and there are no strands still wrapped around) you can move to step 5. Check that you haven’t missed any bits hiding in the edges near the hinges.

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Step Five

Take a long piece of your yarn and wrap around the pom pom, letting the yarn pull into the grooves. Pull tight and tie into a single knot. Then wrap around the other way and tie a double knot on the opposite side. Pull as tight as you can without snapping your yarn. Leave long tails to sew on your snap fastener. Now you can remove the pom pom maker by holding a disk on either side and gently twist and pull apart to release your home made pom pom.

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Step Six

Hold your pom pom by the long strings and use your scissors to give your pom pom a hair cut. I didn’t spend too long on mine as I like a bit of a messy look. If you wanted a perfectly spherical bobble, you could spend hours trimming and making your pom pom neat. (Do this over a bin as fluff gets everywhere) My tip is to only take a little at a time and keep ruffling up the fluff to see where you’re’ up to. Once you’ve cut it, you can’t stick it back on.

Step Seven

Sew on one half of the snap fastener to your pom pom using the long tails left over from tying your pom pom together. Tie securely and cut off your ends to the same length as your pom pom ‘hair’.

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Step Eight

Sew on the other half of your snap fastener to your hat using cotton. I used white cotton here so it would show on the photo. You can use whatever colour you want but I recommend choosing the same colour as your hat or your pom pom so if for any reason it shows, it will blend in.

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Step Nine

Ta Daaa! You now have a hat with a pom pom that you can snap on and off as you please. Now your hat can be washed whenever, and a new pom pom can easily be added in the event unfortunate event of being dropped in a muddy puddle or getting lost.

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I hope you liked this little trick. I think it’s great. I’d love to see your photos on Instagram. Use the hashtag #lovecharliecrochetdesigns.

♥ Thank you to my lovely sister-in-law for modelling the hat (Pattern to follow) ♥

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!

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#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].

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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!

 

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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