#WIPvember · crochet · knitting · Lifestyle

WIPVember – Halfway Progress…

I can’t believe how quickly the last two and a half weeks have gone… and I am blown away by the amount of people who are participating in WIPvember. It is incredible!

I wanted to check in, and let you see how I’ve been progressing towards my goals for WIPvember. I have been a bit AWOL the last week for a few reasons… Last weekend I spent Saturday with Fay in Liverpool Central Library (One of my absolute favourite places)  looking through everyone’s posts for WIPvember and drafting some design ideas, and spent the evening looking after my Mother-in-laws dogs.

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William Brown Street, Liverpool

Sunday we had a family day and after walking the dogs around Marbury Park, we took them home and enjoyed a lovely roast dinner. I managed to do a lot of crocheting last weekend but unfortunately didn’t manage to catch the day light to take photos of the progress I’d made. (Apart from the blanket – but I will share that below…) Are you finding it difficult to capture content for instagram now that it is dark in the mornings and evenings? I’m finding I have to take several photos on the weekends to make sure I have content mid-week. (Something I obviously didn’t do last weekend as you can see from my IG) Oh dear! 

This week, I spent the first two evenings working on a Love Charlie pattern that I want to release before the end of the year, and the rest of the week I have either had plans, or been too exhausted to pick up a hook or needle. Work has been absolutely crazy this last week, and I haven’t managed to get any time during a lunch break to make any progress either… What a nightmare! But last night I got in a few hours, and today too… and tomorrow we’re having a movie day, so I’ll hopefully make a fair bit of progress then.

Anyway… to recap, here are my goals for the whole of November.

WIP-vember

  1. Finish Granny Square blanket.
  2. Complete 2 colour repeats on Cosy Stripe Blanket
  3. Finish Criss Cross Shawl
  4. Start & finish treasure Island Shawl
  5. Make arms & legs of ginger cat
  6. Make my Candy Cane socks.

The first thing I did in WIPvember was finish Katie’s Christmas Socks. Originally, I wanted to finish these as my second pair of socks for the #sockalong2018 but I ran out of time. I did however manage to finish these in the first week of WIPvember.

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I then started the Mustard Treasure Island Shawl, and my second Candy Cane sock… I was waiting on another sock needle so I could make both at the same time.  These have become my lunch time projects as they’re small and easy to get on with. 

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Once  I had finished Katie’s Christmas socks, I started working on my Granny Square blanket. I started by joining all of the 64 squares into 8-square strips. I managed to do this in an evening, and spent the next week joining the strips and adding an extremely simple border on it. This blanket used up stash acrylic in pastel colours, and it is the first blanket that I have constructed randomly. I didn’t arrange the squares before joining them, I just reached for the next one each time and added it in. Although this sounds like a simple task, it was a huge leap of faith for me as I am a bit (a lot) of a control freak and like things to be perfect. Thoughts: It saved a lot of time, however if the colours were more contrasting between squares, I think I would have laid them out first. 

I finished the Treasure Island shawl on Monday night. I don’t have enough good words for this pattern. It is my go-to pattern when I want another shawl or to make someone a gift. It is simple, easy to make, and designed by a fantastic person – Hannah from @thecozycottagecrochet This is in acrylic Stylecraft special DK in Gold, and is for one of my best friends. I chose acrylic so it is more durable and can be thrown in the washing machine easily. 

Last night, I made some limbs :’) I made two arms, two legs and a tail for the amigurumi ginger cat. This is already more progress than I planned for my WIPvember goal, but for now I’m going to put this WIP to the side to make time for my cosy stripe blanket and Criss Cross Shawl. 

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I think we may be going to watch Bohemian Rhapsody or the new Fantastic Beasts at the cinema this weekend so that’s exciting! And we’ve just started binge watching Killing Eve, so I think there will be a lot of progress soon. Next weekend I am out in Liverpool, but I may get chance to blog on Sunday (Unless I convince Katie to let me put the tree up early) How are you getting on with your WIPvember goals? I’m heading over to Instagram right now. I think I’ve got some catching up to do! 

Lots of love to you all, and I hope you’re having a nice weekend with plenty of crocheting and knitting. (Or any other craft!)

Love Charlie, Xx

 

 

 

#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.

Untitled design

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

November WIP Progress…

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

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

Here is what I’ve been up to…

#BWPhotoChallenge

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

 

Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl

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

#Backtoschoolsweatercal – Movie Night Cocoon Cardigan

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

 

 

School of Wizardry Scarf for Katie.

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

Fruit Salad TV Blanket

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

 

 

#Fridayisdyeday – 24th November

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

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

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

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

 

Amigurumi Baby Sloth & Ragdoll Sloth

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

Cotton Coaster

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

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

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

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

 

 

Love Charlie, Xx

 

#AutumnWAL17 · crochet

Stash and Crafty Tools #AutumnWAL17

This week’s #AutumnWAL17 Blog Post is about the Stash and Tools that are essential to you! Everyone relies on different tools and brands, and not one crafter’s notions pouch is identical to another. I’m going to share my favourite tools and a few pics of my (embarrassingly big) Yarn Stash. It would be incredible if on IG we could fill the feed with colourful pictures of yarn, needles, hooks, paints, fabric *insert tool/material here*. Don’t be embarrassed… I think hoarding is part of being creative…

Hook Mug

-Deep Breath –

– Here Goes –

Stash

The majority of my yarn is stored in my Gran’s old Ikea cabinets. I think the glass doors are essential (when you open them… the stash starts to attack you like a land slide) I never imagined that I would store my yarn like this… But now I can’t imagine any other way. Most of my yarn has been inherited from my Gran, and I love the fact that her yarn is finally on display. I didn’t know how much she had! There were bags full in the back bedroom, stacked waist high… and we always talked about winding it all up into cakes and buying some shelves for her so she could see what she had. Unfortunately, we never had the time – but she wasn’t lying about having a lot of yarn hidden away!

Embroidery Floss

I am extremely grateful for this stash, and despite the fact that 30% isn’t necessarily to my taste – I can’t seem to part with it. Luckily, at Woolgathering Sandbach; a charity project is about to commence, and I feel like this is a great opportunity to put my Gran’s yarn to good use. I’m not throwing it away, but making something beautiful and giving it to someone who needs it. (I’ll write another blog post about this when I have something to show)

Stash Compilation

About 99% of the yarn my Gran had either doesn’t have a band or is discontinued… Yarn brands I’ve never heard of before… but this wide colour range is proving extremely useful and invaluable to designing. Before I go out and buy current yarn, I can test colour palettes and stitches – do swatches and get a design down before butchering more expensive yarn.

Books & Magazines

Not only did I inherit yarn, I also inherited fabric, embroidery floss, doily cotton, day light lamps, aida, books and magazines. I basically have an Aladdin’s cave… a small craft shop waiting for me. I am incredibly lucky, and I wish beyond words that I could say thank you to my Gran – I would trade it all and more to have her back.

Me & Gran

She gave me the bug! And over the last 4 years, I have built up my own stash – so combined I could concur the world (A small crocheted amigurumi world?) Does this stop me from buying more? No! Should it? No! I believe that as long as me buying yarn and craft supplies doesn’t affect my ability to pay the bills and save for important things like a wedding and a house, then I should do what I enjoy. Just as everyone should feed their happiness. It’s just that my happiness comes in squishy balls of colourful loveliness [ and Katie of course!]…

storage

Tools

Hooks – As you know if you’ve watched any of my YouTube Videos; I have an extreme love of Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks. They are my absolute favourite and nowadays, I rarely use anything else. In fact the only time that I don’t use these hooks is when I don’t have the size that I need… (Although my collection is building) and I don’t have any finer hooks for doily cotton. Do Clover do a soft touch Hook smaller than a 2.00mm?

hooks

Stitch Markers –  are an essential part of my notions pouch. Recently I have expanded my Stitch Marker collection from generic plastic ones to include some lovely charm style markers that I was gifted from Helen of Making at Number 14, and some metal bulb Markers I bought from Fay’s shop Knit it – Hook it – Craft it. It doesn’t matter what I use though… sometimes marking a stitch is crucial, especially during amigurumi.

tools 1

Scissors – Is one pair enough? No! Even though I have 5 different ways of chopping thread in my notions pouch, my favourite are the stalk embroidery scissors. Not only do they remind me of my Gran, they are also the sharpest (Blade & Point) and it is much easier if you need to be precise. Also, they’re shiny 😊

Needles

Needles – Another indispensable addition to the notions pouch, and are essential for weaving ends and joining pieces together. I have two favourite types. 1. Are your bog standard, cheap wool needles. 2. John James Pebble (The lilac One) which come in this great storage ‘pebble’ and keep them all safe and in one place.

Hook Case

These are the tools that are most important to me. I could go on and on about all the different things I use and what’s in my notions pouch. What I really want to know is what are your essential tools… and what does your stash look like? Share your pics on Instagram and don’t forget to use the Hashtag #AutumnWAL17

Love Charlie, xx

#AutumnWAL17 · crochet

#Autumnwal17 – Half Way Point…

How has your October been so far? We are now half way through the Autumn-WIP along, and there has been so much progress made! I am absolutely speechless by how many people are participating and getting involved. There has been so many Finished Objects already! And sadly, only one of them is mine…

I have had an amazing October so far though, despite my lack of progress on my WIP List. I’m going to try and not ramble, but just briefly explain why my October has been so great so far, and why some parts haven’t gone as planned.

Finished Objects

Although I’ve not actually finished any new WIPs yet, I have finished the Horse Blanket, and also made a hat. I need to write up the pattern for the hat as the original pattern that I chose didn’t work with the yarn I had, so I went on a whim and changed up stitches and ended up with a hat! I used Rico Creative Twist Super Chunky 80% Acrylic, 20% Alpaca which is very thick and squishy, and I used a 6mm hook. However, I can’t class this as a completely finished object because I’ve ordered a detachable faux fur bobble which hasn’t arrived yet. Hopefully within the next few days this can be ticked off my WIP list.

beanie hat

Progress

I have now reached my third skein of yarn for my #backtoschoolsweatercal, that I hadn’t started before the #AutumnWAL17. So even though progress seems slow, when I look at how much yarn I’ve used, it doesn’t seem so bad, and I must be getting close to finish. I would like to have this WIP finished for next weekend, so I can focus on some other WIPs. I am making the Movie Night Cocoon Cardi by Alexandra Tavel, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. It is my own fault that progress is so slow because I changed up the tension. I didn’t feel comfortable crocheting with a 6mm hook and DK yarn. Being so used to using a 4mm hook, it really didn’t feel right. I made the decision to start again with a 4mm hook and have a denser material as I think I’d prefer a cardigan with less ‘holey’ bits, and it felt ‘right’. If I was to make this again, I might try a 4.5mm or 5mm hook just to speed up the process. I’m using DK Acrylic yarn that I bought from Aldi last year. I have also made the last 11 squares for my Fruit Salad TV blanket and made a start on edging them. 😊

Cocoon cardigan

London Mini ‘Yarn Crawl’

On Saturday the 7th October I got on the Train to London with Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast, and met 3 new crafters! I had a lovely day with Fay, Helen (makingatnumber14) (@heleneccles1), Corinne (@salapes) and Flic (@flicmerrison) visiting 2 yarn shops interspersed with breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Tea. As Helen mentioned in her recent blog post, I feel as though I have found my ‘right people’, and it is amazing how much this changes the way you view things. I finally feel as though I have found a social circle that I actually not only belong to, but also fit in. We visited iknit London, and Loop, then Fay and myself headed over to Baker Street to have a look at the @campaignforwool‘s Wool Fusion exhibition. The #woolweek exhibition celebrated British Wool and there were some great and not great things about it. I felt as though there could have been more of a crafter’s influence on the things shown and an acknowledgement for lesser known artists/crafters, and there were some parts of the curation that I thought could have been improved on. However there were a couple of things that I really loved! I loved the three felted FABs that greeted you when you entered, and the yarny lamps! The giant Lollies were called Ice Woolies by @Jessicadance_maker.ice-woolies-e1508082940537.jpgThere was also an animation that I thought was amusing. From iknit London, I bought clover tapestry needles and knitpro 4.5mm circular knitting needles. From Loop, I bought 100% baby alpaca yarn to make a cowl, a project bag, and 3 hanks of quince&co Finch 4ply 100% American wool to make a shawly-cowl. I was unexpectedly gifted some beautiful stitch markers by Helen, and a very thoughtful hand-sewn lavender sachet, soap, and card from Corrine. Again, I am absolutely astounded by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the people in our crafty community. All three of these new, lovely people that I met crochet!

lucky girl

Distractions

I have had many distractions in the last two weeks. Because I work full time, weekends are my power-crochet time, where I can spend hours at a time making progress. Going to London took out half of my crochet time last weekend, and on the Sunday I filmed and published a podcast showing my Yarndale and London Yarn Haul. I decided to try and film using Katies Video-recorder instead of my phone to cut uploading time. (I usually have to convert my file to MP4 after filming before I can upload to YouTube. I filmed at 10am… and I didn’t get my video published until 7.30pm! (I don’t edit – so this is a long time!) It turns out that the video recorder splits the film into 35minute lengths, so I had 3 videos that I then had to figure out how to join them. What a faff! Hours of waiting for a several green bars to move at a snails pace across my screen… So I decided to make a project bag. I don’t sew, but I just folded the fabric up that I got from the yarn swap a couple of weeks ago, and very badly sewed it together to resemble a small drawstring bag.

Project bag

This was a major distraction because it was not on my WIP list for #autumnwal17, however I am proud of myself for trying something new. Talking about trying something new… I have also learnt how to knit! Another thing that was not on my WIP list, and has set me back in my ideal wip-schedule. Not only have I made progress on a project that wasn’t supposed to be started, I also frogged the whole thing back and started again because I started to do my knit-stitch the Norwegian way which loosened my tension, but my pearl is shocking! I just cannot master this stitch, so I’ve put the knitting away and I’ll concentrate on my actual wip-list until November. Then I will spend some time trying to master the pearl!

Frog or not to frog!

I have made a fair bit of progress on Katie’s Harry Potter inspired ‘School of Wizardry’ Scarf, however I’m thinking it’s too wide. The stitch I have chose is very thick, and I’m worried that if the scarf is too wide, it won’t drape around her neck. I’m going to get her to try it later today and tell me what she thinks. It’s not the end of the world if I have to start again because I’d rather she have something she likes so she’ll wear it. And if I start again and make the width thinner, it will work up quicker which is always a bonus! I make even go up half a hook size to make it drapier. I plan on publishing the pattern to this scarf when  I’ve finished, so I want to be happy with it.

scarf
This is Burgundy not Purple…

Wedding Venue

This weekend’s crochet distraction consisted of celebrating my Brother-in-law-to-be’s 18th Birthday, and seeing another wedding venue. This time, we found it! We have found the perfect wedding venue, and have even put our names down for a date. We aren’t even bothering to look at any more venues now, despite this only being the second we’ve looked at. The place is absolutely beautiful, and exactly that we were looking for, and sh*t just got real! We now actually have to start planning things, and after 8 years of being together, we are no longer just talking about our wedding. It is actually happening and we are so excited!

 

So my October has been brilliant so far, despite not going as planned (Wip distractions! I need to control myself!) Laura and myself have really enjoyed looking through all lof your WIPs, and, I am so over-the-moon by how many people are taking part. It is incredible to think of how much progress we have all made combined. I hope next week I have more to show for myself, as I am ashamed to be a co-host with no FOs! Remember to keep sharing your pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #autumnwal17 And even though I may not comment for a while – I will definitely get through them and see them all. There are more contrubutions than I could have ever imagined, so it is overwhelming to see so many outstanding WIPs. I can’t describe how talented everyone is, and I hope you’re enjoying the WIP-along just as much as me.

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].

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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

 

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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!