#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

#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

My #WIPvember Goals…

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So it’s time to show you what projects I’ll be working on throughout #WIPvember. If you’re wondering what I’m going on about click here to read a blog post all about this finish along. And if you do know what I’m on about, but you’re not sure how to choose your goals, then go and have a read through my previous blog post which offers a bit of advice on how to choose your WIPs and set your goals.

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First I thought it would be fun to show you ALL of my WIPs. I’ve linked to Ravelry so if you’re interested you can go and have a look at the patterns and designers. All projects are crocheted unless specified otherwise.

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  1. Cosy Stripe Blanket by Lucy at Attic 24
  2. Granny Square Blanket
  3. Stripey Blanket
  4. Criss Cross Shawl by Fay Dashper-Hughes
  5. Kintted Christmas Socks (Basic socks by Christine Perry) [Finished this morning. Whoop!]
  6. Simple knitted shawl by Jane Hunter
  7. Woodland Blanket by Lucy at Attic 24
  8. Countryside flower blanket by Emma Haughton
  9. Beautiful Shells Blanket by Lahoma Jayne Nelly 
  10. Wedding decorations
  11. Bryggen Norwegian Embroidery
  12. Gran’s Spring Embroidery
  13. Lake district embroidery
  14. Knitted Candy cane socks by Christine Perry

I know that seems a lot (and it is) but I don’t tend to worry about the cross stitch WIPs as I only work on those in spring and summer, or whenever I fancy. They don’t stress me out in any way. Which leaves 10 WIPs as I finished Katie’s Christmas socks this morning.  I’m contemplating frogging the stripey blanket as this was started for a wedding blanket – which I’m not doing anymore, and making a blanket using htr stitches is going to take forever! Maybe I can make a bag or something? The other 3 blankets have been put away for my next finish-along, and I can make some ‘proper’ progress on these next year when I don’t have so many WIPs. January has been designated for Wedding decorations, so I won’t worry about that until after Christmas.

Here are projects, gifts and commissions that I need to get started and finished ASAP:-

  • Amigurumi Ginger cat by Kendra Szpila
  • Mustard Treasure Island Shawl by Hannah Siegmund
  • Burgundy Treasure Island Shawl by Hannah Siegmund
  • Ragdoll Mermaid by Spin a Yarn Crochet

Due to the fact that I have to get a few commissions and gifts done before Christmas, I will be splitting my WIPvember goals into finishing existing WIPs, and it is fundamental that I start another couple of new projects to get them finished in time for Christmas Day.

With that in mind, here is my #WIPvember WIP list…

WIP-vember

I want to get both blankets finished so they’re out of the way. Both are so close, but I may not finish the cosy stripe blanket. I don’t want to set un-achievable goals, so I am setting myself the target of achieving 2 colour repeats and I will re-evaluate whether I intend to finish it once I reach this point.  I think this will take the first two and a half weeks of #WIPvember.

I intend on working on the Mustard Treasure Island shawl and Candy Cane socks on my lunch breaks as these are small and easy projects – and once I have the blanket out of the way I can put more time towards these two.

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Week 3 & 4 are designated to the Criss Cross shawl as this needs my full concentration. For some reason I haven’t enjoyed this project half as much as I should have done (which is why it has been left in the WIP pile for so long) I think it is the counting that I dread – I’m a perfectionist which means that I am counting each and every row to make sure I’m in the right place. But when I actually get going on this, I know I can make good progress when my ‘head is in the game’. I absolutely love the shawl and the Harvest Hues yarn from John Arbon I’m using, and I can’t wait for it to be finished. I just keep putting it off.

#WIPvember WIPs & Goals

Finally, I need to start the Ginger cat commission. I aim to get the arms and legs made so I can make the body & head in the first week of December. If I get more made than my goal then I’ll be very happy 🙂

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Anyway, that’s my WIP list. Make sure you share your own WIP lists on Instagram so we can see what you’re making. Use the hashtag #WIPvember. Save the below image so you can overwrite your own lists and share on your feed and in your stories. I can’t wait to see what you’ll all be working on. Remember to have fun!

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WIP list template

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