Craft swap

This evening I went to our local library where they have knit and natter on a Wednesday evening. Tonight they also had a craft swap. I came away with lots of bits of material that will hopefully feed my new found patchwork interest for a while! 

I also spent time there and then back in my garden with a lovely Korev lager, crocheting an octopus to send to a hospital for a premature baby. After about an hour and a half i have an octopus with one and a half legs! I love how their legs curl up as you do 2 or 3 double crochets (UK terms) in each of the chain. 

It took me a while to get used to crocheting with cotton, but it’s  ok now and I’m getting quicker with it. It was fun hanging out with lots of crafty people, and bizarre because when one lady asked what I was making and I told her she said “what, one of these?” and pulled a finished octopus out of her bag! She’d already made two, so it was handy to chat to her about it. 

Beautiful slippers! 

They’re finished! 

I decided to crochet the second slipper properly, making sure the scales were offset this time.  I was worried that once I finished it I might decide to frog the top of slipper one to make it the same so a few days ago I sewed the ends in, added the buttons, and sewed the nonslip  backing  to the soles of both slippers to prevent me from doing that. 

Yesterday and today I have been off sick – getting dizzy and feeling off balance and like I’m gonna throw up every time I’m upright. Yesterday I couldn’t even crochet and spent the day lying flat. Today I’ve managed to prop myself up a little bit with my head resting on cushions so it can’t move, and i managed to crochet the last couple of rows to finish my second slipper. 

I’m pleased I followed  the pattern properly for the second one… I much prefer the scales offset. It makes me confident too that I can make another pair that match for my friend who asked if I could make some for her. That will be an interesting process as I don’t think I’ve ever crocheted the same thing twice before. I’ll make them from a different wool though, which will look a bit more wood nymph than crazy fairy! 

Here are some more pictures of my completed fairy/pixie boots, now keeping my feet cosy as I cwtch up with a blanket and rest on my sofa with a good book. 

Non slip backing – the kind you put under rugs. Hopefully this will stop me from wearing through the wool on the heel

Mis-matching scales but I don’t think they’re too obvious after all

Cute buttons

Crocheting on train journeys


The last couple of days Mark and I have been to visit friends in London and other friends in South Wales. This involved a fair bit of time sat on trains so I thought I’d take my crochet with me. I worked on my slipper(s).
Gloucester to London: I finished off the sole, adding extra rows as i measured it against an outline of my foot. Then I did the row of double crochet all round the edge.


Then I put my foot on it and realised the front end was too long and square. So I frogged all round the edge and the last 4 or 5 rows! For those who don’t know (and I only just looked this up now having read it on other people’s blogs) frogging is undoing what you’ve done, or ripping out the stitches. Apparently ‘rip it rip it’ reminding us of frog noises!

And having frogged I then had to redo the edging.

This was frustrating but resulted in a much better shape.

Visit to friends in London :I spent time chatting and crocheting, and was pleased that the front post and back post stitches worked out well. I’ve never done these before and the first row was tricky but it got easier after that.

London to South Wales journey :this was a crazily busy train but we got seats at a table. I carried on building up the sides of the slipper with front and back post stitches.  A young girl and her mum sat with us for part of the journey and admired my work (always nice!) and as they were leaving the girl said “it’s looking really good now” (which depending on the tone of voice you read that with could sound a bit negative, but her tone  was all positive).

I was also able to start closing in the toe on that trip, which started to pull the sole tighter, but it stretches back out when I put it on.

South Wales to Gloucester: I finished closing in the toe, even though I stopped crocheting often to see the beautiful views of the river Severn from the train.

Chilling out at home while catching up on episodes of masterchef from last week : I started to work on the cuffs with scales. I thought this was going to be complicated but was very pleasantly surprised to find it quite simple. It did take me a whole  row of scales to eventually figure out how to hold the crochet on the second side of the scale so the stitches didn’t keep falling off the hook though.

Progress will slow down dramatically now as I’ll be going back to work on monday and have got busy evenings scheduled. Also, I’ve adapted this pattern as I’ve gone along as my foot is bigger than the largest size in the pattern. I’ve written down what I’ve done but on two occasions I’ve been meant to have a certain number of stitches and have ended up with a number that was closer to the real pattern. This seemed like a good thing at the time, but I’m really not sure how I’m going to deliberately recreate that when I move onto the left foot. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it… Got three more rows of scales to do on this one yet (and I’m too tired to tackle  any more this evening.)

Here we go again! 

Well, I’m not sure how many times i have restarted this project but hopefully this is the last time! The fabulous Joyce Barker (my husband’s aunt who i’m very pleased i get to share!) had a look at the original pattern and spent time figuring out what it should be. My attempt to remedy the pattern wasn’t far wrong, but the end of the rows were a bit hit and miss. So, now that Joyce had told me how it should be (and she’d tried it out and done a sample of it to make sure!) i decided to unravel one more time and start again! Unfortunately the wool had been crocheted and unravelled one too many times and snapped, so i just started with a new section of wool. 

And here it is! 

It’s actually very simple, and works up very quickly once you know what you’re doing, and I’m enjoying the fact that I’m confident in what I’m doing at the end of each row. You can see the difference below, between the actual pattern (top) and my previous attempt (bottom) with its wonky edges!! 

While praying for the future recipient of the scarf/shawl I’ve continued to pray for her perseverance, but also that she’ll have people alongside her who can help her figure out where things are not quite going to plan, and how to fix the issues. Here’s praying for her to have an ‘Aunt Joyce’  too.

Thank you Joyce for your interest in this project and for the time and effort you put into figuring out  the real pattern. And while we’re here, thank you too for showing me how to hold a crochet hook properly! It’s definitely sped up my crocheting by miles! 

And now a quick update of how far I’ve got with an evening of crochet:

The colours are actually a bit more muted than they appear in the photo, but i love how they gradually blend into each other subtly

Secret crochet project

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A while back I commented that I was working on a secret crochet project and I can now share what it was. I worked on my biggest project yet, which was a colourful single blanket. I didn’t want to share about it as I went along as it was going to be a present for a family who read my blog.

This was my first attempt at a prayer item. The family had been through a rough time over the last  year or so with health issues, and i wanted to make them something to remind them of God’s love even in the middle of horrendous situations.

I started to crochet this when I came across the idea of prayer shawls, and immediately went to my local wool shop, MIJU wools, to find something. The staff there are really helpful and they helped me to find a lovely chunky wool and think about how it would work up. I chose a variegated wool with different colours that i wanted to represent the fact that life is not continually dark, but it’s mixed up with dark and brighter patches. I took my wool  to a nearby cafe and crocheted a chain the width of the blanket. After that i added rows  and rows of trebles, and just kept going!

After this my crochet came everywhere with me :friends’houses, pubs, conferences, cafes and hotels! And all the time I was reminded to pray  for the family. What i loved about this process was that although I didn’t pray continuously, each time I crocheted i was reminded of the need to pray, and i found myself inspired by my surroundings :an open fire inspiring prayers of feeling  God’s warmth and cosiness, an episode of call the midwife inspiring prayers that there would be people to share their tears with them, the length of time it took to crochet reminding me to pray for perseverance for them. It felt amazing to be praying into their lives in this way, and for me, it helped me to connect with God without having me as the focus. And it was so good to be able to say to them “I’ve been praying  for you” and to know that had been more than a quick request to God.

Once I’d completed the main part of the blanket I decided to edge it with double crochet in a darker chunky wool, again reinforcing the idea of joy coming out of darker things.

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And then i tied it up, and i was able to give it to them this week.

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The family really liked it, and i loved seeing  that it fulfilled my aim of being big enough (just!) to wrap up one adult and one child together. Now my final prayer is that they will be aware of  God’s love, warmth and care for them whenever they see or use their blanket.

Less frustration! 

After some more effort this afternoon and evening i’ve come up with a pattern that is at least a bit like it’s meant to be! The edges are still a case of making them up as i go along to try to stop them being too bendy, but i don’t think that matters too much in a scarf!

I played around with trying to draw the pattern out, but i got confused and had to change it… Hence the scribbling out! 

I’m proud of myself for keeping going with this and not giving up. 

Fingerless gloves

Woohoo! I’m so excited about this one! And i feel really proud of myself. I stumbled across a pattern for granny square gloves and fancied trying it out. But i wanted to include a hole for my thumb to go through, and not just have a long tube as the pattern showed. 

I chose my colours and got started 

I did a bit more another day 

I really enjoyed the process of deciding on colours of rows as i got to them, and deciding if i would do one or two rows of that colour. 

Yesterday i blitzed it and ended up finishing them! I did the bit for the thumb hole a couple of times as i was working it out as i went along, so had to undo it and remedy bits that weren’t working, but in the end i got  it so my thumb fits comfortably and it looks pretty neat…. I’m so chuffed with myself for doing that. Not only that, i remembered what I’d  done  and replicated it on  the other glove too! 

Then i followed the pattern to add the gorgeous top age bottom edges, and was left with THIS:

An hour later, after carefully threading (and  re-threading the ends i’d cut too short) each end, and finding ways to weave them in so they stay secure (a process i found unexpectedly therapeutic) i was left with this 

And a lovely new pair of gloves to wear. I’m off now for an evening walk to try them out!