Allsorts (not the licorice ones!) 

Today rosie and I carried on with creative things. We headed off to Slimbridge and spent a while sketching flamingoes. Rosie understandably struggled with the fact that they kept moving, and she wasn’t happy with the way she drew their heads, but i love the way she uses the pencil so she doesn’t get solid lines round the edges, and i love the variety of birds she’s captured with their heads under their wings and their necks twisted up in different ways, and the fact that her sketches have movement in them. It’s really interesting how we view our own work as i really like one of rosie’s pictures that she thought was no good and actually crossed out! 

I had fun trying out my metallic pencils and then getting more adventurous with pens. It was interesting to use slightly different colours because those were the ones I had. I’m a bit annoyed with both my pictures… The first because of the solid line round the edge and the second because I think i ruined it with the baby one flapping and jumping up and down… Mark thought it was a scarecrow!! That said, I’m really pleased with the shape of the flamingo with his head back, and i really like the colours together. 

When we got back we got the henna out. Rosie had never used it on anyone before so she tried a simple design on my foot and then did a more tricky bird design on my other ankle, combining bits of two different pictures in one. 


Rosie then found a floral design she wanted on her arm (so it will be covered by her blazer sleeve when she goes back to school), and i did that for her,adding birds flying across her wrist. 


After that we watched ‘you’ve got mail’ which she’d never seen before (I feel that it’s an important part of my role to educate her in great films)! And i finished off my octopus while we were doing that. His  eyes look weird but as rosie and mark both say ‘a premature baby isn’t going to mind about that’! That said… Next time I make one I think i will leave it without a face at all! 


Rosie worked hard and finished her paper cut too. I’m so proud of her as she’s put tons of time and effort into it and she’s done  a fab job, especially seeing as it’s the first time she’s ever done it. 


it’s been so much fun doing all this with rosie and I’ve loved being able to give her the opportunity to try new things while she’s been here. 

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

Half way mark

Yippee! Slipper number one is finished! 

Well, apart from needing  to add buttons to do up the cuffs, and anti slip stuff to the bottom. 

I got into the swing of doing the scales, and love  the overall effect of the different colours. I particularly liked the scales which changed colour in the middle,

 and even more the ones where there was a small amount of an in between colour too. 

Next step… Slipper number two and the attempt to recreate my hit and miss pattern! 

A mix of things

Hey there. This morning I had no crochet projects on the go and this afternoon  I’ve completed one and started a new one! I went into town to buy wool for a new project that was inspired by craft and other crazy plans. Ok, so not exactly inspired by… I’m shamelessly copying her… Including the colour of wool. Well, I was inspired by her post saying that she had tried the pattern at one stage and it was too hard and then she came back to it and could do it. It linked with my experiences of persevering with my last prayer shawl, and i thought the slippers were beautiful. So I bought the pattern from Ravelry and went to buy wool and ask for help from Diane at miju wools. She wasn’t there when I got there but sue s with a group of ladies at a knit and natter group. I joined them and started work on a corner to corner crochet pattern  that was shown to me by my friend Lynn who taught me to crochet. 
I used a funky wool to work on this with the idea of making a dishcloth. It’s ended up a bit wobbly, which is fine for a dishcloth! It took a bit of working out but was really easy once I got the hang of it. 

In the meantime Diane came back and showed me how to crochet round the post. This seems easy enough (though i may regret saying  that when I get to the bit of the pattern that requires it!) so I bought wool to start the project. I found some variegated wool in pretty much the same colours as craft and other crazy plans had used, which made me very excited. And I got started after crossing out all the American terms on the pattern and replacing them with the British equivalents! 

And I found a gorgeous chunky wooden button that I’m going to send to my friend along with the prayer shawl I finished the other day so she can use it to attach the scarf /shawl round her neck more easily. 

It doesn’t need a button hole,it just slots through one of the holes in the pattern. 

And then my final bit of craft for the day (or really just an update on a previous one) was framing the picture I made yesterday with a frame I found in WH Smith. I’m so pleased with it, it’s completed the picture in a way I didn’t expect. 

Finished shawl

I finally got round to finishing the prayer shawl. It says always a bit hit and miss whether it would be functional because the shop only had one ball of this amazing wool left which I thought were perfect colours for someone who likes purples, blues and greens. 

Having doubled the width to make it more shawl-like than narrow scarf I then ran the risk of it being ridiculously short. 

It’s not ridulously short but I could have done with another half a ball of wool for it to be perfect. However, I shall give it to my friend as it is, so she can decide how she wants to use it. It could be modified with a chunky button to fasten it in place as a shawl or scarf, or it could make a pretty thing to hang over the back of a chair. 

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.