Zentangles and progress on my crochet hook roll

Hey there everyone

Today I explored a new craft of zentangles. I’ve often seen hannah’s work on quiet water craft and been inspired, I’ve just not got round to trying them before. So today I started by following her tutorial for puf.

Here’s my go at it. It was simple and fun to do.

Then I scrolled through more of her posts until I came to another one I liked the look of called paradox. She linked to this tutorial, so I followed that, and produced this.

Again, it was simple to do, especially if you turned the page round for each line. It was relaxing as I did each line quite deliberately with a ruler. It’s so cool that you only draw straight lines but you end up with curved designs.

I’d love to know how to do the combination of them in the picture on her post here.

During the afternoon I came back to my crochet hook roll. It progressed a lot faster once the front pockets were finished and I was just working on the back, but I had trouble with the beads. I had some cute small beads I wanted to use but I couldn’t thread them on, so used bigger beads instead. They stayed there while I crocheted up the back and then did the top flap, but then I decided I really didn’t like them and would try the smaller beads instead again. For some reason this time they threaded on,so then I frogged the top of the pocket and replaced the beads, unfortunately breaking the wool as it had worn thin with all the friction. So then a game of yarn chicken ensued, which I happily won, only to discover that somehow all the beads were slightly offset from where they were meant to be anf didn’t mark the pocket entrances at all!

So frogging number 2 and numerous checks meant it ended up right. Poor yarn though has been through a lot and has definitely been weakened. Hopefully it’ll be OK now it’s crocheted up.

So then I just had to get the beads in the top flap to line up with the lower ones, and that’s me done for the evening.

Hopefully tomorrow I might manage to crochet round the edges and make the ammonite, but we’ll see !


Working with sissy… And a little bit more crochet

Well, since she’s been named, poor sissy (my sewing machine) hasn’t been brought out to play. But today was the day!

I wanted to make a little present to say thankyou to a teacher in school who gave me a beautiful faux fur long gilet that she was wearing for world book Day (in order to dress up as a bear!). She didn’t like it as she thinks she is too short for it and she thought it would suit me better as I am tall! Well, I love it, and it has certainly kept me warm during the snow.

I decided to make a little bag that she could use in school, maybe to put things in for the kids to pull out etc. But I wanted it to be a bit interesting too.

I had this gorgeous material with little woodland creatures on, so decided to copy the bunny and blanket stitch on a felt version to the front of the bag.

Of course this meant I had to line the bag to hide the stitching, so this is the result of a full morning’s work (not least because I unsuccessfully tried satin stitching the detail on the ears and tail before unpicking it all at it looked too messy). I’m really, really pleased with the result though and think it was totally worth all the effort. I really love the sparkly ribbon that I had in my stash… I’ve never bought ribbon… Just kept anything that came my way!

This evening I carried on with a bit more of the second octagon for my top. Here they are next to each other. The one on the left is made with a smaller hook, and has one row less than the one on the right. I’m thinking I’ll add that round to it and then continue both with the bigger hook and they’ll be fine for front and back with no frogging required! What do you think? Can you see flaws in this plan that I haven’t spotted? Let me know more if you can! All help and advice will be gratefully received 💞

More crochet

I discovered yesterday when I finally moved off my couch and went to church that the fact that my right ear is completely blocked and pressurised from an ear infection makes me feel really dizzy, off balance and sick when I move very far. Its also really disorientating when there is noise as I can’t pick out one sound from the others. This resulted in another trip to the dr today, a referral to ent for an appointment later in the week (I couldn’t believe how quickly they sorted that) and telling work I won’t be in for the week. None of those symptoms are conducive to working in a classroom of 4 and 5 year olds unfortunately, so I’m back on my sofa.

Thankfully crochet, Reading and watching TV are all possible.

Crochet for today has involved trying the octagon pattern with a more appropriately sized hook.

I’m loving the colours…. But that’s not the point! It’s already going crinkly, so I think blocking will be necessary regardless of hook size once it’s done. My question now is can I get away with not frogging either and having the front and back made up with different sized hooks? Or will that just not work? Gosh…. I’m so lazy!

Also, I discovered, courtesy of white Hill crafts about a project to raise money for Leckhampton Court hospice, which is not far from where I live. They are asking for crochet hearts which will be made available to people at the rhs malvern show to hang on a tree for a donation. Check out the work of heart website for details. This evening I used tiny balls of leftovers to make the tiny hearts.

They give both a crochet and a knitted pattern, but something went a bit squiffy when I followed their crochet one, so I used the attic 24 teeny tiny hearts pattern instead, which is very similar to their pattern but slightly easier to follow. I’ve only made 4 but I figure that’s better than none. I’ll also hopefully find little snippets of time to make more before they need them at the beginning of May.

Next project on the go

Hooray, my lovely husband has finally managed to get home from London after being stuck there for a few days sur to the snow. But, today while I was feeling anxious about him making the journey I started a new crochet project.

I’m still not motivated to go back to spirits of life, but have started a second pattern for a top by lilla bjorn (who wrote the spirits of life CAL). Sitting here earlier I spotted 2 rainbow sprinkles caron cakes in my stash and immediately wanted to make a top for myself with them. Though I also have 2 cakes of blueberry kiwi and I can’t decide at the moment if I might use one of them for the back instead of the second cake of rainbow sprinkles. I’d love your thoughts on that, though i don’t have to make the decision until I find out if I can successfully crochet the front!

I’ve started on the front but was having trouble concentrating due to my anxiety, and I also had to frog several rounds twice when I realised I’d missed a stitch 🤔.

The caron cakes call for a 5mm hook, but the pattern uses a different yarn and a smaller hook. I started with a 4mm hook but felt the holes were too big, so dropped to 3.75mm. Now my octagon is going quite wrinkly. I don’t know if that is just how it would be… The pattern says the octagon will start going curly but that can be remedied with blocking… Or if its because I’m using the wrong size hook for the wool? What do you guys think? Does it matter? Will it sort itself out if I block it?

Anyway, here’s how far I’ve got… I’m about half a round off the orange colour change which I’m looking forward to!

Meanwhile, Emma bunny has found a home on one of my bookshelves… I think she might be working her way through the Arthur ransome books (swallows and amazons etc) while I’m asleep at night!

Crochet sanctuary… Day three

Well, I’ve made it home from the crochet sanctuary, and despite very busy trains managed to get a seat in both of them which I was very grateful for.

Today we worked on a couple more projects. First thing we made faux fur pompoms in different colours. By the end we looked like we’d been in a dog grooming parlour where they are really bad at cleaning up the brushed out fur – there was fluff everywhere! Plus it was very tickly on the nose! But the pompoms were cool, and we then got making a puff stitch beanie to put them on.

I had made two pink and one white pompom, but then chose mustard and green wools to make my beanie sort of stripy. I didn’t think either of the pompoms would go with it colour wise so I went back and made a beige one which will go perfectly.

And I think that was it for making things! I’ve nearly finished my beanie, and I think I will try to work on Emma the bunny, and my other sock this week so I finish them before I lose momentum.

At the end of the weekend we were given a bag of lovely goodies and Lisa and lynda-rose told us to take more yarn with us. One lady there, Jackie, who lives not far from me offered to take my bag of yarn home when she drives back later this week, so I didn’t have to take another bag on the trains with me. I thought that was rather lovely of her and it means I’ll see her again when I go to pick it up.

The weekend was fab, and it really was luxurious. The rooms were lovely, the bed was super comfy, the food was plentiful and yummy (though weighing in at slimming World this week will not be fun!) and I surprised myself that I never got tired of doing crochet! I did enjoy my little drawing break though. Some of us chatted about whether we liked having the workshops as surprises or if we’d rather have known what they would be but I thought it was like opening lots of crochet craft pack Christmas presents… You got the excitement of wondering what they’d be, and then you could start making them straight away. Some, like the puff stitch beanie, I wouldn’t have looked forward to if I’d known about it in advance as I thought I hated puff stitch as I always seem to get the hook caught on the loops when pulling the stitch through. But I surprised myself and actually found this pattern really easy to do. Whether it was the hook, the yarn, or the fact that we made the puffs in spaces rather than stitches, so it seemed easier to pull the lengths through, or a combination of all those things, I’m not sure. But I have a cool, nearly completed beanie in very 70’s colours that I really enjoyed making. So I’m glad I didn’t know about it in advance as that may have changed my experience of the weekend. It’s been tiring focusing on crochet all weekend (though not in a bad way), and lovely to meet so many people. But it was tricky too as I tried fairly unsuccessfully to battle low self esteem while I was there. It’s not easy to do that when you’re surrounded by other people who seem completely at ease with themselves, but then I have to reminding myself to try not to compare myself with others, so I guess it was good to have to face that again in a real situation!

If you’re tempted by the crochet sanctuary i’d definitely encourage you to sign up. It’s so worth the money you pay for it, and they really had something for everyone, regardless of your skill level. It would be a great thing to do as a relatively new crocheter, as Lisa and lynda-rose were always on hand to help you if you weren’t sure what you were meant to be doing!

Look no ends! Plus happy mail

Well, I wasn’t necessarily planning to get all the ends sewn in, but i couldn’t quite bring myself to start the next C2C panel and decided to just spend a bit of time with the ends. An hour later and look….

They’re all gone!

That was the back, and here’s the front. It’s all ready for some more sections at the weekend.

Plus today I came home to exciting post. Thank you letters from my niecephews (always a joy to see their writing), a lovely parcel from my mum and dad who took two of my niecephews to hobby craft for something and ended up buying me two packs of fat quarters. Nephew number 4 (aged 5) chose me elephant fabrics

And niece (aged 7) chose me tropical ones due to the flamingoes.

I love that they chose them for me. Just got to decide what to make with them now! I think some might go into a patchwork cover for Cissy my sewing machine, and i have ideas about making myself a panel skirt and i think the elephants might have to feature in that!

Also in the post was my first craft box from the subscription my mum and dad gave me for Christmas. It’s a gorgeous copper heart that involves lots of twisting. I was tempted to start on it tonight but when I realised I have no plans for Saturday I figured the ends should maybe take priority for today!

Some successes…. And one not so much!

Hey there everyone. I’ve been catching up with a bit of crochet. The butterfly shawl is finally finished : I’m really pleased with it but I’ve realised I probably won’t wear it… Partly because it’s too green to match any of my outfits, and partly because I can’t see myself wearing a triangular shawl. Maybe I’ll have a go at making one in a rectangle and in different colours. I’ve also joined in Eleonora’s crochet along, with a stash busting blanket that requires 4 rows a week. Perfect! I’ve done my first four rows already, and am enjoying choosing colours and wools to use. Plus I decided I’d use this as an opportunity to have a go at learning a foundation treble crochet instead of crocheting a whole chain and then doing the first row. It looks a bit shorter than the next rows but I’m essentially happy with it! Finally I fancied joining in with rosina’s granny along. She also mentioned in one of her posts a heart blanket using squares from different people to make it up, that they will raffle to raise money for charities helping children who have great problems. I started working on one of the patterns but got myself very confused and ended up with too many puff stitches so it was growing too quickly. I was also reminded that I find puff stitches very frustrating as my hook often gets stuck or catches another bit of wool. So… It’s frogged, but it was fun having a go at it. Maybe I’ll try one of the other heart designs as there are several to choose from.