Show Us Yours

I did it! I am so excited to say I made it into my favourite magazine, Simply Crochet! And not only did my photo get published in the mag! I actually won this month’s ‘show us yours’ prize.

This was my prize! A book of Knit and Crochet Motifs and some yarn – Rico Itoiro, Stylecraft Money and Scheepjes Maxi Sugar Rush. There was also a copy of Immediate Media’s other crochet mag, Love Crochet, included.

How exciting! I will treasure this issue forever!

World Wide Knit (or Crochet) in Public Day

So, as it turns out, today is World Wide Knit in Public day. WWKIPD was started in 2005 and falls on the 2nd Saturday of June. Its aim is to get epople out and about enjoying fibre in public spaces for everyone to see. And it got mev thinking about the benefits of crocheting in public.

Personally, the main reason I crochet in public is convenience. I crochet every day on the train to and from work. It seems daft to just waste the 40 minutes each way staring out of the window or trawling through social medias for the hundreth time. A lot can be done in an hour and 20 minutes so I may as well be productive with my time. One of my Anxiety triggers is lack of productivity. This feeling that I have wasted time or not acheived anything productive. So it can be a real boost to my day and my mood to get a little crochet in before I even get to work.

Another reason to crochet in public is Anxiety control. I struggle with really huge groups of people. The other day we went to see Tenacious D at Wembley Arena. I had never been to such a large event before. I had a panic attack before I left, because I was so scared of the thousands of people (around 12000), the threat to my personal safety and security, just the thought of all the people pushing into me. So I took my crochet along with me, and I sat and crocheted whilst I waited for the gig to start. This helped to center me and stop the continual cycle of thoughts of what could go wrong. I did eventually have another panic attack, but that was on leaving the event only to find that Wembley Stadium had an event of and they had kicked out at the same time. Around 80,000 people who had been watching some Korean pop band I had never heard of. I hadn’t prepared for the stress of almost 100000 people all trying to get into a train station at once.

Anyways I digress. Another Anxiety trigger I have is loud unruly people. I get really worked up when I see people breaking rules (like drinking on the tube, not stowing their bags under the seat on airplanes, putting their feet on the seats on the train, etc. It’s really silly, but there is a part of my brain that really hates rule breaking, because rules exist for a reason no matter how stupid they may initially seem. I also really hate rowdy behaviour, overly loud aggressive talking, people being horrible to customer service staff. I just don’t understand why people have to be so rude and inconsiderate to the people around them/why everyone can’t just be nice and polite and civil with each other and that can often get me all worked up. So to avoid the anxietyness all together, I just put on my headphones and get out my crochet then I can be oblivious to it all, happily crocheting away in peace.

Another great reason to crochet in public is this – to inspire. Countless times I have been crocheting in public and have been approached to ask what it is I am doing. When I am on a train I often catch glimpses of people transfixed with the movement of my hook. We pass many many people on a daily basis, and in this modern world more and more people are searching for something more to fill their life with. Something to fulfil their soul and make their heart happy. Crochet may be exactly what they need, and seeing a young creative person creating something really cool from just some string and s hook, may just inspire them to try it themselves. And thus we spread the love.

Did you crochet in public yesterday? I crocheted on the train to work, on my lunch break, in a cafe, on the Overground and on a train home.

Tutorial – Working into the Foundation Ch

Hello everyone. Today I am going to share with you a new technique that I love to use when starting a new project.

Now, I can ideal world, we wouldn’t have to ever do a foundation chain. I have been a massive convert to the Foundation Sc recently. But sometimes, a starting chain is inevitable.

Traditionally when crocheting into a foundation chain, we would put our hook under the top loop of the V created at the front of the chain.

However, for a neater look, consider turning the chain over and looking at its back. Can you see these bumps at the back. Well, we can actually crochet into these instead.

Now for a side by side, so you can see the difference this method makes to the beginning edge of a project.

You get a much more even edge, which looks nicer and if sewing panels together, is uch easier to match up.

I used it for the collar of my Neon Moon Jumper and it negated the need to finish it with a row of SC.

And there we are. A neater foundation edge is as simple as flipping the chain over and picking another loop.

What have you learnt recently that has changed how you crochet?

A (Very) Late Spring Clean

Yes yes, I am aware that its almost summer but better later than never I suppose.
Last year I decided to take a big break from designing crochet patterns to really focus on improving my skills and researching how other successful pattern designers write so well.
Well, I am not ready to start designing just yet, although I have some ideas in my head, but I thought it about time I reviewed some of my old patterns.
And my goodness aren’t they terrible! Some of them are written so badly, some are just plain ugly, there’s spelling error galore! But to my dismay, there is no way to delete a pattern from Ravelry. So I set about trying to find a solution to remove my hideous contributions to Ravelry. And I happened across this very handy blog post by Blackstone Designs.
So I created this little icon.
And I went through my Ravelry and addressed all of my problem patterns.

I also went through my blog and archived all of the old posts that no longer fit with my blog and my Instagram account removing all of the bad/irrelevant photographs. I decided that I need to focus my blog more on crochet and less on all the other stuff I used to post about.

The last 4 patterns I have decided to re write and re photograph. Perhaps even with photo tutorials. I may even make PDF’s.

I hope that this will help me to feel less weighed down and cluttered when I get back in to designing. If nothing it removes some of the frankly embarrassing “designs…?” I came up with years ago!

Also, please keep an eye out for some changes on my blog – my fiance has offered to host it, and so i have generally overhauled it. Updates should appear within the next 24 hours.

Goodness me!

Hello all! I am still here I promise. I have been on a training course as you know, the starting point of my Apprenticeship in Railway Infrastructure and Operations as it required by my job as a signaller. I really didn’t anticipate how much this would fill up my life. And unfortunately, my blog has been put on the back burner. Last week we had our first exam. This week we have our second observation. It is very full on so I have had little time to crochet! However, I did manage to finish my Kindred Spirits scarf yesterday. Unfortunately, living in a hotel I have no access to my good quality photography equipment so pictures will have to wait until I get home at the weekend. I hope to get you updated asap on my crochet. Now, what can I crochet next?

A Big Destash

Recently I have been looking at my stash and suffering extreme choice fatigue. And I realised that you can, in fact, have too much yarn. I have so much yarn that I bought because it was on sale or because I thought I wanted to make something with it but then never got around to it and now the inspiration is gone. So I decided to sort out my Yarny life.
First, I had to clear up my stash on ravelry. I discovered (after 6 years on Ravelry) the feature that allows me to remove yarn from my stash and place it into an ‘All Used Up’ folder. And all of a sudden my digital stash shrunk almost in half! I went from a tally of 157 to 90.
Then, I went through all of my yarn in my draws and cupboards and boxes and god knows where else, and assessed all of my yarn. Does this bring me joy. Am I still excited for or do I even remember what I had intended this for? If I didn’t love it, In the ebay pile it went. And my goodness, I was surprised by just how much yarn I no longer wanted:

5.85kg of yarn gotten rid of. That bought my digital stash on Ravelry down to 73.

Whilst chugging along I also organised all of my odds and ends into one location. The leftovers from other projects that still contain enough yardage for a small hat. I intend to turn these into hats for charity. Once they have been used up, my digital stash will have gone down to 62.and I have also resolved to use up all of my odds and ends of Cotton yarns in my OFAPUK stash, before starting a new skein.
Now I intend to cease purchasing new yarn (We shall wait and see how strong my will power is on this one) wherever possible, so in theory, the only new entry into my stash will be the WYS The Croft which I intend to buy with the Wool Warehouse vouchers I received from my Fiance just as soon as they are back in stock in the Colourways I want.
Now I feel much more organised and my craft drawers are much less over stuffed and I can focus on the projects that really excite me. If I can abstain from unnecessary yarn purchases until September then I will have more nmoney to spend at Yarndale, which would be an absolute dream!

What a year! 

Goodness. What a year 2018 has been. I feel like it has been my best year so far. And here is why. 

1. I lost 20kg. I started the year at 114kg and now I am 94kg. I started the year in a size 24/26 trousers, and now I am a 16. I havent been a size sixteen since I was 16 (thats a decade ago!) So I am really proud of myself. I am the lightest I have been my entire adult like.
2. We have booked our wedding venue! We have a date to work towards and a location and everything is starting to gain momentum! Yahooo.
3. I made a huge effort to get better at photography. I think my photography skills have improved massively this year.
4. I also made a massive effort to learn about design and new techniques – the quality of my stitching has come on a long way and I have learnt many new skills. Filet, Brioche, Lace, etc. I made my first, and second and third sweater, and I now feel like I could tackle anything. 
5. I got a new job! Which I will be starting on january 14th. I am super excited as this is the start of my dream career. I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to move on in the business, so I did everything I could to improve my skills and experiences. And here I am. 
When I think back to why I had such a great year, I think it comes down to one thing – I didnt set myself lots of goals. Instead I just decided that this would be the year I got it done. This would be the year of progress. And it was. 
And how about 2019?
Well, 2019 will be the year of new beginnings and learning. I will be heading off to signaller training school to start a year long apprenticeship to qualify as a signaller with Network Rail. It will be a lot of hard work. Lots of exams, simulations, studying. So my goal this year is just to learn as much as I can and enjoy the start of my new career. 
I am also hopeful that by the end of 2019 we will have got all of our finances in order and will have purchased or begun the legal processes of purchasing a house. 
And in 2019, I need to make a start on wedding flower making! It will be a mammoth understaking but exciting at the same time!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!
I hope you have a wonderful time with your family or friends or whoever you are spending it with. And I hope you got lots of yarny goodness! I certainly did. 

Rhapsodye yarn from step grandma in law, Shawl project books from mother and stepfather in law, and then Stolen Stitches, Gamer Crafting and Sylvan Tiger Yarn from mum and dad. I also have a £25 wool warehouse voucher! Yays! My family know me so well! 


Oh dear. 
I love my cat to peices but my god some days they test your patience. 
I am working nights right now and the other morning I happened to arrive home just as my Fiance was going out the door. I said morning and gave him a kiss and as he turned to leave then turned mach and said those anxidty enducing words: “Now dont be mad…” 

(Please excuse the awful lighting)
Whilst I had been at work that night max had been busy playing with my yarn! 
Luckily I was able to rescue it – at least this time she hasnt actually damaged it, she has just tangled it up, but I managed to untangle it. I think this must be her way of telling me its too nice to be sat in a drawer and I should make something with it. Watch this space.

I just dont know what it is that makes her so destructive! When I finish nights this week I have 3 weeks holiday. When I return from San Francisco. I plan to go through my crafting shelves and I will be slimming down my gear so hopefully I will make enough room for a clip lock box to keep my good quality yarns in!