Belated Happy New Year!

2016 is done and gone.  I can’t say that I’m upset about the year being gone, or happy, because in all honesty, what can we do about it?  Years come and go, it’s what you do with them that makes all the difference.

The beginning of 2016 saw me start my dream job.  The end of it saw me being forced out because I refused to be bullied.  Loved ones got married, had kids, and passed away.  Not the same loved ones … just sayin’.  I’m looking forward to 2017 because even though I am without traditional work right now, it’s ripe with opportunities.  And one of them is crocheting.

I’ve started to design again, after almost 20 years of not.  I’m excited, scared and a little overwhelmed.  But, you know, it’s a grand adventure and I’ve put on my Big Girl Pants.  Money will be tight for a while, as I look for a new job, but whenever I’m not actively looking, I have my crochet hook in hand.

I started this journey by compiling a Design Journal.  It’s an old day planner binder I had laying about, which was about to be tossed when I thought about converting it.  Cutting up printer paper (from our OMG HOW DID THIS DIE printer), and using a manual single hole punch, I made myself a wee book.  It’s now become one of the more important things in my creative life.

planner-photo-2017

It’s not much right now, but the more I get into gauge swatching, and designing, the more it will come into play.  Already I have patterns in it, for things I work on a lot.  So you can see why it’s important.  That and it looks nice.

One of the things I’m working on right now is for my Mum.  She wanted a hat to wear that would match her Christmas present.  So I decided to design one.  The design stalled, so I made her another one, but it did get the juices flowing again and that’s what’s important, right?  So I have a small sketch in my book of what I would like it to look like, and some ideas on the stitches.  Once it’s done, and I have the pattern written, I will post it on my Ravelry page with a link here.

Another thing that I will be doing this year is learning to knit, dye my own wool, and spin my own wool.  So excited.  In fact, the first knitting project will be started this week – I will be making myself a knitted “Pussy Hat” from The Pussy Hat Project.  So, this year is going to be filled with learning, and what I think will be a lot of fun.  And hopefully more blog posts…

 

The End of an Era

On June 6 of this year, I started a major project that was meant for me, and meant to bust my yarn stash to almost nothing.  It was a challenge, and I loved every single stitch of this project.

It was the Mandala Madness afghan, designed by the brilliant Helen Shrimpton, over at Crystals and Crochet.  I tried so hard to clash the colours, and make it so gaudy the only person who would want it was me.

Alas, with such a brilliant pattern, it was not to be.  She turned out to earn her name of Glory.  For glorious she is.  And, she is not to live with me.  My heartbreak will turn into my Dad’s joy at Christmas.

My mum has followed my journey from Day One, Round One.  Dad dropped off watching it, when I decided that he would get it for Christmas.  From what Mum was saying, he loves it, and was actually gushing about how beautiful it is.  So, I can’t wait to see his face Christmas morning.

I will only post the final photo in this blog post, but you can look at most of the progress on this page.

The rest of this year will be making the smaller crochet gifts for various friends and family.  I know they read this, so no photos until after the holidays. *grin*

But here is the final photo.  Let me know what you think!

 

mandala-madness-finished

And Life Goes on …

So the past few weeks have been busy … in both good and bad ways.  Work has been really busy (awesome), took a social media vacation – to concentrate on recipe creation and crochet (awesome again) and playing Legion – a World of Warcraft expansion.  Didn’t get a lot of recipes done, as the game was amazing.  I did, however get lots of crocheting done.  Can’t post about it here, as there is a chance the recipients actually read this.

I’m concentrating a lot on Christmas presents right now, and have almost all of them done.  Just need to finish my step-father’s and the kitchen stuff, and done!  Loving this, since it’s not even November yet!

The past few days have been hard emotionally, as a dear friend is going through some really hard times.  Her Dad had been really ill, and today, he passed away.  My heart is broken for her, and I hate that she has to deal with this.

However, I am creating something special for her, and her mother. I hope to have them done by Saturday.  Just wanted to post in here to let you all know I’ve not forgotten.

I do have photos to show you, some of the things I’ve been working on.  So, in no particular order ….

 

blueberry-cream-pie
Blueberry Cream Pie
comfort
Comfort
kitten-love
Kitten Loves
mandala-round-11-finished
Mandala Part 11 Finished
mandala
Mandala Close Up

Rainy Days and Mondays

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted, and while I’ve been very busy at work, and thus extremely tired.  However, my crocheting has not taken a back seat.  I’ve been mostly working on my Mandala, and am pleased to report that I’m now more than 1/2 way finished.

I’m finished up to Part 10, and started Part 11 today.

mandala-madness-week-08
Mandala Madness Part 8
mandala-madness-week-09
Mandala Madness Part 9
mandala-madness-week-010
Mandala Madness Part 10

Part 10 took me three nights to finish.  It was very labour intensive. Every single stitch was a colour change for more than have the rounds.  I’m so happy with the way it’s turning out.  I love this blanket so very very much.

I was going to square off the blanket when it was finished, but in discussion with my partner, now I’m not so sure.  We’re going to hold off and see how it looks on the bed, and couch as a round blanket.  It’s not going to have a permanent home, just where I am going to snuggle under it.

But, tonight is definitely a snuggle under the blanket as I crochet it, and drink tea night.  The rain is coming down hard, and I believe summer is now over.  Which is fine by me.  I love autumn!

Time to break out the sweaters, scarves and make myself a new slouchy beanie.  Ah bliss.  When did my life become a joy to live?

 

 

 

 

 

Mandala Madness

I’ve been working on a scrap project called the Mandala Madness, designed by Helen Shrimpton over at Crystals and Crochet.  This is a special project for me, as I have always wanted to make myself an ugly blanket, with various stitches, that would be heavy enough to act as a comfort blanket.  Helen designed a gorgeous blanket, in her Mandala, and I glomped onto it almost as soon as I saw it.

To prepare, I put all my scrap yarn into a bag, and as each colour change hit, I blindly grabbed into the bag and used what ever I found.   There are 18 weeks to this Mandala.  I just finished Week 7 today.  I’m both thrilled and devastated it’s turning out actually quite lovely.  I’ve been taking photos of it, as I go.  Himself suggested I post the actual photos here.

So without further ado … may I present Week 1 through Week 7 of the project I’ve named:

Glory

 

Mandala Madness Week 01
Week One
Mandala Madness Week 02
Week Two
Mandala Madness Week 03
Week Three – now photographed on the bed where she will live.
Mandala Madness Week 04
Week Four
Mandala Madness Week 05
Week Five
Mandala Madness Week 06
Week Six – now officially approved by my oldest cat
Mandala Madness Week 07
Week Seven

This is a project I’m thrilled to take part in.  It’s been a very long time since I embarked on something this size … and truth be told, something for me. I can’t wait for it to be finished.  At this point, I have a feeling I will be needing to purchase more yarn, but we shall see.

Simply put, I can’t wait to be cuddled underneath it, working on a new project for The Lovers Knott.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virus Cured

Well, the virus shawl is now finished.  Just need to block it, then pack and ship it.  I’m happy it’s done, but I’m sad too.  I really enjoyed working on it, and just loved watching it take shape.

There are a couple of things I would do differently, the next time I make this.  Already writing down the notes, and anxiously waiting for payday so I can get more yarn for the next one.  *grin*

zabby wedding shawl complete

There have also been a couple new things bouncing around in my mind.  I’ve been wanting to learn to spin for a while (already have a spinning wheel), and dye my own yarn and wool.  So I think I’m going to start researching and learning how to do this, and maybe post my progress here.

But, that’s all for me tonight.  Time for tea and then bed.  Good night! ❤

 

 

A Virus of the Best Kind

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Between both jobs, all my crocheting, and gaming, I’ve had little to no time to myself. So, I talked to one job, who gave me more hours (more days, same shift). It was enough that Himself said I could quit the night job. So I did, and made the decision to vacation myself from all social media for a month – only doing whatever I needed to for my craft business.

But, I have been working on a couple of projects. One of them is a shawl for a friend of mine who is getting married very soon. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the wedding, after all … but I decided to make her wedding present early and send it to her. I love this shawl, and I really hope she likes it.

It’s called “The Virus Shawl”, and I can understand why. The pattern is rather fun, and pretty to do. It’s addictive. To the point where I’m wanting one for myself, and am going to be making one for someone else who’s rather special to me.

zabby's wedding shawl

I’m using a new crochet hook for this as well.  It took a bit to get used to, but I rather like the Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks.  I’m going to slowly pick them up, one at a time, as they are rather pricey.  The amulet style thing you see in the top left, is a Clover Yarn Cutter Pendant. I put it on a leather necklace thing … and I can wear it as a necklace.  It’s quite pretty.  And now I can crochet on a plane if I go places.

But what this shawl has done for me, is I’m finding myself drawn to my hooks again, and thinking about more projects, and designing for myself.  I’m happy looking at yarn, and even have Himself talking colours and projects. There is a new yarn cake out there I want to work with.  I will talk more about it in my next post, when I have a few samples of it to photograph, and will even show swatches.

But this post is mostly just to check in, let you know I’m doing OK, and will hopefully not be so very tired as I have been.  Happy crafting, and talk to you soon!