I’ve started, so I’ll finish… #WIPvember

The problem with getting addicted to crochet is my terrible habit of going “Oooh! Pretty!  I must make it NOW!” whenever I see something gorgeous and then I drop whatever other project I’m working on.  It’s the crocheter’s equivalent of “SQUIRREL!”  I therefore have rather a lot of Work In Progress projects.  Too many.

I was delighted to see on Instagram, therefore, a hashtag #WIPvember.  Hosted by four lovely crocheters Hannah (@andintothetrees), Charlotte (@lovecharlie.co), Caroline (@poppyseedsbeads) and Zahra (@tinyanaesthetist) who seem to have a similar issue with WIPs as me, it’s a FAL (Finish-A-Long) where we attempt to finish some of these discarded projects.

Charlotte has written a couple of blog posts about #WIPvember – the introduction is here, and a really useful post about choosing projects to include here, as well as a post about the projects she has chosen (you can find that here).

So what projects have I chosen?

First one has got to be The Teacher Presents.  I love my witchlets, I really do, and I’m delighted they get on so well with their teachers.  But every year I must Produce Teacher Presents.  Now I work in a school, and I’m always delighted with any gifts my current class of munchkins (or more accurately, their parents) hand over.  I tend to come home laden with chocolate and wine (always gratefully received, and the main cause of my work clothes not fitting me by January), but I’ve tended to go for notebooks, handmade soaps and candles, bath bombs, bath salts, Christmas decorations as gifts – anything I can make, in other words.

I was delighted to find this pattern for Coffee Cosies from the very talented Karla of I Dream of Yarn Shop on Etsy (find her on Instagram here) which came with a fabulous printable to hold the finished item.  Perfect!  And then I saw a wonderful free pattern for the Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy headband by Ashley from A Crafty Concept (find her on Instagram here!)  It was quick and easy to make up, so I made one, used the pattern to create a matching coffee cosy and wrist warmers.  Yes!  Perfect Teacher Gifts!  Only I now have to finish three sets of Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy winter warmer sets and five Coffee Cosies.  Yep – they are priority number one!

teacher gifts 1

Next on the list – finish my beach bag.  Yes.  My summer project.  My very proudly I-made-this-up-as-I-went-along beach bag.  It’s almost completely finished, but I’ve been meaning to add some starfish/shell/seahorse embellishments.  Since June.  Yeah.  To be honest, I could probably wait to finish this until next year, but then I’ll undoubtedly leave it and you’ll see it in next #WIPvember list.  So that’s number two.

Bag 1

Next is The Big One.  The amazing Seaside Stash-busting Blanket designed by Eleanora Tulley (@coastalcrochet) that she ran as a CAL throughout the year.  I’m so close (this photo was a while ago) and I only have about twenty rows plus the border to go, but it is big so if I don’t finish this by the end of November I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  As long as it’s done by Christmas Eve because it’s my Christmas Present TO MYSELF.

coastal crochet blanket 1

Next is my first Yarn Punk effort.  Yarn Punk is the creation of the lovely Vincent of Knot Bad – you can find out more about it here! Anyway, I have a jumper that is so squishy and warm – but way too short and boringly grey.  So I’m attempting to lengthen it and jazz it up with some turqoise and purple leftover yarn.  It’s officially Yarn Punk – I checked with Vincent and he agreed… 🙂

Yarn punk

Lastly is another Eleanor Tulley design – the flower shawl from Issue 75 of Simply Crochet.  It’s easy, as long as you concentrate on where you join them together, and it’s something completely different to anything I’ve done before.  I’m twelve motifs in – only sixty-five more to go!

Flower shawl 1

So that’s my list.  I’m determined to do it, and determined not to get distracted and make something else (I’ve already made a squishy velvet cowl and an amigurumi elf and I am DEFINITELY NOT making the snowman from Simply Crochet issue 77 no matter how much I want to) so let’s see how I get on, shall we?

Are you joining in?  It doesn’t have to be crochet!  Knitting, embroidery, sewing, anything creative – I’d love to know!  Find me on Instagram here, and follow the hashtag #WIPvember – and wish me luck!

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Discovering crochet – and getting obsessed with it!

Earlier this year I managed to catch ‘flu.  Proper, horrible, aching-joints, high temperature, no appetite, can’t stand upright ‘flu.  Ugh.  I took an ENTIRE week off work poorly (I’ve never done that!) but by the Friday afternoon I had serious cabin fever and insisted The Hubster took me to The Works in town for a mooch around.

I resisted buying large amounts of craft stuff I’ll probably never use, any more pretty notepads or post-it notes, and moved on to the books.  I’d been rather enviously looking at several versions of The Woodland Blanket designed by the gorgeously talented Lucy from Attic24 on Instagram in January, and I mentioned this to The Hubster as I picked up a Dorling Kindersley book entitled ‘A little course in… Crochet’.  I remarked that I couldn’t crochet to save my life, having tried several times as a kid to learn.

“Go on, buy it.  It’s only three quid,” replied Himself, who was jolly tired of standing in The Works and wanted to get home for a cuppa and a battle on Clash of Clans.

So I did.

And when I got home, I dug out a tiny kit containing a plastic crochet hook and three small balls of wool that had been attached to a magazine I’d bought eleventy-thousand years ago and never threw out, even though I couldn’t make head nor tail of the instructions.

I retired to the sofa and started carefully reading, fiddling with wool and hook, and with a bit of practice (and some highly inappropriate swearing), began to crochet.

I was (pardon the pun) HOOKED.

I did this.IMAG0794

And this.IMAG0796

And this.

And then I made a granny square, which took two hours.  TWO. WHOLE. HOURS.Fotor_152140392372083

And then I ran out of wool.

But lo, this is the age of INTERNET SHOPPING, and more specifically, AMAZON PRIME.  I ordered a set of different sized metal crochet hooks (pretty colours!  A different colour for each size!) and a bag of ten different colours of 25g acrylic yarn.

So more granny squares in lots of colours!

IMAG0799

That was eight weeks ago.  Since then, I’ve been given A LOT of leftover wool from an old neighbour and a friend’s daughter.  I’ve also ordered from LoveCrochet, who put an adorable little sweet in the delivery and it all came in beautiful organza bags.

I’ve been reading the Attic 24 blog like it’s a novel RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING (I’m still somewhere in Autumn 2013), followed some amazingly talented people on Instagram and given up playing Candy Crush, Zombie Castaway and Gardenscapes on my Kindle.  I have crocheted, and crocheted, and crocheted.

I have kinda let the housework slide a tad.

Because crochet is more FUN, infinitely relaxing and YOU GET REAL STUFF YOU ACTUALLY MADE AT THE END OF IT.  This is IMPORTANT.  This means it is like GARDENING and GROWING things.  It is like BAKING.  It also means I’m officially old and GRANDMOTHERLY, according to my darling Witchlet Number 2.

I don’t care.  I’m loving it.

It’s all the ‘flu’s fault.