Sometimes the only way to ensure you find some ‘me time’ is to block time out on the calendar, just as you would for say, a dentist appointment. Well I’ve done just that for tomorrow morning and what I have planned is going to be much more fun than a trip to the dentist! Not that I mind going to the dentist you understand. My dentist is a very nice man and I wouldn’t want to offend anyone in the dental industry. Enough said. You get my point.
Tomorrow sees the start of my 2020 adventures with my wonderful friend Sharon. We met at The Crochet Sanctuary less than two years ago and have become the best of friends.
2020 is our year to hit as many yarny crafty workshops and shows as possible. We have so many exciting things booked in already but I reckon we have room still to fit in another couple of activities! So, I’m on the lookout for anything interesting to do. If anyone has any recommendations, preferably around the South Yorkshire area please let us know below!
With no workshops booked in for January, we have decided to meet up for coffee tomorrow instead. Hence the title of this blog post: But first coffee.
Obviously I’ll need to take some crocheting with me, and I’m thinking of taking the Holbrook Hills Mystery CAL being run by The Crochet Project. We are making a shawl, with a new clue being released every Thursday for five or six weeks (I can’t remember exactly how long!) and tomorrow clue 4 will be released.
I’m doing well keeping up to date so far, but I haven’t quite finished clue 3 yet so I’d better stop chatting and get on with that really!
Don’t forget to post any recommendations for workshops ideas in the comments below!
I finally did it! I have crossed something off my project wish list! Believe it or not, I have never made a mug cosy before. Hard to believe, I know?
Contrary to popular belief, I am trying to declutter. But I’m not sure that word is applicable when you’re a crafter is it? We need ‘stuff’ to do our ‘thing’ right? Anyway, the story behind me being able to tick this project off my wish list goes something like this……
My not-so-mini-me placed an order with Sports Direct for some new gym clothing a few months ago. Delivery was prompt (thank you very much) but when the parcel arrived it was enormous. Far bigger than the two new t-shirts I knew had been ordered. Sadly, and most mysteriously, one of the t-shirts was NOT what she had ordered. We had quite a laugh about it, as it looked more like a lady’s thong than a t-shirt. Not the kind of thing my not-so-mini-me wears at all! But I digress….. the item taking up all the space in the parcel was this enormous mug. A freebie! We all love a freebie, don’t we? Erm….. not when it’s an enormous mug the weight of a house brick and big enough for your goldfish to live a very happy life indeed.
But what a waste to just throw it away. I don’t like waste. Plus, there’s never any room in our grey refuse bin at the end of the two weeks refuse collection cycle the local authority, in it’s wisdom, decided was satisfactory for us here in the UK. Mr G would have stern words with me for taking up all the space by putting the swimming pool sized mug in that bin. Then it struck me. This mug was the perfect candidate for some yarny love. So, a few days ago, I grabbed my jar of mini Scheepjes Catona (thank you The Crochet Sanctuary for keeping me well stocked!) and set about making a striped cosy, courtesy of the Attic 24 pattern in Amanda Bloom’s Little Box of Crochet book. Now sadly, I ran out of the turquoise and had to use alternative colours on the handle. Other than that I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. Instructions for covering the handle weren’t included in the pattern, but were an absolute necessity as there was MORE writing on the handle! How much advertising do they need for goodness sake?? Not to worry, a quick Google and YouTube came up trumps with some videos of how to cover a handle. In fact, it was dead simple, and the same technique as I used when covering a polystyrene ring to make a Christmas Wreath a couple of years ago. You’ll have no problems finding some guidelines if you decide to do one too.
And there you have it. My very jolly, non-Sports Direct, crocheted mug. I’m feeling pretty chuffed about it and even my 19-year-old son seemed impressed. He was less impressed however, when I said it was now going to be used as a pen holder……. But that’s another story.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy some yarny love today.
Mrs G xx
PS SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) is most definitely something I have fallen foul of, but I can’t for the life of me remember the acronym for WIPs beyond life expectancy! If anyone knows, it please comment below, as it’s driving me a bit loopy!
I’ve been home two weeks and a smile still creeps across my face when I think of the fun we had.
If you haven’t been yet then you really must. Who can say “No” to unlimited yarn, unlimited tea, coffee, snacks, breakfast, lunch and a three course dinner, a workshop by a fabulous designer, plus extra treats and projects and best of all simply fabulous company!
When I checked into my room at Cranage Hall at 3pm I considered going for a swim in their amazing swimming pool. However, I had brought my Changing Tides blanket with me and as it was day one of the cal I couldn’t wait to get started. So I quickly unpacked, made myself a coffee and settled down to some crocheting.
Just before 5pm I headed down to reception to wait for the doors to the sanctuary to open. Most of the other ladies (we do get the odd men coming. Not that they’re ‘odd’ if you know what I mean!) had already arrived and I was so excited to see some people I knew from previous weekends.
Entering the sanctuary room is like entering paradise. It’s so relaxing. However I was a bit giddy as I’d seen a sneaky photo that revealed our goody bags were actually plastic shopping baskets. I have dreamed of laying my hands on one of these. Swoon………..
After a brief ice breaker introduction we were presented with our Friday night project. We each had a Hoooked handbag to make using stretchy t-shirt yarn. And hey presto it’s actually finished! I can see me making more things using this yarn. It’s actually fab!
Just look how big the Cranage Hall Estate’s portion of fish and chips is! Needless to say I did not manage to eat it all. It was exceedingly tasty though!
Saturday morning arrived and the sun was still shining for our morning workshop. This is always a unique crochet pattern written by Lynda-Rose and Lisa, our fabulous hosts of the Crochet Sanctuary and this month it was a very practical, but stylish crochet hook roll. One of these has been on my wish list for years so I was over the moon to be finally making one. This too is now a completed project and I suspect I will be making another one before too long. The theme for this weekend was spring, hence the bumble bee charm and honeycomb decoration.
It’s all go and after a delicious lunch in the restaurant, it was time to settle down ready for the guest designer’s afternoon workshop. I had met the lovely Alison Holloway before, whilst on a workshop at Wool Couture, so I was very much looking forward to discovering what she had planned for us this weekend. I’ll be honest, I’m not a massive amigurumi fan, but I always make an exception for Alison’s designs. There were so many ooh’s and aah’s travelling round the room when Alison revealed this little beauty, Lottie the Ladybird!
Another fantastic meal in the restaurant almost brought the day to an end, because as always we couldn’t resist popping back to the sanctuary for a couple more hours of crocheting. It’s such luxury to just sit and crochet without any of the interruptions one would normally get whilst at home. It’s also nice to just sit and chat, as everyone at the Sanctuary is happy to talk about yarn until the cows come home!
So what happens on Sunday I hear you ask. Well, there are no prizes for guessing that after breakfast we all head back to the Sanctuary room to do more chatting and crocheting! We generally use Sundays for finishing wips, or at least continuing with them. Finishing them isn’t always possible at the Sanctuary, but that’s what I love. We get to take our projects home and the magic continues for just a while longer.
This time last week I was hastily packing the last few things into my suitcase so that I could set off for my relaxing weekend at the Crochet Sanctuary. Unfortunately in my excitement I completely forgot to pack my toothbrush and toothpaste!! What a forgetful ninny I am. Thankfully the wonderful receptionist at Cranage Hall Estate came to my rescue. They have a secret stash available to people who may have a brain like a sieve, just like me!
I am a big fan of these weekends, fabulously hosted by Lynda (of Lynda’s Craft Room) and Lisa (of Wee House of Crochet) and may have been once or twice before…..! It is an absolute joy to spend the entire weekend with likeminded individuals, doing little more than chatting, crocheting, drinking coffee and eating. Of course, if you feel so inclined you can always take advantage of the hotel’s amazing swimming pool facilities, where they even have GDH hair straighteners in the changing rooms! I have to confess I have yet to wake up early enough to take advantage of a morning dip, as I just love the novelty of having the enormous bed all to myself. It is pure bliss.
It’s worth noting that everything is included in the price (apart from alcoholic/soft drinks with your lunch and evening meals). Water is always provided during mealtimes so there really is no need to spend another penny the whole weekend. There is always coffee/tea/juice/water available at the sanctuary and a constant supply of cookies and pastries too! Handy when you’re ready to stretch your legs during the mammoth crocheting sessions!
We were allocated a different room in the hotel for the sanctuary on this occasion, but I have to say I did rather like it. It was very bright and airy and we had a fantastic view of one of the weddings taking place outside on the Saturday.
As a child life seemed to be full of surprises, but those magical moments become few and far between once you’re an adult with ‘grown up’ responsibilities. However, for me that all changes when I step inside the Crochet Sanctuary. We never know what projects have been lined up for us and diving into our goody bags is like Christmas morning!
September’s Goody Bag
At the September Crochet Sanctuary our main project was Mabel bunny using the gorgeous yarn from Wool Couture and pattern from petalscraftsandme. Oh my what a luxurious treat. In our goody bag we found a hot water bottle. Hmm a little strange I thought. But it all made sense on Saturday morning when we were presented with patterns and a choice of yarns to crochet a hot water bottle cover!! There was also a pattern, yarn (Knitcraft Shiny Dancer) and dried lavender to make a scented lavender pillow. PLUS everything else you can see in the photo above. Can you understand now why I love the goody bags so much?
After a delicious lunch in the hotel restaurant, we headed back to the sanctuary for an afternoon workshop with the super talented designer Heather aka Keep Calm and Crochet On UK and one half of the Dear Ewe company. Her surprise project for us was to make our very own ‘Relaxing Ralph’ cat with his very own hammock. There was much talk all afternoon of attaching little ‘suckers’ to the hammock so that we could have ‘Ralph’ relaxing in the back of our cars! We gave all our ‘Ralph’s’ different names, and I decided to call mine Julian. His legs and arms were protruding at different angles and he vaguely resembled Julian Clary…… or so I thought! Here is Julian relaxing in my craft room.
Sunday was spent with everyone chatting to old friends and new whilst working on the project of their choice. Most of us spent the morning finishing our Relaxing Ralph whilst others worked on their Mabel bunny. All too soon it was time to say goodbye and take some photographs of our projects (just to prove we didn’t spend the entire weekend talking and eating!) As always we all left laden with new projects and a few extra balls of yarn to add to our stash at home.
What more can say, other than…… Roll on November! As yes, I’m booked on that one too! Here are a few more photographs from a fantastic weekend. xx
It’s been a whirlwind of a summer and this has been my first week of some kind of ‘normality’ where I’m not gearing up to go on holiday or weekend away. Don’t get me wrong it’s been a fabulous summer, but I am a homebird and was definitely ready for my familiar routine.
I’ve also been nursing a broken toe and cracked rib so it’s certainly been an interesting summer!
But now I’m so looking forward to autumn. I love getting wrapped up in scarves and pulling on my boots so much more than wearing shorts and t shirts. I always joke that I just don’t have the body for summer!
I have a weekend at the September Crochet Sanctuary to look forward to and also a workshop at the new Wool Couture store with my daughter and prospective future daughter in law. It will be a proper family day out. I’m also looking forward to catching up with Lisa and Lynda from the Crochet sanctuary as they too have booked onto the same workshop!
I was so pleased to complete a CAL I had been making from the Let’s Get Crafting magazine. It’s heading off to a hospice in Kent that the crafting group I belong to have been supporting. It certainly looks bright and cheery don’t you think? I used my stash instead of the yarn supplied with the magazine as I’m not always entirely happy with the quality of the yarn and I wanted this to be super soft and snuggly.
Talking of stash we are nearing the end of Eleonora’s Coastal Crochet seaside stash busting blanket. I have just taken delivery of the yarn I ordered specifically for the border. I decided to opt for blue as I wanted to do a wavy style and thought that would be the best colour to go for. Fingers crossed it works as planned!!
Over the last couple of weeks there have been birthday celebrations for my husband and son (my baby is 18, how did that happen??!); my daughter has been away on holiday without me for the first time ever; plus a very fun, but late night, going to see Gary Barlow in concert (swoon). Some men really do improve with age!! So right now I’m definitely ready for some downtime with just my hook, yarn and fabulous company……. oh yes, I almost forgot, we have the small matter of my daughter’s three monthly botox injections this morning before I can set off on my adventure!
Who knew that botox could work wonders for people with cerebral palsy? Relaxing those muscles that are constantly fighting to do their own thing. My daughter first had botox around 10 years ago, with mixed results, but for over a year now these 3 monthly injections (at least 5, directly into her muscles, my goodness she is so brave) have transformed her life. She can now hold a bag in her left hand and fastened a zip for the first time in her life. But even better, her left arm isn’t causing her pain anymore. Isn’t that just fantastic?
So in between all this I have managed a little bit of crocheting! My Coastal Crochet cal is pretty much up to date and my pile of hexagons for my Watergarden cal is getting bigger. I feel that progress is being made on my wips.
But all that will change this weekend and my wips list will be longer after starting new and as yet unknown projects at this months crochet sanctuary. I cannot wait!
Here’s a few photos from the last couple of weeks starting with a mini staycation in Wales celebrating Mr G’s birthday. I surprised him with booking him a session on the world’s fastest zip wire! As an adrenalin junkie he loved it. But it’s not my idea of fun so I enjoyed an hour or so with my book and a frothy coffee!
Next, my mad family came up from down south to celebrate my son’s 18th birthday……..
I relived my youth by introducing my daughter to the joy that is Mr Gary Barlow…….
And then finally I got up-to-date with my favourite blanket. All in all a fabulous couple of weeks x
Social media and TV is littered with reports on how knitting (and obviously crocheting!) is good for our health. It’s relaxing….. apparently. I agree to a certain extent as that was the theory behind me picking up my needles and hooks after a hiatus of almost 20 years.
Ah yes, I remember those evenings so well. My husband watching his tv programmes whilst I snuggled next to him, unwinding with simply a ball of yarn and a hook after a busy day. Oh for those sunny, innocent days…..
These days I have an ever increasing pile of unfinished projects. All very much works in progress….. but which one to prioritise is a daily dilemma. Then to top it all social media throws more ideas in my direction. Lures me with the latest yarn colours, new CAL’s, the latest crafting magazine, workshops to learn new skills (apparently there are other hobbies that don’t involve yarn??!!)
So what very much started out as a relaxing evening hobby has turned into something far from relaxing as I struggle daily to decide which project to pick up. Some days I decide to spend a little time on several wips. Knocking away a round or two, little and often. You get my thinking, right? But in reality, I choose a project. Touch the yarn. Marvel at the colours, then spend the entire night working on that one because I fall straight back in love with it all over again…… and that’s the point when I may start to relax. But then I glance back at my project pile and my hearts sinks, just a little.
I have come to the conclusion that I am lost in that world of a serial wip-er. Forever.
Roll on the next Crochet Sanctuary! The theme for that one is ‘Mindfulness’ and I, for one, can’t wait!
Have you ever met up with someone in ‘real life’ who’s become a friend through social media? I did just that this week. Let me explain…..
What you may not know about me is that I’m an ‘official’ knitter for Knitted Knockers UK . Yes I’m a knitter of knockers. A knocker knitter. A ‘knockerette’. We are known by many names! We provide knitted prosthesis for women who have undergone a mastecomy or lumpectomy. Our knockers are all made to order, completely free of charge and are sent all around the world, not just the UK. Our ladies can choose the colour, even whether to have a nipple or no nipple! Many ladies find them so much more comfortable than the prosthesis provided by the NHS which can be so heavy. We even have aqua knockers for swimming!!
As you can see they come in every size imagineable.
Knockerettes are dotted all over the country and this week I met up with a lady who lives about 20 miles away from me. We met in IKEA and had a lovely catch up. It was so nice to get to know a fellow knockerette and share tips!
So after our coffee we had a wander around IKEA and of course I took the opportunity to pick up some more storage solutions for Mr G to assemble ♥️ I think I’m almost ‘there’ with storage for my crafting attic space and now I just need to titivate it with some pictures and crafty art.
As you can see, one of my cats (Cookie) has taken a fancy to my new storage!
I’ve also had my eye on this handy board for a while now. Eventually it will probably be wall mounted but for now I rather like it attached to the bannister as it is very accessible for when I’m sewing. It’s a handy place to keep all the ribbon I use on the mastectomy pillows I make for Jen’s Friends.
No prizes for guessing that my favourite colour is red!
So for me it was a very positive experience meeting up with a fellow knockerette and we will definitely be doing it again!
It was a crazy busy start to the year and we had tradesmen invading our home for five weeks instead of the scheduled three. They were lovely but oh my goodness the dust and noise was beginning to drive me potty.
In the middle of all this chaos I had the bright idea to rearrange our attic room and create my very own crafting space! Why had I not thought of this before?? No longer would all my paraphernalia be squirrelled away in various parts of the house; I would have my very own space to escape to and craft to my heart’s content.
Once I’ve made a decision I have to get things moving straight away. I can’t dilly dally. Work commenced with sorting boxes for charity and selling other bits and pieces. I had a mountain of equipment from my days of running a cake business so logic told me that if I sold those items I could use that money to purchase the new furniture for my crafting space. What a result!
Mr G was very accommodating. He accompanied me to Ikea to hunt out the best storage solutions and three visits later I had just about everything I needed. I can certainly recommend 5pm on a Monday evening as a very good time to visit IKEA!
Things were moving on well and planning my craft space was a great distraction from the disruption of having workmen around. Just prior to nipping off to The Crochet Sanctuary weekend in February I had managed to assemble my work table and Mr G had put together my fabulous storage trolley. But there were still big boxes downstairs waiting for the Ikea fairies to work their magic.
You can imagine my delight upon returning from my fabulous yarny weekend to discover that Mr G had finished assembling all the furniture for me and all I had to do was move my yarn and crafting items into their new home. It was like a dream come true.
So most evenings now you’ll find me sat in my red chair doing a spot of crocheting. Sometimes I confess I just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet for a few minutes, still having to pinch myself that I actually have my very own crafty attic. It’s very much a work in progress but it’s just such a luxury to have a designated space for all my yarn!!
Now here’s my dilemma…….. If men have a ‘man cave’ does this mean that I have a ‘lady cave’….. ? Somehow that sounds very wrong indeed! Friends keep saying I should have a name for this space…… any ideas?
Share your story here…… is the prompt staring back at me. Five minutes later and it’s still there. Where to begin I wonder? What would you like to know about me? How much do you actually want to know? My mind boggles with the endless possibilities. Perhaps I should stop overthinking it and just start.
OK. Here goes.
Hi! Welcome to my blog. I guess I’d better start by introducing myself. My name is Amanda and for 26 years I’ve been a mum….. Domestic goddess…. Homemaker….. There are so many titles to chose from but I’m more than happy with the plain and simple Mum. I have loved being a mum to my children, all of which are growing up too fast for my liking. My youngest, my baby, is currently taking the first steps towards learning to drive a car. How did that happen so fast??
Anyway before I embarrass any of my wonderful children and bore you to death with their daily life, I’ll fast forward to where I find myself now.
Currently married to my Mr G and approaching another milestone birthday I find myself with the time to rediscover the joys of what we used to call hobbies. I wonder if that’s a term still used or if there is another, more modern description out there? Hmmm I know what I shall be Googling later….
Now I am rambling and definitely going off topic. Where was I? Oh yes. More time, blah blah blah. So, I’ve rediscovered my love of ‘stuff’. My love of shiny things….. Tactile things that I may or may not be able to use to make and create things. But most of all I’m becoming a hoarder of yarn. Yes I’m one of those women who has more yarn than she could ever use (but please don’t tell Mr G) and hardly any of it is suitable for the million and one projects I have on my to do list. Which of course means I will to purchase more yarn for said project. I will then sit and smile at the yarn. Touch it. Stroke it. And then at some point I may get round to actually using the yarn, providing of course I haven’t forgotten which social media site or magazine I found the pattern in the first place……
Enough, enough I hear you cry.
So quite basically, this blog will consist of me sharing my creations, discoveries, new hobbies…… And maybe a little of what me, Mr G and the family get up to. But probably just lots of photographs of my yarn.
Congratulations on reading to the end. It’s muchly appreciated xx