Mandala Madness 2018 edition

Love the saffron yellow

Well after giving away my original mandala to a very dear friend, I decided that I had to make myself one in all my favourite colours. The pattern is a wonderful free pattern by Helen Shrimpton. It was a crochet along that ran in 2016. Please see my previous mandala for all links to written pattern and video tutorials.

I have loved making these blankets, so imagine my delight when I discover that Helen has designed a new blanket that will be available as a crochet along starting on the 17th April 2018 🙂 Happy, happy days. Her website Crystals and Crochet has all the details and available yarn packs and links.

I am already intending to use my existing stash to make this but there are some cool colour suggestions on her site for those who like a well laid out plan.


Do have a go at making one of these yourself, I learned so much and the videos and photo tutorials make this very achievable for the adventurous beginner 🙂 As long as you can yarn over and jam your hook in somewhere, have a go 🙂





2018, new year new me. January is so tedious with it’s demands to self improve :(

I have pretty much lost my life mojo over the last year or so. I feel like I have been coasting through the last few months, doing what needs doing but not really doing what I want to be doing.

I have come to the conclusion that this is due to the children getting their adult lives up and running and so not needing me as much. I also feel that my career is a tad off track (not sure what track it needs to be on though!) I have always taken jobs that have suited my family’s needs and now find myself in the terrific position of being able to choose a job that I want to do…………trouble is, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up (I do appreciate that time may not be on my side here!)

Anyway, with a view to doing something that gives me joy but not too demanding I set myself the challenge of using up the last half balls of yarn before I was “allowed” to buy more. I did make some very cute amigurumi items for my sister (see below for links to amigurumi patterns) as well as a collection of baby converse booties. Loads of patterns out there but after some trial and error I chose to buy a great pattern from Etsy for these. Good value, clear straightforward instructions and cute box to make for the shoes too 🙂

Then,  whoopee,  shopping at wool warehouse for all the style craft special DK colours that I can justify 🙂 I am now happily and busily working my way through another mandala madness. I am really enjoying this pattern. Usually I don’t like to make a thing again but this pattern is so varied,  it keeps me interested. I love the way this pattern lends itself to my use (overuse) of colour 🙂

The next task (thanks January for making me look at my life) is to really look at what I want to be doing Monday to Friday (hopefully to Thursday!)

February update – well for goodness sake, how are we half way through February. The only thing I have really achieved so far this year has been my mandala madness, currently just completed up to part 14. Love, love, love making this. It has proved to be useful avoidance tool when it comes to, well pretty much anything I’m wanting to avoid!! Ha ha.

Anyway, I have been productive with the crochet club too which now has added new members. I am enjoying the challenge of trying to teach people something that I have learned through the magic of youtube.

Note to self – I must print out UK and US crochet terms for everyone. I tend to use US terms but a lot of the patterns that we have been working from are UK. This is adding a level of difficulty we could do without!!



The first two patterns are paid for patterns. The unicorn is a free pattern. Both of the paid for patterns had really clear instructions with helpful pictures. Highly recommended 🙂

Dendennis donkey pattern 

Lalylala kangaroo pattern

Unicorn pattern

Spring has Sprung (maybe) hopefully :)

Well the last couple of days have seen a delightful shine in the air. Birds have been chirping, sky is blue with cottonwool balls of clouds dancing along (I know, the words are a tad whimsical but that’s how I feel today 🙂 enjoy it!). My garden is showing signs of life too. Lovely, although it is a teensy bit early so hope we don’t have too much of a downturn on the weather front (forecast is looking a little chilly ahead)

Anyway, I digress. I have found myself recently with a little time off. Apart from napping, I have also been crocheting like a demon and also a spot of baking again. Lovely.

Todays venture has resulted in a batch of lemon curd for my daughter to take back to Uni with her tomorrow so that she can make some lemon curd and white chocolate muffins. Check out my recipe here, for the lemon curd. Keeps for about two weeks in the fridge although we’ve never had it long enough to test that theory!!!

I am hoping she sends me some pics. I have also finally got all the pieces together for my latest blanket, here is a sneak preview of some of the pieces 🙂 

The other thing I have been doing is trying to get better at my food photography skills, looking back over the last year to try and find a picture of spring flowers, I stumbled across some pics I took last year that never really got showcased. Apologies for the self indulgence but I really like them despite the fact that one of them is of the peel of a garlic bulb!!! Not to mention that this is the best pic I have produced in the last year (I think!)




Well for goodness sake, how is it March again already!!!

I am such a lackadaisical blogger!!! I keep crocheting and lately baking a bit more too. Think to myself, mmm must write up a blog post about that and then promptly don’t. Anyway, the next few posts will (I hope) have new recipes and also some links to some exciting CAL’s (crochet a long) that are coming up or already started.

This post though is motivated by my sweetest, youngest child. In her third year at uni she has decided that it is time to embrace the baking genes that run deep in this family! Text received requesting a recipe for banana muffins. I directed her to my blog as that is where said recipe resides. Shock horror, the offspring has not read my blog. Rude!!!!

Anyway, once over the shock, we discussed the pitfalls of baking without scales and she went ahead and produced a delicious batch of muffins that she shared with her coworkers that weekend. happy days. I am looking forward to the next time she comes home so we can bake something together and post pics.

Although I don’t have a picture of her baking, I do have a really cute picture of Agnes!!

Cute Agnes



Mandala Madness, completed, happy days

Well, finally am getting round to posting a few pictures of my completed Mandala. I have so enjoyed this pattern. What a generous designer Helen Shrimpton is 🙂

The links to the pattern as well as all the helpful pictures, links to video tutorials can be found here . The video tutorials from It’s all in a Nutshell were truly invaluable, check out the website for those and many other fab ideas .

Here are a few pictures of my finished piece which has already found a new home. Turns out it was almost impossible to get a shot of this thing without at least one cat on it!!!!

So here she is, my cat approved Mandala.








Mandala Madness parts 14 and 15

img_3365Oh me ,oh my, so busy crocheting this beasty I neglected to post any pictures of the progress made. Oops!!

As ever, could not have managed this without the fabulous pattern and video tutorials available online.

Here is the link to Helen Shrimpton’s site for this pattern and others. Well written and beautiful pictures to help guide you if a written pattern is your preferred method 🙂

Check out It’s all in a Nutshell YouTube channel for all of Esther’s tutorials for this and other patterns. Cannot recommend enough 🙂





Pokemon go – crochet version



Too hot to work on my Mandala at the moment so inspired by my kids love of Pokemon and the new craze of Pokemon go, I decided to make some small crochet Pokemon for them to find 🙂 I also needed to use up some of my teeny tiny bits of yarn scraps left over from my Mandala Madness blanket.

Had a look on Ravelry for patterns and found to my delight Nicole’s Nerdy Knots. She has created for free, some great teeny patterns that are really straightforward to do. Although they are free, you can make a donation to her page if you fancy. I have not been asked to do this on her behalf, just felt her stuff was good so we should 🙂


Stupidly I only took photos on my phone so forgive the quality and enjoy the following creations.




This last one, a Skarmory, did not have a pattern that I could find so for the first time in my crochet life I had a go at making something without a pattern. Luckily the internet is helpful with plenty of pictures. I am thrilled with the result and now wish I had written down what I did!!!







P.S Weedle! 14051568_10153962836841896_147498420460497343_n

Mandala Madness parts 10 – 13

section 13I have slowed down considerably over the last week, temperatures here are in the mid to late twenties which would be fine if I was on holiday and had a pool nearby. Sadly I have to work and my relaxing crochet time has been hampered by the heat generated by this blanket. Wherever it ends up for it’s forever home, let’s hope it’s chilly 🙂

Anyway, I have over the last month done parts 10-13. I love how each new section changes the feel of the blanket. I am still following my self imposed rule (sort of, I did buy some hot pink yarn the other day but haven’t used it yet!) of only using yarn I already own. As the blanket has grown I have had to add to those already owned colours as I can get through half a ball in one round on some of the larger stitches.


As the blanket has grown I have started to see that counting has become a problem for me! I think I have merrily counted correctly and it is not till the next section that it becomes clear that I have added one or lost one here and there. For the most part it hasn’t caused me too many problems. I can usually pull two together or add a stitch if needed. Luckily, as this pattern has sections, I have managed to maintain an even shape (ish!) Blocking it will I’m sure solve this too. Quite frankly once you’re under it, you’re going to be too cosy to care 🙂


As always, a big thank you to Helen Shrimpton for creating this amazing pattern and sharing it for free.All the links can be found on her website Crystals and Crochet.

And of course thanks to It’s all in Nutshell for the fabulous video tutorials without which I would be lost around part 10!!




P.S yes part 10 is a tad tricky but read the pattern, follow the video and go slow. It’s so pleasing when you nail it 🙂

Mandala Madness, all the way to part 9

IMG_3294My cunning plan was to take a picture at the end of each section. I appear to have lost part seven and eight’ s pictures, but got some of part nine. If I come across the missing pics will post them as it is so nice to see each part complete.

Love the way this pattern is developing. My choice of colour has, so far been dictated by what is available in my yarn stash and what the previous row was. I suspect that I will have to buy some yarn as the mandala grows. I am determined to try and continue to use this piece as a stash buster. I plan on only buying yarn, when a colour I already own has been chosen, but is running out on a round. Should be interesting to see what my yarn stash looks like when I’m done.IMG_3297



Anyway, as always refer to the written and pictorial pattern. Helen Shrimpton has designed this gorgeous pattern and is sharing it for free ,so please do visit her site for all the information you will need on this pattern and her many others.



Crochet bunting for a summer wedding

IMG_3191Every month now for a few months, myself and a few friends have been getting together every month. Primarily, so that I can teach them what I know about crochet (not masses, but enough!) and also to eat more cake than we probably should, washed down with gallons of tea.

Anyway, as we crochet, we chat. It transpired that one of my lovely new crochet buddies is planning a wedding for this month. It will be decorated with lots of handmade or grown at home stuffs (see cute pic of sweet peas given to me by lovely groom’s Mum!). It was decided that some crochet bunting would be a good teach as quite a simple pattern, and very pleasing to do as it works up quite quickly.


There are lots of patterns online for bunting. The version that I showed my friends was based on one I had seen on Pink Milk -crochet bunting tutorial


The leaves and the daisy flowers I created myself without a pattern.I may have a go at writing the pattern up (watch this space). I used them to embellish and trim the bunting. The tassels were, quite frankly, an example of me getting carried away. This was really my first foray into designing something myself. I quite enjoyed the process and the groom’s Mum seems pleased with the result, so all in all, a win methinks.