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 šŸ™‚

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.Ā As the blanket has grown I have had to add toĀ thoseĀ 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 šŸ™‚


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 šŸ™‚


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 haveĀ lostĀ 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. IĀ 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!) andĀ also to eat more cake than we probably should, washed down with gallons of tea.

Anyway, as we crochet, we chat. ItĀ transpired that one of my lovely new crochet buddies is planning a wedding for this month.Ā ItĀ 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.Ā 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,Ā so all in all, a win methinks.






Mandala Madness parts one – six!

IMG_3113Ooooh, I am loving this pattern.

Yet again, I am some way behind everyone else. I stumbled across the pattern as it was coming to the endĀ of it’s CAL!!Ā However, there is a bit of an advantage to this, in that I can see all the wonderful finished versions already made. There are a couple of groups on face book worth checking out too.

The links to all the parts can be found on the Crystals and crochet site. Lots of really lovely things to make on this site too. The written pattern is really well done with clear pictures and lots of useful tips and tricks.

Have a look online for some colour inspiration. I decided that this would be a potential perfect stash buster and so far have managed to only use yarn left over from previous projects or random purchase!!! Think this pattern really lends itself to some seriously random colours, although that may just be me!!!

I have seen some truly delicious ones online where the maker has been more restrained and planned better than I.

Anyway, will continue to post parts as I am finishing them.

Before I forget, the wonderfulĀ Esther Dijkstra from It’s all in a Nutshell has also done some fabulous video tutorials. I would not have achieved half of this pattern without these.









Sophie’s Universe – single colour, baby edition.

IMG_3081Well I have finally got round to taking some pictures of the small single colour Sophie I made recently. This is intended for a baby due thisĀ month and I hope will be used as a pram blanket. I am really pleased with how it turned out. In one colour the texture of Sophie really speaks for itself.

The pattern can be found on Look at what I madeĀ .

I added anĀ extra row of treble crochet(UK) or double crochet(US) just to square it off at the end.

Small single colour version for pram blanket.

Small single colour version for pram blanket.



Cauliflower meuniere – with the best will in the world it sounds like manure!! Luckily doesn’t taste of

IMG_3065Lately we have been trying to improve our eating habits. Us and the rest of the country it seems. We have massively reduced our sugar intake in the week, although not quite balancingĀ with our weekend “more relaxed approach” to food!!! The other thing I have been doing is finding more recipes that areĀ vegetarian, low calorie, tasty and easy to cook. Enter my new fave cook book, Elly Pear’s Fast Days and Feast DaysĀ Seems to be widely available to pick up fairly cheaply.

There are a few recipes in here that we have done a few times, the red lentil chilli is excellent and hubby is surprised every time he finds out there is no meat in it šŸ™‚

I decided to try to make the above cauliflower dish as it is so far removed from my usual fare. I have to say although delicious it is probably not something I would cook regularly as it was a bit of a palaver to prepare. My main reason for posting though is how much I managed to make mine look “almost” like the picture in the book. I was ridiculously happy with the presentation, so much so that I spent more time than I should have photographing this delight (yes, my dinner was a little cooler than I would have liked šŸ˜¦ )

Anyway, if for no ones pleasure but my own, here is my dinner!




Half way through the year, new crochet buddies and crocheted lovely stuff made

Cute DragonWhat a year this has been already. I started this year finishing the xmas blankets (ha ha)Ā and have just reached the longest day of the year having made a bunch of new crochet friends. Happy days.

Crochet seems to have been gathering a bit of popularity of late. A couple of friends wanted me to show them how to get started with crochet. We set a date and a new crochet club was born.Ā Friends told friends, and hey presto, once a month IĀ spend a Thursday afternoon and evening teaching the most delightful bunch of girls how to make stuff from yarn. Some, it has to be said with more success than others but that is probably in part due to my teaching skills or lack thereof !


We have had three meetings so far and already there have been blankets, bunnies and chicks made not to mention a hat šŸ™‚ I’ll have to seek permission from the artists as I hope to share their work.

Meanwhile I have been busy creating baby blanket, lovey and shoe set for a friend who’s baby is due next month and starting a new CAL. I so loved making Sophie’s Universe that I have been hunting for a similar project that I could get stuck into. Found Mandala Madness (by Crystals and Crochet) throughĀ the It’s all in a nutshell blog, the same lovely lady that did the video tutorials for Sophie has done some for Mandala Madness. Have a look at her youtube page for all the videos. I have already tackled part 1, and loving it already. Some new stitches that I haven’t come across before but the pattern is well written and easy to follow with lots of pics. The video tutorials are there as well should you need (I suspect I will further on in this pattern as the stitch count get’s higher).

Anyway, check them out and give it a go,

Mandala Madness





P.S have made one or two other bits and pieces this year which turned out rather lovely including some new creatures for my sisters new class next year šŸ™‚ Check out allaboutami for the dragon

Crochet Creatures

Sophie’s Universe, the last part :( oh no she’s finished.

IMG_3045So my Sophie is complete. She has been complete for some time now actually. I just have been terribly slow in updating my blog.

I have so enjoyed this pattern. So much so that on starting new projects I actually found it really tricky to be inspired. I have now decided after a very unsatisfying hexie blanket that I really want to do another, smaller Sophie for a friend who is expecting a baby in July. For a while when making my original blanket I thought that a version in one colour, parchment (style craft special DK) would be lovely for a pram blanket if I stopped at part 4 when it is a square. Just started that one today so hopefully I will be posting a yummy baby picture and blanket soon for that šŸ™‚

Anyway, here are the pictures of my completed Sophie, sorry they’re not great shots, it was a little sunny that day! And here are the links to the pattern pagesĀ on Dedri’s delightful website. Hope you like šŸ™‚






Sophie’s Universe parts 13,14,15 and 16

Sophie foldedOh how speedily my Sophie is growing.Ā These last few parts have been very quick. There are several rounds that you can Ā whizz through without worrying too much. Nice simple stitches in a nice straight line :). This makes for a very relaxing crochet session or two and therefore quite speedy.

A couple of tips from me though. If you areĀ (as I am) a little loose in your crocheting style, be aware that you may need a little more yarn than anticipated.

I also ran out of a couple of colours ahead of schedule as I had stopped following the template guide too. However this pattern positively glows when you improvise a bit (I think!)

What this has meant to me, is that I have had to buy a few more balls of yarn which has increased my cost slightly. Not too much though as using very economic Stylecraft Special DK yarn.

Part 14, be particularly mindful of (if you choose to do this like the pattern and use one colour).Ā That used an entire ball and a bit for me as it was all the same colour. However you couldĀ also use whatever combination makes your heart sing šŸ™‚ Experiment, play with your colours, why not šŸ™‚

What I have also done this time around is taken photos of the back of my Sophie. I love how the structure of this piece has developed.

Back of Sophie

reverse sophie

Here are the links that you will need to go to for this pattern.

Part 13 pattern and video

Part 14 pattern and video

Part 15 pattern and video

Part 16 pattern and video






Sophie’s Universe, parts 10, 11 and 12

IMG_2869I love, love, love this pattern. Dedri has created the most divine piece of work. I am particularly enjoying the way it changes in look and feel every time I add a new row. I even love the back of my Sophie and may very well have to take some pictures of that next šŸ™‚

The only downside to this beauty is thatĀ there is not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I need to do and do my Sophie. I still have to go to work and clean things occasionally!!!Ā šŸ˜¦

Here is the link to the main page for all the parts to Sophie. I tend to use a combination of the written pattern as well as the youtube videos. The main YouTube page for It’s all in a Nutshell can be found here