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!)




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 🙂





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.



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 this 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 made .

I added an 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.



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) 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. Friends told friends, and hey presto, once a month I 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 🙂 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) through 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 🙂 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 🙂

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 pages on Dedri’s delightful website. Hope you like 🙂






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

Sophie foldedOh how speedily my Sophie is growing. These last few parts have been very quick. There are several rounds that you can  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 are (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). That used an entire ball and a bit for me as it was all the same colour. However you could also use whatever combination makes your heart sing 🙂 Experiment, play with your colours, why not 🙂

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