One whole year of business - Where has the year gone!
My little business is a few days away from being a whole year old. Can you believe it! Its been a surprisingly calm first year with lots of pattern designing and creative events being held.
On a daily basis I fight with my to do list and wish for more time but when I reflect back on what I have achieved throughout the year I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I have designed and launched four patterns which are available to download on Etsy and I have oodles of designs in process (too many to count!) some of which will be available for free on my blog later this year. On top of all of this I have met some amazing people at my crochet clinics and workshops and love the creative community I am part of.
Connections and collaborations with other local businesses and online buddies have been super exciting and I look forward to building on these over the coming months.
As of 11th September my world will change considerably. My baby girl starts school! As she grows and we conker each leap and turn we, I feel, will move towards a calmer, more organised life. I see September as a time for us to regroup. As the girls minds develop and they explore who they are I struggle to keep them entertained, tantrums often run high... and that's just me! The juggle of home, day job, business and my beautiful family often gets muddled and this is why I hold September so high up on a pedestal.
Our working day will be shorter, giving us a more relaxed pace to play, laugh and simply be together. I currently work in the evenings on my business when the girls have gone to bed and most days we're on the go from 6am and they don't settle until after 7pm. Starting work between 8-8.30pm in the evening isn't as productive has I'd like.
So, as of September we will all experience change. I have rejigged my hours at the day job so I can do the school run and, wait for it, I will get a full day, well five hours, on a Friday to spend purely on business! Oh my word, this is going to be bliss. I will be able to keep on top of blogging, write up patterns as I create them, plan events and workshops, and generally share my journey with you more frequently. Eeek, So excited! I hope that this dedicated time will help to separate business and home. I often feel guilty. Its not uncommon for me to get distracted thinking about whats on my to do list whilst I'm with the girls or feel sad that I miss out on fun activities as I take time away to do business, like today. That's to plan anyway! Wish us luck as we start our next adventure!
It's Party Time!
I launched my creative business back in August last year and as part of my business plan I wanted to offer a monthly event to support my students. September 2016 saw the birth of Crochet Clinic.
Crochet Clinic is a place for like minded people to come together, share their crochet journey and explore new techniques and ideas. Its predominantly a social event but if anyone is interested in learning to crochet its a great place to come and see what its all about. Find our more about Crochet Clinic here.
To celebrate our first year I am hosting a special Birthday Crochet Clinic on Wednesday 6th September. There will be cake, tasty treats, music and an vibrant party feel. Regulars, followers, newbies, friends and family alike please join me for a relaxed, anything goes Crochet Clinic. Bring your craft or just yourselves, take part or drink and eat the night away, whatever you choose, I'll see you there! For more information, check out the Facebook event here.
It's Giveaway Time!
Not only will there be a party to celebrate my first year but I am also running an Instagram Giveaway, right now! I have teamed up with a couple of my fave creatives to host the giveaway alowing one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on these wonderful prizes.
To be in with a chance of winning, head over to Instagram and follow these three simple rules; follow me, like the giveaway photo and tag a friend, simple! The competition will close Fri 25th August 2017 at 7pm GMT. Don't miss out - Go do it now! The winners will be drawn at random and announced Sat 26th August.
You're the best - Thanks guys!
Thank you so much for all your support this year, you're the best. As always, please leave me a comment and say hi. It's you guys that keep me going, my community, my friends and family, your my team.
Ta-ra for now duckies
What does community mean to you? Do you have a creative tribe? Where in the world are you? I'm a Nottingham girl born and bred and I love the diversity of creativity that the city has to offer, from colourful illustrators and makers to wacky yarn shop owners (Eleanor, thats you!!) Nottingham's creative community is growing at a speedy rate and it excites me that I can be part of it.
" Be part of something bigger than yourself "
For so long I have plodded along in my own creative bubble, too introverted to get myself out there and mingle. However, since my launch back in August last year I feel I have stepped out of my bubble and built up exciting new relationships with some super talented folk. I now feel part of a tribe.
Last weekend Nottingham exploded! It's In Nottingham, Bulwell Arts Festival, as well as so many more hosted a range of events throughout Nottingham and I was lucky enough to attend a few of them. Here's my journey around my wonderfully creative city.
Nottingham Independents Festival hosted by It's In Nottingham
Saturday 8th July saw a jam packed day of family fun. My beautiful family and I hopped on the tram and headed for the city centre to visit many of the fabulous independent businesses in Nottingham and celebrate the Its In Nottingham Independents Festival with them.
Throughout the day there was free entertainment on stage at Trinity Square, Pelham Square, Middle Pavement and Carlton Street, as well as street parties held at Trinity Walk, Flying Horse Walk, St James’s Street and Cobden Chambers. Lots to see and do.
We began our adventure at Trinity Square, where Peppa and Daddy Pig made guest appearances, a not to be missed event for a certain three year old! We danced, listened to stories and giggled before strolling down the best dressed street in town, Trinity Walk.
We chatted to lots of folk, popped into Knit Nottingham (of course), sampled cake and juice at Ilas Little Tea Shoppe, hunted for prizes and so much more.
It was then time to go see the lions. The girls did their ritual stroke of the famous left lion before we headed for St James Street.
The street has changed somewhat over the years and now houses some of my favourite places. The Malt Cross is a must visit if you're after somewhere relaxed to eat and drink, its brilliant for families and with access to the shop next door, Handmade Nottingham, its a treat not to be missed.
Handmade Nottingham is a wonderful treasure trove of a shop. Owned and run by the equally wonderful Rhea Clements who has put her heart and sole into creating a beautiful shop that showcases the best selection of local designers and makers.
On the day I got to see my super talented buddy Jo Want from Hello Sunshine who was busy painting away these fabulous watercolour portraits. There wasn't much time to stop and catch up as this lady had people lining up to have their mugs painted.
Next up we popped into Dukki Gifts to say hi to Heidi. Its the first time I've been into the shop and met Heidi even though I have Insta stalked the shop since its opening back in 2014 and have many a products which have been gifted to me. I just love everything about this quirky little shop, great gifts, homewares and the best souvenirs in town... not to mention the best shop colour choice ever! (#TealLove)
" Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much " - Helen Keller
Often I nip off and do businessy, creative type stuff on my own, well, because its just easier. But I'm so glad I could share all of this with my three favourite people on Saturday. My girls are growing up so fast and both are taking an interest in what mummy's up to. Biggest little loves to draw and Smallest little is always in my yarn basket so being able to share the creative side of Nottingham with them is so exciting.
Bulwell Arts Festival Family Fun Day at The Bulwell Academy
Bulwell Arts Festival is in its fourth year and each year it just gets better and better. 8 days of family fun, music, poetry, art, crafts, workshops, its an event not to be missed. If this is the first time you're hearing about it, then head over to Facebook and check out the amazing list of events that have just taken place.
The Bulwell Academy host a Family Fun Day each year to kick off a week long creative programme of events. This years event was something to talk about! The space was filled with colour, energy and oodles of happy, excited faces. There was 'have-a-go' craft tables, craft stalls, food, dancing, a bouncy castle, Super Sparkle Party entertainers, you name it, they had it. But by far, for me (the big kid) the best bit was when Hunter the dinosaur rocked up! Boom!
We left Daddy (Mr Towriess) at home and the girls and I absorbed the carnival atmosphere, danced, played and mingled with so many fantastic families. We even helped out Granddad (my dad) on his art stall.
I'm so proud of this man. He has turned his passion to paint into a business. Using art as therapy Art by Phil Hearn creates a magnificent and diverse range of art, demonstrates techniques, teaches master classes, kids workshops and has more recently converted his garage and outbuilding into a home studio and gallery space. If you're free between 16th - 23rd July, Art by Phil Hearn will be hosting an open studio event showcasing a selection of Bulwell's Artistic finest. Do pop by and have a look, it's well worth a visit.
Earlier this year I was invited to work with Bulwell Arts Festival on a graphic design project. I worked closely with the organisation team and produced an exciting events brochure, posters, banners and social media artwork, all within the space of a couple of weeks. I have since been invited to join the team officially ready for next years event. The programme of events and number of collaborators increases massively each year and I am super excited about being involved, transforming the brand and creating an impactful range of marketing collateral that will well and truly put Bulwell and Bulwell Arts Festival on the map!
" When I came here, I was looking for a community.
Then I realised I was helping to create one. "
Bulwell Arts Festival Eco Art on the Garden hosted by Bulwell Forest Garden
As part of the Bulwell Arts Festival the Bulwell Forest Garden host a fantastic Eco Art on the Garden event which this year I got to be a part of. I have visited the garden for many family events over the yeas so when I was asked to run a creative workshop I jumped at the chance.
Bulwell Forest Garden is a community garden run by volunteers and includes food growing, wildlife areas, a community orchard and outdoor kitchen. Its a wonderful place to visit and is open to everyone. To find out more head over to their website.
This fabulous Eco Art event took place on Sunday 9th July and the weather was glorious. The best weather for a day spent outdoors being creative.
I rocked up with all my creative bits and bobs, which included yarns, ribbons, textured threads, recycled cardboard tubes, paper plates and whatever else I thought might make an interesting adornment for my dream catcher workshop.
Here I am at the beginning of the day with my well organised, neat and tidy corner.... it didn't stay that way for long!
Families piled in and made themselves comfortable under the gazebo for a relaxed 'make and take' creative session. There was something for everyone and people came and went as they pleased. Some stayed for hours and made more than one dream catcher and others had a go and then moved on to other areas of the garden for more eco friendly activities.
I was blown away by the array of work produced throughout the day and how each and every child (and parent) took time to consider colours and decoration. Some coloured in paper plates, some wrapped yarn around tubes, some even replicated Pokemon symbols by threading yarn through holes in paper plates.
I loved that my family and friends could join me, have ago and enjoy such a wonderful, free, local event. Without the community I have become a part of, most of which had come from play groups and childrens church activities like Messy Church (thanks girls), I may not have even known about this ever growing creative community right here on my doorstep, in Bulwell or be friends with such an amazing bunch of people.
" The best way to multiply your happiness is to share it with others. "
The community gardens are amazing but I hear so many people say that they didn't even know they existed. A little secret hideaway I'm so pleased to know about and share with you today.
Knowlegde is power, community is strength and positive attitude is everything.
- Lance Armstrong
I'm so proud of my community and the tribe I'm now a part of. As a work from home business it's easy to feel isolated. To be a part of these wonderful events, be in the presence of such warmhearted, creative people, local families and fellow artists and makers makes me proud to be a Bulwellian, a Notts girl and I'm here to shout about this amazing community.
Did you pop along to any of these events, or take part in something similar elsewhere? I would love to hear from you and enhance my community further. You, yes you, reading this, you're part of my community. Its you that keeps me going and helps me be a better designer and teacher. It's you that I want to share all of this with. Thanks for taking the time to read this epic post, until the ext time, terrar for now me duck!
I've only gone and taken part in my very first vlog!
Eleanor from Knit Nottingham invited me along to her wonderful yarn shop in the centre of Nottingham to make a guest appearance in her Vlog a Day April. I was super excited that she'd asked me, albeit a little daunted about speaking in front of the camera unrehearsed! Either way a great opportunity not to be missed.
Ay Up Duck!
After seeing my Ay Up Duck Cushion all over Instagram and Facebook Eleanor had fallen in love! She approached me back in January as she was super eager to stock the pattern in her shop. I have been selling my patterns for a few months over on Etsy but this was my first pattern to be developed into a printed version, how very exciting!
Eleanor and I have been chatting for months, planning and plotting our exciting collaboration and now my Ay Up Duck Cushion crochet pattern is printed and will be available to purchase exclusively from Knit Nottingham this May. Never fear, if you can't wait that long, you can purchase a downloadable copy over in my Etsy shop right now... go, go get your copy right now and hook up your duck!
Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day
Join me and Eleanor and all of her fabulous customers on Saturday 6th May at Knit Nottingham to celebrate Love Your Local Yarn Shop Day. There will be an open house in the shop, bring your crochet and knitting, have a giggle, drink tea (or bring a bottle and sip wine later on in the day!) eat cake and relax surrounded by a bunch of fellow creatives. Don't forget to bring your pennies too as there will be new yarns (AND PATTERNS!!) available as well as Eleanor's full stock range. And if you're lucky, I may even sign a pattern or two! What's not to love, right?! Get it in your diary.
" Knit Nottingham is an award winning, independent yarn shop in the heart of Nottingham. Founded in 2010 by Eleanor Burke, LLB escapee seeking refuge in her sticks and string. Since then, she's built up the most amazing, positive, affirming and conscientious little business, right in the heart of Nottingham.
As the only (and therefore best!) local and independent yarn shop in Nottingham City Centre, Knit Nottingham like to be involved in all things crafty and social! They organise regular pub meets, knit and crochet alongs and a number of shop parties each year. Knit Nottingham was based on Mansfield Road for five years, but earlier this year they found the perfect place to move to on Trinity Walk, right in the heart of Nottingham! "
If you haven't stopped by Knit Nottingham yet then its a must visit when you're next in Nottingham.
Please do let me know how I did in my first ever vlog. I bloody enjoyed it and would love to have a go myself one day.... I'll add it to that humongous to do list!! Oooo I wonder what you'd like to hear me talk about? Answers on a postcard please!
Celebrate April with me!
It's only bloomin' 6th April already!
To celebrate the best month of the year I thought I'd create my very own Instagram Challenge. Mainly to encourage myself to post more thoughtful, engaging posts but also to celebrate a fabulous time of year, Springtime. A time for warmth, happiness, a burst of colour, new life, and longer days. Oh how I'm loving the longer days, the light nights are a breath of fresh air. Oh and April is a month filled with Birthdays and celebrations, woohoo!! Who else is an April baby?
I have purposely kept the challenge to two weeks long because I know a full month can be bloomin' overwhelming. I just knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with a 30 day challenge. Been there and failed. I think I only got to about Day 16 of #yarnlovechallenge back in February and then dropped in and out when I liked the sound of the prompt.
Here's a few of my favourite images from #yarnlovechallenge...
If you would like to join in my Celebrate April Challenge here's how:
The 14 prompts I have listed are totally up to your interpretation. Take them literally or dream up something wacky. It’s up to you!
Have fun folks. I look forward to seeing your images and reading your thoughts.
For anyone that knows me well knows that I love a good clear out, a clear house means a clear mind! And at this time of year, when Mr Sunshine starts to makes more of an appearance, what better time to have a big spring clean.
The more and more I try to juggle being a mum and wife, the day job and my wonderful creative business, the more I seek a work space of my own. Somewhere I can store all of my lovely yarns, workshop supplies, and inspiring books away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.
At the moment my creative world appears all over the house, there are baskets and baskets of yarn everywhere. Whilst it's nice to have all of my things to hand, I'm beginning to feel bogged down by the shear amount. I need to de-clutter my home and my mind.
Inspired by the Mollie Makes Big Comic Relief Crafternoon I thought what better excuse to arrange a colourful sale event of my own. The Crochet Clinic Stash Buster Sale event was born.
It felt so good to bring all of my stash together in one place and have a good sort out. Now that I am designing more of my own patterns its so important to keep track of what yarn brands, types and amounts I'm using so it was out with the old and in with the new. Ok, so I haven't bought any new yarn for a while but I do have a consistent range of go to yarns that I have been using so they've stayed and all of the acrylic DK yarn and fancy bits and bobs from my uni days were sorted, tidied up and offered out for sale at bargain prices to you lovely lot in my Stash Buster Sale. As well as yarn there were books, papercrafts and sewing goodies to be had.
On the day, I roped two of my favourite girlies into helping me and we lugged boxes and boxes of crafty goodies in to the entrance of Tesco Bulwell Extra for a fun filled day of colour and creativity. The event ran from 11am - 2pm on Sunday 19th March, 2017.
Not only was my stash up for grabs on the two large sale tables there was the opportunity to enter the raffle and take part in my kids craft activity too.
The raffle went down really well and there were eight lucky winners who took home prizes. I think my fabulous sister, Gemma wins the medal for most tickets sold on the day! Here she is deep in ticket selling mode...
Something for the kids
Yarn is such a versatile material to work with, it comes in so many different textures, colours and fibres. I was keen to get the kids involved at this event and introduce them to the world of fibre arts. We're all familiar with knitting, crochet and weaving but what else can we use yarn for?
There are just far too many possibilities to consider so I headed off to Pinterest for inspiration. You can see a few of my favourite yarn based kids craft ideas here. In the end I opted to make paper plate dream catchers. It seemed the right choice of craft as the money we were raising could help make someones dreams come true.
What is a dream catcher? Dream catchers are arts and crafts of the Native American people and are usually decorated with beads and feathers. They are said to capture good spirits and allow the sleeper to have peaceful, beautiful dreams. This project just seemed perfect!
The girls and I mocked up a few samples for the event, probably more than we really needed but they were just so much fun to make! On the day we had a steady flow of mini crafters, I would like to introduce you to some of Bulwell's finest creatives...
Everyone that took part in our craft did such an amazing job. So much better than I could have ever imagined. Their designs were imaginative and the use of colour was to die for. Great job kids, I'm so proud of your well thought out designs, use of colour and pattern and I hope your dream catchers hang proudly above your beds to allow for wonderful dream filled sleep.
I love my pom pom beard!
Hands up who's been following my beard adventures on Instagram?! After seeing the pom pom beard created by Lauren O'Farell from Deadly Knitshade for the Mollie Makes Big Crafternoon Magazine I was in love. I knew instantly I had to make one of my own. My initial thoughts were to have a mini photobooth area at my event for people to use my pom pom beard and other wacky handmade props to take selfies but I just couldn't let go. I have grown fond of my beard and I did not want to share!
As you can see here and over on Instagram I have shared my beard with a special select few...
Get your copy of Mollie Makes Magazine to get started on your very own pom pom beard.
I would like to thank everyone that made my fundraiser event a huge success. Thank you to everyone that purchased from my sale, everyone that entered my raffle, thank you to those that throw a pound or two into our buckets and a massive thank you to my very special helpers.
Gemma and Laura, I couldn't have done it all without you, you made the day fun and were super friendly, helpful sales girls. Thank you Dad for helping set up, taking photos and for donating all of the balloons to decorate the place. Thank you Sean for cutting out all of the paper plates for the kids crafts and for putting up with the mess at home whilst I prepared for the event. And finally thank you to Margaret for donating some of her stash to the sale to give you all an even more varied range of goodies to choose from.
firstname.lastname@example.orgThis event was a first for me and I feel it was a huge success. I hope to organise more family friendly events in the future as well as continue to build my monthly Crochet Clinic. Please let me know what you thought. What would you like to see next time? Would you like to get involved? Did you buy anything from the Stash Buster Sale?
Comment below or send an email to email@example.com, I'd love to hear from you. If you're on social media and want to share your makes from your Stash Buster purchases please use hashtag #crochetaprilfundraiser, I can't wait to see the journey my stash has made!
"I'm April and it's my mission to get people crocheting/crafting"
Being In Colourful Company is the best kind of company!
Sunday was a fun day filled with colour. My fabulous friend Jo from Hello Sunshine, who I have been buddies with for fifteen years (bloomin fifteen years... where has that time gone!) invited me along to a wonderful event called In Colourful Company Nottingham.
I was so excited about joining in the fun. Having a child free day, with a bunch of creatives, what's not to be exciting about, right! I wasn't too sure what to expect. I had stalked the Facebook pages and browsed Instagram but I couldn't picture where our hosts would be taking us. The idea of the event is for a bunch of creatives to come together in their most colourful of clothing and explore a new city capturing the journey along the way. The event happens monthly (I think?!) so look out for one near you. I think the next one is in Leeds on 27th May.
I was ridiculously nervous beforehand but I'm so glad I went. I still have work to do when it comes to mingling and putting myself out there though. I didn't speak to many people outside of my group or join in many of the group photos or boomerangs but its a big bloomin start. I got to hang out with two of my oldest friends Jo and Sarah from Art foundation, put faces to the names I'd been following online as well as be overwhelmingly inspired by the entire day.
I often feel isolated, juggling everything in my life. Creativity is a huge part of me, within the day job as a graphic designer and marketing assistant, within family life (juggling home, activities, outings, meals, tantrums....!!!) and obviously within my crochet business, when I manage to squeeze in anytime that is. It often gets a little overwhelming at times. It was nice to take time out of real life and be inspired by my surrounding and the wonderful ladies I shared the day with, with no purpose other than to capture the moment and make a few new friends along the way. Bliss!
Here is just a few of my favourite photos from the day....
Jo and I met on our Art foundation year and she is probably one of my biggest creative inspirations. We started out craft fairing together way back when, sharing tables and exciting adventures. (We've definitely done our fair share of dodgy craft fairs in our time.) I then went off to buy a house, become a wife and have babies and Jo turned her artistic vision into the amazing creative business she runs today. I bloody love this girl and her passion. We all need a bit of sunshine in our lives.
Colourful company is most definitely the best company to keep. I feel my style is pretty colourful, I like to express my creativity through what I wear but Sunday has made me realise creativity comes from within, it is beautiful when shared and I am so thankful to have been apart of such a wonderful event. I super hope to get along to more and meet these fabulous people again. Thank you to each and everyone of you that made Sunday's colourful photowalk a brilliant day out.
Thanks my lovelies
February is jam packed with some amazing events and pattern releases.
I'm excited to share with you, not just one but two, brand new patterns. They are definitely the cutest I've designed so far, so much so I almost lost them before getting a photograph of them as my girlies have already put dibs on the one they want.
Join me this February for a spot of crochet...
Who's going to have a guess at what they are? Sneak peak at two brand new crochet patterns to be released February 2017. I may even do a couple of custom orders, I love making them that much. Who'd like one?
Visit me Etsy shop to view my full range of patterns.
I have a busy month ahead of me, I'm looking forward to meeting some more amazingly creative people and hearing all your feedback. Dont forget to leave me a comment so I know you're listening.
Like with anything new you try confidence comes with time and practice. If you have the right instructor and you practice enough, you’re sure to be able to crochet with confidence. Easier said than done, right?!
Whether you’ve never picked up a hook before or you’re just starting out and feeling overwhelmed, I hope you find this post useful. The same also goes for seasoned crocheters in need of a confidence boost. With the right guidance, I believe, anyone can give crochet a go.
Where do you start?
With so many books, YouTube videos and creative workshops out there, which one do you choose? The answer is, the one that is right for you. So, which one is right for you?
I, like many of my students, prefer to learn from a real person, right there in front of me, guiding and encouraging me and telling me where I’m going wrong. Others are happy to sit at home and teach themselves via the internet, YouTube or trawl through books for the most appropriate tutorial for their learning style.
So, which type of learner are you?
Whichever way you learn, confidence cannot be taught. Confidence comes from within. I taught my first workshop of the year the other day, I was joined by four ladies who lacked confidence with crochet. Almost all of them had had a go at crochet before but just couldn't quite get to grips with it. This is where I came in.
How to feel Confident!
Simply, take baby steps, practice lots (and lots, and lots), ask for help, experiment with materials and take your time. You are not going to be crocheting master pieces on your first try and yes, no doubt, there will be lots of frogging, yay, new word… frogging means pulling your work out… Not your hair out!
I would start by learning the stitches, finding a comfortable way to hold your hook and yarn and relax. Simple squares work better than long continuous rows as you will gain more of a sense of accomplishment. One of the worst things you could do is start an elaborate project to then become bored of the repeat. Squares allow you to play around with colours and textures easily and they can then be joined together to make a blanket or cushion cover for example.
Within my Introduction to Crochet workshops I always begin by explaining that everyone's crochet journey is different. Some struggle to grasp the basics in the early stages (I know it took my Granny a while to teach me those many years ago) and others pick things up very easily, just like Tracey who attended my January Introduction to Crochet Workshop. Within the three hour session Tracey mastered the chain stitch, double crochet, treble crochet, double treble as well as experimenting with the shell stitch.
"But I just can't seem to get it. I don't think crochet is for me!"
The beauty of crochet is that it only requires two things to begin, a hook and some yarn. Ok, so patience, willingness to learn, creativity, and an interest to create with yarn are also required but if you’re reading this then you’re almost there! Of course, the right teacher also helps!
Often, the yarn or hook type you choose can determine whether your first experience of crochet is a success or not. The best way to start is to purchase a value ball of yarn and a basic crochet hook. Choosing a yarn that is too textured or the wrong colour can prove to be a nightmare. For instace, never choose a dark coloured yarn whilst you're practising as you will struggle to see the stitches. These challenges may be what are holding you back from feeling confident and moving forward with your crochet journey. I use double knit (DK) acrylic yarn in my beginners classes and a 4mm crochet hook. Stylecraft yarn is a great yarn option as it comes in a huge range of colours, I buy mine from Knitworking in Gedling but you can also buy online.
Did you know?
Remember, learning to crochet is a journey and there will be bumps along the way. Take regular breaks, stretch your shoulders, wriggle your fingers and enjoy. Once you find a comfortable way of holding your hook and yarn, which is often the hardest thing to master, you'll be away. Start small and your confidence will grow. Jumping in at the dead end can only mean disaster!
I run a monthly Crochet Clinic which is a great place to gain support when you're struggling, be inspired by others and crochet in a social environment. If you're not local to Nottingham then why not see what craft groups are running in your area. Knit and Natter, Craft and Chat, Stitch and Bitch are just a few terms you could pop into a Google search.
Be confident my lovelies, you can do this! Happy Crocheting!
Introducing the Joshua blanket
Following on from my last post about my best friend Nicky’s crochet baby shower and the excitement around the birth of her third bundle of boy, I would like to introduce you to baby Joshua and his completed memory blanket.
I have loved everything about this blanket. I love that it’s for one of my closest friends, I love that all of her nearest and dearest have crocheted bits of it, I am blown away by the colour choice (its bloody lush!) and I love that as Joshua entered the world, the now very cold world here in Nottingham he was instantly wrapped up in this handmade beaut!
I will be writing this pattern up shortly and it will be available over in my Etsy shop… when I get round to it of course, in between Christmas prep, house duties, being mum, employment and the like! If you haven’t already spied it via social media, keep your eyes peeled for another colourway coming soon.
Thanks for reading my lovelies.
Whether you’re planning a birthday treat, hen do surprise or beautiful baby shower, get crafty and learn to crochet! Thats just what my bestie Nicky did!
Nicky and I have been friends since childhood, we lost contact for awhile when we went off to university but were reunited when we both had our second child. With two years of weekly playdates and another bundle of cuteness on the way, Nicky not me, we're closer than ever. This is why I was so excited when she asked me to host a crochet baby shower at her home for her friends and family.
Nicky and I chatted in length about what kind of crochet party she wanted. Nicky chose the granny square project and the yarn colours, which I have to add are to die for, and I provided all the materials and equipment for the session along with my years of crochet experience.
Crochet granny squares are super addictive and a fun 'together' project. Nicky and her friends worked as a group to create an array of beautiful crochet squares which I will patchwork together into a fabulous keepsake blanket for the baby. See Part 2 for the big reveal.
I'm in love with the whole creative baby shower concept as everyone close to the mum and baby create a little piece of love that can be treasured forever. Yuk, I know right, but I think it's brilliant.
Nicky invited ten of her closest girlies and we all enjoyed an afternoon of crochet and cake. Most of the group were beginners with only a couple who'd crocheted before. 'April' 'April' was called from all sides of the room and I darted around the group as best I could to offer my support where needed. It was a busy old afternoon but I loved it. As you can imagine there was lots of giggles and girly banter.
Tea, wine, cake and crochet, what more could you ask for. It was a perfect afternoon. There was a constant supply of fabulous refreshments courtesy of Nicky herself. (Not that I got to sample much of it because I was so busy!) And a beautiful afternoon tea lovingly created by the talented Gemma May Cakes (who just so happens to be my big sister). If you haven't already sampled her delights, pop over to her Facebook page and have a gander.
Creative get togethers are becoming a more and more popular option when celebrating a birthday, hen do or baby shower. If you know someone that's creative and wants to learn a new skill then why not get in touch. I love sharing my knowledge and love of crochet with others and what better excuse than a gathering of friends with tea, wine or cake or even better, all of the above!
Thanks for reading my lovelies.