This was my kitchen table this afternoon. I went on a brisk bright walk with the dog and then got my hair cut this morning. I planned on having the rest of the day as a bit of reset time and by that I meant catching up on chores with the hope of being more on top of things. I ended up subbing that for doing something creative. I feel better for it as well. The weekend was just busy and too full and yesterday I was in town for a big chunk of time running chores. I’m done basically. I feel behind on EVERYTHING in my life. I have blog pieces queued up, other writing, a big list of ideas for patterns to write up, challenges to work through with coding, the home stuff to do from the laundry and cleaning, to the admin and then the life stuff, sorting the imminent birthday of the first born, planning things with friends and family. Everything has that unfinished and overwhelming edge to it. I’m basically underperforming against my own standards ACROSS THE BOARD. I feel like that is life all the time but sometimes it feels much more manageable and I feel much more in control. I currently feel like I’m spinning plates. Badly.
I get more energised when I’ve made progress in something though and I can feel it coming together in my hands, I am so far from the end on this project though. 36 squares is far too many for a four colour square.
I didn’t get a run in which was on the list today after what feels like a long hiatus, but is in fact only a few weeks. I woke up with a crick in my neck and it’s been painful all day but I’m pretty set to pick it up tomorrow. I’m a bit nervous that my knee might start niggling again, but I guess I just have to take that first step again. Anyway, that time again, time for pick up….
When I began this blanket at the end of November I was hoping to add one square per evening. This was my background daily project that would grow slowly and on days where it was difficult to fit in crochet be the thing I would at least be getting further with.
As it turned out, with December being as busy as it usually is, this didn’t quite happen. The larger squares can take around half an hour to finish and that sometimes just doesn’t fit at the end of the day. At least two out of seven evenings in the week I generally don’t get anywhere near any kind of evening routine. However I have been plugging away at this. I can usually find at least ten minutes to work on a piece of the puzzle, even if it doesn’t get completed and attached. I love the way that it has come together and the way it lies and gets slowly more substantial.
There are still around 50 individual squares to work up to get it complete, currently I lay it out on my bed in my room every morning when I make the bed and then pick a colour to add and work up a square in the evening but it won’t be long before I’m picking up the whole piece and taking it down to the sofa to work on a mismatched finishing border to bring it all together.
It’s made me want to work on another for all my scraps where every round is at least one colour. That would take a phenomenal amount of time and the idea of all the ends to weave in is slightly daunting but I’ve added it to the potential project list. For now, this looks like it will be the first big project of 2017 to get finished, a really fantastic way to work through ALOT of yarn.
I’ve had an additional project going on in the background over the last few weeks. Initially it started out as a discarded granny square I’d begun some time ago that I’d marked out to be a cat blanket I would end up donating at the local animal shelter. I dug it out and thought I’d do something with it.
I got the idea that I would use up all the scraps from my other blankets by adding them randomly and see how it turned out. Quite quickly I got really taken with the project and saw it as a great way of de-stashing. I have a shameful stash of yarn that I am currently harbouring and I feel pretty good about turning all these unused bits and pieces of yarn into something useful. I’m desperate to clear my supplies out and only have what I need.
I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying the way the colours are working up. Initially I thought I’d stick to dk but as it turns out I’ve thrown all sorts of weights in, sock yarn I thought I’d one day get round to using, random colours I’ve picked up when I first started out crocheting, cotton, 4ply. The fact is I’ve got drawers and drawers of unused yarn and I feel pretty icky about it. I may be close to finishing this one now (I want it to take camping and brighten up the tent, I’ve got an old one for the other bed, my first large crocheting project I ever did) but I’ve for sure got enough yarn to be getting straight on with another one. When I first started out crocheting I acquired yarn like a kid in a candy shop. I didn’t realise I’d have yarn left over from projects or buy yarn for projects I would never start! I’d buy extra when I ordered online, I’d buy skeins impulsively and greedily. If you’re reading this, you probably know the feeling.
I’m almost there on this one and I’m pretty attached to it in all its imperfection. It’s the ideal project to settle on the sofa with and switch off at the end of the day and it’s growing at a satisfying pace. There’s also something about the process when I make a big blanket project that I connect with, which is hard to explain. I’ve made quite a few now and I think I will always remember where these projects sit on my life timeline, what was going on, what my thoughts were, what my challenges were, how I was thinking and also silly things like how the living room was looking, what tv show I was crocheting to, how big the children were.
I’ll be making these kind of infinity granny square blankets with all my scraps from hereon in so expect to see plenty more randomness in the future!
I finished this blanket quite a few weeks ago and now that it’s been safely received I wanted to get it posted on here.
The pattern for this beaut can be found here. It’s reasonably simple to make and once I picked up the pattern and committed to it, it came together relatively quickly.
This blanket got pinned on my cool crochet pinterest board years ago so it was great to finally have an excuse to make it. I just have to work on seeing it in situ now with Little Freya Rose (I know – her name is so fitting for this blanket… kismet) in France soon.
Congratulations Lianne and Stu!!! Bisous x
I’d never made a blanket with 3D shapes in the blocks before and I enjoyed the switch up, I also really enjoyed deciding on the colour placements for each of the squares.
To make this blanket I used drops paris red, light ice blue, pistachio, light turquoise, strong yellow and shocking pink.
It’s probably going to be my favourite finished item of 2016 to be honest. I feel like I’ve peaked early for sure.
Christmas week pretty much kicked my ass – so this week, has of sorts been about getting back on my game doing all the normal life things like getting on top of the laundry, taking the kids cycling, walking the dog, making stuff, reading, Oh God! The reading… the absolute highlight, but we’ll get to that. So this is the current format for this year on a Sunday – what I’m making, listening to, reading & watching with a brief happy list and my favourite stuff on instagram.
:: what I’m making
I got serious with my baboushka blanket this week. I’ve been wanting to make one of these since I saw it on pinterest a couple of years ago and now the perfect little person has arrived to give me an excuse. I’ve crocheted baubles until I could do it no more and it’s so nice to be making something else.
First stage of the blocks – the flowers.
Next up, the leaves.
Then I bordered in blue.
A single crochet red border.
Now I’m just waiting for them to dry.
:: listening to
- kiasmos – I got to tell you, I’d been listening to a bit too much Adele in December and I’m close to puking every time I hit play on ‘hello’ now, so this is quite the electronic antidote – I like ‘swept’.
- Derek Sivers on the Tim Ferriss podcast. I listened to the first podcast Tim had with Sivers earlier in December – he’s an interesting guy. I like his story – how he went from being a musician to a circus clown to a multi-millionaire by learning to code and serving his fellow artists. I like that he has no routine to his day and that he can focus and so thoroughly lose himself in one activity alone. It’s completely antithetical to how I try to live my life but it fascinates me how other people manage their time and there’s something particularly fascinating about this man and his take on the world.
- The rest of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons – after seeing this woman speak in London during last November and reading ‘Big Magic‘ I feel like something sparked up in me. You listen to the doubt and the worry that the women have on this podcast about beginning or being good enough and you really start to realise, you just have to begin, you have to start. To get your creative work done, you have to show up consistently, everyday, even when you least feel like it or when you feel most blocked. I loved Brene Brown’s quote ‘unused creativity is not benign’ – we are all creative – when we don’t use our creativity to communicate with inspiration bad stuff manifests in our lives, guilt, depression, frustration, sadness, unhappiness. Powerful stuff, I recommend it.
- Oh My God. I am reading the best book I have read in some time, in years even. On instagram I’ve been in contact with people from Kentucky to Sydney, everyone awestruck at just HOW WELL a story can be written and how much we have all felt as a result. It is already in the top three best books I have ever read alongside ‘the god of small things’ and ‘the goldfinch.’ I picked up Hanya Yanagihara’s ‘A little life’ at the tail end of December but only began a week or so ago. I really feel as I read it, with each beautifully constructed sentence, that I have been swept away and woven into an epic story of friendship and tragedy. I feel the relationships between Jude and Willem and JB and Malcolm in a rare way that not every book manages. I feel the understandings and the incomprehension and the love, the sadness and the trauma that exists between them all. I have cried 4 times and I’m just halfway through, it’s bleak, but in so many ways hopeful. The story digs deep into each of the inner lives of the characters, who they are, how they think, why they love. I can’t describe it – I just want you to read it, all it’s fragility and all it’s disturbing content and all it’s wonder and brilliance. It is similar in tone to Donna Tartt’s ‘the secret history’ but is so entirely different it almost feels incomparable. I can’t put this work down, so much so, I worry about when and how it will end and whether I will find anything to follow it.
- Friday night lights. We’ve just done season 1. Tim frikking Riggins. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go on netflix. You’re welcome.
:: making me happy this week
- Walking up Firle Beacon with friends.
- Did I mention Tim Riggins???
- That I made George fried eggs he said were like ‘something from a film.’ High praise indeed.
- Watching Ruby paint all day long, from the morning, through to the afternoon and then well into the night because she couldn’t sleep. She was completely in the zone, it was such a joy to watch and she created piece after piece after piece, each of them wrapped up for daddy’s birthday this week. Oh, she was a complete nightmare the following day too.
- Mexican food and chats with my friend Ellie.
- My flipagram for 2015
- My 50 humble brags list for 2015. On New Years Eve between the dog walk and the tidying I wrote 50 things I was proud of during 2015 (truthfully I only managed 47) It included things like ‘kept the children going,’ ‘teaching the kids to cycle without stabilisers’ ‘running bright 10’ ‘first craft fair’ & ‘selling a blanket to the USA’. They are all small but significant reasons why the year was great.
:: Instagram account of the week
As I happened to recommend this already this week I’m going for @hotdudesreading, again, you are welcome.
:: Instaquote of the week
I shamelessly stole this from ‘A little life’ and put it onto instagram myself because it was so beautiful.