Thursday, 14 October 2021

Blogtober Day 14 Celebrations and Super Fast Pumpkins

It's day 13 14 of blogtober and at lunchtime I caught up with the other blogtober bloggers (and friends) whose blogs I love to read: Christine over at www.winwickmum.co.uk

and Lucy over at www.attic24.typepad.com.

Workwise, I'm on catch up this week as well as trying to organise lots of birthday and anniversary family celebrations as we have a flurry of activity in October and November. 

We missed mum's 80th last year due to COVID but this year it's mum and dad's 60th Wedding Anniversary which is fantastic and definitely cause for celebrations. The cake is ordered and a meal is booked, so we're getting there. 

It's hard to believe that it was 10 years ago that we celebrated their 50th wedding. Sadly, there are lots of relatives no longer here, and our little ones have shot up in the meantime. My little nephew and son are all grown up now and have left school. My son is in his third year of work which is crazy!! Time flies.


In other news, in the few moments that I can find, in between work and home life, I've managed to make a start on pumpkins for mum's local Sale of Work. As a child I would love this Sale of Work. There were so many stalls and fun things to buy and to take part in and every year I would buy homemade toys and cakes and enjoy the various raffles and tombolas. It was always held in St. James's school which was a huge part of my life as I went there for brownies and guides, pantomime practice, Sunday School and all sorts of fun events like barn dances and beetle drive nights. I remember that I use to be petrified of putting the chair away in the lock up room as it seemed so spooky - as did the toilets. No doubt my over-active imagination getting to work and imagining ghosts and ghouls and all the scary things.

Nowadays the Sale of Work is a much smaller affair but I'm still looking forward to going in a few weeks. I've already passed on a few bags of yarn to the various knitters who knit the cutest toys and I've started to make few pumpkins for their stall, as it will take place before Halloween. I'm thinking of putting a pumpkin and a wheel of pins into a bag to make a pincushion - this will be a great use for my left-over stock of pins.


Now, I have also managed to also make quite a few slightly different pumpkins but there is a difference with them.

They're not handknitted and they're not crocheted. I can make one in about 5 minutes, followed by around 10 minutes of making up, which is quite a miracle. If I'd attempted to knit or crochet these I would probably have only made one by now. Whereas I currently have 8 from just a couple of hours work.

I'll leave you guessing as to how I've made them, but I can see it's a great way to munch through my yarn stash, which is exciting. 

I'll tell you soon how I made them, but I can assure you that it's great fun.

See you tomorrow,

Lynne x

Monday, 11 October 2021

Blogtober 2021 - oops I fell off the blotober bandwagon - Day 11


Well I didn't think it would take me such a short time to fall off the daily blogging bandwagon, but there you have it!! Sometimes life (or work) throws a little curve-ball and all you can do is concentrate on the critical things and try to get back on track.

So here we are with a new week and it's such a lovely day here in Congleton, and it's a smallish town situated in Cheshire. We've lived here for almost 20 years now and this year we had a true 'staycation'. 

So instead of a holiday, we took time off work and visited our local surroundings, including a long walk around our town, which is only a short walk away.

I thought I would share my photos with you but I'm embarrassed to say that despite regular visits to town, I hadn't seen some of our local points of interest before. We have some amazing buildings that are hundreds of years old, and also some brand new statues which honour those lost in war, all of which were a joy to see and to take in. 

I love living here and I hope you enjoy my photos too. 

We have a craft shop although I confess I've only been once as it's more a general craft shop than a yarn shop, but it could be handy for those knit/crochet essentials that we often need from time to time, like sewing needles and buttons or zips.

We have a beautiful bowling green that I’ve never seen before. I used to sometimes play bowls with my mum when she was part of a ladies bowling club - perhaps I should rekindle my skills at some point and venture onto the green.

The town centre is situated along one main street, with useful shops as well as really nice cafe's and bars to rest your feet for a short while and enjoy a coffee or tea with a homemade slice of cake (all with gluten-free and vegan options too which is fab).

Just off the town centre is my favourite street because I love the colourful town houses. The remind me of a dolls house my daughter once had.

Our town hall has a fab information centre where you can also book tickets for local events.

Lest we forget our soldiers and animals lost in battle.



This charming house dates back to 1671 - which is amazing. I'd love to go inside and have a nosey!!

The main part of this quaint pub was built in 1834 and I love it's slightly tilting front. 

Our local park is always full of families with picnics and we've spent many an afternoon here on the swings with the children over the years.


The pavilion is a great place to eat when it's open.


I love these houses that overlook the park. I'm sure they were considered very posh back in the day with their beautiful view!!


And finally, the sun setting over the mere which is at the bottom of the road and perfect for an evening stroll or jog as there is a pathway all around it.




Our long day out made us really appreciate the wonderful things we have on our doorstep. 

I'd love to hear if you found new places to visit recently and if you ever pass through Congleton, there's always plenty to see and do if you have time for a short stop-off.

Have a fab week,

Lynne xx

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Blogtober 2021 - Day 4 - Just Another Manic Monday

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

It's Monday and the start of a fresh new week, and my goal for this week is to make effort to catch up with work.

I don't know about you, but sometimes things have a domino effect where you get behind with one thing and then suddenly everything is piling up and you don't know how it happened.

Today I spent the morning recording an audio module for my membership group called Yarn Industry Insiders. I have created a subscription programme for aspiring designers and tech editors as I really want to share my experience and knowledge of the yarn industry and how it works, so that other designers and tech editors  will have a head start because they understand how the industry works.

It's exciting and nerve wracking at the same time, as I haven't created a course like this before. But fingers crossed it will be a huge success as I have so much knowledge to share. I'm so keen to share it all before I retire, and despite people telling me it's too early for me to retire, the thought is there every day in the back of my mind, and so I think it's where I seem to be heading (and it's an exciting prospect too). I have just over two years before I'm 60 so I think that seems that a good age to aim for.

So the current module I'm writing about is all about how to write a great knit or crochet pattern, so that as a designer, your readers can re-create your design so that it looks exactly the same as your original sample. 

It's a huge module, with lots of informative details, but if you're a knitter or crocheter, you will know how much those little details really help. If, for example, you wanted to substitute the recommended yarn and use something different, you would need to know all of the information about the yarn from the ball band, including metres/weight/yardage/fibre content/basic tension, so that you could calculate how much yarn the project uses up and therefore how much yarn you need to substitute. So all of this needs to be included in the pattern in a simple way, so that it doesn't all become overly complicated too. If this information is missing, then there's no real way to work things out, other than to guess, which isn't good.

It's been a learning curve for me with the technology of recording and I'm still not able to take off the background noise completely, which is a little annoying, so I have a lot more to learn, but I'm sure I'll get there in the end.

Our knitting and crochet is perfect for learning more too, with all the different stitches and techniques that seem to be in abundance and every-growing.

Photo by rocknwool on Unsplash

Life is a constant learning curve isn't it. I absolutely love learning new things - it seems to keep me happy and helps keep my brain alert - although sometimes I feel my brain is asking for a little break.

How about you - do you like to learn new things?

Credit: the photos used in today's post are free images from www.unsplash.com and each photographer is credited below the image.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Blogtober Day 3 - what I’m working on



Today I’m blogging about what I’m working on, and as most of the projects are top secret, I’ll show you a Work in Progress (WIP) instead.

I have to confess I have a gazillion WIPs but this one was closest to hand and is almost finished so I’ll tell you all about it. 

I was recently selected from a competition entry to win one of the 165 Scheepjes Lucky Yarn Boxes to celebrate their 165 years of being in business.


Now I must confess that Scheepjes are probably my favourite yarn company because I love all of their yarns and they also have great environmental credentials which is really important to me. I’m a firm believer in resource efficiency and prevent/reduce/reuse/recycle and Scheepjes tick all of these boxes in their production processes. Not to mention they produce their gorgeous yarns in such a wide range of amazing colours. 


So I was over the moon to be picked as a winner and I received my box to make my projects for my recipients. I intended to make a bag but I couldn’t get the shape right so instead I’ve made a few alternative projects including this flower cushion. 


This is one of my designs that I’ve adapted from the original cushion design that was first published about 9 years ago and as I was crocheting I realised how versatile the pattern is and how it could be a great stash buster project too. It's easy to forget about past designs, so I'm really glad I've remembered about this one. 

Luckily I had the little circular cushion pad in my stash so I had everything I needed to get started. 

I still have the final round in black to complete and then I’ll be finished. But as usual, even though I only have about an hour of crochet left in this cushion, somehow I keep leaving it for projects all shiny and new. I seem to be very good at leaving the last bits of a project unfinished, even though, in reality, I only need to find a small amount of time to complete it. 

But I know that as soon as I can finish it off I can gift it, so I’m intending to make every effort to get it done this week. 

The texture created by the stitches is amazing and really sumptuous and tactile. It’s hard to believe that it’s just a treble crochet base and double crochet ‘petals’. Such simple stitches, yet by combining them in a very specific way creates a very different end result and much more than just trebles and double crochets. I’d love to make one with sock yarn oddments too - but perhaps I just finish off all my gazillion WIPs before I start another.

I wondered if you do the same as me in leaving those last little bits of a project unfinished, then suddenly, before you know it you have a great big piles of WIPs?

I hope you’ve had a good weekend, Lynne xx

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Blogtober Day 2 - What I do when I’m not working


Just lately, with working and decorating and general household daily jobs, I’ve struggled to find time to do a great deal, which is a bit rubbish really because one thing. I love to do is keep fit. 

I think it’s because as a child I loved athletics and also went to dance classes. So I don’t do the fitness for weight loss purposes, I do it just because I really enjoy it and the feeling it brings when I’ve finished my exercise routine.




But without the spare time and also with lockdown, I haven’t been going to the gym much at all, although instead I have managed to get out for a run.

I have a couple of running routes  that are 6k and then if I want to go further I have a longer route, and although I sometimes stop and walk to take a drink and catch my breath, I think overall for a 58 year old body that I’m doing ok with keeping it up. I just have to make sure I have good trainers otherwise my back starts to hurt.

When I’m running, I take my phone and listen to music which is also something I love. The familiarity of a favourite song can really lift your mood and I usually listen to 1970s songs - either ‘All Out 70s’ or ‘Alternative 70s’ (and 80s) or ‘1970s Love Songs’. I absolutely love some of the songs and artists who just ‘scream’ 1970s - Carly Simon with You’re So Vain; Roberta Flack with Killing Me Softly and and Barry White with his stream of hits - not to mention Punk and the New Romantics. They remind me of the era I grew up in and I seem to know all the words as Mum would always have the radio on at home, which always created a great vibe in the kitchen.

I often think about my first best friend who was also a runner like me - we ran like the wind, as fast as our little legs would carry us and we were always happy to come second to each other - sometimes I would win the race on sports day and sometimes she would win - usually with just a split second between us. But we’d have great fun practising and competing. 



But then, one day my best friend didn’t come to school. We were told she was poorly and in those days without communication it was quite a few weeks, maybe even months before I realised she wasn’t ever coming back to school. She has been diagnosed with early onset rheumatoid arthritis at just the age of 8. I had no idea what that meant at the time but I can remember how upset I was when I eventually saw her - so poorly and in so much pain. So when I’m running now, 50 years later, I often think of my little friend who is no longer here but definitely not forgotten. I run for both of us and although I often shed a tear or two, I’m grateful for the memories I have of the two of us running and laughing together as fast as our little legs could carry us.

I still have a couple of medals to remind me of our running days.
 

Friday, 1 October 2021

Blogtober 2021 - What's it all about?


First of all, I haven't blogged in what seems like forever, and indeed, when I checked, it's almost a year which I can't quite believe.

So I thought a good plan of action would be to join 'Blogtober' along with many other fellow bloggers all around the world.

It may seem a crazy challenge when I have so much going on but I do like a challenge and every post doesn't have to be epic - I may just keep some of them short and sweet.

They will all be yarn related in some way, and will include photos from my archive to save me some rather than taking lots of new photos (which is pretty time consuming). Hopefully that will help me 'stay in the game'.

About Blogtober


During the month of October, for 31 days, bloggers from all around the world will blog every day. You can blog about whatever you choose and it's a great way to connect and find new bloggers to follow, as well as potentially increasing your blog traffic. 

You can use the following hashtag:

#blogtober21 

on social media to see what others are blogging about.

I'm hoping to enjoy the process and share some things to help inspire you and help you with your knitting and crochet techniques. I may throw in some more technical posts for tech editors and designers too.

But above all I hope to enjoy it and I hope you'll enjoy reading my posts.

If you are stuck for ideas, here is my provisional list (as I just threw it together in a matter of minutes - it could very well change):

Day 1: Blogtober - joining in
Day 2: What I'm working on
Day 3: What I do when I'm not working
Day 4: The importance of writing a great pattern
Day 5: Tips on where to find inspiration
Day 6: Oldest WIP
Day 7: How I plan my day
Day 8: Book Review (Mosaic Crochet Workshop)
Day 9: The importance of knit/crochet tension
Day 10: Free Pumpkin Pattern 
Day 11: My essential tools
Day 12: Tips on writing a product review
Day 13: Knitting socks with flexible trios
Day 14: Choosing colours to work with
Day 15: What is an affiliate and can you make money from it?
Day 16: Finding your niche
Day 17: Flashing my stash
Day 18: Christmas gift guide for knitters
Day 19: Book Review
Day 20: Giveaway - advent calendar
Day 21: Ways to be more eco-friendly with your knitting/crochet
Day 22: Stash busting
Day 23: Free pattern - crochet scrubbies
Day 24: Christmas gift guide for crocheters
Day 25: What's on my needles/hook
Day 26: Where I live 
Day 27: A book from my book shelf
Day 28: Stash busting
Day 29: Mindfulness
Day 30: Free pattern - crochet star blanket
Day 31: Halloween round up

I may change the order along the way, but you're free to use these too as inspiration for your content, if you're struggling for ideas.

I'm really looking forward to reading your blog posts so do let me know if you're thinking of joining in too.

Instagram and facebook: @the_woolnest

Website: you can subscribe to my website for updates here: www.knitcrochetcreate.com (when you click the link a pop up box will open for you to subscribe).

See you tomorrow and thanks for your support

Lynne x