A Big Knitted Hug


I’ve been a little absent on here of late, sorry.

The truth is I’ve been a little absent of late everywhere.  As I said in one of my previous posts,  there have been many changes to my day to day family life recently.  To top it all off, the optician spotted something amiss at my youngest’s routine eye test.  He’s been to the hospital twice so far and we’re currently waiting for him to be called in for a few more checks.  Fingers crossed it’ll be nothing, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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Good Intentions


It’s been 17 days since I last wrote a blog post, which is blooming terrible, especially as I’ve actually made a rough plan for the next few too.  How do I know it’s been 17 days exactly?  Well the last one was on New Years Eve (seems like ages ago now) and because I’m currently keeping track of some of the things I do regularly, in order to see the places areas of my life than ‘need work’.  More about that in a minute.

Did you think about a One Little word for your 2016?

Despite my concerns about ‘putting it out there’, several friends have mentioned how positive they found my last post.  How it made them think about their 2016 and have picked words too, including CONFIDENCE, RESTORE, STRONG and HAPPY.  Each word definitely reflects the individual that chose it and I can’t wait to see how it impacts their year ahead.

I’ve been busy test knitting a garment for the next issue of the magazine, due for release on the 26th January – eek!  Deirdre and I have also been swatching samples for the Yarn Review feature, but I’ve spent the best part of the last fortnight stuck in front of my pc or unpacking and sorting out craft supplies, in order to begin scrapbooking my One Little Word.


Nearly forgot to mention that I made Deirdre a hat.  It’s the Orbitus Hat by and I love it.  Hopefully she does too 🙂

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This pile of ends is also an indication of things completed…

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I’m happy to report that I’ve finished the granny square blanket I had been making for my youngest, Kye.

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He was thoroughly chuffed when I told him it was for him and he loves it.  I might add another couple of rounds to it some time in the future, but for now I think the 75″ square is the perfect size for that extra bit of warmth.  Much needed at this time of year, especially if you live in an old farmhouse that seems to eat the heat.

Talking of cold, it really has been rather chilly of late.  I finally gave in on Thursday and broke out the thermals, unable to take the sensation of numb legs anymore.  It’s lovely to get out for a walk in the Winter sun, but I’m finding no amount of layers are keeping my hands or ears (?) warm.


Today the sun hasn’t even been able to poke it’s way through the grey overcast cloudy sky, but I’m happy to see the fog lifted after last night.  It was so thick that I found driving home in it close to terrifying and I would never think of myself as a nervous driver.  I took my dogs out for a walk on the farm at 10pm last night, because I hadn’t had time earlier in the day and I couldn’t even see two fence posts ahead along the track with my torch.


We’re in full ‘getting ready to publish mode’ and we keep getting messages from people telling us they can’t wait for the next issue.  It’s easy when you’re so busy to forget to look after yourself and I’m extremely guilty of doing this, part of my hopes for the year ahead was to try and stem the chaos a little and have faith in myself.  Putting this plan into action late again as per usual (but better late than never), I’ve started to keep a track of some of my daily routines and habits so I can see where I’m falling down.


The table is basic a diary of sorts, there’s plenty of lines to fill in the things you want to monitor and the boxes on the right represents the days of the month.  By checking or colouring in the boxes for the things you’ve achieved that day, you can see at a glance what’s happening.  I only really started it on the 9th of this month, but it was easy to back fill some of the boxes.

For me personally, I’m trying to establish a ‘baseline’ in some areas of my life, so I can work on them in the coming months.  In no particular order I’ve tried to include things that I like doing, things that need doing, social media is there to ensure I remember, things I have to watch and things I’m aiming for.

Knitting & crochet is there at the top as this is my sanity, meditation and mindfulness time all wrapped up in one.  A day without even a little time spent with my needles or hook can be too long for my head.  As you can see, I haven’t spun or wove since the beginning of the year.  I have worked on other crafty pursuits which is great, but I desperately want to try and make spinning and or weaving part of my daily routine, in order to improve my technique.  I also find I totally switch off whilst doing either, which equals a happy head too.

The next section is all dedicated to the magazine, Leftfootdaisy stuff, social media and blog posts, which is why I know it’s been 17 days and having the chart hanging next to my desk has been a constant reminder.

The next group of items are areas that I want to or should be watching.  Walk the dogs, is so I do just that, it would be rare that I wouldn’t and if I couldn’t someone else would.  Keeping tabs on it, just gives me that little extra nudge to do it myself.  Washing (clothes not myself) is listed because it seems like my washing pile is never ending and I’m hoping that by seeing ‘washing free days’ it will help me to realise this just isn’t the case.

I’ve added ‘eat’ and ‘pain’ and have included a traffic light system for keeping check because these are two areas in my life that are a interconnected, a bit of a priority and in need of work.  I’m planning to use this months results to make changes in the coming months.  (more about in another post)

The next few entries refer to actually getting in the car and leaving my house, it’s rural so you have to drive and although I’ll invariably have gotten out to walk the dogs it’s not really the same.  Looking back at the last post, in which I mentioned trying to create some more ‘joy’ in my life, I thought it would be good to note how often I see my friends, even if it’s for the briefest moment.

Bed before 12 – the X’s are because I haven’t achieved it.  It doesn’t even mean bed and sleep, I’m just working on trying to train myself to actually go upstairs to bed before 12.


Last item for this month says ‘read or listened to’, because I always enjoyed reading a book and can’t remember the last one I actually completely read.  I started listening to audio books about a year ago as a way to fill this need, but even that has begun to fall by the wayside now I’m not driving backwards and forwards to Midleton several times a week.

I’m currently listening to The Way of the Kings by Brandon Sanderson, all 76 chapters, 0r 45 hours and 34 minutes of it.  I’ve a little over 33 hours left, but am getting a little confused with the names of the characters.


I’m trying to read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, but I haven’t managed to get that much read.  The basic principle of the book is doing less, but better, which kind of ties in with some of the things I’m trying to fix.

I’ve made my ‘Daily Habit’ chart available to download as a pdf if you’d like to try keeping a check on your daily routines here.

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For now I’m dreaming of knitting this yarn up into an Orbitus Hat for myself and working on my first prompt of the Ali Edwards One Little Word workshop. and thinking about my word FAITH.

accept what is let go of what was and have faith in what will be

Doesn’t she and the view look lovely?

Look a little closer and you can see it’s ice in the tyre tracks because it was freezing and bless her, she was sitting because she was tired (she only has 3 legs).

Happy 🙂

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For the Love of Irish Craft

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I love craft, all craft (just in case you’ve failed to notice) and I’m more than happy to peruse craft fairs and events for hours on end.  I love seeing the creativity and ingenuity of other craftspeople.  We all gravitate towards certain shapes, forms and colours, often without even realising it and it’s great to see what others do.

I love blue, in all of it’s many shades and tend to prefer smooth, rounded forms rather than straight, angular ones.  I have a love of free form and am often rather smitten by items that seem almost naive, maybe ‘simple’ is a better choice of word.  So I’m always amazed when I find myself drawn to something different to my usual tastes.

At this time of year, it’s almost impossible not to hear about a Christmas Craft Fair somewhere and the magazine has provided the most perfect excuse ever, to visit as many as possible 🙂

It was my first time visiting The National Crafts & Design Fair at the RDS which was on from the 2nd – 6th December.  It was an absolutely shocking day weather wise, but undeterred the lovely Du, drove us up to Dublin for the day in the wind and pouring rain.

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With over 500 designers and exhibitors, it’s certainly vast as the free Christmas Gift Guide will prove, with it’s whopping 96 pages.  There’s everything from food to fine art with a range of prices to suit most peoples pockets.

Tickets cost €10 for adults which would make it a bit of an expensive day, if like us you were travelling quite a distance to get there.  We had been given a couple of free passes and had to pop to Ikea for a couple of items too, so we managed to kill two birds with one stone.  Unfortunately, we did manage to hit every possible toll too 😦

We took our time weaving up and down the stalls and even managed to pick up a few Christmas Gifts whilst we were at it.

Some of our favourites included

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ArooDesigns look at their lovely felted bags.

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These beautiful bird feeders were among the wares up for sale from Mary Neeson Ceramics

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It goes without saying that these fantastic sheep caught my eye on the Red Rufus Sock Animal stand.  Pop along and have a look at the dogs, they’re great too.

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There was lots of lovely, lovely tweed items for sale on the Studio Donegal  stand, but I thought these Christmas Trees were too cute to pass up as were the little mug rugs at the top of the page.

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The eco printed textiles from Nicola Brown were stunning (the website is currently being updated).

Docpot are also worth a mention as I bought a couple of gifts on their stand.  They had some lovely ceramics for sale, but I forgot to take a photo, sorry.

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We also spotted Olann Hats who make the most lovely, vintage inspired hats.

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Tucked away in the Serpentine Hall was the RDS National Craft Awards Prizewinners Exhibition, which included some fantastic pieces.  My absolute favourite was this piece called ‘Wobble’, by Eamon Tobin entered in the Emerging Maker Basketry Category.

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I also loved this, but the signs were a little confusing, so I hope I’m right in saying it’s from Honor Fitzsimons and that it was entered in the Constructed Textiles Emerging Maker Category.  It’s called A Stone in Between.

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There was one thing that absolutely made my visit though and that was meeting Beth Moran, super weaver and one of the three craftspeople from RTE Juniors program Makers, if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

If you want to know more, you’ll be pleased to know that the Christmas Gift Guide is available to download here, so you can still visit even now.

Happy Crafting!

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Granny Square Love

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I’ve become a little smitten with granny square blankets since the summer and have been working on my second one for some time now.  I take it with me to work on at knitting group, most of the time now and its what I reach for when I don’t want to have to concentrate to hard.

I’ve a problem though.

I selected my yarn and colours before I closed the shop, making sure I’d worked everything out. So ready with my plan, I pulled out a 5mm hook and set to work.  Bigger and bigger my blanket grew as I continued to add the rounds.  About the same time as the magazine was due out I realised I’d made a mistake.  I’d deviated from my original plan, leaving me with less cream yarn than necessary and had even managed to forget to add 4 rounds of a shade, before adding the border (the navy).

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The blanket isn’t as big as I’d like and rather unsurprisingly, I’ve quite a bit of yarn left, which I’d prefer to use up.


You can see in the photos where I’m up to at the moment and so far the blanket is approximately 57″ square.  Its for my youngest, Kye, although he doesn’t know and it would be great to know he’ll get some use out of it for years to come. (Its OK, he’s 14 and not interested in much I do, so he’s not going to find out here).

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I can’t keep to my original pattern of 4 rounds per colour in sequence because as I mentioned, I haven’t enough cream yarn left and even if i did, it would involve ripping back around 6 hours of work to get back to my original plan.

So using the remaining yarn, I’m going to make the blanket larger, but I’m not sure which order to use the colours in.  I’m pretty sure working each colour in single rounds now will probably look better and its definitely the safer option, so as not to run short of a colour.

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I’ve weighed my yarn and would love to hear your thoughts about which order you’d choose to go with.

The yarn I’ve left is as follows

Denim 100g

Silver 180g

Cream 60g

Navy 80g

Red 120g

There is sure to be some aqua yarn floating around somewhere too, but I’ve no idea where I’ve put it.

My knitting group friends have all taken to joking about how big the blanket is getting and many can’t believe I’m still working on it.  I have the last laugh though as its lovely and toasty, sitting with it over my lap at our weekly get together.  So despite dying to get on with another one, I’m content just being snug.

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In case you’re wondering, I took the photos a fortnight ago, when the sun was high in the sky, but the wind was blowing a mighty chilly breeze.

Happy fibre crafting!

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Spinning A Yarn – Part 2


Usually, I’d begin a part 2 blog post with something like ‘As you might recall’, but as Part 1 went up yesterday I’m not sure that sentence has the right tone about it?


Having been with the lovely Nancy Devlin, fibre enthusiast, tablet weaving, Viking extraordinaire for the morning, we paused our fibre fun and games to have a spot of lunch.

After which, Nancy brought out a few of her spinning wheels for me to get to know.

Ignoring Buttercup skulking in the corner, I sat in front of and attempted to spin on Nancy’s Louet wheel first.  It’s an S10 and unlike my Ashford Traditional, Nancy’s Louet has two treadles, so your foot work feels a little more in union.  I’m not sure if it was the double treadles, the slightly bigger orifice or the change of scenery, whatever it was, we bonded instantly.

Now when I say bonded, I don’t want you to think that I suddenly found I could spin and my yarn was beautiful, consistent, neat and tidy, because it was anything but.  I did however, manage to gain some sense of coordination and draft my fibres whilst treadling.

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Feeling more than a little pleased with myself, I moved on to see if Nancy’s Ashford Traveller Wheel had anything more to offer.  Again it’s another double treadle wheel, it’s more compact in order to make it easier to transport.  The orifice on the wheel sits a little higher than on the Louet, which along with the double treadles means I had to sit in a much more upright position.   As you can see I’d become totally immersed in what I was managing to do, the concentration on my face saying it all.

All the time Buttercup was watching me from the corner of the room…….

At this point I could have well moved through the ranks of Nancy’s wheels, seeing if they had anything more to offer me, but I couldn’t cope with the guilt any longer.  I’ve been around for 43 years and I know only too well that things don’t fix themselves.  With no getting away from it, it was time to meet my relationship problems head on.

We either had to fix the problem or part ways.

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Me and my wheel.  Buttercup and I ♥♥♥

Look how we bonded.

We spent the rest of the afternoon together and I found it hard to pull myself away from her.  When I eventually did, my back ached from spending hours sitting so upright.

Note to self – need to take more breaks.

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We actually got on so well, that I managed to spin enough yarn to have a go at plying, before heading home the next morning.  I went back to using the Louet wheel again simply because it has a larger orifice and I wanted to check if I did prefer using the double treadles.

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That smile, is one of pure joy.  Not only did I leave Nancy’s with a hank of slightly over spun, 2 ply yarn (all my own work), I’d managed to fix my relationship in the process.

Since returning home Buttercup and I have been spending lots more time together.

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Wrong photo (how embarrassing)

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That’s better

2015-08-31 12.44.52If you look closer at the bobbin, you can even see how much my spinning is improving.

They (who I’m not sure), say you need to spin at least a pound of fibre before you truly get the knack of it.  I have approximately 2lb of the brown fibre, so hopefully I’ll be well on my way by the time it’s all used up.  Then I’ll allow myself to have a go with something a little prettier.

Happy Spinning Sunday!

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It’s Been All Go Round Ere Today

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You know when you have one of those days that seem really productive, you’ve been really busy, got loads done and your extremely satisfied with the world, despite knowing you’re probably going to literally fall into bed?  Well it’s been a bit like that here today.

To be fair I live in a truly beautiful spot, especially when the sun is in the sky, but the amount of work it takes to keep the house and yard in order can be truly overwhelming and there’s always so much to do.

Today and for the next couple of days the boys (my hubby and our sons Durahn and Kye) are on operation prepare for winter.  It’s a necessary evil of living in a damp old farm house 😦

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A major part of Operation Winter involves chopping trees up into logs for the stove

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Then there’s the kindling.  I knew it was worth all the shelving from the shop stock rooms.

There wasn’t any need for me to get involved, despite my love of power tools 😁  So I walked the dogs, cleaned, washed up (several times), cooked and got loads of other general ‘needs doing’ stuff done.

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I also found the time to make some lemonade, to use up the glut of cheap lemons and limes I’d bought last week, fully intending to make lemon curd, but forgot to buy some wax coated discs for.

2015-08-18 17.33.06I’ve also made another Wiksten Tank for myself.  Although, I still have to finish binding the sleeves, but that won’t take too long.

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The boys managed to get 10 crates of kindling cut up, but there are still more shelves to get through 🙈

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My 💪 hubby 💪 has cut all the trees up into rings and is now, even as I type (it’s nearly 9.45pm), splitting them into logs.  I managed to get this photo before the sun went down.

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If that wasn’t enough, my socks are drying on the line.  They even look pretty when they’re inside out 💗

Time to put clean sheets on the beds and get a spot of knitting in now before bed, me thinks.

Happy Knitting!

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Sock Mad

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Whilst in the grips of ✨weaver fever✨ I’ve still been doing the odd bit of knitting, but even that’s gone a bit bonkers, as I seem to have found myself gripped by sock madness.

Despite having (pause to clear my throat) several 😉 projects on the go, with more on the ever expanding ‘to do’ list, it seems I really am just happy making socks.  Maybe it’s because they require little or no effort, except when it comes to the heel and toe.  Could it be that they’re just so portable.  Perhaps it’s simply because I love my socks.

Whatever the reason, things got a little out of hand last night 😵⚡️🐒

The socks in the photo at the top of the post are my Comicon socks.  You might remember I bought a ball of the shy, retiring yarn, whilst taking Kye to London at the beginning of the summer?

The socks, I have to admit are beyond my expectations, I can”t wait to wear them and I would, only they’ve come up a little small 👎

I switched from my usual 2.5mm needles to 2.25mm needles after having a discussion with Dr. Sock about how both of us felt our tension was becoming slightly looser.  In my head I’d computed the difference and had allowed for the slight change this could make in the finished sock, but of course this doesn’t mean I remembered when I was knitting.  Actually to be fair, I did remember whilst knitting the leg part of the first sock, but then I completely forgot when I’d finished turning the heel and working the gusset.

In my defence, I was closing the shop at the time.

Usually I’d try my first sock on when it was finished just too check everything was right before moving on to the second, but of course I didn’t.  Luckily, I copied the first sock, so both of them fit perfectly on the leg and heel, they just need to be a tad longer.

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Now I have a pair of socks that need their toes ripping back so I can add five or so more rows.  Luckily, I have plenty of yarn left to do this, but it just seems like too much to concentrate on at the moment though.

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Much like picking up the stitches to make the gusset on this sock did last night as well.  My living room can be quite dark and I was too comfortable to move to the kitchen, well that and I was enjoying watching the episode of Eastenders I’d recorded earlier 😱

So what’s a girl to do, when her knitting just isn’t happening?

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Yep, you guessed it.  I cast on another pair of socks 🙈🙈🙈

Must be going through some kind of orange phase.

Moving swiftly on….

You might have noticed they’re on metal needles?

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The needles ar Knitpro Nova Cubics, they’re also 2.5mm and I’m not sure I’m going to stick with them.  To be fair, they do feel so much better than your standard coated steel knitting needles that you see everywhere.  They’re still metal though, so they are no way near as comfortable, flexible and quiet as my usual choice of Knitpro Symphonie, Cubics or Karbonz.

I’ll let you know if I change over when I’ve done a bit more knitting.

I am considering mixing it up a little, only a little though because I’ll still be using 4ply.  So many of my friends are expecting and I’m way behind on knitting gifts, so I think it might be time to crack on with a little Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly Brooker of Pekapeka Design Studio.  I’ve never made one before and it looks interesting, what do you think?

Happy Knitting!

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Everyone Loves A Granny Square Blanket



A few weeks back when I was sorting out the discontinued shades of Sirdar Supersoft Aran for the now de-funked Green Bin, I noticed how lovely some of the colours looked together.  As Supersoft Aran is 100% acrylic, I knew I’d be able to work with it whilst suffering from my hayfever induced wool allergy, but didn’t know what to make with the 5 shades.


I’m definitely not short of them for my sofa and whilst some of them could probably do with a bit of a refurb, I’ve already bought some fun, funky material that will brighten up my dark sofa.

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A chilly Sunday lead me to conclude that we don’t have enough blankets in my house.  Being old enough to remember what it was like to have sheets, blankets and a bedspread on your bed and if it was cold, an extra blanket or two, I find it quite amazing that you never see ‘proper’ blankets any more.  There’s no shortage of duvets in my house, but when you’re trying to convince yourself that it’s only forty winks on the sofa, a duvet can seem like too much of a commitment (or is it just me that thinks that?).

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So a blanket it is.

As much as I love the blankets you see on Pinterest and Instagram, with all the lovely little granny squares, I’m just not up for sewing in all those ends.


Conclusion – Big Granny Square (nearly typed knickers,  aka Bridget Jones).

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The centre is a bit wonky, but it seems to have straightened up

I started with 2 balls of each colour and knowing I wouldn’t have enough to complete three repeats of each of the five shade, I opted to only repeat the first three shades a third time.  As it turns out, I needed an extra ball of the mustard colour to complete the last side of the round.

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I love it, but I want it a bit bigger and there’s no more green.  Luckily, I’d put by a couple of balls of the dark grey, which I think will work really well to frame the rest of the colours and finish of my blanket.

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Now all I have to decide, is how many rounds of the grey to do, all suggestions would be much appreciated.

I was hoping to be able to hang the blanket up on the washing line, so you’d see it better, but it was awful in Lismore yesterday evening.  Instead I promise to photograph the finished blanket when the ends are sewn in and it’s washed.

Nearly forgot, I’ve been using a 5mm crochet hook.

Happy Crochet!

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Unravelling – The How and When

Closing Down Hopefully you’ve all had a little time to come to terms with the news in the last post 😦 Thank you for all your kind thoughts and words. So lets get down to it – I want to let you all know how and when we’re going to be closing. Closing Down Sale In order to try and clear as much of the stock as possible, I’m going to open up on Monday and will be open for most of the coming 3 weeks, although I will be closed next Saturday the 11th. As you might expect, there are lots and lots of bargains to be had, so I’d advise taking some time to plan what you’re after, make a list and be sure to bring a bag or two.

♥ Discount time ♥



That’s the yarn and the patterns. 40%     40% (1) Needles, hooks and notions. Books need to go too. Please remember to dig out any gift vouchers you’ve been given, so you can use them before we close. All of the fixtures and fittings will need to be sold on too, so if you know someone who needs slat wall hooks, a till, vintage cinema seats or fancies my yarn units be sure to let me know.

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