Archive for the ‘Crochet’ Category

Flying Sock Flash!!!

This is just a quick flying sock flash so I can show you my finished Super Sonic Crochet socks.  Click on the images above to see a larger version.  They took me quite a while to make, not because they were tricky, but because I kept finding other projects to distract me along the way.  Now I know that NONE of you hookers and knitters out there EVER have more than one project on the go at a time do you??  Ahem!!  They did take some working out however, mainly to customise them to fit AND to make sure the second sock was the same as the first.  This is another downside to not making them both at the same time ~ you forget what you did!!  I must remember to make better notes as I go next time.  Luckily I was able to work out what I’d done the first time around without too much difficulty.  They are identical and a really good, comfortable fit which speaks volumes for the great quality of the pattern.  I think if I made another pair they’d be a lot quicker now I know what I’m doing, and probably only take a couple of days if I put my mind to it.

I’m still looking forward to casting on some knitted socks though and I’ve been practicing today.  I can cast on, cast off, knit, purl and do ribbing of varying widths.  I even manged to rescue a dropped stitch and intentionally rip some out and re-do it without a hitch.  This is partly due to a rather excellent book I bought yesterday at Hobbycraft called the, ‘Ultimate Knitting Bible’ by Sharon Brant [I’ll put all links below as usual].  I got 25% off due to being a loyalty card holder which was an unexpected result.  The book deals with what to do when you make a mistake, which is what I struggle with most, as well as a very comprehensive guide to anything and everything you need to know about knitting.

Right, that’s me, I’m off for a bath before ‘Call the Midwife’ starts. . . .take care everyone and have a great week.  Hugs xxx

Links: ~

Super Sonic Crochet Socks Pattern by Kathryn Senior

Ultimate Knitting Bible by Sharon Brant

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Socks. . .


Photo’ courtesy of ‘Winwick Mum’

Have you seen all that delicious sock yarn out there?  All those wonderful colours and combinations.  I’m not a knitter, on no I’m not.  However, I really, REALLY want to knit socks.  How hard can it be?  I appear to have ordered some knitting tools and some 4ply sock yarn.  I’m going to be following Winwick Mum on her knitting blog ~ she did a Sock-a-Long back in May of 2015 and, although that’s long finished, the free [and very comprehensive] advice and step-by-step pattern is still available [see photo above].   There is also a closed group on Facebook for anyone wishing to join me on my sock adventure.  Christine [aka Winwick Mum] also has a rather lovely page of free patterns available for those of you who are a few steps ahead of me in the knitting department.  It’s all win, win from where I’m sitting.

Update on my crochet socks is that I have one toe left to do and then they’re finished. I’ll place a link to the pattern below. I’ll be interested to see how different it is to knit a pair and how much different they look once finished.  Always assuming I do actually finish knitting a pair and don’t succumb to that terrible disease, ‘Single Sock Syndrome’.


My ‘Super Sonic Sock’

Happy hooking and knitting all ~ every blessing!! xx

Link as promised ~ Super Sonic Crochet Socks Pattern

Sharon xx

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Spice of Life Throw ~ Take Two

It’s half-term here in MK and it’s a beautiful sunny day, if a little cold.  I was up early with Si today as he’s still at work [he has Friday off] so I thought I’d keep him company and get the kettle on the hob for that much needed first cuppa.  Once he’d left I got some time to just sit and reflect on the day ahead which is always a blessing. 

I’ve nearly finished my second Spice of Life throw.  This one is for my bedroom, yayyyy!!  It’s not often I keep what I make but just occasionally I make something that is just for me.  I’ve got a few rows to go and then I’m onto the border.  I’ve yet to decide which border to use but it will come from the, ‘Around the Corner Crochet Borders’ by Edie Eckman.  This is a book I’ve used so many times because it’s excellent, it’s worth remembering though that it uses US crochet terms.   I haven’t used the suggested border from the pattern purely because it’s quite narrow and as it’s not a huge throw, a wider border just gives a bit more uummppff to the finished size.  [Links to everything mentioned will be at the bottom of the post.] 

I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Silver, Graphite, Cream, Camel, Clematis, Plum, Storm Blue and Petrol.  I bought one ball of everything except the Graphite and Silver which I bought two of as I’m using these colours for the border.  I also used a 4mm hook.  Clover Amour are my hooks of choice because I have a rather weird way of holding the hook and the metal ones give me cramp in my fingers.  They’re very smooth to use and lovely to hold.  I can crochet for hours without any pain or discomfort, they were rather a revelation when I first used them.

Here are some photo’s.  Click on them to see caption and enlarged image. 

Okay, as promised here are the links to everything mentioned and, as always, I am not being sponsored by any of the products or companies: ~

Wool Warehouse ~ I buy the majority of my yarn [including all my Stylecraft] and hooks from here because they’re quite simply amazing.

Free pattern for Spice of Life throw ~ Courtesy of the designer, Sandra Paul @ Cherry Heart

Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman ~ Amazon.co.uk

Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman ~ Amazon.com

Happy Hooking All

with love

Sharon xx

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It has been a long time.  Life has moved on.  I have moved on.  A few times I nearly deleted this blog, but then. . . . I just couldn’t quite bring myself to.   I am back at work, albeit it very part-time.  I provide lunch-time cover at a school for children with severe physical and learning disabilities.  It’s rewarding and humbling.  You think you’re having a bad day and then you realise that your worst day is a hundred times better than their best day.

Ethan is half-way through his second term at our local Catholic Senior School.  For the most part he’s enjoying it and has [according to his tutor] transitioned really well but the step-up in homework quantity, compared to Primary School, has taken some getting used to.  I’m sure he’s not alone in that challenge.

Si has also got himself a new job.  His night shift at a local distribution warehouse has been cast aside for the dizzy heights as an IT Consultant, a job he did for fourteen years back in the days before he worked in education.  The hours are so much better and so is the money.  The whole nights thing is not conducive to family life or having any quality time together.  Made worse to be honest by a truly ridiculous off-duty rota that included far too many single nights off.  Anyone who’s worked nights will appreciate that a single night off is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard……!!!

My crochet continues on at a steady pace.  I’m not churning out a project a week, or even a month, but I enjoy what I do and I’ve got three projects that are all going to be finished within the next few weeks.  A shawl, a pair of socks and a blanket.  I’ll post photo’s of the finished articles when I get there.  I have however, finished Ethan’s Cosy Crofter Blanket and the photo’s of that are at the head of this post.  The perfect finishing touch to his new bedroom.

There is big news on the Faith Front and this has been one of those subjects that I’ve spent a while deciding whether or not to write about/share.  The thing that finally swung it was that I myself would have liked to have a found an article like this when I was trying to discern my religious path.  Interestingly this is not something I’ve shared much in real life apart from a strictly need-to-know basis.  It feels a little boastful and overly pious to make this public but hopefully it will help someone else.  So . . . . . .

At the latter end of 2008 [before I became Catholic] I found the wonderful community of Turvey Abbey where, for many years, I walked the path towards becoming a Benedictine Oblate.  A time of formation ensued towards taking the vows of Stability, Conversion and Obedience.   For all sorts of reasons I never took that final step to oblation.  All I can say is that it never felt quite right.  I love Turvey and the community and I still love going there, in fact it’s probably one of my favourite places on this Earth to worship, but I felt that God was calling me elsewhere.  However, it’s taken me a very long time to discern where that might be.

Somehow I felt that God was asking me to make private vows….promises just between Him and me, not attached to a charism or a community, just a way of aligning myself more closely with Jesus and hopefully bringing some of His love to all the people in my life.  Easy you’d think huh?  Hmmm well in reality, not easy at all.  Firstly, it took me a while to find out anything about private vows [we’re not talking consecrated vows of chastity, poverty and obedience here] and secondly what would that/they even look like?   With the blessing of the Turvey Nuns I gave up the Oblate path and decided to focus completely on Private Vows, asking God to guide me.  I devoted the whole of Lent 2016 to this cause not really expecting much to happen in what is after all just a few short weeks.  A good starting point seemed to be working out exactly what the vows would be.  Clearly I’m a wife and mother so chastity or the eremetic life were out of the question.  These would have to be vows that challenged me yes, but that would also fit around my family.  I also felt that they would have to benefit everyone [without exception] who touched my life.  These are not vows to benefit me, they’re for the benefit of my community, they’re to bring the face and love of Christ to all.  So, with much trepidation and the loving support of Sr Yvonne who is the Vicar for Religious and the Pastoral Administrator of my parish, I moved forward in faith and prayer.  Over the coming days words soon made themselves clear….Obedience, Simplicity…and ???  That last one was illusive to say the least.  One day I was dusting upstairs with the TV on in my bedroom and I suddenly heard the word, ‘Caring’ and I knew instantly that was the last one.  I’ve no idea if it was from the TV or God but there it was, loud and clear.  So I had them all ~ Simplicity, Obedience and Caring.  I wrote posts on Simplicity and Caring when I was discerning last year so you can read a little of the thought process behind them if you’re interested. 

I have not yet made these vows but, as we approach Lent 2017, I know that the time is right to move forward with this and I will be sure to share how and when that happens.  The one thing I do know is that it will be very private and simple.  If you pray keep me in your prayers, if you don’t, think of me kindly as I make this amazing journey into the arms of God.

God bless.

Sharon xx

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blue-birds-blog-header1.jpgI have quite a bit of news, both life and faith related.  However, I will keep the two separate and update on the faith part in another post. 

There are some significant changes taking place in my life at the moment.  Firstly, and I suppose most importantly, my mum has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  She has chosen not to have any aggressive treatment and has opted for palliative care only, I totally respect her decision as it’s not something you can decide for someone else.   I understand why she’s chosen this path, I don’t think chemotherapy is for everyone, it can be worse than the disease it’s trying to cure in some cases.  So, good for her on knowing what she wants and bravely going for it!

My relationship with my mother has been very strained since the death of my lovely step-father Jim, back in 2009.  We were fairly close up until then, but she has never been easy to love if I’m honest and that became a lot more difficult after Jim’s death.  I think he somehow kept us together and calmed the waters between us when he was alive but when he died that soothing balm went with him.  I had kind of hoped that she would mellow a bit with this latest news and build a few bridges but, despite my offered olive branch, that has not happened.  She knows I’m here if she needs me but as it stands that’s as close as I’m allowed.   Some things you just have to place into God’s hands and trust that He knows what’s best.

Secondly, Ethan [who is about to turn 11!!!!] has just left primary school.  He attended a fantastic Catholic Primary School here in Milton Keynes,  and they became like family by the end.  Yesterday was his very last day and to say it was emotional is an understatement.  So many tears from staff, students and parents alike.  From my point of view it was also the end of an era; for the last 33 years I’ve been a parent to at least one child of primary school age or under.  I have to admit to feeling rather bereaved at the loss of that status.  There has to be a time to move on but it’s a hard habit to break and I’m sad at its passing.

I am still not working having given up my job as a Teaching Assistant back in December ’15.  However, once I’ve got Ethan settled into secondary school I will start to re-assess things.  I’d really like something part-time that gives me time with Ethan in the holidays as I won’t leave him on his own all day yet.  I’m not keen to go back into a school full-time but if anything part-time comes up then I’ll probably go for it.  Finances dictate that I’m probably going to have to earn something within the next year or so, barring a lottery win.   I may sign-up for supply work which will mean I can choose when and where I work.  For now it’s in God’s hands and I’m trying to remain open and just see what comes along in the next few months. 

My crochet has been badly neglected recently.  Just too much going on with the huge amount of end-of-term activities that goes with being the mother of a Year 6 student, visits to the new secondary school and organising uniform/equipment/bus passes etc., hospital appointments with mum and the general demands of a family and a house that still refuses to clean itself.

That is about it for the ‘life’ part of my news.  I will do a ‘faith’ update very soon.  

Sharon xx

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Sock update. . .#2

Stage one sock 1

We have, what appears to be, the start of a sock!!  I’m really pleased with it so far and the pattern has been really simple to follow.  See THIS post for the pattern.

It’s been a lovely  Bank Holiday weekend.  Lots of birthday meals out and time spent with family.  I’ve consumed far more than my fair share of chocolate too.  I hope you’ve all had a super few days and enjoyed the extra day if you got the Monday off too.

Sharon xx

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Sock update. . .

Sold yarn and 2.5mm hook

It’s arrived already, the solid coloured 4ply sock yarn in Drops Fabel Blue [107] and Apple Green [112].  The green is a lot more vivid in real life, the photo’ really doesn’t do it justice.  Also my lovely new 2.5mm Clover Armour hook.  Wool Warehouse really do give an amazing customer service and super speedy delivery.  I didn’t pay for anything other than regular postage and two days later it’s on the door mat.  Impressive!!

So, no excuses now as I have everything I need to start my journey into the land of socks…..

Sharon xx

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Hello lovely people.  I thought I’d just go with a newsy chat today.  It’s my birthday [53, ouch] and I’ve given myself the day off.  Well, as much as any wife and mother ever gets the day off; I was still up at sparrow’s fart and have done all the usual morning chores and the school run but, other than that, I’m not doing much else.  I might get my crochet out in a while and try to finish Ethan’s Cosy Crofter Throw.  We’ve finally transferred him, and most of his belongings, to his new room and I have to say that it’s looking very nice.  I thought we’d struggle to fit all his ‘stuff’ into his new room but he’s become a bit of a minimalist and has been totally ruthless about recycling things that he’s not played with for a while or that he thinks he’s grown out of.  However, he informs me that the room just needs a nice throw on the bed to finish it off so I need to get a wriggle on.

I share my birthday with St Catherine of Siena’s feast day.  It’s lovely to share my birthday with a special saint and if I’m lucky enough to go to Mass on my birthday [which I did today] then it makes for some great readings within the service.


St Catherine of Siena

After sharing the crocheted sock pattern in my last post I was excited to give them a go straight away.  Unfortunately I discovered that the only 2.5mm hook I had was a grey Pony one, but I find them very difficult to use now.  As I’ve got older my hands have been prone to cramp and I have a ganglian [deep joy] on the back of each hand, so gripping a very thin, metal hook really makes my hands ache and, after a few hours, I also get a blister on one finger.  Pony hooks were all I used years or so ago but I had to find an alternative once my hand problems started.  Now I’m a Clover Amour‘ convert, and I’ve never looked back, no pain, no blisters, no cramp.  So, back to the story ~ without both hook sizes I couldn’t really start the socks 😦 .  I ordered one immediately along with a couple of balls of plain sock yarn [be rude not to huh?] to use for the toes, heels and cuffs.  I’ve got some beautiful 4ply sock yarns but they’re all multi-coloured.  If you click on each photo’ below you’ll be able to see exactly what the yarn is and which colourway.

As soon as the new yarn and hook arrive I’ll make a start and be sure to share anything I achieve on here.  I’m trying very hard not to have too many projects on the go at once or I’ve discovered nothing gets finished as I hop from one to another depending on mood.  So, I’ve allowed myself one large and one small project at a time.  Ethan’s throw is the large one and these socks will be the small one.  It is working so far. 

The sun is out here as I type but the clouds are looming and there’s a bitter chill in the wind.  I have to confess that I’ve put the heating back on.  We’re out for a quick tea tonight, something of Ethan’s choice which I suspect will involve a burger.  Tomorrow I’m going out for a meal with my beautiful daughter, Millie, so I’ll be twice my normal size by Monday!! lol  Oh, and did I mention cake?  No hope!!! 🙂

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK so we’ve got an extra day together which is perfect given it’s my birthday weekend.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and enjoy your extra day off if you’re lucky enough to have one. 

Blessings xx

Sharon xx

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Crocheted Socks!!!

Kathryn's crocheted socks.

Photo’ courtesy of Deramores

Well, I’m beyond excited to share that the lovely Kathryn Senior from Crafternoon Treats is trialing her own crocheted sock pattern over at Deramores, starting immediately and being released at weekly intervals over the next three weeks or so.  So if, like me, knitting is a complete enigma to you but you’ve been watching with serious envy all those beautiful socks being knitted from the absolutely delicious sock yarns, then this is YOUR MOMENT! The pattern calls for 4ply sock yarn [I may have the odd ball of that, one or two, maybe more], a 3mm and a 2.5mm hook…..!!  The image above is THE socks.  

You can also find Kathryn’s lovely Facebook, group, ‘The Crafternooners’ HERE.  It really is a super group with very few rules other than ‘be nice’.  I belong to it so I can vouch for the niceness [is that a word?] of all the members, so pop over and join us. 

Just had to share that because all the good things in life are made better for having shared them.

[Click on pink links or photo’ to take you to the relevant sites.]

Sharon xx


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It's growing!!

Look!!  My Cosy Autumn Hexi blanket has grown a little bit.  The pattern is lovely to work and so simple I’m not even having to refer to the written instructions now.  More to follow as I progress.

Kitchen sunshine, March 2016

The sun was streaming into my kitchen today as I was enjoying my first cuppa of the day.  Thought I’d share the scene with you guys xx

Sharon xx

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