Friday, 24 June 2016

Five On Friday

Hello!

Can you believe it is Friday again.  Where does the time fly?  Well, for me over the last seven days the time has flown in a flurry of pattern writing.  Thank you so much for your kind words about the release of my Amy Shawl pattern yesterday.  I really appreciate it and am glad that you like it!  Hopefully some of you will get the pattern and make one of your own because I would love to see your versions.

I have also finished the pattern for the Jo Shawl and that will be released next week.  Meg should then follow in another week or so.  Then the set will be complete and yes, for those who have asked, I will do my best to share a picture of them all together.

I really do mean it when I say thank you for what you have said about it.  To know that others like and appreciate your work is a good thing!

Thank you too for your thoughts last week on postage and so on for my shop.  I am still mulling things over, but you have certainly all given me lots to think about and I appreciate that.

The week here has, as I said been a busy week of work for the most part.  Hubby is nearly finished with the big tiling project and it is looking good.  There is some painting and other finishing to do and then I will show you the results of the hard labour.

I am mostly bogged in a sea of crochet, but that is OK.  I have two shawls, two blankets, a computer cover and a crochet hook cover on the go at the moment as well as my knitting - such as it is!  I want to get a few things finished and then start some new projects!  Always on to the next thing.

Speaking of which, I better get on with my five things for this week!

You might remember a couple of weeks ago that I shared a post about losing a pet that included a quote from Rosamunde Pilcher.  I had never really considered her before in my eternal search for inspiring quotes so I have been digging and found five to share with you today.

One

“It was good, and nothing good is truly lost. It stays part of a person, becomes part of their character. So part of you goes everywhere with me. And part of me is yours, forever”

This is the quote I shared with you recently.  It resonated then and it still does today.  I quote this to myself regularly - daily! - and it does help me.

Two

“Happiness is making the most of what you have, and riches is making the most of what you've got.”  
This is so true isn't it.  We all know it, but don't necessarily remember it or live by it.  It isn't about what you have, it is what you do with it.  You can be rich with no possessions at all.  I spent so much less time doing the dusting when I had less things and I am trying to go back to that.  Not just because of the dust, but because I don't need things to make me happy.  Don't get me wrong, they are lovely to have and I am not criticising myself or anyone else for having things, but they don't automatically infer happiness do they.

Three

“It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. Arrival often brings nothing but a sense of desolation and disappointment.”  
So true.  Often the journey is far more interesting than the final destination.  The thing to do is accept that the journey was good and then plan another and move on from the disappointing destination. 

A good journey doesn't mean a disappointing arrival though.  Travel hopefully, remain hopeful and be hopeful and perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised!

Four

“Life is so extraordinary. Wonderful surprises are just around the most unexpected corners.”  
Isn't this true!  You never know what will happen next.  New things, different things, they appear from nowhere and amaze us all.  The flower that blooms, the rainbow after the storm.  Small things that are good things.

Five

“Loving isn’t finding perfection, but forgiving horrible faults.”  
You don't need to say anything else about this do you.  Forgive and move on with love and that is the greatest love!

As always I wish you well for a good weekend and a good week ahead.  Thank you for joining Five On Friday, leaving me a comment and going and visiting other participants to leave them a lovely message too.

Happy travels!

Amy

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Ta Dah! Amy Shawl

At last - it has been a while! - I am delighted to be able to share with you the Amy Shawl from my Little Women series.

Ta Dah!


This is the second in the series following on from the Beth Shawl.  I have finished making the Jo Shawl and will now be working on writing up the pattern for that.  Meg is nearing finished too and that will be the last pattern to be released.

I wrote about my inspiration for this series of shawls here.


Amy is made in Cascade Heritage Sock yarn which is a 75% Merino, 25% Nylon blend.  It works up beautifully and is very soft and drapes well.

I have loved wearing the shawl and everyone that has seen it has said it is very pretty, which has been so kind of them.  Being fairly tall and having a full bust (!) I always want shawls that will be long enough in the back and also long enough to wrap right around me.  I love to have that cosy wrapped around feeling.  So in the design of the Amy Shawl I worked it to be quite long, but also fairly wide.  I didn't want it to come to a point though so I changed the shape a little and I think it has worked well.  Other inspirations have come to mind from this, so you might see more of this idea.


The colour was chosen, as I explained before in the design inspiration post, because of the little book that each girl received in the story Little Women, but also because blue is one of my favourite colours and goes so well with many of the things I wear.  Jeans in winter, dresses in summer.  It all fits for me!


Designing this shawl took a little while and some swatching and trial and error, but once I got going it was quite straightforward and if you decide to make one you will see that you can follow the pattern back and forth and the repeats quite easily.

Writing it up though was a different matter for me!  This is definitely the most intricate pattern that I have written so far.  I learned a lot though and after much writing and amending I am certain that the way it is written will be easy for you to follow, will give you just the right amount of information that you will need to follow the pattern without giving you unnecessary details.  There are actually 3 PDF's for this pattern.  I believe that you will only need the main pattern, however, there is also a stitch chart in case you find those easier to follow.  As the main part of the pattern is repeated the pattern is written out in the "repeat" method, but in case you like to have each row written out I have also done that in a third PDF document.  I expect that most people will only download the main pattern though.


To buy the pattern via my Ravelry Shop click this button and you will go straight through to the pattern page.  I am behind with uploading patterns to lovecrochet.com, but it will soon be available there too.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amy-shawl

I am thinking of hosting a Crochet Along (CAL) for the shawl series once all four patterns are written up.  Is that something you would be interested in?  Do let me know.  There would be prizes!

I hope that you will enjoy making this shawl and having your own bit of Amy to cosy up in!  Do let me know how you get on.  I would love to hear what you think.  There is a thread in the Love Made My Home group on Ravelry where you can share your finished shawls.  Find it here (there is one for the Beth Shawl too!).

Happy Crocheting!

Amy

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Bits of things

A random collection of things that are on my mind right now.

I stopped putting xx after my comments.  It isn't that I don't want to send you hugs and kisses, but somehow it just felt odd to continue to do it.  No idea why.  Nothing happened.  So mostly I am not xx at the end of my comments right now.  Hope you don't mind!

When I see on someones blog something they bought from my shop and it makes me gasp.  In a good way, but I gasp.  That happens to me!

I must buy a new Persephone Book otherwise they will stop sending me their biannual.

I must read more books.  I really must.

I have started another new notebook - you know I love a notebook! - for my yarn bands and project information.  I know I should put all of this into Ravelry, but this is right there and I can easily refer to it without needing the computer.

Have you ever steam blocked something?  I need to and am scared.  Any suggestions?

Writing patterns.  Loads of detail and information or not?  Not sure what to do after I wrote it all out in great loads of detail and now it is really long - over 11 pages...  Actually it will be over 13 because I have a chart to add that is 2 pages...

It is summer and it is raining and grey.  Perhaps that is because it is England.

Watching podcasts while working is good.

Scared about setting up crochet classes.  Actually that isn't true.  Terrified.  What if it is a massive flop...  What if no one will employ me.  What if I am a rubbish teacher.

Feeling bad because I am taking a day off from my voluntary unpaid job in order to try and do some work on my own business working for myself trying to actually get paid.  Why do I feel so guilty!!!

Don't know what to have for dinner.  Pasta or salmon.  Salmon or pasta.  One will be today and one tomorrow, but I can't decide which one.

I am too hot not to have the fan on, but when I do I am cold.  Can't open the window in my office because of the direction of the rain.  It will come straight in the window.

Should I do my paperwork or get the pattern I am working on finished.

Or skive and do the ironing and housework.  Although is that then skiving off work - especially as I am feeling guilty about not being at my other work.

So confusing!!!

I am hungry already.  It is only 11am.

Should I order a book on crochet borders?  Or go and practice my knitting.

Or stop this ramble and go and do some work, any work, rather than feeling guilty about not working.

See.  Lots on my mind right now!

I will go and leave you in peace!!

Hope you are having a good day.

Amy