Planning, prepping and pausing

Its that time of year when I look in my garden and start wondering what I want to grow and plant. Things go a little slower in Berwick so I get a little grace when it comes to sowing seeds and planting out!

Since this is my first year vegan, I’m thinking of growing lots of greens and beans. I always make space somewhere to grow sweetpeas, a family favourite. If I can get a cold frame built, we’ll have tomatoes too.

I’m still working my way through the DK yarn I have and that’s after I had a clear out a few weeks ago. I could do with designated yarn storage and have been finding some interesting things on Pinterest. A decent set of drawers with a retro make over would be to my taste for sure.

These are the thoughts I’m using to distract myself from the big issue. The thing thats tearing me up inside.

I have to hold my hands up in defeat in the Tunisian crochet along. The double spiral pattern just wasn’t working out for me.

When picking up a crochet hook made my stomach drop I knew I had to step away for the sake of my sanity. I’ve been crocheting for a long, long time and this is the first time I’ve given up on a pattern. After exhaustive research online I could only find 2 people IN THE WHOLE WORLD who had actually completed it, and they both tweaked the pattern :-/

That makes me feel slightly better. It’s not goodbye forever, though. All the times I restarted the pattern, I kept the ‘mistakes’. I’ve made loads of notes and posted lots of pics. It’s simply a pause, while I do other things. One day I’ll come back to it, not to complete it, but to fix it 🙂


pretty but wrong. Its goodbye for now!


Crufts and crochet.

I’ve been catching up on Crufts today. I can’t believe that I forgot it was on. Between that and the Edinburgh yarn fest, my Instagram and facebook feeds are full of awesome photos!

The Tunisian CAL is getting there, out of sheer stubbornness I’m persevering with it. It’s a long time since I’ve cursed my crochet quite this much. The image of using up so much of my stash keeps me going, but it may be one of those things that I finish and give away immediately – so I’m not reminded of how annoyingly wrong I kept getting it 😦

I’ve always wondered what the dog groomers at Crufts do with all that hair. Seriously, some of those dogs are mega hairy. If it was me, I’d be putting it in a wee bag and giving it to some spinners. I’ll not sure though if I’d wear a sweater (or anything!) made of dog hair, would it smell like pooch to other dogs? My poor Labrador would go in a huff 😉

We bought my gran a book once, I think it was called knitting with dog hair. She & granda had a Yorkie called Bonny and a Border Collie called Ben, it was meant as a joke but she really liked it. For ages afterwards we dreaded getting a scarf made of yorkie hair 😌

When it comes to yarn, I seem to be working a lot with acrylic recently. It’s ideal for amigurumi and big blankets. The sirdar crofter was a gorgeous wool mix, it felt soft & string at the same time. I can’t wait for bad weather so I’ve got an excuse to wear my crofter scarf!
I’m looking forward to getting something fancy at St Abbs yarn fest in April. Perhaps something with alpaca (my secret yarn crush!). It the kind of fibre that makes me want to bury my face in it and purr 😆
As long as its not Alsatian, I’ll use it.

What’s your favour yarn is?

Do you have a secret yarn crush?

Let me know in the comments below.

Tunisian troubles in crochet.



For the last few days I’ve been focused on my work for the Tunisian crochet along & for the past few days I’ve been failing miserably.
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I don’t know if its even me, it could be the pattern or the yarn. My tension could be wrong, I could be misreading something. Perhaps I’m just not a great crocheter. That’s how much this pattern has got to me, I’m doubting myself 😒

When I first chose the pattern I noticed that a few questions had been asked about it but the designer hadn’t answered . I don’t think I’ll get any help there, it seems that others have had the same problem as me. It just doesn’t work right.

Todays it’s last chance. Today I’m starting it from scratch & doing it the way I think it should be done. I’ll be making notes as I go, in case my woes can help someone else in the future.
I’ll record my progress or lack of, throughout the day.
If, at the end of the day I’m still having problems, I’ll choose another pattern, close the door on this one & it’ll forever be the pattern that got the best of me.


If at first you don’t succeed…..

Its so tempting to give something up when it gets difficult.
I’ve started a new blanket, its a pattern that I’m not completely comfortable with. I’m plodding along with it, so far I’ve restarted it twice. I’m 90% certain that I’ve got it right, its looking good but there’s that wee niggle that I’m going to get half way through and realise there’s a mistake at the start. Since its a spiral, any early mistakes are right in the middle.



I’ve missed a few blog posts too, which is really annoying me. I’m a third of the way through my #100daychallange. But, I keep reminding myself that I’m establishing a habit, trying to find my voice and sharing my crochetness.
To be fair, I was planning to write one yesterday after going to see Logan, but I ended up curled up in bed fighting a migraine 😞  I think it was brought on by the pure sadness of the movie. As my youngest daughter would say – it hits you right in the feels.
So today I’ve been crocheting a spiral, chilling with the kids and watching Life on Mars. If Gene Hunt doesn’t chase away migraines nothing will lol. I’m going to stick with it, til the spirals complete.

The value of vintage.

Have you ever noticed the massive pile of vintage patterns sitting gathering dust? No? I don’t blame you.

Miles away from the shiny, glossy magazines that we are all buy and love, there’s old, battered prints. You can find them in charity/thrift shops & second hand book shops. Whether they are wilting in a cardboard box, shoved in a corner or organised in a big pile that no one dare touch for fear of it falling, they’re waiting, waiting to be read.

I love rummaging through old patterns. Of course, there’s the giggle factor. I mean, seriously, did people really wear that stuff! But the range is incredible. Every now and then you get one that has scribbles on it, or a row of numbers scored through. It’s like the past saying to you “this patterns good, go ahead and get making!”

I inherited a lot of patterns when my gran passed away. Among the hand & machine knitting there were a some crochet. It seems to be the fortune of the craft, to be in the shadow of knitting. Forever the bridesmaid, never the bride, as my gran would say.

I started knitting before I took to crochet. Once I had a hook in my hand, I never looked back.

Maybe it’s something to do with being left handed, knitting never seemed natural to me,  simply ‘mirroring’ doesn’t work for all us south paws! Some of us knit back to front and backwards (just to be awkward).

But crochet came as easily as breathing. These days it’s just as instinctive. As the years have passed, I’ve found that reading patterns is quite easy for me. I can see the shape forming as I read,  reading charts took a while to master but I’m so glad now that I can!

I hate the idea of a pattern being lost and for quite a while I would bring home ‘strays’. When we got Jax, I quickly realised that bookcases and puppy dogs don’t mix. So once again the patterns were passed to others, perhaps never finding their forever homes.

I know that its unlikely that there’s a pattern in print that’s not online already, but don’t you just sometimes want a ‘hardcopy’ in your hand. To feel the paper, the folds and to perhaps make a few scribbles of your own? Logically, I know we can print off any pattern we have on our computers, but older patterns feel different. I love the feel of the old paper, it’s almost like linen. As for the old books of patterns, I’m forever coming across some wonderful now treasure nestling in the pages.

Perhaps one day, I’ll manage to get all the patterns together for a ‘family’ photo but for now, here’s a pic of my favourite 2.



The book covers loads of different crafts, but has an excellent crochet section, including Irish Crochet, which is high on my TO DO list. The Tunisian pattern was my grans. It’s been laminated, which means she really, really liked it. I made these waistcoats for my girls when they were 4 and 5. They were super cute!

My (current) favourite Tunisian Patterns

These are a few of the best patterns that I’ve come across on the internet recently. Usually my curiosity is hooked while I’m wandering round Pinterest and before I know it, the yarn haul is getting pulled out and the hooks are being warmed up.

DISCLAIMER – I haven’t made them all yet and all patterns are available publicly and for free. Enjoy.

  1. The Crochet beanie  HERE – this pattern is my all time favourite mostly because you make it sideways, and there’s something about watching it ‘appear’ that really appeals to me 🙂 Add a few extra stitches or a band if, like me, you have a lot of hair or like your hats a bit looser. Very quick to make and great stash buster.The patterns by Becky Rainford
  2. The Tank Top HERE – I haven’t gotten round to making this one yet, but it looks so lovely. Definitely near the top of my to do list. Pattern by Amy Depew
  3. Tunisian Slippers HERE – this pattern is in Japanese but there are charts and photos. Toe curling cuteness. I’m making these this weekend & expect once the girls see them they’ll be begging for their own pair.
  4. Spiral Blanket HERE – I have started this pattern (more than once), its not the clearest of patterns but, by golly, the effect is worth the effort. Worth a blog post in itself, which I’ll get round to soonish. Pattern by Margaret Zellner.

So, this is what’s been distracting me recently, luckily there’s a few would-be gifts among them. I’ll post photos of my wares once I’ve finished working my way through them.

bye for now xxx