Arrgggh, what a miserable day it is. Rain, rain, rain. Poor Squitchy is feeling very sorry for himself as I won't leave the back door open for him to wander in and out of the house as he pleases, and so he's curled up on the sofa, occasionally huffing to make sure we know that he is one unhappy husky.
It is not such a problem for me though as I have plenty of projects to keep me busy. Usually, January is the month that drags on forever where I have to watch every penny to make sure I can make it through to the 25th (otherwise known as payday). And there's so many temptations; a final dash for some extra christmas presents, sales, splashing out for my birthday, January is definitely there to test me. But not this year, no. This year, it seems like I've been much more in control (plus I was very lucky to get money/vouchers for Christmas and birthday so I didn't have to dip into my bank account too much) and so I've had a little bit spare. And what better way to spend it then buying more crafty goodness! I hadn't really realised just how much I've purchased until I had to try and find a home for it in my craft room, instead of my usual spread around the house approach.
There's been a couple of books:
First up is modern baby crochet by my fav, Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches fame. Yep, I know I bang on about Fresh Stitches, but I genuinely love love love her stuff. Now, I'm not a baby person, (I spend all day with other people's kids, it's enough to put anyone off!) but whilst this book certainly has a focus on designs for a new baby's room, there's so many other things in it that would work in any house. I've already made a cute little amigurumi bird, but have my eye on the sea urchin pouf (I started making a pouf ages ago with Zpagetti yarn and it looks pretty average. I want to frog it, but know how long it took me to get that far. Maybe this is the push I need) the asymmetrical basket-weave blanket and the colourful wiggle pillow (which my sister has also put in an order for already).
Then I bought My Crochet Doll by Isabelle Kessedjian. This is a truly beautiful book; the first half is photos showing all the items in the book, laid out in a really inviting way that makes you want to make everything on each page RIGHT NOW! I love that the crochet doll is in fact just a tiny part of the focus of this book; it's all the accessories that go with it that catch my eye, like the teeny tiny camera, or the little bucket and spade for the beach. My particular favourites are:
There have been a couple of other pattern purchases, but these are for top secret projects and will be revealed all in good time :)
I've also bought my first big yarn pack of the year, from Wool Warehouse, the Attic 24 colour pack. 17 skeins of Stylecraft Special DK in an Attic 24 inspired colour range. When I opened my huge bag, I was a little uncertain as to how this might pan out. Not all the colours were those that I would pick myself, and certainly weren't ones I've put together in one project. But I don't know why I doubted Lucy, it's not often she gets her colours wrong. I've already made a good start by following her granny stripe tutorial:
...but being that it's 240 stitches across (about the size of a double bed) I've still got a long way to go! I've decided to weave in the ends every so often so I don't have a big pile to work through at the end. I'm sure you will be hearing a lot about this blanket over the coming months ;)
I was also very lucky that timing paid off in my favour. I keep seeing a very lovely embroidery design popping up on Instagram which made me very tempted to give it a try. It's Sew Laugh Love by Leanne's House but unfortunately it's no longer available to buy as a kit anywhere, except in Australia which just so happened to be where my parents were over Christmas, visiting my sister. Following a desperate email, and a long flight it made it's way over to the UK and straight to my craft room. I'm really looking forward to learning a new skill and hope I can do it justice on my first attempt.
So I'm definitely going to be busy for the next few months! I'm excited that it's a mix of projects that I love like amigurumi, easy going pattern free projects like the granny blanket, and a completely new skill in embroidery. What are your crafty plans for 2014?