Sharing the crochet love. And some robots.

Archive for December, 2013

Trying to avoid the countdown!

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I don’t celebrate New Years. I have spent the years finding various ways to steer clear of the hype and the big countdown. In the past I have had some very early nights, some very long baths, and some extreme reading marathons, each of which worked in their own way, although I did end up with some puffy eyes after a whole night of reading! 

This year was a dancing robot, in crochet. I wish it had taken a little longer, but I am pleased to be sharing this picture of him tonight  I feel he shows that I am not dodging the festivities because I am being negative, or because I am anti-social, but that I want to greet the New Year and all of its’ hopes and promises in the morning, with my children, rather than sitting here on the sofa, alone, at midnight. I always feel that the big countdown leaves me facing backwards, looking over the old year and the pain it brought with it. I want to wake up and find everything brand new, like an adult version of Christmas, I suppose. Waking up to find the gift of a new year and another new beginning. Hope its good for all of you too, whether you are celebrating or not. 🙂

p.s. Robot of the Day this one is for you

Hooking me Skinny

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   First of all, I never make New Year resolutions, this is not a resolution. Secondly, this blog is not going to turn into a record of weight loss successes and failures, and I am definitely not about to start listing every bite that I eat every day. 

   But I do want this blog to reflect my day to day life, and today that means the weight loss cycle has come around again. Yes, that’s right; again. I am ridiculously good at losing weight, only to pile it back on again. Even knowing the many benefits of staying slim aren’t enough to keep me away from the kitchen cupboards. As an emotional eater, food brings comfort in stressful times, and there has never been a year quite like the one I have just been through. However, that sounds a lot like making excuses, and it is. At times like this I need to get real and admit that I hide behind my weight to avoid facing up to painful things. The excuses have to go, and so does the weight. 

The picture here was taken last year, when I was at my slimmest. I had just lost a whopping 5 stone (60 lb) and was feeling amazing. I do have a head, by the way, I’m just not ready to share that much of me yet! 

Much as I would love to share a current photo, very few exist, as the more weight I gain, the fewer photographs I appear in. I have managed to regain most of the 60 lb that I lost, and am struggling to squeeze into my biggest jeans. 

But, I have done it before and I can do it again. Here are the three things that I am sure helped me to lose the weight last time around;

 

  • I kept a diary. I wrote down, not just my weight and the food I had eaten, but how I was feeling. I recorded every upset and every triumph, and reading back over it often gave me the strength to keep going. I guess that is why I am sharing this now, as an online diary entry that I can look back on in time and see how far I have come.
  • I had a goal date in mind. There was a charity ball that my friends and I were all going to on the 1st December, and I used to visualise everything about that special night. I knew I wanted to be slimmer rather than heavy so that I could be comfortable and enjoy the night. 
  • Lastly; and this is a biggie; I made a dress for myself. Yup, the blue dress in the photo. I crocheted it to wear to the ball, and when I sat in the evenings working row after row in tiny thread, adding little glass beads, I knew I had to keep eating properly in order to be able to get into the dress. It worked, and I felt like a princess. 

 

   So here we are, starting again. I don’t have a charity ball coming up to plan for, but I am going to use crochet again to keep the weight loss on track. This time I am going to design and make myself a top, a gorgeous going-out top that I can slip on over jeans for a night on the town. I am already beginning to picture it in my mind, so there may be the occasional update on here to show my progress. As for a goal date, I would ideally like to have another slim summer, so I am going to say 1st July. Not necessarily to have all five stone off again, or to be at my goal weight, but to be looking and feeling more like my old self. 

    I am looking forward to being able to get into my clothes again, to being in photographs without having to worry about the number of chins that will be showing, to being able to run, walk and even sleep more easily. So many reasons to shift the extra weight, all I really needed to do was be ready to go, to get to this point in the cycle and get on with it. Wish me luck! 

 

Detoxing with crochet

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That’s it over for another year, and for us the most relaxed, fuss-free celebrations we have ever had. I hope that reflects the stage we are at in our lives, as it is so reassuring to think that we have come through the worst times and are free to enjoy the good times that are ahead. 

I put the yarn and hook away during the decorating of the house, and have just taken them back out again for a little “me” time. It is a relief to not be crocheting to a deadline anymore, as coming up to Christmas I had a list of projects that needed to be finished. There were four minion hats for children of relatives, varying in age from 4 months to 5 years. There were the two mini minions that I had decided to make for my own kids, (which were very well received!) There was a  package of tiny clothes for the neo natal unit. And there was the blocking, and re-blocking of my bruges lace piece, which became a last-minute addition to my gift to an aunt of mine. It’s been non-stop, but mostly small, varied projects, which helped prevent things from becoming a drag.

However, all of the gift-making left me feeling a little uninspired this evening, and I felt I was searching for a new project to begin. I hate that feeling, I would much rather have a list of ideas to choose from and be working on a dozen different projects than be sitting here not knowing what to start next. I couldn’t even remember what was on my ideas wish list, it had all gone a bit blank. 

When that happens, I think the most important thing is just to start something, anything, and then the ideas will come flooding back. So I decided to make some baby trainers, and sure enough, now my head is full of ideas and inspiration for the coming year. It does feel a little like a detox, cleansing all the stuff that doesn’t need to be in there, and making some room for me again. Having a hobby like crochet is so good for that; reminding us to take a little time every day to do something that we enjoy, just for the pleasure of creating something new, and then sharing it with the world. 

Time to shine, for all of us

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It may be a little quiet here over the next few days, so I will take this opportunity to say happy Christmas to all of you, or just have a really great day if you don’t do the Christmas thing. So many of you have shared some really kind words and wonderful comments, all of which have meant so much to me.

Sharing a picture of our tree angel today, she is a bit special to me because I made her a few years ago as an experiment with fabric stiffener and lace, using a pattern from Crochet World magazine.She turned out ok, but has warped a little from lying on the shelf ever since – I was living with my parents, having fled an abusive partner, and didn’t have a tree to put her on! 

This year a lot has changed for us. I have my own place again, close enough to my parents for the kids to have plenty of time with them, and wonderful support for me too. We even have our own tree now, decorated with ornaments donated by friends and family, so covered in lovely little reminders of their love for us. And on top of the tree, finally in use, my angel. So much symbolism in there, so many emotions, but all good, finally. All good. 

Mini-minions…and a banana!

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Thank goodness for googly-eyes, they certainly saved me a lot of facial-feature stress tonight. I had a few requests for minion hats recently, and they gave me a brainwave a few nights ago – I decided I just had to make two little mini-minions for my kids for Christmas. 

They worked up so quickly, due to the lack of any real shaping, and I kept the arms and legs super simple because they are so tiny. But I have to admit, the first attempt looked more like a banana than a minion! Here it is..

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I think he looks hilarious, with his long head and pouty lips. The kids can have the good ones, but this little guy is mine! 🙂

Amigurumi-family

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My boy has had a haircut since I made these, and my girl doesn’t wear pink anymore, but the likeness is still there! I crocheted two “mini-me”s for the kids, small enough to hold in one hand, three years ago, and they have become a great, unexpected souvenir of that time. They make me laugh because I remember how my boy was born with a great mop of hair, and how he refused to keep his clothes on for the first year and was often found running around the house in only a nappy. My girl requested a pink dress and matching shoes – she was well into her pink, princess phase at the time. I also made her a pony, using a free internet pattern, apologies to the author but I cannot remember the website for this.

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We never had a pony, but we did have a much loved dog. I had trouble using black yarn on such a small project, but I managed to create a little mini-dog too.

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VERY hard to photograph! That lovely dog is no longer with us, so it is nice for my kids to have a little keepsake to remember him by.

I must have gone through quite a mini-me phase, now I look back there were quite a few people who received little yarny versions of themselves. I am quite tempted to do an updated version of the kids, as soon as the Christmas pressure is off. But there is no way I am attempting the dwarf hamsters or the goldfish that the kids now own, small may be cute but teeny weeny is just too stress-inducing!

Festive Friday in miniature

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I have been blessed with two children who don’t just love each other, but also like each other, in spite of being very different at times. Could it be their differences that keep them together?

Look how they chose to dress up today for Festive Friday at their school; my boy, who is still only 4, went all-out with a bright red Santa hat and wore it with pride, the bobble swinging behind him as he ran in to the classroom.

My daughter,who is 9, was less comfortable with the thought of dressing up. Their school has a uniform, and she is happier blending into the crowd just now. I made her a tiny little Santa hat, and attached it to a hairband to sit on top of her head, it was very cute, and it solved her problem; she got to join in with the others but on her own terms.

My girl has been through a lot but I can still see her sunny little personality glimmering away deep inside, like a coin at the bottom of a fountain. At school, her brother seeks her out to make sure that she is ok. At home, she plays games with him, and helps him to read his favourite books. They are a perfect fit – and I am so grateful for them both.

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