4 February 2017

I Did My Best

It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you I am closing my little pink yarn shop with immediate effect.  I have done my very best in circumstances which have personally devastated me but I simply cannot sustain it financially or emotionally any more.  So much has changed since I signed the lease exactly one year ago.

I will be gradually listing all of my stock in my Etsy shop over the next couple of weeks if you're interested.

The time has also come for me to disappear from here indefinitely.  This hasn't been an easy decision to make as this space has been so incredibly important to me for the last seven years but I now need to let go and find my way through the next stage of my life's journey in relative anonymity.  I have decided to leave my blog up so my crochet tutorials and patterns will still be available for anyone who would like to use them.  There are also some very happy memories documented here which are very precious to me.

I have, however, deleted my Instagram account.  I will be deleting my Facebook page this afternoon.  Social media has caused me quite a lot of distress recently and I'm desperate for a break.

I've often felt a bit of a fraud and have regularly wondered what you've seen in me!  I'm just a slightly quirky 45 year old woman who speaks from her heart, makes frequent mistakes, and loves colour.  I promise I've always meant well though.  Your kindness and support have helped me through both happy and sad times and have enriched my life more than you'll ever know.  Take care of your little selves, won't you?

Thank you so much for being my friends.

Happy hooking.

Much love,


Edited to add: Thank you for your kind comments and messages on Facebook.  I carefully read each one and they meant such a lot. xx

31 December 2016

Looking Forward

Christmas is a funny time of year.  It's a time when everything seems amplified somehow.  If you are at one with yourself and surrounded by those that you truly love, it's a magical time.  A day of happy togetherness.  If, for whatever reason, all is not well with your world, it's a real toughie.

We had a quiet one, my children and I.  It was a fitting way to see off a rather tumultuous year I think.

On Boxing Day morning I awoke and felt what I can only describe as a surge of relief.  A 'thank chuff that's over' kind of relief.  High on this welcome lightness of spirit, I de-Christmassed and cleaned like a woman possessed!  Oh but it felt good.

I'm not going to do my usual look back over the year, this year.  There has been far too much sadness which I don't want to dwell on.  Instead, I am choosing to look forward and focus only on the good things that I shall be taking into 2017 ...

♥  My little pink yarn shop, of course, is a very good thing.  Going from being a stay-at-home mum and wife to starting a new business was far harder than it ever should have been I suppose because it coincided with devastation in my personal life.  In all honesty, had I known I was going to have to do it entirely alone, I'm not sure that I would even have entertained the idea.  However, I didn't know, I did do it and here I am, a bona fide yarn shop owner!

♥  Friendship has meant far more to me during 2016 than it ever has.  I'm not normally a great one for turning to other people for emotional help but this year I have felt the need to and those friends have showed me nothing but love and support.  I've also made a lot of new friends this year, some of whom are already quite dear to me.

Talking of friendships, I just had to show you the beautiful patchwork hot water bottle that Jooles made for me.  I cried when I opened it.  I also received a pair of gorgeous crocheted wristwarmers from Sandra.  I adore both girls and their gifts mean so much.

♥  Now this last bit is going to sound very self-congratulatory and I do hope you'll agree that I don't make a habit of blowing my own trumpet but, for once, I feel it is justified.  It has been a difficult year but I'm proud of myself for keeping going when I really doubted whether I could any more.  I'm proud of myself for maintaining my dignity at the times when I could quite easily have not.  I'm proud of achieving what I have despite the odds being stacked firmly against me.  Most of all, I'm proud of the fact that my children are both proud of me.  So you could say I'm pretty proud of myself!

I guess it's true, you really don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

That said, I shall personally be giving 2016 my middle finger as it departs and turning to welcome 2017 with open arms and hope in my heart.  Better things are coming my friends, I just know they are.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your encouragement and kindness over the last twelve months.  I wish you all a very happy, creative and sparkly New Year.


3 December 2016

Jules Slouch Hat

I crocheted myself a slouchy hat.  A pale pink one (naturally).  Just because I wanted to and just because I could.  I look a bit of a bugger in anything too close fitting so favour the more flattering softness of a slouch.  My mum admired it and asked for the pattern.  Then Jayne, a lovely lady from one of my crochet classes, asked the same.  Then a kind customer also asked.  So I made another two, one slightly bigger than the other, and wrote the pattern up.

I used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (I completely love that yarn).  Approximately 70g (150 metres) in total.

Once you get into the rhythm, it's a quick make and ideal for beginners comfortable with the half treble (half double in US terminology) stitch.

If you fancy making your own, I've popped the (free) downloadable pattern here on www.lovecrochet.com and here on my Ravelry page.  It's for you, with love from me.  Do send me a message if you have any problems at all.


PS.  Forgive me.  Where are my manners?  Please let me introduce you to Polly and Irene.  They're my new employees.  They don't say much but they're hard workers so I can't complain.

12 November 2016

Six Months

Six months ago I opened the door to my little pink yarn shop for the very first time.

I had every intention of sharing the experience with you dear friends but unforeseen events thwarted that particular plan.  I don't mind telling you, the last six months have been a bit of a bugger!  The most difficult of my entire life.  You see, just as my foray into the grown-up world of work and retail began, the bottom fell out of my personal world.

My blog voice has been all but silent.  I'm so sorry about that but there are just some journeys I guess we have to take alone.  As you know, I battled through quite a hefty period of depression back in the summer.  Since then, it has taken me a while to rebuild my confidence and find my feet in this new and uncertain world of mine.  But find my feet I have and I can finally feel the sun on my face again.

As for the shop?  Well, I've made mistakes (still am) and have had a lot to learn (still do).  I'm definitely not a natural business woman, will never be a millionaire and am still completely poop at organising my time!  But you know what?  I get to spend five days a week surrounded by yarn, talking about yarn, and doing what I love!

I really wanted to give you some sort of explanation for my absence without going into too much detail.  That and to thank you so much for all your support.  I honestly could not have done this without you.  I was quite nervous at first about the prospect of my real and online worlds colliding and, yes, it is still strange when someone visits me in the shop and tells me they've been reading my blog for years or following me on Instagram.  Strange but nice.  I have been completely staggered by the number of you who have visited, sometimes from quite far afield.  Hardly a day has gone by when I haven't received the hand of kindness from one of you in some way shape or form.  I really am so fortunate.

So here I am, a little more worldly-wise but sense of mischief restored, sashaying my way back into Blogland.  I've missed this little space of mine.


14 September 2016

Pink Milk Palette

Quite often someone will wander into my shop, attracted purely by the colours.  They can be quite apologetic about the fact that they neither knit nor crochet.  When I've pointed out the error of their ways in no uncertain terms (not really!), I'm quite happy to let them have as much of a colour fix as they'd like.  Apparently sweet shops can have the same effect on even those with a strictly savoury tooth.

One day I'll write a blog post about a typical day as a yarn shop owner.  I think you'll find it really interesting.  I have the privilege of meeting some fabulous people, believe me.

Anyway, I digress.  I'm currently working behind the scenes on my big girl's online shop.  Amongst other things, I shall be selling yarn packs which I am thoroughly enjoying putting together.  A lot of them will be based on my own previous makes.  I do hope you'll like them.  Some packs will include patterns, some won't.  Some may include a little surprise extra, some won't.  Just know that I will personally be packaging each with my love and care.

As a bit of a taster (and because I'm an impatient creature), I thought it might be fun to write a blog post introducing you to my eponymously named ...

Weight : Sport
Blend : 55% Extrafine Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic, 12% Cashmere
Length : 125m Per 50g Ball
Hook/Needle Size : 3.25mm
Washing Instructions : Cool Machine Wash


Doesn't that just fill your heart with joy?

I've always been very vocal about my love for Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.  It's one of my favourite yarns.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time you'll already know this.  I've used it for many of my patterns and makes.  I'm frequently asked which colours I use.

Why is it a favourite of mine?  Quite simply, it's an absolute pleasure to work with; knitted or crocheted it creates a soft fabric with wonderful drape, and it comes in a wide range of beautiful colours (60 in total I think).  Finished objects are easy to care for (machine washable on a cool temperature) and wear extremely well (no bobbling or fluffing).

The recommended hook/needle size is 3.25mm but I rarely opt for anything smaller than a 4mm.  In fact, using a 5mm hook creates a lovely light fabric that puddles into soft folds.

My Pink Milk Palette is a pack containing my ten 'go to' favourites.  They're the shades I visit time and time again.  I love each colour individually but I especially love all the different delicious combinations of any two or more of them.  For example, try and picture Peach Melba, Amber and Candy Pink together.  How gorgeously striking is that?  I have a huge soft spot for the pretty mix of Baby Pink, Duck Egg and Silver, and I'm currently a little bit fixated on seeing how Amber and Lilac stripes look.

What could you do with a Pink Milk Palette?  You could make numerous pairs of mitts in an array of different colours for gifts, you could hook up (or knit) several cowls, you could make a couple of January Sucks Infinity Scarves or even a small blanket.  Ooh, wouldn't a ripple in these colours look glorious?  I't's the perfect paintbox for all those little projects like flowers and embellishments.  Failing any of my suggestions, you could just arrange it prettily in your stash and allow your heart to skip a beat every time you catch a glimpse, until inspiration strikes.

I have an idea for a pattern floating around my head.  It involves all ten of the colours and I'm itching to set-to with my crochet hook and see what happens.  If it turns into fruition, I will, of course, share it with you.  I've already chosen its name.

I have a limited number of Pink Milk Palette packs available for immediate purchase if you're interested.  Payment is processed via Paypal but, to my knowledge, you can also pay by debit or credit card without having an account.


UK Only
£48.00 plus £3.50 postage

£48.00 plus £7.00 postage

Outside Europe
£48.00 plus £11.00 postage

Whilst I always obtain proof, all postage rates are only standard.  If you would prefer the more expensive traceable service, do send me an email prior to purchase.

Any customs charges will be your responsibility.  I am afraid I am unable to mark parcels as 'gifts'.

I aim to dispatch all parcels within 2 working days of sale.

I do hope you don't mind me doing the shameless self-promotion thing.  I was excited!  If nothing else, feel free to enjoy a colour fix with my pleasure. :-)


22 August 2016

In Response

Believe in yourself and all that you are.

Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

I wanted to take a moment to thank every single one of you who commented or sent me a message after this post.  I responded to very few of you, I'm sorry.  I didn't feel able to at the time.  It's not been sitting very well with me that I haven't properly and gratefully acknowledged the time you took to contact me.

I will continue to talk very candidly about depression.  It is something I am not ashamed of or am willing to hide.  I am extremely passionate about doing my own tiny bit for bringing the subject out into the open.  It's far too important and affects far too many people for it not to be addressed.

You are so very precious.

Never let anyone or anything make you think otherwise.


7 August 2016

I Believe ...

Sew Sweet Violet Podcast

They were for meeeeee!

I cannot recommend this magazine highly enough.  It's beautiful.  http://www.breathemagazine.co.uk

Kate Selene's gorgeous hand-dyed yarns now available in my real-life yarn shop.

'Pink Milk Palette' kits available online very soon.

... in always having fresh flowers
... in the joy of colour
... in supporting small independent businesses
... that some friends are not just meant-to-be, they're heaven-sent
... in stash-enhancing
... in sunshine
... in making time for tea (and wine, always wine)
... in finding time to just breathe, and
... that love always wins.


Post completely copied from inspired by Jen at The Cottage Nest.