The new year is upon us bringing thoughts of new projects and goals for the coming year. Crochet has so much to choose from, patterns, yarns and colours , the choices are infinite! I would like to start reducing my yarn stash, if only to fit more in. Life afloat certainly has its storage challenges!
Winter is here with frosty mornings and I really feel this when our stove goes out during the night. Being a third submerged in icy water takes a lot of insulation and heating to keep warm. Narrowboat living is quite basic and we cant just flick a switch to put the heating on.
Coal has to be carried up the towpath, sometimes as far as a quarter of a mile. This does depend where we are moored and it can be quite a walk which is why you will often see a wheelbarrow on boat roof. There are boats in most areas that provide coal but we usually fetch our own so it can be very hard work! There is also little room to store coal so the roof is often used and for some boaters occasionally stolen. Thankfully we have had no problems but you do hear of incidents through the towpath jungle drums.
Fires have to be kept in good working order and flues must be swept regularly to minimise the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning. This unfortunately kills boaters every year.We have alarms to warn us if there is a problem as it is completely undetectable without them.
We have two fires aboard which means that we are very warm and damp free. Nothing beats coming out of the shower next to a roaring fire!I love climbing into our beautiful tree bed and watching the flickering flames dance through the glass window of the wood burner. It really does feel like I am in one of my fantasy books, so magical! I did always have a very active imagination though!
Keeping warm is essential and what better way than crocheting blankets? Snuggling under a wooly creation by the fire is just heaven in our tiny home. With so many fabulous designs to choose from a blanket is the perfect winter crochet project.
My favourite designers so far are Lucy from Attic 24 with her fun and colourful patterns and Janie Crow who has the most amazingly detailed designs. Both designers are incredibly popular with dedicated Facebook pages to their blankets where you can check out individuals’ colour variations and get advice.
Attic 24 has a new CAL, the Sweetpea blanket. Floral colours that are fresh and vibrant in her unique style . So many blankets to choose from! I want to make them all! I am planning to use the sweet pea colours to make a colourwash blanket. My previous colour wash blanket was gifted as a wedding present, which I struggled to part with, so a new version for myself is definitely on the cards. This time I shall make sure I do the pattern correctly! I made so many mistakes but it still turned out beautifully. With crochet it doesn’t have to be perfect to be a work of art!
With Christmas out of the way and all those handmade gifts gifted it is time to think about new year crochet projects and new business ideas. I have spent the last year learning and trying to find my niche in the world of crochet. I tried everything from granny squares to ripple blankets, amigurumi and toy making, hats, cowls and gloves, bags and purses, decorative items such as mandalas and cushions. I am still not sure what I want to focus on, for now it is a smorgasbord of delights to choose from!
A few of last years crochet projects were frogged and abandoned . I took on some that were way beyond my newbie skills! I think I can try again now that I have a better understanding of the processes. I have learnt so much over the last year and I am so excited to now have the confidence to try anything I like.
One thing is for sure my yarn stash is an ever growing pile of treasure. We don’t have a lot of storage and my husband came home one day with a beautiful vintage suitcase in the delusional hope that I would contain my stash in it. I tried, I really did but it has spread across the whole boat, bags in every corner. I am eyeing up his sock drawer, it would be just so perfect to lay out my favourite colours for easy access, surely he doesn’t need so many socks? Or maybe not…
After swearing I would never crochet anything pink again, I am just about to start a new blanket Lily pond, in the Cherry Blossom colourway.
I have succumbed to the soft palette and beautiful design, despite hankering for new year crochet projects with rich dark colours. It is a birthday present for one of my granddaughters who looked horrified when I suggested a granny square blanket. She is only 5 and assumed it was something for grannies. I think this will meet her approval!
No doubt crocheters all around the world are beginning new projects for a new year, I am absolutely delighted to be a part of that creative journey . I just need to commandeer that sock drawer and there might just be room for one more WIP!