A massive thanks goes out to Clare (the Inside Crochet Editor) for giving me the opportunity to do this work, and it all came from meeting her at the Knitted Textile Awards.
Although I now work freelance for both of the main UK crochet magazines, I don't want to appear to be taking sides (I just like to have my fingers in a lot of pies...they're pie-licious). I have also just finished making a pair of slipper-socks for my dad for xmas from a pattern out of this months Simply Crochet magazine (Issue 26).
The pattern is by Simone Francis and uses 3 treble clusters normally used with granny squares. I normally just make stuff up myself nowadays but I really enjoyed using this pattern, it's nice and simple and easy to follow.
I dadded them up (if that's not a word it should be) by using more muted colours, and made them 'man-size' by upping the hook size and using Aran weight yarn. I have made a couple of other crochet xmas presents, but I can't post them at the moment as the recipients might see them early (not an issue with my dad).
So, on to other projects of note. I finally got around to sewing together all of the squares into scarves from the 'Big Knitathon' we did. I sold some of them to my colleagues at work, and the rest I gave out to Big Issue vendors in Cardiff (and I gave one to a guy in Bristol too).
With the money we raised on the day, together with the selling of the scarves, we raised a total of £70 for the Big Issue Foundation. Big thanks to everyone that contributed and extra thanks to Natasja King (the blogger known as crochetime) who sent me some spare squares she had to add to the cause. I went round Cardiff one lunchtime with the scarves, some hats and some sandwiches to give out to the vendors. Every vendor that I talked to was very appreciative and very friendly, but there was one guy in particular that really left a mark on me. I had bought the Big Issue from him earlier in the week, I was amazed that he recognised me and he gratefully took a hat from me as he already had a scarf. But then a few days later I was walking home from town, we had just walked past each other with your usual 'alright mate' comments, but then he obviously remembered me and stopped and asked to talk to me. He said that he wanted to thank me properly for giving him the hat, he gave me a big hug and then told me 'money's what puts food in my belly, but people like you feed my soul'. I choked up at him saying this, after all it was just a hat but it meant so much to him, we then had a big chat where he was incredibly open about his situation and his problems. I know I've written a fair bit about the Big Issue already, but it's really affected me by doing this fundraising. Please support your local vendors, especially at this time of year, they're outside in the cold all day - and remember, it's working not begging. Just buying the magazine, bringing them a tea or coffee, or simply saying hello can go a massive way to helping with their lives and brightening up their day.
So anyway, that's enough for now. I just want to say a massive thanks to the editors at Simply Crochet and Inside Crochet, Emma from Lemonade Yarns, all the other mags and websites that have mentioned/done features on me, UKHKA, The Makery, Lyndsey Mayhew (you really gave me a boost in self confidence and the kick in the ass I needed), everyone I've met or talked to at Craft events, and of course to all my fans and readers. You've all helped make this year amazing. And as for next year, well nothing is set in stone yet, but believe me when I say 2015 is gonna be even bigger. I've got a lot of plans - there will be more patterns (finally), more art, and more weirdness.
peace out y'all, and have a merry fishmas and a happy new beer!!! x