Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Remember that Crocheted Waistcoat...?

it's finished.

In fact, truth be told it was finished a good few weeks ago, but I'd not got around to putting the ties on!  It has been languishing on my chair in crochet corner waiting patiently 'til now.

What do you think?

As it's been such an age since I started this waistcoat project, I cannot remember how much I spent on wool, except to say it was less than the one for sale that originally inspired me to make this one!  I used Rowan Handknit Cotton for it, but if I were to make another one I think I'd pick a slightly lighter yarn.  Cotton is quite sturdy, and I think a more floaty kind of wool would look quite good too.

But here's the thing - the fact is, I probably won't be able to make another.  I tried to write a pattern, and at first it looked as if it were going swimmingly - and I was so excited as I reallly thought I could share it with you.  Then it got tricky...and oh my, tricky like you wouldn't believe.  I spent a while frogging and re-doing bits over and over until they looked right.  Even now, there are parts of it that to my eye look ever so happily wonky and not exactly matching...but hey, it was fun to do.

So, (and I dread you reading this bit) I am very, very (truly) sorry...but I do not have a pattern to share with you after all. Writing all the complicated bits down and reading through it made absolutely no sense to me at all afterwards, and even though I tried writing it out three times, it wasn't convincing me that it was easy enough for folks to understand, and to publish on a blog to share with a squillion people.

Will you forgive me?  

I have to confess that I've had rather a hiatus from crochet of late.  I've been much to busy with other projects and come 8 o'clock I've been too pooped to do much else apart from flop.
And then I read a post over at Coco Rose Diaries about a new magazine, with some rather fabulous crocheted apple covers featured.  You can have a peek into this new magazine here too, it looks really good.  Vanessa's post and this magazine combined got me itching to get hooking again.

I think it was a much needed jolt to remind me to get the mix of business and pleasure balanced evenly.  Despite my attempts at balancing life (as described in my last post), I realised that I was actually still feeling pretty frazzled and worn out which is a major kick up the butt for me to reaaaalllly slow down.  I realised that peaceful creative pursuits must be allowed as well as all this studying, drawing and writing that I'm doing, so I've started to do my yoga again (just gentle bursts of 15-30 minutes each evening) and plan some crochet time too; for me this is such a relaxing thing to do and like reading, it helps me to centre and unwind after a mad day!  My other stuff has now been re-scheduled so that my self imposed (rather tight) deadlines have now been gloriously extended!! Hurrah, sighs of relief and more time for the fun stuff.  Why didn't I just do that in the first place???!!

I want to say Thank You to everyone who left comments on my last post too - it was great to read all your ideas on dealing with overwhelm.  It was also interesting to see how many of us go through the same processes, thank you so much for sharing.

Before I scoot off, I just want to tell you that I am in the process of creating some new card collections for my website, which I'm really excited about.  If you want the heads up on these (that is, an exclusive preview with a nice discount) then all you have to do is sign up for my email newsletter which you can do here!  Just scroll down the page, fill in the form and that's it!!

Sending you love for a happy week, 
Julia x


  1. Congratulations on finishing your waistcoat now you get the pleasure of wearing it. Looking forward to seeing your new cards.

  2. For those who get Country Living there was a card inside offering three issues of Mollie Makes, the mag you mention in your post, for £5. It's a lovely magazine, but I have to ask who wants apple covers, and why?

  3. I love love love it!! You did a great job. I am struggling to get hold of a copy of that Molly Makes. Where did you get it from? xx

  4. Julia, your waistcoat looks fantastic and I certainly cannot spot any wonky bits!!! How clever of you to put it together without a pattern.

    I am a huge fan of 'crochet therapy'; it certainly works for me as a sort of enforced 'time out' plus it's a wonderful opportunity to have a jolly good 'think'!

    How fabulous is the Mollie Makes magazine? I've already taken up their subscription offer!

    Have a wonderful week.


  5. Love, love, love the waistcoat! It looks great. Well done.

  6. Well done on the waistcoat Julia. It must have been really tricky without a pattern to follow. Great photo of your 'crochet corner' - I have magazine corner, crafting table, cross-stitch sofa etc etc!!! x

  7. Good grief my lovely, THAT IS STUNNING!!!!! I am in awe that you just 'did it' without a pattern!

    I practically stopped crocheting completely over the Easter break, and I found it quite hard to get the momentum going to carry on where I had left off. I think that if I had not wanted to make my current blanket so much, I might have dropped it altogether for a while and started to concentrate on something new.

    I think though, that I still have a lot of projects quite clear in my head that I want to get done. Maybe once they get done I can move on. I have found that is is quite necessary to have small little projects going that give me the fix I need in between tackling a long project.

    Everything is so full on at the moment, and like you, feel that I seriously need to slow the pace down. Crocheting in the evening does relax and calm me. The apple cosies took just 20 mins so they were a great little project fix!!!!

    Have a super day and rest of a week!

    Much love


    p.s..I have major waistcoat envy!!!!

    p.p.s.......When I saw your post I clicked on it, then thought i'll go and make a cuppa and sit down and have a good read. I went to take a sip of tea whilst reading and realised I hadn't actually poured any hot water in it. It just had milk and tea bag in it! Seriously i'm losing it!!!!!!!!xx

  8. It is beautiful. I love the colors.

  9. Pati from London18 May 2011 at 13:44

    What a lovely waistcoat! I prefer yours to Cath's....
    Have already applied for the 5 pound subscription of the 3 issues of Mollie Makes! Will check my newsagents later for the first one but I believe it's been very successful and a lot of places have run out of stock! I'm enjoying reading all your posts these days, they are very encouraging and inspirational. Thanks, Pati x

  10. Julia, It is lovely, and will be so perfect for cooler summer days! I hear you on the pattern writing: I start with the best intentions, but really, considering that I never use a pattern myself, I can hardly write it as a pattern for someone else! Coupled with: my crochet tends to be (unless it is a rectangular piece) made up as I go along, and has a bit added here, and a bit taken away there...

  11. Well done, lovely waistcoat!
    I love crocheting at the moment, it really relaxes me.
    Take care

  12. The waistcoat turned out really lovely, well done Julia!

  13. Your waistcoat has come out beautifully xox I have just purchased Mollie Makes and can't wait to get me a cuppa and indulge! Crochet as you say can reallyrelax you and help you forget all the craziness life demands xox Enjoy!

  14. That is a really great waistcoat. I have enjoyed reading your posts about getting a life balance, good to see you are doing just that.
    Jane x

  15. Hello folks, thanks for all your comments about the waistcoat today! Im so pleased you like it, Im looking forward to giving it its first airing tomorrow lol! Next mission is to try and get my mitts on a copy of MM - seems its flying out the shops like hot cakes, but I hear WHS is a good bet as lots of smaller places have sold out fast.
    Failing that, I might just have to subscribe...

    Have a nice evening
    Julia x

  16. hi friend, friend list you've added a very nice design weaves love greetings to you soon again.

  17. What an absolutely gorgeous waistcoat! Congratulations, and it looks lovely on you!

  18. Lovely!

    Now for the Sea Pennies shawl ;)

  19. ...ahhh yes, the sea pennies shawl - and don't forget the ripple blanket too lol!! Plenty to keep me going, never mind new projects!

    J x

  20. Your waistcoat is absolutely gorgeous - and you are so clever creating it without a pattern. It looks really pretty! I'm really looking forward to seeing your new cards. Have a lovely weekend, Julia.
    Helen x

  21. Love the waistcoat and that basket of yarn looks scrummy :-)
    I've awarded you the Kreativ Blogger Award - thanks for having such an inspiring blog!

  22. Well done, it's not easy writing a crochet pattern. It comes out looking far more complicated than it really is, lol.

  23. Loving the waistcoat! Well done.
    I saw this but dont have have a blog, so thought you might like to share it:

    Not sure I'd be brave enough to wear a crocheted dress!

    Michelle, Bristol

  24. i love it! i really do :o)

    and i also love visiting your blog, even though i haven't said so as often as i should. infact i am presently on another break from blogging, but i do plan to be back soon. also not writting a blog does give me more time to read them and i'm very glad i stopped by here today.

    sending you warmest wishes and thanks for being such a lovely, creative soul

    hugs xxx


  25. Hi Julia, the waistcoat looks amazing! I love the colors and the design.
    And what fun with that pretty blanket on cocorose and in country homes and interiors... will you start one?

    Love, Maaike


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