A weekend of reflection and crochet

Here in the UK we just experienced what will probably be our last proper summer weekend. It was pleasantly hot, gloriously sunny and with just the slightest breeze – absolutely perfect.

I had hoped to kick off the weekend in true style, by meeting up with Karen and a bunch of other lovely bloggers for the V&A outing to the Ballgown exhibition on Friday evening. I had my ticket ready, I was wearing my best polkadot frock in honour of Jane and Roisin joining us… when I got a bit of interesting news that set the cat amongst the pigeons.

I’m afraid I can’t go into detail until another time when things are a bit more sorted, but suffice to say I had to do a lot of thinking over the weekend and particularly on Friday night. So after having a good old chat with the husband I took myself up to Alexandra Palace’s duck pond to finish off the baby cardigan and enjoy the beautiful evening.

Alexandra Palace duck pond

Alexandra Palace duck pond

I find crochet fantastic for tuning out all that other noise and fuss. It reminds me of when I used to do kickboxing – the concentration on fairly repetitive actions just makes me feel more zen, more focused, more relaxed. It lets me concentrate on just one thing at a time and declutters the mind, much more than sewing, which I can find fairly stressful even though I enjoy it.  So it was crochet all weekend!

At the duck pond…

Crochet in the park

On the train to Norwich…

Crochet on the train

and in the in-laws’ garden (blimey I look huge in this pic).

Crochet in the garden

The upshot being that by the end of the weekend I had finished the baby cardigan and made another row of granny squares for the interminable blanket. Hooray! The bonus being that I’m pretty much happy with recent events, subject to a few improvements and hope to report back further in due course! In the meantime, here’s the baby cardy.

Baby cardigan

The finished item!

Hopefully not too bad for a first attempt? I know there are multiple mistakes in there but I’m just chuffed I finished it and it might actually fit a real live baby. I also realise that the sleeves are a little Pigeon Street in appearance but that ramps up the adorability in my opinion. 😉

I just LOVE those buttons – they were stupidly expensive (£1.70 per apple!) from John Lewis but they were just so perfect I couldn’t resist them.

How was your weekend? Do you find that making things allows you to de-stress, de-clutter  your mind and just focus on what’s important?

32 thoughts on “A weekend of reflection and crochet

  1. Your wee cardi is adorable. I wouldn’t have thought it was your first go at a sweater. I love the color. It will pair nicely with so many things.

    It was so great seeing you! We really should meet up more often since we are practically neighbors 🙂

  2. Not bad for a first attempt? It’s absolutely awesome. I love the colour and, hey, you get to spend whatever you damn well like on buttons for a cardigan for your first baby. I love crochet and how transportable it is. I didn’t even know there was a duck pond at Ali Pali. Thinking of you.

  3. Joanne you were sorely missed on Friday night, really and truly. I’m so glad the crocheting helped you focus your mind and declutter it of all the other noisy stuff! And what a result! That cardigan is just adorable and I love the little apple buttons. Almost makes me want to learn to crochet just so I can make one……almost! I agree that repetitive action helps relieve stress, when I was studying for my finals I made tons of soup, all that vegetable chopping was very therapeutic!
    You look blooming in that photo, not huge! Big kisses, Jane x

  4. That’s a gorgeous cardigan! You’re going to have so much fun putting the baby in there.

    Hey, my brother drove his trike into that duck pond. And he fell off the lion statue there.
    Just a little flavour of what to expect….

  5. Awwww such a cute cardi, You look very relaxed! This weekend was so lovely, shame the weather has now taken a turn for the worst. I have been thinking about getting back into crochet for the winter. There’s something nice about curling up on the couch with a cup of tea and a mini project. Hope all is well xXx

  6. I think you look adorable in those photos! And yes I totally agree on the crochet thing – I was signed off work with stress a few years ago and I sewed and crocheted my way through it. The crochet was really good because it stopped my hands from shaking, which was one of the symptoms I was experiencing. It’s also extremely rewarding to see something taking shape in your hands and crochet is so fast, too! The cardigan looks lovely and I ADORE pigeon street anyway so I think that’s a good thing!

    Thinking of you and hope to get to meet up with you sometime soon xx

    • Awh Roisin – I’m really moved to hear about how you used crochet in times of stress. Thanks for commenting – I think a lot of us find much comfort in a few scraps of wool don’t we? I really hope to meet up with you soon too!

  7. I enjoy crafting when I’m stressed… sewing is obviously my #1, forever & ever, but knitting works well too. It’s nice to focus all your attention strictly on the task at hand, and have some progress (or a completed project!) by the time you’re done. I try to stick with simple/TNT things, though – because nothing is going to bump that stress up like a wonky bound button hole or some shit, you know?

    and OMG I love your baby bump! You are just radiant these days, lady!

    • Absolutely right on keeping it simple Lauren. Sometimes I have to stop sewing when I can feel my mouth all puckered up like I’m sucking on a lemon. Thank you for saying nice things! You are obviously insane but i like it 🙂

  8. Oh Joanne, that cardi is ADORABLE! I love the buttons!! So worth it! 😀 And you are looking absolutely gorgeous too!! ^___^

    I haven’t delved into crochet but I can see the appeal 🙂 I agree with you, it has to be an activity that forces you to stop thinking incessantly about anything and everything. Sleeping is good. LOL JK…. actually I find it depends for me on a) the situation which is stressing me out, and b) what project I’m currently working on. Sometimes sewing helps, but often I’d rather be zen FIRST and THEN sew. Reading is probably the one thing I can say that is good for me during stressful times. That and prayer, but I know that’s a personal preference 🙂

  9. It is completely adorable and I agree with you about the zen of knitting/crocheting. I find that knitting makes me feel very still, even when I’m trying to figure out a pattern. Sewing, though my true love, has me up and down, knocking things over, cursing, all a ball of motion. It is perfect weather for yarn here, finally.

  10. Hello! That is a beautiful cardi, first attempt or not – gorgeous colour and looks so cute. You’re so patient – I can’t get the hang of crochet, it made me want to explode when I attempted it! It’s good you find it restful and therapeutic though, I hope it has helped with the things on your mind. A lady in your delicate condition does not need stress :o) . And I agree with the others, you don’t look huge just like a lovely lady growing a human! Hope you are feeling well. Toodlepip, from Catherine

    • Awh thanks Catherine. Work on the crochet – I was terrible when I started. I was so angry when it went wrong and if I was watching a youtube video I’d shout at the video to slow down or stop being so STUPID! Tantrums galore. Worth sticking at it 😉

      • Ha ha! Oh dear, sounds exactly like me. I have been known to shout at my sewing machine, stupid tension! I might give the crochet another go, maybe on a particularly calm day. Except there are none of those with a 15 month old running around! Talk about tantrums, oh boy. Totally worth it though. :o)

  11. GORGEOUS CARDI! Is it the Kelly Sweater? I recently made one for my own little bub (who, at the moment is an ever-increasing bump) and have since made a couple more for friend’s babies. It was my first proper crochet attempt and it’s such a satisfying project! Those apple buttons are fab btw, and completely worth it!
    I’m loving your granny square blanket too. Love the colours.
    Take care of yourself, and your little passenger.

  12. This cardigan is too cute for words! Check you and your bad self out 😀 I’m teaching myself knitting at the moment and once I seem to get a groove on it is very therapeutic. I totally get the zen thing 😀

  13. Beautiful cardigan – and I totally support any activity that declutters one’s mind and allows them to refocus. Also – you look beautiful! Not huge! Sounds like you’re in the midst of a lot of life changes at the moment – how exciting! And stressful! Take care and keep crocheting!

  14. Joanne, you are looking gorgeous my dear! And the cardi is too cute…I’m so jealous of your crochet skills! Good luck with the decisions regarding the news you received. Hope it’s all good, thinking of you!

  15. Pingback: Planning ahead? I can’t see my own feet… | Stitch and Witter

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