Crafty mama.

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Although it seems a distant memory, there was a ‘me’ before Sophia and Oscar. And she loved to do anything that involved a trip to Hobbycraft. That hasn’t really changed to be honest, if anything, I love it more now. How could I not? More time to pursue crafts (sort of) and more reasons for creating (my little girl).

I had a longer than expected period of maternity leave twiddling my thumbs with bump rather than baby as she was late and I was super organised (for once). So there I was, lounging in blissful ignorance, filled with earnest questions and anticipation of the unknown and a tiny little bit of…dare I say it…boredom!

If only I knew I’d be begging for a day of the ‘boring’ now! I remember asking my best friend Mya (seasoned expert yummy mummy and my go-to for everything baby related) what I was supposed to do with all this time! ‘Lavinia,’ she said ‘you’ll never have this time again! Next time you’re pregnant, you’ll have a toddler to look after so three words. Netflix, Ice-cream, sofa.’

I did listen, sort of but I couldn’t deny that stupidly I was a little bored – there’s that word again! So I took full opportunity to craft away the ‘b’ word. Total bonus that it kept me from rearranging the nursery for the umpteenth time and risking my husbands sanity.

First up, knitting. IMG_6909

I’ve tried it so many times before and never stuck with it. This time I at least managed some booties…(an example of the motivation this baby gave and still gives me!) but I arrived at the same conclusion as always – too hard and too long. Of course thanks to  the ironically reliable baby brain making me lose count and drop stitches far too often – nightmare!

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So then I tried Crochet.

Ok ok, I had no clue what it was either. I kept seeing it crop up on my knitting pattern google search so a few quick Youtube sessions and I was sold. This, my friends, is pretty awesome. It’s quick and easy to pick up, weirdly therapeutic and you get impressive results. If like me, you like to create, you will love it. I haven’t put my hooks down since!

You don’t have to worry about two knitting needles as you work with one crochet hook, and you complete each stitch as you go unlike knitting where you keep rows of stitches ‘open’. What the hell does that mean? Well, a dropped stitch (which happens often with me and my knitting) can mean tears, heartbreak and anger as you watch your entire days work unravel before you because you were too busy laughing at Sheldon Coopers latest quirk. Knock knock knock…on my goddamn distractible head. That thankfully is unlikely to happen with crochet so breathe, relax, pick up a hook and enjoy your Big Bang Theory marathon!

I really wanted to make Sophia a baby blanket and that’s how I found ‘Bella Coco’ on youtube and Instagram. Her videos are so easy to follow and she is one of the few who takes you through the British terminology (the Americans have their own version with the same terms but different meanings)

So I ordered some hooks (from Amazon for just £5 – link below)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004LX2ISE/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=569136327&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00AMB5QM4&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=16CXS3H526YB8HCN7MXJ

and some yarn (from LoveKnitting.com – I mostly use Stylecraft Special DK)

and pressed play on Bella Coco’s youtube channel (+ accompanying Netflix show) and the rest is history.

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I’m pretty sure my husband started saying ‘yarn over, pull through 2 loops, yarn over’ in his sleep after the amount of times I pressed repeat but it was worth it. Once I got the hang of it, all five rounds, the last impatient week waiting for my girl to arrive whizzed by. And now she’ll have something her very excited mummy made her to keep (and hand down I hope).

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A baby blanket for each of my kids if and when the time comes? Yes, I definitely think so. Try it yourself, you won’t regret it!

My dear Sophia,  I loved you even before I knew you. This blanket is so special to me because I will always remember how very excited and nervous I was to meet you. How I wanted to keep you warm under something I had made and how I picked bright and beautiful colours as I knew you would colour my life that way. I love you, always x amma

My dear Sophia,
I loved you even before I knew you. This blanket is so very special to me because it reminds me of our last few days just you and me and how very excited and nervous I was to meet you. How I wanted to keep you warm under something I had made and how I picked bright and beautiful colours as I knew you would colour my life that way x May it comfort you the way you do me x I love you, always x amma

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