Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 9)

Welcome to the slightly late final edition of my Summer Craft Challenge 2017. A return to school for the Little Postcards and the wonderful MTV Gibraltar Calling music festival this weekend slightly threw me off track… here goes!

Day 57 : Saturday 26th August

Saturday was our last night in beautiful Carcassonne.  I will always remember Carcassonne when I wear this shawl once it’s finished.

Day 58 : Sunday 27th August

Back in Toulouse on Sunday the colour blue began to emerge in the yarn. I’m really enjoying the colours of this Scheepjes Whirl yarn.

Day 59 : Monday 28th August

With a few hours to kill between checking out and heading to the airport it meant a little while in one of Toulouse’s gorgeous public parks crocheting on a bench…

….and then more time for hooky on the plane. I ended up sitting next to a lovely Spanish lady who loves to crochet too. She showed me her bag which she had made herself.

Day 60 : Tuesday 29th August

Back at home in Gibraltar now, with just the chance for a couple of rows between the multiple loads of post holiday laundry!

Day 61 : Wednesday 30th August


Time for a change today and a return to this lovely ‘Jenny’s Mandala’ from Little Box of Crochet. I know I have said it before but I just love how the pattern and look of the mandala changes with each new row.

Day 63 : Thursday 31st August

More mandala time, and as the sun went down on Thursday, it went down on the school summer holidays and indeed my summer craft challenge for this year. I felt a glass of wine was in order to celebrate over 60 days of craftiness (I missed just 2 days this year) and to spare a thought for all the wonderful teachers who will be nurturing all our kiddiwinks over the next academic year.

My Summer Craft Challenge this year has been such fun and has come with us all over the place on a mini European tour. Europa the Unicorn, who I made on the very first day of the challenge back on 1st July has been to the U.K., France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. I have been getting weird glances from not just my children, but passers-by as I have been attempting to take photos of her in various locations, I have been disowned on more than one occasion.

Thanks so much for joining me! 

Summer Craft Challenge (week 8)

I am almost at the end of this year’s summer craft challenge and I can’t believe how quickly it has flown by. We have been so lucky to be able to travel so much and visit such beautiful places this year. Among our destinations have been English & Welsh countryside, the sunny Algarve, Rome, and southern France.

Last year, in order to save my sanity during the long 8 week school holidays I set myself a craft challenge to do something crafty (even just for 5 minutes). I had such fun doing it and recording it last year that I’ve done it again this year. Here’s this summer’s latest installment:

Day 50 : Saturday 19th August


Another week, another flight! Europa the Unicorn and my crochet hook hopped onto another plane on Saturday and we headed up north to France. Toulouse to be precise. She is one jet set Unicorn!

Day 51 : Sunday 20th August

Exactly one week on from posting an almost identical photograph taken in the shade under some trees in a park in Rome, I was doing the same thing in one of Toulouse’s beautiful parks. My word, the French authorities know how to maintain a public park – they are so beautiful. 

Day 52 : Monday 21st August


Europa had a trip on a Toulouse tram today to the Airbus museum Aeroscopia. It was loads of fun, we got to go on Concorde and a Super Guppy! (For the uninitiated, Super Guppies were used to transport parts of Airbus airplanes to the assembly point in Toulouse). 


Oh and I finished this scarf which was started in Manchester at the beginning of our summer adventures. I now have one happy Little Postcard who’s chuffed with his new scarf.

Day 53 : Tuesday 22nd August

“Oh dear, Mummy’s got her Unicorn out again!” was the cry that went up at the Cité de L’Espace on Tuesday. Not only has Europa been on several flights this summer, she has now also been on a MIR space station. Not many unicorns can say that can they?


We enjoyed a leisurely evening on the bank of the Garonne on the Toulouse Plage (Toulouse beach). It’s a wonderful area with games, yoga, dancing, Paddle tennis, table tennis and all sorts going on. They also serve rather nice beer in plastic cups, which goes excellently with crochet as the water skiers and kayakers go past!

Day 54 : Wednesday 23rd August

Wednesday was a washout as far as craftiness is concerned – a morning tour around the Airbus factory to see where the giant A380 double decker planes are made (for the benefit of a Little Postcard with a fascination for all things transport) and then the highlight of my trip, a drive to the medieval Cité of Carcassonne. 

Day 55 : Thursday 24th August


We loved Carcassonne so much that we decided to stay for a few days… how lucky. At last Europa has the fairy tale backdrop to her photograph that she deserves!

Oh and I found time today for a bit of this…

Day 56 : Friday 25th August


Time for a spot of crochet in our holiday home before heading off up to the Cité of Carcassonne for our guided tour.


And a quick row under the gargoyles outside the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire within the city walls. The building in the background is the 5 star Hotel de la Cité, former guests have included the Queen Mother, Michael Jackson and Johnny Depp. We have been so lucky to be able to spend a few days in this very beautiful part of the world.


Thanks for joining me for this weekly craft round up, next week will be my last one this year as school starts again in Gibraltar on Friday. It’s been such fun to have you along.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 7)

Throughout this summer I have set myself a craft challenge to help keep myself sane during the long school summer holidays we have in Gibraltar. Normally we have a couple of weeks visiting family in England and the rest of the 8-week-long vacation is spent trying to get myself and the 3 Little Postcards through to September alive and fairly well entertained. In previous years my sanity has been in tatters once the schools went back. 

This year though, we have been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to travel a fair bit, to England, Wales, Spain, Portugal and, most recently Italy. Here’s what I got up to this week…

Day 43 : Saturday 12th August


So this crafty week began for us in Rome. Saturday saw us take a wonderful guided tour of the Colliseum and Pallatine Hill – what an amazing place… Europa came along for the ride too. 

Back at our holiday apartment, things were moving very slowly. My tired brain couldn’t cope too well with this relatively simple pattern after a day absorbing fascinating facts about Ancient Rome. By the way, please don’t expect me to be able to remember all these facts at a later date – these days information seems to go in and get lost!!



Day 44 : Sunday 13th August

I took a different approach today – I brought my hook, yarn and pattern out with me. As we were having a less busy day just wandering around seeing sights we wanted to visit, we had a bit more flexibility to sit down and enjoy the lovely surroundings a bit more. 

After breakfast and a trip up the Spanish Steps, we visited the beautiful Villa Borghese park. Wide avenues of shade giving trees were just the place to sit and enjoy some cooler conditions and get to grips with this pattern once and for all.


I was finally bitten by this pattern and eager to carry on once we were back at our holiday apartment. A bit of time for an aperitif (beer) and crochet meant progress was finally made!


Day 45 : Monday 14th August


Back home before sunset and my shawl is finally growing thanks to a couple of hours last night and a few a more rows on the flight back to Malaga. 

Day 46 : Tuesday 15th August


Returning home meant being reunited with this beauty! I did miss working on my Jenny’s Mandala by Little Box of Crochet while I was away. I have to admit that this row was the first I struggled with – turned out I’d misread the pattern and I was doing double trebles instead of triple trebles. So glad I got to the bottom of it before I gave up in despair! 

Day 47 : Wednesday 16th August


It’s taking a bit of brain power to do this mandala (i.e. I need to concentrate!!) but it is still so addictive!

Day 48 : Thursday 17th August 


Please excuse the lighting on this photo, I didn’t get the chance to crochet in daylight. I did eventually get the chance to add a couple of rows to this lovey mandala though – so it was worth the wait! 

Day 49 : Friday 18th August


We spent a few hours at the beach today and I took this almost completed project (started in England) with me. 

I have had enquiries as to the whereabouts of Europa the Unicorn, who hasn’t been seen on Instagram since Rome. She did indeed make the trip back to the Rock and didn’t elope in Rome. She even had a trip to the beach today…


It’s not too late to join in with your own summer craft challenge, just tag your crafty photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 6)

Greetings from Rome! I can’t believe I am actually writing this! Rome is a place I have wanted to visit for so long and in fact Italy itself has been on my must visit list of countries for as long as I can remember.

Last year I set myself a challenge of doing something crafty every day during the 8 week long summer holiday from school in a bid to maintain my sanity. This year I decided to do the same, although I am actually doing it theoughout the whole of July and August. Here’s the sixth installment of my summer craft challenge for 2017.

Day 36 : Saturday 5th August

We arrived back at home in Gibraltar after our lovely holiday in Portugal today. After completing my Little Box of Crochet Blue Sky Hug scarf while away on holiday, I thought it appropriate to crack open another Little Box of Crochet and begin something new; Jenny’s Mandala, named after the daughter of Amanda Bloom (creator of Little Box of Crochet), who sadly passed away earlier this year. 

I have been itching to get started on this since it arrived!

Day 37 : Sunday 6th August


I’ve been laid low with a nasty bug overnight and I’m afraid that looking at crochet books in bed was as crafty as I could muster today!

Day 38 : Monday 7th August

I’m back in the land of the living again today thankfully and human enough to pick up my hook again. 

Day 39 : Tuesday 8th August

Ooh this is a fun project, considering how long I’ve spent doing it, it’s very small, but that doesn’t matter! 

Day 40 : Wednesday 9th August


I am totally addicted to this pattern, I just can’t put it down as I want to see what the next row brings. Sadly I have to as the Little Postcards need feeding and housework has to be done!

Day 41 : Thursday 10th August


No Mandala today I’m afraid, but Europa the Unicorn has come with me and my crochet hook on another flight…. to Rome! It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for so long and I’m thrilled to be here 😊.

Day 42 : Friday 11th August


My Fitbit tells me I have walked over 20,000 steps around the streets of Rome and the Vatican City today. My word I’m worn out! Could only muster a solitary row of Crochet this evening on my Scheepjes Whirl shawl. Poor show, but I’m off to bed, night night! 

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 5)

Another week done, I really can’t believe how quickly this summer is whizzing by! I set myself a summer craft challenge to do something crafty throughout July and August in order to save my sanity throughout the long school summer holidays; here’s installment number 5 of my weekly updates for my summer craft challenge this year.

Day 29 : Saturday 29th July

We had a bit of a road trip last Saturday, 5 and a half hours to be precise, from Gibraltar to Southern Portugal. We packed up the car and headed off for a wonderful week in the Algarve. A bit of passenger seat hooky helped pass the time as we traveled across Andalusia. This photo was taken as we were crossing the Reina Sofia bridge in Seville.

Day 30 : Sunday 30th July

At last my holiday meant there was time for me to be able to concentrate on one of my medium term WIPs (works in progress), my Blue Sky Hug scarf from Little Box of Crochet. I have been working in this off and on for a couple of months now, but the pattern requires a decent amount of concentration and I have had to rip a good few mistakes out and start large sections again several times. It was put back in its little box until I was in the right frame of mind.

Peace on holiday (well briefly 😉), meant I had the brain capacity to have another go at unraveling mistakes and figuring out where I was up to with the pattern.

Day 31 : Monday 31st July

Clear blue skies overhead were the perfect conditions to push on with my Blue Skies Hug scarf!

Day 32 : Tuesday 1st August

Arghhh, oh no! I’ve done it again… another mistake! It looks ok, but I’ve actually got an extra two stitches on two rows. Time to out it away again after giving it a stern talking to.

Day 33 : Wednesday 2nd August

I’m in a huff with the blue scarf, so enjoyed a few rows of mindless trebles between a trip to the beach and dinner… Oh I do like holidays!

Day 34 : Thursday 3rd August

Alfresco coffee and crochet by the River estuary in pretty Alvor… A perfect morning break.

Day 35 : Friday 4th August

You’ll never believe it, but I actually finished my Blue Sky Hug Scarf! It hasn’t been blocked yet (as you can probably tell) but in my eagerness to photograph it against the backdrop of the brilliant blue skies we were enjoying yesterday I am sharing it with you already..

It just goes so well with the colours of the sea and sky don’t you think?

I’m really pleased with it now it’s finished.. I’m not ashamed to admit that I fell out with it a few times while I was in the process of making it though!

That’s all for this week’s Summer Craft Challenge, I was supposed to post this yesterday, but painfully slow internet and then none at all meant I decided to wait until we were back in Gibraltar, which we are now. It’s bright and sunny and thankfully not as hot here as the 41.5 C temperatures we ‘enjoyed’ on the drive back!

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 4)

This week’s crafting took place in three different locations, beginning at our friends’ home in Reading, Berkshire, then returning to my parents’ home in Manchester and finally heading home to Gibraltar! 

I set myself a summer craft challenge to do something crafty throughout July and August in order to save my sanity throughout the long school summer holidays. Here’s week four’s installment:

Day 22 : Saturday 22nd July

There wasn’t much time for crafting today – a trip to Reading town centre to have a meal out and take the Little Postcards to the cinema and later a chance for my friend and I to pop out to the pub for a while on our own, meant this Crochet photo was taken at ten to midnight! Only just made it!

Day 23 : Sunday 23rd July 


Coffee and crochet in the garden, what could be better? Well a crochet lesson perhaps? I had a go at teaching my friend and her daughter some crochet…


The green chain belongs to my friend’s daughter, the pink to my friend and the grey on the red hook was mine…


Tadaaaah! That pink granny square is my friend’s first ever attempt at crochet, not at all bad I don’t think! However I did get theimpression that she was mightily pleased when she got to the end!! 

Day 24 : Monday 24th July


Back in Manchester this evening at my parents’ house and time for a little crochet before collapsing into bed… it was a long day of travelling back up thanks to rail engineering works!

Day 25 : Tuesday 25th July

You’ve got to love a municipal floral border haven’t you?! A trip to the park with the two youngest Postcards to make the most of a sunny spell in the afternoon – crochet and Europa the Unicorn came too…

Day 26 : Wednesday 26th July


Airport delays and a very late arrival meant that crochet was done in the hours of darkness again on Wednesday- I couldn’t face it while travelling this time. Back at home in Gibraltar after a wonderful, interesting and very enjoyable two and a half weeks in England (and briefly Wales). But blimey it’s very hot!!!

Day 27 : Thursday 27th July


I bought myself a present when we were in England – a yarn winder. My stash of left overs has been getting a bit unruly of late so fancied having a go at winding some nice neat balls… I need a bit of practice for that – my first attempt was a little loose!

I also returned home to two cards to collect goodies from the parcel post – my June edition of Little Box of Crochet and my latest subscription to Simply Crochet Magazine. Now I have loads of fab ideas to work on over the coming weeks!

Day 28 : Friday 28th July

Coffee and crochet, the perfect way to start the day. Don’t you agree? A moment of calm before the chaos of the day!

Do you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge? Just tag your photos #summercraftchallenge2017 on Instagram and we can all craft together!

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (week 3)

Week three of the Summer Craft Challenge already? Times certainly flies when you’re having fun!

I set myself the challenge of doing something crafty every day throughout July and August in a bid to retain my sanity during the very long Gibraltarian school summer holidays. Each day I post a crafty photo to Instagram with the tag #summercraftchallenge2017 if you fancy joining me just tag your pictures too.

Day 15: Saturday 15th July

I thought my embryonic string bag, somehow echoed the shape of the huge Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank when we visited last Saturday. My boys were mortified when I stopped to take this picture though. Poor boys and their crazy Mum!! 

Day 16 : Sunday 16th July


A day-long trip to Wales to visit relatives meant not much time for crochet until late on… a wonderful day though, none-the-less 😊.

Day 17 : Monday 17th July 


The weather was glorious, so I indulged in a little al fresco hooky in the back garden. You just can’t beat an English garden in the summertime can you?

Day 18 : Tuesday 18th July

And finally…. it’s finished. Not the largest string bag in the world but I’m rather pleased with it. 

If you would like to have a go making one yourself, you can find the pattern on Ravelry here. I added an extra row or two around the top and handles.

Day 19 : Wednesday 19th July


Wednesday and Thursday were very busy days. We are selling our old house in West Yorkshire and Wednesday was the day the loft needed to be emptied. The day was spent driving across the Pennines, sorting the house and driving back. There was a tiny window of Crochet opportunity during bath time for the Little Postcards.

Day 20 : Thursday 20th July


A scarf for a Little Postcard is underway. My evening treat after a day sifting through umpteen boxes of long forgotten treasures from our old loft.

Memories of very old crochet


One of the treasures was this crochet cardigan I made 20 years ago. A good friend of mine had the most gorgeous cardigan when we were at university, it was made of many little granny squares crocheted in fine cotton or silk. I was so enamoured with her’s that with her permission I had a go at making my own.

Unfortunately, this was my first major foray into crochet and I was unaware of the fact that crocheting with DK yarn would lead to a far chunkier finished version compared to my friend’s. It’s blanket-like coat appearance meant it was consigned to a cupboard rather than my wardrobe. Obviously the hours of Crochet which had gone into it meant I didn’t have the heart to get rid of it. It will return to Gibraltar with me to be worn in our drafty lounge on a winter’s evening. 

Day 21 : Friday 21st July


Today, we caught the train down South to visit some family friends. Europa the Unicorn came too along with my crochet.

If you fancy joining in with your own summer craft challenge, why not take photos each day and post them on Instagram with the hashtag #summercraftchallenge2017 ?

Whatever you do this weekend, I hope it’s a good one for you.