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 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.

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (Week 2)

Last week, I began my summer craft challenge for this year. Beginning on the first day of July seemed as good a time as any! So this is the second installment of my weekly craft challenge round up. It began in Gibraltar and ended in Manchester as the Little Postcards and I started our summer holidays.

Day 8 : Saturday 8th July

Our last chance to take a dip in the pool and my last chance for some Mediterranean alfresco crochet for a while. A simple granny square by the pool was as exciting as it got.

Day 9 : Sunday 9th July



On Sunday, we flew from Gibraltar to Manchester to visit my family. I was rather tired by the end of the day after wrangling three Little Postcards through the airport without Mr Postcard (we left him at home). I managed to begin a project using my new Caron Cake, but just a few rows as I was a bit jaded!

Day 10 : Monday 10th July

Monday saw a bit more progress on my Caron Cake project, although not a lot!

Day 11 : Tuesday 11th July

By Tuesday I was getting into the swing of it and really loving the colour changes in the yarn.

Day 12 : Wednesday 12th July

On Wednesday it was rather busy, so I didn’t have much time for crochet, just a lonely little granny square to add to a long standing WIP back at home.

Day 13 : Thursday 13th July

After a bit of a slow start to my week, craft wise Thursday was brim full of yarny goodness… First stop Black Sheep Wools in Culcheth, near Warrington to drop off three Sixty Million Trebles blankets which had been made in Gibraltar. One was made as a collaboration through the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, the other two by me. They will now be parceled up and sent off to child refugees.

Oh how I do like Black Sheep Wools… So many lovely balls of wool to squidge and gorgeous colours to feast your eyes upon. Europa felt rather at home there 😉.


Next stop, a nearby pub for a spot of lunch. Then, while the Little Postcards played nearby, I managed to get a bit of surreptitious under the picnic table hooky done!

Back at my parents’ home I finished it… I played yarn chicken (going in for another row) and won!

The finished article… Perfect for snuggling up in winter.



Day 14 : Friday 14th July


Time for another new project using birthday present wool (the Caron Cake used for my scarf this week was also a birthday gift). I got into a raspberry swirl with this lovely yarn as I began a string bag pattern.

So, there you have it, my second weekly round up. If you feel inspired, why not join in too, just tag your Instagram photos with #summercraftchallenge2017.

Thanks for stopping by!

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (Week 1)

Summer is here! Last year during the entirety of the school summer holiday I decided to set myself a challenge to do something creative every day (mainly for my own mental health during the 8 week-long summer holiday from school). I rose to the challenge and amazingly managed to do something creative every single day of that 8 weeks except for one, when we spent a rediculous amount of time traveling home from Suffolk to Gibraltar. 

The idea was sparked on the very first day of last year’s school holiday and worked amazingly well – the previous year’s summer vacation had been a very long and stressful time (I put so much effort into trying to entertain the 3 Little Postcards that there was little time or energy left for me to do what I love; creating). The new focus on creativity last year worked wonders for my mood, I made sure I had a crochet or sewing project with me on our trips away whether to the beach or park close to home or on our holiday away in England.

Keen to repeat the success of last year I decided  to do it again. Last Saturday was 1st July and although the school holidays hadn’t yet started I set off on my epic challenge a week early. Do you want to see how I got on? Here goes…

Day 1 : Saturday 1st July

What better way to start a summer craft challenge than by making a crochet unicorn? The kit and Ilaria Caliri pattern came with issue 54 of Simply Crochet magazine several months ago and has been in my to do list since.

Day 2 : Sunday 2nd July 

Allow me to introduce Europa the unicorn. She’s going to be the mascot of the Postcard from Gibraltar summer craft challenge and joining me on my summer long crafty adventure. She’s named after the southern most tip of Gibraltar and will come along with us on our summer trips (all of which will be in Europe).

Day 3 : Monday 3rd July

Day 3 was a bit crazy busy. By the time I picked up my crochet hook it was late at night and I started work on part of a commission I was working on. (Didn’t do much as you can see and it turned out to be wrong too because I was tired – but at least I tried!)

Day 4 : Tuesday 4th July

A change of craft for day 4. A similarly hectic day but I had a window of opportunity to do come thing crafty while I had a cake baking in the oven. I am in the process of making a felted picture and am adding the final embroidered touches. More on that later…

Day 5 : Wednesday 5th July

Back to that commission, and Europa was overseeing the creation of another little creature.

Day 6 : Thursday 6th July


Does this little sheepy head remind you of anyone?


Maybe a little crochet Sheep who had lots of adventures around Gibraltar last summer??

Introducing Llanita the third… here she is hanging out with her new bestie Europa. I was asked back in September last year if I would make a Llanita for someone. Ten months later and I finally managed it!

Day 7 : Friday 7th July

It was a blue sky kind of a day on Friday and I thought as school had officially closed for the summer it was a perfect opportunity to get my Little Box of Crochet WIP Blue Sky Hug scarf out of hibernation. After a short attempt to carry on with it, I was reminded that I had put it away because I need to concentrate when I work on it. The craziness of end of term means my attention span has been reduced to approximately 20 seconds so it was put back into hibernation and I looked for another WIP…

Ahh, that’s better! My Attic 24 designed mug cosy pattern is much easier on this tired brain… Roll on summer holidays! 

I’m posting daily photos on my Instagram page throughout my summer craft challenge. Fancy joining in? Just post your photos with the tag #summercraftchallenge2017

Sunday Sevens #90 2.7.17

Sunday Sevens number 90?? Crumbs have I really been doing it that long? I hope I’m not boring you! Thanks for coming along for the ride! 😊

So here’s this week’s installment of Sunday Sevens…

Another beautiful evening sky

I thought the clouds looked particularly pretty on Sunday evening last week. Unfortunately the camera on my phone didn’t quite do them justice. We are being really spoiled with gorgeous sunsets this summer.

End of term for dressmaking class

I can hardly believe that I have reached the end of my second year of dressmaking classes with the immensely clever Dorcas Hammond (you can read all about Dorcas in this post). It may seem a silly thing to do to end the year with the beginnings of a new project, but for various reasons I got a bit behind with my work this year.

I am now all ready to get cracking in September stitching this gorgeous Kafe Fassett fabric into a blouse.

Last watercolour lesson of the term

Similar to dressmaking I had my last watercolour lesson this week and again I spent my lesson working on a new project. I am attempting to paint a sunset I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed playing with the colours to find the right tones for the sky and sea. I do fear that the trial run may turn out better than the real thing though!! You can also see my post about my hugely talented watercolour teacher Deborah M Lawson here.

Crochet therapy

Life seems to be very hectic at the moment, it shouldn’t surprise me but it always is at this time of year. As the school year draws to a close and we are inundated with notes and emails detailing special days and meetings and a flurry of birthday party invitations for children whose birthdays fall during the long summer break. 

There have been days when I am sure I have had steam coming out of my ears and I’ve been contemplating running away and locking myself in a darkened room until September. However, I did make it to the weekend and next week is the last week of term for the Little Postcards. I did realise this week that I need to keep crafting to retain my sanity, so whenever I could, I grabbed a crochet hook and got busy on the border for this blanket. 

Poniente breezes

Something which has gone in our favour this week is is the fact that the wind direction changed. Of late we have ‘enjoyed’ a Levante (easterly) wind which has brought with it hot and humid weather, this week we received a welcome break with Poniente (westerly) breezes bringing much cooler weather. 

You could see the North Moroccan coast really clearly on Friday but blimey the water in the Strait was choppy. I don’t fancy being on that little boat! 

Another blanket finished

TA-dah! The latest Sixty Million Trebles blanket is completed. This one is the result of a collaboration and was created by the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, I just joined it and added the border. This is a slightly smaller baby blanket and will go with two others to a drop off point in England when I am over visiting family this summer. For more on Sixty Million Trebles, you can see their website here

Yesterday the organisation revealed the big news that they have reached the 3/4 point in their goal of reaching 60 million treble stitches. Hopefully they will hit 60 by the time the blankets are shipped to help Syrian refugee children in September.

Summer craft challenge 2017

Last year during the school summer holidays I challenged myself to do a little bit of craft every day in order to maintain my sanity. I amazed myself at managing to fulfill the challenge on all bar one day over the eight week long school break. 

This year, I have decided to do the same thing. I began my challenge yesterday seeing as it was the first of July and it felt like the start of summer proper. I wonder whether I’ll be able to maintain my challenge again this year?  Fancy joining in? If you do, you can follow my progress on Instagram, just use the tag #summercraftchallenge2017 with your creations.

Thanks for joining me this week. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie from Threads & Bobbins