So what's been going on in my little corner of the world ? I'm certain that I've been super busy but not got much to show for it. As we approach the end of the academic year the days seem to be whizzing by with some school-related activity almost every day - sports days, concert rehearsals, concert performances, school trips, school fayres, annual school reviews, annual doctor's review, transition planning. We've also had lots of Little Man's medication tweaking to manage but we are there now and things have settled down loads and loads.
I was the proudest Mum on the planet last night when Little Man sang the opening solo in his school music concert. After the most challenging year, during which time we very nearly gave up on school altogether, to see my wonderful son standing up there on stage singing to an audience of hundreds, well .... I can't tell you how proud I am. There really aren't words to describe it. Such an amazing achievement, such an amazing boy.
In fact the year has been so challenging that I decided I had to mark it in some way. Little Man has just plodded on, challenging himself despite his anxiety and discomfort, he is an inspiration.
So, I've decided to run the London Marathon 2016 and raise money for the National Autistic Society (http://www.autism.org.uk). I have to wait until October to find out if I even have a place, but I've also applied for a charity place, and I'm hopeful, and full of fundraising ideas :) My backup plan is the Brighton Marathon in the event that I don't get a place for London. My fundraising pack has arrived, and I'll bore you with lots of training details and fundraising tales over the coming year I'm sure!
In crochet news I have a few projects on the go.....
..... a couple of weeks ago I took the Little People out on their bikes while I ran along behind them. We stopped at the park and I worked on my skinny summer scarf ......
I'm using some gorgeous Araucania yarn that I bought at Unravel (http://emeraldcottage.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/unravel.html). Its soooooo scrummy, almost too good to crochet with. But not quite :) Look at the gorgeous colours .....
I'm also working on a sort of dressy scarf with some even srcummier yarn .... Manos del Uruguay silk blend in Jewel, again bought at Unravel. It is soo silky soft, not splitty at all as its a single ply, and thus is an absolute pleasure to work with.
And of course a special yarn deserves a special project. I spent ages and ages deciding what to use it for. Eventually I decided upon this Lacy Crystals scarf (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lacy-crystals-scarf), and started it a few days ago. I kept thinking it was quite familiar - and I finally realised that that's because I have un unfinished WIP of this pattern kicking around somewhere that I started earlier in the year! Funny! I am obviously drawn to similar (in the fact the exact same) patterns.
Ideally I'd have made this a lot wider so it would be more of a wrap, but I only have 2 skeins, and its just too pricey to justify buying any more, so a narrow wrap/scarf it will have to be. Its looking a bit scrunched up at the moment, can't wait to get it finished and block it to its full glory!
I've made this little sleepy head mouse (excuse the owner's dirty nails. Yuck!). Henry, as Little Tomboy has named him, is designed by a local lady, and you can buy the pattern here on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mouse-sleepy-head). He looks super fiddly but is really easy. A perfect introduction to amigurumi if you fancy giving it a go.
Next on my hit list is a beach bag for holidays. We are going to visit my parents in Northern Ireland so a beach bag isn't an absolute necessity, though we do manage a few days at the beach, swinging between getting sunburned and getting blown away by the gales! Anyway, I've had this great bag (here it is below with my Ballyhoo Neckerchief spilling out over the edge) for years. My Mum gave it to me originally, she got it free with some Estee Lauder perfume or something. Anyway this bag was perfect. We drive and take a ferry to get to my parents. Every time we go it's my "keep-in-the-car-on-the-journey-and-bring-on-the-ferry" bag. I shove in water, snacks, changes of clothes, magazines,books, colouing pencils, medication, teddies, paperwork, everything that we need handy in the car and on the boat. Over the years it's carried nappies, wipes, comforters, baby bottles, raisins, story books. More recently DS's and iPads.
But the straps gave out last year, they detached themselves from the bag, and as they are a tough leather I haven't replaced them yet. I think I will eventually fashion some new straps, but when I saw the Starfish Bag pattern by Nicki Trench in the new Inside Crochet magazine, (issue 67) I decided to also make a crochet version of my bag. I'm still deciding on the colours, what do you think of the selection below ?
I'm also planning a something for my friend's 40th. But I really can't decide what. Maybe a bag for her as well ? And my neighbour is expecting a baby in July. And I really need to make a gift for Little Man's mentor, she has been the most amazing support to us all this year. I think another lacy crystals scarf maybe, she is a very calm, gentle lady and wears calm, gentle colours - lemon, sand, pale blue, so this Araucania yarn will be perfect. Another Unravel purchase :)
And I've also got lots of bits and bobs floating round my head ideas-wise to sell for marathon fundraising. More news on that another time.
I need to figure out a way to not need sleep, there just aren't enough hours in the day. Especially with so many Little-People-related things going on. But I try to make sure that throughout the chaos I sit down for a little bit each day and do some crochet just to keep myself sane :) These precious moments of downtime do really recharge the old brain for whatever the next chunk of the day will bring.
On a final and very sad note for today - I was so sorry on Monday to hear the sad news that Marinke Slump also known as Wink, of A Creative Being, had succumbed to the heavy weight of depression, and taken her own life. Wink also had Asperger's, which, as you know, my son has, and I always felt connected to her because of that. Wink's blog was a wonderful showcase of her creativity, full of inspiring patterns and great photos. I first visited Wink's blog when I made my first mandala from an issue of Simply Crochet which featured one of her mandala patterns. Wink had such a lovely warm chatty style to her blog posts, and there were always so many new wonderful things to feel inspired by, I was a regular visitor to A Creative Being.
Wink, you were a wonderful, special girl who touched the lives of so many. My mandala is for you. May you be at peace now and have contentment in your heart.