Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Catching up and slowing down

Gosh how long has it been since I last posted ?? Well, weeks, actually. Sorry about that. There's not  really much to report, I just lost my blogging mojo for a bit, but now its back - yay!

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 ( 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 ( 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 (, 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 ( 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. 


  1. You certainly have a lot of be proud of your son certainly seemed to have made a big impact doing the opening number of the concert, Well done you for doing the marathon, wishing you every success.

  2. So glad to hear that things have settled down for your son - you must be a very proud mum. Well done for applying to do the marathon - hope it goes well. I am very impressed with all of your crocheted productivity. My, you have been/will be busy! Your mandala is beautiful, and a fitting tribute :)
    Cathy x

  3. Well done to your little man - what a fantastic achievement.
    You've been so busy - so many projects. :) I don't seem to be making time to craft at the moment - I really must sort it out as I know I will feel better if I do crochet x

  4. Have missed you dear Friend. So nice to hear what you've been up to over there. All of your yarn looks absolutely delicious! Some day I will have swoon worthy yarn and know what to do with it! ::sigh:: Lol

    The photo of your son singing and your sharing of him choked me right up. How wonderful for him!!! You can just tell he has a precious soul.

    I love your scarf and future makes plans!! That beach bag is SOOOO cool - absolutely love it (& I'm sure your friend would too!).

    So sorry to hear about your blogger friend. Prayers to her family and prayers that she rest in peace now.

    Blessings dear Jill xo

  5. Well done to your boy! Wishing you all the success for your marathon. Love all those beautiful yarns!

    The mandala is lovely. Wink was such an inspiring blogger. She will be missed a lot.

  6. Hoping that your last days of your school routine fall into place pleasantly, Jill. Your current yarny projects are inspiring, and I'm especially fond of your choice of bag patterns. It is wonderful your son was able to sing, and that you are gearing up to run the race for such a good cause. Autism is a part of our family experience over the last two years and challenges our coping skills. I am sorry that Wink suffered with depression and recently took her life. She left a beautiful body of work which I hope will be treasured and I hope those who knew and loved her will be comforted as they miss her. Hoping you and yours have a happy holiday, Jill! xx

  7. I'm sure you are very proud about your son's improvement and very relieved too. He has come on so well. I love all the yarn you're using - looks very soft and the colours are gorgeous. It's funny, I also have a "keep-in-the-car-on-the-journey-and-bring-on-the-ferry" bag! It always has something to knit or crochet in it. Glad you're back to blogging as I love to see what you've been crocheting.

  8. You and I have a lot in common dear Jill....
    I can totally understand the joy you felt seeing your son on stage and doing so well!
    Our boy has Asperger too. He is 13 years old now and doing well at the moment :-).
    So very good of you to go fundraising, I am applauding, yay!!!!
    I was shocked to hear about Wink too... So terribly sad.
    Well, Lets just keep on doing our crochet things; to remember her and to keep a little bit sane ourselves hopefully.
    Wishing your all the best dear Jill, love from Mirjam.

  9. How proud you must be of your boy, I hope you get selected for the marathon, so much yummy yarn,I too was so sorry to hear about lovely Wink and have share a mandala for her, wishing you a good summer
    Clare x

  10. Hello, I wanted to stop by after your visit to my blog and say thank you for the comment. Congrats to you son on his solo, I would be a proud mom too. It is wonderful you are fundraising for the Autistic Society. I hope you are able to run in the marathon. Your crochet is lovely and the beach bag looks cute. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

  11. Hi Jill, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. You must be so proud of your son and his end of year accomplishment. The yarns you use are such beautiful colours. Have a great day!

  12. Awwww how wonderful that your son was so brave, its moments like that that melt the heart and make you realise that all the stress is worth it! well done.
    Lots of projects to keep you going there.
    Such very sad news indeed about wink, she was such a creative & lovely individual and I am so sorry for her family that she is no longer with them. Beautiful mandala.

  13. Great to have you back!!! So glad that things are working out again for your son. I hope that you have a great summer. xx

  14. It's nice to read an update on you and your family, Jill. I was just thinking about you earlier this week and wondering how you were all doing. I'm so glad your son is doing well. I know how worried you were a few months ago. It's sounds like he's doing beautifully. It's great to see all your projects, you've been very busy! I hope you all have a good summer and that you're able to enjoy lots of time just for you soon. :)

  15. Lovely post !
    Thanks for your visit !
    Have a nice evening !

  16. good luck with your marathon application and training x and what a wonderful proud mum moment x

  17. Hi Jill - I could hear the pride in your voice when you spoke of your son's solo performance - what a thrill that must have been. I can't believe all the projects you have going all at once - you are amazing! And, I love all your yarn choices - just beautiful.

  18. It's a crazy time lately isn't it - I haven't 'stopped' in weeks! Wow, your son did SO well performing solo after such a challenging year! You must be so proud and rightly so! I think running the marathon is a fantastic idea and I hope you secure a place and we folks in blogland can support you xx

  19. I love Araucania, I made a mini poncho from it a few years ago and it is lovely. Love your bright scarf too - so funky. Jo x

  20. So good to see you back :) Such a wonderful picture of your son singing, you must have been so proud. good luck with all the fundraising plans, what a wonderful idea :) And I love the crochet pics, you always have such lovely projects! xx

  21. More gorgeous yarn, you make great buying choices and I love the colour selection you're thinking about. Fingers crossed for the marathon, and what a wonderful moment your son singing must have been, it sounds like it's been a tough year at times, it's so hard to see our children struggling or unhappy in any way. So glad he's kept going and come through, I'm sure he will know how proud you are and that will motivate him all the more.

  22. Another new (to me) blog and lots of lovely crochet inspiration. I too keep falling in love with yarn but not buying quite enough for a project. Hello Jill, and what a great mum you sound too!

  23. Your new crochet bag looks great and those colours looks scrummy very ice cream inspired. I hope all the end of term business goes well, how proud you must be of your son.
    Take care
    Jackie x

  24. Jill I felt quite emotional reading your post and I am so glad that you are back in the land of blog, I missed your voice A LoT! So incredibly impressed that you are running the marathon next year, and for all the right reasons. Get my name down in that sponsor sheet right now! Supporting you all the way. Superbly well done to your wee boy too, he looks very calm and professional up there behind the mic, and what a fantastic achievement. You always praise others' mothering skills in blog comments Jill, but you probably underestimate your own fantastic, committed, loving, creative mothering. You are FAB, don't forget it! (And keep blogging, ok??!) X

    1. Aaaaah thankyou Penny, I'm all emotional now too :)
      Much love, Jillxxx


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