Friday, 23 July 2021

Reality bites!

 Happy Friday, Lovelies! 🌸

Tadaa, today is the release of the new pattern Harvest Moon Block! Yep, I've just launched straight into my "big" news before asking " how are you ?"  HOW ARE YOU!!? Once again thank you for all your lovely comments. I absolutely love reading through them even though I quickly run out of typing finger strength to reply to all of you Lovelies.

It's been a bit mad here in the H&T studio. Also, things got very real, as they say. If you're wondering howso, let me explain one of life's two certainties. Death and Taxes! Seeing as I'm writing this I'm sure you can guess what I've had to deal with recently? I mean, seriously now, not even in my most daydreamy daydreams did I EVER think my little crochet corner of the entire world would be fingered for taxes! 

Ok, that was a bit dramatic but how it happened was that I was happily daydreaming, while washing dishes. As one does. You know, just gazing over the rooftop of the neighbouring house at a tall Eucalyptus tree waving it's branches about, like an artists paintbrush, imagining that it was painting the clouds scudding across the stormy sky when suddenly this faint Gollum sounding voice began floating up from a darker corner of my daydream ( maybe the shelves under the kitchen sink that badly need sorting? ). It whispered,  " taxes, you will have to pay taaaxessss noooow "! Good grief, I kid you not; I stopped washing those fertile dishes, headed straight to my computer, typed in "local Accountants ", immediately sent out an email SOS to a few names that looked legitimate and accountanty. I won't bore you with the sordid details of what next transpired. Tears were involved. At one point I was seriously discussing with Mr H&T my plan to divorce him, dye my hair ( or purchase a blonde wig! ) and move to the tax haven of Mauritius!

HOWEVER! While searching for a nondescript suitcase I discovered my big girl panties ( ok fine, tummy tuckers! ), pulled them on, all the way up to my chin, made a pot of calming Rooibos tea, then sat down at my desk to begin daydreaming about knocking this challenge on the head. No way out but through it, right? If you're on our lovely, friendly, helpful group you'll have noticed me posting several " buy 1 get 1 free " specials? Seeing as I've never done that before, having the proclivity to rather give patterns away for free, perhaps you may have been a little surprised? Also, a brand new pattern appeared without warning? Well, now you know!πŸ˜†

This brings me to the next part. YOU, and YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU and YOU x 100's and 100's of YOU, helped me knock this tax boogeyman smartly on the head! All of you Lovelies have contributed towards making me a Designer who now pays taxes BUT, you all contributed towards helping me pay those taxes! And I cannot THANK YOU enough for your ongoing kind encouragement and generous support. None of this, good and bad, would be possible without all of you. So saying...don't forget to check out the new " buy 1 get 1 free weekend special "! πŸ˜‚

Honestly, my heart was in my throat the whole time seeing as I've never had debt! Being raised by super old fashioned working class stock, nothing could be a worse than the day-nightmare of owing the Taxman! Or anyone, for that matter. So, this is my life now, making sure I never do! LOL! Sigh...I did say life got very real, very quickly! But enough about "real life"...let's talk crochet! As many of you may already know, I ran a "special" for the Harvest Moon Block? As in, "buy the block get the extension for free"?  Many of you may already have the Block? I'm going to randomly pick winners from the last comments section and if you have already purchased the Block...please let me know and I will send you any other pattern you like. Deal?

If you don't yet have the Harvest Moon Block in your collection, you can find it HERE. The Harvest Moon pattern is a Throw pattern in 3 x PARTS. Let me explain.

🌸PART 1 ( The Square 12" x 12"/ 30cm x 30cm ).

🌸PART 2 ( The Block 20" x 20" / 50cm x 50cm ). The Square is upsized to the Block size.

PART 1 and PART 2 are included in one price. If you already have PART 1 you'll automatically receive PART 2.

🌸PART 3 ( The Extension ). The Block is upsized to a Throw size ( 47" x 47" / 1.20m x 1.20m ). The Extension is a separate pattern that can be used to upsize any of my other Blocks ( eg: the "Tea" series ). The Extension will be available in September. For those of you who grabbed the launch special, you'll automatically receive the Extension.

In between all this madness I did manage a few soul repairing walks with the Girls and Mr H&T who is working from home while we plough through yet another heavy lockdown. Oh, nature, how you nurture! 😊

Today our GIVEAWAY is a gorgeous pattern called Letitia's Garden by one of my favourite designers, Rosina Plane. Five lucky Lovelies will receive a copy in our draw on Friday 6 September. Don't forget to leave your Ravelry name if you do comment. Ten Lovelies will be today's lucky recipients of the Harvest Moon Block ( check your Ravelry notifications ).

And that's me for now! Hope your weekend is warm and cosy if you're in the southern-hemisphere and cool and breezy if you're further north. Anyway, stay hydrated Friends! 😁

Take care and stay safe!

πŸ’› Jen xx

PS: on the plus side...Princess Nisha makes sure I never get to make the bed. She's taken to burrowing into the blankets every morning until lunchtime.

PPS: For those of you shivering in your booties this winter, I discovered a great hot chocolate recipe!

πŸ’— Add a cup of milk to a saucepan ( I used almond milk ).

πŸ’—To your milk add: 2-3 heaped tsps raw cocoa powder, 1 level tsp turmeric powder, 1 level tsp ground cinnamon, 1 level tsp ground ginger, a twist of ground black pepper. Bring your milk to a gentle simmer while whisking in your other ingredients.

πŸ’— Pour your hot chocolate into a mug, stir in sweetener of your choice ( I used Vegan Honey made from apples ).

SOOOOOOOO delicious, oh, my word!

Friday, 9 July 2021

Let's catch up!

 Happy Friday, Lovelies!🌸

Before anything else...! I finally got my first Pfizer jab! It doesn't seem like such a big thing but for someone who has High anxiety ( with a capital "H" ) I had to overcome an international Gymkhana's worth of anxiety generated hurdles. If you're in the same basket of over-thinkers as I am, you'll know exactly what I mean. Endless spiralling, repetitive thoughts ( the OCD part of anxiety ), all the bells and whistles, trumpets and foghorns of imagination, on full blast. It's exhausting, right? Actually, I got sick and tired of my own fearfulness. Also, my youngest son insisted on accompanying me on this vax journey, even standing outside the window of the vaccination room ( only the vaxee and vaxer allowed ), pulling faces and waving to keep my morale from flagging. Also, this gentleman sitting next to me with a classic Scandinavian knitted beanie, exactly the day after I received my copy of 150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs by Mary Jane Mucklestone. A welcome sign of sorts?πŸ˜†

Mr Hooks'nTales is really inspired when it comes to afterwards there were chocolates, dinner in bed, a happy movie as well as a tiny cute plush bunny, as a reward you know? Mind you...I didn't feel so great...a REALLY sore arm and tiredness for about 24hrs, so it's not like I was taking advantage or anything, right? My second jab is coming up in August and I have my eye on an adorable vintage teddy bear.πŸ˜‚

The weather has kept us all indoors most days but when the Sun peeps out for a few hours we head to the greenbelt for walks. or the beach! If you turn your sound up you can hear the wind whistling through the window gaps in my little studio! These days I'm a bit nervous about walking in the forest when there are high winds, especially after a falling branch missed me by inches a few weeks ago! 

So far, on our daily walk, we've been caught out with a random shower each time and ended up soaked through! The Dogs couldn't care less about rain. They LOVE the water...rivers, streams, ponds, the's all a playground to those two. Because Mr Hooks'nTales and I are both working from home ( seeing as we're back to Level 4 Lockdown restrictions ) AND because walking in mud and pouring rain isn't our most favourite activity, we hired a dog-walker for the worst days. Makes us sound posh but no...we found an unbeatable "winter special". The dog walker, Carl, has a dog called Paul Anka...and our Girls are IN LOVE. Carl takes the three of them on a madcap trail 2 x a week ( he sends short video clips to the Dog moms and dads ). When he drops the Girls back home...they run after his car a little way! So much for loyalty towards the hands that feed them!

Ok, let's chat crochet! 😁

I'm working on a brand new Throw design! It's all pretty much between me and the yarn at the moment but I'm hoping to have Part 1 ( The Block ) ready sometime in August! It's the most exciting thing ever, beginning a new design. It's really the only time I feel completely myself if I have returned home. Everything in-between feels like a waiting room. Do you know what I mean? After Chrysalis, for a few days, I wondered where inspiration would come from for another Throw. Not in a worried way but more a curiosity. I never really plan things out. Between loading the washing machine, and preparing a meal I'll just suddenly sit down and begin. The process seems random but I was thinking that it's a bit like being a Surfer, I imagine? The way they sit on the beach, gazing out over the ocean towards the horizon, or on their board bobbing on the water, waiting, waiting, waiting patiently...and suddenly...SURF'S UP! 

The divine chaos

On our most recent visit to our favourite little beach, there was this. It did feel a bit like a sign to begin a new design. I mean, it was as if the Universe was sending me a colourway? πŸ˜† I'm one of those people who see signs everywhere.

As always, I like to end things off on a party note! Yep, another GIVEAWAY! So don't forget to leave your Ravelry name if you do decide to comment. You could be one of 5 Lovelies ( bi-monthly and randomly generated ), so please do check your notifications to see if you are a lucky recipient of our last GIVEAWAY? For the next draw, 5 Lovelies will get a copy of my latest block pattern ( it might not be exactly in two weeks time, but very close! ). I DO have a name for it, but for now, it's still under yarny wraps. πŸ˜‰

Wishing you a marvellous and magical Friday and Weekend with lots of self-care, a happy yarn basket and fun projects to hook. THANK YOU as always for all your lovely comments ( I read them all! ) as well as your ongoing kindness, encouragement and support.

Take care, please stay safe!
πŸ’— Jen