It’s been a long and hot summer this year, which makes a change for this part of the world. I’m certainly not complaining and have loved seeking out every bit of sunshine that has come my way. Crocheting outdoors has been a perpetual pleasure. I do love it when my studio is the garden!
I’ve been particularly enjoying working on the Persian Tiles blanket that I started at the beginning of the summer.
Last time I showed you my progress I was just starting to join the tiles together. It didn’t take me very long, and soon after that I started with the edging. This is still my favorite part of blanket making. The satisfaction of being near the end of a big project and the repetitive long stretches creating simple stitch groups is very soothing to my soul.
Edging is such a perfect pastime for long car journeys too. There has been no big, long holiday for us this year, just a few days out instead. As we crawled along the motorway (why is the traffic always so bad these days?) I always had my favorite project with me and happily hooked the miles away.
This summer I have been making the most of being with my cats – especially Minnie and Pogo – because we received some sad news about both of them earlier this year when they were diagnosed with the same kind of inoperable cancer. Heart breakingly we had to say goodbye to them within weeks of each other just a short while ago.
I often wondered if they were brother and sister but no-one is really sure of their exact relationship. We adopted them from a rescue shelter ten years ago after they had been brought in when their previous owner moved house and left them behind to fend for themselves. So perhaps they were actually siblings after all and there was a genetic pre-disposition that could explain our terrible bad luck in having to deal with two similar diagnoses so close to each other.
They arrived at our home on the same day and left us almost at the same time. I hope they’re still looking out for each other, wherever they are now.
I like to think they’re on that Rainbow Bridge I’ve heard so much about recently. I miss them such a lot but am thankful for all the beautiful memories made from our journey together and the privilege of being able to have them both in my life in the first place.
Now I have just two cats and I’m going to be sure to appreciate every single minute of their company with even more mindfulness.
Mojo doesn’t need to be asked twice to try out the nearly completed blanket and as the weather takes a cooler turn I have been working on the remainder of the edging indoors.
I do like being tucked up cosy and crocheting in pyjamas so I find myself looking forward to the autumn when I’ll be able to indulge in much more of that sort of thing.
I can see there will be competition for the new blanket from the get go! I’m sure Mojo and I will be able to work out an amicable time share – which usually runs along the lines of >once Mojo’s got bored of it and wandered off then it’s my turn<
Glad to see my creative talents are so openly admired though.
I have to admit, the final piece is really rather gorgeous!
As I’ll be spending more time indoors over the next few months I have embarked upon a great big clear out of my studio. Things had got a bit chaotic over recent months, what with being out and about a bit more, working in the garden lots and looking after poorly cats, my workspace became a bit of a dumping ground, .
I’ve begun the great clean up by sorting through my collection of amigurumi. Gathering it all together from their various storage places was a huge feat in itself. There was no room in my studio to sift through this crochet mountain so my youngest son helped me carry it all downstairs where we took over the kitchen for the whole day and proceeded to catalogue anything and everything as it came to hand. They have now been assigned to storage crates where I can easily get at them when needed.
I reckon that this is about two thirds of my amigurumi collection. I sure have been a busy bee these last six years! As I’m hoping to re-photograph a lot of my earlier amigurumi and update my pattern listings, being able to find what I need at a moments notice is going to make the task a whole lot easier.
Next in line for a good shake up were my yarn cubbies. There is something very, very satisfying about making yarn rainbows and filling in all the gaps I’ve made in my stash over the past few months.
The studio’s not immaculately tidy yet but we’re getting there.
You can tell how exhausting all this cleaning up is from Rubick’s demeanor. That’s exactly how I felt after a few hours. Watching me hard at work is obviously just as tiring!
And this is where I’m at now, all tidied up (mostly) and my summer project blanket on standby to bring a little brightness to the sun starved autumn/winter days ahead.
The special thing about a big crochet project like this is that you pour your heart and soul into it for so long. Lovingly creating it stitch by stitch as life rolls by in parallel motion, ultimately the end result has precious memories woven into the very fabric of it. My Persian Tiles blanket has the record breaking heat of this summer twisted into its fibres alongside warm memories of the companionship of Minnie…
…and how the cats, the crochet and me had a wonderful last summer together in our little garden, making the most of every colourful, relaxing, sun soaked minute.
September 17, 2018 at 2:26 pm
So sorry to hear about your lovely cats – how sad to lose them both at the same time. Your beautiful blanket will be full of memories of them.
My own Eastern Jewels blanket is now in the U.K. with my daughter – I gave it to her for her birthday but I miss it and will be making another. I’ve worked out I only need to buy six more balls of yarn to make another one as there’s enough of the other colours left.
September 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm
Thank you for you kind thoughts. I’ll be snuggling up in that blanket and remembering the good times with the cats whenever I need a pick-me-up. This is such a beautiful pattern, and I hope your daughter was thrilled with her gift. The pattern pack is really generous with the yarn amounts. I’m planning on making a matching cushion pad with my leftovers.
September 17, 2018 at 2:59 pm
Love all your designs!! Your patterns are easy to follow too, so thank you for that. Just wondering have you ever done mochila bags? Seen a lot on Facebook recently.
September 17, 2018 at 3:24 pm
That’s nice to hear, thank you!
I’ve never made a mochila bag but have seen some lovely examples. The design possibilities are endless but tapestry crochet is something I have only occasionally dabbled with and nowhere near on that scale of complexity yet. However, I’m always looking to learn something new so might give it a go one of these days!
September 17, 2018 at 3:41 pm
So sorry for the loss of your sweet cats and so glad you found some new friends (cats)! Love your beautiful designs and the colorful cubby holes for all your yarn. Keep up the good work!
September 17, 2018 at 5:34 pm
Thank you Helen. Yes I’m glad to have the other two in my life for cuddles and yarn tangling!
September 17, 2018 at 4:07 pm
I’m so sorry about your cats dying. I was actually tearing up while reading this. What a loss. Your Persian tiles came out gorgeous!!! I get what you mean about memories in the blanket. I’m working on an old cal with a lot of detail and will definitely be reminded of events good and bad. Lots of amigurumi!!! Sue
September 17, 2018 at 5:41 pm
I hope you’re feeling ok now! I had to go and have another little sob after writing that too. They were such a big part of my life – and my blog – over the years, that I really wanted to write a little piece about them. Those crochet projects sure do bring back the memories.
September 17, 2018 at 4:47 pm
So sorry to read your news, I had a similar month 3 years ago when I lost both of my cats. They were also from a shelter. The blanket will forever be great memories for you. Enjoy your other fur babies and I love your finished blanket. x
September 17, 2018 at 5:46 pm
It’s rotten luck to have to deal with a double whammy like that. I hope that time has helped ease the pain. I’m reminding myself of what a great life I was able to give them after they were left to fend for themselves. They always were so affectionate and showered us all with love, cuddles and purrs. Treasured memories indeed.
September 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm
It sucks to loose a furry friend … we lost both of our bunnies last summer. It still feels so unfair! At least there are plenty of lovely memories left and the feeling that we (you) did the best we could.
The blanket is stunning! Your color choice is so wonderful!
Many greetings from rainy Virginia, ivonne
September 17, 2018 at 10:37 pm
Sorry to hear about your bunnies too. It’s crazy how close we get to these fluffy bundles, but totally understandable to anyone who has ever struck up a great friendship with a pet. Not so easy to explain to those who haven’t! I hope it stops raining in Virginia soon. It’s been pretty drizzly around here too for the last few days if that’s any consolation!
September 18, 2018 at 1:18 pm
It finally did stop raining … but I heard it’s going to start again soon. It’s monsoon here in VA. 🙂
September 17, 2018 at 6:39 pm
So sorry to hear about the loss of your cats. I too was welling up reading your blog. I know how it is to lose beloved pets having lost both cats and dogs over the years. I am like you having two cats in my life now who also are intrigued by my crochet projects. Munchie, aptly named, likes to chew my wool and Miyagi sits and watches me twisting the yarn into all sorts of shapes, occasionly tapping the balls of yarn or trying to sit on my projects as I’m working on them. So lovely that you have such wonderful memories of Pogo and Minnie and some gorgeous photos too. Sounds like they treasured you too after you took them in. My last cat turned up at our house as a stray nearly a year to the date when my previous black cat had disappeared. We had him 8 years before he became unwell and he passed over the rainbow bridge. I still miss him and our cuddles (he would literally put his paws around my neck and snuggle up) but it does take time to adjust to life without them.
I love all your designs and find your patterns so easy to follow. I always have such wonderful comments on anything I make that you’ve designed so wanted to say thank you so much for bringing the joy of crochet and amigurumi in particular to my life. The blanket you are working on is gorgeous by the way.
Always look forward to your blogs and new patterns
Take care x
September 17, 2018 at 10:48 pm
Thanks for your lovely comments, both about my work and about the loss of my fur babies. It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who gets so attached to their pets. Us creative types feel things deeply!
Your cats sound like real big characters and I love their names. I too have had a couple of strays turn up at the back door over the years. Well, now I’m in a position to take in another one if the day comes that a kitty in need comes meowing. I’ll certainly keep an open mind and an open heart for that eventuality 🙂
September 17, 2018 at 9:15 pm
I just love that your cat is in so many of your crochet photos. Such a lovely creature and an amazing accent to all your beautiful crochet work ❤️
September 17, 2018 at 10:49 pm
I do feel that a piece of crochet never quite looks finished without a cat sitting on it!
September 18, 2018 at 2:53 am
I’m so sorry to hear about your cats. It is hard to lose one, but two so close together is even worse. I love seeing your latest projects, especially the amis, and the cats making themselves at home…or trying to distract you.
September 18, 2018 at 7:31 pm
Wonderfull blanket and cats !!!