Goodbye July

As I was starting to write this post I almost typed – wow July went by so fast. Then I had to stop and think for a few seconds. It didn’t go by that fast. It actually felt like it’s been a while since I did my last end of the month post. Nice!Β 

So what did I do in July that was any different than previous months? That’s easy, I semi-unplugged for the month. I simply set some hard limits for myself at the computer and double downed with spending as much time as I could out on my deck crocheting and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

I call it semi-unplugged because I had my cell phone outside with me, but I don’t have a tablet or a laptop so if I just stayed outside then I couldn’t sit here at my desk staring at my monitor. I also found that after my mini blog vacation in June, I was really struggling to catch up on reading posts. I finally found a solution that works for me. I set my kitchen timer for 45 minutes in the morning and read as many as I can. When the timer goes “ding” that’s it I’m done. It will take me longer to get to everyone’s awesome inspiring posts but I’ll get there. I don’t like to feel rushed when I’m reading everyone’s blogs. I like to take my time and read/like/comment on all of them. You all are so wonderful and take the time to read and give fantastic, thoughtful comments on my posts. I want to give yours the same amount of attention.

I also didn’t make myself crazy about rushing through my crocheting to have something to post. I decided after last month’s near burn-out situation that I will crochet at my own pace and post when I finish something or have something interesting to say. I’m in this for the long haul and as the old saying goes – it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Let’s see what I did in July.

Boho Crochet Maxi Skirt

boho crochet maxi skirt

This was my most popular post of the month. No surprise there – in fact I am going to get right down braggy about this skirt. It is the crochet project that I am most proud of out of EVERYTHING that I have ever made. I love it and yeah I may have even worn it two days in a row. πŸ˜€ This skirt was bigger than that though. This skirt helped me finally find my “crochet voice”. I’ve been searching for what my crochet POV (point of view) is for years and I think I’ve decided that I’m, for the most part, done following everyone else’s patterns. I want to create my own one of a kind original things. I may choose to use somebody else’s pattern and design from time to time, but I will never again feel like I NEED to or that I HAVE to. I might write down some patterns but I would rather tell you about the mechanics, methods, techniques and concepts that I use so that you can be your own designer!!! I will write more about My Crochet Voice at some point in the future. Right now I’m still basking in the glow of pride, self esteem and all around awesomeness of creating this skirt 100% from my own hand and mind. πŸ˜€

Dancing Butterflies Wrap

dancing butterflies

This was from a pattern designed by Erica Thomas. Now after I just said no more patterns for me I want to briefly clarify. I don’t hate patterns and I don’t mean any disrespect to designers that share or sell their own designs. It’s hard work writing a pattern and I give them a lot of credit. I did tweak this pattern though to adjust it for a light weight yarn. While I was working on this I happened to have an issue with the way that the colors in the variegated yarn were pooling. This led to two additional posts – Crochet Crossroads which discussed recognizing when you need to stop and fix something, and Controlling Variegated Yarn Colors with what I did to ‘unpool’ the colors. This is also the crocheted item that I am donating to KelleysDIY Giveaway.

Crochet Patio Table Cover

crochet patio table cover 1

This was such a fun project that I again made it up completely as I went along. No pattern – just stitches that I know and my imagination. I used Nylon crochet thread so that this table cover would be waterproof and weather resistant. I love sitting outside on my porch all day at my pretty table and now hubby and I are enjoying having our dinner alfresco!

Floral Cami

fans and feathers cami

This was a Crochet Crowd/Yarnspirations pattern and video tutorial. I made this over a year ago and wore it with my skirt for the photos. Many of you commented on it so I did a quick post with the details. Here’s a secret about this top – what is cleverly concealed is some big knots that I tied into the straps to shorten them up. My hair covers them, but on either shoulder is a funny looking knot that I am pretending is a design element and not something I did to fix the straps that I made about 6 inches too long. πŸ˜€

And finally –

Summer Fun Crochet Sweater

summer fun sweater 3

This was a super quick and easy summer top that I squeaked in at the last minute for July. Again – I didn’t follow a written pattern for this top. I used a top-down method for creating a sweater and used alternating rows of double and treble crochet stitches. I added some faux drawstrings with some beads. I could have finished this in less than two days but I think I was distracted by video games. πŸ˜€

So what’s the plans for August?

I’m glad you asked. I am going to continue with what I’ve been doing. Here in Southern New England on the east coast of the United States our warm and lazy summer days are numbered once August hits. So I’m going to enjoy every single one of them. I’ll be crocheting of course. πŸ˜€

I’ve also started to give daily sneak peeks of my WIPs on Instagram. So if you’re interested in what is on my hook every day please follow me there!

As always, thanks for reading and thank you so much for all of the sweet, kind, funny, thoughtful, helpful and amazing comments! I really enjoy the conversations that spontaneously occur in the comments section. ❀

~ Tami

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69 responses to “Goodbye July

  1. Wholey Cow you’ve been busy!! Your creations this past month are gorgeous!!! And that skirt ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️ is incredible!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I had your talent, I would be patting myself on the back every single day! πŸ‘Έ Your creations are absolutely stunning— I am in awe of your ability to crochet using only your skill and imagination. β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️ And, “crochet voice”….LOVE THAT!!! 😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh Teresa (blushing) you do have the same talent as I do and you absolutely have as much probably more imagination than I do!! Your photography is nothing short of magical! I want to do a post about finding my Crochet Voice – I’m drafting it in my head because I want the words to come out right. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow, how beautiful you have been a busy girl! They are all so lovely and that skirt is super-fab! ❀ Your wardrobe has expanded with crochet loveliness!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many nice makes! I don’t think I made anything new this month, except the swatch of moms blanket. I don’t think that counts. But I have been plugging away. Haven’t given up on that. πŸ™‚ Loving your crochet voice. Definitely don’t burn out. I want to keep seeing your stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You were plenty busy this month with your crochet teaching certification Yolanda!! Afghan season is coming up so I’m sure there will be some months where I have more wips and less finished things. And – plugging away is the best!! I honestly prefer when I’m in the middle of a project than when I’m finished. I always feel a little sense of withdrawal when I finish something. Especially if it’s something that’s taken a long time to make. Does that make sense? I’m sure you understand what I’m trying to say. Watching as something grows from nothing is just so exciting!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Tami, I totally forgot about working on the course! πŸ˜‚ That’s something for sure. Kept me busy anyway. Which means I made an emoji and a square doll. Oh wait, did I finish the mermaid in June or July? We can probably add that to July πŸ™‚ And I totally understand how you feel about finishing a big project. Been there. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • That course was a huge thing Yolanda!!! And I’m so impressed (but not surprised) by the way you jumped in and got it done – AND did it so well!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m working on a post about level two. I just my email directions. Some of it looks pretty challenging. I’m going to have to learn some new things. Add to it that some of the instructions are confusing and not clear. It’s a little annoying. This level will probably take me a little longer because I go back to work next week. I’ll probably just work on it on the weekends. We’ll see. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Mrs. C!! It’s been wonderful to just sit outside and crochet the day away! It really is a challenge to stay caught up with all of the reading. I’m following almost 500 blogs and when everyone is active it can get overwhelming. The 45 minutes a day seems to be working. I don’t feel guilty or bad that I’m falling behind because I know that I will get to them all eventually. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You see how much more productive and chilled it is when you take a few steps back and work at your own pace or schedule at your own needs. I still think that skirt is bomb!! Looking forward to next years summer haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know right!! It’s been so nice just sitting out on my porch crocheting in the sunshine!! I feel more relaxed than I have in months. Yeah that skirt ❀ ❀ ❀ – I love it so much!! Thanks for all of the encouragement and support you gave me that made it happen. It would probably still be in my WIP pile if it wasn't for you!!! If I had written a pattern for this skirt I would have called it "The Becky Skirt" πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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    • Thanks Brenna! You know I think that you are closer than you think you are. Just since I’ve started following your blog I can see you branching out and really flexing your crochet muscles. I love how you are always looking for something different and challenging – that’s how I felt too. I get so excited when I see the titles on your posts because I know I’m going to see something special. I felt like I was all over the place for years and it really is creatively frustrating. I’m drafting a post in my head about finding my own “crochet voice” but it’s really kind of hard to put into words. Apparently I have not yet found my writing voice LOL!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love all of this! I too am planning to put some ‘rules’ around my blog time (writing and reading), it can so easily become all-consuming and fun though it all is, there are other things to be done. Not least the actual crocheting lol and I agree with you there too, it’s not a race. The main thing is to keep the joy of it ❀ Wish you a wonderful August πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pam! It really made such a big difference to set those limits. I feel so much more relaxed now – probably because I’m crocheting more!! πŸ˜€ I hope you have a great August too! You’re already off to a fantastic start with your square designs!! They’re gorgeous!! ❀ ❀ ❀

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  7. You have created so many beautiful items during last month! πŸ™‚ I really can relate to you in the part where you discussed your “crochet voice”. I felt that I relate to that because in my opinion this is what makes every project different and I also think it is important to do your thing and not be so much stuck in patterns. As this is the way new and unique things are created. I really love the designing part of the crochet but I do not enjoy writing it down or giving good instructions to others, sadly 😦 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Helina! It really is more fun and relaxing to just let my hook do what it wants and not have to worry about following a pattern. I’m exactly like you – I love designing but not writing it down. I think because I work everything out in my head and I don’t even know if it’s going to work. Then when it does work I realize I didn’t take any notes so trying to write it all down is exhausting! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just love all your projects this month, I’m in awe of all your clothes! I think that at the moment the things I enjoy the most are socks and amigurumi, but I’d love to be able to make such beautiful clothes freehanded πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Emma!! I only started making clothes about 2 years ago and the first few sweaters I made aren’t anything to brag about. I’m so excited that I can finally make things that I want to wear! πŸ˜€

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      • That’s super cool, you picked it up super fast! I’m actually the most amazed at your ability to remember how garments are worked, so that you can adjust them to your taste, it’s very impressive!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!! I was very pleased with my projects for the month. I really had so much fun just sitting outside and crocheting the days away in July. πŸ˜€

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  9. Wow that skirt is just beautiful! You should definitely be proud, it’s gorgeous! I can’t wait to hear more about your “crochet voice” when you have the chance to write about it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have a defined style or voice, I like too many different things! And while I fawn over crocheters that have a distinct style and pretty photography… I don’t think I would have it any other way. I don’t really want to put myself in a box, other people spend enough time doing that for you πŸ™‚ congratulations on your productive July! ❀

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    • Thanks Katie! I feel exactly the same way as you. That’s part of my crochet voice – it’s tricky trying to define that into words. I like to see everyone’s lovely takes on all of the popular patterns, but I LOVE to see that pattern and do something different with it so that it’s my own. You’re afghans are a perfect example of your crochet voice – you used some techniques that you learned and turned them into amazing and unique blanket designs. You definitely get bonus points for writing it down! That’s part of my crochet voice that is speaking a foreign language to me! LOL πŸ˜€

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    • I love the sweater too – I’m already making another one with the wool blend Caron Cakes that I’ve had for months. This one is going to be long sleeves with a hood. Are you some kind of a mind reader Hannah??? I was just thinking about my tatting yesterday! I haven’t practiced in a while and was thinking of playing around with it again this week!! So weird that you mentioned it!!!!! Are you spying on me??? LOL πŸ˜€

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  10. I love that you were semi-unplugged for July. And I really like your idea to set a timer for your reading so that you can still be part of the community, but you can also feel less at the mercy of the volume of blog comments – this is an ongoing struggle, I agree! (I’m just catching up after being away to visit family and struggling with an eldercare challenge…) I always look forward to your end of the month catch ups. !!

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    • I am really enjoying this new schedule I’ve made for myself. I feel so much more relaxed. The kitchen timer is such an amazing gadget and it really does the trick to keep me on track. I need to get up and go to the other room to turn it off so I’ve made a habit of turning off my computer when it dings. I didn’t even realize how unbalanced everything had become until I semi-unplugged. Between catching up on mostly depressing news articles, video gaming, social media and blogging I was spending way too much of my summer indoors!! Obviously technology is such an integral part of life now, but I remember the days when the fanciest piece of electronics in the average home was a stereo that had a cassette player with auto reverse! I was feeling a little nostalgic for those summers of my childhood when I would be outside from dawn til dusk. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • “I didn’t even realize how unbalanced everything had become until I semi-unplugged.” That’s so interesting, Tami! I love your description of being able to segment your time so that you’re not at the mercy of electronics. I took a leaf from your book and sat outdoors on my back porch for an hour or two, no phone or computer, working some puzzles on paper. Not even a podcast playing in the background, only the bird-chirping and a bit of breeze ruffling the leaves (once in a while). It was very calming. Thanks! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Tami! I just ran across the note I made about wanting to write a story involving Speckle and Toast … and I still have the photos you sent me a while back. Just wanted to check – are you still okay with me featuring them as characters in a flash fiction? πŸ™‚ Hope all is well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Toast and Speckle would be delighted!! A little bit of character background for you. They are brother and sister from the same litter. Toast is tan with some very subtle orangish coloring. Speckle is black with a few tan and orange spots here and there. Their personalities are as different as their coloring.
      Toast – definitely an adrenaline junkie. He is aggressively friendly and has an unrelenting curiosity paired with very little fear. If he were a person he would be the lovable but somewhat exhausting guy that everyone gets along with. He’s the guy that comes up with the worst ideas and everyone knows it must have been his plan when everything turns chaotic.
      Speckle – is the quintessential cat. She is very reserved about who she will allow to love her. Once she decides you are worthy of her attention she is friendly but you also know that earning the approval is an ongoing process. She definitely puts out the vibe that she believes that we need her more than she needs us. If she were a person she would be an international spy. Discretely observant she is intensely aware of her surroundings. Haughty and proper, but when she thinks nobody is watching she will cut loose and have some fun. She is secretly a parkour master.
      The two of them are the best of friends and we often find them curled up together napping. They are the perfect example of yin and yang.
      I’ll try to get you some better pictures of them. πŸ˜€

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  12. Pingback: Live 🌈 Laugh 😹 Love πŸ’œ | Kristabella's Hodgepodge·

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