How to Crochet a Beach Bag. Free pattern

At the very beginning of April I had an email from Hobbycraft asking if I’d be interested in designing a crochet project for them. It was really exciting to be asked and really exciting to learn that I could pick any materials from stuff they sold in their stores! Caron Cakes took my fancy, it’s self striping so no colour changes!! The brief was “summer” and what’s more summery than a bag for the beach?! The pattern pretty much uses two entire “cakes” including plenty for pompoms. Honestly, it’s a super easy crochet pattern and pretty fast to work up too.

Hobbycraft have an Instagram account and blog page especially for knitters and crocheters. The bag pattern is up and ready to grab over on Hobbycraft (see below). The best thing of all is that it’s totally free!! They’re asking lots of IGers to come up with patterns. It’s a lovely idea to include crafters who are already connecting in a virtual community. There are some fabulous patterns available and they’ve all been designed by us!

Go here for Crochet Beach Bag awesomeness!!

And if you spot my error, please keep schtum!! 😀  It was very late at night, I was tired and mistakes happen. I kicked myself for not noticing until it was beyond changing. What a silly sausage. Ah, you’re gonna seek it out now. Psshh.

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The Crochet Elephant Ripple Blanket

Hello! Happy May! Love May, May makes me happy. Proper spring you see, it’s magic! Plus it’s my birthday in a couple of days and that always gets me giddy (I can’t believe I still get excited about my birthday). It’s been a while since I wrote a post about crochet. They’ve all been videos haven’t they?! I’m starting to see a divide between blogging and vlogging, that I had no idea about. It’s not a problem but I’d like to not neglect anyone.

Anyway… blanket. At the beginning of April a friend got in touch with me and asked very nicely if I would make a baby blanket for her friend. I liked the ideas she had and fancied having a go at something different. It was nice that I could do a brainless ripple but there was also going to be something interesting in the mix as well.

I know that the baby in question is having a safari themed nursery and because grey was to feature in the blanket’s colour palette, it was elephants that sprang to mind. I did a quick search online and came up with these cuties. The pattern is from Repeat Crafter Me and it’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted.

I like how the secret elephants are hidden inside when it’s folded up. You might think it’s a boring blanket. But tumble it open and the cuteness is revealed!

They had to go trunk to tail, that’s something I definitely wanted. I hadn’t thought much about how they’d be attached. I’m glad it dawned on me not to merrily stitch through to the other side. I paid lots of attention to making the stitches only on one side. I had to forgo safety eyes for the same reason (they’d poke right through to the other side). I forgot to take pics of the other side to prove that there’s nothing on show. Watch my latest vlog, the evidence is there!

I used Stylecraft Special dk as it’s perfect for baby blankets. I ordered the yarn at the same time as the release of the new shades so I knew Buttermilk had to be part of it. It’s like someone has added mayonnaise to the Mustard. They go very nicely together. Also in the mix are Teal, Sage and Grey. It looks quite nice on my fabulous(ly cheap) sofa too!

And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Neat Ripple! I have no idea how many times I’ve made Attic 24’s Neat Ripple! So many! I did 8 pattern repeats and 64 rows before adding the grey. At each end I added a ripply row of grey and then a straightening row. You can straighten it off by following this useful guide from Little Tin Bird. Then it was just a case of making a couple of rounds of UK trebles before going back to Attic24 for the edging, which was pilfered from Lucy’s original Granny Stripe. Phew! What do you think? I like it! Anything with grey and mustard floats my boat though. Grellow they call it.

Anyway, I’m late for an evening walk that I must do. I’ve been very lazy recently and done no proper exercise. And I need to go to the shop for bread and milk…

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How to Crochet a Purse and add Zip and Lining

Hi guys! How is everyone?! I’ve finally made another tutorial for YouTube! Phew. This one is for a cute little crochet purse. I wanted to show how to sew in a zip and then at the last minute I decided to go all the way and whack in a demo for the fabric lining too! The response from the crochet Easter egg (my first tutorial) was amazing, absolutely amazing! Thank you so so much. It has definitely spurred me on to make more video tutorials.

Anyway, if you crochet but have always wondered how to attach a zip to your project or want to know how to go about lining it too, this is the tutorial for you.

Things you’ll need:

-Cotton aran yarn (or another yarn of your choice). I used Drops Paris.

-4.5mm hook.

-Zip in the length of the purse you want.

-Fabric for lining.

-Needle for darning in end.

-Needle and threads for sewing zip and lining.

-Scissors!

Here are a few pics of the starting process… Don’t forget, you can chain as many as you like. Make sure your foundation chain is a couple of stitches longer than the actual zip. The work shrinks down slightly smaller than the foundation chain. The piece is worked from the bottom up and in the round. To get the full how to, please hop over to YouTube. Cheers.

Please do let me know how you get on. If you make a purse I’d love to see, you can #zeensandroger and I’ll see it on Instagram or Ravelry it! Or just come and say hi!

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How to Make a Granny Square Bag. Free Crochet Pattern

I had no idea that I was going to make a bag last week, no idea at all! I was dashing off somewhere and felt I could do with taking a little crochet project with me. Hurriedly, random balls of yarn were grabbed and off out I went. Thus, a granny square bag was made! Yay!

I’ve had a few new friends come and join in the fun here recently, so I thought it’d be nice to share the pattern with you guys as a thank you. Thank you!

I didn’t have enough yarn to make a blanket, which made me wonder what else I could turn the squares into. I considered making a cushion, but what got me really excited was the idea of a bag! It’s a tricky thing to take a picture of, the bright colours were shouting loudly. I used leftover Paintbox aran and joined as I went (I’m fairly sure I used the Attic 24 method)

If you’d like to make a crochet granny bag you will need the following:

-Colourful yarn (I used aran weight but any yarn is fine)

-4.5mm hook

-Bag handles (search”bag handles” on ebay to find some, that’s what I did!)

-Lining fabric (something measuring a couple of inches bigger than your finished crochet piece)

-Sewing needle for yarn, pins, sewing needle and thread.

The main body of the bag is a bog standard gang of grannies; super quick and easy to do! Rounds of three, joined together in 8 rows of 5 (you’ll either need more rows or more rounds for each square if you’re using DK yarn). Every now and again all you need to do is check to see that the spread of colour is even! My piece measured 15.5×27″ (40x68cm)

Once the main body is complete,  the handles need to be shaped. It’s not as tricky as it looks and luckily, accuracy is not paramount. I don’t mind a project that needs a bit of bodging and crochet is usually very forgiving when it comes to bodging! Not that you need to bodge it, I’m just saying!!

UK terms are used (a treble is a US dc)

  1. At one end of the main body, (right side facing) make a strip of granny clusters starting with a ch3 and 1tr in the first st and ending with 2tr on the last stitch of the row. Straddle the square joins with 1tr, 2trtgr, 1tr.  You can see what I’ve done on the picture above.
  2. Turn the work. Ch2,  1htr in each st along to the end. Turn.
  3. Ch1, slip stitch along approximately 10 stitches (you want the narrow section to be the same width as the handle slot). Ch2, 1htr in each stitch along, missing the last (approx) 10st. Turn
  4. Ch2, 1htr in each st of last row. To widen the work again, ch13, Turn.
  5. 1htr in 3rd ch from hk. 1 htr in each st along to the end. Continue by adding 10 more stitches using a chainless foundation half double stitch. This is actually easy, I promise. I’ve found a good video that shows you how:  The half double chainless stitch. Skip the first minute of the video, the informative bit starts just after! Turn.
  6. Ch2, htr all the way along. Turn
  7. Repeat row 6. Fasten off. Repeat 1-7 on the other end of the bag.

Next, with right side facing, evenly stitch dc’s (sc’s) all the way down the edge of both lengths. Don’t fasten off yet…

Fold the bag in half and using the yarn still on the hook, slip stitch the sides together. Repeat on the other side.

Tuck the handle bits through the bag handles, fold down to the inside and pin ready for sewing closed.

The stitches don’t have to be neat, if you use matching yarn, you won’t see if you’re making a dog’s dinner of it! Try not to come through to the right side though, or if you do, make the stitches small so they’re not staring at you. Don’t forget the top bits at the ends.

Next you need to add the lining. It’s not 100% necessary but I think it looks better and you won’t have your stuff escaping through granny holes! Fold your length of fabric in half, right sides together. Place the bag on top and mark/draw where you need to sew. Also mark where you want the fold of your top hem to go. Sew down both sides to make the bag cavity. Next, iron the seams nice and flat, at the same time fold down the top hem and press. I went back to the sewing machine and top stitched the hem.

Tuck the lining into you bag, pin it in place and hand sew the top of the lining to the top of the crochet!

I think I need a course in how to photograph bright colours!!

I would absolutely love to hear if you make one of my designs, please do give me a shout. I’d love it if you said Hi! Don’t forget that I’m on Ravelry, so your makes can be added there. Oh, and I almost forgot Instagram! #zeensandroger

Thank you. X

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Crochet Yourself an Amigurumi Easter Egg. Video Tutorial & Pattern

Doesn’t it feel like Spring already?! That means Easter is just around the corner. You may recall that last year I came up with a cute little design for crochet Easter eggs. The surprisingly awesome thing is that it has been a really popular pattern (mostly thanks to Pinterest, not anything I’ve done). To accompany the written pattern I thought that it would be useful if I did a video tutorial. And not just any old video tutorial… my first ever video tutorial! So, it’s apparent that I need to perfect my video making skills somewhat, but you’ve got to start somewhere!

The written pattern is super straightforward and quick to do. The video is probably best viewed as a companion to the written instructions. The video also demonstrates how to embroider the stitches, which the written pattern does not (the time stamp for the decorative bit is 18.25). If I’d been more YouTube savvy I could have made two different videos but I didn’t think about that until afterward!

If you fancy having a look (afterall, Easter is coming up pretty soon) then please click on this picture to take you to YouTube! And then let me know if you’ve made some!! I would absolutely love to see. X

How to crochet an amigurumi Easter Egg video

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Crazy Crochet Chevron Blanket

bright-crochet-chevron-blanketHellooo! After a two week absence I have returned!! That might be the longest I’ve been away, which is pretty good going. Phew! And I’ve finished my latest crochet blanket! For a relatively small blanket, this one seemed to take forever. I’ve made chevron blankets before but not for a long time. I now know why. Every stitch is so small that the build up is mega slow (yet very much worth it).

neon-pink-crochet-bobblesIt took a good week to get into the flow. Once I could see that the colours were making me happy, I sped up and started to enjoy the rhythm of it. It’s a classic chevron pattern, back loops only. I used this one from Meet me at Mike’s which has step by step photos. I think I did 11 multiples, maybe 12. I thought that would be plenty but it’s actually a lot smaller than I was aiming for. The nature of the stitch meant that there was a concertina effect and it shrunk dramatically. If I stretch it out, it does look bigger and I think that if I give it a wash, it should settle down more.

old-borderThe border was a bit of a pain. I knew I wanted the blanket to have a border and I also knew that many zigzag blankets don’t have them. Probably for a good reason. When I blogged about my progress Mrs Craft got in touch with me to suggest a tutorial of hers. I dutifully went to investigate, eager for the answer. It was the spark I needed. So, thanks very much Mrs “(crocheted) Caped Crusader” Craft!!

straightening-the-crochet-chevronI haven’t followed the tutorial exactly because my chevrons were much smaller but I did use part of the idea. I only needed two rows to straighten the edge. The first row was modelled on the tutorial (all the yellow bits in the above pic are done separately!) but the second row (cloud blue) was filling in with the method I use for ripples (a bit like this one from Little Tin Bird but with longer stitches crocheted together to prevent too much buckling). How I wish I hadn’t doubled back with another row of cloud blue dc’s (US sc’s) over the top of them. It looks so messy and it really doesn’t need to be there. By that time I’d got to this section though, I’d already unpicked a first and really ugly border attempt. I was fed up. I just could not be bothered to do it all again (I’d already gone round with the grey at this point, as I had done the first time too). So if anyone out there fancies having a go, don’t do a second row of blue!

completeI thought the grey was going to be the final colour but the blanket’s recipient (Youngest boy) came over and told me that he wanted the neon pink. He knew what he was talking about, it looks fabulous. I seriously love it. You know, I think grey would have been nice on its own but now it really pops!  (and I don’t use that word lightly-  I never ever say “pops”). There isn’t really a pattern for the border, it’s just 2 UK tr (each in their own st, not together like a granny) and ch1. Miss a stitch, 2tr, ch1 etc, twice round. The bobbles/pompoms are from when I did a Touch of Spice blanket nearly a year ago. This time I chained 6 not 7, made my 4trtgr in the 4th ch from hk and chained 2 not 3. Pop over and take a closer look.

crochet-chevron-blanket colourful-crochet-blanket-chevron-patternEssentially, this was stashbuster. I had so much Stylecraft Special that it needed to be made into something lovely and not stuck alone in the dark cupboard under the stairs anymore. I’m going to say that it was mostly random but there is a pattern repeat: Six rows of one colour, then 3x two rows, four rows of another colour, then 2x two rows, finishing with six rows again. I’ll also tell you the colours because I’m super proud that I remember them all off the top of my head: Fiesta, Grey, Citron, Wisteria, Aspen, Shrimp, Sherbet, Cloud, Kelly, Apricot, Lobelia, Fuschia, Plum, Pistachio.

on-the-banister-my-favourite-crochet-chevronAnd I’ve still got enough to make another sort of blanket…because there’s a chance I might have gone out and bought some more… you know, to make up the colours….Soooo…. what next? Granny squares or treble chevrons, maybe a sunburst? I’m torn.

 

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Crochet Broken Heart. Corner to Corner Pattern.

broken-heart-corner-to-corner-crochetComing up to February, hearts are everywhere. I get it, love is in the air and all that but what if you don’t want to get all schmaltzy and saccharine about it?! This is my answer: crochet a broken one! I’ve come up with a corner to corner graphgan design that’s cute but not pukey, how great is that?! To make your own crochet heart, read on…

crochet-heart-cushionI chose neon pink (almost impossible to photograph by the way) and a light grey aran yarn. I was all set to go for a blue background colour until I found out I didn’t have enough. This pattern needs two balls of the grey and one of neon pink, with just a scrap of blue for the shiney reflection.

a-broken-heart-stitch-fiddle-patternI recently learned about a website called Stitch Fiddle. It’s brilliant! You can make you own designs for knitting, cross stitch and crochet. It’s free to do the basic stuff but I’m tempted to sign up for the fancier version. You get fifteen freebies; after that you have to pay. I haven’t used it to do crochet diagrams yet but I’m probably headed that way.  Anyway, I’m not here to sell their stuff. I shall move on…

Above is the graphgan to use. I think it can be printed off if you save it as a document, then you can mark off the squares as you go. I started in the bottom right corner. I can directly tweet and pin from Stitch Fiddle, so I’ll do that in a minute in case it’s somehow easier or better quality. Go to my contact page for the links to those.

broken-heart-crochet-c2cThings you’ll need:

2x balls of background colour, 1x ball for heart, a few metres of a third colour.

4.5mm hook. (If you have a particularly loose tension, try a 4mm).

1x 50cm cushion, 1x 50cm cushion cover.

Sewing needle (not as giant as a darning needle but big enough to squeeze the yarn through, it needs to go through the cushion cover).

Before you begin, the first thing you need to do is separate out about 20 grams of the grey yarn, this will be the ball you use to work between the two heart pieces. The thing about making graphgans is that you need a ball/bobbin for each section of colour. I had three grey and two pink balls being worked at the same time (I wound a separate ball of the pink yarn too, just under half). It’s not as tricky as it sounds, I promise. It’s very hard to explain but very easy to do! As long as you know how to Corner to Corner, this is really simple to achieve.

I learned how to do a C2C from a pattern I got from Ravelry but I’ve found this video by Bella Coco, which I wished I’d seen at the time!

Here is a video about colour changes. It was immensely helpful and got to the point. No faffing, thank goodness.

backI kept all my workings on one side (it’s a cushion, they’re not going to show). To avoid lots of these, make sure you keep one ball of pink for one heart half, and the other, for the other. There are a couple of places where the yarn would be carried over too many blocks if you didn’t split the yarn and that might look messy. If you look too closely at the picture above you can see where I broke that rule. Just don’t look.

pinningPin your finished piece to the front of a cushion cover. Pin the four corners first, then add a couple more pins inbetween. I found my cushion cover from Amazon, it was about £3, which is better than the £4.50 it would have cost to buy two more balls of yarn to do a plain c2c back, and more time efficient. Woohoo for saving time and money!

sewing-on-to-the-cushion stitchy-stitchStitch it on. The ends can be woven in when it’s finished.

sewn-up crochet-cushionKeep the stitches as close to the edge as possible.

cosy-cushionsFinished! A giant cushion! I wonder what size a DK version would look like…

Let me know what you think. Do tell me if you make one, I would absolutely love to see. Please feel free to make as many as you like but the pattern/design belongs to me so please do not make to sell or sell the pattern. Thanks.

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Crochet Triangle Infinity Scarf

self-striping-yarn-rainbow-crochet-infinity-scarfMy thing for triangles all started when I was playing around with geometric patterns for crochet. It became a conscious thing last summer when I made my  C2C cushion. Since then, I’ve seen triangles all over the place. I now absolutely love geometric patterns in crochet!

crochet-triangles-cowl-infinity-scarfI’m on a mission to make the perfect cowl (or scarf). I know exactly what sort of design I want but I’ve struggled with translating it into crochet. Basically, if you take a look at my pattern Pinterest board, you’ll get  the idea. I want to intersperse different colours amongst the triangles. So far I’ve resisted just doing colour changes for random single triangles. I thought that it might compromise the stuctural integrity. I might have to try it next just to find out how safe and secure it would be. Hmm anyway, I’m glad to say that I’ve found the ideal scarf pattern to play with.

crochet-cowl-monochrome-triangle-infinity-scarfIt’s called the Triangle Crocheted Infinity Scarf from Friendly Nettle. I totally love this pattern, it’s utterly fabulous and I know lots of other people feel the same way because my Instagram mates have gone nuts for it too!

paintbox-yarns-simply-aran cosy-monochrome-crochet-cowl-triangle-infinity-scarf rainbow-bright-crochet-triangle-infinity-scarfThe pattern is very simple and Rasa, the designer has made things super helpful by providing loads of pictures, a video tutorial and pattern diagrams. As I’m me and can’t help myself, I did change a few elements. My first two cowls were made with Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran, so I didn’t need as many triangles in my start row. I think the tri-colour one has thirty triangles and the monochrome one was 26. I did 15 rows for each.

monochrome-crochet-triangle-cowlWhen making my triangles, I made 1dc (UK), 1htrb), 1tr and 1doubletrb. This sequence is different to the original pattern (I did a few experiments to see what would happen to the shape of the triangles). You’ll need to see the original pattern to work out where these stitches go cos I ain’t telling ya! My edging was also added to, but nowt fancy.

rainbow-trianglesThe final cowl I made was this crazy rainbow job. It’s a double knit so the amount of triangles in the starter row was increased by a couple more. I pretty much used the whole skein. I was on the look out for something that had both colourful brights and a plain base.  In my imagination, there was more grey and less colour. I didn’t really think about how the colours would be laid out on the skein. I blame my lack of education regarding skein dying rather than anything else. Still, I think the effect is pretty good. Just not what I’m after in this case.

rainbow-yarn rhapsodye-yarnsI bought it from a UK Etsy seller, Rhapsodye Yarns. It’s  a superwash merino and it’s just lovely!

winding-yarnSee the running rainbow? I’d like only two, maybe three colours, each long enough to make a triangle, with grey in between each shade. Do you think I need to take up yarn dying as a hobby next?! I’m tempted to contact the dyer and make a special request instead. Seriously, I do not need any more hobbies right now.

I’ve come to the decision that nobody needs this many scarfy type accessories in their life, so I’ve popped them on Etsy. Please pop over and take a look and buy buy buy!

 

 

 

 

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Speedy Crochet Bracelet. A Free Pattern.

easy-crochet-braceletI was working out the design for my recent crochet wrist warmers pattern; playing with different methods and whatnot, when this one popped up. It’s basically front post and back post stitches, which ended up being too bulky for the mitts but still had something I liked. It is such an easy crochet pattern, it only takes fifteen/twenty minutes from start to finish.

If you’ve not tried Front Post or Back Post stitches before, it’s a great pattern for practising. These stitches are much easier than they sound. They’re the same as normal, it’s just where you put your hook that counts. There are countless You Tube videos out there that demonstrate beautifully.

I’m not sure if this is a crochet cuff, bracelet or other thing but whatever it is, (seeing as it’s Christmas) here’s a lovely little free crochet pattern for them!

bright-and-colourful-crochetNotes: I’ve used Paintbox Aran (I used up loads of my old Stylecraft Special dk this year and allowed myself a restock of something new!!) with a 4.5mm hook.

I’ve used UK terms with US terms in brackets.

In Row 2 I work under the bumps of the foundation chain. This makes a neater finish but it does mean it looks twisty when you come to slip stich together. Ignore the twist and join anyway, it won’t be noticed in the final piece. Just double check that you’ve not got a twist in the stitches you’re going to work into next.

Crochet over the ends as you go to allow for minimal stitching at the end.

super-easy-crochet-cuff-bracelet-free-crochet-patternPattern:

Row 1: Chain 24 (I have wrists like twigs, you may need to go up to 26 or 28 stitches). Join with a slip stitch.

Row 2: Ch1 (does not count as a st), dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch to the first st. Fasten off. [24]

Row 3: Attach new colour to any stitch. Ch3 (counts as a st), 1tr (USdc)in each st around. Join to the top of the inital ch3. [24]

Row 4-6: Ch2 (does not count as a st), FPtr (US FPdc) in st at the base of the ch2, BPtr (US BPdc) in next st, *FPtr in next st, BPtr in next st. Repeat from* to the end. Slip st to the top of the first FPtr. Fasten off after row 6. [24]

Row 7: Attach new colour to any st. Ch1 (does not count as a st). 1dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch the the first st. Fasten off and sew in any ends. [24]

wrists  crochet-cuff-bracelets And there you have it. Easy peasy! Now go and crochet loads of cuffs, bracelets, sweat bands, whatever they are!

Happy Christmas! See you in the New Year. 2017 is going to be amazing!! X

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Happy Hallowe’en!!

colourpopcraftswapI put my name down for a  #colourpopcraftswap on Instagram a few weeks ago. The name says it all. It’s a craft swap. You make something for someone, someone else makes something for you. I have no idea if my recipient got my present (they haven’t posted any pictures of it) but I got my gift! It was very exciting to receive a surprise parcel in the post. Boo!

colourful-halloween-garland-for-bright-o-weenI made a garland with pumpkins, stars, bats and one of my spiders.

garlandIt was impossible to take a good picture of it. Maybe it was just a terrible garland. I hope that’s not why the person didn’t share a picture! I made it with pastels  and some glittery yarn. It was supposed to be bright and colourful.

halloween-crochet-spiderI love my spiders! The purple one made a home in the garland. I don’t know where the grey one is. Does anyone else fancy making one? I’d love to see. I posted the pattern a few weeks ago. It’s over on my free patterns page but you can also just jump straight to it.

DIY Halloween tiara.I made this last year. It was a rush job. I remember hastily cobbling together some grainy photos of the process. My tiara post is here.

Halloween altarThe tiara was made as part of my fancy dress costume for a Hallowe’en party. I’m still not sure what I was.. a witch, bad fairy? I think I wore green wings.

Halloween amigurumi collectionMy little Ami Halloween Collection made their first appearance. You can read about those here and find the pattern on Ravelry.

tufted crochet granny owl. free pattern.And here’s a tenuous one. Owls can be Halloweeny. The pattern is a downloadable pdf. That could do with a redesign too (what was I thinking?!). The pattern itself is good but I went a bit over the top on the graphic design. I had help but it was me who wanted all the green!

Just sharing these old pictures tells me how much my photography has improved (the current ones for this post aren’t much better actually, so maybe I shouldn’t comment!). I know that some bloggers go back and change dodgy old blog posts but a lot of mine are dodgy; it’d take an eternity to rectify! Part of why I blog is to record my creative progress and I think it’s all part of the process. I’ll keep it all as it is.