I (sort of) Made It!

All over Blogland, there are ladies – and some gents, I believe – proudly posting about their “impossibilities” made into possibilities. We chose something that we’d been putting off for weeks…months…possibly years to try to achieve by the end of January. These projects ranged from making bread through organising a basement to organising the family bookshelves (that would be a job and a half in the Dormousehold – we have books in stacks on the floor, in orange (actually pineapple) boxes made into bookshelves, double stacked on bookshelves…everywhere!) and to cross stitching a beautiful design.

I, somewhat naturally, read the initial invitation, which came from Kari, the breadmaker, over at Thistlewood Farm, wrongly – and thought we had all year to complete the challenge. As I stated in my initial post here I was going to crochet a blanket like the one Nana Disley crocheted for me many years ago

I thought I could (maybe) manage it in a year and so decided that 2012 would be the Year I Made A Blanket. Huzzah! Subsequently, I discovered that the idea of this challenge was to complete it in a month…so the blanket idea was a tad ambitious – especially as I had no idea how to crochet!!

Daunted, but game for a try, I lowered my expectations and thought I could learn to crochet. So I bought my hook and my wool and downloaded instructions from t’Internet. Hah! I couldn’t understand a word of them…I couldn’t even work out how to hold the wool, the hook and fight off the Very Bad Kittens all at the same time. I needed at least another two hands.

OK, so t’Internet is full of YouTube videos on how to crochet. I’ll use one of those, I thought. I’m better when I can see what’s happening. So I went on YouTube, and found a lovely American bloke showing me how to crochet. Although he was very patient with me, especially as I kept rewinding him, he still didn’t explain in a way I could understand, what the heck to do. He kept showing me – too quickly for me to copy – what to do, but I needed three hands – one for the hook, one for the wool and one to press “pause” at just the right time so I could see what he was doing. And the Very Bad Kittens weren’t very good at manipulating the mouse for me.

I was getting dangerously frustrated!


But then I remembered that I had a very patient friend, who crocheted. So I spent an afternoon with Margaret, chatting, drinking coffee, eating biscuits, and most important of all, LEARNING HOW TO CROCHET! In fact, while I had 10 minutes frustration at the beginning, I did soon get the hang of making a chain…and understood what the nice American bloke meant by “Juicy Loosey” (not enough tension in the wool) So we continued chatting and I happily made a 1m long chain. Then I had to learn to do something more complicated…which was OK. We decided I should go for a round doiley type thing for the first effort, which I could possibly make into a mini blanket for the cats.

So I came home, fired up and ready to go!

However, due to my incompetency, my round thing soon started to develop into a hat (I described it to one blogger as a yamulke for a squirrel) (Are squirrels kosher? I’m guessing so…) I have become a little discouraged on two counts.

1. The basic hatt-iness  of my work. Here we have the hat being worn by various top models

Here Cadbury the Camel (we bought him at CadburyWorld, hence the name) models the hat while posing on the inspiration for my original challenge.

Woburn the Bear (Yes, we bought him in Woburn, Bedfordshire…we used to live just up the road from there) dreams of winter sports while perched on a former Pannetone tin.

Pooh Bear (who used to be a monk before he became a top model*) looks out of the window at the snow, and is glad of his woolly hat. (I apologise that he looks as though he is wired up…I didn’t hide the trailing wool very well!)

* Yes, really. When I was at college, I made a habit for him out of brown felt, and he was known as Brother Pooh. There was also Sister Fluffy, another bear, but I’m not sure what happened to her. I’m not sure she was ever really comfortable in a habit – particularly as she was a he before I arbitrarily chose him/her to become a nun!


Disley the Rabbit relaxes, while wearing the hat over one ear. Disley got his name, not because he was bought in Disley, but because he was an Easter present from my brother the year we were researching our family tree. Disley is my mum’s maiden name. He’s quite a soft and cuddly rabbit, with his bottom being full of beans. (No rude comments, please)

And finally, SheepySheep wears the hat at a rakish angle. Here I think it has a slight oooh-la-la beret look about it.

My question to you is: WHO LOOKS THE BEST IN THE HAT?

2. My other reason for being discouraged is the basic impossibility of doing anything with wool during the evening, because of the inherent badness of the Very Bad Kittens.

Here is George caught red-pawed in the bathroom with my crocheting. (Note how well coordinated we are here at Dormouse Towers. The bathmats match my crocheting!!) When I tried to retrieve it, he got quite possessive and refused to let go.

This occurrs on a regular basis whenever I get out the wool – I swear he can smell it – as he comes running from whatever corner of the house he has been doing Unspeakably Bad Things in!

So, while I didn’t really realise my Impossibility, I made a start. I think I will abandon the hat, and let whichever of the top models you vote for keep it. Then I can start again on the round cat-blanket, taking a little more care about which hole I dig my crochet hook into (it was rather arbitrary) and about where and when I add some stitches to the circle (again, that was rather arbitrary. “Have I added a stitch? No? Can’t remember…Well, let’s wait and see…”)

It has been great fun being part of the Impossible people though, and I urge you to visit the five organisers, who have been doing great things, and from there to link to others who have been challenging themselves (with, I must say, more success than I) to Imagine Impossibilities!

The Cottage Market  Andrea reorganised her craft room beautifully

It All Started With Paint Linda painted a vaulted ceiling (without a ladder!) a lovely light blue.

Eclectically Vintage Kelly was the one who tackled her basement (which looks enormous!). I think we need her to visit Dormouse Towers to reorganise our cellar. We have to fit our old fridge freezer down there and it is a dimly lit grotto of fear at the moment!

The Space Between Kara lives in rented accommodation, and can’t screw stuff into her walls. Somehow she made a wonderful gallery of art work, hanging, unbelievably from just one screw.

A Sort of Fairy Tale Stacey created a fab tote bag, from,I believe, a large tea towel. Very impressive!

Thistlewood Farm and Kari, who tackles the most daunting decorating projects with aplomb, met her impossibility with making bread for the first time. Her photos of the finished loaf were quite mouthwatering!

Although I didn’t quite manage to make my blanket, and although my first foray into the world of crochet resulted in nothing more than a yamulke for a squirrel, I think I can just about award myself the “Badge of Honour”. I did learn the rudiments of crocheting and if I can find some way of corralling the Very Bad Kittens, I will continue to crochet. Maybe by the end of the year I will have fully “imagined my impossibility” – but (hush!)I doubt it!



23 Responses to “I (sort of) Made It!”

  1. Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Says:

    No question about it, Sheep Sheep deserves the crown (although then he’d have to remove his yarmulke/hat)! He is one dapper Dan and has great fashion sense. Sleep with one eye open, now that you’ve shown them the world of high fashion, they just may throw a revolt and raid your closet in the night. Glad you learned to crochet!! Will 2012 be the year of the blanket? Those cats look cold!

  2. JennyAnn Says:

    I think it looks best on Cadbury.

    WRT Disley – My maiden name was Disley, bust as both my sister and I have taken our husband’s names I thought it was dying out – do your lot still have it? Our lot are Bolton, Lancs based.

  3. Floss Says:

    Firstly, it’s fantastic to read your news below, about Richard! I am so glad that this bizarre period of suffering for him appears to be over. I’ll pray for his continuing safety and for the progress at the school. Thanks so much for letting us know about all this.

    Secondly, it’s Sheepy Sheep for me! I’ve got a soft spot for sheep, which I think I’ve never shared on my blog, but a sheep in a natty crochet hat (more crochet than I have ever produced) is a winner every time! Best of luck with the next crochet project…

  4. thistlewood farm Says:

    I agree with Kelly….sheepy sheep takes the cake! Cudos to you for your very tiny crocheted hat…..I think you are going to start a trend! You made me laugh out loud today!


  5. Karah @ thespacebetweenblog Says:

    You are on your way! I see a blanket in your future!!! And you got to spend an afternoon with a friend. I call it all a success! Thank you so much for linking up to the challenge!

  6. Samantha Says:

    First of all, I love your graphic of frustration! I felt like that a few years ago when I tried to learn how to knit. Yeah, I didn’t get ANYWHERE with that one so I am impressed that you learned the basics of crochet! Second, I am chuckling at your description of having made a yamulke for a squirrel! Third, thank you so much for your awesome comment on Wilson and I’s Firestation. And finally, I have fond memories of visiting Woburn Abbey and Woburn when I was a kid before we moved to the US! And you mentioning it reminded me that when I was just a little girl, I would get so excited when my parents told me were were going to Woburn for the day as there was a pub there that served the BEST battered shrimp! Ha ha, the things we remember!

    Wear your Badge of Honor proudly for your squirrel yarmulke! You really made me laugh!

  7. MegaCrafty Says:

    I could have had the entire year and not even wound up with a circle/hat. I have a serious crochet block so I absolutely congratulate you on getting as far as you did. Maybe it can still be your year of crochet and you can make that blanket.

    LOL- loved the picture of your cat. I’ve caught my Bad Cats with bits of wooley projects in their mouths or claws more than once. They are definitely a challenge when it comes to fiber projects!

  8. Rita@thissortaoldlife.com Says:

    I think I’m voting for Cadbury. He looks pretty jaunty in your cap. For what it’s worth, my grandmas taught me both knitting and crochet, and I found knitting much easier. My one Grandma insisted that crochet was easier and could never understand why I couldn’t really get the hang of it. You might try knitting? But I think the most important thing is to find a person who can show you how it’s done.

  9. pam Says:

    SheepySheep hands down! He looks so French in that lovely blue baret!

    Loved your story and I can totally relate! Especially to your experiences trying to learn from internet videos! You are so right about the necessity for three hands. I went through exactly the same thing trying to learn the magic ring.

    Do not be discouraged. After four failed attempts to manage my fingers and one hooked needle into making stitches I had completely given up. However, learning to wrangle five double pointed needles and yarn into a pair of socks I believe went a long way toward giving my fingers more patience!!

    Just keep practicing – a little bit – even if only one row – a day will pay off big time very soon. I promise!

  10. sherry Says:

    Oh my, I’m at the office and almost laughed out loud on several occasions reading your post. If I were you I would be discourages. You accomplished your “impossibility” you learned how to crochet a hat! The only thing I know how to do is a blanket (smile) by connecting chain stitches. Honestly, I did two receiving blankets and boy do they have lots, and lots of holes…but I’m proud of them ‘anyhow’. Love the humor and I’m now a follower.

  11. Crystal Says:

    Hello there! It’s Crystal from Crystal Goes to Europe! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and taking an interest (even if it WAS by accident at first!) I look forward to reading through some of your blog as well 🙂

    Gotta love the mountain weather right now!!

  12. Lizzie @ Pretty City Things Says:

    I love it! I think Woburn’s rocking it. You could definitely manage a blanket by the end of the year! 🙂

  13. Linda @ It All Started with Paint Says:

    We plan to do this again next year … so maybe you can shoot for Jan 31, 2013!

    Loving all your top models …

    Thanks so much for joining our Impossibilities challenge!


  14. Katie @ Team Skelley Says:

    My vote is for Sheepy Sheep because I think that he looks like Shawn the Sheep and that show cracks me up. 😀

    Thank you for your nice comment about the Deep Clean over at Team Skelley. Believe me, there were times when I was an absolute bear: “Where did all of this crap come from?!” I really appreciate you dropping by!


  15. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication Says:

    Congrats on learning! I can’t crochet or knit but my sisters love it. I’ll stick to sewing!

    Thanks for visiting my blog today and for your sweet comment!

  16. Amy@BuffaloRoam Says:

    This is adorable! Love it!!

  17. Melissa Says:

    Hello Dormouse! I think the hat looks better on your camel…

    Do persevere with the crochet – I have very minimal crochet skills but I know that I took a while to settle into knitting and work out the way that I knit best, so you will get there with practice. Hope it goes well!

    Little Miss Methodist

  18. Jillian Says:

    Ooooh my your post was rather funny! I think the sheep looks the best….and I’m very impressed with how you hung in there and what you accomplished. I can only do the chain thingy and then it starts to look funny. Maybe someday I will do it right!

  19. Meeha Says:

    The hat looks lovely especially on the camel :)) I wish you would just go on and develop a whole collection of them.
    Oh, and that thing with the matching colors in the bathroom and in the crochet basket happens over here frequently, too (not to mention that I actually have to do all of my crocheting in hiding, away from my cats!)
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and the supporting comments! I hope you will come visit again, for more projects.

  20. Anne Says:

    Can I vote for the cat??? lol mine are forever running away with things or batting them under furniture so that I don’t find them until years later when I clean under them – ahem – I mean weeks, of course…

    Thank you for visiting me & leaving such nice compliments! I did like the orange walls for a time, but I could never truly relax in that room. Now I feel perfectly relaxed in there.



  21. Dawnll Says:

    I vote for the cat!!!! lol
    I had to laugh till I cried when I seen your hat
    My cat would take it also-she loves my flowers and feathers and ribbon when I craft.
    Your hilarious.
    Thanks for the visit-my room is always open to guests yarn and all.

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