Friday, 28 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #64 Taking a rain check

It's not raining, but I'm making use of the interpretation that something needs doing later

I'd fully planned a full day of blog work - mostly book reviews but also here too (including explaining how you can buy me yarn/cake). 

However, I woke at 3am, read til 6am, wrote til 8am, then did essential and non-essential blog work. It's nearly 1pm, I'm tired, and forming coherent sentences isn't high on my body's list of what I need to do to function until bed (10pm). 

I am working more on my lovely baby blanket, and will post a pic on Twitter & Facebook. Until I'm more awake, have a great bank holiday weekend if you're in the UK (& if you aren't self-employed which made me forget all about it).

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #63 Bits, bobs, & buy me cake! (please)

Fresh pure white rolls!
Fresh today!
Between baking these yummy white rolls to go in the freezer, and adding Sun and Cloud Dishcloth Dreams to my store, I've had a busy half day. 

Some of the work I've been doing is visible. For now I've removed the Shop tab at the top of this blog because although it has posts with the shop tag, it's not actually my shop. I've yet to remember how to edit the tab titles without deleting them. If you know how to do this please get in touch - I'll be searching online for it soon. 

I've added an Etsy widget to this blog in the right hand menu, to tempt you with my wares! It's the one with the pretty pictures on. 

I've (finally) updated this blog's About page! 

The sort of unseen parts include tweaking profile summaries, titles, order of words, that kind of thing. You'd be bored if I listed all that I did, trust me. It makes a difference but isn't significant enough to talk about further. 

Tomorrow I'm hoping to sort out my social media icons,  order my new business cards, & enable you to buy me some cake (or yarn) if you're feeling generous and would like to support me more!

New to Nayu's Crochet Dreams Etsy Store #3 Sun and Cloud Dreams Dishcloths

1st of the dishcloth pair

Say hi to my newest pair of 100% cotton dishcloths now available to buy - Sun and Cloud Dreams Dishcloths!
2nd of the dishcloth pair!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #62 Almost at the finish line!

If I gave my cat a chance she'd love to roll around with my yarn
I sit typing this with a bit of a grumpy cat on my lap. She has the hump from earlier today, since I spent most of it working on my secret project. I'll reveal this project at the weekend, but because it's quite big it meant it took up more space on my lap...and my cat doesn't like to share my lap with anything! Her expression and mannerisms provided much amusement this afternoon and on previous days this week. 
Oh so true!
 I tried to take a short cut when I'd noticed a small error in the secret project, but I soon learnt that short cuts in craft are A Bad Idea. It resulted in much longer undoing and redoing parts of the border. Lesson well and truly learned! 

It's true when they say I'm eager to get on with smaller projects, not just because my cat may be happier (although probably not as it doesn't take much to make her tail swish as it is right now), but because it's fun finishing projects and I've lots of cute patterns to try out for you to buy! 

My medium is a tablet or a laptop
Today was one of the first days I'd managed to get 2 hours of writing my children's novel in. Had a really good session and hope to have it ready to give to kind friends to read by the end of October. I can do it! 
Time for some anime before bed - night all!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #61 New NCDs brand reveal!

Fun blog header!
Originally I was going to wait and do a grand reveal with the design on this blog/the blog buttons/my social media images...but after it's taken 8-10 hours for me to do battle with the evil that is html (I know zilch about it) to not only get my new brand image in the background, but to have it fill the entire screen, rather than leave a lot of background as white, I'm not reverting to the old images. 
Super cute nautical themed girl with her trusty crochet hook!
So ta-da! I hope you like the new look as much as I do. It's all thanks to Heather from  ShopKandy! There will be a post soon, once all the designs are sorted, explaining more about the process that ShopKandy took to create this super cute stylish brand which is unique to Nayu's Crochet Dreams! 

I've been working on the secret project today, when I haven't been html wrangling. I hope to complete it by the end of the weekend which means I'll be back working on projects I can show you. See you soon! 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Blog updated in progress

I'm currently figuring out how to upload my new blog design for a test run. Please bear with me if you come here and you can't see the text/ background is weird/etc.

Nayu's Craft Time #60 Give a Girl an Education Campaign + Exclusive Interview

This morning I've spent time catching up on TV (still got 1 show to go) while working on a secret project which is slowly coming together. Now that's pretty much all the craft news for today (aside from having heaps of fun trying out colour combinations yesterday in the cute flower coasters). 
Some I love, some I like, some aren't my type ^o^
I rarely blog about good causes which I support, but this one has a time limit and means a lot to me. I'm going to tell you about a campaign run for and by a lovely teen blogger who I know online. All Amber wants is to study A-levels, which as the blurb says below might not be possible. I've known her since she started blogging, as I gave her some tips and stayed in touch as she found her book blogging legs and blossomed into an award winning blogger. She's lovely, kind, loyal, loves books and just wants the opportunity to fulfil her dreams. 

Who's the girl? 

The girl is me. My name is Amber Kirk- Ford, I'm 16 and I really need your help. Three years ago I developed several illnesses overnight: Chronic Anxiety & Panic Disorder, along with Emetophobia and Agoraphobia. Suddenly, I couldn't go to school or places with my family. I couldn't even hang out with friends. I went from being carefree and independent to becoming a constant burden on everyone around me. In short, it was devastating.

What happened next?

After lengthy meetings with my school and various solutions tried and failed, we began to think about home education. I'd been home educated when I was much younger and it was a success, but this time I was about to start my GCSEs and we all agreed that I needed qualified teachers. That's when we discovered InterHigh. 

Hang on, what's InterHigh?

InterHigh is an amazing non-profit independent school conducted entirely online, catering for students from all over the world, using classroom software and a headset to communicate with the teachers and classmates. Classes are live and highly interactive and, not only does InterHigh teach to International GCSE level, but it also has its own online sixth form college where A-levels can be studied, too.

Sounds amazing!

It is! It was the perfect solution, and as my parents couldn't afford the fees, my ordinary school agreed to fund my place on the condition that I continued to make good academic progress. I was so, so happy because it meant I could continue my education and therefore get my qualifications despite my illness.


I tried going to a psychotherapist but, being severely agoraphobic, this didn't work out. I then turned to online counselling where I built up a great relationship with my counsellor, but the organisation she worked for went into administration soon after - it was there one day and gone the next, with no warning. Doctors refuse to give me anti-anxiety medication as they say I am too young, and eventually I was referred to an online Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. This helped just enough to get me to a stage where I could go and sit my exams, although that wasn't without its problems. I got through it with the support of my old school, who couldn't have been more helpful, and my parents.  I get my exam results on 20th August.

So, what's next?

Nothing. That's right, absolutely nothing. Unless you can help me?
There is no support in place for a young person with my type of mental illness to be able to attend college, do an apprenticeship or go out to work.  Education is free in the UK up until you're 19, but only if you're physically able to get to a college. There are no student loans for studying at home. Sure, sometimes I can go out, with certain members of my family or on my own, but a lot of the time I can't. There's no way of knowing in advance if I'm going to be OK the next day or not, so how could I commit to a mainstream college or job?
What I really want to do is continue my education like other people my age. I want to go back to InterHigh to get my A-levels, and to not be beaten by my anxiety or lack of money. But my funding has come to an end, and I've been turned down for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) hence the need to crowdfund.

What will the money cover? 

I'm looking to raise £4,500. This amount of money is impossible for me to imagine, but I'm hopeful we can do it and change my life for the better. 
This would cover:
2 years at InterHigh where I would study for 2 A-levels (£1,830 per annum = £3,660) 
The registration fee (£50) 
The fee deposit (£150) 
One-off examination admin fee (£100) 
External examination centre fees 
I've never asked for anything as big and important as this before, and trust me when I say that I wouldn't be crowdfunding if I didn't absolutely need to. I've looked into other options, and this is my best and only chance at furthering my education. We're pretty much a one-income family and things are already very tight, so anything you are able to pledge - whether that's £1 or £50 - would be extremely appreciated. 
For the reasons above, I know not everyone can pledge, and if that's you then it would be really helpful if you could share the link to this page on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else you can think of. I'd be so grateful.

Nayu again! Now you've heard the details, here a few more words from Amber in the form of an interview I had with her so you know a bit more behind her lovely self. 

 Nayu: What made you think about using crowdfunding to raise the money so you can study your A-levels at InterHigh?

Amber: I'd looked into grants and other support available but I wasn't eligible for them. I briefly entertained the idea of a Crowdfunder but immediately dismissed it because... who would donate to me? I'd probably get about £100 and then be back to square one. But then my mum suggested it, we started planning and I began to think it might actually work. It's my best and only chance of being able to do my A Levels - I had to try it.

How did you come up with the ideas of the different rewards?

Two whole days of brainstorming! I thought about what I could give, my mum thought about what she could give as she's also a blogger, and I thought about what other people could give. Eventually, I had a list to pick from and now my rewards span from advertising space and guest blogging opportunities to signed books donated by generous authors and even the chance to name a character in Holly Bourne's next book!

With the half-way mark nearly reached, did you ever imagine you'd get this relatively early in your campaign?

No, not at all. As I said, I expected to maybe get £100 and then be back to square one. But, if I remember rightly, we'd raised over £500 within the first hour of the campaign being public which was incredible, and now it's even been featured in The Independent and on Sky News! It's absolutely insane and incredibly heartwarming. 

 What A-levels are you hoping to study and why?

English Literature and Media Studies. I love English - obviously! - and it's my dream to work in the media at some point.

How would you sum up your feelings about the level of support the blogging community and others are giving you to help fulfil your A-level dreams?

It's made me realise how lucky I am to be part of such a lovely community, and it's also restored my faith in humanity. People I've never spoken to have even donated and I can't believe how generous people are. I wish I could hug every single person who has supported the campaign!

Nayu again! There have been a few online articles, which got facts wrong (£3000 wasn't raised in 24 hours, it took a few days), and has encountered some negative comments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I believe Amber's cause is a priority because considering how much outreach work she has through her Youtube channel and blog, imagine how wide reaching her book love and other messages will go with a media related A-level under her belt. To coin a phrase I use with a friend, simples! (translation: the answer is obvious). 

You can donate towards her cause using money, and/or simply spread the word to those who may be able to help. Here's all the details from the Crowdfunding page, click on the link to see what rewards you can gain by donating money (mostly book related). Go forth and spread the word! 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Nayu's Project Progress #7 Invisible project + baby blanket

I was too comfy to get up and lay this on the floor for the photo shoot.

I hope everyone's day has gone well. I've been working on the project which is not being photographed until completion, in case the recipient sees it. It's a bit frustrating as I've made quite a bit of progress on it today while I waited for my car to be serviced (about 2 hours), but it'll be worth it. 

I can and have shown you the picture of the progress on my baby blanket! (top pic) This will be a blueprint for custom blankets, which I will be able to adjust the size and also the colour to suit what you'd like. So you can make the perfect gift for a newborn in your life, or make a bigger version and keep it for yourself! The joy of blankets is that they aren't only for one category/occasion, they can be whatever you want them to be! 

Sneek peek at concepts for NCDs upcoming rebranding!
In light of NCD having a relaunch once the new branding is ready to go, I'm also hoping to make more than 1 flower coaster tonight. I intend to start watching the new Agatha Christie 3 parter on BBC 1, and don't expect to figure out who did but there's a crochet related tale to the series. 
Who done it? &  why am I watching this show?

I became very intrigued by what my family were watching one crochet session. Turned out to be Temperance and Tuppence, which I found hard to ignore (but was in the middle of anime so kind of wasn't about to switch shows since anime comes first!  Otherwise I'd never have been interested in the funny and thrilling new show which is in 3 parts...and thus I refused to start watching until all parts are out so I don't have to wait a week for the next part of the story. 

Slightly off topic but I think I have some craft themed mystery books coming up on my review list, so I will link you to the reviews when they are up. Craft is craft! Be it in a book, or using my preferred yarn and hook/needles. I'll leave you with a saying which I found today - they will pop up more and more as I'm getting a little addicted to them at the moment!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #59 Psst - NCDs new brand preview!

This is almost how my yarn looks like right now
Unusually for me so far I haven't picked up my crochet hook. The reason? I've been writing! I've got a new daily schedule which has writing taking a great focus, thanks to the support of my family who are supplying me with chocolate and being patient as I edit my current children's novel which I hope to start looking for agents by the end of the year. Ideally sooner, which is why I'm devoting a bit more time to writing. 

No need to panic, I'm still working hard on crochet projects! I thought you might like to see a sneek peek at the elements which are in the new Nayu's Crochet Dreams digital design for this blog, my Etsy shop, business cards, and social media sights. It's so much fun watching my vision take shape by Heather of ShopKandy. The designs are super cute with a hint of sophistication; the colours 'pop' off the design, and really do match how I want Nayu's Crochet Dreams to be. 

Are you ready?

Are you steady? 

(How many of you expected me to so 'Go!'?!)

This is the original style board, which is what Heather initially made up to show me the colours/shapes she wanted to include. All I will say is the girl's hair changes to brown. You'll have to be patient and wait for the final reveal which is coming soon! Not sure of the date just yet, designing is still in progress and there's a time difference since Heather is in the USA & I'm in the UK. But it's definitely happening! Yay! Would love to hear your thoughts of the initial design ^o^ 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #58 Sleepy Saturday

I don't have a cute penguin buddy for my crafts - I have a cat!

Today is being punctuated with a lot of yawns (just tired as usual!), lots of reading and yes a little crochet. Working on a few blankets for friends since Saturday is my official day off when I try to do minimal online work (today was exception as I had some details to sort through for my designer regarding the new design for her on NCDs. I'm now off to watch anime!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #57 Baby Booties Book Mania!

Similar to my lunch today
 Ah, another great day. I'm having a minor change in how I schedule my days, and I'm currently trialing doing most of my book review for Nayu's Reading Corner on a Friday, plus emails so I have more time during each day to do craft and writing related work. I did have lunch with a friend today, which was yummy. Ordinarily I try to avoid going out 2 days in a row, since I need time to recover as fatigue features heavily in my life as part of my medical condition, but since I wasn't driving today & it was close to home I went for it!The brie, cranberry and vegetarian stuffing panini was delicious! 

I'd totally planned to continue review when I got back, but - and I have to say this happens every single time I know I should stop and not blog for the rest of the day - key websites simply are too busy for me to use them. Guess the universe is saying I need a break! I promise I'll rest soon - got a few personal emails I must write, then it's finishing up sorting knitting needles which I started yesterday (the ones which I need a needle sizing tool to check the sizes), figuring out which baby bootie pattern to start & then starting them. 

I am pleased to say that the book above and below this sentence are the ones I've chosen to keep from my bootie book buying mission (it has the same initials as this post's title, BBBM!) 

The booties are mega cute, you're going to love them with the embellishments I'll be adding. They're so tiny! Most are knitted, I think a few are crochet, but that doesn't matter - I'll make them all the same! I've ordered a nice selection of buttons to make them extra pretty. Booties are coming very soon! (I promise I'm not doing a weird pact of putting an exclamation mark at the end of every other sentence, it's just happening that way.)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #56 Needle sorting and blog designing.

Sadly not my needle roll, but a clever one with space for circular and ordinary needles
I've spent a lovely morning sorting my bamboo knitting needles and crochet hooks while chatting with a friend, who I had lunch with. The sort was required since I need to know what size needles I have since I'm going to be knitting baby booties and hats, some of which need circular and/or double pointed needles. I don't think I need to get any more just yet. I'll show you a picture soon. It didn't take that long to sort my needles, I worked some more on my current baby blanket too. 

What's going on isn't a blank canvas like here, but it's hidden for now.
Once I came home I only meant to be online for a short time, but I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out a few dimensions on my blog for my designer. As a very clueless blog user I resulted to searching Google for help, and I think I've got what's needed. 

I'm not giving anything away until the design process is sorted, but I've had a style board of all the images/colours to be used and they fit exactly what NCD is all about. That bit of brainwork has zapped both my thinking powers and my physical energy so I'm signing off now in favour of anime and reading. For me watching shows in another language isn't work, it's fun! 
French and Japanese are m other languages

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #55 Thank you, new needles, new projects, books and a cat

These have very little to do with the topics of this post, other than if I ever get oodles of money I really want an alpaca! Or at least to rent one, if that's possible. They make good yarn, and are excellent chicken guardians (which is part of my 'oodles of money' wishlist).
Hi all! I was going to start with 'good afternoon' but it's not going be afternoon for everyone, so thought my chosen greeting fitted better. As promised yesterday I have some gorgeous knitting needles to show you (in case you didn't already know, new knitting needles/crochet hooks/definitely yarn create a warm gooey feeling which has me fangirl squee-ing with delight (usually mentally, unless I'm alone and then I squee away out loud ^o^) 

I do have one more thing to squee about with you - my viewing stats have gone up! They've gone above 30 (that was a good day), have spiked to 100 and currently averaging around 50. Thank you for stopping by - it means a lot a I'm starting out on this crochet (& a bit of knitting) adventure. 

Right, on with what I've been almost drooling over.  Ta-da! 
Very small at 6 inches (15.5mm) - the 'average' needle & all the ones I have is double this. They look good on the hearth.
Aren't they gorgeous? If I rated them as I do my reviews on Nayu's Reading Corner, they would be 10/10E, missing off the being excellent because one of the needles is lighter than its partner. Other than that they are perfect. 
Tucked neatly in their simple & effective packaging
Huge thanks goes to The Little Knitting Company who I happily stumbled upon and who I hope to use for if I have a needle mishap/need more short needles in different sizes. They sell plenty of other yarn related accessories and yarn itself. Do check them out if you love yarn craft/know someone who does.  

As promised I'm going to give you a project update - no pics, as I'm not refusing to show this one until it's finished (to surprise the recipient). I can say I have un-attached all the crochet squares from each other. The next stage is to unravel and wind the few squares made from the newer yarn into balls ready to create mini borders around the original colour squares. Will definitely keep you posted on the progress! 

Nothing too easy!
 Other projects, well, now I have the correct sized hooks & knitting needles I can try out a new bootie pattern. I am leaning towards experimenting with lace motifs like these ones. I'm fully expecting that it could be a bit of a disaster in the beginning, but I promise to share progress pics of this project with when I have them. 

I spent most of today unattaching the crochet squares between reading. I love books! I'm reading a particularly thrilling magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast which is intriguing and absolutely hilarious (Isabelle is quite a character), so don't want to put that down once I pick it up. 
The cover is ok, the story is ACE!
 The other book is one which will probably get finished today. It's the full story of Sarah Alderson, a young adult and adult fiction writer who has travelled the world for a few years, mostly in Bali, with her husband and young daughter. I've exchanged a few emails and tweets with Sarah, who is a brilliant writer and in some respects a little like me. 
She did the 'crazy' thing of leaving a stable job and venturing off into the unknown just because she could. While not leaving the UK (sadly my health restricts my desire to travel) I was in my job for the same number of years as Sarah, I love the M&S Vege Percy Pig sweets (she loves the non-vege ones) (although prefer Colin the Caterpillar butterflies)

Double yum!

and we have similar attitudes to going for whatever takes our fancy. It's hair raising in places, often hilarious, sometimes a little too blush worthy but then so too are a fair amount of books I read, and insightful about the reality of life anywhere, which has both positive and negative aspects. I know I'm going to be re-reading this a lot, and desperately waiting for it to come out in audiobook (it's only just been published). I'll review it full soon, but I think you get the gist of it! 
Time to head off to write up some book reviews - I'll leave you with the furry lump who has taken residence on my legs right now and who would definitely object to an alpaca or two.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #54 Yays, nays and oops

Should be almost anything but we can skip past that. Would love to know what your superpower is!
This is a short post since I've had lunch with friends so need to rest up. I prefer to say the less positive news first. I'm awaiting 3 of 4 crochet/knitting books for baby booties - sadly the one which came wasn't what I wanted. I didn't like the style of most of the booties, and some were sewn which isn't what I'm after. This morning I posted it back at my local cornershop - love the Collect service Amazon provides! Saves queuing at the post office. 

So pretty but not quite right for me.

That's the nay over with. The oops is to do with a project I'm working on. I've been adding to it as I go along, but it was only yesterday when I got it out to take a photo for a weekly post on Nayu's Reading Corner that I noticed the difference in colour of the newer squares. Turns out there can be a huge difference between dye lots of the same yarn. 
If I don't look at it, it might just disappear and go back to as it should be. I hope...
 Here's an explanation of a dye lot from Wikipedia (The info is correct & I'm only using it because it explains it better than I can with a tired brain) 

A dye lot is a record taken during the dyeing of yarn to identify yarn that received its coloration in the same vat at the same time. Yarn manufacturers assign each lot a unique identification number and stamp it on the label before shipping. Slight differences in temperature, dyeing time, and other factors can result in different shades of the same color between different dye lots of otherwise identical production. Although the component elements of a dye lot number are of interest only for internal business recordkeeping, retail yarn consumers have an interest in ensuring that they purchase a given color of yarn from identical dye lots.

In my case it's brightness and distribution of the colours. Big oopsie. I have a plan 2, which will work the newer yarn in. I don't have enough to start from scratch and it's not a project I'm going to scrap so I'm making do with what I've got. Lesson learnt! 

This picture is a clue for what I'm saying next
Finally on to the yays! My new, pretty and short knitting needles arrived! Reason behind the needles is my coming soon baby booties and hats range.  Photos will be up soon - all my devices with cameras are out of battery, but trust me when I say they are pretty! Sort of wish that each pair could have been a similar shade (1 needle is much lighter than the rest) but that doesn't matter, they are small and perfect for making baby booties and hats, which is all I really need. 
First trial baby booties!

The final part of this post is an announcement which I'm really excited about. To get uniformity across this blog, my Etsy shop, and social media I'm currently looking into getting a funky design especially for Nayu's Crochet Dreams. While I'd like to have a completely custom made one it's currently not in my budget, but let me say that the options available are proving difficult to choose beetween as they are all so pretty! I'm hoping to start finalising what I'd like by the end of this week, so keep watching this space! 

Right, it's time for me to whizz through emails, social media, then get crocheting! Have a good rest of the day and I'll see you tomorrow with knitting needle pics and more project updates. 
So very true!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #53 From 1 hook to 2 needles

This girl makes me think of Alice in Wonderland, which is a story I intensely dislike but I love Alice's classic outfit of blue dress and white apron.
Morning all! I hope you're having a wonderful start to the weekend. I've had a bit of a mixed week which seems to be the norm. At least being peaky means I can still crochet. Or knit...

Yes, I am knitting! Using 2 needles instead of 1 hook. This isn't instead of, more like as well as crochet (I'm writing this Friday night and my brain can't get the grammar of this sentence correct). It came in a roundabout way while seeing my friend on Monday I was thinking what small items I can make for you in my shop. My thinking drifted towards what I used to love knitting, hats and booties for babies. They are small, knit up fairly quickly (although quick and knitting don't go as well as quick and crochet), and are cute, all pluses in my opinion. So I hunted out pattern books, got out the yarn, and started knitting my first booties. 

These aren't the finished item. There will be a motif to go on this to make them even cuter than they already are. I'm going through several knitted types of booties to find a pattern I like. I'm in the process of buying a crochet pattern book for booties for the following reasons

1) Crochet is quicker than knitting 
2) Same as #1 
3) I actually prefer the look of crochet booties to knitted ones 

Double negative alert - I'm not not going to knit booties/hats. I do like knitting, although larger projects are beyond me as they weigh down the needles and can make my arms ache fairly fast which isn't the point of craft. Although I intend to crochet some booties, I plan on knitting a hat or two, since I understand knitting more than I do crochet. 

What do I do next?
Learning how to crochet shoes is going to be a big learning curve because at the moment I only knit granny squares and similar motifs. However, there are so many cute shoes/booties/sandals for children that I'm looking forward to mastering these new skills.

The funny thing about me thinking about baby hats and booties is that I had a vague request from someone I know online regarding baby items like these, which I think is a sign I should be making them! So I will. 

I almost had a minor problem when I started knitting the booties in that all the needles are really long. Standard knitting needle length is 25-30cm (10-12 inches). Ever since I've had issues with my hands/arms, I've found it hard to knit comfortably with 'normal' sized needles, as they get caught on things if I get my hands comfy. Most of my needles are inherited from my grandmothers, and a few I bought long ago so they are all standard length. I managed to unearth a 3mm (size of needle, not length) pair which were free in a magazine and nice and short. However, since for once I'm trying to be accurate in my sizes I turned to look for short needles online. 

Living in the country I see a lot of haystacks, which are relevant to my next point (needle pun not intended!)
That was almost like looking for a needle in a haystack. When I did find short needles, they didn't go as narrow a size as I needed (2.75mm). Thankfully I stumbled across a UK site which not provide short needles for 2.75mm but provide extremely pretty needles too! So I ordered 2 pairs in 2.75mm & 3.5mm - I do have a 3mm so currently don't need another. Once they arrive I'll do a review of the site because it's truly lovely, and I'm in love with them for sourcing short pretty needles in the sizes I need. Yay for short needles! 
It's exciting to have the knitting pics be 100% relevant for me, instead of having to add notes that I do crochet not knitting. I do both now!
I did momentarily get disheartened when I looked at what booties were already being sold, as they were like the ones I hope to make. However, I remembered what makes mine a bit more unique. I'm adding Japanese designed super cute motifs to make them Nayu style! Feeling cheered up I flicked through the motif pattern books and looked carefully at the ones which I feel I could try first with my current crochet skillset. I'll start attempting them this week, and will show you my attempts as they happen.