12 months 12 projects: June (just!) update

Oh my giddy aunt, where on earth has the year gone? This blog is over 1 year old now, and I am so glad that I have started it as I am most certainly doing a lot more creating than I was doing before. All I ever dreamed of when I was younger was being a fashion designer, and while I’m not actually designing or making dresses (yet), I am mastering some of the arts of sewing and crafting, and it’s making me very happy (and sometime frustrated) indeed. I’ve also met some lovely crafty people along the way, and it makes me supremely happy to go to craft night, to drink wine, to chat about making things, and to actually make some things. It also makes my Gran and other older relatives happy that I am crafting, as they can give me their old bits and bobs they no longer use, and also share their wisdom with me – I am so lucky!

Gran sent me a sewing magazine this week, ‘Sew’ magazine, and it was wonderful. I love Pinterest, but there’s something so joyous about having a limited amount of pictures to look at, and words of wisdom to concentrate on, instead of being distracted by all the other potential pretty things on the world wide web. It even came with a free pattern – and the shirt looks remarkably similar to one I owned at uni. I really miss that shirt and would love to have one similar back in my wardrobe. It’s my 30th Birthday soon, and I feel that perhaps a magazine subscription might be a very practical thing to ask for, along with some vouchers for fabrics/ sewing classes.

So, with August soon approaching, and my self imposed deadline for my 12 months projects, I am having a serious look at what I can achieve by then.

Honestly, I think I will be able to complete 50% of the list, for varying reasons.

1. Make my own Quillow

This is SO happening. I can’t even remember where my passion for quilts suddenly came from back in 2013, but it has only kept on growing in that time. I am quilt obsessed. And obviously, I started with potentially the hardest quilt to make, and, as the boyfriend keeps suggesting ‘why don’t you just make something simple for your first quilt?’. No, easy would be TOO easy for me.

I am 5 blocks in, and can reasonably make a block in 2 evenings (cutting one night, sewing the next), so once I’ve done that, I will need to baste. Which will take time. A day off project methinks.

Here’s my post about the Quillow of joy.

2. Knit a cushion cover

Currently on hold, as I have a lot of wool and little desire to buy more, so need to find a pattern I like.

May change to ‘crochet a cushion cover’.

3. Knit a hat based on a TV character

COMPLETE FEB 2015 – Tyrese’s hat. It kinda honours his memory now though, sob.

4. Crochet baby booties

Have the wool, have the pattern, need to do. A good project for being on trains too. Very doable – what’s putting me off is the fact that they’re for someone else, so I feel pressure to do them perfectly. However, the person who preggers doesn’t know I’m making them, and I’m sure she’d be touched by the sentiment rather than judging the quality. I hope.

5. Sew some PJ’s

Sooooo close to being done. I did NOT follow the rule of ‘Measure twice, cut once’. I measured too big, cut a few times, and now things are a little wonky.

6. Crochet a blanket out of Granny squares 

Getting there. Wool delivery imminent. Good train travelling project. Will be done.

7. Knit a dinosaur

I finally have the wool I require to complete this. The dino now has a body and I am going to get him finished this week. Yes I am!

8. Sew a pencil skirt

Would be a good one to complete on a day off, OR if I go back to sewing school soon. I’m starting to think ahead to autumn and this would be great in a purle/ or green tartan. I do love an autumnal outfit.

9. Sew a Dress

Pattern in hand, need to choose fabric and make this at sewing school as I don’t trust myself to get it right by myself. BOOK ANNUAL LEAVE to go to classes!

10. Knit a  jumper

I am stupid and have lost the pattern. Will re-find and re-start. Unlikely to be complete by August, but will remain on the list.

11. Make a mini quilt featuring ‘flying geese’

Mmmmm, not sure about this one. Will probably give it a go once I’ve finished my quillow as it should be relatively straightforward and will be a good stash-buster. OR can incorporate into the quillow if there are enough scraps.

12.Make something cosy with hexagons

All I need to do is print off some more hexies at work. Will put template in bag tonight and photocopy 100’s tomorrow. NO MORE EXCUSES!

Do normal people shout at themselves to get things done?

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I’ve lost that crafty feeling…

I mislaid my crafting mojo for a few weeks, due to a particularly bad knitting day, which made me unravel all (Well, most) of the knitting work I’d done on my jumper, and ultimately gave me ‘crafter’s block’. Urgh.

We went on a little holiday at the beginning of this month, and had the most gloriously relaxing time on the coast in Norfolk. There were hardly any people, and the cottage we rented was so warm and cosy, I could knit away to my heart’s content without my fingers getting cold. I had big plans for that week. I was going to knit a set amount each night, and by the end of it, I should have had almost the back of my jumper created. And maybe even some granny squares for my blanket made! Sadly, the week did not turn out like that.

In the days before I went away, I had been furiously knitting away, and decided to average about 10 rows per day for the jumper. A do-able and not too scary number for me, knowing what a rubbish knitter I am. Also knowing that if I do too much it makes my wrist hurt. So, there I was, really proud to have got past the annoying ‘knit two purl two’ bit at the start, when I dropped a stitch. I could not, for the life of me, tell where that stitch had gone to, so I made the noble decision to add a stitch at the start of the next row and plough on. Rows and rows in, and it was looking good. A lovely neat selection of stocking stitch. A couple of hiccups hear and there where, somehow, a stitch was dropped but swiftly recovered, and progress was being made.

Then St David’s day happened. Mother and father were invited to stay, and somehow, my lovely knitting work was stopped dead in its stitchy tracks.

There is something about my mother that can ruin dreams. OK, so she started off being a help, as I’d got in a tangle and dropped a stitch a few rows back without noticing, so she kindly stepped in and fixed this issue. Here she is:

Mother being 'helpful'

And I was happily knitting away, regaling her of my tales of knitting, when she whipped hers out and started power knitting at a million miles an hour. She laughed at my slow rate of knitting and basically destroyed my knitting joy bubble, and my knitting calm was gone. Good bye knitting mojo. Thanks Mum!

But she has form here. Mother was the second person who tried to teach me to knit and failed miserably. It was during that summer that I realised that she wanted to replace me with my brother’s (then) girlfriend. She learned to knit in a day, finished her scarf by the end of the summer holidays, and I was still concentrating really hard in the corner, holding my yarn super tight for fear of losing stitches. Mother stood around downing gin and wetting herself laughing. Pah!

I valiantly plodded on, but something had disrupted my calm knitting brain, and things started going wrong left right and centre. It got very bad and there were too many holes to continue with, so I gave in and untanlged the work. It was satisfying and soul destroying in equal measures, so I hid it in a bag under the bed when I got home.

I suppose it’s not really true that it gave me crafters block, the other thing that put a dampner on things was that I almost finished my pj bottoms, but I made them in a gigantosize (I don’t like tight pj’s)! They actually fit the boyfriend, but I don’t think he wants purple gingham pajamas. It’s OK though as I can reduce and rectify, but I also did something to my sewing machine and now I can’t get the tension right. I need a craft fairy godmother to come and put me right!

Or, I’ll just give myself a stern talking to.

And actually, it’s not quite as bad as I thought, as I have also made a toil of my pencil skirt, so I just need to figure out how to adjust it to make it fit.

Here’s the proof:

Pencil skirt round 1

Pencil skirt round 1

More on this later, once I figure out what to do with it.

So that’s it. ‘Loosing my craf-ligion (as in ‘Losing my religion’) part  will follow shortly, with a ridiculous event that made me weep. Because I am so stupid sometimes.