My friend Lizzie bought me an ice dying kit for Christmas (thank you!) and I’ve only just now found the time to have a go.
The results are pretty cool if I do say so myself!
I’d never heard of ice dying until she bought me the kit but basically you place ice cubes onto a piece of fabric, sprinkle over powdered fabric dye and as the ice melts it makes some really funky patterns depending on whether you scrunch up the fabric beforehand.
I think it’s supposed to give a kind of tie-dye effect.
I placed my fabric on a baking rack over a baking tray (I didn’t have a bowl or bucket wide enough for the fat quarter so I used a tray).
I also folded my fabric into 4 quarters and laid it flat.
Once the ice had melted I realised that on the bottom the baking rack had made a striped pattern which was quite interesting! All 4 quarters had different patterns, I’m just waiting for it all to dry before I decide what to do with it.
So, if you want to have a go at something different and easy to (you could do this with kids it’s so easy!) then this is definitely an option!
I don’t normally measure my life or crafting life in quarters…but why not for the sake of keeping count?!
What have I made or done so far in January, February and March 2022? Let’s take a look and see!
I have cast on a LOT of things, but don’t have many finished objects yet. Here is what I actually managed to finish:-
I made a baby hat using up neon yarn I had spare from previous projects and donated it to charity (no pic)
Not finished, but I’ve done a few more rows on my sock yarn shawl. It’s taking ages coz it’s 4-ply!
Again, not finished, but I’ve done some more of my lone sock!
What have I cast on this year so far?
Grey fisherman’s rib tunic
Chunky grey cabled sweater
Green tunic top
I’ve been loving getting back into crochet, which sort of got put on the back burner for the last few years apart from the odd granny square or two.
Finished objects include:-
Pink and purple granny square blanket
Baby blanket in yellows and greens
Orange baby blanket
Pumpkin colours granny square blanket
Blue and green blanket for a friend (C2C)
Cowl for me using up neon yarn
And I’ve also cast on a few projects here too…
Pink and blue granny square blanket to use up scraps
C2C cowl with brown James C. Brett yarn
The thing with both knitting and crochet this year, is that instead of just looking at patterns, I’ve also been buying them!
A v-neck sweater by Petite Knits.
A few patterns by Jennifer Steingass on Ravelry. I decided that her Dreyma sweater was going to be my ‘Fair Isle’ top down sweater that I wanted to use my natural aran weight undyed wool for. So, once I have a top or two out of the way, this will get cast on pretty quick!
And I’ve noticed on every single knitting podcast that I come across on Youtube they mention the Ranunculus sweater. I looked at it and I looked some more and eventually I left it at just looking. But if the pattern comes in different weight options…well, Aran weight is my favourite and I might have to try it as a thicker version (instead of the thinner lacier version).
Not that I have to follow other people’s trends…but I can totally see why people do more than one option.
LOL…so many plans and so little motivation to set up all the million pieces I seem to need to just sew a bag or two! I just haven’t been bothered is the short answer here.
But I’m sure, like Austin Powers, I’ll get my mojo back somehow!
I’ve not been as prolific this year with reading as with other years, but I’ve managed a book or two.
What have I read so far?
The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
Happy by Fearne Cotton
Make It Happen by Jordanna Levin
I’m in the middle of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.
On my to read list are:
On Writing Well by William Zinsnerr
The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
As you can see, not an exhaustive list. And I’ve been saving On Writing Well for when I feel like I have more mental headspace to process it. I’ve been so tired in the last few months that I’ve just left things to one side if I can’t find the will to tackle it head on. It seems like one of those books you have to process and make notes on! Or at the very least highlight some passages!
As for Walden…the idea of someone just leaving modern life behind and upping sticks to live in a cabin you built in the woods for a year or two is incredibly modern and almost ‘hippyish’. Is that the word? It’s alternative and whilst most people nowadays wouldn’t bat an eyelid at someone trying something like that, I’m pretty sure they would have in the 1800’s which is when it was written.
I just find it fascinating that people would choose the ‘oddball life’ in the 1800’s as they would now!!
I haven’t really done much else to be honest. I haven’t done much baking and the other odd bits on ly lists still to do are, well, still to do!
Like my leather handbag which needs finishing or the ice dying fabric kit that a friend got me for Christmas…I just haven’t had the time!
I also haven’t written much on Medium, which is a shame because I love it over there.
As for print on demand?
I made a couple of alphabets and a few other tiny designs, I’m around 250 designs on RedBubble now. That’s going well. People in Australia seem to like a particular cushion design of mine, I sold a couple whilst I was off work last week.
And I’m wanting to get back to that quite soon. It’s spurred me on to get to 300 designs!!
I want to do more crafty designs for knitting and crochet. Just simple ones. I am not a graphic designer after all and it probably shows!
I’d like to do more along these lines:
There’s a few other things regarding online creations and ideas but for now I’ll leave it there otherwise this post will be hours long to read!
Q1 could be summed up with the fact that I’ve suddenly started casting on like crazy and wanting to get back into things that have been put aside for a while over winter.
Spring is here along with the brighter days and I want to get stuck into things.
My goals for the next quarter is to finish one of 4 tops I have on the go with my knitting and crochet before I cast on another (yeah, we’ll see how that goes!) and to try to finish that damned knitted sock! 🙂
We’ll see. No rush or pressure for anything though…
This is my first finished piece of the year. And it’s just a simple Granny Square blanket!
I was trying to use up some spare baby wool I had lying about and I used 2 colours of the same type of yarn. You can’t really tell though as it’s all variegated. It looks alright, if I do say so myself!
But everyone I know who has a baby has already received a blanket from me! So, this one is going to charity I think.
I started it and did most of it (until it got too big) at work on my break! So, I feel like I’ve done something productive in otherwise wasted hours…I know, I know, it’s not all about the productivity, but this was something to keep me sat at the table and feel like I was doing something, rather than just scrolling on my phone all the time!
Anyway…here it is draped over my desk chair!
I used a 4mm hook and maybe 5 1/2 balls of wool? I can’t remember the exact amount but it was about that and I lobe how it turned out!
Now, I just need to find a local baby donation centre to give it to, but I think I’m going to hold on to it a while and make a few other things with spare yarn too!
It’s been living in my knitting projects bag for the last few weeks (oh the irony-it’s not knitting, it’s crochet!) which incidentally you can get here in my Society 6 shop or the same design here in my RedBubble shop.
I think I might make a separate post about print on demand products I’ve designed and bought to do with crafting because there’s quite a few!
But that’s it for now, just a quick show and tell! Hope you’re all having a great weekend and getting lots of crafting done!
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission on that purchase with no extra cost to you.
Mother and me went on a Christmas Wreath making workshop yesterday and our wreathes looked pretty good!
It’s a day later and they haven’t fallen apart so that’s a success in my book!
I chose to decorate mine with whole oranges, pine cones and slices of dried limes, thinking I would go for the all natural theme. I was going to put some cinnamon sticks in there too…but less is more when it comes to wreathes.
I put some straggly bits around the edges, which if I did it again, I probably would skip. But it’s the first ones we’ve ever made and I think they look OK for total beginners! 🙂
The whole process was really easy too.
Buy a metal wreath ring from your local craft shop/ florist
Wrap it with metal
Stuff moss around the ring and wrap that with wire for your base
Add your leaves and foliage…make sure to wrap it all tightly
Add decorations such as ribbons, pine cones, baubles, oranges etc.
I took a few days off because I wasn’t feeling great. I didn’t write much for Medium and didn’t publish much either over the weekend. Since I wasn’t feeling like sitting at a computer and writing, I took it easy and did some stitching.
And I managed to finish my cross-stitch project at last, yay!
I’ve used up what spare threads I had leftover from previous projects and that’s made some room in my craft drawer, not much but I need all the space I can get for new stuff!
I’m thinking a padded placemat or trivet type thing. And I need to do a few more rounds of black stitching on the edges to make it easier to sew up without any white edges showing.
But for now, it’s done!
The light looked better last night as I was taking the photo – it was 12:15am and I was just going to bed!
I’m glad it’s done, it kind of looks like there should be some code hidden in it like in The Matrix!
I enjoyed this mindless project but so many of the threads got tangled or knotted which doesn’t normally happen to me. I am careful not to cut the threads too long and to let them untangle, but it still was quite annoying to constantly untangle them!
Anyway it’s done.
Onto the next project, with is finishing a knitted baby cardigan and trying to get started again on my orange jumper!
I didn’t post anything yesterday or possibly the day before because I was getting a bit sick of staring at a screen to be honest. I’ve been writing and scheduling so much on Medium lately that doing the same over here felt a bit too much!
So, posting every day in August has a day or two missing!
I’ve been doing lots of cross stitch. I would say I’m 2/3 done with the piece I’m working on and it seems to be going much faster nearer the end!
Since I’m too tired to post much, I will leave you with this random piece from Youtube:
1 Hour Of Vintage Autumn Music
That’s all I got! Have a great weekend!
Here are a few of my more recent articles on Medium if you want to have a look:
I’ve made a lot of bread the past 2 years, but since December 2020 I’ve hardly made any. Until today.
It’s a cottage loaf recipe (using butter instead of oils) and I added a mix of seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, linseed etc to the white flour.
I had to use up the flour by next month so it was good to get back into it again, even if I was a little slow getting all the bowls and ingredients out!
Did you know it was Lammas/ Lughnasadh this weekend just gone?
I’m not a Pagan at all, but the Wheel of the Year (all the Pagan celebrations like Spring and Autumn Equinox, Samhain (Halloween), Yule, Imbolg…) does make a certain sort of sense to me.
Lammas is a time to celebrate the harvest coming in, people make corn/wheat dollies, bake bread, have feasts, preserve food, have bonfires…
So, here is my Lammas (short for Loaf Mass) bread complete with plait and everything!
I like the feel of late summer when the fields start to turn from green to gold. I’ve heard the farmers in the nearby fields getting the harvest in for the last couple of weeks or so.
And really, I just wanted to make a loaf of bread!
I had some seeds leftover, so instead of finding them a plastic bag or somewhere to put them and forgetting to use them, I just threw them to the birds and filled up the bird bath with water, so the birds can have a mini Lammas feast too!
I saw about 15 House Sparrows in the garden after I did that. They’re very sweet birds -some even nested in our roof this year. They’ve stopped cheeping now, so I think they’ve all left the nest!
Here’s a pic of the finished loaf.
I’ve struggled with making crispy loaves and I think I know the secret now…put a bowl of hot water under it when it’s cooking so the oven gets all steamy.
The smell of fresh bread has gone through the whole house now…Yum!
(Can you believe the plait looked perfect before it was baked…now it looks wonky!).
As well as getting a few jobs done today like shredding papers, tidying up etc. I also did a spot of knitting. This is where I am on my orange jumper:
I’ve done just over the first pattern repeat. You can’t see it properly I don’t think, but there are 2 bits of stocking stitch on each end, 2 cable and lace panels and then a section of stocking stitch in the middle.
It’s a beginner friendly pattern and it was in one of those knitting magazine books where it’s just patterns and they take patterns you’ve seen in other magazines a few times before, but bring it into one place. Does that make sense?!!
Like a more expensive and thicker version of a knitting magazine, by the same editors and publishers, just no articles and very few ads.
I know what I mean! It’s from a few years ago, and I did the back last year, about this time actually, so it feels a bit like deja vu!
I’m on the front now and then sew it together, do some short sleeves and neckline once it’s sewn up and then it’s done. Hopefully I can finish it this year…I started the rib of the back piece in 2018 I believe, then put it away for ages before picking it up again last year.
I love it still, but I’m sick of seeing it on my needles. I want to wear it!
The yarn was really cheap, less than £2 I think, it’s King Cole Big Value Double Knitting in Shade 3029 Rust.
The pattern was by Pat Menchini, I can’t see a name for it. There is an optional cowl to go with it, but I’m just doing the jumper!
Yes, the rib at the bottom is HUGE!
Sometimes I can have a real go at it and get a whole pattern repeat done in one go (that’s 24 rows) and other times I lucky if I manage 2 rows!
But I love the pattern on the cable panels on each side.
And look what came in the post today from Deramores…my Christmas sock yarn!
I only got one ball…I’ve only ever made 1 sock in my life (that’s not 1 pair…I mean 1 sock!) and I guess I had half a ball left for the other one. Hopefully I have enough to make a pair out of one ball…although I have some orange sock yarn to use for the heels or toes if not.
If you want to have a look for yourself, I’ll pop an affiliate link here (for The Knitting Network). There are other lovely Christmas colour ways in this range too. I really like the Fairy Lights colour too…
Now all I need is an easy beginner sock pattern…and the patience of a Saint since it took me 3 weeks to make my first ever sock a few years ago (no wonder I only made one!!). Hahaha!
Also, on a completely unrelated topic…look at that sunset last night – it’s on my iPhone which just doesn’t do the sky justice at all!
[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]
This is a rambly one, because that’s what I feel like writing! Let’s just have a chat!
After such a productive week last week, I’m slowing down for a bit now.
I had my second vaccine on Saturday, so at least that’s one thing out of the way. And other medical appointments yesterday. All of which I had to travel a bit for, which is kind of annoying but how it is sometimes.
So, it’s been busy with errands the last few days.
I posted yesterday that I’d made some progress with my cross stitch project. I’ve done a bit more, but because it’s all random lines, it doesn’t look like I have!
I’ve also cast on the right front for the knitted baby cardigan and done a tiny bit more on my knitted orange jumper.
So, not a lot of crafting, but at least it’s a little bit of progress.
As for the work stuff…
I did a heck of a lot of writing last week, as well as uploading to RedBubble, joining affiliate schemes, trying out uploading a book to Amazon KDP (just a lined notebook, but I think I did the cover slightly wonky…so I’m waiting for the author copy to arrive, which I just ordered 2 minutes ago).
I will probably delete this listing, but I’ll still have a notebook that I not just designed the cover for, but drew the flowers in the Procreate app. So, we’ll see what it looks like and go from there.
I only did 100 pages of lined paper, so it might need a few more. I know a lot of people do 120 pages, but I did the lines on Canva and the limit on there is 100 pages. So, we’ll see. Either way it will get used!
I’mstill chugging away at the main paperback book. A book with photocopiable sheets to fill in, but progress has slightly stalled with that.
I also want to make another blog! Argh, so many things I want to try!
A big thing I want to do is lose a little bit of weight. I don’t want to turn this blog into a ‘My Weight loss Journey‘ type blog – yuk!
But, I might start posting a few recipes I like that are healthy and yummy. And maybe some that are not too!
I have real trouble getting motivated to exercise and eat healthily. Last year, I started going to the gym and yoga and pilates…then the pandemic hit and I cancelled my gym subscription and got out of the habit of moving around. I sit at my computer a lot at home.
So, I’ve decided I’m going to be more motivated about losing weight.
I will NEVER DIET! I have never, nor will I ever go on a diet! That kind of thinking is very detrimental to your state of mind, in my opinion.
Instead, I’m going to make a conscious decision to stop eating so much chocolate and cakes, stop drinking so much coke and start doing 30 minutes of exercise every day. Just 30 minutes…or a full Yoga DVD.
I bought the exercise bike into the house from the garage, so I might be tempted to ACTUALLY use it! And I do have some dumbbells and a kettlebell that I got last year, so I’ll have to dust them off (and find them).
I’ve been creating some pins today and uploading them to Pinterest for my RedBubble store. Trying out some new styles and using SEO so we’ll see how they do.
Pinterest likes long pins 1000 x 1500 pixels, I think that’s the measurement off the top of my head! And when you link directly from RedBubble they are square, not rectangle pins.
So, I’ve been designing some of my own. I think they look OK. What do you think?!
I’m doing a lot on Pinterest and it kind of seems like a waste of time. I’m going to try and upload a pin everyday. At least one and pin at least 10 other pins. Not sure if that is a sound strategy, but I know you are supposed to pin more of other people’s than your own. Seems crazy…but that’s the algorithm for you!
I’ve been catching up with a blog called Meet Me At Mikes, a blog I’ve followed on a off for years, but hadn’t caught up with for a long time.
And another one I looked up lately was A Beautiful Mess, which I hadn’t looked at for a while.
Those 2, as well as Soulemama and Posy Gets Cozy were the first 4 blogs that I ever followed with any consistency. All of them inspiring with their words and images.
They are the big ones in the craft/ home section of blogging, I know Soulemama doesn’t blog as often as she used to (or at all) now and it’s interesting to see how the others have changed. Do you have any favourite blogs you keep checking in with?
I like watching YouTube videos, but there is something about the written word that is a lot easier to digest for me. I remember what I read a lot more than what I watch!
Anyway, I’m going to sign off here from this little ramble and get down to work! See you tomorrow x
This year I’ve done a variety of crafts, mostly knitting or sewing. I’ve had periods of not doing anything at all, I’ve been ill, I’ve lost my mojo, or just got fed up with a particular project and put it down for a month or two.
So far I have finished:
A Neon Fair Isle Bag
Bauble, 3 mini stockings and a toy mouse, using up scraps of free yarn from knitting magazines
Hand knitted woolly hat
Loom knitted woolly hat
Loom knitted cowl
Finished a Christmas jumper (my first one EVER!) I started late 2020
Done more on my orange jumper, I’m about a quarter of the way finished with the front.
Granny Square Shawl
Started Baby Blanket for a friend
Started Christmas Granny Square blanket…will finish nearer December this year as I was only using up yarn
2 x zipper bags
Denim Tote Bag
Yellow pj bottoms (still need to redo the waistline)
I cut out the pieces for a practice baby dress, I’ll sew that up in a few weeks – I’m all sewn out for a bit!
Prelude to Foundation
Robots and Empire
The Complete Robot
The Naked Sun
I Will Teach You To Be Rich [spoiler alert: the book did not!]
War and Peace
Started a rectangle placemat to use up old threads
Fortune Favours the Bold sampler
Make the Days Count sampler
Tall candle and candles in jars to use up wax
Tried out new techniques – Entrelac knitting, changed sewing machine needle, Sewed with Denim, Made pockets – both inner and outer, sewed webbing, used belt buckles, created repeating patterns and had a large sample of a pattern made up on fabric, made my own Procreate brushes
Digital ‘Art’ – figured out Procreate, Photoshop and Canva properly
Joined RedBubble, Medium, Spoonflower, Patreon and all the sites
Joined Etsy as a seller and my digital download shop is coming soon
Joined Amazon as an author and my first book will be coming soon
A Random Waffly Roundup
I had a similar blog a few years ago which I closed down and I realised this year how much I missed writing and posting. I don’t think I follow trends or whatever, I just generally tend to post what I’m doing. Mostly, it’s crafty stuff like knitting, crochet or sewing, with the odd life post.
I try to post a couple of times a week, but if a month goes by with nothing, I won’t apologise for it! Sometimes life happens and that’s that.
Photography is always going to be my downfall, but I’m actually OK with that! I’ll try and take a nice picture, but if I can’t I’m not going to beat myself up about it!
I love to write. I might not be the best writer in the world, but hopefully I can communicate my thoughts in an easy to read way! This blog is mostly about my crafting and my life to a certain extent. Although, since it’s my blog, I reserve the right to talk about whatever I want. That being said, I did start to write on Medium about a different topic as I thought it wasn’t a great fit here (although some people might find it interesting and relevant if they have a small crafty business).
On Medium I write about making Passive Income online, and to be honest I have struggled writing there somewhat. I feel like I have to up my game and the articles, whilst OK, aren’t the best. So, I’m trying to improve my longer form writing over there. The difficulty is trying to write without every article sounding like it’s a listicle – you know, the clickbait sounding ones…3 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed (and they’re not what you expect them to be) or 5 Ways To Make A Living Online With This 1 Thing…
I hate that kind of content…it’s so Buzzfeed-ish (if that doesn’t sound TOO snobbish!). I prefer to just write whatever is in my head and I find it quite hard to organise my thoughts sometimes. Maybe it’s the adding value part of writing for money?
Speaking of money…my best month ever on Medium this month – 6 cents! I’m rich! [Although I haven’t posted much at all over there with being sick for most of June]
And the post that made most of that was this one where I talked about Low/ No Content Books on Amazon:
I’m using Canva to make Pinterest pins and I’m adding a pins to each article on Medium, which is something I haven’t been doing here. BUT, I’ve started to try and start using affiliate links on this blog, but not all the time as I don’t want to spam everyone. Incidentally, you CAN use affiliate links on a free WordPress site, as long as the site doesn’t exist solely for that purpose and you’re creating content around the links.
Am I getting off topic now? Feel like I am…
So, what’s to come?
The projects I want to finish or at least make a lot of headway with in the next few months are:
Knitted orange jumper
Knitted sock yarn shawl
Crochet Baby blanket
Cast on knitted baby cardigan and entrelac heirloom blanket
cast on pair of knitted socks
Sew together baby dress that I have already cut out the pieces for
Read The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (then ALL of the books on my bookshelf will have been read!)
I want to make some bread as I did a bit in the last couple of years, but I’ve got out of the habit lately. And I want to try more vegetarian recipes…I’m NOT a vegetarian not at all. But I think eating one or two veggie meals a week is not only better for my dodgy digestive system but the planet too, so I’m going to try and start cutting out fat and sugar (she says drinking a full fat Coke on the hottest day of the year). So, I want to post a few more recipes on here too.
I also want to use my stashes of, well, everything. I have lots of wool to use, some fabric (although with the week of sewing last week, the drawers are looking a little bit emptier) and other random things like shea butter and ingredients for homemade beauty products, paints, things like that.
I have a leather handbag that is all ready to be saddle stitched together.
I also want to write more often on Medium, have 200 designs on Redbubble, and open my Etsy shop in the next few weeks.
So, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, a lot of plans and most of all dreams. It does seem like I post on here something I want to do and a week later I’m like, Nah! Forget that! I’m doing this instead!
Well, that was the last 6 months, here’s to the next!
In the previous post I talked about using up the stash of yarn I had saved up from free yarn kits that you get with knitting magazines. Here are some of the things I’ve made so far…
I’ve been knitting Christmas stockings in July. Yep, you read that correctly!
I’ve done 3 so far and I think that’s the lot for now!
I also made a knitted bauble and a crocheted one (which I don’t think I’m going to keep – I just can’t get the decreases in the round to look good when I’m crocheting). AND I also tried to make a knitted paper chain but the first link I made looked so rubbish that I changed my mind pretty quickly on that one!
I really like the knitted bauble. I made a Christmas one last year and placed a polystyrene ball inside. This time I used toy stuffing and the result looks just as good, maybe even better as the knitted fabric doesn’t have to stretch over the ball.
So…2 baubles and 4 mini stockings are done so far.
I did also make a knitted toy mouse, thinking if the pattern was any good then I could make a few more for an animal shelter (specifically for the cats to play with)…but NOOOOOOOOO!
All I can say was before I sewed on the ears and eyes it looked REALLY RUDE!!
I’m going to save the white fluffy wool and the bit of black I have leftover…that’s pretty much all I have left.
Not bad for a few evenings knitting. I even did a few rows on my jumper.
I also bought some more yarn at my local yarn shop today. It’s so funny because for so many posts I’ve been saying things like ‘I need to stop buying yarn and use up my stash’ or ‘it’s not environmentally friendly to keep buying acrylic or other manmade fibres’.
And what do I do?!
BUY MORE ACRYLIC YARN IN REALLY FUNKY SHADES WITH NO PROJECT IN MIND!
And I’ve bought some more possible baby blanket yarn. I have plans for that.
And some plain black toy eyes.
Oh and 2 books – 1 about using up sewing leftovers into mini projects and another for knitted baby blankets.
I am getting my creative mojo back! Yay!
I know I’ve been ill for a few weeks, but I’m feeling much more productive and motivated now. I’m getting back to crafting and writing and even spent a happy hour organising files and folders, cleaning, recycling bits and bobs…you know, the sort of productive pottering around that feels like you’re procrastinating but you actually get a lot of stiff done!
The next thing is sewing! I haven’t sewn anything since Christmas and the projects are slowing piling up!
One of my great weaknesses is knitting and sewing magazines. Overpriced with naff freebies and as the years go by, the adverts get more frequent and the number of pages in the magazines go down.
Seriously, soon it will be £9.99 for about 10 pages. It’s ridiculous.
And I don’t even like all the patterns in them if I’m honest, although yes, I do realise they have to try and cater for everyone. But have you noticed how so many of the patterns are disgusting blue and green jumpers that look like two different patterns have been Frankenstein stitched together? Yurgh….just give me a normal pattern in one colour anyway. OK, stop whinging now!
It’s the freebies I wanted to talk about.
I’ve stopped buying issues with cheap plastic freebies out of principle – they go straight in the recycling or in bags for the charity shop. I can’t even give some of the freebies away as none of friends really knit a lot.
And then we have the yarn. It’s not ‘good’ yarn that you get free with any magazine. You rarely get a branded ball of wool that you would want to buy in a wool shop!
It’s cheap acrylic made in a factory in China and not enough to do anything decent with in any case.
It’s OK for small things like the free toy patterns you get with the magazines, the freebie yarn does tend to knit up quite tightly when I’ve tried some of the patterns out. And it does seem to be hardwearing and in bright colours, I’ll give it that!
I’ve thought about donating yarn to local schools, but they’re closing for the summer soon and I’m sure they could do without having to sort random craft items at this time of year. It’s hard to give these yarn packs to charity shops as they are branded and probably say something like ‘not for resale’ on them, which would mean they, in all likelihood, would get thrown away.
So, I decided that instead of wasting these tiny balls of yarn, I would use them in something sort of productive. They aren’t the best mix of colours, but that’s OK.
I am going to make Christmas decorations out of them and use up the yarn that way.
I do have a small ball of a fluffy white, which could be good for the top of a mini stocking. I was thinking of doing mini stockings, knitted paper chains, maybe some baubles and then see what I have leftover from that.
I could donate them to charities accepting knitted items or find a way to sell them for charity. I’m not sure yet.
I have enough knitted and sewn Christmas decorations from last year…I don’t want anymore at this time. I’m just thinking of a fun way to use up the little stash.
I’ve already started a grey and pink mini stocking- last night I got the top part done, just need to do the heel and the foot and then sew it up.
I suppose there is always things like coasters or placemats to make…but I probably wouldn’t use them anyway!
What do you do with the freebie yarn if you buy these expensive magazines?! I’m desperate not to send it all to landfill!
I’m feeling a lot better this weekend than I have for a while, so much so that I even managed a walk around Hobbycraft (a UK craft shop chain which has a bit of everything)!
I bought 4 balls of wool to knit some baby clothes as a friend is having a baby girl in December (I love it when people tell you what the sex is so you can plan your makes!) and I got a sewing pattern to make a baby dress and hat, maybe a pair of diaper covers/ shorts but we’ll see!
The 4 balls I got were in 2 gorgeous wine/ plum colours by The Women’s Institute. They do some really nice yarn and I can only seem to get it at Hobbycraft. I thought I’d stay away from the traditional baby pink colours which I think she’ll be getting lots of things in that colour and maybe try for a more muted and darker colour for the jumper/ cardigan.
And the sewing pattern is by Simplicity, number 1447. I’ll make the dress without the ric-rac.
So, there’s some baby clothes to make a start on in the near future. I already have a few balls of white chunky wool to make a baby blanket, so I might start that soon. I think I might crochet the blanket, knit either a cardigan or a jumper (and maybe a hat/ mittens/ bootees etc) and then sew some clothes like a dress or a sunhat.
I’m not great at toys and things like that, but I was thinking about some bricks, maybe a playmate and some simple things like that. But we’ll see about time (and skill!).
I have done a bit more on my orange jumper (2 rows to be exact). I’ve lost the mojo again. This time last year I was making a big push and got the back done, then I got bored and moved onto Christmas makes in September and didnt really pick up the orange jumper again. I’ve got about half the bottom ribbing done, need to finish that and then start on the actual pattern, which is a really simple one.
I think the problem last year was I got all knitted out and then went onto sewing. Then got all sewn out and have struggled to finish any of the projects I had on the go. And what with being sick lately, I haven’t really felt the crafting urge. But I’m starting to now!
I have the orange jumper and a simple garter stitch sock yarn shawl on the go. I want to start the crochet baby blanket and start looking for easy baby patterns to knit as well as look at practice fabric to have a try with the dress pattern before I do it for real!
I also have some neon Double Knitting yarn leftover from my Fair Isle bag project, so I might have a go at an entrelac cowl as I’ve never done entrelac before. I’m also thinking if I like the technique I could do another larger entrelac blanket for my friend and give her two…one a fluffy, smaller pram or cot blanket and another a larger, more durable heirloom type blanket.
I haven’t quite decided but it’s fun getting back into the decision making process. Maybe the problem is I’m fed up with my current projects?
I did start a knitted toy dog 6 months ago but I can’t find it!
I had a sweet idea for a present for my cousin’s little 1 year old boy. I have a couple of pattern books our gran gave me, one has knitted toys like dolls and teddies and a panda and the other pattern book is to knit dolls clothes and Barbie/ Action Man clothes (in REALLY 60’s/ 70’s colours and patterns!).
I was thinking I might have a go at the panda or one of the teddies and then it’s something that’s sort of from gran (who died almost 20 years ago). But that might take me a long time and again, I’m not great with toys, but it’s a sweet idea for when I have a chunk of time to knit on that and only that!
I have sock yarn in 2 different colours and I would like to try knitted socks again.
Oh, I’m feeling the craftiness coming back just writing this!
OK, so I have some decisions to make about which project to cast on next! I think I’m going to try to do more jumper this week and start the crochet baby blanket (I’m thinking a corner to corner one would look great).
Life is too short to finish a book you hate. Likewise, if you’re not loving a craft project and don’t think you’ll love the finished project…then either unpick it or reuse it somehow.
The colours I used for my latest cross-stitch project were a weird mix that didn’t go nicely together. True, I was using up my stash of threads from previous projects, but I still hated the colours together.
Here is the link to the pattern if you want to see what the proper version looks like! It’s obviously much better than mine as the colours are more cohesive!
So anyway, I decided to stop and do something else to use up the threads.
I think if I do go back to the text design, I will just go out and buy matching new threads!
But for now, I’m making a placemat! I’m calling it a placemat, it could turn into a cushion cover or something else entirely…but for now, it’s a placemat!
I did an outline in black 2 rows wide (would have been 1 but I misjudged the rows!) and I’m going to fill in the centre with random stripes. I’lll try not to put the same colours next to each other, but I won’t stress if I accidentally do that.
Just completely random.
I’m enjoying it so far as I don’t have to look at a pattern, I can put on a video at night and just stitch whatever I want.
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I have been writing like a mad woman on Medium this week, finishing a mini blog series which, honestly, wasn’t the best written piece I’ve ever done. But it’s done and now I’m looking at writing other articles.
I got my first claps for an article on Medium today too – yay! That’s kind of like a ‘like’ here on WordPress…but since I don’t pay the monthly subscription on Medium, everything has to go the long way round…*sigh*.
I also created pins to go with the series and pinned them to my @woollyorbit Pinterest account.
And I’ve created quite a few printables on Canva for the upcoming Etsy shop. They’re just drafts at the moment, it’s more a way for me to plan out the content in a more visual way. Monday I created 15 pages!
I gotta say it’s all taking me WAY longer than I originally planned, and I think part of that is the fact I can’t physically work on things in front of my computer for hours straight – I need a change!
As well as all of the above, I’ve been uploading quite a few new designs bit to my RedBubble account (WoollyOrbit2000) and I think it may be time to switch to my new Spoonflower or Society 6 accounts. Although they have different file uploading requirements so that’s going to be a headache.
I’ve been so tired the last couple of days, that I can’t concentrate, so I think tomorrow will only have the bare minimum in front of the screen.
I did manage to cut out some denim fabric pieces today for a backpack I want to sew. I got it free with a magazine a few months ago and just have to cut out the lining for it and then get sewing!
Things to do tomorrow:
YOGA DVD – I haven’t done any Yoga for ages! I’m all stiff from sitting at a desk all day and I get episodes of bad back pain every so often so I want to start taking care of my body a bit more from now on.
SOMETHING CRAFTY -Maybe cut out the lining for the bag and MAYBE start to sew it. I think, I want to try to do a bit more cross- stitch too. And if all I manage is one more row of knitting, then I’ll take it.
READ– It’s been a few months since I last read anything for pleasure and I still have The Testament’s by Margaret Atwood to start. (Only now as an adult do I realise the irony of having had an English teacher called Mr Atwood).
GO OUTSIDE! – I haven’t gone for a walk for awhile. And let’s face it, I’m not the running sort of person! 😉 But I will go for a walk tomorrow, maybe walk to the next village along down the country lanes and see what I can see.
PICK UP! – Have you heard of a guy called Jordan Peterson? I’m going to clean my room…and if you know who he is, you’ll know what I mean!
And finally, I think I might try to complete a listing in its entirety. Product photos and everything, I already have one ready to go. But maybe try and get a 2nd completely done and dusted. And finish a Medium article which is half written.
Sometimes a change is as good a rest…is that the saying?!
Below is a post from Medium with a list of websites/ apps/ software for design and building a small business just to get you started. Use it as a stepping stone to other places…once you see what’s out there, then you’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing!
This was the first time I have ever used black Aida fabric and I gotta say, not a fan! The result of the colours I chose (I didn’t stick to the exact ones from the pattern) and the contrast between them and the fabric looks good, I think.
But the fabric itself was really difficult to use and my stitching ended up looking horrible! The fabric was stiffer than usual, maybe because it’s been dyed black? I don’t know, it was really hard to use, especially to see where the needle needed to go – I did make sure to have a white piece of paper underneath to help, but I found my fat sauasage fingers blocked the white and made a shadow so it was still hard to see!
I still have more of the fabric to use up! Eek!
Here is the finished piece, not sure where to put it as of yet, maybe I’l just pin it to a pin board?!
I have one more cross stitch pattern to go, but a much bigger one.
I’m loving using up my stash – all I’ve paid for so far are the digital patterns. So, a lot of the colours might be the same, but that’s called a cohesive and consistent colour palette, right?!!