Turning One Thing Into Another

I finished the stitching part of my latest cross stitch project last week (I just need to sew it all up).

And I thought I would have a go at adding it to my RedBubble store, just to see what it looked like. It looks pretty funky on the cushions I think!

The piece was stitched out of fabric and threads I already had and had no other use for. So, I turned things that were likely to be thrown away into a future piece of ‘art’. It’s going to be a placemat/ trivet type thing once I get around to sewing it up.

I then turned that into other products by taking a picture of it and uploading it onto RedBubble.

You could do this with knitting and crochet projects too. I’ve seen some funky designs with pictures of patchwork quilts that have been added to places like RedBubble.

So, you can make a little bit of extra pocket money from a project you’ve already sewn/ knitted/ stitched etc. I mean, even if you took pictures of things you made for other people, you could still make money!

Just a quick idea to turn your projects into cash without much extra work!

You can find my RedBubble store here if you’re interested. I’m in the process of sorting it out and updating collections and banners etc. for the autumn.

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com


Other recent RedBubble designs below:

Follow me on Pinterest @woollyorbit

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Finished Object – At Last!

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!

Cross Stitch and Vintage Autumn Music!

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:

These 2 were fun to write!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/10-ways-to-make-money-with-your-knitting-online-e0316f1a4876

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/why-side-hustles-and-the-environment-dont-always-go-together-44f8414356ca

Weekend WIPs

It’s 9:30pm on Monday and I haven’t posted anything.

Not the most terrible thing to notice, except I’m trying to post every day in August…so this is my ARGH I HAVEN’T POSTED ANYTHING post!


This weekend I found a crochet Christmas blanket I started at the end of last year, just as a way to use up some spare yarn. As is always the case in such projects, I didn’t have enough to finish, so I had to buy more.

The yarn came on Friday and I’ve done a few rounds already – it’s getting bigger so the rounds take longer. You can read where I got the yarn from in the previous post here:

Here is what the blanket looks like so far. It looks pretty good!

And I’ve also been doing more on my cross stitch project which is also using up spare threads and whatever fabric I had leftover from previous projects.

I don’t know if you can tell what progress I’ve made from previous posts, but I’ve definitely hit the halfway point now.

It’s just random stripes. No pattern!

So that’s what I’ve been up to this weekend craft-wise. Alas no knitting done!

I’ll see you tomorrow – hopefully I’ll be a bit more prepared, haha!

Cross-Stitch Progress

I’m doing a random off the top of my head project to use up leftover embroidery threads (and Aida fabric).

It’s just a black outline which I’m filling with random colours. I’m trying to do lines rather than dots as it’s quicker.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I’m thinking a trivet or a placemat with some wadding underneath and another piece of backing fabric on the back.

I like the fact that I had all the materials already for this project…I didn’t have to buy anything and I’m using up what would have been thrown away otherwise!

I’m about a third of the way done so far.

I did think about doing a shape in the middle, like an ‘S’ for Sarah…but in the end, I thought it would be easier to just do random lines! I would say if I do a bit every week, then it’ll be finished at the end of August/ early September.

But there really is no rush and it’s so nice not to be looking at a pattern all the time!

10 Things This Week

I’ve felt pretty rough this week and yet, I’ve been my most productive in a while.

Here’s a random list of things I’ve done/ come across/ watched this week.

1. Medium

I’ve been writing like mad over there and basically figuring out the platform. One thing I can’t seem to get my head around is the publications part. I’ve created my own, but I’m struggling to format it in an aesthetically pleasing way.

But I’ve been writing more and my few recent articles have been much better than the first ones!

Here’s my latest about selling printable/ digital downloads online:

10 Digital Items To Sell That Aren’t Wall Art!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/10-digital-items-to-sell-that-arent-wall-art-aaa1ab9ee33

2. Knitted Baby Cardigan

I made a post about the trouble I was having with the raglan back part of a tiny knitted baby cardigan (thank you to the many suggestions in the comments on that post!). I’ve finished the left front and am now ready to cast on the right front.

I managed to do that in an hour or so when I really wasn’t feeling very well on Monday, so I actually feel like I did something crafty this week!

Front left of baby cardigan

3. Girl in Calico Youtube Channel

If you want to watch or listen to a relaxing video, this is for you! Crafts, gardening, making jam, homesteading, food.

I mean, look at the sunflowers in this video -my favourite flower. They’re gorgeous!

I think a lot of you who follow my blog would like this Youtube channel, so take a look and be inspired!

4. Cross-Stitch

I’m using up the last few threads I have. It’s a random ‘picture’ where I stitched a black frame and am just stitching random lines in different colours.

I was thinking maybe a placemat or trivet type of thing? Maybe put some wadding in between and sew it to some backing fabric. It looks pretty cool regardless of what I do with the finished product!

5. I managed to get to 150 designs on RedBubble! Yay!

I did a few simple geometric designs, a few stripes and a few random text based ones.

I’m still finding my way with the design process, and I know not all of them work. But I’m having fun and learning all the time.

Here are a few crafty ones that went up this week…they’re simple and I might take some down/ tweak them. They need a picture I think or a different font.

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com

6. The Blackberries are coming along nicely!

These bushes are on a walkway between 2 streets in my village…so I don’t know if I’ll get any blackberries from these bushes, although I did see some large rosehips which I’m eyeing for reship jam/ jelly.

But on the country lanes where I go for walks, I’ve seen a few berry bushes with their little white flowers. Just a couple more weeks I think and they’ll be nearly ready.

Definitely going foraging this year!

I love at the end of a village and there is a path by the road to walk to the next smaller one, it takes about 10 minutes. On the old red brick wall between the two, are some fruit trees that are on the wrong side of the wall for foragers, but nevertheless the fruit hangs over and I’ve always been too slow to get it, or it’s rained at harvest time or I just plain couldn’t be bothered to go out in the cold and pick it!

But this year will be different, no really! There’s a pear tree, an apple tree, possibly a plum/damson tree, maybe something else. There’s also a plum tree across the road on the path by a farmer’s field, but last year the farmer trimmed it when he did the hedges, so now there’s only really the top fruit which is too high for me to reach!

It’s a goal for this year!

I’m thinking an apple and blackberry crumble!

7. Blog re-design

If you’re reading this on the WordPress Reader (as I think most of you are!), then you won’t notice anything different. For everyone else, the look of the blog has changed a bit.

I’m still experimenting a bit, the header will get changed…the logo, icons, fonts, colours, widgets in the sidebar will get moved around a bit soon.

But it was in need of an overhaul.

Hopefully it doesn’t look too much like an early 2000’s blog now!! 🙂

Header in progress!

8. Pinterest Pins

For a few of my posts on Medium, I’ve been creating Pinterest Pins to go with them and uploading them to Pinterest.

It’s not something I’ve ever done for this blog, maybe because I don’t write the kind of content here that would be suitable for a pin.

I’m going to start thinking about pins…but I’m not the best at designing them!

These are two I made for the latest post on Medium (the link is above in point 1).

Which one do you prefer?

I prefer the one on the right…but that is the real secret to Pinterest…

You create MULTIPLE PINS for the SAME BLOG POST!

That way, you reach a wider audience. If someone doesn’t like one pin, they might be tempted to click on a different looking one!

9. Granny Square day 2021

I remembered about a thing before the thing was done and gone!

And that thing was Granny Square Day 2021!

Make some crocheted Granny Squares and take a picture and post to your Instagram account with the hashtag #grannysquareday2021 so that all the pictures create one huge Granny Square Blanket.

The charity is Woolly Hugs this year, which I’ve heard of, but never got the timing right for posting blankets etc. as the timing for submissions always falls at awkward places in my makes (I start knitting and crocheting Christmas things around September but their deadlines for submissions are around September/ October if I remember correctly).

They make handmade blankets to give to babies, children and teenagers in UK hospitals.

You can read more about Granny Square Day here:

https://www.gathered.how/knitting-and-crochet/crochet/granny-square-day/

10. Planning and Pondering

I’ve been looking at various ways to make money from writing and related things for a while now. To be honest, I tend to start one project, then see something else and start that and so the cycle continues. I guess you call it MAGPIE BRAIN?! Always distracted by the shiny object…

At the moment I only write on this blog and on Medium. Medium is new to me and I’ve only been on there a few months.

I’m also writing a book, at the time of writing it’s about half done. I want to get it published in August. I think I’ll manage it.

But I want to do more writing and not just any old, write whatever happens to spew out of my crazy mind. I want to write more with purpose and write with value for the reader in mind and to have streams of income, not just from places like print on demand sites and affiliate links, but streams of writing income.

So, I’m looking at Substack which is a free or paid e-mail newsletter subscription service. And Fiverr. There are a lot of places like Fiverr, like Upwork, People Per Hour etc. But Fiverr is probably the most well known and where a lot of beginners start.

The one thing I’m not really interested in are the content mills. Places like Textbroker etc. where you get paid very little for a lot of work.

I’ve seen requests on content mills in the past for ethically dubious articles e.g. one thing sticks in my mind quite clearly. Someone wanted a writer to write 3 essays for them…on clinical psychology for children! So, someone was studying at university on a clinical psychology course and was going to pay someone else peanuts to write their essays for them (also, would you want your child seen by someone who didn’t write their own essays/ do their own research at university?!)

That’s just one example that I remember, and not every request for writers is like that, but I’m not interested.

This article by The Write Life has more information about content mills if you’re interested:

I’m quite a fast typer and so joining something like Substack isn’t going to take up a HUGE amount of extra time, especially if I started with one newsletter a week.

I’m going back and forth with the options I have listed in front of me (I’ve scribbled down more than the ones I listed above…this post is getting long enough as it is!) and so, that’s something else I’ve been working on this week. Not really something to ‘show’, but thinking time is still time well spent.

To be perfectly honest, I need to sort out the Woolly Orbit branding first, before I go subscribing to things left, right and centre!


Phew! That was a post and a half!

Well done if you stuck around till the end…you’ve earned yourself 10 points and a pat on the back!

For a week where I didn’t feel very well, I think I did alright!

Today I’m going to finish another Medium article (just need to edit it, hopefully won’t take too long!). Then, look at some affiliate programmes and try and get back into the Etsy shop prep and more work on the book.

What did Bilbo Baggins say about feeling like too much better spread over not enough bread?!!

Hope you had a good week and have a crafty weekend!

Cross -Stitch Conundrum

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.

Weird colour combination!

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!

https://tidd.ly/3Ct7EdP

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.


[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!]

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Cross-Stitch Project Progress

I’ve picked an awful colour scheme for this project! I know I’m using up my stash of threads and fabric…but still I feel I should point out that the colour choices are all mine and in no way am I following the pattern’s colours!!

The purples of the ‘YOU’ look OK, but the rest…I’m reminded of trains for some reason hahaha! Especially the ‘GOOD THOUGHTS’ colours.

See my previous post for details about the pattern. I won’t keep repeating myself.

It’s been nice working on this at night, listening to a SkillShare tutorial. They have some really good videos about graphic design and illustration which I really need to focus and watch the screen. But to have a general video on in the background about business, marketing, mindsets, that type of thing. Well, it’s like I’m watching a productive video, you know? Like I’m doing homework.

But then again…I LOVE homework!

I did a whole ONE ROW of a knitted bag project last week. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I have wanted to rest my eyes a bit lately. I’m getting headaches from looking at small things like stitches, knitting stitches, and of course, computer/ I-pad screens. So, if I can come off the screens and not have to focus on small things, then so much the better!

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m taking it easy with the crafting for now. I do want to get a few projects finished this summer.

But right now my focus is on getting my Etsy shop set up. I have managed to reach a few goals that I set myself for May, which is exciting, but more on that later!

Have a lovely afternoon- it’s been grey and overcast all day. It even did a bit of mini ice hailing earlier on. I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive! May has had more hailstorms than I can remember in a long time.

New Cross -Stitch Project Started

The other day I posted what I drew when my computer updated. It took so long I started on some cross-stitch too!

This is the last project I have from an Etsy shop called Stitchrovia. I’ve talked in previous blogs about getting designs from here. This one says ‘Think good thoughts and good will find you’.

As with the other designs I bought, I’m using up my stash of Aida and threads so the colours won’t match at all to what the pattern suggests, but since this is only a type-face design with text and a few details, then I don’t think that matters too much!

This is what I have so far… I know it’s hard to see the yellow.

I usually print out a black and white chart, although you get both colour and black and white with your purchase. I just prefer the black and white.

But this time it’s a much bigger picture than the previous two…the pattern fills up 2 pieces of A4 paper with tiny squares.

I want to say it’ll be a project to do bits at a time, but I know once I get into a project like this, I pretty much can’t put it down!

No, I don’t use embroidery hoops! I just iron it at the end (don’t worry, I’m careful not to squish the stitches!).

I’ve also done a whole row of my knitted Neon Fair Isle bag. Yes – A WHOLE ROW! Progress, but doesn’t feel like it!

I guess I really am all knitted and sewn out for a bit!

Make The Days Count – Cross Stitch Pattern

I knew this would be a quickie and it was!

Bought it last weekend and did a few sections each evening.

Here is the link to the pattern if you’re interested in having a go yourself! (From an Etsy shop called Stitchrovia)

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/616060065/make-the-days-count-cross-stitch-pattern?ga_search_query=make&ref=shop_items_search_1&crt=1

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?!

Don’t count the days – make the days count!

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?!!

Cross-Stitch Finished and Framed

Cross-Stitch Sampler Finished and Framed

This is the first piece of cross-stitch I have finished in several years, technically it’s not only the first of the year but of the DECADE too!

I wanted to do something different, usually I go for big and complicated pieces, this was a smaller, quicker piece and was WRITING!!

I have never done this type of sampler before, but I was looking for something, dare I say, motivational! :O

I am feeling in a bit of a permanent rut at the moment, so I thought I would get something ‘motivational’ to stitch and put it somewhere I could see it in my everyday life. I completed it over maybe 4 or 5 evenings this past week and it was actually really nice to get back to a hobby I haven’t done in a while.

I used up some Aida fabric from my stash that I had lying around for ages (still got loads left!) and some leftover threads from previous projects, so all I bought was the downloadable pattern from an Etsy shop called Stichrovia.

Here is the link to the shop if you want to buy yourself something similar – I love the bigger patterns she does, like the Yin and Yang one and some of the kitchen samplers. I can’t help thinking a lot of them would be good to stitch and then sew up into cushion covers! :0

https://tidd.ly/3xA4kd9

I realise that with the colours I had, the word BOLD looks like it has American cheerleader colours…oh well!

cross stitch
Pattern from an Etsy shop called Stitchrovia

A cheap frame from Wilkos and just ignore the few creases you can still see, would you believe I actually ironed this? It’s the first piece of finished cross stitch I have ever ironed in my life, since once I finish them they tend to go in a folder and get forgotten about. I think the creases would come out if I actually washed it too…but it’s not so bad if you look at it from a certain angle.

On the whole I’m pleased with it. I did think about doing it in pinks and purples, which I kind of wish I had done, but I do like the bold colours too…buying a one-off pattern for a couple of pounds is definitely the way forward now, as when I buy magazines, I never seem to do (or even like) many of the patterns. And it was really easy to buy and download and print off the pattern…very simple to do and use.

The pattern was four sheets of A4 and it shrinks down to just one when you stitch it up! 🙂

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WIP’s Progress – Feb 2021

I haven’t really done a lot of crafting lately. The beginning of January was quite busy because I still felt in Christmas-Making-Mode.

That was when I sewed a practice dress (from cheap horrible fabric just to see the construction of it and to practice measuring and fitting) and half a pair of pj shorts which I gave up on when I couldn’t get them up my chunky thighs!!

I also tie-dyed a turmeric cushion at the beginning of January and that was pretty much it.

I did manage to read Robots and Empire last week and I am about to start Prelude to Foundation (both by Isaac Asimov).

KNITTING

I’ve worked a bit more on my Christmas jumper, but I’m finding this last bit a bit of a slog. I have to do 38cm in stocking stitch before I start to shape the armholes and I am up to 28.5cm. It just seems so slow going! I think it’s because I’m only doing it in the evenings and the light isn’t perfect, so it hurts my eyes after a while – I sound so old saying that don’t I?!!

But, I have made some progress – last night I did 5 rows, that’s something at least!

knitted christmas jumper

I am aiming to have it done this month and then get back to my orange jumper. Yay! First sweaters!!

CROSS-STITCH

I was looking through my stash drawers and found a small bag full of anchor stranded cotton skeins from previous cross-stick projects. They are all half or full skeins with their labels still on and everything and since I have loads of Aida fabric leftover too, I thought I would have a look on Etsy and see if any patterns caught my eye.

I had saved some patterns from a shop called Stitchrovia a while back and thought that was a good place to start, they do lots of typed patterns (like sayings and mottos etc.) and what I would call chunky designs (see the day and night yin and yang design). I hate doing sampler-type patterns, I prefer big ones to little tiny kits. I never do flowers or birds or that kind of thing either…I prefer big, bold, chunky, simple patterns.

Since I have been in a bit of a rut lately I found a pattern that says ‘Fortune Favours The Bold’ so I am going to have a a go at that. Being all motivational and crafty at the same time and all that. I bought the pattern, printed it off, stuck it together in a folder with some Aida and then chose some colours out of what I already had. They won’t match up to the pattern exactly, but who cares about that? This way, I can make it my own and use up my stash a bit. I don’t need to buy more skeins that will only get half-used. 

So, that is one way to be a sustainable crafter…to use what I already have!

embroidery threads

This is the pattern I bought:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/673748154/fortune-favours-the-bold-cross-stitch?ref=hp_rf-1

STASH

I also found a big block of candle wax and some supplies. I am going to use this up and make a big candle I think, and then after that choose only to use eco-friendly waxes such as beeswax and soy wax. I know that there are supposed to be a lot of particulates and harmful chemicals in normal paraffin wax, so I am going to change to natural waxes in crafting (and purchases) from now on. I should say though, that I don’t burn candles all the time, and mainly downstairs in the lounge, where there is a bot more ventilation, but still…

And of course, there’s lots of fabric to be sewn up, but for now at least, I seem to be all sewn out for a while.

DAY #3 Favourite Thing I Have Ever Made

CRAFTY 30 DAY BLOGGING CHALLENGE DAY #3

Favourite thing I have ever made

Well, where do I start with this one? I have made so many things from so many different materials. Also, what are the exact judging criteria?!!

I generally go for easy, quick-ish knits and bits. I like to knit and crochet blankets, cowls and hats. I am only just now starting with the sweater knitting after about 5 or 6 years of knitting. I am late to that party.

One of my all time crochet faves is this shawl I made with Stylecraft Cabaret DK, I don’t know the shades but I did 2 balls of a multi-coloured shade and then 2 balls of a grey/ blue shade.

It is so soft and snuggly and I used up yarn I had already and best of all…I crocheted it in the sun last year during lockdown 2020. Something beautiful and practical out of being stuck at home. Pattern from a book called Shabby Chic Crochet designed by Agnieszka Strycharska.

Another of my all-time favourite (non knitting or crochet related) makes was this recipe design I cross-stitched at university. As if I didn’t have enough to do then!!

I have kept it hidden away for all these years until last year, when I got out my hot glue gun and stuck it to the front of a spare notebook I had and it is now my hand-written recipe book. Of course, it doesn’t look as glamorous inside…

The pattern was from a cross stitching magazine with a free calendar and the pattern was in the calendar, I can’t remember anything else about it than that!! Possibly Cross Stitcher or World of Cross-Stitching magazines??

I also love this granny blanket I made last year using up Double Knitting scraps. It’s bright and funky coloured and eye-catching and is currently on my bed on top of my duvet as it’s getting cold here. Last night was -3C BRRRR!!

crochet granny square blanket
crochet granny square blanket

As for knitting? It’s hard to pick a favourite. Probably all of the mini Christmas makes I did last year. I bought 3 volumes of pattern books from a website called Deramores. They were called Christmas Knits by King Cole Yarns. And I knitted baubles, stockings, a Christmas pudding tea cosy, Christmas hanging trees…so much festive goodness!

knitted stocking
mini knitted stocking
tea cosy
knitted bauble
knitted bauble

So, yeah, that’s a few of my favourite makes. I realised when writing this post, I don’t actually have a lot of pics of things I have made. Every so often I have to make more memory space available and I go through and delete photos, but also I just don’t take many pics! I am not the best photographer in the world…

Also, a lot of the favourites have been given away to friends and family.

What are your favourite makes?