Organising My Crafty Life

In the past month or so I’ve suddenly got my knitting mojo back after about 3 or 4 months of not really being bothered.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that I have so much stuff that it’s getting me down! Too many knitting or crochet projects I started that I don’t love anymore and aren’t likely to get finished any time soon.

So, I did a ruthless thing and did a purge!

I threw out 2 projects I started ages ago and just haven’t had the motivation to get back into them; the knitted shawl in amazing lovely autumn colours and the knitted socks which I couldn’t even finish the ribbing for!

They’ve gone!

I frogged them and saved the yarn…but no more working on them ever again!!

And, looking through my photos for the 2 above, I realised I threw out another project too. A knitted blanket in squares, which I’d only knitted the first square.

I frogged that too and made a crochet blanket last week! Wool used up…great!

Why did I take a picture of this ages ago from the back again?!

I did a big clear out and got rid of half used skeins of wool, scraps of fabric and things like that, that I’ll never use! I have so much more room in my craft drawers now.

I’ve also been trying to use up yarn that I’ve bought over the years without a project in mind. Such as these cute coloured pastel balls of yarn, but I never used because I don’t wear pastel garments!

So…I made a couple of baby hats, I’m knitting a baby cardigan with funky dark green and pink yarn and I started a shawl with the baby pastel yarn I had lying around.

And then with yarn leftover from those projects, I started a granny square cushion!

So, I’ve started a few projects lately with the aim of using up my stash.

A lot of my stash is acrylic and I want to start getting away from that. Acrylic is plastic basically, isn’t it? I want to use more natural fibres, but I don’t just want to chuck out everything I have…so I’m going to use it all up first.

I do love the colours of this yarn – the pics don’t do it justice and it is so soft and snuggly. But I only bought 1 or 2 balls of each colourway, so the projects are small that I’m doing to use it up!

It’s Baby Twinkle Prints DK by James C. Brett. You can grab it here from The Knitting Network if you want to have a look. I like The Knitting Network as they use paper not plastic packaging!

I’ve made a little bit of room so far…although I have about 10 tote bags with my knitting and crochet projects in them lying about!

I have 4 knitted jumpers and 1 crochet top I’m working on, with the yarn for a summer cotton vest (which won’t get finished before the winter comes lol!) and a lot of sock yarn still to work on. I also have 9 balls (!) of DK yarn to use up for a jumper as it was on offer!

And then there’s a few odd aran weight balls which I thought to make a baby blanket from, some cream and pink yarn for a jumper, and some chunky yarn for a cowl.

So, even when I finish the current projects, I have enough yarn to be using up until the end of this year without buying anything new!!

I’m gong Cold Sheep for the time being!

Well, I’m going to try to anyway!!!

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Scrap busting…dishcloths, blankets and more!

I have a lot of wool.


And frankly, some of it is old and boring.

I maybe bought it for projects that never materialised or simply just bought it on impulse. Whatever the reason for it all being in my gigantic yarn stash, it needs to be used up…so I can find the room to fit more yarn in of course.

So, in the past week or so, I’ve done a few short projects to use up some leftovers.

Knitted Dishcloths

First, I made a few dishcloths with some 100% cotton I had leftover. I don’t normally like knitting with cotton as I find I have to hold it quite tightly and it hurts my hands after a little while.

And in full disclosure (I really wanted to write dish-closure here!), I don’t even use these kinds of dishcloths haha!

I know a few people who do, so they might get a few as a random gift the next time I see them.

I really like this yarn though, for all that I might whinge about cotton, this feels really nice and comes in some vibrant sunny colours.

It’s by James C. Brett and I believe it’s called It’s 100% Pure Cotton. I’m using shade IC08 below.

So far, I’ve done a waffle stitch pattern and a simple garter stitch one. Since I don’t use them, I’m not really sure how big to make them, so I’ll do a variety and see what works.

The waffle stitch

Cast on an even number of stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Knit

Row 3: K1, P1

Row 4: K1, P1

Repeat those 4 rows for as long as you want it. The front looks like squares and the back is textured too, so I quite like this simple stitch!

Below on the left is the back of the dishcloth and the front on the right.

The back looks pretty cool too, though doesn’t it?!

Knitted Blanket

I’ve had a pattern for a knitted blanket that I ripped out of a magazine years ago. There are 9 large squares and 3 patterns.

A complicated cabled centre square, 4 stocking stitch squares and 4 other cabled squares (with a simpler cable pattern).

I’ve done one square in aran leftovers so far, just a simple stocking stitch one that I can sit out in the garden with and not have to keep looking at a pattern. It’s not as big as I thought it would turn out to be, so I might have to do more squares or a huge border. Not sure yet. Maybe I’ll just see what it looks like stretched out and sewn together!

I’m using darker, maybe more autumnal colours, like orange and grey instead of the pastel colours of the pattern.

I’m not really a pastel person, you know?!

And since I didn’t think 4 balls were going to enough as the square below used up more than half a ball…I went and bought 2 more balls of a beautiful blue/ green colour.

Just in case.

The yarn is Stylecraft Special Aran and I’m using the following 3 colours: 1062 Teal, 1063 Graphite and 1029 Copper.

You can get the same yarn from The Knitting Network here.

I’m looking at the photo below and I’m wondering if I took the photo of the back by mistake. I was so sure it was the front. Ooops!

That’s just a couple of things I’m doing to use up my stash. I have quite a few other projects on the go at the moment and it’s getting to the point where I need to finish something before I cast on anything else!

I have a few half balls of chunky yarn, a couple of DK weight yarn and a few odd bits in either 4ply or aran, so I can’t use all my scraps in one blanket project…more the pity.

I’ve seen a few patterns for chunky hats, so I might have a go at that. We’ll see. I have one bag of leftovers left, so it’s not too dire at the moment.

What’s dire is the fact that my drawers and boxes are overflowing with full balls and hanks of yarn ready to be knitted up into projects, hahaha!

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My Sewing Patterns – What’s In My Stash #1

What’s In My Stash #1

I don’t actually have that many sewing patterns anymore!

A few weeks ago I had a period of manic sewing and went through a few patterns. If I like it I’ll keep it for another use. If not, then it goes straight in the paper recycling!

So, there’s a few less than about a month ago!!

All of the patterns below are free ones from sewing magazines. I think the bigger ones are from Simply Sewing. I can’t remember where I got the other two.

I’ve done the Anna Tote, that was a quick and easy pattern that I definitely want to do again. I’ll stick a picture below of the denim bag I did.

I like the long wrap skirt and the Fiona Dress (the blue one on the right of the pattern) as it has 3/4 length sleeves. I can’t honestly see myself doing the others anytime soon as I’m into knitting at the moment and I’m realising I go through phases of crafts!

But I want to keep them for the future. I have the satchel pattern all cut out and ready to go…just need to check what fabric I have left.

My first webbing (so ignore the wonky stitching!).

So there you go – a nosy into my sewing pattern stash! Just what you didn’t know you needed!!

Do you have more or less than 8 patterns?!

DAY #18 – Messy vs. Neat Workspace


DAY #18 – Messy vs. Neat Workspace

I don’t have much space to keep a lot of my crafty tools and materials out on show all the time. In the same breath I have to admit I love having all my crafty things around me. I guess Minimalist Hoarder could kind of describe me?!

I have a plastic set of drawers that I use for crafty purposes as well as a huge plastic tub full of wool, homemade creations, bits of fabric, kits/ sets ready to work on like a linen top that I have mostly got all cut out and ready to sew.

However, everything is sort of sorted, even though they might look like they have been chucked in the tub or drawers haphazardly – there is SOME evidence of order in the chaos! The knitted projects on the go are all in their own tote bag or wallet – patterns with fabric, crocs-stitch pattern printed off and placed in a folder with Aida fabric and threads ready to go etc.

I have a project bag I bought from a haberdashery section of a local shop quite a few years ago and that has all of my orange balls of yarn and needles and pattern for my orange jumper. Which then got chucked into my wardrobe…

craft stash fabric wool

The top drawer has needles and crochet hooks, a random embroidery hoop, Tunisian (Afghan) and extra long crochet hooks, some bag handles that I have never got around to either knitting or sewing a bag for, crap like that. Second has my main fabric stash (with some in both the top and bottom drawers) as well as interfacing, wadding, tracing paper for patterns, embroidery threads and old cross-stitch designs at the bottom. And a random tea towel. And the bottom drawer has things like resin colours, safety glasses, stamps and inks, hot glue gun…you know, the boring stuff you never use but you never know when you might need!

I think part of the mess is having so many bags of stuff around me. But that’s not such a big problem anymore as I am slowly getting through my WIP’s. At least now, there is room to shove things in a drawer and have things out of sight.

So, am I messy or neat? I think both. Of course, you have to make a mess to make anything homemade, but over the past year or year and a half or so, I have definitely got a lot tidier. Part of that is to do with a midget shift, where I just decided one day that enough was enough and to get rid of wasn’t serving me any more. Yes, we all want to make a patchwork quilt out of our fabric scraps but will we really? I got rid of all the fabric pieces that I didn’t like anymore or just simply wasn’t going to undo anything with and that freed up so much room.

Room for new fabric that is… 🙂

just ignore the kettlebell at the bottom…it’s only there for decorative purposes!

Day #17 – Using Up My Stash


Day #17 – Using up my stash

Last year, I emptied my stash. Used it up in almost its entirety. And I wasn’t alone.

A Youtube channel called The Crimson Stitchery did a stashless 2020 project to use up spare yarn. If you look at the hashtag #stashless2020 on Instagram you will see hundreds of posts of people’s makes, with tons of ideas and inspiration as to how to use up your stash. Socks, cardigans, blankets…

So many people were forced to look at their stash last year due to the pandemic and the fact that A) a lot of people couldn’t leave the house to go shopping and buy more yarn or B) with so many people losing their jobs/ being affected financially by the pandemic in some way or other, they simply couldn’t afford to spend on frivolous new purchases.

So, people looked at what they already had in their drawers and cupboards. And it was a lot, lol! And not just wool, either, loads of little pieces were sewn as well as knitted and crocheted.

Here are 5 simple ideas to use up your scraps.

5. Fabric

-Use left over scraps to make a patchwork blanket, cut out the squares as you go along until you have enough to start making either strips or squares.

-Small Christmas decorations such as mini stockings or fabric ‘paper’ chains.

-Scrunchies and knotted headbands – Pinterest has loads of ideas for sewn headbands!

4. Wool/ Yarn

-Granny Square blankets

-Hats, scarves, cowls, mittens, socks etc.

-Items for the home such as cushion covers, tea cosies, coffee pot/mug cosies, trivets out of cotton yarn

I love to crochet pumpkins out of scrap NEON wool! 🙂 can you tell the background is wallpaper and not real wood?!!!

3. T-shirt Yarn

-Make macrame wall hangings/ coasters


-Crochet bowls and pots

macrame wall hanging using t-shirt yarn

2. Paper

-Cards, tags, wrapping paper, stick odd bits in scrapbooks/ art journals as background – I have seen a Youtube channel called MaremiSmallArt use tags (from when you buy clothing) and use them as texture for the background of a make before she paints over them

– Discover origami

-Donate pretty paper and card you won’t use to your local primary/ elementary school

  1. Pattern books/ books/ craft magazines

-Go through and weed out any patterns you will never use and recycle/ donate, buy online patterns to avoid clutter

-I have a button badge maker and I have looked through old knitting and crochet magazines and created unique badges (that I have stuck on my knitting needle bag) out of pictures of knitted fabric

-Decide on a challenge – e.g. Make 1 item from each book/ magazine or flip through a book and pick a pattern to try blindfolded…something like that

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).


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!!


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:


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.