It’s been that time of year when time seems to get away from you , I am still crafting everyday but some days it is literally only one row of knitting. For some reason I cannot seem to finish my Anthology shawl, which at this rate will finished in December. I have been knitting a lot of brown and grey rather bizarrely as the are colours I don’t tend to wear those colours, however I had it all in stash and wanted to knit them up. I managed to finish two projects, in March I finished my Mabel, I added the beads for a bit of fun, now it’s finished I have fluctuating feelings about them. This was a lovely garment to knit and I will be knitting another one. As I work from home on the phones for 10 hour shifts it is perfect for keeping me and my shoulders warm, it doesn’t seem to matter what the weather is I get a chill across my shoulders if they are not covered.
In April I finished the Waltzer cape which I really enjoyed knitting, as I ran out of a contrast for the final part I used green beads which I wish I’d left blank. The knitted fabric was perfect, yarn used was Istex Lettlopi with a strand of Fyberspates Faery Lace from deep stash. I really enjoyed knitting this and love the texture of the knitted fabric. It is a very clear pattern from Carol Meldrum.
I wasn’t going to buy any more yarn but Milli at Tribe Yarns kept posting such inspiring posts on Instagram I joined her Mabel Cocoknits KAL. This is my first Tribe KAL and my first Cocoknits pattern, one of the reasons I decided to join is that this is exactly the jumpers pattern I need and I had stash I could knit it in. One of the special things about the cocoknits method is the way her shoulders and sleeves are done with out seaming. She also has a helpful sweater workshop sheet which once you read the patterns and write EXACTLY what they say makes an easy at a glance guide for increases. This is an at a glance guide for what I do with most garments I knit, as I always write out my rows with columns for increase or decreases. One of the good things about Mabel was the way it can be tried on at various stages and adjusted as necessary. This was a great help on the sleeves as mine are quite a few centimetres shorter than the pattern suggests. As I dislike knitting sleeves in the round once the body has been completed, I worked a few rows of the body then, completed the sleeves. This has enabled me to get perfect length sleeves. When purchasing my yarn Isager 3 for the KAL I decided to buy the sweater workshop book which comes with a few patterns as well. This was invaluable when first knitting it as it explained all the techniques and abbreviations very clearly with excellent photos, Milli explained everything in the weekly zoom meetings which were extremely informative and inspiring, but sometimes you need to just pick a book up and check. The only thing I did find perplexing was the increase abbreviations as I know them by M1R or M1L and these are almost in reverse, once I locked it in my head exactly which it was knitting progressed quickly. I would definitely do another Tribe KAL and knit more Cocoknits, will probably do another Mabel with more stash. I didn’t use the yarn I bought from Tribe Yarns as I wanted something that would be okay to undo and reknit if I had to as it was a new technique. I used Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky and a strand of a silk lace yarn both from deep stash, whilst sorting out the craft area for supplies for my granddaughter to take into schoolI found some glittery heart beads which I am randomly placing all over the front until I run out. When I knit another one I will make the sleeves the next size down.
This month it has mainly been knitting. I am still working on my Waltzer cape , which for some reason I keep calling Weaver and have decided to add some randomly placed beads to it. Not colours I would normally wear but with the green Fyberspates cobweb yarn and the beads it adds a bit of colour. Candy cane hat is coming along slowly, I think it’s due to the small tips on the circular, might need to swap to DPNs. The Anthology shawl is still on the needles and am finding I can only knit this when watching the TV as it is getting a bit boring at the current stage. It hasn’t escaped my notice that both these garments have a strong Brown colouring, I do not generally wear brown so am a little perplexed as to why I have so much in my stash.
This year,with my husband still undergoing treatment but thankfully stable, I am making a concerted effort to log my crafting. My granddaughter has requested a monthly sewing day so we shall be doing that. She also has learnt to knit and can pick it up and put it down with ease. I’ve always logged what I’ve made but this year, am doing a daily checkin as I aim to craft every day. Still wearing a mask when in crowded places, on public transport or it’s cold as that stops me coughing.
I have been keeping up with my crafting and reading, I thinks it is what has kept me sane, This year is also proving to be a bit of a nightmare. My husband is now at the stage where he needs treatment and was also hospitalised again. I was thinking of writing another blog to log it all, for now I have added page and transferred the previous posts about it to this. I hope to fill this with more craft related stuff but my head has not been in the right place so it will probably be as erratic as usual.
2021 Has been a rollercoaster, more so than 2020 for me. I’m not sure why, what I do notice, after the fact of course, is that how much I have been crafting has a direct effect on my moods. The times where I haven’t crafted definetley have a downward effect on my moods. Now I TRY and keep simple mindless project on the needles for such moments. I mentioned last year about my plan to craft 60 projects this year. I am on track but I haven’t had the headspace to write blog pieces. I have kept an old school notebook with all the details so I am going to publish monthly posts retrospectively- I think that’s the right word- for each month.
This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I have been lucky enough to work from home and after a rejig of the sewing/workspace/bedroom is a better place to be.
I have done a fair amount of crafting but have become more introvert, which is the reason this hasn’t been updated for a while. I truly believe that however bad the situation there is always a silver lining even it is a sliver of one.
I did get a lot of crafting done this year and I donated sackfuls of fabric to good causes , made hundreds of masks and spent a fair amount of time on video calls with family members
From March I left my house 6 times, once for my flu jab, three times to visit the grandchildren as they weren’t going anywhere- still socially distance and we visited a socially distanced English Heritage grounds. Other than these I have been confined to barracks. I am resigned to spending Christmas at home with me and my partner and I feel it will be more relaxed than normal
I am lucky I have a roof over my head, food in the cupboard and a craft supply to keep me going for a while.
Looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 and forward to 2021
Around November and December you start to see posts about what peoples goals are going to be in 2021. Originally I was thinking of doing 21 a craft projects a month, I gave my self a quick reality check and whilst it is doable if sewing or card making is involved, it will make me stressed and what is the point of that. 21 projects for the year seems to easy as regularly make more than that and a goal is supposed to stretch you. With this in mind I decided on 60 projects for 2021 #60projects2021 this equates to only five projects a month on average and if I make some cards and bibs this will be achieved. I am looking forward to this as I am intending using lots of my stash and up cycling some items. This time I will try and remember to take before and after photos and details the steps more.
Some of the ideas I have are to repurpose two cardigans, make some cross stitch Christmas decorations, a Christmas stocking for a new baby, dresses for my darling Evalyn and matching dresses for her toy bunny, shirts for Harry, some garter stitch baby blankets( always have one of these on the go) and clothing for me. I have stacks of fabric and need to use it.
If you would like to join me use the hashtag #60projects2021 and #stashbusting2021 if using stash projects. I will be adding a page to list the items as I make them
Happy New Year, always look forward and look for the silver lining in every situation
Okay that may be a slight exaggeration in being a necessity, I was at my desk making lists of all the projects I either had on the go or wanted to do. When I am planning to do lots of projects especially sewing, I tend to do a lot of cutting out and set them up like kits before I get to the sewing. My mind was buzzing with projects I had cut out and ones that I wanted to prepare.
Sometimes when my head is too full, I do bullet point lists for each project. For instance cut out x , get notions, sew. Lots of little notes broken down in to do lists. What I really needed was a notice board. I have one but it is buried some where. Head was still jumbled when I spotted some card packaging from a duvet cover and a light bulb went off. Right next to it was a pair of jeans that just don’t fit right now.
I found a fat quarter from Stash and bingo I had a plan. I measured the FQ around the card and it was a tight fit but it would fit. Out came the sewing machine and I sewed along one short edge and the long edge. The jeans were inserted in-between the card and the fabric pulled over the top. I didn’t sew the base up, just tucked it in like a pillow case and voila I have a mini noticeboard.
I am a realist, however I also believe that whatever the situation you can find a silver lining. It may be a tiny one
In the COVID-19 lockdown I have found a few silver linings. The latest one was getting to the last of the boxes in the old craft shed. In amongst them was a complete boxed kit for Debbie Abrahams Fish blanket. When I say complete kit . I mean complete. It has the beads, the sequins, the bobbins, the yarn and at the bottom some needles.
This is not only a silver lining because I found a complete blanket kit, this is a silver lining for another reason. Let me tell you a tale of Rowan Cotton Glacé shade 724 bubbles. I was knitting another DA blanket and needed a pink so I borrowed a ball or two from the Teatime blanket I started in 2010. This was cotton glacé shade 724 unfortunately I forgot to replace it. I am on the final two strips of the Teatime blanket and need another two to three balls of , yes you’ve guessed it CG shade 724. Now I have found the fish kit with the needed CG shade 724 yarn in it The silver lining arrives and I can finish the teatime blanket without worrying about running out of yarn. It may have gone from the fish kit but I can change the colour for this. Happy days
In lockdown I managed to break 3 of my short 2.75mm bamboo needles. Specifically the needles for my Debbie Abrahams blankets. I bought two pairs of gorgeous Lykke driftwood needles from Tribe yarns to replace them, I cannot stress enough how beautifully smooth and wonderful to knit with these are. After knitting a few squares with them, I found that when knitting at my desk they are a tad too long. Looking online for some 20-25cm needles there just just weren’t any that made me want to buy them. Then the light bulb moment came, I have a box of beads, some 20cm DPNs and super glue. Out came my creative side -not that it’s ever in-and my DPNs transformed into short needles to continue my blanket. I have a feeling that this will be my path if short needles are needed again and I have the right size DPN.