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.
I have been isolating since 19th March and it has had it’s ups and downs. There was a week near the start when I was very snappish and an emotional rollercoaster and now for the most part I am settled in my routine. I am lucky, that through out my isolation I have been able to work from home. I still get up and at the same time and do some chores before I start work. I think this has helped, although the one thing to suffer is my sleep pattern. I go to bed at the same time and spend most of the night tossing and turning. I have tried all the usual tricks, reading, knitting, warm milk, deep breathing, nytol, nothing works.
One good thing about the isolation is that I have managed to get on and properly tidy and sort the rooms I’ve been procrastinating about for months. Normally I would start sorting, then think of a reason to leave the house and not finish it. Now of course, I haven’t been able to leave the house so it is finally done. I have also sorted out the old craft/junk shed and it has been sorted and filled with boxes ready for when the charity shops open . I donated two large bags of fabric to my local scrub hub which made me feel like I was helping the cause, as there was enough fabric for hundreds of scrub caps and a few scrub sets. if I wasn’t up to sewing them at least I could provide the materials.
Craft wise I am still knitting the Afternoon tea blanket which is coming along nicely. Five strips have been knitted and sewn together and am midway on the sixth. I have also been sewing, mainly masks for the family and extended family. When my daughter asked me for masks I obviously said yes and just got on and did it, I didn’t dislike it but it wasn’t a joyful process. When I chose a different style- the full faced masks- I found the process of sewing the masks very therapeutic and want to sew some more. I am lucky as I did not need to buy anything to sew any of the masks, everything came from stash, well apart from one fat quarter of Star Wars fabric my grandson requested for his masks. One WIP I did manage to sew was The Raglan Dress by The Avid Seamstress. I absolutely love this dress. The fabric makes me smile and the pattern is a dream to sew. The instructions are clear and raglan sleeves are for me the easiest to sew. There will be many more of these in my wardrobe. I think I may need to do a post on this at a later date.
Talking of WIPs, I am the worst for having a day where I will cut out a few projects ready to sew at a later date. Some of these projects have been untouched for a few years so I decided to be ruthless and have decided to bag up those that didn’t inspire me any more and donate as a kit – fabric, pattern, pins- to the charity shops when they reopen . This actually made me relieved, as if a pressure had been lifted as now I only have two projects cut out ready to sew.
I really need to start a simple knit project, something I can pick up and knit mindlessly when I need some mindless knitting. Just to be contrary and play devils advocate, I also want to knit something intricate and lacy. when sorting out I discovered the Year of Lace 2009 patterns, only one of which I got around to knitting . Now if I can just find the yarn these came with …….
I cast on this blanket back on 2010. It never really grabbed me, I think it bored me to be honest. Now with being in self isolation and working remotely from home, it is the perfect project to pick up between calls. So far I have completed 25/81 squares. The blanket is worked using four colours and the cream is used in most squares.
I am knitting this the Debbie Abrahams way, knitting a square, casting off and then picking up stitches from the cast off square to knit the next one until the strip is completed. To save sewing in too many ends I have found a way to ease this. This works on most strips but in particular the even number strips.
Strip four use the pink and a full ball of the cream for the first square, then cast off in pink but leave the cream attached and pick up stitches for square 2 using the same cream. Once this square is cast off pick up stitches for the third square and carry on using the cream. If you wish to you can thread beads for the fourth square at the start and push them to to middle of the ball and continue until end of square 5 using the same cream ball. I didn’t do this, however I used the cream yarn from square 6 of strip four to complete the strip.
When knitting the 19a and 19B squares I left the cream attached after the first one and when it came to the next cream row and the yarn was at the other end I just slipped all the stitches across until I was at the cream end and purled the row.
This means less weaving in and using less yarn. I hope this helps, Stay Safe everyone
Well I have been in self isolation for just over a week and all the days are starting to merge into one. I am in self isolation as my husband has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. Ironically his role is classed as a key worker and the government website is a little confusing as to what he should do.We contacted the brilliant CLLSA who has verified, he needs to self isolate.
We have another 5 days before we can be sure neither of us have the virus. I am not going to lie, my opinion of some people has changed since this happened. I will openly admit that I am now judging people on how they acted when we were warned about COVID-19 and when we went into lockdown.
I really dislike being indoors 24/7, I am lucky. I have a garden I can venture into and I can work from home at the moment, I have food in my cupboard and a roof over my head. I am lucky. However, I am missing seeing my family, especially the grandchildren and Miss Evlayns hugs.
One silver lining of this self isolation is that I am finally properly going through the boxes and bags in the craft room. This time I am being more ruthless, none of this -oh I could use this one day- when I don’t particularly like it. No more keeping items of clothing that need completely unpicking and sewing as if they were a new garment to make them fit. No more keeping scraps and old rolls of ribbon that I am never likely to use.
That’s just the sewing stuff, let’s not mention the stationery. How many pens and notebooks does one need?
Prior to this I was selling some of my no longer used books and unloved yarns on ebay. As I am in self isolation I have ended the listings.
Now I have put the items no longer bringing me joy into 3 piles.Normally I don’t separate the items I am giving to charity but this time I have. Clothing is in a bag for one of the clothing charity bins or a charity shop. Small crafty bits are going into old Glossybox boxes. Once filled these can be given to local craft groups or even to a foodbank so children can make use of them. If I give it to a food bank or similar type charity I will add glue and cards so they will be like small craft kits. The final pile is a general mishmash of various items for the charity shops. This is proving quite therapeutic so hopefully I can continue with the rest of the house.
Take care everyone and remember #sixfeetapartorsixfeetunder Stay Safe
As I’ve previously mentioned, I had sworn off Debbie ABRAHAMS mystery blankets as I have far too many in progress or not even started. Last year I relented and signed up to her mystery baby blanket club. My reasoning was that I could knit one and have it ready for when some one close to me has a baby and I could use my stash and the patterns to knit another.
This was lovely to knit, using the gorgeous Rowan Baby Cashsoft. When knitting it again I will omit the bobbles and the Swiss darning on the blocks. The border is my favourite of all the borders I have knit . It has inspired me and in my head I am designing a pram blanket. Watch this space. #staysafe